Seven Things: Networking & Fun

29 May 2014

As mentioned in this week's MFM post, I attended a lovely networking event last Saturday. I personally enjoy getting out there and meeting new people to work or connect with. Caitlyn de Beer arranged the get together. There were several creative ladies I did know, but several I hadn't met yet, so the mix was varied which always makes things more interesting. Caitlyn was a graceful hostess and treated us to an inspired morning which gave me much needed fuel  for my working weekend. People often ask me if I'm a life coach to which I reply no, as I'm more of a business coach / consultant specialising in creative fields, whereas Caitlyn focuses on the actual life side. We both agree there are overlaps in our work, but we also agree that there is plenty to go around and that there is a greater reward in synergy rather than, imagined competition. Let's chat further about Seven Things I enjoyed on the day...

1 > Feeling Inspired: I'm usually the one running workshops so I don't often get to sit back and enjoy information sharing by someone else. Caitlyn prepped work booklets for us and went through them to get us in tune with ourselves and our businesses. I loved the pastel hues and useful info within.

2 > Pink: You know by now I love pink and it seems so does Caitlyn. I gifted her one of my branded notebooks to say thanks for the day and look how nicely the packaging matched her stationery and phone. 

3 > A Graceful Hostess: We all like to feel welcome - especially when we don't know everyone. It was great to have hostess who took the time to allow everyone to feel included regardless of the level or size of their business.

4 > Breakfast: The yummy snacks both healthy and not so healthy were delicious. I enjoyed a piece of red velvet cake because I had already had breakie. Even if I hadn't I would still have had cake... ha ha (breakfast of champs).

5 > Beautiful Flowers: Cheerful blooms add to any event and these brightened the day even further.

6 > Networking: The reason for the little event - I enjoyed browsing through everyone's cards and learning more about what they do.

7 > A Chance to Share: I took the opportunity to package up some business cards to handout. I love packaging goodies up (obviously) and it adds a little something extra.

I hope your week is going really well so far! Almost weekend time.

Tried & Tested: Lovely Things Tried in May

27 May 2014

I love trying new things, but at the same time I really don't like wasting money. Researching and discovering the ideal product is always a small triumph and lately as I try things which work or that I enjoy - I thought it useful to share them. In May's batch you will see there are an array of items with one brand standing out as a clear winner and this is due to it working brilliantly for me. I would also love to hear what you have loved and tried lately - please leave a comment and share.
Ruan Hoffman Mug: I am a firm believer in the right mug making all the difference. I spotted this beauty ages ago and didn't buy it, but couldn't stop thinking about it. I finally made it mine and it's the perfect shape and size, plus the design is just darling. It's part of the Ruan Hoffman for Woolworths collection and was R39.95.

Dirty Works Face Wipes: I am fussy when it comes to face / make-up remover wipes as in the past they have dried out my eyes. I gave the Dirty Works wipes a try due to the price and I'm so pleased I did. They contain several natural ingredients and are free of 'nasties'! At R29.95 from Clicks they are wonderful!

Toy Nail Polish in Cherry Blossom:  I was very excited to try this Colombian brand and when it comes to nail polish I must be honest - I am usually disappointed. However, not in this case - it dried quickly and beautifully and lasted over a week with one or two touch ups. I'm trying a couple of other colours at the moment, including a very bright and cheerful pink and I'm suitably impressed by that too. Available via Toy South Africa for around R99.

Frixion Pens:  I mentioned these in last week's MFM post as I use them daily. I just wanted to mention them again as they work so well and the fact that you can erase them makes them even more awesome. I often had to write in pencil especially on my calendar and now I can use these instead - neater and colourful. Sold at CNA, Waltons & some Pick n Pay stores for around R28.99. I use them fairly sparingly as I used my first one to write pages and pages of notes and it ran out quite quickly. However, for daily diary use and lists they seem to last well.

