Friday, 28 September 2012


We're continuing to celebrate 'Baby Month' here at Life's A Celebration and todays guest blogger is Joanna from Inspirations. Take a look at what she has to say and there's even a discount at the bottom of the blog! Love it!

My name is Joanna and I’m the owner of Inspirations, a family owned and run online gift and card shop.   


With all the technology available today, it’s easy to take photos and videos and have a record of you and your baby that way.  My dad is constantly taking photos of my two girls; he said to me he wishes he had taken more photos of us as kids.  It’s also a good idea too to record when and where the photos were taken.  Photos and videos are hugely important, but what about other ways of remembering important times?  Memory boxes are a great way to keep special things like scan photos and particularly in the first few months quite handy too, when you’re up to your eyes in nappies, tired from lack of sleep and in the full throws of baby brain they are great for keeping everything safe in one place.


I am a convert, I love memory boxes.  I have one which I use to keep my special mementoes in.  I have my ticket to see Swan Lake ballet, my entry ticket to see the Pyramids and all sorts of other things – each with a little story.  I don’t keep everything, just little reminders!

Both my Daughters have a treasured memories box.  They have their first shoes, first drawings, a shell from their first visit to the beach.  My eldest Daughter is 3½ and she’s started bringing things home from nursery, my favourite so far is the Olympic medals they’ve made in clay!  You see I have a ’romantic’  vision of the future, sitting with the kids snuggled by a warm fire, with a lovely mug of hot chocolate, box of chocolates (chocolate always features!) going through their boxes, telling the tales of when they were little, showing them their ‘treasures’.  The reality may be a little different, but I hope they’ll appreciate it when they’re older.

 I love gorgeous gifts and creating special handmade products, I love it when people put thought in to the gifts and cards they send, especially when they are for a special occasion.   Births, christening / naming day, first birthday and first Christmas are all special milestones.   It’s with this in mind that we aim to create a gorgeous range of handmade memory boxes, birth and christening cards which can be personalised with names and dates.  All are made to order in house and dispatched within a few days.  To complement our range of handmade products, we also stock a range of gifts including money boxes, photo frames and ornaments.


To celebrate Baby Month we’re giving everyone 10% off their order, enter the code BABYMONTH at the checkout to receive your discount.   I hope you have fun filling your box and creating memories to share together in the years to come!

Thanks Joanna - another brilliant guest blog! Don't forget that if you have got a Baby Shower coming up Life's A Celebration currently has a competition running to win a party box for 7 people. Just visit our website to enter. Good luck!

See you soon.


Thursday, 27 September 2012

Relaxation during pregnancy and after

To continue our 'Baby Month' todays guest blog comes from my very good friend Simone Larraine a Holistic Therapist. She's got some great hints and tip on how to relax during and after pregnancy. Simone can also offer pamper parties which would be ideal for a baby shower. Simone is a very good friend of mine (and I can totally recommend her therapies; pregnant or not!) so if you would like to organise a stress free baby shower then get in touch and between the two of us we'll provide all the pampering you need and all the baby shower supplies too!
Here's what Simone has to say;
Relaxation during pregnancy and after
Reflexology:  All foot massage is beneficial, but reflexology provides a specific method of working on the feet to balance health and well being.
Reflexology is an excellent therapy for pregnancy, it can help your body to cope more effectively with the changes taking place, maintaining its natural balance and supporting you through pregnancy.   I would recommend to wait till the 2nd trimester before booking a reflexology therapy. Reflexology can help with deep relaxation and calm your mind during what can be an emotional time.  Continued treatment after the birth will encourage recovery from the birth and most importantly, some much needed time out for mums! 
Some of the benefits you may feel during or after a reflexology session: Deep relaxation and well being, stress and anxiety relief, stimulation of the body’s own healing mechanisms and improves circulation.
Reiki:  ‘Reiki’, A Japanese word pronounced ray - key, can be translated to mean universal life force or universally guided energy. It is a very simple system of healing, carried out by placing hands on or over a person on a massage table or a chair (who is always clothed), with the intent to channel Reiki.
Reiki is perfect for all stages of pregnancy regardless of any pre-existing conditions. Reiki will balance your energy leaving you feeling a deep sense of calm and peacefulness. Energy balance during pregnancy is constantly under pressure, which can manifest itself as emotional and physical symptoms.  During pregnancy Reiki may help to relieve any stress and illness which the mother may be feeling. It works not only on the mother but also on the baby.
Indian Head Massage:  IHM has been practised in India for over 1000 years and is a simple but effective treatment that helps promote hair growth as well as providing relief from aches and pains, especially stress. IHM is carried out seated and incorporates the upper back, shoulders, neck, head and face
Indian head massage is considered to be a safe treatment when you are pregnant. As with any form of massage, you should always tell your therapist in advance if you are, or think you might be pregnant, as this may affect the kind of massage, oil and treatment you receive.  At Simone Larraine Holistic Therapy I only treat clients after the second trimester. I may adapt the treatment slightly to avoid certain pressure points that may be over-stimulating for a client who is pregnant. This therapy is good for relaxation, relieving muscular tension in the neck, shoulders and back and reduces the effects of stress.  Continued treatment after the birth will encourage recovery, relaxation and a sense of well being.   If you are experiencing aches and pains in the shoulders and neck, get your partner to get the palm of their hand  and rub your shoulders and neck , nice slow and gentle movements this is enough to help the aches and pains. If done regular you may prevent the aches and pains from getting worse.

Always consult your GP or midwife before booking any therapy

My own personal experience of ill health brought into the field of complementary therapy Illness in some cases can bring about change, seen as an awakening of the spirit, and a connection to understanding the workings of the inner self.
Working with, and studying therapies has helped me to gain some understanding of the complex functioning of the human body, and its many cries for nurturing and healing on all levels.
My recovery and learning of holistic therapies began many years ago whilst attending Reflexology and regular acupuncture treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (M.E) back and joint pain.  I became interested in the way complementary therapies treat the ‘Whole person’ and not just the symptoms that ill health presents.
Two years ago I started my own business Simone Larraine Holistic Therapy, so I could spend a little more time with my clients  and  offer individual help and advice regards to health and wellbeing
I think it is very important to take time out for yourself, even just ten or twenty minutes a day can help calm the mind and gather your thoughts. I find meditation good for relaxation, helping to calm the mind and body.
Simone Larraine Holistic Therapy
 Mobile: 07708 005 266

Many thanks to Simone for a fantastic blog post! Hope these hints and tips inspire you to relax whether or not you're pregnant.
Don't forget if you have a baby shower to organise here at Life's A Celebration we have fantastic baby shower party boxes.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Baby Naming Days

Todays guest blogger is Diana Saxby from Grace The Day. She's talking today about Baby Naming Days. Have a look at what she has to say.
"I trained in 2010 to be an Independent Family Celebrant and my training included writing and conducting wedding ceremonies, renewal of vows ceremonies, civil partnership ceremonies, and also Naming Day ceremonies. Since then I've established a reputation for my achingly romantic and sincere ceremonies.

The Naming Days or Welcoming Ceremonies are top of my favourite list as I love working with small children and welcome a chance to get to know a baby better and of course to have a cuddle!  Although all 3 of my offspring are old enough to make me a granny, none of them has yet found it necessary to present me with a grandchild!  So I welcome the opportunity to have a cuddle with someone else's and to chat about different parenting techniques.


When taking a booking, I like to meet at some point with both parents and of course the baby or child whose Naming Ceremony I am designing.  It's a good opportunity to bond and pick up on the positive qualities within the family and translate these into my script.

Some of the families I've worked with have had double naming ceremonies for twins, others for siblings of different ages, and others for their first or only child.  Each time I've encouraged both parents to have significant input and I love the different dimension a father provides.

Every naming day is different, every one is special and every child is unique and a joy to work with.  I've conducted Naming Day ceremonies in the the same beautiful Cotswold stone manor in which the parents had the wedding a few years previously,  in the grounds of private schools, in family homes, and more recently a marquee on the beach in Bournemouth, usually used for weddings, when the ceremony was followed by sandcastle building with the little children!  Decorated with colourful bunting, sea shells and little buckets of flowers hanging at the end of each row of chairs, buckets and spades provided by the venue, a sweet cart displaying tuck shop style sweets and candies,  this venue lent itself perfectly to a family celebration such as a Naming Day. 
This particular ceremony was uploaded onto YouTube with the parents permission. and is also on my own website

Every ceremony I conduct is personally written and designed by me.  No two ceremonies will be the same as all scripts are bespoke and written personally for the family and the child, after several meetings with the parents and myself.  Unlike other celebrants, I refuse to use formatted scripts or to contract my work out.  While I employ a PA to manage my booking diary and reply to client enquiries in my absence, all client meetings and ceremonies are conducted personally by me.  This way, beautiful relationships are formed with my clients, and I'm finding parents are coming back to me with requests for new naming ceremonies as their families grow and new offspring arrive!

A very great compliment recently came from a well known wedding planner in the Cotswolds who has booked me to design a Naming Ceremony for her first child, a baby daughter. This ceremony is booked for October this year and will be held in private grounds belonging to a relative of the couple.  To become the celebrant who a wedding planner books for their own private occasion is a huge honour and I'm looking forward to seeing the blogging and professional photographs which the parents have organised to celebrate this particular event.

I'm always mindful that to create a memorable day for the children involved, the parents need to be open with me and recall facts and events which are very personal to them.  We build on these to design a ceremony which is totally personal to the parents and their child or children, which welcomes the child into the family, and recognises the important role family and friends have in supporting both parents and child in their development through each stage of infancy and childhood until adulthood is reached.

Naming and Welcoming Ceremonies do not prevent a child from seeking their own truth during their lifetime, but they are considered alternatives to traditional christenings and baptisms for parents who perhaps want to express their own thoughts and sentiments within the ceremonies and who want the freedom to hold ceremonies in places which are special to them.  They can be followed by a drinks reception or party afterwards, or simply be the ceremony only.

Naming Ceremonies can include music, readings, poetry, and pledges to the child from parents and guardians.  I am often asked to conclude with a butterfly or balloon release which is a lovely way to close a ceremony, and there are some beautiful readings to accompany these significant actions, and the releases make lovely photo opportunities too. There are certain considerations for the environment which I  observe and am always happy to share advice during the planning of these extra inclusions.

Naming and Welcoming Ceremonies can be held in public venues, outdoor spaces, in your own home or garden, on the beach, in a nursery school or village or church hall, or any place the family choose.

For authentic testimonials from clients, please take a look at some of the lovely comments on my Guest Book



Thanks Diana for such a great blog! If you're looking for something special as a gift for a baby's naming day or you want something to keep the kids occupied on the day then have you seen our Activity Bags for Children. These were designed with weddings in mind but are perfect for any occasion were you would like to make sure the kids are occupied too!

Speak to you soon folks.



Monday, 24 September 2012

It's All About The Wrapper!

We're continuing with 'Baby Month' here at Life's A Celebration and todays guest bloggers is Vicki Moore from It's All About The Wrapper. Whilst organising this blog post and being at opposite ends of the country, Vicki and I have enjoyed skype chats and I can confirm that she is a lovely, approachable lady!

Here's what she has to say about her business.

How many people do you know who love chocolate? Assuming it’s everyone, we have the perfect personalised party idea for you. Personalised chocolate bars!! With the theme of ‘baby month’ top of mind, your chocolate bars can be personalised for your baby shower, your baby’s birth announcement, baby’s christening, baby’s first birthday and every birthday party after that!
Here are some ideas for you ….. a personalised chocolate bar for each guest at your friend’s baby shower, to announce the details of your baby’s arrival, a special give-away at their christening and an idea for party bags for the next 18 years!

Once you have your idea in mind, you can choose from one of the pre-designed wrappers on our website, or you can send your favourite photo or image to add to a blank wrapper.

Our wrapper range includes designs in blue and pink, and more neutral ones too. And then fun ones for birthday parties – from trains, racing cars, pirates, balloons and football to horses, dinosaurs, dogs, cats, disco divas and ballerinas. You can put a message on the front and the back of the wrapper, and also have individual names on each one too.

The majority of our pre-designed wrappers are for the larger 35g bar, but we also do a smaller 10g bar which is perfect to pop a photo on.

The chocolate is delicious. It’s a Belgian recipe and is sourced within the UK. It
contains 20% milk solids and 30% cocoa solids, and is suitable for vegetarians but may contain traces of nuts.
The printing, cutting and wrapping is all done in house, so your wrapper can be as personalised as you like. At It’s All About The Wrapper we give each order the attention it deserves. Having a baby is the most precious thing in the world, and we would love to join you on your adventure.
Please take a look at our website or give us a call. We can take one of the stresses away from you, so put your feet up & have a cuppa!

