Monday, October 23, 2017

Honeymoon Tour: Paris - Day One

The City of Lights....La Ville Lumiere! Our first day in Paris! Some quick trivia for you:
*Paris is nicknamed the City of Lights because it was one of the first cities to have electricity.
*Also, the name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic tribe known as the Parisii who were its early inhabitants. The city was called Lutetia Parisorum, or "Lutetia of the Parisii," during the Roman era of the 1st to the 4th centuries AD.
*The city was renamed Pairs during the reign of Julian the Apostate, whoever he was...

Good to know, right? We arrived in Paris on a blustery somewhat chilly day and Andrew was able to get us from the aeroport to the taxi and from the taxi to to our very quaint (read: tiny) French hotel. We stayed at Hotel de Londres Eiffel, a family run small hotel with I think about 30 rooms. Could it get more French than this??
The concierge gave us a brief overview complete with map and kindly told us about all of the nearest metro stops, train stations, and attractions. After our brief "orientation" we were off for a two block walk from our hotel....and this is what I saw: 
The left photo is the first photo I ever took with the Eiffel Tower. And I finally got my Eiffel Tower selfie so I can check off Buck List #397!  We picked up a baguette, some cheese (muenster and some brie), and saucisse, and sat ourselves right in front of the Eiffel Tower so we could soak it all in and so I could calm down from hyperventilating that I was finally there.

We then walked back to our hotel so we could get changed into something more appropriate for dinner. We had made reservations at 58 Tour Eiffel, one of the two restaurants in the Eiffel Tower for a late dinner.
The dinner was oh my god amazing. I tried to snap a photo of every course because I'm a foodie and wanted to capture every single thing..but let's just say I devoured some of the plates before I remembered to photograph it! Oh well, you have to live in the moment right??
Our view was the trocadero which proved very difficult to capture at night!
After dinner we headed back outside to see the Eiffel Tower twinkle. Every hour on the hour starting at about 9 PM the Eiffel Tower lights up and glistens in the evening sky. It was especially neat because the first twinkle happened while we were sitting at dinner (I told you it was late dinner!). The twinkle is frustratingly difficult to capture in a still photo because it doesn't look like much. I'll add one of the videos I took to really capture how amazing it is!

After we were done hanging out watching the Eiffel Tower we walked back to our hotel and called it a night. Catch up with me next time to find out what we did on Paris Day Two!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Honeymoon Tour: Packing and Take Off

Let's be honest, packing is one of my absolute favorite things to do. For real. Give me clothes, accessories, and toiletries to organize and stuff tetris-style into suitcase and I am a happy girl. Can I get an amen from all those girls who have a shit ton of fun going through their closets picking out their outfits and things to pack? How about my girls like me who find the need to buy a bunch of new clothes right before you pack? Do you catch yourself justifying your purchases like "They're for the vacation." Yes, for pretty much the three weeks leading up to take off arriving home from work to multiple deliveries and packages was my norm. 
Don't judge me too hard though, I didn't keep everything -- some of the clothes got returned! The rest got stuffed into packing cubes and then into these Samsonite suitcases gifted to us my Andrew's parents at my bridal shower. The awesome part of these suitcases--other than their quality--was that they were "extra light" meaning that  they are only about 7-8 pounds when completely empty. Much better than my old Jansport suitcase! I also added Mr. and Mrs. luggage tags because....newlyweds. I created my packing list --I list out all of my outfits so that I know exactly what to wear while I'm away and I don't end up mismatching outfits and having to force together an outfit from a bunch of random leftovers toward the end of the trip-and we were ready to go.
We decided to fly Icelandair when we booked our honeymoon because it was so much cheaper (read: almost half price) than any direct flight. Plus, it gave us a bonus stop (and an additional passport stamp as it turns out) in Reykjavik, Iceland. I feel like Iceland has really been upping their tourism game recently and the airline had really good reviews so we were confident in our choice. The flight was roughly 5 hours from Philadelphia International Airport and then we had about an hour and a half layover before our flight to Paris. The flight was 8:35 PM so we reported to the airport around 5 PM, grabbed some dinner at the gate, and then boarded our flight. It turned out that no one else sat in our row so we had the entire row to spread out into. I took the middle and the window seat and made myself a comfy bed using the little pillow and blanket they gave us. I read a a little of my book Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (yes, it's the series that they made into a show) and then passed out. Or at least, I passed out after we had some celebratory champagne!
Two of the cutest little champagne bottles ever. Sorry for the poor light!
There's not much to work with when you have one overhead airplane light! Haha. 

Now, about Keflavik International Airport. It is a small airport in a small country. If you are not accustomed to deboarding planes straight onto the tarmac than you might be as surprised as I was. And by surprised I mean under-dressed for the temperatures and being outside in Iceland. I boarded our flight in my black leggings and thin black Paris Darling tunic sweater (because I am one of those people that will wear a Paris shirt to Paris) and without any kind of jacket. Sure I saw a few people with full on parkas and oversize coats but I just figured Iceland was their end destination and not a layover. Oops....

Image result for jackie oplane boarding
Flash forward to us landing on a beautiful and chilly morning, deboarding onto the tarmac and into 30 degree weather, and boarding a shuttle to take us to the airport gate. To be honest, we probably only waited about 4 minutes (Icelandair is super efficient) before we were seated on the shuttle and on our way to the warm gate but that was enough time to get a nice chill in the bones. I was cold and Andrew quite possibly was colder -- Mr Polo Shirt definitely regretted not heeding my "the airplane might be cold are you sure you don't want a sweater?" advice. We headed into the gate and hung out for about forty minutes before it was time to do the same process in reverse. We boarded a shuttle, got taken out to the airplane, and then scurried across the tarmac and up into the plane as fast as possible. I will admit...I kind of felt like a celebrity having to climb stairs up onto a plane. Just us and the Kennedys. Lol.

Roughly three hours later we arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport and we were in France!! Join me for my next post and I'll tell you what we did on day one in the City of Lights!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Honeymoon Tour: The Overview

How do you share roughly 2300 photos that you took on your honeymoon without boring people? Well, obvious answer: You don't. That would be super extra and overkill to max so I am planning to share highlights that I think would interesting to read about (and I hope you will agree)! If you read The Files only for the nails....maybe check back later....for right now we're going to be re-living what I nicknamed the "Honeymoon Tour." But if you enjoy looking at pictures of random places (maybe you've been there before; maybe you haven't) and hear stories from someone's experience then stick around for what's coming up!

So where do I begin?? As soon as Andrew and I got engaged I knew Paris would be a top contender for our honeymoon destination. I have been obsessed with Paris ever since I took French in high school and I have been dreaming of seeing the Eiffel Tower in person for forever. Paris also just felt like a place I had to be, you know? So we decided on Paris as a definite honeymoon stop. Then we decided to spend two weeks away for our honeymoon and we started to add some other destinations. Honestly, I could have spent the full two weeks (or you know my whole life) in France with no problem, but neither of us had been to Europe and I knew Andrew had places on his list too.

We ultimately settled on France, England, and Ireland.
Fourteen days.
Seven cities.
Three countries. (or 4 depending on how you look at it--you'll see why)
Two newlyweds.
One time of our lives! ...and a partirdge in a pear tree.

I cannot wait to share we we did. Stick around and let me tell you about it, won't you? If you have any questions as we go through please leave them in the comments and I'll be sure to answer them along the way! Get your boarding passes, it's time for take-off!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

From Miss to Mrs.: My Wedding

Even now as I type this exactly one month after dear husband and I said "I do" it still feels so weird to describe myself as a married lady. I feel like I should wear a badge or something to let the whole world know--oh wait that's what the second ring on my left hand means?? Alright then!

In all honesty though, I struggled with how to post about the wedding because there was soooo much leading up to it (I tried to share most of it) and then the day itself had so many details, moments, memories, and I can't help but want to share all of it! However, after quickly realizing that a post about all the minutia of the day would result in one MONDO (and yes, probably boring for you) post I decided to try and stick with the highlights of the day. Of course, this post is still going to be long but, what can I do?! Before we get into anything though I want to give a huge shout out to my wedding photographers! The Artist Group did a PHENOMENAL job and all of the photos are from them!

A la the Royal family and Prince William and Katherine Middleton, this is our "Official Wedding Portrait." Lol.
alfred angelo; cinderella dress; alfred angelo 205; wedding
We had a medium-sized bridal party that consisted of friends from high school, college, and family members. And yes, my one bridesmaid (you might remember my bridezilla post) successfully retrieved her dress from the closed and out of business store (thanks to many phone calls and emails to the lawyers by yours truly). For her protection, she shall remain nameless. Haha! But don't they all look amazing?! I had such a gorgeous crew of girls with me that day.

