22 November 2017

THE THINGS I STILL WANT TO ACHIEVE IN 2017



Although I don't really make New Years Resolutions these days, I always try and set myself goals and this year, one of my goals, starting a Bullet Journal, has helped me achieve some of my other goals (you keeping up?!). Through my endless lists, plans and goal setting in my Bullet Journal, I am proud to have achieved the biggest thing I had set in my mind for this year, even though it was a few months later than I had planned! Leaf Lane Studio is now 'a thing' and I couldn't be happier about that really, but there are still a few little personal goals I have that I would like to work on a bit more before the clock strikes twelve on December 31st!

I have six weeks to try and 'up my game' in a few areas of my life, so I thought I would try and get them out in the open for a little accountability! Feel free to comment about what you would like to do before the year is out; it could be anything at all! Also, tell me in the comments what you have already achieved too, let's give each other a boost to push us towards the end of the year!

H E A L T H 
:: start the day with hot water with lemon 
:: have two glasses of apple cider vinegar (in water!) throughout the day
:: increase general water intake
:: have a mini-cut before Christmas (lower my carb intake and increase my cardio)
:: get a bit more sleep
:: get out for a walk in the late afternoon

The main focus for me going forward is to try and keep my body hydrated and to reduce the dreaded hormonal side-effects I suffer with, such as headaches and bloating etc (don't you just love hormones?!).

B U S I N E S S
:: scheduling marketing campaigns for Christmas and New Year
:: get a better content creation routine for the business blog/social media
:: create, create, create!

I wrote a business based blog post last week, if you fancy having a read just click here!

B L O G
:: spend my time more efficiently to create content notes in advance as ideas come along
:: work on some ideas for promoting the blog in 2018 
:: replace the pictures that were lost in the whole 'Photobucket' debacle (I still have several blog posts to sort out to bring the blog back to where it should be post Photobucket taking down everyones photos a few months ago... grrr!)

P E R S O N A L
:: work on my procrastination...well, not actually on it, because I am already achieving highly at it! I need to be more efficient in several areas of life really and stop sitting and thinking about everything all the time and just get on with the task in hand! (Hands up if this is you too!)
:: find a part time job. This may not happen in the next few weeks but I am starting to look at this now the business has launched and I am able to take on something else. If anyone is currently working as a Virtual Assistant and has any 'top tips' please get in touch as I am considering this particular path right now as it will fit in with all the other things I do currently
:: keep thinking positively! I have worked super hard this year at seeing the positive in everything, in order to help my mental health and to keep my motivation up for everything else I want to achieve. I am trying to notice the things in life that dip my mood and get rid of them as fast as I can

Having written that all down it all seems like a lot but I think I can definitely do well at the majority of it, so watch this space. I mentioned at the start of this post that my Bullet Journal has been so helpful at making me see what I need to get done and actually achieve it. For December I am really delving into an 'end of year review' to help me plan for 2018 and see clearly what needs to be done. I will do another Bullet Journal video for you guys very soon, as it will be nice to have a look back at what worked and also what I am planning for the New Year, but if you want to see my set up for my very first journal then the video is below for you!

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19 November 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ Perranuthnoe ^^

I can't believe I am just putting this post up after 9pm on a Sunday (sorry guys!). My mum arrived in Cornwall earlier today so time has somewhat run away with us. Better late than never is something I have used a few too many times on the blog this year... forgive me! Let's jump right in shall we?

:: On Friday morning, as I stepped outside the front door for the gym at about 6.30am, I realised that the sky was super clear and, although the sun was just starting to come up, it was dark enough to have a little gaze at the stars, which were so beautiful and so bright. I admit, I was absolutely freezing cold, but it was totally worth it! The sunrises and sunsets have been stunning lately too.

:: I've had a couple of 'dodgy days' this week, where I just couldn't sleep or get my brain together enough to human! On Wednesday it reached a bit of a peak and so I succumbed to a sick day and laid on the bed, sketching out some products ideas (so I did do some work!) and popped one of my all time favourite films on Netflix, The Notebook. Gizmo and I snuggled up and enjoy the film together; I adore the story of that film so very much. I idea that the two characters were just meant to be together and finally reunited has me all sorts of emotional! 


