A week or so ago my husband Alex and I took half the day off to go to Frederik Meijer Gardens for their annual Butterflies in Bloom event. In the three years we’ve lived in Grand Rapids, we’ve never been. We of course have talked about it, but always found some excuse as to why we were just too busy to go.
Now my mental health journey is no secret to regular readers around these parts. And in an effort to actively work on bettering my mental state, I’ve taken a lot more care with myself. More breaks, more understanding, and more love.
It was so easy to push aside whatever work we had that day to go see the butterflies. A lot easier I think than either one of us expected. We’re so consumed by work that we barely come up for air. The break felt more than just a break, it felt like a rediscovery of what really matters.
Alex and I bought ourselves a membership to Frederik Meijer so we can go back anytime we want throughout the year. We’re making a conscious effort to put our mental health and relationship at the forefront, rather than constantly pushing them aside for more work.
I guess the point of this post is to act as a reminder to take a break, do something you’ve talked about doing but haven’t made the time for it yet, and remember what really matters. It’s something I think we all have to actively work on…and you can bet that I am.
Alright. I admit it. I’ve become addicted to planner stamping. You know it must be true if there’s a blog post about it, right? I’m sure there’s a video to follow at some point. This girl just can’t help but share her latest obsession with whoever is listening on the internet. But I digress.
One of the biggest reasons it’s taken me so long to get into stamping is how overwhelming it all seemed. I didn’t have the slightest clue where to begin, most stamp sets felt overly expensive to me, and I didn’t even know if I would like it. So here are my tips if you’re interested in giving stamping a go, but don’t know where to start. Don’t worry, I’ve done all the fumbling around so you don’t have to.
1. Don’t buy everything at once. Give it a go first to see if you even like it. It’s so easy to want to purchase everything out there or what you see someone on YouTube using in a tutorial. Save your pennies until you know whether or not stamping is even for you. If you happen to be at a planner meetup or event, check the destash table for any unwanted stamps left behind (I’ve found quite a few there myself) or buy a variety set from Erin Condren (like the ones in the photo) or Amazon (this is a set I’ve been looking at). You’ll have to pick yourself up an acrylic block as well as ink pads, but to test out stamping shouldn’t cost you more than $25-$30.
2. Practice on things you don’t care about messing up. This is a big one. If you’re a planner perfectionist like me, you’ll want to practice on scrap paper to get the hang of it before diving into your precious planner. It took me quite a few tries to understand pressure and how much ink to put on the stamps.
3. Be open to mistakes. It’s part of the process. Regardless of how much you practice, there’s still a good chance you’ll mess up. I’ve “messed up” literally every time I’ve stamped in my “good” planner and yet that’s part of the charm. I weirdly love how a slightly imperfect stamp looks in my planner now. If I want perfection, there’s a sticker. If I want a little personality, I’ll stamp.
4. Look for variety ink sets like this one on Amazon or these from Erin Condren to make switching colors easier. It really helped to keep costs low when getting started while still giving me a ton of freedom of different options.
5. Clean off your stamps after every use. I use these wipes from Erin Condren, but any technology alcohol wipe should do. Cleaning off your stamps makes them last longer and stay in good condition so you can stamp away without worrying about residues or damaged stamps. Get into the practice now when you’re just getting started.
Of course, I’m still a stamping novice myself, so any stamping experts out there, leave your tips in the comments!
It’s safe to say that putting together the Oh, Hello Box
every month is my favorite part of my job these days. My favorite box is constantly changing to whatever new box is available. I swear they’re getting better and better every month. But of course I’m a bit biased.
This month’s theme (available until April 1st) is all about the Earth. From a reusable tote bag that zips up into itself to a glass bottle, this box is packed with products to help make going green a bit easier. Of course I had to include a full sticker kit and a fun octopus plush. I just couldn’t help myself.
Probably my favorite things in the box though are the metal straws and the beeswax wrap. It’s been one year since Alex and I made the vow to reduce our straw usage and metal straws are the only way we’ve been able to do it. I like to use the beeswax wrap in place of saran wrap or zip-lock bags. The material sticks to itself from the heat of your hands and it can easily be washed and reused with just a little soap. It’s important to me to not only bring customers stationery products they’ll love, but also educate them about products they may not know about yet (but I know they’ll love soon enough).
This is the most popular box so far and I couldn’t be happier that people are embracing a more environmentally friendly lifestyle! The hardest thing about any new habit is getting started and I hope this box makes it just a little bit easier. Plus there’s an auto-renew option
for the box so you don’t have to worry about signing up every month.
Let me know in the comments what your favorite product from this month’s box is! Plus if you have any suggestions on future themes I’d love to hear them!