Sunday, November 17, 2013

nesting party

I had the enormous pleasure of planning my friends, Zach & Jess's, co-ed shower last week.

The pre-birthday party, as we called it, was "nesting" themed, and just a casual evening for friends and family to celebrate their new arrival.

Everyone brought a dish to share for dinner, but my mom and I decked out the dessert table. We had carrot cake cupcakes (a specialty of my mom's), coconut cake pops, chocolate almond nests, pretzel birch logs, and pecan tassies. Oh, and Jordan Almonds just cause they look like little eggs.

I may have decided on this party theme just so I could buy these amazing birch straws.
You can juuust see the pretzel birch logs in the background. They were pretty cute, and delicious.

These were just those chocolate chow mein drops that a lot of people make at Christmas time. 
I just put a stick in them and a Jordan Almond on top before they hardened. So glad they worked out!

Pecan Tassies are kind of like nests, right? Also, they're my favorite Christmas cookie. 
You see, I'm very selfish when it comes to party choices. I just make my favorite things. ; )

I think it's time I invested in an actual pastry bag and real piping tips. 
Still, these look pretty good for using the old cut a hole in a freezer bag trick!

I set up drinks on my aunt and uncle's island (they were gracious enough to let us use their home). We had water, tea, and cider jugs which I set up on an old crate. I filled the bottom with Spanish moss, and hung one of my vintage sheet music banners above. I opted for write-your-own name tags this time since a co-ed shower means twice the guests!

It was quite the balancing act being rustic, but not fallish and using eggs, but not looking like Easter. Let me tell you. Keeping the colors neutral helped (which is very much Zach & Jess's style anyway), so nearly everything was white, beige, or gray. I used vintage sheet music for the banners and origami birds. I used a few different gray fabrics to accent; one chevron, one paisley, and a cute bird pattern on the gift table. I made faux wood risers for the cake stands out of oatmeal cans and this Martha Stewart Birch Printable. Then I just shopped my house for everything rustic, branchy, vintage, natural and "nesty".

The branch was from outside of my aunt and uncle's house, and the couple plans to use it in their new baby's nursery.

Another gorgeous stamp from my sister, Rebekah. I stamped it in gold on the invitations. 
Here, I used embossing powder to give it a shiny, raised look.

One of my favorite fonts right now is Neoretrodraw. I'm a big fan of downloading fonts right now. Can't get enough.

Can we just talk about the terrible lighting? It made for a very cozy party, but some not-so-great pictures.

I have horrible handwriting, so all of the chalkboards that I did are kind of a huge deal. 
It'll be a sad day when I have to finally erase them.

I passed out an egg to each guest as they arrived, and told them to hold on to it for the rest of the party (Easter eggs, not real. And they were light, pastel colors, not those garish things). The rules were you had to keep your egg on you at all times (like your baby), and if you saw anyone's egg lying around you could take it. Whoever has the most eggs at the end wins. It turned out to be pretty fun, and the guys really got into it.

We also played the classic baby shower memory game. I walked around with a tray FULL of baby items, and everyone got just a few seconds to study it as I walked by. Once everyone got a peek they all wrote down as many items as they could remember. It was even funnier than usual since a lot of the guys didn't know what things were. "What's Lanolin?" The prizes for both games were those ready-to-hang birdseed "bells".

We decided that showers are actually more fun with guys. They actually get into the games, and they make it a lot more casual and relaxed.

Everyone got a pack of homemade granola for their favor. I used this vintage bird printable and added my own words for the labels. 

I had everyone write advice, encouragement, or letters to the baby on the pages of a vintage bird book I found. And we all got to put our guesses in for Baby's gender, date, and time of birth!

We ate in the garage (they have the cleanest, warmest garage there ever was). I covered the tables with hand-stamped butcher paper (that's a cabbage nest and potato eggs!), and I stuck some of our gold wedding branches in vases covered in more Martha Stewart Paper.

I had a few verses around the party. One of my favorites is Psalm 63:7 "Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings."

We had a lot of fun, and both of their parents who live far away got to Skype in and be a part of the party! We ended with a time of prayer that was really special, and a lightening round of the egg game. Oh, and baby bump pictures, since pretty much all of our friends are pregnant right now.

Giving the grandparents a good view.

 Showing grandma the new booties!

These second cousins could be twinsies!

That's my husband on the right being ridiculous. ; )

But wait, there's more!

Thanks so much to Zach, Aunt Lori, and Faith for all of your help. Thanks to LeeAnn and Lindsay for bringing all the ziti. Thanks to Addie for helping with food and some awesome decor pieces even though you couldn't be there. And thanks to everyone who could make it even though we had to switch the date. You really made it special for Zach & Jess. I had a lot of fun planning it,.... but I've also enjoyed sleeping now that it's over. ; )

There are new parties on the horizon! I'll keep you up to date.

Party Credits
Party Styling: Kara Hallead of Kara's Domestic Life
Desserts: Kara Hallead & Carol Scheuerman
Photography: Faith Scheurman
Vintage Bird Printables: The Graphics Fairy
Birch Printable: Martha Stewart
Birch Straws: Kikkerland
Bamboo Flatware: Eco-Gecko

Monday, November 11, 2013

dressing them up is half the fun

Jaina-girl and I had a good day today. She was dressed as a little mini-me in her patterned leggings and "infinity scarf" (really mom's winter headband worn around her neck).

Even her shirt was from Hope College (Mama's alma mater - try saying that five times fast). And the moccasins were worn by both Mama and Nana!

Look at that sassy lady!

 Mama decided it was too cold for no jackets.

Pretty sure she knows how cute she is.

Later we made a Diaper Box Apartment. 

She just started to use her imagination and be nurturing, and I love it. She laid her bear, her Lamb Chop, and her rat down to sleep, covered them with "blankets" (tea towels I brought her), said "shhhh", and patted them. 

She's gonna be a good mama some day! sniff, sniff.

She really liked the makeshift dollhouse, so maybe tomorrow we'll actually get out the tape and maybe some wrapping paper to really do it up.

I'll order another 365 of these days, please! Thank you!