The weekend before Easter, I traveled to Philadelphia to attend a Love is Sweet bridal shower.

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The shower was for L, my college bestie E’s daughter. L also attended our alma mater. She was a year behind my youngest son. The two of them played on a coed soccer team while in college, and got to know each other’s friends — one of whom is the groom.

I had originally offered to put together a smaller, more intimate shower. But, the difficulty of living out-of-town, and a guest list swelling to 75, made it unrealistic. Plus, the bridesmaids were excited to take on the shower’s creative elements and organization themselves. Others, including the groom’s mother, and E’s sisters and several friends, generously underwrote the lovely luncheon at an Italian restaurant.

So, I stepped back, organized the gift table display, and thoroughly enjoyed being a guest. I’m glad I did, because the girls did a bang up job! Take a look…

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Meet the Maids at Mimosa Bar

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A mimosa bar greeted guests. Above the bar was a Meet the Maids banner, with little profiles on each bridesmaid and how they knew L. A nice personal touch, with photos of each gal.

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One of the bridesmaids also made the ‘M’ sign out of of wine corks, as a decorative gift for the bride and groom. It will go great with the large glass candle holder full of corks that E and I made for our kids several years ago.

L wasn’t into anything too ‘theme-y.’ The Love is Sweet bridal shower decorations took a light touch, with a tie-in to the daisies, and yellow and green colors L likes.

Daisies Bloom Despite Snow Flurries

Although the day before had warmed considerably with lots of sunshine, we were back to grey  with snow flurries in the air for the Love is Sweet bridal shower.

Brightening up the room and tables were an assorted mix of daisies and other flowers in yellow and sage green. The flowers were in a number of different sized, clear glass vases, assembled by E’s talented friend, M. I liked how she mixed heights, greens and textures in each cluster.

Don’t the centerpiece elements look great with the restaurant’s wooden wall panels and copper-top tables?

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Look closely and you’ll also see how nicely the flowers compliment the little succulent plants at each place setting. The guest favors were also created by L’s bridesmaids.

There were also plates of candy-decorated pretzels and candy daisies;, tying in with the Love is Sweet bridal shower theme. And, the reversible kiss/moustache on popsicle sticks were for a game played later.

Creating a Gift Display

My small contribution to the Love is Sweet bridal shower was organizing the gift table display. To tie-in with the daisies and color scheme, I started with a two-yard length of pale yellow tulle, arranging it down the length of the copper-top tables.

If you follow Debbee’s Buzz, you know I frequently use tulle as a table runner. See Decorating with Red Heart Ornaments for Valentines Day and Celestial Tablescape Rings in New Year.

The day before the shower, E and I wrapped about 12 heavy cardboard boxes in yellow wrapping paper — taking them to the shower in large garbage bags. I used the yellow boxes as risers to display gifts at different heights.

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A Different Kind of Gift Basket

While at E’s, I also wrapped, decorated a number of gifts delivered before the shower with clear plastic bags, ribbon and faux daisies. I turned the crock pot I gave L into a sort of ‘basket’, filling it with a mixing bowl, placemats, napkins, and utensils. We did something similar with a picnic basket full of goodies from her mom.

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Earlier in Pittsburgh, I had also created extra-large gift tags to clearly label who each gift was from. Guests were also asked to list what they had brought on a decorated clipboard. Cards and small packages went into the large green tin. Unwrapped signs and homemade gifts were prominently displayed.

I also clear wrapped/displayed examples of L’s dishes, barware, crystal, etc. for guests to see and enjoy.

Donut Bar

Rather than a traditional cake or cupcakes, dessert was a decadent donut bar. I’ve seen them on Pinterest before, and must say the bridesmaids put on a first-class display and spread.

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Who could possibly resist such a spread? Certainly not yours truly — I had a chocolate covered one and an éclair!

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And, doesn’t the copper color Love balloon tie-in nicely with the copper tabletop? The Queen of Theme couldn’t have done any better herself! You can find the cute balloon here.

For more donut bar ideas and inspiration, check out my Pinterest board.

Fun & Games

Although the bridesmaids provided little paper bags to take a donut home, many of us were happy to indulge on the spot!

Some of us were also guilty of licking their fingers during the entertainment and game portion of the Love is Sweet bridal shower…

Bridal Panty Poem & Presentation
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The first form of entertainment was the reading of a clever, funny poem adapted and read by E’s friend L. Two other friends held a clothes line across the room. As L read each section of the poem, I assisted by attaching a series of panties to the line with clothespins.

The presentation/poem involves seven or eight panties, beginning with lacy white for the bridal night. Those were followed by a sexy black thong for the honeymoon, red for Valentines Day, leopard print for anniversary, pink and blue pairs for babies, and a giant pair of bloomers for…well down the road. LOL!

Since I was busy attaching risqué to modest to matronly panties on the line (and giggling, blushing through the process), I wasn’t able to take any pictures to share with you. But here’s one from Diva Party Girls and Stuff.

Visit the site above, or search Pinterest and online for the basic poem, signs, display ideas, and photos.

Some people apparently do the panty poem as more of a bridal shower display, but I think it’s a lot more fun to read the poem out loud and reveal the panties one by one. Have you ever seen the panty game at a shower?

