Hi Friends! To say that my pregnancy has been busy would be a vast understatement! Since learning we had a precious little girl on the way I have been busy shooting the second season of The Real Girl’s Kitchen, remodeling a house and preparing to shoot my first TV special for Cooking Channel! It sounds like a lot but if you know me (which I feel that you do) you know that in the middle of a whirlwind is where I truly thrive! I have been slacking on new recipes lately, simply because I am just one woman over here and all my new creations are being used in RGK season 2! I can’t wait for you all to see the yummy dishes, tips and tricks I have up my sleeve for you this year! One very exciting part of having your first baby is throwing the baby shower!
I have been excited about this moment since I learned I was pregnant. It is the one time to really just go all out! Sooo I figured I would share mine with you, along with some recipes, DIY ideas!
It’s all in the planning! Do your homework and get a solid notebook started!
Gather the troops! Doing all of the planning alone is very overwhelming. Especially if you have had one of those “highly emotional” pregnancies! So give yourself a break and ask for the help of your family or closest girlfriends. More than likely they will be dying to know what they can do to help out!
Start a secret Pinterest board and invite the other hostesses to pin with you! Oh how I love Pinterest! This is a great way to all be on the same page with the party decor! A visual goes a long way! Pick your colors and a theme! Matt and I chose “Baby Love” as our theme! (Ok, I chose it but Matty is a trooper and was supportive of whatever I wanted! Good guy!) You want whatever theme you choose to be carried throughout your event! From save the dates to invites to the party itself.
Do you want baby games? I knew from the start that I was not in to the idea of melting snickers in diapers or having all my guests cut ribbon to “guess my belly size”…I did however love the idea of starting a special book for her that was filled with the advice of all the women who would be in her world!
Make a little station for people to write their addresses (Hello, easy thank you cards!) and advice to mom & baby…
For Christmas, Matt gave me a very sweet plain page scrapbook that he found for me on Etsy. I found some cute advice cards (on Etsy) for all the girls to fill out and after the party will fill the book! I am excited at the thought of reading each of their notes to her!
Food! The question on everyone’s mind…what’s to eat? Baby showers can really run the gammet when it comes to this. You can throw a simple afternoon tea (an idea I love!!) that just features some bite sized snacks but is not intended to fill your belly…you can do a sit down lunch…for me, I wanted lots of food but also wanted to keep it casual! We went with a buffet style lunch. PLENTY of food but no pressure to have an exact head count or consider people’s likes and dislikes.
Cheers! This one is really up to you! Even though you have abstained from alcoholic beverages for the last however many months doesn’t mean all of your guests wouldn’t enjoy a flute of champagne or a fruity signature cocktail!
For me, being around friends that are drinking has not bothered me…but if it bothers you… skip it!
I offered Sweet Tea, Pink (Duh!) Lemonade, Cucumber Mint Water & Sangria
For a cute non alcoholic beverage table, offer bubbles! A sparkling water bar is always a fun idea! Offer three flavors! Sparkling blackberry, Lime or even Coconut! San Pellegrino and La Croix both offer great flavors! Include a cute garnish tray filled with sliced limes, lemons, blackberries, strawberries & mint!
Desserts! This is where I really wanted to go crazy! Everybody knows a pregnant girl loves her sweets and now is the time to really indulge! So I knew I wanted a killer dessert table! I turned to Lauren from A Sweet Savory to bring my dessert dreams to life. I love love love her desserts! I chose bite sized desserts because I felt like people would be more inclined to sample more things! She made cake pops, heart shaped rice crispy treats dipped in pink chocolate, mini cupcakes and macaroons! I used vintage cake plates to add height and interest to the dessert table.
For those ice cream lovers, I turned to the decadent and unique flavors of Steve’s Ice Cream! With flavors like blackberry honey, iced coffee & donuts, southern banana pudding and sunday morning I knew it wouldn’t be a sweets table without them!
Photos! Wether you hire a professional, book a photo booth, pass out cute disposable cameras or simply rely on everyone’s phone pics do one thing…create a hashtag!!! This is the best way to find all the photos from your shower! Make sure that whatever hashtag you choose isn’t already overflowing with pics.
Make it personal! Our hashtag was #MHBabyLove if you want to check out all the pics!
Make sure to get those important photos too…like with both Grandmas or family members!
Decor!!!! I wanted flowers galore!
But, flowers galore can really add up! Hit up your local flower mart and make your owns arrangements! You can do this the morning of or night before with some friends and it is quite fun!
I fell in love with a company called The Bouqs a few months ago at a friends luncheon and knew that they would be a perfect addition to my baby shower! The Bouqs wagon features beautiful fresh cut flowers and mason jars so you can make your own arrangement and take it home with you as a party favor! If The Bouqs isn’t an option, you could use some reclaimed wooden crates, a vintage wagon or even set up a table to make your own “Bouqs Inspired” party activity!
Make hand painted signs! I spent a night of pregnancy insomnia painting these! It is sweet to have personal touches.
I also found these cool rough cut gem stones to scatter across the tables…
I love custom napkins!
Etsy is an amazing resource for this…They are inexpensive and add a lot of look…
Don’t take your shower too seriously! We had a big cut out made so everyone could snap a pic “as our baby”…lots of laughs!
Have something to do! If you are opting out of baby games and decorating onesies think of something else fun for your guests to do! And NO that doesn’t mean gather everyone around to watch you open presents! (I happen to find it a bit painful)
That being said…your Mom and her friends WILL want to open a few gifts! So set aside a little time with them to Ooh & Aah over tiny treasures!
I wanted something girlie and fun…then I found The Crown Collective! Carolyn is awesome and so are her girls! Each of my girlfriends got to pick their own flowers and magically they were transformed in to beautiful flower crowns! If a bohemian flower crown just isn’t enough to complete your boho vibe…you can get a messy beach braid to match! Prop up a cool vintage mirror (I found this one at my favorite store on earth VintageWeave!) to add a touch of glamour to an outdoor party! Then your guests can see their flower crowns and braids!
Finally, make sure to really be present and in the moment! This is a day you will remember forever…so don’t get too caught up in the details…remember that the best memories won’t be about the decor or the setup…it’s the memories of the people there that you will treasure. Lay back, relax and enjoy your shower mama!