California Dreaming…of having a Kourtney Kardashian Style Second Baby Shower

We have to admit,we were a tad disappointed when Kourtney Kardashian held a present free,

Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and baby Mason at Kourtney’s second baby shower

game free baby shower a fortnight ago. So we were very happy that our faith in Kardashian extravagance was restored at her second baby shower last week. Yes, SECOND baby shower.

In California where the sun shines, money flows, and

Kourtney Kardashian at her second baby shower last week

pregnancies are always perfect, it didn’t at all seem extravagant for Kourtney to have a second (arguably superior) shower, that truly outdid the first in every way.

This time planned by her sisters, with a 90 strong guest list of friends and family, guests arrived to pink and white decorationsa traditional pink party for her impending baby girl in a colour scheme akin to our Pretty in Pink Baby Shower, enjoyed by Michelle Heaton & celebrity guests Katie Price & Sian Welby. Not only that, Kourtney’s guests  dined on sandwiches and sushi, played games, entered with piles of gifts, and left with favour bags full of goodies. A pretty good party in our opinion, but seriously, two baby showers in a fortnight? Only in California…! But as they would say in humble (?) Essex English – we have to admit we’re well jel.

Thinking Pink for your Baby Shower with star style? Then you’ve got loads of options to help you celebrate your new 

baby girl like a celebrity:

  •  a pink afternoon tea style baby shower as enjoyed by  Victoria Beckham – a bespoke variation on our Midsummer Tea, with teatime treats served on a mixture of pink vintage china
  • a Pretty in Pink baby shower like Michelle Heaton with candy stripe canopy and colour coordinated pick and mix sweetie bar
  • a pink Midweek Mini baby shower, as seen in the Daily Mirror ‘s Celebs on Sunday magazine – with cupcakes and cocktails
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Before Baby loves….The Baby Planners

If you were thinking, “what next?” after your baby shower, or need a helping hand through the minefield of pregnancy and birth? Look no further…two lovely ladies, Simone and Gemma aka The Baby Planners could be just what you’re looking for!

 

The Baby Planners image
The Baby Planners – a little helping hand along your pregnancy journey and beyond

The Baby Planners are Simone and Gemma, two Nannies with 20 years of experience between them. They have worked with large families, non-traditional families and families from a mixture of different faiths and cultures, as well as with twins and premature babies.

Gemma and Simone realised that using their expertise, knowledge and excellent contacts within the childcare industry they could provide advice and practical help to new parents, as well as save them time, money and energy when it came to researching products and services.

“From pregnancy to birth, through to that first day at school, The Baby Planners can be with you every step of the way. “

By giving you peace of mind that you have made the right choices for your family The Baby Planners ensure that you have a happy, healthy, worry free pregnancy and can relax and enjoy your new baby.

The Baby Planners know that pregnancy can be an exciting yet overwhelming time, from picking an antenatal class to decorating the nursery to deciding on a birth plan. They offer a wide variety of services to help you have a stress free, relaxing pregnancy.

Based in central London but willing to travel, the Baby-Planners can be with you every step of the way.  Take a peek at their packages on www.thebabyplanners.co.uk , check out their blog with tips or follow them on twitter and facebook.

Sounds like the perfect thing after your Before Baby baby shower!

Before Baby in Gurgle magazine’s Little Black Book of Pregnancy Treats!

We’re still reeling from our Mothers Day coverage in the Daily Mirror Celebs on Sunday Magazine, but just last week, great news came our way – our Pretty in Pink baby shower has now also been featured in

Our Mother's Day full-page feature in the Daily Mirror Magazine
Our earlier Mother’s Day full-page feature in the Daily Mirror Magazine

Gurgle Magazine too!

Our coverage in Gurgle Magazine
Our new coverage in Gurgle Magazine!

Gurgle Mag has put together a list of “must-haves” and “must-do’s” for pregnancy – a Little Black Book of Pregnancy treats and included our Pretty in Pink baby shower package, as enjoyed by Michelle Heaton. Michelle had a Pretty in Pink baby shower to celebrate the impending birth of beautiful baby Faith and it was attended by friends, family and other celeb guests such as Katie Price, Jessica Pietersen and Sian Welby last December.

