dear diary :: party ideas on a budget

Yesterday was just a little too intense for my liking – I didn’t really have a minute to myself other than getting washed, dressed and eating breakfast and doing a couple of housekeeping tasks before my daughter and little Freddie arrived.

There are no photos today either…no time and nothing much to take other than a list of plans…but I think we have all the arrangements for the christening and the party afterwards underway now and every base covered. When I had my daughters christened it was a much simpler affair – I booked the church, made the cake, used the family christening gown and we had a few homemade sandwiches afterwards and a cup of tea at my mum’s house – we only had brothers, sisters, grandparents and great grandparents, so fewer people to cater for.

We have invited the wider family to this do – aunts and cousins and a few friends and surprisingly all have said yes even though they live quite a distance away. I think some of them are making it a nice weekend away. It will be lovely to see them all as very often these days it is only at weddings and funerals that we all get together.

It should be a lovely day too – but I like to keep a balance with these events between nice ideas and cost – with the arrival of Pinterest all these events like weddings, anniversaries, baby showers and christenings, can be as elaborate as you can dream up – it must be a generation thing; but the dreams can easily turn into nightmares and I feel like I might be the voice reigning things in all the time – not that I am trying to spoil the party just making sure the plans are achievable without being overstretched, overstressed and over budget.

Being creative on a low budget is something I have done all my life and one of my tasks today is to visit the florist in the village – I volunteered to arrange a few flowers for the tables which we are covering with some old white cotton sheets passed down from my grandmother (my mum’s idea as they did this for her wedding reception in 1947!) Without giving too much away on here I am looking to order a few stems of eucalyptus and hypericum berries to add to some cheaper supermarket flowers and make little jam jar posies for the table centres. I am already drying some hydrangea heads to put in the larger glass Ikea vases I saved from my daughter’s wedding.

My daughter and I also bought a cake stand each – we couldn’t track down the £4.99 ones from B&M so found some rather nice two tier china ones in Dunelm which have a pretty pattern round the edge and have been reduced to £7 – perfect to serve our afternoon tea on.

We will also be able to reuse some of the miles of bunting I made for her wedding to decorate the village hall and we have plenty of fairy lights and candles from the same event to add some ‘glow’ – it is good that we can reuse a lot of the things we had at the wedding – I knew, given time, they would come in handy!

The christening gown has been a bit of a problem – my daughter wants a very traditonal gown but little Freddie is now 9 months old and the family gown too small – or he too big. Sweetie’s gown from her christening in May is too flouncy so a new one must be found as I won’t have time to make one.

With all this planning and discussion going on DH just quietly escaped to the pantry and finished the final coat on the walls. I think he has only to put a coat, maybe two, of All White eggshell on the woodwork and then we will be onto making up the units. At last.

Thank you for all the well wishes for my mum. I would pass them on to her but there is little chance she would know what a blogger is! She seems to feel better towards the end of the day but then wakes up again in the same state where she feels quite unwell. No one came yesterday to take the blood so we are told it will might be today.

My sister bless her is holding the fort up there until I can get up to ease the load. We both seem to be of the ‘sandwich’ generation…. spreading our time between old and young, trapped in the middle – only I feel we are more like a cheese toastie….often on melt down.

I am hoping mum feels a bit better today. Until we know the cause nothing can be done and I know she is feeling very anxious not knowing what is wrong. But knowing mum she will be determined to make our little family gathering on Sunday for Sweetie’s 1st birthday – she won’t want to miss out.

This morning I have to weigh and chop all the ingredients for a nut loaf to take with us when we go up to North Yorkshire at the weekend to stay with my younger daughter. DH will take over, mix it together and cook it when he has finished the painting whilst I go to the hairdressers and relax for an hour or two this afternoon….bliss….then on to the florist in the village.

Did I mention the tablemats did not materialise? – they are waiting for another day – maybe tomorrow will be less hectic!

20 Replies to “dear diary :: party ideas on a budget”

  1. The way your week is going made me think of the Lewis Carroll line, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” Or as you put it, a toasted cheese on the melt down. I do think P*nterest has a lot to answer for…another form of peer pressure for the adult age.

    Hoping Mum feels better and that the medical folks follow up on her pronto.

    Enjoy your time at the salon…and don’t forget to BREATHE!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha Ha…it is like a Pooh quote and so true. I feel like I am trying to keep all the plates on sticks spinning at once. Have yet to ring mum – if there is no call from my sister then she isn’t any worse.
      I am looking forward to going for my hair doing and yes I can stop and breathe!


  2. Perhaps you could make a list of your accomplishments at the end of each day rather than looking at your to do list and noting what you should have done. It might surprise you! I love it when things you have made and bought can be reused/repurposed for other occasions. I hope you haircut is the breathing out/rest you need it to be, that you mum is doing ok and that she gets the promised visit by health professionals soon.


    1. I am back from the hairdressers now and yes it was good to have an hour away from it all. I like your idea of the list of my accomplishments – I suppose even making the soup is one to go on the list.


  3. That’s the thing with Pinterest etc. there are so many ideas out there that you can get carried away and before you know it you’ve created your own Frankenstein. What you’ve got planned sounds a perfect balance and I think being able to re-use some things from your daughter’s wedding is lovely.

    People see events very differently don’t they. We invited a couple who were friends to Amy’s christening and they only turned up to the buffet afterwards. They’d been to B&Q while the service was taking place because “that’s the boring bit isn’t it”. I was really offended to be honest, but then we got invited to their child’s christening but only the buffet. When I asked about the church they said, oh don’t bother coming to that bit.

    I’m sure the whole day will be lovely and I really hope you manage to carve out some time for yourself beforehand. xx


    1. I love your friends just going for the buffet part. I would have been a bit upset too at thier remark. I keep reminding my daughter that it is about the baptism into the church and not all the ‘frills’ that now go alongside. She does take it seriously but also wants everyone who is coming to have a nice day too afterwards.
      I am sure it will all be fine – keep it simple is my constant advice to her at the moment. xx


  4. Crikey, what a lot of work! But it’s lovely you can use the bunting for another family celebration. I hope you manage to find a christening gown. My son and daughter were only about 12 weeks old when they were christened, so the gown is very small. I have it hanging up, but I’m not sure it will ever be used again, which is a shame, as it cost a fortune! If my daughter does ever have children, I know she won’t have them christened. Perhaps my son or any of my nieces/nephews might use it in the future? I hope you manage to relax at the hairdressers:)


    1. Our family gown is for smaller babies – it was my dad’s and handmade in a fine white cotton broderie anglais with lovely tiny pintucks. I was christened in it and both my girls but Freddie is just that bit too big now. He has a lovely tartan romper suit for afterwards but my daughter wants a traditional gown for the service more suitable for a boy.
      Just back from the hairdresser – so good to have a bit of pampering. x


  5. Oh yes, the Cheese Toastie! I used to feel like that sometimes, but now I have become the top layer of toast and don’t have melt-downs anymore. Take care of yourself and remember to ENJOY all that you are doing. Mxx


  6. Sending hugs. I know how draining it can be being in the middle of the sandwich. You are so much more creative than me, though, and hopefully that helps.

    I just rented the hall from the local Liberal club, and as I was not in a great place and without much support, I paid for inexpensive (but excellent) catering.

    As someone who worries at professional standard, please check the weather forecast as you travel. There are mutters about snow and more rain, so please stay safe.


    1. Yes we have heard mutterings about snow – just what we need a the moment – not!! We couldn’t even get great catering here – I am sure there is someone but we don’t know of them so have gone with M&S at least they are reliable and not too expensive. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For father’s funeral, I went online to Tesco and ordered lots of mini pork pies, sausage rolls, cooked chicken wings etc and left it at that. There is only so much someone can do. I didn’t bother with sandwiches, and I don’t think anyone felt the lack. I never thought of M&S – will remember that.


        1. The sandwiches are not bad -we have a couple of trays of the festive ones too that sound nice. We have ordered pork pies and sausage rolls from a local farm shop – award winning – we had them for the party earlier in the year. They should fill everyone up nicely!


  7. I am amazed (and slightly alarmed) at how styled people want celebrations now. I only have boys and hope their partners (when they have them) won’t want so much work. I have a sister-in-law who always caters with a full-on theme. But then she never looks like she is enjoying the event and always looks stressed and tired. I hope you get to enjoy the christening.


    1. I am sure it will be an enjoyable day – we never intended a DIY event but the places that we would have liked to go were all booked for Christmas do’s and the village hall is so cute and it was available so we thought why not. We are not doing a lot – we will add some homemade quiches to the ordered food and we have to set the hall up the evening before but after that it will be sit back and enjoy. Of course I may live to regret the decision to DIY.

      Liked by 1 person

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