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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Cricut crafts – 3D flowers in 5 simple steps.

I am really excited to be sharing my first of hopefully many more craft how-to posts, especially when it comes to the Cricut. I recently shared an Instagram post of a shadow box I had filled with 3D flowers, and a few people have inspired me to write by asking how to make these.

You may of reading my post recently about my excitement of being brought the Cricut explore air 2 recently, why I think the Cricut is any crafters best friend.
my opinion is still so strong on how much I love this crazy crafty machine.

Since I have been playing around in the world of Cricut I have absolutely loved creating shadow boxes full of colourful 3D flowers. As much as I love playing with vinyl, this is one of my favourite projects to do. These flowers are so very simple to make.

What you will need:

  • Card stock
  • hot glue gun
  • Your Cricut
  • tweezers

The time needed to make:

depending on how many flowers you are intended in to make. I would allow a few hours for this project. Individually each flower takes approximately 5 minutes.

Step one:

Cricut mat, 3D flowers

You will need to print your flower swirls from the Cricut projects. You can use the flowers guide that’s available in the projects here. I have opted to only print this one of the three in the project as it makes rose flowers, which is my favourite. For this shadow box, I have used A4 card stock, and fitted 6 swirls to a sheet, this did result in the flowers being quite small, however, you can make these any size that you like. Why not try experimenting with sizes?
If you don’t own a Cricut you could try making a stencil and cutting these out with scissors, unfortunately, it will take some time though.

Step two:

Cricut craft

Remove the excess paper from your rose swirls. So that you are left with just the cut-outs… now it’s time to turn the swirls into flowers! I keep a craft knife by me ready to cut anything that may not have cut completely with the Cricut. It depends on the thickness of the card most of the time.

Step three:

Cricut Craft

I prefer to use slim tweezers to start turning. Grasp these to the very end of the swirl. (Leaving the centre bit for last) twist the card around the tweezers basically rolling up the card until you read the end.

Step four:

Cricut craft, 3D flowers

Once you have finished turning your swirls, You will need to position the centre at the top so that you can secure your flower together.

Step five:

Cricut Craft

Add a pea-size amount of hot glue to the bottom of your flower and press this down with your fingers for about 20 seconds…

My top advice would be to be careful with your fingers. I have burnt my fingers making roses many times.

What to do with them…

there are plenty of things you can use these beautiful flowers for. As I mentioned before my favourite is a shadow box, and then vinyl on the glass. But you could also use these to decorate the outside of frames and mirrors.

I have recently started an Instagram page for me to share all my crafty shenanigans on called crafty hearts corner, so if you would like to see more of what I am up too with craft, give this a follow.

Related Posts:

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What I am changing in 2020.

As we are now over a week into January I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about what I plan to change this 2020.
This year I am not setting any new year resolutions, just life changes that I want to keep too. We all set New Year’s resolutions but after a while, we seem to forget about them and no longer stick to them. This is why I do not want to call the resolutions this year. This year is all about life goals!

My happy planner this year to keep me on track!

Routine.

Last year my health caused my daily routines to make a major hit. In honesty, I completely lost all concept of what a routine even is or should be. One of my main goals right now especially is to get myself in a routine again. The past few days I have been setting my alarm for 9:30 every morning, which is a start since most days I had not been getting up till the afternoon.
Currently, my iPad and iPhone are acting more of a PA then anything else, as I am finally setting constant reminders, events, shared notes with Emma etc. Apparently this method seems to be working most for me, as I have started planning my day hour by hour.

Confidence.

At the beginning of this month, I posted about bringing confidence into 2020. Which as I said there I plan to step out of my comfort this year and become more confident we’re possible.
For me, I know that this is not going to be easy! But I am determined to try.

Learning to love myself for who I am

My self-employment.

Becoming self-employed is a big deal for me this year. I am finally starting to push myself in many ways to get organised, focused and motivated. 2019 left me with way too many months that I didn’t feel motivated at all, I am promising myself that this is not going to be the case this year.

