Monday, May 27, 2013

book themed baby shower

our dear friends, jeff and erica, are having their first baby soon(these are the talented people who made that incredible video sharing our marriage story). they're the kind of people that act like they have kids, even though they haven't had any. need a babysitter? they'll come right over. overnight? no big deal! not afraid of newborns, naughty children, or dirty diapers. ok, scratch that, we're all afraid of what we might find in a diaper.too far?
my B. let's talk about the party.

(erica is singing a song about her new baby in this picture. it was such a sweet song and she followed it with a tap dance. none of that actually happened, but that would have been awesome)

i printed off a template like these onto a cream color paper and cut them out. i found little envelopes at hobby lobby and they fit right in. and twine is never a bad idea.

my secret goal for this shower was to not use book paper everything. it's tempting. but i wanted to do something different. it kind of stretches you to not rely on things that seem obvious to do. although i did throw some oversized book paper confetti on the table because i couldn't help myself.

the other goal was not to torture the men. guys generally aren't into baby showers...we must bribe them with drinks and a fire pit. it's the right thing to do.

and something shower atypical is having the party in your front yard. it just sounded fun and inviting, so we did it. there's something special about pulling up and seeing the festivities right there. it breeds excitement... and also, people aren't in your house so the mess stays outside!

oh hey, why not bring a coffee table out to the yard while you're at it?
onto the details. let's talk about napkins! borrrrring. ha. but seriously, let's discuss.
 you can set a napkin out and it's perfectly great. but if you roll the napkin diagonally and tie it with ribbon/twine or tape it with some washi, it makes it feel really special. and it takes up more visual space.

since we were doing a book theme, i borrowed a little bit from the school theme as well because i felt like it was a fun connection and not too far of a stretch. also, i have done a back to school themed baby shower and knew i could steal my supplies from that. we call that resourceful! like these lunch trays... i think they're a great investment. we use them all the time for family gatherings, especially thanksgiving where you need little compartments, duh. what i'm alluding to here is, you can do paper plates and that's so great, because no one likes to do dishes. or sometimes, consider busting out your china. gasp! that stuff you never use? use it before you die! or hey, your regular dishes if you have enough. it just feels more special. (i still use paper plates though, don't get me wrong.)

in the spirit of being resourceful, i already had this fabric for the runner, and just cut it in half to make a longer runner. you've seen the cake plates from before! and hey, you've seen this kind of cake before just last week at penelope's elephant party. same idea, different theme! build on what you already have. buy some white tablecloths if you host often...great investment.
anyway, changing something old to make it new is kind to your wallet and makes you think a new thought.
i adore this Multi Tier Cake Pan and highly recommend it. (it's the exact one i have, and fool proof!)
dripping icing down tiers is easier that actually icing the cake so naturally i will choose to take the easy way out. 

i did craft a little book to put on the top. it's totally jimmy rigged, but that is why hot glue is your friend. it just needs to last a night, not for years. and it's simply made with scrap paper. 
also, i can't tell you how much i'm obsessed with these cupcake baking cups don't need a cupcake pan. that means, instead of baking 12 at a time, you can put up to 35 cupcakes on your regular cooking sheet and be done baking so much faster and NO cleanup. i think they are worth their weight in gold!
don't worry about these leaning pencils. the idea is cute, the cake plate wasn't really wide enough. oh well. go with it.

i bought a bunch of reading glasses at the dollar store and use them to hang on things or just set on the table. if you have all your old glasses then yay for you, you saved yourself $5! 

i recovered old books with craft paper and then used books that had hard covers which coordinated with my colors scheme. mix and match!

for the menu: school themed food
-fancy grilled cheese option 1: gruyere cheese, caramelized apples and onions, chopped figs
option 2: chipoltle gouda and bacon
option 3: surprise me. a little of this and that from all of the above
always prep your ingredients earlier in the day. you can caramelize apples and onions the day before and cook your bacon. then just assemble before guests arrive. i used the recipe, grilled cheese for a crowd so that i wouldn't have to stand over a hot stove. it really is genius!

-fancy homemade mac n' cheese

-fruit cups
-spinach, feta, walnut salad
(consider a soup if you are doing this in the fall or winter)

-fancy, local chocolate milk

cobbler and cupcakes

the favors are just mini journals i bought at a book store for cheap, a pencil, with a stamped message on them and gold washi tape from minted. i already had the stamp, but you can buy them at any craft store.

it was such a fun night! celebrating people we love with people we love.

 parties aren't just about throwing parties. they aren't about making something look awesome to impress other people. parties are really about honoring friends or family who mean so much...seeing their faces light up looking at all the details, it's a tiny bit of thankfulness expressed in cupcakes and decorations and thoughtful details. but really, all it's saying is i love you guys (even though i don't like hugging)
and also, will you still babysitt my kids when you have your own kid? 

and let's get real. i didn't throw this shower by myself. don't do that! you'll stress yourself out.
 thank you ashley and jeremy, steve and maria(you are a grilled cheese master!), and mark nato, my husband who i made craft with me late into the night. you guys are amazing.