Book-Themed Baby Shower

I have had the pictures uploaded, resized, and ready to go for this post for over a week now, but I keep avoiding writing it.  Case in point: I wrote the previous sentence two days ago and then Xed out of the window and walked away.  I think I'm avoiding writing this because our Book-Themed Baby Shower was SO cute and so, SO fun but my pictures are pretty terrible.  And there are hardly any of them.  It was a Pinterest party without the Pinterest photographer.

Of course I didn't take a picture of the invitation, but we have to start with it because it was so stinkin' cute.  Maybe one of my favorites.  I get absolutely no credit for it whatsoever except for finding it on etsy.  It came from Merrily Designs and the picture of the invitation below is one I stole from her shop - all credit is hers.  

The library card alone is super cute and fit perfectly with our book theme, but it's the tiny details in this invitation that I really loved.  Like, that the card catalog number was the Mom's due date.  Clever!  And that the red circle around the note to bring a book instead of a card really looked like someone took a red marker to it.  But my very favorite detail was that the two names marked out in black (also very realistic looking) were the parents of both the mom- and dad-to-be with their birthdays beside it.  So it looked like their parents had checked out this same "book" right before they were each born!  

My friend Catherine and I were cohosts for this shower and we chose the book theme after Casey (the honoree) said she was obsessing over all the children's books.  It was a no brainer, really.  I took to Pinterest to hunt for some ideas only to find that this very theme had been done before.  Like, a hundred times.  Oh well.  That only made it easier on us because we could copy ideas!  This post from Craftiness Is Not Optional was incredibly helpful because she provided FREE printables.  And they were adorable and required no work from me other than to print them.  I LOVE that.  

So with each invitation that we mailed out, I included this cute bookplate that I printed from the Craftiness Is Not Optional blog.  This picture is also stolen from her post.  It was a great way for each guest to label their book because I'm sure Casey could not remember who gave what when she got home! 

Because Casey was traveling in from out of town, this shower was in the evening.  I did have the forethought to snap a few quick pics earlier in the day while I still had a little bit of natural light.  The mantel was really easy to decorate - just add books!  Of course, there is a particular boy at my house that enjoys ripping covers and flaps off of books, so I had to really dig for books that still looked decent.  Luckily this shower was in January so all the books they'd received as Christmas gifts were still in good shape.  I also added a string of lights to add to the festiveness.

On the coffee table, I added a pouf of fabric (very Suess-ish, dontcha think?) with some Swedish Fish that were labled as "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Swedish Fish."  And it only made sense to have that book on display too.

The kitchen table had a simple centerpiece of flowers, a stack of books, and blocks spelling out the name of Casey's baby boy.  

All of our food items were named after books!  And the complete menu was listed on a big stack of books as our centerpiece.  

In case you can't read everything in the picture, we had:
--IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE (cookies, obvs)
--MADELINE's madeleines (found at Costco)
--GOODNIGHT MOON pies (homemade - marshmallow cream sandwiched between two 'nilla wafers and then dipped in chocoloate)
--GREEN EGGS AND HAM and cheese sandwiches (these, so delicious)
--JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH tart (this recipe - good, but will be better this summer with fresh peaches instead of frozen)
--THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR's fruit (fruit tray)
--CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM salad (chicken salad, made by my Mom, taste-tested by me)
--CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS (frozen meatballs in a crockpot with grape jelly and chili sauce)
--HEAD, SHOULDER, KNEES, AND melba TOESt (a bit of a stretch, but melba toast and crackers to go with the chicken salad)
--THIS LITTLE PIGGY in a blanket - (pigs in a blanket by my girl Sister Schubert)
--THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT's forbidden garden (veggie tray with dip)

Our menu items were chosen by a combination of food+book name combos we could come up with and books we owned between the two of us.  Some things were left off because they were too similar to other items (GO, cornDOG, GO! for example).  In the end, I think I had to purchase three books.  Just add 'em to our collection!

