Baby Shower on a Budget


Throwing a baby shower doesn’t have to mean big bucks spent. You really need 3 main components: food, atmosphere and guests (friends and family). Once you have those main components and a willing guest of honor, you’re good to go. Well, maybe not that simple. Chances are, you have a budget of some sort for the food and decorations. Perhaps you’re going to an outside venue for the event.  Regardless of your budget, you don’t have to spend big to make a nice spread. Full disclosure: this isn’t a table spread from a shower. It’s a mockup with real food that I shared with some friends.  We all agreed it was yummy.  Our friends at Chex inspired me to write about how to throw a baby shower on a budget.

throw-baby-shower-budget

Throwing a Baby Shower on a Budget

Kiss It.  Keep it Simple, Silly!

Don’t over complicate things.  A simple menu with a few of the expectant mom’s favorites will be just the thing.

You don’t need to go all out on decor.

I promise.  Put down the $42 centerpieces.  Get a simple bouquet if you want something special that she can bring home with her! You can spend a small fortune on decor and really, a few simple things can make just as big of an impact.

Use what you have.

Sure, you can get a super cute baby-themed tiered serving piece, but will you use it again?  Wouldn’t you rather use that money on a gift the mom to be can use, or on yummy food?  Find a serving piece you already have- or ask a friend to borrow theirs.  That white tablecloth you usually pull out for Thanksgiving?  Use that with some fun colors instead of buying a whole new set.

Limit menu choices.

I’m totally serious. Make sure you have enough of everything, but simple works really well.  Some snacks, something a little more substantial (with protein), something sweet, and beverages.  Done.  You don’t need to recreate a whole restaurant menu.  I mean, you can, but when we’re talking about budgets…

For something sweet, everyone loves Muddy Buddies.  Why not make some fun baby girl or baby boy themed Muddy Buddies (aka Puppy Chow), served in cupcake wrappers?  Simple, inexpensive, DELICIOUS, and, as a bonus, they look adorable on the table. The cupcake wrappers also double as portion control, unless your guests have a super sweet tooth and go back for seconds (thirds).

baby-shower-muddy-buddies

Baby Shower Muddy Buddies

This recipe is mine, but it’s most definitely adapted from the folks at Chex Mix. ChexPartyMix-RecipeCards-ItsAGirl-print and ChexPartyMix-RecipeCards-ItsABoy-print if you’d like to see the original inspiration (or use for you!)

Ingredients

1 bag melting chocolate

3 cups confectioners sugar

1 box (gluten free) Chex Cereal – about 9 cups- any flavor works. I try to grab the gluten free when I’m able to just so I am sure that I can tell people there’s no gluten in my muddy buddies. (I used corn flavor this time)

Sixlets in whatever color you want to use- to coordinate with the baby’s nursery theme, for boy/girl, for fun- they have so many to choose from! (2 cups total)

Large plastic (sealable!) storage bag (gallon sized)

Large microwave save mixing bowl (or double boiler)

Fun cupcake wrappers

Edible glitter, colorful shots/sprinkles/jimmies

baby-shower-muddy-buddies-ingredients

Directions

Melt chocolate in double boiler on stovetop, or at 20 second intervals in the microwave

While chocolate is melting, add your confectioner’s sugar to the storage bag. Set aside.

Once your chocolate is melted, stir in your Chex cereal.  Honestly, the most effective way I have found to coat the cereal evenly is to mix by hand.  You don’t want a lot of cereal breakage while you coat. It’s easier to gauge the pressure you are using by hand than by spoon.

After your cereal is coated, add half of it to the storage bag with the sugar, seal it and gently shake the bag to evenly coat.  Once you have the cereal evenly coated, remove from your bag and set on cookie sheet (you can also put it into your colander to remove excess sugar). Repeat with remainder of coated cereal.

Once your cereal has been coated with chocolate and then the powdered sugar, add your Sixlets (or other colored candies) and gently mix.

muddy-buddies-blue

Add Muddy Buddies to cupcake wrappers and arrange on your serving piece.

Super sweet in so many ways!

budget-baby-shower

 

 

 

One reader will win a fun Chex Mix Entertaining Prize pack that includes a 3 tier dessert stand from Crate & Barrel, a beverage dispenser from Crate & Barrel, honeycomb decorations in blue, pink and white, assorted cupcake baking cups, and pink and blue chocolate candies!

