Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bridal Showers

I know you've all been waiting for days... so here is the long-awaited bridal shower post!

If you've been reading, you will know that I am throwing a baby shower, a bridal shower & a bachelorette party, all in the very near future. You can read my baby shower post here and check out a few tips on planning the best baby shower here.

I've only thrown one baby shower. One GREAT baby shower. But, i've thrown lots of bridal showers.

So, now... it's time for brides. I may have done this backwards, if we're going with the whole "first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage" thing. But- why be conventional? :)

Shower Idea #1: Cutesy-Local-Restaurant Luncheon Shower

Here we are, the terrible trio from college, in all of our 22 year-old-glory. Yes! That's Brittany from The Leengo on the right. The bride, Heather, is in the middle.
This shower was your classic luncheon shower. We hosted it at a restaurant in Norman called Fancy That- if you've never been, go immediately! We had a delicious array of snacks and desserts. It's the perfect shower location if you're going for a "classy" feel- and Heather is a very classy girl. Plus- BONUS- there's no clean-up at the end!
Shower Idea #2: Lingerie Shower

Brittany got married just a few short weeks after Heather's wedding- and we went PG-13 for her shower. Lingerie! That's always a winner with a big group of girls who have fun being silly and know each other pretty well.

We had amazing desserts at this shower too. (No wonder my bridesmaids dresses are always too tight.) Petit fours with lingerie on them, cookies with Brittany's new married initials. YUM.

Shower Idea #3: Around-The-Clock Shower

For my friend Jes's shower, we hosted it at my parents house. I love a nice table set-up. We based our entire color scheme off of a napkin of the "fab five." Isn't the pink & green cake adorable?!
Our theme was "around-the-house"- so each guest was assigned a time of day, and picked something from their registery that was relevant to that time. 9am? The waffle maker. 2pm? Wine glasses. I kid- that's more like 4:30pm. 10pm? Bedding. Or a silky- yeah, we'll just stick with bedding.


IMPORTANT SIDEBAR: Always treat yourself to an alcoholic beverage when hosting a shower.
Shower Idea #4: Kitchen Shower



At Natalie's shower, we used the front table as the go-to, catch-all table. Nametags, gifts, party favors all went on this table. Since it was a kitchen shower, we included a cute recipe card in each invitation for guests to fill out. Then, we put them all in a recipe box.



IMPORTANT SIDEBAR #2: Utilize technology to skype in your friend who lives in Germany.


I tried to do a spin on the ol' diaper cake with this "kitchen-linen" cake. Natalie registered for the blue & white kitchen towels- so I rolled a few up and made them into a cake. The coasters she registered for were discontinued, so we picked out new ones with an "A"- for her new last name.

Whew! There you go. Shower ideas galore. If you need more tips- feel free to click right here.
We've now covered babies... brides... next up: bachelorettes.
And oh, will it be good.
Happy Planning,

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March Showers...

.... bring lots of shower planning! If you follow me on facebook, twitter or any other form of social media, you will know that I am in the midst of some major shower planning. And from brides to babies, there are few things in life I love more than throwing a shower.

It could be my obsession with cute paper goods, or all things "themed"- but I'll say it's because I love celebrating my friends' major life events. :)
So, tonight I thought I'd post about baby showers. I'm throwing one in May... but I have to keep the details a secret since the mommy-to-be reads my blog.
I've only thrown one baby shower- but it was a good one!- so, here are a few cute things we did to celebrate the birth of this guy, who is now a very big boy at almost 15 months:
This adorable diaper cake was made my my friend's cousin. You can use them as centerpieces- but we put this one near the front door, next to the thank you notes. We pre-bought the thank-you notes, and had people address their own envelope when they walked in the door. Saves momma some precious time!
Our favors were cute & clever- there's a little mini cinnabun behind the note card!
Brittany from The Leengo was one of my fellow co-hosts, and she led this fun candy/match game. A good game is always a must!

