When I found out my best friend was expecting her first baby this summer I was overjoyed. Okay that might be an understatement. I don’t know if there’s one word that properly can wrap up all of my emotions, which is a problem I frequently have, but especially in this case. I mean my best friends are having a baby!
We’ve known each other for close to eight years (most of our adult lives) and have been through many of life’s ups and downs together, I actually wrote a long post about our friendship here. But Kirsten and James having a baby is a whole new chapter of their lives and our friendship that I am beyond honored to be apart of.
Welcoming our best friends to the parenting club is something I’ve honestly dreamed about since we became parents ourselves so I knew that it was really important to throw a simple but intimate baby shower to welcome this major life change.
In the past four years since David and I moved east we’ve gathered a whole group of friends and family that used to live in Phoenix. First it was James and Kirsten, then all of our siblings (and my brother’s wife), then a couple of my sister in law’s friends moved here (who are now our buds too) and hell, even Kirsten is from Phoenix. Needless to say we have a little extended Phoenix group that made for the perfect guest list for Leah’s shower.
I remember what it was like to be away from the place I grew up when I was pregnant and I wanted her to feel loved, supported and comfortable about having a baby in New York City despite her family being across the country. Our little group of friends and family, I feel acts as everyone’s little New York family and that above all else is so special to me.
Since this was the first baby shower I’ve ever thrown, I found the resources online to be overwhelming. There are so many cheesy ways to do these things and I knew that just wouldn’t fly. I thought I would share how I put together her shower for anyone else who is in the same boat I was in just a few weeks ago. Feel free to leave me any questions in the comments below!
1. Host the shower at home. This can feel kind of lame at first, but doing this really allowed me to be able to do exactly what I wanted to with the shower itself rather than spending my budget on the space itself or food from a restaurant. Plus, I think having it at home really makes it feel that much more intimate!
2. Talk to your mom-to-be about a theme. I know some people can go really crazy with the theme, but more importantly I think just narrowing down the colors is important. We used this clementine print from Darling Clementine as our theme and color scheme. Since they’re keeping the gender a surprise oranges and greens felt perfect.
3. Narrow down your guest list. It can be really tempting to want to invite every woman you know, because hello, your mom-to-be is gonna need everything off her registry, but after talking with Leah we decided to keep it really intimate and it was honestly perfect.
4. Wait to decide on food until the last minute. Pregnancy cravings and aversions are real. I wanted to make sure that everything I served was something Leah would actually eat and enjoy. That being said I waited to really nail down the menu until the week before. We went with a cheese plate, veggie and hummus plate, a big salad (the Trader Joe’s broccoli kale slaw is a crowd pleaser for sure), simple Caprese crostini (toasted baguettes, mozzarella, tomato, basil & balsamic drizzle) and a bowl of clementines to keep with the theme.
5. Make a playlist. I went with a “baby” theme in all the song titles. It started out cute and indie, make its way to early 2000’s pop and rounded out with classics from Nina Simone.
6. Choose party favors that can contribute to the decor. Since everyone and their mother has been referring to their plants as “babies”, I thought it was only appropriate to add some green to our table spread and send everyone home with “plant babies” as their party favor. This could obviously get pricey if your guest list is large, but since ours was intimate it worked perfectly. We had a couple out of people who came in from out of town so I picked up something more travel friendly for them – a sheet mask and a yummy bar of soap!
7. Make your decorations gifts to your mama-to-be. I know Kirsten loved the clementine print you see in these photos since we were using it to create the theme, so I figured why not frame it so she could hang it at home! My brother actually designed their pregnancy announcement so I ended up blowing that up, printing and framing it as well. These two frames sat at the food table, added to our look, created zero waste and added extra gifts for Leah to take home. The only other decorations I used was a reusable Oh Baby Banner and flowers (which are still looking pretty in my apartment today).
8. Create fun games + prizes you would want to win! We’ve all been to a baby shower with an extra cheesy game and I wanted nothing to do with that so I ended up creating my own games. We did a hilarious game where I used one of those awful baby photo generators and put all the couples or the guest and their celebrity crush so see what each person’s future child might look like. The results were so off and funny, imagine that scene from How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. Everyone had to guess whose baby was whose and the winner received a $10 gift card to Trader Joe’s. The second game was a baby/pregnancy themed version of Heads Up. I used index cards and came up with 200 terms. I split the group into two teams and followed the same rules you would play on the app. The winning team took home clementine theme candles.
9. Have a good grasp on what your mom-to-be needs. In New York City our storage space is generally pretty limited. I know it’s tradition to ask baby shower guests to bring diapers, but we skipped that at this shower. I made sure to send over her registry to everyone and acted as a sounded board for anyone who had questions or wanted to get something off the registry!
10. Leave your timeline open and pressure free. I know this is close to impossible when you have a space reserved in a public location, but since the shower was at my place it was so nice to just hang out after all the games and drink coffee and chat with everyone. The guys even joined us at the tail-end!