Monday, 17 February 2014

We miss you sunshine, please come back soon!

With all the recent bad weather, we've seen many requests for 'sunny' or 'spring' images. It seems that the constant grey clouds and rain streaked windows are starting to bring us all down.

So with this in mind, I'm going to take a look at some bright & spring like images (just to cheer us all up)

I love the colours on Beetroot Press canvass print of Columbia Flower Market, teamed up with these pansies in the picture below... in bright sunlight. Ohhh just lovely.
























The bright florals of the Shuktara blanket (still a firm favourite of DangerMouse) brighten any room on a rainy day
























The cheeky chicks in the Mibo range always make me smile, maybe it has something to do with their silly names (Eggory Peck, Cluck Gable, Sophia Le Hen).





We hope these bright & happy images brightened your day. All these products are available at www.unikgifts.co.uk



Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Is your bump a little green horse?


What Chinese sign is your little one?

Chinese Astrology is based on the 12 animals- Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig and five elements- Metal, Fire, Wood, Water and Earth.  
It is understood that these 12 animals appeared in front of the Buddha/Jade Emperor in the above order after an invitation to visit.  These twelve animals rotate in a 12-year cycle, with each year being named after the animal. For example we are currently in the Year of the Snake.  
The 5 elements represent the 5 largest planets and combine with Yin and Yang to create a system of 10 stems (Yang Wood, Yin Wood, Yang Fire, Yin Fire, Yang Earth, Yin Earth, Yang Metal, Yin Metal, Yang Water and Yin Water) and combine within the 12 branches (animals). With the combination of these 5 elements, two stems and the 12 animals they combine together to create a 60-year cycle. 
The beginning of the year is not as predictable as our new year starting on 1st January. 
The Chinese New Year normally starts towards the end of January. This year, starting January 31st, we celebrate the year of the Green Wooden Horse.



If you are due to have a baby in 2014, after 31st January your baby will be a little Wooden Horse.
Chinese Astrology has a close relationship with Chinese Philosophy. According to Chinese Astrology the year you are born tells you a lot more then just your age.


The Horse is the 5th position in the Chinese Zodiac. The Chinese like Horses for many reasons. Horses provided a good and quick transportation for people before automobiles were invented.  A Horse is a ride to a destination. Therefore,  a horse is not only a symbol of travelling, but also a sign of speedy success. Horses are known to like to compete with others. They chase for their freedom, passion and leadership. Therefore, people will have busy schedule for their goal in the year of Horse. In Chinese Five Element Astrology, Horse is connected to fire, red and heat.A horse is a social animal and red is also connected to love, therefore a horse is treated as a Romantic Star in Chinese Astrology. If your baby is due in this Chinese year of the wooden horse, you can expect confidence, generosity, leadership, free spirit and a yearn for freedom to roam with lots  and lots of love.
My little girl, born in May 2010 is a Tiger. Apparently I have a born leader on my hands! And Sam my little boy, born in August 2011 is a Rabbit- He’s timid, sweet and sensitive. Ummmmmm…. Although I am not sure timid is a word I would associate with Sam that’s my two pretty much down to a T.
So, coming from a lady born in the Sign of the Goat (apparently I’m dependable, intelligent, creative and calm) I look forward to meeting all the little green wooden horses out there very soon. Especially the wooden horses that will be making a little appearance in my family and friends lives!

Hurry up little horses,...I can't wait to meet you all.
 A x


Friday, 24 January 2014

It's Mummy's birthday... what would she like?

What does Mummy want for her birthday? Diamonds? Flowers?

It's Mummy's birthday and you know what she'd really like? She'd like a day where everyone helps make her feel a little appreciated, a little less busy. While little boxes of Tiffany diamonds would be nice... it'd be the little things that would mean so much more.

So try these things:

Tidy up after yourselves (you don't have to hoover & dust), don't clean the house - just make things look a little more presentable.

Play nice. Please, no drama that requires Mummy intervention or Mummy to become the fun police!

These little things would go a long way, but while we're asking for little things for our birthday:


Clear the dishes in the sink / empty the dishwasher / fill the dishwasher. It may not seem like much but a day without dishes is a real treat.

Cook or order something in! Us Mummies worry a lot about making sure our families are fed homecooked balanced meals, it'd be nice for someone else to worry about this one day of the year.

And while we're dreaming...

It'd be nice for Mummy to have a bath by herself, perhaps if at all possible with candles and a glass of something nice. She'll come out in her own time a new person... a much nicer person!



Actually it's my birthday...

If you've been following us on Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn - it can't have escaped your notice that it'll be my birthday on Sunday. Yep, the famous 26th January (Australia Day) will mark the 30something year of my life!

This year I'll be inviting the other NCT Mummies over for a night of nibbles, drinks & crafts. We'll chat, stick, sew, glue and generally get creative without worrying about little hands in the paint, playdoh on the carpet, or children's scissors cutting things they shouldn't!

An evening of girly indulgence, maybe even with a movie! Bliss.

(Followers of the SarahD Photography facebook page will be pleased to know that I still plan to take my annual trip up to the Natural History Museum but on a day where DangerMouse is at nursery so an indulgence but not one that requires anyone else to make an effort!)


A little bit of planning

So make those homemade cards, bake some cupcakes (use a cake mix from your local supermarket if you have to!) and give Mummy some me time for her birthday.

A little bit of planning goes a long way! But to help you along, we're working on a section just for Mummies on our website, www.unikgfits.co.uk

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A tidy house is a life not lived!



I am a Mum of two naughties. Not named naughties by me, but by the other half of unik, as apparently I frequently told Ida as a small infant “Don’t be naughty!”. She wasn’t particularly naughty but a phrase I continually said never the less. A worrying first Mum!


