Answer: Enough to break the ice!
Oh, the pain of hosting a party where no one is mingling. The last thing you want is to throw a baby shower where everyone sits around silently sipping their punch. It can really drag on and you'll start getting anxious. Instead, include some ice breakers in the form of fun games that everyone can play. Here's some ideas to get you started.
Often people at the shower come from different times in the guest of honor's life. She may have friends from college, work and family and they may never have met.
Image by vociferous. on Flickr
The first thing to do is give everyone a marker and let them write their own name tag when they come in. Or you could have all the name tags written out in advance. But it's more fun, and gives girls something to do upon entering, if you let them write out their own tags. And you'll be sure that everyone's name is spelled correctly.
Start out with some very basic ice breakers. One good idea is to have guests create a scrapbook page for the mom to be. You can have scrapbooking materials out at a table and each guest can come and make a page that will go in a scrapbook you'll give to the guest of honor. Have at least four seats so that guests can sit and mingle with each other while making their pages.
Image by brungrrl on Flickr
Have your table set up in an area where others can drag up a chair and participate too. Once the action gets going, everyone will want to be involved. When you've collected all the pages, you can adhere them to the actual scrap book. Send the mom home with it or work on it later when guests have gone.
Another easy idea is to have everyone go around in a circle and say how they know the guest of honor. It will bring up memories, break the ice and also give everyone and idea of where they fit into the overall picture.
Image by Dain Sandoval on Flickr
You can also ask guests to share a little something about themselves like where they live, how many kids they have, where they grew up, or a hobby that they enjoy.
The guests may share an interest or talent that others want to ask more about later.
Don't feel you have to hover over guests and make them talk to each other. Provide areas where there are fun things to do and eat, and you'll get people up.
Image by aftab. on Flickr
Have every guest fill out a questionnaire as to how well they know the guest of honor, guesses on the baby's birth date and time, and other trivia about the family. This can get really fun.
You will also want to have games that are easy to play. One fun one is to have each person unwind a length of yarn from a ball as they come in. Don't tell them what it's for. Then, when the time comes, have the mom to be stand up. Each person has to circle their thread around mom's belly. The person who chose a length that's the closest to mom's actual belly size wins a prize.
There are all sorts of things that you can do to break the ice at a baby shower. The most important thing is for you to be organized, plan well and then show that you're having fun yourself the day of the party. Every guest will be taking their cue from you, so if you're relaxed, they will be too.
New moms are usually overwhelmed with the amount of preparation that goes into planning for a new baby. So you want to show up with a present that will make her life easier.
Many new moms will register and you can easily choose something off her registry, but if the mom in your life did not register or if you'd rather choose something on your own, there's an enormous selection to choose from. Step into any baby store and you may be shocked at the amount of gear and baby baskets that are available for the modern baby. Some are cute amusements and some are necessities. Here are some of the most common things a new mom will need!
A car seat that converts from infant to toddler. Most infant car seats have this capability. But check with the store clerk if you're not sure. This is one item that you want purchase in the very best quality, brand new, with all the latest safety features. Ask ahead of time if she's already got one. And often, with two or more cars in the family, she may need another one.
A stroller that's sturdy. A jogging stroller makes the ideal present both for a city and a country mom as they are rugged and the wheels move easily across all kinds of terrain.
Image by Joe Shlabotnik on Flickr
If a jogging stroller doesn't seem to fit the new mom's lifestyle, then a walking stroller for malls or travel makes a good gift instead.
And, the easier it is to fold up and transport, the better.
Most moms either have their heart set on a specific crib or have been handed down a crib already. Check with those closes to the guest of honor before buying this important piece of furniture.
Image by jencu on Flickr
If you do end up shopping for a crib, there are wonderful convertible cribs that go from crib to toddler bed to daybed to twin bed. So it's a purchase that baby will have until college!
A hip diaper bag. Moms are no longer lugging bulky bags with pink and blue teddy bears printed all over them. Now, there are diaper bags that rival the chicest handbags. It's often hard to even identify it as a diaper bag it's so gorgeous.
Image by Hayneedle.com
Shop online or in specialty stores that are likely to carry a wide array of trendy bags. Then, fill it with all sorts of pampering products for baby and mom like sweet smelling baby wash and cozy slippers for mom at the hospital.
While they aren't the most adorable gifts that will be on the table, you will be thanked profusely for your gift. New moms go through about eight diapers a day. And diapers get expensive.
First, find out if she's going to use cloth or disposable diapers. Then, provide her with not only a package of newborn diapers, but also the next size up. Babies grow so quickly that newborn diapers are only used for a very short span of time. The next biggest size is a good idea. And get plenty of them.
There is a way to give diapers in a cute way. You can now buy "diaper cakes". These charming little cakes are actually composed of rolled up diapers and secured with ribbon. The result is a multi-tiered cake that's actually made entirely of diapers.
