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No Baby Games. No Gifts. No B.S.

How to host a baby shower everyone wants to attend! And, yes, you read correct – No Baby Games. No Gifts. No B.S. Well, I guess there is some “B.S.” since it is a “Baby Shower.”

If this is your first time here – Welcome! Always love seeing new faces! Actually, this is a first for me – collaborating with my gorgeous Mama in what we like to call “Kim’s Column.” As you will come to find out, this column is us chatting on all things from entertaining & shopping, to adventures and LIFE!

My Mom and I have talked about having a collaborative space on my blog for a long time now. Although not an excuse, life happens and, well, a few years later we are actually committing words to the computer. Plus, I will be the first to admit the last couple years have been a little crazy and I have slacked in my writing. This will be no longer though!

Let’s get talking about the real fun-  hosting a baby shower. You were not expecting that, right?

What is the first thing that comes to mind?

How do you feel when you get a baby shower invite?

We are going to let you keep those thoughts to yourself (ha!) but what if we told you that we will give you the in’s and outs on how to throw an epic Baby Shower? Yes, one that everyone wants to attend – bubbly & martini’s included – and wrapped up within 2 hours. 

No Baby games. No gifts. No B.S. Just a “hop on by!”

My sister, Nikki, recently had a beautiful baby boy – Maverick – back in March 2023. That’s right, we expect big things from him! Their family of 4 – my brother in law Ryan, Nikki, Mav, and their adorable French Bulldog Gully, live in Denver Colorado. Back in the late Fall/early Winter of 2022, she went under the care of a high risk doctor. All was just fine but this did mean her travel had to cease until after the baby was born. While there had been little discussion about whether a baby shower would be happening on the East Coast – she did have a couples shower in Denver – my Mom and I took the lead and decided to host a “virtual” shower from Baltimore. 

Okay, great! We love to plan and host fabulous parties but we have never dipped our toes in the virtual arena. As the planning started, everything we had researched about a virtual shower did not seem like my sister, nor did it seem very fun/exciting. Btw, are surprise showers even a “thing” anymore?  Yes, it was harder to do from a virtual standpoint (although it could be really cool) but, seriously, why has everything become so planned and deliberate? 

When we say we researched a LOT, we researched a lot. We asked around but most people had just attended, never hosted. My Mom and I are the first to admit that we had expectations that this shower would go a little differently but, in the end, it ended up evolving into something a whole lot better!

Essentially, we gave guests control – they could “hop by” our house for as long or as little as they wanted OR they could “hop by” virtually” and chat with Nikki and Ryan. Think of it like a “Meet and Greet” with the soon to be parents. No baby games. No gifts. No B.S. They shared what they had received while they sipped on coffee and cocktails (ah hem, Ryan only), and our in-home guests had Bubbly and Martini’s. Yes, there was food too, and yes, how cute are the cake toppers we used to hold the olives!

It was heartfelt, relaxing, and it organically evolved. And it was very well received!

Our Mantra: When you let your guests be the cruise director at a baby shower, you will get them RSVP’ing YES all the time!

How We Came Up With the Peter Rabbit Theme?

Hey – it’s Kim! You will also come to know that I am referred to as “Kiki!” If you have seen Bad Mom’s Christmas, you just know…and NO, I am not like THAT Kiki at all! 

I am taking the reins for a moment to talk about how the Peter Rabbit theme came to fruition. For those who know me know that I have ALWAYS been a fan; in fact, this was the very theme of Nikki’s nursery when she was a baby. I know, adorable, right? How this came up for the shower, however, simply evolved. 

When I started the hunt for a theme, most stores were just starting to promote their Easter decor, as the shower was held in mid-February. As I perused countless websites, and visited Homegoods MANY times, I kept being drawn to all the cute Peter Rabbit decor. Even Pottery Barn carries a whole line of the theme too. FYI: I highly recommend you check it out as soon as it drops in store. It goes FAST! 

no baby games

As I continued to research – still undecided about which way to pivot for this gender neutral baby shower (Baby Mav was a surprise) – I also started going through boxes with items from Nikki’s nursery. She had asked for some stuff for the new baby’s room, and I thought I may get inspired. With each box I went through, I kept pulling out more and more Peter Rabbit items. From numerous stuffed animals and books, to signed figurines, a clock, cup, saucer, & plate; well, I think I just knew at that point. 

