Saturday, August 6, 2011

A "Garden Party" Baby Shower

I can't believe my dear friend, Mulder {Ashley, but we call her "Mulder"} is going to have twins in just a matter of a couple weeks!!! I will never forget the day she called to tell me the big news - after years of patience and waiting. I answered the phone, thinking it was just another regular conversation.. She asked me how I was doing and I rambled on for a good 10 minutes before asking her how she was doing. She goes, "Well.. I'm pregnant!" and I remember screaming and thinking, are you kidding me, right now?! I just blabbed on and on about nonsense when she had the world's greatest news to tell me! Oh my word.

Of course, I had to throw her a shower. The scheming began as I started packing for our big move and Jade was planning her wedding. Before I knew it, Mulder found out it was going to be twin girls - which had to be incorporated into the theme as well. Time flew by, I moved, Jade got married and before I knew it, the shower was right around the corner! I spent days and days creating new, innovative decor before bringing about a dozen boxes and laundry baskets over to Jade's (who lives about 45 minutes away) to get everything in order. Since we decided to have the shower in the party room at Jade's apartment complex, it was a little trickier (but worth it!) to haul all of my stuff without forgetting a thing or two! It definitely worked out for us to prepare everything at Jade's place a few nights before the shower, so that all we would have to do the day of, is bring it down and set it all up. Easy enough, right?

Finally, our big day came. It was so wonderful that my mom was invited to the shower too. It was great to be there together, as well as it was her first time being at one of "my parties". Since she's the best mom in the world - seriously - she offered to come early with me to set up the shower. I'm not talking an hour before.. but 4 hours before it started. It's unbelievable how much time it takes to set up these things -- Maybe if I wasn't so obsessive-compulsive about how everything needs to be arranged, I'm sure it wouldn't take near as long. Oh well.

The shower was beginning at 11am, so the plan was to arrive at 7am. In the last 6+ years, I've had my share of apartment-living, including full understanding of the pros and cons that go along with it. It was nice for her building to have a few shopping carts available near the elevators, in case anyone has a lot to carry or something heavy. It definitely came in handy, while making trip after trip with all my boxes of party supplies, vases, decor and food. We made it to Jade's as planned and began our hunt for shopping carts to easily move everything from Jade's place to the party room - 3 floors down and in the building across the street.

We found carts, loaded them up and made our first trip to the party room. In our excitement, Jade went to unlock the party room door - with the keys she was given from her leasing office, the day before - to quickly realize the door wouldn't unlock. Hmm. She tried for a few minutes without panicking. No luck. Then I tried. Still thinking there must be some "trick" to it, I tried some more. Nope. My mom tried. Uhhm, no. We stood there with our overflowing carts and go-get-em attitudes, trying to figure out the answer to our problem. Jade quickly decided to make a phone call to the answering service, since (obviously) it was hours before the leasing office would open. As most answering service are, they were rude and short with her, basically schooling us on how we are not an "emergency situation", despite the fact that we had hours of work ahead of us, food to prepare and had paid $$$ to rent the room with a guarantee to get in as early as needed. Frustration began to kick in, as 8am rolled around.  During all of the chaos and frustration, a little friendly, completely bald man - whom looked just like Phoebe's dad from Friends (Bob Balaban) came trotting down the hall and we desperately hoped he was a maintenance man or someone who could help. Although he was just a tenant on his way out to run his "Saturday morning errands", he asked us if we needed help, offering to try the lock. As he took the keys from Jade, he immediately said with his high voice, "Oh, these arent' the right keys! I use this room all the time!" Awesome. He introduced himself as "John" and explained that he wouldn't "go anywhere, until he could help us get in the room". Wow, John! Thanks, little man!

John began making phone calls/threats to the unhelpful answering service woman, claiming that "since no one is bothering to help us, maybe he would just call the police or break the window to get in" (ohmyword!). We tried to open the door to a miniature conference room across the hall from the party room and it worked. My mom and I began to set up a "staging area" in there, so it would at least give us something to do. As we're working away, little John was pacing the hallway on hold and politely demanding assistance on our behalf.

Trying to organize everything!
My happy mom, with the stupid, unopened party room in the background.
Before we knew it, it was 9:30 and we were still locked out. The leasing office supposedly opened at 10 - which would give us literally 1 HOUR to set everything up. I felt sick.

With Jade up in her apartment, getting food ready and little John continuing to pressure the answering service woman, we finished putting flowers in vases and most of the additional set up details. Our friend, Whitney, arrived with some of the food, shocked to see our situation and stress. At about 9:50am - 10 minutes after John offered to get us coffee, apologized for our ridiculous morning and went on his way - a beastly woman walked through the lobby, making no eye contact with any of us as she stomped to the party room door and unlocked the door.

I was actually helping Whitney get some things out of her car, as I heard my mom exclaim, "It's OPEN!" Whitney and I couldn't believe the woman who walked directly past us with nothing to say, was a person with a key. As she was unlocking another room, someone said to her, "Did you know we have been waiting to get into the party room since 7am???" and she rudely had the nerve to say, "So?" SO?! Are you kidding me, Jumbotron?! An apology would have been nice. Even an ounce of acknowledging our exhaustion and frustration for the past 3 hours would have helped.. but no. Even little, bald John was back with his Starbucks, rushing back in forth with vases and boxes so we could start our set up (bless his little heart!). I couldn't believe the woman, as she arrogantly watched us rushing our decor into the party room and still had nothing to say to us. Honestly, I think it's appalling for someone so cold and rude to work in a role of accommodating others and supposedly maintaining interaction with people on a daily basis. I was so fuming with her rudeness but had no time to dwell on it, as our minutes were counting down and we had SO much to do.

At about 10:50am, just about everything was done. I was sweating and overwhelmed, but it was done. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to hang everything I wanted to, but the food was almost finished and we were - for the most part - ready for anyone to arrive. I was happy that Mulder and her mom and sister came first. There's just something about seeing my friend's face, when arriving to a party I have spent months, weeks, days and hours working on. It was so great to be finished after such a nightmare of a morning. It honestly was worth it though. Whew!

The theme of the shower was "Garden Party". A little twist of shabby chic, vintage pinks and yellows, with lots of florals, ruffles and lace. Since Mulder is having twins, we wanted to play off the idea with "sugar and spice" and "two peas in a pod". Everything turned out really beautiful.. I couldn't be more happy for Mulder!

Whitney, Me, Mulder & Jade
Chicken Salad & Croisannts
Deviled Eggs
Make-Your-Own Ants on a Log
Fresh Fruit
Feta & Artichoke Tarts

Chocolate-Covered Pretzels
Marshmallow Pops - Chocolate-Covered Marshmallows

Berry Creme Cupcakes

Pink Lemonade
Love mason jars and straws!

Cucumber Ice Water

Vintage dishware my sister gave me, re-purposed from her mix-matched wedding place setting collection. LOVE these!
Backdrop I created (with help from Lanae and my friend Stacie) out of ribbon, lace and strips of fabric

Lots of emotions! Everyone shared why they think Mulder will make a fantastic Mom!
Belly Measurement Game

An unexpected Coach diaper bag! Everyone squealed as she opened it!

Favors: Chocolate-Covered Pretzels
Old college friends & roomies!

What a fabulous day.. It was so exciting to see old friends (and roomies) I haven't seen in years! Aside from all the the chaos and preparation before the shower, the day was so special and memorable. Can't wait to squeeze those little girls when they finally arrive!


Decor, including ribbon, lace and paper supplies: Michael's
Fabric: Hancock Fabrics, JoAnn Fabrics
Paper Straws: The Sugar Diva
Dishware & vases: vintage; White, square vases: Michael's
Fonts used: Fonts for Peas


  1. Fab party! I love the ribbons & bunting. Great job.

  2. Just popping in from Show and Tell Saturday and I wanted you to know I love your fresh take on streamers. Fabric and ribbon is so much more fun than regular old crape paper! I also adore the pink lemonade in the Mason jars. The pink ribbon gives it such a cute extra touch!

  3. Awesome party, Alanna! Love your theme, decorations, everything! What a special time!

  4. Looks like it was a great time, even if you couldn’t get in! The ribbon backdrop is gorgeous!

  5. What a beautiful party! I'd love to talk to you about featuring it at Baby Lifestyles! Email me at if you're interested!


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