Sublime Sunday Part Nine : Aaaaand Breathe!

Brighteyed and Bewildered (7)It’s been another manic weekend for me but I’m not complaining; it’s been wonderful. I was out of the house for a good 13 or so hours yesterday which, unless it’s been work related, hasn’t happened for a long, long time. I met my friend on the train to Brighton in the morning after a little bit of confusion over which trains our tickets were valid on. We had a good catch up on the train and headed down to the pier once we got to Brighton, getting caught up in some local school parade on the way!

We made the error of walking through the arcades on the pier and spent the best part of an hour playing on the 2p machines. It was so nice to just be playing games like we had when we were both young and just talking and laughing carelessly. Much to our excitement, we won lots of our 2ps back (which of course, went straight back into the machines) along with some lollies and a weird looking teddy bear model in a suit! It’s crazy how addictive those games are – especially when you can see that the coins are hanging right on the edge (I mean, they always are because that’s how it’s designed but that doesn’t stop you believing you’re on to a winner!)

We wandered around the lanes for a little bit and stopped off for a drink before heading to the Seven Stars pub for lunch. We laughed so much while we were walking around the lanes, it was a completely beautiful, care free moment – mainly triggered by a group chat on WhatsApp with some of our other girls and lots of photos of double chins! Like I said in my last post, your friends don’t have to be with you physically for you to all have fun together.

Brighteyed and Bewildered (6)Lunch was delicious – we both had pulled pork with a BBQ sauce in brioche buns. Simple, yet amazing! The pub had a really good selection of craft beers and made their own flavoured gins which they make amazing cocktails with. Feeling a little bit tipsy and seeing lots of football fans descending into the centre of Brighton, we decided to head back to the train station and home again. It was a perfect day and, like Beth said, no matter how long we don’t see each other for, we always pick up right where we left off.

Getting back into Victoria, I then made my way across to Dalston Junction for my first visit to this summer’s Street Feast. I went to all of the Street Feast locations across London last summer and Dalston Yard was by far my favourite so I was super excited when I got an email a couple of weeks ago saying that it was back again! I topped up my alcohol levels with some more craft beers and filled my belly with mini sliders, ribs and some salted caramel brownies (oh hi chubbs!) We found a perfect place sit and watch people as we carried on drinking through the evening.

Sublime Sundays I woke up feeling a little worse for wear this morning but I didn’t have time to sit around feeling sorry for myself as I had a huge “To-Do” list to work through today.

I’ve been ignoring my emails for a couple of days so had over 200 to wade through, read, delete, file, blah, blah, blah and lots of new blog posts from other bloggers to catch up on (I always sign up to the email subscriptions on blogs that I love so that I never miss anything). Then I made a start on my own blog posts for this week whilst watch The Beach – always a good film to watch when you’re thinking about travelling.

I sorted through the huge pile of notebooks that I’ve collected recently, all of which have business and blog notes in them in no particular order – it feels good to be a little more organised again.Then I set aside some time to work on the business plan and website for my new venture which will hopefully be my source of income for when I leave the UK to go travelling. It’s been a lot of hard work so far but I feel like I’m slowly starting to make progress!

I’d pencilled in some time to take some back up photos for the blog, Twitter, Facebook etc. so that I could edit them and file them away ready for those days when I’m struggling for inspiration or just out of images but I didn’t actually get round to that as I got side-tracked by ironing (jeez am I getting old?)

Finally, I made an updated “To-Do” list which, rather ironically, is longer than the one I worked through today! But that’s not for today, future Dani can worry about that.

Aaaaand breathe!

It’s been a busy but amazing weekend. Now the chicken is cooking nicely in the oven and I’m going to chill out with a lovely Sunday roast and a film this evening and pretend that the weekend isn’t over!

Sublime Sundays Part Six – A Morning Full of Crafting

Sublime Sundays

I woke up early this morning and was wide awake. I put some washing on, had breakfast, showered and sat down with my plan of action for today before 8.30 am. I know that this isn’t actually that early, those of you have kids have probably been up for hours at that time, but for me, this was a massive achievement.

I looked at what my planner had in store for me today :

1. Write blog posts for next week 

2. Review Facebook and Twitter accounts for blog and business

3. Check and respond to all emails

4. Read other blogs

5. Update Pinterest for the business.

I didn’t really fancy doing any of it. Yes, I appreciate that part of being an adult is doing things that you don’t want to but I am already ahead of schedule with new posts, I only checked my emails at 11.30 pm yesterday (how much could have happened since then??) and reading other Blogs could wait until the evening.

So I decided to spend my Sunday morning doing one of my favourite things – crafting.

I’m working on a new project at the moment and thought I’d play around with the new time lapse app on my phone. I’m pretty pleased with the result.

Here’s what goes into a single page in one of my scrapbooks, enjoy!

And finally, here’s a sneak peek at the finished page:

Scrapbook Page (1) Scrapbook Page (2)

As for my Sunday afternoon? It’s going to spent scheduling posts and tweets for the rest of the week and maybe a little bit of work on my business website.

How’s your Sunday so far? I hope you’re having a lovely day.

London Living and a New Adventure

London is amazing but time is just flying by too quickly. So quickly in fact that this is the first chance I’ve actually had time to sit down and blog. So far, inbetween working, travelling with work and getting to know our awesome housemates, I’ve managed a couple of trips to Spitalfields markets (mainly for lunch!), a visit to Camden Markets and a morning of cheering on the London Marathon runners.

The main reason for that though is that I’ve been setting up my own business, Polkadots and Pictures. Almost all of my spare time has been spent on designing my website and working on the projects for sale.

I’ve always loved arts and crafts from a very young age and, for as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to set up a business doing something I love but had no idea what to do. So, when we moved to London I decided that now was the time to do it. I know I’d mentioned it in earlier posts so obviously I’d made my mind up about what I wanted to do and I had started researching the market and the work I needed to do to set up a business. I’d set the date for starting physical work on the business such as putting the website together, buying stock and starting to make some of the products as the weekend that we moved and set the date for launching the website itself two weeks later (although I was a week late on that!)

Polkadots and Pictures

The idea behind Polkadots and Pictures is that, since digital cameras, people don’t do anything with their photos anymore. They just sit on a memory card or hard drive and never really get looked at – I have a solution for that: Scrapbooks. I’ve always collected train tickets, menus, place names and invites from weddings etc. and kept scrapbooks with photos and memorabilia in and I absolutely love making them. So that’s the idea, people send me their photos and memorabilia and I provide a full scrapbooking service.

One of my makes - Polkadots and Pictures

I appreciate that some people won’t want to part with their photos and memorabilia so I also offer ready made scrapbooks without the photos (essentially, just decorated pages to suit whatever occasion and theme the customer has requested) so that they can add their own photos once they receive the scrapbook.

Alongside the scrapbooks, I also provide memory boards which are single scrapbook pages which can then be framed to make a really cool background for your photos.

11817269_1621416424814037_9213182226678413985_n

So that’s my new adventure in a nutshell. Don’t worry – I’m not going to constantly be plugging my business in every post I write from now on, I just wanted to share this step in my journey with you.

I’m hoping that now that the website is up and running I’ll have more time to write (as well as more time to get out and explore London so that I have some exciting things to actually write about). But for now, I’m just going to leave you with a few pictures of what Polkadots and Pictures has to offer.

Graduation card - Polkadots and Pictures

Birthday memory board - Polkadots and Pictures

A page from a Christening scrapbook - Polkadots and Pictures

Wedding card and memory board - Polkadots and Pictures

Blogging Failure

It’s been just over two weeks since I last posted – I have officially failed at blogging! I’ve written down lots of ideas in my blogging notebook but I just haven’t been able to find the time to write.