Aw, who doesn't love a great baby shower?! I can't wait to show you pictures of the one I'm throwing in May. It's going to be so fun and unique!
If you're interested in reading some tips on throwing the best baby shower, check out my ehow article.
Check back in a day or two- I'll have a post up about bridal showers!
Happy planning,

Friday, March 26, 2010

Guest Blog #5: Barcelona

Guest Blogger #5:  Jes Bannasch

Did anyone else see that Woody Allen movie Vicky. Cristina. Barcelona. that came a few years ago? Well, seeing the film left my husband and I inspired to visit over our last four day weekend. While its sights are not as famous as, say, Rome or Paris, here are

 5 great reasons to

 visit Barcelona:

 1. Parc Guell

If you haven’t heard the name “Gaudi” yet, you’ll be quite familiar with this moderisme architect after a day in Barcelona. The park, originally intended as a private housing estate, sits on a hillside above Barcelona and has some of the coolest stuff in a park I have ever seen!  Don’t miss it!

 2. La Sagrada Familia

Another Gaudi masterpiece, this church has been under construction for the past hundred years and isn’t projected to be finished until the year 2030. It’s facades and forest-like interior leave you inspired. Two of the towers, which offer stunning views of the city and spires, even have elevator lifts! How perfect for a pregnant lady. La Sagrada Familia definitely makes the list for most memorable churches.

 3. Tapas and sangria

I love tapas and I love sangria, and Barcelona has them both!  The sangria was some of the tastiest I’d ever tasted (and unfortunately, I do literally only mean tasted). What a fun way to spend a gorgeous afternoon… sitting on the pier of the Mediterranean with tapas and sangria…

 4. Roman ruins

Barcelona’s history museum houses one of the largest collections of Roman ruins in all the world. Pretty cool to behold 2000+ year old things, if you ask me. Here are leftover ruins from the original wall and towers that protected the settlement of the city of Barcino.

 

5. The fountains and cascades on Montjuic

While similar to the fountain show at the Bellagio in Vegas, this one just happens to be atop a hillside offering beautiful views of Barcelona and the lit up National Art Museum of Catalunya. In the springtime, you can see it Friday and Saturday nights on the half hours from 7-9 PM. A perfect conclusion to a wonderful day.

 What a gem of a city!


-Thanks, Jes!  As a former traveler in Barcelona, I can attest that all of these places are fabulous sites to see!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Guest Blog #4: Get Fit

Guest Blogger #4:  Alison O'Donnell (on the right!)

Everybody has some kind of incentive to go to the gym; for some it may be a beach trip you are planning this summer, or maybe you have a wedding or bridesmaids dress to fit into, or maybe you are determined that this is the year you will be that size 2 you know you were meant to be.

 For me, it’s a man. 

Most of you are probably thinking I am trying to get a boy to notice me... but the plain simple truth is, I have a "LA Fitness Romance." There is a young, hot, trainer at the gym that I literally go EVERYDAY to the gym for. I don’t really like to work-out. I've never been one of those people who get the "runners high" or whatever. But for those people that know me, if a hot guy is involved... I am bound to do just about anything. 

Now you also might think that this is a "gym romance" where a lot of interaction is involved. That we whisper sweet, sweaty nothings in each others ears or we have random make out sessions in the locker room. Well you would be dead wrong. In fact, we have never met and have never spoken one word to each other. The only contact we have had is when we catch ourselves looking at one another from across the gym. 

It’s childish, I realize this. Talking to him would make my week, no my five months that I've been dedicated to going, so what’s holding me back?? I don’t make the first move EVER. I don’t believe in it and as much as i want to run up to him and say "actions DONT speak louder than words," I’m old fashioned and believe that God gave guys a special ability that enables them to talk to a girl first.  I will NOT budge. The only thing that I have actually gotten from this experience is a little bit of weight loss; which in my mind doesn't even matter if a boy won’t talk to you....

 ANYWAYS..Lindsay told me to write about working out so this is all I got. If you haven't tried spin, definitely do it and if you don’t have an incentive to go to the gym...get a "gym romance."

