Blog

  • How to Be an Organised Mum This Year

    Many women feel they don’t know how to be an organised mum and with the job of juggling school runs, work, swimming lessons, parties and mountains of laundry (and that’s just for starters), is it any wonder?

    Although Christmas can be a great family time, it can also leave mums feeling exhausted and in a rough state to get to grips with a brand new year.

    Take heart though, because we’ve got some tips to help. If you’d like to know how to be an organised mum this year, as well as taking a little time to actually catch your breath, here’s how to make it work.

    Plan Ahead to Be an Organised Mum

     We all know that time is a killer, but taking just half an hour to plan the week ahead can help enormously.

    Try putting aside 30 minutes at the same time each week to look forward to the next seven days. Write a huge list of everything, big and small, that’s on your mind.

    Our personalised note pads are fantastic for this and help you to logically see what you need to do, rather than allow things to swirl around your head and cause you stress.

    Have a look at the tasks and decide how long you think each will take. If you’re working around children or the school run or nursery times, then work out how many hours you realistically have each day to spend (tip - it’s probably less than you think!).

    Now simply allocate the tasks to each day. If you run out of hours then the less important ones will just have to wait until next week.

    See the Bigger Family Picture

    When you’re trying to wrestle motherhood into some kind of order, it’s handy to see the bigger picture and know what the rest of the family are up to.

    You might think that personally you’ve got time to be somewhere, but combine that with get ting Jimmy to his trombone lesson, and you might see that it doesn’t really work.

    If you say yes to doing something as a family because you’re free on a certain day, look at it in a bigger context. Are your family actually busy on all the other days of the week too? Is that going to be total overkill and wipe everyone out before school starts again on Monday?

    Our family weekly calendar is perfect to get a bird’s eye view of what everyone in the family has going on.

    Plan in Some Rest

    I know, we mothers think we’re invincible and that rest is for losers. But often we’re the ones holding everything together, so if we can avoid our own ship sinking we’re less likely to take anyone else down with us.

    Try not to put activities into every single moment of every single day, whether that’s fun time, work time or housework. Plan in the rest you need, even if that’s just ten minutes sitting down to watch your favourite TV show. After all, we’re in this for the long haul!

    We’ve got all kinds of personalised notepads and planners to help you to be an organised mum this year - and we know you can do it! Shop the full range here.

  • Our Top 5 Christmas Teacher Gift Ideas for 2018

    So you want to say thanks to your child’s teacher, but you’re stuck for a Christmas teacher gift idea? Our round-up has five of the best.

    We’ve put together five Christmas thank-yous for your teacher that are unique, personalised and won’t break the bank. After all, they’ve been teaching our children all term long and they deserve a treat!

  • 1. Personalised Teacher Desk Tidy
  • This is the best Christmas teacher gift for any members of staff who are, well, a little bit messy. If Miss or Sir needs some help to keep their desk in order, then this teacher desk tidy is the perfect helper.

    Personalise the stoneware pen pot with your teacher’s name and a short message and let them know that you appreciate their hard work.

    It’s personal, practical and more interesting than boring old chocolate!

     2. Personalised Teacher Notepad

      For teachers who have a lot to remember, this is a great Christmas teacher gift idea.

       Inspired by our bestselling notepad, this slim, sleek version is ideal to carry around in a handbag and jot down notes on the go.

       The pad has 40 pages for lists, notes and reminders and can be personalised with the teacher’s name in a modern, swirly font.  It reads ‘From the desk of’ at the top and is finished at the bottom of each page with a printed star and your chosen school name. 

      3. Personalised Teacher Mug

      Cups of coffee are a teacher’s best friend, so let’s make it personal with a stoneware mug that has their name on it.

      Made to look like a page ripped from a lined notebook, this lovely mug shows the teacher they’ve got top marks from everyone in your family.

      4. Personalised Coaster

        Some days are better than others, which is why we created this teacher’s coaster as a little pick-me-up to remind them that they’re someone’s favourite.

        This coaster doesn’t cost the earth and is printed with a sweet sum that adds first name to last name to equal your child’s best teacher.

         A simple Christmas teacher gift idea that lets them know they’re appreciated. 

         5. Tote Bag

          Why do teachers always have so much stuff to carry? This personalised teacher tote bag is going to make sure that they do it in style.

          Made from heavyweight natural cotton and hand printed on one side, this sturdy bag has extra-long straps and is ideal for carrying lots of books. It reads “No. 1 teacher as voted for by…” - just add your child’s name.

          If you really want to go for it and make your teacher’s day, then why not try filling the bag, mug or desk tidy with chocolates, colourful stationery, pens or post-it notes, or maybe even a cheeky bottle of Christmas tipple.

           

          Many of the different designs shown here are available across different products and you can see the full range here.

          Whatever your plan, let’s hear if for the teachers. They work so hard - and we really need them to come back in January!

           

      1. Nine Things I'd Love To Share With You This Month: May 2018

        Nine Things I'd Love To Share With You This Month: May 2018

        Nine Things To Share May 2018 by XOXO stationery

        Well here we are, over half way through the fifth month of 2018... I really feel like just pressing 'pause' for a wee while!  Anyways, here are my nine things I'd like to share for May:

         

        1. Jewellery

        Jewellery

        Going through the various stages of my marriage breakup last year I bought some pieces of personalised jewellery from Amy at Chambers & Beau.  This 'smile' necklace was my first purchase and I got it personalised with BE STRONG BE HAPPY BE BRAVE ...I wore in non-stop for a long time!

         

        2. Artwork

        Artwork

        Saw this lovely hand pulled print from Deborah Champion and had to have it!  It's called 'Seven Fish For Luck' and sits perfectly on the mantelpiece.

        3. Garden

        Plants and Pots

        Well my definition and all that will be my garden - three plants! There was a (pretty yeuchy) rough flower bed running the length of one wall but yay - it's now gone!  Not sure if Polly Dog is as happy about it's removal as I am though but hey-ho.  I'm totally clueless with all things gardening...I just knew I wanting tall black pots and these three plants...my fab Mum went on a couple of garden centre visits and came up trumps.

         

        4. Magazine

        Good Company

        It's been a while since I picked up anything except house-y magazines but when I read that Design Sponge (if you have never visited their website, it's the perfect place to get lost over a cup of coffee, a big long cup of coffee!) were publishing a new print magazine "..will provide motivation, inspiration, practical advice, and a vital sense of connection and community for women and non-binary creatives at every state of life.." it sounded too good to be true.  A great read.

         

        5. Words

        words

        ...Amen!  YOU are enough. 


        6. Lighting

        I'd had my eye on this light from John Lewis since literally moving into twenty-three early November. Saddo that I am, I was so excited about getting it - the hallway is high, it's now pure white and it could take a statement light but, but, but come March it was still out of stock so I eventually gave up and many hours of internet searching later I found this one and I'm happy!

         

        7. Fresh Air

        torrs point

        You know that thing when something is virtually on your doorstep...but you have never actually realised?!  Yes!  That!  Am now familiar with a lovely coastal walk, through forest, across fields and voila - clifftops and beautiful views.

         

        8. Clock

        Clock 

        Firstly, my friends and family think I'm kinda weird having to have a clock in bathroom...am I?!  Thing is, I totally love my morning shower and can easily lose track of time - nothing worse than a sudden panic thinking you have to get a move on, jumping out the shower, checking the time only to realise you could have had another 5 minutes.  
        ps. My picture is rubbish and doesn't do this beautiful clock from paladim on Etsy justice.  The wood matches the flooring in my shower room so well

         

        9. Before and After - My Bedroom

        bedroom - before

        Bedroom - After

        I love my bedroom soooo very much, it's my little oasis of calm (and bonus being it's on the top floor of the house - away from my two noisy teenagers!)

         

      2. Nine Things I'd Love To Share With You This Month: April 2018

        Nine Things I'd Love To Share With You This Month: April 2018

        ...well yes, it is still April - just! Has been such a funny month and I do wish the weather would stop teasing with it's occasional sunny days...bring on May - sunshine and heat if you please!

         

        1. Flooring

        Got the new vinyl laid in the bathroom this month.  Slightly nervous as I bought it online without a colour swatch but the shade is perfect and I love it (unlike one son whose verdict is "disgusting").

        bathroom

         

        2. Footwear

        ...erm so do I admit that I found these when I was 'unpacking' a just-dump-it-in-there cupboard this month (yip, I've still not fully unpacked). I'd forgotten that I bought them last autumn..so fun new boots.  My first pair of Art Company footwear but I'm loving the chunky-ness and playful design...I guess there is some bonus to it not being sandal weather quite yet.

         

        3. Plants

        You know that saying 'fake it until you make it' well I say 'fake it if you kill it'.  Have never been into artificial plants before but they are growing on me (absolutely no pun intended).  How could I have forgotten to water plants that I pass every single time I go up/down the stairs?!  Anyway, these artificial green bamboo plants from IKEA are just fab!

        plants

         

        4. Decor

        So when I saw Besty Benn's velvet map embroidery hoops I just kinda had to have one..and it's so lush!   Love the simplicity of it - just shows roads and rivers of the location of your choice - and  I opted for simple text "Home - Twenty Three".  (and yes, check out the artificial cacti...ebay special!)

         

        5. Mistakes

        We all make them, perhaps some bigger than others but regardless...

         

         

        6. Before & After - Kitchen

        So the kitchen was never. ever on the agenda (nor budget!) for changing at the moment - I just wanted a couple of more cupboards and I would have been quite happy for a while...except I discovered that the range had been discontinued.  What's a person to do?!


         

        7. Yum!

        If you love chocolate (and who doesn't....we all know chocolate makes everything better right!), and if you haven't already, you need to introduce yourself to the delicious makings from Holly at The Slabb.  Honestly go check them out ...'The Amaretto Cherry One', 'The Gin One'  'The Biscoff One'  and on I could go!  Highly recommended joining 'The Slabb Chocolate Society' facebook group too..live videos, votes on special edition flavours, giveaways.  Soooo good!

         

        8. Etsy Finds

        Have had my eye on Rebecca Killen's colbat blue dipped milk bottles for a wee while and now I actually own one - yay!  It's stunning!  And the felt 'billy ball' flowers from Mellsva set it off to perfection, least I think so!



         

        9. Coat Rack

        So I originally purchased this in sunny yellow from block and with every intention of using it to hang coats but...well...I sprayed it black and have used it as letter art inside the front door.