Monday, January 28, 2013

Lulu’s Book-Themed Baby Shower

Throwing a baby shower can be a lot of fun, whew, but it’s also quite the undertaking. Ms. E and I were thrilled to throw a shower for our dear friend, Lulu. We jumped at the chance and planned for months. Once the time came, though, I was especially super glad we were in it together. We decided early on to divide duties according to our interest and strengths. She managed all of the food and I got to decorate! The shindig was also being held at my place, so I cleaned up, but that’s less exciting. Neither of us were quite sure what to do about games and we were super excited and relieved when another friend of Lulu’s, and a fellow bridesmaid to her, wanted to be involved. We delegated games/activities to her and didn’t look back. I sent out invites and managed overall direction and coordination to be sure we were all in sync across our assignments. Happy to report all went off without a hitch, well, not any noticeable hitches. ;)

Beyond determining roles, next up was finding the perfect shower theme. Lulu let us know she wanted something with lots of color and that the nursery would loosely be themed around The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We didn’t want to focus the shower on just The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but thought that was a great place to start. After much research, we found it! The perfect theme to fit our friend and that we could all rally behind. Books! In my décor research I found a shower that was themed around a few different books and we were sold! From there we picked our books, largely on what we thought would fit a colorful décor scheme and based on which books we most enjoy reading to our sons. Our top five picks, in no particular order, were Curious George, The Little Blue Truck, Goodnight Moon, Dr. Seuss, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, of course.

Once we landed on the theme and books, Ms. E and I met to brainstorm food. The final menu and Ms. E’s adorable names for each dish are below. It’s totally inspired.
 

The Food
As already noted, Ms. E managed all things food and it was wonderful! I’m so grateful I wasn’t in this shower thing alone, she loves tackling party food – as she reflected on in her recent blog post (http://lifetossedtogether.blogspot.com/2013/01/my-career-in-baby-shower-food.html) – and she’s totally awesome at it! She made everything! Even the adorable names for the dishes.

Curious George:
Curry-ous George Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches
Man with the Yellow Hat Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Where the Wild Things Are:
Wild Rumpus Veggies and Dip
King of the Wild Things Fruit Salad

Good Night Moon:
Gouda Night Moon Cheese Plate

Little Blue Truck:
Read to Pop-Corn

The Very Hungry Caterpillar:
Very Hungry Caterpillar Cupcakes


 
 

The Décor
I love decorating! It’s fun and parties are a unique opportunity to explore since the decoration is meant to be short lived. We included copies of each book as part of the table décor, and I tried to have a decoration for each book as well. Thanks to our sons, we had a lot of the books already and were even able to use some of their toys for decoration. Resourceful, why, yes, we are, thank you. ;) The décor items and books mostly accompanied the adorable food that Ms. E prepared. In addition, I tried to bring in a lot of color since that was specifically requested. Lulu, our mama-to-be, already knows my place and I was hoping she would walk in and feel like the home was remade to suit the shower. So, I took down curtains and family photos to make room for decorations and hung lots of plastic tablecloths to bring in bright pops of color above windows and over the food. It took a bit of time, but the cut tablecloths that hung over the food might have been my favorite. I found the idea somewhere along the way while researching, but can’t seem to find the source blog now. Sad. Regardless, I love how it came out and it was an inexpensive way to bring in color, color, color!

My other favorite décor item and labor of love was the diaper cake. It seems like baby showers these days require a multi-tiered “cake” made of diapers, and we wanted to be sure ours was up to the fun as well as serving the functional need of providing our mama-to-be with diapers for her coming little guy. Since we knew Lulu was going for The Very Hungry Caterpillar in the nursery, I played it safe here and got a Hungry Caterpillar toy as the cake topper and decorated around that color scheme. The cake was “frosted” with blue and green plaid (I love plaid!) receiving blankets and the top of each layer was covered in red crinkle paper to hide the diapers below. I hid a few functional surprises within the center of each tier too for Lulu to find as she dismantles the cake to use those precious diapers. It might seem silly, but the cake is a fun centerpiece for a shower and dismantling the cake from my shower provided us with quite a few much-needed diapers! So, I was glad to share the joy of diapers and pass it along.

 
 
 
 
Ultimately, the shower came together well and Lulu seemed to enjoy it. Our only real glitch, I think, was that we weren’t quite ready when Lulu, her mom and mother-in-law arrived. Woops. Ms. E and I had been juggling prep with taking care of our little ones, Lil’ O and Lil’ Sir, plus my new puppy. (More to come on life with little pup in a future post.) Thank God my mom was with us to help us juggle – she pitched in taking care of the little guys, watching pup and generally helping us with some of the prep tasks. She was so helpful! Once the shower actually started and Ms. E and I came down from our prep frenzy, I think all went well. Lulu at least seemed pleased, and at the end of the day it’s all about the mama-to-be. :)

Love you, Lulu.

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