BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND TWITTER BACKGROUNDS »

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

HOW TO THROW A VIRTUAL BABY SHOWER

Before I tell you how to throw a long distance or a virtual baby shower, maybe I should tell those of you that are less high-tech by nature exactly what I'm talking about. A virtual, online or long distance baby shower is basically a baby shower that takes place on the worldwide web, the internet or whatever you want to call it.


Just like a regular shower, it can be a simple affair where a few friends who are physically miles apart gather in a chat room to offer best wishes to the mother-to-be or a more elaborate celebration might have its own website or take place in real time!

Here are some of the many ways that you can do a long distance baby shower:

SET UP A BLOG

Give your virtual baby shower its own "home page" using a free blogging service like Google Blogspot. You can customize the theme and wording and use popular colors. Think of the colorful background and themes as modern baby shower decorations!


USE A SOCIAL NETWORK

Take your pick of Facebook, Myspace or one of the many free websites focusing on pregnancy. Any of these services will give you freedom to post videos, pictures and details for your long distance baby shower as well as links to the mommy-to-be’s baby gift registry.

LIVE VIRTUAL BABY SHOWER

Get everybody together no matter how far apart they may be using Skype or Freeconferencecall.com.

BABY SHOWER GIFTS

How the gifts are delivered is completely up to you and the mother to be but whatever you decide should be outlined in the baby shower invitation wording. If you will be hosting the shower live, you might ask the guests to mail their gifts to the mom’s address by a certain date so that she can open them and thank the giver in person. This is a detail that should be worked out between yourself, the hostess, and the guest of honor depending on what type long distance baby shower you are planning.


BABY SHOWER INVITATIONS

The hostess can have invitations printed to mail out for an online baby shower just like we’ve done for the old-fashioned kind for decades. Instead of a physical address, the wording should include details about how and where the online baby shower will take place and where the expectant mom has her baby registry.

If the virtual baby shower website requires everyone to register for a membership online, tell them in the invitation to do this ahead of time to reduce the possibilities of an unexpected problem on the day of the online baby shower that would cause them to miss the festivities.

To save money, she might send out free online baby shower invitations to the guests’ email box. The benefits of using email virtual baby shower invites are multi-fold as not only do you save money, but the time that you would normally spend licking envelopes and sticking on postage stamps. Plus, there’s no risk of invitations being lost in the mail.


VIRTUAL BABY SHOWER WEBSITES
I’m happy to say that there are many excellent websites that make an online baby shower more personal and warm than you might expect. There are several excellent ones that offer an array of services for a $50 charge including a photo album, a guest book, live chat features and even baby shower games that you can play with your friends at the virtual party.

UNIQUE BABY SHOWER FAVORS

If you plan to mail your invitations, you might send your guests a keepsake of the event like a personalized bookmark or a silver charm along with the card as a favor. Shower etiquette does not require that you have favors for any shower and certainly not an online shower but it is a nice touch if your budget allows.


Long Distance Baby Shower Thank You Cards

If the invites were sent through the postal service, I would advise that mom send her thank you cards the same way. If the guests were invited via free online baby shower invitations, an online thank you note would be appropriate.


There are new virtual baby shower websites and new ways to make these celebrations special popping up everyday. You are welcome to share your long distance baby shower ideas with us using the comments form on this page.

Monday, July 26, 2010

RADICAL BABY SHOWER IDEAS

Ladies, get ready for some radical baby shower ideas! Yes, it's time for my annual Baby Shower DO list! I hope I'm not too late to save us all from many boring hours since the baby shower invitations are already rolling in!

From May to July, those of us with pregnant friends (who for some reason all have an August delivery date!) spend our time brainstorming baby shower decorations, menus and gift ideas each of us looking to throw a party that blows the one that came before it right out of the water.

That in and of itself probably should be the first DON’T on my list. But not wanting to start out with negative remarks I want to first share some modern albeit radical baby shower ideas voicing how I think a shower for the mother of today should be organized.

