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Just keep Swimming!

We’re in a third lockdown in Wales. The kids are homeschooling once again. The house is in a perpetual state of chaos and the cat constantly wants feeding! 


This is hard. And I don’t have any words of wisdom for you this time. Except for “Just keep swimming!”


Running an online business, whatever it may be has its challenges at the best of times. If you’re a sole trader/self-employed like me, then you wear many hats. Marketing, accountancy, business strategy, web development, blogging, project management.


It all comes down to you. And that can get a bit much at the best of times. let alone during a pandemic, with three school-age children to home school. Although, I am lucky in the sense that the three of them are at an age where they are 90% self-sufficient. They can cook simple meals, like beans on toast, make a cup of tea. They can get through their school work on their own no problem (With a little help from mum checking they’re doing more than the bare minimum of course!) But what they can’t do so well is manage their time and recognise when they’re spent a little too much time on Minecraft. 


So this is where I have to step in! I’ll be honest. I’m guilty of much the same. Too much time on Twitter and Facebook and my brain gets fried with trying to process all the information. Social Media seems to be full of political debate, negativity and people wanting to be right about everything. 


So I switch off….


And concentrate as much as I can on my little (but growing!) business and the kids. Hubby is in there somewhere too 🙂 


Last spring, right around when the lockdown was just starting. I wrote about surviving the whole work from home situation we had all been thrown into. In that article, I gave you some tips on how to organise yourself, and manage what we thought would be a very short term solution to a situation we knew very little about at the time. 

Today’s plan is to get back to the “Sunday Plan Day” Or maybe just get back into planning altogether!, Print off some time tables and stick them to the fridge, feel more in control and be able to plan more days out to the beautiful coastline on Anglesey.  – Current restrictions considered of course!


Anything just to feel more on top of the day to day running of a business. 

The printable planners I designed a while ago were designed with one thing in mind.


“Sometimes planning, and sometimes not planning”


Because let’s face it. There are times where we are more inclined to plan our days down to the minute, and other times we don’t. We just want to get through the most basic of tasks for that day so that we don’t feel like a potato!  This is why I enjoy using my own perpetual calendars so much. Sometimes I feel on top of my game and in the zone to plan everything down to the smallest detail. Other times, I stick to a list. Sometimes, I just totally wing it, and won’t put pen to paper in my planner for ages. 


Whenever I missed a few weeks of planning, I’d go back to the Filofax and feel guilty for all the missed pages. The weeks of wasted paper. That’s why I decided to design my own planner pages, without the dates! 


As a thank you for getting this far with this article, and my droning on!! Here’s a 50% off voucher for any of the printable planners in my Etsy Shop. 


Just type in PLANNER50 to the vouched code section at the checkout and you will receive 50% off the total of your purchase. 


If this article has resonated with you, please share it to someone who you think needs a little boost in their day. 


Remember, we are all in this together, and there will soon be a time where Covid-19 coronavirus will be a distant memory. 


But for now, Just Keep Swimming!

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Colouring page!

The free colouring book that was released the other day seemed to be quite successful!! So I’ve decided to release the first colouring page that I created weeks ago at the beginning of the lockdown free to download. I love to doodle, so creating these printable colouring pages for my children is a win-win for us all. I get to doodle, and they get to colour! Ava and Maia (my twin daughters) especially love to spend time colouring in printed pages off the internet. And this is what gave me the idea to create my own colouring pages, whilst incorporating my first language; Welsh. This colouring page has the word Ynys Môn emblazoned across the A4 sheet. Ynys Môn in English in Anglesey. 

Once your children (or you!) have finished colouring the page, I’d love it if you tagged me in a photo of you holding it up! 

The photo below is a completed colouring page, done by my daughter Ava. 




Nia xx

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Throughout the Covid-19 lockdown, a lot of children have been bored! Mine included! One of the activities that have been high on my 3 children’s agenda is colouring. So I decided to put my own version together, in Welsh, as a printable format. The link below will take you to my creative cloud where you can download the files currently available, free of charge. 

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Working from home during Covid-19

As workers across the country hunker down and start working from home where possible due to #covid-19 people are starting to share their ideas and setups. 

