My best friend in the whole wide world is pregnant! Emilie and I have been friends since the first day of the sixth grade. I could really embarrass us both by posting a picture of us from middle school, but I'll refrain. Let's just say that we both went through an awkward phase and leave it at that. She is one of the funniest people I know, one of the smartest people I know, absolutely gorgeous, and one of the truest friends I've ever had. We have seen each other through the best and worst of times, and I have no doubt that we'll be friends for life. Last year after graduating from pharmacy school, she and her husband Chip moved back to Atlanta, and have settled very close to us. Over the past year and a half we have all gotten together for Top Chef (Emilie and I are more than a little obsessed), fun dinners out, cookouts, movie nights, etc. It has been so much fun having my BFF live here again. And now she is expecting a baby boy in December (I hope Caroline likes younger men). I couldn't be more thrilled for her, and of course I wanted to throw her a shower.
Throughout the years of our friendship, one of the things we've always had in common was our love for reading. We are constantly passing books back and forth to each other, discussing books we've read recently, and going to see movies that are made of our favorite books (ummm Twilight, anyone?). She even reads book after book after book to Caroline when she's over visiting. So when I saw a baby shower with a bedtime stories theme on The Hostess with the Mostess Blog, I knew immediately that I wanted to use that idea as inspiration for Emilie's shower.
For the decor, I "made up" my dining room table to look like a bed, and used classic books down the center. I also interspersed a few stuffed animals for a playful touch. Even though I already own most of these books, I purchased them to give to Emilie as part of her shower gift to help her build her baby's library. I used Green Eggs & Ham, Where the Wild Things Are, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Goodnight Moon, The Giving Tree, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Peter Rabbit. To set the mood, I created a Pandora station of lullabies as background music.
For the menu,I went back and forth between serving 'bedtime' foods, like milk and cookies, hot tea, biscotti, etc, or serving foods that were inspired by popular children's books. I eventually decided to go with a book-themed menu because I felt like I'd have more room for creativity. I wanted the food to be somewhat substantial, but since the shower was at 3 pm, I didn't feel like I needed to serve a meal (though unsurprisingly, I still ended up serving a lot of food). I thought it would be cute to serve both food that is featured in some of the books, and use a play on words for other dishes. I also made little place cards to give the name of each dish, so the guests would get the tie-ins. Here is what I ended up with:
Veggies from Mr. McGregor's Garden
Crudite with lemon-herb dipping sauce
Where the Wild Mushrooms Are
Cheesy Mushroom Dip with Toasted Bread
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Tray
Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Cookies served with "shots" of milk
The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Fruit Salad
Fruit Salad featuring the caterpillar's favorite fruit
Green Eggs and Ham Sliders
Deviled Eggs and Ham Sliders (inspiration from Annie's Eats)
Goodnight Moon Pies
Homemade Mini Moon Pies
The Giving Tree's Apple Cider
Hot Apple Cider
I was so happy with how everything turned out, and Emilie loved the theme. The only regret I have is that I didn't' take my time taking pictures of the set-up. I was rushing to take the pictures because guests were arriving, and I didn't end up with pictures I was happy with. But when all was said and done, I don't think Emilie cared about the quality of the pictures ;-)
Congratulations, Emilie! I can't wait to meet Baby Sullivan! Isn't she the cutest pregnant lady you've ever seen?