August 30, 2009

Tea Time for Baby - and a Shower for Mommy: A Tea Themed Baby Shower

One of the biggest trends this year in showers (both bridal and baby) are tea parties. They are girly and fun, can be done on an extravagant or lean budget, and who doesn't love those cute little sandwiches.

When we first started planning a baby shower for a good friend who was an avid tea drinker, a tea party seemed like the perfect fit for the mama to be.

After a debate about whether the party should be an intimate garden tea party at a hostess' home or a more extravagant affair at a local hotel - the verdict was out - and the local hotel was the winner. Although the price tag was a little higher than the garden party alternative, we didn't have to worry about most of the details. Also, one important detail in a tea party is the china - which can be expensive to rent - so a home fete was not necessarily going to be that much more budget friendly.

When we split up the few tasks left to do, I was very excited to be on the centerpiece team. Because the tables would be crowded with beautiful china and tea trays, we decided to keep the centerpiece small-scale.

Because the mama to be was expecting a little girl, I thought it would be a great idea to find a kids tea set for her little girl, and use the tea set as the containers for the centerpiece. Call me sentimental, but I got a little teary eyed at the idea of the little girl playing with the tea set from the shower. Luckily, one of the girls on our centerpiece committee was an expert in tea sets. Apparently tea sets go like hot cakes in most of the tea specialty stores, but she was able to find this great set online:

We filled each of the pieces from the tea set with an assortment of pink flowers. We also had some additional bud vases filled with pink flowers to add some additional color throughout the room. The flower choices were a bit limited because of the small size of the tea set - but we were really happy with how they came out. The mother to be loved the tea set for her daughter, and the centerpiece was a real hit.

(I also think the tea set centerpiece would work for a bridal shower. If the bride to be registers for a tea pot or tea set you can purchase the item from the registry as a gift and also use it as the centerpiece. Using a bigger tea set would actually be easier because you would have more flower choices.)

Of course, the centerpieces were only heightened by the presentation of all of the amazing sandwiches and pastries that were laid out across the table by the hotel.

Hubby's 4th or 34th Birthday Bash?

My husband was not looking forward to another 30-something birthday. I am a firm believer of celebrating life whenever you have the opportunity. My husband does not always share this philosophy. Until the very last minute, he was determined not to celebrate his birthday at all. That is, until three days before his birthday, when he had a change of heart and decided he should have a party after all.

Although there was not much time to plan the party, I wanted to do something special for my husband. Because he was feeling "old," I decided to throw him a kid's party. With less than 72 hours to go until showtime, I rented a spiderman moonbounce, a cotton candy machine, and a popcorn machine. I also ordered 100 balloons in red, yellow, and blue. The spiderman carnival theme was beginning to take shape, and I figured the remaining details could be handled the day of.
After making my rounds to a party store and several grocery stores the morning of the party, everything was set. I settled on a low maintenance menu of assorted snacks:
  • Cheese and crackers

  • Bruschetta
  • Veggie and chip platter with onion veggie dip
  • Pigs in a Blanket
  • Chips with salsa and guacamole
  • Trail mixes
  • Nuts
  • Pita chips
Of course, the biggest hit was the cotton candy machine. Everyone had fun making their own.

The popcorn machine was also a lot of fun. There was a miscommunication as to whether the rental came with popcorn bags - but some extra plastic cups served as a quick fix.

Although I am not typically a huge fan of balloons - I think they are a great decor element for birthday parties - especially kids birthday parties. We grouped balloons into bouquets and placed them around the party, and used them as centerpieces. We then let the rest hang inside a covered patio to create a festive feel.

In addition to using balloons as centerpieces, I also decorated the tables with some spidey confetti and spidey bubbles and paddle toys.

When it came to placing the loose balloons, I tried to place them around the tables so that when you were sitting down, you weren't trying to swim through a sea of ribbon.

The moonbounce got a lot of action and was also a big hit. It really brought out the kid in all of us, and I highly recommend it for an adult party! We also had a spiderman pinata - which I also highly recommend!
Lastly, we had a ping pong table - which also got a lot of play.

All in all it was a great night, and my husband did not regret celebrating another year. Mission accomplished.