My sister is having a baby any day now! A few weeks ago we had a couples’ shower for the parents-to-be at their house in Charlotte. I tried not to make the party too cutesy since the menfolk would be around. Below are some of my tips for a nice party without much fuss.
That gorgeous cake is from the Chocolate Nirvana bakery in Columbia, South Carolina, and yes, it tastes every bit as good as it looks
1. Tissue poms. Whether you buy or make your own, tissue poms are a great way to add lots of color and make a party hosted at home feel festive (heck, I’ve even decorated The Gravy Baby himself with one). If you buy your own sheets of tissue paper, like I did in lots of shades of blue, it’s really inexpensive, too.
2. Megaloons. What says party more than helium-filled mylar balloons? Then guess how I feel about three giant (and by giant, I mean 40 inches giant) megaloons spelling out the baby’s gender. These babies cost $4 each to fill at our friendly neighborhood grocery store, and let me tell you, it was worth every penny. The megaloons were such a huge hit that I’m already thinking about ordering them for all of our family’s special occasions and the words I can spell. Just graduated? How about three that spell “PHD”? Perhaps “MRS” for a bridal shower? For the hubby’s next birthday, I’m thinking “OLD” might be in order.
3. Fresh flowers. Fresh flowers are always a must-have at my parties. Since I wasn’t sure what would be available and floral arrangements can be expensive, I went to Whole Foods looking for any fresh white blooms, and luckily, there were beautiful hydrangeas available along with some Bells of Ireland. I used the Bells of Ireland as a tall, simple arrangement in the center of the buffet table, and I snipped the hydrangea stems short so they would fit in some vases and wide-mouthed gold and ivory glass votives I found on clearance at Target (they’re not available anymore, but I like these, too).
4. Gold, gold, gold. Gold has been making a resurgence in home decor lately (it’s the new gray, I’m telling you), and so it wasn’t hard to find gold accents to add to the decor. I was most pleased with discovering these inexpensive lacquered chargers to use as serving platters.
5. Food for the masses. I used to think that if I didn’t make or prep everything myself, somehow I wasn’t doing my job as a party hostess. Hoo boy, let me tell you — two kids, a job and getting older has definitely changed my philosophy. I ordered a few platters of sandwiches, fruit and some amazingly popular chicken satay (key: ask for extra peanut sauce for dipping) from Whole Foods. The day we went to pick everything up, I also selected a few cheeses, olives and other accoutrements to assemble a big cheese board. Then, I prepared a few simple dips to add to the menu. All told, the effort was minimal, and the table was nice and full of lots of options to munch on.
In the end, the party turned out to be a nice, low-key event for a nice, low-key couple. Now we’re just playing the waiting game — I can’t wait to spoil my first nephew (or at least see him in some of the ridiculous hand-me-down outfits I’ve passed on).