Thursday, 4 February 2016

Fun Ideas For Half Term

The first half of the spring term is nearly over and while the kids might be looking forward to some free time, for parents it can feel like the longest week ever, especially when you can't guarantee good weather.

We've devised a fantastic list of how to keep the kids entertained without spending a fortune:

Things to do during half term

  • Hold a bake off - You can have fun baking biscuits, cakes, crumbles whatever you like. If you have older children you could always split them into two team! On your marks, get set, bake!
  • Snowtime - If it snows, go sledging, build snowmen, go for snow walks, make snow angels. Don't forget to take your camera with you to capture these magical moments.
  • Cinema - Many cinemas hold special viewings for children during the holidays, advertising 'half term deals', and often parents get to go free too. Check out your local cinemas website for up to date information.
  • Go to the park - Parks tend to have lots of things to entertain the kids, usually they have climbing frames and playgrounds for both younger and older children, scenic walks, animal sanctuary's, trees to climb. You can take your football and bikes, as a lot of parks have introduced mountain bike trails, as well as having lots of low level paths to cycle on for those who want to ride on the flat.
  • Search for free events and offers in your local area - these will be listed on your local council website e.g Visitlancashire.com. Zoo's often offer reduced or free entry out of season, and many museums hold special events over the school holidays, many of which are free.
  • Get crafty at home - Potato stamping is a great thing to do with young children. You can pick up blank canvases quite cheaply, and could get the kids to paint directly onto them and then hang them in their rooms when they are dry.
  • Board Games - If it's particularly nasty weather outside why not get all the board games out and have a board game marathon, or if you have a chess board you could teach the kid's how to play chess, once they've learned how to play they'll be hooked!
  • Swim for free - Many councils offer free swimming for children during the half term holidays, parents can either join in or have a well deserved break in the leisure centre cafe :-)
  • Lots of English Heritage and National Trust sites are free to enter  - they often have activities for the kids too. Have a fun filled day out exploring ruins, gardens, castles and more.
  • Build a den - This is fun both indoors and outdoors, in good weather head to the woods (with a responsible adult) collect sticks and broken branches and create a den. if the weather is poor why not pull out the dining chairs, drape towels and bed sheets over and you've (the kids have) got a nice little den to play in for the afternoon.
  • Collect Blackberries - There are still some wild fruits about, grab some buckets and head out, the kids can have a race to see who can collect the most. When you've got your bucket full of blackberries why not head home and make a blackberry pie. We've found a great recipe for blackberry pie from allrecipes.com
  • Upcycle something - If you've got an old lampshade or some furniture in the loft or under the stairs why not let the kids re-decorate them, see how creative the kids can be with paint, stickers and more.

If you're taking advantage of lower holiday prices in winter and are heading off for some winter sun or just planning ahead for summer we have a great range of suitcases and travel accessories to suit your needs.

Personalised Luggage Strap ABS Children's Suitcases Digital Luggage Scale

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Friday, 15 January 2016

Face The Cold Weather In Style

As the temperatures are starting to plummet - a dramatic statement perhaps, but nevertheless the temperature is going to drop, and as it looks like we're finally going to head into winter it's time to consider whether you have all the essential clothing and household items necessary for making winter more enjoyable.

Aztec Brushed Cosy Yarn Cardigan

This Aztec Brushed Cosy Yarn Cardigan By Be You is a great alternative to a coat or jacket and can be worn indoors without people thinking you haven't taken your coat off. You can be warm indoors and outdoors with this cosy number and the fantastic news is that it's now only £9.99. It's available in sizes 8-22.

blanket wraps, oversize scarves, ponchos and capes

We love blanket wraps, oversized scarves, ponchos and capes, they are so snug, warm and stylish. Prices are from only £6.99! A great addition to any outfit.

Sherpa Jacket By Be You

This Sherpa Jacket By Be You is one of our bestsellers this winter. I don't know about you, but just thinking about the Sherpa lining makes me feel warmer! This Jacket is priced from only £17.99 and is available in sizes 8-26.

Shop all Coats & Jackets


Be Snug As A Bug In A Rug


electric blankets, mattress toppers and thermal blankets

It's not just warm clothing you need to consider when heading into winter, preparing your home for winter is essential too. A fluffy fleece mattress topper will add an instant layer of snugness to your bed. An electric blanket will make your bed lovely and warm, even if you just pre-heat your bed prior to getting in it, and then just switch it off. Also, if you love snuggling up on the sofa in winter with a nice film this Heat Holders Snuggle Up Blanket would be a dream! It boasts a toasting 1.4 tog rating, comes in a whole host of colours and is now only £24.99.

heating range

If you suffer from draught coming under the doors in your house a draught excluder is a must. If the draughts come from the side or top of a door a self-adhesive draught excluder is the best option, and if the draught is coming from under the doors a removable draught excluder would be better. As well as ensuring you don't have draughts in your house you need to make sure that your home will be at a comfortable temperature, our heating range has a whole host of electric fires and electric heaters, which will help keep you toasty warm during the cold spells.

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Friday, 8 January 2016

How To Exercise From Home

You don't need to join an expensive gym to stay in shape, there is so much affordable gym equipment out there making it easier on the pocket to exercise from home.

Weights and Small Fitness Equipment

Weights and Small Fitness Equipment Weights and Small Fitness Equipment Weights and Small Fitness Equipment

If you're looking for a gentle and relatively inexpensive introduction to exercise a great place to start is with small weights or equipment such as a skipping rope, exercise ball or a weighted hoop. These types of equipment are fairly low resistance so shouldn't put you off using them. They are easy on the pocket and small enough to put in a cupboard when not in use. Pineapple have a great range of smaller exercise equipment with prices starting from only £6.99. Pineapple also have a great range of resistance bands which are great for increasing flexibility.

Shop for Dumbells
Shop for Skipping Ropes
Shop For Exercise Balls
Shop for Weighted Hoops
Shop for Resistance Bands
Shop Pineapple Fitness


Cardio Equipment

Cardio Equipment Cardio Equipment Cardio Equipment

The cardio range covers equipment such as treadmills, cross trainers, rowing machines and exercise bikes. These larger pieces are a bit more of an investment than some weights, but they are the perfect choice for long term usage at home. It's always worth remembering that a lot of these larger pieces can be folded up and broken down for storage, making them much less cumbersome.

Shop for Treadmills
Shop for Cross Trainers
Shop For Rowing Machines
Shop For Exercise Bikes


Weight Benches and Home Gym

Weight Benches and Home Gym Weight Benches and Home Gym

The cornerstone of all strength training equipment is a weight bench. Weight benches can be used with barbells, dumbbells, power racks, smith machines or on their own. The weights bench is the core of any exercise program working out your triceps and chest at the same time. Free weight bench presses will help you increase natural body movement, unlike a bench that is attached to a multi-gym, where the movement is controlled by the machine. A weight bench or a home gym should be a consideration if you are going to focus on strength training.

Shop Weight Benches
Shop Home Gym


Heart Rate Monitors and Fitness Bands

Heart Rate Monitors and Fitness Bands Heart Rate Monitors and Fitness Bands Heart Rate Monitors and Fitness Bands

If your choice of exercise is jogging, running, walking or hill climbing or some other out of the house exercise, a heart rate monitor or fitness band would be the perfect item to help you track your progress and monitor your goals.

Shop for Fitness Bands

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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

It's Competition Time At Studio

Have you spotted the latest competitions and giveaways we're running on our Twitter channel? We have two prizes on offer. A fabulous Men's North Face Jacket is up for grabs, but hurry, this giveaway ends at midnight tonight. All you need to do is retweet our competition post and make sure you're following us on twitter. If you're already following us, that's one job complete :-)


We are also giving a 7" Tablet PC away to one lucky entrant. All you need to do to enter the competition is to share a snap of you wearing your Christmas Jumper. This competition ends at lunchtime on the 21st December, so share your Christmas Jumper photos to be included in the competition.


Good Luck and Merry Christmas

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Friday, 4 December 2015

Be The Hostess With The Mostess

Planning

If you're hosting a Christmas party, lunch or family gathering, preparation is everything!


