This past weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting a baby shower for my future sister-in-law (AKA my brother Bob’s fiance), Cory. Cory loves Hello Kitty, so from the moment I found out she was pregnant, I knew I wanted to incorporate her slight obsession into the shower. When I found out she would be having a boy, however, I knew I had to revise my plan just a bit…which is how I ended up going with a Badtz Maru theme. For those of you unfamiliar with Sanrio characters, Badtz Maru is the penguin with the spiky hair. I ultimately chose him over other male characters like Keroppi (the frog) because my nephew is going to be named Vinny VanScoten, which IMO is the name of a badass, and the spiky haired penguin just suited that better 😉 But of course, I still managed to incorporate Hello Kitty just a bit…
I was on a pretty tight budget with this table, but I didn’t want to sacrifice quality in the name of saving money. The solution? Lots of homemade treats! Michael and I made marshmallow pops, meringue cookies and delicious chocolate-dipped pretzel rods, and paired those items with some delicious candy provided by some very generous vendors _(I’ll introduce you to them in just a bit)_, and a very creative cake made by an up-and-coming cake baker.
At our wedding, Michael didn’t even get to see the dessert buffet because our guests dug in before we returned from taking photos, so for this event I decided to find a clever way to keep guests from digging in before our mommy-to-be got to sample the table.
In keeping within budget, I created centerpieces for the tables and for the dessert table out of tissue paper dahlias __and spray painted sticks _(there’s a great DIY tutorial for the dahlias at [Martha Stewart Weddings](http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/article/pom-poms-and-luminarias?czone=inspiration%2FDIY%2Fdecorations))_. Placing those in glass vases from the Dollar Tree _(with black stones — also from the Dollar Tree — to hold the sticks in place)_, made for inexpensive yet playful centerpieces.
As one of our shower activities, we played baby bingo. Each card had a variety of baby shower gifts listed on it, and every time Cory opened a gift, guests with that gift on their card marked it off with a bingo chip _(in this case, Smarties)_. The first guest to get bingo won a prize.
The activity that helped the parents-to-be the most, however, was the diaper raffle. Each invitation included a card explaining that for each pack of diapers a guest brought with them, they would receive one raffle ticket. In the end, one guest won a prize, and Bob and Cory ended up with over a thousand diapers!
**Now, to introduce you to a few of my wonderful vendors for this shower…**
[**Seattle Chocolates**](http://www.seattlechocolates.com/) supplied some delicious cool mint truffles for the dessert table, in addition to a variety of other amazing samples that I got to snack on at home. Everything I tried was simply amazing, but the [Birthday Cake Truffle Bar](http://shop.seattlechocolates.com/scc/summer-love/birthday-cake-truffle-bar.html) they sent me to sample was by far my absolute fave. In fact, I might just need to order some more, because I’m pretty much dying for one as I write this. If you have a sweet tooth like me, I highly encourage you to check out Seattle Chocolates!
**[Can You Imagine That!](http://www.niftycandy.com/)** sent me the candy pebbles and Sandy Candy sticks that I used on the dessert table. In addition, they sent over adorable little edible “sand” art baby bottles which I gave to each gift as a favor. The kids at the shower really loved them, and seeing them make their Sandy Candy art made me think of what a cool idea this would be for a children’s party!
**[Blair Candy](http://www.blaircandy.com)** supplied chocolate sixlets and lollipops for the dessert table. Like many bulk/wholesale candy distributors, Blair Candy offers a variety of candy to suit any dessert table, and you can search on their website by color or category. It’s also a family- owned and operated company, which makes you feel good about ordering from them.
**Geeky Goodies’ **Dani Moses baked up the very adorable cake for this shower. And let me tell you, not only was the cake super cute, it was also amazingly delicious…which I feel is the ultimate test of a great cake baker. Dani’s still working on getting her website up, so if you’re interested in talking to her about a cake, email her at leeismee(at)hotmail.com.
**Michael Denton, Personal Chef** (AKA my husband) made quite a bit of the sweet treats above, including the meringue cookies (stay tuned for a recipe post next week) and chocolate-dipped pretzel rods, in addition to the entire food spread. He’s in the process of creating his own business venture, so if you’re looking to hire a personal chef to cater your next event, stay tuned! You can also email him at denton.michael.j(at)gmail.com. _[Disclosure: Seattle Chocolate, Can You Image That! and Blair Candy supplied the above items free of charge to be featured in this post.]_