Tuesday 27 February 2024

STOP PRESS: 20% off best selling Mother's Day gift!

There's only a few days left until it's Mother's Day (March 10th), so I'm going to cut right to the chase: I've taken 20% off my best selling Mother's Day personalised newspaper print!

Now under £15, and with free UK delivery too

It's the perfect gift for your mum this Mother's Day, and will most definitely make her smile! Fully personalised throughout, from top to bottom, and you can even replace the main picture with your own favourite photo.

Created to order and printed on textured heavy-weight quality recycled paper stock, to give it that authentic newspaper look and feel. The print is a generous A3 size, and comes smartly presented in a clear presentation sleeve.

Usually £18.50, for this week only you can snap up one of these brilliant personalised prints at 20% off - just £14.80, including free UK delivery too. No code required, just head over to the PhotoFairytales site and snaffle it up! Oh, and while you're there, don't forget to order a card for Mum too..!

Wishing you a very happy Mother's Day celebration for your lovely mum!

Best wishes,
Sarah :)

Friday 16 February 2024

30 Stylish Finishing Touches & Decor for your Home Office

The idea of working from home has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with more of us embracing the idea of working remotely or running our own small home business than ever before.

When I started PhotoFairytales I worked from the kitchen table, sitting on a back-breaking dining chair that really wasn't designed to be sat on for 8 hours! Thankfully now I have my own dedicated studio to work from (with a nice comfy swivel chair), and I can't tell you how important it is to create a work space that's not only functional and comfy, but inspirational too. 

The end of the day at PhotoFairytales HQ!
The end of the day at PhotoFairytales HQ!

I'll be honest, my studio isn't always this tidy - quite often I'm joined by a clothes airer full of damp clothes! But when you spend a significant portion of your day working from home, it's vital to be able to create a calm space where you can concentrate. At the end of my working day I always try to have a quick clean down of my desk so that the next morning I can sit at my desk ready for a fresh new day.

Make sure your desk and chair are comfortable and at the right height for you. Ensure you have sufficient lighting too - natural daylight is great, but mix in a great desk lamp too (my desk doesn't get natural daylight, so I have to rely on a wall light and a desk lamp). Personalise your space with artwork, touches of decor and gorgeous stationery to encourage a creative, pleasant environment to work in. Just because you have to work every day, doesn't mean it can't be pretty! Plants look lovely anywhere, so find a corner of your desk or a shelf for some greenery - whether it's real or fake. And keep your desk organised and as clutter free as you can with some practical storage.

Whether you're work space is tiny or spacious, dedicated or shared with other needs in the home (kitchen/work table-type scenario), I've curated a round up of gorgeous handmade finishing touches for your home office space that will make your working day so much nicer! Everything shown is handmade and designed by small, independent creative British businesses...

Part 1: Your Desk

Home Office Handmade Finishing Touches & Decor: Part 1 Your Desk

Items featured, left to right, top to bottom:

2) Wall Art & Decor

Home Office Handmade Finishing Touches & Decor: Part 2 Wall Art & Decor

Items featured, left to right, top to bottom:

3) Greenery & Plantlife

Items featured, left to right, top to bottom:

4) Organisation & Storage

Items featured, left to right, top to bottom:

5) Beautiful Stationery

Items featured, left to right, top to bottom:

Making your home office work space a creative, serene and inspirational area is key to getting through the working day. Make it reflect your style and personality, and create a haven that makes you productive every day. Your home office should be a place that makes you feel comfortable and motivated, so incorporate personalised touches to make your working day a joy.

Sarah :)

Wednesday 24 January 2024

Why do we give gifts?

When you stop and think about it, giving a present to a loved one is a bit strange - especially when you think that in most cases the recipient could have quite simply bought it for themselves (as Miley says, I can buy myself flowers..!)

But that's just thinking about gift giving as a transaction - and it's WAY more than that!

The tradition of giving gifts goes back thousands of years - probably as far back as the beginning of mankind. As social creatures (mostly) we enjoy each other's company (usually), and we like to form relationships with those that are most special to us. Of course 'special' covers a lot of instances: those we love of course, but also those we want to please for social reasons, or maybe impress, or thank, or show allegiance or deference to. Or simply as a way to let them know we appreciate them or are thinking of them. The reasons behind gift giving are many and complicated!

Sometimes gift giving is something that comes from the heart, other times it's a tactical action. Either way, quite simply, giving someone a gift is deeply ingrained in our DNA!

Going right back to pre-history, presenting a gift to someone was a way of reflecting their status - and your own. It's a perfect indicator of how we humans are such an advanced civilisation. Gift giving strengthens our social bonds and our community. It is linked to feelings of love, trust, friendship, reciprocity and cooperation.

The earliest gifts would have been pretty simple and basic (ooh, I don't know - let's picture a lovely shaped stone say, or a nice pointy animal tooth...). As humans evolved those early gifts would have progressed into something more elaborate, so that tooth would be drilled and threaded to make a nice necklace to wear when you're having a romantic date night away from the cave and kids!

Today, gifts are also given to mark celebrations on our calendar: Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. No matter what the occasion though, when you give a gift you're engaging in a practice with deep roots in history and even deeper social significance.

The key thing to remember though is that gift giving is rewarding to the giver as much (possibly more) as the recipient, which is probably why it has become such a large part of our society. Simply put, it makes us happy to give a gift. Researchers have found that it improves our state of mind, releasing dopamine in the brain giving us a sense of pleasure and reward. It triggers an emotional response and a sense of joy, happiness and satisfaction. A lot of that depends on how the recipient accepts the gift of course - we want them to feel pleasure, and appreciate our efforts. It's a mutual reward system for both giver and recipient! 

So next time you buy a special present for someone, just remember your caveman ancestor was also worrying about how to neatly wrap a round stone - and they didn't even have sellotape!

Sarah :)

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