It just hit me, August is a day away and soon my niece or nephew will be here joining us! Words can’t express how overly excited, anxious, thrilled, nervous and happy I am. I’ve been counting every second until my FIRST official niece or nephew arrives! I can’t believe my brother is about to be a dad. My LITTLE brother, a DAD! The thought is ludicrous to me, but so full of joy and excitement. I guess we are all growing up and life is changing right before our eyes. The kid who used to tie my bedroom door to his across the hall so he could get the G.I. Joe guys to complete “missions” in the hall, not allowing me to in turn get out of my room, will now be in charge of the most important “mission” of his life. Instead of hiding parts of my Barbie dolls all around the house (and at times giving them mohawks as hairdos that left me crying), he might have to sit and play Barbies with his own little girl. The kick-ball games that many times got us into trouble because we accidentally murdered our neighbors tiny yard plants with our ball, will serve as lessons when he’s teaching his own little guy how to score for his team. It’s crazy, but beautiful and exciting all wrapped into one.
Being that my brother and sister-in-law have decided to not find out the sex of the baby until he/she is born spoiling him/her before he/she arrives has been a little difficult. Planning a baby shower that didn’t scream out BOY or GIRL was also a difficult task. My sister-in-law has a love affair with all things nautical. She and my brother live on the bay. So when planning the baby shower, a gender neutral take on the nautical theme was the way to go. Most people thought that nautical was more of a boy theme,but we tried to incorporate as much red and as many girly details, just in case the baby turns out to be a girl. And as my sister-in-law put it, the baby shower is a celebration for the mother! The baby isn’t even here yet, so he or she won’t know if the shower was too girly or too boyish. So that’s what we did. We catered to the Mommy-to-be and added details that she liked, with some sprinkled in for the baby as well.
The shower was held at the InterContinental Hotel’s, Blue Water Cafe, on the pool deck, which over looks the bay and has a clear view of the cruise ships. It’s a small, quaint venue, which was perfect for the intimate affair of about 35 women. The scenery could’ve been all we needed as decoration, it was almost like we were a part of the ocean with 360 degree views. It was truly a breath-taking venue. The shower began at 4p.m. so it gave us the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful day light coming in through the wrap around windows, as well as having front row seats to a gorgeous sunset on the bay.
She incorporated two little whales in the invitation, decorations and treats, to represent the girl or boy the baby could be. One of the whales had a bow making it a little more girly in case the baby on the way turns out to be a little princess.
The shower theme was evident in this gorgeous invitation. This invitation was so fancy when I received it in the mail, I almost thought it was another invitation for a wedding. The invite came out of this blue envelope, which I loved. I had never received an invite to a baby shower with such cute details. You can’t see it on this photo, but the little whale on the right has a red bow, with a tiny rhinestone in the middle.
My wordsmith self was inspired and I came up with the cute saying that was on the invite:
If it’s a BOY or GIRL, no one knows!
Though we can’t wait t know if it’s sports or bows.
We are all as happy as can be
Because soon BABY will make a FAMILY of THREE.
Let’s celebrate with Glenda and prepare her with all she needs
At her shower by the sea.
My creative self also came in handy by making these little frames which we used at the entrance of the room. One had a baby picture of my brother (the daddy-to-be), one of the mommy-to-be, one of the baby’s latest sonogram and the boat photo was of both of them with their hands forming a heart on the belly. The photo of them together was also taken by the water at the Keys, we kept everything in theme. Each frame had a little whale, and I believe they are going to be displayed in the nursery when the baby arrives. I was only expecting them to be on display for the shower, but if they’re used again, the baby will have a little something of the shower in his or her room.
Guest book sign ins are a cute tradition, but many times are never read again. We opted to go for a “message in the bottle” type of sign in. Each guest filled in a paper, which we made that prompted them to make different wishes for the baby.
The welcome table display – with some mason jars towards the back which were used for Sangria!
These are the papers we made for wishes for the baby. We made them in English and Spanish to make sure no one was left out. They included things such as: I wish you grow to be…., I hope you ignore…, I hope you love… and many more. Some guests gave the baby some funny advice, others gave some more serious life advice. The messages in the bottle will most likely also be displayed in the nursery – at least I believe if it’s a boy it will because it’ll be fitting with the boy’s nursery theme.
White and red sangria were a hit and looked cute when poured in the mason jars below.
The red stripped straws added a little something to drinking from the mason jars. We also had some in blue but for some reason only the red ones are in this photo-op. I have to say, that sangria was delish! My mom sure did a good job with that recipe.
The food was amazing! And for some reason I only snapped a photo of the salad. The presentation was as gorgeous as it tasted.
Before I share with you my favorite detail of the decor, here’s a sneak peek. Cookies were made as part of the treats that were given as the guest thank you, take home gift. These were an exact replica of the little whales not he invitation. Since we didn’t know if the whale should be a girl or a boy, we used both! The cookies were done by cookie maker, Vanessa.
The cake was not only delicious, with one layer having nutella filling in the middle of vanilla cake and the other having guava filling in the middle, but it was cute and perfectly fitting or the theme. The whale that sat on top of the cake was a girly whale, because of course we are celebrating the Mommy-to-be!
Even from above, the cake was pure perfection with each detail. This work of art was made by Publix, but the whale cake-topper was specially made by Tiny Delights .
My favorite part of the decor was the focal point of the room, the sweets table! As you can see by the sign, these are some of the Mommy-to-be’s favorite sweets. This mommy definitely has a sweet tooth, even when she’s not preggo, and here are some of her cravings.
