Thursday, October 9, 2014

Throwing a Gender Neutral Baby Shower

I have reached that stage in life where I am surrounded by pregnant friends and newborns. Last year the trend seemed to be all girls, but this year almost every baby I know (in the newborn or in utero stage) is a boy!

We do have a couple of friends who are deciding to wait to find out the gender (which has resulted in Brandon an I having several in-depth conversations over which way is best). While I love the suprise element that not finding out brings with it, with gender reveal parties becoming the new norm, such a choice seems to be becoming less common.

Last week my friend Jess threw a baby shower for some dear friends of ours who are expecting their first child in December. I was given the job of being chief assistant #1. Jess contacted me about a month ago knowing that she wanted to decorate onesies at the shower (because the mother-to-be is an art teacher) but having little direction past that.

Once I found this saying on etsy - we decided to go with an art themed baby shower.

The decorations were simple, but fun. We stuck to different shades of teal/light green and grey for a neutral pallet and accented with animals (mostly birds and elephants) and art accessories (chalk, chalkboards, crayons). Jess brilliantly filled glass bottles with water tinted to match the color scheme and I snuck out of Home Depot with way too many free paint samples that we used as a table runner.

Our main activity of the night was painting onesies and bibs. I've heard of people doing this, but have never had the chance to actually do it myself. It was a blast! It was so much fun to see what people came up with and we had stencils for the less artistically inclined (ahem :) ).

We kept the menu to a heavy appetizer spread (meatballs, cheese, chip dip, veggies, fruit, olives, etc.) and iced the cupcakes to match the color scheme. Just in case anyone is wondering, 5 drops of blue + 3 drops of red + 2 drops of yellow= grey icing.

I loved this theme and it fit the mom-to-be's personality perfectly. While I loved it for a gender neutral shower, you could easily tailor the colors to be more gender specific.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Food for the Soul

I. love. books.

Every once in awhile I forget this. Not forget that I love reading - but more so forget how much I love books

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.
George Martin

This realization was made most evident in our recent move. For two adults sharing a 2-bedroom apartment, I would say that Brandon and I own a fairly reasonable amount of stuff (clothes, furniture, kitchen supplies, etc.) but then there are the books.....filling every bookcase and shelf, stacking in tubs under the beds and in closets, not to mention the full bookcase left behind at my parents. Most of our conversations about said books begin with "someday when we have a library...."

Since we've moved I've had fun exploring 4 of the local libraries. Yes 3 (in 10 days). I just happen to keep ending up near a different one and figure, why not?

So far I've encountered:

1. The downtown library (Minneapolis). This is the largest and has the best book selection I've ever seen. However, given its location, it also tends to be the hang out spot for Minnesota's homeless population.

2. The closest library (Minnetonka). The second largest library in the area, the book selection here is fair. However, I had to fight for a parking spot since the library shares a building with the county court and apparently there are a lot of parking tickets that need to be taken care of...

3. The prettiest library (Wayzata). This was the first library I visited. The book selection is pretty awful, but it's located right off a lake and has a beautiful view. 

I'm choosing to add libraries as a point on the "Minnesota positive" list, and not consider it to be a reflection of necessary entertainment for the winter to come. :)

"Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you'd most like not to lose."
Neil Gaiman