Party Panache, Baby He or Baby She?

Last weekend we had a little shindig to celebrate the bundle of joy that DD [darling daughter] & NG [nicest guy, my son-in-law] are expecting in March.  We gathered the fam and a few special friends and had a “Reveal Party.” Reveal parties are all the rage right now, and let me tell you, it was LOTS of fun!  The most popular thing to do is have a cake that has either pink or blue inside so that when the couple cuts the cake, the babies gender is “revealed.”

It’s a Girl!

Most of the cakes I have seen are pink and blue, some with dots, some with question marks, some with bumble bees, as in “What will it be?”  All that stuff is just not DD’s style, she prefers simple and understated so that’s what we did. The dots on the cake are gray.  Boring?  Nope, stay tuned and I will show you how it all came together.

When getting ready for a party I often start with the main table and let the whole decor develop from there. This is what was on my dining room table when I started.  I knew what I didn’t want to do, the obvious pink and blue, and pretty much instantly decided simply to remove the color and go with silver, gray and white.  Elegant and understated,  just DD’s style.

I added a tablecloth under the fabric topper and placed some sparkly sheer silver placemats at each end of the table.

The pear garland went up on the chandelier

The large bowl was removed and a mirrored table runner became the base for the centerpiece.

I brought in my mercury glass pumpkins from other parts of the house to mix in with the white and painted silver pumpkins.  The dried hydrangea is a nice texture contrast

Some pine cones and crafted apples, and some sparkly faux pears…

and  a little bling in some small candle sticks.  It’s fun to tuck unexpected things into different spots just to keep things interesting.

I hung some silver baby heirlooms from the chandelier with silver ribbons,  rattles & cups, some were mine, some were my children’s, dented and loved.

It was subtle and pretty, and not over the top baby.  This was not a shower, just a small little anticipatory celebration of things to come.

In the kitchen, I knew I wanted to create a “counterscape” that was a little more casual and a lot more BABY!

I started with this lantern, and filled it full of some silver and white ornaments and some blingy thingys from my Bauble box [a plastic file box of drawers that I keep colored and silver ornaments and things in for year round decorating]

I bought a couple of pink and blue snuggle wraps and baby toys with decorating in mind…

They look pretty cute snuggled up with mini cake domes of pink and blue cupcakes

Play around with your arrangements until you have it just the way you want it… still not quite right…

I decided to paint a canvas, “Subway Art” baby style.  Subway art is so popular now, it basically means just a jumble of words on a particular subject or holiday.
I have seen lots of cute ones for Thanksgiving, with Give Thanks, Blessings, family, grace, turkey, pumpkin pie, pilgrims, etc.  All different sizes of words and fonts, and this comes together as  fun graffiti!  DD’s nursery is gray & white, so maybe this will look cute hanging somewhere and will be a nice little surprise!

I am starting to love this,

Now I’m happy!  Guess what, Hungry Husband bought the flowers, just came home with a pink and blue bouquet and said “I thought these might be nice”
What? He is turning into a tablescaper! Ha, I couldn’t believe it!! And they were the perfect finish for this little baby counterscape in the kitchen!

I always do my tables days in advance if possible. I try to do most of the cooking and prep work the day before so the DAY of the party, it’s just last minute details, final heating and plating.  You don’t want to be too tired to enjoy your hard work and your guests!

Most of the food was in the dining room, nothing in the kitchen, just this counterscape, and then on the bar was a hot dip, and some cheese and veggies scattered around the family room.  The beer & wine were actually in large tubs in the foyer, with only water and soft drinks at the bar.  This kept everyone circulating and moving around.

Here’s the menu:

Veggies & spinach dip in the center of the family room

This was just a simple cold spinach dip with celery sticks, carrots, red pepper strips and cucumber.

The server is actually a strawberry pot, designed for growing strawberry plants.  DD thought this up a few years ago and we have used this often, it makes a dramatic presentation of a very simple dish.  Staging is so important!

On another table nearby I placed a “white pumpkin” cheese ball and come sturdy crackers for spreading

Hot Artichoke & Asparagus Dip with a Cornucopia of chips on the bar

These Tostitos Halloween chips, orange & black,  looked so good with the Thanksgiving decor around the bar

I mixed in some Stacy’s Pita Chips and all I needed to do was place the hot dip in the iron stand.

I used the table in the foyer for the beer & wine.  I borrowed a round silver tub from DD so it wasn’t here yet, but  it sat on the green tray and we filled both tubs with a variety of beer, wine and Proseco.

I had glasses for wine and Proseco, and an opener for the beer.

It was a little casual but we did put this large garbage can by the beer tub.  Predict your guests behavior…we were entertaining a bunch of 30ish Southern males.  That equals beer drinkers…they need a handy place to toss their empties as they grab another… Many parties ago I did paint a large can black with cute little beer and wine bottles and soda cans so it’s not too much of an eyesore as trash cans go!  You can see in the background two bar stools in the corner with an impromtu chest as a table.  I moved the barstools into the foyer and moved the chairs from the table to various spots around the foyer for extra seating spots.  Now guests could flow from the foyer into the family room, past the bar into the kitchen and through to the dinning room and circle back into the foyer.

The cake was on one end of the dining room table.

The gray polka dots looked fab with the silver decor!

I didn’t have enough white plates so I saved those for the cake and put out some pewter salad plates, and some cocoa and green appetizer plates from Southern Living at Home for the main dish bites.

I just happened to have the colorful cake napkins leftover from another party, but they were a cute touch with the pink and blue.

I put a big glass bowl of “White Trash” snack mix at the other end of the table

As party time drew near I started placing the dishes out, these open face bacon and tomato sandwiches are a party favorite.

The guys loved these Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin Sliders, another long standing party favorite.

These brown sugar cocktail smokies barely made it to the table, people were eating them straight from the pan as I was trying to plate them, this photo is before they were baked

These roasted baby red potatoes were filled with the buttery sour cream, chive & pecan dip below.

Another dish that barely made it to the table!

When I was preparing for this party I used my  FORMULAS FOR PARTY PLANNING.

I had almost no leftovers, no stress and had a great time with my guests! I paid particular attention to my GUEST CHARACTERISTICS, lots of  hungry guys, TIME OF EVENT, 6:30 – 9:00 people will be HUNGRY, and TYPE of event, cocktail buffet, so I made lots of different easy to eat dishes and positioned them in different areas.  The guys even ate the fresh veggies in dip, of course this was in the CENTER of the main room!  I have had too many parties where people just crammed themselves around the bar, so I purposely stationed only 1 dip there and the soft drinks.  The beer & wine in the foyer kept everyone moving around.

One last thought to leave you with, THINK ABOUT FLOW, and try to keep your event from getting bogged up by having too much in one area.

Happy Holidays!  Plan some parties!  Come back tomorrow for these EASY,  NO FAIL recipes!

The painted glassware is from JMdesigns Gallery

I’m joining

the Tablescaper for SEASONAL SUNDAY



The Gunny Sack for WHAT’S IN THE GUNNY SACK?

Savvy Southern Style for WOW US WEDNESDAY

Rattlebridge Farms for FOODIE FRIDAY

The Everyday Home for “Better Late than Never” Thanksgiving inspirations

Alderberry Hill for Make the Scene Monday

The Dedicated House for Make it Pretty Monday

check out these amazing blogs!

8 Responses to “Party Panache, Baby He or Baby She?”
  1. Love, love, love this! It came together beautifully! You did such a great job 🙂

  2. Love the tips, decor and ‘elegant’ trash can for the beer cans and refills. Smart!

  3. First…CONGRATS to all…goota love baby girls:) Thanks for coming by, nice to meet a beach neighbor. We had a house on Ono, sold it about four years ago. My husband is a real estate broker at Realty South in Orange Beach, let’s us know if you or anybody you know ever needs any real estate help. All your food looks so good:)


  4. Julie ~ says:

    Well, First of First, I wanted to use the word First First, but the comments above mine did!! So I’m going to used it anyway… FIRST I want a piece of that cake! It looks amazing.. my inner sugar self is in lust! All the food looks great. This is such a great post. I love how it just looks so put together! SECOND… (I am the first to use that one!) I want to come to your party and eat all that food, the pumpkin cheese ball… and snoop through your decorations…Ok, I’m going back for another look! Wonderful Job !!! Happy Thanksgiving… Jules ~

    • Thanks for all the compliments, I worked pretty hard on the party and the post! Ha! So, I definitely need that relaxing cup of tea that I just read about at your house! Your photos are so pretty, love the purple and green! Thanks so much for your visit and comments.

  5. Marigene says:

    Congratulations on the upcoming joyous event! The food looks amazing…yummy.

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