Scenes from a Sprinkle

SprinkleSprin-kle (noun): A celebration for a woman pregnant with her second child. Typically smaller in scale than a traditional first baby shower. Involves delicious food, lively conversation and small gifts for the second time mother-to-be. As soon as my friend HAF told me she was pregnant with her second baby, I pounced and asked her if MR and I could host her sprinkle. We used to use the term "sprinkle" jokingly, but like all things that are joked about too much, "sprinkle" has become part of our normal venacular.

I love hosting sprinkles. They are more low key than full blown baby showers and give the mother a chance to relax and spend time with her close friends in an intimate setting before her second baby arrives. MR and I co-hosted HAF's recent sprinkle at MR's lovely home on Philadelphia's Main Line, and we were especially proud of the finished product. Did we almost kill ourselves preparing? Maybe. Does MR secretly wear scrunchies at home? Yes. Below are some more fun details about HAF's kick ass sprinkle.

HAF's Awesome Sprinkle The Scene: MR and I made significant efforts in creating the sprinkle tablescape, pictured above from my Instagram. MR suggested a floral scheme centering on purple and blue hydrangeas, and the rest of the table was built around those colors. MR wisely kept the linens simple with a white tablecloth, navy runner, and navy napkins.  Classic and elegant white dinnerware polished off the base of a beautiful tablescape. Small floral arrangements worked better with the style of the event than something large. Four evenly placed mint julep vases (from Ikea - these are fantastic) each contained one hydrangea, and tall glass and crystal candle holders were scattered between the flowers.

If the table looks like it took a lot of work, it should. MR and I rearranged, tested out and debated the tablescape for about an hour before the party, and we would've spent more time if we had it. Like the lighting at all good parties, we kept the lighting at HAF's sprinkle low and soft. Everyone looks prettier in low lighting. Plus, I needed to get my hair colored and I didn't want people creeping on me.

The Menu: We welcomed guests with glasses of prosecco for the non-pregnant women and sparkling cider or water for the ladies carrying children in their bellies. While relaxing with our drinks, we sampled a selection of enticing cheeses and snacked on Christa's tomato and goat cheese tarts (via Barefoot Contessa). Those tarts were very tasty, but, according to Christa, Contessa's allotted prep time isn't exactly accurate. You've been warned.

The party transitioned to the dining room where we feasted on MR's famous pear salad (first debuted to astounding success at HCG's 2011 New Year's Eve dinner), a fancy-sounding and delicious pasta (via Bon Appetit), and HCG's old standby of Parmesan Roasted Asparagus. For dessert, we enjoyed HAF's favorite box brownies (Betty Crocker - the best), individual creme brulees (via Alton Brown) and a tiny Carvel ice cream cake to celebrate MR's birthday the following day. Three lessons learned: (1) a mini blow torch can be a challenging method for browning the tops of individual creme brulees, (2) Williams-Sonoma sells vanilla sugar (it's expensive), and (3) melted ice cream cake is still SO GOOD. That damn cookie crunchy layer gets me every time!

The Favors: While favors aren't a requirement for a successful sprinkle, they generally impress people, and Team HCG is all about sending people home impressed. We treated HAF's sprinkle guests each to a Lush Mrs. Whippy strawberries and cream bath bomb (extravagant, we know). Wrapped in deep purple and navy tissue and tied with a purple ribbon, the favors were placed a top each place setting for a festive touch.

The Music: Yours truly was in charge of the playlist, and I boasted on Twitter about how I compiled a set with only one male artist (Jay-Z of course. I refuse to involve myself in any musical endeavor that does not involve Jay-Z). If there ever was a place for an all-girl playlist, a sprinkle is it. When I started the music, MR pointed out that Coldplay is definitely a guy band. Point taken, MR. HAF's sprinkle playlist included tons of Beyonce and old school Janet, with some Florence and Katy Perry thrown in for good measure.

The Entertainment: While there is generally plenty of conversation to keep a sprinkle lively (we are women, after all), we decided to include a game of Celebrity: Pregnancy/Baby Edition to keep thing fresh. For this version of everyone's favorite party game, all of the celebrity names submitted into the bowl were required to be either pregnant celebrities, celebrity children or someone of any notoriety who ever parented or was a child. This new spin on Celebrity worked relatively well, but our second round of regular Celebrity was much more fun. We split into teams of pregnant chicks vs. non-pregnant chicks, and surprisingly, the pregnant chicks held their own and won the regular round. They did mistakenly guess "Uncle Buck" a few times, though.

Have you ever attended or hosted a sprinkle? Was it as awesome as HAF's sprinkle?*

*Editor's note: If you have attended another sprinkle hosted by HCG and it was not awesome, please refrain from commenting.