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Personal Development

  • Personal Development

    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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  • Personal Development

    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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  • Personal Development

    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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  • Personal Development

    Do more of what you love

    Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and thinking. These last few months I’ve been really trying to focus on myself and what I enjoy. I wrote a post a while back announcing that I had a new job, it’s going so well and it’s amazing how much my mental health has improved since I started the job. 

    I’ve seen a real change in myself since starting my new job. I feel much more positive and I’m really enjoying focusing on myself. I suddenly feel a lot more motivated to achieve my goals and just do my own thing. 

    You may have noticed that recently my posts have been very creative. I’ve been focusing a lot on arts and crafts which is what I’m most passionate about… And I’ve been loving creating this type of content. 

    Making Changes

    With all of this reflecting, it’s only natural that I’ve been thinking a lot about my blog and it’s future. I think I’m definitely ready to make some changes and focus more on what I love and what I’m passionate about. 

    I dug out a new shiny Hogwarts notebook (how frickin’ cute is it?) and I’ve been brainstorming lots of ideas for Charlotte Shares. I’m really passionate about card making and arts and crafts and I want to start focusing more of my content around this. I’ll still be writing some Lifestyle content as well as I enjoy it, but I want to shift my focus slightly. 

    Here’s some of the things to expect from my blog going forward: 

    • More bullet journal posts 
    • Christmas DIY’s
    • Visual inspiration boards
    • Handmade cards
    • DIY origami boxes (perfect for gifts) 

    and the list goes on…. 

    I’m really excited to start creating new content and hope you all enjoy it as much as I will. 

    Charlotte xx 

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  • Personal Development

    Creating a schedule to fit your lifestyle

    On June 14th, I packed my life up into boxes and moved out of my parent’s house and into my own house with Shaun. My mum is a very organised person and she’s always told me that having a schedule is so important and that it makes things easier. I can confirm she is 100% right!

    I’ve always been a bit of an organised freak anyway. To-do lists are like my best friend and I always have to know what I’m doing when. Since moving out; I’ve loved having the freedom to create a schedule that works for me. Although I still had some control when I was at my parent’s house; I obviously had to fit in around my parent’s schedule. 

    I know so many people that live a bit of an all over the place lifestyle (which is fine if that’s what they like, but it’s not for me). The amount of times I hear people say that they have no food in the house … and I’m sat there thinking well I always do my food shop on a Monday night so I don’t have that problem.

    How to make a schedule that works for you

    • Start off by writing a list of things you NEED to do each week – For example: Clean the bathroom, hoover, dust, do the washing, ironing, food shop and any commitments such as an exercise class you take each week. 
    • Then write a list of things you LIKE to do each week – For example: Go swimming, go to the gym, visit a friend, work on a hobby etc. 
    • Then write down the hours that you work. For me, this is easy as I know I work Monday-Friday 9-5 every week and this never changes. This makes it easy for me to put a relatively set schedule in place that never really changes between weeks. Obviously, if you work different shifts you can take each week at a time to make a schedule that works for that week. 

    Now that you have it all wrote down in front of you it’s easier to plan it into the week. This is where you really need to think about your lifestyle and what you want. Personally, I don’t like to have lots of chores to do at the weekend and prefer to do them in the evenings. I also prefer to get the boring stuff done at the start of the week so that when it gets to Thursday/Friday night I can chill out a little more. 

    An example of my weekly schedule

    • Monday evening – Food shop 
    • Tuesday evening – Clothes wash, hoover, clean bathroom, clean kitchen, mop the floors and dust. 
    • Wednesday evening – Do the ironing and do some form of exercise. 
    • Thursday evening – My Thursday evenings are usually relatively free. You’ll often find me making cards or working on my blog. 
    • Friday evening – This is always the night that me and Shaun spend some quality time together. It usually consists of cooking a nice meal and a movie night or sometimes we get a takeaway. 
    • Saturday – Wash bedding/ towels and do a clothes wash. The rest of the day is free to do what we want.  
    • Sunday – Ironing, exercise and write a meal plan for the week ahead. The rest of the day is free to do what we want. 

    Of course; some weeks something will crop up, or we’ll be out on the night that we usually do all of the chores meaning we just switch the days around a little. A schedule is never set in stone and you can change things around if you need to. But I’ve found that having a rough schedule in place keeps us on top of everything…. and we’re never those people that have no food left in the house haha. 

    Hope you found this helpful!

    Charlotte xx 

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