Thursday, December 11, 2008

T's Baby Sprinkle - Baby #3

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Holy crap.  Can you believe it?  Kid #3.  That may have been my initial reaction to the news when I first heard approximately 9 months ago...but then, as with most of my thoughts they turned right to the party.  We held her sprinkle last weekend and while I am glad it is over so that now I can go into labor without ruining the party, I wish I had a week or so more to fully perfect the theme.  Our friend Erika and I threw the party and I'm just going to say it, we make a great team.  This post is going to sound like most of the stuff was my idea, but that is the beauty of this partnership.  E let's me be party bossy and she excels at operations.  While I am the driving creative force, nothing would actually happen, if not for her practicality and time management.  Originally, I wanted to replicate a shower originally shown in Blueprint magazine.  T is very modern and likes things crisp and clean and the design of this shower is just that.  But I wasn't sure what to do about the invitation (my design skills - as you can tell from my photo layouts is pretty limited).  But luckily I came across this invite, available for download, designed by Hostess with the Mostess.  This led me to the idea of using the umbrella and #3, since no name has been decided on to date, as a logo throughout the decor.  But as I shopped and starting preparing for the shower, in the midst of holiday madness, I felt myself being drawn towards a winter slant.  But since the weather is pretty much hovering in the mid 70's right now, I decided to stick with the apple green, orange, white and silver color scheme and expand on an untraditional holiday decor idea.  It was really when I found the white foil Christmas tree at Borders!!! that this idea really began to take shape.   I painted wooden "#3's" that I bought at Michaels to hang as ornaments and just used colored ribbon to further decorate.  This sat on the guest book table and was the first thing guests saw as they entered the hallway.  Since T's house is pretty fabulous, there really isn't much needed in the way of decor.  We rented a few high-boy cocktail tables and white linens and made a few basic centerpieces to add some color and bring more holiday cheer throughout the party.  The glass vases I used I have had since my wedding and I just added some paper and ribbon to take them to the next level (note, I had a hard time finding ready made paper in the scrapbooking stores that fit the look I had in my head so I made my own.  I figured out how to get the pattern used in the umbrella on the original invite and printed full pages of the design.)  I got the idea to use fruit instead of flowers to fill the vases when T mentioned that she had a hard time finding white flowers for my sprinkle a few weeks before.  Since that is what I had planned on using also, I decided to really play up the colors and being California, oranges were in no short supply.  To add to the holiday theme, I bought inexpensive silver ornaments at Target and mixed them through the fruit too.  I wished I had bought more of those for to add to the tree.  The tree always lacked a bit for me.  I really could have used A or T's design eye for that one.  The only other element I had for the centerpieces was a piece of orange cardstock that had a decorative edge.  Easy.  
Now, on to the star of the party.  Eve, the French Canadian Caterer (pronounced Ev, by the way).  That is how I have her listed in my phone and how I secretly refer to her to most people.  I am pretty sure that from now on, T and I are going to throw random parties monthly just to eat Eve's food and hear her accent.  You may remember her from this post, and this one, and you can see more of her food here and here. Seeing as she is a friend of T's, we weren't going to have her do the food for the sprinkle, but for her to attend, for once, as a guest.  E and I decided that we would have a local creperie come to the house and make crepes for everyone.  We were so proud of the idea and knew that T would love it as well.  But when Eve called me to RSVP, she inquired if we had our food figured out and she said she would love to do it.  And get this, she has her own crepe maker.  No, not a pan, an actual station.  We discussed menu ideas and as always, I was ecstatic to be using her again.  She made individual crepes for each guest and you could either choose your toppings or let her put a wonderful treat together for you.  For some, she put small slices of homemade cheesecake inside with fresh fruits and drizzled them with chocolate, maple syrup and powdered sugar.  OMG.  Amazing.  Everyone watched her make these and were in awe of the process and the end result.  (I should mention the party was held at 2 pm, so these were like wonderful afternoon treats).  I wanted to make sure there was a little nibble in case people wanted something whilst they waited so I made candied orange peels and had my mom make cinnamon walnuts on account of my son's food allergies and I won't have nuts in the house (now, both of these candies were made for me during the holidays by my mom growing up so in my head at least these furthered the holiday feel - and the candied orange peels totally kept in line with the color scheme, contact me if you want these recipes.  but let me just warn you, I think I may have given myself carpel tunnel from taking the pith off the oranges and will likely never make these again although I will dream about their sweet goodness).  At a local farmer's market, I had also found apple and orange flavored licorice sticks and displayed those in white containers as well.  
We decided that since we were doing desserts and it was December after all, that we should do a coffee bar.  E took charge of this one as she is an avid coffee drinker and lover of self serve anything.  We had caramel and sipping chocolate to add to the coffee as well as whipped cream, peppermint sticks, and flavored syrups.  As we know that not everyone likes coffee, we also had hot chocolate available as well as a selection of hot teas.  And since it was 75 degrees, we also featured water and color coded sodas - Izze, in apple and tangerine and Gus in valencia orange.  And since this was a sprinkle and not a full baby shower, we didn't do any games, just spent time getting to know new friends, reconnecting with old ones, and showering T with our love and support during this time of need.  Oh, wait, that's right, she didn't die, she's just having HER THIRD CHILD!  And since it isn't as detailed as a full baby shower, originally I didn't want to do a favor.  But it just kind of worked out.  I had originally bought white coffee to-go cups from  Think Garnish and we didn't end up using them on the coffee bar.  I really wanted to use them so I tried to think of what I could do for a favor.  Then it hit me.  I had recently come across a recipe for a 5 minute chocolate cake (   - I typed that craziness out because I am not sure that the link worked and I want to make sure that you know where to get the recipe.  yum) that you make in the microwave in a coffee cup.  Everyone should know about this.  You know there are times when you need something sweet and most of us have these ingredients in our houses but would never know how to put this together.  So I felt like that would be a great favor.  But I didn't want the cup to be empty with just a piece of paper in it.  So originally I had wanted to carry on the coffee bar theme and send people off with Starbucks candy.  But the jerks don't put their logo on the coffee inside the bag so I decided to not use it.  Then it turned in to the idea of "haute" chocolate instead, but I never really came across the "haute" chocolate that I wanted and was stuck using Choxie.  While a good candy, not the high end look I was after.  Nonetheless, I loved that the cup could fit in to a cup holder for the drive home and people could dig right in to the candy straight away.  
I really feel like there are so many more details that I am forgetting but this is freaking long and now I have to go back and add all the links and quite frankly I am over the computer.  I am so glad that I was able to throw this shower (with E) for T and can't wait to do the next one.  I have the next theme all planned out and Eve and I can get a menu together that will be spectacular.  But I draw the line after 4.  :)  Oh and I'd like to give a special shout out to my 2.5 year old son, O, without whose cooperation, this post wouldn't have been possible.  Now I will go clean up whatever mess he has made while I have been in the computer room.

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