Some more details:
alfred angelo; cinderella dress; alfred angelo 205; wedding
Bridal gown: Alfred Angelo Style 205, also known as "Cinderella" from their Disney line.

Bridal shoes: Badgley Mishka  Tad Ankle Strap Pump. These were comfy and all until about 10 pm....then it was GET THESE CLUTCHES OF SATAN OFF ME.

Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Angelo Style 7290L in the color Once Upon a Time.

Paper products: Invitations were from Paper Source and the rest were DIY.

Rings: Tiffany & Co.
Flowers were by Zenplicity Florist. They cost a FORTUNE but I guess it was worth it? Look how pretty the ceremony pieces turned out. Not to mention the bouquets and centerpieces!
Our cake was by Isgro's Bakery. Speaking of cake...
Clearly we love cake. For our cake we decided to go with chocolate and vanilla marble with white buttercream. The top layer had our monogram in the Once Upon a Time color (so it matched the bridesmaids), the middle layer had quilting and blue dots, and the bottom layer had blue dots and a bow (you can't see the bow in these photos). 

And these are some of my favorite portraits from the venue, which was a gorgeous ballroom.
And my favorite bridal party shot:
Overall, it was the perfect day complete with absolutely PERFECT weather (72 and sunny with NO rain), a beautiful bridal party (seriously look how good they all looked!), and memories to last a lifetime. I could not be happier and now I am officially a Mrs.! I look forward to married life and all of the ups and downs that get thrown at us! I want to share SO many photos with you all but I think that would be overkill. Ughh the struggle is real!

One last note: Before anyone asks if we're planning on having kids (seriously I've been married for a months and already a dozen people have asked). The current answer is NO NO NO, not at the moment. We have too much we want to do and accomplish ourselves for us to even consider any of that nonsense. Call us selfish but we'll get to it when we get to it.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Weekend Roundup

Hello everyone! Figured I would pop in for a second because, blogging takes persistence, am I right? Humor aside, I feel like life has been a whirlwind and I have so so so much to post on here. I'm not sure how to deal because SO many post ideas and photos and nail designs need to make it on this blog. Stat! Anyone have a problem with post after post after post? I didn't think so!

So what will be coming up? Well, I'll tell you!

#1: I got married. WHAT?! Yes.

#2-??: And we went on the Honeymoon Tour, which I obsesssively instagrammed so you've already seen much of it if you follow my instagram).

#3: I attended my first ever law firm client-entertainment event and NAILED it. Lol. Just wait until you see.

#4: I started working out again. Because who doesn't choose to get fit after their wedding? Oh, I was supposed to get fit before my wedding? Oops...oh well. How does this meal prepping thing work?!

#5: Fall is here! I'll definitely have some fall nails going up on the blog.

So I will be seeing you all soon! I know, I know, only one of these things are nail-related. That is due to the awful nail situation I am in...I decided to get my nails done with professional gel for the wedding so that it would last through the two week honeymoon. I figured I could just so soak them off when I got back and carry on with my normal nails. Well, let me just say, I do not know what sorcery the nail salon used but these bitches are NOT coming off. I soaked. I soaked some more. And nothing. So I started filing and buffing and buffing and filing. Now I can't even tell you the nastiness that is going on on my nails. So I'll post everything non-nails first in order to kill time until my nails are in better condition.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

NOTD: Going Halfsies

Today's nails of the day is a super fun stamped design in vibrant summer colors. I realized that I haven't stamped in a while and I knew I wanted to incorporate two different pattern plates into one design for my manicure. Honestly, I feel like the design would have looked better and a little more finished with a black line dividing the two patterns but eh, I still like the way it came out!

Monday, August 28, 2017

NOTD: Pink Corset Nails

My nails of today are reminiscent of a previous design shared on this blog wayyyy back in August of 2010, if you can believe it. When I posted the design originally I used shades of blue so for this time I decided on shades of pink. Plus it kind of matched the "Bride to Be" button my sister gave me on my bachelorette so that had to be in the nail photo too.
 