DO FORGET SPRINKLES

I never could understand why a mom was only supposed to have a shower for her first baby. C’mon people, unless she’s having babies back to back without a breather in between chances are she gave away all her gear and baby clothes in newborn size long ago...probably to you or one of your friends. So, don’t wonder if you should give this girl a party…find some cute baby shower ideas for second or third or whatever and get going!

DO PLAN SOMETHING FUN AND ENTERTAINING

Ask the mother-to-be what she and her friends might enjoy in the way of entertainment. This is one area that I’m totally in favor of throwing tradition to the four winds and letting it fly. Be it disco dancing or playing stud poker, a baby shower CAN be a chance for girls to get together and just have a blast.


I’m not a huge fan of baby shower bingo but for those of us who are into it, rave on! On the other hand, why should ladies who wouldn’t be caught dead in a Bingo be expected to play? Another baby shower game that loses its luster (in my opinion) after the first go round is any kind of dirty diaper game. There are times when playing silly games and watching grown men wearing adult diapers can be outrageously funny and if that tickles the guest of honor’s fancy, and then by all means DO IT!

DO POSTPONE OPENING GIFTS
This is perhaps one of the most controversial, radical baby shower ideas on my list. Ask if it might be acceptable with the guest of honor if she skipped opening the gifts at the shower.

If it’s a family shower, Grandma might raise an eyebrow at this baby shower idea but if it’s a party for the girls...well, they will probably be just fine with the idea of not having to watch while one gift after another is opened. I know it's your party, Mama, but seriously...


DO MAKE MOVIES, PICTURES and MEMORIES

The more pictures, the better in my book. HOWEVER, you should never distribute them via email, include them in scrapbooks and especially never post them on a social network without the permission of the mother-to-be.


DO HAVE WONDERFUL FOOD

Party mints, cheese spread and crackers do not cut it, my friend. You are not required to put on a spread but don’t insult people who take time out to celebrate with you by giving them snacks that you poured out of a box. Grill burgers or SOMETHING!

DO HAVE A PLAN

There are plenty of websites that offer wonderful baby shower ideas that will help busy moms throw a baby shower from choosing a baby shower theme to finding cheap baby shower decorations. Before you jump in with both feet and waste a lot of time and money, visit some of these websites and get some tips.

Now....what do you think about my radical baby shower idea DO list? Are my suggestions too over the top or extreme? Or are you giving me a big ol’ virtual high five? If you have a personal list of likes and dislikes or traditions that you would love to burn why don’t you just tell me about it? Just drop a line and tell me, what is your idea of the best shower?


By the way, I was going to have a list of stuff that you should NEVER do at a shower, but I ran out of room so I'll get right on that tomorrow.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

FREE BABY SHOWER GIFT IDEAS

Forget the cheap baby shower gift ideas, how about some FREE baby shower gift ideas? There are many ways that you can score free stuff that you can keep on hand ready and waiting to be put into service when baby shower invitations come in the mail.

COUPONS and PROMOTIONAL ITEMS

If some time has passed since you last spent your time scouring the magazine and newspaper ads for baby stuff, there is no better time to refresh your coupon clipping skills than right now! By taking advantage of freebies and promotions, you will have enough free diapers and samples to fill a gift basket in no time flat!

Set aside a special place in your linen closet (or some other pet free, smoke free location) and then, when it's time to load up and buzz over to take part in the celebration of your friend's little bundle of joy, you will be WAY ahead of the game.

HOW TO FILL A GIFT BASKET WITH FREEBIES

As soon as I open the invitation, I grab a gift basket (usually a cheap basket I pick up at Dollar Tree) and organizing my free baby shower gift ideas into those that are specifically for a baby boy shower, a baby girl shower or those that are gender neutral and start my arrangement. Presentation is everything and I don't want my gift basket to appear shabby when surrounded by all those cute baby shower decorations!


