Sunday, 31 July 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Friday, 29 July 2011

Dear So and So

Dear So and So...
Click the badge to see more letters!

Dear George,
Thank you for being you, you yummy little man.
Love Mummy
PS. Call me a naughty name again and you are going to boarding school!

Dear Businesses
I expect you to be open at 9am, this is NORMAL, if I drive a long way to see you, you could at least realise this and open up for me.
PS Yes, I do realise I could have called first to check!

Dear Facebook
Stop changing or I'll go and look at this Google+ thing everyone is talking about
PS I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I won't, I promise, I love you!

Dear Nicki
I didn't realise you were seriously going to post a picture of my hotpants covered crotch on your blog for hundreds of people to see.
(See you next week!)Me

Blog readers
If you are reading this, 
That is all x

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Master PP loves to bake (and his family are always keen to be supportive of his efforts and test everything!). This was the inspiration behind adding the personalised baking kits to the range!

This recipe, which we got from the Usborne, 30 Yummy Things To Bake (cards), is a firm favourite!

Chocolate Cherry Cookies
(makes 24 cookies)

75g (3oz) butter, softened
75g (3oz) caster sugar
75g (3oz) soft light brown sugar
1 medium egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
175g (6oz) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
50g (2oz) dried cherries
100g 94oz) milk or plain chocolate drops

1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4). Wipe a little oil over two baking trays. Put the butter and both sugars into a large bowl.
2. Stir the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smoothy & creamy. break the egg into a small bowl.
3. Beat the egg with a fork, then stir in the vanilla essence. Add the eggy mixture to the large bowl, a little at a time
4. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture. Stir the mixture until smooth. Cut the cherries & add them.
5. Add 50g (2oz) of the chocolate drops to the mixture and stir them in, put a heaped teaspoon of the mixture onto one tray.
6. use the rest of the mixture to make more cookies. Flatten each one with the back of a fork and sprinkle on more chocolate.
7. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Leave them on the trays for a few minutes. Use a spatula to lift them onto a wire tray to cool.


Each personalised baking kit includes:
Cotton bag with cupcake design (21 x 26cm)
Rolling pin
Wooden spoon
Pastry brush
Chopping board
25 cake cases
Personalised wooden star
and costs £7.95 

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Silent Sunday 23/7/11

Silent Sunday

Friday, 22 July 2011

Dear So and So - First notes!

Dear So and So - All very new to me but a lighthearted way to sum up my week.

Dear George.
I love snuggles in my bed, it's great when you have sleepovers.
But PLEASE warm your feet up!
Seriously little man, they are like little iceblocks!!

Dear Mailbox
Stop with the PING, PING, PING!
As great as it is to see all the orders coming in, I don't need the sound effects!

Dear Paint Companies
Who comes up with the names for the different shades of paint?
I really do want to know.
Some of them are great.
Yours with a touch a sarcasm
Me x

Dear Petrol Prices
You get the message!

Dear Blogger
Another dirty look!
Please sort yourself out!
A not very patient me

Dear Friend
I can't wait! Brownies, Baileys... and gossip!
Perfect x

If you want to read more letters like these, click the badge below, or why not post your own?
Dear So and So...

Thursday, 21 July 2011

How do you reward children?

photo by abbybatcheldervia PhotoRee

What is the "best" way to reward children. 

It's a minefield - how do you know which way is the "right" way? We make and send out lots of personalise plaques, particularly for sporting or academic achievements, but how do you reward a child on a daily or weekly basis? There are lots of articles on the net about treats (ie high calorie ones) being linked to childhood obesity, so perhaps regular sweets aren't a grand idea then. Some people give money ie do your chores / collect your stickers and you'll get pocket money at the weekend. Others think verbal praise is more than enough.
There are pros and cons it seems to any kind of reward system, we mustn't let children get to the stage where they expect to get a treat or reward for being good, behaviour should be good regardless. We mustn't give them chocolate or sweets, they'll get fat, we mustn't..... ! Lot's of stuff floating around the internet on forums on how we shouldn't parent our kids (although personally we think it's up to the individual how they choose to raise their kids!) but little practical or helpful advice. 

Do you reward your children somehow? If so, how?!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Summer Activities & Fun!

School breaks up this week and although Master PP is still in nursery, we are looking for places to go and things to see when he isn't to make the most of the beautiful summer sun (which WILL be arriving any day now!). Scouring the internet we've found some fantastic ideas and thought we'd share these with you (in the hope that if you have more, you'll do the same lol!). Not a definitive list but some ideas we will definitely be taking advantage of:

  • The Park,
  • Forestry Commission (There are forest walks and bike rides all over and the Forestry Commission maintain and map these for us!)
  • Soft play (for those unavoidable rainy days)
  • Local museums and attractions (must hit the tourist info site to see what is new locally!)
  • Bike rides
  • Lots of garden trampoline time (exercise which is healthy and good for Master PP and more to the point... wears him out!).

Not a huge list to cover the summer but it's a start. What have you got planned this summer and where do you usually look / go for holiday fun inspiration?

Friday, 15 July 2011

Surviving Birthday Parties!

Our last post was about party bags and looking for new and more modern alternatives to the traditional thin plastic bag and toys. Whilst we are on the subject we'd like to pick your brains! We haven't done the "big" birthday party for Master PP yet with all the party food and games and what not, but talking to friends with older children, when Master PP hits school it looks like it's all go on the birthday front. Realising how clueless we are when it comes to what games to play and what food to make prompted this post today.
It's a cry for HELP! 
How old was your child before they had their first "proper" party?
What are the best games (read as less likely to cause tears!) to organise?
Are sandwiches and jellies still the order of the day food-wise or have we moved on?

Wow - we really are clueless!!!

Please share your party hints, tips and warnings. I'm sure there are plenty out there who would be grateful for the advice!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Summer and the party rush is on!

The school holidays have already arrived for some and are just around the corner for others. No more school uniforms to wash, crack of sparrow rising for the school run.... brilliant! One thing that does continue over the summer are the birthday parties. We hear regularly how Mums and Dads are fed up of buying cheap and nasty looking party bags and toys and how they would like something a bit nicer.
You ask, and we see what we can do!
These drawstring bags are £3.00 each (which includes badge) and measure 14.5cm x 20.5cm

These bags are 100% cotton but with a handle and cost £3.00 each. Measures 21 x 26cm 

These gorgeous 100% cotton drawstring bags (or handled bags) which are personalised, reusable and come with a badge are a longer lasting solution, much nicer looking and can be filled with anything you like! Plenty of room for different inserts such as small wooden toys and crayons, mini colouring books and yogurt raisins. It doesn't have to be all chocolate and noisy plastic whistles. For a party to remember, why not pop along to the website and have a look!

The minimum order quantity for this item is 4.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Don't forget him!

Precious Parcels is crammed packed full of gorgeous gifts and treats for women, children and the home. Do you realise we also cater for the fellas? 

Plaques and suchlike don't have to be girly, and as they are personalised and can be made to include your own message. Up in the office or computer room, on the desk at work or pride of place on the bedside the table, there is always room for something that says, "Well done", "We love you" or "you are great"!
Some of our favourite "For Him" items at the moment include;

           A masculine Happy Birthday Plaque, £7.95

The original "Precious Parcel", a little parcel with a little message that says it all just £4.95

Fantastic personalised bunting from £8.25 for 3 letters

These are just a few of the products available for the boys / men. Why not have a browse around the For Him section and the rest of the site and see if anything takes your fancy and fits the bill for those special men in your life!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Gallery- Grandparents

                                                             Photo taken Weds 26th Sept 2007. 

This is a photo of the first time Tony (my father-in-law) held George. George was just 3 days old at the time. 
Tony drove down from Northwich, very proud, so looking forward to seeing his new Grandson. Nanna Hughes was unable to come as she’s had an operation so it was just Grandad.
We visited Nanna & Grandad Hughes pretty much every other weekend when Tony was alive and he never failed to greet George with a beaming smile. During the week we’d speak on the phone and text and George really
was his pride and joy. Tony and Joan used to laugh about how much they spoke about ‘Georgie boy’.

Sadly, in Jan 2010 Tony passed away after a few painful weeks in hospital. We’d spent his last Christmas with him at his home and although he was too poorly to spend it downstairs with us, he still managed to come down just so George could sit on his knee for a short while. On Boxing day we all kissed him goodbye for the last time. George knows that Grandad Hughes lives in Heaven now and we still talk about him often. 

Although George and Grandad Hughes only had two short years to get to know each other, we are so glad that they did. This was such a special time and George managed to make him smile so often.

We still visit Nanna Hughes every couple of weeks and G speaks to her on the phone and none of us can help but smile when he tells her he loves her to heaven and back. We know that Tony would be very proud of how George has turned out so far.

This post is part of the Gallery run by Tara who writes the amazing Sticky Fingers blog. To see more entries from this week's gallery whose theme is "Grandparents" click on the lens-cup below.

Summer Crafts

The summer holidays are nearly upon us! Hopefully the sun will continue throughout but something makes us think that it's unlikely! (British weather - pah!). Master PP still goes to nursery throughout the summer, but the days are longer and little hands need to be kept occupied!
A relatively cheap activity for rainy days is craft. Some people shudder at the thought but it needn't be too expensive or messy. The basics for our craft box for Master PP are:
  • Safety scissors, 
  • Lolly sticks
  • Pritt-Stick / glue
  • A variety of different coloured papers, shapes, pompoms, drinking straws etc
  • A small bag of rice or pasta for texture pictures
  • Pens, pencils and crayons 
  • Washable paints and brushes (which luckily we have in abundance)
  • Household junk - such as toilet roll inners and cereal boxes

We'll hold our hands up and say - we don't do glitter, in any way, shape or form! Being clever we tried glitter glue pens, thinking it would be better than shaking loose glitter everywhere. It really isn't. In fact, if anything it is worse - gah!

Sometimes Master PP likes to take on a project and be directed, sometimes he likes to be left alone to just create. Either is fine and lovely to see! It's amazing what those little hands can put together! We absolutely love RedTedArtthe top art & craft site for children for finding new (cheap and easy!) projects. Well worth a visit!

We are starting to collect together our loo rolls now and are getting ready to enjoy a craft summer holiday! We hope your little ones enjoy crafting and creating as much as we (ahem Master PP) does!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Silent Sunday 3/7/11

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Summertime fun!

Dare we say it? It looks like Summer has arrived!
The school summer holidays are looming and outdoor fun is calling!

Gardening is a big favourite for many children, who love to create and work independently. Why not give them a little patch or tub of their own and some seeds so that they can build, nurture and grow their own garden? Most kids love the responsibility of being in charge of their own mini garden and watching their own plants, flowers or vegetables grown. Last year Master PP was very proud of the cheese and tomato sandwiches he helped us make, with his own tomatoes! 
A lovely kit to start the children off are these ones, which are proving to be very popular!

Each personalised garden kit includes:
Cotton bag with unique design (21 x 26cm)
Personalised wooden shape

At just £7.95 what better gift for another children or for your own to encourage them to be more green-fingered and have fun at the same time.

Visit the site to see these fantastic gardening kits and to browse other gifts and home items.