I love traveling! The excitement of planning a trip to another country...meeting new people, seeing amazing places, seeing pieces of history where people once walked hundreds and thousands of years ago...it's such a rush! This is something I hope my children are also passionate about. So with this in mind, I decided to plan our own baby shower for my firstborn, my son, with a travel theme. I wanted to incorporate adventure, babies and various aspects of traveling into a party to remember!
As original as it is, we went with various tones of blue. Ha! We thought we would have lots of teddy bears because we would call our baby boy, Misha, which can also mean a "bear" in Russian. So we got a whole bunch of teddy bears (and a couple of pandas) at Toys R' Us, when it was still around, and placed them all over the house. Easy decoration for a baby shower!
A lot of DIY went into organizing and decorating this baby shower. It was fun and enjoyable, but I think my husband decided that's the last time he will spend so much time coloring so many signs and letters! Ha!
THE DESSERT TABLE
When I plan an event, it always starts with the dessert table because in all seriousness, who doesn't love a little sweetness in their life?! And so much can go into decorating the dessert table! I called the table "Cloud Nine Desserts" and had various international desserts, such as honey cake (Russia), Pizzeles (Italy), mini eclairs (France), Kievsky cake (Ukraine), Alfajores (Peru), and cupcakes (USA). The Alfajores were homemade and were amazing!! Framed the table with balloons and made the background out of paper fans, which turned out really nice (and we ended up decorating the nursery with them!). Wrapped various empty boxes with blue gift wrap to give dessert plates some height. Put out some teddy bears with flight hats I got on Amazon and some airplanes. Got a bunch of free maps from AAA and cut out flags to make a bunting sign. Sketched letters on the flags and my husband colored them in. Oh, and I found this HUGE chocolate bar at Home Goods, which was perfect with its' blue colors and travel theme!
This was the fun part! We'll start with the entrance/welcome table, which I called "CHECK-IN". The favors were chocolates from around the world that I placed in little baggies with various vintage travel stickers I found on Amazon. The favors were in a blue suitcase-like box I found in Home Goods, which was perfect for this occasion! We had an "Advice For Parents" station, where guests used vintage postcards to write the wishes and pin them on a board. Loved the way this table turned out!
The gifts station, or "Baggage Drop Off", worked out perfectly next to the fireplace. We spray painted cardboard letters "BABY" and placed them on the mantel, put out various travel books and baby decorations. My friend had a small doll cradle and rocking ponies that were so cute!
My friend's house that we used for the baby shower had a full size billiard table. She had a full size vintage cradle (that was very heavy!), and I thought this could be a great decorating opportunity! We placed the cradle on top, put some tissue pom poms inside, put out some vintage wooden blocks she also had, airplanes, a globe and various travel-related bunting signs. Turned out pretty awesome!
And last but not least, the eating area...we had only a couple folding tables and some folding chairs. The centerpieces were maps from our travels and some travel books. Overhead, I hung hot air balloons I made myself with a teddy bear and a baby inside. It was so cute that we took them home and hung them in the nursery.
Oh and the food!!! I'll be honest...I might have gone a bit overboard. Ha! We had SO much food and of course, it was from all over the world! A lot of it was homemade thanks to our mothers, who cooked Georgian (the country) and Azerbaijani dishes. I found someone who made South American dishes. The rest was gathered from Costco, which is a great place for ready to cook international cuisine, and other international food stores. Well, I am a believer that there is never too much food because the main part of a party is to make sure guests are fed.
After everyone had enough to eat AND drink, we started with the games. A lot of the time, guests get anxious when they have to participate in games and baby showers can become so monotonous when it is the same games at almost every shower you go to. So I tried to come up with and find games that would be entertaining for both men and women and get guests to want to participate.
When I invited guests, I asked them to send me photos of when they were babies (one year old or younger). So as guests arrived, they were greeted with a wall of hanging baby photos of everyone at the party. I printed cute little numbered lists where they had to write down the guest's name next to the baby photo they believe matched that guest. This can also be a great ice breaker at a baby shower, especially if many of the guests do not know each other.
I also had a table with everything I would need for the games.
These are the other games we played:
1. Measure the Bellies - This was a spin on the classic baby shower game of guessing the size of the mommy-to-be. Instead, we had guests try to guess the size of the mommy AND daddy-to-be! Let's just say there were a lot of very long pieces of yarn going around!
2. Baby Food - This was also a spin on the classic baby food game. We had couples volunteer. The women would wear a blindfold, men would sit in a chair. The women would get a spoon and a container of baby food and have to attempt to feed their men blindfolded. Whoever finishes first is the winner!
3. Difficulties of Pregnancy - As many previously pregnant woman can attest to, carrying around a big belly is not an easy feat! So we gathered volunteers into two teams standing on opposite sides. The first person would place a blown up balloon under their clothing and a ping pong ball in between their knees. The goal was to get the ping pong ball across to the other side and drop it into a glass container as if you are a pregnant woman holding it in and running to the bathroom! The team that gets all the ping pongs across wins!
4. Hang That Baby Stuff - Here we put together two baskets of baby clothes and accessories. Two players on opposite sides had to hang all their "baby stuff" onto a string (held by two people or somehow tied to walls), all while holding a baby in one hand and a cell phone in between their cheek and shoulder! Multitasking at its' best!
5. Chug That Baby Bottle - Now this was a fun game for an adult baby shower! We put beer in baby bottles and had a few volunteers start chugging that beer from the bottles! The first one that finishes the bottle wins! It took a lot of patience and sucking strength to get that beer out! Ha!
For prizes, we gave out bottles of wine from various countries we found at Trader Joe's. Plus, Trader Joe's is a great place for good and cheap wine.
It came out to be an amazing shower and everyone had a wonderful time! Yes, I was tired and everyone kept thinking I was weird to plan and throw my own baby shower. Yes, I was a nervous wreck when guests were arriving and we were only then finishing up the food. But it was a blast to see the end product and to see the reaction on people's faces when they came in! Plus, I'll get to show it to my son, and hopefully, he appreciates what I went through. Ha!
Planning and Decorating: SMLA Happy Events Decorations: Home Goods, Party City, Joann, Michael's, Amazon Photography: SMLA Happy Events Custom Baby Banner and Clouds: SMLA Happy Events Cake and Cupcakes: House of Pastry in North Hollywood, CA (www.houseofpastry.com)
Food: Our mothers and I! Costco, Jons Marketplace
Location: West Hills, CA