We are so excited to have a guest blogger today! Our friend Kristen Wandell Frederick writes about wedding planning tips, and we hope to feature her in a series of posts on how to plan and organize for your wedding. Today she is sharing ideas on how to make a memorable welcome bag for your out-of-town wedding guests. (As a recipient of one of these bags, I can attest to just how thoughtful and awesome these touches were.)
So, I’ve been meaning to write about this for a few months now, but with all the festivities of Halloween, now Thanksgiving, and upcoming Christmas, I’ve been preoccupied with more seasonal blog posts. But then I realized, duh, holidays and parties are when this gadget is going to shine.
Ready? It’s a pineapple corer. Yep. If you are like me and love fresh pineapple then consider this gadget your life saver. I have no idea how many times I have almost lost fingers slicing a pineapple, so when I was on vacation and found this in a fancy kitchen store, I knew I had to have it. The only downside is that you technically don’t get as much pineapple–but what you do get is beautiful and delicious–no core. You get perfectly sliced pineapple rings, so you can keep them as rings or cut them into chunks. I was so impressed with how easy it was. And it is much less expensive than buying pre-cut pineapple–especially for a party. Also, it leaves the shell of the pineapple in tact, so you could definitely decorate with it. Especially if you were having a luau themed party!
If you want to buy this exact pineapple corer, you can do it here. They don’t pay me to say these things, but I didn’t want to write a post telling you how awesome this thing is without telling you where you could get it. :)
Okay, these sharp teeth just rip through that pineapple with ease.
Cut off the top first, then just twist the handle down…
And lift it out. Super easy. The black portion of the handle pops off and you can just slide the pineapple right off.
Now you have the whole pineapple in tact to decorate with it.
Pineapple upside down cake anyone? Yeah, that would be good. If you love pineapple as much as I do, check out my two ingredient Pina Coloda party punch.
Any kitchen gadgets you can’t live without?
Piña Colada Party Punch
Piña Colada Punch (Individual)
One of the most challenging things about party planning is getting the food just right…and maintaining your sanity. Here in the south (Louisville, KY) the food is second only to the guest-of-honor. As hostesses, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves for everything to be perfect. It’s time to ease up, ladies! If you are pressed for time, consider these strategies when planning your next baby or bridal shower:
1. Deli and Grocery stores
One of our favorite party tips is to rely on your grocery store deli and bakery for your party needs. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out they do much more than sliced ham and cheese. You’ll find an amazing array of party trays, dips, desserts, and seasonal goodies. A fantastic bonus is that these professionals know all about allergies, wine pairings, serving sizes, and seasonal menus. Delis often use fresh, local ingredients as well. This will save you tons of time in grocery shopping, food prep and cleanup.
Many restaurants, from fast food to sit-down offer some form of catering or large party to-go options. If the guest of honor loves BBQ from the local place down the street, why not pick up a pan of pulled pork and offer mini sammies at the party? This person will be touched that not only are you hosting a lovely party for them, but that you went above and beyond to include something that they love on the menu.
Divide and conquer! Many times with a bridal or baby shower, there are several people close to the bride-to-be or mom-to-be that would love to be involved. Let them! By delegating that someone handle the cake, or by requesting they bring a few dishes, it will lighten your load and allow others to feel they have contributed. These people can arrive early the day of and offer an extra set of hands if needed. Just be sure to involve them early in the process. It will also be nice for the guest of honor to see how much everyone wanted to help.
And these are just a few tips to help the food preperation go faster. It’s your choice whether to make it all yourself, or get some of the items from a store, restaurant or rely on cohosting. Catering is also an option too, but requires a little more research and can sometimes have a larger price tag. (Not always though!)
For the other areas of hosting a shower, if you need ideas about what types of prizes to give away at a shower, check out our post on: shower prizes.
For shower games, we’ve recently created these printable baby shower games in hopes of making your party planning process easier!
This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending an absolutely stunning baby shower. My mother-in-law and her sister put on such a delicious and beautiful spread–I just had to share it! Be warned–you might feel inferior about your own party planning skills after seeing this!! :) But don’t worry, you can get started creating a beautiful baby shower by picking out a great invitation here.
I love the simple elegance of the blue edible beads and the festiveness of the cupcake toppers.
I LOVE this idea! My mother-in-law typed up well wishes and nursery rhymes for the new mom and framed them. They really dressed up her dessert and food tables and got lots of “oohs and ahhhs.”
Red velvet cake pops!
White chocolate-dipped pretzels!
Oreo mint truffles! (Yes, between she and her sister ALL of the food was homemade!)
To customize a clear vase, she decorated it with scrapbook paper.
I also love how she paired these zebra plates with the brown polka dots. I think pale yellow and gray would be great color combos too, if you are looking for ideas.
My mother-in-law’s sister did an amazing job with the food! What a spread! Chicken salad on croissants, spinach dip, pasta salad, a cheese torte and veggies. I particularly liked the toothpick skewers of meat and cheese–very easy to eat.
Tissue paper poofs are so fun! Very classy for a baby or bridal shower.
