Postcircle goodness

One of the things I joined in last year was #postcircle. The ladies in my group are lovely, and so far we have all exchanged a good number of letters. I love it when some happy mail drops through the door, and as we have exchanged a few letters now it often feels like chatting to an old friend.

I’ve discovered some great cross stitching stuff, had some brilliant book recommendations and just generally enjoyed the ten minutes of relaxation that comes from reading a good letter.

Over the weekend I was in manchester, so popped to paperchase and picked up a couple of bargain letter sets…

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I love paperchase and had to resist buying lots more!

I then came home and the latest issue of Craftseller was waiting for me, included was a pack of papers…. So I put these to good use and made some pretty envelopes and note papers. Really easy to do meant only took me about 45 minutes or so.

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Yesterday morning whilst Daniel was pottering around I replied to my latest two letters, using the new stationery of course 🙂

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I know I have a couple more letters due to land with me soon, hopefully this week so I need to keep on of pop of the replies before I find myself with another baby! It really is relaxing to sit and take stock and think about what to write in your letters, and post circle is a great excuse for a bit of stationery shopping 🙂

2014….. Taking time for me

I’ve been thinking about what the new year will bring for me, I know that in the next 8ish weeks I will have a new member of the family, which will change things again for the three of us. How will we adjust to life with a newborn again? Daniel will only be 16 months but I am sure we have already forgotten just how tough those first weeks are with a new baby. I worry how I will cope and meet Daniel’s needs, as well as that of a newborn as well as ensuring I allow myself to recover from the birth.

I also know that, despite the huge changes afoot, there are many things I want to achieve. When I worked, I was a project manager so I knew what the targets were for the forthcoming year, and could look to see what I would expect to achieve. Now I am a stay at home mum, its all too easy to meander through the days and weeks and not do anything for me. Being a parent (whether you also work or are full time at home) is all consuming and I worry that I am losing a sense of personal identity. I found the beginning of this pregnancy exhausting, and I am beginning to feel the exhaustion hit again. So with that in mind I am determined to set some challenges and targets for me.

Pre Daniel I loved to read. I was always found with either my kindle or a book in hand, often with 3/4 books on the go at any one time. Once Daniel arrived I found it hard to find the time and space to concentrate and lose myself in a good book. A quick look at my goodreads profile shows that in 2012 I read 77 books, in 2013 I read around 25 books. I’ve set myself a target of 40 books this year, with an added target of wanting to finish all of the Jo Nesbo series, I’m about halfway through so I think that is achievable. I will also make use of my local library as I rediscovered the library towards the end of 2013.

The first book I will finish in 2014 is this Jo Nesbo…

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Once I have finished it, probably later this week, I will make a start on one of these two that I picked up from the library on 2 January.

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I’ve heard good things about cupcake cafe and I have enjoyed the Catherine Alliott ones I have read in the past.

I will then need to make a start on my big pile of books, a lot of these I received in December for my birthday and Christmas and others are ones that I have either picked up in charity shops or have been found whilst clearing out the upstairs room for the new baby…. And there will be more to add to this pile! Perhaps one of my resolutions this year should be to not keep buying books!

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As well as reading, I want to reignite my love of crafting. I think that the early pregnancy tiredness killed off any creativity, but having taught myself to knit, we’ll a very basic knit, towards the end of 2013 I want to knit a cardigan for the baby and maybe a hat or something for Daniel. I also have an order for a blanket to complete, a cushion cover to make for Daniel and a blanket for the new baby. I also want to have a go at making some breast pads and some csp too.

I also intend to finish off this Frosted Pumpkin stitchery cross stitch…. Before Christmas 2014 at least….

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I also have another cross stitch in progress and more crafting stuff than I will ever complete… Perhaps another resolution should be to not buy crafting stuff!

I also intend to continue the letter writing and postcircle that I joined in during 2013. I find it really relaxing to sit and write a letter, and have been lucky enough to meet some lovely people this way. Today I received my first happymail of the year…. Such a pretty envelope and I can’t wait to get my first reply of the year out 🙂

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I intend to produce a monthly update of number of books read, number of crafting items completed and number of letters sent and received…. I hope this will keep me on track to take time for myself to relax. Life with two under two is going to be hard and at time testing, so it’s important to take time out for me.

What are your plans for taking time for yourself in 2014?

My name’s Sarah & I’m a stationery addict….

Well, I guess being part of #postcircle and now #postcrossing means that I need to have plenty of writing paper at hand… I do fear however my stationery addiction has gone a little far….

 

I have always loved notepads and writing paper, and have a box that I store my notecards, birthday cards etc in. However, since I joined Postcircle, I have been on the hunt for unusual and fun writing paper. Sure, I can write on plain paper, or lined paper, but it’s much prettier to send a nicely designed letter.

 

All my writing paper and cards are stored in this box…

 

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It might look like a small box, but it contains a LOT of writing paper…. First up is my trusty paper tape, useful for decorating the outside of envelopes…

 

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These are from a folksy shop (I can’t recall which) and Ikea – the Ikea stuff is great value.

 

I also have a lot of notecards and letter writing sets. The cards have been bought for me in sets over the years, and the letter writing sets are from a variety of places including TK Maxx, Tesco, Home Bargains and The Works. The Works have some great sets for £1.99 I think and TK Maxx is always worth a look as they have some great stuff from time to time.

 

 

I also love these two jotter pads that I picked up in TK Maxx for £1.50 each – they’re really colourful and pretty

 

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Next up are my more recent finds, I stumbled across two great websites whilst awake at 3am …. pregnancy insomnia isn’t so good for my bank balance! The first is Artbox and the second is Cute Stationery.

 

Here are some purchases from these two sites….

 

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The service from both sites was great, but I have visited cute stationery a couple of times now. Katie, who runs the site, is brilliant, and there is a constant update of new items. She also does a surprise bag option. This is great if, like me, you can’t choose what to order! I ordered a surprise bag of letter sets and got some great ones….. I think my monthly treat will be a surprise bag or two 🙂

 

Where are your favourite stationery shops?