Evey’s Storybook Celebration

Behind the Lens

When Ash & Ben first found out they were expecting they decided that they would wait to find out whether the baby was a boy or a girl. To keep things gender neutral and to tie in Ashley’s love of literature, they settled on creating a world of storybooks and fairytales for this little bean to enjoy. A Peter Rabbit mobile for the nursery, framed covers of the classics on the wall– so many perfect elements that encompass their personalities and excitement for this baby!

September brought new challenges and trails when Ash was put on bed rest. Hours at home alone had her heart aching for a name to call this sweet babe. And so, all of us were blessed to enjoy the early surprise of getting to know Baby M {a GIRL!} a little bit more.

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect– Ash and I got to tell J when we picked him up from the airport for his visit, Ash & Ben got to surprise the “Kansas grandmas” during their visit to Tampa last weekend and I got to surprise all the guests at the baby shower!

With a storybook themed baby shower in the works already, I shifted some of the color scheme and added new decorations to showcase this precious little one, whose name we now knew.

Evelyn Lucille Motley. 

Can you say precious?

I flurried for 72 hours leading up to the shower making sure her name was on everything. I wanted people to know this little one, to wish and dream for her and to join her mommy & daddy in praying for her. Plus, I knew Evelyn Lucille confetti will come in handy when I do my feng-shui duties in the hospital room in just a few weeks  🙂

Having found Inkwood Books back in July when I first arrived to Tampa, I knew that the space would help me tell the story I wanted to. Stefani, Inkwood’s owner, was wonderful and kept me calm during the flurried, early morning set-up we encountered on Sunday.

I wanted things to be perfect but only because I wanted Ash and Ben to feel really, genuinely celebrated and for this little one, years from now, to know how very loved she is. Oh, and I also wanted to prove to my non-party planning/attending self that I could pull this off and more importantly, enjoy myself!

I tried to keep the decor relatively simple and very DIY while also considering the general aesthetic of Inkwood’s space. Some of my favorite touches were:

  • The colorful ceiling pinwheels {Purchased in Target’s party section for $4}
  • The diaper cake made using a basic tutorial with base/rubberbands/ribbon/topper purchased from The Dollar Tree & diapers purchased from Winn Dixie {had to have diapers with purple– Ben’s favorite!} I’d never made one of these before but everyone loved it and now Ash & Ben have 75+ diapers ready to go!
  • The Evelyn Lucille printable I made and snuck into a frame from the nursery to create a focal point for the mantle. Gotta love Publisher and dafont.com!
  • The small blue mason jars. I mean seriously, they made straws and plastic silverware look good! Thanks to my friend Wis for letting me borrow them– I need to get a set!
  • The Baby Evey banner. I bought a roll of wide burlap at Michael’s for $6, a set of paper letters for $4 and a tube of black paint for $1. J did the assembly while he was in town (cut the burlap squares, sponged on the letters) and I hot glued them to twine! So easy// inexpensive but really created a statement piece that will now be up in her nursery!

The food was also themed and because the shower was mid-morning on a Sunday, I had some freedom in terms of what was served. Thankfully, children’s books have lots of yummy dishes with cute covers that you can easily turn into cardstock food markers…. 🙂

{I put these together in Publisher, printed them onto cardstock & cut them! So easy!}

I created the food cards late on Friday night and realized that I didn’t have anything to secure them with. Inventive thinking struck {thank goodness!} and I was able to rig photo holders by twisting floral wire around the handle of baby spoons and twirling the wire upward. They were cute, fit within the theme, free AND didn’t fall over– party planner SCORE!
{See photo above right for an idea of what they looked like}.

Now onto the good stuff, the games! 😀

The games were the hardest part of the entire shower for me 1.) because I’m not very fun {ha!} and 2.) I always worry about people not liking the games. I procrastinated until the final 24 hours before to decide what I actually wanted to do and ended up really happy with my decisions– people were laughing, I mean really laughing and nothing took too long or involved melted candy bars in diapers {who invented that “popular” baby shower game anyway?!

The passive game elements {both pictured at the beginning of this post} were:

1.) Wishes for Baby- Guests completed these cards, read 1-2 wishes when Ashley and Ben opened the gift from that guest and got to keep all of the wish cards at the end for Evey’s baby book.

2.) The Sonogram Matte -guests could sign/leave thoughts on. Ben and Ash will continue to have visitors and friends/family who couldn’t be at the shower sign this and it will be displayed in Evey’s nursery!

Then, we got people moving! First with an artistic challenge for guests to draw a family photo of the Motley’s onto paper plates they were balancing on their heads. We had a talented group– it was hard for Ash & Ben to pick winners!

We also tested guest brain-power with a wordy guessing game. I used content I found online and tailored it into a printable that matched the rest of the shower. Everyone loved it even though they were pretty stumped!

Our last game encouraged the guests to team up and use a role of toilet paper to guess Ashley’s baby bump size. Her husband lost….. poor guy. 

Overall, it was a really amazing morning just to honor and celebrate Ash, Ben & Baby Evs (as I’ve already started calling her). Guests had flown in from all over to be there and I know it meant the world.

Ash & Ben,

Thank you for trusting me with this little piece of celebration. You are going to be amazing parents and it’s an honor to walk alongside you during this journey. Here’s to many more parties & moments of joy in the future!

“Rejoice always” Thessalonians 5:16

in His love,

Laura {the seudo aunt–roomate–photographer–party planner} 🙂

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