Thankfulness with The Gratitude Attitude

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A few weeks ago the lovely Krissie from The Gratitude Attitude sent me one of her lovely journals (we did a little product swap and I sent her some of my thank you cards and other goodies). I have heard lots of people talk about gratitude journalling and how it had helped them - and although I generally try to be as grateful for all the blessings I have as possible, it really is easy in the business of everyday to forget and take things for granted. 

I started using the journal everyday and writing down the three things I was grateful for. I have never done this before - and I think it definitely makes a difference to have to write them down. It gives you more intention - and for me writing things down always helps me to remember better. 

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Interestingly the first few days I didn't really notice a difference - but I realised I was being too broad and pretty generic and was picking things that were a bit too obvious. I started off with things like being grateful for my family and our new house etc. I soon realised that I needed to get into the real details, like why am I grateful for my family - what are the little particular things that they do that make me feel loved and supported. Why am I grateful for my house. What are the specific things in the house that make my life better and happier and help me. When I started to be grateful for much smaller things that I'd easily took for granted in the past - I started to notice my mindset change, and I think my general attitude improved. 

I don't have tonnes of free time with looking after a toddler, organising redecorating our house and running a small business, and so what I love about this journal is it doesn't ask much of me. All I need to do is write down 3 things each day I am grateful for, and that takes me less than 5 minutes. When I have a bit more time it's lovely to go through the journal and read the quotes and articles and look at the beautiful artwork - but on the days I am in a rush I can just do the bare minimum. This works really well for me and feels like something that I can actually commit to - and I have on the most part. The other thing I really appreciate in the design is that it is not dated. I have tried other journals in the past that I haven't got on with so well because I just felt so guilty if I missed a day (and then because it had dates there was a blank space) - where as this diary each day is just numbered. If I missed a day (which I did miss one or two) then I just carried on where I left off and it didn't matter. 

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Although I think I am only at the very beginning of my journey of being intentionally grateful and I don't think two weeks is enough to see a big change, I have started to notice my mindset shift slightly. The main thing I have noticed is that because I know each day I will be writing down three things I am grateful for that day, I seem to mull it over in the day. I spend more time in the day thinking of things I am grateful for and not just the few minutes at the end of the day that I write them down. This has definitely made me feel more positive in general and I feel like I am handling things that I find hard on a day to day basis a little bit better. I feel like there is a bit more peace, patience and calmness as I go about my day. 

Now don't get me wrong...I have a looonnggg way to go - and a lot of room for improvement in all of those areas. But I feel encouraged that I and my husband have noticed the difference in just a few weeks of practising gratitude. 

I am so excited to fill this journal up over the next year - and to then have it to look back over, almost as a record of the year and I am sure it will give me insight to what has been going on in my life. I hope that this is a new habit that I will continue for ever - and it is made so much easier by having a beautiful journal to do it. 

Krissie really has done an incredible job with the design. I have to admit that it's perfectly to my taste. All of the details have been considered - from the embossed cloth bound cover, to the bookmark ribbons. The layout is simple and clean and very easy to use but is peppered with interesting and inspiring quotes, essays and beautiful artwork. If you are the remotest bit interested in design and creativity then you will love this journal. 

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As you start to think about the big event coming up in a couple of months, (ahem Christmas) consider The Gratitude Attitude journal as a perfect gift for a friend or family member. It could be someone who is going through a tough time and needs a bit of encouragement - or it could just be someone who appreciates good design and some positive thinking. 

Thank you Krissie for making something so beautiful and for putting so much positivity out into the world! 

Do you practice gratitude journalling? I would love to know if it has helped you or how it has changed you! 

Ethical Brands - Tilly + Cub

Last month I shared about Neals Yard Remedies to kick off my ongoing series sharing ethical brands that I love and think others might be interested in. This month we have something totally different - let me introduce to you Tilly + Cub

I first stumbled across Tilly + Cub on instagram when I discovered their absolutely stunning Moses baskets. We borrowed a Moses basket when Reuben was born which has now been returned, but seeing these made me want to have another kid, so that I had an excuse to get one of these beauties! My favourite of course, is the super simple and plain style with the black handles but if you're more of a colour lover there is such a gorgeous range to choose from. 

Anyway, having another baby just to buy a Moses basket is definitely a bit extreme - but lucky for me they do other beautiful baskets that can be used around the home. Jo very kindly sent me this absolutely stunning mama poppins basket. What I love about this basket is that it is so versatile, functional but also looks beautiful incorporated into your room decor. I really struggled to decide what to use it for to be honest, as there are so many potentials (maybe I need one for each room!) - but I decided to go for filling it with some lovely items for guests when they come to stay. I will keep it in the guest room stocked up with blankets, nice books, a candle and some pampering goodies. 

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Our house is a total mess at the moment as it is being decorated, but I am so happy to have beautiful items like this basket which I know are going to add the perfect details to rooms when they are decorated. 

Also, since receiving this basket I am pretty much set on getting the mini basket to match for Reuben to use for collecting things, or storing his treasures. I also think the mama poppins baskets would be great for storing toys in a play room to keep things neat and tidy.

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Now I should probably get onto the ethical side of things since that is what the series is really all about. All of the baskets are fairly traded. If you're not aware of what fair trade means for the maker - well, companies have to reach a very particular set of criteria in order to be classed as fair trade. This means that the workers are treated well and work in good conditions. A lot of it is things that we take for granted, but they get a fair wage, toilet breaks, help and support with education for their children and are able to support themselves and their families.

Tilly + Cub are also committed to giving 5% of their sales to charity and they support five different charities at the moment (they keep the list of charities updated here) - Afrikids, Sands, Tommys, Pregnancy Sickness Support and Pandas UK.

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The baskets are hand woven in Ghana, Africa using Elephant grass. The brightly coloured baskets are dyed using plant based and non-toxic dyes to give them their colour and beautiful patterns. And the lovely thing about them being hand made is that each one is unique and you can find a really special item for your home. 

Although I like the look of the brightly coloured baskets, I really love this natural one I have with the black handle. It is just simple and classic and will go with everything. Hopefully when our house is looking a bit more photogenic I will share some photos of it in situ doing its job of making our guests feel welcome and loved. 

If you had (or have) a mama poppins basket what would you use it for? I would love to know! 

FREE Phone Wallpapers

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If you follow me on instagram, you might have noticed that every Monday I have been sharing a different phone wallpaper that you can screenshot and use on the phone. I have really enjoyed it and it has really encouraged me to be more consistent with creating and trying out different styles and patterns to see what works well as a background. 