Want to learn more about the story of Peter Rabbit? Click Here!

If you take one thing away from this post, it is the following:

No need to buy a handful of decorations that you will only use once (okay, maybe twice). A perfect way to figure out a theme may, literally, be sitting in your basement, attic, or closet.  

“Janine, why don’t we theme the shower around Peter Rabbit? You know that I love it but what a great use of all the items from Nikki’s nursery that I will be sending to her, and a touching sentiment too! We can fill in with some Easter decor and then use it for the season ahead.”

The Planning

Janine again! Okay, awesome – we have the theme and now we are pumped. And, with anything in life, you say you don’t need to buy a lot and, before you know it, your living room looks like an aisle in HomeGoods and an Amazon warehouse. We love to party plan, so a lot of what we bought can be used for future parties. By no means are these “make or breaks;” customize your party based on what you like, what you absolutely want, and, of course, the most important piece – YOUR BUDGET! 

The Invitation: We only had a few weeks to get the word out. While we are very traditional, and prefer an actual invitation in the mail, we went the route of Paperless Post. Actually, if hosting a virtual event, this is the best way to go since they have it all built into the invitation. It even helps to keep track of the guest list too! 

Time: We thought a 1:00-3:00 pm shower was the best fit, and with the time difference, it was not too early in Denver. It allowed the flexibility to not need a huge meal, and you still had your morning and evening

What We Had: Beyond all the Peter Rabbit memorabilia and mementos from my sister’s nursery, here are some items we had around the house (not including your typical serving pieces) that lended themselves to the party.

  • Child’s Rocking Chair
  • Assorted Easter Bunnies
  • Faux Foliage
  • Wooden Basket for Food Table
  • Cheese & Charcuterie Board
  • Unused Frames
  • Plate Stands & Easels

HomeGoods: Given our particular theme, January/February was the best time for Peter Rabbit decor since all the Easter items – tableware included – started emerging. Regardless of your theme or the time of year, HomeGoods is a great place to find some of those pieces that you don’t want to spend a lot of money on, yet they look great and everyone wants to know “where did you get?” Another place we checked frequently was TJ Maxx and Marshalls. We are lucky; in both Baltimore and Northern VA, one of the two are usually next to a HG. They are sister companies, so they have similar items in their home sections. It is, definitely, worth a peek, especially if you are trying to find a matching item that you may not be able to get in HG. Here are some of the things we purchased; with the exception of the cupcake toppers, all were able to be used for Easter.

  • Peter Rabbit themed paper plates and napkins
  • Serving dishes shaped into carrots
  • Peter Rabbit candy dish
  • Peter Rabbit cupcake toppers

Amazon: The biggest “go-to” for so many things! Here are some of the items we snagged, and – bonus – can even be used for future parties.

no baby games

Table Greenery: One of our favorite appetizers to serve (and one that we have become expected to have) is a fabulous cheese and charcuterie board. While we have a board – there are so many out there to purchase – we wanted to add some greenery to give it a garden feel. In the story of Peter Rabbit, McGregor’s Garden is a huge part of it. SO we had to create it! You may even have something like this around your house from a project, for decoration, a Holiday, etc. 

Balloon Arch: Because every great party needs a fabulous balloon arch! This is where the guys joined in and had some fun…well, we think they had fun all along too. The beauty of the one we purchased is that you can make it as “big” (and by big we mean the number of balloons) or as “little” as you want. And while the balloon options are pretty endless, we splurged on some fancy shmancy (and a bit pricey but worth it to us) ones that went with our theme. See below. Again, there are so many to choose from and, no, you do not have to go the route we did on them either. 

Bottle Wrappers: For the price, these added a perfect touch to bland old water bottles. We even used one to wrap a clear glass hand soap dispenser for the guest bathroom. 