For this look I used Sally Hansen Fuscia Power, Color Club Art Club in white and black, and Zoya Nikki. The button was courtesy of my sister.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

My Travel Bag - Travelon Anti-Theft Travel Bag

Once we decided on Europe for our honeymoon I started shopping, shopping, and more shopping for various clothes and items that we needed to get ready for our two week adventure. I needed clothes anyway (someone has been enjoying too many sweets these days!) so this was a good excuse opportunity for a mini shopping spree! One of the more difficult things to purchase though was a purse to use while traveling. After reading online how prevalent theft is throughout Paris (and any city really) I wanted to protect my stuff as much as possible while we do our touristy stuff.

Let me say, there were SO many options online. So picking a bag would be easy, right? Wrong! I had a hard time finding actual reviews and photographs of the bags to see what they were really like for use. Plus, they were hard to find in stores! I finally settled on the THE Travelon Anti-Theft Bag from Amazon.
It has really good anti-theft features yet it was still fashionable enough that I felt like it doesn't scream "I'm a Tourist!" It can be worn as a shoulder bag or a crossbody and it's big enough to hold the essentials that I'm planning to bring with us. Because we're traveling I obviously won't bring ALL of my stuff. I'm thinking just my cards, passport, phone, umbrella, map, water bottle, and camera.
Speaking of water bottles, it has a nifty zipper pocket on the side that can stow water bottles up to 1 liter. They might be a bit too large but if you really wanted to you could definitely do it. And if you don't need to pack a water bottle you could use this pocket for an umbrella.
There are four main security features in this bag. First, the strap has a wire sewn into it that makes the strap slash-resistant. People can't cut through your strap and take your bag. Second, the whole body of the bag has a metal mesh under the fabric. This means that even if someone were to cut your bag, all of your stuff would stay inside. Third, each zipper pull clasps to the bag. This makes it more noticeable if someone were to attempt to get in your bag without you noticing.
There are three compartments in the bag. Two regular compartments and one compartment for your to store your wallet type items. The first pocket is perfect for a map, umbrella, sunglasses, or maybe even a small tablet (super small).
The middle compartment is for your cards, cash, and passport. I will use it to replace a wallet. Added bonus though -- the card slots are RFID protected.  There is also a pen holder, zippered pocket, and two other pockets for cash.
The last pocket is the largest and I'm happy to say this will definitely be large enough to fit my camera. Possibly even a second lense, too! We'll see.
 And the final seurity feature that I really like? The strap that you can lengthen to wear as a shoulder strap or crossbody bag has a locking clasp. Why is this secure? Because rather than throw your back on the chair next to you so someone can stroll by, grab it, and run away, you can wrap the bag around an immobile object (chair, armrest, table leg, etc).
Overall, I think this will be a great addition to my purse collection and will very well while we're traveling. I know that buying a secure bag might be a bit "overkill" but I like having the piece of mind that I have secured my belongings as well as I could. I'll let you know how it works out after our honeymoon!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

NOTD: Weekend Recap

Yesterday was my bachelorette party and my friends all met for dinner and some drinks. I'm not a big partier, or drinker for that matter, so it was nice that is was low key. The dinner was delicious and I shared too much of it on Instagram probably but hey, it was delicious. Here's a shot from the bachelorette.
And then tonight we said good bye to my broski with a farewell dinner before he returned back to college for his junior year. Fiance was still away on his bachelor party and my brother-in-law was away for a day trip with his family so it was really nice to have the original five together for dinner. I cannot remember the last time that happened.
GOOD LUCK BRO! 
DO WELL AND MAKE US PROUD!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Festive Summer Nails

Finally some nails on this site again! It's been a long while, no? For today I have these super festive summer nails to share. I really love the colors together and although this might be a bit too eye-catching for my mediation on Monday it is perfect for the weekend.
Oh and that cut on my pinkie? Yep, someone got a little too zealous with the orange stick and cuticle trimmer. I hate it when that happens!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Files turns 7!

And that makes seven, everyone! I can't believe The Files has been around for 7 years. It's lasted as long as the Gilmore Girls television series (one of my personal faves--I have seen all the episodes multiple times). For a bit of fun I scrolled through my blog toward the very beginning. It's so funny to read my posts and to look at the pictures (those were before my upgrade to a nicer camera).

Then I looked more at my recent posts. It's been a not-so-interesting year due to my general lack of posting, I don't really have any good excuse (that's life, right?). Between planning for the wedding, working full time (and then some), working out, trying to keep the home in order (uhm hello laundry piles and dishes in the sink!), and my overall laziness, keeping up with the blog this year has been a struggle. Long gone are the days of multiple nail posts per day and many posts per week. However, I have recently been re-inspired by this little blog and am hopeful that I will return to a more active posting schedule.

One thing I have always liked about this blog is that it no one judges it. I really enjoy that I can post whatever I want whenever I want.  Although it's not AS FOCUSED on nail designs any more, nail polish continues to be the driving force behind this blog. I hope you all continue to check back often and share my blogging journey. Talk to you on the next post!!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Paint Night with my Sister

I was on Facebook a few weeks ago and I saw that one of our local Painting With a Twist locations was doing a Beauty and the Beast themed painting of the rose. My sister is a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast and so I thought it would be a really fun time out...so we booked our seats.

If you've never been to Painting with a Twist, then it's pretty simple. They offer a painting and people show up to try their hands at creating something similar. And of course, you drink wine. I brought some super cute mini moscatos that had been hanging in my fridge.
 Ah, the beginning. A blank canvas, my mini wine (it's like an adults-only-water-bottle), and some paint ready for an artistic adventure.

Which became a blue and black egg shaped design with white specks.
This is a sneaky shot I took of my sister working on her masterpiece.
 And our finished project . They're not so bad, right?!
Maybe I should just stick with nail polish...lol. It was a really fun experience though and we spent the next hour or so looking at all of the paint nights available in our area.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Bridezilla Mode...Activated

As many of you know I am getting married in September.  Planning a wedding, I've been told, is a stressful endeavor. There are so many things to consider.

  • Do we go with this DJ or that DJ? (hint, just pick one they're all playing the same playlist). 
  • Do we go with these flowers or those flowers? (hint, who cares? They die anyway and no one cares about them.) 
  • What do we give as favors? 
  • What about the cake? 
  • What about the linens? 
And, of course, let's not forget about the dresses, dresses, dresses! There's the bridal gown, bridesmaids' dresses, Mother of the Bride dress, Mother of the Groom dress, flower girl dress, and all the dresses in between for the rehearsal dinner and bridal shower. Well, as if the wedding planning isn't time consuming and stressful enough, let us add this little development in, shall we?
I'll just let that sink in a little.

Everyone has so much advice for brides to be about what colors to go with, how to wear your hair, who should be in your bridal party, etc. Well, I would like to hear some advice on what to do when your damn dress store goes out of business. Now, don't let me fool you. I have all of MY stuff. I have my bridal gown and all accessories. My mothers of the bride/groom have their dresses. And my four bridesmaids? Well three of them have their dresses. What I do not have is ONE.DAMN.BRIDESMAID.DRESS. 

Long story short: My girls all ordered (and paid in full for) their dresses in March -- I was there when they ordered them. Then the dresses arrived in May (May 14th to be exact) and all of my girls were called by the store and told to come and pick their dress up. Three of my bridesmaids can follow directions and did just that. They picked their damn dress up. The last bridesmaid, however, was apparently too busy to pick it up that weekend. No problem, right? She'll go another time, right? WRONG. For two entire months she failed to find 35 minutes to go and pick up the dress. (By the way the store tells you that you have to pick up your dress within 2 weeks of it coming in when they call you).

Then, on the darkest day in July (July 14th to be exact) Alfred Angelo nationwide CLOSED. Like bye bye see you never. Peace out. Out of business. Shut the door and throw away the key. And guess what? That dress that my stupid bridesmaid was too lazy to go and get despite it being 6 weeks until my wedding and despite the dress having arrived two months ago.....yeah, that dress was hanging somewhere inside the now closed store. It and the perfect wedding I had in my mind being held captive from my unfortunate, desperate, and out-of-luck grasp.

I have no idea what to do. I need her dress and I'm pissed as hell that she didn't think to go and get it. Sure, who could foresee the store declaring bankruptcy and closing? I'll give her that. But who leaves something they already paid for just sitting at a store for TWO months? I mean really? REALLY? There have been reports that some Alfred Angelo stores shipping the dresses that had already arrived in the store prior to the closing but this has not been confirmed by my particular store. So I have no idea (1) where her dress is, (2) whether it will be shipped to me, or (3) when we might receive it. And my wedding is in less than 60 days. 

So moral of the story? Next time someone starts complaining about wedding planning and bullshit details like napkin color or who to sit next to weird Uncle Dan I'm going to look them in the eye, smile, and say "let me tell you a story..." Because I'm pretty sure whatever you hated about planning your wedding was nowhere near this level of catastrophe. AMIRIGHT?

