about us

Blonde Designs is an inspirational blog focused on invitations, parties, and good design. We are Angie Gubler and Kristin Rees, best friends, graphic designers and moms.
We are both former art directors at Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings, respectively. 
We own Blonde Designs, an invitation and stationery company.

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a california baby shower

My sister, Sarah, just had a darling baby boy, weighing just under 10 lbs!  In November, my other sister, Emily, and I threw a baby shower for her in California, at Sarah's new place.

This shower was especially meaningful as Sarah missed out on the baby shower we threw for her first little boy, Oliver.  At the last minute, due to pregnancy complications, she was not able to travel – we tried to video conference her in, but it just didn't quite have the same effect. 

Hence, Emily and I decided to throw a small, intimate luncheon with just a few of her closest friends and family to celebrate the impending arrival of her second little boy. 

Don't you love Sarah's chic maternity ensemble?  She kept complaining that she looked like a pirate but I thought she was the epitome of style.  Her dress was vintage maternity from Cadeau and at the last minute, Sarah threw on a striped sash to give her bump more definition.


We chose a citrusy color palette of yellow, orange and apple green.  Since this is Sarah's second boy and she has most all the baby essentials she needs, we decided to ask everyone to bring their favorite children's book.


We included bookplates with each invitation to personalize the books.  I love this idea as many years from now, little Francis James can look back at his books and hear his mom tell him the story of who gave each one to him.


The shower was a family affair and included Emily, me, my mom and dad.  However, after all the manual labor was accomplished, my dad exited the premise to eat pizza and watch sports.  My brother, a frequent blog reader, sent well wishes from Boston.


I designed and brought a color-coordinated banner to hang from the rafters.


My mom made the most delicious pumpkin seed cranberry nut mix for the guests to nibble on as they mingled before lunch.


We decided to set up tables outside (only in California can you dine al fresco in November!) and hung paper lanters from the trees (thanks, dad).  So cute and festive!


I brought matching water bottle labels which were all recycled after the party.


My mom made Ina Garten's delicious butternut squash soup which we garnished with a dollop of creme fraiche and homemade croutons.


We also served the most delicious salad comprised of chicken, avocados, mandarin oranges, apples, and cranberries (we served walnuts and feta cheese on the side) and Emily made our shower food staple, Ina Garten's turkey basil sandwiches.  Divine!


Each guest left with a darling owl cookie.  I loved that the party was so personal and came together rather easily, even though planned from long distance.  Most importantly, I think Sarah was thrilled and felt loved!

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Reader Comments (12)

Fabulous looking decoration - perfect for a baby shower. Love the idea of bringing books too...
WOW - 10lbs is a whopper!
CONGRATULATIONS to your sister :-)

So lovely! Any way you can find out where Sarah got that adorable dress? I have my own shower coming up and would love to wear that dress!

01.4 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina

i know your sister, emily! i went to london study abroad with her! and, darling shower by the way.

01.4 | Unregistered Commenteralissa

I'm not familiar with the idea of having showers for second, third children, etc, but it certainly is lovely -- especially if the event doesn't include any silly baby shower games. :)

What did you tie your glassine bags with?

01.4 | Unregistered Commenterr8chel

THANK YOU, Angie. This shower really was perfect. I was excited to celebrate the arrival of my little boy, but did not want anything big (and didn't need anything gift-wise for the baby). An intimate luncheon was the perfect solution.

Sabrina, I bought my dress over two years ago from BabyStyle when pregnant with my first child. That store is since out of business, and I kind of think Cadeau went belly-up with them. Sorry.

01.4 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Love the book idea, of course. Lucas is a huge book reader and has hit own library from his mommy's shower.

01.4 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

Thanks for the information, Sarah. Too bad about the dress...

01.4 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina

Fabulous looking decorations! So lovely! This shower really was perfect.

Congratulations. Love the orange and green color combo. Can we get the recipe for the salad??

01.4 | Unregistered Commenteralexx

That little owl...LOVE!

01.6 | Unregistered CommenterKrissy

Looks like it was a great shower to welcome a sweet baby to the world!
I was wondering if you have any instructions for the Owl cookies, we have a real owl that "whos" on top of our home every night lately. I think my little girls would love owl cookies for their next friend ice-skating party!
Love your blog BTW!
Rexburg, Idaho, -15 F. today

02.9 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Have you offered the bookplate as a printable? We're having a book shower for my daughter's teacher...(sex unknown)...so this would be perfect!

04.30 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette

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