Monday, June 13, 2011

Epic Baby Shower (in my oh-so-humble opinion)

So.  Tami finds out she's pregnant.


She went through infertility with her first son, so this is a wonderful surprise. She immediately schedules a dr. appt. and four days later learns--she's not ONLY pregnant, she's 18 1/2 weeks along, and it's a GIRL!

(Commence much more geeking out)

I immediately tell her to pick a date, theme, and colors for a baby shower, and I get to work.  You see, her first shower got cancelled at least three times due to her going on bedrest, being in the hospital, and having her little Nathan at 33 weeks along.  We never did have the shower for Nathan.

I wasn't taking any chances this time; I was determined to make sure Tami got a baby shower.  And not just any shower, but a pull-out-all-the-stops shower for such a wonderful miracle. 

We scheduled it for June 11th, when she would be 26 weeks along, since she didn't go on bedrest with Nathan until 28 weeks.  But then she went on full bedrest this time by 24 weeks along, so we held our breath and waited.  And she made it!  (And our fingers are crossed she'll make it another 6-10 weeks!)

Nathan Kissing Tami's Tummy

So I, um, went all out.

Here it all is, all 63 + pictures:

(I'll come back and add links to all the pics/places I found all these great ideas, so if you're gung ho about using an idea, email me now for the link, or be patient and I'll get them up later.  I know how important this is, as I lived by it as I found and used ideas, links, and tutorials from others' blogs for this shower)

Partially Painted Invite
 I found two precious poems that I linked together at the top and bottom of her card.  They say:

"Tiny yawns and sleepy sighs
nursery rhymes and lullabies...

[Insert invite info here; date, time, place, etc]

...a sweet little girl, to tuck in all snug,
to love and to cuddle, to kiss and hug."

How sweet is that?

I think I had 8 different colors overall that went into each picture.

Invitation-Painting Process

As I painted, I thought how pretty the whole process itself is.  All of the colors on the paint palette on the right were so pretty to look at, as was the pile of growing invites, watching each layer of color be added to them.  I just loved doing this.  It brought me a lot of joy.  It's been a long time since I've really sat down and used my artistic talent at great length.

See how pretty they turned out?  These are the pre-scrapbooked ones, too.  Once I added borders they were just perfect.
This pic of the finished card just doesn't do it justice.  Just sayin'.

Once the invites were mailed off, I made a beeline to get the diaper cake done.  I had to resist the urge to make it the day Tami found out she was pregnant!  Wish I'd thought to take pics of the process, it looks so cool as each tier is added, then the ribbon, the topper, and the painted safety pins.

Diaper Cake

Doesn't it just speak for itself?  And how did I manage to take a pic that looks like it's off one of those crafty blogs where people actually know what they're doing?  I am so pleased with how it turned out.

I also made some pennants out of two shades of pink and one of green.  I didn't think to take pics of the process of sewing them.  But you'll see them in the pics of the shower itself.  They were also such a nice touch.

My neighbor Hope showed me an Etsy item that was too cute not to make--cupcake onesies.  I made 15 of them total; again, forgot to take pics.  The onesies were blue, green, and different shades of pink.  Soooooo stinkin' adorable.

Sewing Party Favor Pouches
These 'pouches' were the only thing for the shower that felt like a labor of love (meaning everything else was an easy labor of love; these were more of the 'labor' part).  Tami showed me a cute picture of this idea of cloth bags for party favors, and I thought they would be so simple to make.  Which they were rather simple.  But still, all the little steps added up, and they took me many more hours to iron/cut/sew/iron/cut from start to finish than I thought they would.  But in the end, they rock, so it was all worth it.  I made homemade chocolate chip cookies and froze them ahead of time, then defrosted them the day before and stuffed the party favor bags the night before the shower.

Partially completed

Two stacks of completed pouches.  Phew, they're done!

You may notice up close that the diaper pins that hold the pouches closed are also painted.  They match some of the flowers from off of the invitations.  Yes, I'm that crazy.  But wasn't it worth it?

