Note: Some of you have seen bits n pieces but I wanted to include it all in one post for those who haven’t…please be patient with me or really, go ahead and holler out that you saw it first – I don’t mind!
I want to share what I’ve been working on for a few months – in addition to the barn/patio/grape arbor projects. Lots of hard work, some injuries, a deadline and lots of fun. I love party planning!
Yes-rsvp’s total was approx. 106 including women, men and children. It evolved into a fun family reunion. (Getting 50% yes rsvps was a myth in this case. Every one loves a family event!)
I created the above mosaic courtesy of DIY instructions from Bargain Hunting & Chatting with Laurie.
(Laurie – Now you can tell your family & friends that you’re an international computer software instructor…if only that came with a $$$ income and benefit package, huh?)
I considered doing a nest/baby bird theme but since it was a BBQ/baby shower with women, men and children, I opted for just using shades of blue so Iwasn’t tied to just 1 theme. “Blue” is a pretty wide range for being able to find things easily.
I purchased the Martha Stewart pom pom kits from Michaels. They’re beautiful decor. Martha Stewart even has DIY instructions for making them out of any color of tissue paper (without purchasing the kit). They’re such a pretty option for an event decoration, don’t you think ?
We were lucky enough to get tables/chairs free of charge from a local club since my sister is a member (A membership is $30 a year…it’s worth joining just to have access to free ta
bles/chairs…have you ever rented them? $$$! ) We did have to set them up without tablecloths and under trees because of the sprinkling rain. I was way too distracted to have an OCD flare up about the tables not being evenly spaced & lined up.
I also put together a little clothesline using baby clothes (gift for mom-to-be & decoration – hurray!) and added a simple quote to our DIY chalkboard:
We only had two games, (see below) but there was participation and they were fun (I didn’t think the guys would go for the usual baby word scramble. (Although I love that game – I always win!) We also had some outdoor activities such as bad mitten (correction = badminton, who knew?), volley ball and bean bag toss. There was also a bon fire. It’s a little wimpy on the “bon” but it was perfect for roasting marshmallows after dark and in August…no one is interested in it for the heat, right?
Fried Chicken(WalMart…large guest lists warrant easy arrangements. Can you imagine the time it would take to make it myself? 100 pc. chicken was $60).
Hot Dogs– inexpensive, easy and kids love ’em!
Before I had a chance to continue with menu planning, I found that guests were offering to bring side dishes. This helped out A LOT and we had more than enough food. I’m so thankful for the unsolicited help!Since the atmosphere is casual/outdoor picnic – pasta and potato salads, baked beans, hashbrown casseroles, veggie/meat/cheese trays, pretzel salads, etc. were perfect accompaniments!
Sam’s Club cupcakes are perfect for a large guest list. I ordered equal amounts of chocolate/vanilla and buttercreme/whipped topping then decorated them myself. It keeps me sane when there’s so much going on and they are tasty. I added a plastic baby to the center of one “pregnant” cupcake. It’s another way to give a prize without having an actual game. I chose a microfiber blanket for a prize…since it could have been an any-age-group winner. I did warn guests in advance!
- Don’t Break Your Water (all ages). Guests lined up and a finish line was marked a short distance away. Each guest was handed a water balloon. They were instructed to place them between their knees and to get to the finish line first without “breaking their water”. Kids and adults enjoyed this one and a prize was awarded to each.
- Baby Bottle Race (adults). I filled dollar store baby bottles with 2 oz. of beer. You should have heard the guys complaining and bragging that it was only 2 oz. until I said “go”. It’s harder than it looks. A full 8 oz. baby bottle would have worn out their jaw before they finished. Hilarious! This is what it looks like:
- We find that using a kid’s wading pool is GREAT for ice/pop & water bottles.
- I made a sign on poster board for guests to easily find our house:
- Inexpensive paper lanterns make a nice entrance:
- Designate a “photographer”. I thought I’d have time to take pictures but there was no way. (Thanks Celeste!) As hostess, I was busy organizing games and drawings, keeping food stocked, giving home tours, mingling with guests, etc.
- Add a few bottles of hand sanitizer to the food table.
- Citronella candles and food tents are helpful for outdoor events. So is having tents on stand-by in the event of rain. (20% rain = 80% sunshine when you see the glass half full…but best to have a back up!)
- Have band-aids and disinfecting wipes on hand.
- Open gifts as guests arrive. Most guests are only excited to see their gift opened and it doesn’t create a long time frame of gift opening boredom. We displayed opened gifts on a table so guests could see them.
- Do not stand on an unsteady wicker chair to hang decorations. Nosebleeds are not on your to-do list. Slow down and breathe.
- Have fun!