Tuesday, 29 April 2014

DIY Tutorial: Love Coupons

 So you might be wondering what 'Love Coupons' are exactly but you may also know them as 'Love vouchers' or 'Love Cheques'. They are little tokens that look like a coupon you would get to redeem a product but instead they have personalised messages on and activities/things to redeem. These are a really good idea for Valentines day, Anniversaries or even birthdays if you want to make something for your boyfriend/girlfriend without spending hardly any money (Or none at all!)

 Things you will need:

1. Some plain card
2. A paper bag or envelope of some sort
3. Carnival tickets (available from this Ebay seller)
4. A pen

Before you begin writing on your tickets, write a list of all of the things that you want the coupons to be valid for. As you can see in the photo above, some of mine were 'Breakfast in bed' and 'Homecooked dinner' which are quite obvious ones. I did have a quick look online for any inspiration but the suggestions didn't really fit my boyfriend and I so I just made my own up! I think it's best if you tailor it to you as a couple or who you are giving it to and then it's more personal.

If you don't have time to order tickets or want to make it completely free, you can download ready made coupons off the Internet. Mommy by day Crafter by night has a particularly good tutorial and free download on her blog so go check that out if you need a quick fix for a present!

You don't have to do this part but I think that it's nice to put a little card in with your coupons a) to explain what they are and b) to turn it into a nice little complete package. I simply wrote a message on for the occasion, with the date (I always date everything!) and what exactly I was giving him. If you have downloaded a template then you might want to turn it into a little book instead of using a postcard type method.

And then you put it all into your envelope or in my case a paper bag and seal it up! It really is the most simple idea but has a lot of thought in it. If you put some funny ones in too then you can both laugh about it later. One thing is for sure my boyfriend will be enjoying his free pass to an uninterrupted day of playing the Xbox!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Whats on my bookshelf?


I have had a bit of a lull in reading for a few month and couldn't seem to find time to sit down and just read a book. So I figured that maybe none of the books I had selected were really grabbing my attention. I started to see this book cropping up everywhere and I wondered what all the fuss was about. It was the 1# New York Times Bestseller and had been made into a major motion picture (out in June!) so I decided I wanted to read it without much other information. I'm so glad I did.

"My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations."

You may have guessed already without seeing the picture but I am indeed talking about The Fault in our Stars, the fourth novel by author John Green. Without giving too much away, the story follows the main character, Hazel Lancaster, as she lives with terminal cancer and how her life changes when she meets Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor with a unique outlook on life.

So on the surface you may assume that this book is about cancer and the untimely death that it can bring to people. Which I guess it is to an extent. It is brutally honest about two young people living with cancer, holding on and learning to take what you can from life, even if it is short.

However, the main reason everyone loves this story is in fact the love story between reluctant Hazel and charmer Augustus. If you strip it back it's a modern Romeo and Juliet of sorts where the characters are always ill-fated in some way. But the way Green writes is refreshing and honest. These characters are painfully realistic at times and you find yourself laughing and crying along with this book. 

I don't know why but I am often drawn to books that have tragedy in them. Although I may not like reading parts at the time, I love a story that lingers with me afterwards. And that's exactly what this book did for me. I couldn't put it down and it broke my heart at so many points. But you know what? In the end I actually found it quite uplifting. That despite all the odds, the tragedy and just plain bad luck, love can survive. If only for a small infinity.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Blogging and Working Full Time - How hard is it?

I started my blog back in May 2013 when I had a part time job and lots of free time in the day because I worked unsociable hours. As well as having all of this free time I hated my job as it was nothing close to what I wanted to do in life so I used my blog to stay creative and channel my energy into something positive. 

So just before Christmas I landed myself a new job doing something I was excited by and it was full time. The hours are very reasonable but I also kept my old job one night a week, so now a lot of my time is consumed with work. On top of that I am part of a county orchestra that rehearses once a week, go to an exercise class, have taken up running, look after my house and have a boyfriend and friends to spend time with. So you might start to wonder how I can fit in blogging anymore.

Well I've asked myself this question too and it's not easy. Since starting my job I have sometimes gone a whole week without blogging but that doesn't mean the ideas aren't still forming in my head. In fact, getting a new job, starting new hobbies and generally feeling better about everything has sparked different ideas for my blog which I think adds more variety to my posts.

It's definitely harder than I thought it would be to juggle everything. I can't imagine many people have the luxury or blogging for a full time career. I know many people manage to blog, run business's, have homes and  look after children and I think that's what makes your blog more exciting and more challenging. I don't know about anyone else out there but I wanted a challenge when I started this. A challenge to build my blog myself, to come up with content, to reach out to other bloggers and readers and to keep my creative brain alive.

I think the best thing I have learnt is to not force it and not to put pressure on myself to create posts once or twice a week. I would rather have a good post once a week than several not so good posts!
How to do you juggle blogging and other commitments? I would love to know!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Month In Pictures

March has been a busy month, especially at school with all the different occasions like Mother's day and Easter prep! I have a feeling April is going to be even better though...!

1. Started off with a lovely letter from Penpal Rehana which I am looking forward to replying to very soon.
2. One of my little projects and most successful tutorial over on the blog.
3. My favourite page from the book You are so Loved by Chronicle Books
4. Trying to complete my university scrapbook...finally!
5. Got some new maps which I'm looking forward to making into new products for my Etsy shop.
6. World Book Day at school...can you guess our theme?!
7. Lots of Mothers Day prep going on in the classroom!
8. Finally finished my university scrapbook. To see inside check out my blog post here
9. Last orchestra concert for this term