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Nov27

The 2017 Guide To Christmas Decorations For Your Home

Categories // Advice and guides

Decorating Your Home For Christmas Without Breaking The Bank

The 2017 Guide To Christmas Decorations For Your Home

When Christmas arrives, we all do a couple of things.

Firstly, we’ll head to the garage, loft or local garden centre and retrieve (or buy) the tree.

Then, we grab the Christmas decorations. You know - the tired bits of plastic, string and tinsel that really have seen better days.

Surely there’s a better way to do this? Surely, when it comes to one of the most exciting, vibrant times of the year, we can make our homes look a bit better and do so in a unique way?

mum and baby at christmas time

Good news - you can, and you don’t even need to be particularly artistic! Welcome to our handy guide to decorating your entire home for Christmas. Don’t touch that tree just yet!  Not sure how many days before Christmas, here's Christmas countdown timer for you that you can personalise.

Use gifts as decorations

Once you start to receive presents from people, rather than simply bunging them under the tree, use them as decorations.

Gift boxes and smaller wrapped presents look fab when hung from a window ledge or draped up the stairs off the bannister. Plus, you receive a reminder of the exciting stuff that’s to come when the big day arrives!

Christmas presents as decorations

Place a few light-up signs

Even at Christmas, days can be long and arduous, but what better way to remind yourself of the joys this seasons brings than by investing in a few light-up signs.

They’re relatively cheap, usually powered by batteries (and can, therefore, be placed anywhere) and enable you to spell out words, sayings or messages of your choosing. Adding a few lit-up festive words around the house should put a smile on everyone’s face.

Get creative with ‘Merry Christmas’ a banner

We’ve all seen (and probably owned) those decorations that shout “Merry Christmas!” on gaudy, gold-coloured paper. They’re not nice.

Instead, get creative with your ‘Merry Christmas’ signs by creating your own. For example, this traditional phrase looks fab when strewn across a window, made from cute cut-outs and trinkets found at hobby stores.

Go traditional with the stockings

Chances are, you may not have hung a stocking for a long time. And, if that’s in the belief that it’s a bit old-fashioned in this fast-paced digital age, think again!

Traditional stockings hung from the fireplace are one of the most endearing signs that Christmas is on the way. So, don’t be shy - get some personalised Christmas stockings, add name tags to them, and put them on show for everyone to see.

personalised christmas stocking

 

Decorate with old Christmas memories

Take a look back through your photo albums and pick out a few favourites from Christmases past.

These photos will make fantastic decorations. You can hang them from the same fireplace as your stockings, drape them over the bannister, or wedge them carefully into the branches of the tree. There’s nothing quite like spotting those old memories when Christmas comes around again.

christmas photo baubles

Go small with the tree

Who says you need a massive tree to fill the living room? Let’s be honest - it can be a bit of a drag to put up, decorate - and then take down when the festivities have ended.

Instead, buy a few smaller, miniature Christmas trees and place them strategically around the house. They’re not particularly expensive, and most come pre-dressed (some even have built-in lights, powered by batteries).

Create an ornament tree

Don’t fancy big or little trees? No problem! No one says you need a traditional tree at all!

Ornament trees are a great alternative. All you need is a clear wall, a bunch of Christmas baubles, a few other decorations and the ability to ‘paint’ a tree out of them on the wall. Sure - you might damage the paintwork, but the new year is made for redecorating!

my first christmas bauble

Add joy - with a wreath

The word ‘joy’ is used a lot at Christmas, but rather than opting for your bog-standard ‘joy’ ornaments, why not create your own?

Grab an old bit of wood, clean it, paint it white and use red paint to add the letters ‘J’ and ‘Y’ to it. In the space where the ‘O’ should go, add a wreath. Hey, presto! Your own Joy sign!

Ask the kids to create a display

If you have children, there’s a great way to keep them busy on weekends and help you with the house Christmas decoration.

Ask them to create their own little display of Santa’s journey. You can buy Santa figurines pretty cheaply online, and let their imagination run wild with what to use for the rest of the display (old cereal boxes, paint - you get the idea).

Display your Christmas cards

Most people simply find a spare surface in the living or dining room and place all their Christmas cards there. But that’s not very creative or interesting, really, is it?

You can do an awful lot with the Christmas cards you receive by turning them into beautiful decorations for your home. Hang them from curtain rails or create a collage on a chalkboard that’s dressed with lights. Don’t just place them on the table!

Bring nature indoors

Whether you go fake or natural with this one is entirely up to you, but twigs, berries, leaves and other outdoor elements can all be brought into your home to really up the Christmas ante.

You can create attractive table centrepieces, or wrap them with tinsel and drape them up the bannister. Bringing the outdoors indoors is a great way to add to the festive spirit in your home.

Display your favourite tunes

Another great one for the family, this. We all have our favourite Christmas tunes, so why not ask everyone to use light-up signs or painted pieces of wood to display their favourite lyrics?

Place them around the house (above the fireplace, on the dinner table, by the front door - anywhere), and you’ll create a brilliant Christmas spirit that’ll have you inadvertently humming festive tunes all day.

