So, Baby Cupcake is due to make an appearance in the world in less than 4 weeks (yes, less than 28 days!). After having had complications from the very start (plus a diagnosed high risk pregnancy condition) and spending months literally counting down the days to full-term, I finally find myself on its doorstep. And now time is speeding up! It seems imperative to prioritise blogging this final blessingway post now with so many other pressing pregnancy-related matters to see to on the horizon ;).
Let’s start with the menu, shall we? I have already posted the recipes used for my self-catered event, but here’s the full menu plus links to all recipe posts (simply click on links or thumbnail images).
My blessingway was rather unconventional, it must be said. The main reasons being that a) there is no baby shower culture here in Sweden, so anything goes, really and b) I wanted to incorporate a variety of activities so that it wouldn’t be a “one note” event. I did a good deal of research online (thank ye, beloved Pinterest!) and came up with a list of activities that I thought would be fun/moving/enjoyable/meaningful (a combination of blessingway activities and more typical baby shower games) and a schedule with which to break them up.
For this activity, guests select an embroidery chord with a printed “wish tag” attached to represent their support and wishes for the mother-to-be. Chords are then tied around a candle which, when lit, will be a comforting reminder of everyone’s support. My wish tags included things such as “gratitude”, “intuition” and “hope”. My candle will be lit on my baby’s birthing day.
How Many Candies in the Jar?
A pretty self-explanatory game, really ;). I bought a nice glass jar from IKEA and filled in with yummy candy in my blessingway colours (green and purple). The jar was left on a table so that guest could take their time in between eating/drinking/chatting to pick it up and have a guess as to how many candies were inside (of course I had counted them earlier!). I printed out a list for this game so that people could write in their name and guess number. The winner of this game is obviously the person who has guessed the number closest to the actual number of candies.
Gender Prediction Myths
A traditional baby shower game that is clearly appropriate for the occasion! The hostess reads out the questions as all the guests follow along. By simply circling “boy” or “girl”, the guests answer the questions to the best of their ability. Some rather obscure myths are thrown in amongst more common ones to make it more interesting.
Wishes for Baby
A lovely, heartwarming activity using a simple template to allow guest to fill in their own personal wishes for baby-on-the-way. The simple statements act as prompts but are left open-ended, so each person’s responses are unique. The collected filled-in sheets are just perfect for scrap booking or setting aside for your little one to have later in life.
Funny Portrait Predictions
This game is hands-on and hilarious. Each guest is given a blank “baby template” along with a portrait of each parent. Using scissors, glue, imagination and sense of humour ;), the guests then set about creating a faux prediction portrait of the baby. As it is impossible to pick a winner for this game, all guests were asked to write their name on the portrait they’d created, then all portraits were placed in a bag and the hostess (my mother-in-law) drew the winner randomly.
Contributions for Charity
I really did not want my guests to feel obligated in any way to contribute, nor did I want to dampen the mood of the day, but I have felt compelled during this pregnancy to give back… and I believe that in doing so I have been honouring my baby’s life (see Cupcake for Charity). Thus it seemed especially appropriate to do so on this occasion too. I set up a “prizes & gifts” table stocked with lovely accessories such as necklaces, scarves, bags, purses, etc., and all guests that won a game were free to choose anything they fancied from the table. The remaining items were then on offer to be exchanged for any contribution whatsoever (just a coin would do) to a charity collection tin. I decided to support the charity Bliss (for babies born sick or too soon), via Baby Saif’s Lighting up the Holidays Fund as, having been one of the lucky ones to make it so far with a high risk pregnancy condition, I count my blessings everyday whilst my heart breaks for those less fortunate. I was touched that every person at the party contributed and that, together, we were able to make a nice contribution to an important cause.
What’s in your Handbag?
A typical baby shower game where guests are given a checklist of items that may or may not be in their handbags. Each guest goes through her bag and the list, ticking off items that she finds and adding up the points. The winner of the game is the person with the highest point score.
Each person invited brings a bead/charm/button that they have picked for the mother and all items are strung together to create a bracelet/charm symbolic of support for the mother-to-be. In my case, despite telling everyone to simply find something they already had around the house and not go to any trouble, everyone kindly chose very personal things and all the items had a lovingly supportive meaning (hearts, angels, etc.). It was my husband who threaded each bead onto bracelet wire. The little children in attendance were fascinated by this activity and process! As these bracelets/charms are intended to strengthen focus and a sense of support during labour/delivery, my lovely one will accompany me to the hospital as I go to deliver my baby.
THE PRINTABLES (yep, that’s the free stuff too, folks!)
As mentioned in earlier blessingway posts, my colour scheme for the event was purple and green and my motif was butterflies. I designed my stationary items around these things. I have been told by a few people (including my boss) that I shouldn’t do design work for free, but I feel compelled to share these things freely as 1) they are already designed and 2) I understand the costs for hosting a shower/blessingway can add up (there’s enough to think about, financially speaking, when a baby is on the way). So, in any case, I hope you like these printables and that they come in useful for you or someone you care about 🙂
Here are links to all FREE downloadable print items:
Blank menu template (just write in the treats you plan to serve)
Blank schedule (for the hostess to write notes on & keep track of the day’s events)
Wishes for Baby template (for guests to fill in with personal messages)
Buffet labels 1 (simply write in the name of the dish)
I love giving gifts… and having the chance to prepare things for my event DIY-style was a joy! Aside from the “prize & gifts” table (on which a variety of accessories tied with purple ribbon were laid out) I also made sure each guest left with some other goodies.
I found lovely cherry scented purple votive candles (with 25 hours of burning time) and created my own thank you tags for the gift bags, each one with a unique “blessing” on the reverse side.
Fondant-covered Sugar Cookies
Each guest received a gift bag containing 2 large decorated sugar cookies (with fondant in matching colours dusted with edible glitter) and 4 mini ones. I am so happy with the sugar cookie recipe I used and very glad to be able to share it with you too, along with tips for how to decorate sugar cookies with rolled fondant (click on links or images below).
Ok, so maybe I went a little overboard by making the decorations too, but after 10 weeks of bed rest, I was feeling extra motivated ;). Below you will find links to simple tutorials that may come in handy if you feel so inclined to give DIY decorations for your event a go too (simply click on links or images). The only decorations I have not yet posted about are the paper lanterns with butterflies (idea originally from Martha Stewart Living). You can do as Martha suggests and trace the shape of a butterfly onto any paper you like before cutting out the shapes or you can use the template I created (which uses the same colours and patterns as the rest of my printables). Then simply fold cut-out butterflies in the center and adhere them to paper lanterns using glue dots or a little double-sided tape. To download the template I created, click on the link or images directly below. For all other decoration tutorials, click on the relevant link/image.
THE OTHER BLESSINGWAY POSTS
The following posts included the original updates for my blessingway planning: