I hope you are as blessed as me. My friends are lifers, friends that I KNOW are always going to be around. The girls I grew up with are unlike anything else.
We suffered through braces. We crushed on boys and sometimes on the same ones (oops). We went to prom together, and took our dates along. We experimented with plucking our eyebrows and learned the valuable lesson of what was “too much.” We put on an hour’s worth of makeup just to walk on the beach in the dark in the hopes meeting awkward teenage boys trolling the dunes for prime specimens like ourselves. We laughed when our friend, Michael, fell off the dock into the lake on our 8th Grade field trip. We bought coordinating clothes and wore them at the same time. We listened to “Porcelain” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers on repeat.
And then we grew up… but not apart. It seems like so long ago that we did all those things. But when we stand side by side at a wedding or when we celebrate the birth of someone’s first child, it all comes rushing back.
Our friend Derin got married first, and had a baby first too. Unfortunately, Jess was out of state so Lauren and I set out to throw a damn fine baby shower.
Let me tell you a little about my co-host, Lauren. She’s been dubbed as my “different friend” for as long as I can remember. And while she pretends to be offended, she knows it’s all for good reason. Lauren moves to the beat of her own drum. She takes cross-country roadtrips in a van that she lives in. She’s gets my mean humor, but knows I’m not really mean. All those gasp-worthy things you didn’t have the guts to do, she’s done them…twice…and liked it. She’s effortlessly pretty and hysterical, rolling down the street in a dumptruck of a Ford Taurus. Basically, she’s kicking ass and taking names. And here we are planning a baby shower together, and she doesn’t even “prefer” children. When I have kids, I’m going to pay them to touch Lauren with their sticky fingers. And I’ll let them stay up past their bedtime if they beg Lauren to let them spend the night with her. And I’ll give them candy if they mock everything Lauren says. And I’ll let them dress themselves in whatever they want if they sing “Jesus Loves Me” to Aunt Lauren whenever she comes around. And she can’t really be mad because that’s very similar to some antics she pulls with her own nephews to torment her family. And maybe if I’m lucky, she will teach my children what its like to be your own person and what it means to be true, to yourself and your loved ones.
We wanted the shower to be kind of rustic, and we wanted to avoid the blue/brown baby boy color trap. So we ventured into green, orange and gray. We started with customized, foresty invitations from tinyprints and used an extra for display. We completed the vignette with wood slices, faux moss stones, and flowers.
We used gray cups, green and orange plates, and alternating orange and bunting-covered napkins.
We made these tissue paper poofs and suspended them from the chandelier. We also used crepe paper streamers and twisted them from the poofs to the underside of the table.
A a simple burlap runner grounds our tablescape. We used more wood slices and stumps to create a forest. Apothecary jars housed independent wildlife scenes like a bird in her nest with eggs, flowers and lady bugs with moss stones. Real ivy curls around the centerpiece.
We elevated our cake to make sure it was the focus of the centerpiece. Keeping with our forest theme, we made a Dirt Cake. We topped it with a nest holding the letter “G” and a solitary egg. Above, we made a small bunting banner out of scrapbook paper, baker’s twine and wooden skewers.
We made picnic ham & cheese sandwiches, rainbow fruit kabobs with brown sugar fruit dip, rabbit food in the form of a vegetable tray, trail mix for the forest explorer…
…acorn cookies from mini Nutter Butter cookies and Hersey’s Kisses, and sausage rolls. Okay, the last one doesn’t have a theme but they are delicious and don’t require it.
We filled an apothecary jar with pine cones and topped it with a raffia bow. We used a ceramic owls, wood slices, and moss to continue the theme into the foyer.
One last spot around the party favors: Again, we repeated the wood stumps, moss, and an apothecary jar filled with a wildlife scene. We wrapped the letter “G” in gray yarn and affixed a butterfly. We used a DIY chalkboard platter to explain our parting gift. Inside each favor box (an upcycled toilet paper roll decorated with a paper doily, baker’s twine, scrapbook paper and stamping) were bulbs to be planted in Baby G’s honor.
During the shower we played multiple games. The first game required each guest to cut a piece of yarn long enough to circle the mom’s baby bump without much excess. The second was BINGO, each square containing prospective shower gifts for the mother-to-be. You can make your own bingo cards here. The third game was the tried and true baby food tasting, complete with a lightening round for our lucky guessers as a tie breaker. We gave prizes to our winners. Go big or go home.
Most importantly, Derin got to celebrate this new chapter in her life with her friends and family. And presents, lots of presents.
Ride or die homies!
I will post recipes, and tutorials under the Good Eats and Party sections in the coming days. Have a great week yall!