Celebrate Mom's good fortune with a contemporary, Asian-inspired shower theme. Festive paper lanterns, personalized "Zen gardens," baby sock "sushi," and yummy chai tea cupcakes will have the mom-to-be feeling like the luckiest girl in the world.
Personalize this custom invitation by clicking on the name of the mama-to-be and party details to edit. Then print on a color printer using 5x7 photo paper and mail in A7 size envelopes.
Create mini "Zen gardens" to use as table centerpieces and party decor by using inexpensive, wall-mounted black picture frames (skip frames with an easel back -- they won't sit flat). Remove and discard the frame's cardboard and glass inserts until you're left with what's essentially a shallow tray. Fill the container evenly with sand and smooth it out as much as possible.
In one area of the garden, use the blunt end of a pen, pencil, or other straight tool to write the word "baby" or the name of the baby-to-be (if you know it) in the sand. You can also create "ripple" patterns with a Zen rake, then embellish with river rocks, leaves, and other natural elements.
(Even easier? Buy a few ready-to-go Zen garden kits and be done.)
Another idea: Place small, inexpensive bamboo plants (a good luck symbol in Chinese culture) on food and gift tables. Display the tiny plants on shallow, square or rectangular trays filled partway with sand and embellished with river rocks.
Whether you host the party indoors or out, add another Asian-inspired touch by hanging colorful paper lanterns in different shapes and sizes.
Talk about good fortune -- you're in luck with this shower, hostess. Simplest food option? Chinese takeout -- buy enough to serve all your guests and transfer it to nice white serving platters when it arrives. Set out a couple of bowls of fortune cookies on the food table, too -- order ones personalized with cute messages for the guests and a special one for the mom to be ("Lucky you -- a good sleeper is in your future!").
Since you've gone with takeout for the meal (you're so smart!), you'll have plenty of time to whip up some yummy Chai Tea Cupcakes for dessert.
Chai Tea Cupcakes
Makes: 30 mini cupcakes
Prep: 5 minutes
Bake: 15 minutes
For a cute gift presentation that will do double duty as party decor during the shower, roll baby socks, clothing, and washcloths "sushi style," then display them on a small black tray. Embellish the gift with a pair of chopsticks or a sushi-print baby bib.
To recreate the cute "Sock and Roll Sushi" set pictured here, roll one black baby sock around one white baby sock for each roll, then cut fake tuna, ginger, and grass from colored felt.
Who's feeling lucky? Send guests off with a colorful scratch-off card for a chance to win big bucks. Purchase them at a convenience store and hand one to each guest just before she leaves. Make sure she scratches it before she walks out the door. Part of the fun is seeing her results!
Jennifer Sbranti is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of HostessWithTheMostess.com, and author of the HWTM Daily Blog.
Copyright © 2008 Meredith Corporation.
Add these luck-themed tunes to your iPod for the party: