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Reeves paint by numbers: a creative way to relax

The last time I did paint by numbers, I was about 10 years old, sitting in my Nan’s kitchen, trying to create something that resembled a Disney character. As an adult, I never gave it a second thought. Well, that is until Reeves contacted me. Reeves are one of the world’s leading creativity and lifestyle brands, they believe creativity isn’t about right or wrong, it is all about expression. Reeves’ ambition is to cater for a broader audience, like me and you. Not just for artists or 10 year olds’ sitting in their grandmas kitchen. They do a HUGE range of products, but being the cat lover I am, I knew what I wanted to try.

I picked the Kitten on Books Paint By Numbers Set – cats and reading are like my favourite things.

Admittedly, I was like woah! so many numbers, I better put my glasses on.

But when I figured out what I had to do, I mixed my first colour and started painting. I quickly relaxed into it.

You don’t need to be an expert painter at all. This was my first time picking up a paint brush in years and it was easier than I thought.

Some colours needed mixing and this was very straightforward. Other colours you just used straight from the pot. Easy.

It was so satisfying to see the picture start to emerge.

I was surprised how similar my picture looked to the picture on the kit. It’s so easy to create the right shades which match the original perfectly.

As you can see, my painting skills are not perfect but that really didn’t matter. This was such a chilled activity.

There are no rules, paint the picture in which ever order you like and use your imagination.

This took me about two evenings to complete and it was time well spent. It was the most relaxing thing I have done in a long time.

Ta-da! I am so impressed with how this turned out!

If you fancy doing something relaxing and creative, check out Reeves Paint By Numbers kits. There are tons to choose from and cost less than £5. Have you tried these before? Let me know your thoughts!

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*This is a sponsored post which means I received a product/payment in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own. 

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I Have Opened An Etsy Shop!

Being a poor student, who has only made £3.92 from AdSense in 3 months, I thought I needed a new way to make some money. Then I had an idea… why not open an Etsy shop selling my photography! I have been planning this for a while now so thought I’d share with you how I have set up my shop.

Business cards

Everyone takes you seriously when you have a business card, right? These gorgeous cards were designed by Shoumuos who runs the Etsy shop Sunzdid. She specializes in business branding, custom portraits and prints and is the most loveliest person. Click here to check out her blog / Instagram / Facebook.

Also: You can get 15% off with your order using the code BEXA15 valid until 3 June 2018. 

The products

I have worked with Printiki previously on my Greece Travel Scrapbook and Thailand Travel Scrapbook so I knew where buy good quality prints. Easy. The frames were a little harder to track down but eventually I found the perfect ones. Ta da! There are currently two items in my shop:

Weymouth Black and White Framed Prints

Bath Black and White Framed Prints

Thank You Stickers

I’m feeling optimistic, so I brought myself 30 thank you stickers. I love these, the typography is awesome. Click here to buy: Thanks for Supporting Small Business- You are Awesome – modern calligraphy hand lettered stickers

Personalized note and confetti

My sister is a well experienced online shopper, so I asked her if she had any tips and suggestions for opening an Etsy shop. Her advice was to send a little personalised note and make the packaging fun. I have taken on her wise words of shopping wisdom and brought 25 handfuls of Pastel Rainbow Confetti and these cute little thank you cards from Amazon.

The boring bits…

I currently have 100 meters of Bubble wrap sitting in my lounge and 5 empty boxes (the cats love them).

Do you have an Etsy shop? I would love to hear your feedback and advice on running a small business – such as where can I buy cheap boxes?!

Click here to visit my Etsy shop.

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6 Simple Ways To Boost Creativity

“The only unique contribution we will ever give to this world will be born out of creativity” Brené Brown

When you hear the word creative, do you immediately think of skillful artists, successful musicians, established authors or even long gone childhood memories involving sticky back plastic and washing up bottles? Maybe you think creativity is just a word reserved for those talented types on Etsy. Whilst those people are clearly artistic, I also think that everyone has the potential to live a creative life. I do not think you need to be born creative, I think creativity is just like everything else – if you work at it, whatever it is, you will get good at it. Simple. And I promise you, even if you don’t turn out to be the next Jimi Hendrix or J.K Rowling you will have fun in the process.  Here are 6 simple ways to boost creativity:

Try something new. A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to play the guitar. So, I got one and slowly taught myself using Youtube and guitar tabs online. My neighbors moved out around the same sorta time as I started learning so I dunno if that is just purely coincidence or not, but I did get better. I’m not rock star standard yet but I can string some chords together and play a few tunes which resemble Oasis songs. It’s a form of creativity that I enjoy and find super relaxing too. If there is something which you want to learn, I say go for it! Have the courage to try and the persistence to get better.

