A month ago my good friend was in town. She was just over 20 weeks pregnant and I couldn't be more thrilled for their second baby to come. I desperately wanted to throw her a baby celebration while she was here. You see, she lives in Pittsburg and I don't get to see her often so even though it was a bit early for a shower (they didn't even know the sex of the baby yet) I was set on doing it! I had just one week before she left, when I decided to do it so I texted every one of our friends and told them to put their party faces on because we were going to celebrate Heather! I was soooo excited until I realized I had never really thrown a party, let alone, a baby shower. Where do I get the decorations? How do I decorate? What will we do at the party? What will we eat? So I just went with the flow. Here are the things I learned in this flurry of last minute party planning:
- Party Supplies: Target has some great, affordable, simple things like plates, cups, streamers, banners etc. (I don't live close to any party supply stores and the craft stores tended to be pricier. Target was nice because there was little to choose from which helped me not go overboard with the paper decor. Think about this when you are purchasing store-bought decorations).
- Flowers: I happen to live surrounded by wild flowers so I spent an afternoon galavanting in the hills, filling my bag with all the pretty flowers I could find. Another option is to mosey through a farmers market or Trader Joes for some fun, bright life to add to your decor. It doesn't take much to make the room feel alive. Just a few arrangements can really brighten up your space, adding a touch of magic, and a pinch of al-natural to your party!
- Fun Banner: Maybe with a phrase that's not a typical "happy birthday" or "congratulations". I bought the letters individually at a trendy clothing store downtown. They were kind of pricey but made well and can be reused for many occasions. A banner like this can easily be made with felt, colored paper, or scrap cloths.
- Other Decor: Scrapbook paper in a frame is a super easy and fun way to add a pop of color to your space. You can get something that goes with your party theme or just a fun pattern – craft stores have it all (Michaels, Joann's...) This is my new favorite decoration! Also, acronym blocks are a great decor piece. They can be bought or made (Michael's has a ton). For example, I made a "G" and "B" for boy or girl using cardboard and then hot gluing fabric around it. I think it would be super cute to have a a large letter of your honored guest hanging on an open-space wall. This is just another "banner-type" decoration that can again add a pop of color and a personalized touch to your space.
- All the yummy snacks: (Usually found at places like Trader Joes, Whole Foods, World Market etc.) Big Tip: try to find a balance between sweet treats and savory nibbles. Sugary snacks are more fun to buy but your guests will be craving their meats and cheeses quickly. Get an assortment of tasty sausages, slice them into small rounds, grill them up, and serve with toothpicks; they'll be a hit! Ps. Make small placement cards for your snacks, it will help your guests out a ton (and you won't have to answer the same 20 questions over and over again) and yes, it will make your food spread look very cute.
- Coffee, tea, juice, bubbly: Drinks in cute bottles and stripey straws to sip from can also add a fun mood to your party. Call me crazy, but every detail counts! My guests loved them!
- Things to do at your party: Music...DUH! The more fun music the better. You never know, you might just have a spur-of-the-moment dance party (we did!). I also highly recommend a card making station. A stack of small cards, an assortment of colored pencils and/or markers, some nice writing pens, and you're covered for entertainment. This will bless your honored guest immensely and it's super fun for everyone else, especially if there are kids involved.
- To top it off, get all the natural light you can (if your party is during the day of course). Pull up the blinds, toss back the curtains, open the doors, or host it on your patio or backyard!
- And of course your guests are the most beautiful decoration of all. If you can't cover all these grounds for your party or even if you do and your room still looks bland just remember once the people arrive your room will be instantly full of color and life!
The party was a blast. I realized later that stressing about a party is silly. Be simple, be fun, be happy, and you can't go wrong!
Happy Party Planning!