World Stationery Day with Old English Company – Competition

*This post is in collaboration with Old English Company

As you may or may not know, it’s World Stationery Day on the 25th April.

I’ve always been a huge fan of stationery, ever since I was a child. Every day is World Stationery Day for me! So when Old English Company contacted me about their competition to celebrate the day, I had to share it with you.

Old English Company’s range of planners are minimalistic and gorgeous. Perfect for work, blogging or any project you have going on. I especially love that they don’t contain dates so you can fill them in yourself. Ideal for people like me who have a habit of picking up and putting down planners so before I know it, the year is gone and I’ve wasted half of it. Every damn year!

World Stationery Day - inside planner

The planners come in blush pink/gold, charcoal grey/gold, off white/copper and black/pearlescent. I can’t decide which one’s my favourite…

This competition allows you to win not just one but all four planners in the range! You can use them for different projects or even give them to your friends if you’re feeling generous. Click on this link to enter the competition. All you have to do to enter is pick your favourite item of stationery from the site and email them. It’s that simple. The competition closes at the end of 25th April and a winner will be chosen on the 26th.

World Stationery Day - planner range

Take a look around while you’re there too, Old English Company don’t just do stationery. I’ve personally fallen in love with all of their prints. And they make pins too as well as homewares, cards and other accessories. Perfect for gifts and for yourself. Because we all need a treat, right?

Do you love stationery as much as I do? 

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March in Photos – Family, Friends and Food

Hello April and hello Spring.

I thought since I’ve been a bit MIA recently, especially with the “My Week” posts that I’d do a little catchup. I only posted six times during March and they were mainly travel posts so here are all the in between bits.

March in Photos - blue sky

Mental Health

It’s been all over the place this month. One minute I’m feeling fine and getting stuff done and the next I can’t get out of bed. The clocks changed which I’m hoping is going to improve my mood generally and those down points will get fewer and far between. I’ve been beating myself up less about not being active though so that’s a positive.

Friends & Family

We saw our friends a few times this month which was nice – a board game night at Claire and Steve’s, a birthday party for Topher’s mum and a leaving party for our other friends who are off to live in Japan for a year. Topher and I also babysat our friend’s 7 month old baby for a few hours which was a learning experience! Big respect to all the parents. The most I’d come into contact with a small human prior to this was holding one for about 30 seconds so it was interesting.

March in Photos - articulate

My parents came to stay with us too which saw the usual flurry of activity of food and doing bits around the house. Which brings me to…

Home

We have a new bed in the guest room. The king size one we had in there before was uncomfortable and was probably about as old as I am. I always felt bad for our guests having to sleep on it but now I don’t have to. My parents gave us their old guest room bed which is only a double so there is SO much more space in the room now. You can actually walk around the bed. Of course this meant new bedding was needed. This Mexican inspired rainbow cat bedding is from Asda a few months ago. How cute is it?! Sombrero kitties for the win.

March in Photos - new bed

March in Photos -rainbow bedding

We also finally replaced our old cat tree which has been on it’s last legs for a long time now. This new one is amazing. It’s from Amazon* and is super tall. Perfect for our big cats. I actually adapted it slightly by not putting on the hammocks as Pickles especially is far too big for them and they’ll just break! Plus it just means more uninterrupted climbing for them both.

March in Photos - cat tree

Car fun

And speaking of new things I got a new car. Well, new to me anyway. It’s an automatic and has a few more bells and whistles than my old car so I’m pretty excited about it. I’m going to be selling my Clio this month once it’s finished being fixed after it got rear ended in February so hopefully I can rest easy with car stuff for awhile. Now please can all the bad drivers stay away from my new car so I can drive in peace?

Films

Topher and I really need to get to the cinema more this month as we only went once during March. We saw Game Night which I really enjoyed. It’s been so long since I saw a comedy at the cinema where I was laughing out loud the whole way through. Definitely recommend.

Food

I didn’t cook anything new this month as I wasn’t up to it but we did go out for two meals. The first was Bem Brasil with my parents which was nice. I didn’t take any photos as a) I was too busy eating meat and b) who wants to look at pictures of slivers of meat on a plate? The second place we went was just Topher and I to Wasabi in Chinatown. We’ve been before but we were really craving Japanese food so we nipped in before the leaving party at the weekend.

I bloody love ramen.

March in Photos - ramen

Easter came and went

Topher and I had only planned on having one egg each but we ended up with 2 each as his family got us some. Oh well, more chocolate for us. Now that that’s all over, I’m going to try and get back to my healthy eating. I’m not feeling particularly comfortable at the moment with my weight as it’s close to my heaviest so that’s gotta go. Back to the happy weight please.

March in Photos - easter

And finally, the cats

They’ve been their usual adorable selves. Pickles is being better at night as there was a point where he would keep us up for half of it. I put it down to the clocks changing. Luna has been extra cuddly recently – climbing on both our chests and attacking our faces with head bops – especially to Topher. She purrs super loud and is so intense it’s funny. Pickles has also found some toys to play with on his own which is great. Half of them were under the bed when we got the new one! We play with them both but it’s nice that they can amuse themselves too when we’re busy. Luna has always been fine with that but Pickles used to be extra work. So yay for that.

March in Photos - Pickles

As for April, I hope to get out to a car boot if it ever stops raining, get my decluttering on and get this blog back up to regular scheduling amongst other goals. Wish me luck!

How was your March?

Items marked with * are affiliate links. This basically means that if you click through and buy anything, I get a small commission with no extra cost to you!

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Back Home – A Catchup

I’m currently huddled under a blanket and thinking it’s nice to be back home. Topher and I had a great time at Disneyland Paris last week, despite the cold and him coming down with the flu. We took it easy and still got to do everything we wanted. Result.

I love being in a holiday bubble. It just feels so comforting and you don’t have to think about grown up things apart from making sure you feed yourself.  But I never mind having to come home as I like the change of pace. If that makes any sense? It feels like everything is reset.

However then that comes with having to adult again. Work, booking appointments and generally having to keep yourself alive. I’m getting there. The fridge is stocked with healthy food again as I’ve put on far too much weight over the last few months and i don’t feel like myself. Luckily, I’m craving fruit and veg.

I had a list of stuff to do this morning before I tackled work – find a garage to fix the cosmetic damage on my car, book a smear test (yuck) and throw some clothes in to wash.

But then the snow came. I remember how much snow used to delight me as a child. There were never snow days as I lived in Scotland and they are much better at handling it – but it did mean getting to spend break times building snowmen and having a great time.

Even my first year of freelancing I enjoyed the snow as I didn’t have to go anywhere. So now that I take Topher to work every morning, I have the same hatred for snow as a lot of working people do. Fuck the snow.

It would help if this country knew how to handle the snow. I don’t understand why everyone’s surprised every year when it arrives. It’s the same with summer – it comes every year, people. My estate never gets gritted so I’m used to having to drive on snow now. A word of advice to people who aren’t – your brakes don’t work! Please don’t drive normally and try to use them. They won’t work.

Can you see where this ramble is going?

I’d just dropped Topher off at school and I was waiting stationary at the edge of a non gritted road for a break in traffic so I could join the main road. All of a sudden, bang. Someone bumps into the back of me. I now have even more cosmetic damage on my car. Poor car. Luckily, as it wasn’t my fault it doesn’t affect my insurance and I don’t have to pay to get it fixed so that’s something.  But I am trying to sell this car so having more stuff to fix is frustrating. Ah well, such is life.

So yeah, I just felt like a moan. I promise the next post will be all about my Disney trip! For now, I’ll leave you with this. I fucking hate snow.

Which camp are you in? Snow lover or snow hater?

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I’m having a hard time at the moment

I’m having a hard time at the moment. There, I said it. I’m feeling far from my best. 2018 so far has been littered with lovely moments like going to the cinema with Topher, having dinner with friends, seeing my parents and all the little things in between. But overall, I haven’t been happy.

As soon as I’m left alone during the day that voice in my head starts creeping in. The one that makes me doubt my work. The one that says what’s the point? The one that says just stay in bed. And the one that says go on, just have one more snack.

I try to ignore it but it keeps coming back. Because to tell you the truth, I’m far from bossing it. My work life is making me miserable and it makes me feel like I did last time I was self employed. And the last time I worked in an office too. Then I make myself feel sad because I can’t seem to find my thing. I know there’s so many people out there who haven’t found their thing either but it seems like anything that isn’t my thing makes me feel down.

Every job I had, there’s been something wrong. Retail – I hated it. Office job 1 – bad company, boring job (though thanks to that, I have this blog.) Self employed stint 1 – barely made a penny and put a strain on my creativity, Office job 2 – loved the job, hated the company and the commute, Office job 3 – nice company, boring job and now I’m on self employed stint 2. Year one was great, year two I just felt myself sliding. I’ve made enough money to survive but only just. Thanks Topher for keeping us afloat.

Every job and every situation we’ve been in, we’ve just survived financially. We don’t have much disposable income at all. I just want to be able to replace something when it breaks without thinking about it and be able to go on holiday without breaking the bank.

Since office job 3 I’ve had ongoing health problems with my hands and arms. It’s due to repetitive strain which started in my right hand and it’s spread to both hands and arms. It makes admin work hard and that’s what I do. It makes me feel down because I need to find a career that isn’t so admin based but I don’t know what it is.

I haven’t even wanted to blog, which is unlike me. I can tell when I’m happy because I blog – if you see me disappear for a while, something’s usually wrong. I’ve been just blogging about stuff I need to – collabs and such.

It’s not all doom and gloom of course – I have a husband and family and friends who love me. I have the two sweetest cats you could ask for. And I have a roof over my head that isn’t going anywhere. But there’s something in my life that I need to fix.

I’m not sure how to fix this but I think I know where to start. I need structure. I need to take the pressure off.

Wish me luck.

Colour Walk Manchester - i heart mcr

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4 Ways You Can Get Happier Today!

 

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How do we pursue happiness?

It’s an honest question. In today’s increasingly fast paced and impersonal society, I’d argue that we’ve lost sight of the things that matter. We’ve been conditioned to attribute happiness to the attainment of career goals, the acquisition of money and the accumulation of lots and lots and lots of stuff. These aspirational targets may help to grease the wheels of a consumer capitalist society, but how effective are they at delivering on actual, meaningful happiness. We’re trained to believe that happiness is just a promotion, a purchase or a pay rise away, and while the odd shopping binge can give us a fleeting high, the acquisition of possessions rarely brings us lasting happiness. Indeed, it can often feel like the things we own wind up owning us. There must be a reason why so many lottery winners and successful entrepreneurs wind up miserable. Indeed Jim Carrey famously once said “I think everyone should get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer”. While there’s no secret formula for happiness, there are a few little things that you can do to help yourself today, right now

 

Get out of your routine

What do you plan to do after work today? Drive home, make dinner, watch TV, sleep? Becoming embroiled in these routines can easily sap our enjoyment of our lives. Do something different. Go for a long walk. Sit in a cafe and read a book. Go to the cinema. Deviate from the old routine until it stops becoming a routine.

 

Meditate

Meditation may be outside of your comfort zone and you may even have some derisive opinions of it, or doubt its efficacy, but it is nonetheless scientifically proven to promote happiness. Meditation not only helps you to gain perspective on the minutia of our day to day lives, it also actually shrinks the amygdala; the part of the brain responsible for anxiety and fear. It also lowers the production of the stress hormone cortisol not only improving your happiness but helping you to lose weight too!  

 

Have a nap

Far too few of us get enough sleep, and this can be detrimental to our quality of life in numerous ways. Sleep allows us to repair our bodies, rest our minds, release waste matter from our brains and get the nutrients to our skin to keep mit looking young, clear plump and firm. Yet, too many of us see sleep as a waste of time to be gotten out of the way. If you spend too many nights watching films instead of sleeping you may need to get a new mattress. Check out this Eve mattress review. You’d be astonished at how much more rested and happy you can be after a great night’s sleep.

 

Purge your stuff

If something brings you joy, then keep it. If you find value in something, keep it. But if you find your home cluttered by stuff that has ceased to have any meaning for you, it’s time for a purge. Collect it all together and take it to the nearest charity shop. The lack of clutter and knowledge that you’re doing some good is bound to brighten your day.

*This is a collaborative post

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