Listen to podcasts. Podcasts are a brilliant way to feel inspired and learn from those who have done it all before. Recently, I have been listening to Magic Lessons by Liz Gilbert where she talks about living creatively and Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon who chats about the internet, social media, feminism, creativity, identity, mental health, life, careers and everything in between. There are thousands and thousands of podcasts out there, so have a search online for ones which suit your tastes. You never know what snippets of wisdom you might uncover by tuning in and taking note.

Browse Pinterest. My favourite thing to do every morning is go on Pinterest and browse the latest pins. I like looking at motivational quotes, beautiful photography, colourful art, cute cats and cool haircuts. But that is just me. So instead of logging onto Facebook or reading some negative news, go onto Pinterest for a daily dose of inspiration and motivation. Start the day in a positive and uplifting way. You will feel better for it and it may even spark a little creativity too.

Be persistent. To get better at something, you have to keep doing it and doing it and… you know, doing it. There is no other way. For example, I must have taken the same photo today about 20 or more times, rearranging the props, adding something new, taking something away, approaching from different angles, zooming in, zooming out before I thought it was okay. I then spent more time in Photoshop messing around with fonts, changing the colours and moving things around before I was actually happy.  So I say stick with it and keep experimenting until you get there.

Get moving. Feeling in a creative slump? Get some exercise! My best thinking happens when I go outside, put my headphones in and just walk. The mix of fresh air and a change of scenery is enough to clear the mind and make space for some imaginative ideas. Exercise is my go-to activity when I am feeling uninspired and generally down. Whatever I do, whether is it is swimming, walking, yoga or a fitness class – I always feel better afterwards, full of inspiration and positive energy.

Let go of perfection. There is no right or wrong when it comes to being creative, you are free to express yourself however you want to. You don’t need to follow any set rules; just go with the flow and make it up as you go along. Your creation will be special, unique and tell its own beautiful story. Most importantly, don’t use self-doubt as a barrier that prevents you from starting a new project. Whatever your standard now, keep going and you will improve. So be brave, pick up the pen, practice the piano, paint that picture, whatever, and you might actually just surprise yourself.

I hope you enjoyed my post today! What do you do to boost creativity and inspire new ideas? Do you have any favourite podcasts at the moment? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

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30 Creative Date Ideas

As you may know, I write blog posts on the spot without too much forward planning. So when the lovely people at Prestige Flowers contacted me to review this beautiful Valentines Day Bundle, I thought oooh hello blog post inspiration! Firstly though, let’s talk about these gorgeous roses. I admit I don’t really have a clue about looking after flowers, so I was relieved when I noticed that within the big box there was a handy little Flower Care guide book. Phew.

I need not have worried though. It was all pretty easy stuff, even for a bouquet beginner like myself.

Look at these gorgeous flowers! Yes, that’s right, there is a cute little bear and tasty chocs included in the bundle.

Flowers, chocolates and a cuddly toy! Shaun, my valentines day expectations are now pretty high, ha ha.

Simba protecting his new Prestige box castle from Zazu…

Zazu isn’t bothered as he has more important matters to attend to.

I was more interested in these little chocolates. By the way there isn’t that many in the box anymore.

As Valentines Day and Mothers Day are both fast approaching, you may be considering buying your special people a lovely bunch of flowers. Before you head to the shops, why not check out what Prestige Flowers have to offer and grab yourself a £5 discount using the code: VIP7711 at the checkout.

If you are stuck for Valentines Day date ideas, pick up a pretty bunch of flowers and do something creative with your favourite person. Here are a few of my ideas:

recreate your first date

go to the beach and write your names in the sand

play mini golf

pick a random destination on the map and cook a themed dinner together

go for a walk and take some cute photos

go bowling

have afternoon tea

make some sandwiches and go for a picnic

jump on the next train and spend the day in a random town

play some board games

have a couples massage

go to a pub quiz

have a two person house party with your favourite tunes 

watch a live band

visit the local market

go shopping and do the £10 gift challenge

create a home spa

watch a panto at the theatre

go to an amusement arcade

make your own pizzas

go to the zoo

paint / create / craft

have a boxset or movie marathon with all the snacks

go on a spontaneous road trip

go play tennis, badminton, pool, snooker, ping pong, darts, anything!

read a book together

fly a kite

look through old photos 

have a no technology evening

plan an adventure! 

Thanks so much for the beautiful flowers, Prestige! As you can see both myself and the cats loved them. Hope you enjoyed my post! Have you got anything special planned for Valentines Day or Mothers Day? I would love to hear your ideas!

*This is a sponsored post which means I received a product/payment in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own. 

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