LLandLoL worked with Kneaders Scottsdale, NothingBuntCakes Scottsdale and Oriental Trading to facilitate this post. Some items where provided free of charge but as always, my thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
I love planning and hosting parties, so much so, that when my sister in law was pregnant with baby number 3 and wasn’t sure about having a baby shower, I convinced her she needed to let me do SOMETHING. Yes, yes, I know all about etiquette and 2nd and 3rd babies….but my kids and I had just finished looking through photographs of their baby shower/sprinkle and their excitement of seeing who was there and them growing in my belly made me feel we needed to do something to celebrate my new nieces upcoming arrival.
My sister in law agreed and I started planning a casual baby ‘sprinkle’. A sprinkle is meant for the second, third or even fourth baby. Instead of showering new parents with gifts, we sprinkle them with love (and some gifts, too) and celebrate the newest addition to the family. Just because it isn’t their first doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate, right?!
I am a mom to boys (and my teenage stepdaughter would never consider herself ‘girly’, but her love of makeup and boys has me internally rolling my eyes when she says that). So the thought of throwing a party for a girl was exciting. If you know me or you’ve been around LLandLoL for a while, you know I love a theme. For this party, I threw the traditional idea of a theme out and focused on the theme PINK. All shades of pink. I figured it’s make it easy and less expensive to decorate; which brings me to some other tips for planning and hosting a baby shower (or sprinkle) on a budget and stress free.
1. Look before you theme.
If the mother-to-be doesn’t have a specific theme in mind take a look at Pinterest for some inspiration. Before settling on a theme, check out local or online party stores like Oriental Trading to see if there are any particular themes that are budget friendly (ie on sale!). I scored many of the decor from Oriental Trading and the different shades of pink hanging fan decorations were at a huge discount.
2. Plan Early
It’s always a tip I give for people on a budget. If you plan in advance you can save money (or at least not pay a ton all at once) by utilizing local deals and sale and checking out one of my favorites; Groupon. A couple of months before the party, I started scoping out Groupon (who am I kidding, I am always checking out Groupon for great local deals) and saw an amazing deal on a cake from a local bakery. It also happen to be a time that Groupon was offering a % off local deals (they do this pretty regularly lately!). I snatched up the Groupon at a fabulous price and quickly ordered, to be sure there was availability on the date of the party. It was easy and very budget friendly. Plus, the cake was a HUGE hit.
3. Figure out food
Some parties don’t necessarily need a full meal and even though our party time started at a non-meal time, I knew, with this group a pretty full spread would be a expected (and appreciated). I wavered for a while between ordering meats by the pound from a local BBQ place or putting my husband to work and having him grill up classic hamburgers and hot dogs. I almost went with ordering the food (with temps reaching 110 here in Phoenix I didn’t want my husband outside grilling all day) but a great deal from Schwans sealed the deal and my poor husband was put to work. I had him grill the food early on the day of so he wasn’t stuck outside during the party, and kept things warm in tinfoil. The sides and ‘fixings’ were easy, chips, potato salad and beans accompanied the burgers and dogs. I got the potato salad (and some of the best chicken salad I’ve ever had) at Honeybaked Ham. The price was comparable to my grocery store and I thought loaded baked potato salad was just a bit nicer than what was in the deli case around the corner.
I knew for this party I wanted more than just a cake. I wanted a dessert table. I had recently tried Kneaders Scottsdale for the first time and fell in love with the amazing food and especially the pastries. Kneaders Scottsdale offers catering and platters and I knew mini pastries would be perfect for the dessert table. I put them on a three tiered serving platter from Oriental Trading and they really looked (and tasted) fantastic. I may have eaten four tarts….they are my favorite. Watching the kids eat the eclairs and canolies was adorable. Such fancy little children we all have.
The dessert table didn’t stop there! Nothing Bunt Cakes Scottsdale is just down the road and I stopped in the adorable shop to pick up some buntinis (mini bunt cakes). I had heard such great things about this little cakes and I was so excited to include an assortment of flavors on the dessert table. Adults and kids alike loved these and it was so sweet to see the kids sit there deciding which flavor to choose (I don’t blame them for being indecisive, they all looked so good!).
To finish the dessert table off I added lollipops from Oriental Trading (in pink rice thanks to some food coloring) and a plate of good old fashion Oreos. You can’t go wrong with double stuffed Oreos. Really, I wasn’t sure how the kids would react to some of these fancier treats so I figured Oreos was ‘safe’. Little did I know, the kids would not only be interested in the special desserts, they would LOVE them. Score all around!
4. Take Time
Don’t try to clean and put up decorations all on the day of. I have attempted that in the past, it always turns out badly. My kids are older now and I was able to explain to them why the pink decor was going up and tell them my expectations (no touching) the week before the party. We picked the date of the party to be close to her due date but after school had started up. This gave me some time to settle into our school routine but also devote some time to cleaning. I picked a room each day leading up to the party and cleaned- I knew the bedrooms would be full of common area furniture and let it go…I didn’t really clean the bedrooms at all (which is funny because the kids all ended up in our messy master bedroom anyway). The night before the party, we sent our kiddos off to have a sleep over at GiGi and Pop Pop’s house (thanks!) and moved the furniture and set up the tables. Avoiding the day-of-rush helped alleviate stress and allowed for me to actually get ready for the party, too (though, I still didn’t have time to dry my hair)!
5. Enjoy the moment
You are probably hosting the party because you love the parents and their growing family, right? So try to enjoy the moment. I started to worry when 30 minutes after the start time no one had arrived but realized the party would start when it started. No need to stress. I took the time to snap photos of my hard work (and cute kids) and did last minute things (like making sure the games were set and ready, that I had the prizes someplace I could get to easily etc). Guests arrived and we had fun. Kids played, people ate, photos were taken and games were won. We celebrated the newest member of the family and showed the growing family some love. That’s what it is all about.