My friend Kristi is a teacher, so when a few of her close friends and I put together some ideas for her baby shower, it seemed BOOKS was the unanimous theme we decided on.
But we wanted to get more creative with the theme…I had stumbled upon some cute Martha Steward ideas on Pinterest, (which is a great tool for planning events), and decided to make the whole thing whimsical calling it, “Once Upon A Shower…”
Teacher or not, it is truly a sweet way to celebrate a momma to be and her baby bump. Here’s how we planned all the fun details to welcome her baby boy and celebrate our glowing girlfriend!
We decided to go green, and sent an email invitation via Smilebox, since they had a cute chalkboard design for our theme. We also love Paperless Post! Evite is great and super easy too, but has some ads so we didn’t go for it. We had asked each guest to bring a book in lieu of a card, which often get tossed, unless you recycle them in a fun way. Even if the momma to be has a registry or is doing no gifts/charity, a little book addition to the gift is a great way build the little one’s bookshelf collection. We also specified for the books to be unique to avoid duplicates or ending up with 7 copies of Goodnight Moon for the baby!
My friend Katie is super creative, (she’s a marketing and design coordinator for a hand painted fabrics company)…so when it comes to linens, cloth and design, she knows her stuff. For colors, we decided to make it a turquoise blue and khaki rather than the traditional brown and sky blue. She found this cotton linen type fabric in our perfect pair of colors and cut the cloth linens and tablecloths herself. We went with real china and cutlery since we didn’t have a huge amount of guests to keep it classy and eco-friendly. We had the party at our friend Heather’s house who has a sweet little spanish style courtyard and pool, so to keep the simplicity of the au naturale feel, Katie used mason jars and white flowery greens as the centerpieces. We also placed wooden owls, mini chalkboards and chalk at each table which were set up under a cute tent surrounded by a fun garland of owls. At the entrance, we had a chalkboard easel that said once upon a shower, where we also placed a basket of the favors. If you don’t have an easel type one handy, (we had used my daughter’s), you can try this easy DIY chalkboard sign idea.
Lastly, we placed my daughter’s popular baby books scattered around on all the tables as a finishing and perfect touch.
This was my favorite part to plan!
I had found a fun menu that we tweaked for our shower with adorable names for the food which we put on matching turquoise stock cards by each item, (another idea could be mini food label chalkboards with a liquid chalk marker):
Prince and the Pea Crostinis (pea and ricotta crostinis): Katie had blended the peas/mixed with ricotta and spread them over the crostini. Topped with some salt and pepper, these were really yummy!
Secret Garden Salad: Any simple salad works here! Our friend Mel had sprinkled pomegranate seeds all over it for a pop of flavor.
Bernstein Berry Salad: Since it was almost summer and really warm out, I used cooling fruits like watermelon and oranges slices, mixed with blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. For a little crunch, I added jicama.
Little Boy Blueberry Scones: Scones are always so perfect at showers!
Peter Pan Pumpkin Muffins: Make them mini so they are easy to pick up and munch on.
Alice in Wonderland Tea Sandwiches: I used organic wheat/mulitgrain bread and cut each sandwich into quarters to make them into triangles after cutting the crusts off. Here were the types and names I created:
- The Hungry Caterpillar: Harissa, Hummus and Cucumber (cucumbers as round slices/skin removed)
- Where the Wild Things Are: Walnut Butter and Apple (thin slices-I used green apples)
- Dr. Seuss: Silly Strawberry Cream Cheese
- Little Monkey: Mozzarella, Basil and Tomato
We were going to have Goodnight Moon Pies, but had enough sweet items between the berry salad, scones and muffins. However, we did indulge in a cake I found from a local bakery, where I brought in a pic off the internet of the look I was going for and they custom created it for me. Each book was a different flavor and was truly delicious, (red velvet, chocolate fudge and french vanilla with raspberry compote). Note: this pic doesn’t include the other side, but it had book titles like Peter Pan, Three Little Pigs and a little sign for the baby boy saying Welcome.
Mel had a lemonade stand set up with some delicious options like strawberry mint lemonade, organic agave lemonade and citrus infused water. We set the stand up with mason jars as glasses and blue paper straws.
Belly measure: This is a classic and all you need is ball of yarn and scissor. Walk around and ask each guest to estimate how much yarn it would talk to go around the momma to be’s belly. Whoever is closest to the actual measurement wins! For our winner we of course had a book to go with the theme. Since the couple loves to travel and were recently in Asia, I got an awesome authentic Thai cookbook to give away.
Scrapbook for momma to be: I still look at my own scrapbook every once in a while and remember how special it was to read right after I gave birth, so we knew this was something we had to include for Kristi. Katie put the book together with pretty pages and set out colorful pens for us all for everyone to put little encouraging and kind words for Kristi in there.
Decorate baby gear: I definitely used the ones my friends made mat at my shower, so this is a really useful game to have. Just splay out blank white onesies, plain bibs and cotton burp cloths with fabric markers for everyone to get into. Plus mommas love when you can put the onesie on baby and snap a pic to send to your friend who made it! You can make this into a contest for momma to pick her fave if you prefer, too!
We opened presents at Kristi’s shower so we could see the library that was built for her baby boy. We had wanted to include these cute owl bookends on a table labeled, “Baby Broughton’s Library” and place all the gifted books on it, but due to space limitation and since it was outdoors/people came with books wrapped, we didn’t do that but it could be a nice addition!
I’m definitely not into trinkets people usually toss after occasions like baby showers, so found a meaningful way to share a gift with the guests. I knew of an organization in India that sells items the children make, (Akanksha Foundation– whose mission is the provide high quality education to kids in low-income communities). I ordered a bunch of these gorgeous little mini journals that were made from recycled sari fabric with a little note on each one and made a donation to Akanksha in honor of the baby boy. I had created and ordered the owl themed notecard (business card size) and matching stickers, (below), with info on Akanksha to place on the back of the card off Vista Print.
Overall, we all felt the magic of Kristi’s storybook love for her baby boy that day and the shower truly ended happily ever after with much more happiness to come.
Note: Most photos in this article are credited to: H.P. Hart Photography