March 29, 2011

Cute As a Button Baby Shower

I wish I could take full credit for this shower, but it was very much a team effort.  I admit, I was at first skeptical of the selected theme - "cute as a button."  It would not necessarily have been my very first choice for a baby shower theme, especially for this particular mama-to-be.  But all the details came together perfectly.


The colors were the same as the baby's nursery (mint green and brown).  We decided the best way to bring in the mint green was through linens.  One of the hostesses found gorgeous linens, and they really set the tone for the entire party. 

The same hostess also came up with the brilliant idea of going to the garment district downtown to buy buttons - tons and tons of buttons.  We made napkin holders out of ribbons and buttons, we made a faux runner out of buttons, and we even tied buttons to the bottom of the champagne glasses (we tried to use different ones to help guests remember which glass was theirs).  We also sprinkled buttons around the buffet table and the drinks table.

For the centerpieces, we used glass vases that I had on hand (accented with ribbons and buttons), and arranged white hydrangeas and mums in the vases.  Both flowers were so easy to arrange. 


The Menu

We served brunch (in case you haven't noticed, I am a big fan of brunch).

We had:


1.  Guessing Kisses -  We filled a jar full of kisses, and we put out a sign asking guests to guess how many kisses there were in the jar for the mama-to-be's baby.  I think every shower should have at least one passive game (where no one has to do much, but someone wins a prize) - and this is a great one.

2.  Quiz - One of the hostesses prepared a quiz about the parents-to-be.  I usually am not a fan of quizzes because I feel they are antisocial.  I like games that facilitate chatter.  But, this was hands down the best quiz I ever played at a shower.  The questions were so personal and hilarious.  The hostess who put this together asked all of us (and the mama-to-be's sister) to share funny and touching stories about the parents-to-be.  She took each funny story and turned it into a question.  We were all laughing as we were reading the quiz, but the best part was reading the answers.  Each question really enabled the mamma-to-be to reminisce about her own childhood and her relationship with her hubby.  It really was the perfect quiz.  Now whenever I do a quiz, I try to make it so that each question is really an opportunity to tell a cute or touching story about the mama-to-be.

3.  Preg or Porn - Yup, that's right, there is a board with closeup pictures of women's faces, and the guests have to guess if the picture is of someone giving birth or someone in a porn.   

Every time I play this game it is a huge hit! 

This was the first time I made a preg or porn board, and I learned quickly that my pictures were too easy, and I have found much better pictures.  (but for the record, it is much harder than you might think to find pictures that work well for this game, and I shudder to think about what my Google search history must have looked like that day). 

4.  Tray Game with a Twist - Shockingly, I am not a huge fan of the tray game (the game where you spread items for the guest of honor on a tray and guests have to remember as many items as they can).  I get that it's a popular game, and maybe that is why I am not a fan.

However, I went to a shower a couple weeks before this one, where they played the game with a twist.  The mama-to-be and hostesses walked around the room with a tray, as we all took turns trying to see what was on it to play the tray game - yet again.  Only, they never actually told us what we were playing.  They just handed out cards and pencils and told us to wait and see what we were playing.  Then, after they waled the tray around the whole room and the tray was put away, the hostess said "OK, now everyone write down as many things as you can remember that the mama-to-be was wearing."

We didn't really have the time to properly play this game (so many guests came late that we were on such a delayed schedule).  At the very least, the mama-to-be got some very useful things from the tray.  If we had more time, I think this would have been a great game. 

For the favors, one of the hostesses made these amazing button cookies from Martha Stewart's website.  They were so cute, and they tasted great!

March 6, 2011

Pear Pepita Salad

I am a HUGE fan of Brianna's Homemade Dressings.  The Ginger Mandarin Dressing is one of our favorites.  After we got a little sick of the citrus salad I kept making (baby spinach, oranges, apples, almonds, dried cherries, and Brianna's Ginger Mandarin Dressing), I tried a variation with pears.  It has turned into a favorite of ours, and I often make it for brunches and showers.

Bag of baby spinach
2 Pears, chopped in 1 inch cubes
1 Cup of raisins
1 Cup of pepitas (which are shelled pumpkin seeds)
Brianna's Homemade Ginger Mandarin Dressing

Add spinach, pears, raisins, and pepitas to serving bowl.
Toss with dressing if serving right away, or serve with dressing on the side to avoid sogginess (and have a chance at leftovers).