Little, Little Books – The Ultimate Travel Companion

Holidays! Aren’t they fantastic? A time to relax, re-charge and indulge your sight and your senses with new experiences and local delicacies. But a recent study conducted by Little Shop Of revealed that more than two in five of the UK population find packing for holidays stressful. Over half of people surveyed said this was because they couldn’t decide what to pack and 20% said they get anxious about forgetting their accessories.

Well Little Shop Of is here to help! Did you know that as well as our Little Books we also make Little, Little Books? Measuring a compact 11cm x 15cm they make the ideal travel companion – taking up minimal suitcase space. Despite their diminutive size they have all the same helpful features as the larger books, with soft padded pages for protection and a clever design that ensures jewellery will never get misplaced, tangled or tarnished. They can also be discreetly stored amongst other books in your hotel room to give you peace of mind about taking your precious pieces on vacation.

Indeed our Little, Little Books love nothing more than a holiday adventure! So to celebrate the start of the summer holiday season, we are launching a new competition. Each month we will upload to Twitter and Facebook a photo of one of our lucky books on holiday and invite our followers to guess where in the world it is. We will then pick a winner at random from the correct entries who will receive their own Little, Little Book of Earrings, Necklaces or Rings to take on their summer break.

Everyone at Little Shop Of HQ is keen to be involved in the fun as well so next time you’re on a trip, why not take a photo of one of our books enjoying some down time to get us guessing too! Upload it to our Twitter @LittleShopOfLtd or Facebook account @LittleShopOfLtd using the hashtag #LittleBookBreak

Wedding Jewellery From Around the World

From the very beginning of mankind, civilisations have celebrated wedding unions with jewellery.  And despite the changing face of marriage, this custom is still widely practised today. So as we embark on wedding season, Little Shop Of thought we’d take a look through some of the varied and interesting jewellery traditions incorporated into weddings across the world.

In Ireland, many couples wear a Claddagh ring, named after a small fishing village outside Galway. The intricately designed ring symbolises friendship, love and loyalty. When worn as a wedding ring, the Claddagh is placed on the left ring finger with the heart facing the wrist showing that the bride or groom’s heart is taken. This style belongs to a group of rings dating from Roman times called “fede rings”, meaning “joined in faith”. As well as their romantic significance, they are also seen as icons of Irish identity.

Greek couples still practise the ancient Greek tradition of wearing wedding crowns, known as Stefana. Originally these would have been constructed from vines, flower and fauna tied together by a ribbon to symbolise the newly-weds unity. Today a Stefana is normally made from pearls, gold and silver.

In Norway, crowns are also a popular wedding tradition where it is custom for the bride to wear a silver and gold crown adorned with small charms. The sound these charms make when the bride moves around are meant to deflect evil spirits.

At Hindu weddings, the bride traditionally wears sixteen pieces of jewellery, which are usually made of yellow gold adorned with gemstones. One of most important pieces of jewellery is the Mangalasutra, a black beaded necklace believed to provide protection from evil. The groom ties the Mangalasutra around the bride’s neck in a special ceremony called Mangalya Dharanam (Sanskrit for “wearing the auspicious”).

In parts of China, the bride wears silver jewellery to bring good fortune and luck on her marriage. However, unlike in the UK when wedding superstitions, such as wearing something borrowed or blue, are only thought about a few days before, the Chinese often begin collecting special pieces when the daughter is very young.

In Masai culture, women get married wearing a special wedding collar made for them by their mother. Despite the craftsmanship and beauty of these elaborate beaded strands after the ceremony her father must spit on her! The purpose is not to tempt fate by being overly supportive of the happy couple.

If you’re planning your own wedding this summer, why not see if you can incorporate some of your own cultural roots into the jewellery for your big day? And if you need somewhere special to store it, don’t forget to check out our products page for our full range of practical and stylish storage solutions!

Untidy House and Desk? Watch Out – You’re Being Judged!

Spring has sprung, grass is sprinkled with yellow bursts of daffodils and the air is filled with the anticipation of the changing season. March is the perfect time to start afresh, so earlier in the month we partnered with National Spring Cleaning Week. Now in its 14th year, the week aims to encourage everyone to clear out the clutter.

As part of our involvement, we decided to conduct some research into the negative effects of an untidy home and the results were startling!

Move over, Hyacinth Bucket!

As a nation, we are quick to judge our friends for having an untidy home, with over 1 in 5 of us viewing them as lazy, and 22% viewing it as a sign that they don’t take pride in their home. However, our research showed that it’s not just friends that are likely to judge you for mess. Over 40% of us would be less likely to promote a co-worker if they were disorganised and cluttered.

Messing with our minds

It seems clutter is also messing with the nation’s minds, with 39% of the UK feeling de-motivated when their house is disorganised. The negative effects of clutter are further highlighted with almost 1/3 of us left feeling anxious and depressed. It is also having an impact on our social lives with 28% of respondents claiming not to invite friends over if their homes are in a muddled state.  But that doesn’t mean we are using those lonely nights to clean up our act, as 1/3 of the nation admitted to piling the mess in a cupboard and forgetting about it, rather than having a much needed spring clean!

Wasting time

As well as losing friends and promotions, the UK is losing significant time in the workplace as people search for misplaced items. Almost three-quarters of the population (73%) are late up to four times a month as a result of being unable to locate an essential item.

“A Place for Everything and everything in its place”

It is disturbing to see that, not only does clutter make us feel bad in ourselves, but it also has a detrimental impact on how we are seen.  So, how can we clean up our act? Our mantra at Little Shop Of, has always been “a place for everything and everything in its place”. By giving everything a designated place, it makes it much easier to put it away and then find it again.

We all lead busy lives and not many of us have the time or inclination to devote a weekend to the duster. But even small things can make a big difference! Why not wipe down the kitchen cupboards whilst you’re waiting for the pasta to cook or attack oven gunk whilst the kettle’s boiling? By making small changes before you know it, your house will be clean and clear of clutter and, as our survey shows, so will your mind!