Monday, March 27, 2017

Jane Austen Bridal Shower

We Forester girls were honored to host a bridal shower for the future daughter-in-law of our dear friend, Meg.  When we found out the bride, Sarah, loved Jane Austen like we do, we knew that had to be the theme of the shower.    I used Canva to design the invite, finding the silhouettes and script background on Google.

To greet guests, we used an antique window to display some romantic quotes from Jane Austen.

Moma with mother-of-the groom

One of my favorite parts of the shower was the Croissant Bar!  I used book pages from "Persuasion" to make the banner.

I used different cake stands to vary the height of the serving dishes to add interest.

Our Croissant Bar had pimento cheese, chicken salad (both from Sam's), ham and turkey and several homemade butters (click to grab the recipe!)....strawberry butter...

...smoked paprika and rosemary butter...

...whipped blueberry butter...

...and the crowd favorite, cranberry honey butter!  It was really fun to mix and match favors.  I loved the chicken salad with the cranberry honey butter, the turkey with whipped blueberry and ham with the paprika and rosemary.

Of course we had to have some sweets!  The heart petit fours from Edgar's Bakery were perfectly delish and dainty!

Speaking of cute are the tiny forks for the fruit cups?!?!?

I was really excited to get custom sugar cookies from Telah's Cozy Cookies, a local place that I knew did super cute cookies!  I sent her the shower invite and she matched the silhouettes perfectly!  Plus, they were so yummy!

Black and white heart picks for the turkey...

Baby's breath added that special bridal touch...

We matched the petit fours and True Love punch (cherry limeade mix plus ginger ale) to our hot pink napkins, brightening up what would otherwise be a black and white bridal shower.

I had seen a photo frame like this on Etsy and decided to DIY it.  Meg and George had a piece of wood from the family's cabin that they didn't mind me painting.  I designed the text on Canva and printed it out the right size then used transfer paper to trace it onto the wood.  Then I used a paint pen to fill it in.  It was a bit nerve-racking but I'm happy with the results...and I think Sarah was too!

I had one more craft with the "Persuasion" book pages...a corsage for the bride!  I basically cut a circle out of the page, made a spiral and just hot glued it in place.

Some of the small vignettes we had around the room...

It wouldn't be a Forester party without some sort of game, so Moma came up with a great one!  We collected marriage advice for Sarah by having each guest complete each of the three sentences: "A good wife always...", "A good wife never...", and "A good wife remembers..."

We had fun listening to both the mother-of-the-bride, mother-of-the-groom and the bride read the responses out loud.  We added up and there was almost 350 years of marriage experience represented by all of us!    

Then it was time for the gifts!  I think Sarah felt showered by much love and pretty gifts to set up her new home!

We pray that Stephen and Sarah are completely, and perfectly and incandescently happy together!

Friday, March 24, 2017

A good read

I'm always on a hunt for encouraging, challenging books on marriage and was excited to dive into Letters to My Daughters: The Art of Being a Wife by Barbara Rainey.

Barbara and her husband, Dennis, are both authors and hosts of Family Life Today Radio.  The book is in the format of letters she wrote to her daughters and daughter-in-law and is very relatable.  She uses beautiful imagery to describe the different aspects of marriage...marriage is a masterpiece, marriage is like beautiful dancing, marriage is like a secret garden.  The book also has beautiful artwork for the chapter headings and important quotes.

I found the book really easy to read, meaning, I didn't get bogged down or overwhelmed.  I appreciated her honesty that helped me remember that the issues I struggle with in marriage are common to most women.  Barbara talked about how differences are good and normal and being surprised by them is normal too.  She also talked about how as women we are used to controlling so much in our lives that it's easy to let that roll over into trying to controlling our husbands.  That micromanaging shuts our husbands down, stresses us out and does not reflect the picture of marriage God designed.

Toward the end of the book, Barbara quotes Mike Mason, author of The Mystery of Marriage:

"Love convinces a couple that they are the greatest romance that has ever been, that no two people have ever loved as they do, and that they will sacrifice absolutely anything in order to be together.  And then marriage asks them to prove it."

If you desire to strengthen your marriage and gain some helpful insight, I'd certainly recommend Letters to my Daughters.  Leave a comment below of other books that have helped you in your marriage!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie {Kites & Sheep}

I'm highlighting two outdoor events this weekend.  As of now, there's a 50% chance of rain, but let's be optimistic and hope to stay dry!

First up...

What: Rise Above: Madison Kite Festival

When: Saturday, March 25, 10am-2pm

Where: James Clemens High School, 11306 County Line Rd, Madison, AL 35756

Cost: free

Website: click here

This is the 2nd year for the Kite Festival and their website promises kite flying, children's activities, flight simulators and of course vendors and food trucks!

...and while you're in Madison, head on over to Mooresville for...

What: Sheep Shearing Demonstration

When: Saturday, March 25, 9:30am-1pm

Where: 1818 Farms, 24889 Lauderdale St, Mooresville, AL 35649

Cost: free, but please "purchase" tickets online so they can contact you if the event is rescheduled because of inclement weather

Website: click here

I haven't had a chance to visit 1818 Farms yet, but I hear this is a favorite event at the farm.  They suggest you bring your own chair as you gather around the old black walnut tree to watch the shearing.  1818 Farms overs lots of other events, including a build-your-own Terrarium Workshop, Farm to Table dinners and classes that cover topics like calligraphy, photography and gardening.