Entertaining: An Inexpensive Baby Shower

Throwing a baby shower shouldn’t be expensive. A couple of weeks ago, me and my mom decided to throw a baby shower for my cousin, but both of us had a very tight budget. For one, I’m a  grad student and finally, my mom is not the decorating type. To her, food and family should be sufficient, so I was on a mission. It was very low key, but I still wanted it to look special. I decided to bring the “indoors” out! I suspended a couple of chalkboards from the pergola, took indoor dining tables outdoors and sofas and chairs made its place as a relaxing station. We held the party at my mom’s house and it became a very relaxing party. Most of the items used were from dollar tree, the $.99 cent store, thrift stores and indoor decor and furniture moved outdoors (also purchased at thrift stores).

  1. Table Decor: The tables were decorated with pizza trays, squared vases, vinegar bottles, blue baby bottle tags, and small picture frames all purchased from Dollar tree. The vinegar bottles were decorated with scrapbook paper glued with a glue gun and stickers.  The ornate tray and champagne bucket are both from the thrift store.



2. The “Memento”: As a “recuerdo” or memento, I decided to fill clear baggies with Dollar Tree popcorn, tie it with jute twine–that I purchased from the dollar section at Target —and topped it off with a sticker. The stickers were purchased at Party City for $1.20. I wanted it to look child made to fit the baby shower theme so, I had my kids stamp the phrase, “She’s ready to Pop” with the date.



3. Indoor furniture for outdoor use: We decided on indoor furniture placed outdoors to make things a lot more comfortable. My mom has been on a thrift store furniture shopping spree because she’s been bitten by the “reupholstering bug.” She used furniture that she hasn’t reupholstered yet to not worry about spills. I decided to use my chalkboards and suspend them (double tied) from the pergola with jute twine.

4. The Food Station: For food, we had tacos, potato salad, rice, beans, veggies and nachos. I purchased the picture frames, the clear plastic cups (to make cheesecake cups, Nutella mousse and blueberry mousse), the mini silver spoons and forks, and the large silver platters at Dollar Tree. The tree branch was a previous DIY created around Christmas. I just hung baby bottle tags and “Oh Boy” tags all purchased for $1.00 at Dollar Tree and Target on the tree.


5. The Present Table: The present table was simply an outdoor bar area, but I decided to print posters from Costco(they only cost me $7.99 each) and simply attached the poster to the picture frames. The poster consisted of an ultrasound picture of the baby, the siblings and the parents.

That is basically it. It was inexpensive, comfortable yet still nice and personalized. Let me know what you think!



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Entertaining: Valentine’s Day Brisket


For Valentine’s Day we decided to smoke a brisket. In fact, we had two separate, very informal, Valentine’s Day–brisket smoking–soirées. (Hmm I wonder if you pluralize “soirée.”)


For starters, I preplanned my menu in advance. I also made the desserts and some of the appetizers the night before. I set the table and the photo backdrop the night before as well. Continue reading

Entertaining: Party Etiquette-Children

Hello and welcome to Mrs. Lady Renaissance. I have a few questions regarding dealing with children during gatherings. Certainly, this isn’t about one’s own children, but children visiting. How do you deal with kids during parties?

My questions is, how does one prepare for such company? Should one be strict? Should normal house rules (such as no-shoes or heels) apply to guests? Should one speak directly to the parents or to the children? If so, how? Finally, how does one not offend the parents/family?

These are the important questions I have and I found some answers on various websites. The best one yet is on Today.com.

Here are a few answers that are amazing:


It’s one thing if annoying children misbehave in public places, but what if a friend’s child is a guest in your home and is acting up?
Discuss your house rules in 25 words or less. No jumping on couches, no throwing balls. Outside behavior stays outside. If this doesn’t work and the perpetrator continues, give a warning that his mother will be called if it occurs again. If the creepy kid keeps it up — call his mother, who probably won’t be available since she’s not answering her cell phone because she needs a break from junior. At the very least, use this as a teachable moment to show your child how frustrating this is, that his buddy will not be invited over again, and put up with it until the mom finally comes to bail you out!

I remember a time when I’d be out with my parents and if I so much as crawled under the table, I’d hear about it later. Are children nowadays more “spoiled” or has there been a decrease in “responsible” parenting? Some might say ADHD has something to do with it.
Excellent question. Let’s not blame it on ADHD. Let’s dump it where it belongs —the buck stops with the parent. End of discussion! We’ve all been humiliated and mortified. Parents need to be in the same boat. We’ve all been there.

It seems that there is an unspoken rule that you can’t scold another person’s child. So what do you do if a kid becomes annoying around you?
You need to say something to the parent that doesn’t put them on the defensive. However, a lot of parents are very defensive and won’t listen to your message.

Finally, how do YOU deal with children while hosting? What is your approach?

Works Cited: