MOH Chronicles: Throwing a Bridal Shower

As one of two Maids of Honor in Rebecca’s wedding, (the other is her sister), I was given the task of throwing her a Pampered Chef bridal shower. In my entire 24.5 years of living, I’ve been to exactly one Pampered Chef party and one bridal shower.

I hosted neither.

So I had the date – May 22nd – and I had the guest list, but I had no idea what I was doing. I’m not sure I understood the concept — was I inviting people to a party specifically for them to buy gifts for the bride? It gave me the heebie jeebies, having a party just so the bride can get some “free stuff.” Gift registries similarly weird me out — I like to give thoughtful, personal gifts, so I’ve never been a fan of the “here’s what I want, pick one” list, not even for Christmas. Though, I should say that I’ve never gotten married, so I refrain from judgement.

Feel free to mock me if I turn up in a few years with a registry miles long.

Moving on.

I planned a citrusy fiesta shower for the bride, a lover of tequila and Mexican food. I made citrus-filled vases for centerpieces, and the favors (parties are supposed to have favors, I learned) were gummy orange slices and other citrusy candies.

I made guacamole, served on a snack table with chips and salsa, and the Pampered Chef consultant made a Southwestern salad with chicken and homemade cilantro lime dressing.

I had planned to serve appetizer-sized quesadillas as well, but Dexter pulled his pre-bridal shower stunt which left me soaking wet with unkempt hair, grassy feet, and little time to pull the party together before people started arriving. Maybe I’ll share that whole story tomorrow.

I even made festive labels to differentiate between the spiked and non-alcoholic beverages (margarita punch and pink lemonade) and to explain the dessert.

And oh, those tequila sunrise cupcakes. If I never eat another, it will be too soon. But they are delicious — orange-flavored cake (it has orange juice in it, which makes it healthy right?) and freshly whipped buttercream frosting made with grenadine to complete the cocktail’s recipe. They were my pride and joy and looked so beautiful on Mom’s cake pedestal that I bought one of my own with my Pampered Chef hostess discount (50% off!).

As you can see, I need to work on my buttercream piping, or at least learn to hide decorating flaws when setting up the display:

I also made wine charms with each guest’s name which were very, very cute, but I sadly didn’t get a picture of them. And since she was the guest of honor, the bride did not get a standard wine glass with a name tag charm on it. No, she got a hot pink wine glass that was big enough for extra helpings of margarita punch.

I took very few pictures because I was a frantic mess most of the afternoon, but I think it turned out well and most everyone enjoyed themselves. Rebecca did at least, and I suppose that was the point of it all along.

Now on to planning her next shower.

I'm Not Like a Regular Mom

I’m a cool mom!

Actually, I’m a cool Aunt Lauren who has been a cool babysitter for the past few days while my furry nephew’s mom has been out of town.

Dexter’s adventures this weekend have been non-stop.

All I can really say is I envy his constant energy.

He makes me feel old.

And slow.

Especially during his pre-bridal shower stunt, which I will have to save for tomorrow since I haven’t told his mom about it yet.

I’m trying not to hold a grudge.

You know, since I’m the cool aunt and all.

And he is pretty cute.

And he likes me.

The Lunch Discussion

Back in my younger days (read: college), I was busy all the time and I was enthusiastic, energetic and diligent about the responsibilities on my plate and the tasks on my to-do list.

I drank a cup of coffee for breakfast, usually while in class or while working, definitely while doing something else rather than just sitting and sipping.

I ate lunch when I thought about it. If I missed it, no big deal. I was busy, I had stuff to do and places to go, there was just no time to break for lunch some days. If my tummy was in danger of growling during class, I’d get a Diet Coke and a bag of chips and be fine until dinner.

Sometimes Jessie would call or text me, “Don’t forget to eat lunch today!”

Sometimes we’d set a time and place to eat lunch so that I had a really good reason not to skip it.

But mostly, lunch was just an afterthought in an already overbooked, attention-stretched day.

But now lunch is a whole different story.

Now that I spend my Mondays through Fridays sitting at a desk beneath fluorescent lights in an excessively air-conditioned building, lunch is an absolute. It’s the time every day that I can go for a walk, breathe fresh oxygen, eat something delicious often with bread and melted cheese, and feel more human than robotic for a little while.

Since its importance is well-understood in this office, my co-workers and I discuss lunch options for at least an hour (cumulatively, while working of course) every morning. Sometimes we plan Friday’s lunch during Thursday’s lunch. And on occasion, like when the Red Hook Lobster truck was scheduled to visit Dupont, we plan days in advance.

This lobster roll was completely worth the days of anticipation and $15.

Elizabeth, the lunch champion, also enjoyed it.

Thank goodness for the food truck craze in DC — it’s keeping our lunch options in the neighborhood remotely entertaining.

Last month we planned a visit to the grilled cheese truck — which made me anxious since it’s a lifelong dream of mine to own a grilled cheese shop. Thankfully the one I got ended up being just okay, so my dream isn’t totally shattered. There’s room for me in this market still.

And yet we spent an hour or more periodically discussing lunch options today because we’re bored of the usuals — sushi, Cosi, Five Guys, Sweetgreen — and the food trucks are apparently against Dupont today.

So Chipotle it is.