Real Baby Shower: The Secret Garden

Monday, April 30, 2012

I'm smitten for this backdrop!!!!! Perfect for a baby shower, bridal shower or any type of feminine birthday party. Nicole of Tradewind Tiaras... you definitely deserve a standing ovation for all this prettiness! She even has a tutorial (part onetwo and three), so you can also make one for your next soirĂ©e. Nicole completed this dessert table with a very whimsical, "Secret Garden" inspired swing and lots of beautiful treats -- all with a hint of pink.

real-baby-shower-secret-garden
real-baby-shower-secret-garden
real-baby-shower-secret-garden
real-baby-shower-secret-garden
real-baby-shower-secret-garden
real-baby-shower-secret-garden
real-baby-shower-secret-garden
real-baby-shower-secret-garden
real-baby-shower-secret-garden
real-baby-shower-secret-garden
real-baby-shower-secret-garden
From Nicole... This August, I was delighted to have the opportunity to create a baby shower to welcome a new little girl into the world. When the hostess told me that the theme was The Secret Garden, I was utterly delighted. That Frances Hodgson Burnett novel had been one of my very favorites when I was young. Turns out, the theme wasn't actually a reference to that children's book, but I still used it loosely as my inspiration to create a magical scene of a garden that felt almost like something from another world.

I immediately thought of the Chanel 2009 runway show, and knew what I wanted to do for my backdrop. A garden wall of paper flowers, all white. I wanted to play with texture, with light and shadow, more than color for this party. I'll be posting a tutorial for how to make one of these show-stoppers for yourself, and you'll be amazed at how inexpensive and easy it is.

I wanted pink to be the predominant color of the desserts (it was a shower for a little girl, after all!)

Raspberry mousse is a delicious, delightfully pink dessert. And any excuse to use my mini trifle dishes is a good one! The brush-embroidery cookies were so easy to make, and looked so amazing (if I do say so myself!)! I also love how my mirrored cake stands came out, and I can't wait to share the tutorial for those as well. They added just the right sparkle and flash to the display. The cupcakes were inspired by Zalita of Cupcake D'Lights. Her cupcakes always astound me, and are so amazingly creative and detailed. Head over to her Flickr stream for some serious beauty and inspiration.

When thinking about pink confections, I remembered these biscotti. Pink pillows of deliciousness with a light vanilla and anise flavor. The subtle sweetness of this traditional Italian recipe is absolutely addictive. Good thing the recipe made a huge batch--plenty of cookies for me to taste test. You know, for quality control. Many thanks to the Zappanti family for sharing their family recipe with me for this party!

I carried the paper flowers theme through the table tents as well, using simple paper punches to create a miniature version of the backdrops. Wouldn't these make absolutely stunning place cards for a wedding?

Pink Lemonade Tea Cakes were a fun and successful experiment. I created the recipe as a riff on Russian Tea Cakes/Mexican Wedding Cakes. All that buttery, tender goodness with a bright citrus flavor and pretty pink color. Want to learn how to make them for yourself? Pop over to The TomKat Studio blog for a how-to post and the recipe!

The lemon tartlets weren't pink, I know, but the flower shape and lemon flavor made them irresistible for the party.

This was a baby shower, after all, so I created this simple, but utterly adorable onesie bunting.

The beverages had white-on-white textural floral signs, too. As did the simple thank-you tags. It's amazing how much elegance and dimension one little paper flower can add to a package!

Savory snacks included pork tenderloin mini sandwiches with a horseradish mustard spread. Cheese and crackers are so much more special when the crackers are homemade rosemary sea salt crackers, and the plate is garnished with adorable miniature champagne grapes and raspberries. The bacon, date, and goat cheese streudel was a huge hit, and was so simple! It's a great make-ahead appetizer.

For an activity, I came up with the idea of making custom paint-by numbers canvases. The design was inspired by the bedding the mother-to-be had registered for. Each guest at the party could paint a piece of the picture using the easy color-coded canvas and paints.And after adding their contributions to the artwork, the guests signed the canvas. An activity, a gift for the parents, nursery decor, and a loving memento of the people who came to celebrate the new baby, all rolled into one!



Design & Photography: Nicole of Tradewind Tiaras

Real Baby Shower: Vintage Bloom Shower

Monday, April 23, 2012

Yesterday's table setting was fabulous and today's table setting, from Kelly Balfour of Eventology Weddings, is equally fabulous!! Makes me want to have a dinner party tonight... just so that I could wow my guests with a table just like this. Loving the engraved vases used as place settings and those precious blue rimmed plates. STUNNING! And let me not forget to mention that dessert table, gorgeously photographed by Kasey Marsh of Monkey Tree Photography. A wonderful variety of blue and white sweets... simply DELIGHTFUL!

real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
real-baby-shower-vintage-bloom
From Kelly... This vintage inspired baby shower was born after finding blue-rimmed plates at IKEA. Since mommy-to-be is a fan of all things 'Anthropology', I designed the event to appeal to this look. Incorporating the colors light blue, ivory and taupe gave the shower a slight masculine touch since she was soon to be welcoming a baby boy! 