Crockery

Dinner Sert

There is nothing worse than realising at the very last minute that you don't have enough plates for everyone (or a matching pieces). Options are to buy a new or extra dinner set, buy two or 3 of the same design, or buy an extra large set, as you can get some 32 piece dinner sets, which are perfect if you're having up to 8 guests for dinner.


Don't Forget Cutlery

canteen of cutlery

It's a given that we all have cutlery in our homes, but do you have enough for all the courses and all the guests? A canteen of cutlery is a great option as all the cutlery can be packed away for the next occasion. There's enough cutlery for 12 settings/guests and includes serving cutlery and a ladle too.


Cooking The Meal

food mixer pan set roaster

Cooking a Turkey with all the trimmings can be a daunting task, it can be made all the easier with the correct tools and some handy kitchen gadgets. Pans, Multi-Cookers, Steamers, Pressure Cookers, Roaster and Racks are useful, and a food mixer makes things all the simpler.


Sit Down Or Buffet?

buffer server

A jacobs join is a great way of having a get together without the host having to provide all the food and drink. If you don't want to risk everyone bringing the same food/course, you could put the names of dishes in a hat and allocate them at random to each of your guests. If you're happy providing the main course perhaps just ask guests to bring the starters, desserts, and drinks. One thing you do need to make sure you have enough of is serving dishes and serving spoons. Buffet servers are a great way to keep food hot on a buffet or dining table. This Giani buffer server can be used as both a hot tray and a plate warmer.


Drinks

optics set

If you do decide to provide some of the drinks, you can host your Christmas party on a budget by sticking to 2-3 types of drink rather than offering a whole selection. If you start offering loads of different cocktails you’ll have to buy loads of different spirits and mixers, so keep things cheap by sticking to one or two. Mulled wine always goes down a treat at Christmas, and here's a handy mulled wine recipe courtesy of Jamie Oliver. If you find mulled wine a bit harsh why not add a drop of amaretto, it's lovely!


House Guests

airbed foldaway bed sofabed

If you've got guests staying over this Christmas and have fewer beds than people, air beds and folding guests beds are the perfect solution. You could also get character sofa beds for the kids rooms.

Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Get Ready To Party

We're all excited about our Christmas Parties, and even though we all probably have a dress we could wear we know we're more than likely going to treat ourselves to something new. It's the perfect excuse really isn't it!?

For Her

Frock And Frill Grey Beaded DressClub L Zigzag Sequin Maxi DressClub L Sequin Bardot Midi Dress

Shop the glitz and glam trend. This Grey Beaded Dress By Frock & Frill is fabulous, fun and flattering on any figure! The beautiful hand made embellishment makes this dress incredibly unique. The sleeveless dress boasts an elegant sheer embellished overlay and features a scooped back and is available in sizes 18-28 for only £49.99.

If you're looking for something longer, bring glamour to the party with this Club L ZigZag Sequin Maxi Dress featuring sequin embellishment to the body designed in a zigzag style, it's only £19.99 and is available in sizes 8-20.

And if you're looking for a little black dress then look no further! This Club L Sequin Bardot Midi Dress is available in black (as well as many other colours too), it has a close cut bodycon fit, is sequinned with an off-shoulder neckline, and is available in sizes 8-20 for only £12.99.

Shop Women's Partywear

For Him

Smart BlazerSkopes Slim Fit Shirt With Skinny Tie Setmens formalwear

Let's not forget the men when it comes to party wear! We have got a stylish selection of shirts, suits, jackets and waistcoats available, so if suited and booted isn't your thing, we have plenty of other party-perfect looks for you.

Simply adding a smart jacket or shirt and tie to your usual jeans and shoes combination will smarten up your look and make you look party-ready.

If you're looking for a whole new ensemble or attending a more formal event then take a look at our suits and suit pieces, such as waistcoats, suit trousers and suit jackets. Prices are from only £39.95.

