Cuuuute Jungle Themed Baby Shower Pics, and where to get decorations

My brother and sister-in-law are having their first baby, and the first baby in the family in 16 years, so we’re all pretty excited. My mom, two of her friends, and I decided to give her a fun baby shower. I think animal theme baby stuff is so great and decided on a jungle theme for the shower. Now they’re even doing the nursery in jungle theme. Lucky for all of us, it’s a really popular theme right now, so stuff is pretty easy to find.

I found a ton of ideas on Pinterest, of course. One of my mom’s friends took charge of the menu, and the other one did the flowers, and sourced some cute animal cookie party favors. Mom bought the cake and hosted.

It came out great, if I do say so myself.

We started with these fun invitations from Etsy Seller DesignsByDVB. She was great to work with and made several changes really quickly for me.


jungle theme party ideas

My mom gives a lot of parties so she had all the tables and chairs, linens, silverware, glasses and even the jungle print napkin rings! Since she already had the orange plates we decided to do a color scheme of oranges, yellow, and reds for the tables. This was a little more sophisticated than pastels, which I liked. I got the zebra runners and the fans (it was so hot!) as well as the little plastic animals at Windy City Novelties. also carries them. The animal print baby bottles came from Target, the flowers from Trader Joe’s. Mom’s friend did a wonderful job making grocery store flowers into cute arrangements! I got the animal faces for the buntings from Etsy seller WithEnvyPaper. The balloons were from the local party store.

use baby bottles for flower arrangements at a baby shower

SUCH a cute idea to put the flowers in baby bottles, and a plus that mom’s friend found animal print ones!

jungle theme baby shower

baby shower foodMom’s friend prepping the food.

Curry Chicken Salad, croissants, and fresh summer berries

Such a delicious idea- curry chicken salad, fresh berries, and mini croissants.

Spiked lemonadeI wanted to have a single cocktail for the cocktail hour, then wine and iced tea for dinner. I decided on a sparkling basil lemonade, that could have alcohol added to it for those who wanted it. I started with a glass filled with ice, 3 oz Simply Lemonade (I have never had luck making my own lemonade), a torn basil leaf, then topped off with sparkling water. For those who wanted it spiked, I added an ounce of gin and half an ounce of St. Germain. Really good and refreshing. Some people thought it was a little too sweet. If so, you can use less lemonade.

The original idea was to serve the drinks in baby bottles and mom and dad went all over town to find the right ones, but in the end, we couldn’t find crushed ice (it was a Sunday) and regular ice was too big to fit. With a little bit better planning, that would have been SO CUTE. Oh well, maybe next time…;)

baby bartenderMy other brother (not the daddy) surprised everyone with this fab bartender costume, LOL!

Head Snapper wineMom likes this white wine and I liked the label, LOL. The color scheme also went with the table decor.

The guest of honor and the young cousinsThe guest of honor sat at the end, with all the young cousins.

Not lame baby shower gamesI decided on 3 games plus an extra if there was time. We gave out Starbucks gift cards as prizes. Whose Your Daddy- link the celebrity kid with the celebrity dad, extra points for getting and spelling the last name correctly.

Great baby shower game ideasGuess the baby- I had people bring baby pictures of themselves and the guest had to guess who was who. I copied them all in black and white and in the same size for uniformity.

Baby Trivia, great baby shower game ideaOne of The guest of honor’s oldest friend happens to also be very smart and hilarious, so we had him MC the party and write and host a trivia game. I think the young people liked it better than the older ones, but all around it was pretty fun.

Baby shower trivia

Concentrate, ladies! Daddy-To-Be helping out.

Jungle theme baby shower cakeMom got this adorable cake from The Village French Bakery in Glendale, CA.

jungle cakeWe got chocolate on the bottom, coconut in the middle and strawberry on the top. The coconut was by far the best layer, followed by the strawberry. The animal decorations came from Michael’s.

Custom shortbread animal cookies for baby shower favors

Got these adorable shortbread animal cookies for party favors at Valley Bakery in Oak Park, CA

jungle theme baby shower

Congratulations Sarah and Dave!



Our Favorite Chicago Desserts

‘Nuf Said. Click the pictures for the restaurants websites.

apple pie from third coast, chicago

The best apple pie on earth- Third Coast Cafe and Wine Bar

hot chocolate, chicago

Hot Chocolate from Third Coast, Chicago

donuts from Beavers

Baby donuts from Beavers Donut Truck

beavers donuts

Did you need to see them up close?

bourgeoise pig carrot cake

Awesome carrot cake from Bourgeois Pig

Pecan Pie from Lovely

Pecan Pie from Lovely in Wicker Park

honey pastry in greektown at artopolis

Super tasty, flakey honey pastry and cafe latte from Artopolis in Greektown


October in Chicagoland- corn mazes and pumpkins and delicious food!

Well, it took me almost a whole year to post these pictures! But I guess it’s OK because now is the time to go do this trip. We like to just get in the car and drive sometimes, so that’s what we did. We went up to Rockford, IL, then over to Madison, WI. Then came back down thru Wisconsin into Illinois again to a fun farm with pumpkins and a corn maze.

Rockford was kind of a bust. But we did find a The Wired Cafe that had espressos and a nice breakfast.

