No animals were harmed in the writing of this blog post

I’m all for living an easy life. So when an organisation makes it super easy for me to shop for everyday stuff, like shampoo and soap, that are guaranteed to not be tested on animals, I’m all for it!

On the Cruelty Free International website you can easily find out if your favourite brands and retailers are manufacturing and selling products that have not been tested on animals.


Now, in the European Union it has been illegal to test cosmetics and toiletries on animals and sell the products in the EU since March 2013. But, here’s the big but, it is still allowed in many countries outside of the EU, as they say:

“Even now the European ban [on animal testing for cosmetic and toiletry products and ingredients] has come into force, the Leaping Bunny continues to be the only way consumers can be sure they are buying truly ‘cruelty-free’ beauty products. The ban means that companies are unable to animal test new cosmetic products and ingredients on sale in the EU. However, companies can still carry on animal testing cosmetics outside the EU where these cosmetics are also sold outside the EU. Before new products can go on sale in China, they must be submitted for testing to the Chinese authorities, which normally involves a range of animal tests.”

So what does that mean for us in the UK?
For example, in the UK you might buy a bottle of shampoo produced by a global company who manufactures and sells that shampoo inside and outside the EU. The shampoo that you purchase won’t have been tested on animals, as it’s against EU law, but the same shampoo, and other products, from the same company could be tested on animals outside the EU and sold to consumers outside the EU. If you’re on holiday in America or Asia the toiletries you buy could have been animal tested.

Cruelty Free International tells us that the Leaping Bunny logo (as shown above) is a global standard and applies to all of the operations and sales of companies, not just those for the EU. So if your shampoo, or other toiletries, cosmetics or household products, displays the Leaping Bunny logo on the packaging, you can be sure that the product was safely tested without the involvement of any animals anywhere in the world.

So how do I find out about the brands I buy?
On the Go Cruelty Free website you can search for your favourite brands, to see if they’re certified. You can also download their Little Book of Cruelty Free as a pdf or request a copy of the booklet to be posted to you. It really is a little book, I keep mine in my wallet so I can whip it out to check a brand before I buy.

You’ll be pleased to know that buying cruelty-free doesn’t mean spending more. There are several supermarkets, high street retailers and brands who are certified, so if you purchase their own brand products you know you’re choosing cruelty-free, such as:
The Co-operative
The Body Shop
Neal’s Yard
Paul Mitchell
Liz Earle
Burt’s Bees

I hope you’ve found this post useful, I have no affiliation with Cruelty Free International or any of the brands mentioned, I just think this is a super useful resource and wanted to share it with you.
I’d love to know what you think so feel free to leave a comment below!

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Write your own good news headline

Have you noticed how the news often leads with a negative headline? So, if a survey asking people if they’re happy finds that 80% are happy and 20% are unhappy, you can be sure the news headline will concentrate on the minority of unhappy people. Even though 80% of those questioned said they’re happy! It’s important to find out how the 20% can be helped to feel happier, but rather than making the headline focused on the negative, why not begin by celebrating the positive?

Joy-stealers 1We all write our own headlines for our own lives every day, and too often we choose to focus on the negative rather than the positive. For instance, you started the day wanting to complete all 15 tasks on your to do list but by the end of the day there were still three items to go. You ticked off 12 tasks, plus whatever else you did that wasn’t on the list, that’s nothing to beat yourself up about!

You get cross at yourself because you intended to go to the gym four times in a week but you only managed it three times. Instead of focusing on the one time you didn’t go, how about recognising the fact you worked out three times that week?

You think you eat too much chocolate so you plan to go a whole week without any. On the sixth day you chomp through a bar and then berate yourself for your lack of willpower, even though you went five consecutive days without any chocolate!

Just because you didn’t get to the gym, finish your to do list or abstain from chocolate on one day doesn’t mean you’re rubbish, a failure, have no willpower or can’t reach your goals – far from it! You’re just not perfect, and who is?

Recognise what you did achieve, the progress you made and resolve to try again the next day or week. Write yourself a positive headline.


PS Happy Paper Club is open for orders and subscribers! Due to last month’s popularity I’ve allocated many more boxes for April but they won’t last for long! You can read reviews of the March box and find out what was included in the box in this blog post. And if you like the idea of having cheery papery goodness delivered to your door go to Happy Paper Club now!


Join Happy Paper Club now!



The April Happy Paper Club boxes are now available to order and subscribe to! The March boxes sold out in an incredible 90 minutes. I’ve allocated a lot more boxes for April but I’d hate for you to be disappointed so do please order now so you don’t miss out. You can choose from a one-off taster box, a six month subscription, or a rolling monthly subscription to Happy Paper Club where you’ll have boxes of cheery stationery delivered to your door each month for as long as you like!

This is what just a few happy folk thought of the March Happy Paper Club box:
“I absolutely loved my box. It is fantastic value for money! I would recommend to anyone wanting a regular stationery fix!” – Chelle McCann
“What a fantastic box this is and all for £10 posted. I am now on countdown for my next box and can’t wait to get my hands on it.” – Leandra Bramham
“I know I’ll definitely be able to bring smiles to some friends faces when I pass on and post these goodies. I’ll definitely be saving a few treats for myself though and am already looking forward to using my new notebook and pad.” – Lowri Harris
“One of the things I love about The Green Gables, is not just their fab stationery box, but that they are a generous and thoughtful company too. They give 10% off their annual profits to charity and use recycled paper and cards for their products. I’d definitely recommend the boxes if you’re into snail mail and stationery.” – Claire Wilson
“What a lovely surprise it was to unwrap each layer in turn, discovering something wonderful and unique inside.” – Danielle Stoker 

Here’s what was in the March box, take a look at the reveal post for more detailed info…

HPC-March-box-22HPC-March-box-4HPC-March-box-10 HPC-March-box-14 HPC-March-box-17 HPC-March-box-21

If you subscribe to Happy Paper Club you can put this rather natty member badge for your blog! The code is on the sidebar of this blog.


All the info you need about what your box could include and how it works is on the Happy Paper Club page. Once the April boxes are sold out the next boxes will be available on 1 May. I look forward to you joining Happy Paper Club!


Happiness is… vol. 21

Hello there! I’m guessing the lighter evenings (although not the lost hour in bed) because of changing to British Summer Time is making the Brit readers among you happy! The day being lighter for longer is one of my most favourite things about spring and summer. And the days are just going to keep getting lighter, until 21 June anyway!

So, what else has lifted your heart in the last week? Here’s a few things that made me smile:


:: Fresh flowers in the studio definitely helps lift my mood when I’m wading through my to do list
:: For the first time in a while the kitchen table was completely clear of stuff! Not sure how long that will last…
:: I love running my Happy Post Day giveaways, there’s so much love for paper and snail mail out there!
:: After an inspiring weekend I’ve kept my engraved bamboo star from Clara & Macy close by
:: A sunny walk home meant I got to see lots of lambs bouncing around and racing each other up and down a stretch of field

What moments made you smile last week? It could be a handful of tiny moments that added up to a warm, happy feeling. Whatever it was that made you smile I’d love you to share them with me in a comment below, or link me up on twitterinstagram or facebook.

PS There are only two days until the next Happy Paper Club box is available to order and subscribe to on Wednesday 1 April! The first box sold out within 90 minutes so if you want to join make sure you’re signed up to the newsletter so you’re the first to find out when the boxes are available. Check out this post to see what was in the first box.


Stay in the know and get a free set of printable stationery

You’re kinder than you think


It’s true that carrying out acts of kindness makes you feel better as well as lifting the spirits of the recipient of your kindness. But if you’re thinking that the phrase ‘acts of kindness’ refers to big and bold actions, think again. The smallest acts, things that you take for granted, can have a big impact on someone. I bet you demonstrate kindness several times a day without realising it. You’re positively impacting on someone else’s happiness and you don’t even know it!

Here are 9 simple acts of kindness, recognise a few?

:: Hold the door for someone
:: Let a car out in front of you
:: Make a cup of tea for a workmate
:: Smile at a stranger
:: Donate unwanted items to charity
:: Pay someone a compliment
:: Post a note to a friend just to say hi
:: Leave a generous tip for great service
:: Let someone go ahead of you at the checkout

Now, you might read this list and think that the first couple are just plain good manners, aren’t they? Maybe, but not everyone thinks to check if someone’s behind them before they let a door shut. Think about when someone holds a door for you, you feel glad that they thought to do so and you’re grateful for it. So that’s how the person feels for whom you did this small act of kindness!

You might think of giving your unwanted clothes, books and kitchenware to a charity shop as helping you to get rid of clutter, but you chose to donate it and help a charity raise funds. You didn’t choose to dump it all in the bin.

So the next time that you hear the phrase ‘acts of kindness’ and think that means making a big gesture, stop and think again. The little acts can make a big impact, and you’re kinder than you think.

PS The next Happy Paper Club box will be available to order and subscribe to on Wednesday 1 April! The first box sold out within 90 minutes so if you want to join make sure you’re signed up to the newsletter so you’re the first to find out when the boxes are available. Check out this post to see what was in the first box.


Stay in the know and get a free set of printable stationery
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