My English Tea Party – Baby Shower

This weekend my wonderful family threw me an English Tea Party as a substitute for the very American ‘Baby Shower’ that is slowly but surely becoming the norm over here too! It wasn’t the usual baby shower, as I wasn’t so keen on having any party games… I know… I’m such a spoil sport… But we used it as a great way to catch up with family and friends (and eat far too many scones!).

My lovely cousin Annabel came over the day before and helped me bake cupcakes and scones, because I thought that would be fun to stand in the kitchen for 4 hours baking & icing… Next time, Hummingbird Bakery are getting a call… Luckily they turned out really well & we even got lovely cupcake cases from the V&A to make them extra fancy. (Oooh!) £4.49 for 50 available here.

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

We served pink lemonade with fruit in jars with gorgeous paper straws, Earl Grey tea in vintage tea cups from my grandmother’s collection and champagne for anyone without a bump!

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

The flower arrangements were by far my favourite part – we saved old jars, bought some string and dyed it with tea before wrapping it around. I thinly sliced lemon and added it to the flowers that we picked from the garden. Et Voila! The cheapest flower arrangements of all time. And rather lovely, if I do say so myself!

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

The rest of the decoration was simple, colourful lanterns, floral bunting and some of Isla’s tiny baby socks clipped onto string with wooden pegs! We made finger sandwiches in traditional flavours… which took a painstaking amount of time to cut into neat fingers, so as you can see… they got a little more ‘rustic’ as time went on. (Why did I think making the food was a good idea…? Seriously, just order it all or better yet, go to a lovely restaurant and then you don’t even have to clean up!)

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

I think it’s safe to say, Ellie was pleased with the cupcakes…

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

The only ‘game’ of sorts that I wanted were predictions sheets for Isla! I’m so glad we did them as some of the answers are hilarious – especially from the younger party guests! There are lots of great free printables online or if you aren’t too bad on photoshop, you can whip up your own and personalise them like I did! I’m going to put them all into Isla’s baby book so she can read through them one day too!

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

To say we were spoilt would be the understatement of the year. Our wonderful family & friends gave us such beautiful gifts. We now have so many clothes Isla may start to think she’s North West & only have to wear everything once!! A huge thank you also to my parents for the most beautiful travel system and to Sarah, Barney’s mum, for Isla’s absolutely stunning cot! 

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

As you can see, Ellie took her job of Assistant Present Un-wrapper VERY seriously. She even told me off for being too slow (thanking people in-between gifts) a few times which was just hilarious. I’d highly recommend getting one of your own if you are feeling a little self conscious about being the centre of attention. I hear most can be paid in cupcakes and minion colouring books…

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Before everyone left we asked if they’d leave a little message for Isla, which we are going to scan and put into a beautiful piece of art for the nursery.

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Everyone left with hugs, kisses, thank you’s and these little bags filled with cupcakes and sweet treats for the road!

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

It was an absolutely lovely day, catching up with family and friends and getting advice from every generation! Thank you so much to my parents for hosting! We could not be more excited to start this journey as our own little family! T-Minus 6 weeks!!

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

2015: The Year of the Gender Neutral Baby

We are only half way through the year and already we have noticed this promising trend growing stronger every day. BabyCenter‘s mid-year report shows gender-neutral names like Amari, Karter, Phoenix, Quinn and Reese are rising in popularity. “As usual, baby names are reflecting a larger cultural shift,” says BabyCenter’s Global Editor in Chief Linda Murray. “Millennials are an open-minded and accepting group, and they don’t want their children to feel pressured to conform to stereotypes that might be restrictive.”

And names are just the beginning, with campaigns like ‘Let Toys be Toys’ vast numbers of people are calling out to the big toy stores and supermarkets to think before they label their shelves with Pink or Blue stereotypes.

My partner and I both decided early on that we wanted to leave these choices to our little girl and have already asked family and friends to avoid anything that brands her ‘Little Princess’ before she’s had a chance to decide if she even wants to be one! Her wardrobe has been filled with a healthy mix of dinosaur print baby grows and equally lovely florals – ignoring the ‘Baby Boy’ or ‘Baby Girl’ sections has led us to just choose what we think is fun and cute for our daughter.

If you too are hoping to give your little girl or boy more choices and less negative stereotyping – here are just a few ideas…

Having a baby shower is slowly becoming more of the norm here in the UK & my Mum and Sister are busy planning an English Tea Party for me next month… The easiest way to avoid gender stereotyping here is going for a more neutral yellow, grey or cream colour scheme instead of the usual Pink or Blue…

Adventures With Isla Blog Cream & Brown Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog Yellow & Grey Baby Shower

The nursery is the next best place to keep things neutral. I love all things Scandinavian, simple and clean so these ideas will feature heavily in our little one’s new room…

Adventures With Isla Blog Gender Neutral Nursery

Adventures With Isla Blog Gender Neutral Nursery

Adventures With Isla Blog Gender Neutral Nursery

You have only a limited time until they learn to say no and want to pick out their own clothes… So for now here are a few great sites that give you the option of staying neutral for every budget.

Adventures With Isla Blog  Cute Baby Gender Neutral Clothes

Mammas & Papas, The White Company, Etsy, Babies “R” Us, Carry Me Home, Bob & Blossom, Caramel Baby & Child, Mothercare.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be looking forward to getting creative with your little one and that starts right from the birth announcement.

Adventures With Isla Blog Birth Announcement

Adventures With Isla Blog Birth Announcement

Leave me your great gender neutral ideas in the comments below or tweet me @Poppy_Carter