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

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

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

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

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

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

We really do know how to support each other.

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

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

We learnt to be creative with what we have.

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

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

How to appreciate the things we have in life.

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

We learnt how much we took for granted.

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

We really learnt to care more.

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

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

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

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

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

Anything can happen. anything can change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

postponing our wedding
Next year will be a better year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Life in Lockdown. What we have really been up too.

Good morning my lovelies, I hope that you guys have been having a lovely week so far! I have noticed that spirits and positivity seem to be picking up now that we are allowed to have 6 people in the garden/meet at a park as well as a load of other confusing rules, that quite frankly make no sense. Depressingly the weather has been so shitty recently! Which is why I am praying that the weather picks up again! We have no time for rain right now! So I thought it was about time that I talked about life in lockdown, and what this situation has brought us in this house.

Lockdown has been trying so many of us, we’ve had our share of good days and bad. after a few weeks into lockdown, I decided to give a bit of a break from my normal monthly wrap-ups, So as I have not done a monthly update since the Covid-19 started really. Mainly because Lockdown has felt like a constant form of groundhog day. literally.
So anyway, I thought it would be nice to share what we have actually been up too during the stay at home and stay safe period.

So what has life in lockdown brung?

Lockdown Street Parties

I feel like life in lockdown has been a blessing to get to know our neighbours so well, and so quickly! When the beautiful human ‘Crazy M‘ started bringing our street together by hosting music and dancing for our weekly Thursday claps, which then developed into street quizzes, bingo and a very drunken VE day picnic party.

(Crazy M has been our lockdown superhero, and I honestly suggest you check our her website, she is now offering virtual parties for kids birthdays and doorstop visits around the Hampshire area).

All of these street gatherings have been so amazing and not only brought us closer to our new neighbours but have also given us something to look forward to every week.

After a conversation with Crazy M one night, Emma also shared that I can sing. So with much persuasion and a bit of anxiety, I was able to sing in front of our street on many Thursday night claps, etc.

I have to give VE day a special mention because this party broke a lot of us! with so much alcohol and so many laughs (Yes at a social distance).

Connecting over FaceTime… A lot!

Personally, I have been making a lot of use of the video call feature on my phone recently. Even forcing my parents into answering a video call over the phone to see their faces.
As well as general chats on video calls, we have had group calls with friends for virtual quiz nights! Which have been hilarious! especially when dressing up as an idiot for the video call.

A lot of crafting!

I have been busy finishing old projects and starting plenty of new ones during life in lockdown! I have been spending plenty of time in our craft room fiddling around with varies different projects!
The pros of having our craft room are definitely having the assessability to all of our stashes! making it easier to just get things out instead of rummaging through boxes and trying to keep it compact.

I have been doing so many little projects as well as big ones. Ive learnt how to use a sewing machine! and I have some pretty major crafting plans for the next few weeks! so there is definitely more to come!

The bizarre shopping trips.

Well, I certainly did have to give this one a mention. To clarify I am talking about food shopping. Which going to the supermarket is no longer what it used to be!
We’ve learnt that on a Tuesday (our shopping day) as we are shopping for 2 people, (Ourselves and Emma’s dad) that it is easier to get up for 8 am, just to avoid that masses of ques and be able to get our shopping over and done with!
It is amazing the amount of effort that the stores are putting in place to keep us safe, from clear guards for the shop assistants to the arrows on the floors telling us what way to go. Sadly not everyone is so cautious at this point, and I constantly find myself getting pissed off as someone gets too close!

So many series have been watched.

If you saw my recent post on ‘13 things you need to watch on Netflix‘ you will already know that lockdown has left us watching a lot of Television. Even when we are doing things like me on the laptop, or cross-stitching away, the TV tends to be on. So we have been watching too many series catching up on the things that we have wanted to watch for ages.

I’m also having such fun with watching my childhood shows. I am completely addicted to watching old school programs on Disney+. I mean Hannah Montana, That’s So Raven, Lizzie McGuire, that kinda old school.

Refocusing my business mind.

When lockdown was introduced my online selling business took a pretty massive hit, which of course was unfortunate but very understandable due to the situation. Just like so many others I made the decision to close that businesses whilst this is going on. Also due to the fact that I have illnesses that are high risk and wanted to avoid going out as much as possible.

In the past few weeks I have been refocusing on my business plan and I am launching 2 new businesses. including my photography business ‘AlexaJade Snaps’ and my crafting business of ‘AlexaJade Creates’

It feels rewarding and productive that these are getting in motion finally. They are still in the building process! but I would rather be in that position than putting it off still. My mental health does tend to put me in a damper a lot recently. So I am proud to finally be fighting this.

Life in lockdown is something that so many of us have been struggling with… I have written a list of creative activities here, check them out and try something new!

Focusing on Self-growth.

This year when I posted my 2020 goals, I mentioned how I wanted to focus on my self-love and growth. I have always been the type of person to put myself down for everything possible. I realised I didn’t want to be like that any more and it was about time I realised how worthy I really am!
Confidence is a really tricky thing to Master. If you have a natural confident personality then I admire you! but for so many of us, we are learning to fake it till we make it! which is completely fine.
I have been taking extra time to focus on the reasons to be positive about myself, which is slowly helping my confidence, motivation and mental health.
I have been posting more pictures of myself full length which is something I would always avoid before.

Lockdown may not be completely over, but as things slowly return to ‘the new normal’. Positivity is definitely flowing a lot more right now!

I think so of life right now is just growing acceptance. Acceptance to change and adapting to life in a positive way whilst the world is pretty much upside down.

Thank you beautiful people for reading my little update! Hope you are having a safe time, and our staying strong. I love you all.

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Starting your own blog and joining the blogging community.

This post contains affiliate links if you choose to register and purchase from will earn me a small commission at no extra expense to you.

Good morning! I hope you are all still staying safe and aren’t too bored in the weird situation of lockdown due to the coronavirus right now. It is pretty scary out there! So today I wanted to share something that would encourage others to get sharing! I am sharing with you how to start your own blog. I’ve honestly wanted to do a post like this for ages but had been putting it off. Since we are currently in a time full of freedom at the moment, I thought now would be a perfect time since there is literally nothing stopping you right now! starting a blog is an opportunity to start something that will keep your mind occupied during this lockdown. You too can share whatever you like with the world! Your thoughts, your ambitions and your opinions and advice!

Blogging can be a brilliant hobby or it could be your next business adventure! It is up to you how you want to run your blog, but it does have the opportunity to be a way for you to make some extra cash!

Starting your own blog can seem sorta scary before you start, like wondering if anyone would even bother to read what you are posting about. How other peoples blogs would be so much better. Basically my advice is that you need to stop with these thoughts. Blogging has made me so much more confident in life! and every day my passion has grown and I am finding new things I want to talk about and share about with my readers!

starting your own blog

You can read the reason behind why I blog here.

Where to start when starting your own blog…

Step One – The first decision to make…

Your blog identity! A name that for your blog that represents you and what you care about. I won’t lie that this is a pretty big decision out of all the decisions you will need to make. Although it is not impossible to change your blog name later down the line, it can be quite frustrating and cause some difficulties for the blogger.

It’s always useful to have a reason why you blog. This is my reason, here.

Step two – Deciding where to create your blog?

There are a few options on what platform you could use for your blog. I highly recommend using WordPress. WordPress is the biggest platform for blog accounts and has the most flexibility for the blogger themselves. Whereas I found the blogger platform quite restrictive in places.

Step three – Choose whether or not To opt for a Self-Hosting plan?

If you are thinking about self-hosting your blog this will mean you need to run a word press account, a registered domain, and a hosting package through a hosting server. I have used a couple of hosting servers in the past, and I stayed with GoDaddy for a long time but found that their customer service was on the decline. So I moved to Skystra. I have been impressed by Skystra Customer support, and how they supported moving hosting. Also with a month free hosting to trial Skystra when you sign up! It is brilliant!

When I was purchasing a hosting account with Skystra I chose their WordPress Go service. Which is a really ideal package for anyone running a single blog. Another reason I chose to go with Skystra hosting is that they include SSL in their package. Which is important for your website to have. Most other providers charge separately for this. It was one of the other reasons I wanted to move my websites hosting.

starting your own blog

So you have now you are all set up, your blogging platform is now ready for content! so what next?

What’s the first thing to do once you’ve created your blog account?

Once you have your own blog up and running, whether you have chosen to pay for self-hosting or have a free WordPress account, it is time to get working on your blog. First things first, it is time to decide what you want for the design to be, and how the blog is going to look. It is your own blog and it is totally up to you what the appearance of the blog will be. Concentrate on reflecting your personality, not what other blogs look like.

Messing around with the different free themes that they have available in the themes store, and customising these to your preferences may take time, and I am constantly changing and trying to improve mine. It is a job that I call working progress because of the progression of your blog

What to write first?

So now that you are starting your own blog, the first thing your blog needs is an about me page, like mine here. You are about me page is going to tell the reader about who you are and what your blog is about. You should also explain what your blog niche is on this page if you have one. A lot of bloggers will tell you if you are going to be a blogger you will need a niche. However, if you are not planning to earn money from blogging, I wouldn’t say that this was an urgent decision to make. You need to take the beginning of your blogging journey to learn your blogging style.

Blogging Media…

When you are starting your own blog you will need to start thinking about creating your own media for your blog. your images are just as important as your writing. Taking your own blog photos does not mean that you need to have a fancy camera. A lot of my images have been taken using my iPhone. Although taking your own blog images can be trying at times, I also really enjoy being creative with flat lays and images for my blog! before long you will be taking photos every 5 minutes because you might use it in your next blog post! honestly! (I literally love blog image props).

Stuck for ideas for blog photos? This post is for you, here.

If you are struggling to take images yourself you could always use stock images. Some stock images are free and some you can pay for.
The only thing with stock images is that the images you are then using are not unique to your blog.

Planning, Planning and more planning.

