7 things being in lockdown has taught us. The things we won’t forget.

things being in lockdown has taught us
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Seriously guys, how crazy has this year been for us? Not one of us had a clue that 2020 was gonna lead to us being stuck in our houses for months on end. Unable to see our friends or families. Having to queue for hours on end to get inside a shop, only to see that they are pretty much out of stock on everything. Being in lockdown really has been a shock to us all. The thing is being in lockdown has taught us a lot. We’ve all experienced things that we will never forget.

Although the coronavirus has not disappeared on us completely yet, we are returning to normality. Well no. Not the normal we knew. The new normal. It seems to be happening quickly. Although we are still being cautious. Staying in where ever possible. Reducing contact and wearing a face cover when required. Even our pubs are open again! And 2 meters became 1. Insane right?

things being in lockdown has taught us
Just one of my finished projects from lockdown!

So what are the things being in lockdown has taught us?

We really do know how to support each other.

Being in lockdown has taught us to naturally support each other. We didn’t need telling. Checking in on our neighbours and shopping for the vulnerable and shielding. We connected with the people around us to support them, through a crazy and unsettling time. The best thing was learning that our support network was huge. It didn’t matter who you are. Someone was checking in to see that we were okay.

If anything we learnt how we can support others in a multitude of ways. And the best thing was the sharing! we showed we cared by sharing what we had when someone was in need.

We learnt to be creative with what we have.

All of a sudden we were confined to our houses, with most of the shops having to close, leaving us with the supermarkets, and a few odd shops that managed to stay open because they ‘sold food’ (like The Range?)

But mostly we became creative with the things we had lying around the house. We turned old fabric into facemasks! and uplifted our houses for most of the period with amazing skills! and a lot of flicking through Pinterest. We baked, we cooked, we crafted our time away.

How to appreciate the things we have in life.

God, where would have been without technology. Honestly? Because it kept in in communication a lot over the past few months. Even if it was a Facebook update letting us know that it’s day 67 of lockdown and your sick of everything right now. We did, however, learn new ways of keeping in touch with each other. We video called most days. Recording ourselves doing silly crap on Tik Tok. Most of all. And we had a lot of fun with it.

We learnt how much we took for granted.

We didn’t realise how good our lives were until we had our freedom taken from us for months as we were thrown into lockdown. No longer able to come and go as we please like normal. Or just being able to see our friends. A trip to the cinema or a shopping day. I don’t even think I realised how often we went out to eat until lockdown and it wasn’t an option! Honestly.

We really learnt to care more.

Everything felt really scary for a while, in fact, it still does now. So when we asked if someone was OK? We really meant it. We learnt the importance of caring for others.

My favourite moment of lockdown was video calling my nan for the first time! It was funny as well as being amazing cause I missed her so much! Just checking in with her for 5 minutes really made a difference too.

Self care is really important, and we know this even more now.

We should all know what self-care is. If you don’t check out this post here. It will explain everything.

We all seemed to start focusing on self-care so much more the past few months. Lockdown has been so hard on many of our mental healths. So we took extra time to look after the most important person! You! With little pamper sessions, and chances to read here or there. Its been kinda nice at times. Until it got boring anyway? But we still valued our self-care.

Anything can happen. anything can change.

The final thing I want to mention that being in lockdown has taught us is the change. One of the harshest realities that we have learnt since the start of coronavirus and the lockdown period, is how anything can change for any one of us.

We started 2020 full of plans and hopes for the year, to which the coronavirus has left crushed. Like our wedding. So many people have been left looking for employment as many businesses shut and could not cope under the economic downfall. It sucks! but we support each other through it!

And as we return to normal, we are also learning the ‘new normal’. As things won’t quite ever be the same again it appears.

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Dealing with emotional abuse? 16 signs you are in a toxic relationship.

Trigger warning: Talking about abuse.
toxic relationship
img src: pexels

This topic is something very close to my heart. Going through emotional abuse in a relationship is something I have experienced. It’s a horrible thing to have to go through and the worst thing is actually realising that your relationship had been abusive. So today I wanted to share the signs that I was missing in a toxic relationship, in the hope that it will inspire strength in someone else.

Realising you are in a toxic relationship can be overwhelming and scary. You may feel trapped.

