Mimosa Bar + Cannoli Cream
I try to learn, every time. I don't have too much going on, so I start volunteering for little things. The conceptual part of me that loves brainstorming, connecting people, ideas and details goes crazy. Then the part of me that gets shiz done steps in to do just that. Before I know it, I realize that I'm happily signed up to co-host a baby shower, champion an event for a green building conference, co-chairing my programming committee, taking Spanish classes, planning an employee picnic, doing my job, and feeling bad about not finishing a baby sweater.
That is when the realistic part of me kicks in to make my lists, and I can decide to cater instead of cooking a damn thing. I'm getting better the older I get, and aim to only do the things that I truly want to do these days. Plus, I've definitely learned to embrace funny mistakes (including a dropped carrot cake) and to take food breaks to decompress (cheeseburgers from Five Guys).
I really enjoyed getting to bond more with Michelle, my co-host for the baby shower. We also enjoyed making the baby shower a day that would be meaningful to our dear and generous friend. The mom-to-be loves Peter Rabbit books, non-pink colors, and gardening. We delivered.
I personally loved the Mimosa Bar idea I've seen around the web, and wanted an excuse to purchase these bottles from Ikea for my juice! People loved serving themselves and mixing the juices. We tied bows of different colored ribbon around the champagne glasses to differentiate a bit to keep track. (Isn't my friend's house beautiful with her gray walls and cute Anthropologie plates?)
I potted mini herb pots for favors. One mint plant needed a bit of coaxing not to die, but I used some sunlight, a fan and some positive thinking to resuscitate him. I'm a big fan of useful gifts and favors instead of cutesy stuff that you feel guilty for purging on your next Goodwill donation trip. They were a hit!
Poor Michelle accidentally dropped the carrot cake and felt terribly about it. My job was to talk her off the ledge and explain why it did not matter one bit. I said, nobody cares what it looks like if it has cream cheese frosting. (Am I right?) She had a great idea for me to create a bunting and I carved some lines into the cake to fix it. I labeled it, "Slightly Squashed Carrot Cake" and we called it a day.
Michelle made pizelle cups filled with the best cannoli cream in our region and berries. What a hit. We ensured quality by visiting the charming 43 years married couple who make award winning cannolis and asking them their secrets while taste testing chocolate and traditional creams. I can attest that Cipolli Cannolis are truly the best I've ever had.
I did buckle down and make a 5 ingredient salad. You can't live on sugar and flour entirely, afterall.
Lastly, we hung decorations, plated everything nicely and kicked back with some mimosas to get us in the party mood and provide a laid back atmosphere for guests. I think that is truly the secret to a fun party. No stress!
Though I did try to cut myself off the night before, I couldn't stop myself from making the cutest pins in the entire history of the world for the Mom-to-be and her family members. I did allow one pink pin to pass for the Paternal Grandma-to-be who just loves pink. But she also knows how to use a chop saw, so that deserves its' own award and a pass!