July 5, 2013

Sweet Southern Baby Shower

  A Sweet Southern Baby Shower for a Sweet Southern Momma

 I haven't had a chance to blog and write lately with the hustle and bustle of 3 kids and a husband at home this summer. Last weekend, I hosted a baby shower for one of my most dear and precious friends.

It's no secret that I love crafting and fabric and making pretty things. And like any other girl, when I am given the task of planning a party my thoughts immediately start colliding and I begin seeing chevrons, printables, and color coordinated foods in my sleep.  This  whole things can be time-consuming and messy. Dinner is delayed because there are piles of punched scalloped circles all over the table. My kids know first hand what it feels like to have a hot-glue gun burn.  My husband can tell you the difference between a bunting and a tissue pom pom. Ya'll know what I'm talking about. Ladies we LOVE this stuff. Why? Because, ultimately we love ourselves and our own glory. OUCH!  Yes, that's right. Why on earth would we put ourselves and our families for this? It's so that we can put all these awesome pics up on Facebook and Instagram and pray for a billion re-Pins. It's so everyone at the event and those who weren't can say "Oh wow, you did awesome."  It's so other moms can think "Gosh, I wish I had time/creativity/energy to do that kind of thing." So we take on a task, look at how others have done it, and try our hardest to do it better. And where does that get us? Further away from Jesus and more in love with the idol of ourselves.

I've been reading this book a sweet friend gave me called The Organized Heart- A Woman's Guide to Conquering Chaos by Staci Eastin. Wow, it has given me such a new perspective on the tasks I choose (and don't choose) to undertake. She has a whole chapter on busyness. Women take on so many tasks and activities, often completing them feeling drained and exhausted. Our families and God get our leftovers because we have said "yes" to so many things. And while we may say that we find joy in making people happy, we ultimately seek praise and a good reputation from others. This is called the Fear of Man. When the intentions of the heart care more about pleasing others rather than pleasing God, this is the fear of man. And it is exhausting. Ladies, we all do it at some point. We even do it with church activities. We think that because it involves God, it's okay to say "yes". And really we are just saying "yes" because we are afraid to say "no". Sound familiar? On pg 41 of The Organized Heart she says, "God is not glorified in the amount of things we get done, the number of spaces we fill on our calendars, or the length of our to-do lists. God is pleased when we serve him with a sincere heart." In your tasks and business and all the awesomeness you post of Facebook--- is it to fulfill the chief end of man, which is to glorify God?

So I preface this post about a baby shower with that for this reason-----> I am just as guilty as the next, except for in this specific situation. I have said before that God has really been working on teaching me to serve over the past few years. A year or two ago I would have spent time, money, and effort pouring into a party or baby shower just hoping and praying that everyone will think it looks great. I would have turned on the TV too much for my kids during the day and left my husband alone on the couch at night all so I could work work work on baby shower stuff. And at the end of the day-- who suffered? All of us. At the end of the day, did any of it glorify the Lord? That is one reason I had to quit my Darling Deuce business. My family was suffering and so was I. What had started as a small business where I had time to pray over each piece of clothing as I made it for a special child turned into a stressful, life-consuming mess.  When I found out my precious friend Mandy was having a second baby, I immediately started planning the perfect baby shower for her in my head. She is a friend so close to my heart. We are both from the blessed state of Alabama! And she is a sister in Christ for sure. She understand the true meaning of faith and waiting on the Lord. She loves Jesus and prays like nobody's business.  This girl is like your favorite quilt your grandma made, she just makes anybody feel comfortable.

Going into it I prayed that the Lord would use me and my talents to be serving. I prayed that I would not get stressed or in a frenzy. I prayed that I would not neglect God and my family for projects.  The Lord has been showing me that there is true joy in genuine service and I wanted to pursue that true service so that it would glorify Him. Mandy is a detail queen. I am not. But she is, and so I knew that taking extra attention to tiny details would serve and show love to her. So my prayer throughout the process was "God, help me to love and serve my so deserving friend. Not for my own glory and not even for hers. But so that she would feel loved and served and that glorifies you Father." And I am happy to say that I kept my eyes on Him thought everything and never once did I feel exhausted,  stressed, crunched for time, etc. Because I knew that in the end, it was to serve God, and he is happy with us just as we are.

So enjoy the pics! Yes, I would be lying if I said I didn't love the compliments we received on how nice everything was, but what meant the most was seeing my precious friend feel surrounded by love. That is the true gospel folks, loving others more than yourself. And with eyes focused on the Lord, that selfless love glorifies Him.

For those of you who in to this sort of thing, here are the shower details. 

Theme: Sweet Southern
The mom-to-be is from the blessed state of Alabama. She embodies everything that is Southern-- and when I say Southern, I mean truly Southern like Alabama, Georgia, & Mississsippi (sorry Texas). She adores all things shabby chic, classic, and monogram. So I did my best to include all of those things in the details and decor. 
We had the privelege of borrowing space from a precious friend whose in-laws have a 10 acre estate with a gorgeous outdoor pavillion. The rustic setting served as the perfect canvas for the shower. Upon entrance, guests were greeted by a cheery Welcome chalkboard trimmed with a shabby torn fabric banner. Guests were asked to pick a sticker badge that adorned a classic southern saying such as "Lord have mercy" or "Goodness gracious". I think this little detail was one my favorite of the whole party. The mom-to-be probably uses all of these sayings on a daily basis. Stephanie Creekmur is a great paper & print designer/blogger. She has the most adorable southern prints and notecards and all sorts of other fun stuff.  She normally sells these sayings as full page prints, but I told her what I was using them for and she kindly fit them to meet my needs. I think I may need some for my house now. 