Getting married. 04.09.2020.

Well, this is less of a goal and more of something that is definitely happening this year. With less than 9 months to go till September now and still so much to do. Our wedding is a massive focus of the year! I am so excited. This year I get to become Mrs Taplin to my beautiful fiancé Emma. One of our many exciting adventures this year.

Healthy lifestyle.

Having said about the wedding, this now fits in pretty well. This year I’m taking a particular interest in my health and lifestyle. Having had a bad year health-wise last year, I am hoping that by the wedding I can get myself into better shape then I am now. There are wedding photos to think about of course!

Moving house.

This is a given for us this year as well. This year, probably in the next 6 months I and Emma will be moving into our own place. That’s right, 2020 is a new house and a marriage!
how scary is this right? And so bloody exciting. We started this week, house searching. Already we are overwhelmed with the number of viewings and searching we have planned this week. I am excited and nervous about the challenges me and Emma will face by living on our own!
You will probably see me blogging about this a lot this year. I warn you now :).

Will 2020 be the year for using my camera more.

Now, this is really an ironic ambition for me this year. Honestly, I am a photo obsessed personality. I constantly have my phone out taking photos. Over the past few years though it’s constantly photos on my phone. Not my actual camera, which I spent so much money on.
It really annoys me that I’ve become so lazy when it comes to my DSLR, especially when it’s one of my prize possessions. So I am planning to get it out of its bag every chance I can.

Last but not least. Happiness.

I know that right now I am so lucky! I have an amazingly supportive partner, a wonderful family, a lovely place to live, amazing friends and so many wonderful things that are happening this year. 2020 is going to be a busy and amazing year for both of us.
Unfortunately, I sometimes allow my depression and anxiety to affect me way too much. So this year I want to try and improve by leaving myself happy messages and notes to find. Reminders. Things like that.
It is so easy for any of us, no matter what our situation, to forget how lucky we really are.

So this is my list of what I want to change (and what will be changing) in 2020.
What is it that you would like for your year? I hope you all reach your goals.

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Festive things to get you in the Christmas spirit

As we move closer towards the end of 2019, Christmas is looming just around the corner and as the season is upon us it’s time to stop avoiding it! It is time to sit back and enjoy the festive feelings that this time of year brings. At this point, we should be enjoying the season and not worrying about it.

So now that we know it is time to get into the festive spirit however how does one actually do this?
For me, I absolutely love this time of year and I am completely determined to not let the lack of funds get in the way! So I thought I would share with you 24 activity ideas to bring on the festive spirit.

Get planning …

Christmas is the pretty much the busiest time of the year. So first things first, sit down with a notepad and your diary. write lists, plans and get everything down so you can get through it all.
I always say planning and prepping makes everything run smoothly, that and I love to be super organised, no winging it is going on in this house! that’s for sure!

Christmas Movie Night.

One of my favourite Christmas activities has to be an evening in bed. Or cosy up on the sofa with a bottle of wine, or even a hot festive chocolate, popcorn and the Christmas movies at our fingertips.

Since Christmas has its very own dedicated channel as well full of Christmas movies 24/7. There will always be something festive to watch.

Christmas crafts.

We started our Christmas crafts really early this year since we are planning to gift everyone homemade crafts, as a lack, we have a massive lack of funds available and so far it’s been working out, with only a few lefts to do. Leaving more time to craft some Christmas goodies for the day.

Handmade cards and gifts are so special and it’s amazing to receive something that has so much effort into. So get your crafty fingers ready and make your own presents, cards and decorations.

Christmas
My vinyl skills at Christmas

Spend an evening looking at Christmas lights.

Whether it’s a walk around your block or a trip around in the car, it’s lovely to use the opportunity to get out and see the effort that some people go to at Christmas, with their houses all dressed up. Twinkle lights, inflatable Christmas characters and even singing houses!

Enjoy a mulled wine & cheese night.