Ask in advance what the nursery decor is. If she's going with a zoo animals theme, buy items that coordinate. You can buy books about zoo animals to help start baby's first library or a giant stuffed zebra for baby to cherish as she grows up. Get creative.
Image by 4Neus on Flickr
Avoid buying anything that can't be returned. Often, moms receive lots of duplicates. While she may want to keep four Diaper Genies, she's going to have to return a few of them. Always give a gift receipt (that doesn't show the price) along with your gift. You can attach it to the box or place it inside a card, whichever you want.
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Since I was born in 1970 with the same sweet tooth that I have today, you could say that I am an expert on the candies of the 70's. Some of my fondest memories are going to the roller rink and eating packs of Sixlets and sporting a red ring pop. Aaah, those were the days!
In this post, I'll share just a few of my favorite candies from that decade along with some great candy gift ideas for the sweet tooth in your life. These nostalgic candies make great birthday surprises and holiday gifts too!
Photo Credit: Groovy Candies
Amazon has a fantastic collection of retro candy gifts from the 1950s through the 1980's. You can find grab bags full of classic favorites of yesteryear.
Over the past several years, there has been a resurgence in the retro candy market. As the U.S. population ages, it appears that they become a bit nostalgic yearning for days of old. And what better way to get whisked back to one's childhood, than by eating some of the same candies that you enjoyed as a kid.
Although those "penny" candies cost more than a penny now, customers are elated to find childhood favorites both online and in local candy shoppes. Consider sending someone special a classic candy gift today!
The any occasion retro candy basket shown in the image to the right is available at All About Gifts & Baskets. You can get it with several different balloons including Happy Birthday, Get Well Soon and of course, the smiley one shown.
Check out these great candy companies to find all kinds of cool candies from the 70's. You can buy them as individual pieces or in gift baskets or boxes. What a great 40th birthday gift!
2) Sugar Daddy Pops
3) Necco Wafers
4) Pop Rocks
5) Candy Necklace
7) Atomic Fireballs
You're so excited about welcoming a new little girl into the world! There are so many happy feelings passing through your mind, looking forward to meeting her, congratulating the parents, and - wait a minute, you'll need a present!
You can't just show up empty-handed, that wouldn't be good. So what should you bring? Well I've put together a select of beautiful baby girl gift baskets to get the ball rolling! Hopefully these ideas will spark some inspiration inside of you to give a gift that everyone will love!
Image by Edgar Barany on Flickr
Growing up in a family of four sisters, you could say I'm most familiar with what is given to baby girls, what's useful for them and then of course what's not necessary.
Image by adwriter on Flickr
Plus, who can deny that little girls are oh-so-cute (okay, babies in general, I know!) So in short, this lens is simply a handful of ideas that you can take or leave! Either way, you are sure to get some good ideas out of it!
I am a big fan of sending the new parents a personalized baby basket filled with cute little items that they will need.
Typically these include a mixture of customized blankets, bibs, burp cloths, bottles, toys or teddy bears, books, and more precious baby items.
I just love these personalized items because it's usually one of the first things that baby gets with her name on it. They'll cherish it forever and it's always just a sweet notion.
Do you have a creative idea for what to include in your gift basket? That's perfect! A personal touch like that is what makes a gift special. Shop around and find some items that will be meaningful to the new parents, and they're sure to enjoy your thoughtfulness along with the gift itself.
Sort of piggy-backing on the personalized baskets, my next item on the list is personalized baby clothes or baby bibs. How cute would it be for the little baby girl to be wearing around her very own name on her onesie or bib, or even on a little hat? I just love it!
There are all kinds of ways to initial baby goods, and there are plenty of clothing options to choose from! Even if you're not sure what they're going to name their little one, you could always go with "Baby Anderson" or something cute that involves their family name.
If you know Mom or Dad's preference on certain types of clothing, then keep that in mind. Some parents only like to use zippered clothing, others only like buttons or snaps. Keep this in mind and maybe do a combination of each. As always, be sure to include your gift receipts just in case.
Diaper bags are kind of becoming a thing of the past. No dad wants to be seen carrying around a pink flowery bag and moms have come to realize it's not always practical to carry around a purse plus a large diaper bag packed with items that baby could possibly need.
That's where these personalized bags come into play. Not only are they personalized with any name or initials, but they come in 9 different colors that neither Mom or Dad will mind.
There are tons of options out there now days too, so don't be afraid to look around and shop a bit to find the perfect fit. The parents will appreciate it, and it'll be their go-to item that they use for years!
If you've read some of my other lenses, you may have read that I'm all for being eco-friendly, and going with organic foods and goods. So when it comes to baby items, why not extend this theory and go with organic baby gifts?
Plus, babies typically have very sensitive skin so it's nice to have options of organic materials and items that won't cause irritation or rashes.
What I've pictured here is an organic diaper cake. It includes items such as organic lotions and washes, biodegradable diapers, baby soap, bath salts, relaxing room spray and more. All made from natural ingredients!
Of course, you can include whatever types of items you want into your diaper cake. That's the joy of a DIY gift, you get to go with whatever you want!
Naturally the mom and dad will be getting all kinds of gifts from family and friends. This usually ranges anywhere from teddy bears to cash gifts. So if you want to go with a more unique route, why not help the child start saving these monetary gifts from day one?
There are neat personalized piggy banks that will do just that. Put their name on the little pig and let the savings fun begin! It's sure to be the highlight of their room for years to come.
I still have my childhood piggy bank and believe it or not, it's still in one piece! Someday, I'll put it in my child's nursery and pass it along. These types of gifts have such a great sentiment to them.
If the mom and/or baby love the color pink then there's no question, you'll need to invest in some pink gifts for the two of them. There are plenty of options out there, so how will you know which one is the one for you?
Image by ionascloset on Flickr
Do your research. Is the nursery going to be pink? Then find a piece of furniture or decor for the nursery that will match perfectly. Not sure about the nursery? Then you could always go the route of the pink frilly tutu, or some beautiful pink headbands. Even an adorable and fluffy pink blanket will be welcomed when it comes to baby.
Just because it's a girl doesn't mean that you have to deck the halls in pink. There are plenty of other options such as yellow, purple, green, orange, and more. Be bold, explore your options!
You don't need to use a basket when creating one of these gifts. If you get creative, there are plenty of other ways to make your gift work.
Image by abbybatchelder on Flickr
Visit a thrift store and find an old popcorn tin. Wash it out with soap and hot water, then allow to dry. Spray paint with pink, yellow, white, and/or sparkles, then use to hold all your baby goodies.
Another route you could go is to use a little beverage tub. These are great for the moms to reuse in the baby's room to store diapers, toys, or just odds and ends.
Being from the US - my attention on New Year's Eve is on New York City. The crowds, the ball dropping, the performances... But there is so much more going on around the world.
Enjoy my tidbits on New Year's Eve celebrations and spotlights on what others are doing for New Years around the world.
Flickr Photo Credit: jazzlog
Auld Lane Syne
*What does it mean? Old times that are fondly remembered.
*Where did it come from? It was played by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians as a New Year's Eve song for the first time on December 31, 1929
Baby New Year
*Why? Using a baby to symbol new beginnings is seen in ancient Egypt, Greece, and in the Roman Empire. The modern custom of using a baby to symbolize the New Year came to North America from the Germans who used the symbol since the 14th century.
*Who Started That? The tradition of making New Year's resolutions dates back to the early Babylonians.
*How Did That Start? The first Tournament of Roses was staged in 1890 by members of Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club, former residents of the East and Midwest eager to showcase their new home's mild winter weather and the ripening of the orange crops.
The residents on the central Pacific Ocean island of Kiritimati (Christmas Island), the eastern-most island in the island nation of Kiribati claim to be the first to usher in the New Year. The first major city to celebrate is Sydney, Australia.
Photo courtesy of wikipedia
At 9pm Sydney starts their Family Fireworks event. Following that is the Harbour of Light Parade. 55 vessels make their way around the Sydney Harbour - all lit up to create an amazing light show.
At midnight Sydney bursts the night sky open with a kaleidoscopic of color and shapes. This spectacular show takes place in the world's best open theater - fireworks firing from six barges on Sydney Harbour, seven skyscraper rooftops and across the iconic arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Imagine celebrating the New Year in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Starting at around 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve, people start to flock to the famous street - The Champs-Elysees - bringing along bottles of "sparkling white wine" (champagne) and toasting flutes. From many places on the Champs-Elysees, you can get a good view of the Eiffel Tower, which explodes into a sparkling dance of light at the stroke of midnight.
Photo courtesy of wikipedia
The Sacre Coeur Cathedral plaza in Montmartre is another favorite place to bid farewell to the current year. From here you can spy spectacular views of the entire Paris skyline, so you're sure to see any fireworks being launched around Paris.
Want to ring in the New Year Paris Style? Add some Eiffel Tower favors to your event. From bottle openers to candles, it's just the right touch of flair your party needs! Find the favors above and more at Wedding Favors Unlimited.
Picture Courtesy of MailOnline
On New Year's Eve in Moscow people gather in Red Square to await the tolling of the Saviour clock tower, then they crack open bottles of champagne and toast their neighbors. People also dress as 'Grandfather Frost' (the Russian equivalent of Father Christmas) and his female counterpart 'The Snow Maiden', then go about bearing good wishes.
Many Russians also celebrate the Orthodox New Year or Old New Year on the night of the 13th January.
I enjoyed learning about other New Year's Eve celebrations around the world - I hope you did to! There are so many unique ways to celebrate and so many amazing firework displays!