Saturday, 30 June 2012

It's OK to be selfish?

Yes. Yes it is sometimes.

I just wanted to fly by and share this fabulous post from the amazing Rock 'n Roll bride blog entitled 'Why you should be selfish'.

I struggle to cope with selfish people and selfishness in general. I often get told I need to be more selfish more often, mainly because, as is mentioned in the blog post above, I end up trying to do everything for everyone. Whether it be to keep a smile on faces, meet commission orders, help out a friend, keep up with jewellery orders, take part in another craft event or just put in that extra time at work...

It's exhausting and I know that I need to learn to stop and get off the world sometimes and assess what it is that I want to do and what will make me happy.... Easier said that done right?

"The real challenge is not managing your time but managing your focus. “If you get too wrapped up in all of the stuff coming at you, you lose your ability to respond appropriately and effectively”, he explains. “Remember, you’re the one who creates speed, because you’re the one who allows stuff to enter your life.”


That's why this post resonated with me so much. You should have a read through and follow Kat - Rock 'n Roll bride - in general. She's amazing and such an inspiration!

I'll let you judge for yourself but I'm going to nip off now to consider my next 'selfish' move...

Thursday, 28 June 2012

More small things: No. 5 and 6...

Ok so another post to look back at that lovely little list and update you all on the following points:

5. Learn to be alone. Perhaps you need to challenge yourself to go to the cinema alone? A pub? A restaurant? A holiday? Or even just an evening alone, with no television.


6. Say yes more. 

Number 5 appeals to me a lot, mainly because I value my 'Jo-time' very muchly. Being at my happiest when I'm super busy and ticking things of my 'To Do' list - whether it be a work related list or a mental list of things I want to achieve in life - I still thoroughly enjoy the chances I get to just relax on my own with my book and a cup of tea or a glass of wine.... preferably in the bath. In that retrospect I guess this one links closely to points 2. Read more and 3. Watch less. on the list too.


I am more than happy nowadays to sit in a pub, restaurant or coffee shop on my own if I'm early to meet a friend or just fancy a break from a shopping mission or something. So to push this one a bit further my aim is to go on holiday on my own (Eeek!). Don't get me wrong I LOVE my adventures with people but the more I think about this as a personal challenge, the more I believe doing this could make a difference to my confidence and also provide a real escape from routine, even if just for a weekend somewhere in the UK.

Now to decide where this place maybe and when I can afford to do it...

Usually money wouldn't bother me (I'm a bugger for borrowing money to go on adventures....which leads me nicely onto the next point on the list. I have just ticked off number 6 on the list (Say yes more) by agreeing to and arranging to take just over two weeks off work to go and meet my friend out in INDIA! Eeeeeeek! South India to be precise and the beautiful Kerela!

Food. Culture. Beaches. Colour. Heat. Newness. Travel. Come on... What was to say No to?



One of my favourite films is 'Yes man'. Not just because it stars the man I always wanted to marry when I was little (Jim Carrey) and my favourite lady (Zooey Deschanel) but because shows both the good and bad sides of saying that magic three letter word.

Maybe if more people said yes, took those chances, pushed themselves out of the comfort zone and really jumped on life's opportunities there would be lots more happy faces around and a lot less excuses, sad faces and 'what ifs' floating about. But that's just me....



A friend sent me this picture from a bar she was in down in Bristol the other week and it sums up my attitude quite well really and feels like a good couple of words to remember when those opportunities arise and you're not sure if you should say yes or not.... what's the worst that could happen?


Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Secret's out!

I thought I'd take a moment to share some lovely images and words about the fantastic event I was at all day yesterday. Despite the doubts everyone had about the weather behaving there was a full turnout of talented beans with their brilliant stalls for the Secret Garden Craft Fair, which is part of Sherwood Arts Week.


The atmosphere throughout the day was just amazing! So many people from the Sherwood community and beyond came to take part in the day. There were not only beautiful craft stalls but there was live music throughout the day, a bar serving fine local ales and Pimms and plenty of food, including a BBQ, cakes, candy floss popcorn and chill with nachos!



From the abundance of happy smiling faces from stall holders and visitors a like it's safe to say that it was a great success and I am already getting excited about next year's one too! If you didn't get chance to get down this time make sure you keep the third week in June next year free to partake in Sherwood Arts Week - you won't be disappointed!


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Sunshine Towers : About the house

A year ago in March I walked through the door to a little terraced house, named it Sunshine Towers and set about making it my home. Back then I introduced you to my little castle, then updated you after 1 month as I settled in and again at 3 months as I gradually filled up the little space I call home.

The last Sunshine Towers update I shared with you was when I got massively excited about the arrival of my new squishy sofa. So I thought it was about time I let you back into Sunshine Towers and re-introduce my pimped up kitchen and very recently re-decorated bathroom! (I still have paint in my hair!)

Say hello to one of my favourite (and most important!) rooms in Sunshine Towers....

THE KITCHEN



These are just a few of my favourite things in my newly pimped kitchen, besides the food that passes through of course! It's quite a small narrow galley kitchen so keeping the walls white really brightens the space and also means I can fill it with lots of cool quirky fun things without it feeling too cluttered too quickly. It's definitely a light, bright and happy space to prepare, serve and eat food as well as a being a lovely little place to partake in the odd glass of vino.

The next room, although not my favourite room in Sunshine Towers, I am very very proud of. With the kitchen I needed a lot of help, it needed a new floor laying, walls re-plastering and a bit of tiling sorting out... so naturally I left that to the experts and just finished it off with pretty things afterwards.

However with the bathroom I decorated it all on my own *smug face* Ok so it was only prepping woodwork and painting walls, doors, skirting etc but still.... it's a big deal to me as I've never decorated on my own before! I'll admit I was a tad worried that I mess it up, end up with patchy horrible walls, a half done ceiling and a paint pot stuck on my foot but I can honestly say I LOVED IT!

Anyway I won't waffle on at you, I'll just let you see the results...

THE BATHROOM



As you may be able to tell this is another teeny tiny space and previously the walls were a bit of a magnolia/tea stained colour and the paint work was yellowed, flaky and rubbish so it just felt dull and dirty but now it's all shiny clean and bright white! It feels so much bigger and lighter in there now, especially with my new mirror really opening up the space. 

I'm super massively happy and pleased with the progress I've made with these rooms but I'm also super massively impatient and having only just finished the bathroom I am now itching to start my next project... However I must let the bank recover and also wait for a weekend or two I have free so watch this space and I'll be sure to update you as Sunshine Towers blossoms even more...

Sunday, 17 June 2012

What I Wore Today Book : Spring

Wow! Spring is actually coming to an end 'officially' rather soon and we're all waiting to see if the first day of Summer will in fact bring some sunshine!

Before I start thinking about moving into the Summer section of my lovely little What I Wore Today book though I have one more page to share with you...

Spring highlights....


With it being so easy to keep a track of pretties I spot online nowadays through Pinterest I thought I'd print and scribble down a few of my favourite outfits, finds and moments from Spring 2012 and the above picture was the result!

It seems to have whizzed by doesn't it? I wish I could remember more of the outfits I donned throughout the past couple of months but for now recapping through my doodles will do...

Friday, 15 June 2012

Small things No.4 : A bit of calm.

Ok so I've been reviewing my list of '10 small ways to make my life better' regularly and I thought it was about time I shared some of my reflections with you again. So what was next on the list?

4. Realise what the small stuff is, and stop getting so stressed out about it. Catch yourself doing it, and distract yourself from it. Its pointless.

Number 4 on the list is one that, I think, is important to remember daily. I'm not great at letting things wash over all the time me but I am a squillion times better than I was and in general, now I have learnt to take a deep breath, step back and chill out a bit, life feels a lot calmer and happier for it. True story. But it's all fair and well saying "Yes. I can do that and it's making things better" but how does one let go of the little things, or big things, that get to us?

I was in a fantastic 'Creativity' workshop at work (Boots HQ) this week and we were introduced to the workshop by learning about and trying a bit of meditation. 'A relaxed mind is ideal for the creative thinking process' and to be fair, is probably the best way to approach most things in everyday life.

It was through the Headspace project that we were encouraged to take 10mins out to try out some meditation and it was brilliant! "Headspace is a project designed to demystify meditation. Using the wonders of science and technology, we make it easy to-learn, fun-to-do, and relevant to your everyday life."



Being able to take a step back from all of your feelings and emotions, stresses and tension in everyday life is invaluable. After all nobody wants to spend their days surrounded by little grey rain clouds. Finding that little piece of calm or sunshine in your day can be the best medicine/distraction for the small stuff that stresses you out so much.

If, like me, you're a busy bee but sometimes find yourself thinking "Stop the world, I want to get off" then maybe a bit of down time is something you should make an effort to do more often too. Like I said earlier, it has helped me no end and although I get wound up about things now and then, overall I think I am much more positive and laid back about life than some of the people around me.

Some of the things that help me most are so simple but make such a big difference to my attitude towards things. Whether its a short walk away from my desk to make a brew, a stroll outside in the sunshine at lunchtime or more recently a run, these little things help give me the 'headspace' to put things into perspective and prevent those silly little stresses bringing me down.


I'd love to know what you think of this whole idea! Are there things you do to help you deal with those little things that stress you out? Do you meditate or find exercise like yoga or running helps? Maybe you're already the most laid back person in the world - what's your secret?

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Sunshine in new places : Stockist update!

I am delighted to be able to tell you that you can now by a little piece of Hello Sunshine from the following FANTABULOUS places...


The beautiful Appendage in Brighton...



"Appendage is a shop and gallery selling products hand-made by British makers. Accessories for the individual and the home. We concentrate on colour and surface decoration. Both make a strong statement when translated into different mediums, including ceramics, felt, glass, jewellery, mosaic, paper and textiles."




The stunning little Cherry Blossom in Kirby Muxloe...


"Cherry Blossom is a gift and flower shop.....many of the items are wonderfully handmade fresh flowers from leicesters own 'flower market' Cherry Blossom The Art Of Giving......."




....and at the magnificent New Walk Museum and Gallery in Leciester


"New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester's original museum has wide ranging collections and displays spanning the natural and cultural world. The museum also offers a Gift Shop."


Now go explore, find these lovely places and tell me all about it... pretty please!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

What I Wore Today : May & June

Ooops! I got carried away with holidays, craft fairs, doodling in my actual What I Wore Today book and lots of other fun things in May and so far this month that I forgot to share May's doodle with you! *slapped wrists*

But better late than never, here is the outfit I decided to doodle myself in for May's edition...


...and I can also share June's 'lovely Jubilee' outfit with you too! Bang on time! *Happy face*


I hope they were worth the wait....

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Crafty events in June

At the beginning of June I was thrilled to be part of the second Craft in the City event at the absolutely magnificent St Mary's church in the Lace Market in Nottingham.

It was a stunning location! I shared the day with some fantastic people and although I may have talked everybody to death, I'm pretty sure everyone had a fab time being inside the church for the day (with the odd cheeky glass of Pimms!) But you don't have to trust me, have a look at some of these photos to see for yourself....






It really was a lovely event with lots of talented stall holders present, as well as a Pimms tent, a BBQ and demonstrations throughout the day. If you came along I hope you enjoyed the day and if you didn't... well you did miss out but I have good news! 

There's another FABULOUS craft event coming up soon, which I just so happen to have a flyer about for you... Keep 23rd June free and come to join in the fun at the SAW Secret Garden Craft Fair

Hope to see you there!



Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A special anniversary commission...

The lovely and very talented Gemma at Jimjam designs gave me a little commission task a few weeks back, to doodle up a special sunshine caricature of both her and her husband for their 1st year anniversary.

I was (and still am) over the moon to have been asked to do this for them both and I loved doodling and finishing the picture. Sunshine caricatures are always my favourite part of Hello Sunshine work and never fail to make me smile from the first email I get telling me who shall be in the picture to making it come to life and seeing/hearing about the response from the intended recipient.



This is the finished Sunshine I sent to Gemma for her and Simon and I'm so pleased with how it turned out and I believe the happy couple are mighty pleased too (YAY!) If you're curious, you can see more of my sunshine doodles here through one of my facebook galleries.

I am always open to take commissions for these doodles so if you would like to be turned into a sunshine caricature yourself or would like to give one as a gift please do get in touch and I'll be more than happy to talk about what's involved and how much it will be.

You can reach me through my contact page on my website at www.hello-sunshine.co.uk or through my facebook page www.facebook.com/Hello.Sunshine.Jo.

What I Wore Today : Book Entry No.9