Friday, October 15, 2010

Inspiration not Intimidation...and shower details

Oh how I love to plan a good party! It gives me something to think about, search the internet about, shop for, decorate for, make food for, etc. Planning a party covers alot of my personal interests. There is just something about a good party. The way it makes people feel. The appreciation. The memories. The enjoyment. The little details that make people smile. I can't quite explain it. I love to be a part of it. It gives me deep satisfaction. Of course I have those moments of stress where I think "Why do I do this to myself? Why do I set my expectations so high?" but when all is said and done, I am usually very grateful for the opportunity and very pleased with the results. This past weekend was no different.

I started planning this shower back in June. I do not say that to make anyone feel like they can't have a beautiful event if they do not plan months in advance! Sometimes I feel like I intimidate people with the way I host a party. That people won't invite me to their event for fear I may judge their efforts. That people won't let me help them plan events because of the big way I do things. Yes, I have high expectations for MYSELF. Yes, I like to plan BIG. Yes, I want only my BEST work and effort to be put out there with my name on it. But I do not judge, or stick up my nose, or criticize other people's efforts the way I do my own. I hold myself to a very high personal standard. It can be exhausting to entertain the way I do and it is a choice that I make for myself, but understand it is not always a choice that is right for others. I always hope that my efforts inspire, not intimidate :).

With all that being said (Thanks for bearing with me - I needed to get that off my chest!) here are some of the details that went into the Jungle Safari Baby Shower I hosted this past weekend. Katelyn, it was truly a pleasure! Thanks for letting me be a part of your memories!

The cookie buffet was my favorite part of the whole shower. I found the original idea for the buffet HERE including the names I gave each cookie.
The mosquito net: After pricing mosquito nets online, I decided to make my own mosquito net to add to the jungle feel. I used 9 yards of white tulle and an embroidery hoop. I purchased the tulle at Hobby Lobby using a 40% off coupon you can print online. It was super easy and you can find directions to make your own HERE. This would also make a cute bed canopy over a crib or little girl's bed.
The big glass jars: Since I started planning this shower several months in advance, I was able to find all but one of the jars at garage sales over the summer for between 75 cents and $2 a piece. That is quite an improvement from the $7 to $12 price tags you will find in stores!
Ribbon: I am in love with ribbon! Ribbon adds such a special touch to everything and makes it look like a million bucks! Shop Hobby Lobby's 50% off sale, use Michael's coupons, or check out the dollar stores selection of ribbon for ribbon on a budget. And I don't throw away the strips of ribbon I use to decorate things. I have a big jar full of different lengths of ribbon that I reuse for other projects.
The giant palm leaves: I found these on clearance for 74 cents a piece at Target's end of summer sale. I wasn't sure how I was going to use them at the time, but knew they would be great with the jungle theme. I love the impact they make.
It just wouldn't be a party without an appearance from my Dollar Tree hurricanes! I have gotten so much use out of this $2 investment. If you haven't made any yet I highly recommend them. They are so versatile. For a tutorial on how to make them click HERE. I added a fake fern (from Dollar Tree) around the inner candle to carry on the jungle theme. Candlelight sets a beautiful tone for any event and make everything seem magical!

Underneath the hurricanes on the table, I added a sheet of "lace" cardstock to jazz it up a bit. I love the texture and interest it adds and I found them for 40% off in the scrapbook section at Michael's.

I love food labels. I think every buffet table should have food labels. I don't always do food labels but I often find myself wishing that I had. It makes it so much easier for hosts and guests to know what they are being served. I simply found different wooden animals from both Dollar Tree (in a pack of 3 pictured below) and Hobby Lobby, glued them to animal print notecards I found in the $1 bin at Michael's, and typed out the name of the dish on the computer. SO SO easy!

Pack of 8 notecards for $1 I found at Michael's

The milk jugs. I am in love with them. I have had so many people asking me where I found them. I got them at Ross for cheap and I love the simple statement they make. And they are plastic not glass... It's those small details that make a difference.

These removable wall stickers came from Dollar Tree for $1. I wasn't sure how I was going to use them at first, but the morning of the shower I had a thought...

Put them on the entry way mirror to carry on the jungle theme for guests to see as they come in! Small, simple, inexpensive details. They are what make everything just a little bit more special.

So what do you think? I would love some feedback so don't hesitate to leave a comment! Got questions? Leave me a comment and I will be sure to answer them. You can check out all the baby shower pictures HERE if you missed them previously.

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