Check out the Gurgle coverage, and don’t forget, celebrity style baby shower packages start from just £14.95pp with a Midweek Mini themed pink baby shower with coordinating pink sweetie buffet, pink lemonade, decorations, games and handmade cupcakes. Althenatively upgrade to our Pretty in Pink packages like Michelle Heaton from just £20pp.

More exclusive pics from Michelle Heaton’s Pink baby shower  and videos and pictures from our other celebrity baby showers for Sarah Cawood and Stacey Solomon on our Facebook page!

Keep your eyes open for us in Prima Baby in a few weeks too…

The Baby Shower Gift List: Terrific? Or just Terrifically Tacky?

Kourtney Kardashian’s recent baby shower got us to thinking about one particular aspect of baby shower etiquette: The Gifts.

Pregnant woman opens a Baby Shower Gift
Baby Shower Gift list…a do or a don’t?

Recently, new mum Jessica Simpson sat and labouriously unveiled what seemed like hundreds of pairs of unsuitable baby shoes (ok, maybe not hundreds) including pink cowboy boots at her shower in front of her guests. Beyonce is famed for receiving a diamond encrusted rocking horse gifted by BFF Kelly Rowland for Blue Ivy Carter. Kourtney Kardashian chose not to open her pressies in front of her guests, taking them back home to be unveiled with hubby in the privacy of her own home.

So when it comes to presents, if you’re attending do you have to bring a present or not? For mums–to-be, do you ask for exactly what you want or politely hope you’ll get lucky, and, what exactly is the etiquette for the opening presents at the party? Is the practice of giving and receiving gifts just an outdated and unnecessary part of a baby shower that just doesn’t fit the bill over here?

It seems characteristic of both the British sensibility and the British baby shower for many mums to be explicitly state they don’t want gifts. Even the mention of the word “gift list” or gift registry seems to imply that any mum to be with the gaul to be specific about what se really wants and needs is taking the royal biscuit, especially if it’s not her first time round.

However the reality is that there will still be a 50/50 split as to who actually will listen to you regarding your evasion of this tradition, and statistics report that even in the UK many lucky mums to be don’t even have to fork out a penny on their newborn for the first few months of baby’s life thanks to their baby shower loot – now saving money’s got to be a good thing when you’re entering one of the most expensive phases of your life, right?

So here’s our quick guide to baby shower gift giving and receiving….

If you do openly request gifts

  • Consider a gift list and don’t feel bad about it = Having a baby is expensive. For many, these gifts are a helping hand so why not be specific about your tastes and needs and provide guests with a list of your favourite shops or your nursery theme or preferred colours. If you feel awkward, then don’t hesitate to ask a friend or hostess to organize this on your behalf to imply you were blissfully unaware of the process but ensure you receive useful items
  • At least do your guests the honour of opening them at the party. It seems many guests just want to see the look on your face when you reveal their treasures – they may have spent hours poring over the perfect gift for your newborn and it’s rewarding to see that those hours pondering and pounding the pavements of the high street looking for the perfect gift paid off.
  • Not all baby shower gifts are made equal, but try to thank all guests equally.
  • Don’t be afraid to put a few items on there for you – massages, makeovers, pampering, labour must haves…after all it’s not all about baby!
  • Keep it quick. We’re all for sentimentality – I mean it is a baby shower! But come on….surely we can get through 10 presents in under 10 minutes? This is a key issue where lots of guests = mountains of presents and whilst carefully making a custom speech, accompanied by a hug for each guest is great, trundling through your baby shower booty at a snails pace merely just cuts back on fun & food time…plus thanking someone aside privately, giving a personalized card (if you’re mega organized), or better still a picture of your newborn using said gift is just as good a way to show your appreciation and won’t impact on crucial baby shower time.
  • Be reasonable –  have a selection of options for different budgets on your gift list. If you’d like a diamond encrusted rocking horse from Tiffany, perhaps be smart enough to request Tiffany vouchers rather than going for the whole horse. It’s just far less tacky and allows your guests to contribute without feeling obligated to spend mountains of cash.
  • Favours are a must – a thank you bag with a gift, like those we provide with each before baby shower, with the option of a personalized note card is a lovely way to remind each guest how much you appreciated their presence and present.