Now obviously instagram stories are only available for 24 hours - which is part of the fun of it, but I am suddenly here with loads of wallpapers on my computer and it seemed a shame not to share them somewhere a bit more permanently - so people who have maybe missed them in my stories can enjoy them too. 

Just click on the link under the thumbnails below to download the image and load it as your background. And if you want to see the new ones that I will be uploading on stories every Monday then come follow me on instagram

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Christmas cards and washi tape

I am so excited to share with you this years Christmas card designs which are now up in the shop. I had such great feedback from people when I shared them on instagram stories, which I really appreciated and it was great to know that people like the designs too. I always find it so weird having to start thinking about Christmas designs so early in the year, but more and more I am learning how important it is to get organised with designing collections in time and especially when you factor in printing and packaging etc. You literally have to get those Christmas tunes playing in the summer months to get everything in place in time!

All of the designs were originally created by painting with ink, and then all the elements were scanned in and put together on the computer. The cards are A6 and printed on really beautiful textured card. You can't always see the texture in the images, but trust me it feels so nice and luxurious. They come with kraft envelopes - and each set has 4 designs and in the pack you get 2 of each - so 8 cards in total. The packs of 8 cards cost £10. 

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The first pack above has got a simple green and navy blue colour palette. I like the colour palettes for my card sets to not be too overtly Christmassy but just have a subtle nod to the festive season. 

The second pack which is a Christian set (each card has a bible verse on the back) has a very typographic design, I decided to go a bit bolder on the colours (but again not too obviously Christmas colours) and I love how the coral red really pops against the rest of the colour palette. It looks almost neon! 

I have also brought back the set of cards that I designed last christmas as they were very popular and I really liked them. Again very minimal and subtle with the colour palette. This set also has matching gift tags available in the shop which is a nice added detail when putting your gifts together.  

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Washi tapes
Another two new products that I am really, really excited about are these washi tapes. I have never designed washi tape before, but I have been wanting to for a while and so decided to take the plunge just in time for Christmas. I really love how versatile washi tape is. It is great for making envelopes look beautiful, but also for putting prints on the wall, or other DIY projects around the house. I also really like using it with some kraft wrapping paper to make pretty presents for people. 

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I hope you enjoy the new designs. I have a few other things in the works too, so hopefully there will be more products in the shop before Christmas is upon us. Also, if you sign up to the mailing list in the box below, I will be sending out a discount code to subscribers on Friday. So keep your eye out for that email in your inbox and happy shopping. 

Ethical Brands - Neals Yard Remedies

I have been thinking about my blog a bit recently and the sort of things that I want to share - and although my main focus is going to be graphic design and all things creative, I want to share more lifestyle bits and pieces here too, as I want my blog to be about living a creative life not just about the things that I make or that inspire me.

One of the things that I feel passionately about, is having a positive impact on the world that I am living in, and sometimes that can be a really hard thing to do. I think I have mentioned it before, but I used to work in a Fair Trade shop and used to give talks in schools and at conferences on the topic. While I was in London I got so distracted by starting my career and relationships and just life in general, that Fair Trade and making good choices while shopping sort of fell off my radar a little bit. 

Anyway I have started to think a lot more about it - and with minimalism and capsule wardrobes being all the rage at the moment and talked about a lot, it has made me think that I want to be making fewer purchases but maybe paying a bit more money for quality, but also trying to choose brands that are doing good things and having a positive impact. I have been growing my list of ethical brands that I love and support and so I thought I would share them here with you too in a series of blog posts.

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First up I want to share a bit more with you about Neals Yard Remedies. I have been a big fan of Neals Yard Remedies for about 7 years now - probably since I moved to London and discovered their lovely shop. I have been using their face creams for ages and have a particular favourite that I buy. They last for ages so although it can feel like a lot of money to spend on a face cream, for the amount of time they last me it feels worth it. 

I was pretty excited when I checked on the good shopping guide and they got a score of 100. That is the perfect score and shows that being ethical and sustainable in all areas really is at the heart of their business. The only issue with them really is the cost - they are quite pricey - but since I am attempting to streamline what I consume that hasn’t put me off. 

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Everything they produce contains the maximum organic content possible, and so you are not getting any of the emulsifiers, surfactants or detergents that you will find in other skin products (and yes I had to google surfactants!) - They believe that organic is better for people but also for the planet. I have definitely realised that there are a lot of products out there that promote themselves as being organic but aren't always as organic as it would first appear and so it definitely pays to read the ingredient list on products you use on your skin. Neals Yard are pretty up front about their products and what is in them. They are aiming for things to be as organic as possible but not everything can be 100% organic because not all products can be based solely on agricultural ingredients. A lot of their extracts are 100% organic though and it is something they are constantly working on. All of their products are free from animal testing, and one thing that I am really pleased about is that they have a packaging strategy. This means that they have plans and aims to make sure their packaging has a minimal impact on the environment. As a designer too I like that despite all that their packaging is still attractive and really good quality. (I am actually planning to save the glass jars the face cream comes in to make my own candles with). A lot of their products are accredited by the soil association.

I thought I would share a couple of my favourite products but there are so many more that you can explore. 

1. Body Butter

I was given this body butter as a gift and I love how it makes my skin feel. It is quite thick but makes my skin feel really soft and well moisturised. I have mainly been using it on my legs but it is good for all over. It smells amazing and so feels like a very relaxing treat to use. I find with all the products I have used that they go a long way too. You don't need to use much each time and so the pots really last. 

I was given this body butter as a gift and I love how it makes my skin feel. It is quite thick but makes my skin feel really soft and well moisturised. I have mainly been using it on my legs but it is good for all over. It smells amazing and so feels like a very relaxing treat to use. I find with all the products I have used that they go a long way too. You don't need to use much each time and so the pots really last. 

I started using their shower wash recently and again just really love the smell and how it feels on my skin. It feels nice on my skin and it's something very simple but makes me happy in the mornings.

I started using their shower wash recently and again just really love the smell and how it feels on my skin. It feels nice on my skin and it's something very simple but makes me happy in the mornings.

I am pretty sure that I read somewhere that make up wipes are not great for your skin but these ones are full of good things non of the nasties - and I love them for the ease! Perfect for travelling and just getting rid of all the make up and grime at the end of the day. 

I am pretty sure that I read somewhere that make up wipes are not great for your skin but these ones are full of good things non of the nasties - and I love them for the ease! Perfect for travelling and just getting rid of all the make up and grime at the end of the day. 

I never really considered Neals Yard for make up and they don't have a huge selection - but I was on the hunt for a new mascara and decided to give this one a go. If you like big dark chunky eyelashes then this is not the mascara for you though. It is really good at elongating the lashes, and it keeps them very separated rather than clumped together. It has a very natural and elegant look which I like. If you don't wear much make up but just wanted to add a touch of mascara to lengthen your lashes then I think this would be a great choice for you. 

I never really considered Neals Yard for make up and they don't have a huge selection - but I was on the hunt for a new mascara and decided to give this one a go. If you like big dark chunky eyelashes then this is not the mascara for you though. It is really good at elongating the lashes, and it keeps them very separated rather than clumped together. It has a very natural and elegant look which I like. If you don't wear much make up but just wanted to add a touch of mascara to lengthen your lashes then I think this would be a great choice for you. 

Now this is the sort of product that I would have scoffed at in the past. My face regime was definitely minimal, but I started trying this facial mist out recently and I am actually quite a fan. I am often tired (thanks to a toddler) and sometimes just need a bit of a lift. I have found that a bit of a spritz of this actually helps a bit. Its a nice refresher and as with all the Neals Yard stuff I have tried it smells so lovely. I would definitely recommend this as a non essential treat item, and would probably be great if you were travelling and your face just needed refreshing every now and then. 

Now this is the sort of product that I would have scoffed at in the past. My face regime was definitely minimal, but I started trying this facial mist out recently and I am actually quite a fan. I am often tired (thanks to a toddler) and sometimes just need a bit of a lift. I have found that a bit of a spritz of this actually helps a bit. Its a nice refresher and as with all the Neals Yard stuff I have tried it smells so lovely. I would definitely recommend this as a non essential treat item, and would probably be great if you were travelling and your face just needed refreshing every now and then. 

I have some other Neals Yard products that I am excited to try, and if any of them are really good then I will share them. One that I am really excited about is this diffuser and some of their essential oils. I am hoping they will help me relax better in the evenings and hopefully sleep better too. 

This post is not at all sponsored by Neals Yard but because I love the brand so much I did sign up a few months ago to be an independent consultant. It means that I have my own shop front with them which I can promote and if you buy from there then I get a percentage of the sale. (All of the product links above go to my shop front). So if you have been thinking about trying any of their stuff then head over to my shop and check it out. You can also get in touch with me directly if there is anything you want to order and I can place the order for you. If you do that I can send little samples of other things for you to try or you can also combine it with an order from my stationery shop to save on shipping. Just let me know! I really do love this brand and so am very happy to shout about them.

Keep an eye out for my next ethical brand feature, and if you have any questions about Neals Yard just let me know, I would also love to hear if you already shop with them what your favourite products are? 

Tips for freelancing mums: Be Flexible

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So I feel like a totally fraud with the title of this post - because I am in no position to give tips on being flexible as it is something that I have really struggled with since becoming a mum. But I have identified that it is pretty important when there are kiddos around and for staying sane as a parent - so I thought I would share my experience and what I have learnt so far. 

 

Be Prepared

When you are working freelance you are usually having to juggle a whole lot of different balls in the air at any one time. There is invoicing, liaising with clients, responding to emails, sending out quotes, social media, updating your website, blogging (all of these things can be individual jobs in themselves in a bigger company but as a one woman band you have to do them all!) - so finding time to do them all involves being prepared, so that you can utilise pockets of time effectively. This might involve preparing instagram photos and captions in advance so that on the day you can post quickly and then get back to child wrangling. Or maybe it's a case of taking a day and batch writing a load of blog posts so that you have some back-ups for the weeks when you just don't have time/your child is sick etc. I haven't managed this yet but am working on it and dreaming of the day when I am months ahead with my blog posts!

I also think a bit of preparation can help with being flexible. For example, there are lots of apps that can help you get work done on your phone so that you can make the most of pockets of time that you might not know that you will have during the day (i.e. an unexpected nap).

 

Get Creative

So how can you maximise time you can work by being flexible? With some creativity and help from others you can definitely find pockets of time throughout the day to get bits of work done.  My husband gets Reuben up and gives him breakfast in the morning before he goes to work - and as well as get ready I use that time to post on instagram and respond to comments.

If you are out and about and your baby falls asleep in the buggy - dive into a coffee shop and do a bit of work. It could be responding to emails, writing a blog post, sketching out ideas for some photographs, engaging with people on social media. Obviously, you can’t lug all the tools you need for work around with you everywhere - but there is a lot you can get done with just a smart phone in your pocket and some coffee shop wifi. 

Another thing to consider is how you can do some work by including your child in the process. This won’t work for everything, but, for example, I am hoping that one day when Reuben is a bit older he might enjoy painting, so that we can get the paints out and I can be working on my lettering and he can work on whatever he fancies, it can be something fun and productive we can do together. Also, photography for blog posts could be another way of including kids. I have started to try and think how I can use him in shots or go places to photograph that he finds fun. These are just a few ideas, and as I mentioned they won’t always work or for some people just won’t be appropriate due to the type of work you do. Also, I want to clarify that I think it is really important to spend quality time with your children, and not be constantly distracted by work and your phone - but every now and then with a bit of creativity and flexibility you can make use of pockets of time in your day.

I think one of the biggest lessons to be learnt to be honest is how to work in short bursts. It can be hard, because often it takes a while to get into a particular task or project and somethings can’t be done in a quick 20 minute nap. But eventually you will start to get the hang of tasks that you can fit in in short bursts and then the jobs that take longer and might be saved for an evening or weekend when you might have some help. 

Most of this blog post is written from the perspective of not having childcare and fitting in freelance work around looking after a child full time. Obviously if your child goes to nursery or is looked after by grandparents or a child minder then you might have more scope for longer stretches of time. Even so the suggestions above can still be useful for maximising pockets of time at other points in your week. 

 

Give yourself a break

One thing that it is important to remember that even with all the flexibility and forward planning in the world some days (umm maybe most of them) just won't go to plan. Naps don't happen, bed times go awry, evenings full of cuddles and calpol and that can be really tough when you know there is a long to-do list of work with your name on them. But I think part of being flexible and being a freelance mum is accepting that some times some of the balls will have to be dropped when your child needs you, and actually people are very forgiving and understanding.

