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Ashley’s Kitchen Shower

February 24, 2013

Sister is getting married in TWO!?! months!  We are so excited for her!  So of course we had to harass sister about every detail of her wedding day throw her a shower!

Mama bear picked the location and then pretty much let me do the rest.  She picked a super-cute little restaurant in our hometown that serves amazing food.  It also had the *perfect* party room for a party with nearly FOURTY guests (sister is popular).

I made the above invites using photoshop & then printed using vistaprint.com. (In an attempt to be a little bit secret, I removed our last names & my phone number before publishing here!)  I picked a nicer paper than I normally do this time and was pleasantly surprised that the quality seemed a little better than it was when I had ordered from them previously.  I had a groupon, so paid $26 for 70 Christmas cards & 50 of these invites.  Such a deal!

We had a huge gathering – almost 40 guests – and I was referring to it as my mini-wedding.  Of course, the lunchtime meeting and a room full of people she didn’t know meant a super-clingy and slightly whiny Lil.  She’s really funny about people that she doesn’t know — she takes a really long time to warm up, and the more people get in her face, the less likely she is to warm up.  It’s a little hard because she sees her extended family so infrequently that she’s always shy around them, and they just want to cuddle and talk and love on her!  Soon enough, I’m sure, she’ll remember them, but for now, I guess she’ll just be shy and stick to mama.

Since I was holding Lil for the first half of the party, I got a few really blurry and terrible pictures before handing the camera over to cousin, who did an amazing job capturing the event.  (Thank you, cousin!)

As guests entered the party room, they dropped off a recipe card with a favorite recipe.  I had enclosed a recipe card with each of the invites and asked the guests to bring it to the party.  One of my sister’s friends brought the recipe card attached to a take out menu because she’s not a cook — hilarious!

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Guests were also given a little party favor — a wooden spoon with a painted handle — that doubled as their table marker.  I picked up the wooden spoons at the dollar store (I cleaned out THREE separate dollar stores looking for these bad boys), wrapped the handle with painter’s tape, and then painted each with a coat of Martha Stewart craft paint.  Martha’s craft paint was the only one at my local Michael’s that said “nontoxic” – which seemed crucial for something that might get near food — and she had one with a glossy finish, so I hoped that would allow me to skip the additional step of shellac-ing the painted spoon handles.  The spoons looked great (again, my pictures of them are terrible).  I haven’t actually washed them yet, but would love to hear if those of you who were at the shower have washed/used them — did they survive the wash?

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My very talented aunt and grandma put together the floral arrangements.  (Thank you aunt & gramma!)  We used my giant colander on the spoon table & mini colanders (purchased at World Market) for other tables.  An antique tin with flowers & kitchen utensils sat on top of an antique scale on the dessert table (see bad photo below).

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And a better shot of the cupcakes, which I am still drooling over.  Yum.

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My sister greeted her friends and family wearing an apron pinned with kitchen gear.  Later, she took the apron off and we quizzed guests to see who could remember all of the items pinned on the apron.

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For a second fun game, we passed around jars of spices and asked guests to guess what was in them.  Everyone got to sniff, but no tasting allowed!  I made matching game cards in photoshop for fun.

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Sister opened a LOT of presents.  Her kitchen will be well-stocked!

We made her open her wedding quilt first.  My mom, aunt, and grandma collaborated on a quilt for me for my wedding, and I was happy to be able to contribute to sister’s.  Sister picked the colors (black & white) and asked for a graphic/square/modern design.  Mom, aunt, and I picked the material, and then mom and I pieced together the top in what ended up being almost 3 very long days of sewing.  Lil also sat in my lap and helped for a bit – she seems REALLY interested in a lot of my crafty endeavors.  Mom, aunts, and grandma HAND QUILTED the top (in all caps because of the amazing amount of work required… yours truly does NOT have that kind of patience).  Mom and grandma are going to finish the binding.  I normally quilt with a lot of color, so picking only black and white was a little challenging for me.  I think it turned out really nicely, though, and I think sister liked it!

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My cousin took a bunch of really great pics that day, but I always feel a little strange about posting pictures of other people here on the blog (because what if they don’t want their picture out there for everyone to see?).  So just a few from the day.  Sister and I:

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Sister, mom, and I:

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Aunt, cousin, & Lil:  (also posted so you can check out the amazing centerpieces… this was the only good picture I had of them)

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Someone was REALLY happy when she was given her own cupcake:

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And of course, no good party is complete without a scandal.  Sister was gifted a silver pacifier — no note or other indication about who it was from.  A mystery!  (And we still don’t know who it was from!)

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Following the gift opening, we played one last game: a quiz about the bride and groom.  I asked them a series of questions about food & the kitchen in the weeks before the shower, and then made a little multiple choice quiz based on their answers.  It turned out pretty well, I think, and both of them gave me some pretty hilarious material to work with.  We gave out the centerpieces & other kitchen gadgets as prizes for each of the games, and then we said good bye to everyone.

I’m so happy the party went well, and I hope sister felt thoroughly spoiled & special!  Only a few more weeks until her big day!

—-

The rest of our weekend was spent recovering from hosting, helping sister with what we could for the wedding, and, in Lilly’s case, adoring uncle Trevor.  Lil discovered Trevor’s (giant, flyable) remote airplanes, and the giant trunk of Thomas the Tank Engine paraphernalia from his childhood.  In case she wasn’t already smitten with uncle Trevor, her recent enthusiasm for trains & airplanes pretty much sealed the deal, and he was sweet enough to play along and set up a little track for her.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2013 1:28 pm

    Jen, the shower turned out fantastic!! I love all your ideas, so cute and sweet! What a sweet party! 🙂

  2. March 7, 2013 3:54 pm

    You and your mom did a great job as usual! Every detail was perfect, the food was good and Ashley looked liked she was totally enjoying being the center of attention.
    PS…I probably should not have put my spoon in the dishwasher, but I did. One side still looks like new, the other, not so much?!!?? I would guess hand washing the spoons is the way to go (in someone else’s kitchen) 🙂 Thanks for the fun party!

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