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Sweet baby: Throw this shower for moms-to-be

Try these tips for a modern, cliche-free party that's as easy as ABC. Sara Humphreys, editor-in-chief of Blueprint magazine, has these helpful hints.
/ Source: TODAY

As happy as we are for expectant moms, attending or throwing a baby shower and spending hours watching someone open packages of onesies isn't always tops on our list. Sarah Humphreys, editor-in-chief of “Blueprint” magazine, says they can be fun and easy with a few baby steps! To celebrate the motherhood of modern women, she provides a crib sheet for planning an updated, stylish party — from décor to gifts — as featured in the July/August issue of the magazine.

Who to invite? Make it modern: Invite the guys!
Baby showers don't have to be stale and dated. To celebrate a stylish mom-to-be, we dispensed with the fusty color code, spiced up the guest list to include dads (after all, they're half of the equation) and offered zero-prep-time foods instead of the usual tea-sandwich fare.

How to decorate: Just start with a color 
Move away from the traditional pink and blue and start by asking the mom-to-be her favorite color to set the theme.

Try using a touch of modern design and bold color: Orange-and-teal is a fun change of a pace. 

Decorate the table with concentric circles on a construction-paper tablecloth and try creating graphic mobiles (construction-paper circles hanging from an embroidery ring) that can serve as a gift.

What to serve? Rely on takeout — no cooking, no prep!
Try store-bought food items and place them on fun trays that match the theme. You can do pizza bites or sub sandwiches — something easy to buy and prep in little time.

Here's a simple menu:

Munchies:

  • Dumplings: Order chicken, watercress, shrimp and pork dumplings from a Chinese delivery menu, along with pork buns, pork shumai and chicken and vegetable potstickers (aim for about six pieces per guest). Or buy frozen dumplings. (We like the Ling Ling brand, available at Whole Foods.)
  • Spicy wasabi peas
  • Edamame sprinkled with sesame salt
  • Candy-coated sesame seeds
  • Dried sweet potatoes
  • Bowl of clementines, kumquats and tangerines play off the color scheme.

Dessert: It doesn't have to be cake. Instead serve Japanese mochi and dry Meyer-lemon sodas.

Gift ideas: Go for modern favorites and personal touches
It's not about who can spend the most money. It's about useful and unique ideas that will make the mom-to-be (and baby!) happy. Here are a couple of fun options:

  • Custom CDs of nursing and bedtime tunes (not just for the baby, music you would want to listen to, too)
  • Make a scrapbook to show the baby who's who in her new world.
  • Felt toy basket, full of things that other “Blueprint” mothers have grown to know and love. Everyone contributes a specific amount of money (“Blueprint” staffers put in $20-30 each for our shower) and they present mom with the group gift.
  • Alphabet poster: My favorite! This is the only thing I'll give at showers from now on!
  • Sheep teething toy (very cute and inexpensive — also makes a great small baby gift for a not-as-close friend).
  • Books: Bruno Munari's “ABC and The Soles of Your Feet

To read the full story from “Blueprint” magazine, visit Blueprint online.