What’s Your Bucket List?

What’s Your Bucket List?

What’s your bucket list? You have decided to make a bucket list, but what exactly is a bucket list? Does it have to be expensive? Perhaps you have a special birthday coming up and you want to achieve something before it? What are you going to put on your list? This blog will hopefully give you inspiration, so read on!

The Origin of Bucket Lists

The term ‘bucket list’ is used by people to describe the things they want to see or do before they die. Initially used by individuals facing imminent death, diagnosed with a terminal illness for example, the term is now more widely used by people as a list of things they would like to do someday.

‘Bucket List’ comes from the term to ‘kick the bucket’, to describe someone passing away. A relatively new term, it became popularized by the film ‘The Bucket List’, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in 2007. IMDB sums it up perfectly: ‘Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.’ In fact, the expression is not recorded as being used prior to 2006, so the film truly can be credited with the concept becoming so popular.

When to Make a Bucket List

As portrayed in the film, bucket lists are popular with those facing a terminal illness. The lists are a great way for individuals and their families to create some wonderful, fun memories during darker days. However, as explained earlier, bucket lists are now created by those facing special birthdays, retirement, or just those with lifelong ambitions. Basically, anyone with a list of dreams, goals, or challenges they wish to achieve during their lifetime, can make a bucket list! The task can be quite daunting though, so where to begin?

What goes on a Bucket List?

The most important thing to remember, is that a bucket list is a personal journey. The entries on your list should be quite unique to you! What do you want to achieve in your life? What do you really enjoy doing? Think carefully about the things that make you happy. Whether it is sport, food and drink, creativity, travel, or personal development, you are only limited by your own imagination.

Whatever happens, however, do not include every day, mundane things on your list. For example, redecorating the lounge or cleaning the car are more like chores. Learning a new language, donating blood, sky diving or attending a cookery course, these are challenges and personal achievements, therefore suitable for your list.

Stretch yourself, create a list which is going to inspire you to get up and go and do not be put off by fears of the unknown. Remember, your list can include simple things too, like reading specific books or watching certain films! In fact, it is imperative that your list has a variety of entries. Adding a mixture of short-term goals as well as long term ones will help you feel a sense of achievement as you cross them off.

Don’t forget the children too! The National Trust created a fantastic bucket list for children. 50 things to do before you are 11 and 3/4! The list includes things like building a den, making friends with a bug or having a snail race. To be honest, why not add some of these to your list, they sound great!

How Long Should a Bucket List be?

There is no limit to how many goals you add to your list. Some like to relate it to the special birthday they are celebrating, for example, 50 things to do before reaching 50. Others like to have an ongoing list, constantly achieving and adding to their lists, ever evolving. If you find your list is getting too long, you could break it down into smaller ones, categorized by type or deadline dates. If you are still not sure, begin with 25 items, making sure it includes a mixture of short and long-term goals.

Be Realistic

When making your list it is good practice to add a date that you would like to achieve each goal by. However, be realistic! If you want to travel in a hot air balloon, for example, but funds are limited, work out a small amount you need to save each month, even if it takes two or three years, then set that date as your target. By planning ahead and being methodical you will achieve more! Do not forget however, not everything on your list must cost a fortune! Simple things like learning how to draw, completing the couch to 5k challenge, or getting on a TV quiz show, will cost you little more than your time!

Ideas for Your List

There are so many ideas of what to put on your bucket list, it can be overwhelming. Annette White from bucketlistjourney.net suggests brainstorming ideas from different categories. Her category suggestions are: Adventure, Career and Finances, Charity, Creativity, Education, Entertainment and Events, Family, Food and Drink, Just for Fun, Local Experiences, Personal Growth, Nature and Wildlife, Sports and activities and Travel. You may have another category not listed that you could add too.

The most popular things on many buckets lists include: Sky Diving, See the Northern Lights, Visit the Grand Canyon, See the Milky Way, Own a Pet, Run a Marathon, Write a Book, Take an African Safari, Learn to Play an Instrument, Walk the Great Wall of China, Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, Go Glamping, Visit Stonehenge, learn sign language, to name but a few!

