Brittany’s French Country “Bebe Soiree,” Gender Neutral Baby Shower

french country baby shower bebe soiree

A few weeks ago, I had the honor to co-host a baby shower for my forever friend, Brittany. Friends since second grade, bridesmaids in each other’s weddings, moms are best friends, she’s practically family. Thankfully, my mom and “Tutu Kathy” (an aunt of sorts) were able to step up and really host this shower while I got to just help with decorations and stationery. Between the three of us, this shower was so so adorable and so so delicious. Here’s some photos of the event along with some links for their amazing recipes. Seriously amazing recipes.

But first, let’s start with the beautiful mother to be!! Then we’ll get on to those lovely party details…

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The theme was kindly suggested by Brittany after she saw this lovely shower on Martha Stewart, as you can see her version and then our version above of the floral “bebe” letters. I’m pretty sure we can rival Martha even on our bad days….

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The Invitation Suite

The first step, of course, was designing the invitation. After searching Pinterest and not finding much inspiration that fit our country twist, I sat down with a blank canvas and just kept adding to it. With the nursery colors in mind (gray and white with accents of yellow), I found a feminine shaped background to work with and just working on it. Brittany was using polka dots in the nursery so that was an easy choice for the background and a subtle pattern was created with the added vintage fleur di lis. I really loved how this suite came out…. the background shape influenced so much of the paper goods for the day of as well in addition to the hang tag for her registry information. The overall invite was quite classy looking so we added hemp twine to tie all the pieces together and to give it a country feel. (I can talk about the paper goods like the other ladies can probably talk about their amazing recipes!) But I’ll stop there and just share some photos of the paperie!

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Also included in the invites, was the request to bring a book, rather than a card, to build the baby’s library. We had extra library cards to fill out at the shower as well as a sticker pocket to adhere them to the books (available in my Etsy shop here).

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The Day of the Soiree!

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The Food

I’ve already put in a request for these lovely ladies to cook me up something special for my 30th birthday, which is more than a year away, but they are just that talented. Seriously, they created such delicious eats.

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My mom put together this vegetable medley, a lovely Pinterest find, housed in a perfectly themed hat box found at the Rainbow Vintage Marketplace back in March.

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Kathy cooked up these Croque-Monsieur sandwiches (bottom right tray in the photo below). Which were Amazing. With a capital A. And a D for Delicious. Recipe here on Martha Stewart.

And Brittany is picking up a Parmesan Salad Cup.

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Some of the other eats not in the above photos: Cheesy Asparagus Spears and Bacon with Leek Mini Quiches.


 

The Drink Station

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I loved what they came up with for the drink station!!  What a perfect way to house the glassware.

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Just the day before the shower, we found these wine glass tags that we were able to make a template from and personalize for our guests. I love my Cricut 🙂

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french country baby shower bebe soiree drink station personalized wine tags

Drinks: Lavender Lemonade with Hibiscus and Cinammon Spice Iced Tea.

The Games

We kept the games pretty simple… the first game was “Who’s That Baby?” where we created a board displaying photos of family members and some of Brittany’s favorite celebrities as babies.

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The second game was a bag game that we found through Pinterest. To keep with the theme, we named our bags with “Bebe Soiree” rather than “Baby Shower.” The bags were filled with baby themed goodies that the ladies then had to guess the contents… Those extra e’s proved quite tricky! Brittany then got to open all those to reveal the answers, and she got to keep the gifts!

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I really really do love my Cricut!! Using the shape from the invitation as a base, we made these little overlays for the bags with the fonts to match the invite.

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The Favors

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Kathy whipped up these DELICIOUS lavender and vanilla scones (recipe). I don’t usually like lavender flavoring or scones but these were so so SO good. I was so excited to have one leftover after we were done wrapping them. What a special treat!

And again, my Cricut to the rescue to create these hang tags.

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The Dessert Table

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On the dessert menu:

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The Gift Table

And what’s a baby shower without gifts?! I loved how Kathy hung (her dad’s) baby clothes above the gift table. It really enhanced the whole shower with their adorable vintage-ness!

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My friend Jess graciously created this pillow cover for us. Such a unique and special detail.

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Au Revoir!

And finally, as guests left they could take their bag of scones and wave “Au Revoir!”

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Thank you so much for the honor to cohost your baby shower, Brittany!! It was our pleasure and we are counting down the days to hold that sweet baby in our arms!!

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And one last, just for fun photo 🙂 before the craziness really started.

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Baby Hudson’s Newborn Photos

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Well now that this little guy is over 3 months old, I guess its time to post his newborn photos that we shot back in December. Goodness, I am so behind in life….

Let me introduce to you the newest little fella to my family of friends (I swear, I have the cutest collection of nephews in the whole wide world!!)…

Hudson Ryan Pankratz was born the weekend before Christmas. We all waited patiently, checking our phones constantly, to hear when this little love had arrived. And we all jumped from our chairs when Grandma Kelly came running back from the delivery room with Hudson’s first photos. And then we all fell in love.

I’m so proud of my best friend! I will never forget that wonderful night…

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He still sleeps just like this with his arms out flashing those macho biceps.

 

 

 

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A few days later, Andy and I drove up to visit and take some more photos of him for his birth announcement.

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Told you it’s been awhile….

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Even more proof that I am quite behind… here’s little Hudson this past weekend at his Auntie Brittany’s birthday. Love that little grin!

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Oh Hudson, your Auntie Sam loves you more than you will ever know. Thanks for blessing us so much and being such a joy to your mommy and daddy. Looking forward to our big trip to New York later this month. Prepare for 4 months worth of cuddles jammed into one single week. Love you forever and always.

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The Ryan Family’s Fall Christmas Photos in Oak Glen, Outdoor Family Portrait Photography

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This family. Oh, how much do I love and adore them. Pretty much some of the nicest, most genuine people that I have ever met.

Meet the Ryan family… Shane, Kyrene, Hudson (3), and Parker (1).

You’ve definitely seen them around here a few times though, if you’ve been here before. I did their wedding invitations, first ones I’ve ever designed besides my own! Plus, Parker’s newborn photos… and a few other fun things, like Disneyland trips and birthday parties!

After starting the photo session with my favorite family shot, we just had the boys run around and play while taking more lifestyle-like photos. From Hudson’s adventurous spirit to Parker’s deep contemplative stares, I had a hard time narrowing down my favorites!

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Vintage Cars and Drag Racing Themed Baby Shower and Party

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Hey there race fans! I’m so excited to be sharing photos from my best friend’s baby shower earlier this month! Especially after sharing her maternity photos last week!

Because of their love of vintage and cars, their baby boy, Hudson’s, nursery will be vintage car themed. But because Amie grew up as a drag racer in the NHRA, we felt compelled to gear the shower toward Amie’s *racy* past. It was such a fun shower to plan and to maximize the theme down to the smallest detail!

The Invitation Suite

I struggled and fretted over this invitation… there’s a lot of pressure when you’re a graphic designer AND hosting the shower. Or is that just in my head? Anyway, it took me awhile to come up with the design of the paper goods. How do we combine vintage cars and racing in one theme without being cheesy? Somewhere along the path, I thought of representing each: the dad and his love of vintage cars, Amie’s dragster, and then a “baby car” for Hudson! We then paired the invite with a “ticket” that had the RSVP and other information, racing red envelopes, matching wraparound address labels and some black and gray striped washi tape. Oh and hot rod postage stamps! I think that’s my favorite detail!

Instagrammed photo via @samallencreates

Instagrammed photo via @samallencreates

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The Day of the Shower

And now for the day of… when it rainned all the night before and all morning! But I hope you enjoy some photos from the day where the threat of rain didn’t keep us from celebrating with a race to the finish line!