Becoming a Mum has been a massive learning curve.  Incredibly tough at times but a role I certainly adore and continually learn and strive to apply and teach myself whilst my children grow.
I wasn’t a gooey baby person before having children. Other peoples small babies quite honestly scared me half to death. But having children was a certainty for me as loosing my Dad many moons ago concreted the need to grow myself and spread the love quite literally. When you die, it’s not what you leave but who you leave that is important at the time. Apologies for being depressing but when I found out my Dad was very poorly, the very first thing I wanted to do was make sure he got to see his Grandchildren. Sadly something I wasn’t quick enough to ensure as I was a poor single  student. However,  I know that he looks over my little family in whatever way is appropriate for the time or situation everyday. He frequently makes me smile and giggle or shed a little tear despite leaving us over 9 years ago. I see him through butterflies fleeting through the garden as they did the Summer he died. Through songs he played loud on a Sunday morning. Loud radio playing is something I certainly do and encourage with my little ones. Or through silly little saying and phrases I constantly say just like he did. Most are pointless sayings but make me and my naughties smile nevertheless. It's simple life is too short to to share the love.

Like all other children (I hope),  my naughties are certainly loved much. These last few days my little ones have shown an empathy that I wasn’t sure they were mature enough to achieve yet. It has surprised me a little but has certainly been welcomed. Whether it be waking to to find a little one asleep beside me,  sneaking into my bed to ensure Mummy had someone to cuddle on the first night Daddy was away. Or making sure I had toys for the remaining nights to ensure I was cuddled. Or simply giving me kisses and cuddles when I have flagged or been tired.

So this Valentines day I will be celebrating love of a different kind. A unconditional love of a Parent and child. The love that makes you go gooey. And yes I do now go gooey  My littlest naughty certainly makes me  go weak at the knees at the drop of a hat. 
There is quite simply nothing like a cheeky wotsits love and cuddles.


Inspired by Valentines day and a  greetings card's wise words that  I saw in the Post Office today (that this blog is named after), I will be downing tools and getting scooters, hat and gloves  ready and going out to play on Valentines day. To celebrate being a Mum and my lovely unconditional little loves. 

Take a peek at our u-ni-k album, Unconditional lovehere.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Let them be children, give them time to grow

It's a New Year, and we look froward to meeting all those little ones that are due to join us this year. So today I've written a blog for parents, be they old hands or first timers. These words are mine, they're not here to advise or lecture, but I hope they make you think!

They're so small
Now that I have a child, the whole world is a different place.

Being a parent changes you like nothing else in the world, this tiny human brings you a new perspective on everything. It doesn't matter how many books you read, classes you take or advice you are given; somehow you are never prepared.

The first few months are hard, you have this new responsibility - this tiny human whose cries vibrate around your heart and you'll do everything in your power to stop them being upset, to make everything right for your child.

Sometimes I changed to her favourite
Shuktara blanket to help calm her down
Except you don't know how, and your tiny human can't tell you how... and since you're not sleeping a full 6-8hrs a night it becomes really hard to guess. You read internet pages about week 1, week 2, week 3... everyone is telling you how your baby should be developing. No-one tells you why your baby has woken up grumpy and crying. Eventually you fall back on 'Hungry? Try feeding. Uncomfortable? Try changing. Scared? Hold baby and rock. Bright light? Move to a dark room / shady spot...Overworked? Perhaps a drive in the car' The guesses continue and sometimes a combination of all the things you try will work, sometimes they wont. You'll keep trying & never give up.

For each parent this tiny human takes your primary focus in life, so it's easy to forget little things like where you put down your glasses / house keys / coffee. It's often said that us women give birth to our brains, well we don't - it's just our entire focus is taken up by our child. Everything else is insignificant in comparison & with the sleep deprivation we just don't care about trivial things. We're trying to survive and do the best for our child.

Everyone you know is trying to help you survive your child growing up. People will bombard your email / Facebook / Google+ accounts with internet quotes & advice, and this doesn't stop when they're past the infant crying stage. Your friends & family have the best will in the world and all will wade in with their advice, observations, and well meant help. Nobody knows your baby like you do. You have to trust your instincts, learn what your baby needs - you know best. Really you do!

Dance in rainbows, enjoy childish things
My latest 'internet advice' is to smack my pre-school 3 year old to correct her behaviour, you may have seen it...smacking is supposed to result in respect for others. Babies arrive with their own basic, primeval personality - their neural pathways for basic survival are already there (fear, hunger, love, etc). Over the next 5 years they'll fine tune who they are with experiences & example; you can help shape the future but you'll never be able to change their core personality - literally their brains are not 'wired up' that way. Take care & remember that until they are 5, they're still learning - behaviour is a form of communication not a way to "get what they want" or "annoy".

I believe smacking a child that's upset will not result in 'respect for others'; it will not teach the child how to deal with the cause of the upset or help your child deal with the situation when it arises again in a more controlled manner. Until a child has learnt how to deal with a situation, every child needs to be guided through how to react. You as parents will know when your child is testing your boundaries; refusing to put on pyjamas at night, not eating supper but requesting sweets instead... Scenarios your child knows & usually behaves for but tries to change to their current will, well then you have to be strong and correct their behaviour as you see fit.

Being a parent is hard, but the rewards are immeasurable. I believe that you have to take care of yourselves, slow down and spend time with your little one. Help your child learn, show them by example the person you want them to be, include them in your family & friends activities, and enjoy their company. Fill them with a passion for life, a sense of wonder and self confidence to try new things. My child shows me a new way of seeing the world; we laugh, dance in rainbows and regularly go on adventures. We enjoy childish things because soon she'll want to do something else, something a little more grown up; like start her own family.

Thoughts in a faraway place

The Shuktara blankets & Rainbow makers are available, along with other child toys, at www.unikgifts.co.uk