When I found out my friend/colleague/occasional babysitter/lunchtime gym trips training partner/social media mentor/frequent therapist Katy was growing a baby bug in her belly, I had several thoughts: a) YIPPEEEEEE!!!! They’re going to make amazing parents b) Finally! Someone local to pawn off, er, I mean, lovingly pass on all my old maternity clothes and baby clothes to and c) It’s time to plan a baby shower!
I love me a good party. I’m sure my husband wouldn’t believe it from the near-constant kvetching he hears from me in the weeks and days leading up to the blessed event, but that’s my own fault. I just can’t seem to reign it in when I get an idea in my head. As evidence, I present to you E’s Pirate Party for her 3rd birthday and the camping themed baby shower I threw for my BFF Colie in DC.
And I did both of those things before the birth of Pinterest. Friends, it’s a whole new ballgame now.
Once we had the date and place nailed down (and a HUGE thanks to PR goddess Kim T. for letting us use her condo building’s community room), it was time to start deciding on a theme. I originally thought I wanted to make the shower have a social media theme. I mean, this is THE Katy Widrick we’re dealing with here.
I searched Pinterest and Etsy for cute social-media related stuff, and although I did find some cool things, none of it gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling. So I decided to start with Katy’s nursery colors as a starting point — turquoise and orange. And thanks to Pinterest, I found this beauty of an invite:
Why, yes, I did create a QR code for the invite. And a shower-specific Tumblr. Because that’s just how I roll, yo. At that point, I was still debating making it more social media themed, but when I saw Katy’s overjoyed reaction to the invitation, particularly the colors, the damask and the birds, I knew we had our theme. (Here is a link to order them on Etsy)
And since Katy and I are both Syracuse grads, well, it was a ton of fun to let my orange imagination run wild.
After all the planning, the big day finally arrived.
Dang, girlfriend in her big-girl heels made me look like a wee one, no? I mean, c’mon. I’m not pregnant and I couldn’t have stood in those all day. Work it, girl.
One of my first ideas was to give my sweets-loving friend the candy bar of her dreams. But first, I sweated through weeks of waiting to make sure she passed her gestational diabetes test, which thankfully (I suppose for her sake too) she did. I headed to Sassafras, an old-fashioned sweets shop in Winter Park and they helped me raid every orange and turquoise colored candy in the store.
Once I had my candy, I had to figure out how to display it. One day, it hit me that my father-in-law’s crystal collection would be perfect. He and my late mother-in-law collected it for years, and most of the year, it’s locked away in a display cabinet just waiting for the holidays. Crystal, it’s time for you to work!
The candy bar also doubled as the thank-you gift for our guests, something I may have aggressively pushed on everyone for fear that 12 pounds of candy would end up back in my house.
I bought the tags, along with the cupcake toppers below from Heather at HR Celebration on Etsy. She was FABULOUS to work with. She went back and forth with me to help me customize every aspect of the tags and toppers, including dealing with some dumb blonde moment emails from me. And look how sweet these cupcakes turned out.
As for the rest of the food, I wanted to keep it simple but delicious. And since Katy is a vegetarian, I kept the shower that way, too.
I went to Costco and picked up: mixed fruit (and I added some huge, delicious raspberries to it), a veggie tray, an antipasto of balsamic marinated tomatoes, mozzarella and artichokes, roasted pine nut hummus, popped edamame (which is shockingly addictive) and kettle corn popcorn. I also made this amazing Szechuan black-eyed pea salad that Colie’s sister-in-law had made for her shower:
I doubled the recipe and swapped in orange peppers for the green peppers (I had a theme to stick with after all) and omitted the jalapeno. I also added one extra avocado because you can never have too much avocado.
And since I had a food blogger coming, I pressed her into service. My pal and CFLBlogCon co-presenter Christine of Cook the Story brought an amazing goat cheese and cranberry spread, sprinkled with diced mango and served with ginger snaps. I know she’ll be sharing the recipe at some point on her blog so stay tuned!