We can Help

If you are still not sure where to start or what to do, maybe we can help. At Sweet and Nostalgic we have a fantastic range of bucket lists available. From 100 Albums to listen to, to 100 Books to read. Perhaps you fancy trying a 100 Cocktails or maybe 100 Craft Beers (not in one go, of course!). Our scratch off bucket list posters could be the inspiration you need to get started. We have a list of 100 Things to Do and 100 Places to Visit. They make great gifts too; you could inspire your friends and family to join you on the bucket list drive!

What’s your bucket list? We hope that Sweet and Nostalgic have helped you to establish that. Whether you create your own or use one of our ready-made posters, enjoy achieving your dreams! Have fun exploring our website packed with 20th Century gifts and thank you for reading, we are in the top 50 blogs for gifts with Feedspot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Football Is Important

Why Football Is Important

Congratulations Liverpool FC, Premier League Champions 2020. It’s been a long time coming, 30 years to be precise!  Despite fears of a pandemic, fans celebrated long into the night and in this blog, we’ll explore why football is important!

Known as ‘The Beautiful Game’, football is the world’s most popular ball game. Loved by players and spectators alike. The rules are relatively simple. All you need to play is a ball and some goal posts and these can be created with anything, including jumpers! Soccer, as it is called in USA and Canada, is played everywhere! From pitches, parks and school playgrounds to beaches and even a battlefield (as was the case in WWII)! The recent covid-19 outbreak highlighted how important the game is to so many lives and why it was imperative the Premier League completed its 2020 season.

History

Modern football (or soccer, as it is known in other countries), developed in England in the middle of 19th Century. However, alternative versions of the game go back centuries! In China, in the 3rd and 2nd century BC, records show the first ball game, that involved kicking the ball, being played. Called Cuju, the game played in ceremonial forms. It involved a round ball and a square playing area. Early versions are also recorded in Ancient Greece and Rome.

In England in the 12th Century, games like football could be seen being played on meadows and roads. The games involved kicking and punching the ball with your fist. A host of people played at any one time. Consequently games proved to be a lot rougher and more violent than the modern game – not so beautiful then! Indeed, proclamations against these games meant they were banned for several centuries!

The establishment of a form of football being played in public schools in 1835, reintroduced it back to society. Variations, concerning the size of the ball, rules and the number of players still ensued however. The first football association formed in 1863 in England and they decided handling the ball inappropriate. This meant only the keeper could now touch the ball during play. Football continued to develop over the years, until it finally settled on the game we know today.

Health Benefits of Playing Football

Playing football naturally  impacts your health positively. Our modern world, with a sedentary lifestyle, means any form of aerobic exercise is vitally important. Playing football can help control weight, regulate your blood pressure, and pulse rates. It helps to improve your mood, your cognitive abilities and can help you to relax. Knock on effects then extend to improved digestion, better quality sleep, and an enhanced sex life!

Physical activity releases endorphins into the body. Endorphins act as analgesics, thereby reducing pain threshold. They also act as sedatives, hence why playing football can help you relax. Indeed, during the Covid-19 lockdown, the Professional Footballers’ Association conducted a survey with some of its members. They found 72%  experiencing feelings of nervousness or anxiety. 22% reported feeling depressed. Playing football helps to alleviate these symptoms, making it important to get back to training and matches.

An excellent interview by FIFA with Brazilian football legend Julio Caesar, highlighted his experience of visiting South Asia. He stated, ’it is wonderful to see the power of football and how much it incentivises children…despite the day-to-day difficulties, they never stop smiling.’ Need I say more?

Benefits For The Fans

Fans, often regarded as the most important members of the team, the 12th player! Equally, the health benefits of being a fan are as impressive as playing. Football supporters are associated with being passionate, emotional, and dedicated. Football can unite people. Irrespective of age, colour, religion or ethnicity, fans come together to cheer their team. Friendships and relationships can and do form through the love of football!

It is estimated that more than half of the World’s population consider themselves associated football (soccer) fans. They engage, and get a sense of belonging. Football is a diversion from real life and an outlet to release their emotions. They enjoy the highs and lows of football as though they were playing the match themselves! Therefore, fans also experience the same release of endorphins as players, with the same mental health benefits.

Financial Impact

Finally, there is the financial impact football has on the world economies. In Britain alone, a study of the 2017-2018 season, saw Premier League clubs contribute nearly £8 billion to the UK economy. It is responsible for employing over 100k people and paid £3.3 billion in tax. This does not include employment and financial benefits from the lower league clubs! Compared to the end of the last century, the premier league’s contribution to the economy has increased by 800%! The knock-on effects of football on the economy, particularly during special events like the World Cup, is huge! In 2018, the BBC reported that the UK economy benefitted from a £1 billion boost from feel good factor sales! The positive impact on employment and the UK economy is therefore another reason why we should love the beautiful game!

We hope you have found this blog informative! Remember, at Sweet and Nostalgic we have a plethora of gifts available. If you want to celebrate your love of football, or you are looking for a perfect gift for a football fan, we can help. Check out our website for more details.

Father’s Day Gifts Online

Father’s Day Gifts Online

The origins of Father’s Day vary from country to country. Here, in the United Kingdom, it is celebrated on the third Sunday of June each calendar year. Father’s Day is an opportunity for us to honour our dad and celebrate fatherhood. We often do this by giving our Dads a card and gift, but what do you get the dad who has everything? Searching for Father’s Day gifts online can be daunting. We get flooded with pages of ideas and products. Here, we have tried to make the hunt for that elusive, unique gift for dad, simple. We have categorised past times, hobbies, and passions that our Dads enjoy. Read on, you might just find the perfect gift for your dad.

The Superhero

 

I am sure most of us look up to our Dad’s as superheroes! Honour him with his own superhero comic book. ‘Mega Dad’ is a unique comic strip book based on your Father and it’s out of this world! Likewise, if he is a comic book fan, you could buy him a personalised Beano book from a year significant to himself.

If he prefers a cup of tea over comics, you could spoil him with a Superman mug, filled with retro sweets from your chosen decade. Or, maybe he’s more of a He-Man, super strong and always there for you!

The Sports Fan

Many Dads are huge sports fans. Sometimes we share this passion, for example, playing football together or waking early to watch formula one on the sofa with them. Celebrating their love of sport can be a great way to spoil them on Father’s Day.

If they have a ‘man cave’ or games room, why not buy them a nostalgic, retro metal sign for the wall? From cricket to cycling or fly fishing to football, there is a sports sign to accommodate their passion. Signs come in a variety of sizes too. You could buy a selection of small signs, to create a montage, or you could buy one jumbo piece, for a real statement.

 

For an extra special, unique gift for Father’s Day, buy a personalised newspaper book about his favourite sport. Newspaper books are leatherette bound volumes of newspaper articles based on a subject. Usually, these books are broadsheet size, A3, so make an amazing impact. Sports covered include Rugby, Horseracing, Golf and Tennis, to name but a few. Add your Dad’s name to the book and a personal message expressing just what he means to you – perfect!

The Motor Head

How often do you lose your dad, only to find him tinkering away in his garage on his favourite moped, motorbike, or car? If this sounds familiar, maybe you could surprise him with a gift that acknowledges his devotion.

Harley Davidson Bike Wall Sign

 

Retro signs are not just sporting related. There is a plethora of metal retro signs available that feature car, motorbike, and moped brands. Key players, like Vespa, Harley Davidson, Ford, Aston Martin, and VW for example, are favourites. The signs can really add an authentic grease workshop feel to any garage! Likewise, there are some great storage tins online with the same theme. These are perfect for popping his nuts and bolts in! If his garage seems a little disorganised and boring, therefore, you could help brighten it up with these thoughtful presents.

Alternatively, your dad may enjoy a trip down memory lane with a good book. Nostalgic books about cars from the 1960’s or 1970’s may be the ideal solution. For VW fans, why not treat them to a history lesson, with, ‘The VW Camper Story’?

The Gardener

 

How many of us have a dad that likes to hide away in his garden shed, to ‘potter’? Maybe he is lucky enough to have an allotment? If this sounds familiar, then buying metal wall art, that can be put up to decorate his ‘den’, is a must! The signs depict everything from allotments to tools. Similarly, there are also signs that illustrate the gorgeous wildlife that you can see in your garden, from birds to butterflies! These signs have a retro, nostalgic feel, perfect for helping your Dad relax in his potting shed!

For something totally unique, why not buy a personalised book for your dad? A spoof Enid Blyton story, ‘Five Lose Dad in the Garden Centre’. Your Dad’s name will feature in the book and you can add a personal message too, perhaps recalling the time you lost him in the garden centre!

Sweet Like Candy

 

If your Dad has a sweet tooth, you could spoil him with some delicious retro goodies. Taking a trip down memory lane helps people relax and relieves stress, so what better time to gift these than Father’s Day? If he is the Best Dad, indulge his sweet tooth with a magnificent sweet hamper, jar of delights or a box of liquorice delectations. These gifts can be personalised and you can even purchase one that fits right through the letterbox! What are you waiting for?

A Father’s Day Tipple

 

If your Dad has a favourite tipple, you might want to treat him to a bottle for Father’s Day. When you buy Father’s Day gifts online, however, you can add personal touches to that present. Personalising a 12-year-old bottle of single malt whiskey, for example, will really show your Dad just how special he is to you. Likewise, you can add an original newspaper from a date that is significant to your dad. Imagine his Father’s Day then, relaxing, with a glass of his favourite beverage, whilst taking a trip down memory lane!

So, you see, buying Father’s Day gifts online, does not have to be a headache. Here at Sweet and Nostalgic, we have got it covered. The great news is we can ship direct to your Dad too and can often add a personal message to your gift. Enjoy browsing the shop and to all Dad’s out there, Happy Father’s Day!

June Is National Candy Month

June Is National Candy Month

Established by the National Confectioners Association, the month of June is National Candy month! Well, let’s face it, there’s not many of us that need an excuse to enjoy a delicious treat! Many of us have a sweet tooth, but you may feel less guilty to discover that this is not a modern weakness. Candy has featured in our lives for thousands of years!

The First Sweets

Cave men made a form of sweet with dried out honey. It formed a toffee like substance for them to chew on and satisfy their sweet cravings! Honey did in fact form the basis of many original candies. As far back as 2000 BC, the Egyptians used honey to make sweets by adding figs, nuts, dates, and spices. They used these honeyed treats in ceremonies to worship gods and goddesses.

At the same time, the Ancient Greeks also used honey to make candied fruits, flowers, and stems. In addition to this, they discovered how to make syrup out of figs and dates. The Romans and Chinese made barley sugar confectionery with honey cooked or baked in an oven. So, you see, our love affair for sweet treats is a very long-lasting relationship!

Sugarcane and Cacao

 

The development of candy continued over the years. It is believed that Indians first discovered how to extract sweet juice from sugarcane over 3000 years ago. They were the first to create brown sugar. The spread of sugarcane over the centuries had a major impact on confectionary habits, particularly in China. Here they sweetened liquorice, ginger, and nuts. By 950 A.D. Arabs invented caramel, though originally they used it on hair! They built the first sugar refinery in the world. The Indians were the first to create sugar candy, in 250 A.D.

During the Middle Ages confectionary became extremely popular, though remained exclusive to the wealthy. With the cost of sugar so high it was categorised and sold as a drug. In the 14th Century, the Spanish brought cacao to Europe from Mexico. The Mayan people had been growing cacao since 1200BC, though some evidence shows it might be even earlier than that! The Aztecs enjoyed it in liquid form and regarded cacao so highly, they used it as a form of currency. The Spanish added sugar to the liquid cacao to make it more palatable, but it took almost a hundred years before this new drink reached the rest of Europe. Better late than never though!

The 1800’s

 

Candy history and the development of sweets really took off in the 1800’s. The reduced price in sugar and development in mass production, meant that everyone could now enjoy confectionary. In 1847 Joseph Fry developed the first chocolate bar. However, the first bars had a bittersweet taste. It wasn’t until 1975, when Henry Nestle, an evaporated milk manufacturer, developed the milk chocolate bar. In 1879, Rodolphe Lindt began to add cocoa butter back into the mix. This created a bar that would hold its shape but melt on the tongue.

In addition to chocolate development, successful inventions included marshmallows, toffee, and fudge. The 19th Century also enjoyed the arrival of peanut brittle, rhubarb and custard, cough drops, sherbet lemons, fruit gums and jellybeans! So candy, as we know it, has been in our lives for over 100 years! Certainly a reason to celebrate and dedicate a whole month to it too!

Business Boomed

 

The sweet confectionary industry boomed. Production companies experimented with flavours, shapes, and sizes. During the first half of the 20th Century, in America alone, 40,000 different candy bars appeared! Our taste for sweet treats went into overdrive and favourites were established! Youngsters and adults alike, saved their pennies so they could indulge in a bag of their favourite pick ‘n’ mix or chocolate bar!

The economic impact on nations producing confectionary is immense. In America over 55,000 people are directly employed in the industry. In the UK, this is approximately 19,500 people. It is believed that for every person directly employed, another 7 – 10 people are employed in associated businesses. In 2019, sales for confectionary in the UK exceeded £1.5 million. In 2015, the Nestle factory in York, exported 26,000 tonnes of confectionery to over 70 different countries! So, candy plays an important role in our lives, providing employment and boosting the economy, let’s celebrate!

Always a Treat

Of course, sweets should always be regarded as an occasional treat. June is National Candy month, to also raise awareness about portion control. The National Confectioners Association launched the ‘Always a Treat’ initiative to encourage everyone to enjoy their favourite confections, but in moderation, as part of a balanced lifestyle. Giving sweets as gifts, therefore, has become immensely popular. It is an opportunity to ‘spoil’ your loved ones with that special, occasional treat.

Here, at Sweet and Nostalgic, we have a plethora of sweets, all carefully selected to take your loved ones on a trip down memory lane! Have a glance through our range and discover a sweet treat that you can give to your friends and family to celebrate National Candy Month!

Personalised Gifts For Men

Personalised Gifts For Men

What do you give the man who has everything? This is a dilemma felt by friends and relatives across the world. For birthdays and Christmas people scour the internet looking for unique present ideas for the man in their life. However, whilst we all want the receiver to be thrilled with a gift we may give, the most important thing to remember is, ‘it’s the thought that counts.’ The key to gift giving is summed up beautifully in a quote from Tinku Razoria. ‘Some gifts are big. Others are small. But the ones that come from the heart are the best gifts of all.’ Personalised gifts for men are a great solution to this eternal problem.

Whether it is a declaration of love, to mark a special occasion, or just to show gratitude to someone, the giving of gifts is engrained in our DNA. There is an excellent website called ‘Curious history’. Here they explain the origins and history of gift giving. Gifts have been given since the origin of the species. Gifts were given not just to show affection, but to bestow status and favours with leaders and royalty. Nowadays, gifts are given as a way of expressing our feelings and making connections. Personalised gifts are an even better way to do this, to show your loved ones that you have put real thought into their present. They are unique to the individual receiving them and therefore perfect for the man that has everything! There are thousands of personalised gift options available, here are a few suggestions to help you find that perfect present.

Sports Fans?

 

Are you buying a gift for an avid sports fan? Do they love rugby, football, horseracing, cricket, cycling or golf? At Sweet and Nostalgic we have an extensive range of personalised newspaper books packed with historic headlines. These copies of newspaper articles relate to specific sports and events. From the historic wins of Red Rum in horse racing, to England lifting the World Cup in football. Our leather-bound books are an excellent reference source and celebration of each individual sport.