 

Baby Shower on a Budget

Baby Shower on a Budget

Ingredients

  • 1 bag melting chocolate
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 box (gluten free) Chex Cereal - any flavor works. I try to grab the gluten free when I'm able to just so I am sure that I can tell people there's no gluten in my muddy buddies. (I used corn flavor this time)
  • Sixlets in whatever color you want to use- to coordinate with the baby's nursery theme, for boy/girl, for fun- they have so many to choose from! (2 cups total)
  • Large plastic (sealable!) storage bag (gallon sized)
  • Large microwave save mixing bowl (or double boiler)
  • Fun cupcake wrappers

Instructions

  1. Melt chocolate in double boiler on stovetop, or at 20 second intervals in the microwave
  2. While chocolate is melting, add your confectioner's sugar to the storage bag. Set aside.
  3. Once your chocolate is melted, stir in your Chex cereal. Honestly, the most effective way I have found to coat the cereal evenly is to mix by hand. You don't want a lot of cereal breakage while you coat. It's easier to gauge the pressure you are using by hand than by spoon.
  4. After your cereal is coated, add half of it to the storage bag with the sugar, seal it and gently shake the bag to evenly coat. Once you have the cereal evenly coated, remove from your bag and set on cookie sheet (you can also put it into your colander to remove excess sugar). Repeat with remainder of coated cereal.
  5. Once your cereal has been coated with chocolate and then the powdered sugar, add your Sixlets (or other colored candies) and gently mix.
  6. Add Muddy Buddies to cupcake wrappers and arrange on your serving piece.
  7. Super sweet in so many ways!
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Drug Free Morning Sickness Relief

I thought hanging over a toiled at 4am was supposed to be a ritual shed in the early twenties. Hadn’t counted it on it rearing its ugly head again. Yet, here I was… morning after morning. Afternoon after afternoon, and night after night. At a time in my life where sleep didn’t come easily and comfort was defined as anything with elastic in it, at that. Morning sickness was kicking my butt! I’d anticipated the inconvenience of it early in the pregnancy and knew the tips of keeping saltines on hand and drinking ginger ale to sooth my stomach.

drug-free-morning-sickness-relief

What I hadn’t, however, counted on lasting almost in the third trimester accompanied by the other many symptoms later stages of pregnancy. It was miserable, and I found myself feeling cooped up in the house more, avoiding any and everything that may trigger an uncomfortable moment. This was a time when I most wanted to get out, run errands and prepare.

My “morning” sickness lasted well into my 22nd and 23rd week with each pregnancy

Flash forward to today, and I come across a product that is completely natural and could of eased my woes WITH the addition of Folic Acid (a helpful nutrient during pregnancy),…and I’m silently cursing envying of the mothers of this new and improved generation of birthing children! Why couldn’t this have been around when I needed it?!?! Drug free morning sickness relief? Yes, please!

sea-band-mama-drug-free-morning-sickness-relief-band

Sea –Band Mama is the greatest thing since sliced bread! It helps by usual natural ingredients to neutralize those pesky stomach acids that cause nausea while soothing tender tummies at the same time. Since it’s natural, you can just carry the pack around with and grab one of the pleasantly tasting lozenges as needed (they don’t recommend you exceed 10 lozenges per day).

The Sea-Band Mama line provides effective ways to ease morning sickness naturally with drug-free acupressure wristbands and ginger lozenges, used separately or together. Sea-Band Mama wrist bands use acupressure to trigger the P6 Nei Kuan pressure point on the inside of the wrist to alleviate nausea from morning sickness. Stimulating this pressure point helps the body to calm nausea and vomiting.

Free from artificial colors and flavors, Sea-Band Mama Ginger Lozenges were formulated with essential ginger oils to help relieve upset stomach. They also include folic acid to contribute to a normal maternal tissue growth during pregnancy.

This product sounds like a dream to new mothers everywhere. If you aren’t into lozenges, there are also bands and essential oils available by Sea Band Mamas too. This would be a great gift for an expecting mother, and I’ll be throwing them in with baby shower gifts from now on.

sea-band-mama-drug-free-morning-sickness-relief

Check out Sea-Band Mama’s Pregnancy Morning Sickness? Drug Free Ways to Reduce Nausea During Pregnancy​ video for more information about the product line. You can find Sea-Band Mama products at Target, CVS and other stores (Store Locator).

Feeling lucky? Enter the Sea-Band Mama New Mommy Sweeps!

Expectant moms can enjoy up to $500 of prizes in the Sea-Band Mama New Mommy Sweeps, which ends August 30, 2014;

Enter here http://bit.ly/1pUBA6S

For more information about Sea-Band® Mama and to learn more about morning sickness visit http://www.sea-band.com/mama 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sea-Band Mama. The opinions and text are all mine.

Halo SafeSleep Crib Set Review

With so many concerns about crib safety these days, it is hard to know what is the safest sleeping option for your baby.  Halo makes the decision easy with their new SafeSleep Crib Set.  Although crib bumpers are no longer recommended and are actually banned in some states, many parents still aren’t aware of the dangers related to crib bumpers.  Standard bumpers pose a suffocation hazard for babies, which is such a scary thought.  Halo is addressing this safety concern with their new Crib sets.

“Designed with whimsical prints, the HALO® Safe Sleep Crib Set™ will help create a beautiful and safe nursery for your little one. The American Academy of Pediatrics and leading safety organizations warn against the use of soft, loose bedding and bumpers in cribs. Instead of potentially dangerous comforters and bumpers, this unique five-piece Safe Sleep Crib Set contains only those things your baby needs to sleep safe and sound from the start: a coordinating HALO SleepSack wearable blanket, SleepSack Swaddle, two soft 100% cotton jersey fitted crib sheets and matching decorative skirt.”

The Safest Crib Set Available!  No Bumpers or Loose Blankets

  • No loose blankets or bumpers, for safer sleep.
  • Includes 2-in-1 adjustable SleepSack Swaddle that allows for swaddling arms in or arms out to ensure an easy transition to the SleepSack wearable blanket when it’s time to stop swaddling. 100% cotton. Size newborn fits 6-12 lbs.
  • Includes HALO SleepSack wearable blanket that replaces loose blankets that can cover a baby’s face and interfere with breathing. Plus, it’s a cozy blanket your baby can’t kick off, for a better night’s sleep.  100% Cotton.  Size Small fits 10-18lbs.
  • Two, 100% Cotton Jersey fitted crib sheets; one solid, one in coordinating print.
  • One coordinating decorative crib skirt.
  • A portion of every sale goes to First Candle/SIDS Alliance and The Canadian Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths.

[click to continue…]

Inspired Nursery Facebook Giveaway TODAY, September 15th!

Inspired Nursery  is hosting the last day of its Facebook  giveaway  on Thursday Sept 15th and we are excited to be building our community so we are celebrating!  If we get to 1500 or 2000 fans we giving away incredible prizes.  At 1500, they  are giving away a CoCaLo baby bedding set and Serta Crib Mattress and if they hit 2000, one fan will win a beautiful new baby crib from the Babi Italia collection! 

 I was just fan #1500 so they are at LEAST giving away a CoCaLo baby bedding set with a Serta Crib Mattress– can we get them to 2000?  How cool will it be if one of MY readers wins one of these awesome prizes!!???  (You have to promise to share if you do…)

So here’s my challenge to you- maybe you (like me) don’t have any need for baby bedding.  But perhaps someone you know does.  Or you want to need it.  Maybe we can help someone else win it just by “liking” Inspired Nursery’s page on Facebook- and once you do like them, if you decide to enter, click on the giveaway tab.  Quick and easy! 

CoCaLo baby bedding is one of the top notch brands- very well made, beautiful fabrics and designs and adorable collections to satisfy any design desires.  Pair that with a Serta mattress and your baby will be sleeping in the lap of luxury!! 

What are you waiting for?  Go enter!! Remember, I want to know if you win!!  GOOD LUCK!

This post is brought to you by our friends at Inspired Nursery.  Opinions are my own.

Katie’s Charms Pandora Style Mother’s Bracelet (Giveaway)

Jennifer from Katie’s Charms sent me this gorgeous Mother’s Bracelet. I think I’m becoming semi-obsessed with mother’s jewelry.

Katie’s Charms makes beautiful Pandora-style beads, charms and starter pieces.  There is a huge variety on the site, the images are large enough that you can see what you are looking at, and really see the details of  a bead you are considering adding to your collection (or someone else’s).  Not sure what to get?  There are starter braceletes, necklaces, and even premade sets all on the site to help you get started.  There are lots of different styles of bracelets and necklaces to put your beads onto, so you’re quite likely to find pieces to suit just about anyone’s tastes.

I like that there are premade bracelets on this site- I think it makes gift giving a lot easier for many, and while adding a single bead on different occasions is definitely something I love and adore (and have a bracelet for) I also  love the ready-to-go idea.  The Nature Girl bracelet is amazing as well- that was my second choice!!    [click to continue…]

Organic Belle Baby Carrier (Giveaway)

The Organic Belle Baby Carrier is a well constructed, ergonomic, parent-friendly soft strucured carrier that can carry a baby from 5-35 pounds, front or back, rear facing or front facing.  Its also a beautiful carrier to just look at end enjoy- especially with the pretty fabrics they have chosen for the carriers themselves!

 (This is a guest review from my dear friend Kelly, who is awesome beyond awesome and more willing than I to be photographed in a baby carrier….here’s her thoughts)

I love this carrier!! I have used several with my children, and this one is the simplest to use without compromising comfort for baby or me. The first time I used it, it took me less than 1 minute to put it on and strap my baby in without any help from others. It took her less than 5 minutes to fall asleep while facing inward. [click to continue…]

Back to School with Zutano (Giveaway)

Zutano makes some of the softest children’s clothing I’ve ever had the pleasure to dress my children in.  No matter what the article of clothing is, from outerwear to tights and everything in between, the pieces have held up, without fading, and kept their shape.  The fun and funky colors and

designs only serve to make the pieces really, really cute.  We have had many Zutano pieces over the years, some gifts, some purchased, and some hand me downs- all have been excellent quality and as I said before, held up really well.

Zutano sent us some lightweight jackets for my 2 younger kids- for Baby B, she’s rocking the Pool Toddler Bodice Jacket <— in a 3T which is too big but with the sleeves cuffed fits perfectly fine and she’ll wear it at least fall and spring if not next fall too.  This coat is 100% cotton lightweight terry, adorable, and cut so she can still run and play while looking very adorable (pants, as you can tell, are optional with this child).  This coat is made for layering and also comes in Mandarin, Fuchisa and Chocolate.  This little coat also has a twirl factor for your girlie girl!! [click to continue…]

$6.50 for $12.99 worth of Kid Sunglasses from Solar Tots

If you haven’t signed up for Dealster, then you should! They are a hot new site that offers daily deals directly in your inbox each day for local restaurants, retailers, spas and much more. They also offer daily deals that are available nationally, so you can live anywhere and snag that great deal! Each deal has their own restrictions and you will need to read through the “fine print” before you purchase. It is FREE to join, just enter your email and zip code, no credit card information is required until you make a purchase! So what are you waiting for, sign up today and start getting saving big!

The Deal:
Dealster Daily Deals has a great new offer today ONLY! $6.50 for $12.99 Worth of Children’s Sunglasses at SolarTots

About the Company:
It’s really cute when a little baby is squinting or your toddler is making funny faces because of Sun. It’s cute, but guess what’s even cuter – Kids Sunglasses.

Today’s Deal gets you 50% off SunGlasses from SolarTots.com. For $6.50, you get $12.99 Worth of Sunglasses. Their average price of sunglasses is about $12.99 so you’ll save close to 50% of all styles.

The details:
Expires Aug 02, 2012
1 per Order.
Shipping not included.
Valid at:
SolarTots
Redeem Online

Thanks Just Trying To Save Money!

timi & leslie: Not your mama’s boring diaper bags!

If you have kids or friends with kids, chances are you have heard of timi & leslie bags.  I’ve drooled over them for years now, to be quite honest.  Never before have I actually owned one, until last month.  Guess what bag I used to tote my stuff around LA when I was there for the Cars 2, Winnie the Pooh and The Help media events?   The Dawn bag, in Raspberry, from timi & leslie.  I got so many compliments on it!

Caution: only wear this bag if you don’t mind getting tons of compliments! It’s made from easy to clean faux leather (PVC free) and features our custom hardware in a gold finish. Dawn comes with many functional and fashionable accessories and features: [click to continue…]