Category Archives: Parties

A Couples’ Barbecue Baby Shower

Earlier this summer, Ken and I hosted a couples’ baby shower for some of our closest friends. Hosting a couples’ baby shower is a little tricky. When most people think “baby shower,” they picture a women-only affair with petit fours, tea cups, games and potentially even a few gross-out birth stories. We wanted to do something fun that everyone would enjoy – dudes included.

Baby Barbecue Shower Invitations from Zazzle

I immediately fell in love with these invitations from Zazzle, because they had a vintage look that didn’t look overly frou frou (they make a blue version as well). This design worked well, since the mommy-to-be is a talented artist and printmaker who likes vintage prints.

While I didn’t make the invitations myself, I did try to get crafty in a few other ways. I actually made my own diaper cake that didn’t turn out half bad (if I do say so myself). It was easier (or maybe I should say “harder to screw up”) than I thought.

Diaper Cake for Couples Baby Shower

I also made a “temper tantrum hot sauce” favor myself. My graphic design friends at work made fun of me when they saw me trying to create a design for it using Keynote, but design challenges aside, they weren’t too hard to make. Ipicked up some bottles of hot sauce from the grocery, soaked them in hot soapy water, and scrubbed with a steel brush to remove the labels. Then, I applied our own labels, which were just printed mailing labels with the new design on them. Twine added a nice touch.

Hot Sauce Barbecue Baby Shower FavorTo avoid a repeat of the last-minute chaos and stress from Lucie’s first birthday (where I made my own cupcakes and food), I ordered some pull-apart cupcakes from Publix. They were a pretty big hit, and very budget-friendly too. We had the barbecue catered from Fat Matt’s (I highly recommend them).

Baby Shower Hot Sauce Favor

It miraculously stopped raining for the exact window of time the shower was supposed to happen, so we were able to have it outside as planned! We skipped the cheesy shower games and brought out the cornhole game. We made sure we had plenty of beer and bottled water to go around, and decorated using a clothesline and some of Lucie’s old baby onesies. We also got balloons and disposable plates/cups/utensils from the dollar store, which helped with the budget.

Overall, I think it was a great success. Best of all, little Heidi was born a few weeks later and we’ve loved watching her grow these past few months.

An easy diaper cake tutorial

Last weekend, I decided to do something I don’t normally do – I crafted. We are throwing a baby shower for our good friends, and in my mind a diaper cake is the perfect centerpiece to a great shower. After discovering that it costs upwards of $90 to buy one (yikes), I decided to try my hand at making one and it didn’t turn out half bad!

Trying to find a tutorial online for a simple diaper cake proved to be more challenging than I imagined, so I ended up sort of making up my own process and thought it might be useful for others who just want a basic, easy-to-make design.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pampers Swaddlers Diapers – Only because this brand is mostly plain white, and I didn’t want cartoons on my diaper cake. I bought two 31-count packs, and used almost all of them. I decided on size 2, since they grow out of the smaller sizes so fast.
  • Rubber Bands – One pack with multiple sizes
  • Glue – I used hot glue, but fabric glue would work.
  • Thick Ribbon – A cute design, of course.
  • A bottle of wine – If you don’t want to use wine, you could use two baby bottles or two bottles of baby powder stacked together.
  • A big platter – Anything sturdy and large enough to hold the entire cake.
  • Little “Surprises” – Baby stuff to decorate the outside of the cake. I used wrist rattles, socks, and a small animal teething toy. I also used store-bought cutout decorations.
  • Flowers – Real or artificial will work. You’ll need some wire cutters if using artificial.

Instructions:

Step 1: Place your bottle of wine (or whatever you choose to use for the center) on the platter. I like the wine idea – it’s a much-needed treat for the new mom as she begins to use her diaper cake 🙂 You could also use empty baby bottles stacked on top one another and glued together. I have also heard of using cardboard paper towel rolls.

Step 2: Begin rolling up your diapers. You’ll want to roll from back (tab side) to front, and roll them as neatly as possible so that it looks more or less like a cylinder. Secure each diaper with a rubber band in the middle; try not to wrap it too tightly, as you’ll want to try and keep that cylinder shape.

diaper cake 4

Step 3: Put a skinny rubber band around the center (wine bottle, baby bottles, or whatever). Start lining the diaper rolls around the center, securing with the rubber band. You’ll be covering the rubber bands with ribbon, so try to keep the rubber band toward the center and as even as possible. Try to make them as even as possible, and make sure the “seam” of each faces toward the middle. Once the first layer is done, add a second layer and then a third, using that same rubber band to hold them together.

diaper cake first layer

Step 4: After making sure that the top of the first tier is as even as it can get, do the exact same steps to create a second tier above the first. This tier will only contain two layers of diaper rolls. Now, you should only see the very top of the wine bottle.

Step 5: Now it starts to get fun. Wrap ribbon around the center of each tier, securing with glue; glue the ribbon together at the ends, but don’t glue the ribbon to the diaper part. It should stay put if it’s tight enough. This should cover up all the rubber bands.

diaper cake second layer

Step 6: Decorate! I bought some lightweight wooden bug and flower cutouts, and glued them on to the ribbon. I also took baby socks and shaped them into the shape of roses, tucking them into the diaper cake. You can tuck in little “surprises” like baby toys, pacifiers, rattles, teethers, etc. – I used wrist rattles. For the top of the cake, I bought 5 large artificial sunflowers and cut off all but about 4 inches of the stem. I tucked them into the top around the wine bottle top, and arranged them so they looked even. Then I topped it with a cute little elephant teether!

diaper cake decorations

Front

diaper cake decorations

Back

I am still trying to find more easy ideas for “Baby-Que” party crafts and decorations, but I can’t give them all away just yet. Please stay tuned in a few weeks for the baby shower recap!

Lucie’s first birthday party

lucie with smash cake

Well, we went and pulled it off. I’m not sure I’ll be ready to do it again in another year (or ever), but we pulled it off. And most importantly, the birthday girl had a ball partying in her pink bikini and digging into her smash cake (after about 10 minutes of daintily picking the sprinkles off one by one).

I will admit that fell into Pinterest land and started drinking the crafty mom Kool-Aid, which led me to think I could make my own cupcakes, smash cake, and unique party favors and do it all with style and grace. I forgot that I was…me. There was a definite moment the night before the party as I was standing there in our tiny kitchen surrounded by cake mixes, sprinkles, and ribbon where I just went – WHY? But with a little of God’s grace and some help from hubby and mom it came together just in the nick of time.

Family & Friends

We were so touched by how many family and friends came to celebrate with us – many driving from out of town! Our good friends Holly and Heyward were so kind to let us crash the pool at their townhome complex, and the venue couldn’t have been any more perfect for this.

And oh look! My sister and brother-in-law Josh made it to the party! Hehe.

Cake & Goodies

We did make those “beach bear” cupcakes that I mentioned in the first birthday party planning post, since Lucie’s nickname is Lucie Bear. We decided on Funfetti cake mix and store bought vanilla icing. We sprayed them with blue icing color spray for the “water” and sprinkled them with fine yellow sprinkles for the “sand.” Not sure if it’s clear from the photo, but the swimming tubes are gummy peach rings and the “beach towels” are cut up fruit roll ups.

Teddy bear beach cupcakes

We decided to make her smash cake, although after the cost of the Big Top Cupcake mold ($10 at Bed Bath & Beyond) I’m not sure we saved any real money. Besides a hole in the top we managed to cover from icing (from me forgetting to spray the mold with Pam), it turned out great. I would recommend a thicker cake mix for the mold. We used Betty Crocker Super Moist butter cake mix, but I’ve heard chocolate mixes with pudding work well for this.

cupcake smash cake

For a bear-themed party favor, we stuffed candy into empty bear honey jars. I thought I would get all creative and make little bear party hats with felt and pom poms, but I gave up on them after 3 lopsided cone-looking things and a couple of glue gun burns. They looked pretty dapper with just lids and bow ties.

