It’s funny how you think as long as you don’t type it up, text it, or leave a voice mail, you are safe. Well apparently you have to watch out for friends with long memories, because when I told my friend “G” I was having a shower for my second pregnancy, she thought’d best to remind me that I said I wouldn’t have another shower if I was having another boy. I guess one day I imagined myself going back over early pictures with my children and having to explain to #2 why I didn’t have a shower when I was pregnant with him. Turns out, several friends vehemently agreed with me some to the point of fussing at me that every pregnancy/child is to be celebrated. Besides he has plenty of time to be reminded he is second when he realizes he is living off hand-me-downs. Well long story short I decided to have what is called a Baby Sprinkle. I guess it is supposed to be a lighter version of a Baby “Shower”.
Immediately I decided I would throw it myself. I mean, I was not going to ask my mom or my bestfriend to spend their hard earned cash to throw me another shower. Also, selfishly, I really wanted to throw a party as it is my new obsession. Speaking of obsessions, rustic is the new “black” for me. I want everything rustic, including this party. After days of my creative process,visualizing, sketching, internet searching, I decided a rustic country picnic would be best. I did have to remind myself this was a baby shower…I mean baby sprinkle so I had to tie in the baby boy to be. I then decided to make anything that was not wood, blue and now bows. Then all the food had to be picnic style and true to my over ambitious nature, I had to make everything myself.
The table linen was actually fabric I got from Downtown L.A. I paid $44 and got enough material for 6 table cloths and let me tell you, the fabric is awesome. For favors, true to my frugal nature, I made assorted cookies (Cranberry White Chocolate, Blueberry Oatmeal, Molasses and My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies) sealed with raffia. The flowers are from The Flower District in downtown L.A. and the vintage looking watering cans came from Michael’s when they were 60% off.
I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of space created in my small backyard once I had my husband move out the grill, the table set, and trash cans. It was almost like the space doubled instantaneously.
I also had my wonderful husband (you have to say these things when your husband has to suffer as a result of your party decorating obsession) remove the swings from the swing set so I can use it for hanging onesies (and the hand-me-downs begin) via a clothesline. The table from our outdoor set was relocated to underneath the poles for the gift table.
One of my favorite pieces is this burlap and bandana garland. I printed out a triangle on the printer, used my paper cutter to cut the angles (I have the worse cutting skills), then used the paper triangle as a template for the pieces. I got like 3 or 4 yards or burlap downtown for $5. I had enough to make long garlands, the sign you see below, a runner for the gift table and still had some left over.
Once I decided the theme, the food concept came naturally…picnic food. I made four different types of sandwiches (Caprese, Portobello Mushroom, Rosemary Chicken with jarred peppers, and Pressed Picnic Sandwhiches). For the sides, I made Potato Salad, and Mac & Cheese.
Caprese Sandwich – Mix Olive Oil with salt, pepper, and dried basil and brush on loaf. Layer FRESH mozzarella and tomatoes and top with fresh basil
I totally stole this idea from a country wedding post I viewed online. Food served in brown to-go containers. I love this idea and with my family and their incessant need to take food home (o.k. I do it too at family functions), it was perfect.
Now, no country picnic would be complete without Sweet Iced Tea (not shown here) and Lemonade. Yet, if anyone knows me, they know I don’t ever take the easy route. I made Vanilla Infused Lemonade and I will tell you this right now, there is nothing like it. Of course, I am too frugal to buy a $10 vanilla bean and I ran out of my vanilla bean paste so I just used vanilla extract. Everyone loved it, but coming from someone who has had it made with vanilla paste, I recommend you go for bean or paste if you can. It is awesome! I ran out of time but I had planned on also making Thyme Lemonade which is so refreshing it will immediately transport you to the spa so I couldn’t deprive anyone of the recipe. The best part of the lemonade, was it was all free. Thanks to my lovely Auntie D providing me with lemons from her tree, I saved money and can almost call it organic lemonade.
This is a novelty that will never bore me. Striped paper straws in mason jars. I mean can you imagine drinking sweet tea out of anything else when you’re in the country?
You say country picnic, I say sweet tarts. I made four different types of tarts (Strawberry, Bluberry Buttermilk, and Honey Maple Pecan) and Caramel Apple Empanadas and my only piece of advice before you attempt these treats is, know the weather. Do not, I mean absolutely DO NOT make these during warm weather for an outdoor event. We had to move everything back to the fridge when the weather warmed up. I didn’t even bring them out until it was time to eat.
If you are drooling, it is not in vain. These things are mouth watering and are great leftovers.
This was probably my favorite event. Everything I envisioned actually became a reality which is something I cannot say for all of my events as it’s my mind that is creative and not my hands. Of course, it would not have happened without my wonderful mother, mother-in law, and great friend Sara. I can’t wait to show the little guy how he was celebrated in style.