Sammy's Next Chapter

My friend Sammy is having a baby, and gosh, I'm so excited.  Seriously excited.  It's partially because I know she and her husband, Ricky, are going to be amazing parents, partially because it's so fun to watch people transition into parenthood, and partially because come September, her little bundle of joy will be entertaining me and Levi for a few hours a day!

Sammy's baby shower was last month, and it was perfect - great guests, good food, cute decor, beautiful location, and glowing momma to be.

To start planning the shower, the other girls and I stalked Sammy's own Pinterest boards.  How did we plan any event ever before the onset of Pinterest?  I mean, seriously. Suddenly, ever other shower I planned looks like complete junk. We watched for nursery ideas she was pinning and based our colors around things she seemed interested in.  Heck, some of the food and baby book gift ideas were from her boards, too.  Never underestimate the power of pinning.

Sammy is a musician, but also an avid reader, and a book theme seemed to be just up her alley. In lieu of cards, guests were asked to bring books, as seen here.

The centerpieces and table decor rang in with a 50 cent price tag.  My friend Melody made burlap baby themed table runners and generously loaned them to me (I still owe you a Starbucks).  She also loaned me a dozen glass bottles to use as vases. I filled the bottles with a strip of rolled purple paper, and put half a dozen book page flowers in each bottle.  Looking for a tutorial on paper flowers?  Check pinterest!  Or here.

(flowers at my house, aka pre-staging)

The shower was held at a local radio station where my husband works part-time.  They have a new building with a cafe-like room that can hold 40.  The room is just gorgeous with wood floors, marble counter tops, mood lighting, and nice cozy tables and chairs.

In addition to baby bottles, burlap runners, and book page flowers, each table was set with guest favors - a book mark!  I based the book marks on something from etsy/pinterest, but used fabric flowers instead of resin.  The jumbo paper clips come in a pack of 10 at Staples.  I did 40 fabric flower favors for $18.  Each bookmark is attached to a card that has a quote about kids and reading and then, "Thanks for joining us to celebrate Samantha's next chapter."

I used a variety of fabric scraps to create a coupe different kinds of flowers.  I used this tutorial (6 different flowers!)

Decor for the buffet area and around the room was also book themed and based on Sammy's nursery colors (purple and brown).

My go-to birthday/baby shower gift has been a custom fabric pennant banner.  I made one for a Levi a few  years ago and now I feel like every kid should have one.  Baby girl's nursery is purple with brown furniture, so that guided my fabric choices.  If you're looking to make one of these pennant banners yourself, pick up an eighth of a yard of 5 fabrics and some corresponding ribbon.  Or, read this or that tutorial for more information.

I found these little wooden books for $0.30 for all five at a thrift store.  I gave them a fresh coat of paint and strung them using twine.

The food, of course, was also book-inspired.  If You Give a Mouse A Cookie - Desserts.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - candy.  Sleeping Beauty - coffee. Green Eggs and Ham - deviled eggs. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - meatballs. Streganona - pasta salad. James and the Giant Peach - fruit salad. The Very Hungry Caterpillar - veggie tray/salad.

Even the silverware got prettied up - wrapped in a brown napkin, held together with a strip of book page.

The cake was made with Wilton's Book pan (thanks mom, for buying this in 1984 and giving it to me.)  "Congratulations Sammy on the beginning of your next chapter."  Oh, in case you are wondering... if you attempt homemade red velvet cake, THIS is the very best recipe.  Please know you can use pink food coloring if you're out of red, it still tastes great.

One of the things Sammy had pinned for her baby's room was this, a variety of fabrics in embroidery hoops.  I had to beg, borrow, steal, and stalk my local thrift stores for a few weeks, but I ended up with 21 embroidery hoops for about $5.

Some of them will be returned to their original owner, and some may eventually don the walls of the little baby's room.  Baby shower decor tip:  Whenever possible, make decor for the party that can be used later in the nursery.  Two birds, one stone.

Baby shower tip number 2:  Bring a handsome, helpful, well-behaved two year old to a ladies-only shower. The grandma-to-be made that beautiful diaper cake, complete with a girly pink football on the top.

And, in keeping with the book theme, we hung pictures cut out of a book of fair tales around the room.  Kind of hard to see, but very effective in person.  The book of fairy tales was obviously under $1 from the thrift store.

So, like I said, it was an awesome shower, celebrating a wonderful couple.  I was so excited to hang out with Sammy earlier this week, and since it was now April, say, "You're baby's coming next month!"

 I am so blessed to call you "friend!"


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