My Big Night In

5 Jul 2013

Today's post is going to be very different to my usual posts. I don't know if you know, but are running a competition called 'Big Night In'. Now, usually I'm not one for these competitions, mostly because I don't have very good luck and always think there's no point entering. But this one caught my attention. The Big Night In competition is all about showing you what an amazing night you can have staying in, instead of going out. The idea which sparked the competition was that nights out are becoming increasingly more expensive, and this is something I can definitely vouch for. In my teens I could go out on £30 and have an amazing night, now you need at least £70. Staying in is often the cheaper alternative, but it doesn't have to be dull and boring. Nights in can be just as much fun! 

Everyone who entered the competition had to send off a request to take part and in turn, provided each entrant with £50 to have their big night in. I decided why the hell not? I had already been planning something for a friend - a surprise baby shower - but a shortage of pennies had been stopping me. With this competition I could take part, throw my friend a baby shower and share it with you all in a blog post. And how many other entrants are going to be sharing a surprise baby shower as their big night in?! Not many I bet! I thought it might give me a little bit of luck, doing something unusual, here's hoping ey? And it was quiet a challenge, too. I've never been to a baby shower before let alone thrown a surprise one! So what's the catch, I hear you say? Nothing! Every entrant has a fair chance to show what they can do with £50 for a big night in. The amazing part is that the winner will get to take home £500! How could I not enter? I can't even begin to imagine what it would feel like to win £500, and with my birthday just a few weeks away, it would be amazingly lucky. I have my fingers and toes crossed (feel free to cross yours for me too!) 

I have known my best friend Kate all of my life. We've grown up together, our families are close, we live around the corner from each other. I've never known anyone, other than family, as long as I have Kate. So you can imagine how happy, surprised and proud I was to find out that Kate was expecting her first baby with her partner. Nearly 9 months later and she's about ready to pop! I knew she'd really appreciate a baby shower, so I decided to organise one with our close friend Aimie. Together we put on a surprise baby shower, that only the people invited knew about and it was kept top secret from Kate for over two weeks. Let me tell you, it's hard work being sat with your best friend of 22 years catching up over a cuppa, and not being able to tell her you're throwing her a surprise baby shower! I nearly let it slip so many times, but thankfully everyone managed to keep it a secret and it was all worth it to see Kate's utterly surprised, confused and shocked face walk into the garden and see everything decorated, with presents, flowers and a whole array of yummy party food. Not only was it the first surprise baby shower I have thrown, but it was also the first time Kate has ever had a surprise party! Her face was picture perfect (and trust me, I have a photo to prove it, but decided against embarrassing Kate by posting it!) 

So, OK, my 'big night in' didn't involve a takeaway or a bottle of wine. Maybe it's not everyone's cup of tea, but for me? It was perfect. I got to surprise my closest and longest friend, I got to spend the night with some of our friends we have grown up with, eating party food that was far too easy to keep nibbling on (yup, Weight Watchers went well out of the window!) and I got to eat cake (If you haven't tried an Marks & Sparks cake, get on it, best sponge cake I've ever had!) It was lovely to see Kate's face when she came in, her excitement opening all the presents for the baby to come in just a few weeks and talking about how we think motherhood will be. We had a lovely fire to keep us warm, conversation flowed all night - interrupted frequently with fits of giggles - and most of all, it was a night I know I won't ever forget, and I don't think Kate will either. It is such a special thing, to carry a baby and bring life into this World, and celebrating that was the best 'big night in' I could have had. Plus, our unpredictable British weather decided to be on my side and the whole evening was really hot and sunny, perfect. Memories really are priceless.

So that's my entry into the 'Big Night In' competition! Wish me luck! 

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*This post is an entry to the Big Night In competition.