This week is a case in point for this. I have committed to posting blog posts on a Wednesday morning, and this post was supposed to go out yesterday. But with everything going on I didn't have time to edit the post and get it to a point I was happy with, so it will be posted on a Thursday instead. I was annoyed with myself and gave myself a hard time for a few minutes, and then decided to give myself a break. Probably no one will notice, and if they do, I am pretty sure they won't mind. Yes it's good to be consistent, but it's also ok to just be honest when things don't go to plan. Something I am really learning running an online business, is that people like to hear the story behind the brand. They like to hear about you hustling, learning and not always getting things right. It makes you more relatable, and it often makes people even more committed to your brand. Some of the small businesses that I love the most, are the ones that are very open about the ups and downs and the behind the scenes. Let's be honest, we are all a bit nosey, and we like to know how other people do things. Don't be afraid to share that. 

One thing I am going to try to do going forward, is to plan ahead as much as possible for the weeks when things don't go to plan. I am going to allow extra time for jobs, make sure my deadlines are longer and generous. I am going to try and not take on jobs with very short and urgent deadlines unless I know that you definitely have help with childcare if something comes up. 

I have realised that part of the hard work of freelancing and parenting is that it is a constant balancing act, that sometimes I will get right and that will make me feel on top of the world, and sometimes will be a total disaster with balls being dropped all over the place. That is part of the journey and the process and learning how to make it all work. 

Do you think you can learn to be better at being flexible? What are your top tips for being flexible in life? 

Book Review: All Messed Up by Anna Gerber

All Messed Up by Anna Gerber is a pretty old book now - but I wanted to share it on the blog as it's one that really influenced me a lot when I was doing my foundation course and my degree. I have always been drawn to design that has started its life with something created by hand - hence my love of handlettering - at art college I would spend so much time making things before actually going near the computer. Don't get me wrong I love clean and beautiful typography too - but getting my hands dirty and experimenting with different techniques will always be my first love - and that is why this book was so important and inspiring for me. 

One thing in particular that I love about this book is that it shows work where techniques are used that mean 'mistakes' are inevitable. But often these mistakes are what make the work so interesting and beautiful. Old typewriters, letraset, dymo machines, letterpress, screenprinting - these methods of creating type and illustrations are such exciting mediums to work in - partly because you don't know exactly what will come out - the quirks of the machines and the tools have an impact on the final piece.  

I truly believe that making mistakes is integral and so important for the creative process. It can be something that we are so afraid of, but this book explores and celebrates the beauty of mistakes. We need to learn how to use these mistakes to our advantage as designers and makers. 

I think it was such an important lesson to learn when I was a student, but I am very aware that it is a lesson I need to relearn now after 10 years as a designer. There really is so much beauty in being brave enough to experiment and embrace making mistakes - because sometimes those mistakes result in your best work - or the project taking an unexpected turn. Sadly the way I work and the way the industry often works these days doesn't allow as much time for experimenting as I would like, and I definitely think that as designers (myself included) we are often to quick to go straight to the computer.  Don't get me wrong - computers are wonderful things, and have made the life of a designer so much easier and faster, but along the way I think we have lost something.

I would definitely recommend this book if you are a bit tired of looking at your screen and need a bit of inspiration for different techniques and tools to use that might inspire your work to go in a different direction. I think it would be inspiring for designers and artists alike. Its a nice chunky book with lots of pages to drool over and as soon as you start turning them you will want to get busy and get ink all over your hands as quickly as possible! 

Do you allow time to experiment and make mistakes? Do you use any tools that make mistakes inevitable? 

The National Botanic Garden of Wales

Last year I got myself a new camera - and I absolutely love it but I haven't been very good recently at getting out of manual mode and experimenting with it. Improving my photography is definitely high up on my list of things to do in the coming months, both for personal use (photos of my family) - but also for my business and taking shots of products for the shop and blog. A few weeks ago I went for an outing to the National Botanic Garden of Wales, and it's such a beautiful place, I thought it would be ideal for having a play around and getting out of manual mode. 

The thing in particular that I want to play with was depth of field - you know the classic - thing in the foreground is crisp and everything in the background a beautiful blur. So I dialled down the number on the aperture and away I went. I am really happy with how some of these photos turned out. Especially the purple flowers below with the blurry feet in the background. 

I definitely still have A LOT of work to do and so much room to improve its ridiculous. One thing I have discovered though is that I really enjoy photographing flowers so wandering around the walled garden while the little monkey below played with his grandma was a treat. To be honest I really love a walled garden. I have visited a few recently and I enjoy seeing the work and creativity that goes into how they are arranged and laid out - and the different features that are used. 

What do you enjoy taking photos of and do you have any tips for improving your photography?

How I am dealing with jealousy on Instagram

I have had a few instances recently when the ugly green eyed monster has reared its head in the context of Instagram and other people that I follow. I wasn't really doing a great job at thinking about it in a good and healthy way - so I decided to take a minute to write a list of things I could do so I'm ready to nip it in the bud next time it happens. I thought I would share it here as I am sure I am not the only one who struggles with this some times. 

Take a break from the app
Sometimes just removing yourself from the situation that is making you jealous helps. Just stop scrolling and feeding the green eyed monster - take a break, go and read a book or cook some yummy food - make something with your hands or play with your kids. Just get away and do something that doesn't involve looking at your phone. Scrolling Instagram can seriously be addictive, and although on the whole I love the app - time away is important for my happiness and well-being. 

Make a list of all the good things in your life that you are grateful for
Sometimes when I watch other people’s stories and look at their pictures and see all the fun things they are up to (bringing on feelings jealous or FOMO), I forget that some people might look at my stories and pictures and feel the same. People get jealous about different things and maybe there are aspects of my life that other people wish they had. So what I try and do is mentally or physically make a list of all the really good things in my life that I am grateful for. When I take the time to do this I can actually come up with lots of things. I don’t do this, or share my life hoping to make others jealous, but making a list and reminding myself makes me feel so grateful for what I do have, and not take any of it for granted. 

Remind yourself that you are not seeing the full picture
I am so so quick to look at others people’s lives and just assume that they are perfect. No problems, no money worries, no arguments, no heath issues. Every person that I have thought that about and then got to know, has had plenty of things that they are struggling with and working through, that you would never know from the outside looking in. I keep trying to remind myself about this when looking at Instagram. Not at all in a ‘wishing bad things on people’ sort of way, but just in a real life way. My life isn’t perfect - I argue with my husband, get frustrated with my kid, worry about all sorts of things, have health problems, struggle with some of my relationships - seriously why do I forget that everyone else is the same. Their struggles might not be the same as mine, but they will definitely have them. Sometimes people do share them online, and it's a bit of a wake up call for me. Anyway, I am going to try and remember this, but also use it to spur me on to be kind and loving to everyone online and offline, because you never know what really difficult thing they might be tackling that day.

Do something positive and productive that moves you closer to your goal
When I start to compare and get jealous of other people’s businesses or how much further ahead they are than me, I find having a think about something that I can do that takes me a step closer to my goal helps me feel inspired and motivated for my journey, instead of fixating on theirs. It could be sending an email I am scared to send about collaborating with someone, or designing a new product for my shop, maybe sharing something I have been working on for Instagram - Or even just going back to basics and designing something new. There are so many small positive steps you can be taking to move forward even if you can’t always move as fast as you would like. 

Remember you have something to offer
Sometimes it can feel like there is just too much going on online and it feels like you have nothing to offer. I actually feel like this a lot of the time. So many people are already doing what I want to do and doing it so much better - why should I bother. BUT there is a place for me. There is space for everyone and it is just about finding your group of people, who enjoy what you do and want to know more about you. You always have some insight to offer that no one else can - well not quite in the same way anyway. It could be your personal experience, how you live your life, what you believe in, the work you create, how you create it. There are always people who are going to be interested in other people's lives. I think that is why Instagram is so popular. Instead of soap operas we now like to follow along with other peoples lives and journeys. I love it when people share stories about things that are personal to them, that they have learnt or experienced. I generally find people really interesting though and love learning about people who are totally different from me.  

Send someone you know who is having a tough time an encouraging note
Sometimes when you are feeling dissatisfied and wishing your life was different and maybe more like someone else's it can be pretty easy to spiral. One way of getting yourself out of that is to try and be outward looking. Think of someone you know who is going through a bit of a tough time, or is struggling - or if you can’t think of anyone just one of your friends online or offline who you can support and encourage in what they are doing. A random note from someone out of the blue telling you they are thinking of you and they think you are doing a great job and keep going can totally change someone's day, maybe even their week or month! I really think there is so much strength and power in supporting and encouraging each other. It is way better to be working together than competing with each other.

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Sometimes none of these things will help and the jealousy is just really getting you down. At this point I would say it's time to seriously consider unfollowing that person. Not because you don’t like them or want to be mean - but sometimes you just have to do it to protect yourself, for your own well-being and mental health. Another thing is that if it's someone’s Instagram stories that are bothering you, you can mute those without unfollowing the person. Even something as simple as that might make all the difference. 

Is this something you ever struggle with? If so what do you do to combat it? I would love to hear anymore ideas of things I could try. 

Tips for freelancing mums: Keeping expectations low

Over the last few months and even the last year, working out how to continue my graphic design work whilst being a mum has been a tricky challenge and quite a learning curve. I know there are lots of other mums out there who are running a business whilst raising kids and trying to get the balance right and are always doing the juggle. Frankly I am in awe of them all! I want to share a bit of my experience so far in case it's helpful to others in the same boat and so I am starting a little blog series called 'Tips for freelancing mums'. There will be five posts which I will publish once a month and I will share some of what I have learnt so far (pretty sure there is still so much to learn!).

So let's dive into the first post. As you can see from the title it is about keeping expectations low, and although that sounds negative I don’t think it is - it's one of the most helpful lessons I have learnt, and am still having to learn since becoming a mother. 

Pre having a baby I was in control of my days and how things panned out. Yes, someone or something might throw the odd curve ball into the mix which meant things didn’t go to plan, but usually I could plan out my days and they were fairly predictable. I knew how much time I had to get things done and I could make plans accordingly. When you have a baby it is a whole different story. When you wake up in the morning you have no idea how your day is going to pan out. Yes you can make plans to do things - but that doesn’t mean your little human is going to be on board with those plans. He/she might have other ideas. Also, just when you think you have got the hang of a routine he/she seems to have fallen into (this usually lasts for about 2 weeks) they have a growth spurt or something happens and it all changes again!

I guess napping is a big area that has been a struggle for me, since realistically that is the time when I get to work on my business. When he was younger and not moving around, if he was chilled and happy I could maybe get some stuff done while he was awake, but now that he is moving and so engaged with the world around him that is impossible. So yeah, nap times are a big deal to me. 

Reuben hasn’t always been a good napper, but I guess things change as they get older. When he was younger (maybe 4-7 months) he would only do half an hour naps which I found so frustrating, because it wasn’t really long enough to get your teeth into anything, by the time you have rushed round the house tidying things up, made yourself a drink, sat on the sofa for a few minutes to relax - that was it, the nap was over! So annoying. Every now and then he would do a longer hour nap or maybe even longer and that would be amazing, but could sometimes also be frustrating because I assumed it was going to be 30 minutes and so hadn’t necessarily planned to use my time very well or effectively. As he got older though he did start to do more regular, longer naps. For a couple of weeks (it was a dream!) he was doing two naps of an hour and a half each, everyday and I was able to get a lot done. Recently he has been in the process of dropping down to one nap and seems to be starting to do one longer nap in the middle of the day. 

What I have started to do is to break up my work into very small tasks. Things that can be done in 15-20 minute amounts of time. It is a different way of working for sure, but it means that if he wakes up after half an hour, hopefully I have crossed off one thing from my list and although it's frustrating it feels like I am moving forward. If he wakes up after 2 hours, well then I have enough time to get 4 things done on my list with a bit of time for tidying, snacking and instagram scrolling too. 

I have realised for me that the battle is a mental one - and this is why I called this post 'keeping expectations low'. On the days when I had a long list of things to get done, and I only managed to get one done - I would feel disheartened, frustrated, annoyed that I didn't have more time to spend on my business - instead of enjoying the precious time I was having with my baby. On the days that I had in my head just one small thing to get done (but a back up of other things to do if I found that I did have time) then I would feel more content. I moved forward with my business, I took a small step in the right direction - yes it wasn't moving forward at the speed I hoped but at least it was in the right direction. And sometimes it's just a case of letting go and living in the moment. I really wanted to make sure I enjoyed the time I had with Reuben as I knew it would go quickly and that I would never have this time with him again. I definitely didn't get this right all the time, but there were plenty of days with him asleep on me on the sofa where I did nothing but lie there and soak it all in. 

One last thing to say, please don't put too much pressure on yourself especially in the early days. In the early days I definitely aimed for a no pressure approached and just did bits of work on my shop here and there because I enjoyed it, and found it nice to have something non-baby related to think about. It was only when Reuben got to about 9 or 10 months that I started thinking about taking on clients again. 

I hope you have found this helpful. Everyone's experiences and journeys are different and I would love to know how you have found juggling motherhood and freelance, and if you have any questions or any topics that you would like me to cover in future posts just let me know!

SHOP OPEN

Just popping in briefly today to let you know that the shop is open again for all your greetings cards, prints and enamel pin needs (haha well maybe not all of them, lets not carried away now). 

I have lots of ideas up my sleeve for new products and a bit of a redesign of the shop and website, and I will slowly be working on those in every nap time available over the next couple of months, but I thought I might as well get the shop up and running and then I can add and change as I go along. 

If you sign up to my newsletter which is going out tomorrow there is a 25% discount code to spend in the shop - a big thank you for those of you who have signed up already and are following along and getting up to date news, discount codes and freebies etc.

I have really felt so blessed because of all the support of my small business this past year - it has started to grow in exciting ways and I have really enjoyed working on it. 

If you do want the discount that I mentioned above I have made it super easy and have inserted the sign up box below so that it is easy peasy! 

Have a lovely Tuesday!

May - Life Lately

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As we approach Reuben’s 10 month birthday and he has been out in the world longer than he was inside cooking, I feel like I am very tentatively coming out of the first baby fog and am slowly starting to think about work and how things are going to look like juggling motherhood and working. I tried to keep up a little bit of work since he was born. I only did things that didn’t involve a client or a deadline so that I didn’t feel any pressure and could work on things at my own pace (i.e. when R treated me with a good long nap). The perfect low pressure thing for me to keep going was my shop. If I managed to get a new product up that was great but if I didn’t no one would mind. Posting orders was totally manageable and a trip to the post office was a perfect outing for me and Reuben. I actually found doing a bit of work that connected me to my pre-baby self really helped me. Just having a little something creative to think about that wasn't baby related kept me sane in those first few months I think. 

Since we moved to Cardiff I had to hand in my notice at the job I was doing before R came along. I was so sad to say goodbye to my lovely colleagues and I am going to miss them so much, but I am excited that I am going to get a chance to do more freelance work. 

So I will be working on freelance work, my blog and shop 2 days a week (which will feel like such a luxury I imagine) and then I will look after R the rest of the time - squeezing a bit of work into the odd nap time I am sure. 

I am tentatively taking on a few small freelance design projects already - ones that I am confident that I can get done during evenings and weekends - but going forward I think there is going to be a bit of trial and error in terms of working out how much I can fit into my two freelance days. 

I will write another post soon with a bit more information about what sort of design services I will be offering and how we could work together. But until then if you have a project that you need a graphic designer for, feel free to get in touch and I can give you a quote and let you know my availability! 

Family Shoot with Siobhan Calder

A couple of weeks before we left London for Cardiff we decided to get some family photos taken by Siobhan and I can't tell you how happy I am that we did it. I think I had always been put off from doing it in the past because in my head It always felt like quite a lot of money to spend and I didn't feel like I could really justify it. Siobhan and I actually did a skills swap for this photoshoot so although no money changed hands - having now done the photoshoot I have definitely come around to thinking that it is worth the money! 

Since Reuben was born we have taken absolutely hundreds and probably thousands of photographs - but so many of them are quickly snapped on a phone and not great quality and also as one of us is usually taking the photo of the other with Reuben or Reuben on his own, there are actually not many photos of the three of us. 

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We decided to do the session in Battersea Park, as it is a park that has a lot of memories for us, from before Reuben was born, but also I spent a lot of time there with him last summer when he was a newborn. It was also where we went for our first outing with Reuben after we got home from the hospital. It is totally one of my favourite parks in London. We did the shoot at 10am on a Monday morning and the sun was shining so brightly! It was actually not great light for a photographer but Siobhan did such a great job. I really love the photos with the dappled light streaming in through the tree and bushes. 

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To be totally honest neither Neil or I are naturals in front of the camera and I don't really love having my photo taken but Siobhan did such a great job of chatting to us and making us feel totally at ease - she gave us some directions to get in certain positions or look a certain way, but mostly we just hung out and played with Reuben and she just snapped away. 

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A few weeks after the shoot Siobhan sent us about 80 images that she had edited and it was seriously so hard to choose which ones to share in this blog post. But I got there eventually. These are definitely some of my favourites and they just make me so happy looking at them. Memories of a wonderful morning, but also my two favourite humans who I love living life with.

This last photo is my absolute favourite. I just love the look on both of their faces but particularly love how Reuben is looking over the Thames. I feel like now we have left London these photos from one of our last weeks there are even more precious and as soon as we have a new house sorted I will be getting this one, and some of the others printed to go on our wall for sure.

If you have ever thought about getting someone to take photos of your family, I can't recommended it enough, and obviously I think Siobhan is awesome so if you are in London you should totally hire her! She has just launched her new website which showcases more of her work and you can see some of the other beautiful family shoots that she has done. Also, something that Siobhan is now offering which sounds amazing, are various mentoring packages. There are a few different packages which would be ideal if you need someone you to help and support you with your photography or creative business. You could also go on one of her wildness tonic photo walks which sound so much fun! I am just gutted she didn't start them before I left! Anyway, I will leave you to go and explore her site and all the cool things she is offering. 

Hope you all had a wonderful long weekend and enjoy the 4 day week! x

We are moving!

'We Have Moved' by Paul Davis

'We Have Moved' by Paul Davis

Well the title of this post gives a pretty big clue as to what our latest life news is. That is right - we are leaving London and moving to Cardiff! Writing those words and making plans to leave (we leave in just 4 weeks!) has turned me into a big ball of mixed emotions and I think I feel equal amounts of excitement and sadness. London has been so good to us. My husband and I met here, have built our lives here - we had our son here. We have been through so much together in this amazing city from first dates to bringing our newborn home from the hospital. It feels so hard to be leaving all that and not to mention all of the amazing friends we have made in our nearly 10 years of being here.  

Neither of us ever really imagined staying in London for ever...it never really seemed like a viable option for the very long term and although it has all happened sooner than I expected everything has slotted into place and it feels like the right time to jump ship from this big city. We are both city dwellers for sure, and I have never really dreamed of living in the countryside...but I am looking forward to living in a smaller city - one that takes less time to get around but where the countryside and the sea are much easier to access. 

