Smile and say.... "Justine is pregnant!"
That's how Joe, Justine's husband, announced her pregnancy to me back in March while we sat at brunch one Sunday afternoon. After the initial shock and many hugs and screams of excitement, I immediately pronounced my intentions to throw her a baby shower. Soon after, I went to work brainstorming for ideas and the perfect theme. Since Justine is a writer and an avid reader, I thought the concept of having a book themed shower would be ideal. But these days, I'm sure you have noticed, that most "original ideas" have already been thought of and executed. As I searched Pinterest for inspiration, I found dozens of wonderful ideas that I was able to modify and personalize to create the perfect baby shower for Justine. I settled on the theme: Once Upon a Time. Here's how it all turned out...
The Perfect Invite
I really do believe that the excitement for an event begins with the invitation. When I found this invitation on Etsy, I was in love. It captured the spirit of the event with the perfect color combination of coral and teal. The creator of the invite, Katie, also makes matching stationary. She created game pieces (as you will see below) and book labels. The labels were be placed inside the books that each guest brought. Little Vivi received so many wonderful books. Her home library is now fully stocked.
The Tables and the Menu
I wanted to incorporate the theme in the most thoughtful way possible (without over doing it). The best way I thought to do this was in the selection of food and drink, the entertainment and finally the decor.
The tables were covered by red linens. I created table runners from torn book pages and placed them on the food and dessert tables. The meal included food and drink inspired by children's books. I added a few nursery rhymes to add some extra character to the table setting.
The Yiddish Chicken Sandwich
Cloudy with a Chance of Turkey Meatballs and Marinara Sauce
Strega Nona's Vegetable Pasta Salad
Green Eggs (without Ham) Deviled Style
Hummus & Carrots
A Cheese Platter with olives, artichokes, marmalade and crackers
The books inspiring these dishes were:
Beautiful Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Green Eggs and Ham
Tops & Bottoms
The drink table included bottled water and seltzer in a bin which was labeled and accompanied by the children's rhyme Jack and Jill. A champagne punch inspired by Pinkalicious was placed in a glass dispenser raised by a pile of books. Here's the recipe I used. It was perfect for a summer day.
The dessert table was my favorite. Cupcakes, donuts and cookies were inspired by this collection of books: If You Give a Cat a Cupcake, If You Give a Dog a Donut, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff.
This DIY book tier held the delicious, German chocolate cupcakes. A few books and wooden candle sticks (that were spray painted gold) were drilled and glued together to form this eye catching piece.
Let's be honest, shower games can be dreadful. I was hoping to entertain our guests and include the mom-to-be in the process. I chose two games and one activity that brought laughs and some memories.
In our first game, guests were asked to guesstimate Justine's baby bump. They were provided with ribbon, scissors, and a label to attach their names to their cut. Justine later wrapped each ribbon around her belly and declared the winner.
And the winner was Niki! With the perfect guess.
The next game was a bit more difficult. Guests had to guess who the baby pictures belonged to in a game I called, Once Upon a Time You Were a Baby too. I created a Shutterfly collage using the photos that guests had emailed me in advance. To play the game, each guest was given a sheet to write their guesses. Once everyone made an attempt to 'name that baby', Justine took her turn. For every incorrect guess, she ate a jelly bean. Guests corrected their own papers as we went through the faces.
Darla was the winner of that game...with only 1 answer wrong!
This activity turned out better than I imagined. Using a sketch book, guests were asked to fill out the Mad Lib advice cards created by Katie. They attached it to the sketch book using glue. They added stickers and photos that were all displayed on the table to personalize their page. The result was a beautiful keepsake for Mom and Dad with lots of personal notes from friends and family. The book also included a calendar for guests to guess when Baby Vivi would arrive and a sign in sheet.
Who better than Dr. Seuss to help us have some fun? These photo props added some laughs to the party.
Gifts and Favors
Guests were each given these party favors. Inside they found lavender scented bath salts. They were wrapped in an assortment of paper. I used individual sheets from a book as a sleeve and then held it together with a charming note cluing them in on the surprise inside.
All of the amazing photos for this shower were taken by our friend Monica Vazquez. She, of course, did an amazing job capturing the love and care we all have for this growing family. Jump over to this page to see more photos from this event.
For the Love of Weddings...
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