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What Felicity wants for Christmas...

Dear Santa,

So i'm sat at home with a poorly little man fast asleep on the sofa, having to take time off work to look after him.  It brings it home just how hard juggling family life, a day job and my own business actually is at times like this.  Now while it isn't easy for any parent to 'take time off work' when your child is sick, there is no denying that working from home certainly has it benefits.  There's no one to have to tell that you 'won't be in today', there's no having to go in for an hour quickly to sort some urgent tasks or organising a workload than you can bring home to do in your absence.

Now i have to say my work are very understanding, and there is never any issue but I do have deadlines (advert design and website orders wait for no man or woman!) and these are not tasks that can be done at home, well the adverts designs at a push but i'd still have to go into work to access the images, logo etc i'd require, so it's not a simple task.  I'd love nothing more than to be able to work from home full time, it would mean being able to fit my work around the kids, being able to be there for them when they needed me and having to answer to no-one apart from myself... oh and the tax man ;-) But it would also mean that if i did have days where they were poorly then i could still get on with my work easily, whilst still being there for them.

 

So this year for Christmas i'd really love nothing more than the opportunity to do what i love full time, get to spend more time with my kids in 2017 and show them what hard work and dedication can achieve. I'd love to collaborate with some awesome brands, but most of all send some positive light and love to someone out there who needs it right now.

 

Lots of love,

 

Fay (aged 41 11/12)

 

Feature Image courtesy of Tiny Jax

 


How Felicity Finds it's a blooming good week...

It's been a pretty good week! Not only has Samuel's room now got shelves (i get to spend the weekend titivating it all now, hoping for lots of happy post tomorrow and Saturday) and i got a very exciting email (more of that another time #ssshhh); but the awesome Mother Pukka (girl crush moment ☺️ #parentingtheshitoutoflife) posted about the Superhero cushion I made for the extra cute Mae!

Image thanks to @EmilyGrayPhotography

Anna is such a great ambassador for flexible working for parents, but also for supporting small businesses and has been chatting with Etsy about how influencers like her can help small and independent businesses.  Etsy is an amazing platform for creatives and independents looking to build a business, the support they give through forums, tutorials, social media groups and much more is just awesome and I would love nothing more than Etsy to be as known online as say Not On The High Street.

The depth and variety of products and talents on Etsy is endless (their hashtag #differencemakesus says it all) and i love nothing more than a good scour through to find new and unique pieces for my home, for my children and for gifts.  I urge you guys to get familiar with Etsy and make it your new best friend this Christmas! Hope you've all had a good week?! Oh and if you get a chance and haven't already then pop over to my IG account and follow or share with others you think may like as when i get to 1.5k followers you all get a fab 15% OFF, perfect for a bit of Christmas shopping!!!!

Enjoy,

Fay x

 


How Felicity Finds the time to decorate...

Finally feel like i am getting somewhere with the shop on my website (for now please visit my Etsy Shop to purchase) and am slowly adding my products, but just as i think things are falling into place I now have a PHP memory issue with my site which means i cannot access the customise appearance menu so the look isn't quite right.  Slightly disappointing, but am working on it to get it resolved.  Frustrating but definitely heading in right direction!  Please bear with me and if any of you know how to resolve, then please holler!!!!

Anyway back to the most important thing which is Samuel's new room LOL.  Finally we've had the walls painted, so just waiting for half term to be over and then it's time for shelves and pics to go up.  I'm so excited as have so many things to put in his room that I've been collecting over the past few months!  There are goodies from some of my very favourite small/Independent businesses including Tiny Jax, Feather & Bird, Rainbo & Bear, and The Bear and The Bird to name a few (full list of featured shops throughout the blog) but don't worry you'll be getting even more awesome shops & finds over the next few weeks as I finally get finished.

So I really love the monochrome trend at the moment and knew i wanted to incorporate into Samuel's room. but i also knew that I needed to add a splash of colour as i do love my colour.  Samuel's favourite colour when he was little was green so thought that would make a really nice pop in his room...

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His bed, with furnishings from myself (POW! & S) and fabulous personalised embroidered cushion from Imagine Sew Beautiful.  His 'friends' in their little pockets are from Be Unique Kids (Badger), Jelly cat, Bulb London and Feather & Bird (Daniel the Peg Doll!) Oh and the fab flooring which fits perfectly under his bed for a play area, cheap as chips from Amazon (sssshhhh don't tell anyone LOL)

 

 

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His storage is classic Ikea Trofast, we already had and just changed the colour of trays at a cost of about £15 if that, can't believe how much of a match the green was! It perfectly shows off just some of the goodies he has, can you tell I have a slight splatter addiction?!  These particular lovelies are from the awesome Tiny Jax and include Raven & Snow, Tiny Tree & Snowman, Tiny Hands and Tiny (not so) house with custom green (i sent the exact green so it would match, Donna is a star!).  Cannot wait to add to this collection...

