Friday, 24 March 2017

A few errands and F1

TGIF!! I didn't have a super hectic week but enough to keep me out of mischief and fill my days so it's no surprise it's already Friday!

I went to a healthy eating talk at the school on Wednesday, truth be told I only went because there was going to be free food :-) It was quite an interesting evening in the end and we went away with some food (literally) for thought. I think the main 'take away', no pun intended, was to limit the processed food and drink and only have 'not so healthy' food a few times a month and not have it in the house all the time. The temptation is just too much. Chocolate is an exception ;-) This is quite an obvious thing I know but sometimes when the kids are fussy with their food and life is just getting a bit overwhelming it can be easy just to have some frozen bits and pieces in the freezer and packets of chips in the pantry for when the kids come home from school 'starving'! I really feel for my sister, I only deal with this intermittently when the kids pop in, my sister deals with this day in day out. So what ever I can do to help and support her I will :-)

Another visit to the library and another bunch of books to read in the coming weeks. Two biographies and two novels. 'Seriously......I'm kidding - Ellen DeGeneres', 'Life as I Know It - Michelle Payne', 'The Someday Jar - Allison Morgan' and 'A Wedding in December - Anita Shreve'

My drivers licence is due for renewal in April so I thought I'd get in early and get that sorted. The letter that came with my renewal notice said that most places now posted out your licence so it was best to renew a few weeks before your renewal date so it had time to arrive, although you would get a paper licence in the interim. Anyway, I went up to the local RTA, did the eye test (I wear contacts - passed!), paid my money (half price because I'm such a fabulous driver!), had my photo taken (do not smile) and then low and behold they were able to print it out there and then - woo! So technically I have two drivers licences now, funny considering I hardly ever use my car. I either walk everywhere or my sister does the driving!

The season of F1 is starting this weekend in Melbourne. I use to follow the F1's but have found it a tad boring the last 4-5 years so rarely watch it now. At least with it being in Australia it's shown at a decent time and I am assuming they'll be showing the V8's. I'll have it on in the background anyway, possibly mute it a few times when the waffle gets too much!

Enjoy your weekend, be safe, eat chocolate and balance that out with some fruit, and send a gift or two from Rainbow Designs. I'm off to help (I use that term very loosely) my niece with a PDHPE assignment, wish me luck!

Jacqui ~ Rainbow Designs boss(y) lady and excellent hider of chocolate ;-)

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

It's Handy Having my own Gift Shop

It's hard to surprise my family these days with presents because 'generally' they know sorta kinda roughly what they are going to get. I do run a gift hamper business so why not use said gift hampers for my own gifting?? Why not indeed!

What's not to love if you're a beer drinker?? Happy Birthday!
The lollies and chocolates are always very well received by the youngans and the beer hampers, lets just say, dad looks forward to my gift the most on his birthday ;-) With such a delicious range of products that go into our hampers I've always been able to find something or somethings for everyone plus I can get feedback too! It's been a great way to test out new gift ideas and products under the premise of 'happy birthday', ha ha.

This pleases the kids no end!
A few times when I've added something new I've actually had to order in an extra box of something just to set aside for visitor. Generally some form of chocolate, Easter is often when this happens - one box of Easter eggs for Rainbow Designs, one box of Easter eggs for family ;-)

Even I find it hard not to eat an Easter egg or two!
It's great that the family show so much interest in my business but I do wonder if it's just so they can get free samples :-)

Jacqui ~ Rainbow Designs boss(y) lady

Monday, 20 March 2017

Salad or Chocolate Coated Peanuts

Now I had every intention of buying a bag of salad, honest I did but I also had every intention of sticking to my shopping budget I had set. So what's a girl to do when I could only get one more thing and my budget would be hit. Technically I guess I had two choices - I could have either gone over budget and got both or made a choice between the two. One of my small things (see previous post) was to stick to my weekly shopping budget (sort of a matter of necessity really) so the first option was out plus what's the point of having a budget if you're just going to go over it?! This meant a choice was needed to be made.

I love salads and I love chocolate peanuts. I've been eating salads a lot throughout summer, pretty much every day for the last month or so. I've been eating chocolate a lot throughout my life, pretty much every day for as long as I can remember (he he). Salad is good for the body. Chocolate is good for the mood. Salad is a summer food, chocolate is an all seasons food. It's now Autumn (even though it's still very warm). I'm a sweet tooth.

So, what do you think I went with?

Surprised aren't you?!
Jacqui ~ Rainbow Designs boss(y) lady and her idea of necessity may differ from yours ;-)

Edited to add: I found $2 in the bottom of my handbag so went back and got my bag of salad - alls well that ends well ;-) Who says you can't have your salad and eat chocolate too??

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Start small.

It's always (well for me) hard when you start something new with great expectations and high motivation to stick to it. I read something just recently to help with this. It said to start small, really small. So for instance if you want to start exercising regularly start with something small, like a single push up and then each day add another one. It's something so small and to start you may think insignificant but being so small it's more a thought or question of 'why wouldn't you just do it'? One push up isn't hard and takes all of 10 seconds to do so no big deal in fitting it into your day. It's not daunting to do or too hard. Something small can lead to something big.

I've been wanting to get a bit more active as mentioned previously I don't walk anywhere near as much as I did in Port Mac so just wanted to be able to do something at home. I've now started doing a few smallish exercises, think lunges, touch toes and running on the spot, but I've started small. I put some music on, doesn't matter what just something I enjoy (obviously) and have to be active doing all or one of these activities. I've now worked up to doing a single activity per song which is still only about 10 minutes but it is better than no minutes!

This starting small is also relevant to my business. I wanted to start blogging a lot more regularly than I was so I thought I'd 'start small' and just set a goal of doing 4 blogs a month - focusing on anything. So technically not really 'focusing' at all but giving myself free range on what I blog about. So far it's working and I've actually been blogging more than my small goal. I know my posts aren't awarding winning writing but that is something I wasn't aiming for. It was never my goal to be a 'writer' as I know I am not I just wanted to be able to share what I did and think (for the most part) about my business and life in general. Sometimes I ramble, well ok most times I ramble, but I am actually finding it beneficial to me and using it as a springboard or for want of better words, a dumping ground, for my thoughts and worries. It's been a bit of a release. When I've been feeling overwhelmed or disheartened blogging has been a help and has enable me to 'talk' about what I'm going through even if there isn't anyone else around! Maybe that's a good thing.

So if you have something you want to do or something you have found hard sticking to when you've finally got around to starting it, start small. Don't be hard on yourself either. Keep things small and relaxed and informal. Don't beat yourself up if you miss a day or don't do the 'number' you had aimed for. Let it go and go again tomorrow.

When I first started my let's get active idea I had thought 'ok, I'll do touch toes until an order comes in' let me tell you if I had stuck to that I would have probably broken the Guiness book of records of the longest time someone did touch toes :-) Small steps people, small steps.

Jacqui ~ Rainbow Designs boss(y) lady and believer (not Belieber) in bigger isn't always better!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Working towards goals

I've set many a goal in my time and to be honest most of the time I never reach the goal - oops. This year I have one main goal (getting Rainbow Designs back on track) which leads to having reasons why I MUST achieve this goal. Not the least of which is, quite obviously, eating and paying bills BUT I also have other reasons why I want Rainbow Designs to get back on track. These are things I am focusing on to give me the MOTIVATION I really, truly need to get things happening.

All You Can Eat - an amazing variety of the products that go in our hampers!
When I start thinking 'this is too hard' or 'what's the point' I look to the things I want to be able to do to push me on. To make me get up every morning and get on with things. It's never been a walk in the park and I can't imagine it ever will be but it has been getting harder and harder to keep going. I woke this morning with the intention of letting go of the negative thoughts and to try, try, try and focus on what I need to do for my business (and my sanity!). I know I'll have down days (I'm just wired like that) BUT I am going to try so very hard to limit them and limit how much they affect me and my attitude to Rainbow Designs (and life in general really).

Sydney - Smooth Festival of Chocolate!

My biggest motivation is my family and being able to spend time with them doing 'fun activities'. I think they all start to get a bit nervous when I mention a 'fun activity' now as the last few haven't been 'fun'. Well, they have but not necessarily for everyone or when it was actually happening - great memories though. The last 'fun activity' I planned was with my mum climbing a bridge - mum is terrified of heights so lets just say not much 'fun' was had by her that day. (sorry mum) We can laugh about it now and even though during the climb mum wasn't having any fun at all the time we got to spend together is irreplaceable. We've even got some photos so if mum tries to block it from her memory I can whip out the photo album and remind her all over again :-) ha ha

The dreaded bridge! It's not that high mum.
I've been lucky to have had many fabulous holidays and weekends away but am now paying for it or more accurately still paying for them - gaaaaaa. I've always tried to justify using credit saying that I'll be able to pay it off in no time as the business is trucking along ok but in reality this hasn't been the case. Boo. So for now 'fun activities' are to be in the 'dreaming and planning' book to hopefully transfer over to the 'things we're doing' book.

Over the past few weeks we've added our Easter range plus a few new 'all purpose' hampers plus in the coming months we'll be adding some more fabulous hampers - which I am very much looking forward to. In the mean time I am focusing hard on being more regular with my blogging as well as Facebook - my main trouble is working out what to talk about and what to share both on the block and Facebook. I know I need to promote Rainbow Designs and her gifts but I also want to add other 'stuff' in the mix so it's not just a sales pitch day on day out. Nobody's got time for that! A balancing act which I am still learning even after 13 years running Rainbow Designs.

If you have any suggestions or ideas for our blog or Facebook or have any questions you think I might be able to help with please let me know - I'll try my best :-)

Jacqui ~ Rainbow Designs boss(y) lady and fun activities officer!

Friday, 17 March 2017

With added stuff

It's been another week of tinkering and writing, updating and deleting here. I've been fiddling around with the blog and added a couple of things, after a few small tanties - nothing is ever as easy as it seems especially when it comes to computers!

I've added a blog roll (on the right below Pages) - which is a list of my current favourite blogs I read regularly. I might add a few more as I have recently come across some travel/cruise blogs that I've been enjoying (and feeling slightly envious about!). Most of the blogs I've included I have been reading for years now, gawd I feel old, and they're still a great read. They're from Australia as well as a few from the USA, UK and even Singapore. A great variety of topics and people and perspectives too. Have a look and see if any take your fancy. If you have a blog or any that you read that you think I'd like hit me up in the comments - I'm always looking for inspiration or a laugh or knowledge. A bit like books, can never read too many!

Something else I added was a Pages section (on the right below blog posts) which currently has our hamper selections in price categories. This is something I will 'hopefully' update regularly, well when there is anything to update, and am still in the tweeking stage. I just want it to be a bit of a 'go to' area for anyone looking for a gift and has a definite set budget. I haven't put descriptions of the gifts (yet) but have linked them all to the website. I might also put a couple of photos but I don't want it to get to cluttered and cumbersome. Less is more and all that!

So today is Friday, already, goodness this week went fast and I didn't really do that much either. Just lots of small things which obviously helped to make the days go by very quickly. I think focusing on the behind the scenes aspects of Rainbow Designs takes up a lot of my time and attention - which is a good thing I just wish it would then turn into orders. So far, not so much but I will persist!

I think I might do a backup of my computer as it's been a couple of weeks since the last one. I am trying to make it a regular thing but, you know, best laid plans and all!

What have you been doing this week? Any new additions? Happy St Patrick's Day!

Jacqui ~ Rainbow Designs boss(y) and faffer extraordinaire!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The 9am slump

Easter orders are starting to come in now, which is great, including a lovely corporate order. It's only a few weeks now until Easter arrives (yes really) so I'm hoping the orders continue and grow over the coming weeks. As I've previously mentioned it's been a bit of a lean time for Rainbow Designs these last couple of years so a boost this Easter would be very welcomed indeed.

Easter Gifts galore! from $33

I'm trying to get in the habit of having breakfast but I'm not doing a very good job of it! This morning I've got my yoghurt and muesli happening but for the most part I don't really eat anything until around 1pm (yoghurt and muesli) and just drink tea and maybe some chocolate. This isn't the ideal way to keep my energy levels up or my motivation levels for that matter. I can find myself hitting my 3pm slump at about 9am some days! I've also started to do some exercise as since moving to northern NSW I don't walk nearly as much as I did back in Port Mac. The scenery's not quite the same plus I need a reason to walk, I don't just walk for the sake of walking. Now that I've joined the local library that gives me somewhere to walk to. It's only about a km away so not a huge walk but better than nothing.

Port Macquarie - that isn't me up there!
I'm thinking about buying an exercise bike ($89 at kmart) but will have to wait and see how the Easter orders go first before splurging. ;-) It's not really what I call an essential and as mentioned in a previous post I am limiting my personal spending on just the basics to try and get back on track. It is relatively easy to do except when it comes to family and wanting to do stuff with them. Free activities is certainly getting a good work out on google these days!

So another day of writing and updating, googling and budgeting, procrastinating and pulling my finger out - this is the life, ha ha.

It's a nice rainy day here today which I find makes being indoors a lot nicer and generally makes me work more efficiently and productively. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything when it's grey and raining as opposed to when it's bright and sunny, I think that's what's termed as fomo (fear of missing out). Not sure what I think I'm missing out on but anyway....

Morning cuppa and yoghurt
Do you eat breakfast? What do you have? I need some 'easy' ideas.

Jacqui ~ Rainbow Designs boss(y) lady and rainy day lover (unless of course I have to go out in said rain!)