Thursday, April 29, 2010

First entries in the baby shower cakes contest!

I recently started a baby shower cakes contest on my site. And I'm excited to have received my first 2 entries! The first one (pic to the left) is an orange lily cake with a cute baby girl in the center. Every inch of this cake is edible!

The second entry is a blue and white baby shower cake, decorated with a blue onesie with the baby's name on it (pic below).

If you want to learn more about how these cakes were made, or if you want to add your own entry to this contest, check out the baby shower cakes page on my site. There's a $50 visa gift card up for grabs! The contest ends on June 4, 2010.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Free printable baby shower invitations

Saving money is so important these days, when you're trying to plan any type of celebration. As you probably already know, I am a big fan of ordering customized baby shower invitations for stores like Tiny Prints. But, if you're looking for a more affordable option, consider making your own invitations at home.

I recently posted some new party invitations that you can print yourself on my site. Each template has 2 options, a pre-worded template, or a blank template that you can customize yourself.

Enjoy, and happy baby shower planning!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Baby Shower Cakes Contest starts today!

Hello everyone,

I am currently looking for some cute and creative baby shower cakes to display on my baby shower website. Have you ever made a baby shower cake before? Did everyone at the party simply "ooh" and "ahh" over your creation?

Then you should enter my baby shower cakes contest for a chance to win a $50 Visa Gift Card. All you have to do is follow the link for full instructions on entering the contest. Once you enter, I will review your submission and put your cake photo live on my site.

Then, once the contest is over (on March 26, 2010), I will select a winner based on the design and overally creativity. And best of all, the winning creation will be featured on my site, and the designer gets $50!!

I can't wait to see what you all come up with!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Baby shower party supplies

I've searched my favorite baby shower stores for the best party essentials: invites, decorations, cake supplies, diaper cakes, favors, games, and gifts for both baby and mommy. If you still have shopping to do for your party, or you need a gift, visit the party supplies page.

While you're browsing, remember to keep these quick shopping tips in mind:

1. If you're a hostess, consider the baby shower decorating kits as an alternative to buying all your decorations separately. The kits come with a complete set of tableware (including a tablecloth for your head table), balloons, banner and streamers. A lot of the kits also have matching invitations and thank you cards.

2. If you are going to be a guest at a baby shower and you need a gift, the most important thing to remember is the baby's gender. Rule of thumb is pinks for girls and blues for boys. Not saying you have to stick with those colors only, but use them as a basis. If you're just stuck on what to get for the baby, buy a baby shower gift for mom instead.

3. Don't wait til the last minute to go shopping! Whether you're a hostess or a guest, it's always best to start looking around early. If you wait until the last minute, you may be rushed into getting something that you are not as happy with.

If you're looking for more tips and suggestions on baby shower shopping, or if you want to offer your own expertise, participate in the Q & A Forum.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Essential Baby Sprinkle Gift Ideas

Most likely, if you receive a baby sprinkle invitation in the mail, it will pretty much tell you what kinds of gifts to bring.

Why? Because the whole purpose of a “sprinkle” is to not only celebrate the coming of another child, but to also stray away from the unnecessary gifts like baby furniture and lots of clothes.

Just in case your hostess does not specify what type of gifts to bring to a baby sprinkle, I’ve put together a list of 5 essential gifts for this type of celebration. Everything on the list is a crucial must-have for a new baby and the parents.

Diapers – All babies need them; tons of them! Don’t just buy the newborn ones either. Babies need diapers well into the toddler years. *Tip* - buy a diaper cake and you’ll be giving a gift that's not only useful, but beautiful to look at!

Wipes – If you have kids of your own, you know what it’s like to almost run out of wipes. For every diaper the parents use, they’ll use anywhere from 2 to 5 wipes.

Baby food – Even if the mom is planning to breastfeed, she’ll still need plenty of food for her growing baby. A baby food gift basket would be a great gesture.

Baby bath and lotion – This is another useful gift idea that can be presented as a gift basket. Include a few washcloths and baby bath toys to the collection.

Onesies – The parents might have some left over from the other children, but onesies can get messy fast. Many parents use them not only as undergarments, but also as “around the house” clothing for the baby. Babies tend to get food and other stains on their clothes. And a lot of them just get thrown away if the stains don’t come out.

Rule of thumb for selecting baby sprinkle gifts – stay away from the big and unnecessary stuff. You are more than welcome to buy nursery décor, cute outfits, toys, etc. But you don’t want to overcrowd the home with stuff the parents will have no room for. If you know they already have a crib, don’t overload them with another one.

Remember that the idea here is to “sprinkle” the baby and mom-to-be with gifts.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Quick and Easy Tips for a Bar-B-Que Baby Shower

So, summertime is here and judging by this heat, looks like it's not going anywhere for another couple of months! What says "it's Summer" better than an old-fashioned bar-b-que? If you know someone who's having a baby soon, that's a perfect theme for her baby shower. Check out these useful tips to help make your bar-b-que baby shower a success:

1. Serve great cookout food.
Make sure your menu include the classic bar-b-que items. Serve hot dogs, burgers, grilled chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad, and garden salad. For dessert, serve cold stuff to give your guests some relief from the heat. And don't forget some punch and lemonade.

2. Display cool centerpieces.
You want to make sure your guest feel like they're at a cookout as well as a baby shower. So make sure you incorporate baby stuff into your decorations. For your centerpieces, take plush dolls or teddy bears and dress them up with an apron and chef hat.

3. Bar-b-Que themed party favors.
If men will be attending the shower, give them baby bottles filled with bar-b-que sauce or dry spices. For the women, give them scented insect repellent candles or baby bottles filled with chocolate candies.

4. Choose a nice open space.
Obviously, you'll want to have a bar-b-que outside, and your backyard would be the perfect location. If that's not an option, look into having the party at a community park or at the beach.

5. Have a solid back-up plan in case it rains!
Hopefully the weather will cooperate for the party. But just in case the forecast calls for a chance of rain, make sure you can quickly change the party's location. If you're having the shower in your backyard, you can easily move it indoors. If you're going to a park, lots of public parks have indoor recreation centers. But make sure you find out if you are allowed to use the facility first.

And there you have it - everything you need to know for planning an awesome bar-b-que baby shower.

Happy Planning!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Is it tacky to give cash as a baby shower gift?

For any gift giving occasion, many would argue that giving cash as a gift is a little too impersonal. To some, giving cash implies that you didn’t take time to actually look for a gift, or you didn’t put any thought into it. It’s basically a quick fix.

Despite what most people think, more and more people are resorting to this idea as a baby shower gift. I think it has a lot to do with our current economic situation. People are realizing that times aren’t as easy as they used to be. We’re straying away from the “cutsey” unnecessary gifts like personalized Lenox, and opting instead for diapers, baby formula, etc.

People always want to give the best present for a new baby, and I always tell people to go for what a baby needs, not what the mom wants for her baby, or what you think would be "so cute" for the baby. For example, A cute Easter outfit is a great gift, but a pack of diapers and wipes would be much more useful.

I actually think giving cash is a great gift idea. Imagine if you had 20 guests at your baby shower and each of them gave you $20 (average price of a gift). That’s $400 for your new baby! You can do a lot more with $400 as opposed to a porcelain photo frame or a "designer" car seat.

Of course, you can always give gift cards too, which are pretty much as good as cash. The only catch is that the card will have to be used at a specific store. If you are considering a gift card, go with a Visa card. They are accepted everywhere.

*If you were expecting a baby, what types of gifts would you rather get at your baby shower – clothes, toys and collectibles, or a stack of cash? Do you think it’s tacky to give cash as a baby shower gift?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Reusable baby shower decorations

Are you planning a baby shower and looking for ways to make your money stretch? Consider these party decoration ideas that incorporate common baby items which can be reused after the celebration is over:

Washcloths for napkins – neatly fold them into a triangle and place them next to your plates. Provide disposable napkins and inform your guests that the washcloths are just for show.

Socks for a rose bouquet – Visit this page to learn how to make a rose bouquet out of reusable baby socks. This makes a great table centerpiece.

Baby bottles, pacifiers, booties for paper weights – You can use any small baby item that’s heavy enough to hold balloons. Fill small bottles with candies, marbles, etc, and tie the balloon string around the bottle, just under the nipple. A pacifier is a bit lighter, so you can use that for just one balloon. Make a few with pacifiers and place them randomly around the room. For baby booties, place a pair of booties next to each other and tie the balloon string around the shoe laces.

