a garden party for baby girl!

My sweet sister-in-law told me she wanted to host a baby shower for me as soon as we announced our exciting news at the beginning of the year, so I’ve been looking forward to this special day for a long time! Lauren is quite the party planner, and she completely outdid herself this time! It’s obvious how very much baby girl’s aunt loves her by the creativity, thought, and sweet touches she put into every detail of the shower.

Lauren’s talented dad painted this piece below for us to hang in the nursery, and it couldn’t be more perfect! He’s a self-taught painter and woodworker, and we just love his artwork, so it is extra special to have a custom piece for her room!

The shower was held at her parents’ home, which is like being in an art gallery because every wall is filled with her dad’s paintings and wood pieces. I was thrilled when she told me it would be there — it’s such a beautiful place! 
Also — baby girl finally has a name! After much debate, we settled on Leighton Lane Hayes, and we couldn’t be happier with our choice. We wanted something unique but not weird, and I thought that Leighton was such a pretty name (for those who haven’t heard it before, it’s pronounced “lay-ton”). Her middle name Lane is in memory of Craig’s mother, Karen Elaine. We joked that she’s going to end up with the nickname “LL Cool Hayes” (like the singer LL Cool J), but that only “old” people like her parents will be the ones making that reference. 🙂

The best hostess/sister-in-law there is::
Neighbors having babies this summer — future bffs::
Thank you to our moms and sisters and all of my fabulous friends who came out to celebrate Leighton’s upcoming arrival! She is one loved little lady, and we’re incredibly blessed and thankful to be surrounded by so many amazing people to share in this exciting time! We love you all.

a couples shower for baby H!

A handful of our friends offered to throw us a couples shower in Nashville last weekend, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect evening shared with Craig’s family, many of his high school friends (who have become my friends as well over the years), and some of our favorite Atlanta friends who made the trip up. We had delicious Martin’s BBQ at our “Baby-Q”, as well as some of my current favorite desserts — cookie cake and Krispy Kreme donuts… yum!

We feel so loved, and we are now on our way to being more prepared for her arrival, thanks to the many thoughtful, helpful, and fun gifts we received! We’re so grateful to have such wonderful friends to throw this shower in our honor, as well as everyone who came to celebrate baby H with us that night.

Our fabulous hostesses (and host) — some of the best friends we could ask for::

How cute are these koozies?! 
Our shower ended up being a “4th of July lake trip” reunion of sorts, so we had to get the traditional group photo with so many of those we’ve spent the holiday with over the past decade or so.
Cheers to baby Hayes!

quick recipe:: rolo stuffed cookies

Quick Recipe::
Snickerdoodle Rolo Cookies

I found this little gem on Pinterest via Rachel Schultz — thanks for the quick recipe! Actually, Craig found it… but he didn’t want to save it because he doesn’t pin “girly stuff” like cookie recipes. When I went to our nearby Kroger to get the ingredients, they didn’t have snickerdoodle dough, so I improvised.

1 package of break-and-bake cookies (snickerdoodle is preferable, but sugar cookie* will work as well)
1 bag of individually wrapped Rolo candies
*If using sugar cookie dough, you’ll also need a few tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. If using regular sugar cookie dough, you’ll need to mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl — it’ll be used to roll the dough balls in before baking.

Flatten 1 tablespoon dough and wrap around Rolo candy. Roll into ball and set on cookie sheet.

Bake for 14 minutes.

And that’s it! Easiest recipe ever for something a little more fun than a regular old cookie.

PS — they’re best when warm so the caramel inside is melty!