Last weekend I hosted my brother and sister-in-laws baby shower at my house. It took place during the huge Ohio State x Michigan game so I had to think hard on how to incorporate both. My brother and his wife live in Philadelphia so we did a co-ed shower so that we could enjoy his company. I knew I couldn’t dare interrupt the big football game with baby shower games so I had to strategically plan food, games and gifts as well as decorating.
I love challenging my brain and figuring out how to make mom-to-be and dad-to-be happy was fun and interesting. A lot of people host co-ed showers but I have yet to see a baby shower cohesively collide with a football game. Let me remind you this wasn’t a football themed baby shower. Now on to the good stuff, below I’m sharing a few tips on how to make a baby shower football game party.
Start with invitations. They don’t know the gender of the baby so the invitation needed to be neutral. I wanted it to be elegant since it was for a baby shower so I chose a marbled paper with gold text. At the bottom of the invitation, after sharing all of the shower details, I mentioned we would be watching the Buckeyes play so wear scarlet and gray. I wore my block “O” Homage tee to incorporate my alma mater tucked into a pleated leopard skirt (similar for under $30) with booties (similar here) to feel dressed up for the baby shower. If it were just a football game I would have had on jeans and sneakers, if it were a baby shower I would have worn a blouse with my skirt, see how I combined the two??
The scarlet and gray attire amongst the 40 people was enough Ohio State decor so all the decoration throughout the house were strictly baby shower related. I like for the decor go along with the nursery and in this case it is neutral since they don’t know the gender. I was told the nursery was tan, cream, gray and ivory so that is what I went with. I was obsessed with balloon hoola hoop decor I saw on social media and knew I needed to make it. I order some neutral colored balloons, spray painted a hoola hoop gold, cut some ferns from my moms plant and got to work. The most important piece to this was the custom sign in the center. Baby names aren’t being revealed but they call it “fusilli” which is a type of pasta, haha- mom and dad are Italian so it is quite fitting! ** My readers get 15% off a custom sign, or any sign, at check out by entering code “livinglereve” at checkout. There are some adorable holiday options right now!
I also decorated the coffee bar and fire place wall with baby onesies, socks and bibs. I loved having the baby decor on the fireplace wall under the TV so while we were all watching the game we had a reminder we were at a baby shower!
The shower started an hour before kickoff. This gave everyone time to chat, mingle and eat. During halftime the guests played games while the parents-to-be opened gifts. I don’t want to hurt anyones feelings but guests don’t need to watch you open all your gifts and see every single item you open. It can take a very long time and gets repetitive. Having a game go on while gifts are being opened allowed guests to look at the gifts and engage with the mommy while enjoying the game. Of course not all games can be played while gifts are being opened but both of our could and we wrapped up just in time for the second half of the game. ** Buckeyes won!!!
I had delicate sweets and pretty pastries to represent the shower aspect of our party. All showers need a good spread and since I was feeding about 20 men as well I made sure to have plenty of food to go around along with some finger food to snack on throughout the game.
5 Stress Free Tips For Hosting Your First Friendsgiving
Last week I hosted my first Friendsgiving which also happened to be my first Friendsgiving to even attend! I love that Thanksgiving brings my family together but it’s also a great time to cherish your friends. My husband was out of town and my boys went to our babysitters house and I was able to enjoy a complete evening with some girls.
As a host I put pressure on myself to make the perfect turkey and gravy! My mom always hosts our family Thanksgiving and she does the turkey and every year it is perfectly golden. I watch year after year and have taken notes time and time again and it was time to put my knowledge to the test. I was thrilled that my turkey and gravy were a success for my very first Friendsgiving dinner.
Below I am sharing 5 tips to be a stress free host.
Sign Up For Dishes // I’m not talking about cleaning dishes, after selecting the host and date I made sure everyone picked a dish to bring. It is too much for one person to do all the cooking and having a Friendsgiving should be a joyfull experience. You also don’t want two people to bring the same dish so coordinating is important. I learned not everyone cooks either but there are plenty of sides that can be picked up from the store that are easy to bring like mashed potatoes and rolls.
Layout Place Settings // When I found out I was hosting I made a quick trip to buy placemats and cloth napkins. Is it strange I didn’t own any? I’m more of a casual host but I thought since it’s the holiday season I needed to take my table settings up a notch. I found some that will work all year around and matched my style. I don’t think it’s neccessary to assign seats but that may be helpful if you have a large number of people and are aware of some internal conflict!
Plenty Of Wine // You’d rather have too much wine than not enough. As a host it’s important to make sure you accomodate your guests. Keep an eye on their glasses and off to refill before the glass is empty. Not everyone drinks wine so offer another beverage other than water.
Select An Outfit // I could talk about style and how to dress for a certain occasion all day but I’ll stick to the point here. As a host you are running around making sure everything is perfect, you are the go to person as you know where everything is, plus you are in the hot kitchen lifting a 15 pound bird from here to there. You are going to be hot. I wanted to wear a hat and have my hair down but I knew that was a bad idea, a scarf also a bad idea. Try on your outfit the day before so after the turkey is cooked and the gravy is made and poured into the gravy boat then you can quickly throw on your outfit.
Prep Before // Do as much as you can the day before. The last thing you want to do is answer the door with your robe still on. A few days before the big dinner I bought everything I needed, if I forgot anything I still had a day or 2 to prep. I set the table with placemats, plates, silverwear and glasses as well as the pumpkins from Halloween which were on my front porch I now used as a center piece. I baked a homemade pumpkin pie the day before and I chopped up the onion and celery that needed to be added to the stuffing. Hosting my Bluff City Lights girls was fun and needed. We first went to Beautiful Soul Boutique for a little shopping. We got to meet and chat with the owner and manager and pick out a few fall pieces which would be perfect for a fall holiday meal. Afte we got the photos back I laughed at how well we all coordinated which was totally unplanned.We have a giveaway for our readers with Beautiful Soul Boutique so make sure you enter below!
Millstone Nursery was kind enough to make us this gorgeous statement arrangement for the table! It was the perfect back drop for our fall Friendsgiving dinner. I have seen the owner of Millstone make arrangements during my garden club days and she does it effortlessly!