Of all the parties I have even given, this was one of my favorites to plan! I had such fun thinking about it. Ha-ha, that just makes me sound desperate for entertainment! Anyway, my darling friend Kim (from the Tea Party), is going to be a momma for the second time. The way we actually met her and her husband, Cameron, was through our church on a committee where we planned and attended activities for the young single adults (YSA) in our area. Since the baby shower invitees were the YSA’s, there would be young men as well as young ladies in attendance, so I wanted to create an outdoorsy feeling baby shower and what better way to do that than a BBQ!
Well, my first piece of inspiration came in the form of a beautiful vintage shed door. For the last two years since living in Forest Grove, my sweetie David and I hike up a hill to a local vineyard for our morning exercise. During our hike we saw this old shed door lying under a large Douglas fir tree near an out building alongside of the road. Every day as we passed it, I would comment how I really loved that door. Over the course of 18 months, I discovered who the owner of the door was and asked her if she would like to sell the door. She was like,” that old thing, you can just have it.” Imagine my delight! After a few more attempts to pay, her I gave up, thanked her profusely, and hauled off the door. And here is my lovely shed door’s debut! I am sure it will be used for a table top many times in the future. Notice the light areas of wood, just below the molding strips; that is where I removed years of pine needle accumulation. It would be no easy task to reproduce that remarkable patina!
These barnwood frames were built by my dear daddy, out of wood from a barn built in the 1800’s. This dilapidated barn was behind my parents’ home when they bought it 28 years ago. A decade later it had to be pushed over due to safety concerns. My dad, being the artist he is, made these lovely barn wood frames, which are quite a treasure to me. So, how to use them for the shower? My first inclination was to create chalkboards to place in the frames, but alas my writing is not snazzy enough. Doing the next best thing, I used Creative Memories StoryBook Creator 4.0 to craft perfect handwriting, and placed the sayings on a blackboard background and printed them out at home on white cardstock. And of course, no project of this type would be complete without a bit of burlap in it!
This idea to put the Vintage Style Ball Jars (our drinking glasses) on the mini ladder didn’t come until the day of the shindig, and I must say I really loved how it turned out. The ladder is usually in our family room as a decoration; I purchased it about a year from Phog Bounders Antique Mall in Astoria, Oregon. It was quite windy this past Monday (the day of the shower), and as I was setting up, I kept having to take the top three jars down in between photos so they wouldn’t blow over. One actually did fall, but thanks to Ball’s high quality glass, it didn’t break. Yay!!!
In the attempt to create a more rustic feel, I used these thick wood chargers. Long story short, I was driving home, saw wood logs in somebody’s yard that I didn’t know, and stopped and asked if I could buy some of his wood. He did let me buy some of the wood and I also hired him to use his portable sawmill to slice the wood into 1 ½’ pieces. Initially, my girl Rachel was with me when I drove past his house, and we discussed what I was considering; she thought I was a little crazy to just go up to some random person’s house. All I can say is, that is how you get things done. LOL! After acquiring the wood, I had to decide what might be the perfect serving containers to use on the wood. Cast iron! What else, right?
What surprised me was how well this silver-plated soup tureen, shown here full of Blue tortilla chips, matched with the cast iron and the white stoneware. Happy surprise! By the way, notice the green glass jug holding my favorite dogwood leaves.
Sprinkled on the table top are “glitter diecuts” from Crate Paper. I also used the crateboard alphabet pieces from the same company on the little flags I made to spell out boy, snail, and frogs. The products put out by Crate Paper are always very clever and unique. They added just the right finishing touch to the tablescape!
Now we come to the food: BBQ Chicken Strips, Baked Potato Salad, Tossed Green Salad, Fresh Fruit Medley, Watermelon Wedges, Skinny Pool Ranch Dip served with Baguettes & Blue Tortilla Chips, and Blueberry Doughnut Cupcakes with Blueberry Buttercream Icing.
My sweet sister Ruth gave me this recipe and said it was amazing. So this was the first time I had made it and I LOVED it!! The recipe was inspired by Skinny Poolside Dip from Design, Life & Style. Let me know if you try it and what you think.
Summer BBQ Party Dip
- 2/3 red bell pepper, diced
- 2/3 C canned corn
- 6 tamed jalapeno slices, diced
- 2/3 15 oz can of black olives, sliced
- Block of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
- ½ C mayonnaise,
- 2/3 C sour cream
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Package of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip
Instructions: Mix the ranch dip with the cream cheese, then add sour cream and mayo and mix well. Lastly, add remaining ingredients. Chill for two hours prior to serving. Serve with bread, chips, crackers, or sliced veggies. Yummy!
Baked Potato Salad
This may have been the biggest hit of party. Basically it is 4 pounds of baked potatoes, chilled and then cut up, mayo and buttermilk (ratio of 2 part mayo to 1 part buttermilk), one pound cooked and chopped bacon, 5 chopped green onions, 1 ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese, with garlic salt & pepper to taste.
Whisk the buttermilk, mayo, salt, and pepper together first and then mix with the rest of ingredients, and chill. Nothing left to do but eat and enjoy :)
Blueberry Doughnut Cupcakes with Blueberry Buttercream Icing
This recipe can be found on a really amazing food blog site called Cooking Classy with a Sprinkle of Fancy. I followed the ingredients portion of the cupcake recipe exactly, with the exception of using 18 cupcake liners instead of 12 muffin liners. Follow her recipe exactly, up to the glaze. Then, follow my recipe below, which includes my variations.
- ½ C powdered sugar
- 1 ½ tsp half n half
- ½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Mix these ingredients together and drizzle ½ tsp of glaze on each cupcake after they have been out of the oven for 15 minutes. After glaze has set, store in airtight container. Before serving, add buttercream icing.
Blueberry Buttercream Icing
- 1 cube room temperature butter
- ½ C whipping cream
- 3 ¼ C powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup fresh blueberries
- Touch of blue coloring
Beat the butter for 1-2 minutes, then add powdered sugar and cream alternatively until it is the consistency you like (you know, sometimes it is a little more of one or less of the other). Next, mix in blueberries and coloring. Swirl icing onto the cupcakes, over the glaze. Kim and Cameron really loved these, and their two-year-old boy, Wes, even ate an entire cupcake himself. They said that they liked that the muffin disguised as a cupcake wasn’t so sweet, and that the Blueberry Buttercream icing and cupcake complimented one another.
THE GUESTS OF HONOR
Now we come to the very most important part of the shower, the beautiful expecting mother, Kim. She is due to deliver in just a month. Doesn’t she look fantastic!
With her here is her wonderful husband, Cameron, and darling son Wes. To know them has been purely delightful. I feel so blessed to have been able to spend time with them these last two years as we have worked together in our church assignment. Besides that, Kim has been quite amazing in all the help she has given me getting this blog started. Up to this point in my life, I have been a very non tech-savvy individual, so Kim, from the Cameron and Kim blog, has helped me tremendously in navigating through all the ins and outs of blogging! My learning curve with technology is rather slow, and she has always been quite patient and helpful. So thank you Kim for your friendship and blogging expertise :) May the road before you and Cameron be full of much joy and happiness, together with Wes and your upcoming new bundle of joy.