Story Book Themed Baby Shower

We try to get together for a ‘girls’ weekend once a year with just my mom and sister and this year we also included my two aunts.  In June, they all came to Lancaster for a few days.  It’s raining babies over here on my side of the family, my brother had a baby this week and my sister is due in October.  While here we surprised my sister with a little story book themed baby shower.

She isn’t finding out the gender and the nursery is taking on a story book theme so that made it easy.  My mom also kept some of our childhood books that are still in good condition and were given to us as a gift so this made a perfect surprise as well.  Search Pinterest for Story Book Themed Baby Shower and you’ll be totally inspired.  We aren’t a fussy bunch and knew we wanted to keep in simple so here I asked everyone to bring a book and then based on the books my mom had kept, I picked a few that I knew I could make food ideas out of.

Story Book Themed Baby Shower

Book & Recipes: (some links are affiliate links)

 

My go to book to give little ones is the Monster At The End Of This Book – it even comes as a board book!

Monster at the end of this Book - Book

 

My sister asked me to make a directional sign with fictional places from stories that both her and her husband love.  I surprised her by also making a bookshelf to go along with it!  I can give a lot more detail on how I did both but I think that will be another post!

Tree bookshelf and sign

 

Weekend full of wine, family and wonderful Keuka Lake Views

This past weekend I had the awesome opportunity to revisit a little bit of childhood at Keuka Lake – with a 21 and over perk.

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Growing up in Western NY State we spent plenty of time camping and exploring.

One of our favorite destinations was Keuka Lake – one of the finger lakes.  Our neighbors growing up, the type of people you love so much you affectionately call Aunt and Uncle, purchased land there and slowly built their retirement dream.  As retired teachers, they now have an awesome lakeside dock as well as a beautiful house on the hill that they live in permanently.

view from the lake house - Keuka Lake Views

Growing up we spent a lot of time there camping on the then vacant property.  Then indoor camping as the house was framed and then slowly finished.  We would spend our time snorkeling, boating, skiing, and bobbing up and down on our floats hoping a boat would soon go by to give us some waves!

This trip, however, was a tad different.

My parents, sister and Aunt all met our ‘neighbors’ on Thursday around lunchtime.  We quickly caught up, had a quick lunch and ventured out.  We knew our theme of this trip was wine tasting but more importantly it was reconnecting and taking in beautiful Keuka Lake.  The girls headed out separate from the boys (actually we didn’t see the boys again until dinnertime).  We took in a few wineries, pottery and antique shops.  All in all I think we drove about half way around the lake.  Each stop was beautiful in it’s own way and Keuka wineries have some views!  Back in time for some dockside wine and cheese and then we headed up to the house for dinner.

sister, me, Aunt, Mom

Point of the Bluff Vineyards - Keuka Lake Views

 

Point of the Bluff Vineyards - Keuka Lake Views

The next day was pretty similar.  We were up early, had a hearty breakfast and headed out to a few more wineries.  One being one our ‘Aunt’ works at – talk about the hookup!  We were back at the house for lunch and quickly out on the boat for a long cruise on this perfectly sunny day!  Back at the house to freshen up for dinner and then headed to The Lakeside – which was fantastic!  There are so many options for outside, lakeside seating and it was the perfect night for it.  I do recommend reservations though.  I had a great beer, Local Mocha Stout from Keuka Brewing Co., paired with Louie’s BLT (no B 🙂 ).  The next morning we all headed out after breakfast.

view from Heron Hill Winery - Keuka Lake Views

Lake view from Bully Hill Winery - Keuka Lake Views

Keuka Lake Views

This was a great little trip with some of my favorite people!  I need to remember this is the reason we moved back north, to be closer to family and do things like this.  Darn you winter! 🙂

Mad Hatter Tea!

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Almost two weeks ago we arrived in Ohio to wedding dress shop with my sister.  We decided to make the whole Friday a girls day, starting with Mad Hatter Tea!  This was actually our mother’s day gift to our mom.

She didn’t really know what we were up to until she arrived at my sister’s house and saw the little hats we were going to wear.  We ordered matching hats on Amazon.  They were $10 – $12 each and were so cute!  They stayed on really well with two clips on each end.

Our destination…Mad Hatter Tea theme at Sweet Shalom Tea Room in Sylvania, Ohio.  We arrived at a sweet Victorian home where we donned our hats and were seated by Alice in Wonderland at our reserved table (you do need to make reservations for the special events).

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Mom at her first tea

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How cute was this table setting!?!?  Our names were printed on playing cards, the tea sets were perfect and the rest of the house was so whimsical.  Our menu consisted of four courses and unlimited pots of tea.  Our first choice in tea was the Choco-Nut Blend, which remained my favorite.  We also tried a vanilla peach tea.  Then our first course was up, orange pinwheel scones.  Then a Mad Hatter Salad, which was like a slaw with crunchy ramen noodles…it was very tasty.  While waiting for our main course one of the owners read a few pages of the Alice in Wonderland book.

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Next up was the main course.  A blend of little cucumber sandwiches, mac and cheese, veggies and dip, chicken salad and a few dessert selections.  We were amazingly full after all these tasty tiny bites.  How cute is the presentation!

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A big surprise to us was when they announced a tie in the ‘best hat’ contest.  We didn’t even know there was such as thing, but we won!!  $5 each to come back another time…sweet!

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Pinkies up!