 Lindsay's lovely and lucky in "LA" love little sister,

"A"

 Thanks, Ali!  (Even though I think you look hot, whether a guy notices or not!)  

Monday, March 22, 2010

Guest Blog #3: Mexican Getaway


Guest Blogger #3:  Brittany Lee


Who wants to go to the beach?

This is about the time of year I start dreaming of the beach. I live in Colorado and spring is very tricky. One day the high is 67 degrees and it is sunny and beautiful. I can walk my dogs in a t-shirt. The next day it is 27 degrees and snowing! I will be shoveling my driveway in my boots and coat. It is really when this occurs that I start thinking of ways to get myself to the beach as soon as possible!

The last few years my husband and I have made an annual trip to Mexico. We have visited a different area every time and every trip was very different. One thing is for sure, Mexico is perfect for a beach getaway! Here are 5 reasons why:

1. You can get great deals at travel websites such as Expedia and Travelocity where you can book your hotel and flight together and save some of that hard earned cash!

2. Since Mexico has become such a popular destination, there are direct flights from many U.S. airports. I don’t recommend driving when you are in Mexico. The laws are a little less rigid, okay very less rigid. It can be scary and is completely unnecessary. Most hotels have shuttles to and from the airport. Another option is cabs, which are fairly inexpensive.

3. All you need is a long weekend! With Mexico’s proximity to the U.S. and access to direct flights, you can get your beach fix in just 4 days! I prefer 5 days. To me it is the perfect amount of time for a getaway!

4. All inclusive hotels are a gold mine! If you go to Mexico, STAY at an all inclusive hotel. All the food and drinks are included in your price. Most large, and several medium to small hotels in Mexico are all inclusive or have an all inclusive option so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that works for you. This makes your vacation so much easier! I do recommend taking a cab one night into town, walking around, and sampling the local fare. You will get a taste of Mexico you will never forget!

5. Whether you like to lie on the beach or prefer a more active vacation, Mexico offers both! I have done my share of lying on the beach, but I have also snorkeled, kayaked, and visited amazing ruins! Many all inclusive hotels offer snorkel gear, kayaks, etc., that are also already included in your price! Mexico has something to offer for everyone!

Here is the place I am dreaming of right now-Puerto Vallarta! Maybe I will make my way there soon, but for now I have this picture as my screensaver!

 


 See, I told you... you want a margarita now!  :)  Thanks, Brittany!

Double The Fun

Guys & gals, I just want to let you know right now, up front, that today will be a "two-post" kind of day.  I have SO much on my mind to share!  This post is going to be a mish-mash of thoughts, and later... I'll post guest blog #3 by the lovely Brittany Lee.

I'm all about transparency here at the Lounge.

If you think about it, blogging is very cathartic.  It allows you to talk about things that people may not sit and listen to, ever.  Without getting bored, or annoyed.  Or sharing their own opinions.  I can just talk, share, write, laugh at my own jokes- without interruption!

(With that statement, several of you have stopped reading.)

But for the solid strong who are still holding on- here's my mish-mash of musings today:

1)  Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution
Who watched?  What did you think?  I was completely engrossed the entire hour.  This episode took place in Huntington, West Virginia- the most unhealthy city in the most unhealthy country in the world.  I was shocked at how so many people were against Jamie's revolution- to make people aware of unhealthy eating habits that lead to obesity.  I wonder if Jamie will come to Oklahoma?  I know we rank pretty high on the "fattest states in the nation" list.

2)  Health Care Reform Bill
I don't want my blog to become a political forum (since I know it's right on the edge of becoming so; Nancy Pelosi & Sarah Palin are anonymous readers).  But, just know it's on my mind.

3) Personal Assistant
I love this blog, Camels & Chocolate.  And, I love the idea of having a personal assistant.  And, today, she's giving away a VIRTUAL personal assistant, thanks to The Hyatt Place.  For two months, the personal assistant service will help you tackle daily to-dos... from making reservations to booking vacations.  How fabulous?!  I hope it's also capable of delivering a piping hot Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte to my desk.  Enter to win on her blog.

