The first part of Gayle’s weekend was all about pampering yourself: bubble baths, 4-star breakfast, king size bed… all things I love. The second part was all about being outside: tents, hammocks, fires, water balloons… all things I love. It really was the best of both worlds. (Thanks Hannah Montana.)
After finding the perfect spot to set up camp, we ate our delicious dinner of hot dogs. Seriously, I’m not a big hot dog person, but when it’s roasting over the open fire- how can you not love them? (unless you don’t eat meat, then I get how you could not love it.) Of course we s’mored it up. To up the ante a bit I brought several types of marshmallows (regular, strawberry, and lavender) and chocolate (milk, dark, sea-salt and caramel, and coconut). We chatted around the campfire for bit and then got ready for bed. We were so lame. At 10pm we were all in bed. AT 10PM! Also, we slept in different tents/ hammocks- so there was no bedtime giggles or talks. We are old ladies who love sleeping.
I’m so glad we went to sleep so early, because when you camp you get up with the sun and the birds. Ugh. I started the fire, made coffee, and started on breakfast before 7am. Gross (but beautiful and at the same time a really nice way to start the morning). After breakfast we made flower crowns. (huge hit with the 5 year old). After a peaceful crown making session, we continued with playtime. I had made (and hauled all the way up the mountain) paint balloons! (Water balloons filled with paint and water.) We played catch with the balloons before it turned into war! (*Since I didn’t tell the girls about this, I also brought several old shirts so their clothes wouldn’t become paint stained.) After paint balloons, we paint powdered (so easy to make). Honestly, the paint powder part was mostly for photos (and to throw at Gayle). I’m not even going to lie about that. Thanks Pinterest for giving me ideas that turn into me going crazy.
This past weekend was so much fun. I am so thankful to all the women who helped out and came to celebrate Gayle. I cannot wait for her wedding and marriage to Patrick!
I love parties. I love planning and executing parties. The hosting, not so much. BUT I did love Gayle’s bachelorette party (part1) at Los Poblanos. Partially because I was so stressed out about planning the weekend, but as soon as I turned into Los Poblanos’ long drive ALL THE STRESS WENT AWAY. It’s magic. It is a deliciously sweet and magical place. (you may remember my birthday weekend here– hey any excuse to stay here I will take.)
The party was so much fun. We drank (non-alcoholic. baby sister doesn’t drink). We played (the game was ‘junk in the trunk,’ but we place the box in front and not on the rump. We also used little bags of sour patch kids instead of balls. SPK are Gayle and Patrick’s favorite candy. THIS GAME WAS HILARIOUS. We ended up dividing into two teams and had each team try to toss their candy into their person’s box. Once all the bags were in the box the person wearing the box had to try to get all the candy out of the box, not using their hands. Let’s just say, my team won thanks to some creative twerking.). Gayle opened gifts (mostly tame, she has friends who know and love her). We laughed. People left. Gayle took a lavender bubble bath. I cleaned. We slept. Perfection.
Things I took away from the night: The sweetest, most thoughtful friend brought a gift for me (she brought one for Gayle too). It was such a kind gesture. Her note instead was a kind reminder that I was loved and all my work for the wedding was appreciated. (hostess gift for the win- always!)
The bride just wants to relax and have fun. DON’T EVER BRING DRAMA TO A BRIDE. That is so so so selfish. Let the bride think all the planning was easy. The bridesmaids were all darlings to deal with (they were!!!!! honestly!). The bride has so much to deal with, that if you can work something out or just get over it- DO THAT. A few months from now, take her to coffee and tell her how witchy some things (or people) were and laugh about it. She’ll appreciate that you didn’t bring it up during her wedding season.
Ladies love to kiss things- and then judge how their lips look. The guestbook was just a piece of paper and a lot of lipstick. It’s such a fun way to ‘sign’ in. You can frame it, or do as the modern gals do and just take a pic and then throw it away. 😉
The morning after Gayle, a friend, and I had breakfast at the Inn. After breakfast we had a few hours to prep for the next part of the weekend… get ready for part 2!
Spontaneity is not my middle name. It is no where near the top fifteen words people would use to describe me (or even 50). BUT when my dear friend Kate invited me to go on a quick trip to the Grand Canyon with her, I jumped at it. We left Friday morning at about 6:30 am, and got back home 7ish pm on Saturday.
IT WAS CRAZY. Kate drove the whole way (manual transmissions and I are not friends, yet). We met up with a few of her close friends from France. The French friends (sweetest people ever) had picked up a Danish guy and a girl from Russia along the way of their USA road-trip. I love that. I love that there is still trust in the world. That adventure seekers are kind-hearted people. That strangers can become instantaneous friends. It’s beautiful; albeit sometimes naive way of thinking. No matter the risk, I still chose to love first.
Anyway here are a few photos from the trip. We hiked for like 6 hours. When you and the rest of your party have each only slept for 3 hours the night before, but still pick hiking and staying up late around the campfire, and then wake up early the next day to do it again: you’ve got a great (slightly insane) crew.
on the way to the Grand Canyon
always bring a hammock
Little Lizard & Alderkater
Photos just do not do this place justice. They just don’t. It’s gorge-ous. (pun alert!)
This past week I’ve had some time on my hands to try new things (thank you Pinterest). I’ve discovered I love brussel sprouts (particularly with pancetta and/or sriracha and honey sauce)! Also new this week was a peach pie crumble. Both of those new recipes were SO DELICIOUS, but my favorite one was probably the lavender shortbread cookies. Maybe I loved it so much because it has chocolate, or maybe because I was baking them for an “Anne of Green Gables” night with the girls, but whatever the reason it’s my new go to lavender recipe.
Lavender is SO easy to cook/bake with. I’ve been obsessed with it for some time, and luckily enough live right next to an organic lavender farm. BUT the lavender I used in these cookies come from Provence, France- I have some pretty sweet friends. ❤
The recipe is pretty easy and from Forgiving Martha. The only difficult thing about the recipe is it doesn’t say where to put in the lavender. I put it in with my dry ingredients. I also ran the lavender through the food processor first (I’m not a huge fan of eating whole lavender chunks, but this is just a personal preference step). Another thing I changed was the type of chocolate I used. I did half semi-sweet, and half dark-chocolate and melted those chocolates together to receive a little bit more of a bitter chocolate taste that I think pairs nicely with the lavender. 🙂
I don’t have a double boiler (or microwave) to melt the chocolate, so I used an egg poacher in simmering water.
My chocolate dipping skills could use some improvement.
I think I made about 50 two-bite cookies with this recipe.
I always leave a few cookies w/o chocolate for those people who, for some unknowable reason, don’t like chocolate.