Why Are Unicorns So Popular?

Why Are Unicorns So Popular?

Everyone seems to have gone crazy over unicorns, which got us wondering, how have we ended up in the middle of this unicorn trend?

Where did it come from and why do people seem to love unicorns so much? Rare and majestic, unicorns are powerful, graceful, and mysterious.

The unicorn appeared in early Mesopotamian artworks, and it also was referred to in the ancient myths of India and China, and was described as early as 400BC (although – and close your eyes at this point unicorn lovers – it was probably an Indian rhinoceros).

In July last year the search term ‘unicorn’ overtook ‘mermaid’ in popularity on Google for the first time ever, and popularity isn’t just with the cute and cuddly, unicorn tattoos are becoming increasingly popular.  If you have a daughter or granddaughter under the age of 18 in your family, you will undoubtedly be very familiar with these mystical creatures!

Visually appealing, fantastic, and soothingly pastel in colour, what’s not to love about the unicorn?

Fortunately for you, unicorns no longer have to be lured from magical forests by pure maidens, Oh My Gift has a range of products you can personalise for your child (even if they are over 18!).  Check them out HERE.

 

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What should I give as a Christening Gift?

What should I give as a Christening Gift?

Christening gifts have been given for centuries as part of a ceremony to welcome a child into Christianity. Gifts are usually purchased by the new godparents chosen for the baby.  Have you been given this honour?  How to chose what to buy?!

Silver is traditionally thought to be beneficial for healing, love, and emotions, and is therefore a common theme for gifts. Also, silver was associated with wealth and prosperity due to its value and appearance. Silver christening gifts can therefore be a message that the giver wishes health and success for the child.

Antique silver spoons have become one of the most frequently given gifts over the years, although keepsakes and toys are becoming modern equivalents and are amongst our top 10 Christening Gifts.

Naming ceremonies are relatively new and increasingly popular amongst young couples without a religious affiliation to celebrate the arrival of a new baby (and who needs an excuse for a party?!).  They bring together the friends and family who will be involved with the child to celebrate the child’s safe arrival. Whilst we don’t think gifts are required or essential, if you do want to commemorate a new baby’s naming day celebrations, look at some of our wonderful gifts.

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Is it the end of the road for paper maps?

Is it the end of the road for paper maps?

How many Millennials would be able to show you Denmark, for example, on a map?  Or tell you where the town or city they are travelling to is located?

With the latest incarnation of Google Maps, the user interface is intended to create a more personalized cartographic experience, tailored to a person’s searches and location.  It means that each map search now begins neatly in your specific location, and not at the scale of the city, the nation, or the world.

Unlike a paper map, with Google Maps I don’t have to look up my starting and arrival destinations. Nor do I have to commit to memory the order of places and landmarks along my intended route. The ubiquitous smartphones are simply brilliant in providing immediate intelligence on how to get from A to B, (provided you can work out which way to turn that blue arrow to check the direction you are walking in!)

Here at OMG HQ we find it rather sad that you may miss out on that park, lake, village, view because the satnav is so intent on taking you as quickly as possible to your destination, that you may not even know these places are nearby!  Of course an A3 lump of book on your lap is never going to be as easy as an electronic devise stuck to your dashboard, or if you are hiking for example and using a folded map, you will know that the art of folding them may have often been as challenging as the ability to read them (although we’d say, a lot more fun and interesting!).

Ordnance Survey is planning to end its policy of routinely printing paper maps covering the entire country. Instead, it will offer a service whereby people who do require a paper chart will have to order it, so that it can be printed off specially.

We love personally printed maps, and offer a range of map themed gifts as great ideas for commemorating, and remembering, a special place, be it a wedding, proposal, holiday, first kiss……..

Safe travels!

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The Ten Most Popular Birthday Cake Flavours

The Ten Most Popular Birthday Cake Flavours

There’s nothing worse than cutting into your birthday cake and finding out your family, who’s supposed to know you SO well, went with vanilla.  Vanilla is so overrated.  I mean, I’ll eat all of it, but still . . .

A new survey asked people to name the type of cake they would want for their birthday.

And here are the 10 most popular . . .

1. Chocolate
2. Cheesecake
3. Chocolate chip
4. Vanilla
5. Red velvet
6. Marble
7. Carrot
8. Lemon
9. Coconut
10. Rainbow

If the latest series of GBBO has inspired you to pop on a pinny and start baking, check out our great mixing bowl to get you or your friends started!

