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Archive for July, 2008

Commercially available party favors may not be for everyone. If you are creative or crafty you may prefer making your own party favors such as handmade soaps. If you’re on a budget and would rather save up for the baby then to splurge on the baby shower, these edible baby shower favor ideas may be for you:

Homemade Cookies
If you are into baking, bake some of your favorite cookies (ok, who could resist a chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookie, really?) and put them in a cello bag.

Kisses or any colorful candies such as Jelly Beans
A bag full of Hershey’s Kisses is always welcomed and never go out of fashion. Got a favorite candy? Give them out at the baby shower. Alternatively, buy candies in pastel blue or tickled pink if you already know the gender of the baby.

DIY Muffin Mix (or use your favorite baking recipe)

Makes: enough mix for 36 muffins (6 favors)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes

DRY mix Ingredients- Enough for 36 muffins:
4½ cups (1.15L) all-purpose flour
4½ cups (1.15 L) old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups (500 mL) packed brown sugar
2 cups (500 mL) dried blueberries or any of you own favourite dried fruit
2 tbsp (30 mL) baking powder
1½ tsp (7 mL) salt
1½ tsp (7 mL) ground cinnamon

Method:

  • In a large bowl, combine well the flour, oats, brown sugar, blue berries, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  • Transfer to a large re-sealable container and make as required.
  • Store in a cool dark place.

NOTE: Shake and mix ingredients in container before use to redistribute the ingredients.

Separate the mix into 6 equal portions. Place them in small kraft paper bags or cello bags. If you are having 60 people at your shower, prepare 10 batch of these dry muffin mix.

Below are instructions on how to bake these muffins. Print it on white label and attached to the packaging.

TO MAKE MUFFINS:
Makes: 6 large muffins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

1 cup (250 mL) plain or fruit yogurt
¼ cups (60 mL) apple juice or melted butter
AND
The content in this bag

Method:

  • Pre-heat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt and apple juice. Stir the yogurt mixture into the flour oatmeal mixture. Stir until just combined.
  • Divide the batter among 6 paper-lined muffin tins and bake in the middle of a preheated oven, until a fork inserted comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

The Special Touch
Seal the bags with a personalized stickers, or tie the bags with ribbons and these personalized tags for an extra special touch. Stickers and tags available in 55 stylesavailable at Your Wedding Shoppe:

Sample Sticker ($5.99 for a sheet of 24 personalized stickers):

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Sample Tag ($5.99 for a sheet of 20 personalized tags):

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Available in 55 styles:

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A client recently ordered some “Moon and Star” theme baby shower items, including some “Moon and Star” soap personalized favors, and came up with a very cute tag line. The first line reads “How We Wonder What You Are”, with baby shower information on the second line as a keepsake.

Moon and Star Soap - Personalized Baby Shower Favor

"Moon and Star" Soap - Personalized Baby Shower Favor

Boy, did it bring back memories! The anticipation of a new life, not to mention the need to find out the gender ahead of time in order to shop in the appropriate colors and theme.

This client went all out with baby shower supplies in the “Moon and Star” theme, with invitations, thank you cards, and tableware:

Moon and Star 9 Dinner Plate

"Moon and Star" 9" Dinner Plate

Moon and Star 7 Dessert Plate

"Moon and Star" 7" Dessert Plate

Moon and Star Dinner Napkins

"Moon and Star" Dinner Napkins

Moon and Star Beverage Napkins

"Moon and Star" Beverage Napkins

Moon and Star 12 oz Hot/Cold Cup

"Moon and Star" 12 oz Hot/Cold Cup

Moon and Star Baby Shower/Birthday Party Invitations

"Moon and Star" Baby Shower/Birthday Party Invitations

Moon and Star Invitations

"Moon and Star" Invitations

Moon and Star Thank You Note

"Moon and Star" Thank You Note

Moon and Star Thank You Cards

"Moon and Star" Thank You Cards

This will be a very lucky baby, with such sweet and thoughtful adult(s) in his/her life.

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I recently received a new batch of baby gift samples for my store and decided to let my boys have a go at them as testers. Here are the clear winners, crowned by my soon-to-be 1 year old and almost 4 year old.

“Little Piggy In A Blanket” Two-Piece Gift Set in Adorable Vintage-Inspired Gift Box

Little Piggie in Blanket Baby Gift Set

My little one LOVES to cuddle, snuggle, even “talk” with the piggy plush, while older son enjoys turning the blanket around, reading the nursery rhyme embroidered along the satin trim of the blanket. The blanket measures 31″ x 40″, and it still fits all 38″ of my older boy.

“Mother Goose” Gift Set w/ Plush Nursery Rhyme Buddies

Mother Goose Gift Set w/ Plush Nursery Rhyme Buddies

"Mother Goose" Gift Set w/ Plush Nursery Rhyme Buddies

As with the little piggy, my little one went for mother goose immediately, grabbing her by the neck (poor mother goose!) while wobbling around the house, giggling whenever his older brother made the “quack quack” sound.

It didn’t take long for my older son to discover the secret compartment on the back of mother goose, and “rescued” (his words) Humpty Dumpty, Little Piggy, and the cow that jumps over the moon, along with the mini story books that came with it. After he got tired reading the books and acting out the nursery rhymes, poor mother goose became his “treasure goose” (again, his words) as he started stuffing some of his prized possessions into her back.

To avoid brotherly conflict, I ran for what used to be my little one’s favorite Big Baby Plush. To my delight, it still is his favorite.

14 Big Baby Rattle

14" Big Baby Rattle - the boy's all time favorite!

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Building a baby inside you is no easy task. More than ever, nutritious food play an important role in your daily diet. Iron, calcium, protein, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids are just a few nutrients your body needs for healthy fetal development. Finding a balance between nutritious food and cravings can be challenging at times. These yummy recipes may help.

Lamb Loin Chops and Bean Ragout
When your body cries out for protein, iron and fibre, this entrée delivers. Use any type of canned bean you desire — kidney, chickpea, black, navy or Romano — or try a can of mixed beans! Serve with a crusty, whole wheat baguette and side salad.

1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cooking onion, diced
3 cups (750 mL) kale, centre ribs removed, thinly sliced
19 oz. (540 mL) can beans, rinsed and drained
4 fresh or canned plum tomatoes, diced
1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock
2 tsp (10 mL) homemade or store-bought basil pesto
Salt and pepper
8 lamb loin chops (about 2 lb/1 kg)
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

Heat oil in a large, non-stick frying pan at medium-low. Add garlic and onions and cook 5 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Add kale, beans, tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes. Add pesto, combine well and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Turn broiler on high. Baste lamb chops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil 4 minutes per side for medium rare.

To serve, spoon bean ragout into the middle of plate, and arrange two lamb chops on top.

Makes 4 servings.

Omega Oatmeal Muffins
These delicious baked goodies contain three different sources of omega-3 fats: ground flaxseed, omega-3 eggs and walnuts. They freeze well. Pop a frozen one in a plastic bag and into your purse in the morning and it will have defrosted by mid-morning snack time!

1½ cups (375 mL) oatmeal (quick or old-fashioned)
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose or soft whole wheat flour
½ cup (125 mL) ground flaxseed
¾ cup (175 mL) brown sugar
½ cup (125 mL) chopped walnuts, toasted
1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
2 omega-3 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk
1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened applesauce

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a muffin tray with extra-large paper cups, or lightly oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together oatmeal, flour, ground flaxseed, brown sugar, toasted walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt until fully mixed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and applesauce.

Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and stir until just mixed.

Fill each cup to the top.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a tester inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in baking tray, then transfer individually to rack.

Makes 12 large muffins.

Tips: To make your own buttermilk, measure 1 cup 10r 2% milk, whisk in 1 tbsp lemon juice or distilled vinegar, let stand 10 minutes and it’s ready (and curdled).

• Flaxseed must be ground for your body to absorb its valuable nutrients. Store ground flaxseed in your freezer. Or purchase whole flaxseeds, store in your refrigerator and grind in a coffee grinder as needed.