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As a last note for this week, I just wanted to show you the 'hooks' i have found for his wall.  Been searching for a while for something a little unusual and a little different, and finally i found.  Now i warn you they aren't cheap, but they are so blooming cool I just have to have...  From a french design company called Swab Design these oversized pegs are (in the words of Craig Revel Horwood) A-MA-ZING!!!!

 

 

Hope you like so far, check in again soon for the next installment of Samuel's new room,

Fay x

 

 


How Felicity finds her patience tested like a toddler wanting juice on a morning...

Or is that just my toddler?...

I wrote this post on Monday and thought i was being very organised, however my Wordpress App on my IPhone was also playing up so haven't managed to upload till now! Enjoy x

Our internet has been down all day and whilst during the day it hasn't been an issue for me (4G, housework and a trip to Ikea kept me busy) it's now evening and I need to be ordering supplies and working on my website; but as we always should do, I've looked to the cloud with a silver lining and it means I can take the time to finally update my blog. It feels like forever since I posted....

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Since the last time I posted I exhibited at The Baby & Toddler Show in Manchester which was amazing, hard work but great fun.  It's always so nice to meet people face to face and hear what they think of your work (although people pointing at one of your canvases saying how gorgeous it is; then turning to their pal and asking if they can paint that for them, whilst you are standing there, maybe wasn't my happiest moment 🙈). However I learned so much and can't wait to put that into practice; one major development will be to introduce some new product lines so if there is anything you would like to see, that you've always thought I should be making then now's your time! Speak or forever hold your peace 🤐😂😂

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Image courtesy of @rosie_gower_

One new product I have introduced that's proved extremely popular is the toy storage bag! Part of the Superhero range, these sacks are hand painted and can be personalised with a child's name at no extra cost. Launched at the Baby & Toddler show these went down really well and orders have been coming in thick and fast for these ever since.

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Image courtesy of @rhiann0n_and_co

NB: I will be realising a couple of Christmas themed bags too as they will be perfect for storing all those pressies under the tree! So keep an eye out...

Anyway off now to try and get my shop to play nicely on the website and finish some orders. Half term next week, so could all go horribly wrong LOL

Remember to let me know if there is anything specific you'd like to see as part of the brand?

Lots of love,

Fay x

 

Featured Image courtesy of @carterandus


How Felicity finds Instagram...

Social Media is a funny old thing for small businesses, on one hand it's a marvelous way to get your brand out there and interact directly with your customers for free; but on the other hand it opens you up to all sorts of interaction, from Spam, to unhappy customers (gone are the days of dealing directly over the phone and being able to sort, now it gets put in writing publicly before businesses have a chance to reply) to fellow small businesses copying and stealing ideas (I've seen it unfortunately)

However when i discovered Instagram it really did change my perception; a beautifully visual app that was all about the imagery with text to back up (if required), meant it almost negated the option for any of the above issues.  Quickly though you discover that like with any app there is spam and at times it's non stop but IG are very quick to clamp down and are continually developing their algorithms to try and control as much as possible.  There isn't an option to leave reviews as per Facebook, so any unhappy customers tend to either DM (perfect) or post on a particular post which means it has limited visibility, giving businesses the chance to resolve fairly.  Now the last point I never witnessed on IG at all when i first joined.  It really was a beautifully supportive place with fellow small businesses doing nothing but helping each other to achieve their business goals together.  It was the main thing i loved about IG and I've met some amazing peeps on it, who i now count as good friends, and their advice and support on a business and personal level has been invaluable.  I've learnt so much.  However i guess as with everything I've noticed a small amount of, shall i call it 'less than supportive' behavior recently and it's quite sad.  I've said it before and I will say it again, there is room for everyone, we all have amazing talent and we need to own it! As @motherpukka said this morning 'Love the Spice Girls but bring on the Nice Girls' (p.s. if you aren't following her already then you must, her flex appeal is an awesome campaign for flexible working for parents, and her feed is a feast for the eyes!)

