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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Why I think The Cricut Explore Air 2 is any crafters best friend

A while back you may have read my post what’s on my desk? Where I spoke about the newest technology that I owned and how excited I was. Well, I thought now would be a great opportunity to finally write a post about this wonderful machine, the Cricut.

I know a few people that are also thinking about investing in the machine. I also have spoken to my friends so much about the Cricut, Weeding, Vinyl and other bits. They have no idea what I am going on about! so what better than to write my own review of owning this machine so far.

Cricut explore air 2
Introducing my Cricut Explore Air 2.

So what is Cricut?

The Cricut Explore Air and other versions such as the maker, is a die-cutting machine, in its simplest terms. Think of it as a printer, except a Printer with a blade, and Pen option. Giving you the ability to create a design on your computer and then send it to the machine to cut. The only difference to a printer is instead of using ink you are printing designs by cutting your chosen material.

My story of the Cricut so far…

After absolute years of longing for this machine, I have not yet been left disappointed. The Cricut Explore Air 2 has got me enthusiastic with many different craft ideas. Not to mention a massive new passion for vinyl. I have a beautiful turquoise colour machine, and there is a variety of other colours that you can choose from. Although the machine and everything you need can be a little pricey. It is a well worthwhile investment when you are in the craft world.
The opportunities that the Cricut system brings are endless. There is honestly so much that you are able to do with this beautiful machine. It doesn’t matter whether you are a papercraft enthuses, vinyl, or anything else. The Cricut can do so many things for any passionate crafter.

So it has been over 2 months since my Cricut Explore Air 2 had been purchased. Playing with vinyl has now become my favourite thing to do with the Cricut so far. I really do enjoy personalising so many items with names, and pictures, or a few words. I can print on to fabric, like T-shirts and canvas bags. Personalising any decor items, so far the options have been limitless.

Cricut tools
Out of all of the Cricut tools I own, these are my go too.

When my journey with the Cricut Explore first began I felt completely new to the Cricut world. Even though I had experience using one of the older versions of the machine. Although I would mainly use for scrapbooking projects and did not have as many functions. Actually, the original machine uses cartridges only which are pretty pricey and extremely limited.

Design Space is where it is at!

One of the best features of the Cricut explore and newer versions are the Cricut Design Space. This can be loaded on to any smartphone or tablet device, as well as the computer. The computer does give access to a few extra options. I haven’t had problems using the app on my iPhone or iPad. In fact, I completely love it. There is a lot of flexibility, by having a Cricut access subscription account. You can have 1000’s of images and projects at the tips of your fingers.
The Cricut library has so many free SVG files. There are also many websites that you can download and upload to the DS. These are usually to be created for your own personal gain. This could also be a business venture when buying commercial licences for the files.

A few examples…

I know that I have already mentioned my love for vinyl, but there are many different ways to use vinyl. As well as using vinyl for decor, there are so many options you can do. Using Vinyl for a template for instance. We now use vinyl as a template for Glass engraving. I have even painted some designs on to doormats and canvas.

Cricut cutting
Pretty paper ready to go!

But like I said vinyl is not the only material that the Cricut machine can cut. Card, paper, Fabric, Posterboard, and so much more. So depending on your hobby, owning the Cricut could really be a game-changer to every crafter. Scrapbooking, engraving, painting, honestly so much more that I probably don’t even know about yet. Believe me, though, I can not wait to play and find out. Also! Did you know that the Cricut explore range can hold a Pen! Yes, that’s right! it can draw & write, another amazing feature.

I literally have a list of project ideas that I want to do as long as my arm right now!

Above is a project that took me hours, but worth every minute. Pretty card stock, a hot glue gun and a load of patience I created a beautiful load or 3D flowers. I then used these inside a 3D box frame, which turned out lovely. This project took ages, and swearing loads because the hot glue gun was hot and I kept burning myself. The projects itself I am so happy with, and I do like a good fiddly project.

To anyone questioning buying a Cricut…

If anyone was to ask me, should I give in and buy a Cricut? I would probably do a really exciting squeal. Rambling about how much I love the Cricut. then overfeeding information about what the Cricut machine can do. Then I would ask them one simple questions…
Do you have a passion for crafting?
If the answer is yes. Do it! The Cricut community is amazing, and there is so much benefit from owning such an amazing machine. I would suggest doing some of your own research before you buy. You will need tools and materials alongside owning the machine. It is beneficial to be able to get the accessories alongside the machine. Believe me, there is so much to choose from. My next stop with be saving for and buying the Cricut east heat press.

So what do you think? Does the Cricut machine sound like a match for you?

I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions, as always leave me some love below.

Organised Hell? How to Keep yourself organised and carrying on.

I recently wrote a post about what’s on my desk, and as I plan big things for the future. My life has been pretty hectic. I thought that now would be the perfect opportunity to talk about the greatest art of them all. Keeping organised.

