There have been numerous studies over the years, which confirm the ability of music to soothe the mind; the word lullaby has been used in the English language since the Middle Ages. It’s one of several, such as rock a by and hush baby which shows that generations of parents have used music to help soothe their babies to sleep
Babies in the womb can hear music that is played in the environment from around 6 months there are many studies advise that classical music is most beneficial…though I do think any type of music that you enjoy would be ideal!
Music with a repetitive, simple beat is the easiest for a baby to understand. The studies show that babies who listen to music have better co ordination of their hands and feet and music also has a positive impact on intelligence too!
Music can be a great addition to a baby’s bedtime routine, after a soothing bath it’s a lovely way to ease the transition from wakefulness to sleep.
Our gorgeous wooden music boxes feature popular classical music and may help soothe babies at bedtime.
From “Trick or Treat” through to “Sweet 16” parties, proms and many more special occasions, the UK hasn't been slow to pick up on some of the best US celebrations. A traditional American event that's proving a big hit on this side of the pond is the Baby Shower; a chance for friends, family, colleagues and well-wishes to “shower” parents-to-be with gifts, support and advice in preparation for the impending new arrival. We've dug a little deeper into the history and customs associated with a Baby Shower, so read on to discover what type of gift to give if you're invited to a Shower, or how to organise one for someone you care about.
Although traditional celebrations, customs and rites surrounding pregnancy and birth are a part of many cultures, the Baby Shower as we recognise it is a fairly modern celebration. Until the 1930s, the main event relating to a baby's birth both here and in the States was a Christening Ceremony - primarily a religious occasion. It is thought that from the 1930s onwards, factors such as decreasing infant and maternal mortality and the increased availability of relatively cheap presents (due mainly to mass production methods), resulted in the rising popularity of the Baby Shower (sometimes called the Stork Shower in bygone days).
Prior to the past decade or two, Baby Showers were normally held in the afternoon and hosted by friends or relations – as the main purpose of the Shower was to receive gifts, it was seen as rude for the mum-to-be to do the hosting! Generally light refreshments and tea were served. Guests had the opportunity to chat, play games and offer gifts suitable for both the impending new arrival and the mother-to-be. Traditionally, these presents included practical baby care items (including nappies (diapers), baby clothing, baby bedding and small toys) as well as toiletries and similar luxuries for the mother-to-be. Until recently Baby Showers were women only affairs, deemed unsuitable for men!
If you are organising a Baby Shower today, or have been invited to one, the rules are now a little different! Modern Baby Showers can be hosted by friends, family or the mother (and/or) father-to be. Both men and women are welcome. Food is easy to prepare – typically sandwiches, cakes, scones, a cold buffet, hot and cold drinks and perhaps champagne. Although Baby Shower games can still be played, today's Baby Showers are often more of a chance to chat about the impending birth, share stories of labour and post-birth experiences and give parents-to-be information on the tips and tricks used to survive the first few weeks or months of new parenthood!
If you've been sent a Baby Shower invite, it may have come with a list of appropriate gifts; if not, then something from our great selection of Baby Shower presents here at Snuggle Feet should work really well. Why not pick out a high-quality toy for the new arrival, or some premium bath or body products that are just the thing for mum-to-be pampering? For a larger present, one of our gift baskets, filled with products of your choosing, could be just the thing. In addition to our boy / girl hampers, we also offer a great selection of gender-neutral options which can be ideal presents for parents-to-be who haven't yet revealed their baby's gender. Baby Showers are enormous fun and a great chance for friends, family and well wishers to celebrate with parents-to-be before they get on with the job of child-raising! For high-grade Baby Shower gifts that are always appreciated, something from the Snuggle Feet collection is the perfect solution.
We had an invite to a Christening last weekend, it was held at St Paul’s catholic church in Dover. The service was starting at 10am and the christening was part of the morning service as is usually the way these days. There were three babies being christened that morning and ours was the last. Even though the ceremony is not as big as it was in years gone by, the guests still get dressed for the occasion and bring the baby gifts.
After the service was finished we made our way to a hall that was hired for the day…It was decorated in silver and white, balloons, streamers and table decorations which were all lovely!
It is always hard to decide what to give as a Christening gift, it depends on the type of Christening you are attending. If it is a religious service, gifts such as small bibles, rosaries and gifts with a religious meaning would be a good idea. If it is a non religious ceremony or naming service then these may not be appropriate, silver gifts are always popular such as money boxes, certificate holders or cups. Other more practical ideas could include a cutlery set or dinner ware, these can always be personalised too.
We had a lovely day, the food and drink offered was delicious and it was good to catch up with old friends and in case you are wondering what we took as a gift…We decided on a cream leather photo album to keep special memories in.
A year ago we noticed a new trend showing up in the UK marketplace, this trend had been around in the US for years, the trend was personalised gifts. Companies were starting to personalise everything, from wooden items to clothing. If you could engrave or embroider onto a product, then someone was probably doing it.
