This weekend my parents threw my ‘Bun in the Oven’ themed baby shower, and it was absolutely everything I dreamt of and more. I’ve planned a lot of parties in my day, and there are few things more rewarding than seeing my vision come to life. It was executed exactly how I imagined, giving me such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when all that hard work has paid off!
55 of my favorite ladies gathered to celebrate the upcoming arrival of our future little girl. It was a day filled with so much love, laughter and of course, delicious food! It felt amazing to be surrounded by so many wonderful people, and I said to all of them, my daughter is lucky to be born into a world where each of them exist.
We started the theme from the very beginning with double-sided invitations. The front showed a chic momma-to-be in the kitchen, with a little ‘bun in the oven’ rhyme, while the back gave the information for the event.
We rented out the gorgeous 55 Degrees Wine Bar and Restaurant in Fairfield, CT; a three-story establishment with vaulted ceilings, bright windows and modern accents. My lavender and white theme was shown throughout, with a few little pops of pink.
Guests were greeted by one of my favorite personal touches, a hot chocolate station with fresh whipped cream, pink non-perils, pink heart sprinkles, and pink mini marshmallows (in a pregnant belly mug!) It was the perfect way to welcome guests in from the cold, especially those who traveled many hours from all over to celebrate with me!
The bar was lined with collages of mine and Hubby’s baby photos, as well as quotes I found about motherhood and new babies. While guests were mingling and sipping hot cocoa, they were able to read the sayings and take a walk down memory lane with our pics.
And I just couldn’t resist a compilation showing my love of eating, even at a young age!
Of course, I even found a recipe for motherhood to go with the theme and other meaningful sayings.
A Bump Ahead (get it?) road sign led everyone up the first flight of stairs with a banister wrapped in lavender tule and lights. Each staircase leading up to the top was embellished the same way, then flanked by large lavender bows and bouquets of lavender and white polk-a-dotted balloons.
As guests made their way up to the first level, they saw two clothing lines of dainty hats, ruffly socks and snarky bibs and onesies. My mom did an amazing job putting this together on lavender shiny ribbon with tiny pink clothespins.
I made four different banners that were placed throughout the room, all sticking to the lavender and white color scheme with the polka dot, damask and striped patterns. The main one read ‘Jenn’s Bun in the Oven’ which was hung over my gorgeous diaper cake made by my friend Lauren and her mom, Lorraine.
Next to it sat a mailbox I decorated to hold ‘Wishes for Our Baby Girl’, each guest filled out. I had saved our old mailbox from when we first moved into our house, knowing one day I would use it for this purpose (talk about planning ahead!) Hubby spray painted it white for me, and I embellished it with glittery letter stickers, lavender and white polka dotted ribbon and a handmade bow.
Lavender and pink diaper pins were scattered about, and a feathery tiara signified our little princess on the way. My handmade lavender hydrangea flowers were displayed next to ‘It’s A Girl’ blocks I painted for the occasion.
The back wall banner read ‘Sugar and Spice‘ which swayed in front of large tissue paper poofs (I made them myself!) and a paper lantern. I strung a handmade tissue paper garland along the glass doors that made up the entire wall.
Across the window, read ‘It’s a Girl!’.
As we made our way upstairs to where my friends and I sat, a ‘Mommy-to-Be’ sign hung right over my head. More paper lanterns and a lavender tissue paper poof rounded out the setting to match the main room.
I had my own white chair cover with a purple ‘Mommy to Be’ sash.
I handmade all the centerpieces out of lavender and white polka dotted cupcake liners (75 each to be exact!), all propped up on a matching lavender and white swirly drinking straw. They were displayed in square glass vases filled with shiny purple Sixlets candy everyone enjoyed nibbling on during the shower.
For favors, pregnant belly cheese graters sat at each spot, doubling as place cards. Each had a tag which read, “Jenn’s Bun in the Oven Timer 2:24” for my due date. The best part is, when they are unwrapped, the cut-out of the lady comes off, and it’s just a regular kitchen utensil for everyone to use! Perhaps for a recipe from That’s SO Jenn? Cute and practical!
Hubby designed a few printouts for the day, including the Wishes for Baby I mentioned and Advice for the Mommy-to-Be. Last night when our weekend guests left, Hubby and I took turns reading them aloud to my belly. They were everything from heartfelt to creative to laugh out loud funny! I made them into a book and can’t wait until our little girl is here so we can share them with her in person!
Because it’s a shower, Hubby also designed a couple of games! To fit with our theme, everyone tested their matching skills with something called, ‘Pregnancy, How Sweet it Is!’ Everyone had to figure out the corresponding candy name that matched different baby/parenting related terms. Ie: Triplets was Three Musketeers. Of course, my mom got purple pens for everyone to coordinate with the decor.
We also played gift BINGO (the free-space said ‘Bun in the Oven’) to help keep everyone involved during the present opening process. Although everyone ‘oohed’ and ‘ahhed’ over the gorgeous girlie clothes and precious accessories, they were happy to play along and win a prize during the activity! Each guest filled out what they thought I would receive, then marked the board when I unwrapped it. We also set a timer to 2 minutes and 24 seconds–whoever’s gift I was opening when it went off, got a prize as well!
For prizes, we gave out lavender (obviously!) hand sanitizers, as a nod to my mom and I being very conscious about germs. I made little tags tied with ‘It’s a Girl’ ribbon that read, “Thank you for coming and touching Jenn’s life…Now You’ll be Able to Touch Her Baby.” They were a huge hit!
One of the most amazing gifts I received was this oven, creatively made by my brother-in-law’s girlfriend, Katelyn. Even the text is done by hand! I was so touched by the time and effort she put into making such a perfectly appropriate gift for my special day. The oven actually opens! Inside, she had a cupcake holder with adorable outfits all tied with ribbon! (Which I untied before I took the pic…)
I also have to give a shout-out to my friends Emily and Alaina who gave me these little fortune cookie booties, gifted in a Chinese food container!
My friend Sarah also stuck with the theme and came up with this ‘future foodie’ onesie and ‘Foodie Babies Wear Bibs’ book.
I LOVE all the incredible gifts I am so grateful to have received, and got such a kick out of these that went with the motif of the day! Which is the perfect segway into the day’s meal. I designed a three-course menu which was personalized for me at the top.
Being the guest of honor, I had a choice of tasting more than one thing so I ordered the brussels sprouts salad with fontina risotto cake, hazelnuts, parmesan and truffle risotto for me, and the crispy eggplant parm with house mozzarella, tomato ragu and basil pesto for the baby. (HA) The brussels sprouts salad is one of my favorite things on their menu, and the inspiration behind my own version of this dish.
For my entree, I slid my fork into their melt-in-your mouth homemade tortelloni. The delicate pasta was filled with ricotta, parmesan and fontina cheeses, then complemented by a light pomodoro sauce. My side of broccoli rabe was a great addition, although the dish was perfect on its own!
For dessert, shocker, I ordered three of the four on the list (the coconut sorbet was put on there with the vegan and gluten-free guests in mind!). I was happy to indulge in the profiteroles with pecans, vanilla gelato and chocolate sauce, dulce de leche crepes and bananas ‘foster’ bread pudding with rum-caramel sauce.
It was a wonderful way to end an already sweet day! Thank you again to everyone who took time out of their weekend to be there with me! I meant it when I said the real gift was all of you.
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