Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Showering a Friend With Love

Meet my dear friend, Amanda:
I met Amanda through Stephen when I moved to Chicago.  Stephen and Amanda's husband, Mike are in the same small group and are close friends.  Mike was a reader in our wedding and I have never heard Stephen say anything but great things about him.  When I moved to Chicago, Amanda welcomed me with open arms and it wasn't long before we were close friends.  She is energetic, determined, loving, caring and compassionate.  Better yet, she's all these things in the name of the Lord.  I absolutely, positively LOVE Amanda.  When Amanda decided to join our small group a year ago, I was ELATED!  I was now going to get to see Amanda on a regular basis ALL the time!   EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (the sound Amanda makes when she's excited)!!!

Meet Amanda and her dear husband, Mike:
At our household, we absolutely love these two.  We love them so much that we let them help us move...hahahaha, yeah right.  That's one of the reasons we love them so much: because they helped us move; because they are always looking for ways to bless other people.  Did I mention that Stephen and I love these two???

Meet Mike and Amanda's future baby girl, Bugaboo:
Ever since Amanda and Mike spilled the beans about this little girls arrival into our world, we couldn't get enough!  I knew right away that I wanted to help throw a shower for Amanda because I wanted a chance to shower her with love and blessings that she had shown me on a daily basis.

Insert good friends and ladies of my small group.  These wonderful ladies joined forces with me and we successfully threw Amanda a shower that we were hoping would knock her socks off!  It was absolutely SO much fun thinking of ways to surprise and love on Amanda, mainly because she is a girl with no expectations.  She expects NOTHING for herself, meaning that we could have shown up with a bag of Doritos and Amanda would have been so thankful to us for providing food.

We threw Amanda her shower at church, as this was the only shower that she had and it was going to be a well attended one (40 peeps, holla'!).  We wanted to take away the feeling that you were in a church room and make it feel very intimate and home-y.  I think we did a good job (if I do say so myself!).  Let me share with you some of the details from the shower:

With 40 people coming to this shower, we did all that we could to cut the costs wherever we could.  One of the ways we tried to cut the costs was with the cake.  Thankfully, my sister-in-law makes cakes on the side and she showed me how to do it when I threw a shower for my sister back in the spring.  These were box cake mix cakes from Aldi.  Here's what I did: I made a 3 layer cake using 9" cake pan.  I then took store bought icing and layered the cakes as well as iced them on top.  After icing the entire cake, I added a top layer.  The top layer is a marshmallow fondant using a variation of this recipe.  I followed the technique used in this video to put my fondant on top of my cakes.  I saved some fondant to color (the pink and green) and then rolled it out and cut into different size circles using cutters I bought at Michaels.  I used food coloring to dye leftover white icing (pink and green) to pipe around the bottom of the cakes.  The pink cake is a white cake with white icing while the green cake is chocolate with chocolate icing.  Seriously people, this wasn't hard - it was just time consuming!

Here's our wonderful spread of food.  There was so much goodness on this table that just remembering it makes me hungry.  That caprese-like salad that you see in the front was store bought from Costco and it was GOOD!  If you shop at Costco, look for this salad, buy it and enjoy it for me!

Here are our decorations adorning the middle of the food table.  I made a banner using my beloved Silhouette and then my friend and fellow hostess, Amy made tissue paper pom-poms to cover up the sticky tack used to hold it up.  The print in the middle was our gift to Amanda.  This owl design is from fabric that Amanda used to create Bugaboo's baby bedding.  My sweet friend and fellow hostess, Debbie (who is a graphic designer) took the fabric and made this print that was then used for the invitations.  Amanda loved the print so much that we sent it off to the printers and had it blown up.  We then went to Hobby Lobby and got a mat custom cut for this poster (have you ever done this?  Hobby Lobby is the bomb-dot-com and a custom cut mat is NOT expensive).  The picture frame came from Michaels during one of their huge sales that included frames (lucky for us!).  Now, that picture is hanging in Bugaboo's room and goes splendidly with her bedding.

We went a simple, yet colorful route with the table centerpieces.  Amy took ball jars and used scrapbook paper and yarn to add a splash of color to them.  She then went out in the wee-hours of the morning and stole cut beautiful hydrangeas and other flowers from the yard of her apartment building.  The white table cloths were from the dollar store (score!) and the balloons came from the grocery store.  In an effort to save time the day of the shower, I stopped by the party store the day before and bought balloons for the big day.  It was an incredibly hot July day and as a result, as I tried to stuff these balloons into the car, I lost 3 of them as they touched the hot exterior of the car.  I then awoke on Saturday morning to the remaining balloons hovering low, right above the floor as I glared at them and their failure to last even 24 hours.  Thankfully, Amy was willing and able to pick up new ones at the grocery store right before the shower.

To the left is a picture of the favors that were put at every seat on the tables.  The little sign on the left is a votive candle that I hot-glued "Pray for Mama and Baby Shih" to the bottom (you guessed it! I used my Silhouette).  Amanda really wanted her guests to have a candle that they could light when they found out she had gone into labor.  The idea is that they will see the candle and use it as a reminder to pray for her while she is bringing this sweet baby into the world.  The brown bag is filled with color coordinated Sixlets that were picked up from the party store.  I cut out onesies and then glued plastic to serve as a window into the bag.  
The picture on the right shows the table that people saw when they came into the shower.  It was decorated with more of Amy's beautiful pom-poms and a huge calendar of September (the month the baby is due) to make a guess of when they think the baby will come.  Whoever guesses the time closest to Bugaboos actual arrival will receive a prize for being so good at fortune telling baby deliveries!

A picture of one of our games - 1 minute to fill in the blanks regarding popular Nursery Rhymes.  The one who had the most correct in 1 minute won!  If you'd like me to send you a pdf of this, shoot me an email - it's a great, quick game to play at any baby shower.

Needless to say, we had a fabulous time celebrating Amanda's soon to be entrance into Mommy-hood and the soon to be arrival of Bugaboo.  Stephen and I can't wait until she makes her debut - we're headed  back to Chicago to meet this amazing little girl! 

(all pictures are compliments of my sweet friend, Amy.  Kudos to her and her awesome photography skills!)

I've linked up to THESE parties this week (As well as Today's Creative Blog, The Thrifty Home, Savvy Southern Style, Sew Much Ado )


  1. Beautiful Party! I posted a great list of books that make wonderful baby shower gifts. Take a look if you get a chance! I am now one of your followers :)

  2. Everything looks adorable! I love the idea of the little sticker on her belly! Congrats to your friend : )

  3. awww...i'm loving that sweet party. The colors are perfect and the cake was beautiful. I just started a new link party on my blog today and I'd be honored if you'd join up with this. http://caribbeanmissionarywife.blogspot.com/2011/08/t-time-21-and-link-up.html
    have a lovely day, Maria

  4. Everything is just perfect! Very beautiful!

  5. What a lovely party! I love different party ideas!

    I'd love for you to stop by on Thursday and link up to our Crafts for Under Twenty Somethings party. It's all things kids and teens related, so your post would be perfect! I also add any parties linked up to a Themed Party Directory on my blog. Hope to see you Thursday!


  6. Looks like a lovely way to welcome a baby and treat the mom to be!

  7. It's official: I'm truly spoiled by my friends! I was crying I was laughing so hard when you mentioned bringing a bag of Doritos--it's so true! This shower really was BEYOND amazing. Thanks for helping make it so special, Kari. Love and miss you BUNCHES! xoxo


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