August 2019 – Parcel Contents

Hello… I can’t believe it’s almost the end of August already!

It’s time for our parcel reveal this month, and quite appropriately, our theme for August was “Hello Holiday”.

The contents were all about celebrating the holiday season and allowing ourselves to have a break, and take some time off to refocus.

August Contents:

Beach Hut Bunting –

This month, your parcel theme is “Hello Holiday”. We’re well into August now, and the summer holidays are in full swing, but I don’t think we need summertime as an excuse to make use of the first item included this month. Personally, I don’t need a lot of persuasion to hang up some bunting – no matter the season, time of year, or day of the week, bunting always fits the occasion! This has been handmade by Maria over at Oscars Craft Store – you can find Maria’s lovely shop on Etsy.

Passport Holder –

It would be amazing if all of us could travel abroad for the holidays, but sadly that’s just not possible for everyone, and having somewhere safe to keep our passport is important, whether it is sitting at home, or in our travel bag on its way to somewhere exotic.

We loved the tropical design on this cute pink holder, and a top tip, if you don’t have a passport, it also makes a great home for travel tickets and holiday memorabilia…

A Big Book… –

Whether we are big travelers and holiday goers, or more of a day trip person, this “big book for little ideas” is a perfect place to write down those plans and dreams. A psychology professor in California even found that those who write down their goals and dreams, were 42% more likely to achieve them – sounds like it’s worth a go to me!

Ice Cream Bracelets –

When we were planning the contents for this parcel, our thoughts quickly wondered off to the seaside, and all the lovely things that brings to mind, and close to the top of that list was, ice cream. We think these corded charm bracelets are compulsory beach attire!

 Change Your Frequency –

We mentioned above that it’s just not possible for all of us to get away for the holidays, but that isn’t really what the holiday season is all about. It’s more important to make time to simply have a break, and refocus. You’re always in control of you, regardless of what is happening around you. We all want to feel happier, but even the smallest of changes in our thinking, can make a huge difference to how we view life. Postcard from Katie Abey Design.

Smile Cards –

As always, there should be a couple of these little cards in your parcel, I’ve written one for you, and the blank one, is for you to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone you know, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – but this is of course optional, there’s absolutely no pressure to do this if you don’t want to.

Parcel Assistant –

Your *Parcel Assistant this month is Winston. I think you’ll find Winston to be a dream to live with – he’s calm, quiet, and enjoys making time for peaceful meditation.

Karen x

*Parcel Assistants are cheeky little pompom chaps who help (or hinder!) us with packing your monthly parcels!

 

Christmas Tips & A Thank You

Hello!

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but this our penultimate blog post of 2018!!

I will share the contents of this month’s parcels at the very end of December, as of course, they are our Christmas parcels, and I know lots of you are saving them to open on Christmas day…which we love!

I want to start off by saying a huge thank you for all your amazing support during this year. We are always so overwhelmed by the number of lovely people we get to (virtually!) meet on our venture into running a small business.

Can you believe The Smile Parcel will be 2 years old in February! It’s gone so quickly, but we’re loving every minute of it, and receiving your feedback telling us how our parcels make you smile, and make your day that little bit brighter, reminds us why we are here, and what is important.

We’ve got some big plans for 2019, including introducing some pre-selected, ready-to-go parcels, for those of you who aren’t so keen on the surprise element of our monthly parcels – you can choose exactly what you want inside – but don’t worry, our monthly surprise parcels will be staying just as they are!

On a personal note, I have spent the last couple of months training to become a volunteer crisis counsellor, working with a new mental health charity. I published a separate post on 7th December, which tells you lots more about the charity, and some information in case you may be interested in volunteering too!

That post is here: https://www.thesmileparcel.co.uk/volunteerasacrisiscounsellor/

As you know we are passionate about mental health, and helping to raise awareness where we can. Sadly, Christmas isn’t a happy time for everyone, and it can also be full of pressures, and the feeling that we are all ‘supposed’ to be happy, and enjoying the festivities.

Lots of us rely of our routine to keep ourselves on track, and this can be disrupted at Christmas time.