I am also excited about what this means for my small business. London is an expensive city to live in and by moving to Cardiff there is more flexibility in terms of my job. So I won't be going back to a 9-5 job after finishing my maternity leave - instead I will be doing something that I have dreamed of for a while and going it alone as a freelance designer. I am excited and apprehensive but mainly just ready to get stuck in. I won't be doing the freelance thing full time but will be fitting it in around looking after Reuben and I am so glad that I will still be able to spend lots of time with him and hopefully be flexible with my work depending on what he needs. We will be near family who will be able to help out with childcare and NM has a new job which he is excited to get stuck into too. 

Leaving something is always hard. And if it wasn’t hard there would probably be something wrong. It reminds me that we have really invested in our relationships and friendships here and that has been an amazing thing, so it's natural to not want to leave that. But I am embracing the motto on a print I used to have in my shop - ‘Change is Exciting’. I am excited for lots of adventures ahead of us and new opportunities that weren’t possible while living in London. 

We leave in 4 weeks and we will start off living with my parents for a few months until we can find ourselves a house. I am spending all of my time on rightmove and pinterest right now! 

If you live in Cardiff and have any tips of places to hang out (it has been over 10 years since I lived there last!) or fancy being friends in real life instead of online friends just let me know! 

Hope you are all having a great week and there is some spring sunshine where you are today! 

Family photo album: Inkifi

A couple of weeks ago I shared a little review of our wedding album from Artifact Uprising and I mentioned that I found a company that do lovely photo albums in the UK - so obviously I had to try them out. 

Let me introduce Inkifi. Inkifi do what appear to be rather beautiful cloth bound books but for this photo album I decided to go for a soft cover square book. For NM's christmas present I wanted to get a photo album of the first 5 months of Reubens life. I found the inkifi website easy to use and I really liked their page layouts. They were simple and clean and I felt like there were enough options for me without there being too many to be overwhelming. I like my albums to be simple - I want it to be just about the photos and don't want any text or other embellishments (there are other photobook places that you can find that do that though if that is more your thing and you want more of a scrap book feel). The only thing that bothered me about the website and this may just be me being silly so feel free to let me know if I am wrong - but I couldn't work out how to save the project. This meant that I had to be a bit more organised and basically do it all in one go. It wasn't all bad - I just had to make sure that I edited and chose the photos I wanted to use before starting. It was then quick and easy to load them up and arrange them on the pages. (I even managed to do it while looking after a baby so it must have been easy!). 

I used the website to create my book as I didn't have all of the photos on my phone - but they do have an app and I imagine that if you were getting the photos from your phone or instagram it would also be super easy and quick to put together. 

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The paper quality is really nice. It is a good thickness and is a matt paper so feels really good in your hands. I am definitely planning to get more albums printed with them and am excited to try out their cloth bound books. Also, I am so glad to find somewhere in the UK creating these sorts of photobooks! It is going to save me so much money on postage. 

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Let me know if you have used inkifi and what you think. I am excited about getting more photos printed and off my computer this year. 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 

Inspired by Lieke van der Vorst

An illustrator based in Eindhoven,  Lieke van der Vorst has to be one of my all time favourite illustrators. I absolutely love all of her work and can get lost in her instagram and website getting inspired (and maybe feeling insanely jealous - but I try and keep that in check!) for so long.

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I really love the colour palettes she uses in her work and also the texture of her pen/pencil strokes. She has a really distinct style. I don't know why but I am always in awe of people who have a really clear style - maybe because I feel like I am never happy with mine or clear what mine is in my design work. I also like how she combines human and animal characters in her pieces - it adds an element of fun and whimsy to the situations depicted. I want to have tea and cake in a rowing boat with a friendly bear! 

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She also has a shop where she sell prints, originals, postcards etc. There are lots of goodies in there and now I will have to have to start saving! I need to have her artwork on my walls! 

Anyway I really hope you enjoy exploring her work some more and getting lost in the beautiful worlds that she creates. 

Have a lovely and inspiring week!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 

Wedding photo album: Artifact Uprising

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I am a little bit embarrassed to say that I only got our wedding photos printed into an album just before Christmas. That is 3 and a half years after we got married! Whoops. I had started and tried to finish it lots of times but it just seemed like too big a task and life was always so busy I just kept putting it off. 

Anyway I want to share some pictures with you of how it turned out. After umming and ahhing about who to get it printed with I decided to go for Artifact Uprising. I had admired their albums for a while but had been put off because they were based in America and I figured the shipping would cost a lot. In then end I just decided to go for it - and it did end up being quite an expensive option, but when it arrived I was so pleased with my decision. This is going to be a book that I will treasure for ever so I am glad I spent the money.

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The quality of the book is really incredible.  The cloth hardboard cover is beautiful and I really loved the colour choices they had on offer. I actually decided to go for a nice grey as I wanted something subtle and not bright. The print and paper quality is also stunning (and trust me I am a print nerd so I really care about that sort of thing). There were different options in terms of the paper cover - and I decided to go for one that only partially covered the book because I really love the cloth binding and wanted that to be a visible feature of the book.

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I found the whole process of using the Artifact Uprising website really easy (it was the editing and choosing the photos that took all the time!). They had plenty of different page layouts to choose from and you could even customise them to a certain degree if you wanted something a bit different (I didn't really make use of that as I liked the really simple existing layouts but I know other places where you can get books printed are pretty limited on page layouts so I like that it was an option). 

Another good thing about the website is that you can save products and come back to them later so you don't have to complete the book in one sitting. This was vital for me because it took me so long and I kept changing my mind so it was nice to go back to it and not have to start from scratch again! 

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I think if you want to get one really special book printed I would definitely recommend Artifact Uprising. The only draw back is the fact that they are in the US and so it costs a lot. I recently found a good UK company doing photo books so I will be sharing a review of that in the next week or two! 

This year since having a baby, getting photos off my phone and camera is one of my goals! We have never been very good at having photos around the house of us or our family but that needs to change I think.

Hope you have a great week! 

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Let's make this year awesome

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I can’t really believe that it has been over 4 months since I last posted on my blog. I knew when I had a baby that I wouldn't be able to keep all the plates spinning, so the blog has been neglected in the second half of 2016, but I don’t really mind because I managed to keep my shop running, create new products AND do a craft fair since Reuben came along, and I am pretty proud of what I've managed to achieve. I have missed it though, so it's nice to be back even if it won't be as often.

