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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

A Butterfly Baby Shower for Amanda

See that adorable baby bump?  That’s my honorary niece in there.  And that gorgeous mommy-to-be?  That is one of my very best friends, Amanda.  We’ve been friends ever since kindergarten when we were in the same Daisies troop (ha!)  We went through grade school together, becoming Brownies and selling lots of Girl Scout cookies.  Much to her neighbors’ dismay, we belted out songs from “The Little Mermaid” while we swam in the pool.  We formed a private Lisa Frank fan club (the epitomy of coolness, I tell you) and spent most of our recesses carefully trading stickers and stationery.  That or making up dances to Color Me Badd songs.  We spent an inordinate amount of time calling the boys in our classes.  (I’d like to take this moment to collectively apologize to all of their mothers.)

In middle school and high school we sweated through countless pom practices and work outs together.  She loved me even when I had no hair.  Though we went to separate colleges, we remained close as always.  She was co-maid of honor in our wedding, and I was the same in hers.  When she called me one evening in June of 2008 and I answered in the middle of a contraction, she immediately drove to the hospital and stayed there all night until our little man arrived at 5:02 am.  She spoke at my dad’s celebration of life.  She’s been with me through literally everything, and I have few memories of life without her in it.  This is just a handful of the countless great times we’ve shared, so to say I’m excited about the upcoming arrival of her sweet baby girl is a huge understatement.

When I asked Amanda what sort of baby shower she wanted, she left it all up to me.  The only request she had was that I somehow incorporate the infamous butterfly cupcakes because she has always loved them.  I started brainstorming and this is what I ended up with – a lavender and light green butterfly garden shower.  The fabulous ladies of The TomKat Studio coordinated with me to create party printables for the occasion, including this simple and lovely invitation.

Since the shower was held in January and there was a dusting of ice and snow covering our sidewalk, a pretty outdoor garden party was not an option.  I did my best to create a lush, whimsical setting indoors with lots of florals in lavender, green, and white.  (An added plus is that since these sort of flowers are typically used for filler, they are a very economical choice.  I was able to do a lot for very, very little.)  I banded some of the vases with a strip of burlap and cream satin ribbon, adding a shabby chic touch.

I also love-love-loved this pretty welcome sign.  Rather than hanging it on the door as I often do, I borrowed a picture frame that is usually on my desk at work to display it.  It fit right in with the overall look of the decor.

The shower spread was kept fairly simple and light since we had a small group.  Our menu was as follows:

Savory
Baguette cups with veggies and dip
Caesar deviled eggs
Cucumbers with herbed cheese filling
Cranberry pecan chicken salad bites
Stuffed mushrooms

Sweet
Butterfly cupcakes
Flourless chocolate cake bites
Caramel corn cones
Pistachio chocolate and vanilla French macarons
Fruit tartlettes (kiwi and blackberry) with vanilla pastry cream

Beverages
Sparkling Pear Mocktail
Water

I made the butterfly cupcakes as outlined in my original post about them.  Since the shades of green and purple I was aiming for were much more muted than those of the candy melts sold in stores (at least the stores in my area), I mixed in some white candy melts to help achieve the proper shade.  It worked very well.

I saw this idea for serving veggies and dip in a baguette cup on Pinterest.  How cute is that?!  I used my favorite homemade baguette recipe and it worked very well.  They are just the right size for something like this.

Oh, macarons.  Why do you have to be so darn cute?

And of course, you know I find every opportunity to make caramel corn.  I thought these little parchment cones were a fun way to serve it, and the small party circles prettied up the cones.

Without a doubt, my favorite detail of all was the pair of butterfly mobiles I created to hang over the food table.  I dreamed up the idea but then found it quite a challenge to execute.  I ended up purchasing butterfly die cuts in a variety of sizes to match the color scheme, but I still wasn’t quite sure what to hang them from.  I wandered around the craft store for quite a while looking at every potential option and just when I was ready to give up, I saw these two large embroidery rings.  The rings only cost $4 total and are extremely lightweight, making them ideal for hanging from the ceiling without a hassle.  I hot glued a length of lace around the outside of the rings after I had tied on all the butterflies to add a finishing touch.  I loved them!  In fact, I may make something similar when we decorate Caroline’s big girl room.

