When my twins started daycare, there was an assistant teacher in the two-year-old room who quickly became a family favorite. Miss Stephanie also moonlighted as our babysitter and later as my party assistant. And now, she and her husband Greg are expecting their first child, a little boy named Ray. So my girls and I were thrilled and honored to host a Ray of Sunshine baby shower for Stephanie in early October.
Stephanie was absolutely indispensable in helping me pull off our Nancy Drew Mystery Party, our Selfie Scavenger Hunt Party, our Country Music Karaoke Party, and our Twins Top 10 Party. My girls love her and look up to her for advice on everything from boys to proper eyebrow taming technique.
But of course we weren’t the only family so fond of Miss Stephanie. The girls’ core group of friends from Sunbrooke and their moms all felt the same way. When the kids were all much younger, we used to gather for regular Chick-fil-A nights and Miss Stephanie often came as an honorary mom. so our baby shower also became a daycare reunion for Stephanie and all our mom and kid friends. (Two of our group couldn’t make it and I wish we had a photo that included them!)
Baby Shower Theme
Stephanie and Greg are going to name their son after Greg’s late father, Ray. And given that we all met at Sunbrooke Academy, “Ray of Sunshine” seemed like a natural theme.
We wanted our party to be Covid conscious, so we opted for an outdoor setting at a restaurant in our cute downtown, Century House Tavern.
The restaurant is in the Fowler-Hubbard House, built in 1894. And while the location provided fabulous food and a great yellow backdrop for our yellow party, I choose it because the restaurant manager and staff made it so easy to plan our event. (I’ll post advice on how to host a party at a restaurant.)
Ray of Sunshine Table Settings
Our table was what the restaurant called its “chef’s table” — a long, wide dark metal table sitting under a couple of old shade trees.
I knew I wanted the table settings to be mainly shades of yellow with pops of light blue. My first find were these great yellow woven placemats –- round with pom-pom balls around the edges — that reminded me of the rays of the sun.
Down the center of the table I ran a light blue gauze table runner. We used coordinating light blue gauze napkins. Our napkin rings were handmade wood suns, which I absolutely adored. On top of each plate, I placed a menu that I designed in Canva to coordinate with our stationary suite. And on top of the menu, sat a blue pacifier necklace for one of our games.
I brought my collection of amber water glasses from home and also added bottled lemonade and orange soda from World Market. We alternated those bottled drinks at each place setting, thinking that moms might prefer the lemonade and kids might prefer the soda. I encouraged our guests just to swap drinks if they didn’t have their first choice at their place setting.
At Stephanie’s place, we also had a little ribbon corsage of sorts that I made using an award ribbon base and ribbon and yellow foam letters from my collection.
I wanted to use a local florist for our centerpieces, but budget did not permit. Instead, I went to our Kroger grocery store, which actually has a pretty great floral department, and found the two arrangements in the gray vases.
Because our table was so long and wide, I felt like we needed a third centerpiece. The florist at Kroger helped me pick out yellow and white roses so I could make a third centerpiece that would coordinate with the first two. The white vase was left over from my daughters Sweet 16 BoHo Picnic Party. I raised that center arrangement on a low wooden stand that I found used on Amazon.
Since we had to transport any decorations to our location, I wanted to keep thing simple. I did look into renting yellow chairs for a pop of color, but the total cost including order minimums and delivery made it too expensive. Instead, I added a yellow pillow to each chair. I found the pillow covers and forms very inexpensively on Amazon.
We didn’t have a dessert table, but I wanted to create a similar style of focal point. I brought an easel from home, and used it to create a gift area.
To create this look:
- Take a foam core board and use double-sided foam tape to add yellow paper fans to look like sunshine.
- In the center of the suns, prop a Ray of Sunshine sign from Poppy Jack Shop on Etsy.
- Across the bottom of the easel, add a mini bunting with yellow and light blue ribbons. (Look for a version of this Sunshine Ribbon Bunting in my shop soon.)
We had a little breeze that day, so I secured the foam core board to the easel by poking two holes in the board and running a zip tie through the holes and around the easel. We braced the easel with a heavy planter.
On the back of the easel and the back of Stephanie’s chair, I tied a 24-inch round yellow balloon, adding a light blue satin ribbon as the tail for each balloon.
Baby Shower Games
Since our focus was really on our mini reunion, visiting and opening gifts, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on games. (I tend to feel that so many baby and bridal shower games are a little tedious anyway.) So we only played two official games.
The first was the “Don’t Say Baby” game. We had a pacifier necklace, made by my Baby B, at each place setting. At the beginning of the party, everybody put on a necklace, and if you were caught saying the word “baby” by another guest, that guest could steal your pacifier necklace. Whoever had the most pacifier necklaces at the end of the party won a little gift.
Our second game was “How Big Is The Bump?” For that, you simply pass a roll of ribbon and a pair of scissors to each guest. They cut off the amount of ribbon they think equals the circumference of mom‘s pregnant belly. Then you take turns measuring the cut ribbon around the mom-to-be. Whoever’s length of ribbon comes closest to the actual circumference without going over wins another little prize.
Along with our party invitation, we inserted a card inviting guests to participate in a diaper raffle. All they had to do was bring a pack of diapers to the party and sign their name to the raffle card. At the end of the party, I mixed up the raffle cards, put them in a wooden box, and had Stephanie choose a name. That guest won a prize. (Fun fact: the wooden box was actually left over from the Dinosaur Baby Shower we hosted for my niece Ashley’s first child. The boxes were used as risers on the dessert table at that party.)
Baby Shower Party Favors & Game Prizes
For party favors, I picked out light blue Pashmina-style shawls. I wrapped each shawl with a length of 3-inch wide, yellow-striped scrapbooking paper. Then I wrapped a yellow satin ribbon around the paper and tied on the thank you tag with a cute knot. I snipped the ends of the ribbon into a V and then heat sealed the ends with a lighter.
I hope you picked up some inspiration from our baby shower/reunion. We loved including our kids!
- Party Styling: The Party Teacher
- Photographer: Barefeet Imagery
- Restaurant: Century House Tavern
- Paper suite: Lemon Cake Paperie on Etsy
- Menus: Canva
- Blue gauze table runner and napkins: eFavorMart.com
- Yellow placemats: Amazon
- Blue pacifiers: Dollar Tree
- Floral centerpieces: Kroger
- Round wooden stand: Amazon
- Ray of sunshine sign: Poppy Jack Shop
- Yellow paper fans: Amazon
- Ribbon bunting: The Party Teacher shop
- Yellow lumbar pillows and covers: Amazon
- Yellow balloons: Party City
- Pashmina shawls: AE Creative Designs Co on Etsy