Last weekend, Dave and I threw a Baby Q for our friends, Britt and Nate. They are the anti-baby shower type of people, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to celebrate their little one like everyone else (and reap all of the benefits that a shower implies). I can’t say that I blame them. I was never for the cheesy games and frilly finger foods either. Since a lot of their friends are women and men, a couple’s shower made sense. And since we know them so well, an evening of barbeque, backyard games and craft beer made even more sense. Needless to say, Mama sat out on the beer sippin’ this time:)
Baby Q Invitations
I’m usually a fan of Evites, but when it comes to showers, I think paper is in order. I was amazed to find so many Baby Q designs on Etsy. It didn’t take me long though to decide on this one from PuzzlePrints:
They responded quickly and offered great customer service. If you haven’t had a broken printer on your to-do list for two years, you could print these out yourself from the final PDF or jpeg. I had it done at a UPS store on cardstock at a very reasonable price and bought invitation-sized envelopes from Staples. I can’t tell you how many compliments I got on these!
Our gracious guests of honor actually offered up their home for the party. It worked out well, with their flat lawn for table and games, a nice partially covered deck, and no hauling loot post-party back to their place. Win, win!
The Baby Shower Menu
This was not your typical baby shower food. We also had to keep in mind that this would be outside in August, so we didn’t want anything too hot n’ heavy. And being in the South, there was a definite Southern, local flare to our fare:
- Cheese Spread Duo: Pimento Cheese (my mom’s famous recipe) and Three Graces Dairy goat cheese from right down the road in Marshall, NC, served with an assortment of crackers.
- Veggie Tray with Ranch dip.
- Pisgah Pale Ale and Pisgah Mexican Lager on tap courtesy once again of our wonderful guests of honor. (They insisted on providing the beer. It was a dealbreaker.)
The Main Event
- Pulled-pork barbeque (Dave smoked it for 12 hours and made his own two sauces to go with it: Piedmont and Eastern. YUM.)
- Zesty Slaw
- Potato Salad, recipe from Brown-Eyed Baker. We left out the eggs. I’m not a potato salad person, but was thinking of the greater good. It went over very well!
- Watermelon, Blueberry and Feta Salad, recipe by Kath Younger. She shared it in the August 2011 issue of Breathe Magazine. I used fresh basil rather than mint.
- I recruited help from a friend to put together a garden salad. She created her own crunchy topping and a homemade dressing.
- The dessert table: mini cupcakes in vanilla and chocolate, Guinness brownies a la grandma-to-be, and a bouquet spray of fruit twists in various colors and flavors from Fresh Market. I love their candy section!
- We busted out the root ball, cornhole, and Kan Jam (although by the end of the evening, boys big and small were using the “Kans” to just roll down the hill)
- And, okay, it is a baby shower, so I had to do one crafty baby showerish thing. I made my first memory board using a mix of a few tutorials I found online, and I learned a couple of things:
- Nothing makes me feel better than hearing how easy it was for a group of seventh graders to do something in ten minutes that took me two trips to the fabric store.
- One of the women said she’d tried this with both a regular stapler and staple gun. She said a regular stapler worked much better. I beg to differ.
- We had a buffet inside with a separate dessert table.
- Appetizers and drinks served on the deck.
- Tables and backyard games on the lawn. (Guests were prompted to bring their own lawn chairs.)
- I used burlap fabric for table covers and small mixed bouquets from the farmers market (bought that morning) in everyone’s favorite party accessory, mason jars.
- We bought three types of barbeque sauce by the quart from Asheville’s famous 12 Bones Smokehouse. We redistributed them into mason jelly jars and gave them cutesy baby names: Western Carolina Girl (tomato), Sugar ‘n’ Spice (blueberry chipotle) and Temper Tantrum (spicy mustard).
- Kids got bubbles, but they got their favors when they arrived:)
- Guests arrived at 5-ish.
- Drinks and apps, 5-6:30pm.
- Open presents at 7pm. (We opened their new pack n’ play to use as the gift “table”. Kept it inside, then it rolled out easily onto the deck when it was time.)
- Folks with kids (with bedtimes) could see their gifts opened and still be home at a reasonable hour. Some stayed a little later. When I left at 9:15, the Mexican Lager was kicked, but the Pale Ale was still flowin’. A good time was had by all.
A special thanks to our elves Jennie and Michael. Lesson learned: even when there aren’t a lot of games planned, there’s A LOT to do between sending out invitations and making the food. The devil is indeed in the details!