5 Baby Shower Themes for Summer 2013

baby shower food

As we enter the fast approaching summer months I thought it would be helpful for all the new mommies out there if I put together a short roundup of the 5 best baby shower themes for summer 2013. Read on to discover cute new themes you can hold at your baby shower this summer that will have all your guests grinning ear to ear in excitement.  Here we go, from #5 to #1.

5. My Camping Adventure

There is no better time of the year to break out the marshmallows and graham crackers! Picture this: picnic tables, fresh fruit, and neat little DIY snacks. I’ve been to two different camping themed baby showers and they’re always a blast. For best effect, consider having your baby shower as an evening gathering, rather than the traditional brunch timing. This unique adjustment makes the atmosphere feel like you’re actually out with the girls camping; it’s a lot of fun!

Choosing a camping theme is great if you have a decent sized yard with a few small picnic tables and yard furniture. The dress code is very easy for your guest to adhere to, as most people have some form of flannel in their closet.

4. Fresh Fruit Tropical Paradise

Baby showers are usually a good excuse to snack down on cookies and cupcakes, a publicly acceptable reason for you to stray away from your diet. There are alternatives, though, such as the fresh fruit tropical paradise theme. Even if you are a not-so-proud owner of multiple sugar teeth (hello!), you’ll LOVE experiencing handfuls of succulent tropical fruit without having to feel guilty about indulging afterwards.

Must-haves at any fresh fruit baby shower include fruit on a stick (just as it sounds), and fruity ice cubes. Both are extremely simple to make. As a sweet desert that allows you to get your chocolate fix, consider chocolate strawberry fondue. Mmm.

3. An International Affair

Surprise your guests with invitations modeled after plane tickets as a part of your international affair baby shower. There aren’t many rules necessary to pull off this one, just make sure none of your friends and family have any allergies to any dishes you plan on serving.

Buy some plain colored bristol board to create your own hand drawn flags identifying various stations around your house complete with their own unique finger food and travel guide to fully immerse yourself into the world traveler experience!

2. Back in the Old Days…

Jump back to your favorite period in time, taking your visitors through a time machine into the best dress up party you’ve ever hosted! My personal favorite variation of the time travel theme is the tight and bright 70s! Dress up in neon tights, big shiny clothes, or whatever else you might still have in your closet. Visit your local thrift shop for cheap costumes galore.

1.  Pamper Mommy!

I recently had the pleasure of attending a girlfriend’s baby shower where the theme did a 180 degree turn from the traditional idea what a baby shower is. Instead of buying gifts for the baby, we bought them all for the mommy!

Bury your mommy in gifts she can use to pamper herself. Salon gift cards, nail polish, bath accessories, get her all of your favorites.

I hope these 5 simple baby shower ideas for summer 2013 have sparked some ideas for you! Have you recently hosted a fun idea I didn’t list here? Drop me a comment below and let me know how it went, I’d love to hear about it.  Happy planning!

Buying a Baby Gift for a Coworker

At some point during your career, you may be expected to buy a baby gift for a coworker. However, if you’ve never purchased a baby gift for a coworker before, you may be unsure how to proceed. How much should you spend? What kind of gifts are you expected to buy?

Today, I’m going to offer some tips about buying a baby gift for a coworker.

When should I buy a baby gift for a coworker?

Many people are unsure if they should purchase a baby gift for their coworker at all. While there is no set rule on when to buy a gift for a coworker, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. In other words, if you’re debating whether or not to buy a baby gift, you should buy a baby gift.  After all, this is a person you work with, and they are sure to appreciate you reaching out to remember the birth of her baby.

It’s also a good idea to find out what your other coworkers are doing. If everybody else is purchasing a gift, then you should probably purchase one as well or coordinate buying a group gift. You don’t want to be put in an awkward situation of buying a gift that is the same as other coworkers.

How much should I spend?

This is where your decision becomes more subjective. The amount you spend is entirely dependent on your relationship with your coworker. If you work in the same office, but you don’t have a close relationship with your coworker, then you shouldn’t spend more than $10 or $20. At that price range, your baby gift will be a simple yet thoughtful gesture on your part.

If you work side-by-side with your coworker every day and would consider that person a close friend, then you might want to take your baby gift to the next level. You’ll want to put a little more thought into your baby gift. At this point, the amount you spend isn’t so important. Instead, it’s all about how much thought you put into it.

Ultimately, your coworker will appreciate your baby gift regardless of how much you spend on it. If you’re able to give the baby a thoughtful and unique present with some emotional connection behind it, that will mean more to your coworker than even the most expensive gift.

What kind of gifts should I give?

Fortunately, this question is the easiest one to answer. There are so many different baby gifts to buy that you really can’t go wrong here. Obviously, you should figure out whether you’re buying a gift for a boy or a girl. If your coworker is having a baby shower before the birth of the baby, and if the sex of the baby isn’t known, then you’ll have to choose a unisex gift.

In many cases, your coworker will have a baby registry that you can look at in order to get gift ideas. If your coworker has set up a baby registry, then your job is easy. However, if all of the gifts on the baby registry are more than you would like to spend, then don’t be afraid to purchase your own gift.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

-Piggy banks

-Wall clocks

-Baby Clothes

-Diaper disposal systems or diaper caddies (or a baby diaper cake..wink)

-Savings bonds

-Gift baskets/gift cards

-Baby toys

-Company stock in the baby’s name

Conclusion

Ultimately, your gift will mean more if it has some practical use to the baby or the parents. Stay away from flowers and other frivolous gifts. Instead, find a gift with a genuine emotional connection and your coworker will be more than happy.

What is a Diaper Cake?

Pink Monkey Diaper Cake

During the holidays we always run into folks who are friends of our friends or friends of family members.  As part of the typical conversation, the question is invariably raised asking what I do for a living.  When I reply I make diaper cakes, most of the the time the response is “huh” or “what’s a diaper cake?”.  So I usually give my standard elevator pitch that goes something like this.  A diaper cake is an arrangement of diapers made to resemble a traditional tiered

Here’s a Lil’ Baby Cake from Oct. 1999

cake.  It is then decorated to match a particular baby theme with ribbons, bows, and baby care items.  I then like to add a plush toy for the baby to enjoy as they grow older.  Then the response is usually “Oh, that’s cool, I have never heard of those before” or “Wait a minute, are those the things people bring to baby showers?  I think I know what they are.”  Either way, the conversation continues and I either explain more (if they ask) or we move on to different topics.  It got me thinking that there are many people who have never heard of a diaper cake or don’t even know they are giving as baby gift.  So with that background, I’ll proceed to explain what a diaper cake is for those who may be wondering.

Well I think it’s fair to say the diaper cake is a “girl” thing.  There aren’t many men who are aware of them primarily because they are popular at baby showers and traditionally the baby shower is about the mom and her friends.  I did some searches and it’s not really clear the origin of diaper cakes, however, it’s assumed that they were made even before disposable diapers became mainstream.  Of course, back then cloth diapers were used and probably glass baby bottles, as plastic bottles were generally not available at the time.  It’s also assumed that the diaper cake creators were woman who enjoyed crafting and as such made these for friends and family members who were pregnant.  And lastly, it’s pretty safe to assume that there weren’t any for profit businesses make diaper cakes like there are today.  I went back to the earliest days of Lil Baby Cakes (Oct 2, 1999) and pick up the diaper cake image shown on the right.  This was one of the first diaper cakes created on the site at the time.  Back then, you can see a baby bottle, Q-tips, ribbons and bows, and a cellophane wrap to present as a gift to the new mom.

Over the years, the designs have evolved to include plush toys and a host of other “goodies” for the mom.  I’m sure you may have seen pictures of diaper cakes made with a champagne bottle in the center along with the diapers as a way to give the mom something to care for the newborn plus of course the champagne for the parents.  I’ve seen motorcycles, airplanes, topsy-turvey, and a host of other designs all cleverly created with diapers.  However, just like a traditional wedding cake has it’s tiers, so does the “traditional” diaper cake and I feel most comfortable with this style for many reasons.

Our Lil Monkey Pink Diaper Cake
Our Lil Monkey Pink Diaper Cake December 2012

So a Lil’ Baby Cake diaper cake for now is a collection of diapers arranged as a traditional tiered cake.  We use Pampers Swaddler diapers in our designs and look for quality plush toys to include on our cakes.  Each diaper is perfectly usable as if it just came out of the package. (I do get asked every now and then if all the diapers are usable.)  And just like in the “ole days” each cake is handmade from scratch when the customer places the order.  The Our Lil’ Monkey Pink 4 Tier design shown on the right highlights the main characteristics that goes into

every cake I design.  For instance,  I love Mambo from Gund.  It’s a great product with a cherished history that new parents appreciate as well as the baby as she grows older.  We put together an overview of this diaper cake that you can find on our main website entitled what is a diaper cake?

In closing, I thought to add another comment from folks I have talked to while owning Lil’ Baby Cakes.  Believe it or not, I still get the occasional question asking whether or not you have to refrigerate the diaper cake.  Now, maybe it is all in jest or maybe they are just making wise cracks.  However, it has happened enough times that I sometimes wonder if people do get confused about exactly what a diaper cake is.

As 2012 closes down I would like to wish you a Happy New Year.  I look forward to creating many more new designs next year all Lil’ Baby Cakes style!  Best wishes for a great 2013,