Pitter Patter in PDX Baby Shower

Pitter Patter in PDX Baby Shower

Baby Sprinkle

I was absolutely honored when my friend Joan offered to host a sprinkle for me and my newest baby. A sprinkle is similar to a shower, but is designed to be a smaller celebration for a second child because the mother likely has some items from the first time around. I was super touched that she would want to throw me a party in the midst of her own move into a new home. My friend Alicia jumped in to help with the sprinkle and the two of them even outdid the amazingness they pulled off in my first baby shower that they hosted together— A Robot Themed Baby Shower. I offered up my backyard for the party and they based the color scheme to match my newly decorated porch area. This is a LONG post with lots of ideas for hosting a Portland-rain themed baby shower as well as some free downloads! If you enjoy this post, I’d be super duper happy if you PINNED an item to your Pinterest board or SHARED via your favorite social media platform.

 

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Rain in Portland Themed Baby Shower

 

They themed the party around the “Sprinkle” theme as well as my love of all things Portland, Oregon. The Pitter Patter in PDX Baby Shower was born and with it came Food Truck-themed foods and rain drop decorations. We even got to be spoiled with some local gourmet ice cream! I ordered event sized portions of King Creamery’s amazing ice cream flavors. It went perfectly with the theme… also, the champagne pear sorbet was simply the most amazing sorbet I’d ever tasted in my life.

 

Pitter Patter in Portland Facebook Invite

Rain Themed Baby Shower Decorations

Joan is an amazing graphic designer and she created a beautiful rain themed items to use throughout the event including the above Facebook invitation cover. (The image is free for personal use in case you’d like to throw a Portland rain themed baby shower! Just click on the image, right click to save to your computer and upload to your Facebook event cover area!) She built a cloud out of balloons and pillow stuffing utilizing this great “How to Build a Cloud” tutorial from The Farm Chicks.

 

Baby Shower Party Favors

Baby Shower Party Favors

Joan utilized the graphics she used on the invite on the labels she created for the awesome party favors she put together. Utilizing the same graphics and color scheme in different areas throughout your party can help pull together different elements to make the party look professionally put together! Joan found corn on the cob from a local farm that simply goes into a paper bag with a little oil and is instantly microwave popcorn! How cool is that? I have a fantastic umbrella that has the “Thank You” in several different languages printed on the inside of the umbrella. We added that detail at the last minute because it went with the theme AND was the perfect addition to the favor table!

 

Flavored Sparkling Waters are great beverages for Baby Showers! Portland Beer for a Portland Themed Party

Bumptown Coffee for a baby shower coffee bar

Baby Shower Beverages

We kept the beverages for this party pretty simple with sparkling waters, coffee, tea and—because it was a Portland theme— beer! Joan created little tags for the coffee cups to make it coordinate with the Portland theme. She named the coffee shop “Bumptown Coffee” a play on words from the famous Stumptown coffee! Seriously one of my favorite details. The coffee cups and sleeves (aff link) were totally affordable from Amazon and she simply printed up her label on round 2-inch sticker sheets (aff link). An affordable and simple way to bring the coffee bar up a notch for a party!

 

Food Truck Theme for Party Food A Well Crafted Party

Food Truck Theme for Party Food A Well Crafted Party

Food Truck Theme for Party Food A Well Crafted Party

Food Truck Theme for Party Food A Well Crafted Party

Food Truck Theme for Party Food A Well Crafted Party

 

Food Truck Themed Party Food

My absolute favorite detail of the party was the food. Now, that isn’t JUST because I was 8 months pregnant and eating everything under the sun. Though, that helped. The girls came together with different ideas for Food Truck themed food. Joan then made these amazing little food trucks using a great free template sourced from The Fox is Black and an artist by the name of Goopymart. The food trucks included Mac and Cheese, Please!, Sweet Elvis PB&J, Nom Bowl, Taco Taco Taco, and The Waffle Beneath My Wings. The food containers such as the paper food trays with wax paper and the bamboo bowls (affiliate links) added to the whole “food truck” feel. And, of course, we had a REAL Portland food vendor present with the cute little event size King Creamery ice creams. They do home delivery of their monthly flavors with their club membership, but they also cater events.

 

Baby Shower idea - meal train cards!

Baby Shower Activities

I don’t have any photos of the cute little activity that Joan put together for the event. She had hand cut out felt items so that guests could help put together a mobile for the baby. (There is a great little tutorial for felt mobiles over at Craftiness is Not Optional.) I seriously prefer crafts and activities over baby shower games, so this was perfect for me! In addition, she whipped up cute little cards with a link to a meal train that she had set up for me on mealbaby.com. It was amazing to have food delivered those first few weeks after the baby was born.

 

Free Food Truck Printables

 

Joan, who has a rad little business with her husband called Stogle Studios, put together these fun designs for the party’s food trucks using the template from The Fox is Black. You can download them and use for free for your next party! Want to create your own? The template is free to download over at The Fox is Black’s Food Truck Design Contest Post! (Personal Use Only)

 

Free Paper Food Truck Printables

Directions for printing and putting together your free food truck party paper food truck:

  • Click here to download your five free printables, download by right clicking the image and saving the PDF to your desktop.
  • Print on 11X17 paper — you can also choose to “fit to print” to 8.5X11 paper or 8.5X14 paper, but please know you will have a smaller food truck if you do that.
  • Cut out along outer edges of design.
  • Fold along solid lines and glue along flaps. Cut out the window area and put in your food truck window as the pictures show.

 

No longer a toddler- my kid turns 4!

No longer a toddler- my kid turns 4!

I should have admitted this to myself about a year and a half ago… evidently the toddler years end around age 2 1/2. I’ve been holding onto that term “toddler” because I am not quite ready to admit my little guy is growing up. I’m in love with each and every stage he has leaped right through. I’m happy he is growing up. It just seems so fast!

Four years ago today I was in labor waiting to meet my little man. This weekend we will be celebrating his 4th birthday. How does it all happen so quickly?

I’m of course in the midst of planning his 4th birthday party. Last year we did a simple pizza party with friends and family and I don’t think I even took any photos because I was just enjoying the day. This year, being his last birthday as an only-child, I wanted to do something to make it a little more special. I don’t believe parties have to be big or elaborate to be special, so it is still a small pizza party with friends and family. But, we are pulling out a few special items to help give him a few moments before little brother gets here and the attention gets shared.

This year we are doing a “rock n’ roll” themed party, because my kid is completely rock n’ roll. He loves music, clothes, the spot light, mohawks, and just “rocking out.” Our gift to him, which is larger than any gift we would normally give, is actually a double gift in a way that it is going to be our way of continually and intentionally connecting with him after baby brother arrives. He will be getting drum lessons from his drummer uncle and then my husband and I will take turns going out and practicing with him on his brand new set of drums. We will get half an hour to a full hour of one on one time with him and will get to learn something fun and new. We’ve seen him on a drum set before and know he loves them. I hope that he loves this gift!

Drums as Fourth Birthday Present

My kiddo is turning four... how did that happen so fast?

 

This little guy grew up on this blog and I thought I’d share some of my favorite posts dedicated to my Well Crafted Kid…

 

A Well Crafted Kid:

 

A Well Crafted Kid’s Birthday Parties:

 

And, because it is World Breastfeeding Week check out my series on breast feeding (both the ups and downs) that was published in 2012 and featured the experiences of several different moms!

 

Tips for Serving a Multi Course Meal (without a personal chef!)

Tips for Serving a Multi Course Meal (without a personal chef!)