Personalising products and sending them as gifts was a great idea, it made the gift that little bit more special, in particular if the gift was for a newborn baby, christening gift or wedding present. Adding a baby or child’s name to a toy, a name and date to a wedding present was a fantastic idea and it started to become popular way of gift giving in the UK marketplace.
At the same time we noticed this new trend in gift shopping, we started selling on a new marketplace, Not On The High Street. The idea behind Not On The High Street was to sell gifts not found on your local high street, to sell bespoke and unique products from independent small sellers and a lot of these products were personalised in some way. When we noticed how popular these products were becoming we knew we needed to buy a laser engraving machine.
Why a laser engraving machine and not a embroidering machine? Well we didn’t want to source new products to personalise, we wanted to try and personalise some of our current product range. In our current product range we had wooden pull along toys, wooden music boxes and baby imprint frames, all these products had space on them to engrave onto, perfect for a baby’s name, date of birth and weight this would give our customers a choice if they wanted to personalise our products.
At this point we knew nothing about laser engraving, but like most things done at Snuggle Feet, we took to the internet to research and learn about these machines. Before long we had learnt a lot and had a plan, laser engraving machines start life at the cheaper end from machines mainly made in China and sold though eBay to the top end machines made by Trotec Laser.
We wanted to test this whole idea out first before investing in a premium laser machine, so this lead us down the eBay route and the cheaper end of the market, so a machine was purchased from eBay and we were up and running pretty quick. Our first laser machine (from eBay) served a purpose, but the quality of the engraving wasn’t great, instead of engraving into the paint on the product, it sort of slightly burnt the paint instead. Plus the software you used to do the artwork on and control the engraver wasn’t great.
Never the less, we had this eBay engraver for about 18 months while we tested ideas and how best to personalise our products, as well as learning about the whole world of laser engraving.
Personalising our wooden toy products became incredibly popular with our customers and we decided we wanted a better machine, we needed a better engraving quality and speed. So after doing more research we found the best machine on the market was made by Trotec Laser.
So before long we had booked a demo at the Trotec Guildford showroom, where Micaela and Andy really looked after us. We were so impressed from that first meeting that we agreed to purchase a Trotec Speedy 100. Trotec is the Rolls Royce of the laser engraving world, their machines aren’t cheap, but you pay for what you get. The build quality and reliability is outstanding.
I could go on and on here, but I think pictures say a 1000 words, so below are a few photos of engravings we have produced and sold, these photos show, firstly the cheaper eBay machine compared to the Trotec laser engraving machine below.
In fact, the laser engraving side of the business is going so well we decided to form a separate business focused on engraving chopping boards, glasses and other products, it's called The Laser Engraving Company.
Engraving produced using our first laser engraving machine purchased from eBay - Giraffe pull along toy
Engraving produced by our Trotec laser engraving machine (Speedy 100) - Giraffe pull along toy
Engraving produced on our first laser engraving machine purchased from eBay - Pirate music box
Engraving produced using our Trotec laser engraving machine (Speedy 100) - Pirate music box
Engraving produced on our first laser engraving machine purchased from eBay - Baby imprint kit
Engraving produced using our Trotec laser engraving machine (Speedy 100) - Baby imprint kit
If you're struggling to find something that shows how much you care, have you thought about giving a personalised present? By selecting a beautiful gift that's also engraved with the name of the recipient, you're not just providing something fresh and new, you're also gifting a unique, original item that is likely to become a valued keepsake, treasured for many years to come. Whether you're choosing a personalised gift for the first time, or have already discovered that personalised contributions are always well-received, here are five good reasons why personalisation is a great option.
Because a name means so much, taking the trouble to ensure that your gift is individually engraved gives a personal, caring touch to your present that you just can't get from an ordinary product. We are able to skilfully engrave any name you wish on a wide range of high-quality toys, photo frames, plaques and other items; whether you want to buy a gift especially for a small child, or are looking for an option that parents will cherish, we have a selection of well-chosen choices that offer something suitable for everyone.
Personalised Yellow Giraffe Wooden Pull Along Toy
If you're shopping for a child named Olivia, Noah or Oliver, finding personalised merchandise can be fairly straight-forward. For children with less widely used names, locating personalised goods can be a nightmare. Try finding a named item for Sharaz, Arabella or Quinton! One of the advantages of using our engraving service is that we can add any name to a product of your choice. Not only can we accommodate less well-known names, we can also engrave names popular in other parts of the world, shortened forms of names (Beth rather than Elizabeth, Jim instead of James, for example) or even pet names that are unique to the gift recipient.
Even at pre-school or nursery, there are often places (coat pegs, property name tags, named work) where the child's name will be on display. If a child can recognise their own name, they're able to be that little bit more independent, finding their possessions quickly and easily. A personalised toy allows them to get used to seeing their name in written form very early on. Even if they're unable to recognise individual letters and relate them to sounds, the shape of their name will soon become familiar. For older children, a personalised toy can be a great help when it comes to learning to write their name – no need to keep asking mum or dad how it's spelled!
