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.

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

In Memory Of A Wonderful Mum – She Is Gone

I recently contacted Dandelion Wishes and Good Night Kisses through their Facebook page, after admiring their work for a very long time.

As most of you will know, we lost my Mum on 23rd February 2007, and as it is now coming up to Mum’s 60th birthday I had decided that I want to get something special done with a poem we were sent to be read at her funeral.

We have family who live in New Zealand (my Dad’s youngest sister, her husband and two children) who were sadly unable to make it over to the UK for Mum’s funeral so they decided on a poem and sent it over to us via email… we had this poem read during Mum’s service.

I spoke to Sarah about incorporating this poem into a special remembrance piece… after some discussion we decided that Sarah would add this poem to one of her large handcrafted blocks with a matching tealight holder.

Mum 1

Mum 2

I am absolutely overwhelmed with the attention to detail and how pretty Dandelion Wishes and Good Night Kisses work is. Sarah’s customer service is fantastic and she kept me informed every step of the way, sending me photographs of her progress and giving many options for each piece.

I would highly recommend Dandelion Wishes and Good Night Kisses to anyone looking for a special and unique gift or memorial piece.

Here is my new memorial plaque and candle holder in their new home, on the shelf above my desk. Sat next to them is my Hugs For Noah Award which we received in 2014.

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In special memory of my beautiful Mum, Christine Thomson
xxx 15.05.1956 – 23.02.2007 xxx

Exciting #HugsForNoah News!!!

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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 ❤

#HugsForNoah needs your business’s HELP!!!

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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

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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!!

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* 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

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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 #DIYSOS is on #BBC1

#HugsForNoah BBC DIYSOS 28082014

It’s official… at long last the BBC home makeover show #DIYSOS featuring the amazing work on the #HugsForNoah family home is being aired on BBC1!!

Have you seen the DIY SOS: The Big Build – Cumbria advert on the BBC as yet? No, well here is a sneaky peek on YouTube!!

I am guessing that you are all aware of baby Noah’s story but for those of you who are not, then please watch this short video which explains Noah’s health condition:

We first met Noah’s mummy @Shellibobbins via Twitter in 2010 and here is a blog post we wrote explaining why we support this amazing little boy and his family!!

>Click Here< Cards And Candles For All Occasions supports #HugsForNoah – Do You?

Wednesday 27th August 2014 saw the launch of the new #HugsForNoah website which is with huge thanks to Gingerweb Design and Bonnita Graphics – I think you will all agree that Noah’s brand new website looks fantastic!!! What a great job on a very important website for a very special little boy 🙂

By visiting www.hugsfornoah.co.uk you can read about baby Noah’s story, his family’s daily struggle and all the progress Noah makes on a daily basis. You can also shop for #HugsForNoah merchandise all of which gives a donation directly to this amazing charity.

Cards And Candles For All Occasions are very proud to support #HugsForNoah and to enable us to help while doing something we love, we created a special range of #HugsForNoah handcrafted candles… these are available to view and purchase through Noah’s website or by visiting our website directly at
“#HugsForNoah on Cards And Candles For All Occasions”

So set your recorders, programme your TiVo/Sky+ and get your tissues ready to watch a very emotional episode of DIY SOS: The Big Build in Cumbria on

THURSDAY 28TH AUGUST 2014 at 20:00 (8:00pm).

Tivo #HugsForNoah 28082014

We will definitely be tuning in and the TiVo is already set.

xxx Love you loads Noah xxx

Cards And Candles For All Occasions’ Website

Badger’s Woodcrafts Website

Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Facebook

Badger’s Woodcrafts on Facebook