|The easiest DIY baby or bridal shower treats/party favors: "Caramel Apple Kits." (Scroll down to the bottom for details!)|
Well, no need to tell you the sickness and exhaustion hasn't gone away just yet. BUT I have been working behind the scenes to bring some goodies your way, so this coming week will have a few good posts. YAY!!!!! I really do miss being here with you... *sigh*
Speaking of babies, my good friend, Lisa, is due with her first baby girl in just a couple days and I had the chance to co-host a baby shower for her last month. Like any pregnant woman, this one deserved all the effort and fuss we could manage to put into her celebration, but we needed to be careful in our planning not to bite off more than we could chew. So, knowing our guest-of-honor loves the outdoors and a relaxed atmosphere, we opted to throw her a picnic shower in a nearby park. Though it takes some extra planning, ultimately they're much easier to pull off than an indoor shower thrown in your own home. Here are some of the perks to opting for mother nature as your backdrop:
- A grassy, wooded park is already beautiful so you need minimal decorations.
- Unless there's a chance of rain, you don't need to worry about cleaning your house!
- Since you're not hosting it in a home, you don't need to worry about rearranging furniture or gathering extra seating. Shauna, my co-host, and I simply told the guests that we'd bring quilts for sitting and suggested they bring a camping chair if they'd be more comfortable.
- Many parks can be used for free (like the one we used) or rented for a small fee.
- Even though you're really not supposed to bring children to a baby shower, within our group of friends is a number of moms who're still nursing and such, so we usually welcome kids. At a park you don't have to worry about child-proofing, and the open grass allows plenty of space for them to crawl and play.
Like I said before, it does take some extra planning, simply because if you're not in your home, you have to make sure you bring everything you need with you. Some things you may forget to include on your picnic "to-bring" list are:
- A pen and paper for recording the mom-to-be's gifts.
- A camera will a full-charged battery.
- Trash bags, if your park doesn't provide waste bins.
- Extra ice, and water in a well-sealed container. We chose to do ice water with fruit since it looks nice and is a universal refresher for a warm Summer gathering. We bought water in jugs and waited until we were there to arrange the water, ice and fruit in the decanter.
- At least two folding tables along with table cloths. We had one for food and one for the drink dispenser and party favors.
- Cutting boards, knives, or anything else you might need for on-the-scene food prep. For example, we served wedged tomatoes and avocados as a side dish. Not wanting the avocados to brown or get smooshed, we waited until we were on site to cut them.
- Paper towels and/or kitchen rags, and a bottle of cleaner in case of any messes.
- Plastic bins, both for carrying supplies onto the site and for clearing away the party remains. On a similar note, you may also want to bring some empty grocery bags for the dirty serving utensils.
- Tupperware or zip-lock bags. We often end up with more extra food than we can manage to eat, so we decided to bring an easy means of sending the mom-to-be home with any leftovers she'd like. Whatever's left for us got placed in zip-locks so that we could easily stack all the dirty dishes and place them in the traveling bins.
- A first-aid kit. We did not bring this, but we're so glad one of our guests did since poor Shauna cut herself while preparing the avocados!
Okay, last, but certainly not least, (MAN I am long-winded today!) are the "Caramel Apple Kits" you see in the picture above. These are so, so, so, so easy. Do you hear me? SO EASY! And, I don't know about you, but I rarely want sweets in the middle of the day, and I find that most cakes aren't worth the calories, so a healthier treat option is a welcome alternative to me. As luck would have it, Lisa is a really healthy eater, so these were just right for honoring her. Each kit consists of one green apple, two individually-wrapped caramels, a tapered, wooden caramel-apple stick, plastic favor bags, and some ribbon in a color of your choice! Your guests are very unlikely to go home and actually make a caramel apple, but who the heck cares? It's really not the point. They're vibrant, classy, and offer something for both your health-conscious and sweet-toothed attendees. (All non-food items can be found at Michaels.)
*Exhale* Whew! More to come on this baby shower, including the full lunch menu we served! Until then, have a fantastic rest of your weekend and enjoy the sunny weather with whatever "babe" you have you in your life. :)