Thursday 30 May 2013

Father's Day - gift ideas for dads and grandads

Father's Day is just over a couple of weeks away (June 16th), but there's still time to order a great personalised pressie for the best Dad in the world! There are loads of goodies to choose from on the website, but here's just a small round up of ideas for you:

1: ‘I Love You This Much’ personalised print, available in pink or blue, £14.50
2: Personalised Blue Heritage Plaque, personalise with any wording you like, £17.50
3: ‘Family Sayings’ canvas print (can be commissioned in any colour), from £16.95
5: Personalised Family Print, available in two designs and a selection of colours, £14.50
6:  Personalised Vintage Handbill Print (range of designs available), £14.50
7: Personalised Newspaper (range of stories available), from £12.50 

Friday 24 May 2013

Friday Facebook Finds: a treasury of handmade gifts and goodies

There's no denying that Facebook is a fantastic site for networking and keeping in touch with friends and family - but there's also a wealth of fabulous small businesses on there offering completely unique hand crafted work just waiting to be discovered by you!

Here's a small round up of some of these independent British makers and designers, who are busy creating with a passion:

1: 18cm Shabby Chic Freestanding Letter, £16.99 

2: Personalised Fine Silver Footprint Keyring with Message Tag, £70

3: Bespoke baby booties made from handmade felt, all hand crafted from native wools, from £9

4: Handmade Fabric Doll, £35

5: Cupcakes from the "Vintage and Elegant" range, £10 for 6 cakes

6: 'Home Sweet Home' personalised canvas print, from £16.95

7: Hand crafted and safety tested 'Guardian Angel' breastfeeding necklace, £12

8: New Baby Greeting Card, hand appliqued and embroidered cotton fabric on linen with beads, £3.75

9: Marlene - a little handmade rescue fairy, gift packaged in a fairy travelling case and complete with adoption papers, £13
Folksy Shop:

10: Handmade Button Bracelet, available in any colour you can imagine, £15

11: ‘The Giraffe in a Scarf’, beautifully illustrated by a Norfolk based artist, £6.99

Sarah :)

Tuesday 21 May 2013

So, why DO we throw confetti at a wedding?

When you think about it, it does seem like a slightly odd thing to do - and one that’s pretty much guaranteed to get the vicar’s knickers in a twist! 

But actually, it seems we’ve been doing it for centuries - and apparently it dates back to Pagan times, when newly married couples were showered with grain to represent a ‘fruitful union’ (not unlike the wedding cake cutting ceremony which represents pretty much the same idea - when you think about it, the cake would also contain wheat which would also represent fertility). Druids believed that the fertility of the seeds would transfer to the couple on which they fell. And flower petals scattered for the couple to walk over were thought to protect the couple from harmful spirits.

So, how do you give Mr and Mrs a good send off and not irritate the vicar? Use biodegradable confetti, or visit your local florist and go for real petals instead.

If you've been invited to a wedding this year, why not check out the great range of wedding gifts at PhotoFairytales - guaranteed to be totally original and a fabulous keepsake for the new couple!

Sarah :)

Friday 17 May 2013

The Top Ten Lists you SHOULD be writing...

I do like a good list - one full of things I can tick off. With ‘TO DO!!’ written across the top, numbers down the side, and a fair few slightly cheaty easily tick-offable things on there (think, ‘brush teeth’ or ‘post letters’). 

Sometimes though these lists can become a bit of a millstone around your neck. There often seems to be things on those lists that stay there longer than they should because you (let’s be honest) don’t really want to face them. So with this in mind I thought I’d write a list of potential lists that would be a pleasure to complete. Something a bit less ‘grind’ and a bit more ‘raise the spirits’!:

1. Places you have been that you loved, and places that you wish you could go
2. The best bits of the particular season we’re in right now
3. People who make you laugh and people who love you
4. Things that you would love to do if money was no object
5. The jobs you said you wanted to do when you were a child
6. The cutest/funniest things your children have ever said
7. Qualities of yourself and your life that you like and feel proud of
8. The ultimate dinner party guest list (they can be alive, dead, or mythical - doesn’t matter)
9. How you would spend a day if you had absolutely nothing to do
10. Acts of kindness that you have done in the past

There, aren’t those lists more fun than the ‘clean oven and bath dog’ kind?!

Sarah :)

Thursday 9 May 2013

Pssst, let me tell you a secret...

Just a quick question for you today - do you follow my PhotoFairytales page on Facebook? If you haven't discovered it yet, it's a great place to discover exclusive discounts and offers - and occasional freebies and giveaways too!

Thanks to the powers that rule Facebook though there is one important tip I need to share with you - when you give the page a 'like' don't forget to check that 'show in News Feed' is ticked. And after liking the page just hover your mouse over the 'Liked' button and choose 'Add to interest lists'. Why is that all necessary? Well unless you interact with the page (eg, leaving comments on my posts, liking posts, etc) there's a good chance Facebook will decide to stop showing the latest updates in your News Feed and you'll miss out. I'd definitely recommend you do that for any other Facebook pages you really care about and enjoy too.

And do leave a little comment on the page when you join - I'd love to hear from you and wave a virtual 'hello'!

Find the page here:

Sarah :)

Sunday 5 May 2013

Where did you last see it...?

Damn it woman, where are the biscuits?!

There’s a bit of sighing and cupboard door slamming going on in the kitchen. Coupled with a bit of mumbled, slightly put out, ‘Well I can’t see them…’.