The one thing i particularly love about IG is the addition of BR's (Brand Reps) & BE's (Brand Enthusiasts) such a simple but awesome concept.  Having reached 1000 followers recently I felt the time was right to launch my own search and it's the best thing i've done! There is something about other people's images compared to the ones you do yourselves (well mine anyway) I tend to over think and get stuck in a rut.  Having brand reps and enthusiasts allows me to get some amazing pics that i would never have created for a fraction of the cost of a traditional photo shoot.  It is continual as well, so a new launch of products gets on IG immediately rather than having to wait for the shoot, pick and edit the images etc. and your reps and enthusiasts get great products for free or a great discount.  For me it's win win!  Just look at some of these shots...


So this is my thank you to my reps @jackandmummy & @the.life.of.charlie.and.me and a couple of others @babynumber3andme & @tiny_jax just two awesome peeps in general.

If you aren't on Instagram yet then I advise you to get on there ASAP as it really is a great app, if you are on there then make sure you are following me and Henry, Fred and Felicity (if not why not!!!! LOL) and look out for some of the amazing businesses i have been talking about as i share regularly (another lovely thing about IG is sharing fellow businesses for your friends to find).

So this is my high five to IG and the wonderful peeps on there! Keep it honest, keep it strong and most of all keep doing what you do best!

Fay x

 


How Felicity left one behind...

Gosh i can't believe how quickly the holidays have passed!  Although our six weeks school holidays were very helpfully broken up by 2 weeks in the middle with a very exciting road trip to Austria...

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The packing was done, the car was serviced, cleaned and ready and we were all set, just to make sure all the paperwork and passports were packed together in my bag.  Always love having a look at the passport photos, especially the boys as they've changed so much!  It was at that point that my heart sank, I started to shake, surely that couldn't be right, because if it was then we had a big, big problem.  I sank to the floor and just stared at Henry's passport... It had run out the previous month.

There's not many times in my life where I've felt utterly sick and totally helpless, I won't go into all the detail, but it included the OH driving with Hen to Durham passport office at 7 in the morning the next day in the hope we could get a one day turnaround.  Unfortunately he's 10 and needed to be 12 to get a one day.  Only option, turnaround of a week but we'd need an appointment the next day, and by the time we got, we'd have to fly him out at a cost of at least £700 (half the cost of the whole holiday!!!) to then spend probably 3 days and come home.

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I was at work whilst all of this was going on and by 11:30 i couldn't stand it anymore (well to be fair i couldn't stop crying so wasn't much use to anyone) and came home.  It gave me the chance to sit with Hen and he quickly explained that he really wanted to go spend the two weeks with grandma and grandpa (who'd offered immediately) and that he was absolutely fine with not going.  Now i could go into detail of why i finally decided that the best option was to leave Henry with his grandparents but it would take to long and actually what does it matter because i know that people will judge no matter what, and we've already had a few comments directed towards us.  It hurts, it always will and especially to me as I feel it's totally my fault.  I don't need to hear others tell me it's not, or that it's one of those things, so easily done, because I did it, it was my fault and I will have to live with it.

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The holiday itself wasn't free of issues.  As we were driving over our apartment had to be changed due to unforeseen circumstances, we ended up in a huge apartment that slept 9-11 people with only 4 of us LOL, with no washing machine (we'd packed for having one) and faulty WiFi which wouldn't have been such an issue if we didn't want/need to face-time Hen daily! However the boys loved it and i have to say it was very beautiful, but i could never truly enjoy as I missed Hen too much, occasionally when i did find myself relaxing and enjoying I'd then feel truly guilty and that would set me off again.  There were a lot of tears on my part, I didn't really want to be there but i had to do what was best for my kids not me.

What the holiday did do was teach me an awful lot about myself and my boys.  Hen for example immediately made the decision himself that he was happy to stay at home.  He didn't falter once and had a whale of a time with all his grandparents (spent time with my mum too), he messaged us (usually when he wanted to buy something) and face-timed us, but was also quite happy if we had a day where WiFi failed us and we couldn't talk face to face. Fred admitted a couple of days into the holiday that if it had been him, he wouldn't have coped without us bless.  But he was the one that thrived on holiday, he quickly picked up the basics of German and loved any opportunity to use.  I saw several occasions where he'd wait patiently to ask for something in German, being ignored initially by adults.  If that had been Hen he'd have given up after the first minute and asked us to deal with.  My kids strengths were definitely put in the right area this holiday.

