Tuesday, September 21, 2010

10 Tips for Planning a Unique Baby Shower {The Frugalista Way}

I was very lucky when I was pregnant with Savannah and had a good friend plan a baby shower for me.  I was so thrilled to have my friend plan this beautiful event for my hubby and me...and you know it wasn't what she had or did not have at the shower that made it special...it was my friends caring enough to come together and welcome our baby into their lives.  So, I was thinking about how one can throw a beautiful baby shower without blowing the budget.  I believe that being frugal isn't about being cheap...it is about choosing what to spend your money on.

  • Make the Cake - Make the cake for the baby shower.  It can even be a cupcake tower if you don't feel you are very good at making cakes.  It can be as simple as a white cake with pink or blue sprinkles to set the tone...it doesn't have to be overly complicated.  
    • Make a Diaper Cake - use it as the centerpiece and as a gift.  You can find simple instructions on how to create your own diaper cake online...check the instructions out here.
      • Decorate with gently used baby clothing - If you or a friend have some outfits that aren't new but seriously babies out grow faster then they can wear.  Take a piece of rope and some clothes pins and hang the clothes up.  This is a cute decoration and the parents to be can take the items home. If no one has clothing for you to use then put a "wanted" post on freecycle.
        • Marshmallow Treat Pops as party favors- this is so super cute and so affordable to make.  I made a version of these for my hubby's birthday.  I simply dipped the marshmallow's into water and then sprinkled the colored sugar on them...I did this because my daughter has a dairy allergy so I couldn't use chocolate but there are so many adorable versions of this.  Check out these adorable ones made by The Creative Hostess...almost to cute to eat.
          • Potluck - Why not have a potluck?  Not a regular potluck but one for the parents-to-be.  Have your guests bring a dish that can be frozen for the parents to have when they bring the baby home...and then have them bring a duplicate of the dish for everyone to try out at the party.
            • Pretty Punch - pick a drink for the event.  It gets costly when you try to have so many different drinks so why not do a simple punch.  If you want to do a more upscale version then why not freeze some raspberries in ice cubes and place them in your glasses prior to pouring a seltzer over them.
            • Create a scrapbook for the baby - I did this when my daughter was in the hospital receiving her liver transplant.  I left out blank cards for the nurses and doctors to leave Savannah a little note.  I then put the notes next to their pictures in her scrapbook...you can do something similar to this for the baby scrapbook.  Have each guest fill out a card for the baby introducing themselves and then make sure to snap a picture of each guest at the shower.
              •  Re-Use the invites as Memory Cards - you know I love printed invites rather then email invites.  You can find some adorable invites at Tiny Prints they just add a personal touch but it drives me crazy that so many of the cute invites are tossed after the party (I tend to scrapbook them along with pictures of the {fiesta} but most are probably tossed)..so why not ask the invitees to bring the invites back with them.  Have them write words of wisdom to the parents and then simply punch a hole through all of the invites and tie them up with a simple bow.  This is such a treasure to look over once the baby is born.
              • Balloons! - You know you can get a huge bag of balloons at your local craft stores such as AC Moore for about $7...and if you use a coupon they offer every week you can get them for about $4.  You can make balloons into the shape of flowers and use them as decorations...and if you are inviting little one's to the shower this will be a hit with them also (you may want to put some confetti in the balloons before
              • Do a brunch - if a potluck isn't for you then have a brunch.  Breakfast type foods are so much cheaper then dinner.  I have an {amazing recipe} for french toast...I have no idea where the recipe came from so I apologize if this is your grandmother's recipe and I haven't given credit...if it is your grandma's recipe..please tell her Thank You for me!  This recipe serves 12.
              1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cut diagonally in 1 inch slices
              8 eggs
              2 cups milk
              1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
              2 teaspoons vanilla extract
              1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
              3/4 cup butter
              1 1/3 cups brown sugar
              3 tablespoons light corn syrup

              1 Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange the slices of
                 bread in the bottom. In a large bowl, beat together eggs,
                 milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread slices,
                 cover, and refrigerate overnight.
              2 The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175
                 degrees C). In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar
                 and corn syrup; heat until bubbling. Pour over bread and
                 egg mixture.
              3 Bake in preheated oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
              Whatever you decide to do ... just have {fun} ... What I remember most about my shower was simply that...it was fun. 

              Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a Tiny Prints gift code worth $50, plus 25 FREE Tiny Prints greeting cards—a total gift value of $149.75! For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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