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Being Positive to Help Your Child Settle into School

Being Positive to Help Your Child Settle into School

The first day of school is upon us and some families have been dreading its arrival. Not because warm (indeed positively hot!) Summer days filled with swimming and barbecues are dwindling, but because school-related anxieties begin to surface.  Especially for the first timers.

Parents need to stay positive about school and talk to their children.  Tell them they are going to learn to draw and write, sing songs and have play dates if they go to school.  Happiness is king.  Let your children know how much fun school will be and all the new friends they will meet. If a child has an older sibling in school, have the sibling talk to the child about breaktime and all the fun that is had during the school day. If parents express fear or anxiety their children will pick up on this and become afraid and nervous.

Above all this is a very personal experience.  There is no hand book to help your child specifically, everyone is unique from their personality, to their home life and their life experiences to date, however limited their years!  We at OMG are huge believers in instinct and knowing what’s right for your child.  Yes, by all means take guidance, but do what’s in your heart as the best for your child.

We also love sending kids to school with personalised products!  Not only does this provide a bit of pride and comfort, but also helps to destress that visit to the dreaded ‘lost property’ cupboard!  Check out our back to school gifts here.

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Why is a bucket list called a bucket list?

Why is a bucket list called a bucket list?

“Bucket list”, or “things to do before you die” is possibly derived from the English idiom – ‘to kick the bucket’ which means ‘to die’. It is used as an informal way or as a slang and it is believed that the idiom comes from method of execution such as hanging…

We’ve been researching a ‘top 100 things to do before you die’ list and have come to the conclusion this is a very personal thing to do!  Some lists mention ‘raise a child’ or ‘buy a house’… whilst possible for some, out of reach for others, so here at OMG HQ we recommend you create your own Bucket List.

To help you with your journey, we have a fabulous set of Top 100 Bucket List scratch posters, to add a bit of fun along the way!  How many craft beers have your tried, how many cheeses have to tasted.  Take one of our challenges and mark your progress.  These are great gift ideas!

Click here on Top 100 Bucket List scratch posters to check out the range.

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Don’t forget to leave a mince pie out for Santa

Don’t forget to leave a mince pie out for Santa

According to History.com the original roots of this tradition go back all the way to ancient Norse mythology. Odin, the most important Norse god, was said to have an eight-legged horse named Sleipner, which he rode with a raven perched on each shoulder. During the Yule season, children would leave food out for Sleipner, in the hopes that Odin would stop by on his travels and leave gifts in return. Such a tradition continues today in countries such as Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands, where children still believe that horses carry Santa’s sleigh instead of reindeer. On Christmas Eve, they leave carrots and hay—sometimes stuffed into shoes—to feed the exhausted animals. In return, they might hope to receive such holiday treats as chocolate coins, cocoa, mandarin oranges and marzipan.

Over the years, different countries have developed their own versions of the tradition. Here our children leave out sherry and mince pies, while Swedish kids leave rice porridge. Santa can expect a pint of Guinness along with his cookies when delivering toys in Ireland. French children leave out a glass of wine for Père Noël and fill their shoes with hay, carrots and other treats for his donkey, Gui (French for “mistletoe”). In Germany, children skip the snacks altogether and leave handwritten letters for the Christkind, a symbolic representation of the Christmas spirit who is responsible for bringing presents on Christmas. Though many German kids mail their letters before the holiday—there are six official addresses for letters addressed to the Christkind—others leave them out on Christmas Eve, decorated with sparkly glue or sugar crystals. On Christmas morning, the letters have been collected, and gifts left in their place.

We come up with two beautiful plates to help personalise this tradition for your children or grandchildren.  A ceramic Dear Santa plate (click here) or a plastic Santa Stop Here plate (click here)

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Why do people wear watches any more?

Why do people wear watches any more?

It is not news to anyone that our use of the ubiquitous smartphone has usurped many of the functions once served solely by watches.

But Watches Are Still a Thing!  But why?

1. Watches are beyond doubt a fashion item.  For men, a watch may be the only piece of jewellery they wear. They are an accessory, particularly when you consider that the range of acceptable jewellery for a man is limited. Many men are only going to be seen with three main accessories – a nice watch, a stylish pair of cuff links, and a wedding ring.  A watch makes it easier for them to display their sense of style.

2. A quick glance at a watch is also a lot easier than digging your phone out of your bag every time you need a time check!  Fishing for a phone on regular occasions just to check the time looks desperate.

3. One of the big advantages of a watch – especially over a smartphone – is how long it can run for.  Many watches are made to either be self powered through motion or use a small amount of energy from a battery: years of maintenance free time-telling…..compare that to a smart phone’s 8 hours!

4. A wrist watch is more than a time-keeper. It is a symbol of tradition and history encased in a showpiece with extreme craftsmanship.  Some of us may be wearing a piece of art on our wrist!  Some watches can also be an investment.

5. Tradition. Women have been wearing watches since the early 1500s.  Yes, you heard that right, women wore wristwatches and men carried pocketwatches.

Here at Oh My Gift, we have a selection of affordable watches which you can turn into that quintessential gift, by personalising the back to make it a truly meaningful gift.  Click here to view our current range.

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How to Teach Kids to Tell the Time

How to Teach Kids to Tell the Time

Telling time is a tricky business, especially for kids.  Here’s the advise from WikiHow:

Kids need to be able to count to 60 (in the correct order!) in order to tell time. Have your child write down the numbers 1 through 60 on a piece of paper. As they write each number, have them recite the number as well. Post this piece of paper on a wall and have them recite the numbers regularly.

  • While you are out in public, like at the grocery store, point out double-digit numbers and have your child repeat the number to you.
  • Use counting songs to help your child practice counting. For instance, you could sing, “100 Bottles of Milk” together. Look for other counting songs online.
  • To encourage your child to learn, make sure to reward them with playtime or their favorite snack for doing a good job.

 

Practice counting by fives. Understanding groups of five will also make learning to tell time much easier. Have your child write down increments of five on a sheet of paper up to 60. As they write the numbers, have them recite them as well. Make sure to point out that each number either ends in a 5 or a 0.

  • Make a special “Count by 5s” song to a catchy tune your kid can sing along to. You can even add dance moves to the song; for example, at every quarter, you put your hands in the air or stomp your feet. Sing this song regularly with your kid to help them become comfortable with counting by 5s.
  • You can also find song about counting by fives online, such as on YouTube.

 

Teach them the general concept of time. General concepts of time are the morning, noon, the evening, and nighttime. Familiarize your kid with these concepts by associating each concept with certain activities. Then quiz your kid by asking them when certain things happen.[3]

  • For example, “In the morning we eat breakfast and brush our teeth. At noon, we eat lunch and take a nap. At night, we read a book and go to sleep.”
  • You can ask your kid, “What happens in the morning?” and “What happens at night?”
  • You can post a daily schedule chart so your child has a visual that shows the different things they do during the day. Refer to the chart when explaining the times of various daily events.

 

There’s plenty more to it of course.  I remember my father using my mother’s lipstick to write on the glass front of our kitchen clock, ‘to’ and ‘past’ as part of my learning.

But these days there are plenty of aids, and we particularly like the learning clocks available (Click here to see them!)

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Why are we charmed by charm bracelets?

Why are we charmed by charm bracelets?

Queen Victoria’s own fascination with charms, jewelry and pendants made charm bracelets enormously popular amongst the gentry of the time, as a luxurious fashion item. It was common for the wealthier classes to show off their wealth by wearing elaborate and exotic clothing, and the wearing of charm bracelets as a fashion accessory.

Queen Victoria routinely gave charms as New Year’s Eve gifts, and Prince Albert often designed charm bracelets for Queen Victoria to commemorate birthdays and other special occasions.

One such simple heart charm bracelet was a special gift from Albert to Victoria, first presented on November 24, 1840, three days after the birth of their daughter Vicky.  The bracelet had one enamelled heart locket containing a lock of the princess’ hair. At the birth of each subsequent child, Albert added a new enamelled locket with one of the child’s curls inside.

It wasn’t until World War II, however, when soldiers, who collected trinkets as a reminder of men they knew, the women they loved, and their time in battle that the wearing of charms really took off throughout Britain and the rest of Europe. Fighting, often away from their loved ones for years at a time, soldiers would buy small reminders of the places they had been as presents for their families back home. Such presents, some bought, others found, seemed to encapsulate moments from the soldiers’ time away and as such charms became hugely popular as a means of capturing emotion and personal memories. Since then charms have often been collected as reminders of good times, and because they signify a great amount of sentiment which their wearers wish to carry around with them.

As a result of this, charm bracelets became immensely popular throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and as a popular gift on a girls’ 16th or 18th birthday or as a wedding or engagement present. The nature of these modern charm bracelets meant that new charms could be added and old ones removed and kept. This meant that girls and women were able to change facets of their charm bracelets on a daily basis to express their own mood or thoughts that day. It is this aspect of charm bracelets which have kept them immensely popular since then.

Nowadays charms and trinket bracelets are highly sought after the world over. Ever popular with young celebrities, charms have recently been used to promote charities, religion, good times, and just plain fun, as well as carrying the sentiment which comes with every one.