^^ My sick day buddy ^^

:: One of the things I love about living here in Cornwall is how fast the weather can roll in and roll out again. This afternoon, as I waited in Penzance car park for my mums train to come in, I watched the darkest grey clouds I have seen in a while rolling in from the sea, but what made it even more gorgeous to watch was that there was a single ray of sunshine casting a bright beam of light on St Michael's Mount. It looked so intentional and so magical, I wish I could have got a photo of it but I just wasn't in the right place to snap it. There are just so many things that I see on a daily basis that make me so grateful to live here.

:: I forgot to mention in last weeks post how much I am loving Blue Planet II on BBC one right now. I don't often watch any animal related programmes because, for some strange reason, it can set off my mental health into a downward spin occasionally (if there is too much sad stuff for example). But I am really enjoying this latest series and am totally stunned by all the things that live in our oceans; what an amazing planet we live on (I just wish we looked after it a bit better).

:: On Friday I had the most wonderful parcel in the post from the gorgeous Peta (www.pe-ta.com) who had sent me a little advent calendar of teabags to enjoy throughout December. It is beautifully hand made and I adore it so much! Thank you lovely lady, you are the sweetest! <3



:: The radio stations have started playing their Christmas playlists now and I must confess to having quite a sing song to Whams 'Last Christmas' on the way home from the gym earlier this week! Heart Xmas Extra is also tuned in on the car radio too, although I am not quite 'there' yet!

:: I am really enjoying the peace and quiet of our little village at the moment. Sometimes I can step outside the door, into the garden, and just hear nothing but the waves and a few birds chirping away. It is heaven on a stick to have such calm right where you live, all the time. The amount of robins in the garden has really gone up too and, having them hopping about is so wonderful, I am still astounded at how they can stand up on their little legs!

:: On Friday I listened to a podcast episode from One Girl Band (one of my faves for motivation) titled 'What to do if you feel stuck' and it was a really good one! Only a short episode so, if you are interested then its one you can listen to in a hurry, but it really gave me a little kick because, over the last couple of weeks, I have just been feeling a little bit tired and somewhat stagnant with a few areas of my business and blog. I highly recommend you give the podcast a go if you fancy something new!

That is all for this week guys, I hope you all have a great week! I am heading back to mum and dads on Wednesday and, whilst I will do my utmost to get a post up for Wednesday, if I struggle, please forgive me! Mum is staying and I have a lot to get done before I travel back with her for a few days. I am super excited to see my dad and to catch up with a few people I haven't seen for a while too, plus I am going to pop into the Christmas market that I used to organise at my old work; it will be so nice to attend an event as a visitor, rather than a stressed out organiser!!

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16 November 2017

NOTES FROM MY DESK | BUSINESS UPDATE



Today I thought I would have a little catch up with you guys about what I have been up to with my new business, how things are going and what I have planned for the next few months, as well as sharing a couple of things I have learnt so far. I know this post won't appeal to everyone but I hope it does to someone who may be considering setting up a business, selling crafts at a market or on Etsy or someone who is a bit 'stuck' with their goals (let's face it, if I can do it, anyone can do it!).

S I N C E  L A U N C H I N G  L E A F  LA N E  S T U D I O . . .

Having launched on 1st September 2017, Leaf Lane Studio has been 'out there in the world' for little over two months. I have been working hard to try and get my brand in front of some wedding industry people and, I must confess, it is a daunting task, but a task that had to be done and I even surprised myself with how fast I have just got on with it (as someone who can sometimes shy away from such things). It is hard to have confidence in what you put out there at any time, but I think when something is brand new, and you have no idea how it will be received, it can be even more of a challenge.



Having worked with Gemma Sands, my beautiful and very patient coach, for a long time now (she just can't get rid of me the poor woman!), I was prepared with a spreadsheet of people I wanted to get in contact with, such as wedding magazines, blogs, dress shops and venues. As soon as I had my sample packs ready to go, I drafted several emails (for various situations) and just sent them out...boom! Not that I am an expert, but I highly recommend that you don't bulk send emails; take the time to personalise them, find out who you are talking to, use their name and make the emails sound friendly and not too 'salesy'. This is something I took a long time thinking about and it seems to have paid off in many areas. I have built up a good dialogue with a few magazines and planners now and am happy that I took the time to really consider my words. Initially, the first email I drafted just didn't sound like me, so I worked and re-worked it until it did. I was scared it may be too friendly and not professional enough, but the responses showed me that it had been opened which, according to many podcasts and articles I have read about contacting journalists, was something that was hard to achieve.

On the subject of contacting professionals, and I guess this is more specific to magazines, I also found that being super transparent was helpful. That is possibly a no brainer, but what I mean is that when I was contacted back with a 'here's how much it will cost to advertise in our magazine' type  of email, I knew that I didn't have a budget for magazine advertising as yet, so simply thanked them and explained that, as a new business my budget is non-existent, but I would love to work with them in the future. This resulted in a magazine saying 'we understand and we'll see what we can do' and featuring me in one of their style spreads for winter weddings! (I may have cried a bit when I saw it!). The lesson was learnt... just go for it, make the contacts; the worst that can happen is you get a 'no' or you don't get a response at all. If that happens then maybe they aren't your 'people' anyway, so move on to the next lot!



T H E  T O U G H  B I T S

This is quite specific to me in my current situation because, moving to Cornwall in February meant that I left my full time job behind and I was fortunate to be in a position where I could work solely on getting the business launched without any other distractions. Having no income for a fair few months has been difficult, very difficult but, that said, I have survived and am looking to sort out something part time very soon (CV update required first!). I also chose to launch Leaf Lane Studio at the time when the wedding season was slowing right down. This was partly because I wasn't ready to launch but also a conscious choice too. I needed to just take my time and feel my way into the industry; not that I thought I was going to be overwhelmed with orders immediately when I did launch, but it was just a bit of a 'safety' choice I guess. Yes, the finance thing is a big deal and the one I am feeling the most pinch from but I will be turning that on its head soon enough and normality will be restored; other than that though, I feel happy with how things are going and felt like I was fully prepared for it all anyway, so there have been no surprises!


^^ 'Together we can illuminate galaxies', downloadable print ^^


^^ 'Keep shining bright', downloadable print - available FREE, click here ^^

T H E  G R E A T  B I T S !

Schedule, schedule, schedule! This has to be the most wonderful thing about working for yourself by far. Even if, on some days, you work a sh*t load of hours, you are still the one dictating those hours and that is a game changer. I have become super familiar with my body-clock and the times of the day I am best suited to doing certain tasks. For example, I love to get up at about 6am and get to the gym, something I have been doing for several weeks now for about five sessions a week. I noticed that on the days I didn't get up and get my backside there that I felt sluggish and out of my routine. The longer I had off training, the harder it was to go back to it and it was a constant nagging voice in my head. Now that I have established this early morning ritual of exercise, and doing it more often, I feel a lot better for it.

Part of my daily routine has become slowing down at about 2-3pm for a bit, because I always get super dozy then and whatever I try and achieve is not done to my best ability. Then, once the evening time swings around again I am super inspired and feeling locked onto my goals again. That is the thing about working alone I suppose, you can set your timetable to fit your own needs and, as long as the jobs are getting done, it is all good!

C O M I N G  U P

My main aims for the next few months are to get another wedding collection designed and ready for launch soon and to get some physical products in my store and on my Etsy shop too. I would have lots of things up for sale already but, as I said above, the finances are somewhat restricted and, to create a physical product means laying out a bit of money first, which is not always a possibility, but I will get there and am planning on starting by selling some small prints, little notebooks and postcards/greeting cards and going from there. I have ideas-a-plenty so stay tuned for more from me soon!


^^ 'All I need is the ocean, moon, stars and you', downloadable print ^^
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12 November 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Here we are again guys... Sunday! Apparently it is now time for all the Christmas adverts to appear on TV; are they getting earlier or is it the same as usual? Maybe they have just crept up on me this year because it has been a little bit bonkers! I don't feel ready for the Christmas extravaganza just yet (even though I watched Home Alone this morning!!). Anyway, how are you guys doing? What have you been up to this week?

Let's jump in to all the things that have made me grateful/happy this week...

:: I have had quite a creative week this week and have been working on several sketches and ideas; I love being in the mood to create things and am really filling up my sketchbooks and notebooks with lots of scribbles right now!

:: I have reignited my love for something amazing this week... cold toast with Marmite. Don't knock it until you've tried it people! I love myself a slice of cold toast. To be fair, I discovered my love of cold toast because I regularly make some tea and wander off into the lounge whilst my toast is down then remember it about 15 minutes later! Anyway, there it is, out there for the world to know. My name is Lucy and I like cold toast.

:: This week I put up a new downloadable art print in my shop on Leaf Lane Studio. As a bit of a space geek (understatement!) I wanted to create something to remind us how a little effort can equal big results and knock on effects throughout our world, although it is also a little bit of the romantic in me coming out too! I have a few things in the pipeline for the shop so, if you are interested in hearing what is coming up, why not sign up to my newsletter by clicking right here. If you want to see the new print on my website just click on the picture below to go straight over there!



:: I also (finally) got around to launching my Etsy shop this week. The products will be identical to those that are on my website but the point of me putting myself on Etsy is to have the Leaf Lane Studio brand 'out-there' to a wider audience. Obviously, from a personal point of view, I would prefer it if people would buy directly from my website, as there will be no fees for me etc, but I am hoping to build up a good shop on Etsy too and manage both! It will be great fun adding products, and that is a mission I am on currently. I have some ideas for cards and notebooks and am going to start there and work up to other things too! Stay tuned!

:: There have been a lot of cat cuddles this week and I have loved every single one. I haven't been sleeping too well at all and Gizmo always seems to know when her snuggling services are required. We had a lovely nap together this afternoon actually (I had to sleep before finishing this post or I would have fallen asleep with my head on the keyboard!).

:: I have definitely mentioned this before but, at this time of year, almost at any point in the day, you can step outside the front door and breathe in the wonderful smell that is wood smoke (one of my favourite smells ever!). I just love it so much. I let Gizmo out at about 3am the other morning and just stood out in the garden looking up at the stars and taking in the left over smokey air.




:: Walking through the village at this time of year is wonderful. I have developed such a fascination with watching nature shift through the seasons but, whilst living on an estate it was so much harder, but here it is evident in every step you take. I have such an appreciation for the decaying leaves, the little veins that are only really visible as they perish, the berries shriveling up and dropping off for the birds to finish up... the cycle of the seasons makes me grateful every single day.

:: We had so many birds in the garden over the summer and then, come September/October they all seemed to vanish. But now, we have some new arrivals (or else the others are back from their holidays!) and they are now pecking away at the seeds again, which is super cute to watch. I have also hung up some of the seeded fat balls things and they seem to adore those! Although there has been many a scrap between the magpies and the jackdaws over them, who seem utterly unable to just take a dainty peck at them and have to violently attack the whole thing before flying off with a right old gob full! Little blighters!

I hope you guys have a wonderful week ahead and don't forget to follow my Instagram to keep up with the gossip during the week and also hear about new products I am launching soon!

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8 November 2017

SMALL SPACES & COSY CORNERS


^^ Image by Viktoria Dahlberg ^^

It might be the fact that the weather is turning a little chilly, but I have been scrolling through endless images on Pinterest of small spaces or cosy corners and dreaming of ways to make them a reality in my own house! I really love a homely feel with different textures and soft cushions to snuggle up on (which the cat will obviously own immediately!). I thought I would share a couple of mood boards I threw together for inspiration!

N E W  Y O R K  S T Y L E


^^ Left hand image by Viktoria Dahlberg / Top right image by 'By Tezza' blog / Bottom right image from Pinterest, original link unavailable / Good Vibes cushion by Elsie & Nell via Not On The Highstreet / 'Night Sky' Mug by Anthropologie  / Striped pom-pom throw by Oliver Bonas / Black and white rug by West Elm ^^

There is something about the mismatched style of an old-school New York style apartment that I find so adorable; think Carrie from Sex in the City (not her posh redecorated-for-the-movie apartment obviously!) meats Friends and you will be in the same head-space as me here! Big rugs all over the wooden floors, vases of flowers, different colours and textures, Polaroid photos tucked into vintage frames and mirrors and little bowls and pots picked up from a variety of stores or flea markets. I love this look so much, even though the Monica Geller in me would be constantly having to tidy it up! 

A L L  T H E  L E A V E S

^^ Top right image Pinterest, original by Luisa Brimble / Left hand image Pinterest, original unknown / Cosy office cats (bottom right!) Pinterest, original by Margo Hupert Art / Textured white vase by H&M / 'Snow-capped' vase by Anthropologie / Leaf prints by Couture Moments for You via Etsy ^^

Some of you will already know that, at 36 years old, I already know that children are not on the cards for me, which is something that I am totally okay with because I have replaced the thought of children with plants and cats (and whatever other animals should stumble on in... the more the merrier!). This style of clean neutrals and then just a whole load of greenery makes me all happy inside! Peta, from pe-ta.com and I were recently discussing the idea of a stay at home cat mum being a thing, so I reckon a stay at home cat and plant mum should be added to that list. Thoughts?

What are you favourite interior styles? In reality my home is just made up of cheap Ikea furniture and odds and sods that have been donated or adopted, but a girl can dream huh? One day people. one day!
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5 November 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ This little bear is just the best ever ^^

Ah November, you beautiful month, you have arrived! I love this time of year so much, it feels so magical and romantic and I adore it!

I'm so sorry I didn't managed to get a blog post up on Wednesday this week. I have had a funny old week all round and, in total transparency, I just couldn't get my head 'into' writing anything properly. It was more of a lets-create-art week this week so I just had to roll with the punches. I have also been all manner of tired as I haven't been sleeping properly at all. In-fact, at 3.45am on Friday morning, I was sat at my desk editing art work on Photoshop... I suffered for that later in the day! Anyway, insights into the mad world of my brain to one side... let's get onto this weeks gratitude list (and whatever other waffle I can think of!).

:: The smell of bonfire wafted into the garden the other day and it always stops me in my tracks because I love it so much! I always take a deep breath in and allow the smell to take my mind off on a bit of a journey.

:: I got some beautiful flowers on Monday and managed to use them to take some rather quick and simple shots of my stationery ranges for Leaf Lane Studio, I love how they came out! Flowers rule!



:: Animals certainly know when you are feeling a little bit... crap don't they? On Thursday, Gizmo jumped up on the bed and was rubbing her face all around my neck and face which, for her, isn't usual behaviour at all. She was just staring at me and purring and getting as close as she could to me. It felt lovely actually as Gizmo gives pretty good snuggles!

:: I admit that I have become a little bit obsessed with Sam Smith this week, thanks to watching the Late Late Show's Carpool Karaoke episode with him in it! I have liked a fair few of his tracks but this video just made me fall in love with his songs a little bit more. I have been listening to his new album on Spotify since then and may be a slightly obsessed. 

:: Although I don't really 'do' Halloween, I do enjoy carving pumpkins and this year there were even some treats bought, just in-case we had visitors. Unfortunately there were none so I had to consume the Malteasers just because they may have gone off or something. I had a lovely time!

:: This afternoon, a lovely walk was had along the coast path and it was so needed. The sky was massive and there was a real icy wind too, but it was so refreshing and invigorating. I always enjoy seeing nature shift into winter and take way too long staring at flowers and plants that other people would describe as 'dead'. I think they look so beautiful when they are crumbling away; it's all a cycle isn't it and I love embracing it.

I hope you all have an amazing week ahead and I will see you on Wednesday this week, I promise!


^^ This years carving attempt! ^^

^^ Todays huge and amazing sky ^^
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29 October 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^The beautiful Watersmeet, National Trust^^

This week has been a lovely break from the usual routine as we visited our friends in Lynmouth, Devon. Helena and Rich moved to Lynmouth earlier this year to take over a bed and breakfast called East Lyn House and they are doing amazingly at it! I haven't seen Helena in so long, what with us both moving and starting new businesses, so it was so wonderful to catch up with them! More on that visit in the post of course! I have also uploaded a short video, documenting the Lynmouth trip, so be sure to catch that at the end of this post too! Let's dig into this week!

:: On the journey back to Cornwall we stopped off to stretch our legs and, as I was scrolling though my Instagram messages, I noticed a message from a fellow wedding stationer, Helen from Lily and Jack's Paper Studio, who told me that one of my Leaf Lane Studio collections had been featured in Wedding Ideas magazine! I was crazy excited and so grateful that Helen messaged me (thank you Helen!). I know it is a small little feature but it means so much! *celebration dance*


:: When Helena and I were coming up with plans for dates for the trip to Devon, she discovered a 'Dark Skies' event over there, in Exmoor National Park, and that is where we headed on Wednesday night. I got to look through a rather large (and bloody awesome) telescope at the moon and some stars and am a happier bunny for it! I am beyond desperate for a telescope... a proper one! If anyone several hundred quideroos going spare, let me know!

:: On Tuesday evening we had the best dinner of burgers, crispy potatoes (omg guys!) and sticky toffee pudding. I was still absolutely stuffed on Wednesday morning when we ventured down for breakfast; just as well we had a really long walk to Watersmeet that day!

:: Helena and Rich told us that Lynmouth has been called 'Little Switzerland' before and I can totally see why. It was like being in another country and being so deep in a valley, surrounded by woodlands felt like a fairytale. I highly recommend you visit Lynmouth if you are ever in North Devon! Keep scrolling through this post for more Lynmouth pics!



:: Yesterday I had a proper productive day at home. It feels so good to know you have got a lot of things done doesn't it! I managed to clean the house in a proper Monica Geller style (i.e. kitchen shelves were emptied and wiped and every nook was hoovered!), I tidied the garden and even felt inspired to hoover and clean out the out house (where the washing machine is) as the ratio of spider home to human home had gone off balance! After all that I did some cardio and then some work on my blog too. I went to bed last night feeling super happy that I had gotten everything on my 'to-do' list done! I am such a geek!

:: On the subject of 'geek', I caught the film The Martian on Netflix this week, to add to the whole 'space experience'! Have you seen it? I actually liked it more than I thought I would. By the end of it I was thinking that I would not like to live on Mars and I definitely prefer the colours of Earth to the dusty red/orange of Mars!!

:: Whilst I worked on Monday I stumbled upon an awesome Podcast about British History, which I absolutely loved! I have been trying to link it but iTunes won't play ball for me, sorry guys! Still, there are loads of options on iTunes for history fans like me! I particularly enjoyed an episode about Anne Boleyn; you know how much I am obsessed with the Tudors!

:: After a couple of days being home from her trip to the cattery, Gizmo is finally back to herself again. She was the moodiest she has ever been coming home this time around. I don't know whether it was to do with the fact that I had to physically grab her from under the spare bed to put her in her little cat box (as she couldn't be coaxed out with treats like she normally would be). I think I was being punished for that big time. When we went to collect her she was laying in one of the cattery's own beds, with a heat pad underneath her (like lady muck!). The lady who owns the place dragged the bed out towards me, to try and encourage Giz to get up, but she was having none of it. Not impressed about being left there obviously. She ignored me for two days and slept outside on the first night but, last night, she finally laid on me and cuddled up again. I am forgiven. Phew! I missed her terribly and felt so upset that she wasn't my friend for a few days! :-(

On that note, I had better go and check on the little bear! Keep scrolling to the end of this post for my latest video and I will see you on Wednesday! Have a great week.

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