News

Gone Running: Could You Run a Marathon? April 28 2019

If you have been inspired by Wilson Kipsang running the fastest marathon time of 2:04.27, what are the chances of you running and finishing the London Marathon next year?  Here are some interesting statistics based on previous London Marathons (source www.foot4ward.co.uk):
1) Approximately 50,000 people have their applications accepted to run the marathon.  Sometimes the figure can be as low as 1 in 3 get a place.
2) Approximately 28% of runners have to pull out of the marathon before the day mainly due to injury. St John’s Ambulance deal with 1 in 6 runners during the race. A study by the University of Bern in Switzerland found that if you bought more expensive shoes with extras such as extra cushioning, priced $95 or over you were twice as likely to get injured than if you wore cheap trainers at $40 or less.  Extra cushioning may actual
Running quote maple wood sign at www.honeymellow.com
3) Between 1-2% of runners do not make it to the finish line. On the positive side that means almost 99% of runners do finish.  
4) 1 in 800 runners are taken to A&E with 1 in 10,000 admitted to hospital.
5) Unlike other road races such as the half marathon, the ratio of females to males is much lower in the marathon.  Women only make up a third of marathon runners and are likely to be much younger than the men, in the age 20-39 bracket.  30% of male runners are aged 40-49. 
6) It is not necessarily the young who are the fastest marathon runners.  A Spanish study on the New York marathon showed the fastest age was 27 and 29 for men and women respectively.  Times decreased on average by 4% for each year below these ages and 2% for each year above.  You are never too old to run a marathon with a man aged 101 finishing the London marathon in 2012.
7) 29.81% of runners finish a marathon in under four hours, burning off the equivalent of four Big Macs of energy.  This does depend on how much you weigh and your fitness.  For a more accurate figure, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.63 and times that total by the number of miles you have run for the amount of calories burned above the basal metabolic rate (calories spent just resting). 
8) The average runner will take 185 steps per minute (although if you were to walk it that figure drops to 100 steps per minute).
Gone running wood sign at www.honeymellow.com
9) With regular training, it is not just your running and stamina that improves, research shows that self-discipline, goal-setting and organisational skills improve as well which enhances all aspects of your life and may just get you that promotion.
10) Running gives your brain a work-out too.  Rhode Island College found that mindless aerobic activities increases creativity afterwards.  Studies looking at preventing or delaying dementia are also seeing running as beneficial as it encourages neurogenesis i.e. the creation of new neural pathways.
For those of you who are still determined to run the 26.2 miles of the marathon, Honeymellow are here to help.  We have put together a pinterest board at http://bit.ly/OUESJR which includes lots of motivational quotations to get you running on even the coldest and darkest of days.  If you follow this link  you will also see a range of tips from the right technique to the right trainers. Our own personal recommendation is to invest in some fantastic insoles such as Sorbothane - we've found they are a must when pounding through the farm's pathways without subjecting our joints to needless wear and tear. Your knees will thank you for it.  Finally don't forget our ‘Gone Running’ sign to let people know where you are as you pound the pavements and the satisfaction to taking it down when you get back.  Good luck! 
If this all sounds too much for you and simply reading this has meant you have had to lie down in a darkened room, see our blog: Walk or Run? The New Miracle Drugs, for an easier way to improve your health.

How to checkout without a Paypal account January 11 2019

To make sure you can checkout securely and do not have to pass any of your payment information onto us, you have a choice of using Paypal or Amazon Pay.  If you have a Paypal or Amazon account you can access this by inserting your username and password once transferred securely to your Paypal or your Amazon website.  
If you do not have either account you can use the security of Paypal to checkout as a guest on their website. It is a free service and allows you to use your credit card without having to create a Paypal account as follows:
1) On the Paypal login page if you scroll down past where it is asking you for a username and password there is a grey rectangle box underneath (see picture below). 
 
Click on this to ‘Pay with Debit or Credit Card’ box. This will allow you to checkout as guest.  If the box says ‘Create a Paypal Account’, click on this instead as it will direct you to the same page where you can check-out as a guest.  You will then be taken to a page to put in your credit card details and address.  
2) At the bottom of this page it asks you to create a Paypal account.  Tick the 'no, thanks' box if you just want to checkout as a guest and not create an account.  (You may have to click the terms and conditions box as a guest, even if you do not have or want a Paypal account.)  You can then click on the 'Pay now' box to complete your purchase.
Paypal constantly updates its website so the pages may not appear exactly like this.  However by using Paypal you have a secure payment method plus its protection as a buyer as well as that of your credit card company.
If you have any problems during checkout, please contact us by using either the 'contact us' button that appears on our webpages or email us at honeymellows@yahoo.co.uk.  We will then do our best to help you.
 
We also have a shop of Etsy, Honeymellows which has most of our range too as well as some of our products at Honeymellows on eBay.

Dog Days: A Paws For Thought August 26 2018

We’ve got lots of goodies for your dog.  Is your furry friend is due to go to the vet or kennels? Make sure they know all about him or her with a cute named photo plaque

Easy Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness November 13 2017

We know all too well that the busy-ness of of life sometimes gets in the way of us thinking about others.  Making random acts of kindness a daily habit, helps to jolt us into being a little more altruistic. But what can you do to make the world a better place?  As we love little sayings that customers request for their signs, we've collected together some of favourite quotations below, to appeal to your better nature:

1) A little spark of kindness puts a colossal burst of sunshine into someone's day.
2) Make one person happy each day and in 40 years you will have made 14,600 human beings happy for a little time at least.  (Charles Wiley)
3) Know that your kindness has a ripple effect in the universe.
4) It's nice to be important but it is important to be nice. (Kermit the Frog).
5) Do all things with kindness.
6) Kindness has a beautiful way of reaching down into a weary heart and making it shine like the rising sun.
7) Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
8) Strive not to be a success, but to be of value. (Albert Einstein)
9) One kind word can change someone's entire day.
10) If you can't be kind, be quiet.


11) Be the colour to someone's grey today.
12) Attitude is contagious.  Is yours worth catching?
13) Listening is often the only thing needed to help someone.
14) Character is how you can treat those that do nothing for you.
15) Be kind to unkind people.  They need it most.
16) Always be kinder than you feel.
17) Live simply, expect little, give much, love extravagantly.
18) How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.
19) Be silly, be honest, be kind. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
20) Act with kindness.  Do not expect gratitude. (Confucius)

If our list isn't extensive enough then peruse our Pinterest board at: http://bit.ly/1QJ39LQ  If your heart has been caught by a particular quotation, why not choose one of our blank signs for your own motivational phase, to inspire a random act of kindness everyday: http://bit.ly/13Km9F8


Be Kind: The Signs November 13 2017

So what have you done today that has made a difference to someone? As today is World Kindness Day we wanted to spread the word and the love. We've even put together a Pinterest board to help you get inspired

Fun Facts for Wannabe Cycling Fanatics May 19 2017

At Honeymellows, situated in the beautiful Kent countryside, cycling is one of our favourite and sometimes only transport method to get across the farm at speed - especially with our carefully packed orders to post at the neighbouring village; however we have to admit that on particularly blustery days, we do resort to the warmth of the gym with a good book, a mug of tea and a bike that remains very much stationary as we pedal away. With events such as Bike Week in raising awareness of the advantages of cycling and Ride London when our capital city becomes cycle central, we thought we would include some fascinating facts to encourage you to get those two wheels turning.  How many of the following do you already know?

  • 30 minutes of moderate cycling a day cuts reduces by 50% your chance of developing cancer (Pedal on past Cancer), halves your number of sick days (University of North Carolina) and will add two years to your life compared to non-cyclists (CTC).
  • Feel-good endorphins released during exercise will make you more relaxed and happy.  You will also be more confident, less tired and sleep better.
  • 20 miles cycling per week reduces your risk of heart disease by 50% (British Heart Foundation).
  • Cycling to work could lead to a loss of 13 lbs (Outdoor Foundation 2010).  Obesity rates are lower in countries with the highest levels of cycling and walking (Bassett Jr et al)
  • If you are middle aged it can increase your fitness to that of someone ten years younger.
  • As with any aerobic exercise, it can increase creative thinking and if done in the morning it improves time management and motivation (University of Bristol). Regardless of this, it could improve your career prospects as in the case of Henry Ford and the Wright brothers who started off making and selling bicycles.
  • It costs twenty times less to maintain a bike than a car whilst cyclists contribute £230 each to the UK economy annually.
  • On average you are only likely to get wet cycling in the UK on 3% of your trips.
  • You can travel three times faster than you can walk using the same amount of energy and cycle up to 152.2 miles per hour - the world record set in 1985 by US Olympic Cyclist John Howard.
  • You won’t be alone: there are a billion bicycles in the world - 100% more than cars; it is the second most popular activity in the US; a third of adults in the UK and seven out of eight Dutch people have a bike and 30% of all trips in the Netherlands are made by bicycle with 99% of the population owning and travelling by bike.
  • 50,000 people approximately take part annually in London's Freecycle with a further 24,000 participating in the Ride London-Surrey 100.  With ages ranging from 18 to 80 plus, you are never too old or too young to become a cyclist - although wearing the lycra is another matter!

Hungry for more facts?  Read David Herlihy’s ‘Bicycle: The History’.  Need some safety information?  See http://www.twowheelsgood.co.uk/community.php, especially their advice about using both a D lock and cable lock as  most thieves are usually expert in only one type.  Want to meet like minded people? Find a club near you at http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/clubs or if you would rather stay away from busy roads and maybe under dimmed lights, try your local gym for a spinning class (cycling on stationary bikes whilst being shouted at with loud music and lots of sweat/pain). Need to get your bike fixed whilst getting a coffee and watching cycling films?  Try http://www.lookmumnohands.com  Don't own a bike? There are now lots of hire places across the country with our favourites being London's Cycle Hire scheme with docking stations across the capital - or out of city the most picturesque being at Minnis Bay with a scenic coastal cycle path along to Reculver (sea on one side, fields on the other - pure bliss!). After reading all this and you are sill lacking the inspiration?  See our Pinterest board of cycling signs at: http://www.pinterest.com/honeymellow/gone-cycling/    

If you get the cycling bug or decide to participate in one of the many cycling events each year, you could find yourself on two wheels more than you are on two feet.  This means an awful lot of notes to leave your family about where you’ve gone.  Be out on your bike more quickly with one of our ‘Gone cycling’ signs.  See our ‘Fit and Fun’ collection for our range of plaques for different activities including ones for cyclists in both wood and metal.  Our favourite one is our rustic ‘Gone Cycling’ sign below and at http://bit.ly/1lHDQzt or on Etsy at http://etsy.me/1iuy4AE.  Both fun and functional, especially if you want to add your own words to personalise for the perfect gift for that very healthy, younger looking, totally relaxed, creative, confident, lycra-clad cycling fanatic in your life - which is hopefully you!

 

How to Have a Happy Easter Weekend April 13 2017

Are you busy baking this Easter holiday?
Why not hang our sign to keep empty tummies at bay.
For those with green fingers and flowers to tend,
Choose a garden sign to hang for the spring weekend.
Indulging in chocolate eggs? Your fitness regime undone?
Add your name to a sign that says you've 'gone for a run'!

Baking signs hot out of the oven at: https://www.honeymellow.com/products/busy-baking-wood-effect-rustic-sig-cupcake-meringue-or-candy-design Green-fingered garden signs at: https://www.honeymellow.com/collections/garden-signs

In the garden personalised sign at www.honeymellow.com
Running sign to personalise at: https://www.honeymellow.com/products/gone-running-hanging-sign-plus-free-personalisation

Running sign at www.honeymellow.com


How a Thick Day Can Make You Happy March 20 2017

Returned to work after the weekend and worn out already? Dare you hang-up our cute 'Do Not Disturb' sign above your desk for a quick power nap? http://etsy.me/1tD9C0h and http://bit.ly/1xKKjNE 

Catnap in progress sign at www.honeymellow.com


Our long hours culture means we are working an extra eight weeks per year than we were in 1969 without any increase in comparable pay. Only 13% of us really engaged with our work with many, according to a Gallop Poll, not seeing much difference in satisfaction levels between going to work and having the flu!  

If you want to put new energy into your work life without resorting to the odd afternoon nap, see Tim Leberect's new book, 'The Business Romantic'.  Strategies he suggests include improving meetings by turning them into a walk; talk to someone you don't know at your workplace; create a morning ritual that is meaningful to you; play more: laugh; work from a different space or swap roles with someone, and our favourite being thick for a day: do one thing well, getting so absorbed you work in a state of 'flow', rather than spreading yourself thinly by multi-tasking. 

We spend on average 70% of our lives at work. If adding a bit of business romance to your life, be it thick or thin, means you enjoy your work much than a dose of the flu, it's surely worthwhile trying something new.  Just let us have a little nap first...zzzz...

Do not disturb busy sleeping sign at www.honeymellow.com

 


Want a Handwritten Designed Sign? Avoid Comic Sans January 23 2017

On National Handwriting Day do you need a sign that looks handwritten? Most people ask for the font comic sans, but this is often loathed as much as a rainy day at the seaside. Your carefully crafted piece of text becoming marred as a result of an inappropriately chosen font.

Initially designed for speeches bubbles used in Microsoft's help software, comic sans has become over-used and used inappropriately. Serious documents have been written in comic sans even including ones put out by the Vatican! Technically too it has its deficiencies making it difficult to stretch the font to a space - otherwise known as kerning. Comic sans is quite self-centred, requiring the space to fit to it.

So what else can you use? There are many other more attractive, malleable and less clichéd fonts now available. Honeyscript is our particular favourite. We also love italic fonts, such as Snell Roundhand in the picture below. If you have others, just let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your wishes when you order a sign from us.

Just remember to try to match your choice of font with the tone of your message. If it is not meant to be funny or frivolous then it's best to avoid a font with 'comic' in its title. As they say, the clue is in the name.

#HandwritingDay https://www.honeymellow.com/collections/blank-signs-to-personalise

Add your own text to our shabby chic sign in cream at www.honeymellow.com


What Makes a Memorable Speech? Six Tips to Get You Started January 20 2017

Public speaking is one of the things we most fear and yet we like nothing better than quoting lines from famous speeches made by others.  The age of the soundbite has enhanced not detracted from the importance of speeches - albeit in another form.  Just look at Twitter dominated by quotations from the past and present; whilst skilled wordsmiths are rewarded with hundreds of followers. Customers often request to have key lines from their favourite orator on one of our many plaques for a wall or door, to inspire action at times when the motivation is lacking.   At our barn on the farm, we are always impressed with the creative way words are used when we are creating plaques, ranging from rustic roses to vintage blue designs, to do justice to our customers’ text.

Churchill, Obama and Ghandi had the ability to tap into our hearts and minds, particularly during the darkest of times.  They show the power of words to change the world  - or at the very least to change the way we think about it.  How many people’s lives have been transformed by Ghandi’s, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’?  How many people have had the courage to live a more adventurous life with Eleanor Roosevelt’s, ‘Do one thing everyday that scares you,’ echoing in their ears?  The internet means that we are only a few clicks away from a speech to amaze and inspire us.

So how do you do write your own? A great speech is a crafted and like all crafts it is something that can be learned.  One of the best books on the art of oratory is Sam Leith’s ‘You Talkin’ to Me?  Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama’.  For those of us who are a little short on time, here are a few key tips to make your words memorable:

1) Use tricolours or the power of three: this is a much-loved technique used by politicians.  It can even be the same idea of even word: remember Tony Blair’s ‘Education, education, education’ or even further back Julius Caesar’s ‘Veni, vidi, vici’ - ‘I came; I saw; I conquered’.  Think in threes to add emphasis and rhythm to your speech.

2) Use anaphora by starting neighbouring clauses with the same words:  this use of repetition will add clarity and emotion to your speech.  Charles Dickens’: ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom…’ is one of  the most memorable openings of a novel which uses anaphora to the extreme.  An epiphora is the same technique but the repetition of the same words occurs at the end of the clauses.  More simply use Martin Luther King' approach of using repetition at the beginning of sentences.

3) Create pictures with your language by using similes and metaphors: comparing two things, using the words ‘as’ or ‘like’, make them much more vivid in your mind; for example, ‘she smells like a summer’s rose,’ is more insightful than, ‘she smells nice’.  A metaphor has the same effect but with greater impact by removing the words ‘as’ or ‘like’ it is much easier to embed in your speech; for example Shakespeare’s, ‘All the world is a stage,’ or ‘the blanket of the dark’.

4) Appeal to the senses: use words that make the sound of the object they describe (onomatopoeia): ‘snap’, ‘crackle’ and ‘pop’ all featured in a famous marketing campaign.

5) Ask questions:  rhetorical questions engage your listener by asking a question to make them think but not necessarily to provide an answer.  What could be easier than using all these techniques?

6) Make your speech feel familiar - but not too much! The art of allusion involves using references to other famous quotations, particularly if their ideas match yours.  However there is a big difference between using another's words where you acknowledge the source and copy and pasting as though they were your own (Melania Trump take note!).

A few skills, a little inspiration and a bespoke sign from Honeymellow, means you too can have your wise words preserved for posterity.  Whose life will your speech transform today?

 

Let Us Help You Declutter January 10 2017

Feeling overwhelmed by clutter? Know that you put that document in a safe place but can't exactly remember where it is? Fed-up with tripping over others' possessions?  If you've been procrastinating in dealing with that huge elephant or any other animal who may be languishing amongst the muddle in your rooms, today is 'Organise Your Home Day'.  If having a specially dedicated day to decluttering does not provide the impetus to act, here are some tips we've put together from our rather too tidy barn on the farm:

1) Struggling to get started? Decide to devote just ten minutes to tidying - even use a timer.  Not only do we always do more than we think is possible, when we are up against the final stages of a tight deadline, but you will probably find that once you start you want to continue for longer.
Add your text to floral signs at www.honeymellow.com2) What to declutter? Our motto is from William Morris, 'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful'.  Use it, love it or throw it away. 

3) Still got lots of stuff?  No matter how much you love or use it, you don't need duplicates so give it to a charity shop so someone else can treasure it instead.  Supermarkets often have charity bins for shoes, books and clothing to make decluttering both easy and virtuous.

4) Where to put stuff? Attractive baskets and boxes are great for minimal organisation and keeping the same stuff together.  Have one for shoes near the front door, books in the living, toys in playrooms and one devoted to useful stuff which is your first place to look when hunting for that elusive safe place. Separate bins for laundry whites and coloureds clearly labelled will make washing so much easier together with our cheeky 'Drop Your Pants Here' sign.  Get some of our pretty blank signs made to label your boxes with 'toys', 'shoes' etc. or the name of a messy person to encourage them to tidy their belongings away.

5)  Where should the little stuff go?  Cosmetics, small pots, pens etc. are perfect for putting in pretty tins or even a lovely gift or attractive shopping bag.  As long as it hides it away but still makes it accessible and more importantly keeps surfaces easy to dust. Have hooks for keys or for ones used more frequently a dish for people to drop them in as they come in through the door.

6) What to do about cupboards? Use dividers in drawers to separate similar items and put in extra shelving or hooks or layer clear labelled boxes to maximise the use of space and see what you have at a glance. If you've high empty shelves, stick only the things you hardly use here.

Blank signs to personalise at www.honeymellow.com
7) Overwhelmed by paper? Photograph or scan documents to store them electronically and then you can get rid of the hard copies.  If you need to keep it, just label some box files to keep them safe until you have time and the inclination to deal with it.  Have a chalkboard for reminders rather than bits of paper left out.  We've plaques such as our Vital Signs, 'No junk mail' to stick up to avoid daily deliveries of unwanted postl that needs sorting and shredding.

8) Fed-up with having to keep putting things away?  Well don't! Make space somewhere accessible for those items you use regularly,  provide storage in the space where they are always used and keep items used together in the same place.  Make life easy for everybody.

9) Things still look messy? Get stuff off the floor.  Stick hooks on the wall where possible or hide large items in cupboards.  A clear floor creates a sense of space and avoids the many household accidents that occur from tripping each year.  

10) You've tidied and it's just been wrecked by others?  Make clearly labelled space in entrance halls for people to know where to put coats, shoes, umbrellas, bags, keys and all the temporary stuff that gets dumped here: make it easy for them to use.  See our Vital Signs range which includes 'leave your wellies here' and 'remove your shoes' plaques.  

Still overwhelmed?  Go shopping, running, cycling or even have a little nap: anything that takes you away from the mess and clears your head instead.  As you can imagine, we've personalised signs for these activities, to leave behind in your newly organised house too!

Find our range of blank signs to help you organise you home at: http://etsy.me/1oX63U7 and http://bit.ly/13Km9F8 

Remove your shoes wooden sign at www.honeymellow.com


Panic Saturday? We'll Keep You Calm December 17 2016

Suffering from the national malaise of #PanicSaturday?  Just pull up your favourite armchair, with a warm cuppa and a jammie dodger (or two) and let us create your unique personalised Christmas gifts.  No good going to the high street as they can only be bought direct from our barn on the farm via the internet super highway.

Our busy elves are currently carefully making and posting first class all your gifts the SAME day of ordering AND with FREE UK delivery too.  Order before Wednesday in the UK, to receive it before Christmas.  (We post globally too). 

Where’s the panic in that?  Find us at www.honeymellow.com   and http://etsy.me/1hI0MZV  for a Honeymellow handmade Christmas.

Maple Wood Personalised Summerhouse Sign at www.honeymellow.com

Our signs include adding your own text to our maple wood and metal sign designs.  Find this one with a calm press of the button at: http://etsy.me/2gLM9dc and breath…


Last Royal Mail Christmas Posting Dates from the UK December 04 2016

Done your Christmas shopping yet?  Thought about it but still cannot face traipsing around the shops in the cold with the many other like-minded souls?  It is enough to make you reach for a glass of mulled wine or three. For those of us who are still struggling to find that unique personalised present that shows you have really thought about them, we are here to help.  

Our personalised signs in metal or wood, large or small, plain or patterned have our elves at the barn on the farm working over-time.  We are currently making and posting within one working day (helped along with a mince pie or two).

To make sure you receive your gift in time we use the wonderfully reliable services of the Royal Mail who promise to deliver your gifts by Christmas as long as you post by a particular date.  See our sign below to find the date for your country, BUT please remember to allow us at least one full working day to make your order before the Royal Mail's cut-off date.  The longer obviously the better and it also allows us to check with you if there is anything missing from your instructions to us and to give you peace of mind. 

In the UK we post first class for free, and all our signs come wrapped with a little sea breeze and a breath of country air too. Merry Christmas!

Last Royal Mail Christmas Posting Dates at www.honeymellow.com

 


How to Sleep Easily? November 30 2016

Are you getting enough sleep?  According to the Sleep Council the answer is no as we get only six and a half hours’ sleep per night. Approximately 15 million sick days per year are sleep related and on average we are getting two hours less sleep today than 60 years ago (Russell Foster). Amongst over 55s, only 46% get a good night's sleep, women sleep less soundly than men and living in the countryside with tractor and bird noises equals poorer quality sleep compared to city dwellers.  

Anybody who contacts us at Honeymellow knows that we are often working morning, noon and night responding to customer requests, sending out sample designs and making your signs to try and post the same day to meet the needs of early birds, night owls and of course our many global customers. Yet, we also know that sleep is vitally important to us to so that we are always at our best on our busy farm.  Many people, like us, may not always stick to conventional hours, particularly if a job requires shift work.  Due to popular demand, we produced a range of ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs for modern life. These are designed to make sure that when your head finally hits that soft, feathery pillow, hopefully, there are NO interruptions, NO noises and nothing preventing you from getting the required beauty sleep.  

SIX REASONS WHY SLEEP IS IMPORTANT

Rather than shutting down, your body actually becomes more active when sleeping, leading the following gains:

  1. ENHANCED INTELLIGENCE: sleep improves the functioning of your brain, improving your capacity to learn, a sharper memory, quicker problem-solving skills, better concentration, increased creativity and the ability to be decisive.  If your memory is not as good as usual, you need some more shut-eye.
  2. PEOPLE WILL LIKE YOU: Grumpy? Depressed? Short-tempered? You need more sleep. 
  3. STAY SLIMMER: The less sleep you have, the probability of obesity increases as your hormones become unbalanced. A study has shown that two hours sleep less than average per night can lead to a weight gain of 1.5kg per year.  Why? The hormone grehlin which increases  your hunger goes up and leptin which makes you feel full goes down if you are sleep deficient.  The implications of this?  You will want to eat more as well as general tiredness will reduce your motivation to exercise and reduce that enticing chocolate dessert at the back of the fridge.
  4. IMPROVES OVERALL HEALTH:  The risk of type-2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, obesity all decrease when you have enough sleep.  Your immune system gets a boost and the body repairs itself.  We are more likely to take sick days if we have under six hours or over nine hours sleep (

    (Finnish Institute of Occupational Health)

  5. SAVES YOU TIME: If you have enough sleep you are quicker at doing tasks, able to be more productive and less likely to make mistakes.
  6. IT WILL MAKE YOU SMILE: An extra hour of sleep/night can do more for daily happiness than a $60k raise. (Arianna Huffington: Thrive p77)

Just one or two hours sleep deficiency can turn these benefits into reverse which can have damaging effects if you are driving a car, working machinery or just going about your daily business.  In the week that an hour’s sleep was lost in the move to British summertime, heart attacks increased by 5%  Even if you feel fine, you may still be suffering from slow reactions, learning impairment, over-eating and generally damaging your health.  It is enough to make you want to lie down now.

Sleeping Do Not Disturb.  Wood Sign. Personalise and Buy online at www.honeymellow.com

HOW DO I GET TO SLEEP EASILY?

The hormone melatonin makes us sleepy.  This is part of your biological clock and can be influenced by light signals via the eyes which makes you more sleepy at night when it increases as well as mid-afternoon.  Shift workers are often working against their biological clock which leads to sleep deprivation.  As you can imagine, interruptions during the day makes a difficult situation much worse.

WHAT CAN SHIFT WORKERS DO?

Research shows that a decade of doing shift work is like having permanent jet lag which can age your brain by 6.5 years (Swansea University) as well as the lack of sunlight resulting in low vitamin D. If you work shifts, as well as making sure you are not interrupted when sleeping, the following is recommended to help protect your memory and mental capacity:

  1. Get as much sleep as possible by trying to sleep longer and maybe taking a power nap. 
  2. Increase alertness during your working hours by using bright lights.  Reduce noise and bright lights when sleeping during the day by stopping visitors pressing door bells and using black-out curtains.
  3. If you are a coffee drinker, only have coffee during the first part of your shift although if you are particularly sensitive to caffeine this may still reduce your overall quality of sleep.  Alcohol should not be consumed three hours before going to bed.  A warm, milky drink is much better to lure you to sleep and also prevents hunger.
  4. Your body clock likes regular habits so try to avoid changes in your shift and sleeping patterns.
  5. Practise stress-releasing techniques such as mindfulness which stills a buzzing mind, get a bedtime routine which includes a relaxing bath.

HOW MUCH SLEEP IS ENOUGH?

The amount of sleep you need varies according to age and individual needs.  People often think that the elderly need less sleep but this may be because they are suffering a deficit due to difficulties getting to sleep.  On average adults need 7-8 hours of sleep.  Far better to think in terms of sleep quality rather than amount.  You may sleep for a long time but still feel tired if your sleep is disturbed.  Francesco Cappuccio from Warwick University argues that there is a 12% increase of dying before the age of 65 if you are sleeping less than six hours a night.  Can you sleep too much?  More than an hour’s extra sleep than required does not do you any good either, causing further tiredness for a few hours called post-sleep inertia.

If you nap make sure this is not later than 3pm and no more than 20 minutes otherwise your body clock is disturbed and you may not sleep at night.  A study in ‘Current Biology’ in 2011 showed that power naps can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by more than a third. Improved alertness and performance as well as a reduction in stress are all helped by mid- afternoon naps when our body naturally drops in temperature. However a Cambridge University study showed that sleeping for more than an hour during the day leads to an increase of premature death by a third  A Disney study showed a fifth of workers admit to having at least one nap a week at work with four in five workers in London admitting  to longing for a daily nap -  hardly surprising as Londoners sleep the least in the country with just six hours per night. Favourite places to nap include the car, desk, canteen and in the sun. Ideally rather than catching-up on sleep at a weekend or a lazy afternoon, it is far better to have a regular rhythm for your biological clock and stick to it.  Changes to sleeping hours can take a week for adjustments to be made by your body.

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?

Take a look at our quirky ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs that may help remind members of your household and visitors to your door such as delivery firms, cold callers and well-meaning neighbours, not to make a noise. There are signs for particular occupations, general requests as well as ones for teenagers who tend to sleep longer and later.  We can even personalise them for you.  Perfect for that special sleep-deprived, grumpy person in your life!  Use some of the tips in this article and take a look at a brilliant guide at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/sleep/healthy_sleep.pdf which has a sleep diary for you to keep at the end.  

Finally, if you are reading this in bed before going to sleep, the light from your screen will be suppressing the release of sleep-inducing melatonin - i.e. keeping you wide awake, so put it down and switch it off until the morning.  Sweet dreams!


Perfect Presents: Do You Have Yours Yet? November 26 2016

Don't you just hate it when you want to buy someone something special but you can't think what that perfect present should be? Have you got to find a secret santa gift which has to fall into a particular price range?  Above all, you need a gift that shows you have thought about the person, what their interests are, something that is meaningful to them and a present which is entirely unique - but what could that be?   

We think we have the answer at Honeymellow: our personalised signs. You don't even have to go anywhere near a rainy or crowded high street or  throbbing shopping centre - except to drink coffee!  We offer a range of designs and themed signs to suit different ages, personalities and purposes.  From tots to teens, green-fingered gardeners, sport fanatics and budding bake-off bakers, we have custom-made personalised signs to make the perfect present.  

Busy baking sign at www.honeymellow.comSimply select your sign and let us know the text you would like and we make, dispatch and post first class to your door usually within a day.  If this isn't easy enough for you, we can even post direct to the recipient and include your message in a gift note for no extra charge.  We pride ourselves on our customer service, providing something you cannot find on the high street and making sure you are happy with your purchase.  

If you think it is a little early to be present shopping, think again.  A paper from the Royal Statistical Society showed that Christmas is coming earlier every year: in late August people were already doing Google searches for festive gifts. In 2007 this did not start until 11 November or September in 2011.

Music room maple wood sign at www.honeymellow.com So no need to grab your coat and head-out into the cold in blind panic, just click on the link below, sip your steaming cup of coco and wait for the perfect present to drop through your door.  Personalised for the one you love that you won't find on the high street.

Find us at www.honeymellow.com  or Etsy at: http://etsy.me/1hI0MZV  for delivery around the world and free UK postage and packing.  

Sunflower Sign: Add your own text at honeymellowGreen Wood Sign: Add own text at honeymellow.comGone Running Personalised Wood Sign at Honeymellow.comGone Cycling Personalised Wood Sign at Honeymellow.com


World Teachers Day: Make Sure You Pass It On... October 05 2016

On World Teachers Day...

IF YOU’RE A STUDENT: How wonderful, if everyone who has been taught by an inspirational teacher wrote a thank-you note (or sign!) to show their appreciation. Teachers love pinning these above their desks to remind them, when their marking is piled high, that they’ve helped you make your way in the world. Don’t worry, we will check your spelling and punctuation before we send: http://www.honeymellow.com/collections/blank-signs-to-personalise

IF YOU ARE A TEACHER: If you manage to hit the sweet spot and get your students into the 'flow' (Mihaly Csiksgentmihalyi), make sure they stay there by making sure there are no interruptions: http://www.honeymellow.com/products/lesson-in-progress-do-not-disturb-hanging-metal-sign-add-own-text-to-personalise

Lesson In Progress Hanging Sign from www.honeymellow.com
BEEN INSPIRED? Have you been lucky enough to be taught by an amazing teacher? Remember to 'pass it on' (think Alan Bennett’s The History Boys) to a future generation. Volunteer at a school, teach a friend or a family member or train to become a teacher yourself.

