So, it’s probably a little backwards to be writing a post about your baby shower while nursing your baby at 2:20 am, but I figured – better late than never! AND this shower was way too incredible not to post about!
When my mom mentioned throwing a sprinkle for Carmine – what you throw instead of a shower for a woman who has had a baby in the past 2-3 years – I was so excited/guilty feeling because it seems like my friends and family have thrown me a million parties in recent years! Bridal shower, bachelorette party, baby shower, birthday parties! They just spoil me!
It turns out that the sprinkle was supposed to be a surprise, but when my mom asked for a list of invitees, it kind of gave the surprise away! I adore surprises, but am so happy the cat was out of the bag because the anticipation for the sprinkle was something I totally adored!
Despite the fact that shower was not a surprise, all of the details were kept super secret! I wasn’t even allowed in my parents’ house for days before the shower (which was hard) because the girls were setting up and I couldn’t see a thing! This secrecy really got my excitement in high gear!
I kept trying to get little hints from Freddy about the theme, the decor, the food, etc., but he was sworn to top secret status! In the end, this was perfect because it made the day even more amazing!
Because I failed at every attempt to gain information on the shower, I switched my focus to What in the World am I Going to Wear?!?!?!?
When you’re 8 months pregnant and maybe didn’t stop eating M&M’s and tacos the entire pregnancy, the thought of finding a dress for your shower is quite a dreadful task, especially when all maternity stores frighten you with weird patterns and colors! Yikes!
For my shower with Oliver, I ended up in a simple non-maternity black knee length dress from H&M and an amazing feather headpiece made by my sister (which was actually made for our engagement shoot). The idea was “look at my headpiece instead of my fat booty!” Haha!
So, for this sprinkle, I wanted to step outside of my all black box and switch it up a little. Given the fact that my belly just kept growing, I set out on this mission (dragging Freddy and Oliver along) the week of the sprinkle in hopes that I wouldn’t outgrow the dress before the party.
We started at the Fashion Show Mall here in Vegas, as they have every store you could need, including the Disney Store and LEGO Store for Oliver! Long story short, I ended up with 6 dresses (literally) from H&M and two amazing wrap dresses from Free People. **Attention clothing designers: please make a maternity line that isn’t traditional and so “mom” like!**
Because none of the dresses were PERFECT, my hunt was still on. The night before the shower, I tried again – this time racing into a local mall with Oliver and my nephew Elliot in tow (and in CoCo makeup from my niece’s birthday party – see below).
This time, there was no trying on anything! I just liked, grabbed, and double checked the return policy! The outcome was another 6 dresses from H&M, a black free people dress (which is the same as my “go-to” white Free People dress I wore during our Babymoon), and a dress that was definitely outside my color wheel, but caught my attention nonetheless – none of which were tried on!
When I got home, I finally tried them all on – over and over again! I kept narrowing them down each time, but couldn’t make a decision! Then, I tried on the black H&M Dress from Oliver’s baby shower, and came to the conclusion that I would either wear that dress (to be safe) or the red (out of my color wheel) dress, just to spice things up a bit.
Side note- I REALLY wanted to wear this amazing pantsuit from Zara that I wore for my maternity shoot, but I realized that you can’t sprinkle in your photo shoot outfit! It just ain’t right!
Back on track….
On the morning of the sprinkle, I still hadn’t made up my mind. The only thing I had decided was that I would let Freddy choose, as my pregnancy brain just would NOT settle on one of the dresses! Before I left for my blow-out (which is an experience that deserves its own blog post – but I will spare you the frightening details), I tried them both on one last time, and Freddy immediately chose the RED! This was surprising to me because he and I are all about black, but looking back, I am so glad that I trusted him. It was the perfect vibe! I paired it with my DYLANLEX Falkor II Necklace and the DYLANLEX Earrings I borrowed from my bestie (sorry, couldn’t find a link on the website) and my nude heels from our wedding (a little nostalgia), and I was set!
Now, the entire time – literally up until I was writing this blog post – I thought this dress was Free People! It was in the same section at the store as the Free People items and because of the flowy-ness of the dress, I assumed it was Free People. Well, I was wrong! The dress is made by Chelsea and Violet! My apologies to anyone who asked about the dress on my Insta! I definitely steered you wrong!
So, with the dress choice made for me and with my hair redone (by me when I got home), I was ready for the sprinkle!
Well…on the outside I was ready! On the inside I was little bits of excited, nervous, anxious, giddy, and all of the other awesome emotions that come with knowing that all of your favorites are going to be in one place and that your amazing family has fussed over you and your little baby for weeks!
Freddy and Oliver drove me to my moms house where the sprinkle was being held, and on the way, I had to selfie to pass the time so I didn’t babble like an anxious crazy woman!
