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

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

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

Monday, 2 July 2012

Hollywood glamour 40th birthday

My friend Jenny asked me to design a card for her 40th in black and gold for a Hollywood glamour themed 40th birthday party, I put together a few ideas for digital printing, but gold never looks quite right when it is digitally printed, so we decided to go for gold foil on black GF smith paper, oh how gorgeous did they look.

An amazing night was had by all and everyone looked stunning. Lots of champagne and posh frocks!