- April 24th, 11:17
http://adserver.adtech.de/?adlink|3.0|311|1072359|1|16|AdId%3D6699352;BnId%3D1;link%3Dhttp://www.askamum.co.uk (They love my blog, ooo-errr how exciting!)
I’M ON THE ‘FAMILY FUN’, ‘BEST FAMILY TRAVEL’ AND ‘BLOG OF THE YEAR’ NOMINEE LISTS!
This isn’t going to be a regular post from me because I simply couldn’t wait until the end of the week (when I usually write) to tell you all about my wonderful baby shower which was held this weekend! I just had to make this special entry and tell you all about it right now because I’m still smiling from what was a truly enjoyable and fun afternoon! Now I’m not usually a fan of Americanised things (as you may know) and I went into the idea of having a baby shower with a little bit of scepticism and a smidgen of embarrassment. ‘Before Baby’ offer complete packages for baby showers where they bring everything with them to your desired location, set up, host and clear up at the end leaving just one thing for the host to do – enjoy themselves! I was approached to review the service and as I said, was a little sceptical as to how this would work for me, it seemed a little over the top to have a baby shower, a little indulgent and well, not very British but all the same I found myself looking forward to it! In reality, it was actually a lovely way to spend an afternoon before I will be knee deep in nappies again. To not have to travel anywhere (the party was held in my home), have all my friends in one place, enjoy their company and have lots of giggles while I literally didn’t have to lift a finger… sounds good doesn’t it? Well it was and this is how it worked!
So, Chrystal, the founder of ‘Before Baby’ who set the company up just over 18 months ago contacted me via email for all my information; my address, how many people I wanted at the party etc and asked me for a couple of photographs for my invitations. She also provided me with a list of things which could be posted on them and offered me the chance to leave a bespoke message before she drew up a final copy for me to approve and then email to all my friends. The invites have an option for your friends to reply electronically and let you know if they will be able to attend or not as well as the facility to reply with a personal message. I’m not particularly technically minded but it was all very straight forward and the invitations looked very swish I thought! My personal message was to tell my friends that they were not to bring a gift as I just wanted to spend the afternoon in their company and didn’t want them spending their money on me! A message which went somewhat ignored, the lovely generous lot! I loved the invite which has a picture taken by my friend Gill a few weeks ago together with my 12 week scan picture as well as details of my shower and directions to my house for my friends (blacked out for the purpose of this review).
A copy of the electronic invite!
I was initially concerned that this was all the contact I’d had with ‘Before Baby’ prior to the party as it seemed ridiculously easy that they just gave me the invite, asked me for directions and details of the room we’d be using, the number of guests, the type of shower I’d like (there are many options) and then that was it? I felt a bit like I needed a bit more contact and reassurance but when I emailed Chrystal she gave me that and told me not to worry, they had everything in hand. I guess they just know what they’re doing but for me, the thought of organising a party means lots of hard work so I suspected more contact and planning with me being needed to give details. Of course they are professionals at this game and didn’t need anything else from little old me and I needed to put in absolutely no hard work whatsoever because ‘Before Baby’ were doing all that behind the scenes! So, all my friends invited all I had to do was buy a little bit of fizz (‘Before Baby’ advised me if I wanted to provide a little bit of alcohol as extra that was no problem) and get myself ready on the day. The morning of the party arrived and Chrystal emailed me to tell me they’d be with me around an hour and half before hand and that was that!
I live in a furiously hard place to find full of one way systems and roads broken up with barriers half way down them and although I had sort of told them in advance of this I’d not properly given them concise instructions so it was not a surprise that the poor things were driving round looking for my house for an hour and only arrived 20 minutes before the party was to begin, they were terribly embarrassed but like consummate professionals quickly set up in my living room and within half an hour the party was under way. They must have been very flustered as guests were arriving and they were still setting up but they did a magnificently quick job and when I was asked to enter my living room I was overwhelmed with how they’d transformed it in such a quick amount of time. Sometimes when people are put under pressure they just make a magnificent job of things and take a look at the picture below to see this is no exception to that!
The attention to detail on everything on the table was beautifully done from the individually labelled lemonade bottles to the sash which read ‘Ruth’s having another baby’! It made me feel extremely special and my friends loved it!
I was given a sash to wear which read ‘Yummy Mummy’ and then we were all let loose on the treats! From the mini ice cream sundaes to the jars and jars of cookies, cakes and sweets we were all very indulged and our diets forgotten for an afternoon of sweet yummies, chocolate milkshake and lemonade; we loved it!
Next the team announced the commencement of the games and so we began! In teams we decorated baby grows, played relay races of changing nappies, drinking from a baby’s bottle, eating baby food and my personal favourite, creating a giant nappy out of tissues on one team member (my good sport friends!). There were also quiz rounds and much fun was had by all! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I can’t tell you what a treat it was to have so many friends from different areas of my life all under one roof. I had worried that my room wouldn’t be big enough for 20 of us including the party planners and I hadn’t known how my old school friends would mingle with my acting lot, family and Mummy pals but everyone just had a blast getting to know each other and I felt like a very lucky girl indeed! Take a look at what we got up to with the games…
Ah, Just looking at them makes me want to do it all again!
As the party drew to a close I opened some amazing presents which I was absolutely shocked to have received. I really didn’t expect gifts but I was given some lovely things, toiletries, flowers, things for the baby and my lovely Mummys of the Stone clubbed together and bought me a wonderful camera as they have all noticed the grainy quality of my pictures and thought it was about time I took something worth looking at! I was totally overwhelmed and very pleased, what a lovely gift! Looking round the room on the day and back at my pictures makes me think of a time when I was a teenager and had managed to fall out with every single person in my school. I’d been sent to Coventry over something I won’t get into now but remember well (my school was very small and being a stage school more than a little bitchy)! I was so miserable and remember feeling like I had no friends and never would have any ever again. If only the girl I was that day could see me now and see how many not just friends, but good friends I have! I am a truly lucky girl as every single gal pal who came on Saturday means the world to me and some of my close people weren’t able to make it so there could have been even more. Thank you to my lovely friends for making it such a special day; Adriana, Denise, Gill, Eli, Lauren, Charlotte, Charlie, Sam, Kate (a special congratulations to you too for getting engaged), Lucy, Joanne, Susan, Jane, Helen, Phoebe, Amanda and Carly! And thank you to Chrystal for providing such a wonderful spread and her brilliant organisation! As my guests left they were given a goody bag by the ‘Before Baby’ team which I thought was a great touch and really personal, I may have thought of goody bags but there’s no way I would have got round to doing anything about it had I been in charge of organisation myself!
Yet again the attention to detail was magnificent!
The party was such a success that I literally will be champing at the bit to arrange another one as soon as the next one of my friends announces some good news! It really is terrific value as prices are extremely affordable. If I do so for a friend I’ll ask everyone to individually pay for themselves plus a tiny bit more so the pregnant one doesn’t have to pay and that’ll make it such an inexpensive way of throwing someone a shower! If you think about the hassle of organisation plus the cost of food and the inclination to get it all ready and tidy up afterwards, gosh this is such a more appealing option! As the team from ‘Before Baby’ cleared up while we continued to chat and have fun I barely noticed but suddenly my room was back to normal and there was literally no clearing up or washing up for me to do! They even left me all the left over sweet treats (of which there were many)! It’s a struggle but we’re ploughing our way through them… Well, it’d be rude not to! My perfect baby shower with my perfect friends. I feel truly special and it was such a great thing to do, as the name of the company suggests, before baby!
‘Before Baby’ are specialists in the organisation and running of bespoke baby showers. With many themes on offer there are plenty of options to choose from but each one will be individually tailored to your own needs and specifications. With prices starting at just £12.99pp they are truly available to all (not just the rich and famous although you might feel you are a celebrity on the day)! For more information, booking enquiries and answers to your questions please see the extensive website www.beforebaby.co.uk.
What a lucky girlie I am!