What to know before buying a Cricut setup.

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When it comes to what we have in our craft room, without a doubt, my favorite equipment, is my Cricut setup. I know that I have posted about my Cricut machine before, about why I love the Cricut so much, So I thought it was about time I did a more detailed post. I have received a lot of questions about buying a Cricut recently, So I am going to include everything I possibly can in this post! I’m creating this post as a 2 part series, as I will be posting again soon, on what to know once you’ve brought your Cricut.

buying a cricut

What actually is a Cricut?

Well other than one of the best crafting tools ever… Ok Jokes aside, the chances are if you are already considering making a purchase and buying a Cricut machine, then you already know a bit about what a Cricut is… Don’t worry if you don’t I am going to tell you anyway!

The Cricut is essentially a cutting machine, with the ability to cut a large variety of materials (some depending on the type of machine that you have). The machine is able to cut images by using the Cricut design space which is the software that is compatible.

Is the Cricut actually worth it?

Honestly! my answer to this question is always going to be yes! because the Cricut machines give you the ability to expand on what it is you are making.

You are either considering buying a Cricut as a Hobbyist, or a business investment.

What machine is best?

There is literally no right or wrong answer when it comes to what the best Cricut machine is. It is all down to your own user needs what would be the best machine for what you want to be able to create.

The question is less of which machine is best, more which machine is going to suit my user needs best?

Cricut Explore Air 2

The Cricut Explore Air 2 is the machine that I currently own. I have been using this version of the Cricut for over 2 years now! and oh my goodness, I absolutely love this machine! To be honest, I would say that the Explore is the middle-sized machine of them all.
The Cricut Explore Air is perfect for anyone who will be working with Paper/card-stock, or the various types of vinyl.

Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker is the largest machine in the family. One that I hope to own in the future. The Cricut maker has the ability to cut even more materials, such as wood leather, fabric, and way more. As well as being able to be adapted with other blades, and an engraving tool that looks badass! As I don’t personally have a maker at the moment, this machine Is something I won’t be speaking about too much as I only write from my experience! so hopefully one day I will be able to afford and talk about the Maker as well.

Cricut Joy

The Cricut Joy is the baby cutting machine of the family! and honestly, it is such a cute little device! perfect for small and fiddly projects or anyone who is wanting to make labels etc.

The Joy machine cuts the same kind of materials as the Explore, however, the particular difference of this machine is smaller in size. The mat size for this machine is 6x12inches. Therefore, if you’re looking to cut bigger projects, I would say you need to at least look at getting the Explore Air 2.

I am probably in my corner right now! cutting something out!

Is buying a Cricut worth the expense? and how expensive is it in the long run?

So let’s be real about the cost of the Cricut, and what comes after.

Depending on what machine it is you are thinking and what your purpose is for wanting to invest in this beauty, expense is always something you. No, the Cricut is not a cheap machine to buy at first, however I would always say that the decision to purchase should be based on your personal passion and user requirements.

Once you have brought your Cricut, there is an optional subscription cost that allows you access to the wide variety of images in there library as well as a few other perks.

The only other cost is your materials, to be able to create, and any upkeep of the machine, such as replacing mats and blades, however if you are not using your Cricut machine every day, then this will not effect you too much.

Where can I buy the Cricut machines?

The Cricut may have originated in the US, however, it is becoming increasingly more easy to purchase here in the UK. I would always suggest that you search for deals and bundle options, as these change all of the time.

I personally purchased my Cricut through Hobbycraft, however, since then, I buy most of my supplies for using with Cricut from Amazon.

What is this Cricut subscription stuff about?

There is one more expense you should consider before you purchase your machine.

Cricut have a subscription for their design studio, which costs £7.49 (converted from dollars) called Cricut Access.

The Cricut access subscription gives you access to 1000’s of cut & print and cut images to use from their library!

What is Design Space and do I need it?

The Cricut Design Space is the software that you will be using to create your projects. So basically yes, you do need it! and it is something you will learn to love to be able to create with your Cricut machine.

This is what Design Space looks like…

Design space pretty much looks the same wether you are on a Mac/Windows, a Phone or Tablet.

What is included when buying a Cricut?

So this is what to expect when you open your box, obviously, I am basing this on opening the Cricut Explore Air 2. The box includes your Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, Design Space software (app and details), German carbide premium blade, USB cord, and power cord, an accessory adapter, 100+ free images, 50+ free project ideas, a guide to getting started, a pen and cardstock sample and a 12 x 12 inch Light Grip cutting mat.

The card stock you receive in the box will help you create a cute little card that helps get you used to use your machine!

What else do I need to be able to use my cricut?

There are a variety of things you may, or may not need when it comes to Cricut projects. So when you are buying your Cricut there are a few other things you may want to have a look at as well. Again it does depend on the type of crafting that you are planning to do, I mean If you are a paper crafter already! the chances are you have a ton on card stock and paper stock that you can dive in with, but if you are planning on expanding what you can create with vinyl projects, you will need to consider a few little buys.

