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PV Meets Truly Scrumptious

ParentVille Parties meets Louisa; the founder of Truly Scrumptious, a leading supplier of bespoke fabric drawstring party bags for for children’s party. Today, Louisa shares how she got started and her tips to running a successful creative business. Prepare to be inspired.

 

Tells us a little bit about yourself

My name is Louisa, wife to Dan and Mummy to Miles & Amelia.

Before having children, I trained as a Norland Nanny with a Montessori qualification. I have worked for some amazing families, both in the UK & high profile personalities living abroad. In both my ‘Mummy and Nanny’ roles I have loved planning wonderful, memorable parties for children of all ages, with many different themes.

Truly Scrumptious Party Bags began with my own children’s parties. I didn’t want to send their friends home with plastic bags filled with “cheap and cheerful junk”  that was likely to go straight into the bin, when the children weren’t looking. (Come on we’ve all done it!) That inspired me to start making fabric, drawstring bags that my children would enjoy handing out to their friends, as a special thank you for coming to their party. Something that is lovely to cherish as part of the party favour, and a unique way to round off a memorable occasion. My bags are lovingly made by myself, at home, and are also eco – friendly. They can be used over and over again afterwards, for hair clips, lego, marbles, pencils, dolls-clothes, cars or magic tricks. The useful options are endless!!

I frequently use them, filled with ‘entertainments’ for trips to restaurants or even long haul flights!

My training as a professional nanny had a particular focus on ‘high quality results and attention to detail.’ I have continued to apply these values, every time I design and produce these unique party bags.

Some of the most prestigious party planning companies in the UK, now regularly work with me, to tailor party bags for their clients, globally.

Most importantly I love what I do and hope you do too!

PV Meets Truly ScrumptiousPV Meets Truly Scrumptious

What inspired the concept for your business?

I didn’t want to hand out plastic bags filled with tat that went straight into the bin once everyone got home after my children’s parties. So I made some little drawstring bags for my son Miles’ sports party when he was turning 5. The boys had blue bags pattered with white stars & the girls a pretty floral bag. The children loved them & parents thought they were a great new idea. So a few friends encouraged me to do something with it. The idea then grew & grew organically from my kitchen table!

 

When starting did you have challenges & how did you overcome them?

Oh yes! And I still do have challenges. I learn from my mistakes & am always looking for ways to improve. I welcome constructive feedback from customers too. My first mistake was a very cheap sewing machine, which I quickly realised had to go & be replaced with a good sturdy workhorse!

I also started by using the appliqué method to put the images & text onto the party bags. That was fiddly & time consuming! It’s been great to rise to the challenges & overcome them with better ways of  completing my orders.

 

What has been your biggest success so far?

To be honest, the whole concept of Truly Scrumptious being a success & still growing makes me feel so proud. I struggled with dyslexia at school & don’t have any background in running a small business.

Apart from that I’ve been lucky enough to make hundreds of lovely families party bags (many of whom are repeat customers)  along with supplying top party planners. It’s always a pleasure to donate bags or proceeds from orders to charities. It’s nice to give back a little occasionally.

Having lived with & worked for Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta Jones it’s always exciting to make bags for celebrities too. I think the biggest ‘eeeeeek’ moment was when I made Elton Johns sons party bags not long ago. (That happy little dance went on for quite a while!!)

pv meets truly scrumptious

How do you juggle motherhood, family life, and your business?

Gosh it really is a juggling act, especially during school holidays! I feel so lucky to be able to work from home & be there for my children. Being able to support them weekly in school matches, attending concerts whilst working too. but the downside is that I’m always working! I take work with me everywhere I go…sitting waiting at gymnastics, dancing, or cricket after school clubs I’m there peeling names, images, cutting ribbons & cords or updating social medial & replying to emails. My husband is so patient but does get a bit fed up when  I’ve got fabric, threads, vinyl, and equipment spread out over the kitchen table, spare room & office!

I always make sure once I’m home from the school run that I do the washing, dishwasher, hoovering & general family tidying g up before I start my Truly Scrumptious work. I then break mid morning for a lovely dog walk & try to clear my head (although I’m often frantically replying to enquiries or placing materials orders whilst walking too!)

 

How do you find time to relax whilst not working? 

Wow, I really need to create business free – screen free time. But it’s actually close to impossible when you run the show yourself & when my business is so labour intensive. I have started to have some help now, but not enough to hand over the reigns for longer periods. It’s tricky as I have orders from over seas too & constantly have enquiries coming in. (And yes each & every order does still make me dance a happy dance!) I like to keep things personal by replying to each & everyone individually.

Family time is so important & we love going on lovely long bike rides, dog walks, ( of course always finishing in a pub for a drink & some hot chips!) I also make time to work out & have PT sessions once a week as well as body conditioning classes (I have to fit this in to make sure I can have those cheeky chips in the pub at the weekend! )

But I really do need to be a bit more strict with switching off more. At least I love my business!! PV Meets truly scrumptious

 

Whats your top tips for starting a business?

Hmmm, have supportive friends & family that you can ask advice from. Go for it, I was worried my party bags would be a flop, but until you’ve given it a shot, you just won’t know. Be organised, make lists & have plenty of post it notes for reminders! Make friends with the post office workers because you might, like me see them every single day!

Oh and keep your receipts in date order…I had to painfully sort through mine to get into the right order.

 

If you could invite a special guest to a dinner party who would it be?

Hands down it would have to be Prince Harry. He would be great fun to be around, super interesting & really down to earth hopefully. Being a father & uncle now, no doubt he’ll have many children’s birthday parties ahead of him. He’s seems the kind of guy to get really involved & join in. When he was in the army, he also took over from my husband in Afghanistan, so we have something in common there!

 

To find out more about Louisa and Truly Scrumptious, please click HERE

 

Superhero party

The Superhero Party Edit

The Superhero Party Edit.

Power up their party with our superhero party, perfect for creating that action-packed celebration. From Superhero inspired cakes, decorations, personalised party bags or why not bring their favourite Superhero to life with one of our children’s entertainers.  Shop our magical collection of party products in today’s Superhero Party Edit.

Invitations

Superhero party invitations. Fully personalised with name, age, party date, time, venue and RSVP contact details. You can also add any other info as required, for example- fancy dress or parking info.Printed on high quality 250gsm laid card, supplied with recycled kraft brown envelopes.

 

Superhero party

 

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Also available are these personalised thank you cards too

Superhero party

 

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Cake

2D or three tier cakes based on their favourite Superhero character will really bring your party theme together.

Superhero Party

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Decorations

Superhero birthday party decoration pack. Great for a little boys birthday party and works for Superman, Batman or Lego Superhero themed birthday party.

 

Superhero party

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Bottle Labels. Themed labels, perfect for your party drinks. Will fit a small water bottle or ‘fruit shoot’ style bottle.

Superhero party

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Superhero Party Straws.Striped eco-friendly paper straws with themed flags. Great to theme your party drinks.

Superhero Party

 

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Superhero Food Boxes with personalised labels.Perfect for your party lunch or to make a great alternative to a party bag.
Labels can be personalised with the name of each party guest or with a generic Superhero theme.

Superhero Party

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Entertainment

Wow your guests with a Superhero Party Entertainer

Superhero Dance Party

Superhero Party

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Party Bags

Send your party guests home with a beautiful personalised baking kit.

Personalised Superhero Party Bags

Superhero Party

 

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If you are planning to host a Superhero party, get in touch with ParentVille Parties today and we can help you plan your party from start to finish. Drop us an email on team@parentville.co.uk

 

Keep Calm The Kids Are Cooking!

 



 

Cooking Birthday Parties are the latest trend for kids big and small. It’s messy but delicious fun for everyone, parents included!