Above the Sweets table we incorporated photos of the Mommy-t0-be throughout the pregnancy. There were pictures of her and the daddy-to-be, the grandparents-to-be, the auntie-to-be (me) already loving the baby in the belly, the uncle-to-be and all of the rest of the crazy family that has shown that belly love throughout the past few months.
Here we have the two possible baby names on either side of one of the first sonogram photos. This little Mommy-to-be wrote the two possible baby names in the sand – Liam if it’s a boy and Ally if it’s a girl.
“If you want to know how much I love you, count the waves in the sea.” This saying couldn’t have been more fitting for the theme, especially while we were basically floating a top of the bay. On either side of the saying we have the mommy and daddy-to-be and on the other the grandparents to be the day they found out they were soon-to-be grandparents.
“First we had each other, Then we had you, now we have EVERYTHING.” Of course, this saying had to be surrounded by photos of the mommy and daddy-to-be showing that belly some love.
These cake balls were made by the mommy-t0-be and grandma-to-be (my mom) and were definitely a hit. They were some kind of brownie/fudge/cake ball, but it wasn’t cake. It was so good, rich and creamy. They were the first item to be completely gone at the sweets table.
There were definitely cookies and sweets of all types. From the salty/sweet mix of the pretzel sticks with chocolate that mommy-to-be and I made, to the white balls of cookie mixed with almonds and a few other ingredients that are a favorite and cultural treat of the mommy-to-be, which she made herself.
The calories on this table are worth every bite.
The beautiful whale cookies tasted as perfect as they look.
These chocolate lollipops were made by the soon-to-be “great” aunt and my uncle assisted with the tags. They were all in different shapes of fish, starfish and other findings of the sea. I loved how so many of the key people in my family offered a hand when they knew what we were up to with our table of sweets. We had planned to do these ourselves but our aunt offered up her time and took over with lots of love. We have to give her credit, they did look adorable.
This little lighthouse had a bit of a sentimental story and had to find a home and be on display. It’s a scrapbook sticker that we used on a vase and filled with some of the expecting mommy’s favorite chocolate treats. This lighthouse was a surprise purchase from the anxiously awaiting daddy to be used for the shower, when he heard his wife had decided to do a nautical theme shower. Cute little detail! We definitely had to include it in some way.
A favorite of course of chocolate covered strawberries and luckily they are red and fit the theme.
What are sweets and cookies without some milk to go along with it? Of course, we had to display the milk in a way that would stand out, and the mommy-to-be was obsessed with the vintage feel these bottles had. The milk got a vintage look to it and went very well with a slice of cake or a few cookies of your choice.
The take home bags had a cute message from the baby, “Thank you for sharing this special day with my mommy!” And were at the sweets table in case any one wanted to take a few delicious delights home. This worked out well for all those who might have had too much to eat throughout the luncheon and had a chance to enjoy the sweets later on.
The flowers and centerpieces were kept girly and lots of red. These little boats were made by the expecting mommy and filled with lifesaver mints. Lifesavers fit the nautical theme pretty well and guests loved having some mints after their meal. The flag on all the little boats said: “Welcome Baby Arean”.
The beautiful flower centerpieces were the work of art of mommy, grandma and auntie-to-be. The vision of course, was all the work of the expecting mom, who has great taste in putting flowers together.
The centerpieces were vases filled with carnations, tulips and roses all in red, alternating with vases filled with sand and seashells.
I added these cards completely last-minute, and they were just advice for the mommy-to-be. I thought it would be nice for guests to give her some words of advice, help or encouragement as she prepares for the months ahead, especially when this little bundle arrives.
If it wasn’t evident that this mommy has a major sweet tooth before, it was evident when her aunt showed up to the shower with a surprise gift – cake pops in old-fashioned ice cream cups for each table. They all said: boy, girl or had a “?” on them. It was such a cute idea and the mommy-to-be loved it and so did the guests who were able to enjoy them.
The expecting mom’s own mom and baby’s grandma-to-be couldn’t hold the excitement for the arrival of this little prince or princess and planted a sweet kiss on her daughter’s belly. Now even more evidence that this baby will be extremely spoiled and loved by all with a big KISS on the belly for all to see throughout the luncheon. What a sweet little gesture that was.
As for the shower games, we only played a few. We did the dressing of a baby doll, where we blindfolded three women and had them dress a baby with diaper, onsie and socks and whoever finished first and had the baby correctly dressed won. We picked a representative from each side of the family and a friend and the winner ended up to be one of the oldest ladies in attendance, who is in her mid 80s! Who said grandmas weren’t experienced? Another game we played was in teams of two, both participants were blindfolded and one had to feed the other baby food. We were nice and styled the one eating the food with a baby bib and gave them little baby spoons to eat the fruity Gerber food. The games were fun and were a great way to get the two families and friends to interact and provide a few laughs after lunch.
There were so many details through this shower that I have included many more photos for you to see in the slide show below.
Have you had a baby shower when you have kept the baby’s sex a secret? How did you plan or incorporate a theme that was equally fit for a boy or a girl? What are some fun games to play at a baby shower? What have yo done to make your special celebration for the baby on the way stand out from all the rest? In my opinion, it’s always nice to do something different so guests remember your event when they think back. Each guest probably goes to quite a few baby showers in a year and it’s always nice to make yours a little different from the standard celebration.