Are you (or is someone you know) expecting a new arrival in the next few weeks? If so now is a great time to hold a baby shower and share your excitement with those closest to you. Contrary to what you might have seen in the movies, a baby shower doesn’t have to be an extravagant affair and you don’t have to go to great lengths of organisation and catering to make your get together a day to remember. But baby showers do offer a lovely opportunity to get together with friends and family before the big event and the whirlwind that takes over everything once your little one arrives. There will be precious little time for seeing friends once you’re fully engrossed in the early days and weeks of being a new parent!
Traditionally, baby showers are organised by someone other than you, such as a close friend or family member. But don’t worry if that’s not possible or if you’d rather have some say in the organisation – there are no hard and fast rules you have to follow. If you’re running short on time, that’s fine as many people choose to have their shower after they’ve given birth. This gives you a nice opportunity to introduce your baby en masse, but they’ll still be at an age when they’ll be sleeping a lot, allowing you to put your feet up, catch up with friends and enjoy the warm glow of all that love in the room!
Whenever you decide to hold your shower, be sure to call on some help before and after the party so you don’t exhaust yourself with decorating, making food and clearing up afterwards. If you’d like to ‘theme’ your party, we have some pretty ranges perfect for baby showers which make dressing your room quick and easy. Baby Miffy is one of our favourites, featuring a delicate pastel colour palette and the much-loved rabbit character created by Dick Bruna. It not only looks lovely but will stir up a warm, nostalgic feeling in your guests who’ll no doubt remember Miffy from their own childhoods. Add some décor to your room with the co-ordinating bunting and balloons and dress your party table with matching, disposable table ware including essentials such as plates and napkins, as well as some unusual extras, such as glass decorations and beautiful confetti that looks gorgeous scattered across the table.
When it comes to food, many mums-to-be choose a simple finger buffet for their shower rather than a more labour-intensive, sit-down meal. Something along the lines of an afternoon tea, with dainty sandwiches, scones and cakes works well, or if you want something a little more substantial you could add in some pasta, rice or potato salads. We love the idea of ‘mini-sized’ foods, a popular theme for baby showers – think cute burger ‘sliders’ with mini portions of French fries, for example, or bite-sized hot dogs and small-scale pizza; take a look on the web for more imaginative ideas. If you’re on a tight budget or don’t want to be lumbered with the entire catering organisation, why not ask each of your guests to bring along a dish? Alternatively, you can keep costs and preparation down by hosting a champagne (non-alcoholic for the mum-to-be!) cream tea, an easy but indulgent way to cater for your guests.
If you’re looking for an additional sweet treat that’s a bit different to the standard cupcakes and sponges, how about making some cake pops? They’re simple to make but look really fun – you can ice them in hues of blue and pink (or one colour if you know the sex of your baby), add some sprinkles and top with a Baby Miffy animal cake topper. Arrange the sticks upside down on a co-ordinating Baby Miffy cake stand or place them in cute tin pails or on vintage cake stands – they make a really eye-catching centrepiece for your table.
Make sure someone is on duty to take lots of photos of your special get-together and perhaps leave out a guest book (there is one in the Baby Miffy range) so your friends can leave you and your baby a message – a lovely keepsake to add to your little one’s baby box. It’s a nice idea to thank your guests with a little parting gift in the shape of a party bag filled with little treats. Add in a co-ordinating thankyour card, written in advance so you don’t have to worry about this afterwards. Your bag could contain a slice of cake and a low-cost, fun gift – a lucky lottery ticket, for example, a pretty lavender bag or a packet of seeds to plant in their garden.
For more ideas on hosting a baby shower, take a look at parenting website Baby Centre. And to see the full range of Baby Miffy products, visit our main site at www.neviti.com.
We Brits have developed a real love affair with baking in recent years. Not only has the credit crunch inspired more and more of us to follow the examples of our grandmothers by swapping expensive shop-bought items for thriftier home bakes, but a raft of inspiring TV shows, such as The Great British Bake Off, have shown how easy and fulfilling it is to make your own cakes, breads and puddings. They’re not only cheaper than supermarket offerings, but by making your own sweet creations you can avoid overloading on nasty additives, colourings and unnecessary sugar. Plus processes like kneading, mixing and icing can offer a few moments of calming distraction in an otherwise chaotic world. Cake making can be life-affirming and anyone can have a go, whatever your level of confidence in the kitchen.
They don’t get much easier than a simple fairy cake, the perfect entry-level cake for beginners or children. But while they might be easy to make, you can make your creations taste and look a lot more sophisticated with some simple touches. Add in some unusual flavourings to your mixture, for example – rosewater, vanilla and violet flavourings work particularly well. If you’re feeling a little more confident try a Red Velvet cupcake, a bestselling cake at Hummingbird Bakery, the chi-chi London bakery that helped to spark the cupcake revival of recent years. It’s easy to make your own buttercream icing; simply combine butter and icing sugar till you have a creamy, fluffy spreadable mix, ready for topping with sprinkles, chocolate chips or a dusting of edible glitter. For a special occasion make your cakes look as good as the professionals by displaying on one of our easy to assemble cardboard stands, and top each cake with a cute cake pick. We have ranges perfect for parties, christenings, picnics and weddings.
As ardent cake makers ourselves, we think nothing beats the easy-to-follow, fool-proof cake recipes of Mary Berry. While her books err on the side of tradition, you can expect perfect results if your try her take on popular favourites such as Victoria Sandwich, Chocolate Brownies and Lemon Drizzle Cake. For something a little more contemporary, using exotic flavour combinations and inspirational decorating techniques, take a look at the Primrose Bakery Book or Leon: Baking & Puddings.
If you’re already a confident cake maker you might fancy trying a bigger project. How about taking on the challenge of creating a special occasion cake, for a christening, birthday or even a wedding, perhaps? Professional occasion cakes can come with an exorbitant price tag, but luckily it’s becoming more and more common for modern weddings to integrate the professional with the home-spun, with many savvy brides choosing the charm of a DIY cake over a professionally made creation. Thanks to the help of online tutorials on sites such as YouTube or food websites you can follow tried-and-tested recipes and decorating techniques to help you create a sensational cake on a shoestring. To add extra significance perhaps you could use an old family favourite recipe, handed down through generations – your grandma’s special fruit cake, for example – a lovely way to add the personal touch to your catering. If you’re not sure your icing skills will be up to the job, ready-to-roll fondant icing will create a professional effect. A simple fresh flower arrangement can be provided by the wedding florist to sit on top of the cake, helping your cake to compliment the wedding theme. Display your cake on a gorgeous vintage-style cake stand (perhaps there’s a treasured piece of crockery in your family that would fit this purpose), scattered with rose petals – we have a selection in a range of colours.
When it comes to cutting the cake, you can box up your creation in a specially designed cake box and do it real justice – so much nicer than a soggy napkin! We have a range of cake boxes perfect for weddings and other occasions.