Monday, September 3, 2012

 Happy Monday! And Happy Labor Day for those of you in the USA! I hope you find lots of ways to celebrate this well earned day off with parties and friends and family and, of course, CAKE!

Today I bring you the party that goes with the cake I spotlighted yesterday on the Cat's Cake Blog, . It's Halida's Baby Shower! And, of course, we begin with the invitation!
 Obviously there are tons and tons of themes out there. Some have been overdone and you can end up going to the same themed type of shower a few times in a year so it's wonderful when there is a new theme introduced into the season. Especially when it's as cute as teddy bears and bees!

 Yup, It's A Boy! Halida, her husband and daughter are awaiting a little boy later this month so they had the necessary information to use for the decorations. The centerpieces were these cute little paperweight bundles with pillow mints scattered around on a themed table cloth. If you have planned a lot of writing games for your shower you need to remember to keep your centerpieces small, like this one, to allow lots of room for your guest to write. 
 There were lots of cute little details like these little plastic booties scattered everywhere. A good party is always in the details. Give your guests lots of little things to discover as they sit and wait or chat.
 This was a backyard shower. That doesn't mean you have to go boring with the decorations or just stick to the tables. The use of the garlands on the back fence was wonderful! 
 This adorable diaper cake was topped with an even more adorable bee for the baby. Diaper cakes don't have to be fancy but they should always have a little extra for the baby such as the packs of formula, the diaper cream and the toy on the top. And since it's a "cake" try to place it on the cake table like this one was.
 Don't forget the edges of your tables! They used these little matching decorations to help not only decorate the sides of the tables but also to act as a weight to keep the tablecloths down in the breeze.
 One of the things I loved about this backyard shower was the use of awnings. Also known as "Pop-Ups" these are very important to the comfort of your guests so remember to provide lots of shade to help keep your guests cool and prevent sunburn.
The favors were truly adorable. First was a little gift bag filled with pillow mints and decorated with the huge plastic binkies and then the tiny jars of honey with the personalized labels. SO cute! 
When throwing a shower make sure to make time for the gifts! Your guest will have spent time and money on these little bundles of joy and will want to watch you open them. Can it feel uncomfortable? Yes it can. Opening up all of those gifts can take a lot of time and you will worry your guests will be bored but, trust me, they are either chatting with other guests or having a blast seeing what you are opening up. 
 Onto the FOOD! Halida and her family put out quite the spread. The trick to this is to get enough on the table that appeals to everyone on your guest list. No small feat. There were two kinds of sandwiches, one a meat filled and one a veggie filled, and they were marked with yellow topped toothpicks for the meat filled ones and green topped toothpicks for the veggie sandwiches. Perfect!
 It is important to remember that with a shower where some, if not all, of your guests will be eating on their laps to have finger foods, and lots of them to serve. These barbecued chicken wings were wonderful!
The Spring Rolls were small enough to eat in a couple of bites. Putting out too big of a roll makes for an unwieldy serving size for your guests to eat neatly and will make some feel like they need to cut it up first which is hard to do with plastic flatware and on your lap. 
 That is not to say that you can't have food that requires a fork. This Chinese Chicken Salad was perfect for the outdoor party setting because the pieces are small enough to pick up easily with a fork but not so big as to require a knife.
 Being a summertime party fresh fruit was everywhere! From the luscious strawberries to the family's own grown grapes...

to the chunks of watermelon that all just looked SO yummy that you couldn't resist, the fruit was a nice compliment to the heavier food on the table.
The other great idea they had was using divided plates. These were a sturdier version for such a varied menu. It was really nice to be able to put the Spring Rolls in their own area and not have the sauce spread out over the watermelon.
They played a few games. One was this baby word search! You were given a certain amount of time to find the words and the person who found the most words at the end of the game won a Starbucks Gift Card. The other game was a "Finish the Nursery Rhyme" page with about 12 different songs on it to finish. Amazing how hard it is to place these lyrics when you are put on the spot! LOL! The last was the "Measure the Mom" game where you pass around string and people try to guess the size of the Mom's belly. Make sure you check with the Mom to be before you do this game. Some will feel like they are as huge as a house already and don't need to be reminded while others will think it's truly funny.
Finally there is cake! This cake was to match the teddy bear and bee theme but also to include the Big Sister into the day. So I added the plaque saying "Welcome Baby Brother" and a little surprise in the topper just for the Big Sister. The bear is made of fondant so it can be kept as a keepsake for, literally, forever. When fondant dries out it is as hard as a rock and will stay that way as long as it's not anywhere too humid.
 The cake was lemon chiffon with both fresh sliced strawberries and strawberry preserves. A nice light sweet bite for a summertime shower.
Whenever you have an older child at the shower try to remember to include them in the day. Maybe have a gift just for them to open, a "Big Sister" or "Big Brother" sticker or pin for them to wear like we did with this shower. We also made the top of the cake the Big Sisters own personal piece of cake, just the right size for her. With all of those touches she was a very happy little girl who felt included in the day with her Mom.

We had a wonderful time at Halida's "little" backyard shower. Proof that you can have a wonderful party in a small "family" setting. 

See you all next week with a new wedding idea that may just be your perfect wedding!


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