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Each table was set up with its own racetrack with the centerpiece being one of Amie and her family’s trophies and medals. Along with a mixture of soup cans that were reincarnated as oil cans.

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One of my favorite parts was the red velvet cake (Amie’s fave!) that was designed around the invitation and baked by my friends at Twinfully Sweet. How darling is that?!

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The race track centerpiece functioned as a board game with all the shower games moving the guests’ cars forward in their lanes. And then at the end, each table’s winner competed in a relay race for the final prize!

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The favors were created based on a tutorial published by Disney for their Radiator Springs cones. We did have to modify the tutorial to make the cones big enough for our sweet treats… a few of the snacks Amie had been craving during the pregnancy! Unfortunately, we didn’t realize we need to modify until after all the paper was cut! ha!

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It really was so fun to play up the racing theme, and thanks to Pinterest, we found so many  cute ways to do that!

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But my favorite decoration was the balloon arch that we created the morning of, after seeing this tutorial on The House that Lars Built. It came out perfectly, just as I imagined and I was so excited for it to be a cute photo background while Amie opened her many presents for baby Hudson!

car themed shower party balloon arch

My beautifully glowing Amie, hope you enjoyed your shower just as much as I had planning the details!

So many gushing thanks to everyone that helped pull this day together. It was one big team effort… in other, on theme, words, Amie’s pit crew pulled out all the stops to make this day a big win!

Our Weekend Getaway to Northern California

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Last week I posted about my time at the Walt Disney Family Museum, which was the whole point of this trip, but while we were going up there with our friends Lauren and Kellen, we made the most of it with stops for dinner with friends, touristing around the city, and getting to attend our friend’s newly launched church!

First stop: Bakersfield! Our friend Kathleen moved there 2 years ago and this was my first visit to her new hometown! It was definitely an overdue visit. Aren’t these 2 too cute!

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Plus I got to see the Little Free Library in person that I had posted about a few months ago (thanks to Kathleen’s blog for the tip)!

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And of course when we had dinner at Eureka Burger, I just had to get the burger with the fried egg. Because it’s the best. Oh and hot sauce, and bacon. There was no question there.

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Okay and just one more food photo… ice cream at Dewar’s… that’s marshmallow fluff as a topping. Don’t worry, I thought it sounded weird too. But it was amazing!

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I lied, I have another food photo! But seriously, this is the best pizza in America. I’m not the only one who thinks that either… the important people of the world agree with me. Just down the hill from Coit Tower is Tony’s Pizza. So so good. Crazy busy, but piping hot and freshly made. Delicious.

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Then Kellen and Lauren dropped us off at the museum… see last week’s post for more on that.

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And just like 5 minutes away from the Walt Disney Family Museum, is the Palace of the Fine Arts. Which is by far my favorite place in San Francisco. I posted a little reminiscing post on this city that I love so much a few years ago with a great animation of us girls having way too much fun here.

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But this was my first time here with Andy! yay!

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And our last stop in the city was dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf’s Boudin Bakery and Cafe for clam chowder bread bowls. And Andy’s chili bowl, oh that poor anti-seafood boy of mine.

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Since we were going to be going to our friend’s new church in Walnut Creek, as I was looking for hotels in between there and San Francisco… my eyes lit up with joy at seeing Emeryville on the map! The home of Pixar!! I conveniently booked the hotel just around the corner from the studio. You’re welcome friends.

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You can’t see much there, it’s very gated and private but I could catch glimpses of the giant Luxo light and ball and also the fun little “mine mine mine” seagull perched on one of the corner buildings. Thanks again Lauren for slamming on the brakes to let me snap photos each time I exclaimed at each of these finds.

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After lunch at yummy Ike’s in Walnut Creek, we headed up to the Jelly Belly Factory for some sugary sweets and a tour of the factory.

