Wedding Shower WIN!

Gooooood afternoon (or morning, depending on when you read this) friends!

I’ve been on a hiatus with lots of traveling (NC to PA to NJ to PA and back again) this past weekend and yesterday was overwhelmed with business and action. Airport to work to the Apple store to home to dinner to two volleyball matches. By the time I got home (around 10pm) after a 5am wakeup call… Writing was the last thing on my mind.

Wanna know the first?


But now I’m back after a fantastic sleep, and a fantastic lunch, to regale you with the awesomeness that was my cousin, Whitney, and her hubbytobe, Ted’s Wedding Shower!

These two love-bugs have a fantastic NYC wedding planned for this October, and invited me to do a reading at the ceremony, so I felt especially excited to help make the party fantastic and extra-special. And, in lieu of sharing every single aspect of the whole wonderful wedding weekend a la my friend, Caitlin‘s Whirlwind Wedding Weekend, I think this time I’ll just choose the highlights that I felt like made the party absolutely PERFECT!

1. Why Segregate when you can all CELEBRATE?!

A Boy Girl Party!!

Whitney and Ted (the couple in the bottom right of that picture) decided to have a wedding shower open to couples, not just the standard bridal shower. This gave the event more of a party feel and led to fun times for all!! Though my better half couldn’t make it, the fun of having loved ones there was only magnified by all the folks, both girls AND boys!!!

2. Heartfelt and Homemade!

So many tasty treats

I know this is a HORRIBLE photo, quality-wise, but the food was OUT OF THIS WORLD!  I get the feeling it had something to do with the fact that everything (with the exception of these cheese for the cheese plate) was made by my family members. We had Aunt Mary’s pizza dip, Rietz’s Meatballs, Barbara’s tortellini sticks, Maggie and Katie’s mushroom puffs, and Aunt Judy (the mother of the bride)’s crab balls! The entrees were sausage and pepper sandwiches and chicken/asparagus/tomato/spinach SOMETHING. Either way, it was all tastier than the last bite. Perfect. And the meal was cooked with love, down to the last drop.

3. Wanna Wine Down?

By resident Sommelier: ME!

We had a wine tasting! 3 different types of Cabernet Sauvignons, 3 different types of Sauvignon Blancs, and lots of new wine to try! Paired with four different fancy cheeses (including my new favorite: drunken goat cheese!!) I made little rating sheets for everyone to use and, though not EVERYONE was interested in the wine (many went straight for the cocktails), it was a fun way to break up the night a bit and try something new. It also split the tent area so that not everyone was scrunched next to the bar (as often happens during parties, I’ve noticed.)

4. Pinata? Why not-a?

Ted and Whitney Effigies? Sure!

My mom and aunt picked up Whitney and Ted’s likenesses in the form of a pair of pinatas! (I’m pretty sure my mother wasn’t aware that the little boy she bought was Diego, Dora’s happy-go-lucky buddy, and I’ll admit, Ted looks nothing like an adventurous Hispanic boy, but it totally worked. They were filled with Hershey Kisses and it was HILARIOUS to watch Ted bat the ever-loving KISSES out of those bad boys (er…. bad boy and girl.)

Wow, you can see the blond head flying!!

Whitney also tried.... A for Effort, Whit!

5. We are the Dancing Queens

Yeah, that giantess in the Tarheel sweatshirt? That's me.

If there’s one thing that pretty much ALWAYS happens at my family parties, it’s dancing. And we may or may not have definitely got a noise complaint after midnight for partying too hard (we just don’t know any other way). The dancing continued later at a nearby bar (where the noise won’t ever be complained about) but let’s just say that the last 2 hours of my night were spent dancing my butt off. The best.

6. All You Need is Love

Tiny cousin and Giant cousin

Beautiful speech by my Aunt Judy

The happy couple showing off their moves!

Luckily, my family’s got that in droves.

So much fun was had, and it was different from any shower I’ve ever been to… But it was just right for the Maurer clan.

Typical post-shower aftermath, right?

What makes a great wedding shower, in your opinion?

If you’ve ever been married, what were your favorite parts of your shower?


A Very Jordan Birthday: Food, Sweat, AND Beers

Good morning, y’all! I’ll be honest, I’m either at a training for work right now or on a plane. Either way, while I’m being a busy bee (not unlike that time I went to the Busy Bee Cafe with NC Girls’ Pint Out) I figured it’d be nice to finally write up my amazing birthday of Joy and Joyness.  And honestly, since that fateful birthday where I finally wrote my feelings on the Healthy Living Summit and y’all responded with an outpouring your feelings, I’ve been so busy I’ve hardly had time to breathe.



Let’s do this thing.

I started my birthday the only way I know how: Wearing a tiara.

Tiara before 8 am = totally normal.

I opened a package from my tumblr buddy (a secret penpal I’ve had for the past year, can’t wait to find out who (s)he is so I can thank her!) that I’d been saving for the previous 2 days.  And that’s friggin’ hard because I hate waiting.  I’ll shoot you straight: It was worth the wait.


All my goodies.

  • Frames, wooden pirate flags, and glitter glue to make em!
  • Duo Penotti (from the Netherlands?! WAH!)
  • Eiffel tower journal
  • gorgeous glass bottle for my fragrance of choice
  • J-letters
  • Birthday Cake Candle!! SMELLS LIKE THE BEST DAY EVER!

Well, I knew that the rest of the day was bound for greatness.

Lunch was served by my all-time favorite food truck: Klausie’s Pizza

The most delicious automobile

Klausie’s offers a delicious slice (or four, if you’re a birthday girl buying for your beau) of thick crust, OH SO CHEESY, incredibly flavor pizza. Their toppings are always fresh and tasty and the crust has a foccaccia-like texture that ends up greasy and good by the time you eat it.  It’s not what I would call “diet friendly”, but it’s very Jordan friendly.

My haul. I promise, two were for the beau.

I got a veggie slice and a meaty slice (put em together, that’s a Hypocrite slice!) and enjoyed it with a Coke Zero. Heavenly. I can’t imagine a more enjoyable birthday lunch, enjoyed with my studly man (who had just de-planed a work flight from Maryland less than an hour before!) Somehow, I managed to get through the rest of the work day, completing what needed to be done before scampering off long enough to prep and primp for my big night out.

Thanks to Veri for brightening my day with some sunflowers!

The plan? LivingSocial Adventures was hosting a Pub Crawl with Craft Beers and Organic Bites in Downtown Raleigh. My friends and I met up at my home and before I knew it, we were en route to Tir Na Nog (our first stop of the night!)

The schedule, printed up nice and neat

While we waited for our beers to show up, we enjoyed a spinach artichoke dip and some pita points.

No beers = toast with appetizers!

Unfortunately, the beers took a little while to come out, so we were just waiting after finishing our foods. But when the beer came out, we were in for a treat.

Hibernation... No breathing!


Great Divide Brewing’s Hibernation Ale was first on draft for me. A boozy winter ale that I’d never heard of, so I figured why not?! It was tasty, it was drinkable, and it did the trick.  Never one to drink alone, I decided to make friends. Friends…. with chicken wings.

Kim and Tim, thanks for the chick'n!

They were just a few of the many folks who I met/celebrated my birthday with that fateful August 24th. I actually kept going up to new folks and saying, “Happy my birthday!!” Some laughed. Those were my friends. Others…. well, we just walked away from them.

I even earned my Birthday Brew Badge on Untappd!! Untappd is my very favorite way to track/rate my beers, and if you wanna be my friend, DO IT! My name’s JPreezy22!

Happy Beer-day!

Great friends, great beers = great night!

Up next was The Oxford, a “gastropub” in Raleigh. The appetizers here were…. insane.

Words don't do them justice

Panko fried avocados and beef wellington bites

While I didn’t love the beer options (Carolina Pale Ale… not my favorite), Panko fried avocado is not of this world. It’s the crunch of a mozzarella stick, the creamy of brie, and the taste of avocado. All my dreams come true. I even tried some of Ryan’s Wellington Bite, and it was so savory, rich, and delicious with a crusty pastry around it. Every nibble was better than the last.

My knight in sharing armor

We all ended the night at The Big Easy, a Cajun spot in Raleigh with live music (at least there was live music on Wednesday!)

I’ll admit, the appetizers at this spot were teeny tiny, and left much to be desired. But the beer (and the company) were great.

Sweet sweet Brinnea

Ry and one of our hosts, Danny!

Ryan even surprised me with a massive brownie sundae and a candle!

Making a wish!

Chomping like a champ.

It wouldn’t have been half as fun without my buddies along for the ride!

And Ry even surprised me with a flower of his own. And by flower… I mean giant leaf.

I heard 3.5 years is the "leaf" anniversary. So nice of him to remember. Note the extreme tilt of the tiara. Yup, that's the end of the night.

We had a total blast, and big shout outs to the folks at LivingSocial and all the venues we hit up. I actually love the idea of LivingSocial adventures and hope to do some more in the future. I think that the process could’ve run a little smoother with the drinks and foods being out/coming out at the same time, but other than that, blast in a glass (several glasses.)

All in all…. a killer birthday. 24 on the 24th. Golden as ever.

What’s been your best birthday party?

Have you ever done a LivingSocial Adventure? Or would you? What would be your perfect adventure?