Breakfast Burrito from Wired Cafe,. Rockford,. IL

Breakfast Burrito from Wired Cafe,. Rockford,. IL

Madison is a cute college town! Lots of fun restaurants, bars, and cafes.

The view from our hotel in Madison, WI

The view from our hotel in Madison, WI

We had a great local WI type meal at The Old Fashioned in downtown Madison.

An Old Fashioned from The Old Fashioned in Madison, WI

An Old Fashioned from The Old Fashioned in Madison, WI

cheese curds in wisconsin

Cheese Curds! Sooooo Wisconsin

Mixed greens with Wisconsin cheese and local cherries

Mixed greens with Wisconsin cheese and local cherries

Is Wisconsin famous for chili?

Is Wisconsin famous for chili?

cobbler in wisconsin

Oh yeah, that’s cobbler

Breakfast was at Madison Sourdough, a great bakery with a pretty ambience.

Cafe latte from Madison Sourdough

Cafe latte from Madison Sourdough

ghost sign, madison, WI

I love old ghost signs

Heading back to Chicago, we stopped at Richardson’s Farm for pumpkins and a corn maze.

Corn maze at Richardson's Farm

Corn maze at Richardson’s Farm- it was hard!

Getting lost in the maze!

Getting lost in the maze!

Resting during our corn maze odyssey

Resting during our corn maze odyssey

Richardson's Farm, Illinois

Richardson’s Farm, Illinois

corn maze, richardson's farm, illinois

So Much Corn!

Fooling around at Richardson's.

Fooling around at Richardson’s.

We bought some pumpkins at Richardson's

We bought some pretty pumpkins

Blue Pumpkins

Blue Pumpkins?

Lots of pumpkins at Richardson's Adventure Farm

Lots of pumpkins

A petting zoo at Richardson's Adventure Farm

I love goats!

Overall it was a relaxing, fun Fall weekend.


Chicago Summer

Gelato, French Market, Chicago

Gelato, French Market

Gene and Georgetti Classic Italian, Chicago

Gene and Georgetti Classic Italian

Greek Islands Restaurant, Chicago

Greek Islands Restaurant

Andersonville, Chicago


Espresso Milkshake, Intelligentsia, Logan Square, Chicago

Espresso Milkshake, Intelligentsia

Homemade gelato, JP Graziano, Chicago

Homemade gelato, JP Graziano

Chicago River view from a rented electric boat

Chicago River view from a rented electric boat

Summer storm, Chicago

Summer Storm

Navy Pier, Chicago

Navy Pier Swing Ride

Tiki cocktails at Three Dots and a Dash, Chicago

Tiki cocktails at Three Dots and a Dash

Umbrella, North Avenue Beach, Chicago


Splashing speedboat on Lake Michigan, Chicago

Splashing speedboat on Lake Michigan

Classic Chicago Dog, Flub a Dub Chub, Lakeview Chicago

Classic Chicago Dog, Flub a Dub Chub

2013 Air and Water Show, Chicago

2013 Air and Water Show

Sears Tower, Chicago

Sears Tower

Divvy Bike Share, Chicago

Divvy Bike Share

Taste of Chicago: Half-Baked

See what I did there in that headline? It’s a food-related play on words on a post about food. Pretty clever, right? Of course it is.

But let’s get back to the meat of the story, shall we? (OK, that one’s just ridiculous, and I’ll stop now.)

For more than 30 years, the Chicago food world gets some tents and sets up shop in a park and offers the hungry masses a taste of what Chicago’s restaurants have to offer.

Here’s what they have to say about it all on their website:

Taste of Chicago is the nation’s premier outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s dining community. The delicious array of food served at Taste of Chicago is complemented by music and exciting activities for the entire family. Every summer since 1980, Chicago’s beautiful Grant Park on the city’s magnificent lakefront has been home to the world’s largest food festival.

Seriously, people, lots of really good food available here. But why do we say half-baked, then? There were some problems with this Taste of Chicago 2013 that could really be easily fixed. First of all, it’s miserable hot out there, and the festival is on pavement? Nice going. Whatever, though, it’s probably easier to maneuver the grills and all the equipment. But then all the shaded areas are fenced off? Do you want me to die of heat stroke, Chicago?

Second, in addition to not having any shaded places available, there were no places to sit, either.

Anyway, I’m sure it’s nicer in the evenings. And the weather probably isn’t Taste of Chicago’s fault. But whatever with that. Spring for some chairs and tables, you guys.

Other than that, though, the food was delicious, as we expected. For $16, we had some red beans and rice with jerk chicken from Vee Vee’s African Restaurant, a pulled-pork mini from The Smoke Daddy, a veggie chickpea bowl from Bombay Spice Grill, two slices of cheesecake (key lime and regular) from Eli’s Cheesecake Co., and a cup of sherbet from Original Rainbow Cone.

Overall, even though my stupid bald spot got sunburned, the cheesecake and sherbet made up for it.

Eli's Cheesecake Co., Taste of Chicago 2013

Found a sliver of shade, and stood there with my slices of dessert from Eli’s Cheesecake Co.– key lime and regular. Oddly, the regular was tastier.