The harsh truth is this, if your even considering for one minute, you might be in a toxic relationship. The chances are your instinct is right. But you don’t feel sure. You do however feel trapped. I did, when I read a similar kind of post. It was like reading myself except someone else was telling it.

When you are in a relationship, you really don’t expect that the person who says they love you to treat you badly. Sadly, there are relationships where the person does not need to be physically assaulting you to be an abuser. For me, I didn’t know any better. Starting a relationship like this where I was young. I wanted to know better and be right about everything. Ofcourse.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Before we talk about some of the signs of a toxic, emotionally abusive relationship…

At first, the relationship starts out as perfect. They wrap you around their fingers. Create a false sense of happiness in a perfect relationship until they let their halo slip slowly. So a relationship that should be full of happiness, Memories and love is a relationship of depression. Arguments and fear.

Maybe you have had friends or family try to tell you that you are not being treated right. Are you listening to them? I doubt it. I wasn’t. It took me years to actually realise for myself. This wasn’t easy. It was an incredibly difficult time.

Myself, as a shy and I confident young adult, was listening to the lies and allowing myself to be given hope that the future would always be better. But nothing would ever change. Instead, it just got worse …

Need to move on from this post? Try why I blog, here.

Are you in a toxic relationship of emotional abuse?

pink and white flowers on white wall
Photo by Evie Shaffer on Pexels.com

They paint a perfect picture.

When you first get into the relationship they have already painted a perfect picture of their personality. They make out to be all these things you already know they aren’t but there still doing it. Creating an image that things will change and your gonna do this and that together. they’re planning holidays and future times. They make you feel loved and the happy times are so good that they weigh out the bad times.

They start arguments constantly.

How long was it before you had your first argument with your partner? Did you fall out and then wake up to an apology. Was it about something silly? But then a few weeks later again? It’s normal right? Couples argue. However, it keeps happening. And you find yourself constantly in heated moments of arguing. Again they find a way of making it all your fault. So you feel guilty. You hear it from their point of view. They tell you they argue because of how they feel. They shout and scream because they love you and you are hurting them. You don’t know what it is you have done but every time you argue they win.

They have already built up such a connection with you that you want it to last and your trust them, because why wouldn’t you?

You can’t trust what they say to you.

You trust them and then they finally slip up. They’ve been lying to you constantly. After a while you don’t know what to believe.

We all have suspicions at the best of times. But then again they are good at covering there tracks. Or at least they think they are. They have a backup excuse for everything they do.

Humiliates you, either alone or in front of other people.

One minute they tell you that you are everything to them, that your special, that you’re the only real one. The next they go out of their way to make you feel as small as a mouse.

They twist everything around to be everyone else’s fault(including yours), but never their own.

They turned vicious. Shouted. Screamed. Said all kinds of horrible things. Then they blame everything possible for what they did. Or maybe they did something and now that’s your fault too.

You hadn’t done anything. However, that does not matter. You have now been guilted into taking the blame, apologising for their behaviour. You don’t even notice them twist things round sometimes. It happens so much.

Belittles you and trivialises your hopes, dream and accomplishments

When your happy. Building your life. Going for that dream job or just being you. Your successful and they hate it. They try to bring you back down. Trying to break your confidence even more so then it already is.

Tries to control you and your behaviour

Being in a relationship does not mean they control you. But in a relationship filled with emotional abuse comes the aspect of being controlled. It’s not as simple as just being told what you can and can’t do either. They make you feel like you can’t breathe. You no longer feel like you are able to go out and have fun.

toxic relationship
Photo by Ylanite Koppens pexels

Isolates you from friends and family

They tell you they need you, that your selfish and you don’t spend enough time with them. Really you spend too much time with them, but they will do everything that they can to make you distance from your loved ones. It’s hard. You don’t want to be in yet another argument but you want to see your loved ones. Your friends are starting to fade away because your now known as the girl who doesn’t go out. Always having to make an excuse to leave.

They guilt you into staying with them. Or making it so hard to see these people because they are telling you that they should be good enough.

Keeping hold of friends during an abusive relationship is difficult. You are forced into making the wrong decision every time. They slate every single one of your friends. Making you feel like you have no choice but to make excuses on why you cant socialise. You really want to be out and having fun, but it is no longer worth the pain of being shouted at.

Blames you for their problems

Taking the blame for something is never easy, but sometimes we just need to own up. “Hey, Sorry that’s my fault”. Except they can never seem to take the blame, even for the little things. It is never their fault, so they blame you. For everything.

In fact they literally blame everyone else but themselves for everything that is wrong in their life. They do nothing for their own self improvement. They just crush your happiness because they are not happy with themselves.

Is unfaithful to you and becomes emotionally distant or withholds sex to control you.

You may not have read my post, the truth about being in a love triangle.

It was my reality. Being in a relationship with someone who dated someone else at the same time. In one way I will never regret the past because without it I would not be in love with my beautiful Emma. We were both controlled by the same person. Lied too. Kept secret. Being told every excuse under the sun to stop the truth from coming out.

They cheat and then blame you.

Being in a love triangle is a hard, and humiliating position. I wrote a post explaining my experience, here.

toxic relationship
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

They pressure you into being tied to them.

They go all out. Treat you. Make amends for their behaviour. Buy you something expensive and suddenly your in debt to them.

They tie you into being in a financial situation, it starts with something small then it goes up. They do it both way rounds. And suddenly you find yourself in a position where you feel trapped. You can’t walk away because you can’t afford to pay the fiance which they made you get.

They use you for money.

Carrying on from that, They have won again. Another guilt trip. You really tried to put your foot down this time but it didn’t work. Guilted into a situation. Guilted into taking out finance because they had already fucked their credit and it would be the only way. Leaving you with tons of debts and money owed left to right and centre. It doesn’t matter to them they are getting everything they want. Even if you have nothing.

So many relationships have been left leaving them with debts and financial issues. You feel used. You know you are being used. But you are stuck. I promise money is not a reason to stay in this relationship. Money is superficial.

Your not as important.

A relationship should be equal. Both people should be able to feel loved. And important.

When they are doing things it’s the most important thing in the world. They make you feel shit, because the things you are into are apparently pointless and have no meaning.

Lacks respect and point out your mistakes or shortcomings

You can’t make a mistake because it will be pointed out and used against you. Even if it’s something like falling asleep at 3am because you get kept awake every night as they constantly harass your phone, even though they are work.

Mental health and self-care are so important for your wellbeing, read my post on why self-care is so important, here.

If you relate to any of these in your relationship…

You may not want to hear it. Because they have so many excuses about why they are the way they are. They have gone through a bad time themselves. Endured abuse and bullying themselves. However, nothing actually justifies there actions. It is not ok to be treated this way, ever.

You are an amazing and wonderful human being and you deserve so much more than what you are receiving.

Love is not this. Breaking away from them would be the best action in your life.

It won’t be easy. They will try and tell you anything to get you back. But you are strong. You can do this.

Block them. And cut all contact. And if you think they may reach out to your loved ones to get to you. Ask them to block them also. Keep records of any interactions made in case. You never know what will happen.

They accuse you of being unfaithful constantly

Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? Are they constantly checking up on you? Asking you to send pictures just to prove where you are?

Accusing you of cheating because you didn’t answer your phone when they rung? Or you have not been able to answer a text message in their timely manner. It should never be like this.

They are normally accusing you because there doing the same thing. They think it will help them justify what they are doing to you.

You try to walk away but they won’t leave you alone until they have you back under there control.

You’ve finally broken. You don’t love them anymore. You’ve realised that it was never real love but they still have control over you because it’s all you’ve got. You don’t know any different. To walk away, had become a fear. You’ve got yourself in to deep and there are excuses you make yourself. I know.

You start to tell yourself you can get through this and it will be ok. Something always stops you walking. They start treating you better. Giving you what you need until they have the upper hand.

I promise you now. The 5 moments of happiness does not change what has been done. Neither does it change, how you have been treated.

toxic relationship
Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

Does any of this feel familiar to you?

I should have left this relationship months in. But I let it get worse. I wanted to be in a relationship and it was fear of being alone along with other deceptions that kept me going back. The situation just grew worse and my life became habit. I was miserable and I would never be able to explain why I thought I was doing the right thing in staying in a place so vile. Or how I was convinced to do so many things I did not want too.

If you are in a toxic relationship. I know it’s hard. You are scared to admit the truth. really, You don’t even want it to be the truth. You keep making excuses for their behaviour because you are scared. It’s now your normal. How will you cope afterwards? I promise you you can be happy.

My story may be different to yours but it’s all the same. Abuse is abuse. Life is so short. You deserve to live it happy. You deserve to find someone who will treat you right and be equal with. Just like I did.

I fell in love with my abusers girlfriend. We kept each other strong and finally walked away from a place neither of us wanted to be. I was lucky to have someone support me and make me strong..l

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If You are in a position you would like support with. I am not a councillor but I am always here to be a friend to someone who needs it. It’s never ok to feel alone.

What to remember if you are in a toxic relationship…

Only you can make the decision to walk away, and I know from experience. Walking away is hard. But you are stronger than you think, and you deserve happiness.

It may seem scary but do what’s best for you! You have people who love you and will support you during this difficult time.

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What I have been doing to improve my writing skills

Even the most competent writer will be someone continuously looking to improve their writing skills. All those aspiring writers out there, whether they are creating stories, bloggers, journalists or anything else. They all started somewhere. Anyone can be a writer as long as they have a passion for writing, but I think it’s quite fair to say that not everybody has the ability to be confident in their own writing straight away.

My downfall has always been my spelling and grammar. Through school, I was terrible at including grammar, punctuations and spelling. I hated it at one point. My passion had always been being creative. I had all the ideas of what words I would want to use, but It was just the formalities I couldn’t get on with.

writing skills
img src: canva

Whilst there are so many different styles of writing and skills to be gained. You don’t need to have glowing qualifications to be able to get your content noticed.

there are so many things that you can be doing on a day to day basis that will naturally improve your writing abilities without having to attend a course. (a writing class is always an option but not always convenient)

Looking for something to do? read my creative things to do when in lockdown post, here.

An excuse to read more…

If you are a book lover already then this really shouldn’t take much persuading anyway. I absolutely love to sit and chill out with a hot drink (or a cheeky glass of Wine) in the evening with a book in my hand.

The more you read the more you will gain in your own writing. You will discover so many different new styles and the inspiration that you gain is amazing.

It doesn’t matter if it isn’t a book or story either. blogs, newspaper articles, magazines, poems. Whatever it is, as long as your enjoying it, your reading experiences will be valuable.

Get playing Scrabble and other word games…

I am not kidding! Whether you are addicted to board games. Or enjoy playing on your phone word games get you thinking, can subconsciously improve your spelling and increase your own mental dictionary. My spelling has improved massively since I started playing scrabble with friends. It worth a go.

Practice your writing skills with Journaling…

Journaling may seem like an obvious writing style. However, with a journal you have a personal and private place where you can continue to practice your writing skills, whilst also having a creative outlet to enjoy.

Thinking of starting your own blog? check out my post on how to start your own blog, here.

Join others in writing groups…

Facebook and Twitter have some amazing groups circulating where others are sharing ideas, asking for help, and connecting with others that have the passion for writing, whatever your writing style is there is a group online somewhere where you will be able to connect with others and grow your experiences.

I’ve also noticed that some of these groups create challenges and competitions for writers to join in with. Which is another great way of increasing your writing skills and experience.

Focusing on writing skills and Spend time content planning…

So many ideas. So little time, right?

Keep a notebook by your side and jot down your random writing ideas. This was you won’t forget the brilliant idea you had and can use this later.

I’ve found that sometimes I will have an idea for a new blog post or a few phrases of the book I am working on, and just by writing it down for later, or jotting it down on my notes in my phone has made such a difference to my writing skills.

Having trouble staying organised? check out my post on staying organised, here.

Ask for as much feedback as possible…

One of my biggest pieces of advice to anyone would be to stop seeing feedback as threatening. All feedback is so useful for growing and improving your writing. Constructive criticism is the most valuable tool you can be given on a plate. Use the criticism to acknowledge any possible flaws in your writing. We’re all human and even the greatest writers and bloggers, make mistakes, have writer’s block and has a bad day.

Finally Download Grammarly,

Grammarly has been a massive help for me when proofreading my writing and editing my blogging work, and everything else. It is a plugin that I highly recommend, as not only does Grammarly check your grammar, but it also highlights any clarity enhancements that suggests removing unnessisary words and phrases from your writing.