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And then it was time for church! After the nonstop action from those past couple days, sitting in church with our friends was just wonderful, spending the evening singing worship songs and praying for their new church. And of course it was so awesome just to see them in their new home!

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And then we drove home. The end!

The Thankful Workaholic

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I may work by myself all day morning, day, and night long but last night I started thinking about the amazing and supporting “colleagues” I’ve developed.

I work on my Etsy shop orders from dawn until the real job starts, and then usually late into the night, so these people are my rocks, truly…

I have the friend who I can text about each big sale, and even the smallest of sales, and they will share enthusiastically in my excitement and joy!

The husband who makes sure on those really long work days that I ate lunch, and dinner. And drank water.

The friend who I can vent to when I just fell so overwhelmed, yet so thankful at the same time… and totally gets this emotional roller coaster.

The mom who is the biggest cheerleader, and the biggest source of unconditional love and encouragement.

The clients who leave me the sweetest reviews that just bring the biggest smiles to my face! And to my heart. That remind me that my hard work is appreciated.

And all the people in between who have shown their support throughout this past year, even if it’s just to understand that when I can’t go out for fun, or I’m leaving early to get back to work, it’s because I’m building something for our future. Even though I don’t quite know what that is yet. Heck, I’m thankful that they still even invite me…

So today while I feel overwhelmed with a desk piled high with work, I’m taking a moment to be ever so thankful for this work that I love so so much! And for the people who keep encouraging me and lifting me up along the way. I never would have anticipated this and I just keep pinching myself that this is even real.

I truly truly love it. How many people love their jobs as much as I do? That get to spend the moment they wake up until they go to sleep, working and creating something that they are so passionate about? I want to be that person that recognizes this on a daily basis, to be ever so thankful at all times.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17

The image of the stamp above was created especially for my mama for her personal thank you cards, available for purchase in my Etsy shop starting today!

Amelia’s One Year Birthday Photos at the Beach

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Little Miss Amelia turned one earlier this month! And for Mia’s birthday photos, we wanted to head down to the beach to take photos that we could use as decoration at her Under the Sea birthday party.

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I know that she’s pointing at her grandma behind me, but I like to think she’s saying “I’m one!” (P.S. Thanks Grandma Kim for being THE BEST assistant ever!)

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I love this girl’s smile! She just loves life, and is curious about everything! She has the heart for adventure!

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Once we got closer to the beach itself, it was time for a wardrobe change! Rachel made Mia these adorable crowns for the photoshoot… she looks like a bohemian beach princess.

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She really wasn’t too sure what to think of the sand… or the waves… or the water in general. Which led to lots of sweet moments with mommy.

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I am showing you this cute little one from behind, not only to show off her standing by herself, and those chunky thighs of hers, but I am pretty sure she was screaming mad at us at this moment. 🙂

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As the sun set, we took her up to the dry sand and just let her play. It didn’t take long for her curiosity to get the best of her and dig in.

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 Oh Miss Mia, thank you for always being so full of surprises and keeping us on our toes. After forcing you to take a bath outside, you would have thought we had learned our lesson. Thank you for being you, your feisty, sweet, adventurous, you.

Matt and Amie’s Pregnancy Announcement Photos and Card Design

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Last week, my best friend finally let the cat baby out of the bag! She’s expecting her first little babe this December!

Before she even found out that she was pregnant, she had told me that she had wanted to take these feet photos with their little pup (okay she’s not that little now, remember these Christmas photos??)

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So of course I am so excited to meet my new little niece, or nephew. I’m already dreaming of the cuddles, photo shoots, Disneyland trips, and mini milestones all along the way.

And of course, dreaming of the baby shower!! It feels like just yesterday that I was immersed in all things pink and cherry blossoms!

Now, don’t you worry, I’m sure I’ll be posting all along the way… but until then, enjoy a few photos from our announcement photos and the announcement itself that we printed on heavy linen cardstock. And of course, I had to add a little hand lettering to keep in theme with their wedding. 🙂

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