I am a lover of notebooks and planning as it is, but when I started to concentrate on my blog more and more I really did find a reason to fill up all of my empty notebooks. Planning is such an important part of running your blog, as you will want to store your ideas for blog posts somewhere! And sometimes a pen and paper is the best way to focus on planning with no further distractions. I find that If I have planned a post well enough I will find the content writing a lot easier.

Tip: Try and make a list of 100 blog post ideas to help you get started with your blog.

Lastly…

ENJOY! Seriously! Now you have created your blog, and started your journey as a blogger the door is open for you to achieve so much. Enjoy writing, being creative and spreading love on the internet.

Worried about writers block? Check out how to overcome writers block, here.

If you started a blog and then decide that it is not really your thing, that’s ok too! At least you tried something new at the end of the day. I would always suggest trying something before deciding it is something that you cant do! If you don’t try you will never know.

I would love to know what stops you from creating your own blog?! Or how you influence others into blogging! Let me know in the comments below! Or check out the Contact me page.

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The importance of staying positive during the lockdown

We are officially over the 3 weeks into the lockdown that Boris Johnson announced on the 23rd Mach 2020. And then it has announced that the 3 weeks are turning to 6 weeks, as the time had been extended to stay put in our houses. Frankly, It has been a trying time for many of us And if we are honest, it could be even longer than that. So today I am talking something that it has been a battle for me in this period of uncertain times, being positive.

It is so easy to feel down and alone during this time that we can not see our loved ones. I battle with thinking negatively before I think positive all the time! it is something that really just can’t be helped. So during this time, it is becoming so important to focus on staying positive, as well as knowing that you are not alone and there is so much support out there. Together the world can get through anything with a positive attitude.

positive
I finished my cross stitch project due to lockdown boredom, and I am pretty chuffed with it.

You can read more about the coronavirus here.

Stay Connected with each other.

Lockdown is lonely. There is no argument about that. Both myself and Emma always say how we are people, people, Like we are always out and about seeing friends and family. So I completely understand how trying it is. However, we have an opportunity to be grateful for the technology we have. We really do have some amazing gadgets, and video calling is an invention that all of us are so grateful for right now.

Staying connected with your friends and family is so important. They are your support network and in these crappy times having a support network is amazing.
Video calls have seriously become my favourite. They can be so much fun and really allows us to feel like we are really part of something. Being able to see our loved ones virtually is basically the next best thing.

Focus on things that make you happy.

Set yourself new goals for your time inside! Who says you can’t be productive right now? Doing things that you enjoy can keep your mood uplifted since they tend to be things that we are already passionate about.
Whatever it is set specific times to do that activity, daily.

How about reading my post on creative things to do whilst in lockdown here.

Show your appreciation

Times are hard, for all of us and especially for our hard-working heroes. The key workers that are keeping our country operating. These are the emergency services, the Postman, The shop workers, the bin men and so many other roles to list. These people are outside working, they are risking their own lives at the hands of the virus to keep us safe, and our community to keep turning.

There are so many ways you can show appreciation to these people. Creating thank-you signs, Clapping and being kind just to name a few. I made a canvas for our window to be seen this week. The best thing is that by showing appreciation for what others are doing goes such a long way. You are putting a smile on someone who may be finding the hard work

Share what you are doing!

There are so many ways we can share with ur loved ones what we have been up too. Sharing statuses, chatting online! Sending photos, and videos!

TikTok has become my 2nd favourite (and most used on-screen time) app on my phone! Watching families mess around creating funny videos and completing challenges. I didn’t think I would end up posting anything! but I have already succumbed due to the awesomeness that TikTok has become.

Another thing, and something that we took part in this week. Video call with a group of friends and run a quiz! One of our friends did this with 5 of us this weekend, a music quiz. Oh, it was hilarious! it is our turn to run the quiz next!

Try not to dwell and be grateful for what you have.

I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t honestly admit that I have been doing a lot of this in the past few weeks, finding it really easy to feel down about the things that we have been missing, and the worrying about our wedding in September and the fact we still have a lot to do! I think about the wedding every day!

Every cloud has a silver lining.

It is very much easier said than done! when there is so much to worry about for so many of us, Money, Family, health etc. It is important to be appreciative of the things we do have and try not to focus on what we don’t. We all have a roof above our heads after all.

Lockdown won’t be forever, before we know it we will all be looking back and saying ‘Remember 2020 when we couldn’t leave our houses for months so video called ALOT’.

positive

Set goals to complete during this period.

I love setting goals and writing to-do lists of things I want to do. I’ve written my list of things I can do when I am bored and stuck in the house as well as my previous post about staying creative with activities during the pandemic, here.

The goals you set do not have to be extravagant. Always set goals that are achievable for you… and of course achievable during the lockdown period…

One goal that I am setting myself during the ‘Stay at home’ period is to create my first ever youtube video as this is something I have wanted to do for ages but it is out of my comfort zone.

Stay Safe as well as positive

Finally, as hard as this has been, Just remember that staying home is the safest option and we are all doing this together for the same reason! Preventing us from developing the covid19 virus, and allowing the NHS to cope, as they are already under such high pressure during the pandemic.

We are all in this together ☺ stay safe and happy everyone.

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