The funny thing about baby showers is that they’re not actually for baby. It's actually about you. So you might as well have fun planning since this just might be the last adult party you throw for a little while. What better way to have that last pre-baby bash than to give it a fun grown-up theme? With just a few little props, you can make a big impact. Below, the owners of event-design firm Poppies & Posies and prop shop The Trove give us 3 tasteful themes for the baby shower of your dreams. 1. TEA TIME What: We love tea time over here at the Poppies & Posies office, and there's no better time to put on a proper low tea than to honor a mom-to-be. Antique cake stands, elegant china and yummy tea sandwiches create the perfect lady-like atmosphere to celebrate this exciting occasion. Props: An easy way to figure out what you'll need for your tea party is to make a list of all of the items you plan on serving. Choose a few different cake stands in various heights and sizes, paired with a few serving trays to display your tea sandwiches, scones and sweet treats. Next, set the table for each of your guests. Use luncheon-sized plates paired with a fork, knife for spreading jams, and a spoon for sugar or honey. Each guest will need a water glass along with a tea cup and saucer for their tea. Colorful or patterned napkins are always a great way to punch up the table-scape. The same goes for a table runner or tablecloth. Lastly, you'll want to find a bevy of fun tea pots. It's especially nice to have enough on hand that each guest may have their own. This way everyone can enjoy the tea of their choice. Flowers: No party or tablescape is complete without a touch of flora. If your table is filling up from all of your fabulous props, add a sprig of something (not too fragrant) to each place setting. If you choose a delicate flower, place it in a petite bud vase beside each place setting to keep it fresh and lively throughout the entire event. Photography by Jen Huang Photography; Desserts by Lael Cakes; Props by The Trove. 2. MOCKTAILS & COCKTAILS What: It's important to remember that although the mommy-to-be won't be drinking, most of her guests would appreciate a yummy cocktail. Creating a baby shower focused around fun mocktails and cocktails will make for a fete that everyone will enjoy! Props: You'll want to style a bar to display both the cocktail and mocktail options. Use a collection of decanters in various sizes and shapes to hold your boozy items. To make it easy on yourself, choose two to three fun cocktails for your guests to make themselves. People love to customize their own beverages so the DIY portion of this theme will be much appreciated. Use a large drink dispenser to hold your non-boozy items so that your guests can mix themselves a mocktail or cocktail easily. Along with your ingredients, put out an ice bucket (we love antique silver or glass), ice tongs, trays and unique glassware. Other fun items to spruce up the display are straws, signs to identify what you’re serving, and pretty bowls to display garnishes (think mint, berries, citrus slices). Flowers: One of our favorite garnishes for a cocktail bar are edible flowers. They look gorgeous and are fun to add to any drink, boozy or not. Offer your guests a variety to choose from so they can create their perfect combo. Photography by Jen Huang Photography; Props by The Trove. 3. GARDEN PARTY What: There's nothing more enjoyable than a garden party. If it is not the season to host one outdoors where you live, then use props to transform your indoor space into a garden-like oasis. Props: We love using aged lanterns to set the scene for a garden party whether it’s taking place inside or out. Garden urns in a variety of finishes, sizes and shapes filled with plants from your local nursery will turn your space into the perfect setting. If you want to really go all out, strung cafe lights and a plethora of candlelight provide the perfect finishing touches to a fabulous fete. Flowers: No garden party is complete without flowers! If you're not in the mood for arranging something, pot miniature rose bushes in aged terracotta pots and place them on each table. At the end of the evening, guests can take them as a favor. Everytime the mom-to-be sees her rose growing she'll remember her wonderful shower. Photography by Jen Huang Photography and Scott Clark Photo; Props by The Trove.
When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.
I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.
Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.
The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.
Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.
I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.
Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.
This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.
I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.
I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.
I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.
As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)
But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.
This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.
As mamas we want our babies to be safe, and that's what makes what happened to Glee actress Naya Rivera and her 4-year-old son Josey so heartbreaking.
On July 13, the Ventura County Sheriff's Department announced the 33-year-old mother's body was found at Lake Piru, five days after her son was found floating alone on a rented boat. According to Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub, Rivera's last action was to save her son.
"We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point in her journey. It was at that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water," Ayub explained, adding that Rivera's son was wearing his life vest, but the adult life vest was left on the unanchored boat.
Ayub says exactly what caused the drowning is still speculation but investigators believe the boat started drifting and that Rivera "mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat but not enough to save herself."
Our hearts are breaking for Josey and his dad right now. So much is unknown about what happened on Lake Piru but one thing is crystal clear: Naya Rivera has always loved her son with all her heart.