5 tips to help you stay inspired and achieve your goals

I started off my return to blogging by talking about my goals and what I hope to do this year. However, talking about goals and actually achieving them are two very different things. So today, I wanted to invite Alyssa Pierce from The Sacred Space to come share some of her favourite tips to stay inspired and work on those goals. Over on her blog, Alyssa regularly offers tips and advice to help stay motivated. So without further ado, I’ll hand it over to Alyssa to share her five top tips today with you all.

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Thoughtful yet inexpensive gifts: Journals

There are so many occasions every year, for so many people. From Birthdays to Valentine’s Day. From Christmas to Mother’s Day. Finding the right presents for people can be tricky at times and it can also get really expensive, real quickly. At this time of year, I tend to prefer to start saving up after the Christmas and January sales splurge. But then we’re hit by Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter. The cost of a card, gift or perhaps a short trip away definitely add up. So I thought I would share a few of my favourite gifts, which are surprisingly inexpensive and easy to do. There are plenty of different things that could be done so I’m going to break down the posts a little.

Each time, I’ll feature some different thoughtful yet inexpensive gift ideas. Today’s feature is all about journals and basic memory books.

Now, I’ll be honest, I’m not really one to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I don’t agree with the concept of having a single day to spoil your partner. As such, I don’t really make any special plans for the day. I hold no expectations for it and am lucky enough to have a partner who agrees with me. So we can relax and ‘do nothing’ together.

However, I do think that sometimes, Valentine’s Day can provide people a nice reminder to treasure their loved ones or provide them with another opportunity to spoil them. This love should not be limited to just your partner. It should include everyone in your life, including yourself. It’s a good reminder to spoil yourself, as well as your family and friends.

So this year, I decided that I am going to do a bit of self-care and self-love in the month of February, in honour of Valentine’s Day – and hopefully, good habits.

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From Me to You – The Big Letter Write

Throughout this blog, I’ve spoken a lot about mental health and the impact that it has on physical health, particularly for myself. However, it’s important to recognise that sometimes it’s the other way around. A physical illness not only affects your body, it can also affect your mental health and your emotions. Cancer is a very clear case of this. It has a strong impact on patients and their loved ones, affecting their mental health and causing a lot of stress. And that’s why, when I saw this website called “From Me to You“, I instantly thought it was brilliant.

From Me to You is an organisation that encourages you to pen a letter to someone with cancer. The idea of writing to someone that is going through an illness that I cannot truly understand is a little scary, to be honest. There’s always the question of: “Am I going to say something wrong?” or even something as basic as “How do I start this?” However, From Me to You addresses those fears by providing a lot of writing tips, which include ideas on what to say or what to avoid saying. Their helpful tips have helped me to put together this post for you today.

On World Cancer Day, on the 4th February (this Monday!!), From Me to You is encouraging everyone to join the Big Letter Write and to pen a letter to someone with cancer. There are two main ways to get involved. You can either reach out and write to someone you already know or you can choose to donate a letter to a stranger who could use a friend.

By signing up to donate a letter, I received a writing kit from them within a few days, which contains a variety of useful information. This kit takes a few days to arrive so you won’t receive it until after Monday but if you want to join, I’ve collated my favourite tips and some things that you could do to get involved before the pack arrives. So you can join the campaign and make a difference to someone’s life this World Cancer Day. Continue reading “From Me to You – The Big Letter Write”

Monthly Challenges – February’s InCoWriMo

I have spoken quite a bit about the goals that I want to achieve in the next year or two. This is something that I have been sending some of my free time working on. However, my list of goals are rather long and time has the ability to get away from me – especially when I get caught up in video games. With the bad health that I’ve been experiencing over the past few years too, I feel like I’m long overdue on a bit of self-care. What better way to start tackling my 30 before 30 list than with a bit of stationery self-care?

To help me motivate myself and keep me on track, I have decided to have a ‘focus’ for each month. This would be a theme that I focus on. January’s was very much ‘settling back in’ to reality, blogging and work. It has been a month of regaining focus on my goals and motivating myself for the coming year with a little bit of planning. Today, I thought I’d share February’s theme in the hopes that perhaps someone else will join me on this challenge. Together, we can stay a little more motivated to stick to it, after all.

February’s Challenge

Now with February around the corner, it seemed like a perfect theme for the month was an upcoming challenge – InCoWriMo. Also known as International Correspondence Writing Month, the challenge is pretty much what the name suggest – writing to people. This works perfectly with my challenge of handwriting more letters or cards! The challenge itself encourages people to write a piece of correspondence – a letter, a card, a postcard or even just a note – every day for the whole of the month.

One of the things I love most about writing letters to people is the response I get from it. From my experience, it makes people smile and, even if it’s just for a moment, it makes them happy. It’s a pleasant surprise in this day and age of technology.

