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Oh, baby: shower themes beyond pink and blue 

click to enlarge Jenny Pacaccio of The Sweet Life Bakery designed this cake for a travel-themed baby shower.

Jenny Pacaccio of The Sweet Life Bakery designed this cake for a travel-themed baby shower.

It's a shame, but there's only one (or two or three or four ...) times in your life when you get to eat petit fours while unwrapping countless pieces of diminutive clothing. Since baby showers are such a special event, why not select an equally noteworthy theme? Jenny Pacaccio, owner and head cake decorator at The Sweet Life Bakery, bakes cakes for baby showers. Below, she shares a few suggestions.

Around the world
Character-themed baby showers, such as those revolving around Disney princesses, are on their way out. More general themes, such as travel, are replacing them. Decorate the venue with maps, globes or antique luggage. "We made a cake that had a map on top," Pacaccio says.

Gender neutral
While parties to reveal the sex of the unborn baby are still going strong, gender-neutral party themes are gaining traction — meaning guests won't necessarily walk into an all-blue or all-pink party. Registries mostly comprise unisex items. "They let guests find out the gender at the shower," Pacaccio says. "They want more gender-neutral items."

Couples' showers
In the past, baby showers were a predominantly femin- ine domain, but these days, fathers are included in the festivities. "We have seen a lot of couples' showers for the mom and dad," Pacaccio says. "Everyone is involved."

Flower power
Flowers bring elegance and a touch of nature to a shower. Floral prints on invitations, flower arrangements and floral garlands are obvious ways to incorporate the motif, but hosts don't have to stop there. "In summer, we see more fresh flower arrangements placed on a cake," Pacaccio says. If you go that route, choose a lighter cake flavor. Almond strawberry and buttercream fruit fillings are popular.

Unexpected pastels
More parents are selecting color themes based not on the baby's sex, but on the decor in their homes or current design trends. Mint green and blush pink are a popular combination, Paccacio says. "Soft and sweet, lighter pastel colors are huge," Pacaccio says. "Gold and off-white is big right now across the board."

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