Gift Idea No 8: Sunrise Sonogram
A few months ago a friend of mine on Facebook whose posts are always life-affirming put up a link to an item on Etsy.
Incidently, I have recently discovered Etsy.com and really LOVE it. It's a bit like EBay but everything on it is hand crafted. There is some lovely 'stuff' to be found there and what's nice is that the sellers are so chuffed if you buy something they've made. I can relate to that, who doesn't love a compliment...or a nice comment on their blog..hint hint...
The link was to the Etsy shop of a girl who lives on the East Coast of Ireland. As we all know the sun rises in the east so every day this girl, Liosa, gets up and photographs the sun rise over Ireland. Recently I was driving into Dublin very very early for my little treasure's small (for a change) surgery on her hand and the sunrise was just stunning, I was blown away by it. I can just imagine how even though the effort of getting out of her cosy bed so early each day must involve a certain level of sacrifice, the pay off must be so rewarding.
With these lovely sunrise photographs and her skill as a photographer, she has had the inspirational idea of superimposing a sonogram photo onto a photograph of the sunrise of any given day. The result is just so beautiful.
This is her blurb from her Etsy page:
'Sonograms are so wonderful, the first time a new mother sees her child, yet they are so often hidden away in drawers or folders. Why not have it transformed into something that would be appreciated by all? Perfect for a babies room. Choose from many options, colour print, sunset print, clouds print or a special print of the sky on the day your child was born! '
I cannot think of a more special gift to give a mother or father and having lived through the experience of a pregnancy with a sick little baby, this would have meant the world for me to receive.
Liosa can also provide a photograph of the sunrise for any special day, a wedding, anniversary, birthday and so on.
The shop on Etsy is called What The Sea Told Me (how lovely is that?) Here's the link:
Gift Idea 9: Time Out For Young Parents
We have been married for over 16 years now and it was only when we were told that our sixth baby was probably going to be disabled that John and I realised just how many times in our marriage we had neglected time together alone, just enjoying each other and being 'sweethearts'. I am planning a whole blog post on the topic of date night so here I'll just say that when we thought that time was running out for us to be able to 'date' we rushed to fit in 15 years worth of early-bird meals, chats in a cosy pub, short walks and so on, just because we thought we were going to find it more difficult to find a babysitter for a sick child. Part of the reason we didn't go out was because babysitters who are reliable are thin on the ground as well as the fact that we thought we were too busy and tired with all the little ones that we couldn't manage it. How wrong we were, in fact we were so busy and tired that we couldn't afford not to date, it would have helped us tremendously.
I think a lot of young parents make the same mistake we did.
Recently a good friend of mine, Nickie, a professionally trained nanny with many years experience, launched her new business 'The Nanny Service', which is an ad-hoc/emergency childcare service whereby Nickie will come to your house at short notice, or through advance booking, for a few hours, overnight, or whatever is needed. I thought it was a great idea.
I have known Nickie for quite some time now and I would be very confident in recommending her to any family. She is a naturally warm child magnet.
The Nanny Service has recently added the option of gift vouchers to her service and as you can see they are just beautiful. You just work out how many hours childcare you want to gift and there you have it. A gift of a few hours together as (albeit tired) spouses could be a lifesaver for a young couple who are parents of young children. A young mother who needs to go shopping or to attend an appointment would be able to relax knowing the babies were in good hands.
Here is a link to her Facebook page:
Gift Idea 10: PiñatasPiñatas
My gorgeous, huge brown eyed and lively nephew, Ethan, turned five this year and my sister, knowing him only too well provided a most unusual and beautifully made piñata for his party. It was a huge hit (if you get my pun ho ho ho) with all the cousins who range in age from early 20s to several one year olds. I asked her where she got it and she told me a girl she knows, Ruth, makes them. I checked out her website and I think these are just fab!! Just have a look at a few of her designs, they are so much nicer than the mass produced boring ones you find in party shops and you can ask her to design anything you like...I even heard she has done a JEDWARD one!!! Brilliant!!
Definitely a WOW factor going on here!
What is lovely about these gifts is that they are very personal, handmade and I think it's so nice to see people making an effort at a cottage industry which I think is the way to go when times are tough. A small business, a good idea, a bit different and a friendly and efficient service....How can you go wrong?
Here's the link to Ruth's website:
So what do you think of these ideas? Am I on the right track?
My next collection of gift ideas are connected to the true meaning of Christmas.