Creative-18

Have I mentioned that this year is going to be my year? Well, I’m certainly gonna try and make it that way.

One thing that will always make me happy is creating things. I’ve always loved turning my imagination into reality, and nothing makes me more proud of my creations than when I see other people loving them, but sometimes just taking time out from a busy day to sit and do something creative can make a world of difference. So I’m gonna try something a bit different this year..

I’m not calling it a challenge, because then I’ll feel under pressure, and end up feeling bad if I can’t do it, but it may just be that. I guess I could call it a goal, or an aspiration maybe. Hmm..

The aim is this: in 2018, I want to take time to do something creative every single day. 365 little moments of making. These can be however big or small, whether its spending a whole day baking a masterpiece to rival the GBBO winner, an evening spent cranking out Etsy orders or just taking 5 minutes out of my lunch break at work to do a quick little sketch or some colouring.

Its a way for me to keep my creative juices flowing, and obviously I also hope that it will benefit my small businesses, but primarily I’m doing this for me, so that I can spend more time doing the things that I love, from baking or sewing to drawing or photography, and of course I hope to share a lot of what I do on here too, so stay tuned to see what I produce!

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Dear Customers..

‘Have Courage and Be Kind’ Cinderella 2015

I have this real love/hate thing with customers. Given that I’ve worked in customer service, in one form or another, for the last 5 years, and haven’t chewed my own arm off yet, there must be something about it that does it for me, but as anyone who’s worked in a customer facing role knows, its not always a stroll in the park..

So consider this an open letter. We’re all customers and consumers, and whether you’ve experienced the other end of the conversation or not, these are all things that we can bear in mind.

I can almost guarantee that the first person you speak to is not to blame for your problem

The person at the front desk, the shopfloor staff or the person who answers the phone; unless its a teeny tiny company that only employs two people, the chances of that person being responsible for whatever it is that you’re not happy about is probably one in a million, so don’t start roasting them personally.

And just because we can’t do whatever you want us to do, it doesn’t make us inadequate, stupid, or bad at our job

We cannot negotiate fixed prices, go against store policies or make magic happen. We’re not being stubborn, and we’re not incapable of unique thought, the chances are we can’t do what you want us to do for a reason.

And if we’re short staffed, we’re definitely the last person responsible

We’re the person who didn’t call in sick, and we’re the person having to pick up the slack for the people who did.

Please remember that we are humans and more than just a uniform

Don’t think that your custom pays our wages and therefore you can treat us however you like. Please refrain from snapping orders (or fingers, which I’ve had before..), or speaking about us as though we’re not there. When working on a checkout once, a woman told her husband that I ‘wasn’t hired based on intelligence’. Oh, and she did that while stood at the checkout with me.

Also, if you see someone in a uniform, maybe stop and check if its a uniform for the store you’re in before you shout at them for help – a guy once yelled at me to help him on a self-checkout machine at Asda, and I have never worked at Asda..

Take a second to think about the day we might be having

I always try to think about how a customer might be feeling. If you’ve had a bad day, I don’t expect you to be a total ray of sunshine and I’ll try not to judge you for being a little bit rude, but I would hope customers return the favour.

In my current job, I sometimes deal with accounts where the customer or a member of their family has recently passed away, and it is never easy. I can’t just move onto the next customer without a care in the world when I’ve just been speaking to a grieving widow.

The reason we have limited opening hours is because we have our own lives and families

Please don’t bitch when we’re rushing you because you walked in the door 2 minutes before we were due to close. Chances are we stop getting paid from the minute the clock strikes shut, and we’re probably dying to get home after a 9 hour day.

Insulting us or being rude to us doesn’t help any situation

It does not encourage us to do our best work, and the number of times I’ve been personally attacked by a customer only to hide in a cupboard for 10 minutes, or even burst into tears then and there on the shopfloor is more than what is ok.

A little bit of patience and kindness goes a long way

A ‘thank you’ or ‘take your time’ means the world when we’re running around trying to help you and 3 other people.

