Saturday was my daughter Tessa’s baby shower at Ethel Reds in Lemoore! I always knew that when I had a chance to produce offspring that their “Welcome to the World” party would be Winnie the Pooh themed. So this was an exciting bucket list achievement for me!
My amazing friend Bree hosted the party, and she let me go nuts with crafts and décor. She even encouraged and supported my obsessive nitpicking of the room, helping me to transform the little banquet room in Ethel Reds and purge it of every trace of ornamentation that was too overwhelmingly cowboy.
As I’ve said in previous posts, the theme was Classic Pooh with an emphasis on honey and honeybees. The colors we chose were yellow and tan. And the overall feel I was going for was Disneyland’s Critter Country. (I even compiled a playlist comprised mainly of the Disneyland Critter County soundtrack to be played at the party, haha!) I deemed the party décor a success once it felt like I was standing in line for Splash Mountain. Yes, I felt like a veritable Disney Imagineer of party planning, hehe.
Since my form of nesting is apparently manifesting itself in the form of creating party decorations and theme setting, I’m going to outline all the steps we took to create our little party space. Here’s some of the special touches we added to the room:
– First, check out the Winnie the Pooh baby shower invitations that Bree and I made for the party.
– We hung up the fabric pennant banners my mom and I made from Winnie the Pooh print above the dessert / drink table and along the windows.
– We put yellow balloons around the room and tied to the backs of chairs. There was an 11×14 framed photo of an Indian on the back wall, and my friend Shauna hung up balloons in front of it, since I was trying to hide everything “cowboy”, haha. (I love my friends.)
– We put yellow silk flowers in vases and mini terra cotta pots all around the room to give the tables a bright, sunshiney feel.
– I printed out some original Classic Pooh artwork by E.H. Shepard and put them in little 4×6 Dollar Store frames, and had them sitting around the tables to lend some storybook Pooh imagery to the room.
– We brought along some goodies from home that will soon be decorations for Tessa’s nursery: a ceramic Classic Pooh figure, a stuffed Classic Pooh bear, and a Classic Pooh hunny pot lampshade. We also brought along a honeycomb pitcher for water with lemons.
– My mom had the creative idea to bring some Pooh Sticks – chocolate dipped pretzels in yellow honey pots. I thought it was a super cute idea, and they were tasty too!
– There was a HUGE 10 foot long framed cowboy mural along the main wall where we put our dessert / drink table that I insisted simply had to be covered. So my mum supplied the yellow floral print fabric to cover the painting, and we strung up a clothes line of some of Tessa’s Winnie the Pooh themed baby clothes to hide it!
– My favorite project and special touch to the party was the Hunny Pot centerpieces. Me, Shauna and my mom painted these pots the night before, and we had way too much fun sticking the bees among the fresh flowers.
– For dessert we had ordered a honeycomb cake with honey bees. We didn’t see the cake before ordering, so we were a little surprised when the bees came out looking like cartoon dookies with googly eyes, but it was still cute! It was still, in it’s own way, a “Pooh” cake. (Haha, get it?)
The party itself was a blast! My lovely friend Eliza took the pictures of the party and made me step away from the camera after grabbing my pre-party shots. (She’s the lovely friend who took my maternity pictures!)
So! Party details! Bree put together the games which consisted of:
Baby Shower Gift Bingo – Bree insisted we play this, and I thought, “Yeah, okay, sure. Sounds fun I guess.” But I didn’t see the inherent genius in this game. It was a great party starter, as people took the blank cards and filled out the empty squares with potential gifts Tessa might receive. And so the part of the party that makes everyone slightly bored – the gift opening – became a fun group conversation and rivalry as people tried to Bingo over their gift predictions. And it’s a life saver if the gift receiver is awkward when it comes to accepting free stuff, like I am. I would be genuinely thrilled with a gift, and then would be able to relax and enjoy the present while everyone devolved into scribbling on Bingo cards and arguing over what constitutes a teething toy. This game NEEDS to be played at every baby shower!
Guess The Baby Food – Bree brought a number of baby foods, took the labels off, and had the jars on display with mini tasting spoons. Everyone was encouraged to guess the baby food, by either looking, smelling or tasting – whatever they were comfortable with! It was surprisingly competitive, and I didn’t expect so many of my friends to approach the tasting portion so thoroughly. (I will forever hold the gagging faces photos as blackmail material.)
Blindfolded Speed Diapering – One person was blindfolded, while another coached and guided the blind partner in diapering the Winnie the Pooh doll as fast as possible. We’d originally planned to have the diapering be on a baby doll, but we forgot to bring it. Which I think made the game that much more hilarious… Pooh was so chubby and the newborn diapers so small, that it required a bit of manhandling and punching down the fluff to get the diaper on. Which was kind of awesome. My beautiful friend Mikaela won with a blindfolded diapering job of just 16 seconds!!
Before we started in on the games, we all had a sit down steakhouse lunch. The food was all good Western style hearty comfort foods. Guests picked off of the select lunch menu choosing from dishes such as BBQ Bacon Burgers, Tri-Tip Sandwiches, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Chicken Salads and more, served with French Fries and Onion Rings. Everyone ate their fill, and many had to take to-go boxes home! (That’s my kind of party!)
We were all extremely happy with our choice of venue. Ethel Reds was extraordinarily budget friendly, and accommodating beyond all expectations. They provided great service and were very helpful and flexible with requests from moving furniture to providing extra plates, condiments and dessert utensils. The only down side was that the banquet rooms air conditioner had recently quit working, and the room had to be cooled via fans, which were very noisy. And even with the fans we were all uncomfortably warm. But aside from that detail, I have absolutely no complaints with the location and service! I love the barn wood walls, the rustic atmosphere and the eclectic décor. It fit our Winnie the Pooh / Critter Country-esque theme perfectly!
I had so much fun at Tessa’s Baby Shower! I feel so very blessed to have the amazing friends and family that I have. I am floored by the gifts my little girl received (So many kitty cat themed clothing! And Winnie the Pooh goodies! I couldn’t fit them all into my car!) and I’m deeply touched by the overwhelming kindness and support from everyone that came to the baby shower. I will treasure the memories from this day my entire life. I truly do mean that. THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO MADE MY DAY SO SPECIAL!!!!