Whew!  That's it for now.  Tune in later for Brittany's guest blog on travel.  

Hint:  Be near a restaurant that serves delicious margaritas upon reading her post.

Mish-Mashed on a Monday,



Saturday, March 20, 2010

First Day of Spring!

Hope you all are enjoying your Saturday! Here in Tulsa, we're kicking off the first day of Spring with a snowstorm. Oklahoma clearly needs to have a chat with its neighboring states about what constitutes appropriate spring weather in the South. Because this ain't cuttin' it.

Here's a little video of the snow we're seeing right now....

video

In other news- I just saw Avatar for the first time! Talk about an incredible movie. I had heard it's the modern day "Dances with Wolves"- and since I just saw that movie for the first time a few weekends ago (when it was warm & 70 degrees outside)... I can say, the comparisons are correct.

Another item- thanks for giving support to my guest bloggers this week! It was a refreshing change of pace to have my friends and family post blogs for me during my busy work time. There are still plenty of guest posts to come- including one tomorrow from my girl Brittany over at The Leengo- so keep stopping in! :) We're about to wrap up the "travel" portion of the guest blogging... and move onto fitness.

I guess that wraps it up. Tonight- BC & I are celebrating a friend's birthday with dinner at Osaka- a restaurant where they cook your food right in front of you. BC's never been to a place like this, so it should be fun. :) I'm already hungry!

Enjoy your day- whether it's sunny & warm... or snowing!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Guest Blog #2: Mission Trip

Guest Blogger #2:  Karen O'Donnell (my mom!)


“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.  But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

       Mother Theresa


June 21-28, 2009

I went on my very first mission trip to an orphanage in Guatemala! Partnering with Orphan Outreach, I shared this experience with 8 other women from my church (Christ Church, Plano, TX). We ministered to approximately 12o at-risk girls (ages 12-18) at the Manchen Girls Home in Antigua. This orphanage is run by the government, but they welcome outside groups to bring aid and encouragement to these girls who face emotional, physical and mental challenges. Some of them are teen mothers and their babies live with them in the orphanage. We brought the message that each one of them is “Beautiful in God’s Eyes” through teaching, singing, crafts, games and one on one attention. With so many other influences and beliefs that also come to this orphanage, it was our hope to leave them knowing that God loves them and that Jesus Christ is his son who came to Earth and died so that they can have eternal life! (Easy, right!?)

 Now that you know what my mission was about, I would like to share some incredible memories…

First of all, Guatemala is beautiful. The volcanos looming in the horizon are spectacular to see! We stayed in a lovely hotel in Guatemala City our first night and our last night. (We were given good rates and it was SAFE!) On Monday morning we drove into Antigua. Again, mostly beautiful scenery, old buildings (churches, monasteries), cobble-stone streets, brightly painted walls and very big wooden doors leading inside homes, hotels, schools, businesses....Then you start to notice that every window is covered with bars...ornate, iron...bars! Then you start to notice armed guards and police standing on various street corners and balconies.....then you start to notice the people begging on the streets and the very skinny horses pulling carts... No, I wasn't in Plano anymore! 

We arrived at Manchen (the girls home) in the early afternoon....not at all what I expected! We rang a doorbell outside a very large wooden door and waited for someone to let us in. (Wizard of Oz?) Then we entered an area where there was a locked gate and we would wait for that to open as well. At this point we were greeted by many eager, curious, sweet faces. Manchen used to be a beautiful home with tiled patios, a big courtyard, etc... At first glance, It seems pretty nice....until you really start to see. Because there are so many girls and so many live in each room....they have no personal space. Most of them wear jeans and they all wear a blue top. The special needs girls wear a different kind of shirt, so they are easy to spot when they are all together. That first day was quite chaotic! Trying to break them into groups and do all that we had planned seemed impossible, but we instantly felt a connection and knew that we could regroup and start over the next day! And we did! Each morning we would start our day with the special needs girls. These girls were so sweet and wanted to be hugged a lot! We would begin our time together with music/worship. They loved singing and several helped me lead! I quickly learned their favorites and also learned to guard the CD's & the CD player!!  After that, they would hear a special message, then on to crafts and games! Each afternoon, we did the same thing with the other girls. 