The challenge might have stopped last year as I haven’t seen any activity in a while. Hopefully I’m wrong and they are still very much running. Turns out that I was wrong and they just moved to a new website suddenly! So I’m thrilled to say that they are still alive and running. Nonetheless, the idea of the month is still something that I really like and I wanted to give a mention to them as I’ve been inspired to dedicate the month of February to trying to write more letters because of them. The idea itself works perfectly and it’s a great way to encourage more writing, which I really like.

Want to Write?

Feeling inspired by the concept, I want to extend this challenge to all of you reading this now. Why don’t you try to hand-write a message to someone this month? If it’s something you already do, then perhaps aim to write a bit more. If it’s something you never do, even one would be great! This could be any piece of correspondence you like.

Writing Challenges you could do:
  • A correspondence every day [28 by the end of the month]
  • Two or Three correspondences a week [8 to 12 by the end]
  • One correspondence a week [4 by the end]
  • Once in the whole month [1 by the end]
  • Write X letters to strangers
  • Write X letters to your loved ones
  • Come up with your own!

If you are feeling up for the challenge of doing a piece of correspondence every day for the whole month then be sure to check out InCoWriMo’s new website to find out more about their campaign.

My personal challenge will be to try and write two pieces of correspondence a week, at least half of which contain some sort of handmade element within them. By ‘handmade element’, this could be anything from a quick sketch to a designed by me card.

If you’re feeling inspired to give it a go, please do let me know! I’d love to hear from you and see what challenge you set yourself for the month. Leave a comment below, drop me a message on social media or email me and let me know what your challenge is!

Find out more about InCoWriMo at their website hereand fingers crossed that they return!  Huh, wow, fingers crossed worked! InCoWriMo 2019 is back over on a new website, which you can find here: https://incowrimo-2019.org/.

P.S. If you’re interested in any of the products that I featured in the photos I used in this post, be sure to follow my Instagram. These are likely ones I’ll be using over the month and will feature in more depth! (Or drop me a message and ask for details!)

30 Before 30

It’s dawned on me that I am a lot closer to thirty, than I am to twenty now. I have already done a few of the things that I wanted to do at this point. However, there’s certainly a lot more. There are some bigger things – like actually buying a house – that I’ve not gotten the chance to do yet. But more than that, I realised that there are a number of small things that I keep saying I’ll do and simply just never got around to. It was “I’d like to do this sometime” but without a fixed deadline or date, it never really happened.

So, it seems like a good time to start a 30 before 30 list of things that I want to try and do in the next couple of years. A number of these are, most definitely, stationery related goals. A few are things I’d just like to do more of, and so have set some targets for them.

I’ll be honest… A number of these were influenced by my Stationery Self-Care post, which lists a bunch of ways that stationery can help improve your self-care routine. It’s something I need to focus on right now and that’s why, I think they quite rightly deserve to be goals that I aim to achieve. So without further ado, here we go~

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New Year, New You? Goals for 2019.

The past year or two has been full of one thing after another. It felt like one obstacle after another. It’s drained a lot out of me and I dropped a lot of things – actively blogging being one of them. Heck, even being happy was a struggle for most of the year. A lot of negative things happened, that’s for sure. However, I’ve gotten to the point where I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and start actively living again. This is definitely easier said than done.

An unexpected bereavement in the family has taught me a lot. He was a man who worked incredibly hard. He was kind and selfless. Even now, he continues to inspire me. So it’s time to work hard and reach the goals. And what better time to start making changes than your birthday?

So today, on my birthday, I’ve decided to reopen the blog and hold myself accountable to start actively doing all of the things I have wanted to do. To work hard and achieve them. It’s time to stop slothing around and start acting.

Continue reading “New Year, New You? Goals for 2019.”

STAMPtember 2018

It’s September. September, first, to be more precise. This can only mean one thing: it’s STAMPtember! One thing I absolutely adore doing is creating handmade cards using stamps – and Simon Says Stamp has been a huge inspiration to that passion. Sadly, I have not crafted as much as I would like in the past year. However, every time I feel the urge to do something, I always seem to reach for a stamp and some watercolour paper. It is definitely my go to craft! So I wanted to tell you a little about STAMPtember, in case you haven’t heard of it. Hopefully it will inspire you to give the art of papercrafting a go!

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The National Stationery Week Bundle

Today is a super special day for me. I am currently standing in the London Stationery Show. It’s an amazing event that takes place annually. The show itself is organised by a fantastic team of stationery geeks, so it’s always a great day for a stationery blogger such as myself. Unfortunately, it’s a trade show – which means it’s not open to the general public. I’m honoured to be able to say that I was selected by the team to cover this fantastic event.

But fear not, there’s a way for everyone to get involved in today’s National Stationery Week theme! Jump online and check out #StationeryTheWorldOver on social media. Share pictures of stationery stores all over the world.

I’ll be sharing some thoughts from the London Stationery Show next week so watch out for that if you’re interested. However, today, I wanted to quickly share some fantastic products that I received from the team that organised this event. These products were generously sent by the sponsors of National Stationery Week. I’m incredibly humbled by the fact that I was one of the chosen bloggers to receive this bundle and wanted to share what was in it with you.

The National Stationery Week Bundle

The bundle contains:

  • An A5 journal from Nuco’s Spectrum range
  • A couple of Staedtler’s pigment liners
  • A T-Rex style highlighter from Mustard
  • An A4 storage folder from Santoro
  • A clipboard planner and pen from Santoro
  • A pencil case from Santoro
  • One of the Spectrum Noir metallic markers from Crafter’s Companion
  • A ballpoint pen and pouch from Cross
  • And it all came in a box from G.F. Smith, who included the colour of the year envelope and information.

I can’t wait to use all of these products in more depth. Throughout the week, I’ll drop pictures of them in use once I get around to testing them. I have already started using a few products, however, which I’m super excited about. Those metallic markers, for example, jumped out at me. Although my lettering is not the best, I felt compelled to try them out. As a result, I ended up creating the ‘National Stationery Week’ sign above. The colours are so beautiful in real life. The camera fails to capture it’s beauty, in my opinion. I love Crafter’s Companion and have a number of their products. However, I haven’t had the chance to try out some of their newer ones so receiving this really made my day. There’s a few other products that I really want to try out!

Once I get a chance, I’ll test out all of the products and share my favourites with you. If there’s anything you would like to see in more depth, let me know and I’ll whip up a review for you.

Until next time, why don’t you check out my Twitter or Instagram page? I’ll be sharing pictures and thoughts on there throughout the day – and the rest of the week – from the show and the week itself.

National Stationery Week 2018

For various reasons that I won’t bore you with now, I had to take a hiatus from the blog and writing. Today, I’m back with a quick post to share something I love dearly. It is, perhaps, my favourite week in the entire year. Probably even more so than Christmas. Starting tomorrow, you’ll be able to enjoy seven days of stationery. Yes, that’s right, seven whole days. Because tomorrow, National Stationery Week starts. Or NatStatWeek, for short.

If you haven’t heard of it already, NatStatWeek celebrates all things stationery. It’s a whole week dedicated to everything from a blank of piece of paper to ink splatters all over the page. A week that encourages people to write things by hand – because writing matters. It’s a topic I’ve spoken a lot about already so I won’t go into details about that now.

What I did, however, want to share with you was what you should look forward to this year. As usual, there is a daily theme. Each theme is sponsored and supported by a different company. I’m super thrilled to be able to say that I was selected by the team to blog about this fantastic week.

This year’s themes are:

Monday 23rd – Make A Note   [#makeanote by NUCO]
Tuesday 24th – Pen and Pencil   [#penandpencil by STAEDTLER]
Wednesday 25th – Stationery the World over   [#stationerytheworldover by LONDON STATIONERY SHOW]
Thursday 26th – Work Happy   [#workhappy by MUSTARD]
Friday 27th – A Place for Everything   [#aplaceforeverything by SANTORO]
Saturday 28th – Get Crafty   [#getcrafty by CRAFTER’S COMPANION]
Sunday 29th – Signature Saturday   [#signaturesaturday by CROSS]

There’s a few days that I’m rather excited for. Well, I’m excited for all of them but perhaps more so for some! Do any of them stand out for you?

Personally, I just can’t wait to follow the hashtags through social media on each day and see what comes up!

For the Love of Stationery…

If you’re a fan of stationery then make sure you get involved. I highly suggest keeping an eye out for discount codes and giveaways too – there’s always some around. Your favourite stationery stores may be getting involved too.

Throughout the week, be sure to watch the main hashtags too. #NatStatWeek and #WritingMatters are the two to keep your eye on.

Let me leave you with this, the aims of National Stationery Week – as quoted directly from their website:

To get stationery lovers talking about and sharing details of their stationery and what they use it for, plus the products, brands and retailers they like and can recommend

To promote the importance of hand writing and encourage people to keep writing

And to get more people spelling stationery with an “E”!

That last one is definitely my favourite. Remember, it’s “E” for Envelope!

That’s all from me for today. I’ll see you tomorrow. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram to what I get up to! I took a hiatus from those two, as well but I’ll be back tomorrow with things to share there too.

To find out more about the week, visit nationalstationeryweek.com or follow them on social media.

Goals for 2018

Hello and welcome to the long over due post – my goals for 2018.  I know it’s already past mid-Feb and therefore we’re already over a month behind but this is actually my first post this year.  I decided to take some time out of blogging and focus on my health.  The hiatus was a little longer than I anticipated but it’s definitely been required.  However, without further ado, I wanted to jump in and start blogging again.  There’s so many exciting things that I’ve wanted to share with you.  I really missed blogging, so hopefully I can start sharing these great things with you again.

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