Are you like me with a thousand things going on in your mind right this second. Then you have about a hundred different things that you really need to do? No matter how hard you try sometimes it feels like you are never going to catch up! like all that life stuff just seems to get in the way of just everything that you need to do! Maybe you have too many plans and there is just not enough hours in the day. It can literally feel like a rollercoaster that you are stuck on. No brakes, and no way of getting off. Scary hey? but you are not alone. Literally there are thousands of people exactly the same right this minute! Even the most organised can have moments where life is mental as hell and cannot get all their shit together.

Let us be honest. Life really can be a bitch at times. Life is so busy at times that it is hard to get a break from it. Catching up can seem like mission impossible. So what can we do to get ourselves to keep going? and feel like we are heading in the right direction again?

Stop and breathe!

Honestly, this is probably one of the most important steps to getting yourself in a calm and organised. I know that if you are reading this, you are wanting to get organised and productive. You probably feel like you must do it all and do it all now. So we need to learn that it is so important to stop. Take a breath. Don’t panic. Being unorganised and having a lot to do is stressful but if you can just take a minute. Gathering your thoughts will be a massive game-changer for you.
what I mean is, by taking it slow fewer mistakes will happen. Being in control of what it is you have planned. You are going to feel less of a want to give up before you have even begun.

Making Lists!

So now that you are calm and you have taken a break, let’s think it all out! It may sound pretty cliche honestly, but I do believe in to-do lists. Even if they never seem to end. Sit down and recap everything. This helps you work out the most productive way to do things. Anything to be able to save a bit of time. As well as making it possible to remember everything you need to do!.
A brilliant idea would be to keep an active notebook with an ongoing list. You can add to whenever you need, at whatever time. The feeling of crossing an item off the list when it has been completed is quite satisfying.

Also by making a list, you can priorities what actually needs to be down first and what can wait. Meaning you will not need to stress. You will be able to confidently work to deadlines, knowing you have completed your ‘To-Dos’ efficiently. Pretty awesome hey?

Use your phone

Honestly, how many times in life can you say that you do not carry your devices around with us 24/7? We literally have this amazing device that we do so much with. So why not use your smartphone as your personal PA? It is the ideal way of constant reminders and keeping yourself on the ball.

You can sort yourself so that all of your important dates and appointments in your calendar on your phone. Then set your phone to remind you with an alert. I find it really useful as well that you can even share an open calendar with loved ones. So not only are you reminding yourself, you are making sure everyone else is on point too.

I literally have 100 reminders set to go off to remind me at times to do things. That is how I roll! and it works! When something comes up it really does push me to get up and get it sorted. It really is the things that I have not added, I forget.

Organise with Planners

organised with planners
My happy planner (one of them)

A Planner is my favourite purchase of the year. At the moment I am a proud owner of a Mambi Happy Planner, I absolutely love it.
My planner is another creative space for me with all my upcoming adventures and chores written in. I have been using one for 2 years now. As well as a standard planner. I would suggest to anybody, especially anyone who has a love for stationary. I’m thinking of even trying a different style next year and getting the Erin colder life planner.

But don’t get me wrong. You don’t need a fancy planner. A basic one will do just fine as long as you stick to writing everything you basically need too.

Find your Zone

And by Zone, I mean your own space! like a little corner of your room or house, that is completely yours for getting stuff done!
It’s such a good idea since I have my own desk the way that I work has changed so much. I almost never have my laptop on the bed anymore! Being able to happy to sit in my ‘zone’ which I have personalised to be a bit of me. I am able to craft and create for hours at a time without any distractions or excuses. Even if you can’t have an office like set up or anything like that. I would still suggest you have an appropriate space where you can get shit done. It is such an amazing tool!

Sticky notes are your organising friend!

So speaking of sticky things… I have always had a massive love for sticky notes. I can quite easily have them everywhere. Full of reminders, info or just a few doodles and inspirational phrases. Plus leaving messages for yourself on pretty and coloured paper can really brighten up a room.

Those colours <3

Time management!

Another really important factor for the skills of being organised. Time management. Ensuring that you are able to give yourself enough time to complete tasks. Being able to take your time on whatever it is you are doing. is so so important.
Don’t set yourself a task that is going to take you 3 hours, when you only have 1 hour free. That is just setting yourself for failure.
You will be less likely to complete what it is you are doing, and that would just suck wouldn’t it? no one likes too many open projects at one time hey?

So what keeps you organised?

These most important factors that I can think of. Methods that I actually use to keep myself organised and on the right path!
I would always encourage all of my friends to try these ways of getting back on track! and never giving up, you can do whatever you put your mind to.

So guys. What are the methods that you guys would suggest? I would love to hear your comments and suggestions below! so I look forward to hearing from you all.

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