Eucerin Treatment Products: I have very dry skin and I suffer from Keratosis pilaris - which is when your hair follicles get blocked. This is mostly due to a lack of moisture and there isn't a cure. It isn't serious, but it can look horrible and in turn knock your confidence when it comes to wearing short sleeves (mine is on my arms). I did some research on it and there were all kinds of suggested treatments with Urea (an emollient) being the most popular. I found two really awesome products from Eucerin, one is a shower oil and the other is a lotion. The oil has more of a lathering feel when water is added which feels quite luxurious when used / rather than oily. I also use it on my face as a treatment now and again (not around eye area). It's gentle and has a very faint smell. I follow it up with the Eurcerin 10% Urea Complete Repair Intensive Lotion. I am so happy at how well it's working for me. The difference is very noticeable and it is the first thing to have worked for this problem! I have to use it daily as it is a treatment rather than a cure. The oil also works really well for shaving, especially if you are prone to itchy skin or bumps. I can't recommend these enough! The lotion is R159.95 and the oil is R139.95 from Dischem. Not cheap, but personally worth it.

Eucerin Q10 Active: Yes, another Eucerin product. What can I say - they work for me. I discovered this several months ago and am now on my second pot of this daily moisturiser. As mentioned I have dry skin with some combination areas, but this seems to cover it all. It doesn't mention a SPF, but my BB cream and foundation both contain one and if I leave the house make-up free for exercise or to be outdoors I wear a sunscreen. It has no fragrance and my make-up flows and blends smoothly over it. It's available at Dischem for R199.95.

Popcorn Indiana: I have a confession to make - I am ridiculously addicted to this brand of popcorn. I have tried other brands as well as homemade and nothing beats the taste or texture. I have to ration myself or else I will go through a pack a day (terrible of me). It's stocked at most Woolworths food stores (snack section) for R24.95 which is more pricey than other local brands, but truly nothing else compares! It's produced in America so not all the flavours are available here. The Aged White Cheddar and the Original Kettlecorn, a sweet and salty mix are my favourites. It's gluten free so I feel a touch better. I'm in love!

I hope you found my feedback on these useful and as mentioned let me know what you can recommend at the moment.

Meet Free Monday #23

26 May 2014

26 May: A Day at HQ
How was your weekend? I had a great one with a mix of work and fun. On Friday night Daniel and I made a Mexican themed dinner which was delicious. I did spend some of the evening working as I'm on a few deadlines at the moment. On Saturday morning I went to an event hosted by Caitlyn de Beer - we networked, chatted and learnt a few very useful things. I really enjoyed it! On Saturday afternoon it was back to the computer, but the day wasn't without some relaxing too - I ensured I had time to read... tucked into bed. In the evening we went out for dinner and enjoyed some wine and really good pizza. On Sunday we had a peaceful and relaxed start to the day. Daniel had to do some work and so did I. Later we enjoy a late lunch together complimented with our favourite TV program and some couch time. In the late afternoon we joined friends at their new home for wine and some of the best snacks ever! I ate heaps as everything was delicious. Lastly, I did have to finish off the day with a bit more work, but I didn't mind as I made progress which felt great. I took a few hours off this morning to eat breakfast in my own time and to get going into the new week.

The Working Week in Review / Last Week:
I'm fairly pleased with last week's process. I got off to a slow start, but everything evened out and in fact it was quite productive. What made me happiest was the fact that last week Tuesday I completely finished off my office clean-out. I have a set of shelves which are actually a wire locker and I have felt very uninspired to decorate it or arrange it. Inspiration finally struck and I'm very happy with the outcome. It was a hard working week, but the productivity and completion of projects makes it all worthwhile. 

The Working Week:
This week I want to build on last week and commit even further to getting through all that needs doing. I find that focused, productive time in shorter bursts works well. The Etsy Party planning is also taking up quite a bit of my time, but so far so good. Thursday is meeting day and it's a back to back day which includes consults and a blogging lesson. A few of my clients are entering into a really busy stage of the year so my focus this week will be to guide them where needed. Either than that we have three bigger blog related projects on the go along with a collaborative project that I'm working on.

Things I'm excited about this week:
Tonight we're celebrating my dad's birthday. On Thursday my friends I have a birthday in the group so we are off to dinner which is sure to be filled with lots of laughter. The Ruby Orchard's in store workshop is on Sunday and I'm excited to be a sponsor and to take part.

What will challenge me this week?
Keeping at it and reminding myself how much I actually can get done when I'm focused.

Personal Thoughts:
At the moment things are quite good. I still need to keep an eye on my stress - which I feel yoga is helping with. It felt good dropping off the last donation on Thursday from my ridiculously long and thorough clean out. 

How is your week looking - please do share, I love hearing from you?

Featured in today's photo:
The main purpose is to show you this little tray that I'm using for storage on my desk. I found it at Woolworths in the home section and it's actually a picnic plate. The compartments and cheerful colour work well on my desk. I'm quite chuffed with this idea. They do still have them in stock - click here / it was R49.95 and this is the only colour option. Love it!

Sugar Paper

24 May 2014

Stationery Heaven
*Gasp! OMG! These are my reactions to Sugar Paper stationery - discovered via the BAN.DO blog. This LA based company designs and creates drool-worthy items and their store looks incredible. Here is a bit more about Sugar Paper...

"Sugar Paper is more than luxurious stationery. It is a statement about one's individual style."
Connoisseurs of correspondence and self-proclaimed traditionalists, Chelsea Shukov and Jamie Grobecker believe that personal stationery makes a deep, lasting impression. These close friends and graphic designers founded Sugar Paper in 2003 after falling in love with the simplicity and nostalgia of letterpress printing. Their mission was simple: to design exquisite social stationery that would be a distinctive stamp of style for their chic clientele, and shine a spotlight on a beautiful and under appreciated art form.

Today, Sugar Paper is renowned for its design aesthetic, unparalleled taste and perfectionism. Having been featured in publications including Martha Stewart Weddings, VOGUE, InStyle, Lucky, Vanity Fair and Domino, Sugar Paper is a trusted resource for their upscale, stylish and celebrity clientele."

Impressive to say the least!  Check our their site or beautiful blog. I hope this adds some inspiration to your day and weekend!

Lessons via Cath Kidston

22 May 2014

Three easy and fun business lessons via Cath Kidston

I love Cath Kidston’s products, they are beautifully designed and crafted with quality in mind. The brand sells internationally, but hasn’t lost its heritage and whether you visit a store, view their site or flip through a catalogue - the experience is truly wonderful. This huge and successful business isn’t all frills, florals and fun, there are dynamic minds working behind the scenes and last year the company passed the hundred million pound sales mark. I’m sure you would agree that's a tidy sum for a business started ‘by accident’, as Cath claims.
This success coupled with beautiful products makes the business the perfect case study for a few quick lessons and an inspired start to your creative business day! These three things are so easy to spot that you might be thinking – ‘I know all this stuff’, but the real question is... are you implementing them?

Three quick lessons with examples:
Collaborate: Huge companies and small creative collaborations are not always a match made in heaven, but when done right it’s really successful. CK enlisted the help of local crafters, The New Craft Society to host instore workshops. Instead of running the project in house they collaborated and embraced others, making the idea more creditable and desirable to creatives. Our own ideas can be wonderful, but when we work together they are even better. Take a leaf from Cath’s book on this one.

Embrace Social Media: I know what you’re thinking, ‘duh – I know that’. However, the majority of business owners still aren't using social media effectively, yet there is so much info, stats and ideas out there on how to do it right. Remember it’s a useful tool – dedicate time to it, use it, reap the rewards. The example from CK is their clever use of an Instagram workshop to share products in a very ‘non-spammy’, pretty way. A clever use of Instagram and most people didn’t even notice the product showcase element.

Reward Customers: Once again so easy! I would still shop at Cath Kidston even if I wasn’t being rewarded. The brand does, however reward repeat customers for buying over a certain amount and the ‘freebie’ you receive is of value and great quality. Giving back makes customers even more loyal, find a way that suits you, either via small discounts, loyalty programs or small gifts. Another CK example is their 20% off offer at their Covent Garden (London) Store recently.

The photos below show the Instagram workshop and the ladies from The New Craft Society.

Besides these ridiculously easy ideas to add into your business planning there are about a hundred (or more) other lessons we can learn from Cath Kidston as a company. I suggest always keeping an eye on successful brands that you admire and inspecting how they do business, which in turn can inspire simple and effective changes. Just view the CK website for instance and look around, or take a glance at their social media – lessons and tips are just waiting to be discovered.