I would love to hear your ideas on improving your confidence within your writing and your writing skills? let me know in the comments below.

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The Happy Planner. Everything you need to know.

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy from these links it will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The Happy Planner

Good morning everyone! Happy Friday! I hope you have all had a fantastic week! Today I am telling you all about one of the things I love, Planner. Not just any planner though, I discovered the happy planner around 3 years ago now and I have been completely obsessed with this planner ever since. 

It certainly took me a lot of research and debating before I actually made my first purchase to own a happy planner but I have never regretted the decision to start my planning journey with them.

As a lover of planners anyway, and a massive writer of to-do lists, Choosing the right planner is honestly a massive deal, especially when you are wanting to stay organised and on top of life.

Want some tips on staying organised? check out my methods of organisation, here.

So, What actually is a happy planner? 

Designed by the company, me & my big ideas, The happy planner is an expandable, disc-bound planner system. So pretty much, your ultimate life organiser. That combines the need for organisation, with being creative. Pretty awesome right? 

WHAT MAKES A HAPPY PLANNER SO SPECIAL?

There are so many styles and customisations that you can make to your planner. You can style your planner however you want to. With a massive range of different sizes, inserts, discs, and accessories. There is literally so much to choose it’s overwhelming at the start. 

With a few box kits available as well, these give you a kick start in being able to customise them.

Staying creative and crafting is so good for your mental health, Check out my reasons why crafting is so good for your mental health post, here.

BUYING A HAPPY PLANNER IN THE UK.

There are 3 options available to us in the UK wanting to obtain a happy planner and it’s accessories. 

Through The Happy Planner website directly.

The Happy Planner website (TheHappyPlanner.com), although based in America, does ship internationally. You definitely need to check out the website either way, as there are so many useful tips and so much inspiration to be gained from following their website. Including their free Happy downloads.

I admit that I have never purchased directly through there website, but this was because I was not sure of how many fees would be occurred by doing so this way.

Through Amazon & Amazon global. 

The first time I purchased The Happy Planner, I brought a classic, vertical, un-dated similar to this one here, through Amazon Global. The reason I chose to purchase my planner this way is because I had never brought anything internationally before. 

Although I did take some time to google the International shipping regulations I found these a bit daunting as I really wasn’t sure about the charges. My cousin once told me that she had to pay over the cost of an item before so I really couldn’t afford that to happen at the time. 

My planner took around 3 weeks to arrive and I thought that was brilliant and there was no further charges on international shipping as this had already been included in the at a fixed rate. 

Through a UK craft supplier website. 

Some UK craft stores are doing the hard work for you (the importing from America) and supply Happy Planners and a variety of accessories as part of their online stores. My favourite being Craftelier. I would try a google search of ‘Happy Planner UK Supplier’.

WHAT TYPES OF PLANNER CAN I GET?

My favourite planner type is the classic size with a vertical layout however this year I am using a Journal style layout. Which with how 2020 has been, was probably a lucky choice! The journal has a lot of freedom to be used as an organiser as well as reflecting on a day to day basis.

Basically, you have 3 decisions you need to make when buying a Happy Planner. Firstly what size do you want? You can get a happy planner in a mini, classic or big size, as well as skinny classic or a skinny mini.
Next, what kind of layout do you want to use? The vertical, Horizontal, Dashboard, Monthly and Hourly.
Your last decision you have to make is whether you want your planner already dated or not. I prefer the Undated, It gives you freedom of how you want to plan your year, and organise your planner.

The Happy Planner

WHAT ASSESSORIES CAN I GET TO GO WITH MY PLANNER

Ok, so I am addicted to official happy planner accessories and supplies. I have a cart shelf full of my sticker books and planner supplies.

Types of accessories:
  • covers
  • sticker books
  • Dashboards
  • Page markers
  • Happy Punch
  • Filler Paper
  • Discs
  • Envelopes
  • Tabs
  • Dividers
  • Pocket Folders
  • Decorative AccessoriesCovers
  • Stencils
  • Stamps
  • Adhesive Pockets

The happy Planner inserts are also a love of mine. 

Inserts and extensions such as: 
  • Plain lined pages 
  • Bullet journal sqaures 
  • Budget planners
  • Wellness planner
  • Christmas Planner
  • Wedding Planner
  • Fitness Planner
  • 6 Month extensions

BUT CAN’T THIS BE COSTLY? 

Not necessarily. There are no limits to what you do with your planner. So you could opt for buying the planner itself and customising it in other ways to buying official happy planner accessories. 

The Happy Planner discs

Also using crafting and stationery supplies, such as sticky notes, and washi tape and non-happy planner formatted stickers is a massive option to still keep your planner creative and full of life.

There are so many amazing Etsy sellers that sell stickers they have designed especially for the planning community. I have brought numerous planner layouts from Etsy, as well as using my happy planner sticker books.

HOW CAN I BE CREATIVE WITH MY HAPPY PLANNER

There are so many amazing Instagram accounts that dedicate their profiles to their planner customisations alone. You should check these out. they are so inspiring. especially under the #happyplanner #plannercommunity hashtags.

I love to fill my planner pages with a variety of stickers, to do list blocks, as well as inspiring quotes.

Addicted to stationery like me? check out my signs of stationery addiction post, here.

WHAT ARE THE MAJOR PROS THAT KEEPS ME GOING BACK TO THIS PLANNER?

Firstly the removable pages are a massive love of mine and the fact that you can add extra pages and inserts into your planner. Making the planner fully customisable for user requirement. Which is not something that is optionable with a lot of planners, so it is my favourite feature.

I didn’t really know much about the customising planner’s world until I found this planner, and now I find myself wanting to invest in some of the other planners around as I would love to trial Erin Condren’s life planner.

What are your guy’s experiences with this planner? Is it something that you are considering buying? have I missed anything?

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Why we are postponing our wedding due to COVID-19.

I am not going to lie. This post is one that I think I have been avoiding. I almost didn’t really want to admit that this was happening. Who knew that 2020 was gonna be the year to change so many lives? and the concept of postponing our wedding was not something I could have ever imagined for this year.

Coronavirus has affected us all with the new rules of lockdown and social distancing. Businesses have been taking a hard hit. Families have been left feeling torn away from loved ones. Saddened that they can’t hug each other.

Although things are slightly looking up 4 months after the initial lockdown was put into place by the government we really are far from leading our normal day to day lives right now. Almost all of us are at the point where we really don’t have any concept of time or the day of the week.

Both I and Emma started this year full of excitement about the things that were coming our way. In March we moved into our beautiful new house. However, this was then followed 3 days later by the start of the UK lockdown.

We’ve been keeping our self busy making our house a home, check out my first home together post, here.

This year was also the year we were due to get married. Although now as you can tell, this won’t be happening. We were originally due to get married on the 4th of September this year. Although you might be sat there thinking. postponing our wedding is a little hasty, and well you could still get married and have 30 people there, and no reception. I don’t even feel the need to argue this. It is not what we want.

We had held out hope and kept delaying the decision about the wedding for a little while (my choice). However, there is only so much time you can waste before realising you are running out of time.

The truth is we didn’t want to hold onto maybe it would be ok. At present we are nowhere near ready for our wedding day as we still have so much to do. And frankly, we didn’t have time for lockdown, but it is what it is.

Getting engaged was the most amazing surprise, when we went to Disney Land Paris, Read more, here.

I think it’s quite fair that we both would like to enjoy the preparation time up to the wedding and not have to rush everything that we would have had 6 months to do in 2 months. Even our hen do’s have now passed us by. So next year we hope that we get to do this all. Properly, and get to enjoy it.

postponing our wedding
Next year will be a better year.

It’s a hard decision to make putting your dream wedding on hold. At the end of the day, the idea of not being allowed all of our friends and family around us sucked. As well as the reception we were looking forward to is only the tip of the iceberg of why we have had to make this decision.

At the beginning of this year, we were already faced with bad news about our wedding. We had to change our wedding venue due to the closure of Botleigh Grange Hotel. So we already lost £1000 due to the deposit we placed there. So from this to postponing our wedding due to COVID-19 seems like a kick. However, we are staying positive and optimistic for next years new plans!

In the past few months, I have watched the reminders come up on my phone of things we should have been doing towards our wedding. Including wedding dress shopping, bridesmaids dresses, Emma’s outfit, making invitations with my mum, hen nights and so much more.

If it was not for coronavirus we would not be postponing our wedding.

The fact is all of the stuff we should have already done. We didn’t get the opportunity to do any of this due to the coronavirus outbreak. We agreed that what is an extra year to wait, to be able to have our dream day and all.

It has taken me a while to adjust and get my head around things. But I am really starting to look at the bright side now.

We don’t have an exact date yet but we are hoping to hold our wedding a year from the original date. We are taking this as a fresh start with a whole 12 extra months to make our wedding day exactly what we want.

Things probably will not be how they were originally planned, but that’s ok. I have a million new ideas on how it’s going to be bigger and better. My crafty hands are getting put to work straight away as I start to focus on the wedding prep again. (Obviously, I tried to give myself some time to breathe once we originally made the decision that we were going to postpone).

I am going to end this post with a positive, on how happy we are as a couple and one extra year is nothing to wait as I look forward to spending the rest of my life as a Taplin, with my beautiful wife to be. Bring on 2021!

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Love Crafts – A review of Life is a wild ride cross stitch kit.

This post contains gifted items. However all thoughts are my own.

I was absolutely filled with excitement when Sarah from Love Crafts contacted me for a collaboration with the opportunity to take a look at their craft kits.
As a massive lover of a variety of crafts, it is so nice to experience having a go at the different kits there are.

When I was a child I learnt how to cross-stitch. It was one of those things my mum taught me how to do when I was going through all my surgeries on my legs.

Back then my mental health wasn’t very good either. I was going through a time where I wasn’t able to walk whilst I recovered from surgery. So I went through a lot of cross stitch kits.
When lockdown started I decided to start picking up the cross stitch kits I had started a while ago. I hadn’t yet finished these because of a general lack of time and motivation.
Over the past few weeks, I have been posting on my Instagram my progress of this beautiful cross stitch kit!
Finally, I can tell you more about my experience with this kit and what I loved. As talking a bit about cross-stitching crafts positive impacts.

Cross stitch is so good for your positive wellbeing!

A while back I wrote an entire post on why crafting is good for your mental health, here. One of my favourite crafts that I find the best for my mental health and anxiety is cross-stitch. One of the things I absolutely love about cross Stitching is how its such a relaxing and therapeutic hobby. I am completely cross-stitching obsessed recently for that very reason. I really love being able to sit down and chill out for a few hours relaxed with some embroidery things. Stitching is a craft that is so relaxing. I would suggest it to anyone who is having stress or anxiety. This is an amazing method of release. Or of course, anyone that is just bored.

love crafts

So. let’s talk about the Love Crafts life is a wild ride kit that I completed.

The link to this specific kit is here.

One of the things I particularly loved about this kit is complete unique bold style.

One of the first things I really noticed when unpackaging this kit was the threads. The threads in this kit are absolutely lush! the vibrant colours are so bold and really stand out against the Aida. I also noted how soft and silky the threads are. The threads staid smooth the whole time that I was using them. which proves they are a really good standard thread. The silky texture made the threads easy to separate and generally I just felt they looked very neat throughout.

This kit is marked as intermediate. For cross stitchers who are more experienced/confident. However, I feel if you feel confident with counting the squares and stitch spaces, I would say that you would not have any problems completing this kit!

The kit took me a week to complete. Cross stitching for an hour or more every evening.

Its not just the Love Crafts kit I love…

Love Crafts run such a lovely website as well as shop. The Love Crafts website and social media are full of crafting tips and tricks. As well as this they have interviews with some pretty amazing crafters. I definitely suggest adding their blog to your bookmarks list, as I found there website rather inspiring as a crafter!

If you love crafts how about papercraft, check out how to make 3D roses with Cricut, Here.

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How you can be supporting small businesses (without spending).

supporting small businesses
img src: Canva

Good morning everyone and a very happy Monday to you! Hope you are all staying positive and well. Today’s blog post is a subject that really means something to me. Supporting small businesses. This is something that we can all do! and as some who is running their own small business…es. The support I receive from other people is something as amazing and important as a fully stocked craft room for me. (And that ain’t no joke!)

Times have been pretty hard with the impact that the Coronavirus has had on our working lives. As if things weren’t hard enough when your stepping foot into the big world of working for yourself! and as More and more of us are setting up and running our own small businesses to get by in life we should really take a minute to think about how we can support others as well as grow ourselves.

So today I am talking, what can we do to support small business owners? and yes I do mean without spending money! I love purchasing from other small businesses rather then big chains, but we can’t always afford to buy from them, especially if its a want and not a need. Just because we can’t put our hands in our pockets though there are plenty of other ways that you can show your support and appreciation to your small business owning friends.

How to start supporting small businesses…

supporting small businesses

Share and engage with their social media.

A lot of work goes into the posts put online by business owners. Personally I have to spend a lot of time putting effort into creating jazzy posts, and thinking about what I am posting onto my social medias, Including my blog. It is so frustrating to feel like your putting all this work in to have no body engage with your posts. But you can help!

By sharing the content of your friends small business or social media too your friends actually help their business grow further. Think of it like the posts you see on your Facebook timeline that have gone viral because they have been shared so much! you are helping them get their name out there. Which isn’t that the biggest thing for any business? Can you imagine just like anything else online how far something can get if 2 or 3 people sharing the content? I would also think about it on a ‘well if this was me’ basis. How much further your business would grow just by gaining a few more customers, etc.

On top of this, engagement is so important when it comes to running small businesses now. Your friends business page needs to be active, and full of engagement. So if you see no one replying to their posts, be kind and leave a little comment to get the ball rolling!

Want to read something different from supporting small businesses? How about why Self-care is so important, here.

Suggest them to your friends!

Ok, So I admit that this is slightly similar to what I have just been saying! fair enough. but although it is similar I just wanted to expand on what I was saying to the offline world.

Not everything has to be suggested and engaged on through social media. Although of course social media and online content is a massive part of running a business in this day and age, word of mouth really does do a lot! For example, I am in the process of starting my own photography business. (AlexaJadeSnaps if you are interested) I really appreciate when my friends have recommended me to someone who is looking for a photographer! So when you are having conversations with friends and family suggest your local small businesses instead! You could be supporting someone’s dreams come true, as well as supporting small businesses generally.

Tag them in opportunities! In case they miss them.

Let’s be completely honest. Facebook is like the god of opportunities. there are so many opportunities that randomly come upon all sorts of Facebook feeds. Whether it is a group or someone’s status. Show your support to your friends small business and tag them in opportunities that are suited to them.

Im not gonna lie I have found that Facebook is one of the best places for all sorts of opportunities but it also very fast paced! They’re our thousands of people all looking for similar opportunities. These can be so easily missed and not even seen so your almost finding yourself in a race! (Not everyone can be on social media 24/7 and I wouldn’t suggest trying to be!)

Thinking about making a blog for a business? check out my post on how to start your blog here.

Supporting small businesses by being their masterpiece!

Ok, so this applies to the businesses needing models mainly. whether it is being beautified by a friend. Having your hair cut by them, makeup done or whatever else! Offering to help them in their hour of need could really help build up their portfolio and give them a headstart in their business.

Give them a shoutout.

Shout outs and sharing pictures of services you have had of your small friends business is an amazing way of spreading the word, and supporting a small business. Just by sharing these to your own socials is a massive way of supporting small businesses.

Random tip: Supporting small businesses with photos on your social media gets you recognition! and is a lot of fun.

Give them constructive feedback.

Feedback is something that I find golden! I don’t mind if it is positive or negative feedback as long as it is constructive!
When you are starting a new journey into the business world it can be pretty daunting and there is a feeling of am I doing ok? what If I am not? so when someone is asking you for some feedback! I genuinely feel that they are asking because they really need it!

Leave them reviews on their pages.

Just like feedback reviews are so important for any business. The more positive these reviews are the better!

It is so frustrating when you offer a service to someone, and they say they will leave you a review or feedback and it doesn’t happen a lot of customers relly on feedback from others before using a service.

Ask for their affiliate links to use.

If you don’t know what an affiliate link is, don’t worry! I am here to explain! Of course!

An affiliate link is a link provided by companies to bloggers and influences that will earn them a small commission for suggesting their products. The link will include the Affiliates ID or username and is used varies affiliate programs, advertisers use these links to record the traffic that is sent to the advertiser’s website.

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