Welcoming Baby Walkine
Baby Showers are simply an excuse for moms to spend hours retail shopping with no guilt in search of the latest baby gadgets, aimlessly scrolling through Pinterest trying to find the perfect theme and finally dressing up after being in baggy sweats and shirts the entire pregnancy. I've always imagined my baby shower being filled with shower games, typical baby shower food and being surrounded by an army of friends of family who gave me an outpouring of love. While some was a reality, due to Covid, a lot of it was unable to happen as tradition would have it.
Pregnancy came as just as a big surprise as Covid did. The concept of drive thru and socially distanced celebrations was also a foreign concept to me. After finding out I had a little bean on the way, I knew I wanted a baby shower, but during Covid? I had no idea what that would like. Luckily I had eager friends that were willing and able to throw such an amazing event for me, despite me reluctantly handing over that control to them. Although I didn't have complete control in the planning process, the overall event screamed me given the fact that I managed to weave myself into the overall design and creative process.
All good things begin with one (or fifty) scroll(s) down Pinterest. I knew that I wanted a lot of neutrals and greenery, but seeing it in an actual photo solidified that decision. After realizing that thousands of people around the world has the same style as I do, it made it ten times easier when it came to explaining to my friends exactly what I wanted. When I say, they "nailed it", I mean that. I can't wait for you all to scroll down to see a "what I asked for" vs "what I got" image. After finding the exact look I was going for I thought it made sense to create a board on Pinterest for my friends and I to include all of our ideas and have them in one convenient spot rather than sending to separate chats on different media platforms. This allowed us to update and tweak throughout the entire planning process. Social media is such a blessing.
I'm sure you guys don't even have to guess when it comes to figuring out who controlled this part of the planning. After deciding on a theme, I went into full design mode to find the perfect invite template. Transparency moment: I was way too tired at this point in pregnancy to take on the huge role of creating the invite from scratch. Thankfully, there were hundreds to choose from online. I scrolled and scrolled in search of my favorite template when I came across this one. I knew I had to use it because it went so well with the tropical/animal themed décor that we had in mind. Upon deciding to go with this one, I downloaded the template and swapped out the text to reflect our invite info. This saved a lot of time and I am still happy with the choice made. Due to Covid, some friends and family living abroad were unable to attend but still wanted to support despite the restrictions in place at that time. We made the decision to create two baby registries. One being via Amazon, and the other locally at Sandbox aka your one stop shop for all things baby and kids. Our heavy duty items such as the high chair, pack n play, stroller and crib (Tip: always choose a crib that transforms into a day bed. It saves so much money in the long run. Kaylen is set until he's at least four or five because his crib easily transforms into a big boy bed) all came from Sandbox to avoid shipping fees. Gifts via Amazon were sent to a relative in Florida and literally arrived the night before our shower. Y'all know stressed? We are still so happy with our decision of allowing our friends and relatives to support us even in their absence. The support meant so much to us.
All in the Details. . .
As I've said in previous blog posts, packaging is everything. Although I couldn't pull out all of the stops as it relates to packaging, I made sure to execute in the best socially distanced way as I possibly could. The food offering that we curated was lunch boxes filled with turkey/ham wraps, custom cotton candy cups and bottles of water. This was the easiest thing to hand out as guests arrived at Balmoral during the drive thru portion of the shower. The water bottles and cotton candy cups were adorned with the cutest labels that really added to the boxes while sticking to the theme. I created these and had them sent to the local print shop for printing on waterproof labels. I mean what can I say, I really am the packaging Queen.
When planning an event, the countdown is equally as important. Not only does it get your guests pumped, but it's also a fun spin on reminding them of your big day. I used the original invite and simply swapped out the text for countdown excitement. There's not much to talk about here other than, our guests were pretty excited as they counted down the days with us!
TWO BIRDS, 1 STONE (reloaded)
As I stated in the christening blog, I take complete advantage of a two bird, one stone opportunity. In my mind, having my maternity shoot done a few minutes before the shower made complete sense. One makeup session, one hairstyle, with a heap load of photos that are now memories I hold dear to my heart. My maternity photos were captured by the uber talented Fareno Ferguson. He listened to my ideas and creative direction and got the most beautiful photos, just as I envisioned them. Fareno was such a pleasure to work with and he made the shoot fun which allowed for me to have fun rather than seeing it as another task on my never ending to do list that day. Every time I scroll through these photos I get really excited because I know I will be able to show these to Kaylen very soon when he's a little older.
An event without a welcome sign is just plain rude! One of the very few requests I had during the planning process was, "y'all gotta have a sign done by Leanne at Nassau Script Co.". Leanne and I have worked together on many projects starting from when we first met virtually about three years ago. Ever since, she's played a major part in my décor and branding needs. She is one of few calligraphers on the island and one of the best at her craft. She always understands the assignment of anything I throw at her so it was only right that she'd be the one creating the first décor item guests saw once entering the drive thru festivities. She stayed very close to the theme and now we are left with the most gorgeous keepsake that I am so excited to show Kaylen once he's older. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to capture the table of goodies that guests received once they arrived but you can see it just a tiny bit behind the welcome sign. The cutest packaging, for the sweetest party favors inside.
What I asked for vs What I got . . .
I'm not even gonna say much here other than, shoutout to my friends and of course, Tramaine at Extra Flair. They NAILED this set up and I was completely blown away!
A party without cake is just a meeting.
At the very last minute we decided that we would open the mountain of gifts we received with a few relatives and close friends. In my head, cake was just as important as the hors d'oeuvres. I made a super simple, but cute chocolate cake for the gift opening portion of the shower. For those becoming a mom soon, don't be like me. I worked until the day Kaylen came but baking my own shower cake is just something I knew I had to do and I am so glad I did. It will make for a good story when I tell Kaylen his mom was baking up a storm at nine months, big belly and all.
It literally felt like we were opening gifts forever, and well, we were. I have never opened that many gifts in my life. Our friends and relatives really came through. I restocked the Sandbox registry twice because the first registry sold out in minutes leaving not enough items for everyone who wanted to purchase to grab a gift before they all went. It literally felt like Black Friday, but Kaylen edition. Kaylen is super blessed to have so many loved ones that show up and show out for him...even before they met him. I am still filled with gratitude knowing that we didn't have to purchase a single thing for Kaylen's arrival. Major thank you to all of our friends and family.
One thing I live by and I plan to teach Kaylen is to never get tired of saying thank you and showing gratitude. To the bestest girlfriends ever that planned our shower and worked the event the entire day, thank you! To our family and friends who never become weary in showing us love and giving us support, to those that sent well wishes, and to those who simply find me sharing my experiences enjoyable, thank you! Although Kaylen was not here at the time to say thank you and still unable to verbalize it, we knew it was important to thank everyone on his behalf. Your love is a constant reminder that there is power in numbers and community is everything. To all the moms-to-be, congratulations! I will be praying for you all as you navigate through new horizons. It is not easy but through community, many prayers and a whole lot of coffee, you will get through this. Always remember, there is a little someone relying on you to show up and be your best self all ways, always. You are graced for this and the road that lies ahead is a beautiful one.
All my love and prayers,