Olives Christening day.
Second child syndrome, its a thing. Days before Olives christening I was feeling so unorganised, I failed to send out invitations and had to make a Facebook event instead (Whats that about?) The most informal invitation ever, It saved some spending but I was utterly embarrassed when I first clicked the send button. I had collected a few decorations as and when I stumbled across them but with no clear theme I fully relied on Tara of Tickety Boo Events to save the day and use her expertise to help transform my mums bungalow into the perfect venue for our celebration. I love planning parties, I love creating a special space just for that one personal occasion, I love putting together a pinterest board full of amazing ideas that quite frankly I just don't have the time to achieve. Having some help this time round was just what I needed, busy mum life just doesn't allow for me to dedicate too much time to the things I WANT to do anymore and more time to what I HAVE to do. Although there was one DIY project I did attempt, it was super easy so I will share that in this post too.
We decided not to book a venue, and I will explain why... Toddlers. When you own a wrecking ball toddler like we do it was safer to host a party in a place we know hes safe, happy and unable to escape. Extreme you say? Well its not, If we would of booked a pub (like we did for Oakley's christening) I would never of relaxed, I wouldn't be able to take my eyes off him or turn my back for a second. My mums beautiful big bungalow was perfect, I would say its his favourite place to be anyway and hes surrounded by toys and games that he knows which means we could relax and enjoy ourselves. My parents agreed to do a BBQ for our guests and they were the perfect hosts, we are very lucky. They have a huge garden so we purchased some outdoor inflatable toys from Asda, a giant basketball hoop and ball, a limbo pole and some bouncy balls. We also set up a tipi area, with books and toys for playing in the shade, we all know as parents that the key to a good time is entertained children. That in mind, due to the weather we pulled out the big guns, the paddling pool. I'm glad we did because they spent they whole day in there.
Its all in the small touches, It always has been for me. The details and styling made the celebration so special and personal, the girly colours the fresh flowers all adding to the perfect set up. Tara provided some beautiful pieces such as crates to add height to our table display, lace and blush pink cloth as the perfect base to cover our table, jars and bottles for flower arrangements and cute props for a sweetie station. Simple necessities such as cups, straws, cups and napkins can finish off a well put together display, so we had some lovely sets from Tara's party store over at TicketyBoo Party Style, were you can shop all the Meri Meri goodies and Tara lovingly puts together the best handpicked party boxes ready for any occasion too which are perfect for babyshowers, birthday parties etc.
All the flower arrangements were done by me and my mum, I went to Aldi and spent just £20 on them which went so far. I bought a small selection of sweets, displayed in the cutest jars that were £1.99 from Home Bargains, teamed with some props provided by Tickety Boo events we made the cutest sweetie station for the children to enjoy. We used Kilner jars to make cocktails for the adults and mocktails for the children, using some folded craft card I made some name tags so people knew what drinks were what, it was so simple to do but made all the difference. I picked up some pom pom bargains in Tkmax in the run up, honestly the clearance section in that store homes some hidden gems, you just have to rummage. Originally I wanted a blush pink, Olive green and white/cream theme but slowly other colours were creeping in and I needed a way to make it all make sense. So here is where I made it happen, my amazing DIY ribbon backdrop. Ok, so its not amazing, I used just string, lots of ribbon and a stapler but if you look from a far its perfect (just don't look too hard) Top hack: Use florist waterproof ribbon. Its half the price of fabric ribbon and looks identical when being used in a project like this.
A lovely Instagram shop by the name Pearl and Boo, made us a fabric name garland with my colour scheme in mind. Its stunning, something thats versatile enough for us to use again. I think I might find a space in Olives room to keep it out forever, for the christening I hung it across the front of the table and it finished the table display of perfectly.
The Cake and ice cream
There was only one person that could make a cake for this occasion and that's Emma, Hello Cake has been my chief cake maker now since I can remember. She will create the cake of my dreams no questions asked, any challenge is accepted and over the past 2.5 years I have definitely set a challenge or 2. We went with a 2 tier rustic cake, semi naked cake you could call it, with an ombre butter cream (iced cakes are pretty but I LOVE a rustic cake) Flavours are always so exciting to plan, I was never one with a big sweet tooth that was until my pregnancy with Olive and now I live for cake and coffee any day of the week. I asked Emma if she could make my 2 all time favourites, Top tier was a almond and raspberry sponge and bottom was a lemon and poppy seed combination, utter perfection! She strikes again, the BEST cake maker in Derby. My cake topper was from the lovely insta shop The Paper Peony, as always the swiftest delivery and just the finishing touch, the cherry on top for sure.
The morning of the christening I had a brain wave, It was crazy hot and I was about to rush out to stock the freezer up with icey treats when I decided to make a phone call. I popped on to google and searched for local Ice cream vans, I tapped the first one I saw which so happened to be located only streets away from my mums house and asked them to swing by on their way home. My best idea to date, having already spent money on food, cake, sweets and drinks It was a cheaper alternative for me and everyone loved it when the ice cream vans sirens went off and they realised it was right outside the front door for us!
What we wore.
So we kind of did that annoying thing, that twinning thing. I would love to say that it wasn't planned but it defiantly was, how often is it that you get to dress up all snazzy as a family? Well we don't often get the chance so I grabbed it by the horns and went all matchy matchy. I had found a dress first and (selfishly) used my dress as a starting point, having a little girl has made my clothing decisions so much more feminine recently and I spotted a floral embroidered number over at Elvi Clothing that was perfection. I have been in this annoying limbo stage for so long now, borderline plus size but can still most of the time shop on the high street too and it makes online shopping a nightmare. Knowing that I could size up from the high street size 16 made me confident that the dress would fit well and I would be comfortable. I was right. My floral vision was becoming a beautiful reality, Olives 'church' dress was from Marks and Spencers and was so reasonable in comparison to traditional christening gowns, It complimented my dress too. I also got Olive a simple ivory bonnet for the ceremony from Briar and I picked her up a lovely light linen top and pant set from Marks and Spencers too so that she could be cool in the heat which was such a good idea once the news of the expected temperatures hit. The boys were almost top to toe in Next, shirts, shorts and jackets. They looked so smart and Daniel was looking forward to a spot of twinning with his boy, the weather didn't allow it for all that long before it was time for Oaks to strip down and get into the pool. His jacket was flung off after 5 minutes, I purchased his jacket in the Next sale last winter, It was a bargain and far too big at the time but I loved it enough to save it for a special occasion. The cherry on the top though, what really sealed the ultimate girly deal was our stunning fresh flower crowns from The Derbyshire Greenery. The stuff of Mother Daughter dreams.
We had such a good day, It was so incredible having the sun shining all day, being surrounded by the people we love in a place that is basically home. Zero drama/tantrums from the toddler which made for a great day regardless of the celebration but It was defiantly the best idea having the celebration out of a venue. I think the main success of the day was keeping the children happy, full tummies, sun cream applied and bottomless pink lemonade from us aside and all they really needed was fun. We all know that once they are satisfied we are able to relax and enjoy ourselves easier, my fond memories of the day are Oaks sliding into the pool with his cousins in matching football shirts and Olive being fussed over left right and center. For the first time in ages I was able to just stand back for a moment, look around me and soak up how glorious life can be.
Thanks for reading, I have linked lots of items of which just by clicking on the highlighted words you can access directly. Hope this post may have helped in the run up to your next event.