I usually have little packages of baby items like diaper shirts and onesies that I picked up for $1 on clearance sale (my last score had a retail price of over $5 and I bought it for less than a dollar!) that I decorate with bows that I make using pink, blue or neutral ribbon and use them as the centerpiece of the basket if I don't have a nice cloth diaper or diaper cover that I won in one of the giveaways that I enter. Then I surround the baby clothes with samples or freebies from my stash. I generally include around $10 to $15 worth of stuff like cute cases for baby wipes, baby wash, shampoo and baby lotion samples and free diapers if I have some on hand.

Yeah, these free baby shower gift ideas take a little more time than calling the baby boutique and asking them to gift wrap something that you pick up on your way to the shower, but we don't always have that option if you've been laid off from your job or have been hit with a medical emergency. Even if things are going great and you have lots of cash lying around, it's a fun challenge to put together a baby shower gift basket filled with free stuff that will be the standout on the gift table!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

MIND BLOWING BABY SHOWER GAME IDEA

Here's a mind blowing baby shower game idea that will appeal to the practical jokesters or tricksters among you. The great thing about this game is that you don't have to have a lot of supplies, it doesn't take a long to play so your guests won't get bored with it and we got a HUGE laugh out of it at a shower that I recently attended.

There really aren't many rules to abide by and you will have to do a little planning ahead of time but it's still an easy and fun game to play.

Before the guests arrive, load a tray or fill a basket with baby stuff that are in your baby shower theme or to match the colors of your baby shower decorations. You might buy some small items to present to the guest of honor at the end of the game (whether she actually wins or not).

When it's time for the baby shower games, choose one of the guests or one of your co-hostesses and have them walk from guest to guest showing them the items on the tray instructing them to study it and giving them a minute or so to do so. After each guest has had an opportunity to study the items on the tray, then have the person who is in charge of the to leave the room.

After she is safely out of sight of the guests, you will then pass out paper and pencils and instruct everyone to write down in detail what the person with the tray was wearing including jewelry, hair ornaments and eyewear.

It's so much fun to see how surprised everyone is when they are not asked to make a list of the baby stuff that they were told to study! The look on their astonished faces is totally hilarious because they were so busy committing all the items on the trait to memory that they completely neglect to look at anything else!

This baby shower game idea is a good one to play at co-ed showers because it's so funny to see the guys try to describe what the lady was wearing in their own words.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

DAISY BABY SHOWER DECORATIONS



If fresh daisies to use in your daisy baby shower decorations are just too expensive, make your own paper daisy decorations! Once you get good at it, you might try your hand at making your own daisy baby shower invitations decorated with cute, paper flowers that never droop, wilt or need water!

Whether you are making your own floral arrangements as a money saver when the budget is tight or just enjoy the challenge of tackling a paper flowers tutorial and showing off your craft skills. Whatever your reasons, if you (and some of your friends) care to take the DIY approach to making your floral arrangements to decorate the venue, paper baby shower flowers are a perfect alternative for pricey stems purchased at your local florist.

And HERE is a paper daisy pattern and easy to follow instructions to get you started. Who knows, once you master using this template and when you see what a big hit your daisy baby shower decorations are with your friends, you might want to make paper flowers to sell to other hostesses planning a floral baby shower theme and create your own cottage industry specializing in custom baby shower invitations and decorations made to order.

If you don't trust your artistic talents and are reluctant to jump in and make your own handmade flowers from the daisy template, you should call your local craft store and see if they have some lessons planned where paper crafters teach classes on how to make paper flowers. Making enough to complete all of your daisy baby shower decorations on time might be a little too much for a beginner, but that's all the more reason to get started now so that you will be ready for next time!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

FREE Baby Shower Gift Idea

I'm pretty pinched for money right now as are most of my friends so here is a FREE baby shower gift idea that I came across that is thoughtful and so very MODERN and high-tech! The cost of the gift is absolute nothing but your time even though I am well aware that time is money, it's not nearly as expensive as a baby gift basket or even a pair of booties PLUS if the mommy-to-be is less than computer savvy, she will really appreciate your taking the time to set up a personalized online scrapbook of her baby shower so that family members and friends can share in the fun from miles away.