These girls have so little, they have suffered so much (rape, incest, prostitution). They are starving for love and I fear will do anything to get it. Many were very emotional and all we could do was hold them and wipe their tears and tell them that God loves them and that He will answer their prayers…We had several babies to hold throughout the day….one only a few months old. At first, it was hard to tell which baby belonged to who, as they are passed around like rag dolls…Each day was better than the day before….it was nice to go back each day and see familiar faces! We had some wonderful interns and translators working with us. We couldn’t have done it without them! Roberto (16 years old) helped me a lot with the games! The girls loved him too! We made the most of our lunch break each day….. we toured old churches and a beautiful old monastery, ate with the former first lady of Guatemala, Wendy Berger, at the Santo Domingo, and even managed a meal at McDonald’s. Our hotel in Antigua was also quite lovely...a wonderful escape at the end of each day! On Friday of that week, we were honored to attend the church services for the girls who were celebrating their Quincenera. (15th Birthday) There were 21 girls! With the help of donated dresses, jewelry, make-up and shoes…they looked beautiful and felt like princesses! What a special day in their bleak lives!

 I got to experience shopping in the marketplace before heading home….(Thank goodness for our translators!)  Needless to say, I feel very blessed to have been a part of this mission and to have had the opportunity to see God’s hands working miracles every day! I am still singing the songs and thinking of Heidi, Marta, Karla, Luz, Maribel, Laura, Luisa, Elsa, Yesenia, Sonia, Carolina, Jose, Christian, Roberto & Lillian….to name a few…..

I pray that we left them with what cannot be taken away (Luke 10:42)—a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

(Mucho) Love,

Karen

(Lindsay’s Mom)



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Guest Blogger #1: European Vacation

Guest Blogger #1:  Hilary McCorkindale & Collin Mayo

Blog Entry Courtesy of:  "A Blog of Mayo"


Trip to London

After Paris, we boarded the chunnel train (which travels underneath the English Channel and can get up to 186mph!!!) and arrived in London. The trip only took about 2.5 hours. The tickets are expensive ($200) but its so easy and the trains are really comfortable.

We got to London and went straight to the hostel after a stop at McDonalds. McDonalds was our restaurant of choice because it was still reasonably priced. I remember paying 1.5 pounds for a snickers bar, thats almost $3 for a Snickers bar! We arrived at the hostel in a black cab and found out how small our room would be, the toilet was practically in the shower! We still paid a hefty amount for the room, the exchange rate for the pound to the dollar on the trip was around 1.6. A $60 a charge whenever pulling out 100 pounds from the ATM is madness. We Americans need to get our economy back on track!!

After we woke up, I went down the street in the rain to get some breakfast. I bought two muffins and an orange juice for 6 pounds ($10). We decided to get a tour bus pass to get acquainted with the city. This would have been great in the summer, but in the winter it looks like this:

We went by the Buckingham Palace and saw some guards standing out front, which was pretty neat. We didnt have a chance to see the changing of the guards, because it was way too cold and rainy to wait.

After we saw the palace, we got back on the bus and got a good look at the fogged up windows from the lower section of the tour bus. We headed to St.Paul's Cathedral (built during the 17th century), which was used for the marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. It was pretty impressive.

We got back on the bus and headed for the Houses of Parliament and to see the famous clock tower of London, Big Ben. You can actually sit in on a court hearing if you pay some pounds! The Parliament is the center of political life for the UK.

The Big Ben Clock tower.


Thanks, Hilary & Collin for sharing!  More guest travel posts tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Welcome, Guest Bloggers!

