Over the weekend, I threw a baby shower for Brooke, our longest-held employee who’s more like family than anything. It’s been years since I’ve attended a baby shower, and much to my excitement, this was the first shower I’ve ever personally thrown!–Couldn’t think of anybody else I’d rather throw my “first” shower for than Brooke. If you’re someone who feels easily stressed out at the thought of throwing a baby shower, then keep reading because we pulled this special day off with less planning and production than you would think. And for those of you who are either putting together your baby registries or are wondering what to get any parents-to-be, scroll to the bottom for Brooke’s Ultimate Baby Registry Guide.
There’s a broad spectrum when it comes to “decorating” for a baby shower. Some people are complete experts at going “all-out” when it comes to decorations. I am not that type. I don’t have it in me to either buy a bunch of one-off decorations or store them. Instead, I really banked on the sun to come out and let our backyard shine as the main backdrop of the party. And boy, the good weather really showed up.
The decoration budget was exclusively spent on balloons and a few other pieces from Party City (did you know they deliver balloons?), along with some Baby’s Breath from Trader Joe’s.
You can make a big impact with a smaller budget if you know how to stretch it.
How can I make this louder for the people in the back?? You do not get extra points for stressing and slaving away in the kitchen before a party. Okay, maybe you get a few extra points, but if you’re wanting to go for minimal effort and high impact, save yourself and get the refreshments catered. I picked up food from a couple of Brooke’s favorite lunch spots, and there was something for everyone. Yes, Chris was more than willing and oh-so-capable of whipping up some delicious dishes, but catering was a breeze.
We set up this really cute “Mom-osa” bar with juices from Trader Joe’s and Martinelli’s sparkling cider, which we promptly had guests serve up as they arrived. As for desserts, I picked up a variety of macaroons, which even my dairy and gluten-free girlies could eat. Delicious.
Initially, when planning the game portion of the party, I drew a blank because (confession) I’m not too fond of baby shower games. Surely I can’t be the only one with PTSD from sniffing melted chocolate bars out of diapers in front of a group of friends, acquaintances, and strangers? Few things are more uncomfortable than being put on the spot like that.
I decided to rethink the “games” and focus more on the future mom and baby-to-be. After all, isn’t that what baby showers are all about? So I took to Etsy and printed off a few activities that filled the time and kept everybody chatting about baby Knuth.
The guests filled out each activity card while chatting and munching on snacks, keeping the party flowing from station to station. Near the end of the party, I read the answers to each card, and whoever guessed the most correctly got to choose a prize bag (with some of my favorite skincare and beauty products).
People swing both ways when it comes to opening gifts at showers and parties. Some people love it, while others hate it. Since Brooke had family fly in for this shower, I knew they would really appreciate being able to see their gifts opened and oohed and awed over.
And we invited Tristan to join in on the fun since Dads play an equally important role in parenting.
Brooke’s mom even hopped on a Zoom call with extended family, who sent gifts but couldn’t make it. So I think it’s a really nice gesture of thanks to all gather ’round and enjoy all the gush over all the cute baby things.
Not only are party favors a really thoughtful way to show thanks, but it’s also a great idea to start handing them out along with a “Thanks for coming,” which is a gentle way of saying “party’s over.” And that’s about as simple as it gets when it comes to throwing a baby shower! Chris and I got everything for the party ahead of time, and the morning of, my two sisters helped me set everything up.
Since it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been in the baby game (how is Polly 5?), I asked Brooke if she would do you all the honor of putting together a baby registry guide for you all. Some things never change when it comes to diapering and feeding a baby, but there are so many incredible products on the market that didn’t even exist when I was in the thick of the baby years. Brooke is so thorough when it comes to researching the best of the best, plus she has astounding taste, so you cannot be led astray with this thorough list of must-have baby products. Use this as a guide to your own registry, or gift something to a future parent!
Brooke registered on Babylist, which lets you add products from any site, but gathers it all in one place for your friends and family to browse through. However, if you register on Target and Amazon, too, you can get a free welcome box of baby things. Here are all of her recommendations!
1. Indi Diaper Backpack $195
2. Moss-stitched Cotton Blanket $35
3. Read to Your Baby Every Day: 30 Classic Nursery Rhymes $11
4. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? $5
5. Hatch Grow Smart Changing Pad and Scale $149
6. Tubby Todd Bundle $48
7. Wildbird Aerial Carrier $178
8. Boppy Nursing Pillow $34
9. Bear Lovey $45
10. Bibs Pacifiers $16
11. Nanit Baby Monitor $280
12. Silicone Baby Bib $13
13. Silicone Baby Bottles $25
14. Silicone Baby Feeding Spoons $10
15. Hatch Sound Machine $70
16. Halo Bassinet $300
When it comes to gifting baby clothes, people usually buy whatever they hope to see your baby wearing, but I do think it’s good to put clothes on your registry to give an idea of what your personal style is.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
The next project we’re checking off our 2023 project list is the mudroom! This used to be the laundry room until we built out a much bigger, better laundry room upstairs. So, in the meantime, this space has been exclusively Cricket’s room. Cricket will still have a special space here, but we’re transforming this dingy […]
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