It’s your turn to host a baby shower and you haven’t got a clue where to start. Read on.
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I’ve been to my share of baby showers. And while I’m genuinely overjoyed my friends have succeeded in “Operation: Get Knocked Up” (aka “Oops: Birth Control FAIL”), some of these events seem as long as the births themselves. The activities involve strained peas, melted candy bars in diapers, and guessing the girth of the baby bump in toilet paper squares. (I mean no insult to those who’ve abided by this formula, but do I really have to guess how rotund my friend has gotten? Really?).
Now it’s my turn to host. I’m the closest friend of the mom-to-be, so I need to put on my big girl pants and do the inevitable. The thought of it makes my heart palpitate so vigorously I have to resort to Lamaze-type breathing. So I contacted Katie Lee, Principal Planner/Creative Director of Los Angeles-based Bella Destinee. She’s a master at designing weddings and social events.
Lee showed me the way. Follow her tips and you’ll be able to fool your guests that you know what you’re doing.
You don’t want your place looking like a home for wayward storks, so avoid using “baby” as your shower theme and instead, focus your gathering around something specific, like the little guy’s due date. Since my friend’s baby is due in April, and she wants to keep its sex a surprise, I decided to give my shower a fresh, gender-neutral spring theme.
For a spring shower, choose an invitation with airy colors, (here’s a good bet). And have guests bring baby pics of themselves – whether they’re drooling on a teddy bear or regretfully wearing a bad 70s jumper, they’ll be entertained by each other’s photos. You can also ask that they bring two of the same inexpensive gifts—one for the mom-to-be, and the other to be donated to a women’s center on her behalf.
Keep it simple with fresh fruits and flowers. Order mini yellow, white and green flower bouquets from your local flower shop, then arrange them on the space you’ll be serving food from, along with seasonal fruits (apricots, grapefruits, lemons and oranges) to accent. Place vintage floral plates and silverware on the table, as well. (Rent these at your local vintage dish rental, or buy them on etsy.com) Tie flower stems around white napkins to add a pop of color.
Since your guests will be a mix of the baby mama’s friends, coworkers and relatives, you might want an icebreaker. Once they arrive with their baby photos, attach them with a wooden pin on a string and hang from a mantle. It’s a charming way to spark socializing—and it doesn’t involve slamming fruit juice from baby bottles.
Try this: Salmon Fillet with Citrus & Thyme, Cucumber Tea Sandwiches, Deviled Eggs—Four ways, and Broiled asparagus. (All recipes found on Real Simple). Place each dish on the table with the flowers, and allow your guests to help themselves while dishing on bad baby names, like Sketch, Petal Blossom, and Blue.
Toast the mother-to-be and take the edge off life in general with this spring-themed beverage:
Sparkling White Sangria
6 cups Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
1/4 c superfine sugar
1 c white grape juice
1 ripe nectarine, pitted and cut into thin wedges
1 tangerine, thinly sliced
1 c seedless white grapes, halved
1 c club soda
For the guest of honor and non-imbibers, serve:
1¼ c sugar
3 c water
2 c fresh lemon juice
1 bottle club soda
You need to order a cake for this. Consider yourself warned. One idea is an edible bird’s nest on a white fondant-covered cake, along with white cupcakes topped with colorful mini eggs on top. And if you’re in the mood, throw some colorful French macaroons, petit fours, and decorated cookies into the mix too.
Bypass the gift-opening part, unless you put a fun spin on it. You could ask each guest to bring a Onesie (the newborn staple) that reflects their personality and having the mom-to-be guess who brought it. With everything from “Schrutes Make Thirsty Babies,” to rock ‘n’ roll and designer styles, this ritual becomes much more yawn-free.
The Party Favors
Craving the sweet/salty combo of pickles isn’t just for pregnant woman. (Yet another gem to share over cucumber sandwiches.) So, send your guests home with their own jar of baby pickles. Pick up a large jar from CostCo, divide them into mini jars, (available at Ace Hardware or Target) and write personalized messages on spring-colored labels. (Print labels from www.sweetpreservation.com/labels-crafts).
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