March 2, 2014

The Krewe of Kowalewski

Since this year I'm not participating in the raucous behavior of Mardi Gras (or St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or summer boating days, I need to plan this better next time), I decided to have a little carnival season fun with our Facebook pregnancy announcement and gender unveiling.
The Facebook announcement seen by many.
Digital invitation for Gender "Unveiling"
My main goal for having this party was to do something easy and affordable. I didn't want to spend a ton of money, because any extra money we have, I want to be able to buy stuff for the baby. Rather than buying lots of blue and pink stuff, I figured at least Mardi Gras decorations would be used again.

Now as far as gender reveal parties go, 1) they get real cheesy in a hurry and 2) we knew the sex of the baby, our guests did not. It was hard to find Pinterest examples of how to do it, so I kind of went rogue and did my own thing. Three weeks ago, our doctor was 90% sure the baby was a boy. Three days ago when we went for our confirmation, Baby K is a girl. So there was that component thrown into the mix, as well.

What we ended up with was a Mardi Gras-themed gender surprise for a few of our closest family and friends. Our house is tiny, so that was another challenge, to keep the crowd at a minimum.

I decided on Thursday that since the surprise was for our guests and not us, that we would do something interactive. An entire batch of cupcakes with King Cake babies in them. One cupcake would have a special baby with a blue or pink ribbon tied around it. I went on a quest to find ~20 plastic babies... On the Friday before Mardi Gras... Not my smartest move ever. I was nearly cussed out and got hung up on by a lady in the bakery at Rouses. Wal-Mart laughed at me. It would've cost me $63 to have 24 over-nighted from an online site. Finally, I decided to call Michaels. They weren't "king cake babies," but rather baby shower favors. Nevertheless, Friday night I acquired my babies for Saturday morning's party.

Enough with the my blabbing. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. If the way I feel today is any indication of how the party went, then it was a great party because I AM WHOOPED. My entire body hurts as if I actually was out partying at a ball all night. 
Pregnancy is letting me know who's boss.

Saturday morning I made the cupcakes. I shoved a baby (head-first, Kevin insisted it would be bad luck to put the babies in the cupcakes in the breech position) into each cupcake.
All the cupcakes have been babied.
The final two. I marked the bottom of THE cupcake with a piece of
ribbon and tape so I would be able to feel it without looking as I passed
out the cupcakes. Yes, I had an intended receiver of the lucky cupcake.

It's party time!
Living room decor.
Dining table decor.
More living room decor.
My first time working with deco-mesh. That stuff is not as easy to work
with as it seems. Sheesh. It was a chore to get this little swag done.
I cleaned for days and decorated for hours and this is where everyone hung out!
But we had beautiful weather, so I couldn't complain.
More of my outdoor guests.
It wouldn't be a good southern, Mardi Gras party without a tasty menu, right? Here are a couple shots of what I actually remembered to snap:
Corn salad. And yes, I added some colorful ingredients
to match the theme. I was proud of my cabbage cutting skillz.
Kevin's jambalaya. The rice had overcooked and gotten mushy by
the end of the party when I remembered to take the picture. :)
My first stab at a chicken and sausage gumbo. It was excellent.
Some shrimp did sneak their way in, though, too, accidentally. :)
 And now for the roster of who was Team Girl and Team Boy:
8 for girl, although Aunt Debbie (upper right corner) thought
there were two, so she was on both teams.
7 for boy, counting Aunt Debbie again. LOL
Apologies to Caitlin and Hugh, I forgot to get individual pics of them, so I had to crop them out of random crowd shots I got... Oops. SORRY. ;)

And for the big announcement... drumroll please... 
Grammy-to-be got the lucky cupcake, IT'S A GIRL!
We had a great time and I'm glad we had the party, but I forgot how much work it is to play hostess! Hope you've enjoyed the long version of how we pulled off a Mardi Gras-themed gender reveal party. For our friends and family who weren't able to be there, we hope you can feel like you were there with us through the pictures! :)

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