A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower

In celebration of our little Tallie turning six months all this week on the blog I'm sharing some stored up posts to bring us right up to date. You can hear all about Tallie and her arrival here, see her nursery nook here and read why I'm a huge advocate for maternity shoots here. Once this week's posts have run normal service will resume - with more interiors, DIY and book posts - not just parenting and family posts, promise! 

Today I wanted to share a little peek into my baby shower which was such a special afternoon. Contrary to popular opinion, I decided to co-host my baby shower with my bestie, Ruthie. (Our mums obviously have great choice in names!) I love planning events and had such set ideas about what I wanted to create that it felt right that we'd make it happen together, and my goodness I really couldn't have done it without her. The plan for the afternoon was simple, it was a baby shower for someone who didn't love the idea of having a baby shower! You may have guessed by now, but I really don't like the attention being on me. All I really wanted was a good excuse to gather together with some dear friends, to eat some tasty treats and to pray together as we celebrated the imminent arrival of my little one. 

A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog

Here's a little more detail about what we got up to...

DECOR

The shower was held on a grey afternoon in January, so adding flowers and candlelight was essential to lighten our home and to create a cosy atmosphere. The day before the event I stocked up on simple blooms and greenery - including ranunculus, eucalyptus, spray carnations and wax flower. By picking flowers which easily separate into little posies, we made up several little arrangements and dotted them around my home. They were everywhere from the dining table and fireplace hearths to the kitchen drinks station and even in our bathroom. We also used the same flowers to decorate our doughnut stack and cake. It's amazing how something as simple as adding flowers to some cheap and cheerful doughnuts makes them look so much more fun and pretty.

Next we added candles - both scented candles from Anthropologie and simple tealights. We emphasised the twinkly feeling with string lights too. I love the ones that just need batteries, they look great and don't need a power socked - winner! 

A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog

I'm a sucker for banners and bunting, so of course we strung up lots of these! By sticking to the party colours (pink, grey, gold) it all tied in nicely, without being too fussy. We also hung the 'love' balloon as I couldn't resist it! It's now hanging in our bedroom as I can't bear to be parted from it.

Finally, I dotted a few little baby bits around the house. I had a sweet pair of crochet baby booties and a snuggle toy which were sweet and made the party feel more like a baby shower.

A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog

FOOD & DRINK

We served a selection of sweet and savoury snacks including a delicious carrot cake, vanilla sugar cookies (which we'd stamped 'hello baby' on roll out icing), chocolate dipped strawberries and plenty of popcorn. To make the sweet treat table look pretty I gathered a selection of glasses and plates to display everything in. Even a simple treat like mini eggs look extra special when put out in martini glasses. 

For drinks, we set up a 'pimp your prosecco' station. I labelled carafes and filled with different juices, and put chopped fruit in bowls. Guests could then grab a jam jam (complete with gold foil straw), pour prosecco and add whatever juice or fruit they fancied. 

A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog | Mimosa bar
A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog
A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog
A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog

DETAILS/ ACTIVITIES

While I didn't relish the idea of traditional baby shower games, I did want to do a couple of things to mark the occasion. I'd seen 'wishes for baby' cards available to download on various blogs before and I wanted something similar. I'm such a stationery fan and this was one of the most special elements of the day so I came up with a loose design concept and then commissioned Quill London to print the cards. I was thrilled with them! The calligraphy element looked so beautiful and then when they were filled in I was left with a pile of sweet messages, hopes and dreams for Tallie. I'm so looking forward to sharing them with her when she's older. 

A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog

The final part was a lovely time of prayer with my dear friends. Needless to say I was pretty apprehensive ahead of having Tallie, so gathering with friends to commit it all to God was so precious and the highlight of the afternoon. I felt so priviliged to be surrounded by such incredible women, knowing they'd each be an important part of Tallie's life. 

It was such a joyful afternoon and I'm so grateful to everyone who came and made it so special. And of course my biggest thank you goes to Ruthie, as she made it all happen! We wouldn't have had anything to eat if it weren't for her amazing baking skills - the biscuits, cakes and pastries were all made by her. Thank you, friend. You're the best! 

A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog

I'll be back with a couple more posts this week - including one on the things we've most used these past six months having Tallie. See you soon.

-x-

All photos shot and styled by Ruth Garner for Gathered Cheer


Jelly and (ice) cream

Nothing quite says 'happy birthday' like jelly and ice cream, but for some reason such celebratory treats seem to stop over the age of ten. This hardly seems fair, so with B's birthday fast approaching I thought it would be fun to try and put a grown-up spin on this childhood classic. If you've been anywhere in blogland lately you'll have noticed some wonderful seasonal recipes for elderflower cordial, so naturally I wanted to have a go at making some for myself. (For excellent recipes nip over to Really Pretty Useful, A Quiet Style and Humphrey & Grace - they're all gorgeous.) After successfully negotiating the gathering, steeping and straining I was left with a lovely elderflower concoction - some of which I froze, ready for any baking and recipe making. It was a happy day when these pretty margarita glasses from Rose & Grey arrived. I love the shape of the glasses and they showed off the jelly beautifully. 

Grown-up jelly with Rose & Grey | Gathered Cheer blog

The glasses come in a sweet set - complete with two tropical print straws, coasters, flamingo stirrers and mini drinks umbrellas. With it being a set jelly rather than a drink, I didn't really need to use these little extras, so I thought it would be fun to repurpose them a little. In a crafty move which made me reminisce about making necklaces out of pasta shapes as a child, I cut the straws up into smaller tubes, and threaded them onto some pretty twine. I then stuck the coasters onto the twine with a little washi tape. When taped up on the wall, this little tropical garland brought a bit of fun to proceedings. A longer garland would work so well above a bar cart or birthday buffet, don't you think?

Grown-up jelly with Rose & Grey | Gathered Cheer blog

The jelly recipe I followed was the BBC Good Food one. With a mix of raspberries and elderflowers, the result is a sweet treat, perfect for summer celebrations. Some other recipes suggest adding prosecco to the mix, which I'll definitely be trying out next. For a finishing touch I added a generous dollop of clotted cream, some fresh raspberries and mint sprigs. Who doesn't love fresh mint and raspberries? 

Grown-up jelly with Rose & Grey | Gathered Cheer blog
Grown-up jelly with Rose & Grey | Gathered Cheer blog

What grown-up jelly should I make next? Extra points if you share a recipe with me that involves gin...!

-x-

Photo credit // All images shot and styled by Ruth Garner

This post was written in collaboration with Rose & Grey, as part of their blogger's style challenge and for which I was gifted the glasses. Thank you for supporting the companies I work with that keep Gathered Cheer going!


The best picnic ever

Hello friends, today I hope you don't mind if I indulge in something I was meant to blog about ages ago, but time slipped away and suddenly it seemed less timely, what with the nip in the air and a fast-approaching winter. But let's just go with a classic instagram #TBT - this post is my way of throwing back to a warmer, sunnier day filled with friends, bubbles and balloons. {Warning, image heavy post!} To celebrate my dear friend Vicki's 30th birthday, all her friends and family pledged to curate '30 things to do this year'. All these activities were then gathered into one, spectacular book, full of fun. The activities ranged from 'eat an ice cream on the beach' to 'climb an icon' {the 02, in case you were wondering!} It's such a lovely gift idea, and has meant that Vicki has been seeing her nearest and dearest to do all these fun things over the course of the year. I love it. Vicki and I are part of a larger group of six friends, lovingly called the 'Gladstone Girls', so named because we lived on Gladstone Place in Brighton, where we all met and studied at uni. Getting together all these year's later is no mean feat, since we no longer all live under one roof, so our contribution was a posh picnic in the park, and the chance to gather together and have fun.

I think the girls know me too well, as they let me run riot planning everything for the day {thanks, friends!}, choosing everything from the food to the decor. And what fun it was! I think what I love most about planning and styling events, especially ones that are for such special friends, is that it all serves as a back drop to a special, memorable occasion. At the end of the day the little details aren't really what matters, it's the gathering with loved ones, to spend time enjoying each other that counts. But all that said, if I can jazz up a simple glass of prosecco with a flag and a striped straw I most definitely will!

So here's to my dear friend Vicki. It was a joy to celebrate your 30th with you.

Here are the posh picnic highlights:

On the menu:

  • Chicken, avocado and tomato on ciabatta
  • Mini bags of sweet and salt popcorn
  • Mozzarella, tomato and basil salad
  • An assortment of tasty M&S picnic pastries and skewers
  • Root vegetable crisps
  • Watermelon with mint
  • Strawberries
  • Strawberry and raspberry yoghurts
  • Lemon drizzle cake
  • Pic n mix sweets
  • San Pellegrino limonata
  • Prosecco

Suffice to say, we didn't go hungry or thirsty...

The party theme:

I wanted the picnic to feel fun and happy so immediately my go-to colour was yellow. It's such a sunny, warm hue that I couldn't resist. After that the whole theme came together really well. To keep things a little easier to manage, instead of having everything laid out on the trestle table, I used takeaway style boxes, which I labelled for each picnic guest, for individual mini picnics. In their lunchbox each person had a can of fizzy pop, ciabatta, bag of popcorn, and a yoghurt. To keep the theme running through it all, I chose striped yellow and white paper bags for the popcorn and for the pic n mix sweets too. To make this more fun, I used my stamps to label them too. Other little details included wooden cutlery which I arranged in bags and added cheerful messages {from a project life kit} with a striped peg.

The rest of the picnic was made pretty thanks to simple falcon enamelware {thanks for the loan, Ruthie!}, a giant yellow helium balloon {which we proceed to pose with!}, a bunch of yellow gerbera and a couple of cosy picnic blankets. Actually, in mentioning Ruthie, I must put a big thank you here too - as she came with me to set up the party and kept me sane when it was all getting more than a little stressful! Love you friend! She's an ace blogger too, and you can read her crafty, foodie fun posts here.

What every party needs though, is fun finishing touches, and when I was planning this I knew I needed some of the fabulous Oh Squirrel straws and other essential party treats. Since we met a long time back, it's been a joy to see Katie's business flourish, and with good reason. Her stuff is ace - and really brings a cheeky and fun element to a party. I opted for a brill bottle label, fun 'hooray' straws to accompany our fizz and a sash for the birthday girl to wear. Katie even made me a bonus bottle wrap, which I attached to our drinks cooler. I loved them all!

Here are some more snaps from a very happy afternoon, the sun shone {which was a miracle as both the day before and after were a wash out!} and we celebrated our lovely friend in style. Hurrah for best friends.

Here's to more picnic fun, when summer rolls around again!

-x-