Figuring out what you want to do with life is hard. Heck, some of us probably never figure it out and that’s totally fine. As long as we’re happy then that’s the main thing. 

I remember 5-year-old Charlotte wanted to be a ballerina, then I wanted to become a doctor, then I wanted to be an astronaut, then I wanted to be a baker and the list went on. 

Up until a couple of months ago, I was working a job that made me 100% miserable. I was in a call centre talking to rude people day in day out and I often came home in floods of tears and dreaded going to work every day. I knew this wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and I needed a change as my mental health was being affected. I have a degree in Graphic Design but it’s a pretty high-pressure environment to work in which isn’t what I wanted. I’ve always loved Graphics since I was at school but it’s something I love to do in my spare time and I’ve never really seen myself working as a graphic designer for a large company.  

For a couple of years, I’ve been trying to figure out what I should be doing with my life and it’s been hard. I found I really needed to strip everything back to basics and write down lists to help me get some sense of what I wanted. I started off by writing down a list of the 5 things that are most important to me currently.

5 most important things to me 

  • To live a stress-free life (which my job wasn’t allowing) 
  • To be happy 
  • To enjoy what I’m doing 
  • To be healthy 
  • To be loved and appreciated

I then took a step back and looked at the situation I was in. I hated my job which made me stressed which in turn made me unhappy and I certainly wasn’t enjoying what I was doing. My health was being affected due to all of this. The only thing I really felt was loved by my family and friends. 

Next up I started thinking about my childhood. I was always a very happy child that was full of confidence and I thought I could conquer the world. Anything I set my mind to I could do. I had a positive attitude and was always so cheerful and bubbly. 

5 things I enjoyed doing as a child 

  • Inventing things
  • Painting 
  • Making cards 
  • Swimming 
  • Baking and cooking 

It was reflecting back on my childhood that was really the lightbulb moment to me. I was creative. I was always making things and coming up with new ideas. Everything was very hands on, I used to help my mum cook dinner and bake cakes with my grandad. The main thing though was card making. My dad and I would sit for hours and hours on end and make cards together and that’s honestly one of my fondest memories from my childhood. Creativity is obviously very linked in with my degree and this is what I’d been missing. Being creative.

Taking action 

  • The first thing I needed was a stress-free job. This was the most important thing to me. I needed to get away from the job I was working. A job came up in the same company I was at but in a different department which was far less stressful. I applied and got the job. This meant taking a pay cut but money honestly doesn’t buy you happiness. You can read more about this here
  • I started making things again. I dug out all of my old card making supplies and also bought some new ones. I started making cards and being creative again. I even started watching crafty YouTube videos to help learn new skills and techniques which I’ve been practising. 
  • I got back into cooking and trying new recipes. I even write a meal plan every Sunday for the week ahead and I’ve been loving trying to cook new things. 
  • I began making more of an effort to see my friends and go out and do things. Removing my negative job helped with this as I had more energy in the evenings to actually go out and be social. 

My mum once said to me: 

“Some people live to work and other people work to live”

I work to live. I’m not the sort of person that needs a high flying job with multiple promotions and lots of pressure. I go to work to earn money so that I can pay to live… And I want to spend my life outside of work doing things that make me happy and bring me joy. 

Now I’m not saying that I love my new job. It’s kind of boring, but it’s stress free and easy and it allows me to pay for what I need and it also means in my spare time I have energy to do things that I love like card making. 

My long-term goal would definitely be to make a decent amount of money from my card making so that I could reduce my hours at work. But that’s my long-term goal and I have plenty of time to get there. 

As I’m writing this (August 2018) I honestly feel so happy and content. I feel like I have purpose and I know what I want to do. I’m taking each day as it comes and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. 

Sorry for how long this post was! Hope you enjoyed and found it somewhat helpful. 

Charlotte xx 

Follow:

I’ve been card making for a few years now but I’ve rarely tried out different techniques. I’ve always loved my die cut machine and using stamps but other than that I haven’t tried much. I decided that I needed to start experimenting with new techniques so I did lots of research and watched some YouTube videos to decide where to take my card making next. 

