Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Friday, November 26, 2010 | | 0 comments
OK I'll admit it, I'd never heard of either of these terms before the beginning of the week, ( I blame it on being English) when you couldn't move on Facebook, Etsy in fact pretty much anywhere on any kind of media without them being mentioned.

Some research revealed that Black Friday's name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.  Later an alternative explanation began to be offered: that "Black Friday" indicates the period during which retailers are turning a profit, or "in the black."  Which is pretty depressing, imagine only having 5 weeks of the year to make all your 'gravy'.

Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work on Monday and buying what they liked.

Whatever their origins it means big spending for lots of people and hopefully it'll signal a stronger US economy than of late.  For Hands on Keepsakes it means we're offering FREE SHIPPING for 4 days, from Black Friday to Cyber Monday AND........drum roll please.... For the first time ever we've slashed the price our our keyring/decoration in half.

Holiday Bronze Keyring/Decoration with Names

Normally $ 70.00 this beautiful bronze keyring is now $ 35.00 'till midnight on Cyber Monday.  This decoration comes ready to hang with beautiful green and red ribbon and is also packaged with a 'split ring' to convert the decoration into a keyring after the holidays.

Just as a sample here are some of the delectable items you can get free shipping on from now 'till midnight on Cyber Monday - at least you know why it's called that now!

Baby's First Christmas 2010
Custom Holiday Decorations
(or tree tags as Rachelle and I like to call them.)

We love you Grandma keyring/decoration

Happy shopping and have a wonderful weekend.

GUEST BLOG: The Mommy Crisis

Sunday, November 21, 2010 | | 0 comments
I'm so excited to have Jen Sencar from MomcafĂ© Okanagan as our Guest Blogger today! This blog is hitting close to home for me as guess who's Maternity Leave is up in two months!!

The “Mommy Crisis”

I was out at one of my first networking functions in years and I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time. We got to talking about work, family and balancing it all, and my friend admitted to me that she didn’t simply identify herself as a mom.  Her love for her daughter was obvious but it was more about her identity… who she was. While she was a mother, she was also a career woman. She needed to have that adult stimulation in her life.   At about 8 months into her maternity leave she was starting to feel depressed, so much so that she went to her doctor thinking that it maybe she developed post partum depression.  The doctor said no and she began talking to all of her mommy friends about how she was feeling.  To her surprise they all said “Don’t worry about it.  It is just the Mommy Crisis”.  To which she replied, “What the heck is that?”  You know your maternity leave is almost over and you are wondering now what? And the questions keep coming: Do you go back to work? If so, how much? How do you deal with the guilt of wanting to work instead of staying home or the guilt of leaving your baby with childcare because you have to go back to work?  She checked all the books and couldn’t find a thing about it anywhere.  

After talking to her, it got me thinking if this “Mommy Crisis” truly existed. And if so, how are moms dealing with it?   I began to informally survey my mommy friends (secretly….they had no idea they were my guinea pigs J) and realized that it is the crisis most of us go through when we are faced with the possibility of returning to work.  Another fellow mom described it best as the anxiety and guilt you feel when it is time to leave your child and return to the work force. It seems that our maternity leave dwindles to a close just as we are getting a handle on our new identity as a mother and BAM! There it is staring us in the face - who are we now? How do we make the career parts of our former selves fit into motherhood?  Do we stay home or work part time? How do we manage it all and not have any guilt?  That my fellow mothers is the “Mommy Crisis”.   Most of us experience it to some degree and like our children there is no manual on how to deal with it. My advice is recognize it, talk about it and realize that it is part of the constant learning and evolving we do as mothers.  It too shall pass and we will be onto the next “Crisis” like potty training!

I would love to hear if you have ever experienced the “Mommy Crisis” and if so, how did you deal with it?

Jen Sencar works in the Public Service and is the Regional Owner of Momcafe Okanagan.  Momcafe Okanagan is an organization that connects inspired moms through events, seminars and online resources.

Thank you so much Jen! It's always nice to know you're not the only one going through these emotions! 