Mini Water Bottles
Tami's mom did a FABULOUS job with the food, and decided to go with a 'mini' theme; everything she made was mini, from mini croissants and sandwiches, to mini water bottles.  I added a green linen fabric strip around the water bottles, and then the diaper pins.  Aren't the flower-painted diaper pins a nice touch?

They're all lined up, ready to go off to war.  Or to a baby shower.

'Annual' Cards--5 Styles
I wish you could see this picture more closely; there are five different card types total.  Here's how these cards work.  Each card is for one year in baby Langley's life, from age 1-16.  The shower guests were invited to pick a 'year,' and write advice, well wishes, or what to expect that year of life.  Yet another idea I happened to see online while browsing for shower ideas.  Such a sweet idea.

The Finished 16 Cards
Oh, wait.  HERE are the real finished 16 cards.
I used pinking shears to cut out little squares of fabric, glued on the Sizzix die cut numbers, and then pinned them on with those adorable itty bitty clothespins you can buy.  I love minis of just about everything, including mini clothespins.  I plan to take each number now, and glue it to the outside of the corresponding envelope/card.  : )

Place cards
Love everything about these place cards.  Love the free pink place card tags I found online, love the 'Champignon' font that Tami picked out for her invites (I used it everywhere else as well, including on all these place cards), I love the green backing that makes the pink pop, and I love those place card holders that I finally found at Michael's.  The big middle card has the instructions on how to write the notes for baby Langley for each year of her life.  The very front card says "Party Favors."  The rest of them are the food items, from the Cashew Chicken Salad Croissants and Smoked Turkey Sandwiches and Prosciutto Sandwiches, to the Cheese and Crackers, Poppy Seed Pasta Salad & Cranberry Feta Candied Walnut Salad.  I added a card for the fruit and for the veggies so they didn't feel left out.  : )

And I'm usually a pretty picky eater (though I already knew I'd love the chicken salad croissants and poppy seed salad), so Rosie, Tami's mom, teased me that she'd put all the food out and then set out some PB&J for me.  Hahaha!  : )

Cupcake Pops!

 Very early on I decided on making cupcake pops.  They're from, and you can see a tutorial on, too, if you just type in 'cupcake pops.'  They are so cute.  Did I mention I love things in minis?  That's why I always loved to look at little miniature Barbie furniture when I was a girl.

So, you cook a cake, and then crumble the whole thing in the food processor.  You then stir in about 1/2 can of frosting (NOT the 'whipped' kind).  You roll that mixture into balls, or more complicated things like these cupcakes.  Then you dip them in chocolate.  A sweet addict's new fave.

Sorry for the bad lighting on the cupcake pop pics.

Classy and Cute, right?

Ok, I think those are all the pre-made decorations, plus the cupcake pops that I whipped up two days before the shower.

Now, what you've been waiting for all along--the actual shower--

Eating Area
Tami's yard 1) is cleaner, 2) has a gorgeous view, and 3) has a bigger yard.  So naturally, we held the shower at her house.  Add the fact that she's technically on bedrest, and we wanted her to stay sitting throughout the shower (which she did except for pictures with her guests), so there's another good reason we did it all at her place.  I took this pic standing just outside her gate, looking into the yard.

Backyard Shot
I took this one standing against Tami's back fence.  These are four 6-foot tables lined up end to end.  A neighbor owns most of these chairs; I only had to rent 2 of them.  I did rent the tablecloths and umbrellas, though.

Picture Perfect
 A beautiful shot standing at the back of the tables looking out toward the front of the house.

Table Close Up

Those cupcake-looking things on the pink runners?  Those are the onesie cupcakes!  So, so cute.

White Flowers, Mini Waters, and Cupcake Onesies
 We weren't sure the name of those white flowers, but they're very pretty.  And you can't really see it from the picture, but we sprinkled little pink plastic pacifiers along the runners as well.  From this pic they just look like darker little pink spots on the runner.  *grin*  But you can see the water bottles and more cupcake onesies.  Fun, huh.

Don't these carnations speak for themselves?  Such a beautiful touch!