For those of you who so kindly read my ramblings, you remember that tomorrow starts the beginning of a very busy two-week period at work. We will be broadcasting, dawn to dusk, on http://www.auctionnetwork.com/. (Um, I can give shout-outs to my company if I want!) :)
So, I'm letting go. And by that, I mean giving my Type-A, controlling self a (small) break. I have acknowledged that I will be up to my eyeballs in scripts and videos with little time to do this blog justice.
I have asked some of my best ladies to post on my behalf here at the Lounge. They will be posting on topics ranging from fitness and travel to weddings! A little something for everyone.
Kind of like a really good buffet. Or a mixed drink.
So, eat and drink, my friends! Check in daily to see what delicious tidbits we're offering.
This week, we're kicking things off with... (drum roll, please...).... TRAVEL!
So, dig up your passport, pack your tote, and lets travel the country in the eyes of my gals.
Tune in tomorrow for a post from this lovely girl and her travel partner....


..... any ideas what the post may be about?

Happy Trails,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Where'd She Go?

Hi, followers! So sorry I've been MIA the past couple of weeks. (I mean, not that I think you're crying every day that I don't write a post, but... hopefully you are.) LOL.
Anyways- I figured it would be helpful to explain why I'm so busy at this point every month, since these lapses in blogging may happen from time to time.
I work for the broadcast leg of an auction company. And every month, I produce a broadcast called "Live from the Lawn." So for two weeks out of every month, we are broadcasting up to 12 hours a day. Yes, you read that correctly! TWELVE HOURS. (Don't worry, we eat a few meals in there. I think.)
If you've ever been to an auction, you know that the auctioneers stand in front of a property to auction it off. Well... the purpose of "Live from the Lawn" is to allow people in any state, even globally, to bid on a home via their computer.
This is one of our adorable hosts and a friend of mine, Allison.
My attempt at "artsy." Check out Allison's blog- it's adorable!
Here's the rest of my crew, minus our editor Matt (check out his blog here) and our Auction Clerk, Justin. From left to right- Chris, Tim & Bonnie.

Our next broadcast starts Wednesday, March 17th and runs through the end of the month. Log on to watch, will you? Go to www.auctionnetwork.com.

I always appreciate feedback, both negative and positive. So, I want to know- with Spring (nearly) here, what big projects do you have going on at work? What's taking up your time these days?

Staying sane,

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Love Ya More Than My Luggage

I'm such a sucker for luggage.  I just got new Vera Bradley luggage two Christmases ago, so there's no chance I'm getting new luggage for a while.  But... I'm totally loving Jessica Simpson's new collection.


Tell me this isn't adorable.  I love the blue & white stripes, very nautical-looking and springy.  (Is springy a word?)

Speaking of blue and white stripes...

... isn't this bedding adorable?  And with the bird pillows.... wow.  Need it.  Now.

And over on my friend Allison's blog, these.

They just scream, "springy!" (Yes, it's a word now.)

What are you loving for Spring?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Shower Central

This is Lindsay, reporting from Shower Central. I have- count 'em- THREE showers currently on my plate. But, don't get me wrong- there are few things in life I love more than planning a good party. And from babies to bachelorettes, I'm currently scouring the web for unique and fabulous ways to celebrate my friends' major life events.


Here are some things I'm absolutely loving at the moment:


Baby:


Swaddles from Aden + Anais. Aren't these precious? I like the motto- "made for baby. designed for you." I know new moms don't like to forgo fashion for function when it comes to baby- so these are a perfect solution. These may show up at a shower or two. :)


... and isn't this cake perfect for a baby shower? A very talented girl I went to high school with makes these incredible sugar concoctions over at Black Flour.


Bridal Shower:


This precious coffee cup sleeve, found over at mpresscards. Scroll down two or three posts until you see the coffee sleeve. You all know I love coffee, and the bird design added to it... fabulous!! These may also show up at a shower.


.... and aren't these personal cakes perfect for a bridal shower? Um, TIFFANY's- need I say more?!


What are your favorite go-to sites when planning a shower?
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