One of the most fun parts of the shower was a pretty big surprise for Amanda.  Lena, one of her great friends and college roommates, flew in from Colorado for the shower.  Amanda had no idea she was coming.  Lena stayed with us the night before the shower and when Amanda showed up, she went out the back door and around to the front to ring the bell.  The look on Amanda’s face was priceless!  Way to go, Lena.  Such fun.  So glad you could be there.

How cute is she?!  Oh, I cannot wait to meet this sweet baby.

This has to be one of my favorite pictures ever.  Amanda’s mom Lucy has been like a second mom to me as long as I can remember.  When my own mom was ill and after she passed away, Amanda’s family always welcomed me as one of their own.  When Dad died unexpectedly on Thanksgiving, Amanda’s parents were already waiting at the house when I was finally able to get home.  Lucy is one of the most kind and generous people I have ever known, and I have always treasured both my relationship with her as well as the relationship between her and Amanda.  Since I didn’t get to spend nearly enough years with my own mom, I didn’t have the full experience of a mother-daughter relationship but I have watched theirs very closely and have said many, many times that I hope I can be a mom to Caroline just the way Lucy has been to Amanda.  Oh gosh, I’m getting all misty just thinking about this.  Enough.

Thanks for letting me share this shower and these people who are so dear to my heart.  It was an honor hosting!

Vendor Information
Invitations and Party Printables: The TomKat Studio
Envelopes and butterfly stamp: Paper Source
Flowers: purchased from Gillespie Florist
Cupcake wrappers: actually small brioche molds from King Arthur
Square white cake platters: Martha Stewart from Macy’s
Small white platter: Crate and Barrel
Green cake pedestal and green striped straws: Sweet Shop Lulu
Favor cookies: Sugar cookies with royal icing decoration 

  • http://www.blognewblack.com/ Blog is the New Black

    GOREGEOUS job!

  • http://www.onepreppycookie.blogspot.com/ Amy_OPC

    Absolutely BEAUTIFUL as always Annie. You’re amazing.

  • http://www.onepreppycookie.blogspot.com/ Amy_OPC

    Absolutely BEAUTIFUL as always Annie. You’re amazing. Thank you for sharing!

  • Miriam @ Overtimecook

    Everything looks absolutely amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/I_heart_kale Mia

    A very lovely shower indeed. I was getting all watery eyed just reading this post!

  • http://tideandthyme.com/ Laura

    Ok, you brought me to tears this AM. What a gorgeous shower. I love the pastel lavenders and greens!

  • Lori Russo

    Annie – I don’t know how you keep doing it! You are amazing and the baby shower was absolutely beautiful. How do you make it look so easy. Do you think you will ever write a cook book? You should!

  • Kristin

    Beautiful shower, but more beautiful lifelong family friendships!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Ahhh everything is so pretty!!

  • Candace Swartzentruber

    Everything looks fabulous! You did a great job! When I get up the courage, I will attempt some sugar cookies similar to your favor cookies :)

  • Laura

    A beautiful post about a beautiful shower. (And because you can’t use the word beautiful too much – you are all a beautiful group of ladies!)

  • Anonymous

    Lori, I truly hope so! It is a life goal of mine.

  • http://www.elementalcustard.com Mara @ Elemental Custard

    The butterflies on the cupcakes are gorgeous- and I really want some caramel corn. Actually more like NEED some caramel corn.
    How do you manage to make so many different things for one event! Do you have help? It looks lovely.

  • Michelle

    Wow, you are truly amazing. I was great to get more back story on your life and you literally brought tears to my eyes . You are truly amazing and I had no idea how much you’ve gone though. Those cupcakes are amazing too! I don’t know how I missed them when I looked at all your cupcakes on your site. I have already added them to my list for spring!!

