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

cacfao-logo-clear-background-png

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.

1

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.

working_hours

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.

about-your-online-order

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

Exciting #HugsForNoah News!!!

HugsForNoahLogo

Anyone who follows our blog will know that we are huge supporters of #HugsForNoah… our friends little boy who was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

Noah with Miss Daisy

The family had their home renovated by DIYSOS a couple of years ago and the episode was first shown on BBC1 in August 2014:

#HugsForNoah BBC DIYSOS 28082014

I have just read the most amazing news on Noah’s mummy’s Facebook page this morning:

Shellybobbins:
“BBC1 31st March at 9pm Noah’s ‪#‎DIYSOS‬ Big Build WILL be on YAY

Amazing to be on BBC1 again they rang hubby a few weeks ago to ask and we said yes !!!!!!!! For us it’s about awareness

If your thinking of having a baby then please take folic acid B9 & B12 3 months before conception

If you already have neural tube defects in your family then you need a higher dosage and you can only get this from your doctor here’s some folic ‪#‎Facts‬

http://www.gofolic.org.uk/facts please copy & paste this info & share this help us raise awareness ‪#‎HugsForNoah‬ ‪#‎TheBoyWhoGrewABrain‬”

hugsfornoah on bbc1

How amazing is this that BBC1 have decided to re-broadcast the episode of DIYSOS featuring Noah Wall and his family – as Shelly has said, it is so important to raise awareness about the conditions which Noah has and also the importance of taking Folic Acid along with Vitamins B9 and B12 pre-conception and during pregnancy. This is something which needs as much awareness raised as possible and through Social Media and public speaking, this family are doing an amazing job of doing so 🙂

We are incredibly proud of Rob, Shelly, Noah and their family and all that they continue to achieve throughout their campaigning and their own health difficulties. They truly are an amazing family and an honour to call our friends.

Noah stood 13022015

Please share this post far and wide, tell your friends and loved ones, watch Noah’s DIYSOS episode on 31st March 2016 and help share the word on the importance of folic acid and vitamin B9 and B12!!!

Together we can support this amazing family in all that they do ❤

Personal Project: Noah’s 4th Birthday

Some of you will know that we have recently been working on a ‘secret’ project which we were unable to share with you all. This was a set of plaques for a very special little boy’s 4th birthday party.

This little boy is Noah… you will have seen him mentioned on our blog, he is the little boy behind www.hugsfornoah.co.uk – Noah and his family are a huge inspiration to us and with everything they go through each day, they always have a positive outlook on life. The phrase “dreams come true” definitely stands where this family are concerned.

When we were invited to Noah’s birthday party we knew that we wanted to do something special for him, so when his mummy told us that they were having a Toy Story themed party we knew exactly what we wanted to do 🙂

As all of the items in this blog are Toy Story, therefore copywritten and Trademarked by Disney, we will be unable to reproduce these items for sale.

All of these Toy Story items were handcrafted by us as gifts for Noah’s birthday.

Firstly we designed, had laser cut and then we handpainted four different quotes, each painted in bright colours and finished with glitter accents:

DSCF0031

DSCF0032

DSCF0035

DSCF0029

Then we also had designed and CNC cut, Noah’s name with the phrase “To Infinity And Beyond” which was handpainted in bright acrylic paints before we added small themed embellishments:

DSCF0018

DSCF0021

DSCF0023

DSCF0025

DSCF0027

Of course, as Noah’s birthday party was themed, we needed to handcraft a greeting card to suit, complete with a personalised insert with our message:

DSCF0046

DSCF0050

And of course as anyone who knows Noah’s family will know, each time they host an event whether it be a Birthday, Easter, Christening or Gala Dinner they always have a little something for everyone to take home as a reminder of the special day, so to complete our gifts for Noah’s birthday, we handpainted laser cut number 4’s and cupcakes in nice bright colours before threading these using round beads and star/teddy shaped beads and attached to keyrings.