Christine and Michelle were also pals and brought some of the wine for the party. And what party would be complete without a signature drink? During my Pinteresting (totally a verb, by the way), I found a recipe for a Virgin Blood-Orange Peach Sangria. I’m not going to tell you how many Targets I went to trying to hunt down the ingredients for this, but it was enough to make me pitch a royal fit in the parking lot of
my 6th one. Then I did what I should have done from the beginning — I went to Total Wine and Beverage on Colonial, the mother ship of all beverages.
They (FINALLY!) had the blood-orange soda, but no peach sparkling cider. They did have regular sparkling cider and a very nice employee found me a bottle of non-alcoholic Triple Sec. I wish I could give you an exact recipe, but in a large beverage dispenser, I mixed three cans of SanPellegrino blood-orange soda with three bottles of Martinelli’s sparkling cider (which was roughly a 2-1 ratio — cider to soda) and a generous pour of the Triple Sec. I mixed everything up and tossed in some frozen peaches and sliced oranges and voilà, Baby Bug Juice was born.
And for those of us who needed something a big stronger (OK, fine, me), there were mix-ins, too.
Once I’d figured out the food, the next big thing to take care of was the decorations. And what could be cuter than a onesie banner? Nothing, that’s what, especially when you find both onesies and $1 paper lanterns in orange and turquoise. Boom.
It’s also fun when desserts are decorations, too. Kim brought these adorable sugar cookies.
Don’t you love when a theme comes together?
OK, to recap, we had the decorations, the food, the drinks, so that just leaves … games!
Up first was my now-famous (at least to me) Celebrity Baby Quiz. I did the same thing for Colie’s shower and was able to reuse a lot of it for Katy’s (repurposing FTW!). For the game, you mix in the new parents’ baby pictures amongst a bunch of celebrity baby pictures (celebrities as babies, not celebrity babies like Suri and Shiloh). I think the new momma was a fan of the game.
I was surprised by how challenging people found it. Man, I’m a good quiz-master. Well, everyone thought it was hard except for one ringer — Michelle. She only got 2 out of 18 wrong. Someone visits TMZ a lot, huh?
And since this was a baby shower chock full of bloggers, I decided to rope them into service come October with a guest post sign-up sheet!
Katy does have two blogs to maintain, after all. So we’re all going to contribute some fun blogs, both baby and non-baby related.
And what would a shower be without some sweet words of wisdom and support.
Since Katy is an anti-clutter girl, I knew she probably wouldn’t want a scrapbook. So I thought I’d use these small note cards because they could be easily stashed somewhere and brought out when the mood strikes. And the box was a cute find from Hobby Lobby and as any mom of a small one knows, you can never have too many boxes around for them to stash their valuables (like old Band-Aids, acorns or Squinkies) in.
But the real reason for the day was to shower our first-time momma-to-be with everything she needs to feather her baby nest. And have you ever seen someone so excited to unwrap baby gifts?
She’s probably going to kill me for including that third one but how funny is it?
But even more than the gifts, I know Katy so appreciated all of the words of support, love and advice she received throughout the day. When I think back to my own shower nearly five years ago already (sob), I remember some of the gifts but mostly, I remember the faces and the feeling of being surrounded by people who loved me and already loved E. I hope she felt that, too.
Plus, it was fun to catch up with some friends who we don’t see nearly often enough, including this group of lovely blogging ladies:
From left to right, these fabulous ladies are: Meghann of Meals and Miles; Julie of Peanut Butter Fingers; Michelle of Crazy Running Legs; our guest of honor, Katy, rocking 31 weeks of pregnancy; Andrea of Run, Eat, Date, Sleep; yours truly; Kelly of Living the Before; and Becka, photographer extraordinaire of Life As an Artistpreneur.
Plus, this is as good as time as any to give a HUGE shout-out to these ladies, plus Christine, for sharing their shower pictures with me. This post is a mish-mosh of their pictures and mine. As the hostess with the mostest, I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to capture everything in pictures. But that’s another fringe benefit of having blogger friends — they catch moments like this:
Great shot, Meghann!
So that was Katy’s orange and turquoise baby shower. Phew! I’m tired. No one else is allowed to have a birthday, get married or have a baby for at least six months.
What do you remember from your baby shower? Or what’s the most memorable decoration or game you’ve seen at a shower?