You see, my husband is looking for a (packet of) biscuit(s) to go with his tea. I’ve told him there’s some nice oaty ones in the cupboard that I bought the other day. ‘Which cupboard?’, he asks - well, its hardly difficult given that our kitchen is only just about large enough to stand 2 adults with a joint BMI of under 10, and the cat would most certainly not withstand a swinging in it either. We have two food cupboards - one for savoury stuff, one for sweet. ‘In the sweet cupboard, on the left!’, I reply (whilst doing a bit of unsubtle eye-rolling). And still he can’t find them.

You see, there is a distinct way that my DH looks for things - basically, if it can’t be spotted the second (and I mean, THE SECOND) he starts to search, then it is officially lost. If he can’t find his socks in his sock drawer in under 1.2 nano seconds then I am called for to explain, A) where his socks are, and B) why they weren’t there a minute ago when he looked, or C) why do I hide them under his pants like that…

Of course, when its something important that is lost (think car keys, wallet, important paperwork, etc) it can become a little, erm, accusing in our household. Lot’s of me saying, ‘think about it methodically, where is it likely to be?’ and a fair bit of both of us saying, ‘Well, you had it last - no I didn’t, you did’ and ‘Well, where did YOU last have it?’. And it’s invariably a short hop and a jump to the full blown discussion as to the general tidiness of the house and why it is that only one of us is capable of putting things away properly whilst the other treats the place like a hotel (no prizes for guessing for who takes which role). It isn’t long before finding the lost item has taken second place to establishing firmly who is at fault for the aforementioned loss.

Mind you, I have to confess I have been known to freak out when I can’t find my glasses - ‘But they’ve got to be somewhere, I need them, I can’t drive without them, I’ve got to find them, it’s an emergency!’. Which is when I tend to get asked, ‘What, the ones on top of your head you mean..?’ (followed by smug face). Well, we all make mistakes, OK?

Now, where did I put that reminder about the car tax….

Sarah :)

Friday 3 May 2013

In the Pink!

There’s no doubt that spring is a tad late this year - where there would normally be a riot of pink blossom on the fruit trees there’s just a few hesitant leaf buds instead. Don’t worry, that gorgeous blossom will be here soon - and in the meantime, here’s a little pink riot to keep you going!

1: ‘Twilight Fairy’ - Fantasy Photo Portrait, from £15
2: ‘Cosy Cottage’ - Personalised Canvas Print, from £16.95
3: Handpainted Fairy Gift Plate, £21.50
4: ‘Princess Sleeping’ - personalised wooden plaque, £15.95
5: ‘Elephant’ - Meaning of Name Print, £14.50
6: ‘Great British Game Shows’ - Canvas Print, £29.95
7: ‘Nature’ - personalised Love Poem print, £14.50
8: ‘Hush Little Baby’ - Personalised Canvas Print, from £16.95
9: ‘My Message to You’ - Personalised Print, £14.50

All prices shown include UK postage and packing

Thursday 2 May 2013

Whoops - flying low!

Getting dressed in the morning is not often a relaxing time - during the week it’s something that is squeezed into a 30 second slot in between “Muuuum, what socks am I wearing?” (white ones, same as every school day) and “Have you brushed your teeth - then go and do them…” type conversations!

Added to this the fact that my wardrobe is not entirely bulging with those staple items that magazines often go on about. The simple white ‘T’, coupled with the dark perfectly cut slim leg trousers, the stylish raincoat (you know, the kind you just have to sling on, tie the belt and you have instant ‘supermodel-does-school-run look’), the trendy leather pumps and the latest bag. No, don’t have any of that. Well, I’ve got a white t-shirt but its been washed so many times it looks more like Santa’s sack. And my jeans are pretty good, except on the days when I have the ones that are a bit too low cut and seem to lack the will to stay on my hips… And the only accessory I tend to take out these days is an unwieldy dog and a pocket full of poo bags. Still! Never mind…

Today I’m wearing some trousers that I’d kind of forgotten I had. It’s been a while since I last wore them. ‘Oh look’, I thought this  morning, ‘there’s those trousers I haven’t worn in a while - I’ll wear them today.’ An innocent enough thought, until I’d had them on for 10 minutes and remembered why they were at the back of the wardrobe. They’ve got one of ‘those’ zips - the kind that slide down constantly. Slightest bit of pressure (like bending over the sink to brush your teeth), and ‘zzzip!’. There they go. So I’ve a day of constantly checking my flies, and/or constantly pulling down my top to cover the gap, ahead of me.

Then there’s the days when you really (and I mean really) can’t find anything to wear in that wardrobe. The days when everything you pull out goes back: Too tight/baggy, too hot/cold, too ‘going out-ish’, too ’washing the car-ish’, too smart/not smart enough, sleeves/legs are too short (common one this, I’m on the lanky side), doesn’t go with anything (but I still like it which is why I still have it), rides up/down when you sit/walk, etc, etc. Which is why I live in jeans just about every day. Let’s face it, jeans are like the gods of the fashion world. They go with pretty much anything, they can be worn pretty much anywhere except for the poshest/smartest/formalist events, AND (not to be scoffed at) they’re made of a fabric which is strong enough to you know, well, hold in bits. So that’s what I’ll be wearing tomorrow while my ‘flying low’ trousers of today are languishing in the wash before being stuffed into the back of the wardrobe again.

If only everything in life was as reliable as a pair of jeans, eh?! Let’s just hope I don’t end up wearing the low cut ones...

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