Menu

tortellini caprese skewer recipe

via myrecipes.com

I was a late afternoon party between meal times, so we stuck with finger foods:

Tortellini caprese skewers
Chick-fil-a nugget platter
Jalapeno popper bites
Fruit salad
Veggies & dip

I’m not sure we’d do the jalapeno bites again, but the tortellini skewers were a big hit. I think Lucie even found a new favorite snack.

After it was all over, Lucie collapsed for about 14 hours, we had some pals over for pizza and adult time, and overall had a blast the whole day. Almost makes me want to do it all over again. Almost…

Planning a first birthday party

I honestly can’t fathom a world where I had the money, time, or creativity to plan a first birthday party for Lucie that looks like this:

Fancy First Birthday Party
This is almost ridiculously gorgeous, and I’d love to be able to put on such a production (mainly to post the pictures on Facebook, let’s be real). But here I am with just over a month left until Lucie turns one. We just spent all of our money fixing our dog, who is deathly allergic to everything. I recently started a new full-time job, we’re still working on our house, and I can barely find time to get my butt to the gym.

Who has the time and money for this stuff? Really, I want to know.

Anyhow, Pinterest has been my best friend as I try to plan an affordable yet memorable first birthday celebration for Lucie. We decided on a teddy bear theme, since we nicknamed her “Lucie Bear” when she was still in the womb. She’s now known as “The Bear,” “LB,” “Baby Bear, or, occasionally, “you messy little troll.” A bear theme seemed more appropriate.

Our budget is very small. It’s hard to justify spending loads of money on something she won’t even remember. The main goal is for everyone to enjoy themselves – especially the birthday girl. She’s a total water baby, so it made sense to have the party at a friend’s outdoor pool.

These cupcakes looked simple enough to make myself, and they’re also super cute. I’ll probably make these instead of splurging on big birthday cake:

Teddy Bear at the Beach Cupcakes

Source: cuteeverything.com

Instead of ordering party centerpieces that will most likely be thrown away, I was thinking it would be cute to order a few books like this on Amazon and use them as centerpieces. Maybe surround them with little bowls of “bear” snacks, or pictures of Lucie throughout her first year.

Birthday for Bear Book, Teddy Bear Birthday Party

I also love the idea of clothespinning photos to a string for additional decorations. This is especially neat for a one-year-old’s party, so friends and relatives who don’t get to see her much can see how much she has grown and changed.

Hanging Clothespin Pictures, First Birthday Ideas

Source: kristanlynn.com

Party favors are a little tricky since there won’t be many kids, and the kids that are there will be different ages. I was thinking maybe some mini Uno cards (fun for families), bubbles (which Lucie loves) and candy of some sort.

It’s shaping up nicely – in my head, at least. This should be interesting come showtime!

 

 

A beautiful life

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We celebrated my grandma “Memo’s” 80th birthday last weekend at Lake Martin. This is a woman who epitomizes class. She is generous, kind, strong, beautiful, and always put together. She’s always been there for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren for everything. I can’t remember a time growing up when she wasn’t present for a birthday party, graduation, or any other milestone. We adore her.

It was wonderful to see my aunt and cousins. Lucie even got to meet her 4-month-old second cousin Briggs for the first time and spend some quality time with her older cousin, June. My sister made the trip from Austin, and although it was a short visit we always LOVE spending time with Auntie LiLi.

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Memo and 2-year-old June cut the birthday cake

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Lucie hamming it up, as usual.

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Wild Lucie, Sweet Briggs

Lucie really, really loves her aunt. I have never seen her laugh as hard as she did in the video in the last post. I wish we had these kinds of weekends more often.