We love being able to help

Our job is helping you, and with the best will in the world we can’t always do that. We don’t get any sort of pleasure out of not being able to help you, but when we can its such a good feeling, so please appreciate that.

When you’re lovely, you make our day and you make us love our job

Generally, people will always talk about a bad experience, but they will rarely share a good one. Its the same for me with customer experiences; I have a wealth of bad customer stories, but if you asked me to tell you about my best customer service experience, I think I’d struggle. That said, I genuinely do LOVE lovely customers, and if I spoke to the lovely ones all day I would 100% love my job.

Even if you may not be remembered for it, be the good customer.

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Do What Makes You Happy

Here’s the thing: I love being creative.

I love designing and I love creating things, and while I’ve never been much good with pen and paper, whenever I make something that I am totally happy with, and that loads of people compliment, it gives me such a great sense of pride, I can’t even put it into words.

For those of you who don’t know, I have a humble little Etsy store where I sell handmade magical creations from pocket tees to custom skirts and Mickey ears, and anything else that takes my fancy, and recently its this little store that has brought me the most happiness.

I also run two small business, the newest of which being The Happiest Fitness Co, where I design and produce magical inspired fitness and leisure wear. It combines two great loves of mine: Disney and fitness, and it just reached its 1st birthday!

My other small business is actually my longest running, while I find I rarely talk about it on my blog or social media. Did you guys know I’m also a cake decorator? I’ve been doing this since I was 16, alongside school and sixth form at first, and then alongside working.

I may not know exactly where my life is going, but I know I will always continue to do the things that I love for as long as I enjoy them, and I will work my little butt off to make a future for myself doing the things that make me happy.

What makes you happy?

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How To Take a Day Off Social Media

Taking a day off social media

As bloggers, our lives generally revolve around social media. Its not a bad thing – its how we drive traffic to our site, its the best way to communicate with other bloggers and its a great way to get exposure with brands. I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s been told things like ‘you spend too much time on your phone’ and ‘you’re being anti-social’, while all you’re doing is chatting to other people and promoting your latest post, right?

All the same, sometimes a break from the screen is a good thing, but how can you take a day away without letting your blog suffer? Try a few of these tips:

Schedule all your tweets

I normally only schedule 5 promotional tweets a day, and do the rest by myself, but if I know I’m gonna be busy and away from my laptop or phone, I’ll stick a few more in for good measure!

Take a camera, not your phone

Its easy to justify needing to take your phone out with you in case you need to snap some shots, go out with your camera instead – it might even get your creative juices flowing more!

Tell people what you’re doing

Whether you just text around to let your nearest and dearest know you’re gonna be off the radar for the day, or drop a tweet to announce you’ll be quiet – it means you can be disturbance free and also the accountability will make it easier to stick to your guns.

Go old school

Instead of putting all your thoughts into tweets, write them down instead! Carry a notebook and a pen, and every little thing that pops into your head can go down on paper for you to use another time.

Use it as material

If you’re worried about what a day away might do to your blog, why not your experience as a blog post? Write about what you did, how you did it and how it was for you, and share it with the world!

Don’t worry, its good for you!

There’s nothing wrong with spending all your time on social media. There’s also nothing wrong with taking time away. Whatever you wanna do, do it!

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An Amazing Year of Achievements

Amazing 2016

2016 has not been an easy year for anyone. Its been full of all kinds of worldwide drama and negativity, but now I’m sat here looking back over it, the fact is, its really not been a terrible year.

So many amazing things have happened to me this year, which have made any troubles fade into the background, and while some may not be as major as others, here are some of the incredible things that have happened in my life.

  • I ran my first half marathon – and then my second and third..
  • I went on my first ever non-family Disney tripΒ – my Disneyland Paris trip in April was the first time I’d ever been without my parents and sister!
  • I met some beautiful people – one of my New Years Resolutions was to get out and meet more of my Disney friends, and while I’ve not met everyone, everyone I have had a chance to hang out with have been amazing!
  • I flew solo – my trip to New Zealand in September was the first time I’ve ever got on a plane by myself – kinda threw myself in at the deep end!
  • I drove an automatic car – this one’s a little random, but I’ve never driven an automatic before, and I survived!
  • I stopped blogging for the sake of it – midway through this year, I decided to stop writing posts that I wasn’t 100% happy with. This meant I stopped a few of my old series that were becoming a chore to write, and freeing up more time for new content!
  • I’ve finally visited every Disney park in the world! – ticked the last two off the list with visits to Hong Kong and Shanghai this summer!
  • I hit some incredible blogging milestones – not only did this little blog of mine turn 3 this year, but its been the best year yet by miles! I’ve published just over 300 posts this year and smashed my follower goals on social media, and its so nice to see all these achievements after I’ve put my heart and soul into this blog all year.
  • I started a new business – its always slow progress at first, but I’ve loved creating The Happiest Fitness Co this year, and I have high hopes for the coming year!
  • I left my dead end job – I finally said goodbye to retail after just over 4 years, and found a job that has a lot more opportunities for me in the future
  • I started working full time and maintaining my blog – when I started my new job, one of my biggest worries was that I wouldn’t be able to keep writing as much as I was before, so I’m so proud of the fact that I can work full-time and still post 5/6 times a week!
  • I learned who my true friends are – 2016 has been the year that I’ve come to realise that you don’t have to see people every day for them to be your best and truest friends, and that life’s too short to carry deadweight negative people around
  • I started being creative again – I turned my sewing machine back on for the first time in almost a year, and getting back into making things has made me really happy!
  • I fell in love – it goes without saying that meeting Matthew this year has been the greatest blessing and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

I don’t think I’m sad to see the end of this year, but mainly because I’m so excited for 2017 and all the excitement and adventure I know will come with it. In fact, I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a new year in a long time!

Fight the bad 2016 stigma and tell me some of the amazing things that have happened to you this year!

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Positivity Accounts You Need To Be Following

Positivity Accounts

I love Twitter. Its full of amazing people and interesting things, but its also notorious for being a little negative at times.

To combat this, positivity accounts have popped up, with the aim of bring more happiness and cheer to Twitter feeds, and I’ve made an effort to follow a lot of these as their posts always make me smile! Here are some of my faves

Happy Little Thought @HAPPYLTHOUGHT

HLT is the latest account that I’ve followed, but despite being fairly new to the Twittersphere, already seems to have made a huge difference! As well as posting lovely things, they also host a positivity chat, #HLTChat every Tuesday at 8pm πŸ™‚

Positive Strawberry @posistrawberry

Just another super account, PS always posts happy thoughts and great motivation – it never fails to make me smile!

The Girl Gang @thegirlganghq

Founded by the ever-wonderful Jemma, The Girl Gang is just over a year old now and has united so many people in the Twitter world, and is always full of lovely, colourful happy things!

The Bun @APositiveBun

This account is full of happy vibes and self care tips – happy happy happy!

Positive Plant @succulent

More happiness and positivity all round!

There are tonnes of accounts out there, so go get following, and let me know if you have any favourites that I might want to follow!

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30 Little Things That Make Me Happy

Sometimes life gets you down. It happens to everyone, and its ok; no one’s life is Instagram-perfect.

When we have these little moments, its important to focus on the little things in life that put smiles on our faces, even if we don’t realise it. If it ever feels like the world isn’t on your side, take a few minutes to sit and write down a few of these, and you’ll be amazed how many things there are to be grateful for.

Little Things

Here’s mine:

  • Scented candles
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Gerbera daisies
  • Tsum tsums
  • Lip balm
  • Pretty sunsets
  • Cute animal videos
  • Fairy lights
  • Red skittles
  • Hair bows
  • Blue eyeliner
  • Good morning texts
  • Drinking from mugs
  • New notebooks
  • Disney trip planning
  • Clean sheets
  • Collecting eggs from my chickens
  • Retweets
  • Getting post
  • Peach iced tea
  • Pop tarts
  • Custard
  • Next day delivery
  • Walking to the gym
  • Dancing in the kitchen
  • Hand-writing lists
  • Nail varnish
  • Oreos
  • Disney movies
  • Fabric shopping

What’s on your list?

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