Decor included a variety of both clear & blue glass containers filled with peonies, ranaculus & roses. A nice added touch to complete the table setting was the inclusion of custom made napkins with a soft toile-like pattern. The placecards were tiny glass bottles with each guest's name displayed in faux etched glass. (i.e. vinyl decals). 


The day was complete after a trip to the dessert bar which included, among other treats, the mommy-to-be's favorite dessert: Crave cupcakes.


Party Styling & Event Planning: Kelly Balfour of Eventology Weddings / Photography: Kasey Marsh of Monkey Tree Photography / Floral Centerpieces: Laura Tran of SCF Events / Invitations: Liz Bardwell of Blush Design Studio / Chairs, Stemware & Flatware & Linens: Elyse Evans at Aztec Events & Tents / Catering: GranMere’s Catering / Fabric Napkins & Pennant Banner: Funny Farm Creations / Macarons: Maison Burdisso / Cupcakes: Crave Cupcakes / Cake Pops: Angie’s / Miniature Jarred Cakes: My Little Cupcake Factory / Paper Straws: HeyYoYo / Milk Bottles: Specialty Bottle / Blue-Rimmed Plates: IKEA

Bump Smitten Giveaway: What To Expect Books

Friday, April 20, 2012

free-giveaway-whattoexpect-books

Who else is excited for this fun movie?!?! Luckily for all of us, its coming soon! With my much anticipation, I thought it would be a good idea to team up with WhatToExpect.com for a wonderful giveaway! Excited yet?? 

One lucky follower will receive:
What to Expect When Expecting
What to Expect the First Year
What to Expect the Second Year

This would be the perfect gift for a mommy-to-be! 

Win all 3 of these "What To Expect" books by leaving a comment below! I will randomly select the winner next Friday, April 27.
 
free-giveaway-what-to-expect-books

Real Baby Shower: Pink Woodland Owl

Thursday, April 19, 2012

SO trendy and SO adorable! I just love the new craze... Owls... seen everywhere in the party world! I'm absolutely SMITTEN with this very rustic chic baby shower from April Cenora of Events Inspired by Love. And the images by Amanda Bevington Modern Photography? Stunning! The table settings are fabulous and this dessert table is totally precious. All-in-all, this baby shower is one to remember.

real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
real-baby-shower-pink-woodland-owls
From Amanda... A woodland themed baby shower for Marci of Entwined Design Florals.  Creative contributions by April Cenora of Events Inspired by Love.

I had the honor of photographing Marci's wedding a few years ago and feel so lucky to have been a part of this joyous occasion celebrating Marci's little bundle of joy on the way!

The entire baby shower was driven by Marci's desire to have a woodland themed nursery for baby, incorporating a hand painted tree mural with dainty birds, colorful owls and squirrels. The invitation sent to guests was a smaller version of the mural and theme. To transfer the theme from the baby's room to the shower, Marci & April had to think of ways to create a woodland feel for the guests. They decided to use long rectangle tables so guests would feel as though they were in an intimate space, close to all the details of the shower. Each table utilized real Grapewood branches, a variety of Succulents, Crespedia and Ranunculus in seven different shades of color. Miniature birds were perched inside and atop of the Grapewood branches as if they were nesting in their homes.

The cake was based off a sketch of an owl with a pink bow placed on top of the owl's head. Laurie Hocker, a family friend, took creative freedom to design the confectionery owl, Squirrels, florals and trees which were inspired by the invitations. Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, topped with Pink buttercream frosting, were also adorned with a pink owl.

Instead of creating a sign-in book the ladies fashioned a sign-in tree where guests chose between an Owl or a Bird and signed in with their name, or word of wisdom for the baby. The adorable handmade sign-in animals were created by the talented April Cenora of 
Events Inspired by Love. April also created the AMAZING banners that hung above the cake table and the banner that framed the head table. The first banner stating: Sweet Treats and the second banner stating: It's a Girl. The paper goods for each place setting were handmade by April, utilizing the continuing theme of baby birds and owls. The sign-in tree was created using Curly Willow, Yellow Forsythia, Esperanza Roses, Grapewood Branches and Fishhook Succulents.



Event Planner: April Cenora of Events Inspired by Love (All paper products used were from "Close to My Heart" along with the stamps. Paper cut outs were made with a Cricut Personal Cutting Machine) / Photography: Amanda Bevington Modern Photography/ Flowers: Marci Gerlach of Entwined Design / Table linens: Erin Taylor of Events Taylor Made in Huntington Beach