Sunday, March 08, 2009

Baby Shower (on a dime)

Do what you can,
with what you have,
where you are.

-Theodore Roosevelt

Yesterday I enjoyed a beautiful morning with some lovely girls. We hosted a small shower for a sweet friend who is about to be a mommy.

She and her husband had been married about 3 weeks when they got pregnant, and they are about the graduate college this May. Needless to say, this came as quite a shock and has been an adjustment period, but it is amazing to see the way the Lord has worked in their hearts and given them such excitement for what is about to come!

Showers have always seemed a bit daunting to me because I know they can be quite an expense to throw. However, I've always really wanted to participate because they are such a blessing to the recipient. I remember just being overwhelmed by the love shown to us through the shower's thrown leading up to our wedding.

My goal (out of necessity) was to do this shower very inexpensively, but with lots of heart!

It helped that most all the guests were young twenties and had not been to many (if any) baby showers before, and didn't know the difference!

Here are a few things that helped keep costs down...

* Found a free blank invitation template online, added text, and printed
* Used same template in blank form and hand wrote a menu to display on table (taped to a white small canvas I have for painting)
* Groceries were the most expensive part of the morning. It wasn't really a problem though because it just came out of our monthly grocery budget. We'll just have lentil bean soup the last week of the month :)

Serving cold water in old bottles was a cute change from the Brita

Brunch included Chicken Pecan Quiche, Shawna's amazing apple dip (always a crowd favorite), cream cheese danish, fruit salad, and garlic bagel crisps (boxed, from the dollar store, and delicious).
* The "fruit salad" wasn't made with fresh fruit, which I would always prefer, but it gets pretty expensive to fill up a big bowl. So instead I served Hawaiian Fruit Salad (haha- just made it up), which consisted of crushed canned pineapple, canned mandarin oranges, cut bananas, and coconut flakes. It was actually pretty good!

*I love the thrift stores in my neighborhood. Some NYC thrifts are trendy and expensive but there's a huge Goodwill in the Upper East Side and I always find great treasures there.
The lacy fabric on the table is a beautiful thrift shop find. I know, gross to some people, but when bleached and washed, a treasure to others!

Prize bag!

Cupcakes were the dessert of choice. It's funny how you have to plan everything when making a big meal in an NYC kitchen, or at least in ours. We have kind of a baby oven... an "easy bake oven", if you will. So I have to plan when each thing is going to bake and for how long, and how many days in advance I need to start cooking! (and if the pan called for in the recipe actually fits in my oven!)
Anyway, cupcakes seemed they would cause the least headache, especially with a great box mix. I could make them in advance and frost the morning of.

* The little flags were a free find online. Just print, cut, and attach to toothpicks. Easy and cheap decor!

Soon-to-be-mommy and me
She was so sweet and excited about everything. Having never been to a shower herself, she was blown away by all the gifts!

We ate, opened gifts, and played some games, but my favorite part was our time of prayer at the end.
Cards with different topics were printed off and passed around to all the girls. (This obviously wouldn't be appropriate for all settings, but these particular girls were aware and excited about all doing this together at the shower.)

Topics included Mom & Dad's Marriage, Mommy's Relationship with the Lord, Baby's Infancy Years, Toddler Years, and Teenage Years, and Years Once They Leave the Home.

Each girl took a topic and we just spent time showering Mom and baby with prayer. Ended with lots of teary eyes, and joyful hearts. Really, really a special time.
These were tied together at the end as a special memento for Mom to take home.

* I wanted to do a favor but had to think cheap... decided on "vintage" vases.
They were all different shapes and sizes and looked really pretty all sitting in the basket together.
I collected them over the past few weeks from Goodwill mainly and Kristian cleaned them for me. They were all $.50 to $1, bringing the total in favors to under $5. A little note was tied on each with some pretty ribbon from my big craft stash.

The guests were the sweetest girls and a delight to have in our home.

Kristian played an amazing part in this day.
As I went through the kitchen like a tornado in the morning he washed the dishes left in my path, and helped me out at the end of the day with this lovely treat:

All of you with machine dishwashers should never take for granted the treasure that they are :)

So, that's our inexpensive, but thoroughly enjoyable shower.

I've been overwhelmed recently with how much I have to be thankful for. A morning like this one filled with fun, food, and relaxation is such a gift, and something most people in the world will never experience. Why in the world am I so fortunate? Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord.
May I be increasingly content in Christ alone, regardless of circumstances, finances, and oven size.