Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Advent Calendars - CocoCards loves...

So many advent calendars to choose from, so I have added below some cute alternatives to the chocolate calendars.

From not on the high street - the Bucket advent calendar, great as you can choose what goes in each one, maybe even some fruit one day!!

A wooden Nordic reindeer advent calendar - again you can add presents, chocolates, sweets anything, so parents have total control over their childrens sweetie intake - perfect and so gorgeous.

How many sleeps till Christmas - my kids always base everything on how many sleeps - from M&S

These chocolates look divine from Montezumas.

I have been given some chocolate calendars by Grandma, but I have bought my kids these amazing advent calendars, they will just love it. Lego advent calendars.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Arley Hall - christmas shopping

I went to the most lovely Christmas Shopping spectacular yesterday at Arley Hall, it was just so lovely to see so many independent companies, mostly ran by women, very inspiring.
It was also raising money for the Seashell Trust, which is a really wonderful charity.

I have added just a few things below that I saw and bought.

From Hullabaloo toys I bought my favourite creative toys for my nieces and children for Christmas, we have had lots of Djeco before and wow they are beautiful and keep the children occupied and enthralled for a very long time.

I bought a beach bag for our next holiday and all the sun we will be having next year - ever hopeful from Klobbabags, they are huge and so well made, all in fun tasteful designs.

My children love writing stories, so I bought them their very own hand made notebooks from Handmadebooksonline.com. I just might be tempted to have Mollys for my own.

Really wanted to buy one of these wraps bought maybe a hint for a christmas present, from Birds of Paradise.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Stars and hearts - some new exciting designs

Allie my favourite Artist - I still can not find anyone to match her lovely watercolours which match my site so well has just inspired me to design a few more cards.
Take a look below, and more christmas cards are on their way as we speak!

The cute star as a baby boy birth announcement.

.. and then for twins or even triplets

 .. and then for a baby boys christening or baptism

 .. and for the baby girls, a cute heart cupcake birth announcement

.. and for the baby girls christening or baptism

..and finally for the twin little girls, a perfect baby announcement card


Monday, 17 September 2012

Baby changing bags - gorgeous finds

With 3 children I went through at least 3 changing bags, my first one ended up a soggy mess, I think it was black  - it was 9 years ago. My second was a funky multi stripe from Oioi which my hubbie disliked immensely but I loved and my last one was by Storksak and I bought it the same time or even before Angelina Jolie, I loved it.
But in 5 years since my last child was born, bags have really moved on, they are just so gorgeous, can I not just buy one and chuck out the nappy changing bit and just pretend, or have another baby as an excuse to go shopping - no bad idea!

Anyway I have added below just a selection with my favourites first.



The 4 above are all made by Sugarjack, which you can buy at www.babyconcierge.co.uk. They are just gorgeous I love the cream one.

This one was Angelina Jolie's choice of bag from Storksak.

If you are feeling like you need something colourful, the butterfly bag is by Yummy mummy, they have lots of similar designs . The Kissing rabbits bag can be found at www.beauperry.co.uk 

My friend over at www.bellamama.co.uk stocks Il Tuto bags which are divine. Lots of colours, the  black and red are below.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Christening invitation wording - just some ideas

All of the cards on my website www.cococards.co.uk can be changed to fit the wording desired by the client, but below I have given you a few starting points for christening invitation wording, from guest specific, to informal to the formal invitation.

Christening invite wording - formal
The formal invitation. 

The guest specific invitation.

The simple wording.

The informal wording for a christening invitation

The formal wording that I use regularly on my website - all cards can be bought at www.cococards.co.uk 

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Christening gifts - from budget to luxury

So for the luxurious present - a hairbrush from Asprey selling for £265 or why not buy one of their elephant money boxes at £1400.

One of my favourite places for individual hand made presents at the moment is etsy, I just love the amazing amount of variety and talent you find on etsy, so I have attached a few finds below.

This is from the etsy shop - amaria, a stunning silver pearl rosary.

Or a organic aran cable snuggler from broodbaby , but this is for 0-3 months, but I just fell in love with it.

Lastly a hand knitted pure white lace blanket, I still have mine which I used for my 3 children - absolutely timeless. From Jenacciaio. Again from etsy.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Baby names - how popular are your choices

One of my hopes as my children grow up, is there will never be too many children with the same name in their school class, as they always end up not Molly but Molly B. Luckily it has not happened as yet.
A new website I found shows stats on all names from 1996 - 2012, Molly has moved from 29th to 42nd, so not as popular anymore, Jacob from 35th to 12th, so high risk of lots of Jacobs and Jemima from 228th to 188th.
So the biggest risers for girls over the last 14 years are:

  1. Lily
  2. Grace
  3. Ava
  4. Evie
  5. Amelia
  6. Ellie
  7. Isabella
  8. Olivia
  9. Mia
  10. Maisie
I can vouch for that as I design a huge amount of cards for these names.
For boys:
  1. Oliver
  2. Ethan
  3. Charlie
  4. Lucas
  5. Noah
  6. Archie
  7. Oscar
  8. Riley
  9. Jayden
  10. Logan
I have not designed many cards for Logan or Jayden, Jayden has risen from 325th to 26th, so a huge rise.