Shop Men's Formalwear

For The Girls

Older Girl's Sequin Detail DressLittle Misdress Sequin Bodice DressLittle Misdress Sequin Detail Dress With Bow

Sequins are very much the fashion this season and Little Misdress have got them covered in their fantastic partywear range. We also have faux fur jackets and sparkly shoes to complete the look. Prcies are only from only £7.99

Shop Girls Partywear

For The Boys

Older Boys Party ShirtBen Sherman Blazer ShirtYounger

It can be a struggle to get boys out of their jeans no matter what their age, so smartening their look with a shirt or a waistcoat is a perfect way to smarten up their look ready for them running and sliding across the dance floor :-) Prices are from only £6.99.

Shop Boys Partywear



For Baby

Baby Girls 3-Piece Tutu Set & Boys 3-Piece Formal SetBaby Girls 3-Piece Tutu Set & Boys 3-Piece Formal SetBaby Girls 3-Piece Tutu Set & Boys 3-Piece Formal Set

It would be rude to forget to the little ones when it comes to Partywear as they do look incredibly cute in them! These sweet little outfits are available in sizes 3-24 months.

Shop Babywear

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Thursday, 5 November 2015

Christmas Gift Buying Guide

Inspiration For Christmas Gifts

Thinking of ideas for the perfect present can be tricky, no matter who it is for. Your budget will probably be one of the main factors, so once you know how much you have to spend on each gift, this will help narrow down your final choice. Next, narrow it down to something relevant to the recipient. Choosing the perfect gift can be tricky, and it is easy to get it wrong. The key is to do your research: think about the things they buy for themselves, their hobbies, interests and personal style. Try not to be swayed by your own tastes and preferences, and avoid household and kitchen items unless they have specifically asked for them.



Gifts For Children

  • Browse Christmas catalogues and magazines for inspirational articles and ideas - newspapers will often publish 'most wanted this Christmas' lists in the run up to Christmas too. This will help you figure out what this year's 'must-have' toy is, and whether or not it is in your budget.
  • Pre-School children tend to like the toys that relating to characters from their favourite kids TV programme or films, such as Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Dora, Minions, Despicable Me and more.
  • If they already have a doll's house, you could create a hamper or gift bag of assorted accessories and doll's clothing. Or if they already own a garage or car set, you could consider adding to their car collection. These are inexpensive ways to help them get more fun from toys they already own. Remote control toys, such as cars, helicopters and boats are always a safe bet with younger children too.
  • Role play products, such as kitchens, washing machines, cookers, shopping carts, prams and dolls are guaranteed to keep younger children quiet for hours, and give the child a sense of responsibility.
  • Barbie may have been around since 1959, but her products are still as popular as ever.
  • Football related products such as boot bags, table football and personalised pyjamas are always worth considering as gifts. Just make sure you select the right team!
  • Children's electrical gadgets such as the V-Tech InnoTab Max do not only provide hours on entertainment but are educational too. These products are generally aimed at children aged between 3 and 10 years old.
  • It's always more difficult to shop for older children, if you're truly stuck for ideas, or you want to contribute financially to a bigger present they're saving for why not put some money in a money wallet. You can still get them something to unwrap by filling a gift bag filled with fruity flavoured toiletries, hair bands, clips, lip balms, sweets, stickers or novelties
  • Personalise it - for truly unique and memorable gifts, consider taking advantage of our free personalisation service, which is available on a whole host of products. Personalised chairs, pyjamas and animal onesies are a handful of the most popular personalised products for children at Studio.
  • If you have a bit of extra cash to spend on gifts, then games consoles and games are guaranteed to put a smile on most children (or grown men's) faces. Check out the PS4 and the Xbox One, both of which are now available to order.

Browse our gifts for kids


Gifts For Babies

  • For a baby's first Christmas, personalised gifts are always a great idea. You might want to consider a 'baby's first Christmas' bauble or stocking or even something more intimate and personal, like a handprint set. These gifts will last a lifetime and be cherished as the baby grows older.
  • Toys which aid development are also fantastic Christmas gift ideas. Walk mats and baby walkers encourage a baby to walk its first steps with bright colours and engaging music.
  • Soothing, night-time toys are very popular. Cuddly toys which glow in the dark and play relaxing music are an ideal way to help a baby drift off into a peaceful sleep.
  • If you're working on a tight budget and looking for a more affordable gift plush toys, rattles and baby clothes are good options to consider.

