Our Southern California Baby Shower

I really can’t express it enough. Will and I are ridiculously lucky to have the people in our lives that we do. We’re not the first ones in our group to have a baby on the way, and we certainly won’t be the last, but the outpouring of support we’ve received from all our friends…

Linda Ly
Our Southern California baby shower

I really can’t express it enough. Will and I are ridiculously lucky to have the people in our lives that we do. We’re not the first ones in our group to have a baby on the way, and we certainly won’t be the last, but the outpouring of support we’ve received from all our friends and all the parents before us have been mind-blowing.

Offers to cook, offers to babysit, offers of hand-me-downs and hilariously honest advice have made our impending entrance into parenthood an exciting one. For that reason, as I’m winding down in the final weeks of pregnancy, I’ve been feeling calm and centered, despite the number of birthing videos I’ve watched on YouTube. (As an aside, have you ever searched for birthing videos online? It’s nutty how many there are! Home births to hospital births, bathtubs to birthing bars… I’ve seen just about every iteration of a baby emerging from a vagina. Many more than I’d like to admit.)

When my mother-in-law hosted our shower in Northern California last month, it was mostly for family and for Will’s childhood friends.

The following weekend, three of my girlfriends (Robyn, Jenn, and Kim, all of whom have been by my side for more than 15 years) threw a shower in Southern California for the rest of our friends, and it was just as wild and awesome as we’d envisioned it to be.

The theme was “breaking the water,” which thankfully did not occur at the shower but featured dozens of bottles of water in still and sparkling form.

"Break the water" party theme

Homemade sangria

Also served were sangria and beer, which contributed to a pretty lively atmosphere that — when you insert our already rowdy group of friends — meant photos that came out blurry, a Play-Doh sculpting contest that turned a little X-rated, and a baby shower that felt more like a grown-up party.

Garden Betty's baby shower

Pink roses

But there were sweeter moments too, like all the kids playing in the yard (giving us a glimpse into what life would soon be like) and the handmade favors to celebrate our little Sprout (featuring paper pots, peat discs, and flower seeds… so cute and clever).

Kids playing in the yard

A sweet message from all the kids

Handmade party favors to celebrate our Sprout

Paper cups, peat discs, and flower seeds for favors

Baby name suggestions

Robyn crafted this Anthropologie-inspired floral chandelier from upcycled plastic bottles!

Anthropologie-inspired floral chandelier

Handmade chandelier from upcycled plastic bottles

And once again, Restaurantware stepped up and supplied all the plates, picks, forks, napkins, glasses, and straws for our party. With all the other preparations at hand (the girls went above and beyond on food for a few dozen hungry guests), we were so happy to have disposable dishware that was both sustainable and stylish.

Caprese salad on skewers

Bamboo forks from Restaurantware

Bagasse plate from Restaurantware

Paper straws from Restaurantware

Mason jar drink

There are two things I really like about Restaurantware: one, that many of their so-called “disposables” are in fact reusable (so the plates and forks left over from this party are going into my picnicking kit) and two, it is super convenient to find such a wide range of eco-friendly party supplies all on one site. I’m eyeing their bottles and jars for a few fermenting and infusing projects I want to try soon!

None of our NorCal contingent had spoiled the surprise on the baby’s sex, so for the SoCal crew we staged a little reveal via cupcake. It took a few bites to get to the center of the cupcakes, but once the first swirls of pink appeared, our friends went wild.

Gender reveal via cupcake surprise

It's a girl!

Friends at our gender reveal

Friends at our gender reveal

We brought out the skate deck (if you remember that from the last shower) for our friends to sign, and just love how it looks now with every space filled in with well wishes to little Gemma.

Our skate deck guestbook

We also asked that our friends bring their favorite children’s books in lieu of cards (old or new, and inscribed with personal sentiments) so we could start to build a library for her. We received dozens of books, all of them different, and together with the boxes of heirloom books my mother-in-law saved for us, Gemma is going to be a very well-read little lady!

Books gifted instead of cards

We’re still riding a high from the joy of that day, even as we’re settling into serious organizational mode at home. We’ve started on a long list of chores that include steam cleaning the carpets, dusting behind the dressers, and clearing our shelves for all the new things that have suddenly entered our vocabulary, like snotsucker and swaddle.

And what I love most about those snotsuckers and swaddles is how much they remind me of our friends and all the excitement leading up to our final month. They’re not just baby items, but memories. I can name every single person who gave us every single gift, though I’m not sure that friend will want to be associated with a snotsucker forever!

A million thank yous to my BFFs for this fun-filled and love-filled day, and to all the people who celebrated with us in person and in spirit (including the blog readers who have sent us the kindest comments and emails). Will and I are completely taken aback by and utterly grateful for all the gifts and good vibes bestowed on baby Gemma. And we hope we can pass on the good karma to the next expectant friends!

This post is brought to you by Restaurantware. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Garden Betty.

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