I'm Nikki. And things just happen to me to keep my life interesting. Well, hey, positive thoughts are key: At least I won't be the one walking naked down the aisle.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Happy 60th to a Special Someone!

Oh my gosh. I remember when she didn't want to become a red hatter while celebrating her 50th birthday. Now, 10 years later, we are celebrating her 60th birthday! Yes that's right, I'm talking about my mom. To celebrate her big 6-0 we went pottery painting. My whole family painted dessert plates that honestly sort of shows our personality in each one.
Andrew and I painted pottery in 2015 as part of my 101 in 1001 list. Our new plates look like this:

Mine is on the left. It's a blue and white animal print design similar to the one I painted with Andrew in 2015. Except this time it's zebra instead of leopard. I can't wait to show you the fully finished one (this photo is before they shellac it and stick it in the kiln to get all glossy). I think it will go well with the one I already have. Andrew's plate is on the right. A tri-color design that, like him, is simple and efficient. I'll update this post with the final products.

Happy 60th Birthday Mom!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July to all my Americans!
I may not have a super fantastic nail design on my fingernails BUT I actually really liked the way my pedicure turned out. Red, white, and blue with stars?? Can you be more patriotic? I will be spending this Fourth of July eating grilled food with my family and watching as many fireworks displays as possible. I hope all my Americans have a wonderful Fourth of July!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Our Wedding Invitations Arrived

Ahh, our wedding invites arrived! 
I searched and searched online and finally found a design I loved at Paper Source. They are seriously GORGEOUS. It's funny because it literally took us four hours to design them with the Paper Source designer. FOUR.HOURS. But what can I say? It was worth it.
I am obsessed. We were going for a traditional and classic invite without a bunch of colors. If fact, it ended up being silver, white, and dark gray. This is what the full suit looks like:
Because of the silver foil we went plain for the details and rsvp cards. However, leaving the trifold alone looked unfinished. We decided to do a ribbon band with a stamped and embossed monogram of our last initial. That was the only thing we had to assemble ourselves but believe me it took forever. First we (I) had to cut 80 portions of the blue ribbon. Then I had to cut equal amounts of the silver ribbon. Then we had to punch out the bigger black squares. Then we had to punch out the smaller silver squares. Then we had to stamp each one, layer the powder, and use the embossing gun (which is super fun BTW and that might get a post of its own) and then we had to adhesive it all together. We wanted the monogram to be attached the band of ribbons but make it so the band of ribbons would slide off the invite.
And then this is what the invite looked like before it was ready to be stuffed in the envelope. We printed the envelopes in a faux calligraphy (calligraphy is SO expensive I found out and I was too chicken to try to DIY that).
Apologies for the poor photos. I only used my good camera for some of them! Alright, so we have to get these in the mail and then start the nail-biting-inducing process of waiting for the rsvps to roll in!

Monday, June 19, 2017

My Parisian Themed Bridal Shower

Yet another wedding-related post. I promise we're almost finished with all the wedding-related stuff and I'll go back to just nails (and then some). But for now, I'm sharing a peek into my bridal shower! My bridal party planned a *surprise* Parisian-themed bridal shower for me. It was nice to see everyone and I was blown away by the fact that one of my closest college buddies showed up -- she had to drive 3 hours each way! Unfortunately, I don't have the digital files for photos so we'll have to do the whole photo-of-a-photo thing.
Full disclosure, it was not really a surprise. Hence I wore the white pants. The rouse was that Andrew and I were going to lunch with my future in-laws. The problem was not that we never go to lunch with them--it was that we do that somewhat often and we only ever go to one restaurant (it's my father-in-law's favorite). So when Andrew told me we were going somewhere else I was immediately suspicious. It was easy to put 2 and 2 together and I decided to wear white pants because that was bridal but non-committed in case I was wrong. After all, it's summer and people wear white all the time.

It was a buffet brunch with mimosas and delicious food. Andrew's family was there, my family was there, my friends, and my mom's friends, too. And how cute is this little cake?! The black bow? So precious! They also gave out Eiffel Tower cookies and a compact mirror with an Eiffel Tower as favors.
Overall, it was a nice time. The opening presents while everyone watched me was a little awkward and I got SO MANY KITCHEN things I could open a second kitchen. By far the best gifts were the Himalayan sea salt lamp (from my future sister-in-law) and the creme brulee set (my college buddy).
 One step closer to the wedding!