I am one of those women who is inevitably drawn to the daintiness and feminity of the late 1800s’ Victorian style. I have always been fascinated with the corsets, big fluffy skirts and the curls. Well, this fascination has been with me for quite sometime – to the extent that I wore a corset with my wedding lehenga as well. I also did a post on Victorian look that i sported to a friend’s cocktail very recently. You can check out the post here –
When we started planning for V’s birthday , we got loads of suggestions on cartoon character themes but we did not pick any of those solely because V was just about a year old and she had no friends of her own to be invited who could enjoy the party. The guest list was filled with our family and friends, hence we decided on a theme which would give a vintage and ornate feel to the whole setup.Though it seems like a Victorian-themed party might be hard to pull off, it could be a lot easier than you imagined. Let me give you ideas and tips on how to prepare for that perfect party .
First and foremost was of course the color code for the whole party and after a lot of deliberation, white/red seemed to be perfect for the evening. We picked the key elements that we wanted to highlight in the decor – Umbrellas, vintage frames, cages, candles, fur and lights. Of course you can make it as simple or elaborate as you may like. The picture above is the entrance filled with inverted umbrellas on the top and candle stands on both the sides.
The pathway was set up with Vintage frames of V’s pictures and small photo frames kept on table covered with fur mats.
Photo booth was a tough choice as we kept shortlisting and discarding several backgrounds with Victorian themes. Initially we thought we could use a flex of a castle as background and few props in the platform but somehow it did not create the right effect. So we ordered a complete fabrication of a chariot with the horse. Few cages were hung here and there and the ceiling was covered with red and white helium balloons with the ribbons hanging.
Then came the cake table and background. I wish I had better pictures for these as we spent the maximum time and effort behind it. The V shaped light inside the vintage frame was made locally to create a 3D effect. I had a huge dilemma on what flowers to be used in the background as roses are the biggest elements of Victorian times but they looked too mainstream to me. So we got in touch with a vendor from another city who handmade flowers which looked something in between roses and carnations and got them sprayed in red, pink and white. The cake table was laid with a Victorian White Lace cloth as the base and lot of silver candle stands, carnations and one huge cake stand studded with crystals.
The cake had to be a simple one, white fondant with red roses.
Our performer for the evening – a Russian flutist was also dressed in a Victorian gown. So were me and V! Check out my Instagram posts and stories for more pictures of the evening at http://www.instagram.com/missvogueviolet
This winter has been very tough for me as far as V’s health was concerned. We struggled for nights with blocked nose, persistent cough and sore throat. I had to do an extensive research on how to deal with baby’s cough and cold , how to boost immunity and how to get rid of recurring flu. While I was not successful in the initial attempts, I learnt a lot through the failed attempts. One of the biggest myths that burst for me was that babies/kids should be kept indoors to avoid any kind of health issue. Contrary to this popular belief, there are in fact hundreds of benefits for kids who play outside regularly, it is also advised that kids should spend more than 3 hours outdoors each day. Some of the reasons why you should let your child spend time outside are listed below –
- Confinement breeds diseases: While rest is extremely important for the sick and we are perennially worried about our kids catching cold when they step out, the reality is virus is easy to catch in closed environments. In open areas, there are lesser chances of kids catching the virus and in open air.
- Emotional and social competencies: Outdoor play has brain-boosting benefits for kids, starting in infancy. It strengthens the language and communication interactions among children who play together in the park. The more they socialize, the faster their learning is.
- Vitamin D Levels : Vitamin D has several health benefits like strengthening bone health which is a key parameter for growth in kids. Since, most of our kids have minimum exposure to sun these days, we try to supplement through food and tablets but sunlight is the most natural and effective way of receiving Vitamin D. Ofcourse, the precautionary measures must be taken for children who get sun burns easily.
- Channelize energy and increase curiosity: Kids come with a huge amount of energy which has to be channelized in a productive way. Kids who are confident about their physical abilities tend to be more positive about their lives in general. When they are exposed to newer things, their curiosity levels rise up, their tendency to ask questions increases and all of this contributes to the overall energy levels of a child.
- Increased attention span : Green outdoor settings always appear to reduce Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms amongst children, that includes the exposure they get to natural settings through different outdoor activities.
- Concept of leadership and team work – Outdoor play is extremely important to the social development of children particularly for building self-confidence. In addition to it, children also get more empathetic through social play, and they develop more skills for coping with conflict. Group activities also help develop team skills and leadership/moderation skills at a very early age.
- Boosting creativity: Sensory inputs help boost creativity and imagination. It also helps with quick learning – we all know we learn to do by doing and there is no substitute to experience. So, if you touch the sand, you would understand the concept of coarse and fine and there is no other way to explain it by seeing or reading. Hence, we must encourage our kids to step out and enjoy the sun, grass and wide skies.
I would be so happy to receive inputs from other moms who are willing to share their experiences and tricks which have worked for them.