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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Baby Gifts

A friend of mine has very recently had a baby - which I thought might make me broody. However, cute though they are, I am not sure I could go back to nappies and sleepless nights. What I do like to do is shop for babies, so on went the computer and I hit Google. There are so many choices out there, but if you want to get something that little bit different then you do have to search. I like the idea that a baby gift is something to keep not just an outfit that they will grow out of. So where to begin?

At Scamp Baby Gifts there is a lovely range of personalised pictures . You can choose from a range of themes, and then have the baby's initial in the middle, or a single frame with just the baby's initial. I particularly like the triple picture frames, they would look beautiful on any nursery or playroom wall. http://www.scampbabygifts.co.uk/triple-pictures/

Then I found a range of beautiful handmade quilts by Calico Baby. The quilts are made using traditional quilting fabrics in three colour ways. Each quilt features the word ‘baby’ appliqu├ęd in coordinating colours and fabrics on the front of the quilt or you can have the quilt personalised with the baby's name. This would also make a great wall hanging for a nursery.

If you are looking for something that will last Sparrow Primitives sells lovely handmade shelf blocks that would look good in any home, and they have gifts for many occasions. However, I love the Two by Two shelf block that would make a lasting gift for any new baby.

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As a mum I know that I have collected over the years a number of keepsakes from when my daughters were babies. I also know that they are spread all over the place - I am not known for my organisational skills. Whilst I was searching for the perfect baby gift I thought about how perfect it would be to have somewhere to put all those special things. Freya Designs produce beautiful boxes in a range of designs and sizes that would make a perfect present, and help even the most disorganised parent keep those special memories all in one place. I particularly like the Princess and the Pea Box.

On Tobyboo I found these wonderful embroidered nursery rhyme cushions which would be a great heirloom present. Alternatively you could commission something if you want a particular design or fabrics. See www.etsy.com/shop/Tobyboo for more information.

I am sure there are many more great gifts out there so if anyone has any ideas please leave a comment and let everyone know about them.

Friday, 27 August 2010

New Kitchen Noticeboard

I have been looking for sometime for a new noticeboard for the kitchen - I am getting tired of hunting for all those scraps of paper that tell me what the girls need for school or Brownies.

Anyway after much searching I think I am down to two options. The first is the Pantone Wallstore designed by John Green in a range of colours the question is does the red one match the red in the wallpaper or should I go for a contrasting colour? Available from one of my favourite shops http://www.snow-home.co.uk/



My second option is one from http://www.beyondthefridge.co.uk/ whose brilliant magnetic notice boards, measuring from75cm x 55cm, would give me all the room I could possibly need to store all the notes, postcards and other bits of paper that are cluttering up my kitchen. So which one to go for time for a cup of tea and some decision making.

Starting School

Yesterday's blog about lunchboxes starting me thinking about all the little ones starting school in a week or so, and all the parents who are already feeling worried about it. Two years ago my youngest started school, and I remember what an emotional day it was for us both - maybe me more than her! We took the standard first day at school photograph showing my daughter with freshly scrubbed face, polished shoes and immaculate uniform - it has never been like that since. However, I was thinking that there must be perfect presents out there to mark this milestone in a child's life.  So if you are looking for that special present for a small person you know, then here are some ideas.

From http://www.ktwoproducts.com/ there is a beautiful school memories book. The book has plenty of space to write in those important dates and achievements as well as lots of holders to store certificates, photographs and school reports.

If you are looking for a great way to display that all important first day at school photograph, then http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/ has the answer with their personalised handpainted photograph frames.


Alternatively, http://www.littlemilestones.com/ has put together a lovely starting school gift set with personalised certificate, notebook and be brave dragon, available as a boys or girls set.

I thought a pencil case might be a little unimaginative as a gift, until I found these beautiful handmade ones on http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/ . Handmade by Tillie Mint, these lovely pencil cases are made from cotton and come in designs for both boys and girls.


Finally if you are want something unique why not commission a canvas or cushion from http://www.freddyandfreya.co.uk/ . You can choose the colour scheme and wording to suit the occasion, so that your chosen recipient will have a reminder that they can keep forever. What a fantastic way to remember that special day.
j

Thursday, 26 August 2010

World Scratch Map

If you know a seasoned traveller here is a great gift for Christmas that will let them show off their world travels. The World Scratch Map lets you scratch off the locations you have visited to reveal the detail below. Available from http://www.utilitydesign.co.uk/ .

Back to School - Top Five Lunchboxes

Yes it is already that time - last minute panics over school uniform and whether it fits, the queues in the shoe shops. So I have been searching for the perfect lunchbox to return to school with. I have tried a number of lunchboxes for my two. The problem I have found is that you don't want something too heavy, or large that will stretch their arms - but you need to fit a decent lunch in there that will keep them going until home time. The other criteria in my search for perfection is something that isn't going to retain a months worth of lunch crumbs in the little corners where it starts to smell - despite being washed out every evening. So the search was on to find my two the perfect back to school lunchbox gift.

For those who like a traditional lunchbox a tin one is fantastic - easy to wash out and stops that lovely sandwich getting squashed on the way to school. If you don't want the same Charlie and Lola lunchbox as everyone else there is a full range of unique lunchbox tins at http://www.mermaidsandpirates.co.uk/.

If like many parents today you have concerns about the lead and PVC content of the high street lunchboxes then new on the market is the Easy Lunchbox Kit. Designed by a mum the set contains lunch boxes with 3 compartments so that you fit in sandwiches, fruits and vegetables. As well as being free from lead, PVC and phalates they are also dishwasher safe so easy to clean. You can also buy a Easy Lunch Bag to transport them in, for the full range of boxes and colours visit http://www.beckyandlolo.co.uk/  or http://www.myfriendlylunchbox.co.uk/ .

It has to be said though in my search for perfection I think I need a lunch bag that it is going to stand out a little more and add a bit of fun to lunch. I thought I had found the answer with Roomitup's Insulated lunchbags that come in a whole variety of patterns to suit every taste, available from http://www.amazon.co.uk/. However, I think it would be the same problem with cleaning that I have had before - so my search continued.

I then found for the fruit lover a great new lunchbox at http://www.johnlewis.co.uk/ - the fruit friendly lunchbox. This is specially shaped to protect the fruit from becoming bruised and also has enough room for sandwiches and two containers. To carry your new lunchbox you can buy the neoprene carrier which even tells you if your lunch is the right temperature.


 
However, the winner for me is the lunchbug available from http://www.beckyandlolo.co.uk/ . Like the Easy Lunchbox they are PVC free , as well as meeting the Oeko-tex 100 standard, and come in a range of fantastic designs, that will have everyone in the playground asking where you bought them. Large enough for your child's lunch but not too heavy that they will complain about carrying them. I have to say that the winning feature for me is that they can be washed in the machine - so no more smelly lunchbags and a great back to school gift, I just have to decided which design now.

Searching for the perfect gift

How many hours have you spent looking for the perfect gift for the person who has everything? I now have lists of places in my head to look for those unique presents that will show how much care and thought I have put into choosing them. However, as age gets the better of me I find great presents whilst searching the web and shopping then a few weeks later I can't recall the fantastic present idea that I had for my cousin/brother/grandmother and they end up with a token! So I have decided that the best place to keep my finds is somewhere I can't lose it - my new blog. I hope you like my finds as much as I do.
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