As someone who has worked from home for the last 2 years, I’m here to give you some top tips on how to keep on top of your work and be productive. 

So the number 1 tip I have for you is to have a dedicated place to work from! I’ve been lucky enough to be able to put together a home office in the back of my living room. But before this, I had space in our converted (ish!) attic.  My desk was two old wardrobes sawn in half, and doors from my old Ikea Malm tv unit for the tabletop with 1 small section of the desk being an actual desk that I bought off a Facebook sale or swap group for £10!! For the most part, this is where I did my degree. I’ve seen so many setups on twitter too. From a laptop on top of a washing basket to the “soft office” commonly known as sitting in bed or on your sofa! We are creative beings, so clear space if you can. Have all your essentials in one place. Keep your laptop and notes in a bag and call it your “movable office” if you want to. But in my experience, having one dedicated place to call your workspace helps you to get into that work mindset.

My second tip would be to have a planner. Now you can have all sorts of planners, but the one I’ve found most effective for me is a paper planner. More specifically, a ring-bound Filofax. I’ve used a Filofax for years and find that the customisation of this style of the planner to be what keeps me going back time and time again. Having a planner and using it is one of the best ways of keeping some form of structure and normality to your day to day life. If you have children off school as I do, then you will most certainly need some sort of a routine. I have created a downloadable time table for you to be able to plan out your days! I also have some printable planner pages over on my Etsy store. Take a look! Having your time table printed off and stuck on the fridge or the kitchen cupboards also helps the kids with their routine.

My last tip would be to “stop being so hard on your self” You are trying your best. Let your customers know whats going on with your business; If you’ll be closing down for a few weeks, like many have had to, or if you’ll be working reduced hours. It’s always best to keep your customers in the loop and to keep them engaged. You want them to remember you after all this is said and done! So keep up to date with regular social media posting, write blog posts and experiment with new products.

Working from home during the coronavirus with kids to home school can and will be tough. But, having a structured routine and a dedicated place to work from will help a little. It won’t be forever, so try and enjoy the extra time with your kids as much as you can!

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Bullet Journaling as a Creative Outlet

I recently started taking bullet journalling a bit more seriously. No, seriously!! I’ve always used a notebook, or a filofax to write down appointments, lists etc. I still have all those notebooks to look back on. But I never thought about being a bit more creative in them. My “modus operandi” was to write the date at the top of the page, then write a bullet point list of tasks that needed to be completed that day. Ticking them off as I went along. Any tasks that I didn’t manage to get done that day were moved onto the next day. Which worked. It worked really well. But it was very functional and I’m a creative type (#cliche!). So I got bored of it quite quickly, and slowly but surely, stopped picking up my planner as often.

Roll on a couple of months and I felt disorganised, stressed and and a bit flat creatively. I have to be honest here and tell you that my work was suffering, the housework wasn’t being kept on top of and I was missing important dates for the kids, like what was planned for the twins Brownies session that evening or appointments for my son. We had a calendar in the kitchen, but it was so cluttered with various things that had been written down, it was hard to keep track of.

Planners to me are more than just something to keep track of appointments and to do lists though. They are a creative outlet (yes, I love stickers and I’m not ashamed!) they’re a place to doodle, jot down ideas for blog posts and youtube videos, brainstorm ideas for new Etsy store products, track various things and yes, write down my thoughts and feelings. They are an extension of our frazzled brains!

So Christmas 2019, I treated myself to a Leuchtturm1917 bullet journal. And so far so good! Bullet Journals are so much better than a ring bound planner in my opinion. I say this with caution though, because I know there is a huge planning community out there, that would instantly criticize my opinion!

Why do I use a bullet journal as a creative outlet? Simply put, I doodle in it. I decorate the pages like the inner child in me wants to. There are so many products on the market these days such as “Adult Colouring” or books on mindful art and the like. To me, decorating and planning out the pages is a form of mindfulness and is a very meditative process. Much like blogging or creating videos for youtube. I find enjoyment in these hobbies and that’s something that many many mums I come across dont have.

If you are thinking about trying a bullet journal, go for it. It’s a very personal form of planning and journaling, but also a very freeing process. And if you need some ideas, check out my youtube playlist!!!