The Cricut has the ability to draw with pens for you as well, there are pens that are compatible with your machine like these.

Why not check out my post on how to make 3D flowers with Cricut, here.

If you are planning to use Vinyl or HTV (heat transfer vinyl) you will need some weeding tools. (tools for removing the excess vinyl from your project). I highly recommend using the Cricut basic toolset. Or a toolset similar to this. You will also need some transfer tape, to be able to apply your adhesive vinyl to your canvas, (you won’t need this for HTV projects) Unless you have a lot of patience for attempting to apply without this! Not having transfer tape isn’t something that I would recommend.

Another accessory I 100% recommend having if you don’t already own one is a craft cutting mat. I use mine to weed my projects on as I tend to use a craft knife and tweezers a lot to take away the excess viynl, this protects my desk from taking a beating too!

Speaking of Craft knives, I thought I would mention that the Cricut knife particularly this one, has been my favorite craft knife that I have owned throughout the years. Cuts so nicely and smoothly. and the blades seem to be really durable.

What can I make with a Cricut?

The question is, what can’t you? Since owning the Cricut machine I have expanded my crafting capabilities majorly! Personally, I use my Cricut Explore Air 2 to cut a variety of card stock, stick paper as well as a mixture of Vinyl projects.

When buying a Cricut machine there are a few bits that come with the Cricut to help you get started. This is a small project to test your machine out on.

What does the Cricut actually cut?

The Cricut machines can cut a large variety of different materials. From paper and card stock to vinyl, foam… All sorts, honestly!

The Cricut Maker can cut materials up to 2.4mm thick. So definitely a tougher machine if your planning to be doing a lot of cutting with thicker materials!

Can the Cricut machine print?

The Cricut machine is not a machine that can be used to physically print. However, if you own a printer then you will be able to create things with the print and cut option. This would involve printing your image with a printer, then placing it on your Cricut mat to be cut out.

Do I need a computer or can I use a tablet?

You do not have to have a computer system to be able to run a Cricut machine. In fact you can use your Cricut machine with any phone or tablet device. I tend to use both my laptop and my iPad to create with Cricut. However, it is mainly down to user preference.

There are some features I find easier to use from a laptop, but it definitely isn’t the end of the world if you do not have a computer system.

Any money-saving tips?

Firstly, it is always good to make sure you do some reasearch and shop around before making any kind of purchase, but when it comes to Cricut, I would always suggest, to ensure you are purchasing your machine from official Cricut stockists.

There are some brands that provide Cricut compatible tools, such as mats, pens, blades, etc. One brand particularly that I have noticed being used with Cricut, is Nicapa, Their resources are very reasonable and work perfectly!

By taking some time to learn some ‘Cricut hacks’ as well will also help you along your Cricutting journey. I often see videos on TikTok and YouTube showing really cool hacks on how to keep mats clean, so they last longer, and how to sharpen your Cricut blades! Definitely have a search.

Still have questions?

If you are thinking of starting your Cricut journey but you still have a few I am always happy to help! Leave a comment in below, or send an email to thealexajadeblog@gmail.com

AlexaJade

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The Craft room tour!

Hello again beauties I hope your doing well! This post has me absolutely buzzing. I have been planning to write this for months! honestly! I do not know why it has taken me so long! Today I am giving you a little peek into my creative space! with a craft room tour! eeeeeee.

not only is the craft room our creative space and office. It’s definitely my happy room of the house.

When it came to me and Emma searching for our own home, having our own craft room/office was the top things on both of our lists of what we would like in our home. I mean, Ofcourse… It would be right?

having a separate crafting room/home offices dream is something I am so grateful for. Especially as in this household, we live for creative lifestyle and making. I know many people who don’t have the space to do this so again. I am grateful for this beautiful space that we have.

we used to have as much of our craft supplies as possible in an otter man and boxes. It was so inaccessible that it really unmotivated us to peruse our hobbies and talents!

The craft room is where we spend alot of time, particularly myself. so we have been reguarly adding to it, and making changes where possible over the past year! (oh my goodness I cant believe its nearly been a year since moving in already).
we have so many more ideas and wishes for the room still aswell.

anyway. Let’s get into what we actually have.

So about the craft room…

Our craft room is where most of the magic happens! If not all. It’s where I go to sit and concentrate on blogging, planning and the most obvious thing and the things I am most passionate about Creating. Making. Crafting.

so obviously I’m gonna start with my corner. Especially since sometimes I pretty much live in that corner!

my desk is close to all of my sublimation printer, Cricut and my heat press. Which I love because although it may look snug! I have plenty of room and my laptop cables reach the machines.


Next to my desk I have this beautiful creative chaos. my craft cart! which is where I hold all of my go to stationery supplies, my happy planner stash and pen palling stash. Its my very own colourful chaos. And I promise it is more organised than it looks.

