Gender Reveal Party

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Baby Showers & Bridal Showers & Budgets-Oh My!

I don’t claim to be ‘Suzy-Homemaker’ but I am pretty sure my undergrad Family Consumer Science degree gives me a little ‘kitchen credibility’ so when called upon to throw a shower I had no trouble stepping forward to give it the ol’ college try. As with most things, I learn as I go and this is no exception.

Baby Shower

The mother-to-be’s favorite meal of the day is breakfast so we went with a baby shower brunch. The menu included virgin mimosas, banana bread, blueberry muffins, cinnamon rolls, fruit and an egg bake. All items were pretty inexpensive and fairly easy to complete in advance to make the morning less stressful.

Fruit Baby Carriage

Fruit Baby Carriage

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Starting to put it all together….

I am never too shy to try something new so after seeing a picture of a cute baby carriage filled with fruit I was convinced I should make one. After I watched a youtube video I was ready. It’s not too difficult but does yield a ton of watermelon. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be cute as you can see. Mine was certainly far from it but still looked great for the occasion.

I hit up the dollar store for the banner and paper goods and ended up finding some really nice trays so I picked them up as well. At the time I thought I’d only use them for the shower but I’ve used them over and over because they look nice and you aren’t out your favorite Mikasa serving plate if it never gets returned. I also picked up some baby items from Target for added decor that could be useful to the mother-to-be.

DIY Diaper Cake

DIY Diaper Cake

The most expensive AND time consuming piece of the entire babyshower was the diaper cake. I opted to make

Corsage

Corsage

one but if I was to do it again I think I would have purchased one. It is amazing how

Vase of 'Faux Flowers'

Vase of ‘Faux Flowers’

many diapers it takes to make one although there are a variety of ways to assemble them. Whether rolling the diapers or spiraling them it’s so many diapers. I suggest filling the inside with other useful items. I know some cakes are made with a champagne bottle in the middle (or sparking cider). I used baby soap, baby lotion, onesie’s and other baby care items. I found some cute tiny baby items from the dollar store that were intended to be sprinkled on a table for decoration as well as some pretty ribbon. Those tiny items and some travel sized baby items were easy to glue to the cake. Again, time consuming and the inexpensive pieces add up very quickly.

I also found some inexpensive baby socks which fit the colors of the decor so I used them to make a corsage for the mom-t0-be and the grandma’s as well. I liked them so much I made a few more for added decor. I found the items to make the ‘faux flowers’ at Hobby Lobby. I found the little vases at the dollar store and used twill to soften it up a bit. I purchased pacifiers from the baby registry so she could use those later as well. (As you can see I am all about practical use 🙂 )

Bridal Shower

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Salad Bar

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Invitation incorporated as decor

I guess I learned a few things from throwing the baby shower because I felt like the bridal shower went together very easily. The bride wanted a lighter menu so I thought a ‘salad’ bar might be best. Not the salad bar you are used to with leafy greens but an assortment of salads. That was it would meet the tastes of the pickiest of eaters. I wanted a light drink as well so I went with ice water with lemons in it and a punch that had the same color as the wedding colors, (thank goodness for Kool-Aid).

I was already helping with some of the wedding decor so I had some left over ribbon (Yup-from the dollar store) and some twine from Hobby Lobby. I had some clear candle holders (dollar store) and in my craft bin at home I had a plethura of glass baby jars. I found some very pretty serving platters that looked silver but were actually plastic that I liked as well, (dollar store).  I found a clear pitcher at Target that I thought would be perfect and I’ve been using it for all kinds of occasions since then.

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baby food jar candles

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Candle holders

I used the babyfood jars as candles with ribbons and some pine cones from the yard. I filled the larger candle holders with pine cones and wrapped them with ribbons. I decided to use the wedding invitation as decoration as well so after burning the edges to give it a rustic look I used spray glue to adhere it to a piece of wood. It turned out okay but not as nice as I had hoped. The spray glue was far too oily and soaked up too much of the paper invitation. I purchased some fresh roses from the store for the table to contrast the rustic feel. I filled the base of the vases with rocks (both the rocks and vases were from the dollar store). I also found a small log to carve their initials in for what I thought would be a center piece but it ended up being much larger than I thought it would be. I used it anyway and ended up giving it to the bride and groom with many of the other pieces of decoration. I didn’t score many points on the practical scale with the shower but I liked the overall look of it. I was really trying to please the bride and groom with this one so I spent too many hours on this to admit in writing.

The table

The table

Love Log

The food came together pretty easily as I provided a few dishes and then asked some family members to bring some as well. I really wanted to make these cute little ‘mini-wedding-cakes’ I saw on pinterst, (Darn you pintrest!!!)  but I wasn’t able to get them as cute as the pictures. They looked okay but the taste totally made up for their lackluster look. They were the melt-in-your-mouth yummy roll out cookies. I could have eaten the whole tray! I also made some cup cakes but that was more for the little ones at the shower. I had fun decorating them as well but again, not the prettiest cupcakes. The winner had to be the angel food cake. I can’t recall where I found the recipe but it had layers of lemon flavored cream with fresh fruit on top. It was sooo delicious!!

I decided NOT to DIY the invitations but instead made them using an online company that allows for personalization of the invitations. I decided to send out a ‘save the date’ card for the shower in advance which was a DIY so I opted to save some time and just order the actual invites.

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Cupcakes

The biggest take-aways I had from this shower was the first stop should always be the dollar store and to check out all of the cool

Light Angel Cake

Light Angel Cake

ideas on the web. (I looked through many other bridal blogs, party planning blogs and such before getting started.) Another key tip, divide and conquer. I am a control freak so I have a tough time pulling off such an event with others but if you can handle assigning a task or two to family or friends-do it. We all want to be superwoman but even she needs help sometimes. As far as the budget, keep all of your receipts and tally them up. Even the dollar items add up quickly.

When it rains it pours 😉

Good luck with your shower.

Monster High DIY

My one and only little girl turned 8 on Valentine’s Day. Lucky me to have a little princess on such a lovely holiday right? 😉 Well every year I ask her what kind of celebration she would like and if she would like me to make her cake or buy it. It seems for many of my kids the actual birthday cake is a large part of the birthday present. I like to surprise them with it sometimes but other times I let them select it and then help make it.

We’ll in this case she requested a ‘Monster High’ birthday and asked that I make her cake. She was nice enough to tell me that although I used to teach Home Ec I am not a professional and she is okay with the cake not being perfect. (S0 glad she had her expectations in check)IMG_3242

After searching the web for various Monster High cakes I selected three I thought I could pull off and let her choose from there. She picked the one with the doll in it and told me we could use one of the dolls she already owns. She brought me ‘Draculaura’ who apparently has the same birth date. Being this was my first time making this type of cake I decided to document it.

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1. I didn’t want to buy a new cake pan so I used the Betty Crocker bake & fillpan which I already had.

2. I baked according to directions but added an 8″ round pan base to help give it more height. (Those dolls are tall!!)IMG_0760

3. I used a long knife to hollow out a section for the doll to stand although she was still a bit too tall so I bent her legs to make it work. 🙂

4. Per request I used black and pink frosting. (FYI: If you start with chocolate  frosting it’s much easier to make black frosting)

IMG_08015. I followed the pattern on her actual dress to make it look as if it was one  large dress.

6. I used a piece of styrofoam cut in a circle as a base which I then wrapped with tinfoil. I didn’t want to put candles on the actual cake so I used the tips of my frosting tools to make holes in the foam base to push the candles in.

7. Ta da! Perfect? – No. But she loved it and that’s all that matters. 🙂