  • http://www.lollyssweettreats.com/ LollysSweetTreats

    Everything looks absolutely fabulous, as usual, Annie! If you feel life pulling you in a different direction after your residency is finished, I think you’ve got another wonderful career option! ;)

  • Mandy W.

    I couldn’t wait for this post after you mentioned it in your Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookie post. I love seeing what you come up with for parties. What a lovely baby shower and lovely post! So simple, yet so elegant and the food looks divine. Thank you for including your vendor information as well. You are so talented and creative!

  • natalie

    what a beautiful baby shower, anyone would be lucky to have such a wonderful and gifted friend as you! :)

  • Kristie

    Wow, what a beautiful shower! You outdid yourself with the iced ‘thank you’ cookies…so, so lovely. And I’m fighting back the tears from reading your post, how blessed you are to have one another!

  • http://twitter.com/ellysaysopa elly

    Not surprisingly, everything looks amazing, Annie. I really loved reading this post – you and Amanda are both so lucky to have each other.

  • http://cookingformykids.com/ Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids

    Thank you for sharing your memories and the beautiful shower pictures. Everything looked amazing.

  • Ashley C

    Gorgeous…you did a fabulous job!

  • Anonymous

    Is there anything you cannot do?! I love every detail! I’d love a baby shower like this one. Everyone needs a friend like Amanda, who is closer than family. There are few greater blessings. This is beautiful!

  • Wendi

    Thank you Annie for sharing this beautiful day!!

  • http://www.pink-parsley.com/ Josie

    Awww such a sweet post, Annie. You made me cry this morning.

  • http://emilialiveslife.wordpress.com/ Emilia

    What an amazing baby shower! Your dedication to detail and to your friend amazes me, how special that you were able to stay in touch through all those years. She’s definitely lucky :)

  • Kerry

    what a beautiful shower for such dear people! I LOVE those butterfly cupcakes!!

  • Catherine Melton

    Your parties are always so amazing and I think this one tops them all! Beautiful!!

  • http://www.thelittlebitchinkitchen.com/ Kristen @ The LBK

    So cute! I LOVE the veggies in the baguette! You always have such cute decor!

  • http://sweetnaturedtreats.blogspot.com/ AngiesSweetTreats

    Everything looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing the story of your friendship. Lifelong friendships are rare, and it sounds like you have a great one!

  • Anonymous

    No help, just crazy planning strategies. I’ve posted about it a few times before. You can see my Thanksgiving prep posts as well as this post: http://annies-eats.com/2010/04/25/foodbuzz-24-24-24-theres-no-place-like-one-home-celebration-dinner/.

  • Heather W.

    Everything looks great! I have to say I think the sugar cookies are my favorite. They are beautiful and look too pretty to eat!

  • http://www.thelifeofawife.com/ sherri lynn

    What a beautiful shower! I loved hearing the history of your friendship with Amanda, and even your relationship with her mother. Friendship is a beautiful thing!

  • Sheila Thoburn

    Absolutely beautiful shower! It is amazing that you are still so close to your friend and her family. Not many have that opportunity.

  • http://apronappeal.com/ Apron Appeal

    Thanks for hosting Annie. loved celebrating this occasion with Amanda. The love you have for one another was evident in everything from the amazing details of the food and decor, to the shining eyes of your kids when she walked in the door. I feel lucky to have been a part of it.

  • Shannon

    Absolutely Beautiful! The detail you put into everything you do is so inspiring!

  • http://www-the-baker-chick.com/ Audra

    It sounds like Amanda is so lucky to have you as a friend. This shower is stunning as is the beautiful Mama to be. Great job Annie!

  • Kim – The TomKat Studio

    What a beautiful friendship and a beautiful shower! Thank you for letting us be a small part of it! xoxo

  • Kelsey

    Annie, this post and the shower are flawless. Your sweet words about Amanda and her family are so dear and so genuine.

  • leanne.avila

    Simply beautiful! Love the story. And those butterfly cupcakes… wow.

  • leanne.avila

    Simply beautiful! Love the story. And those butterfly cupcakes… wow.

  • leanne.avila

    Simply beautiful. Love the story, too. And those butterfly cupcakes… wow.