The biggest falls have been names like Brittany 186th to 4688th, a huge drop - sorry Britney but obviously your head shaving has had a drastic effect on baby names. Chandler was 489th but now is not even recorded, so bye bye Friends even the repeats are not working.

Website is http://names.darkgreener.com.

Names are so difficult to choose, my partner and I both love all of our children's names, Jacob was named after a good friends son, who is an amazing person, he is now a Professor at Cambridge and is the kindest, most thoughtful and intelligent man I know so heres hoping it will rub off on our Jacob. We just always loved the name Molly, so that was easy and Jemima was chosen over a Thai one evening, we went all the way through the alphabet saying daft names, then both of us blurted out Jemima and that was it, who cares if we get the puddle duck comments, we love it and she is a beautiful Jemima.
So I say stick to your choice of names and do not be put off by other peoples comments, Jemimas was going to be Felix if she had been a boy and wow how many negative comments did that one bring up, but I would still keep with it if we had another.

Friday, 20 July 2012

A bit of sunshine please

Thought this wonderful watercolour might cheer is up, as we may see the sun tomorrow, so outside we go!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

School holidays - how do working mums cope

I have a business - yes that is obvious, I am a control freak and need everything to be done on time and as perfect as possible, so the question is how do I look after 3 kids over the summer holidays and work, even when we are away in France for 3 weeks.

The answer is I get stressed, but I always do all my work even if it means that I stay up till midnight working. I work like a mad woman, take business phone calls at the zoo, constantly check my iPhone for emails.

So how do I change this. I want to have one hour at least every evening to relax, work for 2 hours every morning 8 - 10am preferably, then go out for the day and work from 4 - 6pm, will it work. My clients always are shocked at how quickly they get responses, so maybe I just respond 2-3 hours later.

So my mission is to ignore the rain and fulfil as many of the 50 things to do before you are 11 3/4 by the National Trust as possible, we have so many beautiful national trust places near to us in Cheshire as well.

Other inspiration I have found when trawling pinterest. See my board here, I am adding to it all the time

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Birth announcement tips

birth announcement

Who do I send birth announcement cards to?
Anyone and everyone! Some people just send to close friends and family but others send to 100 plus, remember it is one of the most exciting moments of your life, so share the excitement with all.
Often grandparents would like to send some out as well, so ask them if they would like copies.
A rule of thumb is send them out to everyone you feel will share your excitement.

When should I send birth announcement cards out?
Send them as soon as possible after the baby is born. Before the birth you can select a design, decide on your wording, list of recipients and if you want to be really prepared you can buy your cards in advance and I can send you the envelopes to write out the addresses beforehand, we can then get the right card to match your photo after the birth – we just need to keep to the same envelope size!
If you are unable to send them out within a few weeks, why not combine a birth announcement with a thank you card for all those wonderful presents.

What do I include on the birth announcement?
Have a look at our cards for inspiration.
Include the babies first and middle name or their full name.
Birth Statistics, you can include birth date, weight, length, and time/place of birth.
Family details, include parents' and other family members' names.

What if my baby has a low or high birth weight?
If you feel that the birth weight is too high or low feel free to omit it from the card, you can always add something else instead, for example thank you for the gifts. My children had very high birth weights and I new this would be the focus so I omitted them from my birth announcements and just told people when they asked.

What if I am not married to my partner?
It is absolutely fine to either use your forenames only for all, or just the babies surname. Or use both surnames, as most of your friends will know that you are not married.

Birth announcement card with a photograph or not?
Completely up to you, my orders are probably 75% photos and 25% no photos, they both take the same amount of time to process.
Don’t put yourself under too much pressure to get the best photo, you could even send a photo thank you card out a few weeks after the birth.
Both ways are widely accepted.

Do I need to write a handwritten message on each announcement?
You can but your friends and family will totally understand if you don’t, they will appreciate how busy a time you are having.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

I love paper

I love everything paper related as you must know, and have seen these craft projects via pinterest, if you have not been on pinterest yet you must - my link is http://pinterest.com/cococards/.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Princess party or Pirate party

It is so hard to choose a theme for your childs birthday party, I always want to get the balance between what the child wants and tackiness.

So for girls birthday party themes - 

So my daughter may want a Hannah Montana party but I want .......
Princess party

A sweet traditional girly party theme, with no american TV influence (sorry everyone from the US). Full of wands, stunning party dresses, lots of cakes, personalised party bags.

Then for the boys...

My son loves Ben 10, but what can I say I don't! Am I a horrible mother, I don't think so, as my children have always loved their parties, most of them at home.

What about a pirate themed party, loads of games around this theme.

Pirate party

Princess and pirate party photos all courtesy of Hostess with the Mostess.

All my invites can be seen here