From Catherine... As Marina and Konstantin planned for baby Andrey’s arrival, I had just finished unpacking my last box of vintage linens. My husband and I had just moved back to the North Shore of Long Island after being away for five years. Marina is my father’s assistant and my Russian sister. She immigrated to this country in 2003 and lived with my family until she got married in 2006. Knowing Marina had no immediate family in America to throw her a baby shower, my mother and I jumped on it like two gallerina’s at a Barney’s warehouse sale.
The Setting: Backyard of a beach bungalow with anything and everything vintage.
In order to help keep cost down I used my vintage collection of linens, plates and glassware. My husband, brother in-law and father in-law constructed a tent using King size sheets and bamboo from our neighbor’s forest. Again, with the help of my husband (he was such a good sport–wait until we have our first baby) I moved our 11 foot long farm table from the house and down a flight of stairs simply because it’s vintage and can accommodate up to 12 people. I lined up a few more tables behind the farm table to give the effect of one gigantic table. I layered the linens and filled the tables with pictures, flowers and the bell jars.
Since Marina’s favorite color was blue and was expecting a baby boy I couldn’t go wrong. We stacked neatly folded onesies and covered them with a bell jar. We made blue and white pom poms and hung them all throughout the yard and down the center of the tent. I retouched old black and white photographs, which depicted three generations of women in Marina’s family and had them framed. Even though they couldn’t be with us on this joyous occasion they were there in spirit. My sister in-law and owner of Shelly Kroeger Photography captured the days events and collected all the hydrangeas in my parent’s garden and maybe a few from the neighbors. My brother helped with the cooking, which seemed to never stop. Ranging from insalata caprese, a variety of tea sandwiches, chicken satay with a peanut dipping sauce to cedar smoked salmon.
In keeping with tradition but not overdoing it we kept the baby games to a minimum. We handmade baby bingo boards and used vintage buttons as markers. It was a fun way to keep everyone interested during the opening of gifts. Guess the mommy-to-be’s tummy size using ribbon is a quick and fun game. The key to games at a baby shower are the prizes! We gave out yummy smelling candles from Tocca.
The day was hot and sticky. There was a slight breeze off the bay and every once in a while you could feel it. However, with the coolness of the homemade punch, laughter and smiles no one seemed to notice. The day couldn’t have been more perfect and Marina couldn’t have more appreciative of her American family.
M&M'S: My M&M'S