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Monday, 6 June 2016

LIFESTYLE | Throwing a low-key baby shower

As of the moment I type this, my beautiful big sister is one week and three days overdue. I've been texting her almost daily in capitals with the words HURRY UP BUBBA, both eager and anxious to meet my first niece.

The last time I felt this kind of eager and anxious was when I was planning my sister's baby shower, and if you know my sister then you know why.

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My sister is so effortlessly cool. She's stylish and sophisticated and I look up to her every single day, whether that's thinking about what to wear in the morning, choosing a healthier lunch over some junk food or simply spending my lunchtimes being generally all round more adult (blogging, online food shopping, writing) instead of just wasting my lunch break.

However, my sister is not the type of person who wanted a corny baby shower. She did not want any games, she did not want a big 'do' and she most definitely did not want the game 'guess the baby poo' (aka mushed up chocolate in a nappy) at her shower. Trust me, I tried. I very nearly almost did so just to see her reaction, but I learnt my lesson when she wasn't amused at the Facebook invite that started with 'my sister has gone and got herself knocked up.'

So how did I go about putting together a baby shower that wasn't very traditional, was very classy, was fun and pleased both my sister AND my nan?

Spoiler alert - despite it being my sister's baby shower, we were more concerned about my nan's reaction. She doesn't believe in baby showers. Honest. The amount of times I had to hear 'I don't believe in em' in her overly Cornish accent in the weeks leading up to it almost made me uninvite her.

But anyway. Here's how it was done.

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Home was an option, as was afternoon tea, but the big sister wanted something laid back and we also had to keep in mind what other people would be willing to pay, plus not everybody likes afternoon tea. So we chose The Hide, a really classy bar/lounge in Ampthill that just oozes that sophisticated chic vibe. We've been there before for lunch and aim to return for cocktails one evening too, but in the mean time, it was the perfect fit for the shower.

We had the upstairs to ourselves which revealed a cluster of comfortable armchairs and twinkling fairy lights - so it was all laid back as opposed to what afternoon tea would be sat up at a table etc. 

As for food, we ordered one giant cake so everyone could have some, and then all attendees had the option of ordering lunch on top of that if they wished. 

So we managed to go out and get a nice venue/room but still didn't requite anyone to pay if they didn't want to by providing cake too.

I laid out a few small activities for people to partake in if they wanted to - and luckily they did - but there were no 'organized' activities as such. I ordered a couple of prints so guests could guess the sex, and another one which had the baby's surname printed on it and a cute little poem, with Winnie the Pooh holding onto some string. Guests then used their thumb prints to make multicoloured balloons, and this was then framed. I thought this was a nice idea to go into the baby's room.

We also have an old Polaroid camera lying around at home so I purchased some non-tacky props off the internet - some represented 'guess the gender' and others were just funny phrases or things like milk bottles and stuff. This went down a storm and people enjoyed posing, as well as the fact that they could take photos away with them.

I also picked up some cute advice cards and a scrapbook and used this to place said advice cards into. I thought the scrapbook could be kept for baby related milestones and things like that, and everyone enjoyed filling it in too.

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The venue was ever so pretty so I didn't bother much with decorations, except for some pastel coloured tassel hangings from TK Maxx, I'd definitely recommend TK Maxx for this type of stuff - lately they have a lot of wedding party decorations but most of it can be used for any event really! I also found a tutorial online on how to make a personalized mason jar and although this didn't go as well as I hoped, it was fine for the day. I stuck a photo of me, my sister and my mum in there and my sister brought a candle, so we had a little area representing what I hoped was mum looking over us. I thought this was a nice idea to have her 'there' in some sense and to remember her on the day.

Finally, Etsy was a god send when it came to the 'little things' or the finishing touches, if you will. The Winnie the Pooh frame I bought off etsy, and I also purchased a super cute 'mum to be' floral pin for my sister to wear on the day. She was over the moon with it and it was just an example of something that wasn't necessary, but was lovely all the same.

So that's it, really. That's how I threw a non-traditional baby shower that also kept the key elements of the shower (celebrating the soon-to-be-birth of a new member of the family!) and made my sister happy. She loved it - and so did everyone else. But at the end of the day it was just about having family and friends come together - the setting, the food and everything else didn't matter, as long as everyone was there.

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  1. I never had a baby shower. Most of my family felt the idea was "too American" so we didn't bother. I wish we had, especially one as classy as this! I live the balloon thumbprints!

  2. Baby shower recipes are available on the Internet and in various cook books. It is a great idea to have a wide variety of snacks, drinks, and desserts since people enjoy so many different things. Most people who are planning a baby shower plan a few simple appetizers.


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