Hi loves! Get ready for a crazy long post, but I wanted to share as much as possible about my baby shower. It was intimate: with my close friends from Miami, my parents, and Gabe's family. Everyone played such an important role during this shower, I felt so loved and I know this baby boy will be so spoiled!





From Left to Right: Vicky Alvarez, Gaby Aleixandre, Vanessa Zambito, Daniela Ramirez (me!), Paola Rendon, Luisa Nouel, and Stephi Erichsen.


THE PLANNING

Who planned it?  Well, mostly ME! I know baby shower etiquette says that you shouldn't plan your own baby shower but I wanted to. I had this vision in mind and I had fun with it. I don't see it as asking for gifts, I just wanted to celebrate baby boy with my loved ones.

The good: well, like I said, you have control. I'm not a control-freak or a perfectionist but if you have a specific theme in mind, planning it yourself is the best idea.

The bad: there is absolutely no surprise. You know the details, you stress about the details!

The ugly: well, it was exhausting. When you are pregnant, you are extra tired and prepping for a party can be very tiring. I got ready while my guests were arriving, I was running around the whole afternoon and I couldn't feel my feet at night. 



With that being said, don't be afraid to ask for help. I asked friends for specific help. For example (more on each later): two friends were the game committee , my sister in law offered to do the cake, my husband helped me with all the painting of the little gold animals, my mom did the cheese table, my mother in law helped me with the flowers,  Gaby (Voguish Diet) was in charge of the other sweets... you get the drill!  I couldn't have done it without them!!



THE THEME
Ok! So I started browsing Pinterest and I fell in love with this "glam but rustic" jungle theme, with lots of gold, white, wood, and greens (leaves!). I didn't want to make it too "childish". There will be plenty of birthday parties FOR THE BABY, this was for US to celebrate the baby (if that makes sense!).




  LOCATION
  Because of the theme, I wanted to do it in a yard- my sister in law's place ended up being the right fit! It was great because we had the flexibility to start bringing the decor and food a few days before. It would have been more exhausting at a specific location + I'm not going to lie, I'm also happy it saved us some money.

Because her yard is completely empty, I reached out to a vendor for chairs and tables. 

 I invited 35-40 people so I rented 40 chairs (they were gold with white cushions) , 3 big round tables with a burlap tablecloths, and 2 rectangular tables with burlap runners for the food.

Last minute, we decided to add a white tent over the round tables + chairs. It  would have been too hot otherwise. It was very sunny and windy that day!

The vendor also offered to do the decoration; but, if I'm being honest, I felt offended by the prices. They wanted to charge me $20 for the two little leaves on the cake  you will see below (cake not included, nor the gold animals).  That's when I decided that I would do the decor myself, even if it wasn't perfect.





THE DECOR




Well, if you see my inspiration for the decor, this could be one of the "Expectations Vs. Reality" type of posts haha.  Especially because we didn't have as much wall space for the things I wanted to do- but you got to make it work!

It all started by painting the little animals. I purchased plastic zoo animals at Walmart. They were $10 for 40 pieces. It came with all types of zoo animals: elephants, giraffes, bears, tigers, lions, etc- AND in two sizes.  At Walmart, I also got the gold spray paint and Gabe had a blast painting all the little animals slowly.  I also went to the dollar store and purchased bigger animals for $1 each.

I used the smaller animals for the thank you gifts, the medium for random decor (you will see them hanging around the tequeños and cheese table), and the big ones for the center pieces.



Remember that overpriced vendor: they wanted to charge me $75 per centerpiece (total of $225 for the three tables) . I personally thought they were nuts, especially because I still had to provide the animals. So how did I do it?

- I got three vases per table at the dollar store (a tall one, a round small one, and a medium wider one). Yes, I couldn't believe how cheap flower vases were at the Dollar Tree. I saw the same vases at Target for $10-$15 each. Always head to the dollar store first.
- Brown sand + animals in the medium vase. For a moment, I wanted to go to Miami Beach and steal some sand but the little angel in me wanted to do things right.
- A big leaf for each of the tall vases (3)
- Cute tiny white flowers for the small vase.

In total, it was less than $50 for the three tables. SCORE!




I also ordered an Oh-Boy banner and giant white balloons from Etsy. 

At Party City, I bought some white paper decorations that you see on the wood tables, gold/white balloons, and the helium tank.  Honestly, it ended up being too windy for the balloons and the paper decor. Everything was flying around. But indoors, the balloons would have looked AMAZING.







FOOD: SALTY TABLE






Since the baby shower started at 3pm, I thought finger food would be the best option.  I loved the idea of a brunch baby shower with waffles and mimosas BUT I'm not a morning person and getting all of this ready started in the early morning, I know I would have not woken up for a brunch party. Also, full-on sitting down lunch felt too formal for the setting.

