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). 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 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 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! 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 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.]