• To toast walnuts, use a baking sheet in a 350°F (180°C) oven for about 10 minutes, checking and shaking the pan occasionally, until the nuts are fragrant and golden.

Oats + whole wheat + flax + walnuts + apples = fibre
The average Canadian diet is sorely lacking in fibre. Adult women (under 50) need from 25g per day and, while daily intakes don’t rise during pregnancy, the risk of constipation increases. During pregnancy, food moves more slowly through the bowel. To get things moving, drink lots of water and enjoy a diet high in fibre. Turn to whole-grain (wheat, oats, spelt, rye, barley, quinoa, bulgar) breads, pastas, cereals and baked goods, fruits and vegetables, beans and nuts.

Walnuts + flax + omega-3 eggs = EFAs
You need two essential fatty acids (EFAs) in your diet every day: linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linoleic acid — or ALA (an omega-3 fatty acid). Most people get plenty of omega-6 in their diet; good sources include nuts, seeds, certain vegetable oils and meat. But many diets are low in ALA which is found in walnuts, flax seeds, hemp, canola, soybeans, tofu, wheat germ and omega-3 foods like eggs, fish, milk and margarine. EFAs help build cells and hormone-like substances that regulate blood pressure, cholesterol and immune function.

Full of Folate Salad
Who would think that a salad so tasty could be so good for you and your baby?

½ clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) prepared Dijon mustard
1 tbsp (15 mL) rice vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) orange juice
4 tsp (20 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped coriander freshly ground pepper
4 cups (1 L) romaine lettuce, torn
2 cups (500 mL) baby spinach
1 navel orange, peeled, sliced into pinwheels
1 ripe avocado, sliced
¼ cup (50 mL) toasted sun- flower seeds

In a small bowl, mash garlic and salt together. Add mustard, vinegar, orange juice and olive oil. Whisk until fully blended. Add coriander and whisk to blend.

In a large salad bowl, combine lettuce, spinach, orange and avocado slices. Drizzle on dressing and toss lightly. Garnish with toasted sunflower seeds.

Makes 4 servings.

Tips: To toast raw, unsalted sunflower seeds, heat a small, dry frying pan on medium-high. Add seeds and toast, stirring until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.

• To slice a ripe avocado, slice in half, lengthwise, nudge out the seed with the tip of a knife then slice avocado while in the “shell,” prying pieces out by sliding knife between the peel and the avocado. Avocado will brown easily, so do this step just before dressing the salad.

Romaine lettuce + avocado + sunflower seeds + spinach + oranges = fantastic folate
Chances are you’ve been taking a folic acid supplement ever since you started to plan your family. But now that you’re pregnant, your body still needs 400 mcg of this important B vitamin, which can prevent neural tube defects (such as spina bifida) in your baby. Folate does more than that. Like protein, it supports cell division and growth. (Folic acid is the synthetic form of the vitamin, found in supplements. Folate or folacin is the naturally occurring vitamin found in food.)

Other excellent sources include asparagus, beans and lentils, peanuts, pineapple juice, tofu and soy milk. Good folate sources include artichokes, almonds, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cashews, green peas, honeydew melon, mung bean sprouts, parsnips, raspberries, split peas, tomato juice, V8 juice, walnuts and wheat germ. Also look for bread and pastas labelled enriched. Just ½ cup cooked, enriched pasta supplies an excellent source of folate.

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If you are looking for ideas to plan a great baby shower, you have come to the right place. Keeping your guests entertained at baby shower has never been easier. We have a great collection of baby shower games ranges from classic (such as the “Dirty Diaper Game“) to absolutely hilarious (“Who Smells the Stinky Doo?”).

All Games available at www.yourweddingshoppe.com, under the baby shower section.

$5.95 Flat Rate Combined Shipping Offer – purchase any combination of items from my store with this sign within 5 days and I’ll ship everything together for $5.95! Example of an eligible shipment would be a table service for 32, a diaper cake, 5 baby shower games, 1 mommy corsage, 1 daddy boutonniere, and a Daddy Duty Device Kit.

“The Dirty Diaper Game” ~ available in Pink, Blue or Yellow ~ $8.95 each

The Dirty Diaper Game -Available in Pink, Blue and Yellow

"The Dirty Diaper Game" ~ available in Pink, Blue or Yellow ~ $8.95 each

“The Pacifier Game” ~ Classic Baby Shower Game ~ $11.35 each

The Pacifier Game ~ Classic Baby Shower Game, $11.35

"The Pacifier Game" ~ Classic Baby Shower Game ~ $11.35 each

“Helpful Hints Advice Cards” ~ thoughtful baby shower idea ~ $6.95 each

Helpful Hints Advice Cards ~ thoughtful baby shower idea ~ $6.95 each

"Helpful Hints Advice Cards" ~ thoughtful baby shower idea ~ $6.95 each

“Is It Time? Did my water break???” ~ Very funny game everyone will enjoy ~ $9.99 each

Is It Time?  Did my water break???!! ~ Very funny game everyone will enjoy ~ $9.99 each

"Is It Time? Did my water break???" ~ Very funny game everyone will enjoy ~ $9.99 each

“Pea Pod Surprise Game” ~ Matching “Pea In a Pod” baby shower items available ~ $9.95 each

Pea Pod Surprise Game ~ Matching Pea In a Pod baby shower items available ~ $9.95 each

"Pea Pod Surprise Game" ~ Matching "Pea In a Pod" baby shower items available ~ $9.95 each

“Who Smells the Stinky Doo” ~ Extremely Funny and Popular ~ $9.49 each

Who Smells the Stinky Doo ~ Extremely Funny and Popular ~ $9.49 each

"Who Smells the Stinky Doo" ~ Extremely Funny and Popular ~ $9.49 each

More baby shower games available. Please visit http://www.yourweddingshoppe.com for complete selection and don’t forget to take advantage of the $5.95 flat rate combined shipping on many baby shower products.

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Having two peas in the pod? Perhaps more? This cute line of baby shower supplies will delight the mommy-to-be and impress the guests. Available at http://www.yourweddingshoppe.com.

Tableware

Two Peas In A Pod tableware for Twins

"Two Peas In A Pod" tableware for Twins

9 Dinner Plate in Two Peas In a Pod theme

9" Dinner Plate

7 Dessert Plate

7" Dessert Plate

Beverage Napkin

Beverage Napkin

Dinner Plate

Dinner Plate

12 oz Hot/Cold Cup

12 oz Hot/Cold Cup

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I recently witness a “baby shower” (if you could call it that) at the food court of a local mall that seemed to defy all party etiquette.

It was a rainy Sunday morning, and my husband and I decided it’s a perfect day to get some shopping done at the mall. Afterwards we wanted to grab a bite at the food court. The rain drew a crowd to the mall, so people were scrambling to find an empty table. To everyone’s amusement, there were about 6 long tables right by the patio that would probably fit 16 people each, all with a “reserved” sign on them. On one end a pizza station was set up, along with a stack of paper plates and napkins. In the middle of it all was a very pregnant woman sitting by an empty wagon large enough to fit 2 kids easily. We were lucky enough to have found an empty table close to where the action was, and to be honest, who could resists eavesdropping on such an interesting event? I certainly couldn’t, especially being in the baby shower business.

As noon approached those “reserved” tables were slowly starting to fill with people, all baring gifts, and a pattern began to emerge: (1) congratulate the mom-to-be and drop off the gift, (2) grab some pizza, (3) go home. Pretty soon the wagon was getting full and the mom-to-be had to instruct someone to unload the wagon several times during the course of the “shower”.  The operation was silky smooth as if it’s been rehearsed many times.  In the end, the mom-to-be left with 4 wagons full of gifts, while leaving the mess to the food court’s cleaning staff. 

This has got to be the most well-run and efficient baby shower I have ever seen in my entire life.  The venue was free, food cost minimal, no set up/take down/clean up, just invite friends and family to pizza at the food court (brilliant idea, love the convenience, salad and drinks would have been nice), and voila – there goes 4 wagons full of gifts! 

A word of warning:  Do not try this at home.  By “home” I really mean the food court at your local mall.

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