I am not really into resolutions but when January rolls around I do like to take time to think about what I would like to achieve in the coming year. It gets me all excited and motivated which can only be a good thing. Quite often though things change and as the year goes by my priorities shift. I decided to look back at 2016’s goals and I didn’t really achieve that many of the things on my list, but actually it didn't bother me in the slightest - some of them seem silly to me now and I've realised that I've achieved other things that weren’t even on the list, so on reflection I am really happy with what I managed to get done (also let's be honest, when I made that list I had no idea what life with a baby would be like and what would be achievable).

So I thought it would be nice for my first post of 2017 to share with you what I'm dreaming of and working towards in 2017. There are some goals which I'm still mulling over and might be for 2018 rather than this year, but here are the main things I want to work towards. I am still looking after a baby full time so I'm fully aware that things might change, or not be possible but it's nice to have something to work towards because I definitely want to keep moving my business forward this year.

1. Wholesale - I have really enjoyed focusing a bit more on my shop, designing new products and also getting rid of some of the ones I didn't love so much anymore. I think the next step is wholesale. I have had a few more wholesale enquiries recently and I think it is something that I want to push forward with. My plan is to put together a wholesale catalogue in the first few months of the year to send out to people and see what happens. I am also toying with the idea of doing a trade fair this year or early next. I know it will be a lot of work and might not be feasible right now but I am going to work towards it. 

2. Keep growing my instagram following - I have been loving instagram even more recently as since being on maternity leave I have tried to be more intentional and strategic with it.  I am convinced it has been making a difference to my business, and I just love all the creative people that I have connected with on there. This won't sound amazingly impressive to most people but I managed to hit the 1k mark this year which had been an aim of mine, so in 2017 I would like to work towards hitting 3k followers. Saying that I don't want to get too bogged down with numbers and I want to keep enjoying it - but it helps me to stay motivated and inspired to have something to work towards.

3. My newsletter - it has been pretty sporadic of late but my subscriber list has been growing and so I want to do more behind the scenes, share more info and goodies for those subscribers in 2017. I have a template which I am happy with now so it is a case of carving out time to do it. With all of these things I think it's a case of coming up with realistic goals and so I am going to aim to be sending out a newsletter once a month. 

4. The blog - As I mentioned before my blog has been a bit neglected recently. It is not something that I make money from, but I really enjoy it and I would like to keep up with it as a way to share news and information about my business and what is inspiring me creatively. Again I think the key will be to come up with a realistic goal, so I am going to aim to do one blog post a week, and then if I manage any more that will be a bonus. 

5. Freelance work - I have had a total break from client work since R was born - which has been great and I know I wouldn't have been able to cope with the stress of deadlines with a newborn. I'm still not sure I am ready to start back up again but I would like to at some point this year (maybe when R's naps start getting a little bit more predictable and regular).

So there we go. My goals for 2017. I am totally expecting them to change over time but its nice to have them down in writing. I also have some personal goals, but there are pretty much the same as most years. Eat healthier, exercise more blah blah blah! ha

Anyway if you have your goals written out for this year would love to read them! Happy New Year and thank you so much for following along with my blog despite it being so sporadic of late! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 

The letterpress bookmark in the photo above was printed by the lovely Prickle Press.

Shop Update - New Print

Just a quick one today to let you know that there is a new print up in the shop. I have been meaning to add this to the shop for a while and it is finally up there

I have always loved traveling and the feelings that it inspires. There is something really amazing about changing your scenery, experiencing new things and exploring new cultures. I find it so inspiring and refreshing. Not everyone has the means or the opportunities to travel the world far and wide but I think you can experience the same sort of things even just from a day out in a new place near where you live. I think often it is the attitude that you approach it with that counts. 

I don't think we will be going on any travels any time soon with little Reuben on the scene (apart from visiting family) - but I am looking forward to exploring new places in my own city and also trying to see the familiar places with new eyes. 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! 

Dealing with disappointment

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Sometimes things in life just don't go as we hoped and planned. I experienced that feeling recently during the end of my pregnancy. I felt let down by my body and disappointed that the birth I had imagined and hoped for didn't happen (everyone did warn me that it wouldn't go how I had planned but I was still disappointed). 

In the grand scheme of things my disappointment has not been too hard to handle. I have got a beautiful and healthy son and that has sort of erased any of the other negative feelings – but at the time before he was born and during the birth it felt very hard and very real. I have been pretty blessed in life and yes I have definitely had to deal with disappointment and heartache in the past but nothing that I haven't managed to get over and move on from. 

Anyway, this experience leading up to the birth got me thinking about disappointment and how we deal with it and move on from it so that it doesn't consume us. I thought I would share some of my thoughts here. 

Expect disappointment
I don't mean to be all doom and gloom and expect the worst but I think it does help to expect disappointment and remember that life isn't always going to be perfect or go the way we planned. I think if you are expecting that sometimes things won't go the way you want, then you won't be so shocked or knocked when that does happen. 

Be thankful
Something that really helps me when I am in the midst of disappointment is to look at other areas of my life and make lists of all the things I am thankful for. There is usually so so much and it often puts the hard things into perspective. It is so encouraging when you can see the good things and be grateful for them. I think making lists of things you are thankful for regularly is a good habit to get into whatever you have got going on in life. (I really love these posts Laura does - they always remind me to be thankful for the small things in life that I take for granted).

Focus on others
When I am in a funk and feeling decidedly sorry for myself I find it really helps me to focus on other people. You can always find someone who is suffering through something worse than you - which doesn't mean your suffering is not real and valid - but sometimes it helps to put things in perspective. If you focus on encouraging and supporting others it often makes you (and them) feel better and stops you from getting lost in your struggles and what you are going through.  

Move on
Sometimes healing just takes time and I think making a decision to move on and focus on the present and the future rather than past disappointments can really do the world of good.  Focus on the things that you can control and put aside the things that you can't control. 

Although your disappointments may be a lot worse and totally different from mine, I hope that these thoughts will help you start processing them and moving on from them. Sometimes just acknowledging and telling someone how you feel is the first step to healing and working through things. I am a big believer in the healing powers of verbal processing and sharing your burdens with others. How amazing to live in a time and place with such an amazing an supportive online community as well. I have seen so much kindness and support among people I know online recently that it has really made me realise what a special place the internet can be. 

Anyway I hope you all have a good day and an inspiring week! 

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