Classical Babies 4th Birthday!

I don’t normally write work-related posts on my personal blog but this seems to be a month of anniversaries and I’m excited about this one! Tomorrow will be four years since the very first Classical Babies concert at the O2 Centre, Finchley Road NW3, so naturally I am celebrating with another concert in similar style at the same location.

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There’s this fab group called The Lydian String who often play downstairs at the O2 Centre. If you’re in the area you might have seen them with their green banner and CDs out raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support. They are friends of mine from my freelancing days and put on a really great show. There are always crowds of people stopping to watch them and buy a CD or just donate some money. I am really proud to be joining them on the violin to play for our birthday concert. I think what they do is fantastic. If you take a look at their website  you not only get to hear a preview of what they sound like you can also read about their incredible fundraising work: 10% of every gig fee they receive goes straight to the Macmillan charity, as part of a commitment contract to pay them a minimum of £10,000 every year and 66% of the proceeds of their CDs sold also gets donated. They will have CDs for sale tomorrow, if you are coming please bring cash with you! This is a fantastic thing to play around the house to surround your child with music.

It says on their website (which needs updating!) that they have raised in excess of £90,000 for the charity since 2001 but I happen to know that this figure is wildly out of date and they have now raised well over £200,000!!

As well as the wonderful music, we will have the usual coffee, squash for the older children and a big birthday cake and plenty of balloons, plus some further treats. I’ll give every person through the door a number to be entered into the free prize draw which will take place in the middle of the programme, giving away a bottle of bubbly, some concert tickets and smaller prizes! After all, it’s only our birthday once a year! If you’d like to attend, full details are on the website.

I’m very excited with where Classical Babies is heading in it’s fifth year… With a sell-out first concert in Harpenden, our first Hertfordshire venue, plans for a Cambridge series and our first Manchester venue in the works I feel like expansion is the name of the game in ’14-’15! I can’t wait! I also have a re-brand planned with a new logo design coming from the wonderful Ellie Illustrates. I can’t wait for my website and blog to sport this lovely badge!

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If you know anyone with small children who would like live concerts in a fun, relaxed setting please show them this page and if you would like to know how Classical Babies started and how I got to this point, read my page on this blog about it! It’s something I’m immensely proud of and passionate about so if it’s something you like the sound of please like me on facebook, follow me on twitter @classicalbabyco and tell all your friends – Thank You! – Coco x

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Gabriel’s Space Party

On the Saturday after Gabriel’s birthday, 6th July, we threw a Space Themed Birthday as promised, for our astronomy-obsessed little boy. It was a lot of work but totally worth it!

I’d planned everything weeks in advance on Pinterest (what a perfect party-planning tool that is) but somehow I was still up into the wee hours the night before, mostly blowing up and hanging giant planets around the living room in the correct formation for our very particular Solar-system expert:

 

The paper chains were made the day before, from huge strips of coloured card, cut and stapled. We had personalised pages for the colouring station which I found at Twistynoodle.com:

 

The solar-system cake was spotted on Pinterest by Gabs himself and re-created by the wonderful people at Dunn’s Bakery in Crouch End:

 

 

I’d bought space-themed party plates and table covers etc. on ebay and stocked up on prosecco and beer for the parents and the usual party foods for the kids. But the best feature of the day for me was the amazing Natalie from West End Bubbles. For what I consider a very reasonable price for such a thing, she rocked up early with all her equipment, speakers, sparkles, props, bubbles and facepaints, tucked herself neatly into a corner of my flat and for the next two hours proceeded to create a great party atmosphere and keep 10 preschoolers and a toddler totally absorbed and happy! Not at all deterred by the fact that it was one of the muggiest, hottest days of the year and my flat was like an oven, she smiled, leaped, danced, sang and generally did all the work for me while I sat back with a glass of prosecco and enjoyed watching my birthday boy enjoy his party.

I don’t know how she did it because I felt tired just watching her, but the woman is a hero! I found Natalie by accident on a facebook mums group. Someone recommended her when I needed a last minute facepainter for Lucian’s birthday. She was already booked but managed to move things around to fit us in which I so appreciated and after seeing her in full party-entertainer mode I cannot recommend her highly enough. (Disclaimer: She didn’t tell me to say that and I’m not getting any money or deals for saying so! I’m not that good a blogger yet 😉 She really is just that good!) I do, however blame her for my prosecco-head the next day as I didn’t have enough to at the party…

To round off, we had the cake with those flame-shooting sparkler candles which looked like rocket-boosters (or a comet!)

 

By which time, we were all pretty much pooped:

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