When we arrived at my parents’ house, my nerves were in high gear! I remember having this same feeling when walking into my bridal shower- like, wait, this is happening! Today is the day! Yay!
Because no outfit is complete without a hat, and hats are like my Linus security blanket, I had to top off the outfit with my favorite Sisters of the Black Moon matador hat before going into the house!
When I entered the house, it became clear very quickly that this was no sprinkle! This was not even a shower! This was a torrential downpour of love- and lemons! My expression when walking in says it all!
As my sister Betsy would say: I was shook! Every inch of this house was a Pinterest DREAM!!! Because our little nugget was to be named Carmine, my family went with a Tuscan Italian theme for the sprinkle and it was just beautiful! I think Italian, New York Mafia would have been a bit much for a baby shower…
And that was just in the living room and formal dining area! I hadn’t even gotten to the kitchen yet!
Before I could, I was greeted with loving, beautiful hellos from my family and friends! I just soaked it all in! I was overwhelmed by the amount of love that had gone into the “sprinkle” and the love that I felt from everyone in the room! Bursting with emotions!
Could my friends and family be more GORGEOUS????
After saying hello to everyone in the entryway, I ventured into the kitchen and was blown away by the rest of the set-up and decor!
I swear- this was more gorgeous than some weddings I’ve seen! Every little detail was perfection!!!
After more guests arrived, everyone migrated into the living room (aka- reception hall) for lunch. As if the decor and finishing touches weren’t perfect enough, my adorable father had made all of the food! Amazing pasta, bruschetta, chicken, shrimp cocktails, and the list goes on! He’s not really one for the center of attention, so once he was done with his culinary delights, he headed upstairs and got out of dodge!
Ever since I can remember, we’ve had Sunday family dinners! Growing up, they were at my grandmother’s home, and now, we go to my parents’ home. Papa cooks pasta, the kids run around playing like crazy monkeys, and the rest of us talk over each other, drink wine, and laugh- way too loud! It’s perfect.
All of my friends know of this tradition, and after they tasted papa’s food, they all asked when they could join for Sunday dinner! Yep – he is that good!
**Fun Fact** The day after the shower marked Eight Years since the day Freddy and I met in New York at my CD Release Party!
Once again…back on track!
As we finished lunch and after we played some games (including a game involving guessing how much a basket of baby supplies from Target was, the drawing of the addressed envelopes – which is a life saver when writing thank you cards – and the clothes pin game), it was time for cake!
Just as the cake was brought into the living room, the party had a special guest arrival….
Oliver came racing into the party, and – as if it were a well choreographed scene from a movie – I just happened to be standing directly in his path and he gave me the sweetest bear hug ever! All of my friends and family were so excited to see him, and he was greeted with applause and shouts! He loved being the center of attention – he is definitely my son!
As the timing was perfect, he helped mommy cut the cake! It was almost a sin to chop into this beautiful cake – marble and real flowers – but Oliver’s face made it all worth it!
After cake, I insisted on a group photo! We took one at my bridal shower and Oliver’s baby shower, and I just adore capturing all of the love from my family and friends in one photo!
I love each and every one of these people so much and they have each impacted my life in amazing ways! I can’t thank them enough for being incredible and for always being there for me and my family!
Once the group photo was done, it was time for some fun shots! Shots as in photos, not drinks! It’s a Baby Shower people! Haha!
As this Shower was over the top Pinterest perfect, it wasn’t complete without a personalized mobile photo booth/prop – and this one was ADORABLE!!
I mean seriously with this Shower -PERFECTION!!
As my little ham saw the photo-boothing fun, he had to get in on the action! He was so excited – he wanted to jump right through the booth!
Because we were having so much fun, I didn’t realize hours had passed and my friends and family probably had places to be! Sadly, we began to say our goodbyes.
Per one of my sisters’ advice, we waited to open presents until after people left, and thank goodness we did! Between the fact that our friends and family completely SPOILED Carmine, and that I needed to stop and cry and talk about each adorable outfit or toy, opening presents took at least two hours, even with the help from the kids!!
The great thing about the shower being at my parents’ house is that after the party, the party continued with my brother-in-laws and all of the grandkids coming over for Sunday dinner! I continued to be on cloud nine from the shower and wanted to savor every moment!
Another amazing thing is that our family and friends were so thoughtful and included big brother Oliver in their gifts! He even received a big brother medal, big brother matching teddy bears with Carmine, and big brother books! I really feel like these gifts helped – it made Oliver feel that it was important that HE was the big brother, and not just that there was going to be a new baby in town. He loved his gifts and had us read the books to him several times each night before Carmine came!
As I look back on Carmine’s Shower, I cant help but feel so extremely lucky to have such an amazing family and so many incredible friends who surround my little family with so much love!
My smile in this photo is so genuine and pure – I hope that I can make others that blissfully happy – although I don’t know how I’d EVER top this Shower!