I recently attended a Woodland themed baby shower for my friend Penelope. The whimsical nature of the event, detail, and special touches caught my attention. Images of mushrooms, rabbits, squirrels, fox, and acorns adorned her invitation, wishing tree tags, personalized cookies, and cake. Greenery and succulents lined the tables. It was beautiful!
Considering I had an upcoming baby shower to throw for a special little arrival, I knew that I had found my inspiration for our next event. I spent days and weeks cruisin’ Pinterest, visiting craft stores, and collaborating with my mom to find a starting point. We found adorable invitations, which we purchased on Etsy. There are tons of great designs! We went with the design that we felt the parents-to-be would enjoy and we loved the little images of the gnome , deer, rabbit, fox, hedgehog, and mushrooms.
We used checkered red and white picnic table cloths to line the tables. My mom picked up a big roll of the material from Joanne’s and cut the fabric to size for each of our tables. We also found amazing little gnomes (big and small) on sale at Hobby Lobby (we tried to not shop there given the most recent headlines, but when a girl needs gnomes, sometimes, you have to go to great lengths). We also purchased galvanized buckets at Hobby Lobby and planted them with alyssum, dahlia’s and tiny polymer mushrooms, which we also found on Etsy!
We wanted the food to be simple but tasty. Almost picnicky. My mom made her famous submarine sandwiches. They are simple, but hot damn, are they delicious. My mom learned to make these sandwiches when she was a teenager working in an Italian deli back in ’64. These little sandwiches have become a tradition for our family.
Begin with a nice, fresh, crusty baguette (Costco has perfect baguettes to use. However, make sure to purchase the bread the day of! ) The baguette is sliced lengthwise making room for layers of provolone, sliced tomato, sliced white onion, sliced dry salami, sliced Capicola sausage, and pepperoncini. The bread is then drizzled with pepperoncini juice, EVOO and sprinkled with garlic salt and oregano. Considering I don’t eat meat, I opt for the non-meat items only and the sandwhich is still delish! Badabing, badabang.
To accompany the sandies we made three new side dishes, inspired by Pinterest and Bon Appetit Magazine. When I say new, I mean soooo new that we didn’t taste test them until we were making them for the party! We like to live on the edge…Ironically, a dish I chose and a dish my mom chose both had dill. If people hated dill, they were out-of-luck! Luckily, all attendees were happily fed and full by the end of the day. Even our Gluten Freebies.
Here were the three lucky winners!Three Bean Salad (with fresh green beans, shallots, kidney, and garbanzo beans), Rustic Mediterranean Pasta Salad (with yellow and red grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, fresh dill, golden raisins, toasted pine nuts, and feta) and finally German Potato Salad (with small waxy potatoes, scallions, fresh dill, and caraway). Click on the salads for the complete recipes!
They all turned out delicious and make for great leftovers… All of the salads can be made the day before and they keep perfectly in the fridge overnight. It allowed for chill time the day of the event! Always a plus.
My mom made her new favorite party dessert Mini Nutella Cookie Cups and added a newbie to the mix…Triple Berry Lemon Cookie Cups. They are both decadent and perfect handheld desserts for any gathering.
Additionally, the cookie cups for each dessert can also be made a few days prior to the event and can be kept in the freezer until the day of the event.
My aunt made a yummy fruit kebab display to add to the mix. I love how she uses the watermelon as the skewer holder. Brilliant! You can add any fruit you want melons, berries etc. Go wild!
We used mason jars and wine glasses. I tied on handmade tags I made using the Silhouette Cameo which also match the invite, using twine and added some cute burnt orange and white striped paper straws that I found in the dollar bin at Michael’s. We served lemonade, beer, and wine. We also had a brewmaster guest make a special homemade beer too! He called it Baby Brew.
Trail Mix Bar
Many events have candy bars now. They are popping up at parties, weddings, and celebrations. For a little twist and to stick with our theme, we made a trail mix bar instead. Guests could scoop up M&M’s, Craisins, Yogurt Raisins, Banana Chips, Peanuts, White Chocolate Chips, and Almonds. We provided paper to-go boxes, so our guests could take a little snack to-go!
We purchased all of the toppings in bulk at Sprouts and Costco. The to-go boxes were purchased at Michaels along with 12” by 12” tacky moss paper (which we lined the top of the table with) to give it an earthy feel. Scoops were purchased on Amazon and the handmade food labels I made on my Silhouette Cameo were added to plastic containers purchased at Party City, fastened by patterned clothespins purchased at Michael’s. We added gnomes, and my handmade banner and voila! Fun, fun, fun. I now have a gallon bag of trail mix leftovers, perfect for my upcoming camping trip to Big Sur!
Special Notes and Wishes for Baby, Mommy, and Daddy
Guests could leave a special message for baby and the parents-to-be on handmade mushroom tags. I used my Silhouette Cameo to create the tags and we hung them along red ribbon in the entryway.
We found adorable woodland themed magnets on Etsy! We added them to a little bag along with polka dot ribbon and raffia and affixed them to a mini white board. I made a little sign thanking guests and instructing them to take a magnet.
Now we are patiently waiting to meet the new addition…