help me throw a couples’ baby shower!

My very good friends are having their first baby this fall, and I’m throwing them a couples-shower next month. We know that their little one will be a girl, but I do not want to throw an overly-girly shower since I plan on inviting both ladies and gents to our event. Right now the plan is to have a garden party with small drinks and eats (but not open presents which, in my experience, can drag on too long). I would also like to do maybe a funny game with the couple, like test the new dad’s diaper-changing skills, and the new mom’s ability to work the baby monitor. Other than that, I’m a little at a loss for fun ideas that aren’t too girly (or silly). Anyone have any couples’ shower ideas to share with me? – Rebecca F.

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kinda genius: aqueduck faucet extender

Aqueduck faucet extender

Even without children of my own, I can instantly identify with the need for a contraption like the Aqueduck. Definitely one for the Why-Didn’t-I-Think-of-That file, the gadget extends almost any faucet so toddlers can reach the water with ease and avoid the old hoist-and-balance routine. Though an initial glance at the simplistic design might elicit some doubt in its value at $12.99, the five-star rating on seems to banish the notion, as many reviewers write that being able to reach the water (with the help of a step stool in most cases) not only eases the strain on little tummies and weary adult muscles, but also encourages hand-washing for the little ones. Another great find for my list of unexpected, but highly-functional gifts for parents. — Sarah C.

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more help for picky eaters: construction plate

constructive eating plate

Much akin to my feelings on the Food Face Plate, the kid in me squeals with delight at the sight of the Construction Plate, $14.95 at UncommonGoods. Paired with the specialized set of utensils ($17.49, sold separately), this duo has the potential to make food fun, even for the pickiest of eaters. Would it have kept me at the dinner table for nine hours as a kid? Absolutely. But if you can’t play with your food then, what good is childhood? Dishwasher safe for easy cleanup, this might be the perfect gift for a night when the babysitter’s on. — Sarah C.

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etsy find: dogs playing pirate


Seriously, what’s not to love about this print? The colors are fun, the dogs are great and the penguin? Come on. If I hadn’t just purchased a vintage bird illustration from Etsy seller SurrenderDororthy, this puppy would be mine. $23.89 for the 7″x9″ print dated 1927. The good news if you miss out on this one? SurrenderDorothy has 280 other children’s storybook prints to look through. — Sarah L.

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birdhouses in a snap from tweet tweet home


Our yard has exploded into spring: the magnolia tree is blooming, the grass is out of control, and currently, the avian philharmonic has taken up an artist in residence position. I love those cute critters — but to discourage them from nesting in the rafters, I think a few well-placed birdhouses would be a smart addition to our yard. Enter Tweet Tweet Home; flatpack, easily assembled birdhouses crafted from recycled plastic. These birdie bungalows snap together without glue or nails, and are available in two shapes and a wide array of colorful designs here for $8.95 each, at Click to Shop. — Megan B.
Via Better Homes and Gardens

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