Baby Shower for Lennon!

This has taken a while, but then again we have been just a tad busy lol. I have wanted to share with you my Baby Shower details for a while and just now getting around to it. I hope you like it as it was such a surreal amazing day in so many ways. One way, was because she was our miracle pregnancy, as we had amazing luck with IVF, two was that she was supposed to be in my belly when the shower took place and I had just got released from hospital 2 weeks prior to this and she was here. SOOOO many emotions happened that day inside my heart. The most significant one was "blessed" as we have been beyond blessed in so many ways and thank God above for watching out for our daughter and keeping her with us. I will never forget the true miracle we saw happen in front of our very eyes with her. Now, here is my shower details and experience to celebrate our sweet little Lenny!

 

THE VENUE

When my Mom and Mother-in-law asked where I wanted my shower or what I had envisioned I said the place without skipping a beat! I said The Orlo, I want it at the Orlo. I knew this because I had done a photoshoot about a year prior there before they opened their doors to the public and it was STUNNING!! I remember being in "awe" of every tiny detail in that house. It was beautiful, stunning, charming, cozy, simple and yet elegant all in one. I went home and told Logan, if we are ever lucky enough to have a baby I want my shower there and the fact that it happened was so special because when you get told you can't have kids the "natural way" it's the little things that matter, like having your dream shower. 

My Mom and Mother-in-law called to see if they did showers and not just weddings as it is typically a wedding venue so we had to make sure and when we found out they did we booked it immediately. So yes, to all my Florida girls you can have baby showers, bridal showers, birthdays, events and weddings there as the space is huge and set up for any occasion! I didn't realize this so now that I know they offer it to all life events I am telling everyone! On top of it being a beautiful location, the staff was amazing and went above and beyond to help us with any and all questions and were so easy to work with. They let you bring in chairs, decor and you can choose a caterer they recommend or bring in your own which is great in case you want to use someone not on their preferred list. I remember when I got married at Bella Collina thinking, "I will never get treated this good again" and I was wrong. As special as Bella made me feel, so do the Orlo.

The Orlo Insta

THE FOOD  & DRINKS

For food, I just wanted simple tea sandwiches and some scones. Nothing too fancy just simple and good. We chose to go with a caterer outside of their preferred list to save some money and they were fantastic. They were called Affordable Catering. My mother-in-law found them through a friend of hers and they raved about them. We had mini croissants, cucumber and dill sandwiches, orange and cream cheese sandwiches, mini muffins, strawberry scones, and fruit and cheese. Just enough to snack on without it being a full meal. I wanted people to mingle, enjoy good snacks that were simple and not messy lol. Affordable Catering, came and set up and also created a beverage station with tea, infused water, and Champagne all for a reasonable cost and were yummy! If you do choose a preferred vendor I would pick Salt Block, as they are Tampa's best catering company and dear friends. They were just very busy that weekend with weddings so it didn't work out but I highly recommend them! 

Whenever I go to showers I always love seeing tiny details the hosts makes for the beverage station. I know it's weird, but I love it! My sister-in-law Tally, came up with such a cute idea to put rock candy in the champagne for a pop of pink! I was in love, as it was so cute and creative and all I wanted was pink lol. SO that was such a fun little way to dress up the beverage station and make it colorful.

THE DESSERTS

As most of you know, or maybe you don't know this, but I love desserts. Everything! From cakes, cookies, cupcakes, doughnuts, cheesecakes, ice cream, fancy ones I can't pronounce, I love them all! However, when I have a party I want everyone to be happy and what better way than just the basics. Cake, Cookies and Cupcakes! So that is what we did! We found our Dessert company on Instagram through my photographer/friend Sara. She had done a shoot for her and I was in "awe" of the colors and how fun her desserts looked. The company is the Wandering Whisk, I know really cute name right? I told her my cousin Ashley the flavors I wanted as she had sooo many to pick from and I just wanted pink. Pink everything, from icing to the strawberries in the cookie sandwiches, just pink and fun, and that's what we got, I chose a naked cake because they are just so simple and classic on the outside, but since I got confetti cake on the inside it was a take on a child's bday party which is exactly what I wanted. 

