Monday, March 16, 2009

Showers of blessings

I attended a shower at church last Sunday for a bride-to-be and the gift my mom and I gave was a hit amongst the ladies so I thought I'd share. I called it a "Bride's Bag of Essentials". I based it on a gift that I got from my wedding shower called "The Duty Duck" which was basically an assorted group of kitchen things that were shaped into a duck. Everything was placed in a dollar store roasting pan with things propped into a yellow dish glove and draped with a dish cloth to look like a duck.

I decided to base mine a bit more on personal experience. It was as follows: (mostly from the dollar store). Each one had a hand-written tag with an explanation, held on with a metal shower curtain hook.

  • a large brightly coloured plastic re-usable bag (I like to be environmentally friendly and we might as well make it fun!)
  • a squeegee for the shower (with a quick spray of vinegar and water and a swipe, you won't have to scrub)
  • a digital timer (you can do anything for 15 minutes - see to see what I mean)
  • an assortment of kitchen gadgets (spatulas, spoons, flippers and measuring cups (we all need kitchen gadgets)
  • brightly coloured chip clips [they need to be fun colours] (I use them for chips, crackers, fruit, candies etc)
  • fancy rubber gloves (if we have to wash dishes we might as well have fun and keep our hands wedding day pretty)
  • microfibre dust cloth (again environmentally friendly - no chemicals needed)
  • massage cream (no explanation necessary)
  • candles (for the romantic evening)
  • a scrapbook album for the wedding - 8x8 with spots for photos and journalling and explanations
  • a casserole dish (for potlucks of course)
  • pampered chef pot scraper (pampered chef is great and these little discs do double duty as spatulas or dish scrapers)
  • cutting mats (roll up ones from the dollar store - ideally one each for veggies, fruit, meats and breads)
  • a binder with meal preparation information (this one received the most praise) - it was binder with plastic page protectors and plastic page dividers that accomodate them. At the beginning was a note explaining some things (see below). There was also a sheet with headings of all the different types of protein (Beef, poultry, pork, meatless, other), and the names of recipes or foods that are "tried and true" family favourites. Each divider had the same heading with recipes behind it in page protectors. These are favourite recipes and I included ones that our family likes in particular as well as how to roast a turkey and make turkey soup. Many of the ladies really liked this idea and want to make it themselves! I like the page protectors because you can take it out of the binder, let it get splattered, wipe it off and put it back. If you don't like the recipe you replace it!

The letter in the binder describes how I sit with Drew on Sundays and plan next week's activities and meals. Then I check throughout the fridge (cleaning as I need to) and the house for what I need to shop for or use up. I then do my shoping and errands on Monday's. We have found that this saves us time and money. It's also nice to get input from the family as to what they want to eat. For meal plans I get ideas from flylady, saving dinner and fixing dinner websites. We obviously have our favourites as well which I incorporate.

I was a little surprised at all of the attention given to it - really just an assortment of every day things, however a few ladies said that the expertise of experience is really what is priceless. Nevertheless, it was very nice to hear - and as I told them, it really isn't a big deal when you enjoy doing it. I hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

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