WORK IN A SCHOOL, COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY? Fed up with saying the same thing over...and over...and over....again? Have a sign made with a message of your choice. Whether it’s ‘Homework here’, No eating or drinking in the classroom;, ‘Line-up and wait silently’, ‘Please put tables and chairs back at the end of the lesson’, ‘Year 10 Geography Field Trip’ or your name on your classroom door, we’ve colourful sign designs to save you repeating the same thing all the time:
http://www.honeymellow.com/collections/blank-signs-to-personalise

Exam Signs Custom Made at www.honeymellow.com


Moving? Stressed? Let Us Help! September 08 2016

Dear Prime Minister Mrs May

Leaving both the EU AND the Houses of Parliament at the same time? Crikey! What could be more stressful (albeit that leaving Parliament is only for six years whilst essential repairs are done - hopefully the lack of builders, plumbers, electricians etc Brexit might have stopped coming from EU has been factored in to this time span. This is far from a Brexit exit breeze.  

Moving house is bad enough but leaving a continent’s political union and the UK’s most iconic building, the centre of government, simultaneously- ouch!  

Don’t worry we are here to help.  Place an order and within 24 hours we will have made new signs for offices, directions around the building and plaques for your many loos, bars and restaurants as well as for any other essential information you need to have displayed.  This will help to stop the move from being too  traumatic (the Parliament one that is - alas Brexit will take longer than a day and a little more negotiation). Provided you do nothing to upset our wonderful Royal Mail (and Brian our local postie), we will deliver to you first class for free too.

Just click on: http://bit.ly/13Km9F8  and let Mr Hammond know  all credit cards are accepted via the security of Paypal (as we know you are struggling a little with debt, the deficit and moving can be just a tad expensive).

We’ll also include a breath of country air and a little sea breeze for your new residence (wherever it may be) with your order, fresh from our barn on the farm. 

Hope this helps.

Kind regards

www,honeymellow.com  xxx


How to Train Your Cat August 08 2016

On International Cat Day, we’re reading the excellent John Bradshaw's 'The Trainable Cat'. As you can imagine there’s no easy magic wand to get our feline, furry friends to hop happily into their vet carrier (although a familiar blanket with their scent helps).  A rattle of a box of Whiskas has our usually lethargic cat leap into action like an Olympian so there is still hope. Although we were laughed at initially, we did train our farm cat from wonderful Battersea to come like a Pavlov dog at the sound of a bell - well only when she feels like it, of course!

Wood quote cat sign handmade at Honeymellow

Do you think cats have already beaten us to it with 'The Trainable Human'? We think so! Find our reversible personalised cat signs to train adults at:  http://bit.ly/1tdlZ6G AND http://etsy.me/2atAxx4 We also have ones already for the much more subservient dogs, rabbits, hedgehogs, chickens - and even sheep plaques coming soon too!

Finally if you do manage to get your petrified cat into its basket to take it to vet, make sure that you get the right animal back, with a bespoke sign from us.  See our 'Cat Name Signs' at  http://bit.ly/2aJyCWw with a choice of cat pictures or send us a photo to include instead with some likes and dislikes for your beloved cat. Easy!

Custom-made cat name sign at honeymellow.com


Feeling Blue? The Importance of Adding Colour to Your Life July 30 2016

Want to add some colour to your life?  Our new range of personalised coloured signs gives you the option to choose a plaque to match your decor, stand-out or reflect your mood.  In pink, blue, purple, cream, green and orange we are continuing our revolution to make the mundane magnificent.  Do you need to tell the postman where to leave your packages?  Ask guests to ring the bell? Warn people to mind the step or let visitors know you’re in the garden?  As well as our brushed gold, silver and white signs, why not pick a coloured plaque for your message instead. Undecided about which of the many colours to pick? We’re here to help with that too.  Below are some pointers about why colour matters and to help make that all important choice: 

Want to win at sport? If you are playing team games, try to have a red kit to increase your chances of winning.  If you want the other team to lose, paint their changing area pink to reduce the killer instinct in your opponent.  If the referee is dressed in black, more penalties are likely to be awarded.

Feeling blue? Paint your room blue. In Japan train stations have been painted blue to reduce suicides. Colours are linked to the emotions linguistically such as a black mood or feeling browned-off.   Wondering what colour to paint a nursery? Avoid yellow as it has been proven to increase the amount your baby will cry.

Add your own text to blue sign at Honeymellow.com

Need to pass an exam? Make sure you sit it in a yellow room. The eyes need more chemicals to see yellow which also increases concentration although it may increase your stress levels.  A study in the US showed students did 10-15% better.  Use colour for revision notes and diagrams which improve recall better than black and white pages.  It can increase learning from 55 to 78% and comprehension by 73% (David Embry: The Persuasive Properties of Colour, 1984). Using colour can also help you to focus on the key information and avoid being overwhelmed by what’s on the page.  

Trying to create a good first impression? Whether it is a person or a product, we make an initial judgement within the first 90 seconds, of which up to 90% will be influenced by colour.  If you are planning to wear red to a job interview, it is worth considering the connotations with men being perceived as more aggressive and women as more sexually attractive (Royal Society Journal Biology Letters).

Add Text to handmade green metal sign at Honeymellow.com

Making a purchase?  Colour is considered a key factor in over half of purchases.  (Secretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo 2004). When Heinz introduced green ketchup it led to a staggering $23 million in extra sales all because of a colour change.  So when choosing the colour of your sign, think about the colours you like, how it will fit with the interior decor, its possible psychological impact but also its connotations depending where you are going to place it.  For example red on many signs can have connotations of love if it is a sign for Valentine’s Day; however it is also used on some of our Vital Signs to alert people that something is forbidden such as smoking.  Create your own coloured Vital Sign, with our ‘Write Your Own’ range.  Why should you do this? Coloured advertisements are read up to 42% more often than black or white ones (Jan White: Colour for Impact, 1997) and attention paid to an image increases by at least two seconds.  

It’s very easy to bring some colour into your life: simply select your choice of colour, font and hanging attachment; fill in the box, on the listing page, the text you would like and pop it into your basket, be it a message to a loved one, an instruction or an inspirational quotation.  If you still cannot decide on the shade, order more than one and alternate.  We’ll make and post from our barn on the farm in no time so that a rainbow of colour drops into your letterbox. What could be better if you're feeling a bit blue? Find our coloured signs here at: http://bit.ly/29003WU and on Etsy too: http://etsy.me/2anP89p

Add Your Text to Blank Coloured Signs in Blue, Cream, Pink, Orange, Purple and Green at Honeymellow.com

 

 


The Play's the Thing: How to Avoid the Spotlight July 22 2016

To munch of not to munch, that is the question.  It seems that as a theatre audience we are becoming increasingly badly behaved.  Sometimes plays have even been stopped by actors to remonstrate with someone who has got out their mobile phone in the middle of a poignant speech. 

Whilst encouraging new theatre-goers, with cut-price tickets, the venues are assuming that if you’ve never been before, you know as if by osmosis how to behave.  Unlike the cinema, as a live production, theatre is much less forgiving if you annoy your other theatre-goers -  worse still the actors on stage.   People can pay hundreds of pounds for tickets and do not take kindly to anybody who spoils the performance.  So here are some hints so that we all make sure we can play our part:

  1. Arrive in plenty of time: theatres will often not let you in if you arrive late.  A bell signals audience members to take their seats if they have not done so already both at the beginning of the performance and at the interval.  This is usually ten minutes before the play starts (of five minutes at the interval).  If you have tickets to collect, the box office often specify a time by which you have to have picked them up; otherwise arrive approximately twenty minutes prior to the start so that you can find your seat, buy a programme and order drinks if necessary.
  2. Make sure you have used the loo before the play starts: audience members will be very unhappy if you spoil their concentration and worse still have to get up to let you out or have their view blocked by a bobbing row.  If you are a woman, try to use a loo before you get to the theatre as there are notoriously poor facilities in many older theatres which lead to very long queues.  The performance will not be delayed and you will not be allowed (back) in until the interval.
  3. Eat before or after the performance - not during: the smell and noise that food makes will ostracise you from your fellow audience members very rapidly.  Even a box of chocolates can cause huge irritation to others and save the popcorn for the cinema.  Even chewing gum can make a surprising amount of noise in the hush of a performance.  Ice cream is usually for sale during the interval if you really need some sustenance or investigate local restaurants who are likely to have a pre-theatre dining offer.
  4. Drink in moderation: remember you cannot leave the performance midway to nip to the loo.  Drinks in plastic glasses are sometimes sold at the bar for taking into the theatre.  Pre-order drinks for the interval so that you can drink them then, rather than stand in a huge queue.  Ushers are usually fine if you want to take in a bottle of still water (not fizzy as this will make a noise as you open it).Theatre Rules: Add Text to Blank Metal Sign at Honeymellow
  5. No mobile phones or photography: switch your phone off or you could stop the whole performance if it rings or vibrates.  Worst case scenario is that the actor loses his/her thread or you ruin the scene.  If a call is that important, don’t go to the theatre.  Do not think that you can take your phone out for a sneaky look at a text message, a bit of internet shopping or search on Wikipedia for a plot summary - the light on your phone, no matter how much you dim it, will act as a spotlight on you for everyone to see your bad behaviour.  Photography is usually banned in theatres even pre-performance. Needless to say holding your phone in the air to film the performance is a complete no-no.  This is not a rock concert. If you want a souvenir of the performance, buy the programme instead.
  6. Do not lean forward in your seat or put your feet on the chairs or railings: this is not your front room.  If you lean forward, you will block the view of the person behind.  If you bought a seat with a restricted view, live with it.  Try to avoid moving about too much in your seat as the person behind will probably have positioned themselves to see the stage through a gap between you and the person beside you.
  7. No chatting, whispering or singing - even if you know the script: now is not the time to show-off. The only voices you should hear are the actors, unless audience participation is requested.  Save any questions or observations you may have for the interval.
  8. Avoid coughing.  Do not go to the theatre if you have a bad cough.  Not only will your cough interrupt the performance but it becomes infectious leading other people needing to do likewise.
  9. Dress respectfully.  It is a night out and often quite formal so why not wear something special.  Beachwear, hats and lots of noisy bangles are best avoided.
  10. Listen, watch and clap only at the appropriate moments to show your appreciation.  Stay until the cast make their final bows.  They have worked hard for your benefit so allow enough time for your last train to give them their final applause.

And… remember, to order your personalised sign in time so that you can politely let everyone know you’re enjoying a memorable and well-mannered night at the theatre.  

If you want to create your own theatre rules, just let us know what they are, order your favourite design and we will make it for you.

Wood Theatre Hanging Sign Personalise at Honeymellow Handmade


Who Does Your Cat Love? June 04 2016

On #HugYourCatDay who does your cat love most? Put the name on a sign at: http://bit.ly/1IlGSF4  (Hint: the last person to fill the cat bowl so you may need to get more than one!)  

Personalised Cat Loves Me Best Sign at Honeymellow

If you need to get the upper hand, in your feline relationships, as well as personalising one of our double-sided signs so that you know if the cat has been fed or not, (in spite of what your fickle friend tells you), try reading ‘Cat Sense’.  It’s full of lots of interesting facts and information about why cats behave the way they do and what it all means.

For us the only really important thing is, does the cat have bright eyes, soft fur and long whiskers - if it does that it is probably both very healthy and happy.

And if you are yet to find the perfect cat, there is no better place to look than Battersea Cats Home - just keep it away from the renamed 'Bark Walk’ this Sunday which is a celebration for all dog lovers and their wagging pets.

Cuddle Cat Wood Sign Personalised at Honeymellow

 


No More New BBC Recipes? May 17 2016

Whose half-baked idea was it to kill-off #bbcrecipes on #WorldBakingDay? We knead these or our life is in crumbs! 

Our risotto and rice puddings will never taste the same again. We’ve changed our signs as a nation mourns the loss as though they had reached the last jammy dodger in the pack. Personalise your own sign at:  http://bit.ly/1chW7jn


How to Look Important at Work May 16 2016

We've all been there. A new job based on wowing your employers at interview and you're now faced with the daunting task of getting through your first day with no idea of what you are meant to be doing.  

Don't worry. 

We've tips on our signs to help. Our maple wood wall coffee plaque will help you bluff through until you find your way. We can personalise it with your own text and tips too.

Maple Wood Coffee Sign at HoneymellowsIf you really want to look professional then order one of our brushed silver or gold metal door plaques to put your name and job position on. If you get lost on the way to the coffee machine - at least you can find your way back! Our signs are much easier to find at: www.honeymellow.com and our coffee sign at: http://etsy.me/1sqTtkE

Office Signs in Brushed Silver. White or Gold at www.honeymellow.com


What Does Spotify Know? May 15 2016

Our attempts at predicting the Eurovision winner yesterday failed worse than Jemini's performance in 2003, by using the most played tracks on Spotify (Sweden, France, Russia, Spain, Australia). Three of the top five were the same but the winner, Ukraine was ranked much lower. Its controversial lyrical content and associated publicity, regarding whether it broke Eurovision laws, was much more of a vote winner.  

All was not lost for the UK which did manage a creditable 24th in the end; however the most interesting point of all was that all except one country sang entirely or partly in English with the one exception being Austria who sang in French. 

The fluid movement of people means many country's songs would have had writers and producers from other parts of Europe. Perhaps that's how the Brits will ever get a winning song in the future. One thing is always certain: Eurovision always surprises. Struth! Who would have thought a decade ago that Australia could almost have been the Eurovision victor? See the winners on our personalised sings at: http://bit.ly/1C3enpA
Metal Time Zone Signs to Personalise 20x5cm in Silver, White and Gold

Why is Shakespeare so Important? April 23 2016

How could Shakespeare possibly be relevant today?  His death was 400 years ago and since then it is not just how we experience theatre that has changed radically - alas no throwing rotten vegetables or heckling the actors nowadays - but society too has been transformed.  We communicate electronically via text, email and apps and sometimes not even using language at all but emojis to show how we feel. We may go to the cinema to see a West End play screened or see British plays performed as we travel around the world by other cultures in different languages or adapted for film into a  Hollywood blockbuster changed in terms of character, language and location to appeal to a new demographic.  Women are not only allowed to play female roles in the theatre, but now even take men's parts as in the recent all female 'Hamlet'; they can also win literary prizes, run publishing houses and even be heads of state.  Thus ignore Shakespeare at your peril.  It may be a fast changing world, but it is not only one he helped to create but subject the steadfast nature of the human condition to forensic analysis, which becomes more pertinent in our self-obsessed global village of the 21st century.  So here are our key reasons why we should all remember the bard.

1) He invokes a sense of wonder, the possibility of what we could do.  Before I could read, I just looked at the text of Shakespeare's plays in awe of how one person could write page after page of blank verse.  How was it possible that one person had the capability to do that? What was the trick? The more you understand the plays, you realise it is not just the blank verse that is an art form: the extensive vocabulary, imagery, humour, plot, character development  and social commentary, all show an intelligence that is 'the stuff that dreams are made of'. Read Shakespeare, have faith in your own ability and be inspired to achieve great things too.

2) He gives us the words to create our own worlds - approximately 2000.  Shakespeare has created many words and phrases that we use today such as fashionable, gloomy, sanctimonious, soft-hearted, bubble, 'all that glisters is not gold' (Merchant of Venice), 'cruel only to be kind' (Hamlet), 'in a pickle' (The Tempest) and 'pure as the driven snow' (A Winter's Tale).  Even though he had a huge vocabulary (using approximately 15,000 words in his plays), Shakespeare was the master of neologisms and compound words to express new meanings.  His sharp word play may sometimes be lost on an audience that struggles with early modern English but he has also created some of the most memorable lines that sum up a situation succinctly.  He also shows the power of language to persuade us to commit good and evil acts as well as insult: 'Thou cream-faced loon' (Macbeth).  The love-struck Othello kills his wife due to a jealousy created by insinuation, action and the absence of language as Desdemona fails to say crucial lines that would have saved her life.  Anthony the more masterful orator is able to persuade his 'Friends, Romans and countrymen' to take revenge on Brutus for the death of Caesar.  It is no wonder that politicians draw on many of Shakespeare's rhetorical devices to get their message across.

3) Shakespeare entertains, informs and provokes debate about historical events.  Whether accurate or not, his plays about the War of the Roses whets the appetite of the theatre-goer to find out more about the protagonists and their role in shaping our past.  One of the most recent films of Richard III made the link between a despotic king and Hitler as performed by Ian McKellen.  The world's current crises show that repeatedly fail to look and learn from our past.  The history plays are therefore worth a re-visit and not be surprised by the courageous ones amongst us who aspire to greatness whilst being wary of the Machiavellian who plays the 'smiling damned villain' capable of appalling atrocities in their unquenching thirst for power.  Even plays such as 'Romeo and Juliet' show us the tragedy that can occur when animosity is allowed to fester, escalate and be re-enacted by the next generation.

4) Shakespeare holds a mirror up to us all to show how we are flawed.  In an age obsessed with presenting the perfect selfie, the exciting Facebook page and the cosmetically enhanced image, Shakespeare never wrote a truer line when he stated that 'all the world is a stage and we are the many players' as we create our theatrical selves for others to see and admire.  Class is also seen as no indication of intelligence or morality.  In 'Much Ado About Nothing' it is the bumbling Dogberry not the potentially wise Leonato who uncovers the wrong-doing that questions the letters daughter's integrity .  Seemingly wise men and patriarchal figures whose authority we are tempted to respect in society are often proven to be otherwise as they are forced to learn hard lessons of life (King Lear).

5) Shakespeare tells us what it means to be human: to love and for it to be unrequited, to be happy, sad, suicidal, bereaved, arrogant, to act too hastily or not at all, to be betrayed, to fell isolated and to gradually slip into insanity.  'Hamlet' alone covers many of these issues as he is alone in coming to terms with the death of his father, knowing that his uncle Claudius has killed him and must act to avenge the death but procrastinates instead, finally causing a worse tragedy to occur.  He feels betrayed by his mother who has married Claudius and 'doth protest too much', contemplates thoughts of death (to die, to sleep...') and contributes to the madness and death of Ophelia who loves but is let down appallingly by Hamlet - killing her father just being one instance of his betrayal.  We know from Shakespeare what it is like to be young and so madly in love with someone that you are prepared to risk your own life in order to go against your parent's wishes and be with a hot-headed youth who is in trouble with the law. (Romeo and Juliet).  We empathise with the teenage protagonists and their angst rather than condemn them.  If you want to know what it feels like to truly love someone regardless of gender, just take a look at the sonnets.  The harsh reality of life means that the good are not always rewarded, particularly if you are a woman (Ophelia, Desdemona and Hero) and sometimes the villain escapes (Don John) and we may even find ourselves siding with them at times as in the first part of 'Richard III' - especially when performed by Kevin Spacey!  We are rarely spared the guilt for their crimes: the ghosts that visit both Macbeth and Richard in tormented dreams whilst Lady Macbeth sleepwalks and tries to wash the blood from her hands.  The rhythm of the plays intersperse often light with darkness which reflects the ups and downs we all experience and know.  

Finally, There are many aspirational phrases for all of us to take away.  Shakespeare's plays show life is far from perfect, but it also shows that human agency can make it better or worse.  Hence, some of the most popular requests for quotations on our signs come from the bard.  The images, ideas and sounds of the words lift the human spirit so that we aspire to be our best. The bard himself said: Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them' (Twelfth Night).  Never was a truer statement said: so let's all read the texts, watch the plays. think and learn, then act to the benefit of all on our 21st century world stage.

 

 


Make Time for Ten Facts About Tea April 21 2016

Today is not only the Queen's 90th birthday but appropriately National Tea Day. If there was one thing other than the Queen that typifies us Brits, it is our daily brew. Great in a time of crisis to preserve that stiff upper lip. So on this special day, here are ten UK facts for you to peruse over your tea-break:
 
1) 11 million gallons of tea are drunk daily.
2) We drink 166 million cups as a nation annually.
3) The over 50s drink an impressive 21 cups weekly.
4) Individually we drink the equivalent of two bath tubs of tea or 884 cups annually.
5) 40% of us miss a good English brew when travelling and half of us think that tea does not taste the same abroad.
6) 1 in 10 workers do not have enough time for a tea-break.
7) A third of workers make themselves a daily cuppa.
8) 40% of us say we feel better after a cup of tea.
9) Putting a warm cup of tea in someone's hands makes them more likely to co-operate with you.
10) Loneliness is bad for our health, increasing the chance of dementia and heart-attack. With more than half of people aged 75+ living alone, make the time for tea and a chat.
So let's all raise a cuppa of the national drink to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday and maybe have a custard cream or two from the hostess trolley, in memory of the queen of tea, the comedian Victoria Wood.
 
Join our tea club with a personalised sign as a daily reminder; easy to order as you wait for the kettle to boil for a brew: http://bit.ly/1Vm9KTC and http://etsy.me/22PUygL  
If you need some witty phrases to put on your sign instead of ours, see our pinterest board: Words Over Tea and Coffee at: https://uk.pinterest.com/honeymellow/words-over-tea-coffee/ 
Make Time for Tea Maple Wood Sign

Our Haiku for You April 17 2016

Want to pen poems, 
But wondering how to start,
Read our blog - now write...

http://bit.ly/1IRDHV2  

Meanwhile:
On #HaikuPoetryDay
We made a sign 
Especially for you,
Just something simple 
To say what we do: http://etsy.me/1Sn3yu1

Feeling Too Old or Too Young? April 10 2016

This weekend of sport proves that you are never too old or too young.  With 19 year old David Mullins winning the  on 33-1 outsider Rule The World and Langer in with a strong chance of being the oldest winner of a major golf tournament in today's , it seems age is no barrier to becoming a champion.  So if you're inspired to become the next sporting hero, you may want to let your family know where you put in the hours of practice. Whether it's on the golf course, gallops, football pitch or running track, just select your sport, tell us a name and we'll have your sign to you in winning time (well, free first class delivery in one working day).  
For those counting their pennies after backing a horse yesterday that didn't quite make the course, just enter the code SPRING2016 at checkout for this weekend only for a 10% discount at both www.honeymellow.com and in our Etsy shop at http://etsy.me/1hI0MZV See, everyone can be a winner! 
Gone to Play Golf Hanging Personalised Sign Custom Made at Honeymellow in Metal or Wood

World Health Day: The One Easy Thing You Should Do April 07 2016

Eating a piece of fruit a day, cutting down on sugar and doing plenty of exercise will all help improve your health; however one much more important and easier action you can take is to wash your hands regularly and remind others to do likewise. 

We are constantly touching things handled by others: computer keyboards, door handles, coffee cups and of course shaking hands. Hence it is an easy way for viruses to be passed on to others with a massive 80% of infectious diseases spread through touch. 

It is therefore a surprise that half of men and a quarter of women do not wash their hands after going to the toilet. Unsurprisingly, our 'Wash Your Hands' signs are extremely popular. It seems we all need a reminder to be hygienic not only for our own good but also for others. Stupidly, we all think that we are germ-free and cannot pass anything on that will help others. We've signs in many different designs and colours with ones suitable for children too. Have a look at our range in our 'Bath and Bubbles' collection at: http://www.honeymellow.com/collections/bathroom or on Etsy at: http://etsy.me/1RFSYMs

If you're still not convinced, read our blog, 'Why You Should Wash Your Hands' at: http://bit.ly/1LOnFYC Just be warned, the facts about how few people shower each day are not for the faint-hearted!


Quick Fit Tips April 06 2016

If you were feeling a little unfit today, the thought of going for a run may be something that makes you want to crawl back under the duvet.  The good news is that research is showing long arduous exercise is not all it takes to remain healthy.  There are much quicker and easier ways to improve your fitness and longevity.  If you are struggling to squeeze exercise into your day as much as you struggled to squeeze into your old pair of jeans, here are a few quick tips to get you going:

1) Just one minute of brisk exercise a day can reduce your chances of being obese by 5% for women and 2% for men.  If you can run for ten minutes a day, you could add an extra three years to your life.
2) Fidget. If you have a job where you are required to sit, fidgeting is a good way of burning calories. Even better, move frequently or work standing-up when you can.
3) Get a fitness tracker, a pedometer or phone app.  Just having a constant reminder about how little exercise you have done today, has been shown to get people moving more.
Gone running sign at www.honeymellow.com
4) Three short bursts of 20 seconds of high intensity activity improves fitness both during exercise and afterwards.
5) Alternatively, slow down.  If you are doing weight-bearing exercises, take each repetition slow and steady, not only to avoid injury but to enhance your strength.
6) Sleep.  People who are tired not only eat more but veer towards more sugary foods. We even burn calories as we sleep.
7) Take vitamin D or go for a walk in the sunshine.  Recent studies have shown that improves the health of your heart and makes you feel rejuvenated by improving your sleep at night.
8) Turn the heating down.  The colder the temperature the more calories you burn, particularly as your body draws on your brown fat deposits.
9) Eat.  
a) Some foods use up more calories by chewing them than are in the food themselves such as cucumber and celery.  
b) If you have a sweet tooth, eat in silence listening to yourself chew or choose foods that make a loud crunching noise.  Hearing the sound of our food, means we eat more slowly and eat less overall.  
c) Everyone says the Mediterranean diet is the one to follow for longevity; alas this does not mean pasta and pizza but the Greek diet of lots of fruit and vegetables.  
d) Even better, add rosemary to  your food which seems to be the secret to living to beyond a hundred without alzheimers or heart disease by the centenarians of Acciaroli, Salerno.
10) Make it part of your routine: people who walk to work are up to 3kg lighter than drivers; if you want to lose 5kg, walk, cycle or use public transport instead of the car as your daily commute.  Alternatively get a dog and you will walk on average 1,855 miles per year, as your dog does not care if it is raining or not.
With all this quick exercise, you need a quick way to leave a note for others.  We've lots of signs for all different sports to tell people where you have gone whether it's golf, cricket, rugby, yoga, running, football, cycling, swimming, horse-riding, gardening or even walking the dog.
Walking the dog sign at www.honeymellow.com
If you really want to make exercise easy, then create your own space at home for your work-out.  Our lovely personalised maple wood signs are perfect for your own gym, yoga or even zen room,  with an option to include your favourite motivational saying.  It even has fewer calories than a chocolate bar and doing a few stretches as you put it on your wall will had to your daily fitness tally too.  
See: http://bit.ly/13CLhOz and http://etsy.me/1C591tR for our fit and fun signs to love, inform and inspire.  
Still in need of a little motivation? See our Pinterest board of fitness inspiration and information at: http://etsy.me/1qqGTRJ
Personalised Gym Wood Sign Custom Made at www.honeymellow.com

Signs of Love or Break a Heart? April 04 2016

IS THE WRITING ON THE WALL FOR MONDAY?

We've signs of love (and heartache too) 
Delivered for free from us to you,
Let us blow away those Monday blues,
So if you've have had better days, 
Or something really crucial to say, 
Self-gift a sign to make tomorrow OK.

Blanks signs to add your own text: http://bit.ly/13Km9F8 and http://etsy.me/1oX63U7  

Blank signs to personalise at Honeymellow

 


Better Than Chocolate: Need a Last Minute Unique Easter Gift? March 24 2016

Can there be anything better than chocolate? If you are looking for a unique, personalised Easter present, that can't be found on the high street, we're here to help. UK orders made by 3pm will be posted first class for free today: We can even help you work off the chocolate calories with our custom-made 'Fit and Fun' range. 

Find us and the odd Easter bunny at: www.honeymellow.com and  http://etsy.me/1hI0MZV  

Personalised Signs from www.honeymellow.com


Are You a Dog or Cat Person? March 23 2016

If you're pondering on #NationalPuppyDay whether a dog or cat would be better for your home, a new study may be of interest to you.  Research by Vetplus. shows that dog owners are happier, more out-going and earn approximately £3000 more than cat owners.  They can even enhance your prosperity and love-life in that dog owners are more likely to have repaid their mortgage and be married.  

It could be that as dogs require more commitment - and much more if you get a puppy - as well as a daily walk (433 walks covering 548 miles per year makes meeting others very likely), that certain characteristics about your life will make you more likely to take on the extra responsibility.   The one down point was that dog owners were more likely to describe their job as more stressful so all is not rosey in the dog house.  

Whether you choose a dog or cat, they both need proper care.  The busier the household, the chances are the pet could get too much attention or too little. Some treats are as calorific as doughnuts and in the UK alone, 50% of dogs are obese, showing we are not reciprocating the value that pets bring to our lives.

At Honeymellow we've got a range of double-sided and single-sided signs in our 'Paws and Claws' personalised range in wood or metal  that let others know if your animals have been fed and if your dog has been walked. What both cats and dogs do have in common, is that they are masters of deception where food is concerned, so our signs are a much more reliable indicator than puppy dog eyes as to whether it is mealtime or not.  

What we do know at Honeymellow is that a happy, healthy pet, makes a richer, happier and more healthy household regardless of which animal you choose. Pets increase our life-expectancy so do the same for them.

So whether you are cat or dog, show that you care.  Personalise your animal sign at: http://www.honeymellow.com/collections/pets-animals
and at Etsy too: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Honeymellows?section_id=13773436&ref=shopsection_leftnav_7 


Bee Happy! March 20 2016

Feeling glum on ?  Studies show that rather than trying to improve ourselves, just indulge in the things you love with people you like.  How often do we forget this in the bustle of our daily routines?  Our Heaven is.. range of signs, helps you to remember what makes you happy whether it is gardening, being by the sea or just making time for a cup of tea. See it at: http://bit.ly/19BKv98

If you want to create your own sign as a reminder to do what you love, see our new Maple Wood range at: http://www.honeymellow.com/collections/rustic-wooden-signs 

You can add your own text to one of our themed signs or we can custom-make one especially for you  - and even include your own picture. Or, even better, make one for a friend, including something you know that they love, whether it's bee-keeping or xylophone playing.  Research shows acts of generosity can improve the giver's happiness. How joyful is that?  

Heaven is a day spent in my garden sign metal plaque at www.honeymellow.com


New Job? Make Sure Your Name is Known March 19 2016

With a key new job in government emerging unexpectedly just days after #Budget2016, we thought we'd lend a helping hand.  Our aluminium door signs are perfect for business (and government) when you need to replace a person very quickly and need to let everyone know about it.  

Simply send us the name, position and select the size and colour sign you would like and a sign will be made and posted with free UK postage and packing within the same day. Great if you name is Mr Stephen Crabb or you're just feeling a bit crabby!  Just click and order at:  http://bit.ly/1C3enpA   
See Mr Osborne, us digital entrepreneurs are more useful than you think!


Maple Wood Sign Range Available Today March 18 2016

Been feeling a bit wooden recently? Small and light is good, but sometimes you want something a little more chunky.  Today at Honeymellow's barn on the farm, our freshly hatched Maple Wood signs are now ready for you to personalise on our website at:  http://bit.ly/1S7SdKO  It is a cracking range, covering themes from coffee to camper vans: perfect for that personalised gift for someone who has a niche interest. 

This egg-citing range expands your choice of metal and wood designs to purchase.  The square plaques are made of maple wood with a smooth, non-scratch surface with a slight sheen which enhances the colourful design.  Each sign can be personalised with your own text, choice of font or simply just change the name.  If you are looking for a unique Easter or birthday gift for someone special - or just want one for yourself, we can make and post with free UK delivery before the holiday weekend.  You don't even have to get out of your armchair to hunt for that special present.  

The signs are designed to be hung on walls or doors but they are thick enough to be free-standing too. Egg-cellent for hanging in the summerhouse, gym, on your study door, kitchen or garden shed.  They are suitable for businesses too where we have the option to include your own logo.  New designs are gradually being added.  If you have a particular themed request, click on our 'contact button' and let us know. 

Made with TLC and wrapped with a little country air and a smidgen of sea breeze, from our barn in the Garden of England. You will be egg-static when it arrives freshly made from our Honeymellow farm.  Needless to say, a chicken sign will be winging its way to our website soon.

Maple Wood Garden Personalised Sign


Why You Should Help Yourself to Breakfast February 23 2016

Breakfast is an important part of life in our barn on the farm. It is the time when check through the night's emails spread across far-flung places in the US and Australia as well as our European night owls or lark early risers, who want custom-made signs. It means that we can email back before people go to bed or work, with any queries so signs can be made and popped in the post each day.

Whether you love it or hate it, it is tempting to go without breakfast and press on with the day, however on #NationalToastDay, we thought we would give you a few crumbs of wisdom about why that is not a good idea - both for us and you.

1) Weight gain: you are more likely to eat bigger meals and are less likely to resist those high calorie snacks later on. Just make sure it is a healthy one, high in protein, such as eggs will keep you fuller longer.
2) Educational achievement: children who skip breakfast are more likely to be absent from school. Regular nutritional meals are essential for growth and brain development.
3) Improved concentration and problem-solving: if you are in a bit of a jam whether you are earning your daily bread at work or studying hard at school or college you'll be much better at using your loaf.
4) Time saving: A leisurely moment munching breakfast in the mornings will save you time later on in the day as you are likely to be much for efficient. Perfect if you're in danger of spreading yourself too thinly or in a bit of a jam.
5) Physical fitness: getting the right nutrients by eating a balanced breakfast is obviously going to improve your health, however it will even improve your hand-eye co-ordination. Perfect for those with practical jobs or sport enthusiasts. Playing tennis? Breakfast will help you slice and serve.

If you are the person responsible for making sure everyone is watered and fed before they leave in the morning, we've a sign for you if you're sandwiched between too many demands, just fancy a lie in or browned off with being at others beck and call. Our 'Help Yourself to Breakfast' sign can be hung, stuck or used as a fridge magnet to let others know that if they are planning on starting their day off well, they had better pop the toaster on.

See our Wine and Dine collection for our custom-made signs: http://www.honeymellow.com/collections/kitchen/products/help-yourself-to-breakfast-personalised-metal-kitchen-sign We are also on Etsy too: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Honeymellows?section_id=13769156&ref=shopsection_leftnav_3


Feeling Stressed? November 04 2015

One in four or us are stressed by 8am, but often it is the little things that cause us the most stress.   raises our awareness that we need to look after ourselves by trying to reduce the amount of stress in our life.  At Honeymellow, we aim to help.  Our Vital Signs range are designed to remove life's little irritations, such as a door left open, unwanted interruptions, cold callers, junk mail, missed deliveries.  Removing these minor stresses from your life has been proven to increase your life expectancy.  Almost as good as five fruit and veg a day!

As we come closer to Christmas and our stress levels rise, you can even create your own sign to explain, to the many different couriers, where to leave your parcels or simply just to knock on the door more loudly and wait. We can even add an arrow to make your instructions crystal clear.


The amount of low level stress we suffer can have a huge impact on us.  If you are struggling to remember things,  that is often a sign of stress.  Our 'Before You Go' signs make sure that a simple sign on your door helps you to remember to shut up the house properly before you leave thus avoiding worry over whether you left the oven on or not.  Stress can even shorten your life.  Our 'Gone Running, Cycling, Walking...' signs cater for a whole array of activities. These make it easy to leave the house to get some fresh, exercise and to fill your lungs and...breathe!.

Finally our 'Gone to Yoga' sign helps encourage relaxation and general fitness or failing that we've a range of 'Do Not Disturb' sleep signs to make sure that you are able to sleep soundly on any of the problems that are causing your blood pressure to rise.


Alternatively you could just look at pictures of cute kittens - apparently that works too.

For our many stress-relieving Vital Signs, see: http://www.honeymellow.com/collections/vital-signs-for-home-or-office or on Etsy at: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Honeymellows?section_id=13862380&ref=shopsection_leftnav_5 

 

 


Signs of a Scrum October 18 2015

Whether you are in the scrum or on the stands,

Hang-up our wooden sign, then go off and join the fans.

For both those who play or watch the glorious game,

Our sign can be personalised - just give us a name.

With free UK postage, we make and send the same day,

Your rugby sign'll arrive sooner than you can say, 'Hooray'!

Find our rugby signs at: http://bit.ly/1NixpxS  We have football ones too (but we couldn't think of a rhyme for this... yet), if you go to our 'Fit and Fun' range.


Time to Read October 14 2015

'Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in' (Arthur Schopenhauer).  How pertinent this thought is, after the announcement of the winner of the Man Book Prize.  Marlon James' novel on the attempted assassination of Bob Marley is a rather hefty 703 pages long. No matter how magnificent the writing, if the thickness of a text, gives you second thoughts as to whether you have the time to read it, we are here to help.

Firstly take a look at our new wooden sign "Busy Reading: Do Not Disturb' at http://bit.ly/1LL8qQ9 Perfect for hanging on your door so that you can lose yourself in a good book.  It comes with a choice of attachments including rustic jute string or the cottage chic look and you can even personalise the wording to add someone's name or change the text entirely.  If you need a unique present for a keen but harassed reader, this could be it.

Need some inspiration before diving into a good book?  Our Pinterest board 'Words for Book Worms' has lots of motivational quotations which will make you appreciate that reading is a must, not an option.  Take a peek at: http://bit.ly/1OaRR5E

If you are worried that sitting still and reading for all that time could be damaging your health then there is good news.  New research from the University of Exeter and University College London has challenged claims that sitting for long periods increases the risk of an early death, no matter how much exercise you do.  It is actually the sitting or even standing completely still that is the problem.  So if you are a sitter and fidgeter as you read, don't worry about wiling away the hours.  



Still little worried about taking the time to read? Spare a moment to look at our short blog on 'How to Read Quickly' at  http://bit.ly/1gaV3Kb This has lots of tips about how to whizz through novels in no time at all.  No purchase of time, needed.

 

Wrap it up! How to Make Christmas Easy October 10 2015

With only 75 days left until Christmas,and people plundering already the Christmas gift and decoration section of department stores, it's clearly time to go shopping. However, when purchasing your carefully chosen presents, we are now revealing more about ourselves when we come to pay. 

The 5p charge introduced this week has led to a dearth of carrier bags on the high street. Generally either people are not using them or shops are no longer stocking them. But what category of the carrier bag quandary do you fit into? Are you super-green and well-prepared with your reusable bags ready at the check-out, showing your green credentials? 

Perhaps you are completely unaware of the change, taken by surprise or forgotten to go out bag-prepared. Resenting the charge or wanting to join the green crusade, you carry the goods in you arms dropping red, Rudolph socks and golden glittery balls down the high street? 

Or do you walk the moral tightrope and buy one nonetheless, having to admit to everyone your plastic habit will ruin the planet. Reluctantly, you are forced to call-over the staff member at the crowded self-checkout if you could have - what seems to be - the last bag in the entire store (rumours have it some sold out!?), whilst everyone tuts at the monstrous environmental damage you are now causing (although the money does go to charity). The shame of it! 

Alternatively, have you decided it is all so stressful and with it just being October too and the Rugby World Cup and Strictly to watch on the TV, you slip into your onesie, snuggle down with a cuppa and go on-line instead. Shopping until your fingers-drop, knowing that if you order from us, our signs come carefully wrapped in our dotty paper bags, with a breath of country air and a little sea breeze. 

We will even write a gift note with your text (no matter how long), so your personalised present can go straight to the recipient saving unnecessary delivery miles too. With so much time to spare, you can now start planning next summer holiday - just remember to pack a bag.

 

 


Is Your Bunny Binky? September 26 2015

Anybody who has read ‘Watership Down’ and Bigwig’s near gruesome death, having been caught in a snare, knows that the plight of the beloved bunny is not always a happy one. International Rabbit Day may be about raising awareness of some of the harmful practices that involve our furry friends in such things as fur farming and cosmetic testing, however have you ever thought that the animal in your hutch, may not be as happy as you think? The rabbit is the third most popular pet in the UK with 1.7 million owned by households and 2 million in the US. That’s a lot of potential misery.  Here’s a quick checklist to help you bring some fun to the life of your bunny:

  • Lonely? Isolated? Depressed?  These are not just human emotions.  If you look at rabbits in the wild you will see they are social animals and can easily get lonely and bored when alone.  If your rabbit is aggressive, this is a sign that it is not a happy bunny.  Make sure your rabbit has at least one other bunny to love - alas a kindly owner is not enough.  They will also look after each other by mutual grooming and warn of danger by thumping their hind legs.  If you are lucky you will hear a low hum as they run around each other to indicate affection and contentment.

  • Bored? Wild rabbits always seem to be busy running about, foraging for food, digging as well as constantly on the look-out for danger - on top of this they always breed like…well…rabbits!  So does your rabbit have enough mental and physical stimulation?  Keep them occupied with a variety of activities such as tunnels to run through, tree stumps to climb, toys to play with and if in the event of perceived danger, somewhere to hide.  Try and vary this (though not too much), on a regular basis.
  • Trying to escape? It may not be that your beloved bunny is trying to tunnel its way out of your affections, it is just that rabbits love to dig. Remember in the wild they live in warrens.  So rather than allow it out in the garden to dig-up a much-tended lawn, give your rabbit its own sand or earth pit to dig away at all day. If you are tempted to allow your pet out of its hutch for a run around, just remember that it can reach a speed of 40mph! 
  • Fearful of other animals? They may be scared (even to death) of other pets in the house as both can be attacked by cats and dogs  - Hazel and Woundwort in ‘Watership Down’ will testify - although the latter was alas never seen again.  Their almost 360-degree vision is designed to protect them from danger. Whilst having a hiding place is a partial solution, getting them used to other pets as early as possible as well as providing a sturdy hutch will keep them happy and away from harm.  Don’t be tempted to release your rabbit into the wild as they may not live much longer than a day.
  • Not eating properly? Bugs bunny may have eaten nothing but carrots, however to make sure your herbivore of a rabbit gets a proper diet, its main food should consist of fibre such as hay and grass.  Supplement this with vegetables and fruit for added nutrition.  As a rabbit’s 28 teeth never stop growing, they enjoy food that they can chew - even their own droppings (cecotropes).  Alas chocolate Easter eggs are only for us and not the Easter bunny. Do not even try this as they cannot vomit. Whilst hot or cold weather does not affect wild rabbits, your pet needs to be protected from excessive heat and hypothermia too.  