  • Claire

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful, happy event with us! This post was a great reminder to truly enjoy – and make the most of – the sweet times in life with those most special to us.

  • http://www.foodiebride.com/ Shawnda

    The colors are so very pretty. And those veggies-in-a-baguette thing are pretty genius!

  • Erica

    Wow, you are an entertaining goddess! That was such a great post!

    I would love to know more about how you plan and execute events like this one. Can you give any insight into your methods?

  • Betsy King

    This is the most beautiful shower I’ve ever seen! What a wonderful way to shower your friend and her baby on the way with love! The loss in your life has truly made you embrace life to the fullest!

  • bmk112302

    What a wonderful and beautiful story and an absolutely stunning shower set up. Absolutely gorgeous!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marie-Claude-Paquette/643480351 Marie-Claude Paquette

    Oh Annie, I can tell from the details and care from all the events that you prepare for your loved ones that you’re even a more beautiful person than your food and parties (which seems impossible to beat!).

  • Nicola

    I found your blog a while back via Pinterest, and have loved the food you share…but this post really brought an insight into you and your friendships that is beautiful. I teared up a bit in the last section of this post about your mom and having a ‘second’ family. How lucky you ALL are to be in one-another’s lives. Congratulations on throwing such a gorgeous party, I’m sure your friend and her soon to be baby felt all the love you intended. Cheers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marie-Claude-Paquette/643480351 Marie-Claude Paquette

    Oh Annie, I can tell from the details and care from all the events that you prepare for your loved ones that you’re even a more beautiful person than your food and parties (which seems impossible to beat!).

  • Jessie Crow

    Beautiful!

  • http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com Georgia The Comfort of Cooking

    What a lovely baby shower and good friend you are for throwing it, Annie! Everything about it is so beautiful, especially your strong friendship with Amanda!

  • Lindsay

    What a beautiful shower Annie! You are such an inspiration! How lucky you both are to have each other as friends – your story of your friendship brought tears to my eyes.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Erica,
    I actually answered that in another comment so you might want to scroll down and see the link I provided. Thanks!

  • http://www.tiptopshape2.blogspot.com/ Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    If you ever tire of the whole being-a-doctor-thing, you could seriously open up your own party planning business. I’d be first in line! Absolutely all of this looks exquisite!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Braman-Duarte/100000682511378 Paula Braman-Duarte

    Wonderful: your friendship, the party, and the celebration of motherhood!

  • Angela

    I have been following your blog for a while and I must say you pay extraordinary attention to detail…this shower looks beautiful!

  • Knitalot3

    What an awesome party. Thanks for letting us all come to it (virtually).

  • Elizabeth

    Annie, I’m always impressed at the time you dedicate to creating special events for those you love. This is my last year of medical school and have found inspiration through your blog to make time for things that matter even through all the business and pressures of school.

  • http://suchgreatblog.com/ Mayalaurent

    Annie this is seriously one of the best looking baby showers I’ve ever seen! Wow! She is so blessed to have you in her life!

  • Brianne

    What a heartwarming post. You brought tears to my eyes a couple times- and I don’t even know you personally! This post couldn’t come at a better time, just about to start planning my BFF’s baby shower as well :)

  • Rachel

    Annie this is a beautiful blog entry. Your warmth permeates both your food and your writing. Just so you know, you are now a celebrity in my house … my teenage daughter won’t bake anything that isn’t recommended in your blog. She tells me “I know it’s going to be good because Annie had it on her blog!” Whe she bakes something new my husband and young son ask “is this another recipe from Annie?” When she says “yes” they dig in!

  • http://www.imathomebaking.com/ Im At Home Baking

    How beautiful! I love how soft everything looked!

  • http://twitter.com/JenatPBandP PB and Peppers

    Everything look so beautiful! I love baby showers!

  • Jennifer

    You are amazing Annie! This shower is so lovely. I can’t believe you are a working mom! A-Mazing!!

  • Tracy Abraham

    We should all be blessed with such special relationships as yours and Amanda’s….

