My brother and sister in law are due with baby boy number two any day now. Since this will be there second boy and they already are up to their eyeballs in cute boy clothes and toys, I wanted to put together a celebration for my sister in law that was not quite a shower but more of a time of blessing with her close friends. We planned the baby blessing as a no gift event where instead guests were invited to come bless the mom to be with their presence and friendship over yummy food and sweet baby crafts.
I sent out the invitations using Celebrations, an online email invitation site. It is much like Evite but prettier and a more helpful hostess database. But since I wanted my sister in law to have a keepsake of the invitation for her baby book, I printed out part of the invitation and mounted it with some washi tape.
And in case you are wondering, I searched online the proper etiquette for asking guests to not bring any gifts. This is the wording I landed on:
Please join us in celebrating Kristine and the upcoming birth of baby Camden! Lunch and sweet treats will be served. We hope you wil be able to make it for an afternoon of fun and blessing Kristine and her baby boy!
Your presence is all that is requested. Please no gifts.
I will have to admit this was one of the most challenging parties to throw decor wise. I had some ideas of what I wanted to do but not being able to use my go to color of pink ended up being a pretty big challenge. Other colors just did not look right. But after literally days of hanging this yellow crepe paper in five different spots in our dining room, I finally settled on a look that I was happy with. I ordered the large crepe paper from Paper Mart which ended up being much bigger than I needed. The streamers you see hanging our actually the crepe paper cut in half.
I made paper dot streamers for the chandelier and hung my baby nephew's name with ABC cards I had ordered for my other nephew's baby shower a few years ago.
I set up a little craft station where guests could create iron on designs for onesies and bibs. Walmart sells a fifteen pack of colored bibs for $10. I bought a few fabric quarters and ironed on Wonder Under to one side. Guests could then cut out designs and iron them on to the fabric. Having half of the work already prepped allowed non crafty guests to be less intimidated. I will share a roundup of all the designs in an upcoming post.
I also left out some scrap fabric to make baby bow ties that got hot glued to the bibs and onesies. I used the same technique as my fabric hair bow tutorial except we only used hot glue (no sewing).
The food spread was fresh and tasty. I like providing a range of foods that are not too heavy. I want the guests to have plenty to eat but still feel light. I have gotten used to having a variety of friends with food restrictions so I try to have available at least one item that is gluten free and one that is vegetarian.
We served pasta salad, fruit, bread and dill dip, Chinese chicken salad, broccoli salad, and cheese and crackers. I will be sharing all the recipes over the next few weeks.
For dessert I tried out a bunch of new recipes. My friends Glory and Mindy both recently came out with beautiful cookbooks that I have been dying to try. I made a bunch of layered desserts from Glorious Layered Desserts cookbook and tackled macarons for the first time using the book Gourmet French Macarons.
All the deserts were a huge hit. The macarons were intimidating but after a few batches I am feeling like a pro! And the layered desserts just look so fancy in their little cute serving containers. I picked up all the dessert glassware from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I went with the Mini Flare Dishes and Just Desserts Set.
My go to entertaining drinks are water and lemonade. I usually use Country Time lemonade accompanied by frozen sugared strawberries thawed (they are found with the frozen fruit but come in a container of sugared strawberries). A little boy once told me at one of our yard sales that my lemonade was the best lemonade he has ever tasted. I was sold. Having the powdered lemonade on hand makes for easy entertaining any time.
Paper straws are somewhat unnecessary but they always dress up the cups so well. I am a huge fan.
I also set up a little coffee and tea station.
As an additional activity, I printed out wishes for the baby that each guest could fill out.
Putting it down in our living room allowed for each room being used offer a different activity.
As guests arrived at our home, they were welcomed by a chalkboard and balloons.
Another little baby banner that the momma to be got to take home for his room or baby book.
Since we did not have a time where all the guests would sit around watching gifts being opened, I tried to set up each room with plenty of chairs for the ladies to sit and mingle.
We also spent part of the afternoon praying for mom and baby. This was a special and emotional time as friends came around and blessed them in such an intimate way.
The baby blessing was such a wonderful time and my sister in law's heart was full which is a success in my book. We ended the time with some photos with family.
The aftermath is always so pretty. An empty house once full of chatter and love. I am reminded of the gift my home can give to others by simply inviting them in. All the work of stressing over the decor and food is over and I have a full heart being reminded of why I like to entertain so much.