Here at For-Keeps we have fallen completely in love with Ortigia, the small Italian soap company founded by the amazing Sue Townsend. The beautifully packaged Ortigia products draw on ancient, traditional designs from Sicily and are sure to bring beauty and sophistication to any bathroom. Ortigia uses only natural, paraben-free ingredients that are indigenous to the region of Sicily. Its products are sourced from small, family-run companies, trusted for their years of experience and generation-old techniques. Ortigia has perfected a range of fragrances through the careful choosing of perfumes distilled from the exotic flowers of Sicily – there isn’t a scent we don’t love here at For-Keeps! www.for-keeps.co.ukFrom candles and diffusers to soaps and body creams, we have all your bathroom needs covered – so visit our website now and discover the amazing scents of Sicily! We also offer a fantastic range of gift sets for you to treat that special someone. To discover more about this wonderful brand and their range of products please visit
The For-Keeps Guide to UmbrellasBuying an umbrella is not something that should need to be undertaken often. However, with the prevalence of poorly made mass-market editions, you may find yourself frustrated with the inability of your umbrella to withstand rain or wind. You may be equally frustrated with the lack of an answer to the question: “What makes a quality umbrella?”
This For-Keeps guide aims to resolve those frustrations and provide you with the information necessary to make an informed decision on upgrading your umbrella.
Factors to consider
Size matters. What a smaller umbrella lacks in canopy coverage, it makes up for in portability, and vice versa with full-length umbrellas. Decide what you are planning on using your umbrella for. A compact umbrella (small and collapsible) suits business travellers and those who prefer to keep accessories hidden. A stick umbrella (long, non-foldable) is more traditional and can provide more comfort to the user in the rain.
Whichever umbrella you choose, make sure to look for a canopy width between 88 cm - 100 cm to guarantee a dry stroll and optimum wind protection. Additionally, oversized umbrellas can cover up to 150 cm, making them perfect for you and a fellow traveller. Ultimately, it is a matter of preference, and For-Keeps strives to provide you with a wide variety of suitable options.
Some umbrellas have ultra-lightweight frames, while others are more substantial. How the umbrella simply feels in your hand may influence your decision. Consider how evenly the weight of the umbrella is distributed when carrying it. Think about how far you will be travelling with your umbrella, and how you would like to carry your umbrella with you.
Compact umbrellas often weigh between 170g - 360g, while stick umbrellas range from 450g - 650g. If you are planning on using your umbrella occasionally, a stick umbrella may very well suit your preferences. If you are planning on carrying your umbrella with you every day, a light, compact umbrella would be more comfortable.
Flimsy aluminium frames that turn inside-out with a strong gust of wind may be cheaper in the short-term but will only ensure long-term misery as you repeatedly replace your defunct umbrella. Invest in a quality umbrella that will last. To ensure that your umbrella is durable, make sure to check that the fabric canopy has reinforced seams to prevent an all-too-familiar drip. Keep in mind that some umbrellas, such as a travel umbrella, are not designed for continuous use.
Look for a super-strong steel or fibreglass frame, and make sure there is a quality guarantee on the item before making a purchase. The standard guarantee for umbrellas is about 24 months, while higher-quality ones are now offering up to a 5 year guarantee! For-Keeps carries Doppler ‘Carbonsteel’ umbrellas that are proven to last.
4) Ease of Use
The last thing you need on a wet day is to struggle with opening your umbrella as the rain hammers down. When buying an umbrella, look for push-button ease. There are several options you can consider for your umbrella: manual, automatic opening or automatic opening and closing. Pick an umbrella with a well-designed lock and release mechanism to ensure you can be quickly protected in a downpour when time is of the essence.
For-Keeps has many different varieties of umbrella for the discerning customer. We stock umbrellas in timeless, understated colours for a classic look, as well as patterned umbrellas that will set you apart from the crowd. For-Keeps also offers printed umbrellas that can be used to finish off your signature look. It is ultimately a matter of personal taste and style; whatever your preferences, For Keeps has an umbrella that is suitable for your needs.
With this guide in mind, we invite you to view our selection of umbrellas on the For-Keeps website: www.for-keeps.co.uk.
A laundry basket may seem like a simple item to buy, but there are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration. The perfect laundry basket is aesthetically pleasing, easily portable, and it treats your clothing well. The perfect laundry basket makes the chore of doing laundry more of a pleasure. Before buying your next laundry basket, think about the following factors:
Aesthetics: Whether your laundry hamper is located by your washing machine, in your bedroom or in your bathroom, it will be visible to you, your housemates and your guests. Many laundry baskets are not aesthetically pleasing and can ruin the décor of the room. Look for a laundry basket that keeps your clothing stored nicely, while adding a finishing touch to the room.
Portability: This is an issue that many fail to take into consideration; a full laundry hamper can be very heavy and transporting it to your laundry room can be a pain! You will need to determine whether you want a basket with wheels to drag or one with handles to carry. Think about whether you will be going up and down stairs to get to the laundry room, and whether you will be filling your laundry basket to the brim each week. Baskets like the Reisenthel Loop Laundry bag have handy grips that enable easy carriage to the washing machine.
Ventilation: Again, another criteria that people forget to take notice of; if you fill your basket with damp items such as towels, this can cause a build up of mildew if there is not enough ventilation. Even just filling the basket with gym clothes can cause bad odours, so you should choose a basket that has plenty of ventilation so the clothes can breathe. Some baskets, like this sturdy Reisenthel one, have breathable drawstring nets sewn onto the top to allow for easy air circulation.
Size: The type of laundry basket you purchase will very much depend on your needs. Those with a big family will likely choose to get a large one for the entire household. Those who wait for a build-up of clothes before doing laundry will also opt for a medium-large size bag. Your purchase will also largely be determined by the space available for storage. Stiff cotton bags like this House Doctor Laundry Bag can be bunched up or folded when they are partially full, making room for other items and staying tucked out of sight.
Material: There are so many different materials to choose from: cotton, polyester, wood and plastic. When choosing a laundry basket, look for a material that will not damage your clothing. Wicker laundry baskets, for example, can snag your clothes, causing damage to your favourite garments. Plastic is a popular choice, but it can easily break if it's a flimsy make. Look for laundry baskets that will keep your laundry stored nicely wash after wash.
Wrap your gifts this Christmas with a difference. The goodwill continues long after the holidays have passed.
Use one of our reusable bags as gift wrap and make a difference. We have bright and festive colours to choose from.
With spring on its way, one feels a renewed energy to clean out one's house and take on new habits. The most satisfying part was finally clearing out the drawer of tatty old 'bags for life' that I'd been hoarding for far too long. Anyway, now that I'm free of plastic bags (recycled responsibly of course!), my collection of shoppers and trolley bags has really come into its own.
I was never one for those hessian bags - frankly they were too bulky to store and too awkward to take out. Now, I keep my Supermarket Trolley Bags, each folded to the size of an umbrella, in a Mini-Maxi Shopper on the back of the kitchen door next to the shopping list, ready to fling over my shoulder on my way to the shops.
My collection of Mini-Maxi Shoppers are strategically placed where I need them most - one in the car's glove compartment, a couple in the kitchen, one in my handbag - I even have a Keyring Shopper which doubles up as a reminder to pick up my eco bags when i pick up the car keys.
So I've not only freed up valuable drawer space in my kitchen but I've not needed an 'emergency' plastic bag in weeks! Result!