Meet Free Monday #22

19 May 2014

19 May: A Day at HQ / My Weekly Planning Tools

Today I wanted to share my weekly planning tools with you. Planning is quite a unique and personal thing and I think everyone needs different things to feel organsied. I have certain favourites which are always close by and they  make my weekly planning more enjoyable. The list starts off with my planner. As I have mentioned in the past it's similar to a Filofax and I found it at Typo. I really enjoy using it as it's pretty and holds everything together. I have also tucked a Moleskine notebook in the back, so I take the planner to meetings / consulting sessions and check dates / make notes. Each Monday I decorate the pages for the week ahead. I keep it simple and use washi tape and a few sticky notes or stickers to add detail. What you will see in the photo above is my 'dashboard' (Filofax lingo) which houses a few notes for marking pages or to add memos.

Here are all the items that I use during my weekly planning:
Washi Tape: I use this to add colour and fun to my planner pages. It also reinforces the pages so that they don't tear over the punched holes.

Sticky Notes: These are useful for quick notes or for a bit of decoration. There are so many really pretty ones (for example) - although the selection is still quite limited in SA. (CNA often has cute ones in sets.)

Frixion Pens: These are the best pens ever - I bought them at CNA, but Waltons also stock them. They are fantastic because I can erase any errors or move tasks around. I use the pink for work related tasks and the purple for personal notes like grocery shopping, yoga etc.

Ruler: My lines have to be straight and I use it to cross out tasks as I go through the day.

Highlighter: This yellow one is from Muji and it works well because the ink isn't too runny. That might sound silly, but I am prone to smudging highlighter down the page. I highlight my most urgent tasks so that I can tackle them first.

One Hole Punch: Once I have washi taped the planner pages I repunch the holes. This handy tool comes from Waltons and works for crafting too. I decorate all my pages and then punch them in one go to save time (and sanity).

Scissors: Quite simply to cut tape with. I find that it's the ugliest scissors that work best, so although I photographed this pretty pair, I actually use a big pair with rather ugly blue handles. It cuts smoothly and if you are like me you will understand the right scissors make all the difference (weird I know).

Pouch / Washi / Stickers: I re-purposed this pouch from some make-up brushes I bought. It holds a washi tape sampler from a penpal, a few stickers and some extra notes. It fits neatly into the front of my planner. The sampler has come in handy before as I had a gift to package, but was far from home. The stickers mark recurring dates in my month at a glance pages and the notes are just for extra to do's.

Paper Clip: This humble, minty paper clip holds pages together when I punch them. Simple, but it makes life easier.

Stick It Glue: This little device is amazing! You pull / roll it along a page or piece of paper and it adds small sticky, double sided dots onto the sheet. Perfect for sticking down notes. It's secure, but notes can be moved if you only use a few dots. I found this at CNA and they sell refills too, both are fairly inexpensive and start at about R39 (if I'm not mistaken). I highly recommend this for crafts or planning.

There are a few other elements to my planning, but I thought I would save that for another post. I hope you enjoyed this - please let me know what some of your essentials or recommendations are...

Freebie Friday - May

16 May 2014

A Free E-Book via Emma Gwillim
Hooray for the May Freebie Friday resource! When it comes to creative business and community, sharing really is a wonderful way to communicate. This is why I had to to tell you about this wonderful free resource. Emma Gwillim runs her own creative business aimed at igniting the sparkle within others...
"I’m Emma Gwillim, the Clarity & Confidence Coach.  I empower ambitious mums who feel like they’ve lost their identity, their direction and their ‘me-time’ to get reacquainted with their inner sparkle so they can nurture their own dreams, as well as their family, and create an impact in their world."

Despite focusing on mothers, her guidance and site are, however great for any creative looking for inspiration as is her free e-book (which you can receive once you sign up for her newsletter). Happy reading and pass on the sharing love.

See last month's Freebie Friday post here.

Snail Mail: Tip Mini Series #2

13 May 2014

What to send & how to send it...

The first snail mail tip was quite a while ago, but I was so pleased with the feedback I received. Thanks to everyone who shared insights and questions. Today's tip focuses on what to send in your snail mail packages. Those who are well-versed in sending beautiful faraway post, will know that there is a huge variety of goodies that you can include in your packages.

