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Let the Games Begin- A Board Game Themed Baby Shower

I think one of the things I have wanted most in life is to be an aunt. I grew up with two older brothers and I couldn't wait for the day that they would get married (and I'd gain a few sisters) and then start a family. I have been blessed with probably the best sister-in-laws I could have wanted, so now that they are having children I am over the moon excited. Last year I threw a toyland themed baby shower for my oldest brother's wife and their son Peregrine. It was the first baby shower, well any shower, that I had ever thrown, and it definitely was a learning experience. I forgot about a lot of stuff, and my always helpful brother, James, ran around with me picking out the last details to make the party perfect. My own aunt sweetly opened her home since my mother was, at the time, living 2000 miles away. It ended up going wonderfully smooth (my parent's even getting to make a surprise appearance) and I came away feeling like I could probably do this again if I needed too.

Baby Shower #1- Babe in Toy Land

Baby Shower #1- Babe in Toy Land

And almost exactly a year later I realized I needed to. This time it was for my other sister, who was having a baby girl. With my parent's move back to Tennessee I knew I had a place to throw the shower, but I had to get interesting with the party ideas. My sister is a little quirky (it's a requirement to marry into this family), so I knew it couldn't be just a typical shower. Not being one for pink, or sitting around discussing the difference between cloth and disposable diapers, I knew she wouldn't be quite on board with a typical baby girl shower, so I took to Pinterest to come up with some ideas. I knew it needed to be co-ed so I started there. Fun fact: Co-ed showers involve drinking games. And Jack Daniels party favors. And cornhole. Seriously. Pinterest quickly became absolutely no help, since it was a dry household, and I don't have (this) cornhole just sitting around somewhere. So I thought about my sister and what she likes most: playing games with friends. Thus the board game theme was born.

Adam and I were severely lacking in board games, so we decided to purchase the games we played. On a trip to Target we ran into their retro themed games and decided to start our collection with those. I tried to keep the actual games we played to games one might have played as a kid, so the Monopoly that we bought and the Twister (for obvious reasons) became decorations. My brilliant husband came up with the idea to use Twister as part of the table cloth which really helped set the theme firmly. If you want to see our board game themed invitations my husband designed (all by himself because I was stumped, and he's awesome) you can find them on this page. To add to the games a little more, for every game that someone won they could pick up a certain amount of Monopoly money. The person who had the most money when it came time to open presents won a jar of M&Ms and Cassie opened their presents first. Of course since my brother and sister are awesome, they won the most money, so Cassie picked the presents she wanted to open first. Here's a few photos of the day. You'll have to excuse the quality. In all my planning and listing I forgot to bring a nice camera and I had no time to take pictures, so they are what they are.    

As you can see purple was the main color of choice (it being my sister's favorite). The color palette I worked with was this:

Pinterest led me to this great blog that builds palettes from flowers. You can see all these colors used in my husband's invitations. The purple was the main focus in the actual party (since all the games were so colorful). 

(Oh and those delicious looking cupcakes? Once again my brother James came through and baked up some amazing goodies.)

It ended up being a fun time full of laughter, cheering, and competition. Just a group of great people getting together and having fun,  which was exactly how my sister wanted it. I had a blast rising to the challenge and planning what I hope is a party she will remember with fondness and a smile. 

-Merri Lynn

Merri Lynn Roark