Shower & Party Ideas

Have you ever hosted a baby shower, bridal shower or any themed party? I’ve never hosted an actual shower before, only small gatherings with  my friends for small holidays like St. Patrick’s Day. I’d like to host a pretty big BBQ this summer for the birth of my son. We bought a new house this winter and we have many friends having either their first or second child! We have a beautiful new deck to break in so I’m looking forward to my first bash that consists of this Momma NOT being pregnant!

In the mean time I thought I’d share some party tips and ideas with you. I’ve gotten these ideas over the years from others or my own experiences. Let me share with you a great idea I had when I got when I got engaged.  I knew I wanted a Co-Ed bridal shower, I guess you could call it a Jack N Jill however I wanted to register for gifts. We didn’t have much as a couple so I knew we needed to register however the men in my life are so special to me. I have uncles, cousins and male friends that I’m very close to, I wanted to celebrate with them. So we changed it up. We had a Co-Ed Bridal Shower. I know your rolling your eyes because what man wants to sit through a couple opening a bunch of gifts. Well I have an easy solution for that. Alcohol. Period. My family through me the best Shower ever. It involved everyone and anyone that we were close to, we had a full stocked bar, a DJ for dancing, dinner that was mostly catered and when we opened gifts, our grandparents pulled their chairs closer and the men went to the bar. Perfect in my eyes. So perfect that my best friend even brought me a pair of slippers so when my feet were sore from dancing in heals…………I had something comfy for my feet. Yes I did end up leaving my shoes their. 🙂 One too many drinks I think.

Another special touch my family made were Memory boards. My family made one of me and my husbands family made one of him and it consisted of pictures of us when we were babies, when we were younger, when we first met, they even included our three fur babies that we gave a home over the years of being together. It was a such a personal touch, I lost my dad when I was 22 so seeing pictures of me and my dad just made my night, it also made for a great conversation piece and it brought many laughs and giggles to a lot of people that night. Oh and another bonus of this Co-Ed Shower I speak of…………….plenty of men to pack up the cars with gifts!!! (Oh gosh yes that’s me the blondie with the pigtails!)

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ShowersI had a rehearsal dinner two nights before my wedding. That’s the night where you get to thank your bridal party for all of their hard work of putting together these fabulous parties throughout your engagement. You buy nice gifts and give your thanks in any and every mushy way possible. Well yet again my family outdid themselves. Before the rehearsal dinner they had asked family members from both sides of our families to share a happy or funny memory of me or my husband. Now it’s time to get your craft on and buy a frame where you can write all around a picture that’s centered in the middle. They put a picture of my husband and I from our Shower in the center, added some cute scrapbooking touches and put in quotes the memories that our family had shared. I loved this gift. I have it hanging in my new master bedroom. 🙂 It’s a great reminder, like how I just read every single one again when I had to go and take a picture to share with you!!

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Picture courtesy of Courtney at NeighborFood

Well let’s move onto babies……….who doesn’t love a good baby shower, well I do because I love all the cute things, plus now that I’m a mother it’s a beautiful thing to see your friends or family members glow as their worlds become complete with all of these new items for baby. I had a few baby showers for my daughter, it was easier for my mom to throw one for my side and his mom to throw one for his side. Both were beautiful days. We really couldn’t have asked for more on our special day. My godmother started a tradition with me when I became pregnant she told the family she wanted to contribute something special to her nieces/nephews for their first bundle of joys. The rocking chair. I was so thrilled with that idea, I didn’t even pick it out. My aunt has fabulous taste and I knew I would love it no matter what, she asked me the colors of my daughters nursery and she went with that. If it’s one thing I recommend asking the mother-to-be it’s, what colors are the nursery, or a theme you may be planning, it gives whoever is planning the shower a feel for what your tastes are, maybe it can give some great idea’s besides just the standard pink or blue. If your looking to buy a large gift or go in on a large gift with someone, use the rocker as the place for the Momma-to-be to sit and open her gifts. Buy a cozy blanket, stuffed animal for baby, a card and a bow and it makes a great presentation. Also if it’s one of those rockers that has the glider attachment for the feet…….bonus because it’s hard being 8 months prego bending over to unwrap gifts, prop them right up on the glider!

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My mom and my mother-in-law took into consideration the colors my husband and I were planning for the nursery and they both know that I love love love butterflies so the fact that my mother-in-law incorporated that into my shower meant a lot to me. I’m not a fan of the games at baby showers, I’ll take part if I feel like it but for the most part I enjoy just sitting their with other adults and getting away from my own crazy life for a few hours. However, if you do have games, have a few prizes for your guests. It gives them a reason to partake, it makes it fun, and it’s a nice gesture. Gift Cards, Bath & Body products or Candy are great idea’s!