Don’t be afraid to add mistletoe

A bit corny? Embarrassing, even? Nah!

Kissing under the mistletoe might sound like something that belongs in a Christmas song, but you can have a bit of fun with your home by hanging it somewhere your eagle-eyed guest will notice.

Add candle-lit centrepieces to tables

You may already have candles throughout your home, but at Christmas, you can go candle mad.

Add centrepieces to each of your tables by gathering a bunch of differently-sized and shaped candles. Keep them lit (safely, of course - and only when you’re there!), and it’ll be like you’ve instantly hit the ‘Christmas switch’.

Add bells - everywhere

While the presence of jangling things on door handles can get a bit weary throughout the year, this trend is actually perfectly suited to Christmas.

Add little Christmassy bells to door handles and on the ends of tablecloths. Apart from the festive jangling, the presence of these little decorations will immediately add some much-needed Christmas spirit to your home.

Nuts, nuts, nuts!

Even if you’re not particularly fond of nuts, you can’t argue against the fact they are incredibly festive.

Add big jars or bowls of nuts to your dining and coffee tables. In fact - put them anywhere; you can’t go overboard with this Christmas decoration.

Go for an indoor wreath

Most people hang wreaths from their doors, and while this might be one of the most traditional ways to decorate your house for Christmas, it’s a bit… well, obvious.

Try putting your wreath indoors, instead. It might look a bit odd at first, but you’ll soon learn to love it. Hanging it from a curtain rail or attaching it to a window are two great examples of how you can bring this outdoor decoration inside.

christmas joy decorations

Dangle treats

We all love a treat at Christmas, and while this decorating tip might be hard to resist (literally), it’s a fab way to add festive cheer to your home.

Grab a few candy canes and other festive snacks, attach a string to them and hang them around the home. Just make sure they’re high enough to prevent any four-legged family members from taking a bite!

Go wild with glitter

If there’s one time of the year where you can make an attractive mess of your house, it’s at Christmas.

To really add to the festive spirit, purchase some glitter and sprinkle it around the home. Clearly, you’ll want to avoid too much of a cleaning nightmare, so try and keep it too obvious surfaces, but by doing so, you’ll add that all-important sparkle to your home.

Switch up the coffee table

If your coffee table is currently occupied by old magazines, phone chargers and remote controls, Christmas represents the perfect opportunity to give it a spring clean and add some festive spirit to your living room.

Create a simple display with a bunch of candles, candy canes and faux festive foliage. And, while you’re at it, why not drape a few battery-powered lights around the edge?

Repurpose those old wine bottles

Recycling isn’t very festive (that can wait until the new year), so instead of chucking out your used wine bottles, use them to create some unique Christmas centrepieces.

Wrap the bottles with bows and insert thin candles into them for a brilliant Christmas decoration you probably won’t see anywhere else.

Challenge the family to the festive message game

If you’ve got a chalkboard in the house, place it somewhere where it’s always on display (in the kitchen, for example), and challenge the family to occasionally add their own festive messages to it.

Sure, some of the more cheeky members of the family might use this to their own advantage, but it’s all part of the festive fun!

Add ornaments to the bannister

We’ve mentioned the bannister a fair amount in this blog post, but for good reason; it’s still one of the most convenient places to decorate at Christmas.

There’s so much you can do with it, too! For example, why not grab all of your festive ornaments, wrap them in tinsel and drape them around the bannister?

2017 christmas snow Family

Decorate the plants

Your Christmas tree doesn’t have to be the only piece of greenery in your home that benefits from some festive decoration.

Why not add baubles, tinsel and lights to your other household plants? They needn’t miss out on the festivities, and it’s a great way to spread Christmas cheer throughout the home.

Countdown the days

Advent calendars are the classic way to begin the countdown to the big day, but if you buy some blocks with numbers of them, you can create a little table centrepiece that acts as a constant reminder of the fun that’s to come.

Remake the bed

Festive quilts aren’t particularly expensive and are a lovely way to make your bedroom feel all Christmassy.

Remake your bed for the festive period and you’ll be reminded of this wonderful time of the year at both the end and start of the day.

Keep the table festively-set

Most dining tables are only set when you’re expecting visitors for dinner, but at Christmas, there’s nothing wrong with keeping the festive plates, knives and forks constantly on display.

Christmas dinner table

Add a few crackers, festive napkins and party poppers, and you’ll start the Christmas celebrations way before the big day itself (even if you’ve got to wait for that awesome dinner!).

Create your own advent calendar

Rather than resorting to one of the shop-bought, boxed advent calendars, you can create your own and use it as a unique Christmas decoration.

Buy a few craft bags, add numbers to them and pop in a chocolate treat. The whole family can then take their turns to countdown the days in the best way possible.

Dress up the sofa

Strip your cushions of their normal covers and encase them in festive, Christmas-inspired covers instead. You spend an awful lot of time sitting on that sofa, so why not make it feel as festive as possible?

Enjoy decorating your home at this time of year! It doesn’t matter how messy you get, or how unusual some of the decors might look at first - this is pretty much the only time you can go a little bit bonkers with your interior design.

Remember Santa’s Plate

You can use Santa’s plate to decorate a table too! Once Christmas Eve arrives the children can then Santa’s favourite treats.

 santas mince pie plate

This infographic summarises our Christmas decorations tips.

Top 10 Christmas Decorations 1

 

Nov23

Top 10 Christmas Home Decorating Ideas

Categories // Advice and guides

10 Christmas Decoration Ideas To Fill Your Home With Christmas Cheer

10 CHRISTMAS DECORATING IDEAS FOR EXTRA STYLISH SEASONAL CHEER

Sep13

Preparing for your baby’s first Christmas

Categories // Advice and guides

Making memories

This most wonderful time of the year is even more wonderful now you're a parent.

Enjoy this once in a lifetime moment with our tips to creating new family traditions and capturing the special moments of your baby's first Christmas.

1. Treat your new baby to a gorgeous stocking personalised with their name or with the words 1st Christmas to enjoy this special first festive year. SHOP NOW

 

 

2. Invest in a unique keepsake such as a personalised bauble on the Christmas tree for this first family Christmas and every year to come. SHOP NOW

 

3. Start a new family tradition, like a personal Christmas Eve box filled with exciting little treats and surprises to entertain this Christmas Eve, which will be treasured for many Christmas Eves to come. SHOP NOW

4. Capture all the wonderful moments of your first Christmas on camera and keep in a special keepsake 1st Christmas album. SHOP NOW

5. Be dapper whilst joining in the rest of the festivities round the Christmas meal table with a personalised Baby's 1st Christmas Cracker & Bib Set. SHOP NOW

 

6. And finally, enjoy some downtime reading together with a soft 1st Christmas tale which features your own little one's name. SHOP NOW

 

and their favourite personalised festive toy Rudy Reindeer to take to bed at the end of an exhausting first Christmas Day! SHOP NOW

 

Sep03

Preparing for the first day of school

Categories // Advice and guides

Top tips as the big day approaches

Thursday marks a key date in the life of the third-in-line to the British throne: Prince George will start school.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will no doubt be feeling exactly the same way as hundreds of thousands of other parents across Britain: a sense of excitement coupled with a tinge of nerves and maybe even sadness at the end of an era. An era when the parent was the absolute centre of their child’s world. The first day of school is undoubtedly a key rite of passage.

This is the start of a new adventure: playing and interacting with new friends, sharing, taking turns and settling into a new routine and here are a few tips to hopefully make the big ‘first day’ go as smoothly as possible.

  • Make trips past the school – discuss with your child how they will go into school (with a friend or with you or maybe by themselves?)
  • Mention the teachers by name
  • Have playdates in the holidays with another new starter and potentially making an arrangement to come in together on the first day of term
  • Try on the uniform and make it exciting!
  • Read stories relating to starting school
  • Encourage independence in dressing/undressing, hanging up clothes, putting on/taking off shoes as well as in using the bathroom, and washing/drying hands. We recommend fun personalised kit bags and lunchboxes to make them even easier to identify on the school pegs.

And remember,  if you’re anxious your child will pick up on this and be anxious too!

 

 

 

Sources:

Telegraph Education
Parents.com

Aug30

UK's most popular month for births

Categories // Advice and guides

Christmas conceptions

The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) published an analysis of live births from 1995 to 2014 which concluded that, in England and Wales, 26 September was “the most popular day to be born over the last two decades”.

September, more generally, is the period in the year with a seasonal peak in the number of births. It is not difficult to establish the cause: a seasonal peak of conceptions around Christmas time!

But are annual variations in the frequency of conceptions the only factor that determines the number of babies born on a particular day in the year? Live births also varied by day of the week, and that it is influenced by both movable and non-moving public holidays ( “Days off”). 

These 36 years of data cover almost 29 million births. The daily average for the entire period was 1816 births. The day with the lowest number of recorded births was Boxing Day, 26 December 1979, when 1123 babies were born. The single most popular birthday was 27 September 2012, which saw 2383 births.

It is reasonable to assume that low numbers on and around non-moving public holidays – such as those over the Christmas and New Year period – are largely caused by the patterns that health services management impose on dates of birth: for instance, planned caesarean sections are generally not scheduled on weekends or public holidays, when fewer staff are available than on ordinary weekdays.
We see, then, that people’s birthdays depend not only on the time at which they are conceived and the length of gestation, but also on the timing of interventions by maternity services.

Article & image source: statslife.org.uk

Aug23

Baby's Personalities by their Star Sign

Categories // Advice and guides

Is your baby's character true to their birth sign?

Capricorn (22 December–20 January)

Capricorn children are incredibly thoughtful and a lot goes in, even though you may not get much of a reaction. So don’t worry if your baby just stares at you when you smile – there's no doubt it’s all being absorbed. They're babies who are interested in different tastes and textures, and this should make them easier to wean.


Aquarius (21 January–19 February)

The Aquarius baby realises early on that a big smile will distract their parents and allow them to get their own way. They're clever and chuckle and gurgle alot, knowing full well ‘I’ve got you where I want you!’ The aquarius baby loves movement and colour so a cot mobile is a must. Teach new things in short, sharp bursts.


Pisces (20 February–20 March)
Pisces babies are gentle souls. They don’t like a lot of loud noise and need plenty of security and loads of hugs. If you are expecting another baby, take extra time to help your Piscean toddler adjust. A new sibling could make them feel insecure so you’ll need to help them understand they'll always be just as loved.


Aries (21 March–20 April)
Aries babies are feisty, excitable and need lots of stimulation and love. With inquisitive minds, they can get quickly frustrated. Give them several things to keep their attention. And often they need to feel free, so dress in simple outfits.


Taurus (21 April–21 May)
Taurean babies love things that are nice to hold, so different textures on toys and comforters will keep them happy. Give your warm and loving Taurean child lots of cuddles as they respond to tactile comfort. They can be placid until rushed. Simple clear commands tend to work best!


Gemini (22 May–21 June)
Gemini babies are the most inquisitive and curious of all the star signs and are always on the hunt for something new. They need a lot of mental stimulation, never-ending supply of books and music or movement to help satisfy their artistic nature. 


Cancer (22 June–23 July)
The most family-focused of the star signs, a Cancerian baby will enjoy being swaddled to feel secure. They're caring and make brilliant older siblings. They also love to help, being given little jobs at home to help. Any big changes to their routine though, such as weaning, can make this baby feel insecure, so take it slowly with lots of reassurance and encouragement.


Leo (24 July–23 August)
Leo babies respond well to rewards. A gold star will make your little Leo very happy! They need to feel important, and in charge, so rather than telling your youngster what to do it helps to make them feel it’s their idea. The Leo baby needs lots of hugs. And – you probably already know this – they can be incredibly stubborn!


Virgo 24 August–23 September
Virgo babies love routine. And while this is great as a baby, it helps to encourage them to be a little more flexible as they get older otherwise it could lead to problems if things don't always go to plan! Of all the star signs, Virgoans are the easiest to potty train, as they're finicky and don't ike a dirty nappy. This orderly trait means they're also likely to be tidy too. They love pretending so role-play games and dressing up are always popular with young Virgoans.


Libra 24 September–23 October
Air signs can find it hard to sleep so it's a good idea to tire out your Libran baby, physically and mentally, during the daytime. They're very visual and love pretty colours and sparkly things. The Libran child is also very sociable and happy to mingle in busy groups. Normally fairly placid in nature, it's also quite usual for them to quickly change between being upset and happy.


Scorpio 24 October–22 November
This little one is a cautious baby, so always be encouraging. They're deep thinkers and have two means of expressing themselves: crying and temper tantrums, or withdrawn and quiet. She needs security and will be distrustful of strangers. She’ll also need you to help her to learn how to share.


Sagittarius 23 November–21 December
Sagittarians love lots of movement and being outdoors from a very young age. They are incredibly visual and adore bright colours and watching what’s going on. As long as you’ve worn your little one out physically and mentally, they'lll be a good sleeper. Of all the star signs, Sagittarians are among the most sociable and love other people. 

Aug06

The benefits of reading to your newborn

Categories // Advice and guides

There's nothing more exciting than reading a story to a young child

Research shows it's never too early to start enjoying books together with your little one. Can you imagine their joy if the story then contains their own name?

Bond with your baby: Reading a book to your newborn is a one-on-one activity and special time alone with your baby.

Help prepare for reading alone: Babies begin to pick up the rhythm of your voice and research shows that the more words a baby is exposed to, the better prepared they’ll be for reading alone in the future and can also help increase vocabulary and language skills.

See your baby start to respond: After a while you will notice your little one responding to the rhythmic movement of your voice, responding to what they see around them.

It introduces emotions: Your baby is exposed to feelings through the different sounds you use when reading, whether it's sounding different for a specific character in the book or describing what's happening in the story.

Visual engagement: From 0 to 3 months, your child starts to focus on simple patterns on the pages. Reading picture books introduces a variety of shapes, letters and colours that the baby will start to recognise as the develop.

Reading is fun: If you make reading part of a fun family routine your child will realise from an early age that it’s something to be enjoyed and not a boring chore that’s needed to be done for school.

Make the story about them: Personalise the book with your baby's name and their face will light up every time they hear it!

Choose from our range of rhymes, favourite children's characters and situation stories here.

 

Jul16

Keeping Your Baby Cool in a Heatwave

Categories // Advice and guides

Hot Summer Days & Nights

We Brits always love to have a moan about the weather - it's either too cold or too warm, and then when we have a heatwave, well, then we REALLY know how to whinge!

But for parents of babies or young children, a heatwave can be more than just uncomfortable - it can become a major worry trying to keep your little one cool, and even more importantly, safe in the heat.

Although sleeping in hot weather is bad enough for adults, for babies it's more than just uncomfortable, it's a serious potential health risk and can even be life-threatening.

Watch out for your baby overheating by being aware of their temperature, excess sweating, a reddened face or rapid breaths; all of which could be a sign they are too hot. Experts recommend that a baby's room temperature should be 16-20°C to be safe.

Here are some tips to help keep your baby cool:

Stay away from direct sunlight

If your baby is napping in the day, be careful to keep them out of direct sunlight and even when inside keep your baby away from the window and in the shade.

Splash down

Give your baby a cool or luke-warm bath just before bedtime.

Cold compress

Create a cold compress and apply it to the main pressure points like the backs of knees, inner elbows, and neck. Wring out a flannel in cold water and apply it to little one's forehead too.

Keep hydrated

This applies to mum too if breast feeding, as your baby should get enough fluids through feeding. If you’re bottle-feeding, ensure plenty of additional cooled boiled water is consumed, even at night.

Cool air in the room

In addition to a fan, freeze a bottle of water and stand it in a bowl in front of the fan straight from the freezer. This will help to cool the air the fan is moving around in the – start this ahead of your baby’s bedtime.

Be chilled out

Keep as much to your normal calm bedtime routine – an upset baby will only be even hotter. If possible avoid controlled crying until the weather cools down.

Light layers & cotton sheets

In hot weather a thin vest over their nappy should be enough clothing and breathable covering ready as the temperature will drop during the night. Cotton sheets rather than nylon are also cooler.

Jul15

Gift Ideas for Baby Showers or Push Parties

Categories // Advice and guides

What's the difference?

Carter push partyBaby Shower parties in the UK have recently become the ‘norm’ for expectant mums to celebrate the imminent birth of their baby with friends and family. These events are almost always an all-female celebration with baby-themed games, party food and gifts. They often take place before any baby gender reveal, making it tricky to choose special pink or blue baby presents.

You may be familiar with the recent lavish celebration held by Beyonce and have noticed that her event was slightly different – firstly that it was called a Push Party not a Baby Shower. This occasion not only had a lavish ‘African party theme’, many star guests, but most noticeably it also included her husband Jay-Z.

What are the differences?

The most obvious difference between push parties and baby showers is the inclusion of all genders in celebrating the new life. But the differences actually go beyond that; instead of focusing solely on the baby, push parties are also a celebration of the parents, particularly the mum-to -be.

Baby showers are usually held early in the third trimester of a pregnancy, when the mum is hopefully safely past the point of miscarriage but also not so far along that she could suddenly go into labour. Push parties are typically held closer to the due date since, as the name suggests, they are all about honouring the labour itself.

Finding the perfect gift for the occasion

If you're invited to either a Baby Shower or a Push Party, we have the perfect gifts for both the mum-to-be and baby, and it won't matter if 'bump' turns out to be a little boy or girl.

Check out our range of gender neutral luxury baby shower gifts for babies and luxury treats for mum-to-be here.

Image source: Beyonce Instagram (Carter Push Party 2017)

 

Jul04

Celebrity Twins

Categories // News

The world welcomes 3 new sets of celebrity twins

It’s hard not to miss three of the most high profile celebrity twin births in recent weeks with George and Amal Clooney welcoming Ella and Alexander, Beyonce and Jay-Z announcing newborns Rumi and Sir Carter and then Ronaldo showing off pictures of his surrogate twins to the world on Instagram. These join a long list of celebrity parents to twins, including Jennifer Lopez, Julia Roberts, Celine Dion, Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker and Mariah Carey.

twins quote

So, why are so many celebrities having twins?

The growing rate of twin births is not actually exclusive to celebrities. There has been a 75 per cent rise since the 1980s. And, there are a few key factors to why this is.

Firstly the growing use and popularity of IVF treatments help couples conceive. However, due to the expensive nature, coupled with the uncertainty of a healthy pregnancy, two or more fertilized eggs are routinely implanted at one time in the hope that a healthy pregnancy of one single baby will happen, although it often ends up being two…and even more sometimes!

Another contributing factor in this rise is age. Studies have shown an increase of twin pregnancy and birth in women over the age of 35. And, the rate appears to rise continuously with age well into the 40s with a trend of parents deciding to wait until their late 30s to start families.

It is almost always fraternal twins (twins produced by two separate eggs and two separate sperm) that result from IVF and an increasing age. Although it is not unheard of to produce identical twins, it is much less common.

Identical twins are the product of a single egg, fertilized by a single sperm, spontaneously splitting into two identical halves. This will happen occasionally after IVF, and of course, by chance, in older women. Overall though, the scientific community is still unsure of exactly why this happens at all.

If you know anyone expecting twins, our range of personalised gifts make the perfect gift for keeping their clothes and toys special to them and only them!

twin boy girl infants

Jun14

Ideas for the perfect Teddy Bears' Picnic

Categories // Advice and guides

Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic! 🐻

It's NATIONAL PICNIC WEEK and the sun is shining. 🌞

Here are some easy ideas on how to organise the perfect Teddy Bears' Picnic for your children and their favourite cuddly bear friends.

  • If you don't live near a local park or own a garden, you can still transform indoor areas into the perfect picnic setting. Add some colourful bunting, various bright rugs and a range of gorgeous teddy bears
  • Create simple teddy bear invitations - not forgetting to invite the bears too! 
  • Add to the fun with teddy bear face masks or bear ears - hand them out when your little guests arrive or make it part of the picnic activities to 'create your own' using paper plates. Another alternative to masks is teddy themed face-painting.
  • There's lots of classic party games that can have a teddy theme - our favourites being 'Hide & Seek' with your bear, Sleeping Bears, Teddy Bear Hunt & Pass the Bear, after which you can calm them down with some lovely teddy story-telling such as Tiny Tatty Teddy personalised with the party bear owner's name!

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  • When the children tuck into their picnic of sandwiches and teddy-shaped biscuits, make sure their little bear guests aren't left out with their own Wooden Afternoon Tea Set layered with adorable little sandwiches, cakes and macaroons.
  • Every perfect picnic needs cake! Bake a gorgeous chocolate teddy bear cake, or individual bear cup cakes with rice crispies, hundreds and thousands, chocolate buttons and smarties.
  • And finally, when all the guests have gone home, there's nothing better than seeing your little one cuddling up to their very own Personalised Bedtime Bear

bedtime bears

The perfect end to the perfect Teddy Bear Picnic!

 

 

Jun14

Wish Upon a Star Competition

Categories // Advice and guides

Make a Wish for the chance to win a Personalised Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Money Box

1. Promoter is: Bundles of Joy Shopping Ltd (registered company no 6070008).

2. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.

3. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

4. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via www.facebook.com/bundlesofjoyshop/

5. Only one entry will be accepted per person.

6. Closing date for entry will be Monday 3rd July 2017. After this date no further entries to the competition will be permitted.

7. The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows: LIKE Bundles of Joy’s Facebook competition post then COMMENT with a wish for a little person in your life.

8. Bundles of Joy reserves the right to cancel this competition at any time without notice or liability where the circumstances beyond its control make it impossible to continue. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible.

9. The prize is a Twinkle Twinkle Personalised Money Box (in either blue or pink) as shown on Bundles of Joy’s website and in the competition post. The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.

10. The winner will be drawn at random and announced on Bundles of Joy’s company Facebook and Twitter pages on Monday 3rd July 2017 and also emailed by a member of the team if the Winner’s profile settings allow. It is the winner’s obligation to reply to Bundles of Joy Ltd so that the details for the prize can be confirmed. In the event that a Winner fails to confirm acceptance of the Prize within 5 (five) UK business days of being notified of the results, then the Promoter reserves the right to award their Prize to another person.

11. The Promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

12. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network.

Jun13

A Celebration of Fatherhood

Categories // Advice and guides

Facts about Father's Day

Father's Day is rising in popularity after years of being in the shadow of its counterpart Mothering Sunday. The Catholic day to celebrate fatherhood dates right back to the Middle Ages to tie in with the feast of St Joseph.

But what else do we know about Father's Day, which falls on June 18th in the UK this year, and how does it differ around the world?

  • In Catholic Europe and in a number of Latin American countries, Father's Day was celebrated on 19 March but some countries are now also switching over to the date in June.
  • Australia's Father's Day is in September
  • In the UK 7 million Father's Day cards are sent each year, compared to 13 million Mother's Day cards!
  • The celebration of fatherhood did not reach the US until around 100 years ago. The UK adopted the day much later, around the late 1940s
  • In the US the day is a public holiday when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent
  • The date is usually celebrated by children giving cards and gifts in Britain and the US, but over in Germany the date is marked with groups of men celebrating with beer, wine and meat!
  • Thailand's Father's Day is celebrated in December, on the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej when everyone wears yellow!

Fathers Day

May18

Win a Personalised Teddy Competition

Categories // Advice and guides

Pass on the Hug - Terms & Conditions

1. Promoter is: Bundles of Joy Shopping Ltd (registered company no 6070008).

2. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.

3. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

4. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via www.facebook.com/bundlesofjoyshop/

5. Only one entry will be accepted per person.

6. Closing date for entry will be 31st May 2017. After this date no further entries to the competition will be permitted.

7. The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows: LIKE Bundles of Joy’s Facebook page then LIKE and SHARE the competition post.

8. Bundles of Joy reserves the right to cancel this competition at any time without notice or liability where the circumstances beyond its control make it impossible to continue. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible.

9. The prize is a My Personalised Fluffy White Teddy as shown on Bundles of Joy’s website and in the competition post. The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.

10. The winner will be drawn at random and announced on Bundles of Joy’s company Facebook and Twitter pages on Wednesday 31st May 2017 and also emailed by a member of the team if the Winner’s profile settings allow. It is the winner’s obligation to reply to Bundles of Joy Ltd so that the details for the prize can be confirmed. In the event that a Winner fails to confirm acceptance of the Prize within 5 (five) UK business days of being notified of the results, then the Promoter reserves the right to award their Prize to another person.

11. The Promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

12. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network.

Teddy Bear Competition

Jan19

The Ultimate 2017 Checklist For Organising Amazing First Birthday Parties

Categories // Advice and guides

There are few birthdays as special as your baby's 1st birthday, but making the most of this wonderful occasion for your own child isn’t easy - particularly if you’ve never done it before.

At first glance, there are so many things to consider; the theme, the invites, the food… and then there’s the age-old problem of the invite list. This is why so many people, unfortunately, make mistakes and forget to focus on what really matters.

To help you along, we’ve put together the ultimate first birthday party checklist. And, to make it ultra simple to navigate, we’ve divided the tasks into the most appropriate timeframes for you.  

At the end of this article, you’ll find a handy checklist you can use to make sure everything goes to plan.

No need to thank us - just get that pen and paper handy!

babys first birthday party organiser checklist

1 Month Before

Select date and time

You’ll no doubt want to invite a fair few people to the party, therefore get this task polished off as early as possible in order to ensure your child’s first birthday makes it into their diaries. Just try and avoid dates that are public holidays or midweek.

Make a guest list

Focus firstly on your immediate family and friends, and only extend out if you feel you need to. Depending on how busy or far-flung your family and friends are you might want to do this step earlier. Providing those closest to you are included from the start, you won’t run the risk of upsetting anyone on this occasion!

Make a list of phone numbers

Grab your favourite, trusty spreadsheet application and make a list of everyone’s phone number and email address, if you have them to hand - this will come in handy very soon.

Not a spreadsheet whizz?  Don’t worry we’ve made a 1st Birthday Party Planner excel template you can download here

bundles of joy 1st birthday party planner

Select party location (home/outdoor)

If you’re feeling adventurous and the big day happens to fall during the spring or summer, go for an outdoor location. Otherwise (and, to be honest, this should be the default choice in Britain), go for indoors to avoid rain stopping play.

Decide the party theme (if there is one)

A theme isn’t necessary and may be a step too far if you’re pushed for time, but if you want to set a theme for the party, go for it. Fairy tales or characters and scenes from any of the popular baby TV programs are popular themes. 

Set a budget

Time for the money element! You won’t need a big budget for a first birthday party, so simply ensure you have enough to cover the venue (if it charges for space), food and decorations. Be realistic - don’t go mad.

Book outdoor venue if required

If you decided to go for an outdoor venue - great! Just make sure you book it in plenty of time, because such venues tend to get snapped up when the weather gets warmer.

3 Weeks Before 

Make and deliver invitations

Remember that contact list you put together a little while ago? Time to use it! Unless you want to go the traditional route, digital invitations will save you a huge amount of time, so put a nice email or text together and get them sent out.

Plan your baby’s outfit (if it’s a themed party)

If you’ve gone for a themed party, it’s time to shop for the outfit. Of course, if you know of someone who has a spare piece of clothing you could borrow, that’ll help save a chunk of your budget, too!

Have a basic party menu ready

Finger buffet food is the key here, but be sure to make a list of what you’re likely to have on the table before you order.

Choose a caterer or sort out recipes if doing yourself

Save money: do the food prep yourself (rope in a friend). Spend a little but gain more time: bring in a caterer. Make the choice that befits the venue and your budget.

Choose a first birthday cake

There are some lovely first birthday cakes you can pick up relatively cheaply, but make sure you go for a fairly big one to ensure there’s enough to hand around at the end of the party.

Plan for party bags and decorations

Everyone loves a party bag, and a first birthday wouldn’t be complete without decorations, so make sure you sort out both of these elements in plenty of time.

Plan for your Thank You cards

Sending a hand written Thank You card in the post is a really nice gesture so now’s the time to think about ordering the style of cards you’d like to send and buying enough stamps.  Having the cards and stamps on stand by mean this won’t get forgotten in the post-party wind-down!

Decide on 2 or 3 party games

The best way to fill time at the first birthday is to have two or three party games at the ready. Pass the parcel, hide and seek or musical statues are classic ways to keep the older kids (and adults) entertained.

2 Weeks Before

Shop for party bag gifts and decorations

A party bag can easily and cost effectively be made that little bit more special with a ribbon and birthday-themed sticker or two. Add those to the simple gifts that’ll be contained within (go for sweets and chocs - that kind of thing).

Shop for other birthday resources

Think of anything else you might need - paper plates, tablecloths and cleaning products (particularly the latter!), and add them to your birthday shopping list.

Enlist the help of family or friends

Don’t do this alone! Rope in your family and friends to help; they’ll likely jump at the chance.

Order a birthday cake

You could, of course, get a cake from a supermarket, but if you want to make the day that little bit more special, order a unique cake featuring your baby’s name, instead.

Confirm pick-up date/time with bakery

The local bakery is a great choice for the cake, and most will be able to work to your schedule if you give them plenty of time.

Organise extra furniture, baby blankets, and soft toys if the party is at home

If you’re going to hold the party at your house, make sure you’ve got enough emergency chairs, additional toys and baby blankets to ensure it goes by without a hitch.

Book outdoor activities such as bouncy castles or swings

If you’ve gone for an outdoor venue and have decided to hire in particular activities, now is the time to get them ordered to avoid disappointment.

Book entertainment such as magicians and exotic pet handlers

Entertainers will require at least a couple of week’s notice when booking, so get in touch with them now to ensure they have your date in their diary.

Buy prizes for the party games

A party game isn’t much fun without a prize for the winner, so make sure you shop for some simple, low-cost prizes. Again, chocolates and sweets are always winners here.

