April Showers!

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Happy Monday!!  I can hear you grumbling all the way over here.  Cut it out!  I’m making a return to this blog after a long hiatus due to multiple party planning endeavors.  Don’t sweat it though, I’ve returned with some awesome DIY projects and ideas 🙂  I don’t think it shocks anyone to find out that I love to throw a party.  And more importantly than that, a good party.  It’s pretty easy for me, all I have to worry about is making it beautiful and providing good food, my friends provide the excellent company.  Lucky me. 

Lately, there’s something in the water at work and there are five, count ’em, FIVE pregnant women.  I’m happy to report I drink Mountain Dew and I’m not one of the five just yet.  We set out to throw a sweet shower for our very southern friend, Bobbi, and her little girl we’re dying to meet.   And since it’s well documented that I hate the blue-brown, pale pink color restrictions of the traditional baby shower, we went with an “April Showers bring May Flowers” theme.  We used lots of purple, wildflowers from the local Farmer’s market, and plenty of vintage, Southern-inspired items. 

When you decorate for a party I think it’s important to create moments, or areas of interest throughout your home to draw people in.  I always start with this perfectly situated area of my front porch, out of the way of people trying to get in the house but very noticeable for all party guests.

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I desperately wanted clouds and raindrops somewhere, but my internet search for ideas wasn’t terribly fruitful.  There was a light bulb moment eventually, and this was the result.  I’m so happy with how this version turned out.  I used patterned scrapbook paper to make raindrops to hang by purple baker’s twine from these popular tissue paper poofs.  I’ll tell you right out, I used to make these poofs on my own, start to finish.  But it’s absolutely not worth the headache.  Party City makes kits with three poofs per package for $10 and its not much cheaper to make on your own.  Buy the kit and save yourself some trouble.  I suspended the poofs from Command hooks and added some flowers beneath to maximize on the theme.  My friend had the idea of adding rain boots filled with flowers and I must say, it was brilliant!

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We added another vignette in the foyer with some vintage finds.  The old window frame needed a little TLC but not so much that its charm would be lost.  We adorned it with a handmade paper rosette garland secured with raffia ribbon.  It’s always nice, too, to show off the invitation somewhere.  More often than not, it’ll be the first time it’s seen by the guest of honor…so it’s special.  Wood slices, lace trim, a few live flowers, and a sweet bird’s nest complete this nook.

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It’s important for there to be some form of repetition throughout so your theme is realized.  I also used some wood slices, a birdhouse, and more live flowers to create a small scene atop a vintage stool from my grandfather.  Its sweet!

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Like I said, I like to create moments for the guests, and I want them to find something each time they look a new direction.  There’s a perfect spot in my kitchen for another tall display, so we created more clouds and raindrops.  It’s also pretty smart to ground your decorations in some way if it is hanging from the ceiling like this.  We chose a vintage tin and mason jar to house more wildflowers and a pretty crate to close the gap between the counter and ceiling displays.

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With all parties, it’s always nice to leave with a little something in hand, and I ain’t talking about a plate of leftovers covered in tin foil.  We made treat bags for all the guests and repeated the purple, raffia and lace effect for each, storing them in a milk crate until our guests were ready to depart.

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We also used this sweet pink parasol and mason jar full of flowers to create another vignette, inviting guests to sit and eat in the living room.

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While these “moments” are special, what’s really key is the spread.  The food table can be a statement all its own, and it should be.  A lot of our food kept with the Southern theme too: coconut cake, sweet tea, lemonade, punch, cucumber sandwiches, pimento cheese sandwiches, banana pudding, and ham biscuits for example.  Food and decorations, people will remember…make them remember in a good way.

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Let’s take a closer look.  We added more wood slices to elevate important items, and hid some flowers and nature-inspired things along the way.  Never miss the opportunity to add a little whimsy, and tuck it into some unanticipated places to get the most mileage out of your decorations.  Give your guests something interesting to look at!  I prefer classic white dishes most of the time, but in this case its nice to throw in some other colors and patterns on your dishes to give it that collected, vintage look.

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I also like to place items strategically so there is no front or back of the table and there’s no one area where all the best things are concentrated.  I like things to be pretty all the way around!  I used vintage wooden crates to give the table more visual appeal and different levels of interest for the eye.  One box housed the mason jars we used for drinking glasses.  Now that’s as down South as it gets!  And since one of the shower games had to do with drinking, it only made sense to give it a space on the table.

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 Weird?  Yes.  Fun?  Also yes!

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So as you can see, I froze plastic babies in ice cubes and each guest was allowed one cube to float in their drink.  If your ice cube melted first, you yelled “My water broke!” and claimed your prize.  Which leads me to the beverage bar.  I absolutely love it.

DSC_0741 I wrapped a purple and white chevron ribbon around each dispenser, completing it with a chalkboard disc with the name of the drink transcribed, hanging from a raffia bow.  Simple and pretty!

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And of course, the plates and napkins must be themed too!

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But the key thing you need to remember when you throw a party:  make sure you have people to make it happen,

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make sure you shower the mother-to-be with gifts from the heart,

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and make sure you celebrate a new life with your friends!

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Hope you all have a great week! Stay tuned for future posts with DIY tutorials for the things you see in this blog!

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