Baby clothesline for streamer or banner – Use a bunch of baby clothes, booties, bibs, etc. and create a line to hang across the room. Have your guests decorate some onesies and use those too.

Baby blanket as a tablecloth for gift table – Use a nice, fluffy fleece blanket to drape your gift table. If the table is too big for one blanket, use a crib sheet, which is a bit larger.

Diaper cake – This is the ultimate reusable piece of décor. You can buy a diaper cake or make your own. Either way, use it as your centerpiece for the head table, and make sure the cake is made with usable diapers that the mom can use for future use.

How would you create reusable baby shower decorations?
Click here to share your ideas

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Baby shower cake alternatives

Let’s face it, baby shower cakes are cute to look at but expensive to buy. Unless you have superb baking and cake decorating skills, chance are you will have to purchase a pricy cake for your celebration. Depending on how many people are on your guest list, a small sheet cake from your local grocer might suffice. But if you want something more elaborate, or you need to feed tons of people, start thinking about alternatives to a baby shower cake.

Baby shower cupcakes - You can easily get 24 cupcakes from one box of cake mix and one package of icing. Even if you need to use two boxes of mix, you’ll still spend a lot less than buying a cake for a fancy bakery. You can buy a cupcake stand or just place your cupcakes on a serving sheet. And you can use different colored icing to match your theme. Why not use the cupcakes to make an activity for your guests? Before you guys eat them, see who can decorate them the best.

Cookie tray – Another great and cheap alternative to a fancy baby cake. Chances are, you already have almost everything you need to make cookies from scratch in your kitchen. Whatever you don’t have, you can get it for next to nothing at the supermarket. Let’s say you’re having 30 people, make an assortment of chocolate chip, peanut butter, sugar, and oatmeal raisin (or whatever you think your guests will like). About 60 cookies is more than enough for 30 people. Neatly arrange your cookies on a round or oval cookie tray.

Cheesecake tray – This is a good alternative if you’re only having a few people. You can find a cheesecake variety tray at any supermarket for about $10. I would suggest buying two, in case anyone wants seconds. Of course, you can use this alternative no matter how many people you’re having, but cheesecake is a bit expensive, so it’s best suited to feed only a few people.

Practically any dessert can be used as a substitute for a baby shower cake, if it is presented the right way. Make sure your main dessert is the main attraction of the food table. The three listed above are my favorite choices. With each of these options, they are easy to prepare (or cheap to buy), and you can offer a variety of choices to your guests.

Do you have a cool baby shower recipe or food idea to share?
Click here to tell us about it!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cool baby shower traditions

Here are a few traditional baby shower ideas that you can use to add a special touch to your celebration. All of these activities have been practiced for many, many years. And they are just as much fun today as they were in the past.

Don’t say baby game – This is by far the most popular baby shower game. It’s a good way to get all your guests to participate, it’s easy, and it’s fun. All you have to do is give your guests a diaper or clothes pin as they arrive for the party. Once everyone has a pin, announce that the game is starting. If someone hears someone else say the word “baby”, whoever said the word has to give up their pin! The object of the game is to acquire as many pins as possible. You will decide how long the game will last. Usually, this game is good enough to go on until the end of the celebration.

Baby shower hat – As the gifts are being unwrapped, tear off a piece of the wrapping paper from each gift. If there is a gift bag, just use a piece of the tissue paper. You can also use ribbons. Take a paper plate and tape or glue all the pieces of paper and ribbons to the plate. Punch a hole on each side of the plate and insert a piece of string. Put the hat on the guest of honor’s head and tie it around the chin. Make sure you take a picture of this, and then store the hat away as a keepsake.

Advice book or tip jar – This is another great way to get your guests involved. All they have to do is write down a small piece of advice for the new mom in a book or on pieces of paper (for the jar). She can keep this for future reference to help with those busy mommy days.

Keepsake box – You’ll want to make sure you save a little piece of absolutely everything from the shower. This includes streamers, tablecloth, tableware, favors, gift wrap, papers from any games you played, etc. Store everything in a keepsake box so that the new mom will always have it to reminisce.

Cake keepsake – Before you start cutting the cake, make sure you cut around whatever part the mom wants to keep. Usually the guest of honor wants either the baby’s name if written on the cake, or whatever graphic is on the cake. Tightly wrap the cake and freeze it. Serve the rests to yourself and your guests.

Happy planning!
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