The ultimate Christmas Gift-Guide for the hard to buy for…

The festive season is in full swing and unsurprisingly there’s been much chat between my friends and I about presents — or to be precise — Christmas gifts for the hard to buy for. We all have them, don’t we? The father who has everything, the mum who doesn’t want anything and various other relatives — and friends — who have specific hobbies and aren’t really interested in anything beyond that. It gives me a headache usually. But this year I have managed to do all my ‘hard to buy’ present buying in one place. One stop shopping — minimal fuss and effort — with some fantastic results to boot! I recently popped down to our local HomeSense store for some Christmas decorations and was blown away by the ‘non-home’ items they’d got in stock. I can say with some certainty that HomeSense have some amazing home bargains (if ever I need something for the house or garden it’s always my first port of call). In fact, my friend and I have ‘HomeSense missions’ and regularly treat ourselves to an afternoon’s shopping in our local store, followed by a posh coffee. Sorry, I’m digressing. Anyway, they had SO many fab gifts — the shelves were literally rammed — with fabulous goodies… Read More

Summertime Surprise Project 2015 {What I sent}

Earlier this year, I took part in something called ‘The Springtime Surprise Project‘ organised by the lovely Lucy who blogs over at Capture By Lucy. It was a little initiative to spread some cheer and happiness between the folk who’d come together online. Bloggers, readers of blogs, tweeters and Instagrammers all joined forces and put together little packages of loveliness for strangers. The rules of the project were simple. 1. Sign up — fill in a little form (outlining your likes and dislikes) — then you’d be allocated a swap partner. 2. Buy, make or create a thoughtful gift — or gifts — to the value of £5 (although most people probably spent a little more). 3. Put together a thoughtful little package of loveliness, and send to your ‘swap partner’. Needless to say, when I received another message from Lucy, asking if I wanted to take part in the Summertime Surprise Project 2015, I jumped at the chance! This time round my partner was called Steph. The brief I received was fairly simple but offered LOTS of scope to source some lovely items to send to her. She said: “I love flowers and vintage items and anything pretty.” so, this is what I sent: Once again, I’ve SO enjoyed being involved in… Read More

Springtime Surprise Project 2015 {What I received}

A couple of weeks ago I spoke about the Springtime Surprise project, that was organised by the lovely Lucy from the blog Capture By Lucy. The premise of the project was to spread a little happiness. The rules, very simply, were to buy, make or donate a gift — to the value of around £5 (although most people spent more, I’m sure) — and it send to your allocated ‘swap partner’ before the first day of spring. I was partnered with a lady called Caroline — who I’ve since found out is one of Lucy’s ‘real life’ friends — and I set about creating a parcel full of bits and pieces that suited the pointers she’d given me. I posted my parcel the day that we went to Bluestone in Wales, for our little family holiday, and when we got home there was a card from the post office, to say that I’d missed a delivery. Exciting! My parcel from Caroline! After hot-footing it down there to collect my package, I opened the box — with mucho excitement — and this is what I found! I can’t tell you how much fun it was to be involved in the Springtime Surprise Project 2015. It was absolutely lovely choosing… Read More

109 weeks and 5 days | 50 things that make me happy

A little meme has been doing the rounds recently called ’50 things that makes me happy’. The clue is in the name; what makes you happy? I have been tagged by my lovely friend Aby, who blogs over at YouBabyMeMummy, to give my answers. So here goes… 1. My three boys — tiny boys and big man-shaped boy. 2. Pottering about at home. 3. A new, unread, interiors magazine. 4. Blue skies. 5. Family get-togethers (especially our big summer barbecue). 6. The smell of freshly cut grass. 7. Picking my babies up from nursery and seeing their faces light up when they see me. 8. Holidays; in the UK, abroad, even bank holidays. I love them all. 9. Festivals. A weekend of joyful revelry. 10. Dancing in a field in my wellies. 11. Glitter. 12. My lovely friends. 13. Collecting the eggs from our hen-house. 14. Dolly — our beautiful little caravan. 15. Seeing Dolly pull up outside the house = adventures :) 16. A cup of freshly brewed tea. 17. My cats (AKA furry faced children). 18. Beautiful stationery. 19. Designing new things and feeling excited about sharing them. 20. Blogging. 21. Baking. 22. A busy, noisy house full of our nearest and dearest. 23. Fresh flowers… Read More

Springtime Surprise Project 2015 {What I sent}

At the beginning of the year, I signed up with one of my favourite bloggers — Lucy from Capture By Lucy— to take part in a lovely project she was organising.

Entitled ‘The Springtime Surprise Project’, it was a little venture to spread a little cheer and happiness. For generous, creative folk who’d come together online — bloggers, readers of blogs, tweeters and Instagrammers — to collaborate and do something lovely for a stranger.

The rules of the project were simple.

1. Sign up — fill in a little form (outlining your likes and dislikes) — then you’d be allocated a swap partner.

2. Buy, make or create a thoughtful gift — or gifts — to the value of £5 (although most people probably spent a little more).

3. Put together a thoughtful little package of loveliness, and send to your ‘swapee’; to open in time for the first day of Spring on March 20th.

So much fun! It was lovely, receiving the email with my swap partner’s details, then planning the gifts that I could make — or buy — to send to her.

Her name was Caroline  and this was her list of likes and dislikes:

Allergies: citrus

Dislikes: animals dressed as humans (absolute no no!) 

Loves: anything involved with manicures, stationery, odd socks, quirky items.

And this is what I sent her…

Springtime Surprise Project
A quirky little flower ring
Springtime Surprise Project
A miniature pack of nailfiles
Springtime Surprise Project
A little pot of crayons
Springtime Surprise Project
A tiny tin of spring fresh mints
Springtime Surprise Project
Some lovely hand and nail cream
Springtime Surprise Project
Four personalised postcards
Springtime Surprise Project
OK — I cheated slightly with the ‘odd socks’ ;)
Springtime Surprise Project
All the gifts together
packaged_up
Packaged up with a little sticker
Springtime Surprise Project
Wrapped up with brown paper and string and put in a cardboard box
Springtime Surprise Project
And finished off with a label

In situations like this, my design skills definitely come into play and for that I’m so grateful! I created the postcards with her likes and dislikes in mind and purposefully chose bright citrussy shades, as she said she was allergic to citrus! Having an allergy to citrus fruits is one thing but it doesn’t mean you have to shy away from the colours! ;)

I produce the mint-tins for my business — usually with personalised labels, for wedding favours — so creating a one-off ‘Spring-Fresh’ label was a fairly simple and tied in with the Springtime theme nicely.

The other items fit the brief perfectly — stationery, manicures and quirky items — all bought from a little shop in the next village.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed taking part in this!! I did something similar before, for the Craft Blog Club, where I was allocated a partner and made a gift to send. You can read about that here.

Needless to say, as well as sending gifts I also received some too! Watch this space — I’ll be writing all about them on the blog very soon.

Creating something lovely — for a total stranger — is a really happy experience; I’d highly recommend it! If you’d like to join in, Lucy is organising a Summer Surprise Project too.

Pop along to the website and sign up.

Follow Twinkles Momma’s board Springtime Surprise 2015 {What I Sent} on Pinterest.

86 weeks and 2 days | Mixed Blessings {My Word of the Week}

On my Twitter feed today, one of the ladies I follow had posted about her Linky named ‘Word Of The Week‘. Our lovely English language is a real hobby for me — I LOVE words! I love grammar, the provenance and history of our language and the evolution of it. Some (my husband in particular) may say, ahem, ‘obsessed’. Personally, I like to think of it as a ‘healthy interest’. So, given my love of words, I am linking up with lovely Jocelyn at The Reading Residence and joining in with ‘Word Of The Week’! This week has been a bit of a strange one — mixed blessings, if you like. It started badly — Monday saw an awful turn of events for a much loved family member. I am not going to say anything more, apart from it was a sad day and there were not many smiles in our house on Monday. Tuesday was better. One of my bests (one the Twinkles ‘guidemothers‘) popped in — totally unannounced — for a coffee. I love village life and one of my favourite things is people banging on the door/window (often at really inconvenient moments!) and stopping in for a chat and a cuppa. And that… Read More