Too bad I didn't take another pic later on; these are only gifts from the first couple of guests.  Who doesn't like to see a picture piled high with gifts, all wrapped just so?  If you look in the right bottom hand corner, the gift bag with the lion on it and the long rectangular wrapped gift were the prizes for the games.  The wrapping paper I bought ended up matching the bag, completely by accident.  And I loved those white daises with the pink centers; I put one on each gift because they were so pretty.

Tami's Patio Table
I ended up with an extra runner, and Tami's patio table seemed the perfect place for it, as well as a couple of leftover flowers.  My favorite, though, is the green ribbon around those hanging lanterns.  We didn't end up needing the extra seating, but it still looked nice.

Time to go Inside
And now for the inside.  Balloons right when you walk in, of course.  And pennants.


The mantle before we put all the flowers on the tables outside.  Soooooo beautiful.
The mantle that was ready by the time the guests arrived.

Black-and-White Baby Pictures

From L to R, Tami, Nathan, and Kevin.  This was a last-minute addition to the shower that just made it.  Tami gathered the pics the night before, and Rob scanned, grayscaled, cropped, and printed them after midnight.  Picture perfect, right?  : )

The Diaper Cake.  Again.  ; )
Need I say more?  Look at that diaper cake, sittin' pretty in all its pink and green cuteness with the perfect addition of the diaper pin.  Not to mention the flower topper.  Mwah.  And you get an added bonus of a peek at the pennants hanging up in the kitchen, too.  You're so lucky.

The Food
The Spread
Doesn't it all look delicious?  I'm salivating just looking at it.  I wish I had taken a closeup of the dish on the furthest left that is partially cut off.  It was a round white plate with the deep center (perhaps it was a bowl) sectioned in thirds with fresh blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.  It felt criminal to take anything from the food table and upset the beautiful balance Rosie had created with all the different foods and the vibrant colors.

Food, Glorious Food...
It may be hard to see, but there on the left, Rose used a flower-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the prosciutto sandwiches.  Just another detailed touch to go with the flower-themed shower. 

The napkins.  Cute touch, right?

The 'other' side of the table; can you see that fresh pineapple on the right?  It was DELISH.

The Cake.
The centerpiece of the table.  Rosie picked out and ordered this beauty from a local bakery.  Five layers of moist heaven, with raspberry filling between each layer, all topped off which a smooth buttercream frosting.  Mmmmmm.

Bubbly Pink Lemonade
The carbonated lemonade on the turntable was such a nice touch.  Rose said the shower guests deserved pink lemonade because we're 'ladies.'  Love it.

Wine Glasses for the Pink Lemonade

Chillin' Sodas.
Yearly Cards for Baby Langley
You can't see from the pic, but there's a candy container right there on the right with the pens for writing notes in the cards.  The fun part?  I weighted the bottom of the dish with pink and green starbursts.  Little things like that make me happy.  (So do the starbursts, I might add)  ; )

Cupcake Pops and Party Favors
The Guest of Honor--Tami Langley
Doesn't she look radiant? 

Baby Game #1
This, my friends, is what we reduced the guests to.  For this game we had them put a piece of paper on their heads, then draw a baby without being able to see what they were drawing.  Tami picked the winner.  I think my favorite part was after the shower was over and her aunt Livvy made sound effects as we went through all the pictures.  They were sooooo funny.  Among them we had a turtle and a snowman, I kid you not.  Ha!  Mine honestly looked like it was scribbled by a 2 yr old.  (Not that I was playing--I was demonstrating)

Baby Game #2
 This game was a riot.  So, here's how you play.  Two plates are passed around the tables, with two dice apiece.  Whenever someone rolls doubles, that person runs up to all the props and has to
1) Keep the cellphone to her ear
2) Put on the hat & sunglasses
3) Put on the gardening loves
4) Diaper the teddy bear baby
5) Swaddle the baby
6) Unwrap the gift all the way before they can claim it.

