Thursday, 24 January 2013

Supporting Small Business

In recent weeks another wave of news about companies being dangerously close to or actually going bust has dominated social media and the papers. HMV is in a precarious position, and Jessops has gone into administration, to name just a few. There are various reasons for companies failing to stay afloat and they vary from business to business. What remains constant throughout though is how sad these high street losses are. Putting aside for a moment the loss to customers and owners, we have to think of all of those who have lost their jobs and other businesses who have lost out when debts are unable to be paid.

This might seem like a rather negative post for what is usually quite a perky blog however today I wanted to remind you all that small businesses such as Precious Parcels and the wealth of other small businesses out there don't have PR companies and large budgets for advertising and aren't able to buy stock or materials in huge quantities to lower the overall cost. What we do have however is a fabulous close connection to our customers and this is one of the best things about being a small business.

Today's post is not just to thank you for our continued success but to ask all of you lovely supportive customers to spread the word about ALL of the small businesses that you love, to keep buying from us and to let us know if there is anything you would like to see. Here at PP we value your opinions and our focus is to work with you all to make the shopping experience the best it can be and continue supplying you with our quality handmade gifts and treats.

On a lighter note..... It is nearly the weekend folks so it is ok to treat yourself to cake to celebrate the fact :)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Cosy Cushions

It doesn't look as if anywhere has completely escaped the snow and for many, now that the novelty has worn off, the cold and inconvenience is starting to grate on people (have a nosy on Facebook or Twitter!). 

When I'm cold I love a roaring fire, Baileys and cuddling up. As the former two aren't really child friendly I thought today's post should be dedicated to some truly lovely and personalised cuddly cushions.

These personalised gingham cushions are exclusive to Precious Parcels. Each cushion is handmade, comes ready filled using top quality polyester wadding and measures 35cm x 35cm.
Available in a variety of designs and costing £18.95, these lovely cosy cushions are fantastic for children (and parents) of all ages,

*As these are painstakingly made by hand to ensure a quality finished item they may take 14-21 days to arrive.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Snow Day Activities

The white stuff is showing no signs of disappearing here and it is still very cold! While the snow is great fun for walking in, building snowmen, forts, throwing yourself on the ground to make snow angels (obviously being a grown up I didn't do this when out with George walking the dogs the other day - ahem!) and of course enjoying snowball fights!

As much fun as snow is it can be nice to get back inside and enjoy some cosy fun instead. This is our snow day master fun list, can you add anything?

  • Have a competition to see who can decorate their hot chocolate best with whipped (squirty) cream, marshmallows, chocolate buttons and Maltesers.
  • Use left over marshmallows to build sticky snowmen.
  • Use paper plates and bits and pieces from the craft box to make a snowman (or snowgirl!) that won't melt.
  • Bake yummy biscuits, cakes and eat them in front of a DVD under a blanket while surrounded by cushions.
  • Play snow games (like catch the snowflakes) on the computer.
  • Dance like a wild thing (it keeps you warm and is great fun).
  • Make a collages from printed off photos.
  • Have another hot chocolate, because it is still cold outside!

What are your favourite cold / snow day activities for indoor fun?

Playing in the snow can be great fun but sometimes we enjoy something just a little warmer!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Winter Baking Fun

If you are on Facebook the chances are you will have been bombarded with "It's snowing!!" messages left, right and centre for the past twenty-four hours. Here in Nottingham we have had quite a bit of the fluffy stuff and while it is great fun for playing in, it doesn't do much to warm the bones!

At this time of year, when the temperatures have dropped and it is bitter outside one of our favourite indoors activities is baking. George loves playing chef and I love testing his baking so it is a perfect way for both of us to spend an afternoon. We've found a great range of kids' baking recipes here on the BBC Food website (you must try the mint choc chip brownies!) and George has been happy to grab his baking kit and get stuck in.

Our baking kits have everything you need to get cracking with the cheese scones or fairy cakes and is a great gift  for the mini baker. Available in four fab colours each kit contains a rolling pin, wooden spoon, pastry brush, spatula chopping board and 25 cake cases all in a gorgeous cotton bag with a cupcake design and adorned with a personalised wooden star.

At just £7.95 these are a bargain and look great so are perfect for your own baker and maker or to give as a gift.

We love baking (and testing) here at PP headquarters, do you? We would love to hear your favourite recipes.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

My Get Up and Go Had Got Up and Gone!

It is now 2013, the New Year has begun and... now what?

Most of us have plans, I certainly do as having moved house and business premises between Xmas and New Year I have lots to get sorted. I have a shiny new work bench...

The office is well on the way to being completely organised...

And I'm shattered! 

By 4pm I'm already craving a long hot soak and a cheeky class of Baileys (maybe it's the dark mornings and dark afternoons that are starting to drag?) but I need to find some motivation somewhere, but where? 

Work-wise I'm fine, I love putting paint to plaque, putting together clocks and writing the special personalised messages that people choose however if I'm going to work AND get everything done with the house I need something to give me a kick!

What do you find motivating when your body screams "crawl into bed"? What is it that gets you moving and motivated when you have a huge to do list? I have George's new room to get properly sorted, a gorgeous new dog called Haribo arriving tomorrow, the odd box here and there lurking and still needing unpacking and could use your advice!

What gets your blood pumping?

Thursday, 3 January 2013

2013 - Ready, Steady... GO!

Happy New Year!

We hope you've had a really restful Christmas and New Year. Never one to follow the norm, instead of putting down the paintbrush after the last Christmas orders went out I.... (in no particular order)

  • Took George to Spain to visit dear friends and the home of the Spanish Stray Dogs (I am heavily involved in the SSD UK registered charity which you'll hear more about!)
  • Got raging flu (so much snot, so little time).
  • Adopted another dog to keep Maggi, our first adopted dog company
  • Oh, and moved house and business premises.

So you know, just the usual quiet Xmas and New Year.

Now January has hit and the website is back open and we are raring to go. We have lots planned for 2013 so make sure that you follow this blog, keep an eye on Facebook and you'll be sure to hear all our new without delay.

To all of you loyal customers and new visitors, have a great 2013 - we intend to!