From guest blogger Katie Moore for Tin Parade.
Planning a memorable baby shower can be a challenge, but if the new mom looks back on the celebration with joy, it will be well worth every moment of work that you put into it. Welcoming a new baby into the world is a very special time in a woman’s life, whether it’s her first baby or her fifth. A baby shower not only provides her with much-needed items for the baby, but it also gives her the opportunity to share her excitement with family, friends or co-workers.
The first step in planning a baby shower is to create a guest list. If the mom-to-be is privy to your baby shower plans, she can supply the names of those with whom she’d like to share her special day. If the shower is to be a surprise, it may be helpful to enlist the help of one family member, one friend and one co-worker to assist in putting together a complete list. A quick scan of the guest of honor’s Facebook friends may also yield some ideas for whom to invite. Invitations can then be sent via traditional mail, Facebook or a combination of both.
Be sure to include the name of the store where mom and baby are registered. If you aren’t sure of the store and can’t ask the mom-to-be, searching the online gift registries of popular stores such as Target, Babies R Us or Baby Depot may help you find the registry you’re looking for. Some mother’s may even prefer to do an alternate type of registry, such as one for umbilical cord blood banking or a collection for a charity.
Once you have an idea how many people will be in attendance, it will be much easier to choose a location for the shower and plan a menu and create a theme. Groups of twenty or less can usually be accommodated in a private residence. But if that isn’t possible or you have a larger group, there are several options available for a venue. Many local community centers have rooms to rent, as do restaurants and hotels. Other options include park pavilions, churches, an apartment or condo complex clubhouse, or banquet centers that specialize in hosting events.
When it comes to planning the menu for the baby shower, the choices for food are as varied as new moms themselves. You can go with a crock-pot meal such soup or stew, provide finger foods like sandwiches and fruit, keep it simple with pizza or create an entire buffet to choose from.
If you’d like the food to be in theme with the baby shower, there are also many ways to make your food as adorable as it is delicious. A whole watermelon can be cut in the shape of a baby bassinet and filled with fruit slices, sandwiches can be cut into cute shapes using cookie cutters, a few drops of pink or blue food coloring can make whipped cream, cream cheese or dip fit your color scheme or a circle cut out of a loaf of bread and filled with dip, raisins for eyes and a pacifier can be made to look like a baby in a blanket. Great choices for dessert include cake, decorated sugar cookies, pretzel sticks dipped in icing and sprinkles, pink or blue “dyed” popcorn or yogurt covered raisins.
When choosing a gift for the mom-to-be, it’s polite to include at least one item from her gift registry if possible. Aside from the bottles and blankets she has her eye on, you could present her with a pre-made scrapbook with place holders for baby’s pictures, a gift basket filled with infant cereal and baby food, a baby’s handprint kit or a gift card for a spa treatment to help her feel refreshed after the baby is born.
From fun food, to fabulous gifts, to friends and family members’ smiling faces—every expectant mom deserves a day to celebrate the new life growing within her. Just remember that even though she will surely enjoy the beautiful shower that you’ve put together, she may feel a bit overwhelmed when it’s all over. Therefore, be sure that your baby shower planning includes getting the mom-to-be home safely and with plenty of help to carry all of her gifts. That extra little bit of follow-through can make all the difference in helping her to look back on her day with a smile from start to finish.
Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.
Eco-Chick · The modern girl’s guide to living green & fabulous.
Tin Parade offers custom-designed, all-inclusive packaged parties for dinners, adult and children’s birthdays, baby and bridal showers. It is the inspiration of two women with a similar love of great design, fun events and good, old-fashioned attention to detail. Kristen and Ryan met at the mom’s version of a single’ s club—the local park.
They soon realized they had a lot in common, not least of which being children of about the same age. Besides being devoted moms and avid runners, they both had jobs in creative fields. Kristen was an accomplished advertising art director, where she produced print and television ads for high-profile clients.
Ryan is a celebrated wedding and event designer, and owner of Savoir Flair Weddings in Los Angeles. With plenty of birthday parties and baby showers on the horizon, they found themselves commiserating on the lack of beautiful, stylish, cartoon-character-free party décor on the market. As they created Tin Parade they realized that their mutual love of vintage style and detail came with a fabulous side benefit: a lot less of the paper products that pervade modern-day parties.
All of Tin Parade’s plates and party decorations are reusable and many of the details are hand- crafted of cloth. For Ryan and Kristen, Tin Parade is more than just designing parties. It is also about creating memories, because each set is timeless and classic, and is full of things you or your child will keep for years to come.