Someday I will hire a personal chef to cater a party for me. Actually, someday, I absolutely will hire this personal chef team and sit back and enjoy being served throughout an entire party. That will be a treat in itself, however, I also really love to cook and serve for my parties. I enjoy the whole process of planning, executing and serving dishes to my guests. Many of my parties are fairly simple with serve yourself or buffet style dishes of foods. Occasionally, I like to serve multi-course meals (either plated or family style) and when I do, I like to use the following tips/tricks/hacks to make the dinner more enjoyable for everyone involved. 

Tips for Serving a Multi Course Meal (without a personal chef)

I am the first person out there that will recommend hiring out (or purchasing out and bringing in) for large parties and life events. I value the talents of others and their ability to make my life easier more than I can say. These tips will work for just about any type of party, big or small, but they still require the work be put in. Hiring a chef, ordering catered items, renting dinner ware, hiring a cleaner or hiring a server are absolutely time and sanity saving options for important events. This list is for someone who really wants to do it themselves, whether because of circumstances or because they enjoy it.

These tips will also help for those trying to save money in their party budget for other area. I do stress that you know your limitations however because saving a few dollars here or there and being disappointed in the end will only make it feel like you wasted the money you did spend. I enjoy throwing parties, preparing dishes, and cooking foods. I’m pretty good about timing things out as well. I am terrible at getting the house spick and span before a party. I often hire that portion out and do the entertaining part of it all myself. Know your talents, your limitations and your resources and have a fantastic party!

1. Prep what you can before the party day.

This seems easy, right? Prep anything and everything you can for your party before the big day hits. It is trickier than it seems however because some items don’t keep as well as other items. Anything that you can prep without compromising the quality should be prepped as far in advance as possible. When creating my menu, I often try to get at least one or two items that can be prepped prior to the big day on the menu. Some menu items that can be prepped early include soups, sauces, vegetable cutting prep and many dessert and drink items. Need a simple syrup for your speciality cocktail? Whip one up nearly a week in advance and store in your fridge. Want to serve a dessert of cookies under ice cream? Prep the cookie dough up to a couple of months in advance and store in your freezer. This works great for home made crackers as well!

2. Pre-plate what you can before the party begins!

A lot of my multi-course parties combine a mix of serving dishes family style and plated. Family style is easier on the chef (and whoever does the dishes afterwards) and the plated style of serving is often easier on guests. I tend to serve the dishes that have to be made or finished during the party as family style and pre-plate (or even pre-dish for an all family style meal) what I can. Salads can often prepped an hour or so before the party, wrapped in cling wrap, and stored in the fridge. If you are serving an individual cheese course or a cheese platter you can also prep these early and put in fridge, just make sure you get it out with enough time to get it to room temperature before serving.

3. Include Entertainment at the Party

Include some form of entertainment at your party so that time between courses goes unnoticed. A little time between courses is actually great because it gives your guests time to really savor the course before it. Too much time can be a drag, but with the rest of these tips and a little entertainment no one will notice a time slag. I often do a photo booth, music, questions at the table or even drink pairings that guests can talk about in between courses.

4. Serve a menu that doesn’t all need to be served HOT.

Planning your menu carefully is very important when you are doing it all and wanting to actually sit down and enjoy your meal with your guests. I try to serve at least a couple of items that can be serve chilled or at room temperature. Salads, appetizers, cheese plates and desserts are easy places to put in items that do not have to stay hot before serving.

5. Utilize warming and cooling appliances.

Take advantage of any and all warming and cooling appliances that you have in your home. I clean out my fridge as much as possible before a coursed meal so that I can pile in pre-prepped plates of items or pre-cut elements that will come together for a portion of the meal. My oven, if not in use, is set to warm and all hot dishes are carefully stored in the warmer so that they can still be served. (Be careful to not let hot food dry out in your warmer. Cover with foil and try not to put in to stay warm for too long.) My crock pot is typically in use for sauces or soups that are prepped in advanced, but need to be served hot.

What tips do you use when serving a multi-course dinner to friends or family? Comment below!

Posts with Multi-Course Menu Ideas:

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