Momcafe Okanagan have an event coming up this Friday, November 26th. You can find details here!

Hope you're all having a good weekend!

Happy Holidays

Saturday, November 20, 2010 | | 0 comments
Last week it seemed people finally realized that Christmas is only 5 weeks ago.

We had loads of inquires, orders and numerous 'phone calls between the 2 of us, sorting out who's going to make what piece for which customer.  Lots of 'discussions' too as we both want to make EVERYTHING only because we know how busy the other is looking after 2 kids, house, etc. etc.  It was great, we've been anticipating and preparing for this rush for ages and it was finally here.  But (you just knew there was a 'but' coming right?)  It was also one of the few weeks my hubby could get time off work and decided it would be perfect if we took the kids to Vancouver for a couple of days.

I wasn't a happy bunny, but we went, (mental note to self that 2 nights is not long enough to take 2 small kids on a 5 hour journey each way).  I was allowed to take the lap-top - big concession. We went to Science World (in the rain) and took the kids swimming and went out for a nice meal and it was great to have some family time. And, I hate to admit it but my husband is right in that there never is a good time to go, he's studying and working full-time, I'm trying to look after the kids and the business, time is a commodity in short supply.  Which is probably why the highlight of the weekend was watching a DVD, from start to finish, including out takes, with him.   It's a long time since we've done that, we even had a beer too, push that boat out!  More importantly it was a movie he'd chosen, without me knowing, because he knew I wanted to see it......Sometimes it's the little things.

It was a brilliant British film with loads of new actors written  by the genius that is Ricky Gervais

A big thank-you to Rachelle for holding the fort for me while I was away and just to prove we did have a good time here`s a few pics of us in the Big City!

Jemma and I enjoying something naughty
Slither the snake came too!
They`re loving the fact they can use their brollies

As you can see.

So thanks to Rachelle and bye to Vancouver `til the next time the timing is really bad!

Opposites Attract

Monday, November 15, 2010 | | 1 comments
Meet Jacob

He is without a doubt our wild child. As each day passes we become more and more uneasy about the future this kid has in store for us.

Jacob is passionate about his bottle, bath time, screaming at the top of his lungs, eating dirt, eating plants, spitting out his food while his Mother is watching and biting. He is aggressive, enjoys being the centre of attention and will not sit still for a quarter of a second.

Meet James

He is the exact opposite.

Both born into the same family. Same Mom (that's me!) and Dad. But why so different? When do their little personalities begin?

I of course turned to my reliable source of information when questioning things (Google) and found an incredible amount of information. Many mentions of birth order, sibling rivalry and parenting books. Where do you even begin with parenting books? There's so many!

Here's my hope... both personalities will meet in the middle and rub off on each other... again that's the hope.

But for now they do have one thing in common...

they adore each other... opposites attract I guess!

We've got some exciting things coming up:

NEW Silver Product COMING SOON
A guest blog post!

Happy Monday!

Christmas Lovin'!

Monday, November 8, 2010 | | 0 comments
I have to admit I'm getting into the Christmas spirit a little earlier than normal this year! I'm thinking all of the Personalized Holiday Decorations we're making is the source. The tree tags have been a huge hit and we're looking forward to making more!

I made a huge mistake allowing James to go through the Toys R' Us Christmas Catalogue and pick out what he'd like for Christmas. Let's just say it was a little too early for that!

On his list this year:

As you can tell we're headed for some major headaches! James has been interested in skateboards for a while. I thought I could avoid this activity and buy myself some time by getting him the smaller version Tech Decks. Nope... it's only added fuel to his obsession and we've added to that over flowing toy box. 

And this becomes a serious conflict when remembering I've taken the Handmade Pledge. I'm thinking this will only apply to myself! 

My goal this year is to have all Christmas shopping DONE and Christmas cards mailed out by December 1st.  Then and only then will I start the Christmas decorating process (yes I'm one of those!). For some reason I can't stretch Christmas before or past December. Last year I took the decorations down on December 26th. I know... it's an issue! Anyone else out there like that or am I the only one who refuses to decorate in November?