The brainchild of event designer Ryan Larson and art director Kristen Gara, Tin Parade offers themed children’ s birthday parties and baby and bridal showers. From the vintage-inspired linens to custom-made invitations and reproduction tin toys, each party set contains all the ingredients you will need to effortlessly throw a nostalgic but fresh party that will warm each and every guest.
Tin Parade’s Great Green Gala Party is one to rejoice in as an eco-friendly party set that includes:
– Invite and thank you cards made from 100% certified sustainable forest pulp
– a biodegradable wooden sign
– a sustainable and biodegradable runner made from a brown canvas created from eco-friendly hemp and organic cotton blend
– biodegradable wooden place cards and 100% bamboo plates
– birch bark centerpieces salvaged from the floors of the forest and cotton rag flower brooches sewn together from cotton rag remnants.
Come revel in a gorgeous, Earth-friendly soiree that Mother Nature herself would gleefully attend!
Kristen and Ryan show you how to repurpose a napkin from Ruby’s Tea Party into an adorable vintagey apron for a little girl.
We are SO excited to announce that Kristen and I have been invited to be new contributing writers for the fabulous blog Designingmoms/blogspot.com Below is the first post, which is the introduction of Tin Parade to their readers. SO exciting. (all photos shot by the amazing Laura Kleinhenz at Docuvitae in Los Angeles)
My Mondays have been revived ever since this blog started…and mainly because the Designing Moms that I get to introduce are so incredibly talented and inspiring I find myself oooing and ahhhing over their stories and photos the rest of the week. Today I am so happy to introduce new Designing Mom “Decorate” Contributors, Ryan and Kristen of Tin Parade Vintage Party Goods. Ryan’s event planning company Savoir Flair Weddings creates one of a kind, dream weddings so it’s no surprise that she and Kristen would expand into expert party planning for little ones! You’ll see below that they have a wonderful sense of detail…something we will all look forward to as they lend their decorating expertise here! Click here to visit Tin Parade and please help me give a big welcome to Ryan and Kristen!
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am constantly moving. Even when I’m at “rest” my mind just seems to never stop working. I sometimes would love to flip a switch and turn my mind off…but then….there’s an idea…some creative idea that needs my attention…it’s actually quite exhausting to be a creative person…because if you don’t create..and express yourself…you’ll be stifled and boxed in. That’s my fear. I can’t stand the thought of not expressing myself.
I have been a wedding and event designer for over 8 years in Los Angeles. I love it. I’m lucky to do it. Last year my good friend and now business partner, Kristen Gara and I launched our Labor of Love, Tin Parade Vintage Party Goods. We design many of the items…as many as we can..and have them handcrafted by artisans. We also piece together darling goods that we find like a needle in a haystack by scouring the internet and the Gifts Shows. Kristen has a fabulously creative background as well. She was an Art Director in the advertising field for years. Our skills together are making for a dream design duo and we are loving this time in our lives. Kristen doesn’t consider herself so much the writer…so that’s my job…which is why you’ll mostly hear from me…but I’ll occasionally pull her ideas to blog here because she’s got fabulous taste and we’ll all benefit from a little Kristen Gara.
How did you and your husband meet?
It’s a typical Hollywood story I guess. We were both actors all through our twenties. We met while doing a play at a local theater and of course had to somehow drag ourselves through the kissing scene. We decided it needed a bit of rehearsal. You know, just to be sure it was believable. The rest is Hollywood history.
How did Tin Parade start?
Kristen and I were on our morning run…talking a mile a minute as usual, when I told her that my husband said it was really too bad I spent so much energy designing events that were one day… and then poof they were gone…and wouldn’t it be amazing if I could somehow box up the events to sell across the country…that was it! By the end of that 5 mile run we had decided that not only did I need to absolutely do that..but that we needed to do it together…we had to marry our talents…and we needed to speak to our mutual love of all things vintage…there began Tin Parade Vintage Party Goods.
What inspires you?
I am inspired at the most random moments…nearly like a crazy person…bad design inspires me to make the world a prettier place actually…so sometimes I’ll be driving through the city trying not to look at gaudy billboards and bright pink houses and ideas will hit me…I think my mind responds to a need out there to beautify things. But I’m also so inspired by history. I have a love of history and I am constantly intrigued by the idea of myself in another era. Thus the art deco and speak easy weddings I’ve designed. I’m inspired by nature…rustling leaves with a cool breeze makes me want to create like crazy…something about the fall gets me going. I want to sit at home and make things all day in a cable knit sweater…because that’s the way you are supposed to do crafts in the fall…I think my creative enthusiasm is a bit contagious…I’ll start projects in the office with my interns and call it arts and crafts time. Fun for all.