    Great job with the shower – it looks absolutely perfect! This post made me thankful for my own special friendships….I may have even shed a tear (or two….)

  • http://jessicainsd.blogspot.com/ Jessica @ Sunny Side Up

    Reading about friendships such as this makes me get a little misty eyed. How awesome that the two of you have remained close for so long. I think the shower turned out beautifully and I absolutely love the color scheme. I am also in love with your cardigan! So cute.

  • http://knitterinthekitchen.com/ caitlyn

    What a beautiful baby shower! I loved reading this post. Thank you for sharing. And I remember Color Me Badd from junior high :)

  • http://arkitchenadventures.blogspot.com/ Ammie

    Annie, this post was so touchy. By the time I finished reading this, and going back to read your Livestrong one, I was so teary. I had no idea how much you’ve been through. I have to say you are one strong amazing woman.

  • Audrey

    Looks great! How did you make the Flourless Chocolate Cake Bites? I’m always nervous they won’t come out of muffin tins without falling apart. Thanks!

  • Lynnrosik

    I would love to see your fruit tartelette recipe. I am making tarteletts for my daughters bridal shower and need a good cream filling. I am using a short bread cookie for the crust.

  • Elizabeth

    Any thoughts on posting the recipe for the cucumbers with filling? I know you had included them in another party in the past, but you weren’t satisfied enough with the recipe to post it. I’d love to know how this batch turned out!

  • Anonymous

    This ALMOST makes me want to get preggers so you can throw me a shower. Almost. Perhaps we can do an anniversary party! :-)

    Everything is just lovely!

  • Anonymous

    Yes! I’ll probably post them next week. They turned out much better this time. I was overcomplicating it before :)

  • Anonymous

    It wasn’t really a recipe. I used pie crust, baked it in cupcake tins, and filled it with vanilla pastry cream. That’s it!

  • Anonymous

    I just made a flourless chocolate cake and cut it into squares. Easy!

  • Mercedes

    Wow…those Butterfly Cupcakes are absolutely beautiful! You’re friend is one lucky lady!

  • Christiana

    How lovely Annie! And the story behind your friendship is absolutely heartwarming. Here’s to wonderful lifelong friends! Cheers!

  • Kgfaught

    Simply gorgeous! I have seen your posts on decorating sugar cookies—is there any way you can show how you decorated these “thank you” cookies?

  • Sara

    Annie are you kidding me right now! You have to be the absolute cutest thing ever. I know you are giving that prop to your girlfriend but you win the prize. I LOVE everything about the shower you put on for her. I can’t even fathom how much time it took you to do it all. Everything looks amazing. All the little details are beautiful. I’m sure it is a shower she will ALWAYS remember. Sorry for the caps, words fail to express my amazement as well as permagrin and that is the only way to express my thoughts :) cheers!

  • Ellen

    You are a loving, generous person Annie! No wonder you have such wonderful friends…YOU are a wonderful friend!

  • http://lingonberryjam.wordpress.com/ Krista S.

    Beautiful! I’m so impressed with your entertaining. Makes me want to throw a party!

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t take any process photos of these. They only use techniques that are already described in my royal icing tutorial, so it would be redundant. I’d recommend looking there :)

  • Lisa Bracker

    Absolutely impressed…food, decor and of course the emotion that can be heard loud and clear in the whole narrative. You both look just as you did as those sweet little daisies:)
    Congratulations to all…Lisa Bracker

  • Anonymous

    Aw, thanks Lisa :)

  • Amanda

    Hi Annie! What a beautiful event. Congratulations to the mom-to-be! Would you be able to tell me what program you use to make invitations? I’ve been looking for one and am hoping to invest in the near future! Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    As indicated in the post, all the printables were from TomKat Studio. A link to their site is included above.

  • Natashaminocha

    Hi Annie,
    What a gorgeous post! I really wish I knew you personally…well, I’ll make do with reading your lovely blog and keeping at it with all your recipes! :)
    Do you use any special food color for the macarons or just the regular gel based ones?
    Cheers Natasha

  • Judithwllms

    I love the picture of you and Amanda. So sweet. I have a special friend in my life since 7th grade. I wish I had known her in elementary school.
    Judy W.

