Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Weekend Recap // Baby #2 Sprinkle

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How was everyone's weekend? Ours was absolutely packed with fun events that we are still kind of riding the high from it all. Although, I will say that both Steve and I were feeling a little of the Sunday Blues, or rather Monday Blues, because of all the fun we had. It all started on Saturday with a baby sprinkle for Baby #2, hosted by my mom and mother-in-law, at my house. The sprinkle was so special and wonderful and I cannot thank all of the ladies who came out to celebrate Baby #2 with me. I'll be honest, because this is Baby #2, I haven't really gone all out with buying clothes and new products for her like I did with Cora. So, this sprinkle felt so special to have the attention on just her.

And then on Sunday & Monday, we had a big dinner/sleepover with our closest friends from out-of-town. It was so wonderful to spend time with them and to see our daughters play together. In a way, it was kind of surreal because it was so much fun and special for all of us. We rarely get to be together since we all live in different states, but when we are, it's like as if time hasn't passed by and it's like old times again. Do you guys know what I mean? I hope I made some sense there, if not, I blame it on my pregnancy hormones.

Back to the party decor. I may have had a hand in the decor only because you guys know how much I love planning a party. I couldn't help myself! Plus, there was a new floral arrangement that I wanted to try out. More on that in a bit though. I also wanted to use as much of what I had on hand instead of purchasing new items (goodness knows we're running out of space and don't need more stuff!), so our wedding china was used along with a vintage tablecloth, napkins, and vases. The only new item that I purchased were the Water Hyacinth Placemats. I knew they'd echo the warmth of the table but also break up all of the white of the tablecloth and plates. And to save some money, I used ribbon as napkin rings since we didn't have any that would go with the decor of the rest of the table.

I've had fun creating table settings for parties in the past, but I have to say that this is by far my favorite I've ever seen in our dining room. It perfectly exemplifies my kind of table setting and I cannot thank Caitlin enough for creating such gorgeous floral arrangements! Check out the photos below! And get this table setting look by scrolling all the way down for product links!

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Here is a 'Before' of the gorgeous flower arrangements Caitlin created. Clearly, the flowers really make a difference in turning the table setting from just okay to ahhhmazing.

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A DIY of the baby's breath floral hanging balls will be coming soon! These are my new favorite decor items to hang from the ceiling in our dining room. They transform the space to something sophisticated & ethereal.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sale // Nordstrom's Half-Yearly Sale

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It's that's time again! Nordstrom is having their half-yearly sale and I've rounded up some of my favorite items right now. Save up to 40% off some really great styles now until May 31st.

Top Row: Off Shoulder Dress / Danielle Nicole Arabella Crossbody Bag / Cold Shoulder Tee
2nd Row: Alexander McQueen Cat Eye Sunglasses / Cutout Stripe Sundress / Tola Sandal
3rd Row: Bella Sleeveless Dress / Tory Burch Mini-Robinson Tote / Toosaloosa Cold Shoulder Top
4th Row: Nanette Ankle Strap Sandal / Lenore Floral Print Kimono Dress / See by Chloe Nellie Tote


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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Style // Maternity Date Night Look

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Liz Lange Maternity Sleeveless Knit Dress / LOFT Strappy Heels / Prada Sunglasses / Sophia Medallion Necklace / Shop Proper Hunt Clutch / Classic Matte Cuff

How is it that I'm already at 34 weeks in my pregnancy? Somehow time has flown by and while it didn't seem like it during the cold, winter months, it's nuts that we'll be meeting our newest little girl in 6 weeks! And because it's just 6 weeks away (she could come sooner and I'd totally be fine with that, honestly), Steve and I are going to try and squeeze in as much alone time together as possible. It's been a bit difficult with the past couple of weekends, what with Mother's Day, Cora's actual birthday, and her birthday party, we haven't had any time at all. But we'll definitely be making some time for each other this week.

Just because I'm 34 weeks pregnant, doesn't mean I can't get all dolled up for our date night. This dress was actually something I wore to dinner one of the nights we were in Puerto Rico. It is one of the most comfiest and flattering dresses I've ever owned. I love it so much, I'm hoping I can wear it post-pregnancy! And the best part about it is that it was under $30!! I just added a summery clutch (coming today to Shop Proper Hunt!), and some gold accessories with a simple sandal to round out the look.

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This clutch is coming later today to Shop Proper Hunt!

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekend Recap // Cupcakes at Cora's 3rd Birthday Party

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This past Saturday, we celebrated Cora's 3rd birthday with a neighborhood block-party type party for her. We didn't want to go too crazy with planning an elaborate party for her, so we held the party in our alley way. To explain further, we live in a town home community where the garages/driveways back up to our neighbors, and since there isn't a good grassy area in the neighborhood for the kids to play in, we've adopted the alley way as a place where our kids all play together while us adults hang out and enjoy a beer or two. And because Cora wanted to invite all of our neighbors' kids, it just made perfect sense to keep it in the alley, making it easy for me and Steve in terms of choosing a venue.

We had about 25 adults that needed to be fed so we thought catering was the way to go and I am SO glad we did. Giolitti's, a local Annapolis Italian deli & market, did a fantastic job providing gourmet sandwiches, cookies, & cannolis for the adults. And Chick-fil-a's chicken nuggets and fruit salad were what the kids wanted. Since I didn't cook anything for the party, I felt this strong urge to bake something. I mean, I had too. It's my baby girl's birthday, I couldn't just not make something for it. Well, she specifically requested flower cupcakes so I said I would make them. Normally, I use Ina Garten's recipes for almost everything when it comes to making something for company coming over. But I wasn't really liking some of the reviews on her vanilla cupcake recipe (not the coconut one, that one is amazing!). So then I got to thinking, who makes cupcakes that I absolutely love and wish I could get for her party? Georgetown Cupcakes! But seeing as how the shipping costs alone would probably be more than the actual cupcakes themselves, I decided that was not going to happen. Buuut, I was able to find their recipe for vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting! It was perfect and the recipe itself seemed simple enough for me to make.

I cannot tell you how easy it was to make these cupcakes and they turned out dangerously delicious! Normally, I'm not a huge fan of cream cheese frosting, but I was literally eating the frosting out of the piping bag! I found the recipe at Get Sweet Smart and highly recommend it.

Here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Georgetown Cupcakes Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

VANILLA CUPCAKES:
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 8 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 1/4 tsp. vanilla
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- 1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature


VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 5 1/2 Tbsp. butter
- 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 8 oz. low-fat cream cheese (I used Philadelphia's 1/3 less fat)


Directions

FOR CUPCAKES:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with cupcake wrappers.
2. In a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs one at a time until combined.
4. Add vanilla and vanilla bean seeds to milk.
5. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat with stand mixer until well combined. Add 1/3 of the milk and mix thoroughly. Repeat with remaining ingredients, scraping bowl as needed.
6.Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool pans completely on a wire rack.

FOR FROSTING:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat all ingredients on high speed until light and fluffy, at least three minutes.
2. Pipe onto cupcakes using a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. (I used a large freezer Ziploc bag instead of a pastry bag and it worked just as well).

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The flower decorations are from Michael's and the cupcake liners are from TJ.Maxx. I believe the cupcake liners are made by a company called Meri Meri.

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How adorable are these goodie bags that I found at Marshalls? They were perfect in color and pattern for her flower-themed party.

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All photos are owned by Proper Hunt LLC unless stated otherwise. Please email me and cite Proper Hunt if you'd like to use any of the photos taken by me. Thank you!