Downloadable weekly meal planner

I moved out of my parent’s house and into my own place back in June this year so I’ve had a few months to adjust to living without mum! I’ve quickly realised how busy life is when you have a house to run, work full time and are trying to have some form of social life. Meal planning has become a must for me and here are 5 reasons why I swear by it!

1 – It saves time 

There’s nothing worse than getting home from work and having no idea what to cook. Meal planning means I know exactly what I’m cooking so I can get home from work and get on with it.

2 – It saves money 

Meal planning has really helped me to save money. We all know how expensive food shops are! When I go to do my weekly shop I have a list of what I need to buy and I’m not just aimlessly walking around picking up any old thing which will end up costing a fortune. We like to treat ourselves so I’ll make sure that if we’re having steak for tea one night that the other nights we’re having cheaper meals to keep the cost down.

3 – Some foods make more than one meal 

I usually cook a roast dinner every Sunday. What I like to do is buy a large chicken and use the leftovers on a Monday to make a second meal. Often I’ll opt for a chicken curry or chicken and chips. Meal planning in advance means I know what I’ll be cooking with the leftovers and I can make sure I have the right ingredients in the cupboards.

4 – I eat healthier 

I’m not a health freak and I never will be because I enjoy food too much! But meal planning has definitely helped me eat healthier. I like to cook my meals from scratch instead of using jars of sauce that are full of salt. Planning in advance helps me make healthier choices and make sure I have the right ingredients to make things myself.

5 – I look forward to eating 

It’s so much better meal planning in advance as you can plan meals that you really enjoy. If I got home from work and had no plan I would end up chucking something in the oven from the freezer which never really tastes that great. Because I plan in advance I can look forward to my evening meal because I know it’s going to be something yummy.

I write my meal plan out every Sunday and stick it to my fridge. I then do my food shop on a Monday after work to make sure I have everything I need. I’ve created a free downloadable PDF which you can all use to plan your weekly meals! (Click on the link below to download)

Enjoy!

Charlotte xx

Charlotte Shares – weekly meal planner

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Christmas card with watercolours and embossing powder

As I write this it’s just 59 sleeps until Christmas which is crazy! I’m not sure where the year has gone but suddenly Christmas is creeping up on us. I always like to be organised for Christmas. I hate leaving things to the last minute as it gets stressful. Here are my 5 tips for getting organised quickly to make sure your Christmas is fun and enjoyable and most importantly stress-free!

Get your Christmas crafts done early 

I make my own Christmas cards and I’ve been working on them since September. I know roughly how many I need to make and make sure I plan accordingly to get them all done in time. Above is one of my latest designs that I’ve made and I love how it’s turned out. It was super easy to make, I created a watercolour background and then used stamps and white embossing powder for the pictures. Simple but super cute!

Avoid the crowds and shop early 

Don’t get caught up in the chaotic Christmas crowds. Start your shopping early. If you see something in October that you think would be a good present for someone then pick it up. Another great way to avoid the crowds is to shop online and this is a fab way to support small businesses.

Think about food 

I’m going to my mums for Christmas lunch this year so I don’t need to worry about that. However, I have all of my family coming over on Boxing Day and I’m going to do a buffet. I’ve already written the list of what food I’m going to do and I’ve started running the freezer down so that I can fit everything in. There’s nothing worse than doing a big Christmas food shop and not being able to fit it in the fridge/ freezer.

Don’t leave time-consuming tasks until the last minute

Wrapping presents and writing cards … It can take forever! Don’t leave it all until the last minute. You could either wrap as you buy or spread it over a few weekends leading up to Christmas so that you aren’t trying to wrap everything on Christmas Eve. I often find wrapping presents quite boring so I like to spread it out and not do everything at once.

Book things early 

Christmas is a busy time of year and it’s important to book thigs in early. If you want to go out with all of your friends for a Christmas meal then you need to book it now! We’ve had a Christmas meal out booked since September for December 21st as everything books up so quickly. People also get booked up over Christmas so if you want to see friends and family then plan it as early as you can to fit everything in.

Hope you all found this helpful and enjoy planning your Christmas!

Charlotte xx

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Do you ever get those phases where you just feel really inspired to create? That’s me right now and I’m living for it! Christmas is quickly approaching; before you know it it’ll be here and I’m really trying to get myself organised. As a lot of you know I handmake cards. I’ve been working on bulk making Christmas cards and it’s making me feel so festive and inspired. I’ve been using a lot of watercolour paints recently and I’ve been having so much fun experimenting with them. I’m really trying to push my self out of my comfort zone and try new creative techniques. Below is my latest card design, it’s super easy to make and also really quick to make which is a bonus for bulk making!

Getting organised for 2019

At the start of the year, I wrote out my goals for the year and one of them was to open my own Etsy shop. Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened yet as I spent the first 6 months of the year renovating a house so I just didn’t have time. It’s been on my mind a lot recently and I really really want to make it happen next year. With that being said I’ve started coming up with ideas of what I want. Obviously, I want my shop to have handmade cards; but I’m also thinking possibly some prints and stickers etc as well. If you have any ideas of the sort of things you’d like to see then please let me know!

I’m starting to work on the branding. I’ve spent the last week or so brainstorming name ideas and boy is it hard! I want a shop name that is catchy and short and I also don’t want it to relate to my name. I’m currently toying with the idea of Studio Five because I live at number 5 and work from the spare room in our house…. But I’m sure this will change a thousand times haha.

I feel like this post is slightly random and all over the place but I’m just feeling inspired to create and achieve my goals and wanted to share it with you all!

Hope you’re all doing well!

Charlotte xx

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I’m not here to talk about naming your blog and creating a tagline. Today, I wanted to focus a little more on brand design for your blog. I have a degree in Graphic Arts and specialised in branding during my 2nd and 3rd year so I like to think I have a little bit of knowledge to share!

Trying to design a brand for your blog can be hard. There are so many themes to choose from, so many colours, so many fonts etc. I actually like to change my blog design up a fair amount as I find I just get bored after a while. I thought I would share with you my 5 tips that will help you create your brand design.

Create a mood board 

I love a good mood board! When you’re trying to design your blog make a mood board with everything that you love. Flick through magazines and papers and cut out things that catch your eye. You may look at something and really like the colours or you may look at something and find the font visually pleasing. The idea of this exercise is to give you an idea of what you like. Eventually, you’ll probably find trends in what you like. You may notice that you really like pink and blue together and you can use this as a guideline for a colour scheme for your blog.

Look at other websites and blogs for inspiration 

Never copy someone else, that’s not cool. However, looking around for inspiration is fine. Take a look at your favourite blogs and websites and write down why you like them. Maybe it’s because they’re colourful. Maybe it has a minimalist feel to it that you find appealing. This is going to help you discover more of what you like and it’ll help you with creating your brand design.

Use no more than 3 fonts and colours

To build a brand you don’t want to have too many fonts and colours. You want your brand to be recognisable and if you’re using 15 different fonts and 10 colours then you aren’t going to stand out. I always recommend having a Scripted font and then a Serif or Sans-Serif font to go with it. Below is an example of these types of font. A scripted font is always more difficult to read so you wouldn’t want large bodies of text to be written in this way. This is why it’s good to have a Serif or San-Serif font as part of your branding as it’s easy to read.

Serif and san serif fonts

Don’t do what everyone else does 

You want your brand to be unique to make you stand out from the crowd so there’s no point in doing what everyone else does. You’re probably all going to hate me for saying this … Ages ago I started using the Playlist Scripted font on Canva for my Pinterest images … But now literally EVERYONE uses this. When I browse through blogging group boards on Pinterest it’s just a whole load of images with the Playlist scripted font. It’s a lovely font which is why everyone uses it … but now everyone’s brand looks very similar. There are so many other typefaces out there that will make you stand out and be different. I’ve recently rebranded my blog and used Creative Market to buy a font as I know very few people will have the same. You can also check out Da Font for free fonts. Just make sure you check the license agreements… I’m now starting the fun task of updating all of my Pinterest images to get rid of the Playlist Script font haha.

Playlist Script font - canva

Photographs don’t have to be flat lays  

I sometimes feel like there is a bit of an obsession with blog photographs having to be flat lays! They really don’t. Just experiment and see what works best for you. If you need a little inspiration; try searching for blog photography on Pinterest and it’ll help you with so many ideas. Over time you’ll develop a photography style that you really like and then this style will become recognisable to other people that it’s your photograph.

I hope this has helped you all with branding design and given you some ideas of how you can go about branding your blog so that it’s unique and true to yourself.

If you have any questions feel free to ask away!

Charlotte xx

 

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Autumn update

Somehow we find ourselves in October? I’ll be perfectly honest, I have no idea what happened to the last 9 month?! Time is literally flying by. This year has been a pretty crazy year for me. Having bought and renovated a house, started a new job and booked a holiday to Disney World for next year it’s definitely been a rollercoaster. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I thought that now would be the perfect time to do a little update on things and catch up with you all.

My new job 

Well, I guess it’s not really that new anymore. But I started my new role back in May and it’s honestly changed my life. I’ve gone from someone who used to dread going to work every day and always come home crying to someone who doesn’t mind going to work at all. I’m not saying I love my job because it’s kind of boring but it’s way better than my old one.

My blog 

I’ve still been regularly posting on my blog but I feel like I’ve been a bit absent on social media recently. I’ve actually not been that well. To cut a long story short my doctor has just put me back on medication that I used to take so I’m hoping to start feeling a lot better soon! I can’t wait to spend my evenings chatting to you guys on social media again and putting more time back into my blog once I’m feeling better. Also, I’ve completely redesigned my blog and I’m so happy with how it looks! The Graphic Designer in me felt like it was time for a change. (I have a degree in Graphic Design if you were wondering haha).

The rest of the year 

I love this time of year and I’m so excited for the next few months. Bonfire night has been one of my favourite nights for as long as I can remember so I’m really looking forward to that. And I’m really sorry to use the C word this early … But I’m very excited for Christmas! I love the build-up to Christmas, buying gifts, going to Christmas markets and decorating the tree. I’m also really enjoying the colder nights and snuggling on the sofa with my hot water bottle and a good film.

Things I’ve been loving recently 

Baking is something I haven’t done properly for ages but I’ve been really enjoying it over the last few weeks. I made an amazing Marble Cake; you can check out the recipe here. I’ve been loving watching girly chick flicks on Netflix. I really enjoyed To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and Sierra Burgess Is A Loser. I’m also still making lots of Christmas cards and really enjoying doing that.

I hope you all have a wonderful Autumn – do you have much planned?

Charlotte xx

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