April Challenges & Events for any stationery lover

It’s April! Well it arrived about a week ago but… April is here and there’s just so much going on. This is one of my favourite months here on Aumsome. It’s like Christmas in the stationery world right now. There’s just so much going on and this amazing month is going to end with my favourite week: National Stationery Week! Even before that though, this month is full of so many great things that I thought I would kick it off with a very quick overview of some of the amazing challenges that are taking place this month.

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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.

Journal Gifts using prompts

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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A Year of Notes to Yourself

Today has been a very “mental health” day for me.  This essentially means that I actually took time to think or talk about mental health problems or wellbeing.  It means, I spent a lot of time focusing on my own mental health today.  “Mental Health” days are really important I think.  You don’t have to go out of your way to do something.  It’s more about pausing for a moment and reflecting.  How’s your mental health recently?  Have you been looking after it?  Is there anything you can do to improve it?  Sometimes I think we forget to do this.  Physical health is usually easier to recognise, simply because if you’re in pain then you’ll know.  Although, it’s a bit like checking for any lumps or bumps or going for regular check ups.  I think mental health is something that’s easily neglected.

So today, upon reflection, I’ve decided to try and write some little notes full of love to myself.  I’m hoping to spend the next year filling a jar with things that matter.  Then, at the end of next year, pull them out and read them.  Alternatively, if I go through a rough period or have a low day, grab a few to read.  It will be full of happy memories, good thoughts, gratitude and lots of love.

I really wanted to address this today because I think we often forget about ourselves in the holidays.  Sometimes we get so busy trying to please others, buying them the perfect gifts or worrying about money that we just forget to pause for a moment.  Christmas is one of my favourite holidays but it’s not always easy.  It comes with financial concerns, stress, a mad rush, pressure and sometimes also loneliness.  It’s definitely not easy – especially when everyone around you might seem like they are having a great time.  I don’t have much advice in how to make Christmas better if you experience any of those things.  However, one thing I can always promote is self-care.  This is one way of helping your future days be a bit happier, I think.

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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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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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