After many hours of YouTube, I decided that I wanted to try using stamps with watercolours, creating distress ink backgrounds and I wanted to give heat embossing a go. 

The first thing I experimented with was using distress inks to create watercolour backgrounds and I love how it turned out. 

I used watercolour paper and a mini ink blending tool to create the watercolour effect background with the distress inks that you can see above. I love the vibrancy of the colours; especially the pink and orange! 

Next up I tried using stamps and colouring them with watercolour paint. This is something I’ve never tried before and found it a little tricky at first but I got the hang of it eventually. This cute little guy below was done with watercolours. I used a palette of watercolour paints and then used an aqua water brush pen to apply the colour. I really enjoyed using watercolour as it makes it easier for shading as well as blending colours. 

The last technique I tried was using stamps with a versamark watermark stamp and then applying embossing powder on top. The watermark stamp is clear in colour and then the powder sticks over the top. I then used my Dovecraft heat tool to emboss the powder. I used a silver colour and you can see in the image below how shiny the powder went after the heat was applied! 

I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with some new techniques and I’m excited to continue practising and making more cards!

**This post contains affiliate links**

Hope you enjoyed!

Charlotte xx 

Follow:

It’s no lie that since being in a long-term relationship I’ve put on a lot of weight. We like to go out for meals, have movie nights in and eat unhealthy snacks. Exercise seems to have been a thing of the past for me for quite some time now. When I first met Shaun I used to swim 2/3 times a week and I never really snacked in between meals. I actually miss swimming a lot but there was a fire at my local pool and it’s been closed for about a year and a half now. Fingers crossed it’ll re-open soon!

I’ve never really had an issue with my body, I’ve always been a size 10/12 and I was always happy with this. I’m not saying I loved how I looked because I didn’t. But I also wasn’t unhappy.

More recently, I feel repulsed by myself and my body. I’ve put on almost 2 stone of weight in three years and I can really notice it. I’m now a size 14 and I feel really unhappy and sluggish and I know I need to do something about it. I’m not saying a size 14 is big because it isn’t, but everyone has their own circumstances and I feel unhappy at this size as I used to be smaller.

Exercise for ‘beginners’ 

I’m unfit and I haven’t properly worked out in ages! I don’t know if anyone else gets this problem, but over the last couple of months, I’ve tried various workout videos and routines that claim to be for ‘beginners’. If someone would like to tell me what ‘beginner’ can hold a plank for 1 minute and do a high-intensity workout for 45 minutes then please share?! I’m a beginner and I can hold a plank for a grand total of about 10 seconds!

I started to get really frustrated at the number of things claiming to be for beginners that wasn’t really aimed at beginners. It made me feel even more crap about myself as I couldn’t even manage the basic moves and this, in turn, made me want to sit and eat pizza as opposed to exercising.

Exercise that’s actually for beginners! 

Recently I asked on twitter if anyone could recommend any good YouTube channels for exercise for beginners and someone suggested JessicaSmithTV. All I can say is THANK YOU JESSICA for actually understanding the ability of a beginner. Jessica does a lot of videos that are a walking series which I love as we all know how to walk. This morning (22nd July 2018) I completed my first video of hers which was the HIIT for Beginners: Walking Interval Cardio Workout, Low Impact, Fat BurningIt was honestly the nicest feeling ever to be able to complete 25 minutes of exercise and actually be able to do ALL of it. It pushed me, made me sweat, made my heart race and it was hard at times but I did it and I felt so good afterwards.

I really wish more people would understand and cater for beginners. But in the meantime, if anyone else wants to get back into exercise and are struggling then I definitely recommend you try out JessicaSmithTV. I’m going to keep trying more of her videos over the next few weeks and I’ll keep you updated with how I get on.

Happy exercising everyone!

Charlotte xx

 

Follow:

Card making supplies for beginners

Throughout my 26 years on this planet, I’ve always been creative. As a kid, I used to draw pictures, make collages, paint stones and plant pots and do all of that fun stuff. At the age of 12, I became interested in card making. I would sit with my dad for hours on end and make Christmas cards which I used to sell to my family. At about the age of 16, I fell out of love with it, but a couple of years ago I started up again and I’m so glad I did!

Sometimes, it can be really overwhelming when you want to start a new hobby. What do I need to buy? What’s essential? What if I get bored and I waste a load of money? I’m sure you’ve all had these thoughts.

I’ve put together a list of the basic things that I would recommend for a beginner that’s considering card making. All the items are relatively low cost which is perfect for a beginner.

Card making supplies for beginners 
  • *Card and envelopes – I always buy this as a set, I love that the card is already folded and ready to go. I’d recommend just buying white card if you’re a beginner but the choice is completely up to you. A6 is also a good size as the area isn’t too big to work with.
  • Glue and *adhesive foam pads – Adhesive pads are great for emphasising embellishments as they raise them off of the paper creating a 3D effect. Glue is also a given as you need to do a lot of sticking.
  • Scissors and *paper punches – I love paper punches. You can get anything from hearts to snowflakes and they’re perfect for adding embellishments to your cards. They come in all shapes and sizes and can create a variety of different style cards.
  • Patterned paper – I love these *paper pads that you can pick up at most craft shops and you can also get them online. They’re filled with 64 sheets of patterned paper and work so well for card making. They’re bright and colourful and add a real pop to any card you make.
  • Stamps – I have such a love for stamps. I buy a lot of my stamps from Stampin up’ but these are more on the pricey side. You can also buy stamps from craft shops and there’s also loads to choose from online.  The Range is a great place to start for more affordable stamps for beginners.
  • Ink pads – To go alongside your stamps you’ll also need ink pads. Again, I buy a lot of these from Stampin’ Up. But for a more affordable option, I would recommend looking at any local craft shop.

Now you’ve got all of your basic supplies it’s really just about experimenting and having fun. If you’re looking for lots of inspirations I’d highly recommend browsing through Pinterest as its full with card making ideas.

Below are some cards that I have made using the items listed above.

Card making for beginners

Card making supplies for beginners

Hope you enjoyed!

Charlotte xx

*Please note this post contains affiliate links*

 

Follow:

For me, having a simple layout for my bullet journal is really important. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the fancy and creative bujo layouts as much as the next person but they’re so time-consuming.

When I first started my bullet journal I spent a lot of time making it look good but then I got bored of how much time it took and stopped using it. Now I’m a homeowner I’ve got back into using it again to organise my weeks but I’ve made it as simple as possible so it doesn’t take up too much of my time.

Simple bullet journal layout if you don't have much time

What I use my bullet journal for

I know people use bullet journals to track all sorts of things from exercise to how much water they drink, as much as I tried to be that organised, I just don’t really care to track how much water I drink in a day. The main thing I want my bullet journal for is to layout the week ahead and know what I’m doing when. I find it really helpful to write down what household chores I’m doing and any plans I have for the week. I’ll also write down my meal plan for each day. At the bottom of the page, I have a small section called ‘to-do’ where I can jot down anything that comes to mind throughout the week.

My very simple key 

It’s honestly as simple as drawing a square for any household chores that I can put a tick in once it’s been completed and drawing a diamond shape next to any plans that I have for the week. Next to anything on my ‘to-do’ list I draw a circle. You can, of course, customise this and add more shapes if you lead a more exciting life than I do!

Simple layout 

In terms of page layout, I don’t even use a ruler because who has time for that?! I just free draw a line and write the day and date and then add a little line of colour over the top. Each side of the page is split into four sections which allow me space for each day of the week and my ‘to-do’ list. This is the most simple page layout that I’ve used and I love it. I usually sit down on a Sunday evening and draw out the following week and it takes me no longer than 5-10 minutes.

If you’re also trying to find a really simple and time effective way to use your bullet journal then I’d definitely recommend giving something like this a try. If you want some other bullet journal ideas then I have various posts here that also include some more complex ideas.

Hope you enjoyed!

Charlotte xx

Follow: