A New Year, A New Plan… Moving Our Business Forward

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We are back!!!

Happy New Year, I Hope you all had a wonderful festive period with your loved ones and are having a great start to 2017.

Today we re-open Cards And Candles For All Occasions after our extended, one month, Christmas break and along with those closest to me we have decided that I need to make some changes to the way I run the business.

As much as I love the handcrafted work I do and dealing with so many amazing people, both customers and suppliers, over the past few months I have been forced to stop and look at my own health too. Since launching Cards And Candles For All Occasions in April 2010, I have been working full time hours every day of every week, some times working straight through the night to meet customer deadlines or get things all done and the realisation has now come to me that I cannot continue in this way.

At thirty six years old, I have been suffering with Fibromyalgia, Depression and Anxiety for a number of years and especially over the past eighteen months my health has been deteriorating, there are days where I feel unable to function but I sit at my desk doing the best that I can to fulfill all of my commitments to our business and customers.

The end part of 2016 was particularly difficult for me as my health was not in a good place due to the hours I was working, I was taking on more orders than I could handle as I did not want to disappoint anyone and in turn this was adding to the need for working excessive hours and stress levels were rising. It was getting to the stage whereby I could barely function effectively as I was so exhausted, in huge amounts of pain and I constantly felt stressed. Something needed to change.

I took the decision to have an extended break over the Christmas period to give myself some time to recharge (I slept most of Christmas, only really waking up for my pain medication), re-evaluate the future of Cards And Candles For All Occasions and plan the best way to move forward with my business. The thought of closing the business was considered and discussed, but this is the last thing I want to do. I know what I want to do, I just have to put those plans into action.

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Over the last couple of weeks we have made a lot of decisions about the future of Cards And Candles For All Occasions and how we plan to move the business forward… in order for me to be able to continue with the handcrafted business which I love, the biggest change I have to make is to reduce the hours in my working week.

Until now I have pretty much been working seven days a week, every hour possible and it is having a detrimental effect on my health – the increasing pain, the insomnia and exhaustion, the mental effects of Fibromyalgia, they all contribute to making me miserable and the thing I have found hardest of all is accepting that I cannot keep up with the lifestyle and working life I held before Fibromyalgia took over.

I never thought I would end up in a wheelchair with a chronic illness at just thirty five years old!! But here I am, this is the life I have and now I have to move forward with a plan to make the most of what I have, make things so that they are manageable and in the bigger picture remember to look after myself too.

I need to find a suitable “Work + Life = Balance” otherwise, as a friend stated this morning:

You need to stick to the plan sweetheart or you will be permanently closed. Invest in you xx

The last thing that I want to do is to be forced by my health to close my business, but I can totally agree with the above comment as the way I was going before Christmas I was heading for a serious burn out and I cannot afford either physically, mentally or financially to risk this in the long-term.

Today is a big day for Cards And Candles For All Occasions as not only are we re-opening for 2017, but today is also the day we are implementing the changes which have been decided upon which will allow me to continue to work with you, our wonderful customers, on the unique, handcrafted and personalised products we all love.

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As I have said above, the biggest change we are making to Cards And Candles For All Occasions is our business working hours, with immediate effect our working hours are as follows:

Monday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Tuesday – open from 12:00noon until 6:00pm

Wednesday – CLOSED

Thursday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Friday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Saturday – CLOSED

Sunday CLOSED

We hope that you will understand our reasons for reducing our working hours and in time, once we adjust to our new schedule we are hoping that it will make us more efficient in dealing with your enquiries and processing/handcrafting your orders. My hope is that by reducing my working hours it will help to improve my mental and physical health allowing me to be more productive when I am working, therefore if all goes to plan there should be minimal disruption to our customers.

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The second change that we are making to Cards And Candles For All Occasions to help in moving forward more efficiently is lead times for our orders, with immediate effect we have listed below the minimum amount of notice we will require for each product we sell to allow us to source materials, design and handcraft your product ready for dispatch:

Standard Greeting Cards
Minimum 10 days notice

Keepsake Cards (eg. Bookatrix, Easel Drawer, Handbag)
Minimum 14 days notice

Exploding Box Keepsake
Minimum 21 days notice

Ecosoy Candles
Minimum 14 days notice

Wooden Gifts (eg. Themed Frames, Plaques, Candle Holders)
Minimum 21 days

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and look forward to working with you throughout 2017 and beyond.

xxx Love Laura xxx

Cards And Candles For All Occasions website

Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Facebook

Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Twitter

#Hugsfornoah 2015 Gala Dinner – We Need YOUR Business’s HELP!!

Hugs For Noah Logo

* WE NEED YOUR HELP *

* CHARITY EVENT *

Good morning all and Happy Sunday, how is everyone today?

Our friend is currently organising the third annual Gala Dinner for her son’s charity which will take place on Friday 30th October 2015 in Carlisle.

Each year we approach businesses in the hope they will help by donating small gifts for the gift bags which are handed out to each guest – this not only allows us to give a ‘thank you’ gift to everyone attending for their support but also helps to promote small businesses.

In the past we have had toiletry samples, candles, keyrings, jewellery, etc and we always encourage the businesses to supply business cards, etc with their details so it’s a great advertising tool too.

This year we are looking for 135 ladies gifts and 135 gents gifts… we are hoping to find some business to help – would YOUR business be able to help with either the ladies or gents gifts?

The details of this years event are “HERE” 🙂

Each year the gift bag contains a selection of items from small businesses and I always blog after the event to thank and promote those who have been involved… again it helps with promoting their business.

Here is the link to my blog review of the first gala dinner in 2013 which will give you an idea of what was involved, etc.

https://eljay1980.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/hugsfornoah-gala-dinner-on-24th-may-2013/

It would be great if you were able to help and get involved and if you can then I will do everything I can to support and promote your business.

If you think you may be able to help then please either inbox me through my Facebook page (Link Below) or email me at admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk to discuss how your business would be able to help and support this amazing event for http://www.hugsfornoah.co.uk

Love and hugs xxx

Our FACEBOOK Page

Our Website

Remember Our Troops This Christmas

Support Our Troops This Christmas

T’WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE,
MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.

I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY,
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO,
IN THIS HOME, DID LIVE.

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.

NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES,
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT,
CAME THROUGH MY MIND.

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR,
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED,
A TRUE BRITISH SOLDIER.

WAS THIS THE HERO,
OF WHOM I’D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
THE FLOOR FOR A BED?

I REALISED THE FAMILIES,
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS,
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.

SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE,
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM,
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

I COULDN’T HELP WONDER,
HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE,
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.

THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT,
A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES,
AND STARTED TO CRY.

THE SOLDIER AWAKENED,
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
“SANTA DON’T CRY,
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;

I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
I DON’T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS..”

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN’T CONTROL IT,
I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
SO SILENT AND STILL,
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED,
FROM THE COLD NIGHT’S CHILL.

I DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE,
ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR,
SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, “CARRY ON SANTA,
IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.”

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
“MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.”

This poem was written by a Peacekeeping soldier stationed overseas. The
following is his request. I think it is reasonable.

Watch Over Our Troops

Prayer Request:

When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops around the world.. There is nothing attached. Just send this to people in your address book. Do not let it stop with you. Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & others deployed in harm’s way, prayer is the very best one.

‘Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.

Protect them as they protect us.

Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need.

In Jesus Name, Amen.’

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favour of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to all of the service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.

Remember Our Troops

What Is Staffordshire SANDS?

Staffordshire Sands are a local support group who can offer emotional support and practical help if your baby has died during pregnancy, at birth or shortly afterwards. Staffordshire SANDS is part of the UK wide SANDS network of local groups.

Sands three main aims are:

Support: Support for anyone affected by the death of a baby.

Improving Care: Information for professionals caring for bereaved families.

Prevention and Research: Working to reduce stillbirths and neonatal deaths.

You can visit the Staffordshire SANDS website by clicking HERE.

SANDS also launched the Why 17? campaign.

17 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth every day in the UK, over 6,500 babies dying every year.

Each year thousands of devastated parents, grandparents, families and friends are left asking the same question, why?

Through the campaign SANDS hopes to raise awareness of these unacceptable levels of baby loss, create a national strategy to reduce the number of babies dying and generate vital funds for research.

www.why17.org

Cards And Candles For All Occasions and Badger’s Woodcrafts are proud to support Staffordshire SANDS, and as such both Gordon and Laura are committee members of this invaluable organisation.