I also chose cookie sandwiches. These are something I have loved since I was a kid, and I remember going to the mall with my mom and she would always take me by American Cookie Company (fav place ever) and would always get me something and I usually opted for a slice of cookie cake or a "double doozie" which is what they call a cookie sandwich. When I saw the Wandering Whisk had that as an option it was a easy choice and I got strawberry and then confetti sandwiches. For those of you that don't know what a cookie sandwich is, it's just two cookies with loads of icing in between... I know, simple and genius! I also got mini red velvet cupcakes as red velvet has been my favorite since a kid as well. Long before sprinkles cupcake made it trendy lol. They have been a southern staple in our house since I was born. I wanted all desserts to reflect my childhood memories and I can't wait to do the same thing for Lenny, so maybe one day when she has a wedding or shower she wants things to remember our time together when she was just a kid. 

Wandering Whisk Insta

THE DECOR

So this is the best part... you don't need decor at The Orlo! It is already so beautiful and clean that you don't have to overdecorate to make it look good. Granted I wanted very simple and I am allergic to flowers so it was going to be simple for me, but you don't have to spend money decorating a lot is my point with this venue. All the tufted furniture is already there which makes it so easy. I wanted beautiful "fluffy long flowers" as I call them and I showed my mother-in-law a pic and she ordered them from Sam's Club. Yep you can order flowers from Sam's Club! And they are gorgeous and affordable! Again, I just wanted soft and pink, that is it. So because of my insanely bad allergies (ask my husband, he has to deal with me every week sneezing because I love flowers and will buy them and then I can't breathe) lol, we just used those and sit them around the venue for touches of soft pink. Simple, feminine and elegant. 

GIFTS FOR GUESTS

I love love love doing gift bags, gifts or any sort of giving items for people at parties! I think it is such a great time for you to share a thing or two that you love with your friends. When I think of ideas I love giving gifts that people will actually use. So many times people give things you don't use or don't keep. With these items I am about to share you can guarantee your money will get used and not tossed! Since I wanted to be the "cool mom" for a second since I have a feeling that won't last long lol, so I decided to give my favorite Rose' and alcohol infused pudding. I know they are both great ideas (patting myself on the back) ha. So for the Rose' everyone in the world has a obsession with Rose' and if you say you don't then I don't believe you because it's delicious and refreshing and pink!!! Soo not only is it pretty but it tastes so good! I tried Standard Wines Rose' at a friends house in LA and I do not drink a lot at all so for me to love it meant it was extra good! Not only did it taste amazing it had the cutest packaging for individual bottles, which makes it even cuter.  Their bottles are a "home pour" size portion soo very large lol. To make them more personal Tally used the footprints the hospital gave us when she was born and copied them to tie around the bottles making them maxed out on cuteness. So everyone had little Lenny feet! Everyone loved them so much that someone even inquired about having them at the Tampa Museum!! See, told you they are good:) 

Standard Wine also has a red and chardonnay as well. If you are getting married or have an event I think these are great gifts to give out as they are timeless, classy and everyone wants their very own bottle and trust me they will be asking where you got them. The next item I gifted was the spiked pudding from Spoonable Spirits. I know, everyone was like "wait, there is alcohol in here"? I said yes, and yes I know its delicious! I found out about these through my friend Sydney Bass. I think she got them for Jessie's shower and I fell in love because not only were they tasty but they are fun and everyone will love spiked pudding as it takes them back to their college days!  Again, I think these are super fun to have on a bachelorette party or to give to your bridesmaids! They are something that is not expected and will use! 

 

Standard Wines Insta

Spoonable Spirits Insta

Well, that wraps up my Baby Shower details!!! I hope you loved it as much as I did and I know my family worked really hard on it and it was everything I ever wanted for my all pink shower. Please comment below if you have any questions at all! I can't wait to share more posts with you as we have a lot of things coming up like the nursery, our remodel and more! Below are some more pics from my shower and my dress I got is from Love and Lemon

xoxo

 

Jess 

Don't Forget your flower girls!

