So, what do you do when you have an endless list of ideas but not enough time to make them happen? Keep it sweet and simple when planning a backyard baby shower! That’s what we did for baby Ella’s shower. With little time to prepare we came up with decorations and food that were foolproof and simple to create. Rachel isn’t much for drawing attention to herself so she preferred a couples shower which helped to ease the nervous feelings associated with being the center of attention. The men spent time talking about music (most of them are musicians) and other techy stuff and the girls, well they talk about everything from babies to decorating. When it came time to open presents Rachel and Jon opened them together, with help from Noah of course.
Our color scheme consisted of shades of pink, white and cream, a touch of navy blue in the straws and children’s gift bags, and a hint of turquoise in small vases and hanging tissue pom poms. The navy and turquoise were just enough to add a tiny bit of bling to the soft color pallet. We purchased jars to hold popcorn and spray painted the lids white to match the scheme. Jon’s family had thrown a shower for the kids while in the area for a family reunion and we were able to reuse some of the beautiful tissue flowers that were made by Rachel’s sister-in-law. Originally we had planned on using all live flowers but these were perfect shades of pink and cream to compliment the colors already planned for the shower so we decided to mix both for a more eclectic feel.
I made a fabric banner to match the mobile Rachel had made for Ella’s nook with white fabric from an old curtain and vintage polka dot fabric that was purchased from a flea market. Rachel made a geometric patterned banner from craft paper and cut Ella’s name from silver paper. Jon helped out by purchasing the cupcakes and beer. The cupcakes came from Crushcakes, a cupcake bakery and cafe with shops in Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria. They make all their cupcakes from scratch each day and were featured on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Beer came from Figueroa Mountain Brewing, a family owned brewery with six taprooms, one being in Santa Barbara.
Recently I had purchased a used child’s Pottery Barn table for $20 from a Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and for only $2 each we rented matching white chairs. I LOVE Re-Store. If you have one in your area and haven’t made a visit yet, I would highly advise trying it. They sell all kinds of items that have been donated from home remodels from lighting and cabinets, to doors and windows (old and new). This is a great place to find old wood, architectural detail pieces, and our local store sells lots of used furniture. I’ve even purchased a plastic Little Tykes slide for $10 in the past! We topped the child’s table with a leftover piece of vintage fabric and a vase of tissue flowers.We purchased small 4 oz. canning jars and hung them with jute twine from our backyard tree and tied a pink polka dot ribbon on the jute for a little color. Clear round lights were hung on the patio. The combination of candles and lights were beautiful and helped to create the perfect atmosphere after the sun went down.
- Craft stores -Michaels and Hobby Lobby – colored tissue pom poms, spray paint, chalk stickers for popcorn bags, chalk pen , chalk board labels for drink dispensers
- $ Store – kids gift bags, toys for bags
- Party Store – White square plates, toys, pink suckers, & stickers for kids gift bags, pink and white popcorn bags, white chip bowls
- Target – Plastic tub for ice and drinks, paper straws, napkins, small mason jars for hanging tealights
- TJ Max and Ross – Popcorn Jars, Vintage look drink dispensers for lemonade and tea, “From the Moon and Back” canvas plaque, milk bottle drinking jars, white milk bottle vases
- Trader Joes – Hydrangeas and other green and white assorted flower bunches
Items we already had:
- Child’s white table
- Jute twine
- Various shaped and colored flower vases – white, clear, turquoise and silver
- Vintage pink cupcake plates
- Votive cups and candles
- Vintage pink polka dot fabric
- Tissue flowers from the family shower
- White linens
- Folding tables
- Additional milk bottle shaped jars saved from the cold Starbucks drinks purchased at Costco
- Mason jars for beer
- Vegie strips of celery, carrot and cucumber served in an herb pot with ranch dip on the side
- Mini Caprese salad skewers drizzled with EV Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar – always a hit!
- Assorted Chips
- Chocolate covered almonds
- Pink Jelly Belly jelly beans – purchased in bulk from WinCo
- White (vanilla) taffy – purchased in bulk from WinCo
- Kettle and caramel popcorn
- Beef and vegetable skewers
- Chicken, veggie and pineapple skewers
- Oven baked rosemary potatoes
- Green salad with cranberries, almonds, feta cheese and Raspberry vinaigrette
- Watermelon and cantaloupe
- Vanilla cupcakes from Crushcakes in Santa Barbara
- Raspberry lemonade with fresh raspberries
- Ice tea with lemon slices
- Perrier, canned sodas, and bottle waters
- Six different growlers of beer from Figueroa Mountain Brewing in Santa Barbara
The shower was a family effort, Eric came down from San Jose and helped with preparing food, hanging lights from the tree, mowing the lawn, last minute trips to the store, etc. etc. Steve always has a long “honey do” list when we host any event at the house and he is a great sport!
Rachel and Jon haven’t lived in the area for long but they’ve made a few very good friends in their short time here. Those new friends along with a couple of “golden” childhood friends and their children made for a nice memorable time together. Everyone enjoyed the food and good company. Now all we have left is to wait patiently for Ella to arrive. She is due to come into this world on September 15th. General consensus is she’s going to come early. We’ll see!