  • Overweight and lethargic? If your rabbit would rather be slumbering than jumping, train it to become more active.  Set up some small jumps and tunnels to run through and entice it over with little rewards.  Remember their incredibly strong hind legs mean that they can jump up to one metre high and three long, so allow them plenty of space to jump rather than just a meek hop. This will keep you both mentally and physically active as you think of new ways to entertain.  Whilst rabbits may not be able to read any of our personalised signs we can make for their hutch, they can be trained to respond to their name too.   Obviously you need to make sure your rabbit is not over or under-fed with a fresh supply of food - not rotting vegetables and fresh water.  Hang our double-sided personalised sign on the hutch or by the food to let others know whether to feed or not. Yes, we can add more than one name and bunny - remember they are social animals.

With it costing you on average £3,000 to look after a rabbit over its lifetime - approximately 8-12 years - let’s make sure it is a happy one.  How will you know?  Well if you rabbit is ‘binky’, it will run, jump, flick its feet and spin, which all means it is a very happy bunny.


Car Free or Not Car Free? September 23 2015

If ever there was a good reason to go car-free on #WorldCarFreeDay, the news regarding the rigging of emissions tests couldn't have been more pertinent.  

If you read our blogs on cycling at: http://bit.ly/1xveebZ about how it can add years to your life, and the importance of life in the slow lane at: http://bit.ly/1NMpeuP  - these may just rev you up for the U-turn to travel under your own steam, rather than via polluting exhaust fumes.  

So how exactly did you get to work, college or the shops today? If you walked, ran or biked, boast about it with a handmade sign available at: http://bit.ly/13CLhOz   We can even add your name so no-one else can claim your green credentials. And if you found this all far to 'exhausting' to even contemplate, we've signs to help you sleep soundly too! http://bit.ly/1GLrLz3 


Why Houseplants are Good for You July 27 2015

Have you taken your houseplant for a walk today?  The 27 July is celebrated worldwide as Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day.  Strange but true but not as made as you think. The day is more about learning to take care of your houseplant during a walk as people exchange tips about how to care for their houseplants with other like-minded green-fingered or footed walkers.  It all sounds very silly, until you start looking at the many ways in which houseplants are good for us.  So here are our top seven benefits of having a houseplant, whether you take it for a walk or not:
1) Provision of oxygen:  We breath in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.  Houseplants through photosynthesis, do the reverse which means we have air that has the required amount of oxygen to keep us alive.  Fresher, cleaner air makes it less likely you will get a headache and be nice alert during the day. Be careful at night if you keep houseplants in your bedroom: during darkness they too take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide.  To still have oxygenated air at night, have succulents or orchids in your bedroom which will still expire oxygen into the air at night, improving the quality of your sleep.

2) Glowing skin:  It is not only oxygen that plants produce, but they also evaporate 97% of the water they drink-in through their leaves.  This could be as much as 10% of the atmosphere.  So to keep your skin moisturised, rather than invest in an expensive and rather ugly humidifier, go for the more aesthetically pleasing houseplant.  The chances of suffering from colds, sore throats, dry coughs and flu are also reduced according to the Agricultural University of Norway.  Should you suffer from a cold, eucalyptus will help clear the congestion. Save your business money by investing in some plants for your workplace as well as in your home, to reduce absenteeism through sickness.

3) Breath cleaner air:   Plants such as the peace lily, English ivy, chrysanthemum, gerber daisy, bamboo palm, azalea, dragon tree and the spider plant have been found by NASA  to remove as much as 87% of toxic vapours such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. When buildings are sealed with air-conditioning instead of open windows, inside spaces can have 12 times the pollutants than outside caused by paint, furnishings and the buildings themselves.  If you are a smoker, counteract some of the pollutants by having plenty of houseplants.  

4) Improve post-op recovery: Patients with plants in their rooms post surgery had lower systolic blood pressure, less pain, stress, tiredness and an earlier discharge from hospital (Kansas State University). 

5) Aid healing: If you have sunburn or a minor burn, apply aloe vera; apply arnica and comfrey to a bruise or sprain and calendula to small wounds. Try drinking chamomile tea to calm an upset stomach.

6) Enhanced memory and concentration:  Surround yourself with plants when you work to improve your retention by up to 20% (University of Michigan), accuracy and creativity.  One study showed that two potted plants and a bunch of flowers in a room increased the number of ideas workers had by 13% (Texas A&M). The Royal College of Agriculture, Cirencester found an increase of 70% in attentiveness when students were taught in rooms with plants. This is probably to do with the increase in oxygen and humidity although one interesting finding was that attendance also increased too.  We like to be near nature so if you want to draw people to a room  or make them feel welcome, include a plant or two; hence they often dominate reception areas. 

7) They make us happy:  We enjoy nurturing plants, watching flowers grow and even having the odd conversation with them.  It is no wonder that plants are seen to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and encourage relaxation and positivity.   Add them along with our signs to improve the look of your environment, making it seem more spacious and cleaner.

So place a plant within 100 square feet of your internal space that can easily be seen by all, and for one day every year take it for a walk, leaving our ‘Gone Walking’ sign behind of course! 

http://www.honeymellow.com/collections/fun-signs/products/gone-walking-hanging-sign   

You will feel and be much healthier, happier and productive for it.

Forgotten Father's Day? June 21 2015

With our busy lives and large social networks, it's easy to forget events, no matter how important.  The ones that easily catch us out often have no fixed date each year such as Father's Day or when you are living far away from home and calendar dates differ.  

Just place an order with us for a unique personalised sign and we will make and send it directly to your father / grandfather in the very next first class post.  We can even send you a picture so that you know what it looks like before it's sent.  If requested we will even gift wrap it for you too. We post internationally for those families who are split across countries.

So take a look at our range, let us know the wording you want or let us know a name and trust us to do the rest for you...now relax!

www.honeymellow.com and also on Etsy at: http://etsy.me/1hI0MZV 


Gone Shopping...Again June 10 2015

Are you are serial shopper?  If you are, you're far from alone.  Most of our clothes are worn just seven times before they are left lurking in the back of the wardrobe.  For a third of us it could be an item is considered old after just three outings.  That stunning drop-dead gorgeous dress is the style of clothing most likely to be worn once and then never again. This leads the average woman to spend £64 per month or £678 per year - which some shopaholics may consider a little on the low side, particularly when matched with the average time between purchases being 89 days.  

Based on a study by Censuswide for Barnardo's of women aged over the age of 16, perhaps these figures probably go up and down dramatically between different age groups; especially as two of the key reasons for ditching clothes was weight change for just under half respondents and one in seven feared being tagged twice on social media sites in the same outfit. What horror!!!

So where do all these unworn clothes go?  Most are still lurking in the back of our wardrobes.  The average woman has at least ten items in her wardrobe that she never wears.  In the UK as a whole this equates to a staggering £30 billion of unworn clothes lurking in closets.

Before you head to the shops, leaving our personalised 'Gone Shopping' sign behind, clutching your monthly £64 for yet another clothing splurge, have a thought for your wardrobe bursting at the seams with unworn or barely worn purchases and what good they could do others.  Barnardo's has launched a  campaign with the  very modest aim of gathering over £100,000 in clothing donations.  In the light of these statistics, if everyone gave a second life to their unloved items by taking them to their local Barnardo's charity shop, this could be one of the most successful campaigns ever.  Now that would be worth putting on social media!  

 


World Oceans Day: Stop Plastic Pollution June 08 2015

Today's World Oceans Day is focused on the theme of healthy oceans, healthy planet.  One of the main culprits polluting our oceans is plastic bottles.  We seem to think that drinking water from plastic bottles - that were probably filled and left in storage years ago -  is a healthy thing to do.  Apart from the fact that toxins leach into the water, a huge number of these bottles are ending up in and destroying our oceans. Anybody who travels widely knows the damage this is doing, hence there is a gradual 'sea-change' to metal flasks that filter ordinary water which can be used again, and again...and again. 

At Honeymellow, our barn on the farm is surrounded by sandy shores and a bracing sea breeze.  Hence the seaside inspires many of our designs.  We have metal signs for your beach-hut, to tell others you've gone to the beach as well as motivational plaques to keep your soul close to the sea even though geographically, you may be miles apart.

If that has not whet your craving for dipping your toes in the sea (minus all its plastic), we include a little sea breeze in our wrapping of every order!  For those who are keen to be green, we have also litter bin signs in the hope that those plastic bottles are destroyed and not destroying our planet for future generations.

For our 'Gone to the Beach' and other signs see: http://bit.ly/1KQlSDJ


Why We All Need to Wash Our Hands June 03 2015

Did you know that from your fingertips to your elbow, two to ten million bacteria are living on skin?  More staggering however, is that 50% of men and 25% of women do not wash their hands after going to the toilet.  Of those that do, 60% use only water and even those that do use soap, are likely to neglect washing properly their fingertips and thumbs in spite of germs doubling in these areas after going to the toilet. It is not just our hands that are dirty with 12% of adults admitting to having a proper wash only twice a week , 41% failing to shower every day (SCA) and one in seven of us leave it two days before brushing our teeth.  It is hardly surprising that 80% of infectious diseases are spread via touch. Harmful germs can live on hands for up to three hours.  Think about how many phones, computer keyboards and doors you touch within that time.

Hand-washing is the most effective way to avoid colds, flu and other viruses. If you want to improve school or workplace attendance, simply encourage hand washing and access to soap.  This could prove a very good investment if you consider that sickness absence costs employers £495 per person per year according to the CBI.

So how do you wash hands properly? Here are some quick tips  to remain bug-free and healthy:

  1. Frequency is vital as hands should be washed  at least five times a day and before eating.  
  2. Soap removes more bacteria than just water alone especially if if is worked  over the entire finger and thumbs and rubbed in between using rotating and up and down movements.  
  3. If you are worried that washing your hands frequently will dry out the skin, simply use cold rather than hot water which is much less drying.  
  4. The recommended time spent washing hands by organisations such as the NHS is 15 seconds, however 30 seconds spent washing hands is much more effective.  If you are not sure how long this is, sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to yourself twice and you will have done a thorough job.  
  5. How you dry your hands is just as important.  Ideally, use a paper towel for drying your hands which you can also use for switching off the tap.  If you have not washed your hands properly, hand dryers will blow the bacteria into the air at a distance of 1.5 metres from the machine: airborne bacteria can live for up to fifteen minutes or for 45 minutes if they are blown onto a surface.

    Need a video to show you how to do all this?  Look at:  

    Finally of course, you need to remember to do this and make it an automatic habit.  Our range of hand-washing signs placed near sinks work in the home, workplace and school could be a very good investment both financially and health wise as well as looking pretty on your wall.  Now how to get people to wipe their feet and remove their shoes… 

    http://www.honeymellow.com/collections/bathroom/products/please-wash-your-hands-metal-sign-in-gold-silver-or-white