So when everyone gets married amongst the list of a million things are gifts to your girls to show your appreciation for wearing a dress they hate and flying all over instead of taking a nice vacation. Well, what about the little flower girls that are young and want to be like all the big girls because this is officially their first "big girl" job! Here I broke down what I added to my nieces bags I had made just for them so they felt "extra big girl"

 

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1. Bags. I mean you can't give gifts without a cute bag and these girls loved their bags because they were Personalized with their names! I chose something that was very girly and more aimed at a little girl instead of the regular ones. So I chose a fun print and fun little girl colors with crowns on them! 

2. Toy, I mean they are kids after all and this is a great surprise that will keep them entertained and they will be sooo happy. My nieces which I think most love Pippa pig. So I got the Pippa pig pack so each girl got one and they were in love.

3. Personalized Tumblers. I mean all the big girls get cups so why not the little ones? Best part these Personalized tumblers  I got from Mod Party on Etsy, they can keep using because they are still little. 

4. Snacks, yes I know Honey boo boo's mom did it with sugar  but, I think she was on to something lol. Candy has sugar which gives energy. Little tallulah had some before she walked down the aisle and her walk turned into the cutest run I have ever seen and it was perfect! I also got them some healthy organic snacks and gummies. The day gets so busy and if they get hungry at least they have some backup snacks to make it through the ceremony, photos, dinner and after. Trust me the parents will appreciate it.  The cotton candy I chose, which I actually got all my bridesmaids was  Fancy Puf cotton candy so again, this was something that made them feel very included and the big girls had healthy snacks as well:) Also, yes I ordered the cotton candy from Canada and they are worth it, and more delicious than any other cotton candy out there. Yes that is a fact! The snacks came from the grocery store lol. 

5. Article of clothing.. I wanted to get them something to wear outside the wedding and I found these adorable dresses from Target! They are sold out now but I would get a t-shirt, dress, or some pj's. Anything that's cute they can take away and wear again. 

6. Flower girl jewelry: You can get the cutest little Flower girl bracelets that are soo precious I can't take it! Again, this is something that is extra special they can pass onto their daughter one day when she is a flower girl. 

 

Well, that's all and I hope you all enjoyed those tips! I was just sitting here thinking " you never hear of flower girl bags" and I did one so thought I would share! Hope you enjoyed!

 

 

xoxo

Jessica 

 

Stocking Stuffers For Everybody under $50!

Due to the fact I have a few stocking stuffer ideas, I decided it is best I just dive right in! Hope you guys love the ones I chose! 

For the Hard Working Mom's and Business Ladies to relax.

Le Mini Venus Rose- Lasts for 1 yr and is only 2 inches in height. I love mine, so petite and smells amazing.

Dr. lancer Lift and Plump Mask: Mask is everything  

Slip Eye Mask

Peter Thomas Roth Mask Sampler Kit  

Coconut Hand and Body Scrub  

Bubble bath Milkshake set

The Men.. They are so hard lol

Cigars: Local Cigar Shop 

Moscow Mule Cocktail kit

Yeti 30o Tumbler

Neff beanie- The best beanies for men 

Gold Plated Flask

Beard Tonic

Jack Black Travel Essentials

Turbo Body Bar

 

For the Beauty Junkie (even though she doesn't "need" these she needdddsss these!) Also, some M.A.C. products are 25% off at checkout! 

Supergoop Mini Hand Cream : Every girl needs this hand cream beside her bed

Tweezerman Rose Gold Tweezers- Trust me any beauty gal appreciates a gorgeous tool 

Spongelle Mini Spa Set - This thing is amazing! 

Philosophy Amazing Grace Set - My go to perfume

Real Techniques Miracle Sponges 

 

M.A.C. Cosmetics  Nutcracker Sweet Gold Pigment

M.A.C Cosmetics Nutcracker Nude Lipgloss Set

For the Cook! 

Polka Dot Potholders- I have these and am obsessed!

Paris Spatula's

Hot Chocolate on a stick! - So yummy! 

Malvi Marshmallows - Most beautiful you have ever seen 

Pumpkin Chocolate Bread Mix

Adorable measuring Spoons

Well, that's a wrap on my stocking stuffer ideas! I am going to be posting a Santa Dream Wish list, Gift swaps for under $25 and some holiday makeup tutorials! Be sure to subscribe and also don't forget my youtube channel!   