Fancy A Tipple?

What better way to celebrate a special occasion than to raise your glass with a favourite tipple? There is a wide selection of personalised alcohol gifts on the market. If the man in your life is celebrating a special birth date, then you could mark it with one of our unusual Alcohol and Original Newspaper gifts. Selecting the drink of your choice, to sit alongside an original Times Newspaper from the specified date is a sure-fire way to make a unique impression on your loved one. Indeed, on selected spirits the label itself can be personalised!

Sweet Tooth?

 

Are you buying a gift for someone with a sweet tooth? We all enjoy a sweet treat occasionally. What could be better than receiving a personalised hamper, box or jar packed full of your childhood favourites? There will be no confusion in the house whose sweets they are with a name on it! Retro sweets are an evocative gift to give, the look, smell and taste of these delights are sure to make anyone reminisce over their carefree childhood days.

Something Quirky?

Often while searching for personalised gifts for men, we want something unique or quirky. Have you ever thought about a personalised book? From the Beano Annual (from your selected year) to Star Wars, Thunderbirds to Ladybird’s classics, we can personalise them for your loved one! Have you ever imagined the man in your life to be the hero of his own novel? That is not a problem, we can personalise one, like Frankenstein or Robin Hood, how cool would that be? It might be you are looking for a memento to mark a special celebration that is deeply personal to the man in your life. Favours for a special party for example. At Sweet and Nostalgic we can create bespoke mugs or signs (minimum order of 25 required) featuring your own artwork, saying or photograph.

So, next time you are wondering what to buy the man in your life, consider personalised gifts for men – you’ll be amazed at the choices available to you!

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Origins of Valentine’s Day

origins of Valentine's Day

The Origins of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day, a time for people to express their feelings of love, affection and friendship. Many mark this amorous day by exchanging cards and Valentine’s Day Gifts. Some make romantic dinner plans. But, what are the true origins of Valentine’s Day? What is the history behind one of the most charming dates in our calendar? The truth is, no one really knows! The history is a bit murky and actually a little gruesome in some accounts. Its backstory is a heady mix of strange traditions, pagan rituals and grisly executions.

Saint Valentine

Popular belief is that  Pope Gelasius I established Valentine’s Day, or the Feast Of Saint Valentine, in AD496. The date to be celebrated, 14th February, in honour of the Christian Martyr, Saint Valentine of Rome. Saint Valentine, a clergyman in the Roman Empire, ministered to persecuted Christians. Emperor Claudius II executed him. It is reported he was buried on February 14th AD269. However, there are numerous martyrdom stories associated with this date in history, so it could be related to one of these instead.

Lupercalia

Others believe the origins of Valentine’s Day stem from an older Roman festival called Lupercalia. Lupercalia took place at the same time of year, the middle of February. The  festival marked the official start of Spring in the Roman calendar. Reports about this debauched event include a Pagan fertility right, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The pair would then ‘couple’ for the duration of the festival, or for longer, if the match was right. Another ritual involved slapping women with goat skin thongs to enhance their fertility.

Valentine’s Day as we Know it

It was Geoffrey Chaucer, in the 14th Century, who first introduced the tradition of courtly love on this date. Later, in the 18th Century, the Feast of Saint Valentine grew into more of an occasion.  Couples began to express their love for one another by sending ‘valentines’ and exchanging Valentine’s Day gifts like flowers or confectionary. Certain symbols like cupid, hearts and doves also became synonymous with Valentine’s Day.  These traditions have remained popular right up to the present day.

So what will you do this year? Treat your loved one to a special Valentine’s Day gift from Sweet and Nostalgic?  Exchange cards filled with endearing expressions of love? Maybe you’ll indulge in a fine meal for two? However you chose to mark the occasion, remember the origins of Valentine’s Day and how things are not always what they seem to be!