YourBash! Helps Out at Operation Shower Hosted by Heidi Klum!

7 copyHey Y’all,

Much like this time last year, I am busy, busy, busy! I’m currently at The Globe Theater at Universal Studios for another fantastic Operation Shower event benefiting military moms.

photo 1This is YourBash‘s fourth time helping all the talented volunteers who help to make these baby showers such a huge success.

9 copyAnd today’s shower is no exception, as it is the 43rd and largest shower the team has pulled together.

photo 3

imageToday, 125 military moms-to-be are getting to experience Christmas in March as they receive gifts ranging from baby clothes, strollers, diaper bags and a crib just to name a few, all from host Heidi Klum‘s Truly Scrumptious line at Babies R’ Us.

photo 21489208_10151881103366114_963444869_nThanks to Operation Shower, all of the moms enjoy lunch, gifts and an incredible dessert buffet from Sweets Indeed.

2 copy3 copy4 copy5 copy8 copyThis event is always a lot of fun and I love seeing everyone leave with a smile!
-Brian

Check them out at: http://operationshower.org
Check them out at: http://operationshower.org

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Operation Shower: Go, Baby Go!
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Bettie’s Beautiful Baby Shower

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.27.16 PMHey Ya’ll,

I’ve designed baby showers in the past and been involved in the planning of them for clients, but when you are one of the chosen hosts for a baby shower for a dear friend, it is a completely different story!

Bettie and I at my Birthday party a couple weeks ago.

Bettie and I at my Birthday party a couple weeks ago.

My friend Elisabeth Stassen or Bettie, as I affectionately call her, is due any day now, so myself along with five of her good friends combined forces to create the perfect baby shower for her.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.36.13 PMWe met, created a game plan that utilized all of our different skill sets, and then divided and conquered to make sure that each detail came together on the day of the event.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.41.58 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.39.40 PMOur main objectives were to create an afternoon that was a little bit non-traditional in theme and decor, but very personalized to Bettie’s high standards and tastes.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.46.15 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.48.28 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.47.59 PMBettie has event planning experience and knew exactly what she wanted and didn’t want, which in some ways made our job a little more difficult but in other ways it really helped us.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.51.02 PMFor the decor, we stuck mostly to classic neutral colors. Think: ivory, khaki, pink, light green and light blue!
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.49.56 PM

The event’s color palette was inspired by the invitations that we found on Etsy. We used these colors in and outside of Bettie’s home for the flowers, table linens, party favors, cups, napkins, and even the food.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.56.42 PM

I of course, was in charge of the cake, a therapeutic challenge that I always enjoy taking on.
Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 10.37.05 AMI used my new cake pans to create a layered white, Funfetti cake (my signature flavor!) and topped it off with some playful white and pink frosting and sprinkles!

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.06.38 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.07.42 PMAll the hosts made or brought different food that was a specialty in their wheel house.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.08.45 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.10.36 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-18 at 10.37.41 AMAll in all, I think we created a relaxing day of eating, drinking, gift-giving, friendship and of course, celebrating David and Bettie’s new baby girl.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 5.09.37 PMHave you ever combined forces with friends to plan an event for a dear friend? Let me know what you were celebrating and how it turned out in comment section below.
-Brian

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Operation Shower: Go, Baby Go!

Operation Shower

Operation Shower: Go, Baby Go!

photo[4]Hey Ya’ll,

So far, 2013 has been busy, busy, busy! And today is no exception! I’m currently in San Diego for another fantastic Operation Shower event benefiting military moms.

photo[5]
My business partner Jaime and I designed a special table for the event along with 11 other designers. Our table featured bright red cars, navy blue airplanes, and vibrant pops of yellow from the confetti we stuffed inside each baby bottle. We had lots of fun coming up with creative ways to use gifts and party favors for the moms as decor for the table.

photoDon’t you just love all of the fun airplanes, cars, bikes, clouds, and colors?

photo[1]Once it was all set up, the space really reflected the joy and happiness of the deserving moms in attendance.

photo[2]The event’s sponsors include: Birdies for the Brave, Ashford University, Petunia Pickle Bottom, Pottery Barn Kids, Carl’s Jr., Holly and David Bruce, and of course, the creative graphic designs of the ever so talented Hostess with the Mostess!

photo[6]

Diapers for everyone!

photo[7]

Some of the sweet mommy swag!

Operation Shower is famous for these amazing packages they put together called, “Shower in a Box!”

photo[8]Every mom in attendance gets one, and they’re filled to the brim with all sorts of goodies!

photo[3]This year, I had the honor of announcing and handing out all of the raffle prizes to the lucky winners. Here I am, doing my thing on the mic with Amy Mickelson:

photo[9]All of the moms posed for a group photo at the end of the event. It’s hard not to smile just looking at all of their happy and glowing faces!

photo[10]

I’m always so honored to be a part of these events. Military families are so deserving of our appreciation for the sacrifices they make on behalf of this country and its people. It makes me happy to know that these moms have a community to support them as they prepare to welcome a new member to their families—especially since many of their partners are not able to be with them during this special time in their lives.

Are there any charities or causes that you love being a part of or helping out from time to time? I’d love to hear about them in the comment section below.
-Brian

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How to Host a Fun and Chic Summer Baby Shower!

This is the table my business partner Jaime and I designed for an ‘Operation Shower’ event earlier this year. Our theme was Sunshine Safari!

Hey Ya’ll,

Are you at that point in your life where it seems like there’s a baby shower happening every weekend?!?!

Found this literal yet cute baby shower theme via http://pinterestlov.tumblr.com/

This is definitely the case for me, and I’ve also noticed that baby showers are becoming more and more similar to wedding showers, in the sense that, you want to make sure the decor is memorable, the games aren’t too silly, and the food it delicious and cute without being “baby food”. So, I put together a few tips to ensure a successful baby shower that leaves all your guests thinking about how they can copy your ideas and use them at their own parties!

Bold and bright shower image via http://www.napcp.com

Bold and Beautiful: There is a clear line between what is “baby style” and what is chic. So when throwing a summer baby shower, remember to use bright and bold colors in your decor. The bonus of a summertime theme is that your backyard is the perfect venue for the shower to take place and you just need to enhance the surroundings with colors that are current, but also have purpose and find themselves in everything from the invitation to the centerpieces. Choose a bold color palette, like coral and fuchsia if the mother-to-be is having a little girl or aqua and kelly green for a little boy. If the sex remains a secret, lime green and yellow are fun summer colors, or stick with primary colors and you will never go wrong! If she already has a theme for the baby’s nursery, use it as your jumping off point. This way, the decor items can often be re-purposed, rather than thrown away after the shower.

Message in a Bottle: Pick up some bottles at a discount store, and put your invitation inside. Then, tie a bow around the bottle in your party’s colors and mail it to your guests in a box with an image of water inside (this will make it look as if the bottle floated ashore with all the information for the celebration!). Add a little sand to the box and your summer theme baby shower is sure to entice excitement. Send the invitations out early, especially during the summer giving all guest plenty of notice if they want to start planning vacations or other summer fun activities.

Fruit skewers image via smilesteady.com

Eat, Drink and Be a Mommy: When you throw a party, your guest will expect to eat, and since it is summertime, gourmet fresh fruit skewers are a hit, easy to eat, and always tasty. Pair with a light salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing and some candied pecans and chicken breast for protein. Prepare the menu ahead of time if you are hosting, that way you are not rushing around before the party and can also enjoy yourself. I think that if you are providing the location, it is perfectly acceptable to ask the other guest to help and make the shower a pot luck, but when doing so, assign food items so that the menu has appetizers, entree and dessert.

Put your drinks in mason jars with cute bows and straws! Image via dimpleprints.com

When coming up with a summertime beverage to drink, the mom-to-be will be unable to drink, so pick up some sparkling flavored juices and serve everything in a wine or champagne glass so everyone feels like they are celebrating. Add some fresh fruit to the glass and make it more colorful and have some champagne on hand as well for guests who can drink alcohol.

Simply buy a bunch of your favorite scented candles and finish with a bow or buy custom candle favors with lids and labels. Image via beau-coup.com.

I Favor This: Party favors are becoming the norm these days, so come up with something that your guest will want to keep and is useful. A nice summertime scented candle is perfect! Always remember to have a few extra on hand, just in case you have a few unexpected guests or someone asks to take one to someone that was unable to attend.

I highly recommend this Woman’s Day recipe that I found via Ceci New York: http://bit.ly/NXK1M1

Let them Eat Cake: Cake decorating has become more of an art than just picking up a cake at the corner bakery and writing the babies name in icing. If you are planning to end the shower with a work of cake art, make sure that it is not only stunning on the outside, but also delicious on the inside. The saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” should be “You can’t judge the cake by its icing” because so many bakers are becoming masters at making an adorable cake and they have forgotten that it’s what’s inside that should be just a good!

Image via ontobaby.com

Let the Games Begin: Shower games, like bachelorette games, are not always enjoyable for all of the guests. So, get a feel for the crowd you will be hosting and decide if a game is the right activity for the group. “Pin the Sperm on the Egg” may not be as popular an idea as “Guess the Mom’s Belly Size” or “Guess Whose Baby Picture is Whose?” I love THIS post from OnToBaby.com, which tells you how to create a DIY onesie station at your party with instant iron-on decals. In the end, if your party’s activities are engaging and fun for all of your guests, they’ll likely be the most memorable experiences of your the shower!

I hope these tips were helpful for any of you that are planning a baby shower this summer. If you’ve ever been to a really great baby shower, tell me about what made it so enjoyable in the comment section below.
-Brian

Operation Shower

Hey Ya’ll,

I’ve been out sick the last few days, but I’m feeling better today and I want to tell you about an event I helped out with earlier this week…
On Tuesday, at the Torrey Pines golf course where they are gearing up for the “PGA Tour’s 2012 Farmers Insurance Open”, 40 military moms-to-be were treated to the Superbowl of baby showers. The moms, whose spouses are deployed members of the U.S. Navy SEALs, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines and California Army National Guard, were honored during a group baby shower hosted by Operation Shower with support from Birdies for the Brave and presented by Datron World Communications.
Operation Shower is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and honoring military families by providing joyful baby showers for military moms-to-be to ease the burden of deployment, or in cases where spouses are seriously injured.

At this particular event, each of the honored moms-to-be received Operation Shower’s signature “Shower In A Box” – a gift of high-quality products for mothers and babies that were generously donated by companies including Pottery Barn Kids, Carousel Designs, and others.  Pottery Barn Kids also surprised the group by giving each mom a Pottery Barn Kids crib.
From my first introduction, I felt a personal connection to this unique organization. I come from a long lineage of military heroes, including my father who was a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force’s JAG Program, my grandfather who was a 2-star General from West Point, my other grandfather who was a Colonel, and my great-grandfather who also went to West Point and was a 4-star General. So, when asked to emcee this event, I felt that it was a fantastic organization and an even better way for me to say thank you to my family’s service and the husbands of these moms-to-be.

This is the table my YOURbash! business partner and I designed for the special event.

Beyond all of the gifts, however, the best part of the event was the opportunity for the women to gather together and offer their support to other women going through the same situation. The smiles lighting up the room at the end of the day made it clear that everyone in attendance played a part in making the celebration an extraordinary experience!
-Brian