Wednesday, 31 October 2012

All Hallows Eve



When the sun sets on the day of All Hallows
Jack O'lanterns will light the shadows
Children will dress as witches & ghosts
Wondering who will give them the most
For parents across the land
Have bought in sweeties as planned
Otherwise it may be a naughty trick not treet
That children could play upon the whole street!



Come everyone, no really one and all
And listen carefully for small footfall
For the joy of being allowed to stay up late
And walk around with your best mate
Asking people to see their fancy dress
Face all painted and hair a mess
Is every little person's special treat
And just think of the things you'll meet

For tonight it's safe to greet a witch
A small green man, his face all stitched
See these creatures caw with glee
When your hand is full of sweet candy
Opening your door on this frightful night


Will bring you no end of spooky delight.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

A winter warmer...

Now I know we don't often share baking tips (see my blog on the disaster of trying to bake DangerBaby her birthday cake!) but this is the season of comfort food, and soon you'll see these autumn treats in the shops. Why not treat yourselves and your little ones to a 'cooking with Mummy' day.... [Older kids! Hot syrup and babies don't mix]

Maple Toffee Apples

200g golden granulated sugar
125ml maple syrup
1 tsp white wine vinegar
25g butter
75g chopped almonds (or pecans if you prefer)
6 small eating apples

Place baking paper onto a baking tray.
Pour the sugar into a large heavy based pan with 100ml of cold water
Warm gently. Cook for 2-3mins, until sugar dissolved. Don't stir the water!

Add the vinegar and maple syrup and butter
Bring to the boil and let bubble for 5-10mins. To test it's ready drop a little of the syrup into water, it should 'freeze' but still be squidgee

Place almonds on a large plate and push large lolly sticks (or wooden skewers) into the apples.

Remove the caramel from the heat and then pick up your first apple.

Dunk it in until it's completely covered, roll in the almonds / pecans and place on the baking paper for it to cool!

This of course can be done with chocolate and sprinkles instead of caramel and nuts!!

So much fun, so simple and such a messy fun day had making these treats! Just imagine how much better homemade ones make!

Hmmmmm yummy.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Monday Mentor: Handmade

A very strange Monday Mentor but equally very important!
HANDMADE = made with LOVE



Please help all small businesses. 
Please "like" 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Twins? Double trouble, double joy!

What wonderful news for any family! Twins, double trouble, double joy! At the Love What We Do event in West Byfleet I met a lovely lady who was expecting twins and another who was pushing her twins around the event.

I must say both ladies looked remarkably relaxed and well presented (hair brushed, matching clothes on and everything I aspire to achieve before leaving the house!). It was a real pleasure to meet these ladies, and when I found out one of my neighbours was expecting twins in her family it made me think that perhaps twins were not as rare as I had thought they were!

We have a twins / multiple gift ideas on the website. You can find it here.

However I've put my thinking cap on and will be updating the page with these ideas as well:

Twin Bump

Babies joining the family is an extra special occasion and at this time of year they need something they can cuddle up in. So whether they're boys, girls or one of both; I'd treat them to a Shuktara blanket each!

Twin Baby - Girls

A set of the Nyoki baby bonnet and booties for each of the little ones is a MUST! These little sets are available in an array of materials, I'd probably choose the super soft bamboo sets with a flower detail. One set in pink, one in white. They can mix and match between them!



Twin Baby - Boys

A pair of Larry the lambs - with different scarf colours! There's nothing like soft bamboo to wrap little hands (and most likely gums) around. Full of fanciful dreams of becoming an RAF pilot these little lambs have big dreams and high hopes. A lovely boys toy for twin boys.



Twin Baby - One of Each

Well a pair of our best selling wooden cars! Small enough for little hands, and made to last at least several lifetimes of child play, these small wooden treasures are perfect presents.

















Older Twins

Well I'd have to treat them to a pull along toy and a breakfast board each. Being a little older I'd let them choose from the array of animals available!

Perhaps a Elephant Board and a Snappy Crocodile for a boy?












Or a Rabbit Board and a Bobbing Bunny for her?

 



Gifts that they will love and use for many years to come!

Why not grab a cup of coffee and chill out this Thursday while taking a look around our site!

http://www.unikgifts.co.uk


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Welcome to the world...

We love hearing about new babies, and there have been a fair few of them making an appearance recently!

We believe congratulations are in order to Adele & her partner Simon on the birth of their baby boy.

Donald Trump Jr. And his wife Vanessa have had their fourth child, also a boy!

In face boys have been all the rage this month with Marissa Mayer (CEO Yahoo), Megan Fox, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Reesse Witherspoon all announcing the safe arrival of their baby boys!

Only actress Drew Barrymore has bucked the trend, she gave birth to a lovely little girl named Olive.

On a more exciting and personal front: One of our customers recently returned to purchase an extra special gift for a newborn who arrived last week and as I type this I am waiting to hear the exciting news of our very own Italian Stallion's little brother (COME ON Baby Lewis!!).




**News Flash - Baby Lewis is here! Well Done Mummy and congratulations on becoming a big brother Italian Stallion!!**










Monday, 22 October 2012

Monday Mentor- Cara Sayer

Today marks the start of National Parent Week. In homage to the trials and tribulations we parents go through to protect our little ones in all seasons, today we have chosen our Monday mentor wisely!

Cara has achieved what most Mum whose maternity leave is coming to a close wishes for. Creating and producing a successful product for Mum and baby, making life that little bit easier and creating a successful business of her own.
Cara left her marketing career to stay at home with her daughter. Then, just like that, an idea popped into her mind for a baby product that was missing in the market and two years later, the Snooze shade was born.

Every Mum has struggled with babies that won't settle in their pushchair and pram because the sun is too bright, there are too many distractions or lost blankets to puddles as they precariously drape over the canopy only to be lost with a gust of wind. I thought until recently that the Snooze shade was simply a  shade for sunshine during the summer months. But how wrong was I! 
It's also perfect to keep baby and blanket secure and sound asleep beneath it's protective shield during the chilly months. 

The Snooze shade blocks out the light, is portable and conveniently small enough to keep in the nappy bag, buggy basket or hang off the handles. Perfect for every month of the year
Buggies have not been the end of the product line for Cara. She has also successfully invented and produced a black out cot blind & a black out car seat cover. With numerous celebrities choosing the snooze shade products for their little ones.

Cara we thank you. Your products settle our little ones to sleep making Mums lives easier and therefore making everyone happier. Thank you Cara for being a fabulous Mum and a fabulous Mumpreneur!

To see Cara's products and her wonderful website click here.























Friday, 19 October 2012

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Recommended


A lovely friend asked me at the weekend what I recommended she buy for her friend’s children this year from u-ni-k as Christmas presents.
Last year I recommended one of my favourite wooden toys  cars to her- a popular must have for both boys and girls.
Last year, we launched a under £20 campaign to help celebrate Christmas on a budget but without cutting corners with quality or originality. This year under the same lines, I am recommending the following guide for you all, all under £20!

NEW BABY
Dribble Mouse £10 for the pair.
Perfect for little hands and endless dribbles. Machine washable.




UNDER 1's
Wooden Breakfast Boards. My favourite is the little puppy! 
His cheeky grin and sweet tail with the perfect hole for a dippy egg. 
The perfect aid for a weaning baby.  £12.50


 ONE- TWO
SNAP!! Pull along Mr wooden Crocodile that snaps as he moves. Made from either Ash, Maple or Oak these toys are solid and made with love. Only £19



TWO-THREE
 Meet Freddie the bunny the cheeky bunny. 
An original line drawing mounted and ready to frame.
Perfect for animal mad children 
£15


THREE- FOUR
Christmas Creatures, Designed by Madeleine Rogers for Mibo. Cut and stock these charming characters. The perfect paper friends, Christmas decoration and table setting for Christmas day. Printed with vegetable inks onto recycled card

FIVE
Hand painted by Helen Beard, porcelain chick egg cup £18 each
The perfect compliment to dippy egg and soldiers.



FIVE plus
A charming tale about Albert and Victoria and their shenanigans written by Holly Skeet. 
Only £15.



If you are stuck for a gift for a little boy or girl you know, pop along to the Gift ideas section of the website for some inspiration!

All our gifts come gift wrapped for free are original and unique. The only addition is Postage.

Belinda- I hope this helped?  

Monday, 15 October 2012

Monday Mentor- Campaign for Wool


Today marks the beginning of Wool week!



So to commemorate the lovely warm wool stuff, today we celebrate campaignforwool.org. (patron : HRH The Prince of Wales) as our Monday Mentor.

For those of you who don’t follow it, campaign for wool is a coalition of key organisations in the wool industry working together to raise awareness of Wool. The Campaign for Wool - together with people ranging from sheep farmers, shepherds to manufacturers, designers and retailers - are united in a common goal to educate consumers on the value, benefits and versatility of wool in fashion, furnishings and general domestic use.

Wonderfully the chairmen for Campaign for wool are two hard working men passionate about the woolly sheep and the products their wool create
Chairman- John Thorley  (farmer) OBE FRAGS, the founder of the National sheep association and fellow of the National Agricultural Societies has won multiple awards for his work within his field of sheep farming.
Nicholas Coleridge CBE has been Managing Director of Conder Nast, the glossy magazine publishers for 21 years. A former editor, journalist, novelist, Chairman of the British Fashion Council and Chairman of the PPA, The magazine publishers association, including involvements in many of the Prince’s Trusts projects including Fashion Rocks.
With two top men like these, this campaign surely cannot go wrong.

With a wonderful website showcasing wool as a insulator in homes, a medium to produce artisan knitted pieces for fashion, art and the home, something soft under foot, something to furnish your car with, a sweater and a simple pair of socks.

