Thursday, June 2, 2016

Danielle's Michigan Baby Shower

The family was so shocked to find out that the first Benedettini daughter would be having a baby BOY.  Our girl-centric and female-dominant family couldn't imagine what it would be like to have a rambunctious little BOY running around. I remember a video I saw of my Dad as a child in Italy. He had this devilish smile and was running and jumping around nonstop, choking chickens and driving tractors on the farm by the age of 5. Then there are the videos of Eric as a small child, with his endless energy he made annoying “zoom zoom” noises while holding his toy cars and sprinting back and forth across the room.

It’s not like us Benedettini girls were never around boys growing up. We were very close to our male cousins in the Hartman and Kesling households.  I specifically remember how Michael and Norman’s room ALWAYS reeked like farts and cologne. As we grew up we would visit their house and upon entering had to step over piles of enormous stinky BOY shoes. It was nothing like the perfect dainty row of clean white sneakers and pretty sandals at our house.

Danielle has a lot to look forward to in her new MALE-dominated household!

Now, onto to the baby shower which was held at the beautiful Oakhurst Country Club in Clarkson, MI.  Oakhurst Website  Because it’s a country club, you have to be a member or have a connection to hold an event there. AJ (Danielle’s husband) has a co-worker who is a member and was able to help out. Throughout the planning process, my Mom and I helped Danielle by providing opinions and ideas.

Exterior of Oakhurst Country Club. Very pretty and New England-ish architecture...

Interior of Oakhurst Country Club. I like the high ceilings and big windows.

The first step was to decide on invitations. I was tasked to look around and find options. I asked about a theme or colors and Danielle said the nursery will be grey, mint green, and navy (which I love) and decorated with elephant accents.  I started by checking out the usual sites, Tiny Prints and Minted. Elephants were a popular theme on both sites so it was easy to select a handful of favorites.
Here were our initial picks:

We realized the invitations on these sites didn’t hold the amount of text Danielle wanted to include. Many also lacked the option to purchase additional matching pieces such as RSVP tags, diaper raffle tickets, book inserts, etc. Danielle looked around Etsy and found a great vendor who was able to make custom invitations. Here is the link: Etsy Vendor

As expected, these were definitely more expensive than Minted or Tiny Prints. However, when they arrived Danielle was very happy with the finished product. These are certainly some of the nicest baby shower invites I've ever seen!

This will be framed and placed on a table at the shower. 

These "wishes for Baby Iafrate" cards will be distributed at the shower for everyone to fill out. Very sweet and thoughtful! Baby Iafrate will enjoy reading these when he's a big boy.

Invites arrived in the mail looking SO ADORBS! I love the ribbon

Okay, I think the invites got enough screen time!

Eric (my husband) and I drove to Michigan from Boston on Friday May 20th. Without even stopping home at my parents house, we parked at cousin Kyle and Norman's house where everyone was scheduled to help make the "chocolate-covered caramel pretzel" gift favors for the shower.

Making these pretzels is quite the process -
1. carefully count exactly how many pretzels you need
2. large brick of caramel needs to be cut into small squares (1 square/pretzel)
3. small square of caramel is rolled out about 6 inches long and wrapped around each pretzel
4. chocolate is melted in a pan on the stove
5. each caramel covered pretzel is then dipped into the chocolate and set to dry on a cookie sheet
6. once the sheet is full of pretzels, they are coated lightly in sprinkles
7. each sheet is refrigerated for approximately 20-30 minutes
8. Two pretzels are put into a plastic bag and closed tightly with a custom ordered sticker

It took five people (Kyle, Danielle, ME, AJ, and Eric) 2-3 hours to complete this process. I sure hope everyone enjoyed and appreciated the pretzels!

For the dessert table, Kyle also spent time making her famous "chocolate-covered peanut butter balls" and my favorite "chocolate-covered Rice Krispie treats!" Mmm I love dessert!

It was great to get the family together to partake in this fun activity.

All the supplies

We even got the boys in on the action - This is Eric cutting up chunks of caramel

Adorable Baby Jackson was having a blast playing with all his family members

It wouldn't be a family party without a few drinks!

Danielle looking mighty pregnant posing with me and Mom who is SO happy!  WOW MOM YOUR ARMS ARE RIPPED!

The next day I picked up several bunches of carnations and baby's breathe from Nino's and spent hours making arrangements for the shower. Danielle bought mason jars from Target and the cutest ribbon to tie around each jar.