There's no need to restrict your message to a name. Greetings, wise sayings or a special date can all be engraved on your product to our usual impeccable standard. Plaques and photo frames lend themselves particularly well to alternative messages; why not use a photo frame for baby's picture, with the date of birth engraved on it? “With love”, “Love always”, “Special boy/girl” or “Welcome to our world” all make attractive additions to a picture frame and offer a sincere, enduring message.
Personalised Wooden Car Jigsaw Puzzle Toy
Small children (and busy parents) often find that keeping track of their property can be difficult! How many parents tell tales of spending hours retracing their steps to find a beloved cuddle rag or toy? Not only do our brightly coloured toys stand out, but if they're engraved, they're easily identifiable as your own. Our engraving doesn't chip off or fade, so even much played with toys can still be quickly recognisable. No matter how much tough love our engraved toys receive, the personalised engraving remains clear. For an attractive, high-quality answer to your personalised gift needs, take a look at our carefully chosen selection.
With wedding season in full swing and to indulge in my love of flowers, I thought I would do a round up of some of my favourite floral video tutorials.
I have included videos that use both fresh and faux flowers, the occasion will determine what you use. Of course all these ideas are not just for weddings, flowers are a wonderful and fun addition to any occasion, a party, Christening, a baby shower or even just as a beautiful display in your own home!
Flowers can set the scene, whether they are soft and romantic or structural and geometric, pretty pastels or bold and bright. Then there is foliage, leaves can look dramatic as a stand alone display, or to enhance your choice of flowers.
At the end of this blog I have shared some of my favourite laser Engraving Company product photos that include fresh flowers. I am very lucky to have a friend who is an amazing florist... she is able to translate my ideas into exactly what I want. Thanks Teresa, you are a clever lady!
First up is a fantastic Floral Wreath tutorial by Lynette Yoder. Within the video there are three different wreath ideas that have inspired me to have a go and Peonies, did I mention Peonies are one of my most favourite of flowers!
I have seen these letters all over Instagram, I think they would look amazing in a nursery. You could even pick your colours to suit seasons or celebrations, Christmas, Halloween or what about Easter? And of course they would be a great idea to personalise a wedding.
Maison De Fleurs is a luxury florist that sells exquisite (read - mega expensive!) blooms. Their flower boxes are stunning, so here is a fabulous tutorial to make an inexpensive and easy version for yourself. You can customise it to your own style and decor and you could use fresh flowers if you preferred.
I love this super simple idea! It is so pretty… reminiscent of a macrame hanging. I think it would look beautiful at a rustic styled wedding with fresh flowers or as a wall hanging for behind my bed with faux flowers.
And finally. Wow! I just love this beautiful bouquet, roses, peonies, pearls...what more could a girl ask for? Oh yes, a bouquet that lasts forever!
As I mentioned, if at all possible I love to use fresh flowers in our product photography, apart from anything if you have beautiful flowers you don’t really need much else in terms of props.
Here are some of my favourite shots with flowers from our wedding range, including Bride and Groom hangers, save the date cards and beautiful engraved glasses.
You can click on the product photo to shop or join our mailing list here to be kept up to date with all our news!
And if you would like to see more of Teresa's amazing floristry skills, you can find her here.
Finding the perfect Father's Day gift can be hard, there is so much to choose from!
10 FABULOUS FATHER'S DAY GIFT IDEAS!
We love the simple lines of this oak key ring, perfect for families that have unusual names as you can pick exactly what you would like engraved on each tag. Any Dad would love this key ring!
For the ultimate cute factor...one for daddy and one for his mini-me. Perfect for park adventures, we think this gift set is a winner for Father's Day.
One for the Grandads, we love the sentiment of the words on this monochrome print. A really stunning addition to a gallery wall.
Here is another fabulous idea for Grandad, or any other family member such as Dad, Daddy or Gramps as you have the option personalise the text to suit. We think mornings will be a lot brighter eating breakfast from this board.
Let's not forget that there are all kinds of Dads! We love this bright graphic...with the perfect sentiment for your Step-dad.
The first Father's Day is always a special one...mark the occasion with this wrist wrap that comes with a special message. Made with a black waxed cotton cord and black glass beads it is a great gift for a new Daddy.
Choose two places that mean a lot to your Dad, maybe where they were born and the place their first child was born? The cufflinks are then made with authentic maps and atlases...a truly unique gift.
For the chef in the family, we think this personalised cutting board would make a unique gift for Dad. With its clean lines and simple engraving, it would look great displayed in the kitchen and can be personalised with a message.
Is there a bearded Dad in your life? If so then this comprehensive collection of beard oils would make the perfect Father's Day gift. Each bottle is the perfect size to try out all the delicious sounding and smelling scents...our favourite...Cut Grass!
A simple style and clear graphic give this 'Daddy' wash bag a modern look. Perfect for those trips to the gym or for carrying essentials when travelling.