Don't forget TODAY (Monday) is the last day to enter our giveaway on A Few of my Favorite Things.

Happy Monday everyone!

6 Years Old Already!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 | | 2 comments
Pirates of the Caribaen is not a good trilogy for me.  I tried to watch the first installment on Halloween 6 years ago and about 10 minutes in labor contractions started.  My husband and I sat there in the dark (it was before kids so we saw no reason to disrupt our viewing to give out candy), what we hadn't realized was a child much closer to home wanted some Halloween action of their own.

12 hours later I was so relieved I wasn't going to have a Halloween baby, I swear I spent the whole night with my legs crossed - I was not going to have this baby on the 31st!  My best friend Teresa came to hold my hand,  my waters broke and I got the giggles because she was so hyper, about ringing the hospital, about going to the hospital, about getting my hubby back from work, about checking I had everything I needed for the hospital.  She couldn't understand why I wasn't worried and stressed about the events to come.  Rachelle will testify I've always been keen to keep my babies on the inside for as long as possible, there they cause the least fuss and I get the maximum sleep plus I loved being pregnant.  I knew I had the rest of my life to worry and care for them, the next 24 hours was going to be the tip of the ice-berg.

Snowing on the way to the hospital
It snowed on the way to the hospital.  My husband decided it'd been a really tough 18 hours for him and he needed a snack to keep him going - nothing you can say to that really!  I'm not going to go into gory details, just to say that Jemma was born by emergency C-Section at 6.20pm on the 1st Nov 2004.  She weighed 7lb 10oz had jaundice and I couldn't believe she was mine.  She was breech, with her legs 'round her ears, poor wee thing, she wore a brace on her legs for the first 3 months of her life as both hips were dislocated (the first of many dodgy genes handed down to her with love from Daddy!). Another thing of note to happen on the same day in history is the voting in of George W Bush for a second presidential  term, I guess I should keep this blog politically impartial so the less said about that the better.
Ist photo of Jemma Mary Read 
Jemma sleeping, I'm still drugged up!

Proud Daddy, Jemma with her leg brace on 

Jemma chilling.  She has her eye mask on she wore under the jaundice lights.
We got through those first few nervous weeks, as all new parents do, although you may look back and wonder how?  Now we've done the crawling, walking, talking, preschool and kindergarten stages, Jem is now a big grade one student, there are still challenges and problems although they vary greatly from when she was a baby, still it happens that as you solve one another micracously appears.

Jemma, 'A Good Witch' at Halloween, a day before her 6th  birthday
And not to be left out Annie the 'Baby Tiger'

We went to her favorite restaurant to celebrate her big day and she chose her favorite dish, ribs with prawns. Men be warned, she is not going to be a cheap date!  We ate cake and opened pressies and I thought about that eventful day 6 years ago, as all mothers do when their little ones celebrate being another year older, and wondered, again as all mothers do, how has that time passed so quickly?

Welcome AFOMFT & GIVEAWAY Details!!

Monday, November 1, 2010 | | 0 comments
We're so excited to be kicking off A Few of My Favorite Things Holiday Happening!!

Welcome to all of the new readers from AFOMFT! Starting today (Monday, November 1st) simply visit AFOMFT and comment here and you have a chance to win four Custom Holiday Decorations:

These holiday decorations can be personalized with names, Christmas 2010, Family, Love, etc and hung on the Christmas tree! Once the Holiday Season is over simply remove the ribbon and slip on the keyring (included with your order) and voila:

A keyring to keep with you! 

We also have Baby's First Christmas decorations and many more that are perfect gifts for new parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and many more.

To order you can visit our website or our Etsy shop. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us via email: or 

Order deadline is December 1st. This deadline includes receiving prints back to ensure you receive your order in time for Christmas. For a little motivation to get your Christmas shopping going we're offering FREE SHIPPING in our Etsy shop. Simply convo us prior to ordering and we'll set up a custom listing for you or leave a message at checkout and we'll reimburse you via paypal.

Happy shopping!

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