12 arrangement packed up in 2 boxes and ready for transport

Danielle and AJ stopped at their local bakery in Royal Oak Love and Buttercream to pick up the awesome cake for the shower.

How can you not love this cake? They did a great job!

Check out that elephant made of sugar

The day of the shower was picture perfect, sunny, and warm.  Eric and I arrived at the venue first and immediately began setting up. Danielle, AJ, Mom, and Natalie arrived shortly after.

The first order of business was setting each table.

The navy colored napkins were a nice touch

My mom placed bowls of trail mix and chocolate-covered almonds on each table

One for each guest

Kyle custom made these chalkboard signs for the head tables. Adorbs!

Hopefully everyone remembered to address an envelope

Beautiful pictures on display

Danielle's pregnancy photos came out fantastic!

Gift baskets for the Diaper Raffle winners - Lucky Guests!

The room came out just perfect. I loved the big open space with large windows. What a great and classy venue!

Before the guests arrived

The dessert table was plentiful and I made sure to sample everything.

They were all delicious! On the left you'll see Kyle's chocolate-covered peanut butter balls and to the right you'll see Mary's sugar cookies

Thanks Mom for bringing this huge tray of baklava. It was SO GOOD
Kyle's chocolate-covered Rice Krispie Treats
Aunt Faha made these incredible raspberry brownies. I'll take another now!

We finished setting up early and had extra time to take photos before guests arrived.

Kyle's custom made chalkboard displayed fun statistics about Danielle, AJ and Baby Iafrate

Great job Kyle! This was neat!

The new parents were glowing :)

Let's take a moment to focus on the ridiculously cute "It's a Boy" banner and Elephant garland. Danielle custom ordered these in her special colors from an Etsy shop she found called SparklingConfetti.

Mom and Sisters - Can you feel the love?

Thanks for fixing the microphone Eric! That was a life-saver

Hi Aunt Susie!

We were so lucky to be able to go outside and enjoy the deck. Of course we took many photos!

I loved your dress Aunt Faha! And Mom's dress coordinated perfectly with Danielle.

Danielle's dress was so angelic!

The boys are looking good like always. Layla is smiling so sweetly

Sisters 4 Life

Great top Aunt Mona - the colors are very flattering

Mom with her besties - Sherrie and Sue

Everyone arrived on time for the most part. Danielle and AJ took a few minutes to greet everyone and lunch was served.

Lunch (chicken salad on a croissant) was terrific. I ate the whole thing!

After eating, Danielle stopped at each table to say hello and I snapped a quick picture.

Danielle with her bridesmaids Jessica (on left) and Sarah (right) 

AJ's Family from left to right - sister Elise, sister Jessica, Mom Blossom, sister Andrea, Blossom's friend Brenda, and AJ's Godmother Anita

From left to right - cousin Linda, cousin Laura, and cousin Lisa. Great to see you guys! Their Mom Samira is my Mom's Aunt

Cousin Diana and Aunt Wafat

Danielle's co-workers from left to right - Amanda, Emily, Vi and her daughter Sabrina 

Danielle's friends from left to right - Kaitlin, Molly, and Kelly 

Nona and Aunt Michelle

Mary and Anna (Nono's sister)

From left to right - Katie and Renee (Renee is my Mom's friend who flew in from Florida and brought her daughter Katie), Cindy (Mom's friend from work), Sue and Sherrie (Mom's besties)

Mom and her confidant - Mary

Cousin Michael Hamood's wife Amanda attended the shower, and that is their sweet little newborn

There were two tables full of presents!

Time for the gifts! Danielle and AJ did a great job co-hosting, thanking everyone appropriately, and displaying each gift for everyone to see.

What a cute bathing suit! 

MamaRoo from Aunt Mona

Sweet gift from Sherrie

Chrissy and Danielle were pregnant with their firsts at the same appropriate 
Cashmere Burberry for Baby Iafrate from your's truly.  Like Kyle said, "I hope he's not a spitter!!"

BounceRoo from Aunt Susie
Loving Layla's face here 

Danielle's favorite book from Sarah!
All in all the day couldn't have turned out any better. I'm so happy Eric and I were able to be there.

It was truely a blessing to get everyone together in one room to celebrate such a joyous occasion.

Baby Iafrate will be here in no time and we can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. I am in love with these baby shower arrangements. You truly had a blasting time. For our cousin we will also be hosting a baby shower. It will be a rainbow themed party at one of the best Chicago venues. Have made a lot of cute rainbow themed décor crafts from pinterest ideas.