DSCF0037

We had a fab time at Noah’s 4th birthday party yesterday and these are just a few of the photos taken on the day 🙂

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (8)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (11)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (20)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (2)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (3)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (4)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (5)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (6)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (9)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (10)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (12)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (13)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (15)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (16)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (18)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (25)

Noah's 4th Birthday Party (26)

Selfies with Shelly (1)

Selfies with Shelly (2)

Noah had such a busy and exciting day yesterday alongside the fact that he isn’t very well so we didn’t get to see him open his presents as he had an early night, but we have just seen photos on Facebook of him opening his presents from us so here they are:

Presents from Laura and Dan (2)

Presents from Laura and Dan (1)

Presents from Laura and Dan (3)

Presents from Laura and Dan (4)

And of course, no Noah event would be complete without the obligatory Boothpix selfies, so here is ours ❤

Boothpix (3)

As you can see everyone who attended Noah’s 4th birthday party had an amazing time and we would just like to thank Shelly, Rob, Noah and family for inviting us to be a part of Noah’s special day… it was a long day but worth every second.

Sending you all lots of love and hugs, and lots of get well soon hugs to Noah.

Hopefully we will see you again soon, and perhaps arrange a weekend visit over the summer.

xxx Lots of love, Laura and Dan xxx

#HugsForNoah needs your business’s HELP!!!

HugsForNoahLogo

As per my post on 11th October 2015, Hugs For Noah needs YOUR help to make his 2015 Gala Dinner as special as possible for his guests.

Noah’s family have arranged a lovely meal at a beautiful venue with fantastic entertainment and they will be launching Noah’s ZipZac wheelchair giveaways.

Why do we need you?

We are looking for businesses to donate small gifts to be included in the gift bags which will be given to each guest on the night as a thank you for their ongoing support.

We are looking for items, including but not limited to:

Bath and body products
Baby products
Small children’s toys
Perfume/aftershave
Keyrings
Pens
Jewellery
Chocolates
Sweets

po3r74a90k

We are also looking for luxury items (value £50+) to be included in the luxury raffle which will take place on the night with tickets being sold at £5.00 each.

if you can help then we would be very grateful if you could contact us at admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk

Or contact Noah’s mummy on Twitter at Shellybobbins on Twitter

** All donations must be received by Wednesday 28th October 2015 **

#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

#HugsForNoah 3rd Annual Gala Dinner – 30th October 2015

Hugs For Noah Logo

It’s that time of year again folks… a night to look forward to, an evening of amazingness not to be missed!!

It’s the third annual Hugs For Noah Gala Dinner 😀

Tickets are officially on sale for Noah’s gala dinner, it would be really wonderful to see all my friends come along to support Noah on Friday 30th October 2015.

Venue: The Halston Aparthotel, Carlisle.

The evening will start at 6.30pm until 1.30am and I am sure will prove to be another fantastic evening!!

Tickets are £48per person. To book your tickets, please go to www.hugsfornoah.co.uk then click donate and pay either through PayPal or credit card. Please leave your name and the names of those who are attending with you in the message (for your seating arrangements).

Dinner will be set menu.

As Noah is currently being filmed for a documentary, there will be media there on the night filming all that’s going on, it would be amazing to have lots of Noah’s friends, family and supporters in the video footage too 🙂

On the night Noah will be launching his wheelchair giveaways and rocking with the wheelchair dancers – it really is a night not to be missed.

Noah with Miss Daisy

After routine scans during Shelly’s pregnancy it was discovered that Noah had sever Spina Bifida and was given little chance of survival at birth.  Noah was born with just 2% of a supposedly normal brain tissue and has been blogged about since before his birth.

Noah’s parents set up HugsForNoah to both raise much needed funds to help provide for Noah’s future needs, as everything for a disabled child is so much more complex and in turn more expensive, but also help raise awareness among would-be parents of the importance of taking folic acid at least 3 months before getting pregnant.

As a part of their campaign to raise awareness of the importance of Folic Acid pre-conception and during pregnancy, Noah is now an ambassador for FolicAcidUk.