If you don’t request gifts….

  • Be ready to get some anyway! …Sorry ladies, but many guests will simply ignore you and turn up with gifts – they just want to spoil you (it’s all part of the excitement), and since some will flaunt the rules, have a few enthusiastic variations on “ I love it – thank you so much!” up your sleeve.
  • Consider satisfying the urges of those guests who just want to give, so  openly inviting your guests the option of donating to charity on your behalf through just giving, or invite those that want to bring something to come along with just a pack of nappies to enter into a draw to win a prize at the shower. The nappies will certainly come in handy and your guests will get to contribute equally and usefully.
  • As you gave guests the option of not bringing a gift, be sure to remember that an impromptu public present opening session may serve to make those that didn’t want to indulge in present giving feel a tad awkward.
  • Remember, there’s no accounting for taste, and whilst every gift will be appreciated, since you didn’t specify what you wanted you’ll need to be prepared to receive some weird and wonderful gifts with a big smile.

Looking for great baby shower gifts, then look no further….we do it all!

Before Baby Boutique has a great selection of baby shower gifts and mum be’s most wanted gift ideas, plus you can include your gift list on your complimentary baby shower invitations within your baby shower package. Visit www.beforebaby.co.uk to book your baby shower today.

Baby showers: Strictly No Men Allowed?

Raj Kundra, Shilpa Shetty and Sarita at the baby shower
Raj Kundra, Shilpa Shetty and Sarita at the baby shower

It seems like we’re not even fresh from the controversy of the gender reveal party, when we’re already faced with yet another crucial baby shower conundrum: should men be allowed at a baby shower?

Recently we’ve been lucky enough to see the baby showers of two uberglam women, Jessica Simpson and Shilpa Shetty. Just a few days ago, Bollywood bombshell Shilpa, well known on this side of the water for her stint on Celebrity Big Brother 2007, held a stylish, star studded high tea style baby shower, hosted by her sister. The bash was attended by her nearest and dearest but husband Raj Kundra, also put in an appearance.

The proud dad-to-be, tweeted a picture of himself with Shilpa and Sarita, actor R Madhavan’s wife and tweeted, “@ActorMadhavan missing you at the baby shower!! I feel like Krishan Kanaya with so many women :).

Similarly at Jessica Simpson’ baby shower, husband to be Eric, popped in for the gift opening and a few baby snaps.

So should partners, or men in general be allowed at a baby shower? It’s great that couples can share the entire pregnancy together, but surely there are some things that are solely the preserve of women, and surely we don’t all want to be seen dressing up in giant nappies in front of our men-friends? On the other hand it is nice to acknowledge that the menfolk did have a bit of a role in the process!

So before you throw your mixed baby shower bash here’s a few tips you might want to consider:

–       There’s no need to scrap the games and forfeits, but it might be nice to think wisely about your choice of games, just in case female guests don’t feel comfortable miming labour in front of your boyfriend/husband and his giggling pals

–       Don’t just invite dad to be, you can also invite his and your significant mates or male family members too, meaning he doesn’t feel so lonely!

–       Male vs female team games could bring an interesting dynamic to the proceedings. Suddenly the battle of the sexes could get very competitive…

–       Keep it light – steer the sentimentality towards the greetings cards and the private “girls only” moments, or better still….

–       Invite men in at the end of the shower or at appropriate moments. When Before Baby hosted star Michelle Heaton’s Pretty in Pink baby shower, her partner Hugh, boyfriends and husbands were asked to judge one of the baby shower games, then were formally invited in towards the end of the party for nibbles and drinks and mingling.

–       If you’re not going to invite men in, but expect them to wait with the handbags and children, at least drop heavy hints as to a place they can all meet up together for some boy bonding (if they know eachother). Otherwise be mindful of timings at your party so that they are not waiting around to pick up wives and girlfriends after the shower if it over runs.