So what IS this free baby shower gift idea? Get ready because you are about to set up a Myspace page dedicated to showcasing the hostess's baby shower ideas,the cute baby shower decorations and all the lovely gifts for the new baby.

And here are some tips on how to personalize your gift:


1. Use a sonogram picture or have the dad to be take some pregnant belly pictures for you to use as the profile picture.

2. The title of the page should be something to the tune of "Ann's Baby Shower" or "Ann and Bill's 1st Baby" or any personal headline that will best describe the baby shower theme or event.

3. Ask the hostess for a copy of the shower's guest list so that you can do a search for friends and relatives to invite them to be "friends" and post the first bulletin including the date of the shower, the due date and other information pertaining to the party.

4. You might also consider posting blog entries where you can announce details of the shower where loved ones can post comments and congratulations, etc.

If you want you can upload your own pictures of the shower as well as those taken by others but you can also add video complete with sound that everyone will enjoy.

This FREE baby shower gift idea gives the technologically savvy individual
an opportunity to create a personalized gift with infinite potential that may encourage the new mom and dad to start buffing up their computer skills.

Sweet Baby Shower Gift Idea

I just read a sweet baby shower gift idea that I wanted to share with my visitors and the great part is that it's very touching and personal as only a homemade baby gift can be...plus, it's CHEAP and easy to make!

You won't need a whole lot of craft supplies, but you may have to visit the crafts section of your local discount store and pick up a cute "treasure box" that has a lid and a scented votive candle. If you can't find a pretty box at the craft shop, visit a flea market to find a vintage china ring box with a lid that is big enough to hold a candle or you might find what you want at a collectibles shop. After you have your box and candle, you will then need to ask the your friend's relative or the "dad to be" to snap a pregnant belly picture for you.

After you have all your supplies, place the scented votive in your pretty box and using a hole punch make a hole in the corner of the belly pic and use a color coordinated ribbon to tie the picture to the box. On the back of the picture or on a card you can write a short verse that goes something like this:

Close your eyes and say a prayer,


And when (baby name here) is finally here.


Light this candle out of love,


To thank God for sending this angel from above.


I thought this is such a sweet baby shower gift idea that you can easily personalize with the baby's name. The wording of the poem on the card would be appropriate for an angel baby shower theme or pretty much any baby shower. You might change the wording around a bit to make it even more personal if you like.

Another possibility would be to buy enough boxes and candles and use them as baby shower decorations during the festivities and then send them home with your guests as favors.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Eco Friendly Baby Shower Favors

You might laugh but the inspiration for these eco friendly baby shower favors was the oil spill in the gulf. We never truly appreciate what we have until it's gone (sounds like I'm writing lyrics to a country song), right? And the idea of tar balls all over our favorite white sugar sand beach seems to have put us all in a "Save the Planet" frame of mind. To think that babies born today may never see those pristine beaches just breaks my heart and if we have to plan parties for environmental awareness, then count me in!

The key to choosing the best "green baby shower favor" is timing. For instance, if your Mother Earth baby shower theme is planned for the middle of the holiday season, a packet of wildflower seeds would not be the excellent choice that it might have been if the shower was scheduled for prime growing season (say early spring) in your area.

On the other hand pot plants or seedlings make excellent eco friendly baby shower favors for the winter months. Buy an (or make your own) attractive pot or coffee mug and some potting soil and either plant a small plant inside the "pot". For a bridal shower, you might consider using inexpensive champagne glasses to hold your plant.

You don't have to buy (or make) large flower pots or coffee mugs to make a lovely presentation. In fact, if you are pressed for time and handmade baby shower favors are out of the question you can visit the crafts and candles section in your discount store and buy small votive cups. Your eco friendly baby shower favors will have cost you less than a dollar ($1) leaving more of your budget free for cute baby shower decorations and food.