My Wedding Planning Experience

Well, ladies, as you may know, I am getting married (YAAYYYYYYY) sound the horn, blow the whistle!!!  I am so excited and I cannot wait to be Mrs. Payne! Logan is the most incredible man I have ever met. So basically let me insert my first tip to all you single gals. WAIT!!! Be Patient, love yourself, don't settle and when God wants you to meet your soul mate you will. Don't rush it because your friends are getting married or think you can change someone or think it will get better... it won't. That being said save yourself some heartbreak and divorce money and trust me when I say it is in God's time. Now that I got that out of the way I wanted to share my experiences and some vendors I chose to use and why. I planned this wedding basically by myself. Yes you can too and just get a day of coordinator. Be prepared as this one is long ha! Hopefully, will help you decide yourself as well. 

Picking vendors is so easy if you know what you want and know what to look for. For me, I wanted fun, light-hearted vendors that understood what I was going for and wasn't treating me like cattle. Trust me a lot will and you don't want that or have time to email someone begging them to respond. That being said the first thing every bride should look at is the Venue. Yep, you heard me right.. not the dress ladies, just wait til you lock down a venue. Reason being is you don't want a super elegant formal bridal dress if you are getting married in a rustic type venue. Also, it takes a lot of stress out of everything else and makes it that much easier.

 Once we locked down our venue you better believe I was hightailing it to the dress shops. I first went to Vera Wang and yes they are beautiful gowns and gorgeous, however, my experience was they were trying to force a dress on me and telling me I didn't have the body for certain dresses. My gut was saying no this doesn't feel right. My point is that if you feel this way no matter what everyone is saying around you leave. go somewhere else and try on what YOU love. We can get easily coerced into liking a dress we don't actually love because why? Well, we have waited for this moment our entire life and want to say yes so bad so we tend to say it too early. The opposite side of that is not saying yes fast enough and thinking you need to try on 100 dresses, don't do that as it will confuse you and you will end up having no idea what you want at all!

After I went to another I did research and found a beautiful Bridal Salon in Sarasota called Blush Bridal Sarasota. I chose them because 1. It looked gorgeous but 2. They had the designers I was interested in. 3. Beyond kind.  I went there with only 2 people. Logan's mom and my sweet bridesmaid Shelby. I recommend keeping it very small as again too many opinions are dangerous. These amazing ladies Fondren and Nicole set up the most beautiful display, we are talking amazing champagne, petite fours all with gorgeous fluffy, feminine pillows. They had me email them dresses I was interested in seeing and already had those pulled. They stepped back and let me shop looking at every gown and not rushed. I tried on 5 and man oh man was one of those 5 my dress!!!  I knew it the second I put it on. Not because I was crying but because I didn't want it off. That is a sign it's your dress!!  

Next for me was Save the Dates, Invites, and all other paper material. That was easy for me as I had heard about Minted and loved that they were easy, affordable, classy, custom, oh and did I say affordable? They have the most darling invites, save the dates, rsvp cards and more. Also, the print the names on the envelopes for FREE! Yes, I said free! I had a custom color that they matched for our hotel guest information card. Everything was so easy with them and got delivered to my door within week to week and half. Brides can spend far too much on paper goods for their wedding and you don't need to! Trust me as beautiful as an invitation can be, do you ever save them? NO! Ok, unless it is family, we don't save them we write the date in our calendar and toss so why spend over 1k on invites that will be thrown in the trash when you can order from minted pay a lot less and still a gorgeous simple invite? Trust me use them or someone like them and put that money you save on photographers.

That led me to my next venture- Photographers. As with most venues they have their preferred vendors of which sometimes I am hesitant about for many reasons and to be honest, I looked at all of their's and was not impressed and then got to the last one on the vendor list and was like " Thank God" I found my photographers. I honestly knew just from the way Concept Photography they shot photos they were for me. They are not your typical wedding photographers, they were fun and outside the box. When I called and said let's do this they were like yes and what about this and so cool about everything. No cheesy poses and yes, they can do that if that's what you want. However, they picked out the places of our engagement shoot which was Coppertail Brewery and made us so comfortable. Afterward, Logan was like "dude, they are cool and that wasn't awful at all, I had fun" which ladies as you know it is INSANE he said that! But, that is how much fun Sara and Jason are. They make you feel like you have been friends forever and get what you want. I cannot tell you how much talent they have. It is unreal and yes you will want to hang out them that's how cool they are. Basically, when looking and choosing someone make sure they have the same vibe as you have. If you are more traditional then get a traditional photographer. Also, my biggest, biggest  tip is DO NOT JUDGE WORK OFF WHAT THE MODEL LOOKS LIKE!!! To be honest, most photographers will only put up or let you see their "Best shot' from weddings. Ask to see them all. My dog could take one good shot of anyone but it takes talent to take 200 shots of someone and them be amazing. Ask for permission to see them all. With Sara and Jason I didn't have to.. they offered!   

Now bring on the Florist!- Again, as with everything I wanted in my wedding I wanted it to be me, fun with a little edge but still classic. Every wedding florist I spoke to was like are you sure you don't want just white or some more white or more pale pink.. No, I don't and while i think those colors are beautiful and soft and delicate they just didn't feel like me. I wanted color and lots of it! I wanted shades of pink, magenta, blush, reds, and deep plums. I wanted FUN! Honestly, I barely wanted white and not because I don't think it is stunning because trust me I do, it just isn't my personality. A lot of brides get caught up in what they "think" people want them to do. Don't do that again your day, your ideas. DONE! I finally spoke to In Bloom Florist and Janessa and Rochelle got it. I knew she got it when this gal came out in matching leather jacket. Anyone that knows me, knows I was sold! Trust me, at first, I did the pale pink and white thing and two weeks later called and said this isn't me and Janessa and Rochelle said good let's have fun.  I sent them ideas and they did a mock up ( I posted about this on Instagram) and holy cow was it perfect and on point! They even did 3 mock up bouquets pictured here.  When picking a florist, again make sure they understand what you want and that they are excited to work with you and it isn't jsut another "job" for them! 

Lights, Camera, Action! Last but not least on the "Main" vendor list is Signature Chandeliers  . One look at their website and you will know why I chose them! Seriously stunning, and well-priced chandeliers. Before I spoke to Ben Lawles (owner) I saw his work and it stood out beyond everyone else in the Florida area. Others were way more expensive and yet, to be honest, had not so beautiful chandeliers. The ones Ben uses in his company are breathtaking, classic, luxurious, and just like they came from a fairytale. The thing I loved about working with them is we had a budget, like all brides you go over, just deal with it as it will happen, trust me. Anyway, we had a budget and we wanted a mixture of two packages he had so he said give me a few days and then boom in my mailbox I had a plan he designed for me for my wedding!! He made it custom to our budget and his artistic ability with lighting. Wait until you guys see what he did! UGHHH I am so excited to feel like a princess dancing under those chandeliers! My point, is don't just lock down the first person on your google search. People think lighting and that stuff is easy and it isn't you need the right guy and someone that loves his job and wants to make your wedding special. He could have easily said no, you have to choose a package but he didn't. I recommend any bride to have at least one chandelier  on your wedding day. They are beautiful over the dance floor or as an entrance or over the cake. You can get smaller ones and they are so affordable! It is a extra touch of glam to put on your special day and best part you won't regret it!  

Luckily when I found Ben, I found he also has  Kaleidoscope  lighting. Because he was a genius at the chandelier design and we needed a few lights draped around our venue as it is outside with no lighting we still wanted it soft and romantic and well, he came up with something that was subtle and will look beautiful in photos and yet still enough lighting so my Mamaw won't trip lol. Lighting is key to an outdoor or indoor venue. It can dress it up and you can skip on so many things if you have great lighting and few good flowers you are set! 

I hope you guys enjoyed my book. It will be released on paperback next month.  I have been writing this for a while and yes it is long and I tried to go into every detail without boring you, but sorry if I did as these are things that might help you out on your special day! Just think by me doing all this research I can say when someone says " who was your planner" oh it's me I designed it and it came to life because of my amazing vendors. Not to mention it saves money and I love everything artistic and I loved planning!

I will do another blog on details such as jewelry, what I am getting bridesmaids, and  shoes. I might give some info on makeup and hair trials.. just maybe lol. Kidding that will totally be a blog!

Please leave comments/questions

 

xoxo

 

Jess