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FEATURE/The Drought is Over: Creative Baby Showers Now Rolling In; New Book Offers Unique Ideas for Untraditional Baby Showers.

Lifestyle Editors/Feature Editors

FEATURE...

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 30, 2003

People don't often jump at the chance to give up a Saturday afternoon to drink punch and play goofy games that stifle conversation and insult their intelligence. Yet, this sad saga seems to be the baby-shower norm.

According to a survey by Party411.com for Meadowbrook Press, 44 percent of respondents would rather wash the car, do yard work, complete household chores or run errands, than attend a baby shower. However, 89 percent would be disappointed if nobody threw them a baby shower when they were expecting.

Becky Long's new book, "Themed Baby Showers" (Meadowbrook Press) breathes new life into the time-honored tradition of baby showers. Along with 15 unique theme ideas, the book provides advice on planning and tips for saving time and money. For each theme party, the book provides several ideas for invitations, decorations, games, gifts, favors and food.

One of Long's favorites is "Pea in the Pod," which includes:

-- Invitations: Send invitations that read, "There's a pea in

Karen's pod," and glue to a packet of pea seeds.

-- Decorations: Spell out "Baby Shower" on cloth or disposable

diapers and hang from a ribbon clothesline. Guests can also

hang any baby garments on the line that are given as gifts.

Makes a great background for pictures.

-- Activities: Have guests help make a keepsake garden stone to

commemorate the special day. Each guest can place a small

decorative stone in the cement while offering a special wish

to baby.

-- Gifts: Assign each guest a different item found in a garden

and ask her to bring a gift that corresponds.

-- Food: Serve your guests Dirt Pie, a dessert prepared in terra

cotta flowerpots and topped with artificial flowers and gummy

worms.

-- Favors: Give guests flower bulbs wrapped in tulle and tied

with a pink and blue ribbon. Attach a gift tag that states,

"May (mother's name) shower bring you flowers! Thanks for

coming!"

"Baby showers get a bad reputation because many people share the same bad experience: silly games, cucumber sandwiches and mindless chatting," says Long. "With this book as your guide, your guests actually have fun while creating memories for the mom-to-be."

Some other interesting findings of the survey were:

-- 35 percent of people surveyed said when they think of a baby

shower the first thing that comes to mind is a group of women

sitting in a circle chatting.

-- 32 percent of respondents would be more excited about baby

showers if they had a theme.

-- 26 percent of baby-shower guests attend only because they feel

an obligation to the expectant mother.

"Themed Baby Showers" retails for $10.00 and is available at bookstores nationwide. The book may also be purchased online at www.meadowbrookpress.com.

Becky Long is a special-event planner and author. She has also written Something Old, Something New: 701 Creative Ways to Personalize Your Wedding and The Best Bachelorette Party Book: A Complete Guide for Party Planners.

Founded in 1975, Meadowbrook Press is one of the leading publishers of parenting and childcare books in North America. The company is the number-one publisher of baby name books in the country, with eight books totaling over seven million copies sold. Meadowbrook Press also has growing lines of humorous poetry, fiction anthologies, gift, activity, party and humor books. For more information, visit www.meadowbrookpress.com.

Editor's Note: For a review copy of "Themed Baby Showers," call contact or visit www.featuresource.com.
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