When it all gets a bit too much…


Photograph by David Giles

We all know that sleep’s important and we should be getting seven to eight hours a night. But how often does life get in the way and those hours slip because of getting up for small children, waiting up for big children, being bogged down in work, or trying to fit in something resembling a social life?

When I’m busy with work, which is pretty much most of the time, I tend to go to bed later and often wake during the night with thoughts pinging around my head. I know I should be getting more sleep but as long as I’m feeling fine I can carry on like that, can’t I?

Hmm, not so much. Eventually my mind tells me I really need to put down the laptop and notebook and get to bed. It’s taken me a while to recognise the signs but they’re definitely there. Does this sound familiar?
:: everything seems to be a bit more difficult than before
:: you feel more fed up, nothing’s going to plan and there’s too much to do
:: the world seems a darker place, the news is particularly depressing
:: quite frankly, it all feels a bit too much!

I’ve learned, eventually, that when I start to feel the above it’s time I had some early nights. Actually, life hasn’t suddenly become extra hard, the news isn’t any more negative than a few days ago and my to do list is as long as it’s always been. But my ability to deal with it has been reduced because my mental reserves are depleted and my energy tank is running on empty.

If I go to bed early and read a book (NOT having a last minute pootle around social media on my phone) I’ll nod off earlier than usual and get a better quality, as well as a longer, night’s sleep. A couple of nights like that and, miraculously, I feel much better able to deal with the long to do list, I gain some perspective on life’s difficulties and feel decidedly less frowny! The magic of sleep, eh? Of course, what I need to learn is to snap out of this cycle and make sleep more of a priority. I’m working on it.

How do you know when life’s getting on top of you? And what do you do to get back in your groove? Perhaps sleep isn’t the issue and for you it’s taking time out on your own? I’d love to hear how you deal with life running you rather than you running your life so please share in the comments below!

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In celebration of Mums


That special day each year when we celebrate and thank our mums is fast approaching – 15 March is Mothering Sunday. Obviously Mums love homemade creations hand crafted by their clever children, but if you’re looking for a gift in addition, or to give something different, we can help. Take a look at our Mother’s Day department where you’ll find cards, wrapping paper and a variety of gifts for mums and mums-to-be.

And if there’s anything we can do to help you make your mum happy just let us know!


Happiness is… vol. 18

Not only is it Monday again, we’re into another month too! Now it’s March surely it’s time for Spring to properly show itself, isn’t it?

So, what had you feeling warm and fuzzy and smiley last week? I’m feeling v thankful for a really quite great week:


::  I’ve been making more scrummy recipes from the Deliciously Ella cookbook and can recommend the almond and chia energy bites if you like something sweet with your cuppa
::  I’ve been chain-buying tulips so I have a touch of Spring indoors, whatever the weather’s doing outside, and blogged about the simple joy of Friday Flowers
:: Seeing my designs come to life with a delivery from the printer always makes me super happy so boxes of four new notebooks had me beaming!
:: Georgie found some sunshine!
:: We celebrated our nephew and niece’s birthdays with a lovely family lunch, homemade birthday cake and much excitement over presents
:: I launched Happy Paper Club yesterday morning and was completely overwhelmed with the response – all the March boxes sold out in one and a half hours! I’m already on the case to make sure I have a lot more boxes for the next release on 1 April…

What little or big or funny things made you smile in the last few days? I’d love you to share them with me in a comment below, or link me up on twitterinstagram or facebook.

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Happy Paper Club is open to join now!


I’m delighted to announce that Happy Paper Club is now open and ready for you to join!

You can choose to buy a one-off taster box, join the Club for six months or take out a rolling monthly subscription with extra benefits. There are a limited number of boxes available and once they’re gone, they’re gone! The next month’s boxes will be available to order on 1 April.

So, I look forward to welcoming you to Happy Paper Club!

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One small step of kindness to yourself, one giant leap in your own happiness


Many years ago I worked in the same part of London as where I lived. Every Friday lunchtime I went to the market stall and bought bunches of flowers to arrange in my flat and enjoy over the weekend and into the following week. Fresh flowers have always made me smile and as my husband and I had just bought our first home together I wanted to make it welcoming and cosy. My workmates were highly amused by my routine, greeting me with exclamations of ‘ Hey, Friday Flowers!’ when I walked in the door with my bouquet of blooms.

It was such a simple way of giving myself a happiness boost. It didn’t cost a lot, or take much effort, but I felt like I was treating myself every week with something that would continue to make me smile for several days to come. I fell out of this routine, probably when I worked further away from my home, but recently I’ve been getting back into the habit and I love having fresh flowers around the house again.

What are your ‘Friday Flowers’? Is it taking a candlelit bath, having tea and cake in a local cafe or going for a bike ride? Perhaps it’s curling up to read uninterrupted for a couple of hours, or it’s taking a yoga class. I’m willing to bet whatever it is that makes you smile and lifts your heart doesn’t cost much or require hours of your time. But I also bet that you don’t do it very often. You’re busy taking care of everyone else and putting their welfare before your own.

Making your own happiness a priority is absolutely not being selfish, just in case you’re thinking it is. When you’re feeling good you’re much more able to deal with everything life throws at you, take care of those around you and be a cheery person to be around. You might need to move a couple of things around to find the time or money but what a reward you’ll get for making that effort! I’ve even drawn stick people to illustrate how your happiness benefits others in this post.

So, when you think of it like that, your ‘Friday Flowers’ isn’t so much of a treat as more of a necessity, wouldn’t you say?

PS Happy Paper Club launches on Sunday 1 March, yes, this coming Sunday! There are a limited number of boxes available so be sure to sign up for the newsletter so you’ll know the moment you can join Happy Paper Club. Go to the website to check out all the details.


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