It's becoming very popular isn't it? The whole Baby Shower thing. At first I didn't really know what it was until I noticed it on MTV's Sixteen And Pregnant. I remember thinking that it was a bit cringey and a bit awkward to invite people to a party to celebrate the fact that you are pregnant. Then I ended up attending a few and loved it. Why wouldn't you want to celebrate such a positive happy occasion in your life? Any excuse to get a load of lovely women in one room right? Little did I know that several years later I would be having my very own baby shower (and my very own baby). And do you know what the best part was? Ironically there wasn't a shower to be seen, the weather in Ireland on Sunday 6th April 2014 was only GORGEOUS. Bonus! Before I go any further, I just want to thank my amazing mother and amazing sister Leanne for throwing me this baby shower. I can't thank you both enough for all that you did and it meant so very much to me. Love you both to pieces!
And there I am in all my baby showery glory. To be honest I didn't have a clue what to wear for the baby shower. I had initially picked out a maxi dress and sandals in the hopes that it would be a nice day with sunny weather (turns out it was) but then when I was getting dressed it looked windy and as though it might rain so I had to find a plan B. I didn't want to be over-dressed because well, it was during the day and in my house. I also didn't want to dress for a night-time event when it was very much a day-time thing. The other thing was comfort. I knew that I would be mingling and on my feet most of the day chatting to people and opening the door when people arrived so I wanted to be really comfortable. I'm a big fan of wearing black but I also love a pop of colour which is why you can usually see me sporting some kind of colourful dress paired with black leggings. I wouldn't even like to tell you how many pairs of leggings I have right now. I literally wear them every day so that's at least seven pairs a week, and I always have a few spares in the wardrobe too. They are so convenient for pregnancy. My personal favourite leggings are the black ones from H&M. They have way more elasticity than the Penneys (Primark) and other brands' versions do. They also go up really high past your belly button which might not be a desired feature for most people but when you are pregnant and your belly changes shape totally you want to feel comfortable and not have the leggings hanging down, or cutting you off mid-belly making you look like you have two bumps. The preggos out there will know what I mean.
So that's what I decided on, my trusty H&M leggings, an orange summary dress I bought in Penneys a couple of weeks before, and a new pair of American Eagle brown leather sandals that I bought in Las Vegas when we went there for a holiday in March (love throwing that in there, so causal, as if!!). I felt really comfortable for the day and as it turned out to be a lovely sunny day I didn't feel too warm either. I kept it simple with the hair and just straightened it and clipped back the sides, and I wore my trusty MAC Face And Body Foundation and my new MAC Lipstick too. People kept commenting on how 'neat' my bump is apparently but I have definitely noticed that it has 'dropped' recently and so in this photo you might notice how low down the bump is. Looks like Baby Byrne is heading for the birth canal, whether I'm ready for it or not! 33 weeks, my God!
Do you like my sash? My lovely aunt Michelle had it specially made for me and it really was such a lovely surprise. It had 'Tracey's Baby Shower' writte on it and it made me feel very special indeed. It's funny because the day before, myself and sister Leanne were walking around Dealz picking up bits and pieces and we actually spoke about how it would be cool if they had some sort of sash that said 'Mum To Be' or something. I had seen them in photos before. And then Michelle turned up at the door with a basket full of goodies and my lovely sash. It is something I will keep forever! The company that Michelle ordered the customised sash from was called churchtowngifts.ie. They do all sorts of different party accessories and you can find their website at http://www.churchtowngifts.ie/.
What you are about to see below may just send you over the edge if you are excited by the cuter things in life. These are off-the-scale cute! Just look at them. My mam surprised me and showed up with these absolutely stunning cupcakes that were made for me for my baby shower. We don't know the sex of the baby so as you can see the baker was able to put together a display of both baby boy and baby girl cupcake themes and colours. You can also notice that some of the cupcakes spelled out 'Baby Shower' and oh my God were they a hit! Everybody thought they were just gorgeous, and can you blame them?
We decided to display them in the following way by using a cupcake stand tier and it worked out brilliantly. Everyone admired them as they entered the party. Now, the real test, how did they taste? Let's just say that if you are not a 'cupcake person' you will be now. These little bundles of goodness are so delicious that it makes you feel less guilt for chomping down on those cute little faces. Some were chocolate cupcakes and others were plain. Some had a lemon icing and others had chocolate icing and both were as nice as eachother (I of course had to try both, for research purposed...). These were the absolute highlight of my baby shower and I'm still thanking my mam two days later. It just really made my day and I can say with 100% certainty that I will be ordering from this bakery many more times in the future. They are based in Clondalkin and the name of the company is Betsys Bakery. My mam found them on Facebook and made her order from there. Every part of the process was quick and easy and Angela (the owner) could not have been more helpful. Thanks Angela, your little creations really made my day extra special. You can find their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/betsys.bakerys?fref=ts. Spread the word about this great company! Excellent service and excellent products.
I had to include this. Just to help anyone who is struggling to think of ideas of what to cook when throwing a party and wanting to feed a large group of people. I knew that I would going to probably have about 20-25 people at my baby shower and I was toying with a few ideas when my lovely mother said those wonderful words, "I'll make my curry". I say "my" curry because anyone that knows my mam knows that she makes the most amazing curry ever. It is usually always featured at family occasions whether it is a Christening, Confirmation, Debs, Birthday Party etc (much like my auntie Marise who makes the most amazing Ranch Dip. For the record she couldn't attend the shower as she was on holiday in Kracow and she STILL made sure that the dressing was made, á la her fabulous daughter Laura. She even provided the crudites in the form of carrots and celery. Thanks cousin!). I was so thrilled about this because I knew that everyone would enjoy it. It is a total crowd pleaser and once it's been made it is so easy to heat up and serve to a large group of people. Mam arrived down early on Sunday with her massive pot of chicken curry, large and mini Bannoffi Pies, massive stack of cream-cakes, egg salad for my nanny (who doesn't eat curry) and various other things that I had inevitably forgotten to buy. Did I mention that my mammy is the best? In the end most people had second helpings of the curry and people were asking mam for the recipe so it was definitely a hit. It is a lovely mild curry that isn't too spicy thanks to the coconut milk used. And another huge perk is that there was so much leftover so it's curry for dinner in my house for the forseeable future. Not having to cook when 33 weeks pregnant is always a good thing.
Alongside the curry we had all the regular nibbly things that you would expect to find at a party - popcorn, nachos, jellies, peanuts, biscuits, dips and the all-famous Ranch Dip of course.
SERIOUSLY, just look at the amount of presents that I got? Everyone was so unbelievably generous. I got everything from an amazing home-made hamper full of gorgeous baby items (thank you Michelle and Laura), a Tommy Tippee steriliser (thanks Godmother), nappy disposal system (fairy godmother strikes again), lots of gorgeous neutral baby clothes, a play gym (thanks Justyna and Karen), Angelcare baby monitor that I really wanted (thank you Leanne) and lots of gorgeous baby blankets, toys and lovely "me" things for the bath. I am SO excited to try out these new bath products. Did I mention that I love me a good bath? Nothing beats it! Our bath is actually downstairs which is one of the lovely quirky things about our house. We also have a fireplace upstairs in the bedroom. Quirky right? That's another days post so I'll stop there. I was also just so grateful for the turnout. All of the important ladies in my life showed up - close friends, some of which I have been friends with for more than 20 years, cousins, friend's of my mother's, Peter's lovely mother, new friends, baby Casey (my cousin) who stole the show, and the guest of honour was my gorgeous grandmother who is 87 years of age and who will soon become a great-grandmother. It was so special to have her there.
All in all it was such a fabulous day and I can't believe how generous people were with all the thoughtful gifts. I can safely say that I don't need anything else for this little baby of ours. We are well and truly sorted. That night my lovely boyfriend sauntered in to the house after he had been exiled to the pub for the day (he went kicking and screaming as you can imagine) and in his merry state commented on how lucky we are to have such an amazing family on both sides, and great friends. We both agreed that this little bundle of joy is going to be one extremely loved human being and for that we are so eternally grateful. Baby Byrne, we're ready for you now, see you in about seven weeks my darling.