Clear Cellophane Bags & Greenery Twine: These were used for the party favors which were delicious shortbread cookies from a local baker. Side Story: This was a last minute “Janine, we need to have cookies” text from my Mom. We had seen so many elaborate versions on Pinterest and really had no idea if they could even be duplicated. We found a local baker who took our vision and made it a reality – on a lot less elaborate and expensive scale. We sent her a photo of what we wanted. She, in turn, screen printed – edible of course – onto the cookie and then added some fancy corners to elevate the look. We thought the greenery twine was a great addition and lent to the theme beautifully. And the bags – loved that you did not have to purchase 1000 of them too. We had just enough, which was great. Yes, you think you will use and, ultimately, you forget and end up buying more. Alright, maybe just me.

Tablecloth for Drink Table: This added dimension, warmth, and texture to our drink table. Oh, and the sage green color was simply fantastic too! Another item in which you can choose from several color choices. 

Baby Blocks: Low cost decor that added a big punch! We think it will be one of these things that gets passed around the family for future showers/birthdays to come!

no baby games

Etsy: We have used Etsy for things in the past but we feel we really utilized this platform a lot when planning, prepping, and gaining inspiration for this party.

This is where we splurged on the gorgeous, doubled lined balloons and purchased Peter Rabbit templates for signs to use around the house and our cookie favors. Check out the links to them HERE (balloons) and HERE (PR templates)

Michael’s: If you do not have one in your area, a local arts and crafts store should have what you need. We had a few things we wanted to frame and this was our go-to. They did the trick and, once again, did not break the bank. Even better – they can be reused!  

The Menu

We cannot stress this enough – serve your favorites, your family favorites/traditions, personal preferences, and what is EASY. Since our party time was from 1:00-3:00 pm, we kept it light with heavy appetizers and pick-up foods.

no baby games

Remember, the idea was to “hop by.” We went to our local grocers in Baltimore and Northern Virginia for food and, of course, put together a handful ourselves.

no baby games
no baby games

Additionally, we kept it simple with just serving Prosecco, although everyone knows we can serve something else should they have wanted. Here is what we served:

Cheese & Charcuterie

Veggies & Hummus

Chicken Salad

Shrimp Salad

Deviled Eggs

La Marca Prosecco

Cookies & Cupcakes

A Huge Thank You:

Food: Graul’s & Balducci’s

Cupcakes: Georgetown Cupcakes

Cookies: Cookies By Design

Prosecco: Total Wine

Outdoor Welcome

Peter Rabbit’s iconic blue jacket with brass buttons & shoes are notorious in the story. If you had a chance to read – we will not give it all away – you will come to know that Peter was a bit mischievous/naughty, and decided to step into Mr. McGregor’s garden after his mother told him to stay away. Once spotted, he lost both of his shoes as well as his jacket as he scurried through the garden. The infamous photo of Peter’s outfit being turned into a scarecrow to frighten the blackbirds by Mr. McGregor is what we used as the “welcome” into the party. It sounds funny writing that – no, we were not trying to deter guests from coming inside! Essentially, the goal was to build a mini “garden” to emulate the story. 

How did we accomplish? 

no baby games

Kim again! This was one of my projects, and a really good challenge.The shoes were easy – I found Nikki’s first pair of shoes which were PERFECT! Next up was trying to find the blue sweater. I searched high and low and, ultimately, found a blue onesie from Walmart that I doctored up. Again, take a look at what you have – you may have the perfect jacket to use. 

To create the mini garden – mind you, it was February – I used a tall planter that lives outside our front door, and purchased a boxwood to bring some life to it. We found some fairly large sticks around our yard to put together the “scarecrow.” We finished it off by buying some chalkboard signs with stakes to welcome guests. 


We included Nikki’s BabyList registry on the invitation. All gifts had been sent, prior, and we encouraged guests who asked to simply send. When we Zoomed with Nikki and Ryan that day, they had the various items they were given out on display for everyone to see. A perfect solution!

So yes, we think “No Baby Games. No Gifts. No B.S.” will be another one of our new mantras for future baby showers!