Folic Acid UK

This year Noah was invited to join the Music Man Project on-stage at the London Palladium as ambassador for their amazing organisation. On 21st June 2015 they performed the “Music Is Magic” show. I have taken two quotes from the Music Man Project’s website to give you a brief insight into their work:

“The Music Man Project provides a comprehensive range of music education services to enhance the quality and breadth of musical opportunities for all people, regardless of any learning disability, difficulty or special educational need.

As UK’s first full-time music education service specifically for children and adults with learning disabilities, our core aim is to provide a high quality and enjoyable music education which leads to unique and inspirational performance opportunities for our students.”

“Experiencing the atmosphere and emotion of live music can develop skills and confidence in a fast and enjoyable way. Attending music concerts and taking part in music making with professional and amateur musicians is a fundamental feature of the Music Man Project.”

Noah at the Palladium

Noah’s modelling career recently began and all money earned through this will be used to buy fantastic ZipZac wheels just like Noah’s to donate to other small children who desperately need independence.

This photo was taken by Noah’s Mum on his first ever photoshoot for his new modelling career… you can clearly see the connection between Noah and the photographer and just how much difference their artificial lawn is making to Noah’s life and independence.

Noah's first modelling photoshoot

Noah Wall is an ambassador for the fantastic company Artificial Grass Limited and SIS Pitches, you can read about why they chose Noah on their website by clicking here.

Noah is now the Ambassador for the American brand (ZipZac) and the beginning of his journey as Ambassador will be launched on the night of his Gala Dinner. Noah has two of these amazing ZipZac wheelchairs to give away on the night, which will be donated from Noah to staff at the RVI Hospital Newcastle ward 1b. The story is a very touching one and will be shared at the gala dinner as to how this came about!

Noah’s Zipzac has made such an amazing difference to his life… he has so much more independence and enjoys doing his own things, he loves to dance in his wheels as you can see here:

Noah disco dancing

I am sure there will also be much, much more happening on the night and you’d be crazy to miss it!!!

Can’t wait to see you all on 30th October… Love you Noah, you are such an inspiration xxxxxx

#HugsForNoah Valentine Day Christening

As many of you will know from our blog posts, Facebook updates and dedicated sections on our website, we are huge supporters of #HugsForNoah.

Noah is a very special little boy who was born on 6th March 2012 with a condition called Spina Bifida, there were many complications throughout pregnancy and Noah has several medical conditions which a lot of adults would give in to, but he does’t complain and just keeps on going with his gorgeous smile. You can read Noah’s story on his website… www.hugsfornoah.co.uk

When we heard that Noah’s Christening was to be held on Valentine’s Day 2015, I knew that I wanted to create a special keepsake for Noah to remember this special day. It was an honour when Noah’s mummy asked us to handcraft keepsake personalised candles for each of Noah’s Godparents – we designed two tall pillar candles with Noah’s name, date of his Christening, the colour scheme to match this special occasion and then scaled this design down for the five smaller pillar candles which were then personalised with a special message from Noah.

DSCF0024

DSCF0018

DSCF0022

DSCF0020

DSCF0016DSCF0013

We were invited to attend Noah’s Christening which was held at the beautiful Holme Cultram Abbey, a day filled with so many smiles and surprises with Noah and his family – it is always an honour to spend time with such a special family.

Noah (3)

Ballooon Release (1)

Ballooon Release (2)

Ballooon Release (3)

Noah (1)

Rob, Shelly and Noah (2)

Rob, Shelly, Noah, Steph, Ally and Lucas

DSCF0048

DSCF0053

DSCF0054

DSCF0062

DSCF0066

DSCF0069

The biggest and best surprise of the day?? The day before Noah’s Christening he stood for the first time!! Needless to say the photograph which Rob and Shelly shared of this amazing moment brought many happy tears and smiles and Noah’s progress in the last few weeks has come on in leaps and bounds. Noah is an amazing little boy 🙂

Noah stood 13022015

You can see a video of the highlights from Noah’s Christening here: