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Write_On Campaign 2017

Writing letters is making a definite comeback in society.  As technology advances, the art of letterwriting seems to wither away.  It’s understandable in a way – social media has made it easier than ever to contact someone, anywhere in the world.  It’s a lot faster.  But there’s some advantages to writing that cannot be achieved in other methods of written communication.  And there’s a few of us that don’t want to see it wither away.  That few of us that seem to be growing in strength and numbers.  With several months, weeks and days dedicated to writing, letters are becoming popular again – and for good reasons!

In February, we saw InCoWriMo, which stands for International Correspondence Writing Month (run by the organisers of NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month).  But that’s just the beginning.  The start of April marked the start of the Write_On challenge.  This challenge encourages you to write 30 letters in 30 days but since we’re already started, you could aim to write 12 – one of each of the remaining days.  At the very least, aim to write one!

I particularly like that National Stationery Week, here in the UK, also falls in this month.  Two major campaigns to get people writing more.  I found out about the challenge last year, where I shared over 30 letters you could write, in case you didn’t know who to send them to.  This year, I thought I would take a moment to share over 30 reasons why you should write in the first place.

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* Say Nice Things: Crystal A5 Journal

Small independent stationery companies have always been close to my heart.  No matter what the industry is, supporting small businesses is important.  Not only are you helping people achieve their dreams but you may also find a new favourite company to shop from.  Often, the best part about finding small businesses is discovering the unique products that they offer.  These products may even be better than the ones offered by the well known brands.  Today, I’m thrilled to be able to share a look into one of the products from a small company called Say Nice Things.

Say Nice Things offers journals and notebooks in beautiful covers.  Today’s review looks at the Crystal A5 Journal*, which has a gorgeous cover in an array of pastel colours.

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National Stationery Week 2017

With less than a month to go, I wanted to talk about something very special to me (and to this blog): National Stationery Week (#NatStatWeek).  On the last week of April, head over to social media to see everyone talking about the campaign.  #NatStatWeek trended on Twitter several times last year.  It’s a good excuse to find any old bits of stationery you haven’t used in a while or take out your favourite products (or even go shopping for more goodies!).

I’m looking forward to it already, it’s something that has never ceased to amaze me.  In 2015, I first came across #NatStatWeek and it inspired me to start this very blog.  In 2016, I beat my own expectations by posting daily during the week.  Every year, there’s a theme for each day of the week – the 7 days of stationery.

National Stationery Week 2017

#NatStatWeek Seven Days of Stationery

There are some great themes this year.  A few of them were carried over from previous years but there’s a couple of new ones.  I’m particularly fond of  Tuesday’s #GetCrafty as that’s something I’m always saying I’ll do more of.  I never seem to have the time to do all of the craft that I say I’m going to do, however.  Whether you’re a stationery user or an addict, get involved throughout the week.  Not only is it incredibly fun but it’s also provides you with lots of opportunities.  You’ll find some brilliant new items, meet fellow stationery addicts or even win prizes.  A few of my giveaways will be running during that week too.

#NatStatWeek Stationery BloggerWhat else happens in the week?

The Stationery Blogger of the Year – an award decided by you – will be announced during #NatStatWeek.  You can vote for your favourite stationery blogger on the website, once they’ve shortlisted the nominees.  I’m really excited about this award as it’s a good opportunity to find some new bloggers that I may not know about already.  If you’re a stationery blogger yourself, I would recommend you check their website out to find out more about the award.

There is also a London Stationery Show, for companies to source new products or for stationery brands to promote their latest products.  It’s a two day event, with tons of brands.  I’m honoured to announce that I will be attending the event this year, so watch this space as I’m sure I’ll have a lot of blogging to do after the event.  If you are attending, let me know so I can make sure I visit you!

Like most stationery addicts, I will also be active on social media throughout the week, so please come say hi.  My Twitter is the best place to catch me during the week but I’ll also be posting pictures or doing live stories on Instagram.

Pop over to the #NatStatWeek website to find out more.

Will you be doing anything special for National Stationery Week 2017?

Leave a comment and let me know.  I always enjoy talking to fellow stationery addicts.

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Launch Giveaway #1 – Planner Bundle

Giveaway status: Currently open! [Closes on 1st May at 12AM]

Without much ado, I’m pleased to launch the first giveaway in honour of the new blog domain.  Today, the prize is a Planner Bundle I put together for you, with some products that I absolutely love.  The bundle is a great way to get into planning, if you’re new to the whole thing but can be used by those with tons of planners too!  I’m a massive planner addict myself and know that having just one planner is not enough.  So whether you’re a Planner Newbie or an Addict, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post to enter the competition.  For now, let’s go through the items in the bundle so you know what you could win!

Planner Bundle prize, including planner and sticker book

What’s in the bundle?
  1. Personal Planner
  2. Sticker book
  3. Washi tapes
  4. Paperclips & bookmarkers.
  5. And more…

To be in for the chance to win, fill out the entry form at the end of the blog post.

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Business Series: Pocket Notebooks

Today’s business feature is one that’s very close to my heart.  I have known about Pocket Notebooks since it was first founded by Tony & Dan and have had the pleasure of reviewing one of the Calepino notebooks from the store previously.  They recently sold the company to a fellow Stationery addict, Stuart and I’m so pleased to see that the company’s legacy continues!  When it comes to customer service, this company has always been on the top of the game and it just seems to get better and better at it.  When it comes to stationery and businesses, Stuart really knows his stuff so I can’t wait to kick into this Q&A to see what tips and tricks he can offer us.

So, without further ado, it is my pleasure to be able to feature Stuart, the new owner of Pocket Notebooks, today.
Continue reading “Business Series: Pocket Notebooks”

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The launch of the self-hosted blog

I cannot contain my excitement right now.  Going self-hosted is something I have wanted to do since I first started blogging.  In fact, I even brought this URL almost a year ago.  However, the original web host I used caused me endless problems and I struggled to see my dream turn into reality.  So I’m incredibly please to say that this right here is the very first blog post to go live on my brand spanking new domain: www.aumsome.co.uk.  And with a new domain you also need a new layout and design, right?  Let me know what you think of the new look!

I think it’s only apt that I start with a massive shoutout to thank a company that I don’t think I could have done this without – JollyLeaf.  They are an amazing UK based web hosting company that’s incredibly affordable and just outright awesome!  Frank from JollyLeaf replied to all of my long emails – which were full of stupid questions – with a lot of patience.  He made the entire progress to move from wordpress to a self-hosted domain easy, without making me feel stupid at all.  I was so fed up with my old host that I almost gave up with the whole thing but he helped make the transition a whole lot nicer and easier.  And most importantly, he helped make it happen – which is not something I thought would happen a few months ago.  So I cannot recommend them enough if you are thinking about going self-hosted, they are amazing.

But they aren’t the only ones who’ve supported me in this journey.  I also cannot thank all of you enough.  To each and every single person who has supported me in my blogging journey – from everyone who silently reads the posts to the amazing commenters to those who I talk to on social media to businesses I’ve had the pleasure of working with to once strangers who’ve become friends…  All of you make me love what I do – and I can’t even begin to try and convey how excited I am.  My fingers are literally trembling with excitement as they hit the keyboard right now…  Thank you, for being you.

To thank all of you properly, I am super excited to announce that I’ll be holding several giveaways throughout the month.  All of the giveaways will be stationery or planning related but I won’t tell you too much about them right now, as I am currently finalising them.  I am hoping there will be at least four different prizes to win – which is four chances to win!  And each prize will be a little stationery or planner “bundle” to get you started and allow you to use your prize straight away.  A few of the prizes have been donated by some amazing people or businesses – which just emphasises how much support I get and I’m grateful for every single bit of it.  That’s all I’ll say about that right now but watch this space.  Be sure to sign up to the newsletter so I can let you know when the giveaways are open as they won’t be open for long!

Subscribe to the newsletter

My email account is up and running once more too.  Drop me an email to hello@aumsome.co.uk – I would love to hear from you, even if it’s just to chat!  I would love to know what you think about the new layout of the blog.  If you have any suggestions for the layout or find any old links, please let me know!  I’ll also be happy to hear any suggestions you have for prizes for the giveaways, I am currently on the look out for more!

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Valentine’s Day Stationery: Miscellaneous

Welcome to the third and final part of the Valentine’s Day Series.  If you haven’t found a present yet, well… time is definitely running out!  But don’t fear – for Reema is here!  Wow, that was pretty cheesy, wasn’t it?  Moving swiftly on, there’s only a few days till Valentine’s so this last post will contain a whole bunch of ideas that I’ve titled as “miscellaneous” stationery as they don’t quite fall under any one category.  There’s still plenty of time to do these ideas because even if you do a “simple” version of them, they could still be really thoughtful and sweet.  So without further ado, let’s jump right into the first one.

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Valentine’s Day Stationery: Memory Books & Journals

The second part to the Valentine’s Day Stationery Series is a little bit more time consuming or creative than the first but the results are so worth it.  You don’t have to create a beautiful scrapbook, like the photograph below.  Honestly, it doesn’t need to be a work of art and I will list some easier ways to achieve the same effect but it gives you the option to be as creative as you’d like with this!

Photo Credit: Paperchase.

Instead of scrapbooking, let’s focus on memory books or journalling.  I really love these sorts of books.  One of the best presents I got from my friends was back in school.  They all got together to create a book for me, writing messages and adding photos in it.  Everytime I look through it, I recall all of the amazing moments and memories with them from school – some of them are things that had happened when we first met and I had forgotten all about them by this point!

For example, one friend wrote about a time that we were messing around and she was trying to push me into a spider web so I was resisting (as I hated spiders and it was also just gross!).  However, her purse fell on the ground whilst we were wrestling and a boy tried to run off with it.  I immediately stopped wrestling her and stopped the kid.  It was a natural reaction – one that I didn’t think anything of.  But she wrote that it was that moment that she knew I was a good friend – one that would defend her friends and fight for them, even if they were trying to do something, by her own admission, kind of mean (like push me into a web).  That moment impacted her in a way I never knew about until I read what she wrote on this book, years after the event.  Sometimes, you never realise who you’ve impacted or how you’ve had affected them – and sometimes the ones that have left lasting marks on you will never realise either, unless you tell them.

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Valentine’s Day Stationery: Notepads

Photo Credit: Paperchase

Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, I thought it was the perfect time to do a little mini series on thoughtful gifts  ideas and all of the Valentine’s stationery that you need in your life!  You can read the introduction here before we dive into the first idea.  This one is probably one of my favourites.  It’s so simple and easy to do, you have no reason for not doing it.  It’s inexpensive but thoughtful and you could even turn it into a game…  So let’s jump right in and see how this idea might work for you!

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Valentine’s Day Series: Stationery, gifts and ideas to be more thoughtful than costly

valentines-day-1

This week, I wanted to share with you a whole bunch of amazing products and ideas to show people how much you love them…  And I’m not just talking about your partner but also ways to show your parents, siblings, friends – anyone really – that you love and care about them.

Now I don’t think I’m a romantic person, by any account and I don’t really do Valentine’s Day myself so I won’t even pretend to be a master of romance.  But I’m a huge fan of valentine’s stationery – like kind of obsessively so – I don’t know why, I don’t get it either…  I think it’s partly because I don’t like the idea of people doing something for someone they love just once a year so I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day myself but I love the idea of spoiling the person you love and making sure they know that they are loved so the stationery and products associated with it are brilliant for that.  I’m one of those people whose hand will automatically draw hearts when I’m trying to randomly doodle on the page.

I do appreciate that Valentine’s Day can also sometimes give people the excuse they’ve been looking for to pamper themselves and their loved ones – it can give a couple who may not be very romantic the chance to be more romantic without feeling too awkward or out of place.  You definitely don’t need an excuse to pamper yourselves or your loved ones but sometimes, sadly, you feel like you do – and Valentine’s Day could be a perfect opportunity for that.

Honestly, I think a part of me would like to believe in the fairy tale idea of people always declaring their love for the other and showing their loved ones how much they care on a daily basis.  Of course, I’m fully aware that this doesn’t happen often – I know I definitely take my loved ones for granted at times and I’m sure I’m not alone in this either.  But I like to think that you just know your loved ones love you, that they care about you and worry about you no matter what happens.  I like to think that people will show you that love, care and concern spontaneously throughout the year, through their daily actions or small surprises, simply because they want to.  Not because society (and by society, I really mean the commercial industry in this case) has told them they should.  (The same goes for you, by the way – it’s a two way street!).

Personally, I’m a huge fan of the small things people do for you.  Like one gift I loved was a set of rings from my mum when I was younger.  I came home to find them on the pillow, with a handwritten note to say “to my dearest princess”.  They weren’t expensive or anything but the fact that she had written a note and made a little bit of effort to show she cared meant the world to me.  I remember that feeling of happiness and that’s worth more to me than the more expensive gifts I’ve gotten since.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

– Mary Angelou

So, on that note, I wanted to share a few ideas with you that might help you give that warm fuzzy feeling to your loved ones.  A lot of these you could do for anyone you love, not just your partner or someone you’re romantically interested in.  You could do some of these for your parents, grandparents, children, siblings, any relative or friend! Continue reading “Valentine’s Day Series: Stationery, gifts and ideas to be more thoughtful than costly”