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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pops and chevrons! Welcoming a new niece!!

I've been looking forward to this party for some time now. I love all the organizing and planning and shopping that a party entails! When it comes to the actual work....well I try not to procrastinate but it does always seem like there are a million things to do at the last minute! So here's some of the prep I did ahead and then some pictures of the actual doo:

The first step in my party plans is always deciding on a theme. I knew my sister-in-law like chevrons and stripes (from her pin for the baby room), so I found a free printable graphic on the computer and began the invites using a hot pink chevron background with a oval in the middle for the details. Halfway through I decided the theme of the party was going to be popping, because the party is only about three weeks before the due date and those last few weeks it always seems like something's going to pop! I couldn't find a free pregnant belly graphic, so I went with some balloons that I specialized using the Paint program that comes with Microsoft.  I know the back is really small, but it's a cute poem about bringing a book for Mom and Dad to read to baby and signing your name in that instead of a card.  Really brilliant suggestion from the Mommy-to-be! Once they were printed off on cardstock, we were having a party!

At this stage I also booked my cake decorator Manda Cakes. She is often booked way ahead of schedule and never disappoints on whatever crazy possibility I manage to dream up, so I was happy to hear back that she was available! I didn't let her know about the design for at least a month, because I couldn't decide on what to do. I liked these ruffled cakes I'd seen on Pinterest, but I really wanted to get the theme in there, so I was torn. (Yes about a cake that we are usually too stuffed to eat once it hits that time of the party anyways.). I finally decided to go for a pink gradient (darker pink to lighter) side with the "pops" of pink on top. I think I tried to throw a few other things into the design in my original plans, but listened to her expert advice and as always it turned out beautiful (and yummy too)!

I had several projects in mind I wanted to make for the new wee baby. Of course, I didn't get to quite all of them. You can check out my pinterest board here for all the ideas I liked while planning this shower.

I made some of those cute month by month onsies for baby girl to wear when her momma snaps a shot for us of how much she's growing. I say have to admit I only half- accomplished the project because I decided that I would make onsies up to four months and then see what the actual growth was like. M&M for instance was always right on the sizes for each month, but Moose was in 12month onsies at 6mo and then managed to only grow in the legs for the next year.

For this project I used the same free pink chevron template that I found for the invites, added a circle and a month in my word processing program, and printed out four month bubbles onto one page of iron-on transfer paper (use the mirror image setting). I used my cricut (yes i took a picture of the practice circle that turned out perfect so i had a reference when cutting the good copies) to cut the squares down into circles and then ironed the images on to some onsies I had picked up.  I had a bit of trouble with a not very clear graphic the first shot, but found that letting the paper totally cool before ripping off the backing so my images gave them the nice shiny finish. I was worried about the ironing stage and put it off for several weeks, but this step was far less time consuming then the actual design of the image!

I'm terrible with shower games and Pinterest is wonderful for getting new ideas from. We ended up, after many discussions during our long car rides to sudbury for doctors visits, with a game about daddy from here. It was fun as daddy got a little goofy. Q: how many diapers will baby need a day? A. Mommy 10, daddy-1. We also did this Nursery Rhyme game. The Price is Right for baby items from here and an Old Wives Tale game from here. All proved prize winning! I had a cute pin the baby on the pregnant lady game for my kids and their cousins to play, but when the cousins were all sick we decided to skip it.

My second project I finally got inspired to start three days pre-party. I had to get my sewing machine out of the bottom of our catch-all closet and with my no lifting rule I'd kept putting it off. I was really breaking rules that day with moving tubs of clothes and pushing furniture around the house, so I went for broke! The project turned out super cute and I felt a bit stretched by the days end, but it just gave me a good excuse to have to go grocery shopping without the kidlets next day.

So this project was to take a onsie (I used a long sleeve shirt I picked up at Walmart on clearance, but decided after a onsie would have been better because it wouldn't bunch like the shirt might when the wee one wears the outfit) and add a skirt to the bottom to make a sleep sack. I threw a few embellishments on for some details and to cover up some of my less than stellar sewing skills. Here is the inspiration and since its Etsy you can purchase it! I just loved the chevron material she used, but couldn't find any chevrons in Sudbury when I went looking for material (I bought it the same time as my table tent material from here...procrastinate much?!). Thanks to the advice during coffee hour that got me finally going and finishing it!

I love the dollar store for craft and party supplies and with my being stuck so close to home the last month I depended solely on our rather limited shopping there. I got all the plates (pink), cutlery (pink), napkins (pink), cups (clear with pink straws), and tablecloths (yes, pink) to hide my missing countertops that need finishing. I also bought a bunch of tissue paper, light pink, dark pink, and silvery to make paper poms out of. I made them last year for my other sister-in-laws baby shower and so I don't have a link on Pinterest but I'm sure you can find one. The small ones turned out the cutest and I prepped them five days ahead and then managed to keep Moose from using them as baseballs all week. I think M&M has already claimed them for their room.

I also prepped a lot of the food ahead of time so that I wasn't madly baking the day of. I made carmel corn and carmel marshmallows and lemon poppyseed muffins the day before. Although M&M had the day off school, it turned out to be less hectic than I thought and she was a big help. While Moose was sleeping we cleaned and baked, in between our marathon of Little House on Silver Lake. After reading a chapter we'd either go clean or bake something and it kept M&M motivated and me from getting too tired all at once.

Day of left us (my mom arrived from Michigan to help) with some last minute cleaning, a bit of decorating, present wrapping, since I had sent my online shopping to her place to save some shopping fees, and laying out the food.   I used the onsies for a centerpiece decoration on the piano, which was the gathering spot for presents.  You can also see the smaller white tissue poms.

In addition to our POP food (lemon POPpyseed muffins, 3 kinds of POPcorn, and Snap, Crackle, POP marshmellows) we did a simple yogurt bar with granola and several mixes of frozen fruit.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins from Rebekah's Pinterest via Picky Cook.

Marshmellows from Rebekah's Pinterest via Taste of Home.
  This is the drink mix from Rebekah's Pinterest via Delightfully Tacky.  Also the popcorn was cheddar corn, carmel corn, and white chocolate pink popcorn.

And the dessert table with lots of POP candy and some white-chocolate covered rasberries from Costco that are really delicious half frozen!  And this is an up-close of the diaper boquet on the back of the dessert table.

Diaper Boquet from Rebekah's Pinterest via Pearls of Wit.

I didn't snap a picture of the entrance table, but this was sitting on it.  It also had thank-you notes and envelopes so that guests could write their addresses on the envelopes and make it easy for the new Mommy to get those thank-you notes sent sometime within the first year!

With lots of help and ideas from friends and pinterest the party was a success!

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