I’ve planned many baby and bridal showers. They may not have been perfect or even as great as what I had in my mind, but I was generally satisfied with the result. The bride or mom (I think) felt honored and had fun with her peeps and all was well with the world.
Then came Pinterest.
I had avoided it for a long time. I was already too digitally engaged and didn’t need just one more reason to waste time.
My friend Judy and I began planning a shower for this pretty little lady (center)--
Judy invited me to view her ideas on Pinterest. Dangit. Ok. I set up an account strictly to look at them.
I had 5 followers by the next day. Ha! Joke’s on them, I have no idea what I’m doing.
Oh, cute. Oh. Yes, we can do that. Cinchy.
Let’s start with the food, because I think that was mostly a success…
We planned chicken salad in phyllo cups—
This is actual. Good job, Judy!
We also planned cucumber sandwiches.
Not necessarily this fancy, but you get the idea …
We kinda thought we might include bread and a spread of some sort (you know, the sandwich part). But, well, something had to go when all was going amiss (more on that later). I think simplicity adds a certain sophistication, don’t you?
We also had a lovely salad that I made from our friend’s recipe (shout out HERE! She’s amazing!). The picture does not do it justice, the colors are really pretty. Spinach, couscous, roasted carrots and pine nuts with a garlic/white balsamic dressing.
Can’t take too much credit. Hubby roasted the carrots and Judy made the dressing. I panicked when I saw the small container of dressing in the fridge and insisted she make more, lots more. Only later did I realize that it didn’t have the olive oil in it yet. Probably THE decision that spelled the end of the cucumber sandwiches AND we ended up with way more dressing than needed. Sorry Judy!
Berries and amazing cookies brought by friends (another shout out HERE! Thank goodness for talented friends!) Overall grade? B. Would have been higher, but I marked myself off for being grouchy with guests and shooing them outside while I was stressing about food prep. I don’t think anyone missed the sandwiches, they’re probably all avoiding carbs anyway! Fortunately the heavenly cookies don’t count as carbs *wink*.
For drinks, we planned from Pinterest:
Flavored lemonade with cute lemon ice all served in canning jars with fancy straws.
The results? Not bad at all! We did have a cute punchbowl just like the one above (trust me, unfortunately no pics!) but it was watermelon lemonade with mint sprigs and the cute ice. Warm day, though, so the ice melted quickly and we had…lemon slices. OK then.
We did use canning jars (without the lids) and cute straws:
Probably cuter when full. Grade? I’d say A-. I only graded off for our industrial black ladle that we used to serve with.
Décor. That’s where the real fun starts. We had a plan. It was mostly a good one, I think. Japanese lanterns under the patio cover. Food table on the patio. Tables and chairs in the yard with white linens, rustic centerpieces and little potted plants as favors. Here is some of the Pinterest inspiration:
We were using Judy’s yard, and she’s my neighbor so I went over to her house in the am to set up. Her 3 kids were invaluable little helpers as they toted and carried and taped stuff.
The day was gorgeous! We were so excited. We set up the tables and chairs out in the yard with white linen. Each table had a square of craft paper in the center with the bride’s name written along the borders. In the center were large canning jars with informally arranged flowers and a jute bow. Encircling the flowers were mini potted succulents, each with a quote about love for the guests to take home as favors, like little fortunes. Doesn’t it sound lovely? Can you imagine it in your mind? You’ll have to because we didn’t get a picture. Oh, and we spent way too much time attaching jute to the patio cover with duct tape, untangling the lanterns (from a previous use) and hanging them. Probably another sign those cucumbers were just going to have to go it alone without bread nor spread.
It was lovely. Martha would have been so proud. I went home to get cleaned up and the birds were chirping merrily.
The wind came up. Wiped out the rustic flowers, which spilled their water and ruined the craft paper centerpieces. The mini pots all tipped and because they were so mini their dirt was already dry and fell out and blew away. The jute hanging the Japanese lanterns kept giving way. We put A LOT more duct tape up and crossed our fingers.
As the guests were arriving, we put them to work! We moved the food to the counter inside and all the tables under the patio cover. Simplicity ruled the day and the craft paper was done away with, the rustic flowers centerpieces were REALLY rustic and the cute mini plants were salvaged and gathered aside.
OK, not ideal, but on the plus side they ended up in the shade which was WAY better than our original plan.
Our lovely bride eating her lunch on her unadorned table, save for the rustic flowers. Ugh. So plain. Note how sunny it is on the lawn. We did dodge a bullet on that one. Thank goodness the wind had a better idea.
Another rustic flower centerpiece and note the people (mostly) smiling in the shade.
I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to making floral centerpieces. It takes a lot of flowers to make an arrangement look casual and unfussy. OK, probably not that many flowers. These are all the flowers I DIDN’T USE. Don’t even ask how much they cost.
Our Japanese lanterns. Cute, huh? If you look closely you can see the sagging jute. It became comical as a piece of duct tape gave way one at a time and various guests had lanterns bopping them on their head. We were taking bets on where the next piece would fail. Oh yeah, good times.
I love this picture because you can actually see the duct tape piece perched in mid air on the fallen jute. Kind of like a tacky fly strip that used to hang on my grandparents’ back patio.
Overall grade on the decorations: A for effort, D for outcome.
The resurrected favors. Trust me, they looked really cute on the tables. I still like these.
The day after the shower people would come up and compliment the shower. It was impossible for me to simply say “thank you” in response. Instead, I felt the need to launch into this discounted acceptance where I told them in detail all the things it could have been. Awkward.
So, I don’t think I’ll be using Pinterest to plan parties again any time soon. It just sets my own personal expectations TOO HIGH and I can’t just live with my dashed hopes. It’s all just so much more enjoyable when I don’t have these unattainable fantasy creations to compare myself too.
It’s kinda the same reason that I don’t buy SHAPE magazine.