Both myself and Emma are spending a lot of time at the moment focusing on our small businesses. Emma is currently running EmmaCraftsGB, as well as running BAE Boxes with me. Ofcourse my focuses are still my blogging, and running a small stationery and sticker business! Which I am posting about on my instagram a lot now!

So one thing we have a lot of in the room is storage. I love our drawers! Although I would like to replace the clear set with block colour! As it can look messy! (the drawers have a-lot of supplies in)

all of our drawers are organised by the craft or the project we are doing, which makes finding things so much easier.

Finally here’s a little peak at where the magic happens with Emmas beautiful creations. She has a bit of a theme with her desk, can you tell what it is?

I would love to hear any storage tips that you use in your craft room and how you set up your work space. Where do you go to work?

If you would like to support me in the creative journey to run my small business check out my Etsy store, or give me a follow on Instagram!

Lots of love!

AlexaJade

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How to start living a creative lifestyle?

This post contains affiliate links and that if you choose to purchase from them. It will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Todays blog post pretty some s up everything in my life, especially recently. That is, Living a creative lifestyle.

Creativity, in my life, is something that I have been so passionate about from pretty much all of my life. In fact I had been planning to write this blog post for a little while now.

When you hear the word creative, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

Having had a few conversations about being creative with a variety of friends. I got some very different answers.

creative lifestyle
my creative area is my happy place

Although there’s no actual right or wrong answer when it comes to someone being creative, there does seem to be a small misconception from a few that to be creative you must be into ‘arts and crafts’. This is not true.

To be honest, you do not need to be a pro with a paintbrush, or a a dab hand with the knitting needles, to have a creative mind. However of course in some cases this will help you a bit! (no matter what your media is).

Creativity can be as big or small as you like. It could be taking the time to grab your favourite colouring pencils, and colour

What is it to lead a creative lifestyle?

Living a creative lifestyle is the way of living a life to the full. Seeking new opportunities and possibilities. Using your time to explore, experiment, discover and be able to express yourself in a multitude of different ways.

It is being able to embrace things as they are, and use your mind and imagination to see what you could create out of those things.

Some people are already living a creative lifestyle without even knowing it, because they believe that being creative is just a small part of life, when really it is everything.

Being creative allows you to speak within media, to show your passions, and emotions, without even saying a word.

Using inspiration to then be developed into something amazing,The creative process is what we do to create beautiful work, and a beautiful life.

Creativity is known for being a valuable workplace skill. Being creative is useful for being able to create new ideas, as well as being able to find solutions to complex issues. So next time you are in an interview or having to dust off your CV consider including your creative skills as a way to impress your possible future employee!

Ways you can start living a creative lifestyle…

Surround yourself with Creatives.

There are so many people in this world that thrive from the ability to be creative, and express themselves in a creative nature. surround yourself with the people that value creativity the most. So many people are already living a creative lifestyle and these people thrive on inspiring you as well as themselves.

There is a multitude of creative spaces where you can connect with people that have similar interests as yours. Places such as Facebook groups, specialised apps, Instagram feeds and hashtags, online forums, Pinterest, Skillshare, and online teaching communities.
I would recommend taking the time to join these groups and check in with them. Making friends with other creatives is also so good for your mental health.

Think outside of the box.

one of my favourite things about leading a creative lifestyle is being able to think about things in a different way! like the ability to find an unexpected solution to an issue in a completely unique and imaginative way.

another thing I love about thinking outside of the box is being able to look at things differently.
Taking something blank and picturing and creating something amazing out of it.

Make time to actually be creative.

when it comes to being creative, and leading a creative lifestyle one thing that you need the most. Time.
think about it. Allowing yourself the actual time to follow your creative inspiration allows you the ability to create the life you want to live and express yourself in so many different ways.

Stop setting limitations.

One of the biggest blocks when it comes to creative mindset is setting yourself limitations! especially the ones that you don’t need to have. Limitations such as not knowing how to achieve something. However that does not need to be an obstacle of stopping you. In some aspects you can take the time to research and learn. Whilst, in other aspects, going back to thinking outside of the box, look for more unique ways of being able to achieve.

There are some limitations that we face that are not being caused by our mental state. Obviously, we all have limitations in life, things that get in our way, obstacles such as money. Money is a major limitation when it comes to being able to afford being able to achieve goals that you are setting yourself, which is something that I struggle with alot, as I have some exciting plans that I have had to break into very small milestones to be able to reach where I want to be.

Don’t pressure yourself.

Especially when it comes to a creative block, the last thing that you want to do is pressure yourself. Learn when it is necessary to take a break. stop pressuring yourself into productivity. By pressuring yourself to achieve you are causing yourself more harm. The feeling of, ‘I haven’t created in a while’ should not exist. the best creations and creative flow comes from a relaxed heart, and the ability to take your time. A rushed piece of work will not be your next masterpiece!

As I very well know, it is so easy at times to beat yourself up when your in an lack of inspirational state. However, just because your not feeling creative and productive 24/7 doesn’t mean you should put yourself down over it! it is ok to take a break and recharge, when you need too.

Ways to show your creative spirit.

  • Art.
  • Paper craft.
  • Knitting or crochet.
  • Embroidery.
  • Uplifting.
  • Writing.
  • Photography
  • Woodwork

This is just a very small list out of the thousands of options there is to express your creative spirit. If I wrote a full list of each specific thing, we would be here for hours.

What ever your media is, each and everyone of us has the ability to be creative in some kind of aspect. It doesn’t have to be a physically created product however, it could be the way you have done something, by using a creative process.

For example, the way you organise, the way you display something, or even The way you use an object for a different purpose then would normally be expected.

What does creativity mean to you?

I would love to hear from you guys your interpretation of what it means to be creative and lead a creative lifestyle?

Is there something you do that is different to others, I love to hear new ideas that involve the aspect of being creative.

AlexaJade

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Therapeutic craft projects to help destress.

This post contains affiliate links that if you choose to purchase from them. It will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you.
knitting supplies and cup of coffee placed on bed
Photo by Flora Westbrook on Pexels.com

When it comes to feeling stressed, anxious or depressed. There is one thing that I like to do, that helps me with my mental health, Craft. Especially therapeutic craft projects. I wrote a post similar speaking about how craft has a positive impact on your mental health, here. However, I am now sharing with you what crafts really do help with destressing you.

There are a few therapeutic craft projects that if you have a go at, you may notice the calming and relaxing effect that crafting can have on you.

If your impatient and don’t like fiddly things, as they increase your stress level, I don’t think that you should give up on crafting completely.

Diamond Painting

I am currently waiting to complete this kit, here. I am excited for this one to be done and put it up in the house. Diamond painting is a great craft to sidetracks you for ages! I got so involved with the full drill kits that I literally would find hours go by before I even noticed.

Cross Stitch

Did you see my review of a LoveCrafts cross stitch kit, that I did during the lockdown?

Cross stitch is one of my favourite methods of stress-relief I am currently working on a rather large one that will eventually be ‘The lady and the tramp’ Spaghetti scene, from the movie. The repetitive motion is what helps you relax! I’m pretty certain. I always find finishing a cross-stitch project pretty rewarding as well, since it takes a while to finish some projects.

Therapeutic craft projects

Origami

Grab yourself some cute origami paper, load up youtube and teach yourself how to make some beautiful things out of paper, for fun! It’s completely relaxing to do as a project.

Cricut (vinyl weeding)

I love a complicated Cricut project for therapeutic craft projects! like a Mandala to weed or something like that! The more fiddly the more time it takes to weed, and I just find this action so relaxing. I often print out projects for the purpose of weeding for no reason! That’s me!

Therapeutic craft projects

Knitting or Crochet

Knitting & crochet I thought I would combine together because both crafts are so similar. You could attempt some knitting by buying wool and needles from the pound shop! that way if you don’t get on with it you have not wasted too much money!

As for crochet, I’ve been slowly teaching myself this one, and now I am wanting to have a go at a kit! My mum brought me the Crochet set by step book for Christmas, which made understanding how to crochet so much easier! Hopefully, I will be a confident enough crocheter to do a kit soon, I would love to have a go at making the Hooked unicorn.

Therapeutic craft projects

Paint by numbers

Paint by numbers, or even painting, in general, is a really relaxing hobby for distressing. I would especially recommend paint by numbers, as it keeps your brain distracted when it comes to searching for the numbers. This Cityscape took me ages and kept me calm whilst I was having a really stressful time!

Jewellery Making

There are so many different ways to create Jewellery. Whether its simple friendship bracelets, beaded jewellery or something a little bit technical. Making Jewellery is a really therapeutic way to relieve your stresses. They’re also a very good make to sell project!

Felting

Felting is one of those crafts that I have yet to master, I do however enjoy having a go. There is so many Dover craft simply make mice are so cute to start you off!

What therapeutic craft projects do you do to keep yourself from stressing?

I would love to hear what therapeutic craft projects you turn to, to help you destress when life is being hectic and crappy! As a crafter obsessed with all crafts, I love to know if there is anything else I could be trying.

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30 Creative uses for your empty notebooks!

AD – This post contains PR samples (Gifted items) but all thoughts are my own.

Does anyone else get that super satisfying feeling when you buy a new notebook? its so clean and exciting. I don’t really know how I became so obsessed with notebooks but I really do love buying notebooks!

There really is something exciting about having an empty notebook though. A blank canvas for your creative thoughts, keeping organised and just having fun in. I generally keep a notebook for everything I can.

I have been so excited to work with Old English Company. They kindly offered to send me a personalised notebook over to try out, (How cool is this! Personalised stationery!) When it came to actually choosing a colour and design it was so difficult to choose, they have so many brilliant designs.

