Showers

Our co-ed baby shower

10419429_10152672112119086_6990401396968443375_n Preggo brain has apparently hit - I meant to run this post weeks ago and forgot all about it. So… since we're still waiting for this baby to make its appearance, lets do this! As I mentioned in my Thanksgiving blog post, our family threw us a great co-ed baby shower the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Since my family was in town we thought it was the best time to get everyone together and celebrate.

What was so freaking lovely about it was that I didn't plan it! I can't tell you how refreshing it was to attend a party and not have any idea what to expect, how it all got done, and just sit back and enjoy. And enjoy I did!

It was held in Evening Star's private room - a space I highly recommend if you're looking for a local place to have a party. It was the perfect size, with a built-in bar and lots of furniture for people to sit but still space to mingle. Plus, the food was fantastic. We had deviled eggs, mini-tacos, and my favorite of favorites, their fried chicken sliders on sweet potato biscuits with gravy. HEAVEN. Oh, and cupcakes from Buzz Bakery. YESSSSS. It was perfect. I insisted on no games (are you surprised?) but the room had a pool table and table shuffleboard, not to mention the football game on the tv, so I think everyone was happy!

Though we're not going overboard with our "colors" for the baby, our general theme is gray and yellow and my family jumped on that, with some yellow and silver balloons throughout the room, adorable hand-made bunting (which I'm totally going to reuse in the baby's room), yellow and white flowers, and a hand-made "Baby" sign (which, again, so reusing in the nursery).

It was an awesome, easy afternoon, seeing family and friends and enjoying everyone's company.

I'm a big supporter of co-ed showers. My husband is just as involved in this baby as I am (except for that whole she's in my uterus thing), not to mention the other men in our lives (fathers, uncles, cousins, etc). I thought it was great to have everyone there to celebrate, rather than just focus on the ladies. It takes a village - not just to raise a baby, but to celebrate a baby, too! Thanks again to our whole family and all our friends. It was such an awesome afternoon!

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Del Ray Variety

Since we had such glorious weather on Monday, I decided to take a break from working to walk into town and run some errands. While there, I finally got a chance to check out the new store, Del Ray Variety - and let me tell you, it is awesome. I was impressed with everything they had there - but the party-planner in me was especially excited by their party supplies. For anyone in the neighborhood who is throwing any type of celebration - big, or small - this is an excellent new resource.

The first thing I was super psyched about was that it has balloons. Lots and lots of balloons. You can buy them and deal with them yourself or they can provide the helium and put them all together for you. And they had a ton of variety. From showers to birthdays, basics to holidays - they had a bit of everything. My favorites were these black and white polka dotted beauties:

 

They also have a ton of other party supplies. From tablecloths to utensils, napkins to favors - they have a ton of options here:

So be sure to drop by and check them out!

Non-Traditional Wedding Showers

'Tis the season for bridal showers (or groom showers. I don’t discriminate). Showers are not necessary. Not really anymore. They developed from the ancient dowry practice (oh dear) and from there morphed into a ritual to prepare young couples for their new life and home together - more specifically, prepare the young wife to be homemaker with bed sheets, pots and pans, and other home essentials. Some argue that throwing traditional bridal showers in this day and age establishes women in their “expected” role as family cook, homemaker and sexual partner. I have to disagree. I realize the ritual is steeped in these difficult, very traditional and complicated sexist ideas. But I still had a bridal shower. And here’s why - I don’t think women hang out enough together. And I loved the idea of gathering my favorite women of all ages in one room and actually honoring them (even though technically they were honoring me). So as you may imagine if you know me at all from this blog, I encourage you to embrace the tradition but give it your own spin. Focus on the positive - having another reason to gather and celebrate. And here’s one last tidbit. Don’t focus on the gifts**. I think we need to step beyond the bridal shower tradition of showering the bride or groom with gifts (um, isn’t that what the wedding gifts are all about??), and instead shower them with love. Plus, let’s face it. Many of us are getting married later in life and may even co-habitate with our partners before marriage. So we don’t need all those household goods. Let’s just lurve a little. **oh, and the games. THE GAMES. I am anti-games. But if you love them, do it. This post will not support them though. I don’t like toilet paper dresses. I don’t understand. If you can explain the fun of the games to me, please do. Or, if you know of legitimately FUN games, please share.

So here are some shower-ful ideas I hope you’ll enjoy:

For my shower, I specifically said that I didn’t want any gifts. So my genius sisters asked all of the guests (and even those who couldn’t attend) to give me a written recipe for marriage. Guys. It was incredible. The advice ranged from the extremely hilarious, to the incredibly heartfelt and everything in-between. And what amazed me was that with 25 different pieces of advice, there were very few repeats. My sisters made me a box to keep all of the cards, and it’s one of my most favorite, cherished items. Ever. For reals. If I ever need inspiration, I just open that box and the wisdom and love pour out.

Speaking of recipes, I’ve also heard of great recipe showers for the foodie couple. Have every guest bring their favorite recipe for their favorite dish, and by the end of the party the couple has a ton of new meals to try! If you insist on gifts, have them bring some of the baking essentials to complement their recipe (the necessary pan, the gourmet chocolate chips, or the indulgent truffles).

If they’re a party-couple, why not have a “stock the bar” shower? They may not need pots, pans, or dishes, but who wouldn’t love a fully stocked bar with all the essentials (and non-essentials)? Both partners benefit from this party which I always enjoy - AND it ensures excellent future parties will be on the horizon with delicious cocktails.

I also love this idea of having a flower arranging workshop. It’s a fun, creative experience that’s focused more on beauty and celebration rather than gifts.

Or, embrace the stereotypes and your love of Mad Men and throw a 50’s housewife shower. This one that Off-Beat Bride featured is ridiculously amazing and really makes me want to throw on some rollers and an apron.

Long story short. Ditch the dishes and gifts and the stuff so often associated with showers. Focus on the celebration and love. It’ll probably blow your mind.