With the help of Campaign for wool, groups are growing all the time taking on new enthusiasm and followers and knitting and crochet is becoming a  hobby for young and old alike. 

Here I have collected a few of the lovely things that have been shared on Campaign for Wool's face book page and one that I think should be there!


Christien Meinderstma
Donna Wilson
Crochetbug
Join the Campaign today by picking up your knitting needles, crochet hooks, yarn and patterns or simply supporting them on the links below.

Follow them on facebook
See the website

To join in with the woolly week of fun u-ni-k gifts HQ has launched a baby wool Competition.

Here is how to join in with the fun!





Friday, 12 October 2012

Friday Funny: Children


www.unikgifts.co.uk

Pop over to our Facebook page to see our u-ni-k friends playing hide and seek in the Autumn woods.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

It's Chocolate Week!

It's been chocolate week all week! Not being a chocolate fan I'd usually let this pass me by, but my little one has only just started to enjoy the odd piece of chocolate... so that seems like a reason to celebrate!

As far as I can tell, chocolate week is held in the UK every year. It's celebrated by those who make, those who love and those who work with chocolate.

There's even a website. I kid you not. It tells you about chocolate events in your area and has links to the companies that are participating in chocolate week.

My favourite area of the website is the recipes! http://www.chocolateweek.co.uk/recipes/

Even I would probably like the Mexican chocolate and chilli cake!

So sit down, treat yourself to a bit of whatever type of chocolate you fancy - dark, milk, (thankfully they don't seem to think that "white chocolate" is chocolate!! YAY someone who agrees with me).




Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Wordless wednesday...

Paper cranes in Japan

For those we know that are currently fighting against illness.

(If you love origami then don't forget to check out our Mibo animals)




Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Thanks Giving

Yesterday Canada celebrated their Thanks Giving. A little earlier than the USA who celebrate theirs in November.

Thanks Giving is a day where families gather to give thanks for the good fortune that they have had that year. Traditionally people serve up a Turkey dinner, with lashings of vegetables.

It's a happy family celebration that usually marks the start of the earnest Christmas shopping. In the USA, the Friday following a Thanks Giving is called 'black Friday' as people panic shop with the looming date of Christmas in their mind! Don't panic shop, we have plenty of lovely gifts available and we gift wrap for free. If you're stuck, send us a note and we'll see if we can help.


We have a little Thanks Giving treat of our own... our Festive Friends include some very Thanks Giving fellows:


I love the surprised look on the Turkey's face... it's as if someone just told him about stuffing!


Monday, 8 October 2012

Monday mentor... Crafty Daddies

It's no secret that Anna and I consider ourselves to be a little bit crafty... and we hope that most Mummies are a little bit crafty!

However, when I stumbled across this crafty website for Daddies my eyes were opened to a whole new world of crafty enterprises. The Squidoo website featuring a host of links to sewing & other tutorials is a host of lovely projects for crafty Daddies.

http://www.squidoo.com/crafts-for-men-boys-ideas-projects-to-make-sewing-tutorials

Scroll past the sewing tutorial on messenger bags (so not manly enough for our Daddy DayCare) and on to some of the other projects that would appeal to the sewing challenged craft Daddies.

I'm enchanted by the tree house / summer house project


But I also love the pallet table, which could have multiple uses both inside and out... and perfect little person height!



There's many projects on this site that crafty people should try: painting stones, mosaics, wood carving, and more. It's a site of inspiration indeed and a worthy Monday Mentor.

Watch out Daddy DayCare... I can see a few projects I may want to put on your to do list.

DangerBaby would LOVE this but let's wait until she's a little older!!!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

It's Customer Service Week!


Whilst travelling to my other job (I'm a multi multi tasking Mum!) I noticed on a South West Trains bill board that this week is National customer service week! 
A time to straighten up your collar, brush your hair and put on an extra special smile?

No no, not for us!!

Unlike other websites, one of the most important factors when starting u-ni-k gifts was that Sarah and I wanted a website with old fashioned values. A website with a friendly service where you could pick up the phone and ask questions, ask an opinion or simply ask us to help you choose. A service where we are happy to organise for something special to be made especially for you. A one off porcelain cup with a image of your child, or your child’s favourite toy. A memory box made personal for you- a gift from parent to baby. A extra special blanket stitched from your little one’s favourite rompers. A perfectly treasured and recycled keepsake. Something for the little one to grow old with.

Despite not being able to see our clients we always give service with a smile.


We try never to say no to a request or a clients wish. We sometime even add a little extra special bit, like a cherry on the top. (Read the blog)



Many of our gifts are hand made by our own hands. If a client has a tight deadline we always try to make sure the gift is received on time! (Read the blog)


We gift wrap every gift that leaves us. We’ll also send it with a special message to the person the gift is intended. No need to post it yourself when we can do it for you!






Every day is Customer service week at unikgifts.co.uk