The mom-to-be is one of those southern gals that truly believes everything should be monogrammed. I had it in my head that I wanted to make one of those awesome wooden monograms like I've seen on etsy, but after several attempts, every dremel bit imaginable, and a broken scroll saw blade (thanks, mom), I gave up. I may post an actual tutorial on this one that you can see in the photo. It really was super easy and perfect for one time use. It's really just made out of $0.32 posterboard and spray paint.  
I have a friend/sorority sister, Mariah at Giggles Galore,  who does all this party styling prettifying stuff for a living. She has helped me with parties in the past. She was going to style this one for me, but with summer travels it ended up not working out. But I am SO grateful that before leaving town, she did give me a great party plan with some awesome ideas. If you in the need of party planning/styling. She is your girl!! I love the fun things & ideas she comes up with.  In her plan she had suggested using as many reclaimed windows as I could get my hands on. Well, thanks to Pinterest, these things are not as cheap as you'd think. I scoured Craigs List, and most people were asking $30-50 per window. I finally found a lady selling a stash of really junky ones for dirt cheap. Score!!! 
For this cute and simple mantle scene, I adhered the $0.32 posterboard monogram to one of the windows with hot glue. Then trimmed the mantle with another torn fabric banner as well as a super cute & simple carboard bunting. My sweet friend and co-host picked up the pre-cut triangles from Hobby Lobby, stenciled them with a paint pen for baby's name, and strung them together on twine. Ta-da. Cute, cheap, and simple!

All good southern girls love them some biscuits. I had seen some biscuit bar ideas on some wedding sites, but thought it would be great for our shower too. We did the shower mid-morning so the breakfast  part worked perfect. Below is the menu. This is my version of a chalkboard printable. Let me tell you how easy it was to make this cute sign. I designed it using my Silhouette software. I love using the software for designing. It is WAY easier than PSE. I downloaded some cute fonts from Dafont.com. I used the following fonts in this order--- JF Ringmaster, Makes You Stronger, Dainty (from Silhouette store) and Ten Thousand Reasons. I had this frame sitting in my office closet that held an 18 x 24. I spray painted using Valspar's La Fonda Mirage from Lowe's. Isn't that a fabulous name for a paint? It's so Napoleon Dynamine. When I designed the poster, I had made the fonts some cute coordinating colors, but when I called Staples to pring it and they wanted $20 for a color print that size vs. $1.99 for a BW, I opted for the BW. Deuceman and I got out the crayons and colored it in to look like chalk. 
This is the spread. In the pavillion there is a 12+ foot buffet counter. We suspended 3 of the vintage windows hanging from a pot rack above the buffet. If there is one thing I have learned from Mariah, it's that a backdrop for your table speak volumes. The windows with torn fabric banners and simple doily buntings made the perfect tablescape for the Biscuit Bar. For height and interest, we used old suitcases and some fun cake plates. My mother, also from Alabama, has a great collection of milk glass. Nothing says "southern" like milk glass! So I used several of her pieces to serve and accent the table. Another co-host, also happened to be from Alabama and had her mother's milk glass bowl. I'm telling ya ladies, Alabama is where it's at! For softness we added crepe myrtles (free!) in mason jars. Biscuit toppings included butter, jams, and Martha Stewart's strawberry butter. It will change your life! 
As for cake, a good southern girl loves a good bundt cake. We are so fortunate to have a Nothing Bundt Cakes store close. Their cakes are SOOOO divine. We chose to serve red velvet and lemon raspberry.  You really haven't lived until you've tried a Nothing Bundt cake. And if cake was not enough, we also served Moon Pies, in mini versions. How cute are they?? Classic mason jars in clear and aqua served as drinking glasses for sweet tea. Paper straws with the baby monogram were a fun touch! Glass bottle coke and Dr. Pepper was also available. On the tables, I was so honored to use my mom's collection of doilies, scarves, and other handmade goodies passed down to her from her mother and aunts. I love the sweet touch those pieces added. 

 The charming rustic wood table didn't need much to make it perfect. We topped it with a simple burlap runner and a crocheted dressed scarf from my mom's collection. For centerpieces we used more (free) crepe myrtle stems in glass vases.  Varied patterns of scrapbook paper served as placemats for each setting. And plates- lets talk about plates. Did you know it cost $1.60 to rent one plate? I knew I wanted a hodge podge, sort of like what you might get at grandma's house. So I went to Frisco Resale, and they had them normally $0.79 each but buy one, get one free. So I think I got 16 plates for less then $8. Score!!! 
We did purchase real fabric napkins. I wasn't in love with them, but they were cheap. I'm not going to link them b/c they were not that great or cute, but they did meet our needs fine. 

Perhaps the most special thing to the mom-to-be was the little place setting card I typed up to honor baby P. I was really pleased with it. I think she is going to have it printed on vinyl for baby's nursery! Soo cute!

We had seen the idea of having a headband decorating craft. Mom-to-be loves bows and headbands for her girls. WE knew she would love having one from every guest at the shower. My sweet friend and co-host took this task on herself, and despite being sick, she got it together and it was perfect! I think the guest and the momma really loved creating a one of a kind piece for baby. 
For favors, the guests all received a bag of biscuit mix. The muslin bags were super cheap and I just used iron on transfer paper to make them look cute. We strung them using clothespins to an old spray painted frame. 

And this is the invitation that inspired it all! A huge shout out to She's Kinda Crafty. I LOVE the way it turned out. It really set the stage for the shower.