I’ll actually be the first to admit I don’t love baby showers. In fact, I didn’t want one the first time around (with Rex)… but my mom and sister threw me one anyway. And I’m trying to get out of a “sprinkle” this time around as well, ha! Maybe it’s more so the fact that I dislike when all of the attention is on me? But on the flip side, I’m all for any excuse to shower my loved ones and quickly volunteered to host my cousin’s shower which took place at our house this past weekend. She’s having her first baby, due this March, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for her! And it’s been so fun to be pregnant together this time around!
When it came to decor and the planning, I wanted to keep everything super simple and low key (as is my style and my cousin’s). I decided on a healthy brunch menu which gave me the excuse to bake up a storm and make some of the recipes I’d been craving out of my favorite cookbooks–including making all whole food, grain-free desserts from Sweet Laurel’s cookbook for the occasion. I went very minimal on decor–she’s not finding out the gender so it was a gender-neutral party, and I was originally thinking all-white but when I saw all of the beautiful florals out right now for Valentine’s Day I opted for some pops of pink after all. At the end of the day, I was pretty gosh darn proud of myself because this is probably the first event I’ve made all of the food myself (well, except for the salad which I ordered from my favorite local gem down the street) as well as putting together the florals.
As mentioned, the shower gave me the excuse to whip up some of the recipes I had been wanting to try from my newer-(ish!) baking obsession: Sweet Laurel. I swear, this second pregnancy I have such a sweet tooth, so I’ve loved experimenting with some of these grain-free dessert recipes! And I was pretty proud of my cake… although funny story below.
Veggie Tarte (I made one of my favorite recipes from the cookbook Plenty)
Banana Bread (recipe from Sweet Laurel)
Kale Salad (the world’s best which is always such a hit! I order this one all of the time from a local bakery down the street: Juno’s Kitchen)
Fresh Baked Bread (also the very best, from Juno’s)
Chocolate Cake (recipe from Sweet Laurel)
Caramel Cookies (recipe from Sweet Laurel)
Lemon Bars (recipe from Sweet Laurel)
I’m not a baker. I’m a much better cook because I’m terrible at following precise directions… my college roomie would always fire me from helping her bake chocolate chip cookies because I wouldn’t follow the recipe exactly. Like forgetting how many eggs I put into the mix. Oops! So I surprised even myself with this cake and was super happy to hear everyone’s reactions at the party! Funny note though: when shopping at our local Co-Op pre-party with Rex (we’re always a tornado when he’s with me grocery shopping)… somehow I picked up carob powder and carob chips instead of coca powder and cocoa chips. Soooo I actually made a “Carob Cake.” Not a Chocolate Cake. But it was still a hit, so moist and delicious! And I think even healthier? Do you even know what carob is? Yeah, I had to google that one once I was home and realized my mistake. (It’s a healthier chocolate alternative).
Dress | Doen (also seen here).
Topped with flowering rosemary from our yard.
Florals | A mix of cherry blossoms, the largest pink tulips I’ve ever seen, whites, and a hint of purple.
I had everything out for guests to nibble on as they arrived… the banana bread and cheese platter were supposed to be easy snack-y options. But of course it took some rounding up to get the ladies actually to dig in… too much chatting and socializing!
The Gift | Now that I’m a mom, my go-to baby shower gift is always something sweet / thoughtful with the not-so exciting, but super practical: diapers and wipes. I like to give my girlfriends Pampers Pure to share with them how amazing this Pure line truly is! And the bunny,
and you can’t see it here, but I also gave her gentle baby soap both were sweet finds from Bonpoint, my favorite baby store in Paris.
Photography | Stephanie Russo