It is fair to say that most people love a cheese night. So grab a bottle of mulled wine (or if your feeling particularly creative cook some up yourself) and shove some cheese on a board, invite your besties around, and enjoy a festive evening of chat, Christmas foods and wine. Perfect, right?

I know that mulled wine isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so bring out the gin or even Prosecco.

Get baking and decorating, and make a Gingerbread House.

Is it really Christmas without gingerbread? The smell of mixed spices and cinnamon, the most festive aroma whilst it is being baked.

Decorating a gingerbread house and making gingerbread is so much fun and of course yummy.

You can read my favourite gingerbread recipe here.

Christmas markets.

For me, Christmas markets are a love-hate relationship. A festive opportunity to get some shopping and admire beautiful things on the stalls, definitely something to consider heading out too. My town of Southampton has a German Christmas market every year. It is definitely the atmosphere that the Christmas market creates that brings festive feelings.

The only reason I say I have a love-hate relationship towards a Christmas market is that they always seem to be slap bang in the middle of town. Bringing in even more customers to the shops making a Christmas shopping trip hectic and a little stressful.

Get the Christmas wardrobe going.

Festive, silly ugly, cute, different. Call them what you may but Christmas clothes like the old Christmas jumpers! who doesn’t own a selection of these to wear. Not just jumpers either. Leggings, dresses, tops and jewellery! Get it all out. It’s an opportunity to wear whatever you like. Even if you fancy looking silly dressed up as one of Santa clauses elves. No one’s gonna think twice! Perfect!

Christmas
This was last years

Putting up the Christmas decorations

I’m not gonna lie this year we have been slacks when it comes to some Christmas involved things. Normally As soon as we reach the 1st of December I am asking to put the tree up and the Christmas decorations out. we’ve finally got this done today. Spending ages to untangle the fairy lights, swearing at trying to get the branches to sit right, and trying to retread the strings that have broken off the. It takes hours, and sometimes we wonder why we bother since it’s all for one day.
But really, by having the decorations up twinkling away just has a pure automatic Christmas vibe. My favourite Christmas activity of them all.

Turn up the Christmas Music and wrap presents and cards.

Ok. Christmas present wrapping, it’s more of a chore right? You’ve gone out shopping spent loads of money and you are really pleased with everything you have brought your loved ones, but now you have to spend hours getting them all ready for the big day.
I am a lover of giving at Christmas but the wrapping, not so much the wrapping of everything. So, making a fun evening of it with the Christmas songs blaring. Or a film, whatever you choose can make the whole mountain of presents into a festive pleasant evening getting you right in the mood for Christmas.

Get the board games out of the cupboard.

Christmas time is all about family time in this house. So what could be any better than turning the TV off and getting the family interacting and chatting with some fun competitive things between one another?
One year for Christmas a lovely gift from my uncle was a guess the Disney tune where you need to blow the tune in to a harmonica. The memories made on that Christmas Day of my Nan trying to buzz out a tune will live with me forever. It was truly hilarious. I would definitely suggest a few games over Christmas whilst your family have been drinking. Honestly trust me on this one.

Light some festive candles.

Christmas definitely has a smell to it, right? I can’t be the only one to think so!

So by lighting some festive scents, be it candles or wax melts. Getting the house smelling lovely and Christmasy definitely helps the festive vibes. One of my favourite Christmas scents is Yankee candle snowflake! But you don’t need to spend lots of money on expensive candles, head to the pound shop! Or even home bargains, at this time of year they have plenty of winter scents in stock!

Christmas
What a beautiful elf workshop

visit your local garden centres.

I’m not the biggest fan of garden centres at any other time of the year, but as soon as we hit the Christmas month I can not wait to get to a few to see their Christmas displays. The garden centres seem to make such a massive effort when it’s Christmas, with beautiful Christmas walks, Reindeers to go and see, and decorations galore. I love seeing the shops all dressed up and totally Christmas galore.

Most garden centres will have things for you to go see, I honestly suggest this as a perfect activity for an age! Some you may need to pay a small donation for especially if your planning to take a trip to see Santa, but they’re normally so worth the money, we haven’t been let down yet.

At the beginning of this month, we took an amazing trip to Keydell Nurseries in Hampshire, you can read about this experience here.

Get some late night shopping in.

As it gets closer to the big day the stores give us more and more chance to spend our money! The best time is late night shopping hours, as the stores aren’t as busy as usual working hours. Plus it’s a perfect opportunity to go for a drink with friends and shop your heart out.

Elf on the shelf

Elf on the shelf is just the best, isn’t it? The past few years the elf on the shelf has become more and more popular in the UK. With Facebook being filled with peoples pictures of what their naughty elf has been up too.

I really wouldn’t say that elf is just for kids, although it is massively fun for them, adults love elf too, and if I’m honest, the elf’s who belong to adults seem to be even more naughty. Funny that right?

Even if you don’t have children to set up elf on the shelf for Kyle don’t have to be left out of this festive activity! Get your own elf and pose him doing naughty things to share with your friends! Why not hey?

watch a Pantomime.

‘Oh no she didn’t. Oh yes, she did’. Those famous words, as celebrities hit the stage this time of year to make us laugh. I am not saying that you need to spend hundreds on theatre tickets. at this time of year, there’s plenty of pantos being shown on the TV. There is definitely something about the pantos, that just screams festive.

This is definitely going to be one of my goals for our Christmas next year, I have been to Pantos before, and have even acted in one in an armature production of one, so I have got my heart set on the mayflower theatre next year.

spend time with your loved ones.

this is the time of year that we all make time in our busy schedules to see our family and friends.

It’s a given! It’s festive to spend time with loved ones is so take every possible opportunity to spend time with the people you care about by doing your Christmas activities with them.

Go ice skating.

I’m not the best skater but it just feels so festive to shove on some funny boots and making a fool of yourself as you confidently fall over on some ice. Perfect winter activity. Since it’s a cold-weather thing it’s the perfect excuse to grab a nice hot chocolate afterwards.

Participate in RAK.

Have you heard of RAK? It’s been around for ages and I have found that not many people have even heard of this. RAK stands for random acts of kindness. This is such a lovely way of spreading some festive cheer at this time of year by doing something randomly kind for a friend, neighbour or stranger. This could even be buying a homeless person some food or a hot drink and gifting it to them.

Consider how a small act of kindness could really make someone’s day. Hopefully, the person your RAK was for will follow on to do another act for someone else.

Make snowflakes and chains

Yes, I suppose that this should really come under Christmas crafts. But making snowflakes by cutting up shapes out of folded white paper. And making your own Christ chains is so fun and definitely a lovely decoration piece.
Also, snowflakes and paper chains have been a Christmas decoration for centuries. At one point families didn’t have flashy decorations or lights, so it’s nice to think some classic Christmas traditions are still being kept.

Read a Christmas book

If your a big book reader like me, then this is the perfect activity. Get in bed snuggle up and read a Christmas story, what a lovely way to get in the mood for Christmas. I always find that I get ideas for what I want to do at Christmas by reading stories

Last but not least… ENJOY Christmas.

It doesn’t matter if you are not yet in the Christmas spirit. Or if you are planning to leave it a few more days before you start thinking about Christmas, maybe your half and half. Christmas is not about how much your you have spent or if you have outdone it this year, it isn’t about what you receive under the tree. This is a season, it isn’t just a day, it is a feeling of festiveness.
So don’t get down by stress, it’s time that you can enjoy everything that you have been doing. I really think it is so important to remember that this is the most wonderful time of the year. Even if there are things that make you feel sad around this time, family and friends seem to always come together to be supportive.
The greatest thing is we have the opportunity to embrace and enjoy, so no matter what it is your doing this year to make your Christmas season special, enjoy every moment.

I would love to hear what your excited to get doing this season in the comments below!

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