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I was very wary of taking pics with just Fred and Samuel in all the time as didn't want that to be Hen's first memory of Austria and a constant reminder. So instead what we did was take lots of picture with our little friends Raven & Snow on their adventures.  Not only is that what they do anyway, just check out their IG account; but it means we can produce a fab book about Austria for Hen with everywhere that they visited, for when we go back next time.

So I'll await the judgement and deal with any when it comes, but yes our holidays have certainly been eventful.  I hope no-one as a parent ever has to go through that experience so please go check your passports! I've posted off Hen's now and set reminders in my phone for the others - actually the passport office would make a fortune if they did a text message reminder service, i'd certainly pay for that!

Back to normality now with orders, samples and Samuel's new room to keep me busy.  Remember to follow me on Facebook, IG and/or Twitter for updates and if you fancy meeting me in person - and belittling me for abandoning my child ;-) - and seeing my stuff then I'll be at the Baby & Toddler Show, Manchester from Oct 7th - 9th.

Much Love,

Fay x


How Felicity packs for 3 boys and a driving holiday!

Yep you heard me right we are going on holiday - to Austria - and we are driving!!!! With 3 boys it's gonna be a tight squeeze especially with everything they want to take and making sure we have enough for 2 weeks.

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Now don't get me wrong I can't wait to get to Austria, Tschaggun to be precise, as it looks just beautiful. However with everything that has been going on recently I can't say the drive is filling me with excitement... Dover here we come!

Also I will have to do some of the driving which is fine over here, but even then I'm no good at long distance as just not used to it, so we'll be stopping a lot! And what about abroad, never done that before, slightly apprehensive...

 

Anyway have taken my mind of that part by a little retail therapy for the boys.  How gorgeous are these purchases...

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Baby Dee and Me are offering FREE shipping today only by quoting code MONYAY1 at checkout.

 

 

 

 

Order you Tee from Cribstar Official before Thursday when their turnaround will move increase to 7-10 days, FREE shipping as standard.

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And then I just couldn't resist this tee from Kidult & Co, along with some caps to keep them safe in the sun (or dry in the rain, you never know with Austria!)

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Now I just need to figure out how to fit mine and 3 boys clothing and footwear into 2 suitcases... #funtimes I have become very good at packing light over the years!

We go at the end of next week and I'm wondering if I'll have time to get Henry's / Samuel's room cleared so it can maybe be painted whilst we are away ready for our return... I've a few orders left to complete and obviously pack, but hoping I might just have enough time to clear his room aswell, we'll see!

Wish me luck,

Fay x

P.S Blueberry Boo Kids are offering 25% off their short sleeve stock, another one i couldn't resist!


How Felicity plans ahead in 3 easy steps...

Well that's the plan, but as we know the reality (especially with kids involved) isn't always as straightforward! The boys break up next Tuesday and the plan is to:

  1. Move our eldest up to the playroom (also poses as spare room with a bed and bathroom) in the attic whilst the decorating takes place.  Samuel and Henry are swapping rooms anyway, so it means Henry's room is empty for me to decorate from scratch.
  2. Paint the walls. The walls will be pretty simple; one black (blackboard paint so we can chalk on the walls), the rest white although i might source some black wall stickers to use also! *Rushes to Pinterest*

Four hours later...

https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/441986150906487587/

Love this idea! And the great things with wall stickers is they can be removed when you want a change or to update (just don't tell Samuel!)

3. Decorate & Furnish the room...

I've had a few new purchases from fellow small businesses arrive this week, and i'm sure you'll agree they are just perfect...

13754331_10154282226648563_9123721869797880601_nI saw this print on Monty & Moosh's Instagram feed and knew i needed it for my wee man's room.  It's exactly what i want for all my kids, i'm a great believer in encouragement and want my kids to know that no matter what they want to do as long as they work hard and put their mind to it then they can achieve it, and i will support them every step of the way!

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The second purchase to arrive is my (sorry his) beautiful monochrome unicorn! Isn't she beautiful...

From KATShandmadeitems all the way in Greece, this gorgeous little lady has very quickly settled in to her new home alongside some of Samuel's other new friends...

Keep an eye on her IG feed for some beautiful posts and all of her lovely makes.

In the meantime we need to come up with a name for her, she has made really good friends with Raven & Snow, but they are keen to call her 'Hairy' (they are monkey's!) and I'm not sure that is the best name we can come up with, so head over to my Instagram and watch out for my next post, to let me know your name ideas!

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Can't wait to hear your ideas...

Fay x

P.S Couple more to check out this week coming are Oso Twee Prints & Daisy Mooo