We also played the baby shower word scramble game, in addition to a nursery rhyme game. (I need to brush up on my nursery rhymes!!) Overall, it was a beautiful shower and the expecting mom got tons of useful items. It was fun to see all the cute boy clothes, too–so sweet. All in all, a lovely afternoon.
Are you planning a shower? What do you like to do to make it unique? Games, food, decor?
If you are planning a shower, check out my store for printable games and invites.
I love how a cake dresses up a party! Because it is so often the focal point, we wanted to compile some of the cutest cakes for a baby shower that we could find. I love these cakes for various reasons: the textures, colors, and overall designs–they just plain make me happy! Enjoy!
BOY BABY SHOWER CAKES
Source: Let There Be Cake via Flickr
I love the “Welcome Baby” banner, textured polka dots, stripes and the frilly carriage. Sarah of Let There Be Cake balances all these elements wonderfully to create a simply adorable baby shower cake. (Plus, aren’t the animals cute?!) You can check out her gallery here.
Source: Little Sugar Bake Shop via Fickr
Isn’t this cake just darling? It’s sort of what I imagine for the quintessential boy baby shower cake. And how can you go wrong with elephants? You can’t. Clarissa from Little Sugar Bake Shop has lots of darling creations on her Flickr site. Check out her gallery here. If you like elephants, check out this baby shower invitation.
Source: Sweet and Saucy Shop
Aren’t these bow ties just adorable? They make a great theme for a boy’s shower but I especially love the texture of the cake and the color palette. While I love the standard blue for boy and pink for a girl, sometimes it is nice to mix in some other equally as wonderful colors. The talented Melody Brandon, co-owner of the Sweet and Saucy Shop makes ridiculously gorgeous cakes. You can follow her Sweet and Saucy Blog for beautiful inspiration and shop at her Sweet and Saucy Supply shop to help make those inspirations a reality!
Source: The Danhill Family Blog
I am currently obsessed with ruffles and this color is absolutely awesome. Can you believe this cake is homemade? Blogger Jamie created this cake for a friend’s shower and promises that it doesn’t require too much effort (for the ruffles anyway). Jamie, I am in awe! I love cakes with texture–especially for a little boy’s shower–it just feels beautiful. Head over to her blog to check it out! The Danhill Family Blog
GIRL BABY SHOWER CAKES
Source: A Piece O’ Cake
Doesn’t this cake just seem like a burst of happiness? Bows, ribbon, flowers, pearls and pink! It just makes me giddy! It could also work for a first birthday too. Owner and designer Kelly from A Piece O’ Cake has lots of beautiful creations. Check them out here. There is just something about a beautiful cake that elevates the “specialness” of an event. Am I right?
Another adorable cake from Clarissa at Little Sugar Bake Shop! Hot pink, black and white are always in for any girly event. And a baby shower is no exception! I also love how bold and sassy the zebra print with polka dots motif is–it’s just so fun… and it would go well with this hot pink and black baby shower invitation.
Source: Sweet and Saucy Shop
Here is another cake from Melody’s Sweet and Saucy Shop. The texture on this cake is ridiculously awesome. I had never seen anything like it before. I just want to reach through the screen and touch it! Plus, who doesn’t love pink bows for a little girl’s shower?
I absolutely love the delicateness of this cake. The shades of pink and the texture of the roses are simply picture perfect. You can check out how blogger Megan from Wanna Be A Country Cleaver actually made this cake–with a delicious recipe too! Megan, you give me hope that one day I can make something this pretty!
We hope you enjoyed our roundup of awesome baby shower cakes! If you are hosting a baby shower soon, feel free to check out our invitations and printable games on our Etsy shop.
Hosting a baby shower?
If so check out our printable baby shower games.
You really don’t have to go over-the-top on baby or bridal shower prizes. If you are playing games, remember, they are meant as an icebreaker and to get people comfortable around one another. The prize is really an added bonus. Here are some ideas for crowd-pleasing gifts. Try to gauge what your guests will like in addition to what’s in your budget and go from there!
1. Gift cards
Who doesn’t love a free meal or special item? A gift card to Target, Panera, or (if guests are all local) even a mani/pedi will be the hit of the party. If you are on a budget, a few $5 gift cards to Starbucks will help spread out the winning.
I attended a shower once where a prize was a beautiful silk scarf and all the ladies “oohed” and “ahhed” over it. With a scarf being so versatile, is it any wonder? They can be worn traditionally around the neck, used as a stylish head cover, tied to a purse for some flair, or even used as a belt.
Finding a candle in a welcoming scent adds warmth to any home. But some people just don’t feel comfortable burning candles, so finding one with a welcoming scent and in a beautiful container is a home run. Even if the person doesn’t care for candles, adding a lovely accent to their home will surely be a win.
Although a more personal option since some have particular scents, lotion is always handy. You could do a variety pack of travel sizes so if one of the scents is not the person’s taste, they can have multiple options, or use it up quickly.
5. Artisan products
Unique, hand crafted items like coasters, picture frames, a small pottery vase, or jewelry from a local artist or charity are sure to engage conversation. And, the recipient will be happy to have something that is unique and supports a local business or a good cause. If you don’t have access to those types of products, or are looking for something specific, try Etsy.com