–       A bit of thought in the present department for dad to be might not go amiss. I mean if mum to be will have stretch mark oil and pampering treats a bottle of champagne that the happy couple can share might be nice too?

–       Finally, understand that men, or partners just might not want to come, and rather to have less guests than unwilling ones! Don’t waste time being offended about it. After all, it just means more cupcakes and the cocktails for you…

Do you want a celebrity style baby shower like Shilpa?

 Before Baby can plan the perfect couples or mixed, or girls only baby shower down to your choice of personalized games and activities run for you by our hostesses, prizes, decorations invitations. You can also have your choice of theme: You can opt for a high tea style baby shower like Shilpa with our Midsummer Afternoon Tea package including vintage crockery hire, or even have a Spa Shower with tea, makeovers or pampering, all held at home, work or in a venue of your choice from just £14.99pp

Everybody’s talking about….The Gender Reveal Craze

What do you think? As lovers of all things that come ‘before baby‘, but as with everything “baby shower” in the UK, there’s always a bit of controversy. Isn’t it tacky? Is it bad taste? Is it bad luck? Isn’t it just very un-British?

Take a bite into one of our fabulous gender reveal cakes with coloured sponge to announce babys gender
Tea Time: Take a bite into one of our fabulous gender reveal cakes with coloured sponge at an afternoon tea baby shower to announce babys gender

We at Before Baby are proud pioneers of the beautiful UK baby shower: non tacky, Tasteful with a capital T, and our take on the gender reveal craze is no exception. Last year, due to popular demand, we were happy to add gender reveal cakes and cupakes to our list of amazing extras for our baby shower packages for mums-to-be, plus games and activities such as a fun photobooth and guessing games to allow mums to celebrate their pregnancies in any way they felt comfortable to. But just since everyone’s talking about it again here’s our two cents (or should I say pennies?) worth on the subject:

Timing is key

Just as we advise with any of our baby showers, it’s so important to get the timing of the baby shower gender reveal just right. Many gender reveal parties occur as early as the dating scans, and this has been slammed by many midwives as irresponsible. Perhaps for obvious reasons, it just seems too early to celebrate your pregnancy at this point whilst many are still weighed down by superstition and the natural fear that accompanies motherhood to worry incessantly about the health and well being of your baby (which is not just a part of pregnancy – it continues everyday after birth too, and I’m told carries on till your child is way into their thirties/forever too!). It’s usually quite late in the day when a mum-to-be’s full scale nesting instinct properly kicks in (when suddenly every other word that comes out of mum to be’s mouth contains the crucial “b’s” baby, bugaboo, and bumbo seat) and it’s probably about this time, that it’s appropriate to have a gender reveal or baby shower – when mum to be is ready. However – important point- do not hold the shower too late – giving birth is not a fun baby shower activity so we’d recommend in approximately months 6-7 of pregnancy are ideal!

Keep it Lighthearted

baby shower photoprops offered by Before Baby
Before Baby have great ways to have a more lighthearted “British” gender reveal!

Whilst we proudly offer gender reveal cakes and gender based guessing games on demand, there is always the possibility of having the “reveal”…without the big reveal! Why not play games and discuss the sex of baby in advance at a party? – it’s half the fun to guess, plan and giggle about every aspect of the newborn we’re all eager to meet: characteristics, personality, features including gender,  but hold on a second!  In this age of genetically handpicking babies and with many parents with such strong feelings about the gender of the baby (e.g. if they’ve been trying for a boy for 10 years to find out “… it’s a girl!!!” in front of friends and family) just wouldn’t be appropriate in many cases to have a gender reveal, although that doesn’t mean you might not be able to have fun and games around the idea. Just don’t have to take it so seriously – no dream crushing –  no winners and no losers, after all we might all joke that baby might have mum to be’s curly hair at the shower, but no one actually cares whether we know the answer to this before they leave the party – they’re happy to let mother nature do the reveal, naturally. No one really has to reveal the sex at the party if they don’t want to.