Fancy buying your own personalised notebook from the Old English Company? You can receive 15% off of your order with code: OESPECBR15

After finally coming to a decision I choose a blush pink ‘My brain has too many tabs open’ Notebook. With ‘AlexaJade’ of course.

So to show off my beautiful Old English Company notebook I thought I would write about what you can do with your empty notebooks.

Things you can do with your empty notebooks…

1. To-do lists

Starting out with quite an obvious idea and something I’m honestly obsessed with, lists. I literally love to keep a book filled with everything that I need to do.

Something I do when I keep my book of lists of what I need to do codes each item with a symbol based on the priority of how important it is, (whether it needs to be done sooner than anything else).

2. Journal

What better to fill up empty notebooks with your personal memos. Documenting your life and expressing your feelings on a daily basis. I love keeping journals, I haven’t actually written in one for a little while, but I go in phases of keeping one and going back to it whenever I have a lot of my mind. Keeping a journal is so good for your mental health as well.

4. Gratitude log

Keep a notebook filled with everything you have been grateful in life. Every time your feeling grateful write the date is and what it is that made you feel this way.
Sometimes we naturally forget the things that we should be grateful for, so reminding ourself to be thankful is such a beautiful thing.

5. Sketches/doodles/art

Grab a notebook and a pen, and just start doodling away. Doodles are such a therapeutic activity for when you are feeling stressed and anxious. I’m always finding myself absent-minded and just filling a page of random doodles and drawings. It’s something that makes me giggle when you look back and you randomly see a doodle of something that makes you smile or laugh.

notebooks

6. Bullet journal

If you read my recent post on finding the right planner for you, you will already know how much I think bullet journals are a good idea. And you really can use any empty notebook to do this with!

7. Goal tracker

A book filled with goals and milestones is a great way to stay inspired and on track of what you want to achieve out of life. Keeping goals is a brilliant idea when you are in the middle of a project, especially one that takes a lot of work. Goals help you stay motivated and accomplished as you achieve them. It is always rewarding seeing how your progressing.

8. Meal planner

Having a Meal planner is a brilliant idea for keeping organised when it comes to food shopping and what to have for dinner each week. As well as being a great way of inspiring yourself with different meals, when you can’t think what you want to eat!

9. Letters book

This one is perfect for those soppy couples out there. Even the not so mushy couples might enjoy this. Writing dated letters in a book to each other and then looking back on these in years to come. Writing happy messages of love, memories and feelings. Sometimes you can write down more than you can say, so a letters book is absolutely perfect for this!

10. Positivity

Keeping a book of positivity is a brilliant idea to keep a positive mindset. By writing things such as positive affirmations. Have a look back at your positivity when you are feeling down, and remind yourself of all the lovely things about you, including everything you like, and what makes you happy.

11. Handwriting practice

It took me ages to get my handwriting neat and readable, I found using a spare notebook to practise my penmanship skills, so helpful.
It is a very simple idea however so useful for improving your handwriting skills.

12. Event planning

Planning an event keeping notes, ideas, and plans. I found this so helpful when I was planning surprise parties. I made lists of everything I needed to do, everything I needed to buy and who I was going to invite.

13. Budgeting

A subject I hate, well hate is a strong word. Highly dislike. Budgeting is something that we all need to do to be able to keep on top of our finances. Giving us the ability to enjoy our money as well as being able to afford our monthly bills.

14. Blogging notes

Calling all blogger friends out there! This is one for you. Keeping a blogging notebook is so helpful, in fact, I go through so many notebooks making blogging notes, including post ideas, post planning, specific blog to-do lists, keeping stat records, resources reminders and notes when researching and learning.

Want to know more about blogging, how about checking my post on how to start your own blog, here.

15. Random thoughts

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night thinking something, then it stops you sleeping so you go to add a note on your phone… then your brain starts waking up and getting distracted so your planning on your phone now instead of going back to sleep? Well, I couldn’t tell you how many times I have. Keeping a notebook by you is not only a way of making sure you actually see the note you’ve made yourself (instead of it being hidden on your phone to suddenly remember by the time it’s too late) but it is also a way of ensuring that your not distracted and you can concentrate on getting back to that beauty sleep.

16. Learning a new language

Thinking you need a new hobby? How about grabbing a notebook and writing our words and phrases in a different language so you can become a multilingual pro.

17. Writing a story/Poems or song lyrics

Use a blank notebook to completely get creative and plot and write a novel. Who knows you could be writing the next award-winning story. Or if story writing isn’t quite your thing, a book of poems or song lyrics. Whatever you decide, your definitely fill your notebooks up with these options.

Want to improve your writing skills, read how I’ve been improving mine, here.

18. Travel journal

Are you a lover of travelling? Why not start a journal of where you have been, what you have done whilst travelling and what you loved, disliked about the trip.

19. Recording your progress

Working on projects. You could use this space to record what is going well, what isn’t working so much and how you think you could improve. It’s quite rewarding to keep record of your progress in anything. Since you can look back and see how much you have grown.

20. Christmas planning

This is something that I love to do every year! Christmas is such a hectic time and so having a dedicated place to plan is a must for me. As well as being a brilliant use for an empty notebook, or section of a project book! I honestly end up writing out so many lists, including ideas for Christmas, shopping lists, what we actually brought and for who, as well as the food planning. Honestly one of the best ways to get your Christmas period as organised as possible!

21. Vision board in a book

I love vision boards, they are so much fun to create, and so very useful to keep. One idea for using your empty notebooks is to keep an ongoing vision board in one of your notebooks. Filling the pages with inspiring things that you would like to achieve as well as being a positive source to look through.

notebooks

22. Passwords

How many times have you gone to log in somewhere and you have had to reset your password? I know sometimes there are apps and ways to save these digitally, however, it is not always the most reliable way of storing thing, as there is always a risk of losing your saved information.

23. Special memories

Journalling daily is not for everyone. Sometimes life just doesn’t give us the time to sit and write when we would like to, but keeping a book of special memories is a good way to keep down the special things that you want to remember in the years to come. Using your notebook you could spare a page per special day.

24. Shopping lists

Shopping lists are so handy when it comes to shopping. On the times that we haven’t bothered to write a list were left with a mess of buying things we don’t need, and things we don’t use. Wasting more money then we need to. So not only does writing a shopping list make uses for filling up notebooks, it helps you stay organised with the weekly shop.

25. Recording your dreams

Recording dreams is such a cute idea, sometimes our dreams tell us things that we don’t know, but our subconscious is letting us know. Writing our dreams down provides so many benefits to us. Benefits such as Reducing stress, helping us to solve problems, produce amazing ideas and learn from our mistakes.

26. Trackers

Pretty much like bullet journalling but just plain and simple trackers. you could design a tracker for anything. From tracking your habits, periods, to activities you have done. I have a book and a film tracker in my bullet journal.

27. Recipes

I love recipe books, however, I hate clutter. I like to keep all of my favourite recipes in one notebook. It is a much more convenient way, then keeping a recipe book and having to flick for all the recipes you’re never even gonna try to find the one recipe you want.

old english co notebooks

28. Health log

Keep track of what’s going on with you. A personal notebook that no one else has to see but is so good for keeping records of things you might need to look back at later. Such as when you have your periods, you can use the record to be able to work out your ovulation as well as notice any changes.
Another good thing about keeping a health record is if you are suffering from any kind of illness, you can keep a pain record or a sickness record, that may be useful to show to the medical professionals.

29. Inspiration journal

Keep track of the things that inspire you, whether it is pictures, words, quotes. Anything that makes you feel motivated and inspired. Almost like keeping a vision board in a book. Which vision boards are really great for keeping yourself positive.

30. Crafts and projects to try.

Another new idea for a craft or project? Jot it down in your notebook, with what equipment you need to complete the project. So it is almost like a craft planner. Which is ideal for when you are stuck for something to do. Brilliant for having an ongoing list for what you are going to make. Which as a crafter myself, I get so many crazy ideas of what I am going to make, so keeping lists of projects is a brilliant thing!

How about finding ways to stay creative with my post ways to stay creative indoors, here.

What do you use your notebooks for?

I would love to hear what it is you use your notebooks for? Do you have any random uses for your favourite notepads? and better yet, do you have notebooks that are just too pretty to use, or maybe you are like me and have a massive pile of notebooks ready to be creative with.

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Planner goals – How to pick the right planner / Journal for you.

Good morning my lovelies, I hope you are all doing well, staying safe and positive. Can you believe how quick this year is flying by already? How are we in August right now? I swear only 5 minutes ago it was march and me and Emma were moving into our new house! 2020 has been a rollercoaster for us and we are only 8 months into the year! So today I’ve been having a massive think about my Planner. I am obsessed with Planners, Anyone else feels like choosing the right planner is such a big decision to make?

I love to stay organised so having the right type of planner is something I take seriously. To be honest, In the past few years my planning love has grown and I honestly keep a variety of organisers and journals ever year. However, choosing the ‘one’ for me really has taken some investigating. So today I thought I would share my thoughts on what I use, and what I know.

The happy planner

The happy planner

My current planner, and the one I am most in love with. This is a planner variety that I am completely obsessed by. No lie.
This year I have been using the Teresa Collins Happy Planner Be Happy Box Kit. Which is slightly different from the normal Happy planner that I use, with the vertical box layout.

The happy planner is fully functional for any person who loves decorating and pretty things. If you love using stickers and washi tape you will love this as an option to plan your life.

Tip: Buying a Happy Planner in the UK? I brought mine on Amazon, This one.

Check out my post with everything you need to know about the happy planner, here.

Erin condren life planner

Despite the news and negative press around Erin Condren this year, let’s not judge a book by its author.
The Erin Condren life planner Looks amazing and has so many options, however is a similar layout to what the happy planner is. Which you know I love.

I will be honest. The main reason I have not purchased the planner is the cost. Otherwise I love checking out how people use this and decorate it on Instagram.

Bullet journaling

Bullet journaling is perfect for likeminded creative souls. You create everything. from a blank Notebook too a book filled with your own designs, trackers and notes. Bullet journals are a brilliant way to stay on top of everything! Plan your month, week, and day in one place whilst adding in trackers for your habits, period cycles, water consumption. Anything.

You will need a dotted notebook layout like this one, here. Which I use and it’s one of the cheapest I’ve found so far.

Looking for ways to stay creative? Try this post, here.

Digital planning

Digital planning is an awesome concept. I love the freedom to be able to access your planner anywhere. You can start digital planning by downloading the Good notes app and downloading a planner file through Etsy or a free website. There are so many out there to choose from.
you could even design your own if you know how.however, if you don’t know how to create one there are tutorials out there that will show you.

Digital planner
Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com

A specialised planner

A specialised planner is what I describe as an organiser for something specific like fitness, wedding, baby, travel, budgeting etc. There is even a Christmas one out there! How cute is that?
These a brilliant for really being able to plan in detail with certain things. Sometimes having extra room to add more detail about something specific you are planning is so useful. Especially if you love writing lists, like me.

Smash journalling

Smash journaling is a form of using art to express your feelings on a daily basis. You can do this in different ways as well. One option is to journal you day and feeling to them cover the writing in art. A way of relief for fustration. Your not completely destroying the words. Your adding to the words creatively by adding art on top of them.

Project life

I disputed including this one. But I do love project life. However, Although it is a form scrapbooking I also see it as a massive form of journaling because of the usage of images and writing to document your year. It’s such a creative way or keeping memories, thoughts, feelings, notes and anything else all in one place.

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The Happy Planner. What 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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Love Crafts – Life is a wild ride cross stitch

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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Social distancing 101. Creative things to do.

This post contains affiliate links, that if you choose to buy from earns me a small commission at no extra cost to you.

In my last post, I spoke about how the coronavirus has been affecting the world. One of the main responses to the coronavirus has been to self-isolate. Meaning we need to separate from social situations as much as possible, Also known as Social distancing.
Furthermore, from me starting writing this post (we have been super busy with the house move) We are now in a period of ‘lockdown’ only essential shops are open and we are being urged to only go out for essentials.

By staying home and away from social situations we are protecting ourselves as well as the NHS who are currently overwhelmed with convid-19 cases.

The idea of being away from our loved ones and feeling grounded from the outside world is really horrible. We have been put on lockdown for 3 weeks for the meantime. For many of us though we need to self isolate for longer than this.

Both me and Emma are classed as high risk from infections due to both of our underlying health conditions. However, As someone who is constantly in bad health, I thought it would be a great idea to share what gets me through the days When I can’t get out.

Things you can do to stop you going insane during social distancing.

Check-in with friends and family regularly with video and voice calling.

It is genuinely such a depressive time for the world that we live in right now. I highly recommend that you stay in constant contact with your friends and families over the phone.

Today I video called my Nan! I was brilliant, she learnt how to answer video calls on her laptop! and a little chat with nan really did cheer my day up!

We are really lucky in this day and age that we are able to use video calling on our phones and other smart devices. We should be taking advantage of the technology we have been given to the full right now. The ability to virtually see our friends and family makes being apart that little bit easier.

Catch up and binge on your favourite tv shows. Or find a series to watch.

Anyone else that has a Netflix watch list so big that you really need to catch up on? I do. It’s massive. Especially where we didn’t have internet that could handle video streaming at the farm. We went for a long time without being able to watch online streaming providers such as Netflix and Amazon prime that there are so many things we haven’t watched yet.

Having time in self-isolation is the perfect chance to catch up with some ‘Netflix and chill’. (Yes, I mean actual chillaxing).

Declutter and organise your belongings

It’s a job that needs doing, in fact even if you don’t feel like it needs doing, it is always a good idea to stroll through your belongings, check best before dates on food, cosmetics and sprays.

We had a massive declutter before we moved into our new house last week, but even now we are still decluttering things. It is surprising the number of things you think you will need but you really really don’t.

Read a book or two, maybe three.

I love to read but even more so I love to get deeper into what I am reading by reading for longer periods. Since you need to be able to have times to do these things, you now have the time to sit back and really sink into your book.

Take a trip to an open park.

Although the park’s cafes may be closed. A park is a way of getting out in the open whilst still being able to maintain social distancing. Fresh air is good for us and our mental health. Please ensure that you are staying 2 metres apart from other public members using the park.

Pamper yourself.

after a few days of Isolating it is very easy to get out of routine. Not bothering to make an effort as I continuously say. So making a specific time to pamper yourself is really good for your self-care routine.

You can read more on self-care here.

Learn something new.

