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Tuesday, 26 June 2018
I've always had an interest in ancestry, looking at old photographs and being able to go back through records to trace the path of the people before you. TV shows like Who Do You Think You Are? and Long Lost Family are among favourites of mine and it started me on my own journey.

In my opinion the way we view family history has changed significantly in the past 20-25 years. With social media, online archives and services offering Ancestry DNA tests you can break down the composition of yourself and your family better than before.
When I was growing up people would say they were "half this and half that" or "I'm 1/3 this, 1/3 that"...etc but now you can pinpoint your percentages better and actually learn a lot about when different nationalities came into play. For example if you have a percentage of French & German ancestry it could say it was more likely to come from a grandparent, great grandparent or great great grandparent between this year to this year.

For a lot of people family history is passed down by parents who have had it passed from their parents and so on, but that only gives you a generalised idea and with these Ancestry DNA kits it's been interesting watching people react to the percentages of what they are and have conflicting emotions by still wanting to identify with who they are from what their parents have told them.

Over the past two years I've started to do my family history and hit a bit of a wall. I have wanted to do 23andme over that time and I went with this service as opposed to others because it has a better following and from comparison videos it seems to have more data banks to break down the ancestry better than others. With Fathers Day coming round and it also being my dads birthday, 23andme had an offer on the kits so I ordered one for myself and my mum bought one for my dad as he was interested to do it too. 

The kit came, I followed the instructions, spit in the tube and sent it off. I didn't take any pictures of that as it was a little gross and to be honest I was counting down the 30 minutes where you couldn't eat or drink before doing it that I didn't take any photos of the kit itself but here is one I found on the website.

The results can take up to 6-8 weeks to come back so here I am eagerly awaiting but I wanted to write up this post beforehand and go through what I've been told growing up and what I would be expecting from these results.

As I mentioned I hit a wall with my family history and it was mainly with my mother's side of the family. I believe the majority of my mother's ancestry will be British & Irish but my granddad was a private man and didn't speak about his family much. Unfortunatly he passed away before I was born but my grandmother would always say there was talk about his family coming from a travellers background.
I don't know if that was an Irish Traveller background or a Roma Gypsy background but it was speculated to be a Roma Gypsy background and from what I know, Roma Gypsies originated from the pan-Indian continent and migrated into Europe over 1000 years ago. If this is true and it was passed down to me then I'd say I am more likely to have Southern or Eastern European DNA in my ancestry composite from her side as well.

My dad's side of the family is a whole other story as my dad identifies as Welsh having been born there but his father was born in England and there is talk that when going back through his family there is Scandinavian ancestry, so I'd expect to see more than British & Irish in the Northern European composite if it's true. With my dad's side of the family it again re-installs the notion that growing up we could identify as being "half this and half that" but we could also identify our background because of where we were born. When I was in my primary school years I would always say I was Half English and Half Welsh but classmates would say that I was English because I was born in England which again goes to show just how far we have come on this subject.

When going through all of this and looking at the migration of people and our world's history there would be some ancestry I wouldn't be surprised I had if I have it but it would be a conflict of emotions. I say this because there are many moments in history that as a society, we are not proud of. With the example of the slave trade between the 15th and 19th century, we've seen people who expect to be 100% European have small percentages of Sub Saharan African ancestry that became present during that time period. Historically my family could of partook in that in some way but it's something you wouldn't want your family to have done and that's why I would be conflicted. 

From the pictures above you can see that I grew up with very dark brown eyes and my hair got darker as I got older too, this leads me to suspect the rumours on my mothers side more than the rumours on my dads side. At the end of the day I expect to be near if not 100% European and I say that because some markers can be "unassigned" which is when they cannot pinpoint any area/region and I've seen many people have between 0.1% - 0.4% unassigned before. If I was to give percentages and go with what my family have said I would lay it out that I was around 80% British and Irish, around 10% Broadly Northwestern European and then the last 10% would be Eastern and/or Southern European. 

Have you done 23andme or any other Ancestry DNA test? If not, would it be something you'd like to do? Comment below I'd love to know.

As always, thanks for reading...
Friday, 15 June 2018
As Fathers Day is less than a day away I thought these last minute crafting gifts I found on Pinterest will come in handy for those with children who want to make something for their dad this time.

When I saw this from Creative Child I was shocked at this simple yet effective and lovely keep sake for a father who is either a first time dad or in the Public Services / Armed Forces. It's great for children under the age of 5 as they have a brilliant time getting messy and you could even do this every year to show the child growing into an adult like their father. There are more ideas on this website but this was by far my favourite.

This is another idea for a child a few years older that wants to cut, stick and draw their own design. This keeps the child entertained all afternoon so they have fun and is again another lovely keepsake for the father. These would be great to fill with the fathers favourite treats or notes and letters from the child(ren). 

I went onto this website through a different gift idea when I came across this. This is less of a D.I.Y and more of a put together gift but still able to be personalised. This is great to gift from a child age 7-13. They can pick their Fathers favourite treats or even get out some craft glue and decorating pieces to personalise the slippers themselves. This idea opens up endless ideas in terms of design and packaging items. 
This is for the 13+ child who is more advanced at crafting. This is another versatile idea. You could buy ties and use this as office or home decor for the Father. You could use ties that are special to him, he may of worn for an interview, for graduation, his wedding...etc. Another idea that hit me with this is using a relatives ties you could ask for their fathers or grandfathers ties to add into it so all generations are on there.

Are there any craft ideas on here you would do? Are you all ready for Fathers Day yet?

As always, thanks for reading...
Thursday, 7 June 2018
With Fathers Day just over a week away I've compiled some ideas for cards and gifts using some familiar high street and online brands. 


I've included Paperchase cards to gift guides over the years as they are so inclusive in their designs and relations. With Fathers Day I find that a lot of designs are based around alcohol, sports or gardening but with Paperchase you get traditional, humorous and simplistic designs for all recipients. These cards in particular caught my eye, although they fall under typical designs the structure of these 3D cards are amazing. 

Love Layla Designs

Love Layla Designs are a favourite of mine and for people looking for humorous cards I always suggest them. There are various degrees of humour with them so I feel as tough they can cater to everyone. These designs in particular are on the more light-hearted side but if you love a laugh then I'd 100% check them out. They are fantastic quality and even offer wrapping paper and small gifting. My dads fathers day card has come from them again this year and I'm so happy with it.

Card Factory

I've said before how Card Factory has the most affordable gifting range in comparison to other stores but their online store does not have as much to offer in terms of relation gifting. With Card Factory online you have more opportunity to personalise the gifts so I'd get on there asap for it to arrive in time for Fathers Day. What I think strikes me the most with Card Factory are their non traditional gift ideas so you don't always have to go with the mug or the key ring, they offer homeware pieces too.


Clintons have similar in store and online stock but each store won't carry everything. Clinton's have licenses to sell popular TV and movie gifting so this is where you would go for traditional items like mugs and bears...etc. Clintons is a perfect to go to for gifts from young ones and they host many characters like Marvel, Star Wars & Dad's Army. Clinton's have started to branch into "personalised" gifting by including companies that have named items. Although you cannot chose the name yourself you may find one with you relations name on it.

What are your plans for Fathers Day? Is there a gift idea you have? Please feel free to comment below and share your ideas!

As always, thanks for reading...

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