I've hosted several casual parties with my friends, but I've never actually "hosted" an event, per se. Well, a good friend of mine, Jenn, is due to have her girl September 24th (though no one believes she'll actually make it that long, poor girl is already having contractions). About a month or so ago, I decided I wanted to be the one to throw her a baby shower for the ward. I was super excited!
I quickly enlisted the help of another good friend of mine, Dereth, for several reasons. 1) Our apartment is pretty darn small and could absolutely not hold more than 5-6 people comfortably. Just was not going to work. 2) I was completely overwhelmed at the thought of doing it myself, and Dereth is awesome at coming up with fun ideas.
Shortly after I asked her to help me out, Dereth found us a party theme! She LOVES reading blogs, and found a strawberry-themed party on someone's blog that had been used for a child's birthday party but was easily adaptable. She and I both loved the look of it, and Jenn agreed, so it was set! We set a date and started planning our menu and decorations.
Sadly, Dereth's mother passed away in the early morning the Monday before the shower. I'd gotten a text from Dereth letting me know, and got an email shortly thereafter apologizing that she wouldn't be in town to help with the shower. I was so sad for Dereth that it took a little while for that to sink in. Uh oh.....
Once I realized what that meant, I sent out an email to another woman in the ward. Marjean had hosted several events at her home, and I was crossing my fingers that she would be able to let me do it at their house on short notice. She agreed, and I heaved a sigh of relief. (Yes, Mom, the kind that 10 years ago would've left me on the kitchen floor.) One problem down! I had a mass email sent out to the women letting them know the location had been changed.
Dereth and I hadn't gone shopping yet for the decorations, since we'd planned on doing it together. So, with Amy in tow, I ran to a few different stores and got what I needed (though of course, I forgot a few things and had to run out last-minute on Friday afternoon). I made a schedule for myself of what food I would make on which days Wednesday-Friday so that I wouldn't get overwhelmed. It actually worked really well! (As an aside, a schedule was required because often when I get overwhelmed, my instinctive response is to shut down and just...not do anything. Ask Brett about my housekeeping. Actually, don't.)
So, Wednesday I made a strawberry cheesecake. It turned out well, although the top browned a bit. I don't make cheesecakes very often, so I'm not the greatest at them. (Especially since in my head, I was comparing it to Kristin's cheesecakes. Yeah. No real comparison there. It's quite obvious I'm still an amateur.) But it ended up tasting good, and the texture was perfect, in my oh so humble opinion.
Thursday I made mini-cupcakes. I am SO glad I only used one cake mix. I've never done mini cupcakes, so I honestly had no clue what the yield would be. Yeah, one box made 72 mini strawberry-flavored cupcakes. Holy cow! I left them to cool overnight.
Friday was my busy day. In addition to my last minute run to the store, I made strawberry buttercream frosting, frosted the cupcakes, made chocolate covered strawberries, and put together a strawberry spinach salad. Then I got all my stuff together, tied a few bows, and high-tailed it over to Marjean's house half an hour early to set up. Fortunately she gave me a hand, otherwise I would've been running really late. She whipped up some strawberry lemonade while I set up the table and the food.
I am so bummed, though. I completely forgot to take ANY pictures. I even had my camera right there! Gah! I blame it on my pregnant brain. I can do that, right?
All in all, I think it turned out really well. It seemed like the women had fun, and there were NOT a lot of leftovers (other than cupcakes, but that's totally understandable since there were a billion of them). The salad was completely gone, there were 2 slices of cheesecake left (small slices, at that), and a few strawberries.
I call it a success!