My friend Catherine is from here in the U.S. Her husband, Roberto, is from Belgium. They met in France. Together, they have been to who knows how many different countries and speak 4 (5? 6?) different languages. So, when it came time to throw a party for the little boy they're expecting next month, it made sense to go with an international theme!
Now, if you're like me and not very well-traveled, an international theme means...globes. And maps. And that's about it. But I can totally work with that.
I hosted the shower with my friends Sarah and Dana. I wish I'd thought to take a picture of the invitation that Sarah did because it was the cutest little travel invite ever. One side of it said "The world awaits you Baby V..." and so I thought it would be good to tie that in at the party. I had a pack of map scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby and I used the 4x6 pieces to make bunting flags that I glued letters to. I used jute twine to string them together and attached the banner to the mantel.
Here's a closer up image of the map paper. It was really cute!
As soon as we decided to go with this theme, I hit up Matt's parents for some paper maps. They always use maps when they travel so I had a feeling they had a stash of them at home. Patricia was kind enough to bring me a whole stack of them when they visited last month! I used them to wrap up books (cookbooks to be exact...) to use on the tables. You can see a couple of them here on the coffee table.
We thought these wafer cookies looked European-ish. Catherine is probably shaking her head no as she reads this but at least she didn't laugh in our faces.
On the opposite wall from the mantel is our tv armoir...and that's about it. I really need to move this giant blank wall higher up on my to-do list. It's so sad and empty. But at least I decorated the entertainment center, right?
Here's a close-up of the onesie that was hanging on it. I didn't think to make this until the night before the shower and I'm so glad I got it done because it turned out so cute! Catherine and Roberto haven't decided on a name yet (the downside to speaking multiple languages is trying to find a name that's pronounced the same in all of them!) so I couldn't have fun with monograms or names on tiny clothes, but this allowed me to at least make them something!
Then, the morning of the shower I had another idea to make a onesie to hang on the door that said "hello" in both English and Flemish. I could've just texted Catherine to ask her how to say hello in Flemish, but I wanted it to be a surprise so I turned to my buddy Google. And that's when I found out that a Flemish "hello" is just "hallo." Not much variation there...
So I switched to "hi" for the English part and I think it still worked. Part of me wanted to add a post-it note that pointed to the "hallo" and said, "This is Flemish. It's not misspelled."
There was a brief moment in our early party planning when we thought about making international foods. Or at least Belgian foods. I'm glad we came to our senses and stuck to what we know because Belgian cooks we are not. That might've been a recipe for disaster.
The party was from 12:00 - 2:00 so we were able to serve lunch-ish foods. We made mini ham and cheese sandwiches (to die for!), spinach pinwheels, apples and caramel dip, snap pea salad (so light and fresh!), spinach dip, and the yummiest ooey gooey chocolate chip brownie bars ever.
My friend Emily worked her baking magic again and whipped out these globe cookies. Aren't the perfect?! Don't look too closely at those continents. ;)
In the kitchen, we served a delicious blue punch - aka "Ocean Water." I'm kicking myself because I totally forgot to make a cute little label for the dispenser. The punch was a concoction of lemonade, sprite, and blue raspberry juice and tasted so good! We served it in mason jars that were topped with maps and festive straws. I did freeze blueberries into ice cubes to add to the drinks, so maybe that makes up for my lack of signage?!
Dana and Emily both brought globes that we were able to use as decor. How cute is this one on top of a pile of maps?
On the kitchen table, we set up an activity for our party guests. We provided newborn diapers and sharpies so they could write funny or encouraging notes for Catherine to read during those late night diaper changes.
I provided a few examples to get the ball rolling. :)
By the end of the party, the diapers were filled up with messages! We told Catherine she had to wait for the baby to arrive before she could read them.
We bought inflatable globes to use as party favors (most of the guests have kids of their own that would probably enjoy playing with them). Dana had the cutest little vintage suitcase that we used to display them in.
I am totally cracking up at this sign because that "Holla!" was totally supposed to be "Hola!" He he...oopsie.
As usual, I did a horrible job of remembering to take pictures throughout the party. I only got a few and most of the ones I did get are blurry. Grrr.
This was Catherine's first shower and she got lots of great things for Baby V! I know she has more showers to go but hopefully she's already feeling a little more prepared for his arrival.
The shower ended at 2:00 but the fun didn't stop then! Some of my college friends stayed the night for our annual get-together. I loved having our house full of guests for the night and always enjoy getting to see them all and catch up. We always pick up right where we left off! Of course I didn't take any pictures so just picture girls in jammies munching on handmade tamales and sitting around discussing everything from snapchat to baby names to the Duggar family. :)
Can't wait to meet Baby V soon!!