OMG is as charmed as anyone, and has a great range of personalised bracelets available.   CLICK HERE to see them all.

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Jigsaws - the Ultimate Christmas Gift?

Jigsaws - the Ultimate Christmas Gift?

The jigsaw puzzle started life in the 18th century as a Geography educational aid. The first jigsaws were maps.  By the 1930s the cottage garden began to dominate, and is still the favoured style of traditional puzzles.

(No cutesy cottage from us, check out our personalised map jigsaw HERE.)

Jigsaws are a joy at Christmas, the ideal gift, the perfect way to while away hours of stress free time, usually a social occasion but not necessarily. Whist some people love the peaceful solitude of doing a puzzle by themselves, we at OMG HQ have a family tradition of everyone chipping in an hour or two until the puzzle is complete, sometimes in silence, sometimes with great excitement when the ‘missing piece’ is finally found and certainly some triumph upon completion.  Jigsaws come in all sizes, all degrees of difficulty, for all ages, at all prices. Depending on your taste, they can be educational, artistic, funny, challenging, competitive, social and comforting.  Unless of course someone jams a piece with great determination into a space that clearly isn’t correct.  Do you correct them?  Argue over it?  Or just quietly replace the piece when they aren’t looking?!

The map puzzles we sell are unique in that they are custom made around the postcode of your choice.  Our personalised map jigsaw puzzle is the ultimate celebration of your very own special place and is created just for you using the address and postcode of your choice. We even mark your special address with a jigsaw piece in the shape of a little house.  If you are a jigsaw officiano, you will know that this is called a whimsie!

So treat your family to a lo-tech, communal, fun gift this Christmas – literally everyone can join it.  It could almost be seen at the Ultimate Christmas Gift!  Get your kids off their devices and start a family puzzle after that turkey.

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Wedding Planners to avoid Disaster!

Wedding Planners to avoid Disaster!

An old bit of wisdom goes that something will inevitably go wrong at your wedding, so you should just enjoy it in all its imperfection because it’s about celebrating with the people closest to you, and not about the centre pieces or your dress ripping.

Here at OMG, we love this Wedding Planner (CLICK HERE) to help remove any last minute planning hiccups.  But nothing can be 100% failsafe, even a planner can’t guarantee the weather!

 

Here are what we consider to the Top 10 Wedding Planner disaster stories of 2018!

  1. A baker refused to bake a wedding cake for a customer because they failed to pay in advance as stipulated, despite many reminders. When the father of the bride appeared in the bakery threatening to kill the baker (!!) and off duty police officer who happened to be in the shop at the time, arrested him.
  2. A groom discovered he was allergic to horses as he was being taken to the church by horse and carriage! His face swelled up so much, no wedding photos could be taken!
  3. A bride asked for money only as wedding presents. During the dancing, she sneaks over to the basket full of the envelopes and opens them up, counting her take. It’s less than she hoped, so she calls the police, gets the DJ to stop the music, and accuses the waiters of stealing her gifts. She then lines up the guests, asks each one publicly how much they gave her. Screams at the police when they arrive to do something, then threatens to sue the restaurant.
  4. Two little page boys, most probably brothers, decided to kick off a fight just as the bride started to walk down the aisle, great entertainment for the guests, but less so for the bride!
  5. At one wedding, a planner had to deal with a mother of the bride who made a 22-minute toast, during which she name-dropped every famous person she had ever introduced her daughter to. Urghh!
  6. As one wedding planner shared on Brides, just after the bride and groom exchanged vows, the mother of the groom “suddenly broke out into song before the bride and groom could escape down the aisle.” And it wasn’t a specific song… “but some random words she was fitting to a hymn involving ‘God bless this couple.'”
  7. One bride demanded to interview all the wedding officiants because she wanted a ‘really hot guy’ to perform the ceremony. She complained that everyone she saw was, ‘like middle-aged or something,’ and insisted we had to find her someone that looked like Brad Pitt because she wanted everyone in her pictures to be hot.
  8. During the actual vows, the groom was so terrified, he literally couldn’t look at his bride. Instead, he did his vows while looking at the minister. His bride grabbed his face mid-vows, pointed his face to hers, then said, ‘Do them over…NOW!’ Probably the most cringe-worthy moment.
  9. A Maid of Honour was asked to foot the bill for the Bride’s wedding band because the Best Man had offered to pay for the Groom’s band.
  10. The groom was leaning up against a table (with his back to it), and his vest came too close to a candle and caught fire! His whole back was up in flames.
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