10.10.2011

Bringing the Baby Shower Tradition to Ireland

 I recently learned that the Irish do not have baby showers.  They consider a party before the baby's arrival to be bad luck. In fact, a mother of one of my friends here indicated that she would not even allow baby things into the house before the baby was born! Typically, the Irish wait until after the birth to bring gifts, and that is usually done at a party after the christening with friends and family. So no girls-only luncheon with silly games, crafts, and squeals of delight as tiny baby booties are unwrapped by the mommy-to-be.
Until now!

I know I have mentioned my friend Evin once or twice before on this blog.  If it were not for her I would be clueless and possibly friendless in Cork.  She is also an American expat, and when I learned she was pregnant I jumped at the chance to repay her for all her kindness and host a baby shower in her honor! Of course I have ulterior motives. I am not going to lie, I love any excuse to throw a party! So thanks goes to Evin for getting knocked up!

This past week I was in full swing party planning mode. With a lot of help from co-hosts Maire and Arlene come Saturday we put on our hostess hats and welcomed 18 of Evin's guest into my newly transformed woodland-themed apartment! Evin has a thing for garden gnomes and has also loosely based her nursery decor around woodland creatures, hence the theme! I am so excited to share with you photos from the festivities! Most of the photo credit goes to Evin, who in addition to being the guest of honor was also the official photographer, you can check out more of her photos here.



The fireplace mantel was decked out with felt toadstools, woodland critters, and foliage taken from a friend's yard.  I was thrilled to not have to purchase flowers!

We used rolls of brown craft paper to create large trees on the wall.  FYI "Og" is junior in Irish.




I spy a squirrel and a hedgehog.

Throwing a baby shower is not just about the decor, although I do love that part. There is food and drink to consider too, and just because the mother-to-be has to go without an adult beverage is no reason her guests should suffer! Festive mimosas and bloody marys were served up in addition to coffee, juice, and of course tea.  The Irish love their tea! Brunch was a nice mix of sweet and savory featuring quiche, ham biscuits (for the non-American readers, a biscuit is not a cookie, nor is it a scone), yogurt parfaits, and gorgeous cakes to name a few.

Moira showed off her cake decorating skills with a yule log cake topped with little fondant woodland critters.
Mommy-to-be Evin tucks into a slice of the adorable yule log cake.
Top to bottom: smoked salmon on brown bread with cream cheese and capers, mushroom and asparagus tarts, ham biscuts, and mini yogurt parfaits.

In keeping with the woodland theme I trimmed radishes to look like toadstools on the veggie tray.



In lieu of games, party guests had a chance to show off their creative skills by decorating bibs, burp cloths and onesies or "babygrows" as they call them here).  It was fun to see what everyone came up with!





Onesies were displayed  from a clothesline above the fireplace mantel.


Evin received a array of adorable and practical gifts. Many of her friends are talented knitters and now her baby is sure to be styling in handcrafted knitwear! Since my knitting skills are severely lacking I turned to a friend who has more talent with a needle and thread in her little finger than I have in my whole body. I commissioned Megan of textile-love.com to make a baby sleep sack out of a fabric pattern I knew was dear to Evin's heart. She also included an embroidered onesie with a matching Maryland crab (Evin's home state). Just in case you were wondering textile-love takes commissions for more than just baby things. In fact Megan has made me several fabulous articles of clothing. I hope you'll check out her website and she what she's up to!



Once all the adorable baby gifts were opened and the last mimosa was downed  guest left with a sweet little favor in hand. Roasted rosemary cashews were packaged in little blue squirrel tins I found while on holiday in Denmark, and simple burlap sacks.


I huge thanks to everyone who helped out and attended to make this party a success.
  I absolutely enjoyed planning and co-hosting, and I hope the guest of honnor took pleasure in this little American tradition!




5 comments:

  1. This party was perfection to the last detail and so fun! Thank you, Kris, for helping to welcome my little bundle of joy to the world with love, style, friendship, and good eats.

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  2. Wow, I just happened upon your page. What an incredibly thoughtful and beautiful baby shower! I love the woodland theme. Well done!

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  3. This is obviously one great post. The information are very insightful and helpful. Thanks for sharing all of these.Baby Gifts Online and Baby Gifts Ireland

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  4. What an incredible baby shower! You went to so much effort, down to each detail. It looked like a fabulous event, well done. The good news is, Ireland has embracel Baby Showers and its a growing trend here now bad news is you have moved back to the US :-( as I would have loved to have worked with you. Hope Life state side is treating you well. Niamh www.babyshower.ie

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  5. Ah! It is such a delightful post! The food looks delicious and I have to say it has been arranged beautifully. My friends also did exactly the same on my baby shower last year. It was in my favorite venue NYC. This post just made me nostalgic and I know how she might be feeling. And yes, even I have heard about Irish tradition.

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