Fullard Baby Shower, Part II 

At the beginning of March, I hosted a baby shower for my sister and brother-in-law. Their baby is due at the end of April. I promised to share a couple pics so today I will do that and give a few more details that anyone can use in planning. 

We decided to have the shower at a brewery. The location was perfect because the brewery was next door to a train station for easy travel access if friends and family from the city wanted to join. 

What made this shower really special is there was so much handcrafted work we put into it. This was a major family effort and we had fun doing it. I was the leader but a leader is only as good as the people they work alongside of to get things done.

Upon arrival, the parents-to-be greeted every guest at the door. We had cute mini notebooks that people could sign for the guestbook. I found them at Target. 

Guest also dropped off their baby book which was requested in lieu of cards so the parents-to-be can build a library for their son.

The parents-to-be also took care of the first round for every guest if they wanted a drink or soda from the cash bar in our private room. 

I don’t know about most people but we didn’t want some of the traditional shower games. I planned just a handful and included other activities that could be done throughout the event to keep things interesting. 

Guests came in and if they wanted to the participate in The Price is Right game, the got a card which had preset items. I ordered them from Amazon. People just had to guess the prices without looking online. We told everybody at the end we would go over the prices and the top two people to get the closest without going over the grand total would win gifts. We gave out two gifts per game throughout the shower. 

At each table, we had advice cards that I created from these cards I found at Michaels. They were board cutouts of onesies. I bought stamps and ink and in the scrapbooking section of Michaels, found little elephant stickers. Our theme was animals and mostly elephants.  We had elephants on the invitations and a lot of the things that we used to send out messages about the shower.

With these cards from Michaels I put a cute blue stamp on the front that said ‘welcome baby’ and added an elephant sticker then on the back I used a different stamp of a parent elephant leading a baby elephant.  All the guests per table could write advice for the new parents then at the end I collected them all and turned them into a flip book.

Thirty minutes into the party, we brought out food and had salads and wraps for people to snack on. During lunch I started my Spotify baby playlist which was basically a bunch of songs that I found with either baby in the title or main parts of the song. 

When it seemed like people were wrapping up lunch, my sister and I hopped on a mic to explain different things that people could be doing like writing advice on the onesies at the table, filling out their Price is Right cards or writing something encouraging or funny on the butt of a clean diaper so when the parents-to-be are having late night diaper changings they can get an energy boost. 

We did start two other games at the end of lunch. For the first, we had two people per table (there were six tables of 8 total) come to the front for the baby first portrait game. I found sheets at Michaels that were sheer but had little baby feet imprints on them. I took a full sheet divided in a half, divided in half again and cut four sections out of them so I could get enough for every person. The sheet just had to be big enough to fit on their forehead. Each of the 12 people got a sheet and a marker and then when we counted down they were given 60 seconds to draw what they thought the new baby was going to look like. The catch if course was they had to hold the sheet on their foreheads and draw blindly. At the end of this game we had the mom and dad to be pick who drew the best portrait and who drew the worst. Each of those people then got a prize.

Following that game, we set up the ‘Name That Poo’ dirty diaper game. Other than being a fabulous photographer, my boyfriend was phenomenal with preparing for this game. We had nine diapers and bought nine different types of chocolate. He melted the chocolate inside of each of the diapers and numbered them. People had to guess what “poop” was in which dirty diaper. They could smell, touch, taste, whatever would help them to guess as many of the poopy diapers as possible. Whoever got the most would win a prize so that was a really fun one. People really got into it. It looks so gross because of the way that the chocolate melted inside of the diapers. It looks like real poop but reassure people that it is chocolate and there are no kind of surprises. It made for some really great picture.

Shortly after that, we set out cake for people to break and eat before gifts. The BABY letters on the cake table were another craft project of mind. I found plain wood block letters at Michaels, covered them in several layers of blue acrylic paint. The last layer, one side was covered in fine loose blue glitter. 

There were two tables full of gifts and we wanted to get through them all but also have something to break up the time.

Gift opening is tricky because it can get redundant and people can lose interest so before we even started the gift opening, I had set aside three gift bags. Three people were going to walk away with a prize and they didn’t have to do anything except be the last person holding the gift bag when the last gift was opened. 

There were six tables so one gift bag would go around basically two sets of tables and every time the parents-to-be received a gift that was blue the guest gift bags would get passed two people to the right. It kept people engaged, curious and they had some incentive. It also kept things moving. It is definitely something I would recommend because it’s simple. Our shower was coed so just make sure you have gender-neutral gifts. 

Halfway during the gift opening we actually paused and I had all of the men in the room which was a decent amount come to the front. Each were given a balloon. They had to blow up the balloon, take their shoes off and set them in front of them put the balloon under their shirt then on my count, these “preggo” men had to put their shoes on and tie them up. The fastest two would win a prize. There was one guy who was smart enough to wear slip on shoes so he won first place of course and then another guy one next to him.

One thing that I did say after while because we had a lot of prizes given out…if somebody already won a gift then they should give that gift away to someone else not in their party. It was an opportunity for people to bestow some goodwill towards people they didn’t know or come with but also share the love a little bit. 
After the balloon shoe tie game we finished up the gift opening. Between gift openings we also gave answers to some of the games like the dirty diaper game (just one person guessed 8 of the 9 diapers correctly) and Price is Right. 

Once the last gift was opened, I had the parents-to-be say thank you everyone and goodbye. We ended on time. 

The party favors went with the animal theme. Animal crackers in a clear box with a hand-made cloth elephant or plaster elephant on top. We tied them down with ribbons. It took a lot of hours and was a true labor of love. 

It was a really fun event overall. I could not have done this without the help of my family, my sisters, my brother-in-law, my mom and my boyfriend…who got roped into more projects than I’m sure he cared to do. 

I think people really enjoyed themselves and I definitely look forward to hosting more events and parties in the future. And moreso, I can’t wait to welcome my nephew in a few weeks.

Unexpected & Perfectly Planned

My Sunday had an unexpected twist and I couldn’t have planned it any better. 

I woke up and decided to go to church. My boyfriend and I usually go together but he had some filming scheduled for a show he’s performing in this summer at Second City. 

We have been having a lot of really great, necessary, inspiring, motivating, challenging chats about spiritual health and our faith and how we can best live our faith out. Spiritual health has tremendous impact on physical, mental and relational health in our opinion. I’m honestly so humbled and grateful to have someone in my life who is so serious about how we can build our lives better through our common faith. 

Anyways, i digress.

So I went to church and sat  on my own near the back. After the service, I was putting my coat on and after a few minutes this girl who had been sitting behind me the whole time introduced herself. 

We talked a little and I found out this was her third time at the church. In fact, she had only been in the US for 3 weeks. She is on a visa from South Korea to study under a missionary. She found the church through Google and decided to visit after reading positive reviews. 

She seemed so sweet and here she was venturing around Chicago alone. At this point, I’m totally fascinated. 

She asked me what places are nearby for food that I would recommend. She’s not that familiar with the area. We walk out together, chatting and even learned we’re the same age born just a few months apart.

I ended up walking her over to the restaurant I recommended. Great brunch spot and they have a fab short rib and fried egg sandwich. 

Well I said my goodbyes outside the restaurant because I was supposed to catch the tail-end of filming. 

When I was about to leave on my way, I could feel something telling me to chill…be a friend. 

I made a call and found out filming was about to wrap so I would miss everything. I decided to walk back to the restaurant and enjoy brunch with this girl I just met. 

We had a great time. We shared stories of our lives over a meal, discussed our faith and plan to get together more while she’s in America. 

Sometimes I pray, not sure what I need and yet find myself just where I need to be. 

After a relaxed Saturday, I had been somewhat frantic by Sunday afternoon thinking about all the projects I needed to work on. But that’s not what was important. I needed to just be still and know instead that God can create connections that blow my mind. 

Of all the people and places, it was cool to meet someone new who could really just use a listening ear and someone to share a bite with. We had fun, insightful, encouraging conversation. 

I happen to be a person who believes in the connectedness of things and events.  

I needed that unexpected part in my day as much as my new buddy Ms. Yoon did. Here’s to making this giant world smaller by just getting to know someone new. 

Oh the Places You’ll Go

Last week celebrated International Women’s Day in this year’s Women’s History Month. International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality. I’m seeing articles everywhere championing us all to “Be Bold for Change.” It’s awesome.

My journey to being passionate about International Women’s Day began in early 2015 when I participated in a webinar celebrating women and their accomplishments.

That webinar led to a very powerful life experience for me when I went to London, England for an international women’s conference on trailblazing leadership . Check out my post-UK blog post here: Life along the Thames River: My first trip to London

The rise of women does not mean the fall of men. If the definition of feminism is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities,” then feminism is not a nasty, scary or dirty word. It’s a powerful word.

All of us are the better for it when we see injustice or unfair treatment in any capacity to help make a change.

As part of Women’s History Month there have been several movements like “Day Without A Woman,” for example. I checked out the International Women’s Day website and got some fantastic calls to action that I wanted to share for how we can all (men and women) be more bold for equal rights and opportunities.

How will you #BeBoldForChange?

Here are the 5 categories that the International Women’s Day site focused on with a few option actions to get started. These can be carried through Women’s History Month and beyond!

1. I’ll challenge bias and inequality

Options:

  • query all-male speaking panels
  • pull people up on exclusive language
  • challenge stereotypes
  • call it out when women are excluded
  • monitor the gender pay gap
  • point out bias and highlight alternatives
  • call for diverse candidate shortlists
  • embrace inclusive leadership
  • redefine the status quo

 

2. I’ll campaign against violence

Options:

  • educate youth about positive relationships
  • challenge those who justify perpetrators and blame victims
  • donate to groups fighting abuse
  • speak out against the silence of violence
  • be vigilant and report violence
  • campaign for the prevention of violence
  • abstain from all violence, physical and otherwise
  • volunteer your help at a local charity
  • recognize coercive control and redress it

 

3. I’ll forge women’s advancement

Options:

  • decide to buy from companies that support women
  • choose to work for a progressive employer for women
  • support or back a woman-owned business
  • take a junior female colleague to a major meeting or event
  • build conducive, flexible work environments
  • appoint a woman to the board
  • mentor a woman and sponsor her goals
  • invite women into situations where they’re not already present or contributing
  • measure and report on gender parity gaps and keep gender on the agenda
  • create new opportunities for women

 

4. I’ll celebrate women’s achievement

Options:

  • raise women’s visibility as spokespeople in the media
  • drive fairer recognition and credit for women’s contributions
  • launch even more awards showcasing women’s success
  • hail the success of women leaders
  • applaud social, economic, cultural and political women role models
  • celebrate women’s journeys and the barriers overcome
  • reinforce and support women’s triumphs

 

5. I’ll champion women’s education

Options:

  • launch or fund a women-focused scholarship
  • encourage more girls into STEM education and careers
  • value diversity for greater educational outcomes
  • support women inventors of new products and services
  • celebrate women researchers discovering new knowledge
  • learn to code

 

For your friends, your mothers, your daughters, your wives, your sisters, yourselves…How will you be Bold for Change?

 

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Fullard Baby Shower 

I can’t wait to collect all the pics to share of the baby shower I hosted today. It was such fun! 

After weeks of planning,  all the details finally came together. We ate, played games and just had a great Sunday afternoon. A roomful of people who often don’t have circles that intersect, had an awesome time getting to know one another, cheering each other on and celebrating a huge moment to come. In a couple months,  we will be welcoming my first nephew. My sister and brother-in-law are having their first baby!!

Being part of celebrating this new life is so precious. We can’t wait to meet him and show him love that can help him grow up to one day be a God-fearing human being who will make the world better. 

The event planning was so fun for me. I became a regular Michael’s customer for craft supplies. I have such a good time creating things and planning parties is my place to shine. 

From the first person to walk in the door to the final person leaving out of it, my objective was to create an experience. We paid attention to every detail. My crew of my boyfriend and other sister served as a dream team to my constant requests. They did a fabulous job helping to make this event rock. Thank you guys!

The parents-to-be were so thrilled with how everything came together. One of my future posts will be sharing the pics so everyone can see the decorations, games and more. I would encourage anyone to use the ideas. I will explain the pics as well in case someone can use what we did as a framework for their own shower.

Following today, others are already asking me to plan events for them. Fun, fun!