We did it! We actually surprised Doris with a baby shower!!! (Believe me…this is no small feat. Doris is THE HARDEST to surprise.) With the help of numerous family members and friends we were able to pull together an intimate, backyard baby shower – storybook themed!
So much of what made this party a success (apart from the wonderful people who came/helped) were the tiny details dispersed throughout. (So, as you begin to look through the pictures, keep an eye out for little descriptions from yours truly!) You guys know the drill.
One thing you need to know about Doris is that she is basically a female, American version of Sherlock. She can literally sense when you’re trying to keep something from her, and will ask you a million questions until she figures out every intimate detail of your secret. SO, as a back-up plan, we decided to surprise her in a semi-unusual way.
One of the first things I did before setting a date for the baby shower was contact Doris’ closest friends – all of whom lived a good distance away. Linda (our cousin and Doris’ kindred spirit), Cristi (Doris’ sister-in-law from Tennessee), and Melinda (a close friend of Doris’ who moved to California last year) all wanted to attend the baby shower to love on Doris and baby Emmett. Absolutely thrilled at the thought of Doris’ reaction to their attendance, I knew I had to somehow surprise her! So, instead of trying to get Jay to get Doris ready and at our house, I decided to have Cristi, Melinda and Linda show up at her house the morning of, surprise her, and help her get ready for her special day!
It’s all in the details…
Another thing you’ll probably know about Doris is that she is a COMPLETE bookworm. (As a child, my parents would punish her by taking away her library books….yeah, it was that bad.) So, of course a book theme would be most appropriate for her baby shower. Everything from the invitations (which I’ll be posting in a separate blog post here), centerpieces, and even accent wall we made (another post you can find here) encompassed this book theme; ’cause you know, the beauty is in the details, right?!
We even had guests bring in their favorite used children’s books with written inscriptions in the covers instead of standard cards. (Now Baby Emmett has his own personal library! (Hope he likes to read like his mommy….)
When it came to flowers, we knew our budget wouldn’t allow for professionally made floral centerpieces. (I got a quote from a local flower shop just out of curiosity… $75/centerpiece!! No thanks.) Instead, we decided to take DIY to a whole new level and order flowers from an online source in California called Fabulous Florals. I know what you’re thinking, because I thought the very same thing! I was 100% sure they’d be delivered completely dead or be smaller than in the pictures, but they were surprisingly great and much more cost effective! In addition, we were able to get bases for the flowers from the VNA Rummage Sale (click here to read more about the Rummage Sale), along with other miscellaneous items for super cheap – helping us keep the costs as low as possible.
In total, we spent about $190 on flowers, $25 on bases from the rummage sale, and $30 for Oasis floral foam. For eight centerpieces, that came out to $30/centerpiece, which was much better than the $75 estimate! (We were also SUPER fortunate to have a friend with floral experience come and show us how to properly arrange the flowers, so if you guys would like a post just on how to arrange floral centerpieces then leave us a comment below!)
Wonder where we got all of those Reader’s Digests?? Two words – Jenny Wilen. She’s famous around these parts…we hit her up for treasures pretty often.
Who else hates baby shower games? I mean, how many times can you expect grandma to identify the poop in a baby’s diaper, or chug apple juice from a baby bottle? (Seriously though, they suck.) With that in mind, I gave Fran and Becky (sister and girlfriend) the task of coming up with some book-related baby shower games that were less common and way more fun…and I think they nailed it! The first game we had was “The Price Is Right,” where each person was given a list of baby items in large quantity orders, and the closest to guessing how much all of the items would cost wins! (Now, be warned, some of these mamma’s are VERY thrifty, so they may pay much less for an item than you’d expected.)
The second game we played we referred to as “Alternative Names,”which is basically solving the right children’s book title based upon an alternative title. (ex. Pretty Girl Slumbering = Sleeping Beauty)
The last game was more of a traditional one, BINGO! Who doesn’t love Bingo?? By having guests write down gift items on their board and cross them off as Doris opened presents, we were able to keep them occupied while giving them incentive to pay attention. The winners of all three games received books from Barnes & Noble’s illustrated series! (I wanted to keep them all to myself, they were so nice!)
We decided to do somewhat of an untraditional menu for this baby shower, but boy was it tasty. Our dad (John), Doris’ father-in-law (Paul), and my practically-father-in-law (Luis) all wanted to help out at the baby shower, and all three of them are fabulous chefs. You can put two-and-two together. Together, with the help of our little brother, Johnny, we were able to make customized omelettes, waffles, and pancakes. At every place setting we had a tiny menu with check-offs of different options for your meal. I think it’s safe to say that everyone enjoyed!
These omelettes though….
Doris’ mother-in-law, Louisa, handmade tiny coffeecakes and her famous cheesecake for the party, and brought along the precious cake below, which we all devoured!!! Thanks, Louisa!
During the stress of planning and the busyness of prep, all I could think of was if Doris would love it and how she would feel the day-of…and all in all, I think this baby shower killed it! It was a HUGE success, much in part to those who came out to support Doris & Jay (and little Emmett), but also because, at the end of the day, Doris felt loved.
Now, before we all get emotional, I’m gonna end this post. I just want to remind you to look out for posts on our Book Invitations and Book Wall. Thank you, again, to all that helped make that day special!