Ice cream social as a theme for my baby shower sort of found me. I was originally thinking I would do a picnic at one of my favorite parks, but my mom and sister were mutually horrified at the idea of me waddling onto a picnic blanket, not to mention the loading and unloading of feeding 30 people from baskets. It wasn’t until I found myself in a kid store one random day, that I saw an ice cream cone shooter. I hadn’t seen one since I was a kid, and smiled at the strangeness of it. Why would a ice cream cone shoot? A few days later, a dress covered in ice cream cones found itself on the sidebar of my computer as I was checking email. I’m pretty sure the universe is telling me I needed to celebrate this baby with a lot of ice cream.
Once the plan was underway it was actually really easy to put together. First, I decided to host the event at Light Lab. It’s so hard to find event spaces in LA that are the right combination of intimate, beautifully styled, and easy for a host, and Light Lab hits all of these needs at once. It also happens to be located in my favorite neighborhood in all of Los Angeles, Atwater Village.
For ice cream, I’ve always loved the flavors at Salt & Straw, especially once they collaborated with my dear friend Jonathan Grahm of Compartes. I chose four flavors that I thought would go well in floats and ice cream sandwiches: roasted strawberry and toasted white chocolate, coconut black tea stracciatella, classic cookie dough, and Stumptown coffee with Compartes love nuts. My aunt Tina baked her famous chocolate chip cookies and my dear family friend Carol Beecher baked her delicious cherry pistachio cookies to make the ice cream sandwiches.
For the floats I reached out to Hi-Lo Liquor and got a mix of old timey sodas. The hit of the day was the rose lemonade from Fenton’s, especially with the roasted strawberry ice cream. It was a lovely balance of not too sweet and perfectly fizzy. For those who wanted to skip the floats, I had a fun mix of sparkling, rosé, and white wine from winc. Unsurprisingly, the rose went super fast! Because I’m an ice cream completionist, I brought my own toppings. Simple whipped cream, dulce de leche, and then a batch of homemade bourbon soaked cherries.
Finally, I teamed up with Makeful to create a DIY sprinkle station for my friends, inspired by a fun activity my aunt Tina and I did together recently: creating a custom sprinkle blend. I love the look of customized sprinkles, and was sold on how easy it would be to set up. I bought a weird amount of sprinkles online, and grabbed enough sprinkle shakers for all of my guests to make a couple. Then it was just a matter of organizing sparkly things in some pretty vessels, adding small measuring spoons, and letting my friends have at it. My favorite part was seeing the variety of blends my friends churned out. Every person created a different combination and color palette, and in a way that matched their personalities perfectly.
Tina also help me put together some of the other DIY elements, like the ice cream cone balloons and the stickers for the confetti push pops. We have a tradition in our family of doing candy poppers at Christmas, and there’s always a very lame joke hidden inside. Finding not deeply offensive baby jokes was comically difficult, and I’m pretty sure I used all five that exist on the Internet to make these push pops.
The day was beautiful, and I felt so lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful girlfriends. It’s funny, I’m kind of an introvert and tend to have one on one relationships rather than a crew of friends. So, it’s a real treat to see all of the women in my life together in one place. I was encouraged by how many of them are mothers, and are so creative, ambitious, and kind. Opening presents was a bit surreal, because even though it looks like a beach volleyball is stuffed under my shirt, it was crazy to look at the tiny doll clothes and realize I was creating a human that would wear them. It felt like I was having a birthday party for an American girl doll. One very special gift was from my sister, Amanda, who just launched her fine jewelry line Apres. She made me a rose gold and pave necklace with a little J dangling on it. J is for James, my soon to be son.
Photos: Stephanie Todoro
Venue: Light Lab LA
Ice Cream: Salt and Straw
Soda: Hi Lo Liquor
Wine: Winc Wine
Flowers: Yasmine Floral Design
Party Favors: Compartes Coney Island Chocolate Bars
Dress: Dolce and Gabbana “Gelato” Dress