Sunday, March 24, 2013

Been away for a while, quite busy!  Planned, decorated and baked my way through my soon-to-be sister-in-law's baby shower!  It was quite a blast and according to many many people I should be a party planner... Daddykins might not be that happy with that choice - my poor house was a disaster for quite some time, but I had a blast!

Of course, most of this was done in "DIY" fashion, with a lot (I mean, a lot) of time was put into it!  It turned out so beautifully and the mommy and daddy - to - be loved it, so I was trilled.

First thing's first... the color scheme.  We know we will have a little niece come May, and the nursery is going to be purple and grey.  So the soon - to - be momma wanted the shower color to be purple... so I settled on mostly purple, with pops of pink.  So our theme was not shower centered, but rather purple and pink, classy and used food for fun.


So as I was perusing the Dollar Tree on my Friday shopping trip, I found cute, spring like boxes, that would work wonderfully for centerpieces.  It did take me some time to figure out how I would use them, but after some planning, I figured they could be cute with cake pops, white chocolate candies and purple peeps.  

The Box :: With a little floral foam, Easter grass and sticks, I had planned the centerpieces.  Assembling them, other than the foods, was quite easy and people thought they were cute.  

Pops :: The cake pops that went into the centerpieces and filled in gaps on the dessert table, were somewhat difficult to make, mainly because I am a huge perfectionist.  I used a cake pop mold and box cake mix, with pudding added, and they baked ok... the problems occurred when 'frosting' them in the white chocolate. Some of the cake balls fell off, the chocolate was not going on smoothly... horror after horror.  But by the end of it, I had a good recipe (a lot of vegetable shortening) and a good technique (roll the pop on the side of the jar, to achieve a smooth and not too thick finish).  

Chicks :: The peeps were fun to assemble.  We had 4 packages of purple chicks, and we took them apart and attempted to roll them in the purple dust left behind, to cover up the white sides.  It worked well, but wasn't perfect.  We put them in plastic baggies and taped/tied them off so they would not go stale.  It was pretty quick and easy, and a great addition to the centerpieces   

Chocolate :: we also made purple hearts and flowers out of white chocolate to fill in gaps.  Worked out well and added nice contrasting colors.  

I carted everything from home disassembled, and then put them all together the night before the shower while on the tables.  They held up well and were LOVED!!  What people didn't eat, they took home, which was amazing!  :)

Shower Activities!!  

The momma - to - be did not want to play any traditional shower games, and as we had a short time frame (10a - 12), it didn't really matter.  But I was able to convince momma to do two activities:  advice for the momma to be, and a fun little diaper game where guests wrote funny quips on diapers to make momma's late night diaper changes funny and less stressful.  

Advice :: The note cards were placed on the plates, to add color to the somewhat bland room, and I had made them to fit into a 3x5 photo book so that there was a cute "book of advice" for the parents - to - be.  They guests loved giving advice and there were some very thoughtful insights into parenting, as well as some humor and some art from our younger guests!  
The Diaper Rhyme 

Diapers :: The guests also loved participating in the diaper activity and came up with some really cute quips.  Someone wrote "baby got back" on the back of one diaper, and another wrote "the diva demands!" and a third memorable one was "Mom!  Only 3,232,232 diapers until I am potty trained!"  It was quite fun, and gives the mom and dad - to - be a usable gift, which is always nice.  The table also was a cute addition to the decorating and the frame tied everything together.  

The Dessert Table!!  

It was freakin' adorable!  I made and frosted all the cupcakes (some of the ladies said they looked like they were professionally made... I was so flattered!), designed everything and made (most) of the cake stands, and used the cake pops and white chocolate pops as fillers.  
Spray Painting in Winter!

Cake stands ::  they were all dollar store or thrift store purchases (plates and funky cups/dessert bowls), which I spray painted with a frosted glass finish, before I spray painted them with color.  I assembled them after I spray painted (being sure to leave a perfect circle where my cups would attach), but based on my experiences  it could be assembled pre-paining as well.  I found doilies at the dollar store and was sure to put these on the top of the plates, to make sure the food wasn't tainted.  Not pictured was the one I did in pink so I could add a little pop!

Silverware as decorations :: To add more color and tie in the prints throughout the room, the silverware came into play!!  The pink silverware was leftover from a previous party, the basket I had, and the rest was from the dollar store!  It was simple to roll it up, and then tie them off with some cute ribbon or tulle.  It made a nice addition and was very little time and money to set up.  Once put on the table, it was just adorable.  

