Party Time

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When talks of planning my baby shower started to surface I knew two things – I didn’t want to be too involved, and I didn’t want anything too typical.

I’m a total control freak with a set vision for just about everything in my life, so letting go of the reigns on this one was NOT easy for me. I knew I wanted to have my baby shower early-ish in case I ended up feeling too huge to move near the end, and when my parents and sister all simultaneously decided to come visit from the West Coast at the end of October I knew that was the perfect time. Though it was a challenge not to obsess over every other tiny detail after setting the date, I decided to put a little faith in my amazing friends and family. I created an email listing some of my best ideas and contacts, hit send, and then let the chips fall where they may. My partner in crime Johanna and little sister Sierra headed up the planning committee, and though Sierra and I may have disagreed on the importance of games and gift opening at first, in the end these two did NOT disappoint. My “village” came together in the most beautiful way, offering up everything from handmade treats (what’s a baby shower without scones from my pals at Kitten and The Bear?) to their amazing design skills for the invites. I couldn’t believe the way so many talented people from Toronto and beyond came together to make this day so special for baby and me.

But why not just have the typical baby shower?

Let’s be honest – baby showers are long overdue for a bit of a revamp. Sitting around a room with a bunch of strangers making small talk and and letting people guess how big my belly is was just never my cup of tea, and I have a feeling a random survey would reveal not many people actually enjoy those types of events. In case you haven’t noticed from following this blog, I don’t take to normal very well – I tend to do everything out of order and on my own terms, I always have. This whole pregnancy has been such a big adventure, and I wanted a shower that mirrored that, not another quiet afternoon filled with awkward diaper games and soggy tea sandwiches. If I’m having a party, it better be a party to remember, and this one was definitely one for the books.

The party itself was at SoSo Food Club, a super cute new Chinese fusion restaurant in Toronto’s west end that just happens to have an all mint and pink colour scheme (my kind of interpretation of the whole pink and blue thing!) There was an epic snack table created and plated by my talented sister herself, topped off with scones and jam from KATB, candy from The Candy Bar, and tea from Tealish. Fun fact, this family-run tea shop is where Johanna and I originally met, and it’s still one of my very favourite places to sip in the city. If you haven’t tried their Toasty Almond blend, it’s totally pregnancy safe, caffeine free, and steeps hot pink (see if you can spot it in these photos – it was definitely the crowd favourite!) Then there was the cake, an ombre masterpiece custom created by Millie Desserts. These cakes have hundreds of thin crepe layers with the softest cream in between, and the result is basically a fluffy vanilla cloud dessert that melts in your mouth.

With gorgeous blooms from our friends at Wild North Flowers, who always knock it out of the park with their arrangements, and balloons from Balloon Bar, the space couldn’t have come together more perfectly. And the cookies! How could we forget the magical little pink and blue teacup cookies?! Johanna gave Little Rose Cookie co. full creative reign and she absolutely killed it, plus I am a bit of a sugar cookie connoisseur and these ones tasted as good as they looked which is HARD to come by, believe me.

A dreamy event might be #allinthedetails, but this one was so much more than that. I like to stay positive so I don’t talk about it much, but the reality of having a baby on my own with my family living so far away is daunting at times, and though I know down in my bones this was the right choice for me, my pregnancy hasn’t been without its fair share of anxiety about the future. Seeing all of these amazing people show up for me and baby with bells on, armed with hugs, gifts and warm wishes was exactly what I needed to remember that my little family is anything but alone in this journey. The whole afternoon was so filled with happy it flew by almost too fast, and I wish there was a way to bottle it up into a magic potion that I could take a sip of whenever I start to have doubts.

In the car on the way home my parents were recounting tales from the day and they said one thing that really stuck with me: “Your friends sure have a lot of faith in you Lyss, they all really seem to wholeheartedly believe you can do this and have your back. No one has any doubts. It’s kind of amazing.” Amongst all the gifts I unwrapped that day, hearing these words was the most precious.

Credits //

BonBons from The Candy Bar
Florals by Wild North
Ombre layered crepe cake by Millie Desserts
Custom magic sugar cookies by Little Rose Cookie co.
Tea from Tealish
Scones and Jam from Kitten and The Bear
Balloons from Balloon Bar
Soso Food Club
Risograph invitations designed by Jennifer Iliett

Take a peek at MyRegistry here!

The biggest thank you so Johanna, Sierra and my mom Judi for making my fun, colourful baby shower dreams come true. You guys made the most unexpected dream team and this day was better than I ever could have conjured!

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Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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If you loved our All Pink Dinner Party decor I’m pretty sure you’re going to love our 3 course pink menu even more! With such epic contributions from so many amazing makers, like a pink ombre floral arrangement by Wild North and a pink coconut cream pie for dessert by Plum Lucky Pie Pi, we really wanted to step it up in the cooking department.

Other than the tiny fork swirl lines on each gnocci (which Italian Nona videos on youtube make look soooo easy) I think we totally killed it with this menu. Can’t wait to see you guys’ colourful creations!

Scroll down for Pink Spiralized Salad, Beet Gnocci and Pink Alfredo Sauce!

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PINK SPIRALIZED SALAD //

Candy cane beets
Watermelon radishes
Pink lady apple
Pear
Red beet
Rainbow carrots
Grapefruit

for the dressing:
1/4 cup Rose wine
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of himalayan pink salt
1-2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

Use a spiralizer for all fruits and veggies except carrot and grapefruit. Peel the outer skin from the carrots and discard, using the vegetable peeler create long ribbons and add to the salad, toss well. Supreme the grapefruit, and cut segments from half the fruit, garnish the salad with them. Squeeze the other half into a bowl removing all seeds and pulp. Mix in with the rest of the dressing ingredients and serve immediately.

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BEET GNOCCHI //

1 cup beets, peeled and boiled
1 cup white potatoes, peeled and boiled
1 egg (or egg replacer)
2 cups of flour + extra for dusting
a pinch of kosher salt

Peel and boil both the beets and potatoes separately, potatoes should take 20-30 mins depending on size while beets will take approx. 50 mins.

Drain and place in separate bowls. Poke the boiled beets with a fork and allow extra juice to drain into the bottom of the bowl, save this juice for the alfredo sauce*. Allow to cool to lukewarm temperature. In a large bowl add the flour, making a small well in the middle. With an electric mixer, mash in the beets and then the potatoes. Add egg and salt and pulse until the dough is smooth and free from lumps. Use the extra flour to dust your surface and hand, knead the dough 5-10 times. Remove a small handful of dough and roll it out into a long cylinder, using a floured knife cut 1/2 inch lengths, pinching the middles with your fingers as you go. Lay each gnocchi out on a lightly floured surface until ready to boil.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. It’s important to not overcrowd the pot with gnocchi, so add about 10 at a time. When fully cook the gnocchi will rise to the top of the water, use a slotted spoon to remove. Serve immediately with the following Pink Vegan Alfredo.

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PINK VEGAN ALFREDO SAUCE //

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
3/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons himalayan pink salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 tablespoons beet juice*
Fresh basil for garnish

After the cashews have soaked overnight in cold water, drain and rinse well. Add all ingredients except beet juice to a high power blender and blend until completely smooth.
Using the excess beet juice from boiling the beets for gnocchi, slowly add to the blender and mix until you’ve reached your desired pink hue.

Heat on the stovetop on low heat before serving.

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Dinnerware / Ikea
Flowers / Wild North
Kitchen faucets / Delta Canada
Kitchen / Home Depot Canada
Pink coconut cream pie / Plum Lucky Pie Pi