It was hilarious to watch it evolve.  At first people would come up and start putting the things on, and be bewildered when someone else came to take away the stuff from them to put on.  But after about 4-5 minutes the ladies really caught on, and the race was on.  One person would be rushing to finish putting everything on as two other people were running up to rip it off of them and start the process all over again.  The gift got partly unwrapped at least twice before someone finished it off and claimed the prize, with two competitors right on her tail.

Look, someone's almost to the gift!

The race is on!
Stolen once again; notice how part of the wrapping paper is off the gift.
Everyone was laughing.  What fun!
Opening Gifts--and yes, the gifts were awesomely awesome, if you're wondering.  : )
The 'After' Party
 I had to add this one because once the gifts were opened and people stayed to chat, I walked in to the house to find no less than three people using their cell/smart phones to text/look things up, and then walked outside and saw at least two more.  It struck me what a technological age we live in.  And that there is probably unwritten etiquette about putting away electronic devices during a baby shower.  Haha.

Tami and her Momma

Look at that proud Grandma.  Nathan Langley calls her "Mah-Moh."  So cute.

Tami and Me.
Nathan with his Mommy
 So there is Tami's epic shower.  I loved using all my creative juices (and by creative juices, I mean stealing finding awesome pictures and tutorials on the web and copying them) to put this together.  I believe I may have used them all up for quite some time...

Congratulations, Tami!

All pictures are courtesy of Moi*

Yeah, I'm kind of a control freak that way.  And I still missed a few pics I really wanted, like more closeups of the different food items, closeups of the place cards next to their respective foods, a pic of all the gifts once all the guests arrived, a picture of all the guests together before they left, and some better pics of the cupcake onesies.

*Except for the one with me in it.


Katie said...

Kim, What a beautiful shower you put on! You are an amazing friend!

Lonna said...

You are your Mama's daughter, my dear!

Stacy said...

Wow, that is incredible! How did you have time for all that planning amidst the moving, etc. ?

Kimbooly said...

Awww, thank you, Katie!

Mama--so true, right?

1) I decided not to think about moving until the shower was over ;)
2) I started working on the shower just about the moment I found out Tami was pregnant, which was two months ago, and
3) This is stuff I *want* to work on. You know how that is. : ) Somehow I *find* time.
4) 90% of what I did could be done ahead of time. Even the homemade chocolate chip cookies I made a good week ahead of time and froze them; I only defrosted them the day before the party. I made the cupcake pops on Wed (though they ended up being a total disaster and I made another batch Friday night to cover my bases)
5) Of course I would choose working on shower things over dishes or laundry, though I did try to do a Flylady load of laundry a day and do at least one load of dishes a day. (And I'm lucky that Rob helps in that dept.)
6) And here's my real secret; I love working at night, once the kids are down. I get so much more done. And then I nap with Carter during the day.

Doing this was so energizing, but I simply couldn't do it on a regular basis because it's all I want to work on, for two straight months.

But it did remind me of all the work you and Jana did to throw me Bryce's shower. : ) I still remember all the little details that made it so meaningful, from the fabric invites to the bears/trees on the wall and the baby pictures in the frames with the homemade little loaves of quick bread, and I'm vaguely remembering--was there a "guess who the baby is" game too? Then there was your delicious fruit dip, the watermelon cut like a basket, plus all the little baskets with red checkered fabric squares filled with gummy bears. Plus, my kids STILL play with the felt cutouts for the Teddybear Picnic book. In fact, I just took it in to school for book share on Dr. Seuss "Read Across America" day, and I brought in the flannel board as well. The first graders loved it. And I sang the book instead of reading it.

That was also an epic shower. : )

And I remember handcrafting all those little giraffes and noah's ark animals for the invite to your shower, and making the ark cake. : ) And making that crazy hard homemade cake w/ homemade cakepan (see, totally my mother's daughter!) of a classic purple car for Jana's shower.

That craftiness just brews inside of us!

Shelly said...

You guys are nuts, I've never done anything that crazy.

And yes, you are your Momma's daughter.

And yes, it looked, e-tasted, etc., amazing.