How to Host a Sip and See

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By Apples and Onions

Baby showers can be elegant and fun, but one thing is always missing: the baby! Why not follow a Southern tradition and celebrate after the little one’s arrival? A Sip & See is the perfect way to toast the whole family.

What is it? A casual open house celebration with simple decorations and snack options. Hosts designate a non-meal party time with a start and end point (e.g. 2-5PM) so visits flow without overwhelming the new family.

Who is it for? New parents who may have friends or relatives in town for the holidays or who want their loved ones to share a drink (the sip) and meet the baby (the see) all together.

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Party Guidelines
To keep the décor simple, stick with a single color for your basics - flowers, platters, paper plates, napkins, and tablecloth. We chose white and then dipped baby food jars in mint and gold paint for an adorable and fresh take on bud vases (see image, below).

Unlike a traditional shower, Sip & Sees are about toasting the new family rather than showering the mother with presents. Invites may suggest a small token, like an inscribed children’s book for the baby’s library. Otherwise, gifts are at the guest’s discretion.

Food & Drink
Build a lemonade bar to strike a balance between sweet and sophisticated. Set out pitchers of regular and strawberry lemonade, as well as iced tea and a few bottles of chilled prosecco for mixing. Spiked Sherry Lemonade might be a welcome addition. Add bowls of fresh fruit and herbal garnishes (strawberries, raspberries, peaches, mint and rosemary sprigs). Finish with striped paper straws, mixed glassware, and paper cocktail napkins.

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Offer a buffet of finger foods. We like veggies with healthy dips, open-faced (tartine) sandwiches on long baguettes that can be sliced into single portions, deviled eggs, and a plentiful cheese and fruit board. All can be prepared ahead and replenished halfway through the party.


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For dessert, ask a few friends to bring cookies or brownies and pick up donuts or cupcakes at a good bakery. Display all on cake stands or platters of varying heights.

All photos by Beth Liebetrau.



Lydia Ellison Howerton & Sarah Lagrotteria are co-authors of the popular lifestyle and food blog Apples & Onions, which has been featured in numerous popular print and web publications such as Daily Candy, Washington Post Express, The Kitchn, The Daily Meal, American Baby and Brides Chicago. They are based in Los Angeles, Ca. Currently, Lydia and Sarah also serve as private chefs to one of the world’s most prominent families.

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Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:

54321

Love this idea. I want to do this for my sister n law for the new addition of the family. What a wonderful way to celebrate a new baby in the family.

By Kimberly McKinney on May 19, 2013

54321

Excellent blog entry and just perfect timing as the warmer weather has arrived. I adore the idea of a lemonade bar and the addition of prosecco- well that just raises it to another level. I look forward to adopting some of these great ideas in our next soirée. Thanks!

By Andrew on May 04, 2013

54321

This has such fun ideas! I LOVE the baby food bud vases... those would be great for any party!

By Joanna on May 02, 2013

54321

LOVE the dipped baby food jars ...so chic! The Concept of "Sip & See" is such fabulous way to introduce your newborn...or fiance...or kitchen remodel for that matter. What a perfectly relaxed way to entertain... Nice work gals!!

By Sarah on May 01, 2013

54321

I think this is a wonderful idea. It let's everyone in on the special celebration of the wee one. All these recipes sound great and I hope to try them! Thanks for all the information.

By Nancy Graves on April 29, 2013

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
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Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
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I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
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Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
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