Monday, August 20, 2012

Sisterly "Green Tea and Pink Blossom" Baby Shower

"In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future."
(Alex Haley)

My sister Maureen is expecting her second child -- it's a girl! -- within the week. Her baby shower took place over a month ago, but I'm finally getting around to writing about it.

For the first baby shower in 2009, when she was pregnant with Baby #1 (aka Peter), I threw her and her husband a large co-ed "Jack and Jill" shower in their NJ apartment building's community room. With an invitation list of almost 80, and a guest list close to 60, it was fun but a little daunting to plan and pull off the "baby blue and brown bear brown" party.
A beary baby boy invitation
  Lots of food, sweets, favors, and more in 2009

This time around, I have to admit I was relieved when she said she wouldn't mind a small gathering for Baby #2, so I organized an intimate ladies afternoon tea in Manhattan for a total of 7 people, including myself and my sister.

Invitations and Colors

The invitations I chose were white with earthy green and pale pink lettering. My sister's favorite color is green, and she and her friends are not girlie girls, so I decided to go with a subdued color scheme I named "green tea and pink blossom" to carry through in the details of the baby shower.

Feminine baby's breath invitation

I made a banner that spelled out "Congratulations" and paper lotus flowers to decorate the tables at the shower venue, Franchia. (More photos of these further down.)

Diaper cake, game gift, card, invite, banner, lotus flowers

Diaper Cake

Diaper cakes can be extremely elaborate -- with toys and blankets and stuffed animals tucked in or hanging off of them -- but I made the smallest, most basic one I could, which still required 54 diapers. The thought came to me 3 days before the event so I had to keep it simple.

I wanted to top it with a petite pink stuffed animal, but I couldn't find a good one in time. I bought a pink musical sounds teddy bear at Target, but it was too big and just not right, so I ended up rolling a onesie I had bought, embroidered with the words "little sister," and placed it on top; coincidentally, it matched the baby shower colors. I placed 2 colors and sizes of satin ribbon around the tiers and added soft pink flowers.

I put the husband to work, having him roll diapers
Adding pretty embellishments
My finished product

Game Gift and Favors

For the baby shower game gift, I wanted something easy and practical that reflected my sister's taste. She had been craving Starbucks iced tea lemonades during much of this pregnancy, so I saved and reused a venti cup from an iced coffee order (I usually order a tall in a grande cup), bought a $20 Starbucks gift card and a single Tazo Awake black tea bag, and placed them inside the cup along with a lemon.

Starbucks "iced tea lemonade" gift card package

I generally prefer edible favors, but I saw these adorable little jungle animal candles at Party City, which I placed at each table setting. They were small and inexpensive, and although knick-knacky, could easily be used in an hour or so, or I wouldn't mind if they went unused or were given away.

"Rawr!" exclaim the jungle babies

The jungle candle favors also complemented my animal-themed card, as well as the soft flannel safari baby blanket I bought which, being pink with dark green contrast stitching, also happened to complement the shower colors. I love when things work out serendipitously. And I love that blanket.

Serena & Lily pink/natural safari blanket, white eyelet dress


Below is a photo of the complete banner I made by stringing pink scalloped cardstock with green lettering on white paper along extra ribbon from the diaper cake, followed by a photo of the tea table with paper lotus flowers and candle favors before guests arrived.

"Congratulations" banner
Serene space

Venue and Menu

The baby shower was held at Franchia in midtown Manhattan. Franchia is an Asian fusion vegan tea house, and is the sister restaurant of Hangawi, a Korean vegan restaurant. I had been to Hangawi before, but never to Franchia. After doing some research, I booked the party and went for a site visit to get a sense of the space.

{Royal Tea Tray}
1) Starters choice of tea, including 1st Picked Korean Wild Green Tea
2) Sweet corn cilantro pancakes, mini Franchia patties, vegetarian sushi, vermicelli spring rolls, kebabs on a stick, dumplings
3) Mini desserts
4) Finale choice of tea

1st picked Korean wild green tea
Appetizer tray
Mini desserts
Persimmon leaf tea

Baby Food Game

The one game I prepared was to "guess the baby food," but I put my own spin on the presentation to make it flow better with the venue and format of the event, and to make it look nicer! So that I wouldn't have to remove or cover up any labels on packaging, or figure out how to pass around jars or bring enough spoons for each person and flavor, I bought squeezable baby food and pre-plated 1 spoonful of each of the 3 flavors for each guest on her own individual plate, and gave out pens and tags to write down guesses.

Baby food game supplies
Apricot & sweet potato; banana, beet & blueberry; broccoli, peas & pear
My answer sheet and the top scorers


Even though our afternoon tea menu included dessert, I wanted to offer more, especially since I didn't have edible favors. My sister was diagnosed with gestational diabetes earlier this summer, so I considered baking a whole wheat, low-sugar cake, but I couldn't be sure that it would taste good, look good, and come out well overall; plus, most diabetic recipes call for artificial sweetener. So I decided to make individual portions of key lime pie and strawberry cheesecake mousse, that way she was able to enjoy a bite of dessert without going overboard.

Key limes are adorably small, like little baby limes. In lieu of a crust, I placed a Nilla Wafer inside of each preciously pink-striped Paper Eskimo baking cup. I used the same recipe as for the key lime pie I baked last Labor Day weekend in the Poconos, detailed in my "September Sweets" post.

Mini key lime pies

My strawberry cheesecake mousse was adapted from a no-bake cheesecake recipe I found on I used strawberry cream cheese to enhance the strawberry flavor and to add a pretty pink tint, and again used Nilla Wafers for the bottom of each dessert -- I'm telling you, they're not just for banana pudding. Mmm, banana pudding...

Mini strawberry cheesecake mousse

To add a little color and freshness, I topped the mini key lime pies with key lime wedges, and the mini strawberry cheesecake mousse with strawberry halves.
Homemade dessert presentation


Since my sister already has a child, she really did not need anything for the second baby. Her "un-baby shower" baby shower was more to get together with close friends and celebrate having a girl, so I told guests that if they brought gifts, girlie clothing and accessories would be most useful.

Gift table
Very flowery photo of me, my sister and a baby hat

This stress-free "green tea and pink blossom" baby shower was a wonderful way to spend a summer Saturday afternoon. I can't wait for the arrival of my new niece any day now!

{Decor supplies: Kate's Paperie satin 1/4" ribbon in Olive; Paper Source Lotus Flowers kit; Papyrus A2 scallop cards in Blossom / Dessert supplies: Paper Eskimo baking cups in Marshmallow Pink from Sur La Table / Diaper cake supplies: Exederm baby shampoo (for center); Kate's Paperie satin 1/4" ribbon in Olive; Kate's Paperie satin 1 1/2" ribbon in Pink; Pampers Swaddlers diapers; Papyrus scalloped flower gift toppers in Pastel Pink / Favors: Jungle candles from Party City / Game supplies: HAPPYBABY Organic Baby Food pouches; Clear plastic hors d'oeuvres spoons and clear plastic wave plates from Party City / Invitations: Tiny Prints Baby's Breath: Chenille}


  1. HOLY MOLY! That is some awesome party planning! That's it - I'm enlisting you to plan every party I have from now on! ;) so impressive, my dear! We need to get together to do some crafts soon!

    1. There really wasn't much, and it's so much easier and more pleasant when you have a small group, and have little or no cooking to do. Yes, let's definitely get a craft night together!

  2. that looks like such a gorgeous party! hope your sister is doing well!!

    1. Thanks! I'm renting a car tonight and Sunday to go to NJ to help her clean and prepare. Because of her condition she has to deliver before 40 weeks so it will happen by Monday no matter what!

  3. Wow! Your sister has an awesome sister: I love the gift you got her especially! I LOVE tea, and that gift is so cute and thoughtful since it coincides with her cravings!!

    (Discovered you on Weddingbee's share-your-blogs by the way :D Will definitely be a new follower!)

    1. Thanks for visiting and following, and I hope you have fun with your wedding planning!

  4. should become a party planner!!! Watch out Martha are so talented & creative! :)
    --jee young

    1. Thanks, Ms. Kim! Personal parties definitely allow for more fun and creativity than work events.


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