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    November's Issue

    November's Issue

    Delighted to see our Present Day Framed Poster Print featured on the "Make it Personal" page of November's Woman & Home.  Lots of lovely items in this edition so we're in good company!

    Woman & Home page 168

    The benefits of having a hobby

    The benefits of having a hobby

    Too busy for a hobby?  Running around after the family or just too busy from work?  No time for yourself?  Perhaps it’s time to make time.

    Firstly, let’s look at the health benefits.  According to research (don’t you just love that overused phrase!), taking part in enjoyable activities is a good way to reduce blood pressure.  Presumably this is because you’re away from your usual day to day routine so you’re under less stress.  That seems like common sense to me.  Surely, being on the conveyor belt of everyday life can’t be good for you all the time?

    Let’s say you’ve always fancied yourself as a bit of a writer but just never got around to putting pen to paper.  Schedule a couple of hours every week to really have a go at it.  This could be before the rest of the family get up, after they’ve all gone to bed, your lunch break - there are numerous opportunities if you think about it.  Of course, the biggest time waster these days is the TV.  How often do we collapse in front of the television every evening and just watch whatever’s on?  Why not decide to avoid a soap or reality TV programme for a month and allocate this time to your new hobby?  Before you know it, you’ll probably stop watching most things so you can spend your time doing something more productive and enjoyable.

    Another good reason to get involved in a hobby is a chance to meet like-minded people.  If you like reading, join a book club.  And don’t worry if you think they’ll just be discussing Tolstoy or Austen – chances are that they’re be taking a look at the latest Richard and Judy recommendation.  Or if you like walking, why not join a walking club?  There’s bound to be a club near you with a good mix of people.  What better way to stay or get fit?

    Once you’ve caught the bug for your new hobby, you’ll soon find it easy to schedule it in to your daily life, mainly because it’s something you want to do rather than a chore. 

    So hobbies are a stress reliever as you’re taking a break, you have the opportunity to meet new friends, you learn new things, you stretch yourself, it makes you more interesting as you’ll have more things to talk about, stops you wasting time and exercises your mind as well as your body so you’ll sleep better. 


    Why we love Millican

    Fabulous Millican bags

    If you're after a decent bag, you've only got to take a quick look at the Millican website to realise that this is a quality store.  Located in the beautiful Lake District, they design sustainable bags for independent spirits and conscious travellers.  Does that sound like you?

    Now the word "sustainable" is bandied around so much these days.  We all know that it's a good thing but what does it actually mean?   The dictionary definition is:

    "...pertaining to a system that maintains its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse"

    They see the most important ingredient in their bags as their suppliers.  And they'll only partner with people that share the same ethos - caring about ethics, fair trade, environmental and humanitarian interests.  If you look at the ingredients of their bags you'll see that there's a lot of recycled material so this certainly ticks a lot of the sustainable boxes.

    We've chosen to include their Nick the Messenger bag in our Writer's Tool kit and Entrepreneur's Essentials.  We know that aspiring authors and entrepreneurs are often out and about getting inspiration - developing new ideas and working on projects.  So we wanted to include something that was not only practical and good-looking, but a bag that was going to last for many years to come.   This bag will store your laptop (up to 11"), tablet, phone, book, documents and water bottle and leave plenty of room for a lot of your other bits and bobs.  The outside is made from highly weatherproof Bionic Canvas rather than the regular stuff.  So whether you're walking, cycling or running to and from the car, this bag will keep your kit safe.  There's even a hidden reflective strip and attachment for bike lights so if you are a cyclist then it's even better!

    Bowden the Camera Messenger bag is in our new Photographer's Tool kit.  It's a 20L bag which was originally inspired by the independent journeys and travel shoots of photographer James Bowden.  A lot of thought has been put in to this bag - it must have been designed by a photographer as it's definitely practical.  It's lightweight, weatherproof and super-strong and not only has room for your camera and lenses but will fit your laptop (up to 15").  Like the Nick the Messenger bag, it's made in Vietnam by a carefully chosen supplier with the same ethos as Millican.

    'Here at Millican, we like to help good ideas travel, which is why we choose to collaborate with projects or people who inspire creativity, action and positive change, such as’ - Stephanie, Millican 

    So we're delighted to be working with Millican and know that you'll appreciate their fine quality bags in our kits. 



    New hobby? No problem!

    The Mirror on Sunday Notebook magazine

    We're excited to see some of our kits in the Mirror on Sunday (8th July 2018) in their Notebook magazine.  Great little article about how we can help you get started with your new hobby.  Pictures include the Ultimate Twitcher's Tool kit, the Mini Yoga and Wellbeing Kit, the Classic Gardener's Keep and the Classic New Home Kit.  So a good selection!

    Why we've chosen Seedball...time to get growing

    Seedball tins

    We were really pleased when we discovered Seedball.  They're a brilliant UK-based company that are all about a simpler way to create wildflower gardens. 

    Each tin contains small seed balls - each ball containing lots of seeds.  They've been created by Conservation Scientists so there's definitely some good science behind it!  The seed balls protect the seeds from birds, ants and slugs while giving them the nutrition they need to get growing.  They're made from a unique blend of seed, clay, peat-free compost and chilli powder (that's what keeps the predators at a distance).  All you need to do it pop the balls on top of some soil, water, watch them grow and admire.  What could be easier?

    They can be scattered at any time of the year although spring and autumn are problably the best times.  You shouldn't really need to water them but it certainly wouldn't hurt, especially in their early days.   If all goes well then you'll get about 10 sprouts per seed ball.

    We're always hearing about the decrease in the numbers of butterflies and bees so we're trying to do our bit to get more wildflowers growing in the UK.  That's why we're giving away a Seedball tin with every one of our Gardening themed kits. Then you can see how good they are too!