Here are pictures from the food table.  We displayed each book by its corresponding menu item.  The colors from our table decor were kept to a minimum since we knew the food and books would add lots of color.

We couldn't have all that food with nothing to drink, now could we?  Keeping with the book theme, we had BLUEBERRIES cocktails FOR SAL.  Specifically, blueberry mojitos.  And they were good.  :)

Another free printable that I used from the Craftiness Is Not Optional blog was this really cute alphabet book.  I printed a page for each letter of the alphabet and they were sized perfectly to fit in an 8x8 scrapbook (purchased at Michael's on sale).  Throughout the party, guests were invited (nee, ordered) to color a picture or two to represent different letters of the alphabet.  Mom and I had done a few in advance as examples.  Some of our guests were really great artists!  Others might not have gotten into it as much.  (Ahem, I'm looking at you, Jenny, Miss N is for Nothing.)

Here are Becca and Sara taking a break from their coloring.

And the aforementioned Jenny coloring in Catherine's beach ball.  

Y'all, I'm not kidding, those two photos above are the only decent "people" shots I got.  Shame.  None of the glowing Mom-to-be with her belly bump.  (Well, none of her not mid-bite or mid-sentence and that's just not fair to her.)  None of me and Catherine as hostesses.  None of the honoree with her Mom, the soon-to-be grandmother.  All I have is a bird's eye view of everyone in my living room before Casey started opening gifts.

We had a small crowd which made the shower intimate and so fun.  There were lots of stories told and so, so many laughs!  These girls are friends from my college days and I didn't realize how much I had missed them!  

I'm normally opposed to shower games but during my pinteresting, I found a couple trivia games that were too fun to pass on.  Probably because children's books are such a huge part of our lives right now!  Catherine and I quizzed our guests on two different topics.  She did "Alternate Book Titles" and they had to guess book titles from descriptions like "Emerald Yolky Food With Accompanying Pig Product" and "Unsightly Aquatic Bird."  Those were Green Eggs and Ham and The Ugly Duckling in case you couldn't figure them out.  My trivia game was about nursery rhymes and included questions like "What did Jack burn when he jumped over the candlestick?" and "How much wool did the black sheep have?" (Answers are his toe and three bags full.)

I hate that I didn't get a picture of our prize platter!  Quick story about Casey - in college, she kept a copy of Everyone Poops in her car and backseat passengers were invited to read it aloud on their journey.  Quite the ice breaker, I tell ya.  Obviously we had to work this book in to the party somehow!  So after we tallied up who had the most answers to our trivia questions, I carried out a tray of poop...raisinets, milk duds, hershey kisses, and mini twixes!  Sarah was the big winner so she got her own copy of Everyone Poops to take home...but not until after she read it aloud.  :)

We didn't let our other guests go home empty-handed.  Each left with two party favors - one was a bag of bookworms that I assembled and the other was a bookmark made by Catherine.  (The bookmark was another free printable from Craftiness Is Not Optional and this is her picture below since I forgot to take one of ours.)

For Casey, I ordered this book tote bag from Honey Bee Tees because it was perfect for her to carry all of her new books home in.  How could I not get it??

Like I mentioned earlier, we had such a good time together and I didn't realize how much I'd missed sitting around talking with this group of girls.  Someone else needs to have another baby so we can have an excuse to do it again!

One last note: this shower was held in January and Casey was due in April.  We should still be 6 weeks out from meeting Baby James but he actually made his big debut yesterday!!  Casey went into labor just a couple days shy of being 34 weeks.  After delivery, James was quickly whisked away to the NICU where I'm sure he'll have to spend several days until he is strong enough to go home.  Will you say a prayer that that happens sooner rather than later?  Pray that his lungs are fully developed so that he may breathe on his own and that he has a healthy appetite and likes to eat well.  And also, pray for Casey.  Can you imagine not getting to cradle your newborn son in your arms?  I cannot.  Let's hope she gets to cuddle with him soon!