Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fêtes: Book Inspired Baby Shower

In early spring I was in DC for a good friend’s baby shower (I’m happy to report that said friend is now the proud mother of a beautiful and healthy baby girl.).  I shared some Instagram snaps from that weekend earlier, but I wanted to do a separate post dedicated to the shower itself.  Melissa did a wonderful job planning a beautiful party for her best friend, and I thought it would be fun to do a Q&A with her about her favorite inspiration and supply sources for party planning. I was excited to see that part of her inspiration for this party stemmed from the work of Anna Bond (I’m a fan of Rifle Paper Co).

The baby shower had a book theme (all of the guests were asked to bring books for the baby, and the party favors were bookmarks featuring some great quotes about reading), which absolutely appealed to the book lover in me. 

I decided to go with two books for the baby, one for sooner and a second for later:
(1) The classic Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans.  Such lovely illustrations.
(2) One of my all time favorites, the sublime A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle.

Below is the Q&A session, and I’ve also included some highlights from the menu for the baby shower.  Everything was delicious, but I can attest that the sweet and spicy bacon and cupcakes were absolute highlights.

Dogearpress [DP] How did you come up with the theme for the baby shower?

Melissa [M] My problem is always MAKING A DECISION.  There are so many gorgeous inspiration photos online, and I always vacillate forever on which direction to go.  For the baby shower, I ended up deciding to use the awesome (free!) printable invitations as the jumping off point for everything else.  The invitations allow you to choose colors (such a great feature), so I chose green (Becca's favorite) and teal (my longtime color obsession).  As for the book idea, I saw the concept at Creature Comforts and at Pottery Barn Kids, but I wanted to go with more modern decor, so I just meshed that concept into the invitations I liked.  The bookmarks are at a place for twiggs, and I used a combination of an image I found online and editing tools at (sadly, no longer available) to make the bookplates.
[DP] What are your favorite sources for inspiration?

[M] PINTEREST!  Where was Pinterest when I got married?!  I used to have millions of links saved on my web browser, but now I have beautiful online pinboards.  For party inspiration, some of my favorites are,,, and the classic Martha Stewart!

[DP] Do you have any favorites places for buying supplies?

[M] I love looking at, but I usually end up buying locally (partly because I can't make a decision until it's too late to wait for shipping!) at Michaels or Joanns (bonus - they ALWAYS have coupons!).
[DP] Any tips for people embarking on party planning?

[M] Fake it 'til you make it.  I am amazed at all the creative, beautiful ideas you can find online and the fact that bloggers often share their awesome ideas for free.  I'm no Martha, but it's so easy to take elements you find online and mesh them together for something nice that isn't crazy expensive.  Also, work with what you have - I used everything from glass soda bottles to a peanut butter jar to a gravy boat as flower vases.  Stack a bowl or cup with a plate on top to make a cake stand.  Frame a piece of fabric (I happened to have that chevron fabric in the perfect color left-over from my DIY shower curtain project) for decoration.  If you're like me and get over-ambitious (read: totally insane), go through your plans and remove at least one thing.  Crossing off "homemade scones" from my to-do list saved my sanity, and I'm pretty sure there was enough food.    

Highlights from Melissa’s menu:

Spinach and Gruyère recipe from Martha, also modified for Broccoli and Cheddar

Sweet and Spicy Bacon: recipe at
Epicurious (omg, best.  thing.  ever)

Recipe from Martha Stewart (sort of) with basic butter cream frosting piped on to look like roses, which was probably my favorite thing about the shower! (besides Becca and Jon having a great time, of course!)

Thanks, Melissa for sharing your party planning secrets with us!  And to close this post are some images of two of my favorite guests at the baby shower (the dark haired little girl is Melissa's daugther!).


  1. Thanks, Soyoung! Especially love the pictures of my Evie :)!

    1. You're welcome! And thanks again for sharing your party planning wisdom. I will eventually go through the rest of my photos from the weekend and set up a Picasa album so you can download any pictures you want!