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How about a basket with a book collection for new baby. I thought this was such an awesome idea. Madison’s library was started before she was even born. I got a pretty basket out of it and she got a boatload of books! Not only that but each one was personalized from all the guests which I thought was a sweet gesture. I also had a plate signed by all of my guests that I displayed in Madison’s room for the first year of her life, then at her baptism party I used the plate to display cupcakes. 🙂

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At my daughters first birthday I had these centerpieces made by my local florist. Her birthday is in October and I love the Fall so I thought it was the cutest idea for the kids that were coming. They could grab candy and go! I would try making these myself next time around!!

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I also scattered pictures around the room of my daughters first year, from baby to one! It made for  great entertainment because who doesn’t like to look at pictures!

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Another idea I saw at a friends baby shower and ended up making for my cousin’s baby shower this past weekend, were pieces of card stock with questions on them to answer about the baby to be. It’s something that any mother or father can treasure forever from each guest at their baby shower. Or how about centerpieces for each table that Mom-to-be can actually take home and use!! These fabulous flower arrangements were made into onesies! And of course the favors. A little something the guests can take home to remember your special day! Since my cousin was having a baby girl we decided that the guests should be able to take home a little something that is “Girly”. A bottle of nail polish in a bag with candy in it! OK well this picture shoes the favor once I got home and no I did NOT eat the candy, my 2.5 year old ate plenty for both of us!!! 🙂 We made these cute favors that were a hit!

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I know it sounds crazy to serve alcohol at a baby shower however any party I hold I always offer it because why not???!!! I like to enjoy a glass of wine, punch or even a beer on a hot day when given the chance so why not let your guests. You don’t have to offer everything, I usually always offer wine and beer and maybe have a specialty drink like a punch or Sangria. So yes at my baby shower I said thumbs up to the alcohol! 🙂

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Now let’s talk food………..good food is the key to any party. I’m a nut and I love a theme. For St. Patty’s Day I had to go green green green! For Easter I planned springy foods, for a birthday party or shower, picky foods are great if your not serving an actual meal. Remember last #SundaySupper, our theme was April showers…..food for all Showers!! So here is a list of what the crew cooked up. I made an Easy Baked Ziti that can made for any occasion. It’s simple and quick. I made it for all the new Momma’s in my life!! 🙂

Starters, Appetizers & Snacks
Pesto Tortilla Pinwheels from Home Cooking Memories
Honey Pecan Baked Brie from Supper for a Steal
Pinenut stuffed Dates from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Glazed Pecans from Mama’s Blissful Bites
Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail from A Stack of Dishes
Mini Curry Chicken Salad Phyllo Cups from The Weekend Gourmet
Mushroom and Feta Bites from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Antipasti Bites from Blueberries And Blessings
Spinach Dip in a Pumpernickel Bowl from The Foodie Patootie
Parmesan and Mushroom Focaccia from Basic N Delicious
Soups, Salads & Sandwiches
London Ritz’s Tea Sandwiches from My Cute Bride
Mini Shrimp & Egg Salad Sandwiches from The ROXX Box
Broccoli Bacon Salad from Country Girl In The Village
Chicken Salad on Endive from Magnolia Days
Creamy Asparagus Soup Shooters with Shrimp from Gourmet Drizzles
Alphabet Soup from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Main Dishes
Savory Cheesy Kale Tart with Chiles from Shockingly Delicious
Penne Ala Vodka from I Run For Wine
Easy Baked Ziti from Momma’s Meals
French Country Flat Pie from Webicurean
Crustless Spinach Quiche from Family Foodie
Cakes
Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Strawberry Shortcake Push Pops from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Mini Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting from Damn Delicious
Coconut Rum Cake from The Foodie Army Wife
No Bake Lemon Cheesecakes Shots {Two Ways} from Cravings of a Lunatic
Japanese Wedding Cupcakes from NinjaBaking.com
Baby Blue Cake Pops from Neighborfood
Strawberry Buttermilk Scones from Vintage Kitchen
Cookies, Brownies & Dessert Bars
Lemon Sandwich Cookies with Pink Lemon Curd from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Chocolate Covered Mcaroons from Gotta Get Baked
Pastel Pizzelles from Growing Up Gabel
Chocolate-Balsamic Macaroons from Foxes Love Lemons
Raspberry Lemonade Thumbprint Cookies from In The Kitchen With KP
Baklava Crisps from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
Healthy Chocolate Bars with Fruit, Nuts & Coconut from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
Fudgy Carob Brownies from Pies and Plots
Pistachio Biscotti from Curious Cuisiniere
Sweet Treats
Shortbread Maple Cream Freezer Tart from A Beautiful Bite
Espresso Panna Cotta from Crazy Foodie Stunts
Bite-Size Pecan Tarts from Juanita’s Cocina
Brigadeiros from Food Lust People Love
Rosewater Raspberry Meringues from girlichef
Drink Recipes
Slushy Mango Mojito from The Urban Mrs.
Pretty in Pink Punch from Noshing With The Nolands
Pink Lemonade from Peanut Butter and Peppers

 

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