Please take a moment to visit Staffordshire SANDS website and if you or anyone you know may need our support, please do not hesitate to contact us.

You can donate to Staffordshire SANDS by visiting their page on Just Giving by clicking on http://www.justgiving.com/Staffordshire-Sands – all donations no matter how little or how much are truly appreciated.

xxx Love Laura and Gordon xxx

Critterish Allsorts Desperately Need YOU!!! #LetsFindSkittles #Missing #Search #Staffordshire

URGENT SEARCH AND RESCUE REQUEST FOR HELP IN STAFFORDSHIRE!!!

Do you have a sniffer/scent-tracking/tracking dog? Do you know someone in the Staffordshire area who does?

Critterish Allsorts baby skunk (Skittles) escaped from home on the evening of Friday 13th September 2013 around 11:25pm and hasn’t been seen since.

Sad sad day at Critterish Manor Last night Skittles managed to open the back door (some how – still haven’t worked it out) and get into the garden. Trouble is, like all skunks, she didnt stop there and, unsupervised, she kept walking We last saw her as she ran out of the lounge at 11pm, and 25 minutes later she was gone. I have been out searching ever since, with torch and friends, and not even a clue or a sign. Please please (especially if you are in Armitage / Rugeley / Lichfield or Staffs in general) SHARE this post. We are all deeply upset and mortified to have lost our family pet, and she is only 18 weeks old so still a baby, and does not need to be out in current weather conditions. We fear for her safety and for her well being – please let us know of any sightings or other news, so that we can follow it up – they can walk a very long distance in one night foraging, so it is not beyond reason for her to be miles away by now. But we are hoping that because of her attachment to Stoosh she has stayed close. Police, RSPCA and all local vets have been notified. Please help us – I am beside myself with worry and guilt, because I have let my beautiful Skittles down,let my wife and children down, and let you guys down. I am so sorry to bring such awful news to the page 😦

Skittles is just an eighteen week old baby so everyone is very worried about her welfare, not to mention Stoosh (her Critterish Allsorts sister skunk) who is missing her baby sister!!

We need to help find baby Skittles and get her home before her venture has any negative effect on either Skittles or Stoosh!!

Look out in your garden’s too for Skittles poop – I know it sounds very disgusting, but skunk poo is quite distinctive. It has a fruity tangy smell, which you will generally smell before you see it, its quite moist when fresh and will have seed and bits of indigestible plant in there too – it will stick out as unusual. Their wee has a similar smell to marijuana, and again is something that you smell first and foremost – so much so that Skittles has sparked security alerts when visiting people for therapy sessions !!!

Can you or someone you know help in the search to find Skittles??? Get in touch asap or pop over to Critterish Allsorts page for more details!!!

Please if you have already checked your garden, out buildings etc, for Skittles Critterish Allsorts Skunk please check again, and then again as you go to bed, and then again when you wake up in the middle of the night. Skunks are naturally nocturnal and hole up during the day. Thankyou all so much for your overwhelming support. True friendship can blossom from those you have never met, as well as those you have. Critterati, I love you all – thankyou

This really is an urgent request… PLEASE SHARE!!!

With the power of SOCIAL MEDIA we can get the word of missing baby skunk Skittles far and wide, we can and will get as many search parties together as we can and we WILL do our best to get Skittles home where she belongs!!

If you can help please get in touch with Dale at Critterish Allsorts as soon as possible!! Gordon and I will be going out to join in the search tomorrow (Monday 16th September 2013) so if you would like to join us or someone you know can join us to help, please get in touch asap at admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk or if you have our phone number drop us a text/call as soon as you can.

Critterish Allsorts On Facebook

Critterish Allsorts Website

Email Critterish Allsorts at allsorts@critterishallsorts.co.uk

Critterish Allsorts On Twitter

Please share this post with as many people as you can, this is an urgent and heartfelt plea to you all!!

You can see the official Critterish Allsorts “Help Find Missing Skittles” poster HERE

PLEASE HELP FIND SKITTLES AND GET HER BACK HOME WHERE SHE BELONGS!!!

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