I’ve been away with work a lot over the last couple of weeks which has meant long hours and lots of travelling. I thought the train journeys would provide me with plenty of time to write but in all honesty, I’ve felt completely drained and every time I got my laptop out to blog, my mind was just blank (I know someone, somewhere will make a joke about that, most probably my husband). It’s impossible for me to write, even if I have the ideas in front of me, if I’m not in the right frame of mind.

In between work and travelling, I’ve been studying and working hard on my business plans and I’m getting more and more excited as things start to take shape. I’m hoping to have some ideas down “on paper”, along with some mock ups of the products and would really appreciate a few people to have a look over them and give me some totally honest feedback. If you think you can help me, please let me know! As my ideas have been coming together and forming more of an actual plan, I thought it was time to treat myself to new stationary and I’ve gone completely mad for this collection from Wilkos:

IMG_2237

I actually bought everything the store had in this range (I cannot for the life of me remember what it’s called).

Me and my husband spent the weekend in London looking at flats. It was a completely manic weekend of rushing around London looking at flats that looked absolutely nothing like their adverts. There was a lot of disappointment and frustration but I think we have found a couple of places we like and *fingers crossed* we should have some sort of plan in place by the end of the week. Despite the running around and constant motion sickness from hopping on and off the underground, it was nice to spend some quality time with Sean after having spent most the week in a Premier Inn in Watford. We also got to catch up with a friend we lived with at Uni and met up with my family for brunch on Sunday morning.

Sherlock

Another highlight of our weekend in London was going to see Sherlock Holmes’ house on Baker Street – my inner geek was super excited about this! We didn’t have time to queue up and actually go inside but it’s now on my list of things to do once we move to London.

The job hunt has taken an unexpected and exciting turn but there will be more about that over the next couple of weeks!

I’m really hoping to keep on top of the blog posts now that my work timetable has calmed down a bit and any travelling I have to do over the next few weeks is fairly close to home. I’m sorry this was a bit of a whirlwind round up of what I’ve been doing since I last posted, I promise my posts will be back to normal from now on!

 

Sublime Sundays Part Four – Bright-eyed and not so Bewildered

Today has been very productive. It’s been a fairly manic day and my mind is overflowing with inspiration and ideas. I don’t want to give too much at this moment in time so I’m going to keep this post fairly brief but I have an exciting few months/year ahead of me!

I started today by doing exactly what I told you guys not to do in my first Sublime Sundays post and went to work but I set a time limit on myself and arranged to meet my husband at 2.30 in the pub so that I didn’t end up working too much. Over beers we discussed our plans of moving to London and our ultimate plans of, one day, packing everything up and going travelling. Talking about the amazing places we want to visit is something we do a lot but this afternoon there was a new optimism in our plans. We both know it’s years away but, for some reason, today it seemed like we were actually starting to put some sort of plan in place.

Sean enjoying his beers

It was also this afternoon that I told Sean my dreams of setting up my own business. I’ve recently been doing lots of extra studying in my spare time and I am currently enrolled in a couple of courses where I’m learning about starting your own business, marketing and accounts for businesses. Yesterday I realised that, although it will take a lot of work, starting my own business is actually something that I can achieve. Having the support of Sean means the world to me and I was so happy that he was excited about my plans too (he’s really quite grumpy so it takes a lot to make him smile or approve any ideas I have!!)

I feel like, for the first time in a while, that I have a realistic goal that I actually cannot wait to start working towards. I’m definitely bright-eyed today and, to some extent, less bewildered than I usually am. Now my mind is racing with ideas and I need to take a trip to Paperchase to make sure I have enough cute folders, post-it notes and coloured pens to get all of my ideas down.

Like I said, I don’t want to give too much away at this stage and it’s likely to take a long time to put my ideas into motion. I really need to focus on the new job search and move to London which is creeping ever closer but I’m really, really excited and can’t wait to share some of my ideas with you soon!