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Lifestyle

  • Motivation and Goals

    Where I’ve been + My 2019 goals

    Hello!

    It’s been a while since I last sat down and wrote a blog post. In fact, my last blog post was posted on November 4th and then I literally vanished for a while. I planned on taking a break for a couple of weeks but it ended up being much longer.

    If you’re wondering where I’ve been, the reason for my absence is that I got a kitten. I say Kitten; he was 4 and a half months when we got him and he’s now nearly 6 months. Pudsey has been very challenging, to say the least! Sleep became non-existent with a lovely 4am wake-up call each morning from a very distressed and upset kitty. Now, after about 6 weeks he’s finally started to settle and actually lets us sleep until 7am! He’s absolutely gorgeous and I wouldn’t change him for the world… But he made me very sleep deprived so the reality is I neglected my blog.

    Pudsey the cat

    Anyway enough about Pudsey (As cute as he is) … I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas break and are all feeling refreshed and ready to tackle 2019!

    I thought I would share my 2019 goals with you all in today’s post. You can see my goals for 2018 here. I actually succeeded in all of them apart from opening an Etsy shop.

    2019 Goals

    Get fit 

    Usually, I stay well away from any goals to do with fitness because I’m rubbish at it. But the reality is that I’ve put on about 2 stone in weight since being in a ‘comfortable’ relationship and I’ve reached the point that I’m repulsed by my own body. I’ve never particularly suffered from body confidence issues but this last year I’ve felt pretty rubbish about myself. I’m off to Florida in May for my birthday so to make it a little more fun I’m calling it #FitForFlorida. I’ve ordered the Jessica Smith Walk the Weight Off 30-day plan DVD as I love her YouTube channel. I’ll keep you updated with my progress.

    Open an Etsy shop 

    As I mentioned above, this is the one goal that I didn’t manage to achieve last year so I’m even more determined to make it happen this year. I love anything creative and would love to open an online shop that sells greeting cards, printed quotes and planner stickers. I’ve been working on my shop branding over the last few weeks and I’m excited to share it with you all soon.

    Read more books 

    Over the last few weeks, I’ve really got back into reading again. I go through phases of reading and then life gets busy and I just stop for months and months. I enjoy reading so much, I find it a brilliant way to switch off and take some time out for myself. 2019 is definitely going to be the year I read more. If anyone has any book recommendations then please let me know. My favourite genre is psychological thrillers.

    What are your goals for 2019?

    Charlotte xx

    **Post contains affiliate links**

     

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  • Life Things

    5 reasons you should meal plan + free downloadable weekly 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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  • Life Things

    5 tips to get organised for Christmas early

    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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  • Handmade Crafts Motivation and Goals

    Feeling inspired & getting things organised

    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. Above 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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  • Blogging Tips

    5 tips to brand your blog

    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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