Why not?

If mum to be and partner do know the sex and agree they want to share it with nearest and dearest with a gender reveal shower …what’s the fuss really all about? After all, isn’t it just the same as telling everyone the gender of the baby over the telephone, (or via email or Facebook) just a lot more fun!  Just because the big announcement is taking place at a party, it makes it no less personal. In fact, one might even go so far as to suggest it’s more practical: get everyone in the same place at the same time and answer the question on everyone’s lips simultaneously. It merely just saves on time and phonecalls!

Clearly, the best rule of thumb is that every stage of the baby shower should be about celebrating baby in the way that is appropriate to mum-to-be and her friends. The theme, the games, and activities like a gender reveal should be planned around her feelings and needs and what she feels comfortable sharing.

Thinking of gender revealing?

Stacey Solomon kept baby's gender under wraps with our Girls Playground shower
Stacey Solomon kept baby’s gender under wraps with our neutral Girls Playground shower

Before Baby offer fabulous gender reveal extras that can be added to any of our fabulous baby shower packages such as gender reveal cakes and photoprops, including our neutral packages, perrennial favourite Midsummer Tea Shower, and the new kid on the block Cookies and Cream Shower and our Girls Playground shower recently enjoyed by celeb Stacey Solomon.

Cookies and Cream – our sweet new crush…

It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally here – the newest addition to our baby shower package family, a neutral theme baby shower to satisfy every expectant mum’s cookie cravings!

My poor partner and best friend have had the misfortune to have had to listen to the hours of planning (deliberating over shot glasses and shades of tissue paper) to get this theme just right for weeks now so they’ll be pleased to hear that this baby has finally been born and Cookies and Cream is officially here.

Mostly in response to popular demand, and partly because I just love cookies (and I’m not pregnant so I don’t have an excuse 🙂 ), I knew it was high time to launch another neutral theme. Our take on Cookies and Cream, like Midsummer Tea and Girls Playground has a soft gender indifferent colour scheme. The combination of ivory, tan and chocolate just oozes sophistication and guests won’t be able to detect even a hint of “it’s a boy/girl”- great if you’re keeping baby’s gender under wraps or just want to wait for the surprise.

So what does our Cookies and Cream Baby Shower package include?

• A fantastic cookie buffet bar – think giant gingerbread teddies, oat crunchies, ginger thins, shortbread and choccy dodgers. Cookies are the new pick and mix!

Chocolate Milk Shots with Mikado biscuit straws...alcohol free loveliness
Chocolate Milk Shots with Mikado biscuit straws...alcohol free loveliness

• A beige and ivory candy stripe canopy, plus chocolate and cream coloured paperpoms

Brown paper bags - perfect for filling with leftover cookies
Brown paper bags - perfect for filling with leftover cookies

• Mini oreo ice cream sundaes and self service topping bar with mini marshmallows, chocolate buttons and milk bottles – yum!

• Chocolate milkshakes served in shot glasses with biscuit straws

• Cupcakes (of course!) – we opted for mini cupcakes with Vanilla and Chocolate buttercream

• Our signature homestyle lemonade in mini milk bottles – (no theme would be complete without them!) These ones come with adorable personalized scalloped hang tags made from brown paper and twine

• Brown paper favour bags with heart wooden tags including marshmallow popcorn and other delights.

Expert Blogger Ruth loved our Cookies and Cream shower
Expert Blogger Ruth loved our Cookies and Cream shower and cookie inspired treats!

We were lucky enough to road test our new theme on expert blogger and mum-to-be Ruth Knowles AKA rocknrollerbaby and she was thrilled with our biscuit themed bash! She loved our personal touches and you can read her full review in her award nominated blog.

So what’s next in our bag of baby shower tricks….? We’ve got some top secret games, new props and activities to launch which are exclusive to Before Baby packages so watch this space, and if you like our themes, follow us for more pictures on Facebook and Pinterest. Don’t forget to follow Ruth’s family blog too!

Ruth at her Cookies and Cream baby shower
Ruth at her Cookies and Cream baby shower!