If you place an order by 30th September and tell us how fabulous Life’s a Celebration is, you will get a 10% discount off your chocolates!
With love & yummy chocolate wishes
Vicki x
T: @AboutTheWrapper
P: 01483 208585
Thanks for the blog post Vicki and thanks for the 10% discount too! Don't forget that if you have a baby shower coming up that you need to organise we have a baby shower competition running until 30th September 2012. All you need to do is visit our website and join our mailing list. Good luck.
See you soon folks

Friday, 21 September 2012

Funky Fitness to get your Monkeez Movin

Todays guest blogger is Liz Clarke from Movin Monkeez. Liz is a Personal Trainer offering post natal buggy fitness and Movin Monkeez classes in Southampton, in addition to the usual Personal Training options. Her aim is to make fitness and exercise accessible and fun to families. Full details are available on her website or call 07887914413 for more information. 
Liz has loads of hints and tips on keeping your little one active. Here's what she has to say.

"Have you ever watched babies and toddlers move? Quite naturally they have wonderful posture and amazing strength.
You only have to watch a young child who’s not quite able to walk, yet can pull themselves up on a sofa or chair… How many of us adults could do perform an equivalent exercise so effortlessly?
Watch a toddler ‘bend’ to pick up toys – see how they perform a perfect lift – bending from the knees and keeping their backs lovely and straight.
So at what stage do children stop being fit and active? When do they start to prefer slouching in front of the TV to running, climbing, crawling and skipping? And what can we, as parents, do to prevent inactivity and potential childhood obesity setting in?

Habits form from a very early age and so it’s vital to encourage children to explore, keep active and develop their physical skills. And, of course, children learn from what they see around them. This places a huge responsibility on parents to lead an active life, but also to find activities which encourage movement and body awareness.

It is with this in mind that Movin Monkeez was created – designed specifically for crawlers to pre schoolers,
Movin Monkeez introduces fitness and dance to pre-school children and compliments the Early Years Foundation Stage offering fitness, co-ordination, structure and above all fun for your little ones. Children will learn the basics of fitness, dance, rhythm and movement in a fun and safe environment.
We focus on using props such as scarves, balls, beanbags, instruments, balancing equipment, parachutes and many more. The children explore different movement exercises to fun and stimulating music along with working in groups and pairs and most importantly are ‘on the go’ for the entire lesson.

The physical stuff is combined with activities aimed at teaching little ones a little bit about healthy lifestyles and food choices.
Childhood obesity is a rapidly growing problem and brings so many other, potentially serious, health related problems. For example, insulin dependent diabetes is one of the fastest growing non-communicable diseases in children and brings with it a lifetime of medication and considerable physical problems.
But we can change this – we can ensure that our children have a healthy, happy and active future. All we need to do is get them started as early as possible. Make fitness a lifetime habit – something they ‘just do’ rather than a big deal.
You don’t have to do classes – just get out and move with your little one. Go to the park, climb, slide, run, throw, set up ‘garden olympics’. Don’t let the impending winter weather stop you – children love to be out and moving and there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes!
And guess what – the health benefits won’t just affect the children – come on parents, get fit and have fun with your little ones!"
For more information about Movin Monkeez classes and parties near you check out our website at

Massive thanks to Liz for a brilliant guest blog! I think we might be trying some of these ideas at home! Let us know if you do and how you get on!
If you have a little one and or one on the way don't forget about party boxes from Life's A Celebration. Everything you need to party all boxed up and sent to your front door from Baby Showers to 100th Birthday parties. If you want to chat to me directly about your party then just get in touch.

Speak to you soon folks


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Chatty Children - Early Communication and Language

Todays guest blogger is Nikki Sayers from Dandy Development. Award winning baby and toddler development classes that combine baby sign, music, movement and sensory experiences with enormous amounts of fun! Today she's talking about encouraging and supporting early communication and language.
Here's what she had to say!
Chatty Children
Ways to encourage and support early communication and language.

"There is so much more to communication than just words. To become good communicators children have to focus, listen, remember, understand, select words, speak clearly, use body language and take turns!  It’s no wonder it takes time to master and that some children find it complicated.

Our son found learning language difficult.  Baby signing was wonderful; it relieved tantrums and meant that he could communicate his basic needs.  I began looking for other ways to encourage his speech, but no-one would help.  Eventually we were granted a place on a parent based therapy course, and subsequently attended other courses, where we learnt a range of techniques to support and encourage him.  I wondered why this information wasn’t readily available to every parent, and thought it was wrong that I had to fight so hard to get it!  The language techniques are simple, easy to learn and effective for all children.  They involve making small changes to the way you interact with your child, but can make a huge impact on their development. 

Here are a few techniques you can try…
Make the most of your time together by turning off any background noise so they can focus on you.  Let them choose a toy, follow their lead and tell them about the items they are holding – keep your language slow, simple, child-like, clear and repetitive.   You can give a running commentary of what they are doing, for example “car, small car… car is moving… up ramp… car up, up, up… car down, down the ramp.”  This repetition is very important; children need to hear a word over and over again before they understand it and even more times if they are going to attempt it themselves!

You can increase the quality of interactions, and the chances for eye contact, by moving your whole body so you are at the same level and face-to-face with your child.  This gives them the best opportunity to copy you and puts you in the best position to encourage and support them. If they crawl off, follow them and get face to face again – this can be very difficult and tiring!  Praise any attempts at speech with enthusiasm and encouragement.

Once your child starts to use words, irrespective of pronunciation, show you understand by repeating the word correctly.  You can help by adding another word, for example if they say “cat” you can repeat it and say “yes, black cat”.  This technique can be applied to any level of development, to encourage 3, 4 or 5 word sentences, or to encourage an older child to use adjectives. 

These techniques (plus others), combined with baby sign, can give development a real boost.  We have watched our son become a chatty child and it is incredibly rewarding.  Give the techniques a try; I was so impressed that I was inspired to create baby and toddler classes incorporating them.  You’ve got nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain!"

Written by Nikki Sayers who has created Dandy Development baby and toddler classes.  Classes held in Leamington, Warwick, Southam and Offchurch.  Visit for more information.

Don't forget about Life's A Celebration for all your children's party needs too! We have a full range of party boxes from baby showers to kids parties to grown up occasions. Pop across and give us a look or drop me a line if you want to chat with me directly.

See you soon!


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Baby shower elephant cupcake toppers and bunting

Hi there everybody,
Todays guest blogger is my good friend Poppy Lee from Papaver Designs. Papaver Designs creates luxury handmade wedding stationery and bespoke paper lanterns as well as other wedding accessories to make your big day special.
Every Wednesday Poppy also publishes a very popular 'Wednesday Wonder'  blog were she teaches you how to make various wonderful things. I can totally recommend you check it out.
I am so excited that Poppy has said she will share this weeks Wednesday Wonder on my blog. Today she's going to teach us all how to make Baby Shower elephant bunting and cupcake toppers.

Wednesday Wonder- No. 38 – Baby shower elephants, cupcake toppers and bunting
Hello, My name is Poppy I design bespoke Wedding Stationery and beautiful paper lanterns for all occasions. I am based here in the North East. Each week on my blog I do a paper make, these can be anything from Origami cranes to tissue paper pom poms.
As a treat for featuring on the lovely Life’s a Celebration blog this week,  I am offering two Wednesday Wonders for one. Two little tutorials for you to enjoy both with free templates.

Wednesday Wonder part one – Bunting
What you will need:
 Print off template in draft mode
 Scissors
 Tissue paper
 Paper clips
Step One:
Print off the elephant template onto a4 paper in draft mode to save ink.

(to print off the template above right click on the template and open link in new tab)

Step Two:
Fold several sheets of tissue paper so that it is the same height as the elephant, you will then need to concertina fold the tissue (like a paper fan) making sure it is the same width at the elephant.

Put two paperclips on each side of the template.

Step Three:
Cut around the elephant template. Keep adding paperclips to the template as you’re going to keep things secure. Make sure you don’t cut at the join points, the tail and the trunk or you won’t get a paper chain.

Step Four:
Unclip the template and unfold, I got 4 elephants from 1 sheet of tissue paper. Add a little tape to the back of each chain at the trunk and tail to make a longer paper chain.

Wednesday wonder part 2 – Elephant cupcakes
What you will need:
v  Print off template in full colour
v  Cocktail sticks
v  Masking tape
v  Pritt stick
v  Scissors

Step One:
Print off the elephant template that you need from the images below

 (to print these templates off right click on the image and then click on Open Link in New Tab)
Step Two:
Cut a strip of 3 elephants and fold along the line, cut the semi-circle between the legs.


Masking tape down a cocktail stick on the inside, do this to all three.
Step Three:
Glue down all the of elephant strip.

Once dry, cut out each of the elephants

If you have any problems printing off the templates then get in touch with Poppy and she will email them across to you directly!
Thank you so much to Poppy for a fantastic Wednesday Wonder Blog. If you have a baby shower coming up then have a go at Poppy's ideas. Don't forget about Life's A Celebration's baby shower party boxes either. Everything you need to celebrate. In fact if you visit the website at the moment we're running a competition to win a Baby Shower Party Box for 7 people.


Welcome to Life's A Celebration's Blog. We box up all kinds of parties for all kinds of celebrations. Pop across and see us at