What projects, activities do you love doing with your children? Are they creative like their mom?
I love cooking with my son. He’s really into tasting different flavors and spices and loves the smells. We have a good time in the kitchen and we both LOVE to eat. He’s definitely creative. We let him have the front porch for Halloween. He makes everything. I’m not into the store-bought Halloween decorations so much…and yes, it’s a bit messy when a 4 year old takes over your front porch..but I guess I figure it’s for a short amount of time and I love the art in him. I love how proud he is of the witch he drew and how he wants me to help him hang it really high so it’s even scarier when people come to our door. We have let him decorate the Thanksgiving table as well…that’s a little harder for me to give up control on…but he took it very seriously and made sure there was a cornucopia..fitting..oh and fake flowers…he must know I love those…kidding…but fake flowers there were…Of course I designed his room but…there is a nook…an artful nook just for his artwork…and the occasional transformers poster…but it’s all kept in the nook (space behind his door)…everyone’s happy…again, I love fostering the art in him. It’s an artful home that’s for sure. My baby girl is at the moment just a fabulous bundle of pudgy love but I am watching her…waiting for her first artistic expression…I have a feeling it’ll be there.
What are the greatest rewards and challenges of being both a mom and also a business owner?
Rewards. Yes. Challenges. Yes Yes. It’s tough. But oh so wonderful. Being your own boss means you can take a vacation when you want to..most of the time…or a day off…some of the time…but being a business owner and working from home is, for me the best thing about owning my own business…I am home when my baby takes her first steps. I am home when my son is sick. I can put a load of laundry in while on a conference call. I can fill a crock pot with a baby on my hip while giving direction to my intern. Pretty crazy at times, but so much better than the 9-5 life. I’ve always felt that If I didn’t’ have Savoir Flair Weddings (my wedding business) or Tin Parade Vintage Party Goods..that I’d have a different business…something…anything to be able to have the family life I want to have. I think almost anyone can do it…it’s daunting to start but so worth every step and every effort to get to the point of quitting your job and being your own boss. Of course loving what you do is important too. It’s so cliché, but…find what you love to do and then find a way to make a living at it…yes…so so true…and I don’t think you have to have a business degree …creative personalities are many times the opposite type of personality of a typical, old school business owner…we do thing s our own way…but there is a way. I love the idea of inspiring other women to create their own career.
Tell us a little bit about a typical-day-in-your-life.
On a good day I wake up and run with Kristen Gara (my Tin Parade business partner)…sadly…with our two babies being born this year our runs have been too few…I get coffee…I answer all questions about Star Wars and what I think Chewbacca’s middle name is, after…and only after….my cup of coffee. Then, the day begins.
I have to get my son ready for school…his Dad takes him and I pick up. I have to get the baby changed and fed…sometimes I’ll admit she MIGHT go to pick up at the preschool in her pajama’s….maybe…sometimes…rarely…once a week.
Then, I get the office unlocked, lights on etc so the interns can get started upon their arrival. I then go inside with the baby till our amazing babysitter arrives. Get through a few simple emails on my blackberry. And then the phone rings. It’s Kristen Gara with her morning call. Every morning. “What are we doing today? Playdate? Work? Can you pick up at preschool for us both? Can I borrow your dress? Etc.” (Kristen and I say we Co-Parent…. definitely taking a village over here) Then, I go out to the office…10 second commute…and try to blog… try to get through the bazillion emails..then execute the latest event or party design by….needle in a haystack…scouring the internet for some random idea in my head that day.
My brother came to visit and told me about this great soda shop in Los Angeles. Isn’t it amazing that you can live in a city for years and it takes a visitor to show you around? Galco’s Soda Pop Shop is so neat. They have TONS of hard to find sodas and old classics. I thought they would make a darling favor at a shower or wedding. Can’t you picture an escort card tied around the neck telling you what table you sit at? Or a galvanized bin of them on ice as all your girlfriends arrive to a baby shower? There’s one called Plantation Style Mint Julep and another called Sweet Blossom Soda Rose (yes, rose petal soda). I haven’t had soda for years but I love these so much I’ve got to try some. (My brother walked away with a box of them!) Check them out at: http://www.sodapopstop.com/home.cfm