Browse our gifts for babies.


Christmas Gifts For Ladies

Treat the lady or ladies in your life to something really special - here are some ideas.

  • Clothing is a good option if you know her style, and more importantly, her size! Do your research before buying to avoid embarrassing mistakes.
  • If clothing is too risky, some easier options are accessories such as hats, gloves and scarves which do not usually have precise sizing, and will get immediate use in the colder weather.
  • Handbags are usually well-received - again, a little research can go a long way. Look for a style she likes, or perhaps she always chooses the same size or type of fastening. Does she have a favourite handbag that is looking a little tired? If you are still not sure, there are some great, funky shopping bags available. Or, for a glamorous lady, look for a stylish evening bag to match one of her favourite outfits, or in a neutral colour such as black or silver.
  • Jewellery - if she likes and wears jewellery, this is always a good option. Bracelets and pendants suit everyone, and if she has pierced ears, this gives you even more options. The good thing about jewellery is that there are thousands of styles and designs in different materials and colours, so you will always find something different, whatever the budget.
  • Cosmetics and toiletries are a good choice: most ladies welcome a pampering treat, especially if you can select a brand you know they like. Spa days and Experience Days are also worth considering; they provide a fun, relaxing day out and generally aren't too expensive. Make-up and hair care products can also be a nice idea, especially if you choose more luxurious branded products that they would not normally buy for themselves. Perfume and fragrance gift sets are available in abundance in the run up to Christmas, so there is plenty to choose from no matter what your budget.
  • Books - if she likes to read, book tokens or gift vouchers might be just what she'd like. If you are confident you know her reading tastes, you could even choose a book for her. Consider other books you remember her reading - did she like them? Is there a sequel or set? Autobiographies make great Christmas gifts, as long as she is interested in the author - try to think about famous names she admires. Check the current best-sellers list for inspiration. If your budget allows, you could consider an e-reader such as an Amazon Kindle. They fit comfortably in a bag or suitcase and allow you to carry around an entire library of books!
  • Personalise it - for something special that she will treasure, put her name on it. There are all kinds of personalised gifts available for ladies, from engraved wine glasses to purses and bags. Or how about a personalised bathrobe, perfect for snuggling into after a pampering session.
  • Hobbies, sports and pastimes can generate ideas - if she enjoys the gym, perhaps a new gym bag or mp3 player to make her workouts more enjoyable.
  • Memories are always good inspiration for really special gifts. Consider past conversations: does she reminisce about places she used to go, things she used to do, a film or book from the past, or perhaps some music she used to love? This can be a good source of ideas if you need inspiration.
  • Alcohol can be a welcome gift. Choose a bottle of her favourite tipple, and be sure to spend more than she normally would, for a luxury treat. Many of our alcohol gift sets can be personalised free of charge!
  • If your budget permits, there are lots of experience days and treats that can be arranged - treat her to a balloon ride, a makeover or photoshoot - or perhaps she would prefer to take a drive in a sports car...
  • Stocking filler suggestions for ladies: socks, tights, lip balms, hairbrushes and styling accessories, make-up brushes, chocolate treats.

Browse our gifts for ladies here


Christmas Gifts For Men

For the men or man in your life, if you are struggling for inspiration, how about some of these ideas:
  • Clothing is always a safe option - if you know what size to buy. Do your research and make sure you know his size before you go shopping, to avoid embarrassment on the day.
  • Books - if he enjoys reading, book tokens or gift vouchers might be just what he would like most. If you are confident you know his favourite author or reading tastes, you could even choose a book. Consider other books he has read recently and whether he enjoyed them? If there is a sequel or set, you could buy the next instalment as a gift. Autobiographies make great Christmas gifts, as long as he is interested in the author - try to think about famous names he admires or has shown an interest in. Check the current best-sellers list for inspiration. If your budget allows, you could even consider an e-reader such as an Amazon Kindle, which opens up a whole world of reading possibilities.
  • Hobbies, sports and pastimes can be great for generating ideas - if he plays football or supports a particular football or rugby teams, a sporting gift may be perfect could be a good place to start. If he is sporty, perhaps a new gym bag or accessory would be welcome.
  • Check out the PS4 and the Xbox One, both of which are available to order.
  • Gadgets are always a popular choice at Christmas. This could be an electronic device, if your budget allows, or perhaps a DIY tool or gadget. Some of the most popular gadgets include Amazon Kindles, iPads, digital cameras and game consoles.
  • Alcohol can be a welcome gift if he likes a drink, simply find out his favourite tipple, buy a bottle or crate and tie a ribbon around it. Many of our alcohol gift sets can be personalised free of charge!
  • For older recipients who seem to 'have everything', food and drink gifts are a safe bet. Consider creating a customised hamper of luxury produce for a special treat.
  • Memories are always good inspiration for really special gifts. Consider past conversations - does he reminisce about places he has visited, things he used to do, films they have watched, a concert they went to? This can be a good source of ideas if you need inspiration.
  • Personalise it - for something he will treasure, put his name on it. You can personalise all kinds of gift with his name or initials. A personalised wallet is an inexpensive Christmas present, or you could opt for a drinking glass engraved with his name.
  • If your budget allows, consider giving them a once in a lifetime experience with the gift of an Experience Day - you can purchase vouchers entitling him to an experience he won't forget, such as driving a sports car, flying an aeroplane, or active activities like paintballing.
  • Stocking filler suggestions for men: socks, underwear, pens, tools and gadgets, shaving / grooming products and accessories, chocolate, confectionery.

Browse our gifts for men.


Other Christmas Gift Ideas

Some other ideas for Christmas presents
  • Secret Santa is a popular idea, especially in offices or workplaces. Names are drawn from a hat, and each person buys a gift for the person they have selected at random. Secret Santa gifts have a fixed budget, usually around £5.00, so the fun is in the challenge of choosing a cheap gift for that person. Depending on the recipient, and the type of workplace, the gifts may be jokey or may be more thoughtful. Tailor the gift to the recipient - if they have a sense of humour then a novelty gift will be perfect, otherwise choose something generic that will not cause offence. Great ideas for gifts around the £5.00 mark include stationery, food, drink, calendars, books and novelties, but, of course, you can choose almost anything as long as it is within the set budget.
  • There is a growing trend for giving Christmas gifts for pets, and these range from inexpensive treats and nibbles to more luxurious accessories. Look for cat and dog selection packs, or how about a personalised rug, bed or food bowl for your pet?


Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Friday, 30 October 2015

Winter Boots

The leaves are falling off the trees, the clocks have already gone back, it's rained for a week non-stop, these are all signs that Autumn is well and truly here, and that winter is just around the corner. But don't be sad, this is the perfect excuse to say goodbye to your summer footwear, and say hello to a new pair of boots!

Knee Boots

Knee Boots

Knee high boots, and over knee boots are fabulous for so many reasons; they're super stylish, and can be worn with both skinny jeans/trousers, and also with skirts and dresses. They keep you warm as it's an extra layer of material on your legs, and if you get leather or faux leather boots, when it's raining, less of your legs will get wet.

Ankle Boots

Ankle BootsAnkle Boots

Ankle Boots are a great boot for autumn as they are the ultimate transitional Footwear, whether you're looking for heeled ankle boots, biker style, flat boots, or boots with embellishment's such as zips or tazzles you're in for a treat, we've got a great range at Studio, with prices from only £12.99

Ugg Boots


Uggs are loved by so many and are sure to keep you warm and snug all winter (and summer) long. They're available for only £139.99 and in a choice of 3 fab colours. We also have a range of Emu Boots and Skechers boots too, that look snug and warm too. Emu Boots are priced from only £99.99 and Skechers boots are priced from only £29.99.

Whatever your style or budget we're sure to have a style to suit! Shop our Boots Collection today.

Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions