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 ūüôą). 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 ūü§źūüėāūüėā

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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


Who said it was Pay Day?

and so it starts...

The first of many purchases have been made towards Samuel's room.  Actually this is one i'm really excited about as there were a limited amount released and I managed to buy a pair.  I'm so excited as Tiny Jax haven't even officially launched yet, owned by the awesome @carterandus and available exclusively from Jaxon James, I cannot wait for their official launch.  So please welcome Raven & Snow as the first guests to Sammie's room...

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Aren't they just gorgeous, no two are the same, please follow Tiny Jax IG feed to see more of their amazing products!

Next was another piece that I knew would sit perfectly alongside these little guys, a hand painted name wedge from the adorable Sweet Little Tinkers, this is my second purchase from Louise as I originally purchased a really cute wooden rainbow to use in my product images (you may have seen).  I remembered seeing these name blocks at the time, so as soon as I decided I was doing Sammie's room then I knew I had to purchase.

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A lot of Louise's items are limited runs and specials, so she is definitely worth a follow on IG to make sure you don't miss out on new products, as well as their exclusive blankets and prints.

My last purchase (so far) was an awesome light box from Monty & Moosh, I've been coveting one for a while.  Again not my first purchase from these guys;  I had previously purchased the confetti balloons for Sammie's baptism last month and they were awesome, great table decoration and awesome fun for the kids after.  I must admit I have to control myself on their website as with all the above there are so many beautiful things to choose from, so I have no doubt i'll be visiting again soon...

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With 3 different colours of light box and 3 different choices of lettering including symbols, hand drawn & pastel (oh yeah might have ordered them for myself while i was there... can you blame me!).  I can't wait for the holidays so I can get started on his room, so exciting and i hope you'll follow our journey! Lots more to discover, buy and make...

Fay x


How Felicity realises Samuel needs a big boy room...

Considering i'm pretty creative you'd be surprised to hear that my kids rooms aren't that creative!  Some canvases and that's about it, sssshhhh don't tell anyone! However the more and more i delve into the world of interior design and expand my creative offerings then I really feel sorry for my boys as I've been promising them awesome rooms for a long time now.

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So, the OH and I have been discussing swapping the boys rooms about for a month or so now.  Their rooms take up the back of the 1st floor of the house.  They are essentially all the same size with 2 sharing a Jack & Jill and 1 with its own en-suite.  Logic dictated that as H & F are only 14 months apart and Samuel is 5 yrs younger, that H & F share the Jack & Jill and Samuel had his own bathroom.  HOWEVER... turns out that Fred and Samuel are really good together, whilst Hen likes a bit of 'space', so we've decided that in the Summer holidays we'll look at swapping Henry and Samuel's rooms.  This gives me the perfect opportunity to decorate their rooms as we go.

With Samuel starting school in Sept and still in his cot bed, I feel it's only fair that I do his room first and give him that 'big boy' room he will love and he and his friends can happily spend time in.  So over the next few months I'll be collecting inspiration and goodies from all my favourite (and hopefully some new finds) small businesses in the UK and across the world, as well as a few high street purchases in there to create a truly unique room.  Here are a few of my pics so far...

I'd love if you could join me as i design Samuel's room, follow my mood board on Pinterest to see the look I am going for, and subscribe to follow me as i work through each of the boys rooms over the next year.

 

Thanks,

Fay x


How Felicity Rocks Half Term!

It's been a mad week, half term for the kids last week but i still had to work a couple of days at the day job, then it was a case of balancing orders with entertaining the kids.  I managed to get the majority of my orders finished by the end of last week (my best week of orders yet #happydays) just as the weather started to get a little better so it meant we could spend some well earned time playing in the garden, just nice to be out enjoying the fresh air with the boys and family.

BBQ season has officially begun (we will now proceed to BBQ approx 2-3 times a week - the OH is slightly obsessed by it, well that along with Squash and Golf!) and I do love a good BBQ.  Although during my first pregnancy this wasn't a great season, i didn't have any cravings but could not stand the smell of barbecue food, he still insisted on BBQ'ing nearly every week *cue nausea* but anyway that's a distant memory now (that i drag up at opportune moment every now and then to make a point).  It also means the OH spends a lot of the time cutting the lawn with a small person in tow, which i love to watch.


As i said biggest week of orders yet and got them out on Monday, but more about that in my next post!  Because this is all about some pretty fabulous items i'd ordered from fellow Etsy sellers...

 How amazing are these motivational cards from the fabulous Laura @ Ip Dip Design, We share a total love of everything bright and fun and being incredibly insecure and self-doubting then i need something just like these to look at and remind myself it might not be easy, but it's worth it and I am enough. They are perfect for sharing on IG, Twitter and Facebook to motivate others and to brighten up a dull day.  So go on, why not pop over to her Etsy shop and buy some for yourself! Her packaging and little extras are bob on! Samuel says it all #yourock

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My next purchase was from Erica @ Ditsy Dot, I've known Erica for sometime now and absolutely love what she is doing, but having no little ladies of my own I never really considered her awesome hair accessories as something for me, but as soon as I saw the Hero Girls range I knew I had to have! Oh and then the woodland collection, and then... too much choice, needless to say I'm a happy lady.  I quite often plait my hair anyway so couldn't wait to use...

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My last purchase I'd waited sometime to order as I had to save my pennies (everything is going back into the business at the moment), but it was well worth it as we are all absolutely in love with it, and had so many compliments/comments on it.  My friend even liked so much she ordered her own!

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It's from another lovely Laura @ Laura A Fisher Art and is quite possibly the most cutest piece of artwork I've got, but don't let that make you think it's teeny small, quite the opposite.  I'd been looking for something at the top of the stairs in our hall for some time and as soon as I saw Laura's work I knew it would be perfect.

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She was delightful to work with and we had a lot of convo's over the months i saved up, she was extremely patient and I could tell just how much she enjoyed her work, which is such a lovely thing.  I think you'll agree it's damn perfect and I made an awesome choice, i would definitely recommend having a look at her store for ideas for your own home or for some beautiful gift ideas!
Anyway that's my week, now it's back to the grind.  Fingers crossed my Superhero comic fabrics should arrive this week so I can get on with making more fab & fun cushions and super soft blankets for you all!

So what did you guys do for half term? Did you go away and have a beautifully relaxing time in the sun? Did you go on a staycation? Or maybe you were the same as me and you kinda muddled through with days here and there.  Would love to hear what you got up to!

Signing off for the night, well maybe after a glass of bubbles...

Fay x