1 Week Before

Get final head count and RSVPs

By now, you should have received all RSVPs, but chase anyone who hasn’t responded so you can get that all important final head count.

Confirm booking with venue/caterer if applicable

If you originally put off confirming the venue while waiting for the exact number of people attending, now is the time to confirm the date with the headcount to hand.

Start organising party bags and label them with guest names

Time again to turn to that spreadsheet of invites. Felt tip in hand, start putting together your party bags with all the necessary goodies and label them with guest names.

Check memory storage on your phone or camera so you’re ready to capture the special day

There will be so many photo opportunities on the day, so make sure you don’t run out of space on your smartphone or camera by checking that you’ve got plenty of storage space available.

Check your first aid kit - anything can happen at a party

It doesn’t really bear thinking about, but things can go wrong at kids parties - particularly with so much going on. Make sure you have a fully-stocked first aid kit to hand, just in case.

Shop for your baby’s birthday outfit and present

If you didn’t need to buy a themed birthday outfit for your baby, you can leave it until now to shop for their ‘normal’ outfit. It pays to bundle this in with the present shopping, too.

Check the venue and your home is baby-proofed

No sharp objects, open plug sockets or expensive equipment onto which drinks can be poured; leave no stone unturned!

Select appropriate party music

This bit is fun - and there’s no harm in admitting it. Grab your music library or subscription service and set up a special playlist that features songs and theme tunes that befit a first birthday party.  Top tip, make sure your playlist doesn’t include any lyrics not suitable for children’s ears and select those Radio Edits!

1 Day Before

Check candles, cake knife and matches for the cake

Everyone will be looking forward to the reveal of the birthday cake, therefore make sure you’re ready to make this first one ultra special with all the trimmings.

Choose your own party outfit and accessories

Time to focus on yourself! Spend some much-needed time looking for an outfit and accessories for yourself; you need to shine on the day too, after all.

Re-check guest list

The last thing you want to do is accidentally leave anyone out, and with so much going on, you might want to take one last look at the guest list. Is everyone definitely present?

Reconfirm your family member or friend will still be helping

If you’ve roped in support for pre-party preparation and activities on the big day, make sure you double check that those who opted in are still up for it (once they’re in, they’re in!).

Keep your baby’s outfit and shoes ready for the big day

To avoid last minute scrambles, leave the baby’s outfit and shoes somewhere obvious before the big day. That way, you can grab them quickly when the time comes to get dressed up.

Wrap your baby’s birthday present

Grab your favourite tipple (be it a glass of wine or cup of tea) and enjoy wrapping your child’s first ever birthday present.

Get an early night - it’s going to be a long day tomorrow

Now for the most important piece of preparation, you’ll do the day before. Tomorrow will be long, emotional and hard work, so make sure you get plenty of sleep beforehand. Once that present has been wrapped, get an early night!

first birthday party bundles of joy

On the Birthday

Start preparing party food and refreshments

To ensure maximum freshness, reserve the first couple of hours of the day to preparing the food and refreshments. This is where those handy helpers will be invaluable.

Set the table and decorations

Transform the tables in the venue or your home with the decorations you purchased and make everything look fit for a king.

Set a separate place for presents

When people arrive, they’ll probably be laden with presents, so make sure there’s an obvious area for them to be placed, ready for opening later on.

Pick up the cake

Head to your local bakery and get that cake; if you’ve done your homework, it’ll be ready and waiting for you. Just remember to be very careful driving it back - take someone along with you, if possible.

Make sure the camera or phone is charged and ready to go

Keep your smartphone or camera on charge for as long as possible during the morning and make sure it’s working as intended an hour or so before with some test shots.

Keep cameras and candles ready

Keep both the birthday cake candles and camera in your pocket at all times - you’ll need to grab both quickly when required.

Keep the first-aid kit in a safe place

Again, we won’t dwell on the reasons for this one, but make sure you and a few other parents know exactly where the first-aid kit is located, and make it as easy to access as possible.

Keep the guest contact list in a safe place

The spreadsheet you created a few weeks back containing guest contact details may not be out of service just yet. Keep a printed copy of it close by just in case you need to contact anyone on the day, or if you need to check where someone important is.

And remember to get someone to note down what gifts you received so that you send out some personalized Thank You cards after the event.

Day after the Birthday

Grab the spreadsheet containing a note of the gifts you received, now’s the time to find those Thank You cards and stamps you ordered 3 Weeks ago.  Handwritten notes popped in the post really create a lasting impression and are a joy to receive.

That’s all, folks

…and breathe!

Time for a hearty pat on the back, for if you follow our guide to organising your child’s first birthday, you’ll create a day that will live long in the memory and from which you’ll have numerous photos to embarrass your child with later in life.

Enjoy it!

Get your copy of the checklist here

 

 

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I ordered a Christening Mug yesterday at approx 13:30 I was kept informed of the progress of the order via email in the afternoon.

This morning I received an email stating that it would be delivered today by courier between 11:14 and 12:14 it turned up at about 11:18.

What fantastic service, I will definitely be recommending your company, and using it again.

Many thanks for such a prompt and professional service.

~ Terry Wright - March 2015

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