So… my beautiful little sister and her hubby are preparing for the arrival of their first baby and I was honored to help host her baby shower! Things have been crazy busy at my house with Auston’s work schedule which included a ton of work-related travel this month. I really don’t like when he’s out of town, it throws off my schedule and I feel like there is no time to decompress and take off my Momma Hat. A week before the baby shower we changed the entire plan, moving the party to my house, changing the theme from Celestial Spaces to The Chronicles of Narnia. We didn’t have a ton of time to get it all together and right up until the night before I was sure it was going to be a huge flop. But it magically came together and turned into the most beautifully crafted party we have done so far…..
The piece de resistance was the cake. My dad bought the cake at Safeway and delivered it the night before the party. It was the BEST tasting and most gorgeous cake by the way. I bought the Aslan lion at Hobby Lobby for $3.50 and painted it gold. I made the lamp post out of black card stock and yellow paper and a few dozens sticks of hot glue.
The trees were also at Hobby Lobby. We made the Snow Ball decorations with fishing wire, a sewing needle, and puff balls from Hobby Lobby. I had a pop-up book of the Chronicles of Narnia already on the book shelf from Half Priced Books so I laid it out there! I bought Turkish Delight at World Market and let me save you the trouble and tell you it is awful! Just buy some nice cookies or candies and call it Turkish Delight. Edmond was a nut if he thought that stuff was edible much less enjoyable.
My mom brought over some old traveling trunks she had and we laid them on the table and put out flowers, fake trees, lanterns, and treats to pull it all together. My brother and his wife did go all out and had some CS Lewis quotes printed up on large banners of paper that we put up framing the table scape and it was gorgeous and my sister took those home for her nursery.
I asked attendees to bring dishes and drinks and it was an amazing feast of cinnamon rolls, chicken bites, breakfast casserole, mimosas, cookies and pastries, fresh bread with jam and butter, and coffee, rivers of coffee. It was a wonderful time and the easiest party!
My favorite party planning tips:
1. Share the fun! It is so easy to get yourself in over your head. I’ve learned after many disasterous late-nights of trying to get everything done for the next day’s festivities that when you share the work not only does your party become easier and more robust, everyone gets to feel a sense of ownership over the success of the party. Letting friends and family in on the help makes everyone feel closer, more vested in the activities, and feel included. Don’t be afraid to ask Grandma Vickie to bring her famous mashed potatoes, or your mom to bring the mimosa bar!
2. Shop your house for decor! I often think I need to buy decorations for every party that are specific to the theme of each party. That can get super expensive. Take time to pull your decorations into one space and play around to see if what you already have can help dress up the scene.
3. Concentrate decorations in one space. I have made the mistake so many times of decorating all over my house for a party. My sister-in-law introduced me to the idea of just decorating one space- usually the table, and making that the focal point of the party. When decorations get spread out they lose their wow-factor and take more of your time to set up, clean up, and they often get overlooked in the excitement of the party.
4. Invite early, remind often, keep people excited about the party. Life gets busy, It’s easy for people to forget about a facebook invite, so just remind them! It’s never fun to have 10 people show up to a party planned for 30 and then hear from everyone that they forgot, or thought it was the following weekend, or at 3 o’clock not 2 o’clock.
5. Have fun and take pictures of your glorious work before too many guests arrive so you can brag with all your friends about how great of a job you all did on the party!