Friday, July 22, 2016

Alice in Wonderland Baby Shower!

My little lady goes to the best in-home daycare ever, and one of her best friends is getting a new little sister!! Patti (our amazing nanny and dear friend) and I decided to throw a sprinkle (little shower!) for this fellow mama-to-be, and Patti came up with the super cute idea to make it Alice in Wonderland themed! To the Pinterest-machine we went!!!

We did our best to make it cute, personalized, low-key, and tasty, and I think we succeeded on all fronts!! Keep in mind, with day jobs, kiddos, and general life getting in the way, we were extra careful to PLAN ahead! Most of the DIY projects were done the week prior to the shower, so that way, all we had to really do is show up!

One week out....

I went to Joann Fabrics and found some super cute craft paper on sale for 40% off, woohoo! I used that pack for exterior signs (cute little sayings like "Wonderland", "Tea Party", "Right Way", "Wrong Way", "This Way", "That Way", "Up Here", and "Down Here")! I just wrote fun words out with a Sharpie, and the best thing about a Sharpie, is if you mess up, you just make the letters fatter, and DONE.
Finished product!
I also purchased some cute pink playing cards (that benefit breast cancer research!) and used an Exacto knife to cut out "Lil Lady Daley" since they're having a girl and that's their last name! I strung them together on pink ribbon the day before the shower, because I TRIED to do this a week earlier and managed to get it tangled in such a horrible mess, it was just a disaster.
Finished product!

Patti did some super fancy thrift store shopping and got us a bunch of tea cups and saucers, and also cute hanging decorations! She spray painted the less attractive of the bunch, and left a few untouched so we could stack them in fun ways! She got a picture frame (and spray painted that) for photo-fun! She ALSO got some awesome charms and decorations to make not one but TWO diaper cakes - one for the baby-to-be, and one for the big brother!! So sweet!

5 days out....

This little project took 2 evenings to complete, using just paper and hot glue!  I used the same paper to cut out little teacup cupcake holders using a template. I ended up not using most of the saucers, and I skipped putting bottoms on them (no one is going to notice!), so I may have cut out a little too much, but that's ok! Better safe than sorry... except, being the old lady that I am, I managed to cause some nerve damage (!!) because my middle finger can't really feel all that well even a week later. Oops! Scissors are dangerous, folks, not even just the pointy ends!!

2 days out....

Go to happy hour, it's fun!! (Also, borrow a Polaroid camera from a friend!)

The day before....

I cleaned the house (this really should be done on a regular basis, but moving on!!) and then got to work on baking!! These recipes use A LOT of butter - quite possibly too much butter. (How can one use TOO much butter, though, really??) I started out making the cupcakes - chamomile lemon with honey buttercream!!!! The recipe calls for loose chamomile leaves, but I used tea bags... not sure if that was correct, but they were tasty!
Finished product!

While they were baking, I moved onto the shortbread cookies! The only alterations I made with these cookies were that I (a) refrigerated them rolled up in parchment paper and then sliced them with a knife, and (b) once cutting out the desired shapes, I refrigerated them again for about 30 minutes so they'd really hold their shape, and they did! I cut out the teabag shape with a knife, and the hole for ribbon with a plastic straw - it was surprisingly easy!

While THOSE were baking, I went ahead and made the cucumber spread - I cheated and bought chicken salad pre-made - that's just TOO MUCH work!! But the cucumber spread was super easy, and frankly really tasty!! Instead of laying out individually sliced cucumber pieces on each sandwich, I decided to chop up a cucumber and mix it in with the spread - you still get the crunchiness and all of the flavor, and it's just plain easier!

I also strung the little "eat me" labels through the shortbread cookies while watching Harry Potter, that was a pretty good time!

I made the frosting following the recipe, but it was TOO buttery, so protip: add more powdered sugar, and some lemon juice - it'll cut the richness of the honey and butter, but still let the flavor come through!

Last, but most definitely not least, Patti came over with her hubby and we all got to work (the hubbies drinking beer, and Patti and I making things pretty). She picked up flowers in the morning, and we arranged them in the tea cups (stealing ideas from this page, but we skipped the glue!), put up the banners and fun hanging decorations, and then went out to eat!

The day of....

I cleaned a little more (shhh!) and then got to work making cutesie little sandwiches!!!! This was my most favorite part, I think, because I'd never done them before!! I bought some teeny tiny cookie cutters and 2 types of bread - I chose pumpernickel and a whole grain wheat so they'd be sturdy for use with the cookie cutters. This took some time (maybe an hour) but really wasn't too tedious. If I hadn't been standing in front of a hot dishwasher, that would've been ideal ;) My super smart hubby is the genius who told me I only needed to use the cookie cutter on one side of the sandwich since the other side is face-down - he's so smart, and I'm so appreciative!! That would've taken another hour!!

I covered the sandwiches and put them in the fridge. Then used some meltable chocolate and dipped the shortbread cookies, and put those in the fridge too (but only for 30 minutes because I didn't want them to get soggy!).

I put out cute little mismatched straws for the beverages, and made 2 drinks: sweet tea vodka and lemonade, and because it's for a pregnant woman who can obviously not drink hard liquor, sweet tea on its own!

We got everything laid out and it was just too darn cute!! Baby mama was happy, and everyone loved the super fun, festive, wonderfully girly tea party!

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