Welcome Baby 
Cupcake Liner and Note the Purple Chocolate
Cupcakes ::  I had made about sixty, even though we had 30 people slated for the party... I wanted to be sure I had enough, and I had baked them in white cupcake liners.  I used store bought cake mix (3 boxes at $.99 made for a good deal) and the frosting was butter-cream made from scratch.  I had mixed in varying amounts of food coloring into each batch of frosting, so the cupcakes all had slightly different shades of purple.  Once frosted, I put them in one of two fun cupcake papers, which really made the table come together.  I had also made a "Welcome Baby" decal on the computer, and after many attempts, made it exactly an inch and a half wide!  My mom had a scrapbook punch that size, and a scalloped one 2-inches wide, so I was able to quickly and easily make cupcake toppers!  They turned out beautiful and I so thankful to have my mom's help!

The HUGE Mantle!!

Nothing is worse than having a huge, manly mantle in the middle of a baby shower.  So, I tried to work with what I was given,... a few vases and a place to hang a wreath.  And I once again got busy at the dollar store!

The Masculine Fire Place Made Baby Cute
The Beautiful Wreath :: The dollar store had pool noodles - amazing!  So I got some purple and white tulle, I had some leftover pink tulle, and I got cutting and tying.  The problem:  you could see the blue of the noodle through the tulle... so I ended up using some of my leftover spray paint from the cupcake stands to coat the noodle, which made a bit of a mess (it kept flaking) but it worked out ok.  It basically ended up looking like a stripped tutu, and Daddykins said the middle looked empty (and he was right), so I got a letter T (for the baby's last name) from the craft store with the intention of painting it but ran out of time.  So I punched some paper out of paint samples, various scallop sizes, and quick pasted them on the T.  Looked adorable.  And I found small letters and bought "baby" and spray painted those pink and hung them on the side.  The process was pretty easy and quite fun, and turned out so cute!!  And doubles as a nursery decoration!

The Vases :: quick decorating = tulle bows.  Took less than 5 minutes for all of them and really pulled the room together.  Quite simple and earned a lot of compliments.  

The Diaper Table

The Remainder of the Party:
The dessert table from a distance

Puff Balls :: so cheap and easy.  Tissue paper fanned out with fun cut ends, scrapbook paper cut into strips then made into balls, and coffee filters stuck into a foam ball.  Tissue paper packs were less than a dollar each and if I cut them right, they made very different sizes and 2 for the price of 1, and I personally think the smaller ones turned out better.  They really tied the rooms together and they made the decorations.  It was quite simple and created a warmth and sense of welcoming.
The Food Table, prior to the food of course


The Banner :: I was so excited to make this - it was originally going to go over the present table, but once I figured out what the site looked like, it wasn't going to happen - and I wanted it to be cute, but not say "welcome baby" or anything like that since she wasn't actually going to be present!  So we opted for "For now in mommy's belly, forever in her heart" and I made each letter independently and used 3d glue stickers to give it a bit of a pop.  It was cuter in person and the picture below does not give it much justice.  

Other Pretty Shots ::

Dining Room Organization For Free

While our life might just be me and Daddykins, we have plenty of clutter, junk and our dining room table gets swallowed up on occasion when I get busy and going.  So, in my quest for an organized and efficient house, I tackled the dining room to the best of my abilities, while maintaining our budget.

First and foremost was the mail.  I do all I can to reduce the amount we get, but it still piles up after a few days and a small mess always leads to a bigger mess.  So to deal with our mail, I saved up cereal boxes from work and cut them at a cute angle and covered them with some leftover wrapping paper.  While the wrapping paper was a bit tricky with the slanted sides, they turned out really cute and are very helpful.  I had four and made the categories "bills," "coupons," "health," and "girls."  I file things as they come in and go through everything on Fridays and file it in a more permanent location. 
It may seem silly to file things twice, but I do not always have all my binders out at one time and this allows me to be quick about going through mail and making sure it gets to where it needs to be.  

The second pitfall of my dining room... the buffet, which houses all my gift wrapping supplies.  Silly, I know, but we have no extra dishes or linens, so putting bows and ribbons in there made sense when I had nowhere else for them to go.  But then I got more, and more, and more wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, tissue paper... you name it... and the drawers started exploding!  So I cleaned it out, threw away what I didn't want, and made what I had fit!  
Hopefully when Daddykins and I get our house, I will have my own craft room (or corner) and can make use of some dowels and boxes to make it slightly more functional.  But for now, and for my budget, this works!