T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Monday, April 11, 2011

Postmortem...

My very first blog event is complete. The giveaways are still open until April 15th at midnight MST. Thus, there is still time to leave some comments and enter if you'd like. Plus, I know a couple of readers would really appreciate your input on some of the topics.

I am not certain why I chose to run the event when I did as it was time intensive, not to mention my sister and I threw a baby shower in the mist of it. And not just a small one. And we were on quite the tight budget so we made everything. It was actually quite a lot of fun working on something with my sister - who is THE ultimate party planner. But I have to say, my decorations and cake turned out great, too.

I cannot post photos of the actual shower for privacy purposes. However, I will show photos of the decor so you can get an idea of some of the time that went into the affair. It was definitely a huge success. Our friend loved everything which is the whole point but it does help when folks stop everyone at the party to announce what an incredible looking and tasting cake I made or multiple attendees say it was the best shower they had ever attended.

We went with a homemade theme so lots of clothes pins, baby pins, and ducks mixed in, too. The expectant mom has a couple of ducks who live in the back yard utilizing the pool. Thus, ducks were also a dominant theme. We hung a clothes line across the back windows. Everything on the clothes line was made by me with the exception of a tiny blue cloth diaper. From left to right in the below photo - breastfeeding cover, diaper, bib, onesie with car, polka dot pants, hat, booties/mittens.

A few other decorations. The cupcakes were a big hit. I made them from onesies and some washcloths and burp cloths I had sewed. The remaining cloths were bundled into lollipops. I love that nearly all the decorations were things we could leave for the expectant mom to use for the baby. Very little to throw away.



The handle is a baby spoon.

Here is the diaper cake I made. It actually caused me visceral pain to purchase diapers. I haven't bought disposable diapers in over a year but I did make sure I used chlorine free. I did give the expectant mom a couple of BumGenius Deluxe diapers. Her husband is greatly opposed to using cloth (maybe from the perceived ick factor) but I told her to give them a try and at least she would have them for photos. Nothing stands out to me more in a cute baby photo than a paper/plastic diaper. (Post about this coming soon!)

You cannot really see the favors inside the duck, which were also handmade but here they are displayed in the blow up duck. T Rex made me promise to bring his duck tub home. I used to bathe him in it when he was a baby.

Games...what to do with such a large crowd? Well, we gave out safety pins with numbers. During the shower we would draw numbers and who ever had the corresponding numbered pin would win a prize. We also did the clothes pin game where everyone gets a clothes pin and if you catch someone saying "baby" you get their clothes pin. The winner is the one with the most at the end.

And for prizes? I filled some breastmilk storage bags with candy. I was really trying to promote breastfeeding as much as possible. Hence, no baby bottles as decor.

And last but most certainly not least - the cake. I needed a cake that would feed 50 people. What to do??? Sheet cake! But a regular sheet cake would not be enough. Instead I used one of my cookie sheets as the cake pan since it is much bigger than a standard sheet cake pan. Then I made it two layers. I used this incredible chocolate marble sheet cake recipe from Southern Living. Each sheet was one and a half of the recipe. So, in the end it was 3 full recipes. Then I used a dark chocolate filling (I did not want to use the mocha as suggested on the website) and a buttercreaming frosting. For each of the frostings, I had to quadruple the recipe. This might give you a better idea of how large the cake was.

Some of the words are whited out to ensure privacy.
And I was terrified of transporting the cake but I drove slow, took back roads, and made the 40 minute drive in about an hour. A funny story about the cake. Someone at the party asked me how many cake mixes it took. I chuckled and said, "I don't know but I can tell you how much flour, sugar, vanilla, cream, and eggs I used." I made three versions of the cake, two the week prior as trial runs. Needless to say, I know the recipe by heart and T Rex and I ate a ton of cake.

Another story about the cake. T Rex was with me when we purchased the ducks for the top of the cake. After that, he would repeat multiple times a day pointing to the ducks, "These are for Baby T". The evening prior to the shower I went over and set up all the decorations and then came home to frost the cake. I arrived home late, but T Rex was still awake in his bed waiting for me. As I sneaked into his room and snuggled next to him he whispered into my ear, "Have you put Baby T's ducks on the cake yet?". It was the sweetest thing.

Now to take a big deep breath or sigh of relief since the shower was hugely successful and the blog event is complete. Time to work on a couple more papers before I wrap up this semester of school and have a nice long vacation.

I do have to give a great big thank you to my heart song, T Rex Dad. He held down the fort while I sewed, decorated, baked, cooked, and suffered a melt down or two. I could not have done it without you.

Have you ever had a large event to pull off on a shoestring budget? How did it go? Alternatively, do you find you sometimes schedule everything at once leaving for a period of stress?

9 comments:

Jenners said...

Wow! As with everything you do, this was very impressive, creative and fun! I'm sure your friend was ust thrilled!

septembermom said...

What a truly creative and lovely shower!! You guys did a great job :) I'm sure the guest of honor was smiling ear to ear.

I'm glad that you survived that cake transport.

Erin said...

Looks like it was a lot of fun! I love the cup cakes! So adorable!

I made a diaper cake for a friend once made strictly out of cloth diapers (back before I had kids) beause she wanted to stictly cloth diaper....she ended up doing it for 3 days and that was it! So much for my cake!

Kim said...

You never cease to amaze me. What a beautiful shower...your friend must have felt so grateful!

Caitlin said...

Everything was SO creative and SO adorable! I don't even know where to start- I love every single detail!!
You amaze me!!

Jason & Claire said...

Very impressive!;)

JKMommy said...

WOW love the cake and the cupcake decorations especially! Cute ducky bath! :) Always wanted one of those! :) Are they good for toddlers?
I never had to do a party on that much of a shoestring - you did AWESOME!! And especially with all you had going on! WOW!

Crunchy Beach Mama said...

oh I can just feel your busy-ness/stressfulness with all that going on. But it's all over and you survived and did a fantastic job on it ALL! :)

Nina said...

You are so crafty.... I would love to have even a touch of that in me.
You can surprise me with the gift guess, our boys are very similar so surprise me. I laughed that I picked the right day. Thanks!