There was actually one more course, a dessert!  We were feeling a bit full and felt a bit in a rush.  Holly had scheduled an appointment at a wedding dress place that afternoon.  So we told the ladies we were really enjoying ourselves but felt we needed to scoot to make the appointment on time.  While were we gathering our things they ended up packaging up our desserts for us to take on the road so we didn’t miss anything…how sweet!

This was such a special day and we all said we would love to return another time – when we aren’t in a hurry.  Both my mom and sister said they would love to take groups of friends there as well.  So if you can make it to the Sweet Shalom Tea House…take your time, it will be worth it.

Girl Time – Lancaster County

Our girl time concluded last week with a day exploring Lancaster County.  The day before my mom, sister and I did The Hershey Spa, Chocolate World and the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre.   You can read more about that below:

Girl Time – Hershey Spa

Girl Time – Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Our day started with a trip to Green Dragon Market, which is only open on Fridays.  My dad and Tim (hubs) joined us as well but we drove separately so they can ditch us later.  I’ve only been here once before and it’s a fun place to walk around.  It’s a farmers market/flea market.  I knew I wanted to get cheese spread from King’s Fresh Meats (next to the pickle stand).  Once we found this stand I purchased a tub of the jalapeno popper spread and cheddar horseradish.  My sister purchased an onion flavored spread.  This stuff is cheese spread crack and my sister can’t stop raving about it!  I wish I could find it at more places than Green Dragon!  The other thing I must always get at markets like this is fresh soft pretzels!!!  It’s one of my weaknesses and PA Dutch Country is where it’s at when it comes to soft pretzels!  Auntie Anne’s is headquartered in Lancaster but my favorite soft pretzels of all time are actually from Roots Market which is similar to Green Dragon but only open on Tuesdays.  Well needless to say we found the pretzels and then found a dry spot to sit down and enjoy them while they were still hot.

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Did I mention my sister got engaged a few days before?

Once we were done with Green Dragon our plan was to head to Kitchen Kettle Village.  The boys decided to join us there too so we could eat lunch together and then they would take off.  I would consider Kitchen Kettle Village to be a part of the Amish touristy part of Lancaster County.  I had never been, since I’ve never really done a lot of the touristy stuff in Lancaster before and I’m trying to save a lot of it for when people come to visit us.

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Our drive from Green Dragon to Kitchen Kettle was so pretty, if only the sun would have come out.

Once there we decided to eat lunch first at The Kling House Restaurant.  We timed that right!  Ton of people leaving when we got there and a ton a people waiting after we were seated.  It’s a cute old house and the food was great!  I got the vegetarian sandwich…yum.  After lunch the boys and girls parted ways (I think my dad was itching to go get his new smartphone).  My mom, sister and I walked in and out of the shops there.  We didn’t buy much but it’s a very cute area and you can easily spend a whole day there!  Around 3ish it looked like it might rain so we decided to leave and head towards the outlets…mostly to go to Reading China and Glass but we also ended up at the Loft Outlet too.  After a bit of retail therapy we went back home to meet the boys and enjoy dinner at Issac’s Deli.

In true fashion, my parent’s always have a lot of things they want us to help them with whenever we get together and they always happen at the last bit of time we have together.  So that night we taught my dad how to use his new smartphone, scanned a bunch of old newspaper articles for my mom, fixed her email address book, Tim did some other stuff on her laptop, etc.  In the morning we went out to breakfast and they took off back to Ohio and we took naps.

Girl Time – Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Our girl time continued last week with a trip to the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre.  I posted earlier about the beginning of my day with my mom and sister, who were visiting from Ohio.  You can read more about our Hershey Spa experience here.

Once we got back to Lancaster we had just enough time to catch our breath, change and get ready for our second big activity that day.  Soon after we got back my dad and hubs also returned after a day of hiking and looking at smart phones for my dad…yes he is getting his first ever smart phone, Lord help us all.  The last part of our day consisted of a little jaunt down the road to the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre where they were putting on Funny Girl.  We’ve never been here before and didn’t really know what to expect.  Actually all this time driving by the place I actually thought it was the place next door, Loxley’s.  I also invited my mother in law to join us.  My parents and the hubs parents get along great!

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When we got there I picked up our tickets at will call and we all hung around the lobby for about 10-15 minutes until the doors opened.  We were seated at our reserved table and when the waitress came around she took our drink order and we were directed to the buffet.  Now from the outside the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre doesn’t look like much and the inside is also pretty dated so I wasn’t expecting much but the food was REALLY good!  We all enjoyed everything we had and then dived into the dessert table…oh my…so many choices, it was great!

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After dinner was the show, Funny Girl.  You stay at your table for the show and I didn’t think that sounded very comfortable but it totally worked with a little wriggling of your chair.  The theatre isn’t that big so I can’t imagine there is a bad seat in the house.  With the exception of a few songs, none of us really knew the musical Funny Girl and we are musical fans!  All we really knew was that Barbara Streisand played the lead in the movie back in the day.

The show was great!  The lead was fantastic and the story line was good.  It’s not a flashy new musical like so many are now a days.  It’s old school but so charming.  My sister and I kept saying we felt bad because we wanted to clap louder but the crowd didn’t really warrant that.  Definitely not a hoot and holler type of group, and my sister and I were probably the youngest there so…..  After the show we filed out, said our goodbyes and drove back home.  Exhausted we called it a day, the next day we were off again.

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