If your in a position where suddenly you have lots of free time, what exactly is stopping you from learning something new? How about living room yoga? or maybe digging out that instrument you have one lying about. (I am setting myself the goal of getting some guitar practice in! I haven’t played in such a long time). Free time is the perfect reason to start that hobby you’ve been dying to try, probably like me, you have brought all the stuff for it and never got around too.

Exercise with YouTube.

If you are a lover of the gym, this is a bad time. With all leisure centres being closed for now. Exercise can be a real challenge.

There are plenty of online classes, live streams that you could try! just give it a search on youtube. Try getting the other members of your household to join in! What a laugh this could be.

Doodle, Colour and draw.

I absolutely love drawing. It is such a relaxing activity. Especially for someone like me who has an overactive imagination. Doodling and colouring can be a brilliant stress relief activity. So if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed try this!.

Look through old photos and organise or scrapbook them.

As a scrapbooker since a child, I am so passionate about photo keeping. There are many different forms of ways you can organise your photos! Keeping them in photo albums, starting your own scrapbook, project life albums, or organising them into boxes. You can be as obsessive with this as you like! how about organising your muddled up pictures into chronological order? This may sound boring but it definitely takes time to do.

Social distancing
Journal Your thoughts.

As an overactive thinker (yeah I think that is a thing) Journalling is a great way to get all your thoughts and feelings out of your head. Use your journal exactly how you want too. Be as creative or as simple as you like… I like to draw and decorate mine as well using rubber stamps and washi tape!

Bullet journalling is an amazing type of journaling! check it out on Pinterest.

Start your own blog or website.

Have you got an idea for a pretty awesome website? or thinking about starting your own blog? Starting your own website has so much freedom. I see my blog as my own creative space to express my thoughts, feelings and share things I love with the world! Blogging and creating websites is also a great way to stay social virtually during Social distancing.

You can read why I blog here.

I have recently moved to Skystra cloud hosting. who offer a free month of hosting on your first month with there. Perfect for anyone starting a website, and trialling self-hosting.

the blogger recognition award
Support your friends by reading their blogs and leaving comments.

It is a pretty depressing time right now. A lot of us have noticed a lack of engagement in our online presences and for the self-employed like me, it has affected our businesses.

You can support your friends by sharing their content, reading their posts and leaving them supportive comments. I love a good spree of reading other blog posts and commenting!

Make a vision board

I love making vision boards, using pictures of things that inspire me. As well as pictures of things that represent my goals. Have a go at making your own vision board.
How about using old magazines and catalogues to make collages of things you like and want in your life!

Rearrange your furniture and zen your living space.

Since we’ve just moved house I feel like I am being all over this right now. Constantly moving our furniture around until its perfect.

It is so different to have the freedom to do this. I would definitely suggest if your feeling fed up with the four walls in your house, why not change them up?

Declutter your social media.

Time to start having a spring clean of your mobile and smart devices. There are plenty of time-consuming things that you can do to declutter your devices. A virtual spring clean!

Craft some cards and presents to give to friends and family to cheer them up.

Who really needs an excuse to craft some goodies. You could leave homemade cards and gifts on your loved one’s doorsteps for them to find, this would really put a smile on anyone’s face.

Scroll through Pinterest.

I don’t know about you but when I get on Pinterest I can’t seem to get off it. I can happily and unknowingly spend hours on Pinterest without even trying. I’m constantly inspired and entertained by searching the bored for motivation to do something.

Create a positivity book about yourself and things that make you happy.

I’m rubbish at being positive about myself so I started to keep a book of things that make me happy and what I like about myself and why. Even statements that others have said that make me smile or feel happy.

You could even keep goals and bucket lists of things you want to achieve. Films you want to watch and books you want to read.

Read more about the Cricut here.
Create your dream house.

Draw a floor plan for your dream house. Be as extravagant as you want to be. Once you have created the floor plan attempt to draw your room plans. Use images to collage the types of decor you want and the colours you want to have.

Draw your next tattoo.

This is a personal goal for me! I’ve always dreamed of a tattoo large, on my thighs to cover the scars I’ve had from my surgery I had when I was younger. A dream catcher. So Having time to draw and create an Idea would be amazing!

Download a drawing app like procreator and learn to digitally draw.

Drawing with a Digital pencil is so much fun. be warned though. It is addictive! I got myself a cheap digital pen off Amazon here. Now I’m already saving up for an Apple pen. eeeeeeee.

Play a game like the sims.

You can play sims on a phone, computer or games station. It is a life simulator. Another addictive game. You can control the lives of a whole Sim family and house.

Being creative is good for your mental health.

These are just some ideas, there’s so much you can do whilst Social distancing from other people. I know it sucks that we can’t go out and live our normal lives right now, and seeing loved ones has become really hard, but keeping busy really does help.

There are so many are risking their lives to help the communities function. As well as our amazing NHS workers who are fighting to keep the ones who have caught this terrible disease alive.

Stay safe and positive everyone!

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