Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Throwing a Sprinkle Shower...

Etiquette tells us that's it's not proper to have a baby shower every time you're pregnant.  YES ladies, you get ONE baby shower, typically for the first born.  The only times it's acceptable to have another full blown shower is if it's a re-marriage and the first baby for the couple together.  OR if this was a 10 year later "oops thought we were done and gave away all the baby stuff".   What if you registered for all pink stuff the first time around because you were having a girl and this time you're having a boy and everything you own is pink?  The solution to this common problem is a "sprinkle".  A Sprinkle by definition is a small scale shower.  Why wouldn't we celebrate baby #2, 3 or 4?  All babies are a reason to celebrate.  So right now I'm planning a sprinkle with a few girlfriends for our friend pregnant with her 2nd. 

It's basically 5 couples and we thought since it's more intimate we would include the guys.  I know my husband is always asking why he can't come with me to these baby and bridal showers.  I think the guys feel like they miss out on something- so we're going to get onesies and make all the guys play a little "shower game" to show them just what they're missing while us women head out to these "parties".  The mom to be will have to pick a winning onesie based on the guys designs.  We'll do a little game called "Name the baby mama and daddy" where everyone will have to name the parents of the famous children pictured. 

We're doing a brunch and I started thinking of what cute things I could do to tie in the baby shower-ish theme.  I love all the do-it yourself ideas there are out there.  I'm not that good at them but I still love looking around and getting ideas.  Here are some cute ideas I found (keep in mind this sprinkle is for a baby boy):

Cute Centerpiece:

Cute Gift Idea:

Onesie cookies:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Romantic Valentines Day Beer Pong Tournament

One of my favorite things to do is host things at my house.  I love the feeling of having friends and family gathered within my walls and seeing people laugh and have a good time.  In the summer it's easy because we can use the deck and that opens up a lot more space.  The winter is a little tougher as people tend to gather in the kitchen at house parties and our kitchen isn't very big/open.  So I had told my husband that was the one thing I didn't like about our house was I didn't feel like we could have a party with that many people because it would start to feel crowded.  The only way a larger party would work at our house was if we somehow created a flow where people used our other rooms.  So we started throwing around ideas- A Texas Holdem tournament-which we still haven't done-but I plan to do eventually.  Then we talked about a beer pong tournament.  We started talking about this last January and I immediately kicked into high gear with how to do this.  My husband took care of the rules and we tossed around a few ideas of bracket style.  We quickly learned that bracket style requires a specific number of teams and it would be too difficult to get pre-committments- then what if there were no shows?  It became really complicated.  So we decided just to do pools (4 pools) and within each pool it would be a round robin to determine the top 2 teams from each pool that would advance to the final 8 single elimination bracket. 

Then came the question of how do we keep this sanitary?  Last year with the swine flu in full swing this was important as most of the people coming were parents of young kids.  So we decided for sanitary reasons and keeping our home from having beer spilled all over it we'd play with water cups.  So every team would "register" when they registered they would pay their entry fee (which would go into the winners pot) and get a clear cup with a "drink line" that would be their drinking cup.  They would also be assigned a pool at that time.  This way we could fill the pools as people came and get even numbers of teams in each pool.  We set up one pool in the living room, 1 in the garage and 2 in the basement.  Each pool had 2 tables to play on so the games would go quicker. 

Basement- 2 pools (4 tables)

On each table was a pitcher with balls, rules and a scorecard.  Prior to each game the teams would fill the pitchers so they could use that to fill their drink cups as needed throughout the game.  Although they should only need 2 balls per table we put in 4 for back-up.  Each team kept track of their own history- who they played (have to play everyone in their pool once) and whether they won or lost.  The rules were posted throughout the house (and also sent as an attachement on the email prior to the tournament) but by having a printout handy on each table- teams were able to refer to them quickly as needed.  
So last year my husband and I spent 2 weeks talking about logisitics, details, etc.  We decided since Valentine's Day was coming up we could do a Valentine's Day tournament.  Sounds Romantic?  Well most people are going to get a sitter and go do something so why not enter a competition as a couple and possibly win some money?  Last year we had 20 teams.  We just had this years tournament for this year and ended up with 23 teams!  Since last year was the 1st year there wasn't too much participation in the "Team Uniforms" but we still had some great ones... So this year we decided it would be fun to encourage that more and offer a returned entry fee for the best team Gear/Attire.  We had some great competition this year so my hubby and I didn't win BUT I think ours was the most Valentine's Day themed so I'm posting our pic:)

So our layout for the flow was great- there was nothing going on in the kitchen.  I also decided to keep all the food (light apps- since everyone had eaten dinner) in the dining room.  Since the pool in the garage and living room would be getting beer from the keg on the deck wanted to keep the kitchen as open as possible for through traffic.  People always tend to gather around the food- so by moving all the food into the dining room it helped open up the kitchen a bit.  So the night before the tournament (since I'm a little anal) I set up the dining room table and labeled the platters with where each app I was preparing would go- so it was a reminder for myself.  The day of for any event always throws you some surprises so I find it best to be as prepared and organized as possible before the actual day. 
Dining Room Table platters/labels
I know beer pong isn't the classiest or mature type of party (and a few years ago I would've thought for sure I wouldn't be having this type of party in my home) but it's fun and it really does compliment my house and creates a comfortable flow for a party of that size.  At one point I think we had almost 60-70 people in our house and I never felt crowded.  It was also a pretty easy clean up since it was kegs.  There aren't many opportunities to get kegs anymore so this is also perfect for that:).  The winners last night went home with over $300.  The runners up got their entry fees back and best attire got theirs back as well- so for some couples it was a VERY Happy Valentine's Day- a VERY Profitable one for the winners:). 

Looking forward to a nice relaxing night tomorrow night to celebrate with my valentine:)  Happy Valentine's to everyone. 

Beverage Napkins @ the BPT