baby boy shower

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i had the pleasure of hosting a baby shower a couple weekends ago for my sister-in-law’s sister-in-law.  got that?  slightly removed, but still family, right?

another friend was doing all the planning, so all i had to do was clean my house, kick out the boys, and decorate!

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this shower was for baby #5, a boy, with 4 older sisters, so i knew i wanted a very boyish theme.  i also knew that i wanted to keep it simple, so i went with navy blue.

i am so blessed to have the lemon drop shop as one of my sponsors so i went to her for quick, cute party decor!

she sent me the striped favor bags, the striped paper straws, and the baker’s twine.  i had the pennants already cut out from another shower – i love reusing decor!  do you save your party decorations?  i have oodles and oodles of bunting and pennants and banners i have made in years past and love being able to reuse them for instant decor.

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we were hosting a brunch, so it was a “sit down” shower, meaning i needed to have tables set for our guests, rather than just enough seats in the living room.

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i made each of the guests a navy petal pusher – and even little ones for the little girls at the shower!  then i wrapped each petal pusher in the striped party bags and embellished them with buttons, crocheted lace scraps, ribbons and a little “oh boy!” tag.  all wrapped during a couple episodes of downtown abbey ;)

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over the years of party throwing, i have slowly gathered a nice stock of supplies that work for any occasion – all white supplies: table cloths, cloth napkins, extra forks, white plates, and mason jars.

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the center pieces were made with a wrapping paper runner ($1 at target!), and some simple bunting.

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i love the mix of the blue, white and boyish stripes.

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the actual display of the bunting was decided very last minute… like the morning of the shower!  thankfully, my parents were visiting and i volunteered my dad to create quick stands!

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i had dowels on hand from various crafts, but they were all different colors.  thank goodness for quick drying spray paint!  my dad just chopped up a 2×4 into blocks and drilled holes for the dowels.

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the bunting was made with baker’s twine, pennants out of cotton fabric, and hot glue.

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i simply sandwiched the twine between the pennants with some hot glue – done in just a few minutes!

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don’t you love it when hosting can be easy?

 

lily’s birthday brunch cooking party

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i’ve been really slacking on my party planning duties as a mom.  gracie never got a 10th birthday party (she finally opted for a date day with me since i was taking forever!), and lily’s birthday was a couple weeks ago – oops!

lily loves cooking and we decided she’d have a cooking party.  but our weekend schedule is really full right now so we only had a morning available.  so what to cook?  brunch, or course! we asked our good friend and excellent chef, eden, to help teach the cooking.  they decided on making pumpkin crepes sausage and a chocolate fountain with all the fixings.

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i love throwing parties.  all the details, the invitations, the planning ahead of time.  but i just don’t have the bandwidth for it  right now.  so lately we just go simple.  we shop the house and make it work.

lily’s one big request was that she get to choose paper plates and napkins from target, much to my snobby chagrin.  i’d so much rather use nice white real plates and add fun details like colored napkins.  but that was pretty much all she wanted so we did it.  after all, its not my party, its hers.  sometimes thats really hard to remember, but i’m learning.  10 years into this mothering thing, i’m finally learning.

we surprised her with pretty roses from costco, pulling our colors from the plates she chose.

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i saw this pretty table runner while scouring pinterest long ago, and recreated it with butcher paper and green tape.  super easy and fun to make!

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we went through our scrapbook paper and the kids cut it into strips and folded it in half for me to sew into bunting.

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we already had these adorable vintage glasses and striped paper straws, and lily wrote the guest’s names on metal-rimmed tabs and tied them to the straws.

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the star of the party?  the chocolate fountain.  these girls were covered in chocolate throughout the party!

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i grabbed all the colorful dishes and trays from my cabinets to fill with the dipping goodies.

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lily wanted to wear my apron from whatever craft weekend, with its ruffly skirt.

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all the little girls put on aprons as soon as they arrived, which was a good thing since they dripped chocolate all over themselves!

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lily was in her happy place, cooking with her 5 close friends.

thats another thing i’ve learned:  smaller parties can be more fun.  we love having huge, all-family parties, but the kids love the intimacy of just a handful of friends.

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eden brought the coolest crepe pan!

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it looks like an upside-down pan that you dip into the batter, flip over and cook.

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the heat from underneath cooked them perfectly – so cool!

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while each of the girls had a turn at making crepes, lily asked gracie if she’d teach an art lesson to her guests – so sweet!  we covered the island with butcher paper for the girls to draw directly on.

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i love how comfortable she is teaching art.

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here’s what she was teaching the girls to draw.

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all the girls loved the lessons, both cooking and art.

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we lucked out that cousin amber was visiting this weekend as well!

after the cooking and eating was done, the girls just played.  for 2 hours!  i actually was able to clean up and get a little work done!

they went outside to catch butterflies for awhile, then all got into dress up clothes and played “prairie girls” outside in the fort for a couple hours.

i’ve learned to plan very little activities for parties.  one big one and then the kids really just want to play.  easier for me, more fun for them!