Christmas Is Open!

Wow, the time has arrived when we can officially talk about…Christmas!

The website opened for our December Christmas themed (of course!) parcels on 1st November, so you can now grab the one-off version, or sign up for a 3 or 6 month subscription, with the first parcel being our Christmas parcel – (subscriptions make great gifts!)

Ordering for these will close on 30th November, so we can get them all wrapped and packed, ready for posting during the first week of December, hopefully beating the posting rush!

As always, our Christmas parcels will be super festive, but will still contain our usual mix of inspirational gifts, decorations, handmade items, and maybe, treats to eat!

We know lots of these will be bought and given as gifts, so we won’t spoil the surprise and will save the contents reveal until after Christmas. As with all our parcels, we can also add a personal note inside from you too, if you wish, and we can post to any address within the UK, so we can send them to you, or directly to the recipient.

Subscriptions can be paid for in a one-off lump-sum payment, rather than by monthly instalments, as we know when buying as gifts, some of you like to have the option to pay all at once and then not have to think about it again, just let us know what you’d like to do.

And remember there’s no limit to how many one-off parcels you can order, so if you’re looking for surprise gifts for friends and family, we’ve got you covered!

We also have something brand new this year…a Christmas Eve Box! These are available now, to order directly through our Facebook page, and currently over in our Etsy shop. These are ready-to-post, so there’s no posting times or waiting for these, along with our other ready-to-go range.

We wanted to create a Christmas Eve Box for adults, who after working hard all year, deserve to take a break, put their feet up, and have some me-time, even if it’s only for a few moments, before the bustling festivities of Christmas Day begin.

Remember, if you have any questions or queries about any of our parcels, feel free to pop me an email, or a Facebook message, I’d love to hear from you!

Karen x

 

October 2019 – Parcel Contents

Happy Halloween!

Whether you are celebrating the season of ghostly ghouls or planning to hide yourself away, it’s difficult to ignore the array of pumpkins, spooky decorations and blood curdling treats!

Our parcel theme this month was “Happy Autumn” and they were bursting with Autumnal delights, awesome orange-ness, with a few scary items added in there too!

October Contents:

Autumn Garland –

Your parcel theme this month, of course, had to be all about our favourite season, Autumn! Personally, we love everything about this time of year, even the slightly colder days, and evenings – the perfect excuse to get cosy! Your first item is a beautiful handmade garland, to decorate your home or office, and introduce those Autumn vibes!

Fox Planter –

This mini planter definitely wins the cute vote! We loved the fox design as soon as we spotted them – all that’s needed now is something to pop inside, whether that’s an equally cute cactus plant, or if it’s put to use as a little helpful pot, maybe to keep those pesky paper clips safe!

Ghost Hanging Decoration –

It’s October and we know what that means – Halloween is on the way – so it just wouldn’t be right for us not to include something to add to your spooky display when the time arrives. These hanging ghost decorations have been made by Lesley.

Lesley makes lots of fabulous felt decorations, hanging gifts and keyrings, and you can find her shop on eBay here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/zakky94

Trick or Treat? –

Umm, a mysterious orange and white striped bag, but what could be inside, is it a trick or maybe a treat?! Well, there’s only one way to find out – good luck!!

 “Negativity Is Only There…” –

We’ve included another postcard from Katie Abey Design this month – “Negativity Is Only There To Make You More Badass”.

We can sometimes feel like we are surrounded by negativity, whether we’re at work, at home or at play, social media and the internet means it’s always there – positivity is there too, of course, but it’s the negative stuff that seems to stay in our minds. But it’s worth remembering that a lot of it isn’t real, and without negativity we can’t fully appreciate the satisfaction of our achievements.

Smile Cards

As always, there should be a couple of these little cards in your parcel, I’ve written one for you, and the blank one, is for you to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone you know, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – but this is of course optional, there’s absolutely no pressure to do this if you don’t want to.

Parcel Assistant

Your *Parcel Assistant this month is, Dominic. Dominic is living his best life at the moment, as he is a HUGE Strictly Come Dancing fan!

So, don’t be alarmed if you see him covered in glitter and showing you his best moves!!

Karen x

*Parcel Assistants are cheeky little pompom chaps who help (or hinder!) us with packing your monthly parcels!

Volunteering & New Creations…

Hello! It’s been a while since we had a little catch-up and an update post, so when better, than when the rain is pouring down outside my office window, and I’m tightly clutching a “huge” cup of hot tea!

The last few months seem to of been full of sorting and organising, and before we know it, Christmas will be knocking on the door – or coming down the chimney!!

We introduced our ready-to-go range, of one-off parcels earlier this year, and you’re loving them, which is great. We are hoping to continue increasing this range, and also extend into more occasion gift parcels, for particular recipients, and birthdays etc. These will be primarily available in our Facebook shop, as it offers a super quick way for you to see exactly what we have available, and payment can be directly through Facebook Messenger, using our new instant PayPal link, which makes ordering even easier.

Our latest addition is a “Look for Rainbows” themed inspirational gift parcel, which is £19, and of course, like all our parcels, free UK delivery.

I wanted to give you a quick personal update in this post too, as I’ve now been working as a Crisis Volunteer with mental health charity, Shout, for a whole 10 months!

I began my volunteering journey this time last year, when I began my 25 hours of intense training. It was tough going and covered some very difficult, hard hitting subjects, such as self-harm and suicide. But I have to say, since completing my training last December, and spending all of this year volunteering, and helping those experiencing crisis, it has been one of the best things I have ever done.

I won’t lie, it can sometimes be very challenging, as you never know what each shift will bring, but the training I received was great, and the continued support from the coaches and supervisors while on shift is invaluable.

The service that Shout offers is very much needed, and it’s in no doubt, is life changing and lifesaving. The stories we hear from those texting in, are both heart-breaking and heart-warming, but nothing can take away from the feeling, when someone, who thought they had no reason to continue living at the beginning of the conversation, tells you they feel calmer, and they now know they can face another day, and find the determination to fight on.

The charity is always looking for more volunteers, so if this is something you could be interested in, take a look at their website here: https://www.giveusashout.org/

Remember you are never alone, if you, or someone you know is struggling, reach out, support is there, free of charge, 24 hours a day.

Karen x

 

September 2019 – Parcel Contents

Wow, September seems to of been a super speedy month! But, I have to admit, I’m loving seeing the little blasts of Autumn-ness, that are now starting to arrive.

It’s time for our parcel reveal this month, and our theme for September was, simply, “Home”.

The contents were all about enjoying being back at home again, as the long Summer holidays come to an end, and making that home, a cosy and happy place to be.

September Contents:

Photo Frame –

This month, your parcel theme is simply “Home”. The long Summer holidays are coming to an end, and it’s time to celebrate being back at home again, and making it, well, homely! Your first item is this lovely photo frame. We love the quote and wanted to include something to help fill your home with memories, people, pets or places you love.

Jewellery Dish –

We all need a safe place to keep keys, jewellery, and other essential trinkets, that seem to find themselves getting scattered randomly around the house. This “Choose Happy” ceramic dish seemed the perfect choice – pop it on the dressing table, coffee table or anywhere else, and never loose the “little things” again!

Prosecco Rose Candle –

Candles are a great way to add an instant cosy feeling to a home. This tin candle is made from soy wax and is in the lovely fragrance of “Prosecco Rose”. It has been handmade in North Yorkshire by Charlotte, over at Crafts Uniquey.

“Kindness Rules” Button Badge –

This button badge may be small, but it comes with a very big message – kindness definitely rules! And not just kindness to others, but just as importantly, kindness to yourself. Day to day life can be exhausting, work, chores, family and friends…sleep, repeat. Remembering to show ourselves a little kindness too, is vital, so pin this little badge on your coat or bag, as your personal reminder!

 “Hard Times Don’t Last Forever” Postcard –

We will all go through tough times at some point in our life, that is sadly unavoidable, but when we do, it’s important to remember that things are always changing. Change can be difficult to deal with on its own, but those hard times are only ever temporary, hard times don’t last forever, and we will come out the other side – and there’s always something better around the corner. Postcard from Katie Abey Design.

Smile Cards –

As always, there should be a couple of these little cards in your parcel, I’ve written one for you, and the blank one, is for you to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone you know, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – but this is of course optional, there’s absolutely no pressure to do this if you don’t want to.

Parcel Assistant –

Your *Parcel Assistant this month is Larry. Larry loves being snuggly at home, and is very excited to be moving in with you, getting comfy on the sofa, and watching a boxset!

Karen x

*Parcel Assistants are cheeky little pompom chaps who help (or hinder!) us with packing your monthly parcels!

 

Relax & Recharge

We can forget how important it is, to take time out, to relax and recharge our batteries – in fact it’s not just important, it’s vital!

In the same way that the technology we use every day, needs to be rested and recharged regularly, we, as humans, work just as hard, if not harder, so it’s essential that we do too.

There are so many ways to recharge, some people like to simply chill out in front of a fabulous boxset, and get “lost” for a while, while others may like to participate in hobbies, or activities that they enjoy. Whatever is your choice, we all need to give ourselves a break and some much-deserved downtime.

However, taking time out for ourselves can sometimes feel like we are somehow being “lazy”, or that we should always be on-the-go, after all, it seems that there’s always something that needs doing, but if we don’t give ourselves this time, to simply step back, and take a moment to breathe, we can experience burn-out, and then our overall wellbeing and mental health can be hugely impacted, in a negative way. If we keep going at full speed, constantly, it can be really hard on us, both physically and mentally.

Taking time off gives both our mind, and body, a chance to “switch off” and unwind for a while. Going away on holiday, is an obvious way to take a break, but in reality, that isn’t always an option, so it can be a great idea to plan relaxation times in advance.

It doesn’t matter whether your “thing” is to take part in an activity, such as joining a group, maybe yoga, an art class, or circling in the countryside – it can be something physical, something creative, or simply planning time to do absolutely nothing…it really doesn’t matter, as long as it gives you, time to be, you.

So, whatever you enjoy, make time to do it, go on, you work hard – you deserve it!

Karen x

Where Can I Buy The Smile Parcel From?

This week’s post title may sound a little odd, as I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you’re already visiting our website – where you can buy our parcels!

However, as we have grown our small business, we have slowly increased the number and range of parcels available, to follow what our customers ask for, and so with this, we now have several different places and platforms for purchasing.

Firstly, I wanted to do a little update on the parcels we offer, and how they differ.

We now have 3 versions of The Smile Parcel available, they are, our original “The Smile Parcel”, “The Smile Parcel Plus”, and finally, “The Smile Parcel Select”.

*****

“The Smile Parcel” is our original monthly surprise parcel, which is exclusively sold through our own website. These are available as a one-off purchase, or as 3- or 6-month subscriptions. Monthly parcels are all posted during the first week of each month.

You can purchase these from our website here: https://www.thesmileparcel.co.uk/

“The Smile Parcel Plus” parcels, contain the same contents as our original monthly surprise parcels, and are posted at the same time each month, however, they are a “Plus” in two great ways.

When we launched over 2 years ago, we knew we wanted to get to a stage where we could donate a percentage from our parcels to a mental health charity, so we were excited when we were able to launch our “Plus” parcels, and donate 10% from every single one to, Shout, a UK text messaging service, founded as part of the Royal Foundations, Head’s Together charity.

As well as the donation, all “Plus” parcels contain a beautifully fragranced soy wax tin candle, handmade by Charlotte over at Crafts Uniquey, in stunning Yorkshire.

These parcels are currently available to purchase on 3 marketplace platforms, nuMONDAY, uOpen and Etsy, or are also available through our Facebook Shop and Messenger (pop us a Facebook message for more information).

Our nuMONDAY Shop: https://www.numonday.com/shop/the-smile-parcel/

Our uOpen Shop: https://www.uopen.com/subscription-box/the-smile-parcel-plus

Our Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TheSmileParcel

Finally, the most recent additions are “The Smile Parcel Select” parcels, which were created out of the demand from you, our lovely customers, asking for a range of one-off purchase, ready-to-go parcels. These all have set contents, which are listed in the description of each parcel, so there’s no surprises with this range. These are ready to post as soon as an order is placed, so they make great gifts.

These parcels are currently available to purchase on 2 marketplace platforms, nuMONDAY and Etsy, or are also available through our Facebook Shop and Messenger (pop us a Facebook message for more information).

Our nuMONDAY Shop: https://www.numonday.com/shop/the-smile-parcel/

Our Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TheSmileParcel

Karen x

Stepping Outside

We’re approaching another bank holiday weekend (yay!), and fingers crossed, the weather actually looks like it may be Okay, so it’s a great excuse to get outside!

We all know that sometimes, simply taking a moment to step outside, and take in a deep breath of fresh air, is enough to make us feel a little better. Having anxiety or depression can be crippling, and being outside can be helpful for calming the mind, and allowing us to have a mindful moment.

Sitting outside can also reduce blood pressure, and lower our heart rate, as when we’re outside, our body naturally slows down, and so it can give us a sense of peace.

Being outside, especially around nature, can help reduce our stress levels, boost our mood, and has been proven to increase brain function too.

It also gives us a reason to “unplug” for a while, both physically and mentally – it may be scary to leave technology behind…but it will all still be there waiting for us when we return!

Walking can be brilliant to help increase our focus, for those moments when we feel a little lost – a brief walk, can work wonders to help us regain our ability to focus and find direction. For a significant boost in concentration and creativity, maybe escape to a forest, or a beautiful woodland.

This week was the Chelsea Flower Show, and one lovely garden was designed by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge. Kate wanted to highlight the benefits of the natural world, and inspire children, families and communities to enjoy the great outdoors, and how being active in nature can positively impact our physical and mental health – so it must be true!!

So, find a little time over the long bank holiday weekend, to take advantage of the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Replace technology time spent on electronic devices, with a walk in the local park, or even, maybe, a bike ride…

Karen x

April 2019 – Parcel Contents

Well, it’s been a busy couple of weeks at TSP HQ, so I’m afraid I’m a little late with this parcel contents post – but don’t tell anyone – and I think, I’ll get away with it! Shh 😉

Our parcel theme for April was “Keep Growing”, and the contents were all about how we are all, always, growing, no matter how old we are, or what we’ve been through.

April Contents:

“Keep Growing” Pot –

Springtime is finally making an appearance, and this makes us very happy! We’ve gone all-out Spring themed this month, with “Keep Growing”. This little pot was a perfect fit for your first item, it is super cute too – and will hopefully come in useful, when you see your next item this month…

“Smile” Message Beans –

We loved these beans as soon as we discovered them – for obvious reasons! We’ve included a little instruction card with these too, to give you a head start, and explain more about them…and why they are “magic”! We’d love to see your photos as your beans begin to grow, so do send them over to us on Facebook or Instagram.

Sheep Box Frame –

Spring is known to be the season of new life and growth. Flowers and plants are starting to bloom, and if you live in, or visit the countryside, you’ll begin to see the new Spring lambs arriving in the fields. This lovely framed felt lamb is great for popping on to a shelf, to add a Springtime feel to your home.

Yellow Flower –

We’ve just mentioned above that lots of beautiful flowers are now coming into bloom, and our gardens are starting to turn green again. When it comes to flowers, our personal favourites, are yellow Gerberas. We wanted to include a bright artificial flower in your parcel – so this one was an easy choice for us, we hope you approve…

 “Keep Going” –

Our theme this month is all about growing, and is a reminder that we are all, always growing, no matter how old we are, or what we’ve been through. Sometimes we need a little push to keep fighting on, and that’s Okay. Life will always have something unexpected to throw our way, but if we want to make the most out of life, we need to learn to push through these barriers, and “keep going”.

The button badge is from ‘Colour Your Life Club’ who you can find here: https://colouryourlifeclub.co.uk/

The postcard is from ‘Katie Abey Design’.

Smile Cards

As always, there should be a couple of these little cards in your parcel, I’ve written one for you, and the blank one, is for you to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone you know, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – but this is of course optional, there’s absolutely no pressure to do this if you don’t want to.

Parcel Assistant

This month, your *Parcel Assistant is, Frank. Frank is a big fan of Springtime, and especially Easter – it may be a good idea to keep him away from any chocolate containing confectionery!

Karen x

*Parcel Assistants are cheeky little pompom chaps who help (or hinder!) us with packing your monthly parcels!