ParentVille Community
THE ONLINE MARKET FOR KIDS PARTIES

Older kids (7-17) become Master Candy Makers on their special day! At their Candy Making Party, they will learn how to make a candy lollipop, win prizes and leave with a party bag filled with their own sweet creations plus a bag of delicious candy

Book Candy Making Party
Sticky rice and chopped vegetables are the main ingredients for this unique Sushi Party! Little Chefs, from 6 to 12, will enjoy a really healthy, fun celebration in their own home with friends ‍ ‍  Not a sushi fan? No problem! Check out Florence’s Biscuit Cooking Party and Afternoon Tea Party.
Book Sushi Cooking Party

With Pauline, the children will learn how to prepare an easy savoury recipe from scratch. They will discover all the hidden techniques of cooking pizza, Butternut & beef cannellonis, courgette, cheese & ham mini cakes, Spinach or cheese & ham savoury waffles. Yum!

Book Savoury Cooking Party
Agathe Blanquart has been a fan of ALICE à PARIS for years. When the chance to buy the company came up she thought “Why not!”  We talked with Agathe for our second #CoolKidsBrand interview. She told us about her fantastic entrepreneur journey and her memories about how she used to celebrate her birthday as a child in France. 

Entrepreneur Story


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8 deliciously spooky ideas for a Halloween Party

If you are hosting a Halloween party, then you need some spooky but gorgeous treats and decorations to impress your guests and bring a huge smile to your little monsters face. Hosting parties is a lot of fun but also a lot of work… don’t worry, we are here to lend you a hand and save you time! Ready to enjoy your party without all the stress? Let’s do it 🙂

Hauntingly Beautiful cookies & decoration

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You can start by giving treats to your guests before they go knock on the neighbour’s doors.

I personally think a pretty table is a must have at any party so my suggestion would be to have,
alongside with a perfect decoration, pretty Halloween biscuits all over your party table. 

Pumpkin Decorated Biscuits would look lovely with Ghost and bat biscuits or Boo cookie pops.

 

Frighteningly creative biscuits

halloween blog post 2This is an incredibly creative idea that will keep your children, from all ages, entertained for some time during the party. Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) cookies are perfect for Halloween parties, or to give as a gift to your little guests in a spooky party bag.

Each gift box contains one large vanilla sugar cookie and a pack of mini decorating pens (edible ink). 

And why not bake some cookies yourself? Don’t worry, you don’t need to search for any recipe or buy the ingredients. The Scary Monster Faces Biscuit Kit brings everything you need for some Halloween fun in the kitchen with your little pumpkins and witches.

Cutters, biscuit mix, and sweet decorations are some of the ingredients that come beautifully packed in a box ready for you to make 10 to 12 biscuit pops. All you will need to add is an egg and a little butter.

Deliciously Scary Cakes & cupcakes

Maja halloween cake and cake pops

A good party is not complete if there isn’t a cake and cupcakes right? This cake has it all plus some adorable pumpkin cake pops.

Enjoy your party!

8 Healthy Snack ideas for Summer Parties

Children’s Parties are all about having fun and special treats but it’s a good idea not to overload little ones with too many sugary snacks – you’ll only regret it once the guests have gone home…. While the summer is still around, get creative with the delicious fruit of the season. Here is a list of 8 healthy snack ideas for your last summer parties.

 

  1. Fruit kebabs

Get some wooden kebab sticks and load them up with some colourful fruit – strawberries, melon, apple, grapes – they look fantastic and are super healthy.

 

  1. Pitta crisps with hummus

Cut up some wholemeal pitta bread into triangles and bake in the oven until crispy. Serve with some hummus for a tasty alternative to crisps. Kids will love the crunchy crisps and dipping in!

 

  1. Pineapple and cheese on sticks

Go retro and chop up some pineapple and cheddar cheese on cocktail sticks. Great fun and healthy. Check out the recipe and how to do it here

 

  1. Sliced Fruit 

It’s simple, easy and adds a beautiful pop of colour to your table. Grab different kinds of fruit on the supermarket, slice it into different shapes and put it on a big and beautiful dish in the center of the tabledish.

 

  1. Fruit smoothies

Instead of serving fizzy drinks or sugary squash, try and blend your own fruit smoothies and serve with fancy straws and umbrellas to make it look like a cocktail!

 

  1. Popcorn

A few bowls of popcorn are a great healthy snack to serve at a party. Kids love it and if you go for the salt and sweet options available they get a little kick of sugar but not too much.

 

  1. Nuts & Raisins

Bowls of nuts and raisins are a healthy snack that will give kids fuel for all the party games. Watch out for younger children though as nuts and raisins could be chocking hazards. Also, make sure there are no peanut allergies.

 

  1. Cupcakes

You can’t have a party without cake but if you’d rather not serve big slabs of birthday cake full of icing and sugar, bake or order individual mini cupcakes or muffins to serve up so you can control the portions. You can also make these with added fruit and cream cheese icing to lessen the sugar content.

 

What healthy snacks would you prepare for a children’s party?

Please share with us by commenting below! Thank you.

Our favourite brunches with the kids!

Our one family tradition is Sunday brunch! Whatever the weather is or our state of fatigue, we will have Eggs and Benedict with a soya latte.

We’ve made a list of our 3 favourite places around Maida Vale that are family-friendly and have great brunches!

IMG_7395Our personal favourite is The Quince Tree cafe, located in the Clifton Nurseries. Not only are you surrounded by plants and completely forget you are in London, but you get to sit outside under the glass roof even if it’s raining! The food is great (yes, there is the traditional English Breakfast AND avocado toasts!) with the amazing eggs Benedict on soft muffin-toast.

You can also book the venue for special occasions if you want to invite the whole family around.
We advise booking in advance to be sure to have a table, as it can get very busy during the week-ends.

 

Raoul’s (just in front on the incredible vegetable shop, and Raoul’s deli) is a great place to come as a family. You can sit outside and enjoy watching passers-by going to their local shops, or feel guilty for eating pancakes when a jogger runs past you…! The staff is incredibly nice and friendly and service is quick! We loved the bacon-potato cake and the scrambled eggs on toast.

 

 

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Last but not least, Gail’s Artisan Bakery in St John’s Wood. I have to admit my guilty pleasure is their almond milk latte with a spinach roll (the heart wants what the hearts want). They have great choice of toasts, with our ultimate favourite being the avocado salsa one! Our kids loved it because it’s the only place where they’ll have cookies for breakfast!

 

 

 

 

Happy Sunday and have a lovely brunch!
And if you’re looking for things to do as a family to digest all the food, be sure to read our Family Fun section 🙂

A sunny afternoon in Primrose Hill

With all the sunny week-ends coming up it’s the perfect time to go out with the whole family and enjoy a perfect day out!

Whether you’ve been there already or not we really recommend Primrose Hill Park. There is so much to do around the area : from the top of the hill with the great view of London, to the zoo, to the restaurants..! It’s fun guaranteed for the whole family 🙂

 

1. The hillIMG_6760

It is the name of the park after all.. So you guessed that there will be some hiking right? Don’t worry it’s not that high and the view is really worth it! You can play “spot famous buildings” with your children, and see who recognizes the most buildings! You can see the whole city and you have a view on the zoo!

 

 

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2. London Zoo

Everybody will be mesmerized by the fact that there are giraffes in the middle of London! There are so many types of animal there that everyone should have their share of fun! They have also added lions since Easter so we really recommend you go check it out!

 

 

 

 

3. Food time!

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You have plenty of choice around and if you go there on a Saturday the market behind the park will be opened so you can enjoy local food and sometimes even live music!

If you’d rather eat in a restaurant, there are plenty of restaurants closer to Chalk Farm, on the parallel street to the park, including Oka an asian mixed restaurant (the kid menu is really tasty and original, and for once doesn’t include chicken and fries). They have some tables outside (but you might want to book a table for them though)!

 

 

We ended the day by walking along the Regent’s Canal (you can go towards Little Venice or Camden, depending what type of experience you wish to have!)

 

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