Here are few thoughts:
  • Don't feel nervous or worried to chat to your new pen pal about what you would like to send.
  • Some pen pals focus on letter art which is decorating and writing beautiful letters. In this case they often send a few small papery items with it too. For example, stickers and a postcard or two. Other pen pals send packages with items like lip gloss, sweets and stationery.
  • If you find the right pen pal they shouldn't be focused about how much you send them, but rather the love and care put into the snail mail. (Read more regarding this here.)
Postage Related Tips:
Decide on a budget that can work for you. Postage can be expensive, but sending flat items in an envelope rather than a padded one can be much cheaper. This is a tried and tested method I have used. In South Africa padded envelopes seem to go into different pricing tier than a flat paper envelopes.

Seek out flat items for example stickers, postcards, pretty envelopes and writing paper or twine. Others also create 'washi samplers' which are easy to post. This involves measuring out some of your own washi tape and wrapping it around a piece of cardboard or a thin plastic sheet. This way your pen pal can enjoy some pretty washi tape that they might not have in their own collection. It's also a good idea to stay away from breakables, you never know what journey your package will take.

It's worth paying for a tracking number which does cost a bit more, but it's great for peace of mind. I always pay for a tracking number and so far so good. I haven't had a package go missing as yet (touch wood), but I like the idea of knowing where items are. In most cases you need to ask for a tracking number as it isn't always offered.

Seal your envelopes well and ensure the address is super clear and easy to read. Our post service don't have the best track record, so make their job easy. Be sure to ask your pen pal for clear address details - including their full name.

Decorate items then put in an envelope for postage. A lot of the overseas snail mailers decorate their postage envelope, but I find it's better to decorate your envelope and then to put it in another plain envelope to post off. This ensures that your pretty snail mail stays in tact. I also seal up the envelope really well. I recently found some lovely patterned duct tape to use.

Get creative and have fun. There are loads of free printables online as well as templates for making your own envelopes. Pretty magazine pages make great wrapping or DIY envelopes.

Take a look at these:
1 > Envelopes from scrapbooking paper. / DIY envelopes.
2 > Wrapping on a budget.
3 > Washi sampler example.

Happy mailing!

Meet Free Monday #21

12 May 2014

12 May: A Day at HQ

It's our first public holiday free week in a while - what a shock to the system. I have heard many people say that they are ready to get back to a normal routine. I don't really feel as if I had much of a weekend. On Friday I worked late, so to speak, Daniel and I enjoyed a late dinner at home and were both beyond tired. Saturday we wanted to go for an early breakfast, but after a work emergency on Daniel's side we ended up being out the house all day. We did manage an awesome lunch at Tashas and a quick browse in Gateway. I spent the evening on a very tedious admin task, not very glamorous at all! By Sunday I needed to sleep in and after a little snooze some work needed my attention. We decided to go out for a quick lunch which was so lovely. We headed to my parent's for a Mother's Day braai in the afternoon - always great to hang out with the fam.

The Working Week in Review / Last Week:
I enjoyed last week as I managed to really commit my time to projects which have been on my list for far too long. I used a chunk of the public holiday to complete a client's online shop - felt great. The admin task mentioned above was also tackled and involved quite a bit of brain power, a gazillion paper clips and patience. It's almost done and I really pushed myself to just keep sorting and going. I also couldn't complain as technically I had left my filing and sorting to pile up and hence a marathon organising session was required. On a personal note I managed to go to yoga twice and one of the classes is literally across the road from our home - amazing (and it's free)! I completed the majority of tasks that needed my attention and having Claire in the office also added to the productivity. Friday was spent feeling a bit all over the show with errands and work, but it finished off with a fantastic consulting session with an inspired client. A fairly good week I think.

The Working Week:
Today I'm feeling a bit tired and it seems I am fighting flu to which I refuse to succumb. I'm planning out the week and started my day by reading this useful seven day plan on Pinterest. This week's main focus needs to be emails. I seem to have a bit of a mental block against them - it's not that I don't love receiving them as they're usually positive... new work, clients, concepts and so on. I get down as I don't really feel like I ever make a dent in my inbox. I just have to get over it and learn to get better at dealing with them. My plan of action is to do a blitz today and then to dedicate small segments of time to it through the week (tips welcome). The Etsy party is of course a focus too and I'm happy to announce tickets are sold out. The next batch of workshops need to get planned, including Cape Town and Joburg. Exciting and scary all in one go!

Things I'm excited about this week:
Both Daniel and I are in the midst of quite a busy time in our work schedules, so there isn't much happening on our social front. I'm always so happy to be home and to have time to dedicate to personal projects, enjoying good food and spending time with my beloved. Simplicity can be so joyful.

What will challenge me this week?
Emails... and changing my mindset about dealing with them.

Personal Thoughts:
I feel as if I have shared a few personal thoughts mixed in with my to dos. Time for personal projects are few and far between at the moment. I'm still trying to ensure I make time for exercise and I'm loving yoga. Every time I do it I wish I had discovered it earlier in life. I have heaps of snail mail to get out - starting to feel embarrassed with how long some packages have taken me - terrible!

*See other Meet Free Monday posts here.

This week's photo features:
Snail Mail Craft Pack: I really love putting these together to send to faraway friends.
Cupcake Purse: Gift
Mix of Trinkets: The doily edged one is from ohhellofriend. The rest are just a little random collection from near and far.

Seven Things

10 May 2014

A Glimpse of Life: Captured via Instagram

It's been a while since I shared a Seven Things post. In fact the last one was the Decorex Seven Things, which was far too long ago! In today's glimpse I share seven things I have been up to, seen or enjoyed - all captured via Instagram.

1 > Profits: I haven't chatted much about the Thrift Sale that I organised in April, but it went really well, which of course makes me very happy. I really enjoyed earning money for things that I no longer wanted or needed. The first picture shows a lovely book and new earrings which I bought with some of my sale profits.

2 > Wrapped and Ready: I recently bought a copy of Decorate Workshop (found at Adams in Musgrave) for a friend's birthday and wrapped it using a few favourites. I included the 29 as she made a point of celebrating the fact that she was a year away from thirty. On another note I can really recommend the book - the layout and concept is beautiful.

3 > Sitting Pretty: I received this mirrored tray for my 21st birthday and it has travelled around with me from home to home. I really love its simplicity and using it to show-off a few of my favourite beauty items. It makes me feel like a true lady.

4 > Creating: I have been on the hunt for a few statement necklaces, but each one I spotted didn't look unique enough, so I just made my own. I don't have a lot of time to get crafty, but every now and again I love making something personal.

5 > Bloggers & Treats: I attended the exceptionally well organised Durban Blogger Meet (#DBNbloggermeet) and was showered with amazing goodies from a whole host of wonderful sponsors. The list was incredible and included delicious pizza from Hashtag (the venue), beauty delights, macarons from Madam Macaron and even cups from Le Creuset. It was an exceptionally busy week that followed so I didn't get to credit everyone, but Fathima did a really lovely post - take a look.

6 > Mr Price: I recently went to a fun event hosted by Mr P for their Winter launch. We shopped, we laughed and we had plenty of champers. One of the best things was the smores bar - heaven! I stole this snap from Monique.

7 > Creative Jars: I created a few of these jars which were for sale at the Thrift Sale. They were full to the brim with crafty things like buttons, charms and ribbon. 

I hope you are having a awesome weekend so far.

Etsy Craft Party 2014

08 May 2014

Hooray! It's here... finally! The Etsy Craft Party 2014 is happening on the 6th of June - a mere month away. The theme is just lovely - Recapture: Bring new meaning to your photographs. I'm organising the Durban party and I can't wait to host the event. Be sure to book your tickets asap as they are selling out really fast.

If you are wondering what I am on about here is a quick summary directly from Etsy HQ:
"What is Craft Party? Every year, people from around the world come together on the same day in locally organized Etsy Craft Parties to create art and inspire each other. In 2013, more than 11,000 people took part in Craft Parties in locations across the globe."

Last year we had an awesome time and the party was well attended and the sponsors where incredible and included Washi Bug, In Good Company and of course Etsy! Just click here to take a look.

To book your tickets and read more about what to bring - just click here.
One thing that I will ask is that you only reserve a ticket if you can actually attend. The event is exceptionally popular so it helps me and the team to cater for actual number.

To become a sponsor of goodie bag items or a giveaway - email me. I am also looking for a photographer who would like to capture the event. 
Or you can become a party planning committee member - there are five places available. Just email me to join in.

See you there!

Meet Free Monday #20

05 May 2014

5 May: Planning at HQ
Today's post is my monthly planning one, due to it being the first Monday of May. My main inspiration in today's planning session has been via one creative blogger - Kelly from Little Red Moose. She is an organised creative and seeing her planners and Filofaxes gets me excited for doing my own list making. 

Let's chat about May and how the month is looking. Well, as always there is a lot to get done. All the usual work orientated 'to dos' are present, but I also feel that my goal setting needs to be a strong focus - both within our office / business work and on the personal side. Daniel and I are working on a few things and although they are all positive, new ideas and changes can also be really scary. My planning nature always feels better when I list and map out a route. My aim is to make time for this, rather than have my head in the sand feeling afraid to start. 

My monthly 'list for living' stays much the same and reads as follows:
Manage stress and personal expectation.
Look after my body's needs through rest, nutrition and exercise.
Do not spend unnecessary money. This is always a tough one - I love shopping and always have an eye out for pretty things. I loved this post from Kelly on planning a no spend month.

This list stays the same most of the time as it reflects back to what I set out for the year in January.

Project Related:
Complete final elements from spring clean - wardrobe, office and donations.
Work on personal projects - recipe book (a file or book to house recipes from mags etc) and project notebook.

I have a bit more thinking to do around themonth and setting out of plans, which I will complete today. Let's get to the fun part... pretty pictures to get us inspired...
As mentioned Little Red Moose is one of my main inspirations at the moment. Kelly's blog and Instagram are so lovely to look at!

Alba's Universe is another blog full of Filofax sharing. I also spotted these pointers on her blog: A quick reflection on living - handy to keep in your diary or planner.
Believe    while others are doubting
Plan         while others are playing
Study       while others are sleeping
Decide     while others are delaying
Prepare    while others are daydreaming
Begin      while others are procrastinating
Work       while others are wishing
Save        while others are wasting
Listen      while others are talking
Smile       while others are pouting
Commend while others are criticizing
Persist     while others are quitting

Honey We're Home is a new blog discovery. An organised office is a must for feeling on top of both planning and also it inspires you to want to be within the space. Take a look at Megan's desk here.

On the left-hand side of the desk is a lovely picture showing a notepad - this is from Thyme is Honey. She created a host of useful resources which are for sale in her Etsy shop.

What are a few of your favourite organising tools? Mine are highlighters, washi tape and my Frixion pens (just in case I make a mistake). Good luck for your week and of course for May!

Use your Public Holiday Wisely

01 May 2014

Three easy things you'll be thankful for later:

Some are complaining about them, others are soaking it all in and some haven't even noticed. Say what you will about all these public holidays... for one I know I'm grateful! Yes, another public holiday and if you find yourself enjoying a lazy morning, laying by the pool or sitting on the couch, why not put this 'day off' to good use. There are three really easy things that you can take on today, that will be fun and I promise you in the near future (maybe even tomorrow) you will be happy you did. We are on the long haul until the end of the year and the better we use our time the better the ride will be.

Brainstorm & Dream
Think up a few new ideas and develop one or two of them. By sitting back and just thinking... you might come up with a golden idea. Our minds need time to mull over concepts and clever ways of making and doing things. Keep some pretty pens handy and a big piece of white paper. Jot down, draw and get creative.

List & Think Ahead
What are some of the things you want to do this year? Think about your personal life, business, home and even fun things. Make a few lists and keep them on your desk - that way when things get a bit crazy you can reflect. Listing helps clear out the brain, so that you can focus on what's important right now.

Read & Record
I have a heap of magazines next to my bed - they have useful articles in them, but they take up space. I'm going to go through them tear out the important / pretty things, record websites I want to visit and also jot down useful tips. It's a great day to catch up on your blog reading too or some online research. By taking down a few important things you spotted, through your reading you can make the time count.

Have a great day full of dreaming and creativity!

Pretty picture via Glitter Guide.