I reached out to Michi's Miami and I was so excited to see that they do catering for parties. After wanting everything on their menu, I picked: mini arepas, mini empanadas (there were spinach + cheese, chicken, and meat empanadas),  whole wheat tequeños, and wraps. Everything was absolutely delicious!

Funny story: when the guy delivering the food arrived, he told me he had a little accident. When he said that, I imagined the food all over the car. The baby shower was on Easter Sunday so everything was closed and my only thought was "well, someone has to deliver pizza today". But yes, he ALMOST hit someone and some of the wraps ended up looking like a salad...but totally fixable and still yummy!!

My mom was in charge of the cheese plate; as you can see there was a variety of cheeses, olives, grapes, crackers, and bread. My mother in law made this "gandule" dip (gandule is a bean from Puerto Rico).

Under the plates, we put some of the big leaves. Another funny story: I went to a lunch/workshop with Facebook and they had these leaves as a backdrop for the event's Photo Booth. I asked if I could take them home and I stayed until the very end to take them. This was TWO weeks before the baby shower, I was sure they were going to die but some of them survived and totally worked!




SWEETS TABLE

My sister in law is an amazing baker; plus she really enjoys it too! You can see her stuff at The Midnight Bakery.  She made this gorgeous naked CARROT cake (it was obviously delicious!!). Carrot cake is one of my faves (and Gabe's) so it was definitely a MUST. Plus, since it was Easter Sunday, it seemed to fit the bunny theme.

To decorate it, I added two of the medium sized animals we painted, and two eucalyptus branches.




Talking about amazing bakers, Gaby from Voguish Diet made mini brownies and mini banana cupcakes! She also made a "quesillo" (let's say like a flan from Venezuela BUT better, not pictured because it was either on the fridge or on everyone's stomachs since people ate it within seconds).

We got a cupcake stand , as well as the spoons, paper plates, gold rimmed cups, napkins, and gold chevron straws!



This was a last minute addition to the sweets table, it was my mom's idea and it looked great as a filler (because if I'm being honest, not many people ate the gummies or grabbed the mints).  We got all of it at the dollar store too.






DRINKS

The majority of the attendees were women. I told my guy friends that I completely understood if they were not into attending a baby shower but it was co-ed if they wanted to be there.  This meant mimosas were the way to go for the girls. 

So we did a simple mimosa bar with the following:
- 4 types of juices in carafes .
- Different types of berries to customize your mimosas.

Special shoutout to my friend Kelly Saks for letting me borrow her champagne flutes. They are very affordable from Ikea but they look absolutely amazing; the ones from Party city were either horrible or too expensive for disposable flutes.

If you are wondering how much Proseco; I read 8 bottles for 35 people was perfect. 
We definitely miscalculated the juice, so much juice was left! Maybe I was the only one drinking the lemonade with strawberries!



*Not pictured: a cooler with beers under the table.


Since the baby shower was outside and it was hot (well, it's Miami...it's always hot), I definitely wanted to have water. We've had this mason jar dispenser for a while and it always works wonders at our apartment get-togethers.  We just added lemons and mint to make it more refreshing and placed it over a wood trunk right by the mimosas and cups.







THE GAMES

Ricky, Stephi and Veronica making their bets.

My friends and I LOVE (like LOVE LOVE LOVE) game nights. So fun games were definitely a must.

Two friends, Adyan & Andrea, offered to be in charge of the games. I was NOT worried. They are so creative and I knew they were not going to be the cliché games. These two amazing ladies also helped me with my Gender Reveal games.

When everyone had already arrived, taken their Photo Booth picture, eaten. It was time for THE GAMES!!


1. Memory:
Just like any memory game, you had to find the pairs (an animal + its baby animal) - whoever found them all the fastest WON.  Very simple but fun. This was played individually so it was a great game to start while people were still eating or hanging around.

2. Birth Bets:
My friends made a cardboard into a calendar with blue post-its for the month of May. Since my due date is mid-May, you had to bet what day I'm going into labor. In the corner, there was an envelope where you would put the money. So for every $1, you could write your name ONCE. If you put $31 in, you could write your name in every single day of the calendar.   If you guess correctly, you take the money (and maybe split the pot with whoever guessed correctly too).

3. Baby Jeopardy
I have to admit I have never watched Jeopardy; but it was just like the real thing.

 Gabe and I, aka the parents, had to choose 4 people to be on our teams. We made it boys vs girls. There were some fun categories like famous gingers, do's and don'ts for photography/blogging, parenting 101, baby animals, and baby making music.

Each category had 5 questions, ranging from 10 points to 50 points.  The team that got the most points by answering correctly, WON! Guess who did win? The girls, of course! I have to admit it was all because of my friend Stephi (@LadyEpi on IG). So we named her the MVP and got her prize!




From left to right: Vicky Alvarez, Valentina Tamayo, Gaby Aleixandre, Paola Rendon, Vanessa Zambito, and Veronica Luis.

4. Balloon Bellies.
I couldn't play this one but whoever wanted to play got a blue balloon and a string to wrap around their waist. Who wins? Whoever was left standing with their balloon intact. This quickly turned into competitive nation (always lead by my husband who wants to win at every single game). Some ladies definitely cheated by staying sitting down, but it was so much fun to see everyone trying to win.



5. Baby Food Guessing Game
This is a classic baby shower game, but a total must. My friends got different types of baby food; they didn't go crazy. They got banana flavor, apple, prunes, and sweet potato- and of course, took the labels out. Whoever wanted to play got a piece of paper to write what they thought the flavor was. It sounds easier than it is and you can also get the super weird baby food flavors. 

6.  Egg (in a spoon) RACE
This one was super fun to watch, again the pregnant lady who couldn't be too competitive.

There were two rounds, one with 5 boys and one with 5 girls. Each got a spoon with a blue hardboiled egg and they had to race from point A to point B by holding the spoon in their mouths. Of course the guys made it even more competitive and even added push-ups to the race.





7. BABY PICAZZO
I think this was everyone's favorite game.  People were divided in pairs, or in small groups, and given a photo of Gabe and I. They had to cut and paste elements of our faces to make what they think the baby boy is going to look like.

The creations were hilarious. Most versions looked like a little Justin Biebers and that long-hair one resembled Jared Leto haha. Gabe and I were the judges, who do you think won?



THE PHOTO-BOOTH

I made Gabe take some photos at the beginning of the baby shower- FOR YOU GUYS mostly! I wanted to have detail shoots from the food, decor, and all the things I've been talking about in this extremely long post. After that, I wanted him to just enjoy and forget about photos.

So a photo-booth was a great option! I hired Fun Flash Photo and they were incredible.  They were very easy to work with. I sent them my invitation and they came up with this layout for the prints.



With Mei from Blame it on Mei.

From left to right: Jocelyn Castillo, Daniela Ramirez (me!), Noyemi Kelemdjian, and Mei Jorge.


Like I said, we were lacking wall space but they were able to install the glittery gold backdrop and the camera on one side of the yard. We put up a basket to have all the little props ready for the pictures.

There was a moment I spent a LOT of time taking pictures with everyone ( I know I know, I'm the one carrying the baby- the pictures had to be with me), but it is so much fun to have these prints as a little reminder of all the love and laughs!






THANK YOU FAVORS 
If I'm being honest, like I always am, the whole idea behind the gold animal zoo theme started because of this idea of Thank You Gifts I saw on Pinterest. 


What you need:
- Little Plastic Animal toys
- Spray Paint
- Small mason jars
- Whatever you want to fill your mason jar with, chocolate is always a great idea.
- Thank You tag.






I love that you can customize this idea to fit your theme. For a girl, you could spray paint little bunnies in pink and fill them with gummies.  I can also picture my friend Steffy spray painting foxes in orange!



GAME PRIZES


I forgot to photograph the game prizes, but I'm going to make you guys use your imagination. I purchased the simple brown gift bags at Walmart (they were very affordable).  I filled them with makeup goodies, closed them with a white ribbon, and added a medium gold animals on the front. 

They were adorable!





MY LOOK

I'm the worst at planning outfits- yes, the fashion blogger that hates planning looks.  I think the only outfit I have planned ahead of time was my wedding dress. But I'm not the type of person to have "the dress" ready for an occasion. 

 Originally, I had a maxi dress in mind (I ended up wearing that maxi in my second baby shower, more on that later. Stay tuned!!).  However, that dress  needed some sort of heels and I knew that would have not been possible in a yard. 

The day before, we went to Target to get the Proseco, the juice, and other things we were missing. So I decided to stop by the ladies' section to see if anything caught my eye. Thankfully for my pregnant self (but not for my non-bump self), my closest Target always carry the biggest sizes. I don't know if they run out of the smalls or they simple prefer selling XL.  So I was open to trying L and XL dresses to see how they fit my bump. 

I tried this one on and I felt really comfortable. I like that it was blue and denim; a little rustic like the  theme and I could wear comfortable booties.

Don't be like me and plan ahead!




OMG! That was a lot of information! But I think you can tell how much I enjoyed every detail. And like I said, some things did not come out as planned, I was very stressed the last few days...but I would have not had it any other way.

Again, thanks to everyone that helped me somehow...and thank YOU for stopping by!



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