Here Comes the Groom
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I think it was right about then that C, the groom arrived with a bouquet of flowers.

Shortly thereafter we played a kiss or moustache game. Bridesmaids read a series of trivia questions and each guest had to determine if it refers to the bride or groom. Questions like, “who said I love you first?” or “who played the most musical instruments?”

Guests use either the kiss or moustache symbol to show their vote.

As the mother of two sons, I think it was a nice way to highlight the groom — especially with his family and mother’s friends all there.

How Well Do They Really Know Each Other?

Another fun game to watch only involved the bride and groom and a few bridesmaids.

L and C were each give a large white, eraser-board paddle. They were situated across the room from each other, with one of the bridesmaids handling the eraser. Then, the maid of honor read a list of questions where they had to write down what each would answer. One questions was “what real or fictional person would they each like to most to have dinner with?”

L clearly won, but in fairness to C, she had a lot of difficulty figuring out her own response to each question! I teased that the wedding was only six weeks away as she struggled to come up with her answer.

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The Love is Sweet bridal shower was the culmination of a wonderful weekend.

Friendship is Sweet Too

E and I met during freshman orientation; discovering we lived a short flight of stairs from each other, and that we shared a calculus class.

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Both in business school, but with different majors, I think we took nearly every core class together, as well as many electives. I doubt there was a single semester we didn’t take a class together.

We also lived in the same dorm or floor for three of our four years at school. In a way, we grew up together; meeting at age 18, sharing the college experience, marriages, birth of kids, birthdays, milestones, etc.

We have a great deal of shared history and often finish each other’s sentences. E and I each have two sisters, and consider each other family — third sisters by another mother!

So, it was a fabulous treat to have a long weekend, slumber party together — although we didn’t stay up into the wee hours talking like we used to!

Girl Time
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On Saturday morning we first spent some time talking with L, then hit the gym, ate lunch at an adorable little spot, went boutique shopping, relaxed with mani-pedi, and had dinner at a great Mexican place.

Sunday we headed to Media, the Delaware County seat, for the shower. Of all the places it could have been, the Love is Sweet bridal shower was in the town adjacent to where I graduated high school! I hadn’t been back in Media for years, and it was nice taking a walk down memory lane.

Not Just a Girls Weekend

I arrived in Philly on Friday afternoon and had a great evening visiting with my youngest son. D lives and works right in Center City. After dropping my bags at his place (a really cool 1800’s carriage house converted into condos), he treated to me to a wonderful evening at a great wine bar, and then for a shared, small plates dinner.

Just he and I for hours. No sports talk, like what normally dominates the conversation when his dad, brother and I are all together. I loved having him to myself. Although I was anxious to get to E’s place located 40 minutes outside the city, I could have sat soaking him in for hours. Miss my guys…

Mini Cooper Not a Good Sled

So, it was a great four-day weekend, although I spent a lot of it traveling to and from — with the better part of two days crossing the state.

With the whack-a-doodle weather we were (are) having, I was afraid I might be grounded in Pittsburgh and miss the shower. Especially when Philly got a foot of snow just two days before my departure! I decided to travel by bus, rather than doing the long drive on my own. Although I love my Mini Cooper, the car has a low clearance, no all-wheel drive, and isn’t exactly made for driving in the snow.

I hadn’t taken a Greyhound bus since I was in college, but the departure and arrival times worked well, and the terminals were convenient to train and trolley connections. The eight-hour trip went surprising fast, especially listening to podcasts, which I had downloaded ahead of time.

Podcasts Pass Time When Traveling

I’m one of those people who can’t read while traveling in a car or bus. How about you? I also have trouble sleeping on overseas flights. So many issues!

Serial to Spain

My sister had been raving about the Serial podcast series. But, I love to read and hadn’t had an opportunity to tune in until flying overseas (See Spectacular Spain in September and Remarkable Ronda Gorge, Moorish Town).

I got hooked on podcasts while traveling to Spain with Serial. In it, an investigative journalist revisits a murder case. Last week, the convicted killer won a new trial. Each podcast episode has you vacillating between did he or didn’t he?

Heaven’s Gate to NYC

While traveling to NYC to see my eldest son run the NYC Marathon last November, I enjoyed another series, Heaven’s Gate. That one was a head-shaker, but fascinating. The podcast explores the shocking 1997 headline when thirty-nine people took their own lives in an apparent mass suicide — so they could get to heaven on a spaceship. Seriously.

Walk Don’t Ride

The one I’m listening to now and on the Philly trip is called, The Walk. I first saw it recommended in Parade.

“A thriller in which you, the listener, are the hero. The Walk begins in Inverness station, Scotland. You, “the walker,” are given a vital package that must be couriered to Edinburgh. But as you’re about to board the train, terrorists blow it up and set off an electromagnetic pulse! None of the cars or trains are working – you’ll have to walk – but now terrorists are on your trail because they want the device, and the police are after you as a suspect in the bombing. To survive, you’ll have to join up with other escapees – but how many of them can you trust, and are they really who they say they are?”

I’m on episode 21, ten to go! I better get walking! Do you listen to podcasts? How about any of the ones I mentioned above? Any recommendations? Just like goodreads, I now appreciate good listens! And, I need some new podcasts to listen to on the drive to and from Philly for the wedding next month.

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I hope love and life are sweet to you!

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