  • http://jjscustomcakery.com/ Jenn (JJsCustomCakery)

    It sounds like you have an amazing group of friends to fill your life with love :)

  • Ashley S

    Lucy & Amanda are so lucky to have you as a friend! I worked with Lucy and I know first hand how amazing of a person she is so I can only imagine her daughter being the same. Good work!!! :)

  • Laurencarbone9

    Love it!! U did an amazing job!!! Everything looks amazing!!! Where did u find those scalloped baking cups for the cupcakes? They are super cute! Thanks!

  • annieseats

    Please see the vendor list at the bottom of the post.

  • Vanessa

    Annie! You are amazing! What a beautiful, beautiful shower. I love your blog, and have made many a recipe from it. Thank you for all the great ideas, and for being awesome!

  • annieseats

    Any colored macs do require special food coloring. I address this specifically in the posts with the macaron recipes. Hope that helps!

  • sputnik_sweetheart

    wonderful colors and simple accents…i love the flower concept the most. could you tell me where you purchased the wall sconces?

  • annieseats

    Those are from Pottery Barn.

  • avila.n4

    where can i find the wall sconces?

  • annieseats

    They were from Pottery Barn, but I bought them a long time ago.

  • Pingback: Lovely Lavender & Green Butterfly Baby Shower :: Sweet Customers | The TomKat Studio()

  • Steph W.

    Annie could you pppplllllease tell me where I can get a dress like your beautiful friend Amanda? lol I really love it and can’t figure out what brand it it to look it up :)
    Thank you :)

  • annieseats

    It’s actually my dress that she borrowed. It was from Target but I bought it maybe four years ago.

  • Steph W.

    LOL bummer….I really love it :) thanks for the fast reply!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CEP3MFMXP5DCCJM56MWNID5UXI Jes

    Hi Annie! Amazing job, as always! I wanted to make the veggie/baguette cups, but I’m worried about the bread getting soggy. Will they be ok made the day of?

  • annieseats

    I don’t know exactly how far they can be made in advance, and of course it will have to do with the liquidity of your dip, how much you use, etc. etc. I just assembled mine right beforehand.

  • Courtney

    Hi Annie! LOVE your blog! I have just been getting into macaron making… Since I am gluten free I have a ton of Almond Flour in my pantry. Could I use equal amounts almond flour to the almonds you have listed in the ingredients? I thought skipping the food processing step could save me time…plus I could use up my almond flour. Do you think it is the same?? Thank you for all the inspiration! xox Courtney

  • annieseats

    Yep, it’s the same. I’ve been doing that lately myself. Enjoy!

  • Carol

    How did you get the butterfly on the cookie?

  • annieseats

    The technique is linked within the post – royal icing tutorial.

  • Anna Maria

    Hi Annie –

    This may be a silly question but where did you find the pretty brown parchment? I can only find white and it is certainly not as pretty. Thinking about doing the caramel corn cones for my graduation open house :)

    Thanks!

  • annieseats

    I found mine at the grocery store (Meijer) but I believe they also sell it at Sur La Table :)

  • Steph

    So I’m doing a baby shower for my sister-in-law and doing a butterfly theme as well. I would like to make the butterfly mobile but was just wondering where you got the die cuts of the butterflies. Thanks!

  • annieseats

    I bought them on Etsy.

  • Steph

    Thank you!

  • Diane

    Hi Annie, baby shower was beautiful. Can you please tell me what type,brand and color paper you used for the invites? It worked so well with the envelopes you brought.

  • annieseats

    Unfortunately I don’t remember that at all. It was just thick white card stock, and I cut it down to size to fit the envelopes.

  • Sarah

    Hi Annie, when you made the flourless chocolate cake bites, did you slice them and stick them in the little cupcake holders right before the party, or did you do it ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator until the party? I really want to try these for a baby shower I’m hosting next week, just wondering if I could get more done ahead of time. Thank you!

  • annieseats

    I don’t remember what I did but I think you could do it either way. Have a great shower!