Well guys, its been over a month since I've written. Did you miss me? I'm sure that most of you didn't even notice I was gone. But for the few of you that were waiting patiently by your computer screen for the past thirty-three days, screaming in agony when you didn't have a new Mimi+Meg post to make you feel better about your life well, this is for you. Ready slowly and savor it.
Its been a weird and challenging month. I have two weeks left at Laura U before beginning a new job (yes, again) with a construction firm here in Houston. The weirdest part of this? I'll actually be a minority as a woman working in that office. Coming from Kendra Scott, Charming Charlie and an all-woman design firm, this is a HUGE deal. I'll be outnumbered. Its gonna be weird and I'm looking forward to it.
But aside from that, Its been a month of what feels like mostly bad luck. I wrote this post originally about two weeks ago, but it mysteriously deleted itself after three hours of writing, proofreading and photo editing. So, naturally, I started crying and contemplated casually tossing my Macbook out the window as an act of retaliation. I ultimately decided against it. But the bad luck continued. My car is severely damaged, (and it comes with one expensive band-aid), I lost the first birthday present my boyfriend gave me in under a week (I can't even keep a watch on my wrist), my credit cards mysteriously stopped working before an out-of-state trip (and Wells Fargo doesn't even know why), I went to a salon to lighten my brunette locks and walked out with hair a shade of bright orange... you get the gist.
Its been exhausting, to say the least. So I'd like to take this opportunity to convince you that I'm not a total failure and tell you about a time I actually succeeded in something:
I threw an awesome baby shower. Well, as awesome as you can get on a budget while throwing it at your townhome. But still! I'm fairly pleased.
My friend Sarah and I met at Charming Charlie and she ultimately introduced me to my boyfriend, Eric. To thank her for that and to also thank her for having a cute, little baby boy that I can squeeze and play with very soon, I threw her a Sunday "Babies 'n Brunch" shower.
I had some pretty grand ideas of the kind of baby shower I wanted to throw: watercolor invitations, flowers on every surface, gourmet food sitting on various pedestals on a buffet (that I do not yet own), a mimosa bar and guests being adorned with flower crowns, that I effortlessly handmade that very morning, as they walk through the door. But once again, my grand ideas don't come with a grand budget. So I had to get crafty. Being a poor twenty-five-year-old does make you very creative. Even if that means you have to pawn off some of your lesser-loved shoes to Plato's Closet to get it done.
First, I wanted to watercolor invitations for the shower. There are some amazing custom watercolor invitations on Etsy, but paying $12.00 for a single invitation sounded sketchy (insert art pun here). So I decided to mock up my own invitation on Photoshop, get it printed and then watercolor them myself before sending. How hard can it be?
Apparently, very hard. I think I ended up spending more than the original Etsy price on these suckers because I had to perfect my skill. And by that, I mean a lot of them were really bad and couldn't be used. But in the end if you just call it "abstract" watercoloring, no one can really say anything. Other than, "Oh, this one has great lines. Such a deliberate method of creating organic shapes", blah, blah, blah. The point is, I tried. And at least its something a little more special than those fill-in-the-blank invitations from Target.
Next, came the decorations. Now if this was a little baby girl, you could bet my salary (don't worry, its not that much) that there would be pink peonies all over my home. But since she's having a sweet baby boy, I wanted to make the setting a little more graphic and masculine.
I went to my local Central Market and bought all the prickly, bright and scary looking flowers in hopes that they'd make some unusual and masculine-looking arrangements. In hindsight, I should have probably planned a little better before going shopping. But I went flying by the seat of my pants, randomly pulled all of the weirdest looking plants and crossed my fingers. You know, totally professional and stuff. There's probably a reason all of these plants (I won't even call them flowers) were fairly cheap, because my fingers were covered in band-aids after my attempts at arranging.
I also wanted to use some giant metallic mylar balloon letters as decor instead of filling the space with just something boring, like streamers. I found these on a website called "We Love Balloons" or something totally lame like that. But these balloons are anything but lame. And the company did me a solid by screwing up my order and sending me three additional letter B balloons.
I had originally planned on just doing the affectionate phrase of "BEBE" (a little inside joke between us), but with these extra two consonants... I was still only left with either BEBE or BEEB. So I decided to inflate all of them, just in case, and use the extra letters outside to differentiate my townhome from every other yellow townhome on the block (oddly enough, there are several) for the guests.
The most sobering part of that weekend was the fact that I was inflating seven large mylar balloons at a Party City the weekend everyone else was galavanting around Coachella, braless and carefree with flowers in their hair. Meanwhile, I have flower thorns in my fingers, I'm having nightmares about quiche crusts and I'm just hoping I did my laundry in time so I don't have to go braless.
Have you ever tried fitting seven, three-feet tall mylar balloons in a Jetta? Its about as hard as finding a sober person at Coachella - but at least they're having more fun. I had balloons covering every window in my car except the front windshield and driver's side window. In hindsight, it was very unsafe. But oddly enough, this was not the instance where my car was injured. God works in mysterious ways.
You can't host a brunch without good food. Well, you can if you have a lot of mimosas. Everyone will forget the food if you just keep the mimosas flowing. But since this is celebrating a mom-to-be, ignoring the food in favor of mimosas is kinda rude. I wanted to have both breakfast and lunch foods (hence "brunch") so I tried to mix it up so everyone had some options.
I set up a (watercolored) menu at the bar and let everyone go for it. I didn't get any pictures of the food setup before everyone dug in. Mostly because the quiche was taking forever to bake thoroughly and I was getting death stares from some hungry mamas.
I also set up a mimosa bar on a makeshift bar cart from IKEA. The bar cart is actually a utility wagon from the Swedish furniture giant, so it didn't lend itself for much room for my mimosas. A loss there. Just a better excuse to go buy an actual bar cart eventually. A win there.
But my favorite part was the cake I got to make for this shindig. A whopping four layer cake with about three pounds of buttercream frosting that turned your teeth a light shade of baby blue. That's when you know its good.
The momma-to-be, you know, the one that's growing a human, should be the one that receives the majority of gifts. When you have a little alien-like, bean-thing inside of you for nine months I think you deserve for people to buy you things. In addition to gifts from her registry, I thought it'd be nice to send her off with a few baby books signed by the guests of the shower with a little "goodnight" note that she can read to the baby and pretend that he understands it at two months of age. It may be cheesy, but I think its a more thoughtful and useful way to remember a baby shower than just a card that will probably get tossed within a few months of a screaming baby entering the family.
That's right. I got lyrical up in here.
But I also wanted to pull out all the hostess stops and get party favors for the guests too. After all, it is hard to come and eat bacon and drink mimosas on a Sunday afternoon, right? I decided the cheapest and sweetest way to thank them for coming was through Essie nail polish.
I made little "Merci" tags for each one and, yep, you guessed it, I watercolored them too.
I wish I had gotten more pictures of the party before it began, but I was working on the quiche crust of my nightmares and I didn't have a chance to grab my camera. Why is everyone early to a party when you aren't ready? Luckily, I did get some pictures of everyone enjoying themselves, which I guess is better than flower arrangements and food spreads anyway.
I think the party was a hit - even if there weren't any handmade flower crowns. But just based on the fact that I didn't burn my house down, or crash my car (that time), or ruin my quiche crust, and didn't have to go braless, I'd like to say that I succeeded at one thing during the month of April.