One Little Happy Thing

Quirky home decor & lifestyle blog

What Is A Moon Sign?

We’ve all heard of star signs, & we all know what our star sign is, right? But what is a moon sign? And why does it matter?

Understand what a moon sign is & how it effects you

What is a moon sign?

Moon signs are an important element of your astrological chart, revealing so much about your emotions, habits & instincts. Along with your star sign & sun sign, your moon sign gives a much larger picture of who you are as a person.

Where the moon is at the moment of your birth determines your moon sign. Every 2-3 days the moon moves into a different section of sky and so the moon sign changes.

If you don’t know what your moon sign is, I’ve found a handy website HERE where you can find your moon sign!

Moon Quote

What your moon sign means.

Hopefully you’ve managed to find your moon sign. But now it’s time to learn about what that actually means.

**Whilst researching for this post, I had no idea what my moon sign was. Turns out mine is Scorpio, and it couldn’t be more accurate, to the point where I am genuinely surprised. My star sign is Aries & I’ve always thought it didn’t quite sum me up. Now I know my moon sign it’s like everything makes sense!**

Moon in Aries

Those of you born under a moon in Aries have fire in your soul and impatience in your heart. Lunar Ariens are strong, & want need everything to be done right this second. In fact, a Lunar Ariens wants are so strong and powerful they seem to become needs.

With a strong desire for instant gratification, those born under the moon in Aries can tend to act impulsively, not really seeing the long term ramifications. They are also fiercely independent & confident, but with a temperamental streak.

Instead of seeking peace and tranquillity, those born under an Aries moon can come across as confrontational, but their fiery temper will burn out as soon as it flares up. This moon sign doesn’t want to waste time on petty arguments, instead getting their point across quickly.


Moon in Taurus

Home & comfort is important to those born under a Taurus moon. They enjoy familiarity, creature comforts and material possessions: building a comfortable and safe home is top priority to them.

Lunar Taureans are stable and steady characters, forming routines which bring them safety and security. However, if those routines are threatened you can see a very flustered & uncertain side to these people. They do not adapt well to change.

Valuing stability & comfort above all else, those born under a Taurus moon are not spontaneous, which can prove infuriating for more progressive signs, but comforting to other Earth signs. Their emotions run deep through them, and they will protect what is theirs passionately.


Moon in Gemini

Curious, witty & intelligent, those born under the moon in Gemini are people people. They are comfortable in crowds, taking enjoyment from interaction with other people & relishing their time with, well, anyone.

Constantly on the go, Lunar Geminis are known for having their finger in many pies, starting a new project before the one before it is complete. This could explain why those born under a Gemini moon don’t keep a clean & tidy house!

Although generally happy, there is a tendency for Lunar Geminis to become frustrated and snappy. This is because they like to start new things often and don’t enjoy being stuck in a routine.


Moon Quote 2


Moon in Cancer

Fun fact: the Moon is the ruler of the Cancer sign. I’ll be talking about this further in a later blog post, but each sign is ruled by a planet. And lucky Cancer is ruled by the Moon.

If you’re born under a Cancer Moon then the likelihood is you’re quite introverted & you hold on tightly to security in any form. This can mean you develop attachments to places & people, which can come across as clingy to some.

Those born under a Cancer Moon can have a tendency to focus on the past, a place of security to them, which can seem like dwelling. But for all of their looking backwards, they have some of the best senses of humour. And if you provide security to a person born under a Cancer Moon they’ll reward you with warmth and kindness. You will become their security.


Moon in Leo

Lunar Leos, when comfortable, will naturally take on the spotlight! They’re known for being funny & outgoing, However, when they aren’t comfortable they are much more likely to take a back seat.

Being equally creative and lazy, those born under a Leo moon sometimes feel the need to get up and do something, but lack the motivation to do so. They can also be very image conscious, putting up a front in public whilst showing their true colours in the comfort of their home.

People born under this sign have a strong sense of fairness & don’t enjoy quick changes of plans or routines. They are natural born leaders, never really being comfortable to follow.


Moon in Virgo

People born under a Virgo Moon are fastidious creatures; they take great joy from taking care of the small details in their lives. Organising mess, straightening out finances, running errands. If they feel like you appreciate what they do, they’ll do it for you too!

Reliable & trustworthy above all else, Lunar Virgos enjoy structure and living “regular lives”. They have an appreciation of the little things in life which means they’re more with a simple existence.

Almost clinical in character, Lunar Virgos can seem unsympathetic and unemotional, but they will show they care through small & practical acts of kindness, rather than grand gestures.


Moon Quote 3


Moon in Libra

Idealistic & always aiming for the best, Lunar Libras are constantly aware of any issues they may have in their relationships or home life, & constantly trying to fix these perceived issues.

Most at peace when in a partnership, those born under a Libra Moon tend to get married & “settle down” at a young age. They are most happy when in a relationship, and always looking for ways to improve that relationship.

Lunar Librans can sometimes feel the need to always win an argument, using any tactic necessary, but if they’re fighting your corner you’ll appreciate that attitude. Otherwise they are charming and prone to being flirtatious.


Moon in Scorpio

Lunar Scorpios are extremely emotionally adept. They can cut to the core of a person within moments of meeting them. This emotional strength can terrify some, but others tend to lean on those born under a Scorpio moon.

In relationships they can sometime’s put their partners through little unconscious “tests” to prove their worth, which stems from a strong fear of betrayal. Being so emotionally driven can be hard work for partners, but if you can prove yourself you will never lose your Lunar Scorpio.

Lunar Scorpios have strong intuition, lead extremely emotionally driven lives (bordering on the dramatic!), & are very intelligent. This emotional intensity, if channelled into positivity & intimacy, can make Lunar Scorpios some of the best friends & partners out there.


Moon in Sagittarius

Above all else, Lunar Sagittarians crave freedom, space & travel. They enjoy meeting new people, seeing new places, and feeling free in their endeavours. Constantly optimistic, these people can be a joy to be around!

However, if the going gets tough, don’t expect those born under a Sagittarius moon to stick around for long. They don’t cope with routine and monotony well, and will only return to a situation once their spiritual batteries have been fully recharged.

With a can do attitude and constant optimism, these people are born free spirits & have a habit of winging things. But, they are also natural teachers, soaking up knowledge and passing it onto the next person they meet.


Moon Quote 4


Moon in Capricorn

Known for keeping their emotions in check, Lunar Capricorns can come across as cold, but that’s not true: they just don’t like to let go of their inner feelings. They crave structure & security.

Lunar Capricorns are good at planning for the future, respecting authority figures & not being risk takers. This sign craves clear cut borders & structure within their lives, and are seen as very respectable reliable people.

This need for order & structure does mean Lunar Capricorns can be hard on themselves when things don’t go to plan, but they are adept at keeping all emotions inside, so it can be hard for an outsider to notice anything is wrong.


Moon in Aquarius

Independent. Idealistic. Loners at heart. Folks born under an Aquarius Moon have a strong sense of self, and prefer to observe other people & situations rather than being directly involved in them.

These observation skills can inflate a Lunar Aquarians ego, thinking that they are above what they consider to be lesser emotions. However, they are known for standing up for others’ rights, having a strong humanitarian streak.

If you’re born under an Aquarius Moon the likelihood is you’re a good friend: you will never leave someone behind. This is a fixed sign, so you will be reliable when needs be, although you can dig your heels in if someone pushes you.


Moon in Pisces

Those born under this sign are extremely empathetic, intuitive and can seem somewhat spaced out to others. This empathy can be too much though, leading to Lunar Pisceans wallowing in other people’s misery.

With soft hearts & open minds, Lunar Pisceans can be seen as door mats, but with time they learn to tell the difference between sincerity and manipulation. Their softness also means they need to break away from time to time to recharge their batteries, but they will always come back.

Lunar Pisceans are complex souls. Given enough space & time, they can take on the world, but they need to do it at their own pace. Their intense empathy can drag them down if they don’t have time to reflect.

Click here to go to my Etsy store to purchase your custom moon phase print!


I really hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the moon signs. I must admit, before writing this post my knowledge was thin, but I certainly think knowledge is power, particularly when it comes to understanding yourself and the people you know.

Let me know in the comments what your moon sign is! Does it make sense to you?

Birthstones: What are they & what do they mean?

birthstones - what are they and what do they mean

It has been such a long time since I last posted it’s almost scary! But I’m back, and just recently I’ve been reading a lot into birth stones. But what are they and what do they mean?

A birthstone is exactly that: a stone which represents the month of your birth. There are also stones which represent your astrological sign, but that’s a different post for another day!

You can read a more in depth history of birthstones over here but for now we’re going straight onto the basics: what are the birthstones for each month!

January – Garnet

The birthstone for January is Garnet, and a beautiful stone it is too! It’s name comes from the latin word “granatum” which means pomegranate. A suitable name due to the burgundy red colouring seen in most examples, although it can be found in a variety of different colours.

Garnet was known as a protective stone, used to protect it’s wearers from ghosts and evil spirits. Nowadays garnet is synonymous with self protection and the balancing of internal energies.

Check out this amazing stretch cord garnet bracelet!

February – Amethyst

The birthstone for February is Amethyst (one of my favourite gemstones!). Purple in colour and instantly recognizable, the ancient Greeks believed Amethyst would stop intoxication and so carved drinking vessels from Amethyst.

Amethyst is known for increasing creativity, removing negative energy and attracting positive energy. It’s also possibly the most spiritual of the birthstones, aiding wearers to connect to their more spiritual self.

You need to check out this amazing amethyst arrowhead necklace!

March – Aquamarine

To avoid confusion, in 1912 the gems associated with the different months was standardized, but some months still have a primary stone and a secondary stone. March’s primary stone is Aquamarine, with its secondary being Bloodstone.

Aquamarine, the primary birthstone for March, is pale blue/cyan/aqua in colour, hence its beautiful name.

Unsurprisingly considering it’s colour, Aquamarine has strong links to the sea, being used by sailors as good luck talismans. It has a calming effect on those who hold it, allowing otherwise hectic thoughts to be calmed and spoken clearly.

It’s also believed to aid in healing damaged relationships.

Always have some aquamarine to hand with these amazing tumblestones!

April – Diamond

Diamond is the primary birthstone for April, with rock crystal being the secondary. The word diamond comes from the ancient Greek for “unbreakable” or “unalterable”.

Considering it’s structure and colouring, its unsurprising that diamond symbolizes strength and clarity, being used in spiritual ceremonies to provide clarity of thought.

You need to check out my diamond birthstone print!

May – Emerald

Another month with a primary and secondary, May’s main birthstone is Emerald, with its secondary being Chrysophase.

The meaning of the word Emerald comes from the ancient Greek for “green gem” which is pretty to the point considering the instantly recognizable green hue of Emeralds.

Emeralds bring openness and calm to those who wear it. Love comes to those who have this gemstone with them.

Look at these amazing Emerald tumblestones!

June – Pearl

The primary birthstone for June is Pearl, with its secondary birthstone being moonstone. Both beautiful stones!

Pearl’s are produced by shelled mollusks (totally not vegan friendly) by concentric layers of calcium carbonate forming around an initial specimen. Only the highest quality Pearls are believed to have the qualities of a gemstone.

Symbolizing purity, the Pearl is also thought to heighten intuition and and imagination. Different colours of Pearl can have different meanings, but the white Pearl is for wisdom.

I’ve got a Pearl birthstone print over on my shop which you need to check out!

July – Ruby

Another month with a primary and a secondary, the main June birthstone is Ruby with Carnelian being the secondary.

Blood-red in colour, Myanmar/Burma was the main source of Rubies for centuries, but they have also been mined from Thailand, Cambodia, Afghanistan and many other countries.

Symbolizing passion and lust, this gemstone is is thought to attract prosperity and increase sexual passion, but is also known to increase risk taking. So please be careful!

This ruby crystal looks amazing, you need to look at it!

August – Peridot

Peridot is the primary birthstone for August, with the secondary being Sardonyx. Peridot only occurs in one colour: olive green. The intensity of this colour depends on the levels of iron found in the individual gem.

Peridot is thought to bring harmony to the wearer, aiding with positive emotions and happiness. Its the real “positive vibes” hippy stone!

This stone is also the stone for Archangel Raphael.

Handy peridot tumblestones – you can always have some nearby!

September – Sapphire

Another month with a primary and a secondary. Sapphire is the primary birthstone with lapis lazuli being the secondary.

Sapphires, although synonymous with a deep blue hue, can actually occur in many colours, but not red. A red sapphire is in fact a Ruby!

Sapphire is a stone of wisdom and protection, protecting the wearer from mental instability, particularly envy of others.

Sapphires are expensive, but my printed version isn’t: check it out!

October – Opal

Opal is the beautiful birthstone for October. The internal structures of Opals means the inside refracts light, leading to the many colourings of the gem.

Playful in colouring, the Opal also brings a child like sense of playfulness to those who carry it. It also brings balance to the chakras and can increase imagination.

An all round really fun birthstone!

Keep an opal to hand, always!

November – Topaz

Topaz is the primary birthstone for November, with Citrine being the secondary. Topaz can vary wildly in colouring, and is one of the hardest naturally occuring minerals.

Typically a green/orange colour, Topaz is the birthstone of truth. It brings out honesty, forgiveness and openness. It can help release tension and anxiety in those who wear it.

A topaz tumblestone to keep in your pocket!

December – Tanzanite

The final birthstone of the year is Tanzanite, with the secondary stone for December being Turquoise.

Blue or violet in colouring, this stone appears as a different colour depending on the way you hold it.

Tanzanite is believed to increase spiritual and psychic sensitivity, aligning the heart and mind of the wearer so they become more open. It also aids in the experience of pure joy!

Check out this beautiful tanzanite!

I think that’s all birthstones covered…

But if you have anything else to add to the conversation please feel free to leave a comment!

And if you’ve really enjoyed this post, I think you should head over to my Etsy shop which has a whole section dedicated to birth stones!

birthstone wall art - just a click away!

(This post contains affiliates links, see my full disclosure on my About page. I may receive a small commission for any link to Amazon. Any purchase you make helps support me write and provide this content.)

 

 

A Daily Little Happy Thing. Day 1 – Spending Time With Family

Hello my little happy bunch, and welcome to my new and improved blog set up!

I’ve decided to move away from self help because honestly I don’t feel like I’m being true to myself dishing out so much advice. I mean, I love trying to help, but my heart just isn’t in it.

So, for 2018 I’ve decided to move back to what I originally created this blog to be about: those little happy things that happen throughout the day. 

When I first set this blog up I was in a bad place emotionally. A long-term relationship had broken down, a beloved family member had died, I wasn’t feeling too happy. But I read somewhere online that said focussing on small positive actions everyday will overall make your life seem brighter.

And it really worked! Within a few weeks I felt much better. And I eventually abandoned this blog as I was out having too much fun!

But I’m back to what I originally intended and feeling much happier about it.

So, today’s little happy thing is a simple one: spending time with family.

My new years morning didn’t start off great. I’d had little sleep due to fireworks in the night upsetting my pooch, and then our neighbours had blocked my partners car in so I had to go out and move my car so he could move his. No lay in for me.

Due to being so tired I was going to spend some time in bed, but I decided to pop over and see my dear Nan for a little while instead.

She made one of her legendary cups of tea (made with loose leaf tea, the best kind of tea) and we chatted about family members, alive and dead. And discussed future plans (like my wedding coming up in a few months, eek!)

It was nice. And if I’d allowed myself to sit and wallow in my tiredness at home I never would have experienced this. So I’m glad I managed to drag my arse outside for a while!

Let me know a little happy thing that happened to you today in the comments, I love hearing other peoples stories.

My #1 tip for living a happier life

Hello my little happy things,

I know, I know, an unnecessarily sensational title to try and lure people to read my blog, why on Earth would I do something like that?

Well, in this case it’s because I really want people to read this one particular post of mine. Even if you’ve never read another word I’ve written I want you to read these words. Because they’re important to me.

my number 1 tip for living a happier life

So, little bit of background on this post. I quit my job a few months, have set up an Etsy shop which I adore, and am pretty much living how I want to live. Yes, there are money stresses, my partner and I are planning a wedding on a shoe string budget and we have the threat of being kicked out of our house next year.

But everything is still all good.

I have spent a lot of my time and resources searching for happy. I’ve read countless blogs, books and soaked up pretty much everything I could get my hands on. I’ve discovered religion, and then swiftly ditched religion again. I’ve been single, I’ve had flings, I’ve had long term relationships. I’ve focused on other people, I’ve focused on myself. I’ve tried most things, and to varying degrees of happiness.

After a lot of soul searching and contemplating about what to write about, I’ve decided to write about this. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

So, I bet you’re now gagging to know what my number 1 top tip for living a happier life is?

It’s letting go.

Let go of past hurts. Let go of loved ones lost. Let go of embarrassment. Let go of hate. Let go of “responsibilities”. Let go of worry.

You’ve probably heard this before, and I know how difficult it can be to just let go. There will be emotional baggage you think you will never be rid of, but that’s only because you’re still holding onto it.

Everybody in the world has something to be unhappy about. That is a fact. Most people probably have several things to be unhappy about (first world problem, it’s essentially always money). But it is only through holding onto that unhappiness and not allowing it to evolve into something that we remain unhappy.

A little example for you. My Etsy shop is my baby at the moment. I’ve only been going for a few months, but I feel like I’m doing well (At the time of writing I have 83 sales and am aiming for 100 by the end of the year!). But, we need more income. We have a wedding to plan for, a potential house move to prepare for, and a big dog who needs more treats because he is just the best!

It would be all too easy in this situation to hold onto the worry and the stress that looming money problems can cause. But nah, we’re not doing that.

We’re making a positive out of these negative situations, letting go of everything that doesn’t matter and focusing on what does. We can do a wedding on a tiny budget and make things ourselves. We’re planning on moving into a caravan if we do find ourselves being evicted. And I’m looking into cheap homemade treats for my boydog.

I’m also using this as motivation into making my business succeed. I’m doing well, but I could be doing a lot better. I want to turn that worry into success. This will be my springboard.

And all of this can only be achieved through letting go of the negativity which naturally shrouds my brain, and allowing myself to use that energy for positive means.

I hope all of this has made some sort of sense, and I really do hope that you can see what I mean by all of this. Let me know in the comments if you have any experience with letting go.

All the best,

Sophie
One Little Happy Thing


One Little Happy Thing

What to do when your creative business is quiet

Hi my little happy bunch,

So, my Etsy shop has been super quiet just recently, and I’ve been pulling my hair out! If you’ve read my previous post How I quit my day job to pursue my dreams… And why you should too. you’ll know that my Etsy shop is currently my only form of income (apart from a very understanding partner).

Obviously I turned to some other bloggers for advice and found an absolute treasure trove of essential lists for this, and number 1 tips for that. But after the first post I read the rest were mere copies and I couldn’t learn anything new.

Not to mention the fact that I have already implemented most strategies on my shop and still haven’t seen much of an improvement. But I digress…

It got me to thinking of things us small creative business owners can do when times are really quiet. Things that I haven’t heard before, and hopefully you won’t have either.

when your creative business is quiet

1. Spend time on your self care.

Yep, that’s right, spend some time on you. Some months will be quieter than others, embrace that fact! When it’s quiet spend some time on whatever self care you enjoy the most. I really like walking my dog so I’ve been spending extra time on our morning walks.

But whatever it is, just do it. When you’re massively busy again you’ll appreciate having taken a little bit of time out for you.

Also, I find my best ideas pop up once I’ve taken a break. Let your brain relax, and the rest of you will follow. And before you know if you’ll come up with that top idea which shoots your shop sales up into the stratosphere!

2. Try a different craft.

Your business may be based around crochet, or prints like me. Use this time to try a different craft. I’ve been attempting paper cutting, which I have to admit I enjoy but am not very good at (Yet. I’ll keep trying).

This could be a game changer for your business as you just never know what you might stumble upon that you enjoy and can implement into your business. Who knows, it could even turn into a new business venture for you, that’ll really keep you on your toes.

3. Join a networking group.

Social media has some serious power when it comes to pulling customers into your shop. This slow time is the perfect time to work on your social media skills. And an awesome way of doing that is joining a networking group.

Just make sure it’s a good one. I don’t mean all this like for like nonsense: you need a group that genuinely understands networking and wants to help build relationships between small businesses.

I’m in an amazing small business networking group on Facebook, and we all work hard to raise each business up. It is a treasure trove of invaluable knowledge (I’ve recently had a Facebook post go viral which has brought quite a lot of traffic to my page). It is well worth investing your time in a decent networking group.

4. Get outside.

I’m a massive hippy at heart (which you’ll know if you read my blog posts fairly regularly). I truly think getting outside and into nature is one of the best things.

Get outside, find a nice spot to sit for a while, and just enjoy being outside. The wind on your cheeks, the sun on your skin, the ground beneath your feet. Focus on nothing and soon ideas will be rolling through your mind.

I have a notebook app on my phone for times like this so all of my grand ideas can be jotted down and I can come back to them at a later date.

5. Speak to friends and family.

Or just anyone you’re close to really. Ask them about your business, see what they think you could be doing. Some of my best most profitable ideas have come about after speaking to the people I care about.

Recently I was speaking to my Mum about how quiet my shop was, and she had the brilliant idea of creating prints based around Star Signs. My shop is dedicated to nature and the outdoors, so I incorporated the constellations, and I’ve sold a few already.

Not to mention they’re now some of my favourite prints!

It can be so worthwhile asking for help so don’t be afraid to ask.

6. DO NOT GIVE UP.

Things may be quiet, especially when your business first starts. You won’t know which months will be quiet and which ones will go mad.

Whatever you do: DO NOT GIVE UP. A short rough period can easily be turned around into an amazing ascent for your business, you just need to take some time to breath and refocus. The quiet times are the only times you will get to do this.


I hope you’ve found something a bit different in this blog post. I always try to think outside of the box when it comes to my business. It can be all too easy to be caught up into making money constantly that you forget that making money isn’t all what a business is about.

If you don’t lay the foundations for your business to be sustainable it will collapse.

Good luck with it my happy little bunch.

Much love,

Sophie

One Little Happy Thing

Just click the image to be taken to my Etsy shop where you will find tonnes of gorgeous and unique wall decor for people who want to bring the outdoors in.

The #1 downfall of running a creative business from home

Hello my happy little bunch,

I’ve been absolutely atrocious at updating my blog just recently. I’ve been so busy designing and uploading products into my Etsy shop I haven’t had a moment to think about content for a new blog post.

But this one has been brewing in my mind for a few weeks now.

When I initially left my full time office job I was under no illusions that running a creative business from home wasn’t going to be easy. The first year of any business is difficult and believe me, only a few months in and I’ve been tested.

It would be so easy to give up, but that’s just not my style. Plus, the thought of working in an office again makes me want to run and hide in a cave. Bleh.

I’ve struggled with not having a regular income to rely on. Luckily for me my partner is supporting us financially, but that makes me feel a bit like a failure for not bringing more to the plate. All the more motivation to make it work though.

I’ve struggled with mind block. I had to take a few days away from the business during the month because I felt totally lost. My shop is new, and I feel like defining my brand has gotten the better of me and I’ve lost my way. Luckily after a few days break it was like the clouds parted and I could see what I needed to do again! Phew.

I’ve also struggled with the work load. I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to create more. But that’s not what I need to be doing right now. What I’ve created I am happy with, but I do feel like some of it doesn’t fit with my brand. And that is just because of the pressure I put on myself.

The number 1 downfall of running a creative business from home

But what’s the main downfall? Well..

My #1 downfall of running a creative business from home

Loneliness.

Pure and crushing loneliness (some days).

I have my partner, and my dog, but some days I just crave human attention. And do you know what? That’s because I’ve been so focused on my small business I’ve sort of pushed my other relationships to the wayside (sorry friends).

It’s not every day either. I’m quite an introvert and so I’m fairly comfortable with my own company. Some days even seeing other dog walkers on my morning walk is a bit much, then others I can’t help but stop and chat with them. Just to be speaking to someone.

And there is absolutely no shame in admitting that you’re lonely. In fact until you admit you’re lonely, you can’t deal with it. I finally sat with my partner and opened up about this, and as always he made me see sense again.

Loneliness can be easily overcome.

Arrange a date with some friends.

Get on the phone and reach out to your friends. Text them, ring them, message them on Facebook, it doesn’t matter: reach to them. And if those friends are worth it I can guarantee they’ll love to hear from you.

But don’t just agree to hang out, arrange a date with them. Go for dinner. Visit the cinema. Make it a bit more an event. Get dressed up and make it special.

Making it a bit more special stops it from feeling just like an every day occurrence. It is a social EVENT. Make it grand. You’ll feel so much better for it.

Find an online tribe.

There is so much talk across various blogs I follow about finding your tribe, but I didn’t really understand what it meant until quite recently.

Offline I already have a tribe. But online I don’t really know anyone, let alone any small creative business owners who are maybe going through the same struggles as me.

That is until I stumbled across a Facebook networking group. Now I know what you’re thinking, like4like networking is terrible. But this group is different. We network in such a way that we build bonds together, we work on reaching new audiences together. It’s not just a case of throwing a link on a comment and giving it a like.

Those guys are my online tribe. I know they are experiencing the same struggles as me, and we can support each other through those struggles.

I can’t advise you more about finding an online tribe. Etsy also has lots of teams, there may be something on there if you don’t use Facebook.

Find someone to work with.

Yep, that’s right, reach out to any other people you know who work from home and see if they want to hang out and work together for a day or so a week. Not all of the time as that would just be distracting for both of you.

Even if you’re both busy working having someone to hand to idly chat with, or to ask their opinion on something will be absolutely invaluable. You can even both take a lunch break together.

Having human contact even just for a day or so a week will be helpful.

I hope these tips help you as much as they’ve helped me. 

Much love,

Sophie – One Little Happy Thing


One Little Happy Thing

Self Care for Creatives – The Ultimate Guide

Phew! I haven’t written in quite some time! I’ve been just so busy adding to my online shop I haven’t stopped for a moment to do some writing. But that’s going to change. I find writing too therapeutic to give up!

And, whilst working through setting up my Etsy shop it’s got me thinking: I love the practise of self care, but when you’re working for yourself it can be tricky to prioritize.

And so this post was born!

I have to admit, the last couple of months I have been all work and no play, and that has resulted in a total burn out this week.

Yep, a complete burn out.

The week started off really positively, I had a massive order (5 prints to one customer, love them) but then nothing. Tumbleweeds have been blowing through my shop. I know this time of year is quiet, but seriously, this quiet?!

And that resulted in tears, threats of just giving up, job hunting (seriously, I went online and started compiling a list of jobs to apply for!) & eventually sitting in my comfy clothes watching films for an entire day and eating a whole packet of biscuits.

The kind of behaviour which is unhealthy for so many reasons. 

And after talking to some other small business owners, it doesn’t seem I’m alone in this behaviour. The first year of owning a business is the hardest. You have to work hard for those sales, to build a tribe and to make a success.

So, how do we look after ourselves small business owners? Read on!

Self care for creatives

Take regular breaks.

Stop letting yourself work through lunch. Stop waking up early and going to bed late. Just stop for a bit.

What I want you to do is set a timer, and every hour go off and do something else. I like sitting in the garden. Just for 15 minutes break away from the laptop, or whatever WIP you have going on.

And make sure you take time to eat. I worked through my allocated lunch breaks for pretty much a month solid. And look what happened to me. I give myself 30 mins to an hour for my lunch break, which gives me plenty of time to eat and to watch some telly or something.

These breaks give your brain time to replenish and get over the mental onslaught that is the working day!

Have a weekend.

I know, it’s tricky when you’re working for yourself. But give yourself a weekend! This doesn’t mean you can’t do anything during the weekend.

My partner works Sunday-Thursday, so Friday and Saturday is our weekend. We go on adventures, we visit new places, and by Sunday morning I’m full of new ideas and motivation to make my little business work.

This doesn’t mean I completely forget about the business, I just don’t design any new prints. I’m still on social media (Hello cheeky Facebook link, come say hi!) and responding to messages though.

This time is vital for me. This is when some of my best ideas pop into my head. It’s also when my partner gives me some of his best ideas too 😉

Drink plenty of water.

This seems like a really simple and really obvious one, but seriously, drink more water. It’s too easy to work solidly, go off out to the garden, come back and work again, and before you know it it has been 3 hours and you haven’t drunk more than a few sips of water.

Get yourself a lush water bottle and keep it topped up with super cold water. My partner keeps his in the fridge so we always have super cold water to hand.

Letting yourself get a bit dehydrated is so detrimental to your focus and brain power. Water is like the brains lubricant and just keeps everything running smoothly.

Do the things, drink the water.

Find your happy.

You know when you’re feeling quite down in the dumps, and you just need that one thing that without fail cheers you up? Yeah, find that. For me it’s turning off my phone and watching a film, but for you it could be cute cat videos, or playing video games.

Try out a few different things, see what works for you, and when you feel your mood getting a bit low do the happy thing!

I’m also quite partial to funny dog videos, but luckily my big dog Tank is always on hand for a cuddle. That helps.

Get pumped!

When my shop is a bit quiet, I find myself getting really sad and annoyed that my hard work isn’t being noticed, do you get that too?

You know what I find helps: standing in front of the mirror and telling myself that if what I already have isn’t selling that I need to find the next thing. I imagine all the possibilities of being a successful business owner: money, security, freedom. All the things I want.

And these thoughts go into a big cloud in my head which I keep looking at, reminding me of why I’m doing this in the first place.

It is so important to keep looking ahead in business. Yeah, you need to keep a track of how your business has done in the months and years before, but when it comes to innovation and progress forward is the only way!

Find other small business owners to talk to

One of the biggest hurdles I’ve found tricky to overcome since starting working from home is being lonely. I’ve gone from working in an office of around 200 people to just sitting on the sofa with the dog.

It does get lonely.

But, I’ve found a brilliant group of gals on a Facebook networking group. I know if I go to them saying “I feel like sh*t, someone cheer me up” that someone will pop up with some helpful words and a virtual hug.

Find a group like this. I would post a link but I think entries to the group are being severely limited at the moment (because honestly, it’s that good an environment and the admins work hard to keep it that way).


If you have more idea’s on how to look after yourself as a creative business owner then please add them into the comments! Sharing is caring afterall 🙂

Stay strong my small business owners!

Much love,

Sophie – One Little Happy Thing

One Little Happy Thing

How I quit my day job to pursue my dreams… And why you should too.

How I quit my day job to pursue my dream

I have been super quiet on the blogging front for a few weeks now, and there’s a good reason for that! Back at the start of June I quit my boring desk job to pursue my dream. I’ve since set up my Etsy shop and have started designing and selling my own prints!

HOW EXCITING!

Before this point I’d been working in an office environment for 6 years. I left college fresh faced and full of joy at 19, found the office job within a couple of months, and hated it ever since. Not. Good.

Fast forward 6 years. I’d had enough. Although I was working in an admin capacity, more and more work was being lumped on us daily. With no pay rise to match. Can you see why I wanted to leave?

Not only that, my mental health was suffering. I was fast approaching a burn out. Big time. I would cry before leaving for work in the morning, come home and get angry with my partner for absolutely no reason, then go to bed and cry again.

How can people be expected to live like that?!

And how many of you out there do live like that? Society tells us from a young age that we have to go get a job, work 8.5 hours a day, get a mortgage, pop out some kids and then retire to somewhere a bit greener.

But what about those of us who don’t want to live that way?!

I’ve always known from a young age that I don’t want to live the way I’ve been told to. And when I met my partner, a total kindred spirit who also doesn’t give a toot what society tells us we should be doing, it’s like all the pieces fell into place.

So, onto the big question…

How I quit my job to pursue my dream!

Disclaimer: I’m lucky to have a partner who wants nothing but the best for me, and was willing to saddle the burden of being breadwinner for a while. And I don’t mean just a few bills, he pays all of the house bills at the moment. But it can still be done even if you’re financial situation isn’t all that rosy. Read on.

1. Plan ahead!

For a little while we both knew I HAD to leave that job. Initially the plan was to find a part time job to keep us ticking over financially, but finding a part time job is like looking for chickens teeth where we live.

So we set a date for my departure. And we saved a bit of money. Fortunately I already had a substantial savings pot, but if you don’t I would highly recommend having enough money saved to cover your ass for a few months.

We also started getting rid of bills we didn’t need. Bye bye Spotify! Bye bye unnecessary insurance! We didn’t quite get rid of Netflix, just downgraded to their basic package. We don’t bother with a TV license as we don’t watch live TV, so we figured this was a good trade off.

Once you’ve got you’re outgoings to a minimum and saved up a wedge of cash, it’s time for the next step.

2. Hand in your notice.

This step is a surprisingly big one! I know a few people who have handed in their notice, only to retract it a few days later. You need to hand it it.

And do not retract it. No matter how scared you get. 

Quitting a job without another one to go to is terrifying. But you know what? It’s also the most exciting thing you can do in an office! Plus, all of my co-workers would look at me with big dreamy eyes and say “I wish I could do what you’re doing”.

Maybe I should send them all a link to this post?! 😛

 

3. Take time to build your dream idea.

So, you’ve quit your job, you have no source of income but you should have enough money to last you a few months. Now what?

You need to start building on your dream. It doesn’t matter what it is, whether it’s setting up an Etsy shop like me, or becoming a dog walker, or becoming a full time blogger. You need to think it through and have a vision in your head.

My Etsy shop has been an idea I’ve had for a long while. I make woodland and adventure themed home decor. It’s stuff that I would personally buy, and stuff that other people have already started buying.

Without a clear idea in your head of what you want to do, you won’t be able to achieve it. This includes researching your dream idea too. Look at how much other dog walkers charge, or the legality of having an online business.

By the end of your first week of freedom you should have a really well rounded idea of what your dream entails.

4. Just go for it!

It sounds silly, but sometimes people can drag their feet even though they know what needs to be done. Do. Not. Hesitate.

PURSUE YOUR DREAM NOW. 

The longer you hold off from doing it, the more you will hesitate and second guess, and the more likely it is you will start running out of money and have to go find another dull office job.

It took me a while to build up enough designs to create my Etsy shop, but I did it fairly quickly. I knew that if I held off too long I’d just never do it.

And as of writing this I’ve had 18 sales within a month and a half. Ask any other folks setting up their Etsy shops and this isn’t too bad. I mean, it’s not enough to say I’ve earnt a lot of money. But it’s enough to show that I have products people like and are willing to spend money on.

I’ve also found pure excitement in the fact people across the world are buying my products! I’ve had several sales to America, and one to New Zealand. I love it.


I really hope you’ve found some inspiration here to go off and do what makes you happy. I can’t imagine going back to a full time working for the man kind of role again. If I had to, I could do both. But for now running my Etsy shop is the most fulfilling thing.

One Little Happy Thing

As a thankyou for reading please please please head over to my shop and treat yourself to 20% off! Just click the above image and you can go for a browse 🙂

Beginners Minimalism: 3 baby steps to take towards minimalism.

I’ve outlined all of the reasons you should embrace minimalism in my earlier post. Which is all fine and dandy, but when it comes to practicing minimalism it can be difficult to know where to start.

So, I’ve come up with some minimalism baby steps, small things you can do which will set you up for starting your journey towards a more minimal life. Minimalism is something I’ve only recently started developing a passion for, so these are things I’ve done recently.

Even if you’re not sure about minimalism (which I highly doubt else you wouldn’t be reading this post amirite?!) there is no harm in doing any of these three things. They are simple and small and very very easy. No excuses.

Baby steps to minimalism

1. Have a clear out.

Now, we’re not talking about parting with your most precious items here. I’m talking about getting rid of those old clothes at the back of the wardrobe, or the old shoes you haven’t worn in years but can’t bear to part with.

Collect together some of your unwanted goods and either throw them away, recycle them, donate to charity or donate to friends and family.

This will clear the decks slightly, making it easy for you to see the difference having less stuff will make. It’s like a weight off your shoulders. And this will only be from getting rid of things you actually don’t want, so it won’t be difficult work to do.

Once you’ve removed the items you know you definitely don’t want you can start considering which items you do want to keep but that you don’t need. But don’t push yourself to part with family heirlooms straight away. Work your way up to it.

Or don’t work your way up to it. Minimalism is personal, make it work for you. If you’re like me there may be some items you will never want to part with, and that’s okay. Minimalism is more about curbing your compulsive consumerism and breaking the emotional attachment you have to things, focusing more on the moment and being more mindful in your behaviour.

In other words, if you own something which genuinely brings you joy, don’t part with it. But don’t keep it for the wrong reasons, like fearing wasting money or thinking the item holds your emotions for you.

2. Don’t spend any unnecessary money for a week.

Disclaimer: This does not include money on food, bills or travel costs. These are things which are essential and can’t really be avoided, especially not to begin with.

But, you can cut down on any unnecessary spending. By this I mean buying clothes, trinkets, spending money on socializing like going to the cinema or something. Spending money which you don’t need to spend but that you want to spend.

You’ll be surprised how easy it is. You can find tonnes of free events to attend locally just through a simple google search or checking out events near you on Facebook. You could also have some friends over for a meal, just use the food you already have in the house to cook with.

It will also open your eyes to a more “make do and mend” mentality. Those jeans you love have a small tear in? No problem. Learn how to fix them rather than going out and buying a new pair. Pinterest and google have tonnes of resources for fixing rather than replacing things. And it is pretty much anything you can think of.

At the end of the week you’ll be more aware of how much money you have been spending unnecessarily, which is not only good for saving you money but also for giving you a different outlook. You don’t need tonnes of money to live the best life.

3.  Write down all the reasons you spend money.

Write yourself an extensive list of all the different reasons you spend money. This can include things like rent, bills, food and clothes shopping. And also any frivolous purchases and spending money on socializing. Write down every penny spent, don’t miss a thing.

And then for each one, write the reason why you have spent it. For your bills this is going to be obvious, you’ve spent it because you need to. But where this becomes more interesting are those frivolous spends. Like new clothes. Why did you buy those new clothes? Is it because you needed them, or just because you were feeling down and needed a boost? Or because you just plain old wanted them?

Think deeper about your shopping habits and it’ll become much clearer why you are spending money on things or occasions. By knowing the problem you have more chance of fixing it. If you find you use shopping as a way of making yourself feeling better then you know you need to find something else to get that boost.

Do this for as long as you need to before you get to the heart of where you’re consumerism comes from. I know that when I’m feeling down I’ll maybe treat myself to a lunch rather than making it at home, or I’ll buy a new DVD from my Amazon wish list just because.

It can be really eye opening this exercise.

Give these a try and let me know in the comments how you get on!

Beginners Minimalism: 5 things you need to throw out today.

Spring has sprung. The seasons are changing, it’s a time synonymous with new beginnings and new life. In other words it’s the perfect time to make a change in your life.

Over the past few months I’ve been reading a lot about minimalism. It all seems very chic, but a little bit clinical. I must admit my house has a lot of trinkets: art work on the walls, ornaments on the shelves, books absolutely everywhere.

But I do like the idea of living in a less cluttered house. Especially now we have a dog, the house would be so much easier to clean! So, it seems it may be time to start embracing minimalism.

I must admit though, the thought of throwing away some of my things, especially the books, daunts me a little bit. I do have a little bit of an emotional attachment to some of them. But I also really like seeing them, so for now I think the books will stay.

But there are so many things around the house which could go, and I bet a lot of other people out there have the same things lingering about. So, TA-DA, my list of the 5 things you need to throw away today.

beginners minimalism

1. Old magazines/newspapers/leaflets

Not sure about you, but I tend to hoard magazines to read at a later date, but then never ever read them. Where we live we receive a magazine every few months filled with ads for local companies. I like to read these as I like to keep my spending money in local pockets. But I never do actually read them.

Same with local newspapers and takeaway leaflets that come through the door. They gather in a pile either by the front door or on the coffee table. These should be the first things to go. Especially magazines you’ve already read.

If there are things in there which you are keeping the whole magazine for, take pictures of the information on your phone. That way you can keep it to hand without the clutter.

2. Unused/broken clothes hangers.

Every time I go shopping for new clothes I never refuse the offer of clothes hangers (although, has anybody else noticed they aren’t offered out as much anymore?). Hence my wardrobe now has more clothes hangers than actual clothes.

If you’re like me and have exactly the same problem then it is pretty easy to remedy, and leaves you with a surprising amount of space for more clothes in the future. I’ve also started thinking about longevity and being more eco friendly through sensible purchases. Wooden coat hangers are the way forward.

But for the time being, bag them up and throw them away! Or you could always check and see if one of your local charity shops would like them. Unless they’re pretty broken, in which case better just to throw them away.

3. Unworn clothes.

Wardrobes are one of the first places in a home where clutter manifests itself. Clothes which no longer fit, or are getting a bit grubby looking tend to stay there until you can’t squeeze anymore clothes in. Or that may just be me.

But this is a good place to start when it comes to removing clutter from the house. Take out all of your clothes and put them into 3 piles: keep, charity, bin. Obviously the keep clothes are the ones which still have life in them and are worn regularly. The charity pile is for the clothes which are still in good condition but either don’t fit or just aren’t your style anymore. Bin is for the tatty rags which haven’t been worn for years. (When I say bin you can recycle them, find a local recycling centre!).

Be tough. Don’t keep something that doesn’t fit just because you like the colour or may wear it again someday. Today is not that day. I had a dress in my wardrobe which I kept for years just because the colour was lovely. The dress is going to a charity shop and hopefully someone else will wear it.

4. Empty bottles, jars, containers etc.

Another one that me and my partner are terrible for is hoarding jam jars and empty shampoo bottles. Not because we’re lazy, but because we think they might have a use further down the line. The jam jars do generally get used as storage containers (we’re trying to move away from using so much plastic in the home) but some of the smaller ones we’ll never use.

And with empty toiletry bottles, for some reason we always fail at throwing them away. Mainly because I’m never certain if they can be recycled or not, and I hate throwing something away if it could’ve been recycled.

It’s no good though, holding onto things which essentially are trash. You could try repurposing some things, but then you’ll probably end up with a tonne of plants in glass jars which you don’t want either. It’s nice to not waste anything, but the crux of the issue is that you need to not buy so much to begin with.

5. Unnecessary trinkets.

I’m a bit of a bugger for holding onto trinkets. Shells picked up from the seaside, cute boxes from the charity shop and art I’ve bought with no plan of where to put it. All of these things are unnecessary purchases and are cluttering up our space.

Now, it’s here where you need to make a clear definition between items which bring you joy and which you don’t want to throw away because it seems like a waste. The number of items which bring you joy should be small. If everything is bringing you enjoyment then you’re not enjoying it for the right reasons.

Much like with your clothes, make piles. Keep, charity, bin. Anything which you adore should stay. Who wants to live in a barren home without the slightest hint of personality? Not me. But limit yourself in this pile for only the best of the best. Charity shop is good for old paintings. And bin those little trinkets like sea shells. Be ruthless.

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