Thursday, August 17, 2017

Look at you, you have a baby (shower) ... in a bar!

 My oldest baby is having a baby. And, of course, every baby's mama needs a shower.

We have this restaurant/bar that we go to after the beach. It's cheap, it's good, and it's laid back. Their slogan is something along the lines of "No shoes, no shirt ... have a beer". The place is waterfront and open air with some amazing views, and is one of our family favorite's, mostly because of it's "locals" feel and lack of touristy-ness.

Cassie wanted her shower to be a brunch. But also in a restaurant, not at home, to avoid most of the current baby shower games (they aren't her style). And it had to accommodate 20 or so people. In July. Saturday breakfast restaurants aren't super easy to come by but when she heard that Bonita Bill's served breakfast she knew that was "the place".

Aunt Mia

I told her that we were taking over the planning - me, my mother, and Mia - and she didn't have to think about it at all.

The colors of royal/navy blue, baby blue, white, gray, and silver were chosen because they are similar to her nursery plan. Because this is a pretty casual restaurant we kept the decorations very casual as well.

I ordered confetti on Etsy and then River made more, larger confetti to be sure the tables were full. We collected clear glass vases, jars, cups, etc and then painted them all the shower colors, painting on the inside so that at a glance it'd look like those were the colors they came in. Mia got white carnations and dyed some blue the night before the shower and we put one or two of those in each vase which were the table centerpieces.

Balloons were a request of the mom-to-be and went a big way in bringing the shower together. They looked terrific.

For gifts for the attendees I purchased small soaps on Etsy and Kaden put those and some mints in light blue in little white boxes with blue paper filling, all tied with ribbons in white/gray/silver.

The cake was frozen overnight ahead of time to keep it cooler during the party. It still got very warm, but I think the freezing helped a bit.

The rest of the decor came from the dollar store. Adam helped with this purchase and wanted to get water balloons. I thought not.

I took the bar's menu and rewrote it and set one at each place setting. The guests simply wrote their name on theirs and circled what they wanted. When the food came out the menus were used to distribute it all to the right people. It made it much easier than trying to get 20 orders together and served by one server.

Overall the shower was a success. It was great meeting some of Cassie's friends and getting to know her co-workers, and she was definitely showered with love.

Baby's great grandmas
My gift to Cassie was a patchwork quilt using Studebaker car fabric I found on Spoonflower. My father, who passed away last October, was a huge Studebaker fan so the quilt represents him, as well as a little boy's love for cars. I also made bibs and little burp bandanas of the green car fabric. Of course, I forgot to take pictures, except for this one below.

And now we wait for baby boy to arrive (we call him Hawk, because of a car called a Studebaker Hawk, but we've been told that will not be his name). He's due in just nine days!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

My Happy Place

As the fun days of summer come to an end I thought I'd share a few images of our recent adventures.

In addition to Because I'm Me and Jude Harbor I now run a full time home daycare, which is great but limits vacation time quite a bit so instead of weeks away we did short weekend excursions, mostly with our camper - which we used five times this summer!

Most of our trips were to my happy place, the Florida Keys. My oldest son, Ian, is working in the Keys at Sea Base, a Boy Scout high adventure camp. So, you know, we had to visit him, right? Three times (plus a visit in April). We didn't make it to Key West this summer but we explored Long Key State Park quite a bit and spent most of our time in the water swimming, lounging, and boating on Ian's boat. Pure heaven.

Our biggest moment of excitement there was at about 10:00 pm on a Friday night at Long Key. One of the rangers drove past us, saying he had a minor emergency, as we were getting the camper into our site. Ever the curious home schooling family we had to see what was going on. About a hundred sea turtles had hatched but were heading toward the restroom lights instead of into the ocean. We watched the rangers and another family take the turtles back to the water and helped find a few of the cuties ourselves. It was an amazing experience and really brought home the fact that lights need to be off for the sea turtles. I couldn't believe how strong the attraction to the lights was - one camper held a flashlight pointing down and a swarm of turtles rushed to the light, he was then able to create a little trail of light to the water's edge.

If you're in the Keys and looking for a quick, free, pretty interesting, thing to do walk the old Seven Mile Bridge. It's now a fishing bridge, with one side closed for renovation, but in the shallow water are sharks, sting rays, dolphins, sea stars, fish, birds, and who knows what else - the wildlife seems to change with the days and tides.

It takes us about 4.5 hours to get to one of the state campgrounds from our home. We travel through the Everglades on US Route 41, past the smallest post office in the United States, indian villages, and a memorial for the victims of ValuJet flight 592. It's a relaxing drive with no interstate to worry about so even though it's a long drive it doesn't feel like it at all.

Plans are already being made for our next trip.