It can help to try to be as organised as possible, and not leave things until the last minute, they can then build up and become much bigger in our minds, and become stressful.

Also try to keep any hobbies going over the holidays, as we would during the rest of the year. This can be difficult if places or groups we attend are closed, but maybe swap some of these things for something else similar, for example if you regularly attend exercise groups or classes, you could go for a walk, or even a run, each morning, so you don’t feel the disruption so much.

It can be tempting to want to make everyone else happy at Christmas, and do more than we want to do, so remember to look after yourself, and don’t take on too much – it’s your holiday too!

I hope you have a wonderful peaceful Christmas, filled with joy (and a little, or a lot, of chocolate!!)

Karen x

 

Explore & Find Adventure!

I wanted to share another positive mental health tip for this blog post, and this one is a perfect fit with our parcel theme last month.

Our theme for August was ‘Hello Holiday’, and the contents of our parcels were all connected to getting outside, exploring, collecting memories, and finding a little adventure!

Travelling is something that lots of people do, and lots of people think about doing, and for some of those people, they want to travel the world, and go far and wide, and for others, they want to stay slightly closer to home, and the good thing is, it doesn’t matter which we do, exploring can be done anywhere.

Travelling allows us to learn new skills – or discover and develop skills that we already have. It enables us to face challenges, to experience different cultures, to learn new languages, and broaden our taste buds.

The key to finding the next (or first) exploring adventure, is to choose something that already interests us, whether that be tasting different foods, walking in the countryside, visiting old buildings, or maybe, photography, and let that begin the journey.

Exploring can be daunting, as it means throwing ourselves into the unknown, but no matter how far we go, exploring encourages us to step outside of our comfort zone, to find new adventures, and to escape to somewhere new – even if it is only for a short amount of time!

Karen x

August 2018 – Parcel Contents

It’s time for another blog post, and this week, I’m going to tell you all about our parcel contents this month. The theme for August was ‘Hello Holiday’, and the contents were chosen to help the recipient to make the most out of this holiday season, and be encouraged to go outside, explore, and find adventure!

August Contents:

Travel Memories Frame –

This month, our parcels are all about holidays. This wooden frame is shaped like a beach hut and has been created to display a collage of small mementos from your travels. It could include tickets, a map, passport photos, or even a little sachet of sand from the beach. I love the idea of gluing a few shells to the bottom shelf too!

Campervan Magnet –

 The next item is a beautiful clay campervan magnet – who doesn’t like campervans?! It has been made by Rachael, who has a lovely shop on eBay. Rachael makes a large variety of clay products and decorations. Her eBay shop can be found here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/luvarnie100

Wooden Plaque –

When we knew the theme of this month’s parcels, we knew we wanted to include this quote somewhere: ‘You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf’. We all face difficult times in our lives, and sometimes things just don’t go the way we expect them to, however, it’s not what happens to us in life, but what we do with what happens, that actually matters.

‘Explore’ Luggage Tag –

One simple thing that we all need when going on holiday, is a luggage tag – or several! It doesn’t matter how far we go, it could be across the other side of the world, or just exploring close to home, but we should definitely never stop exploring. Exploring encourages us to step outside of our comfort zone and find adventure!

 ‘Keep Driving Forward’ –

We will be including postcards by Katie Abey Design in our website parcels, and ‘Keep Driving Forward’ is our first. Katie Abey is a freelance illustrator based in Derbyshire, and she describes her work as being ‘illustrative doses of happiness and motivation along with a little dash of sarcasm’ – sounds perfect!

Smile Cards

As always, there should be a couple of these little cards in your parcel, I’ve written one for you, and the blank one, is for you to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone you know, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – but this is of course optional, there’s absolutely no pressure to do this if you don’t want to*.

Parcel Assistant

This month, you’ll be pleased to hear that your *Parcel Assistant is, Humphrey. Now, Humphrey may sound like he’s a cute little chap, but he is known to be very argumentative…so if you do have previous Parcel Assistants still living with you – I recommend keeping them apart!

Karen x

*Parcel Assistants are cheeky little pompom chaps who help (or hinder!) us with packing your monthly parcels!

Become A Tourist…

It’s July, and the summer holidays are upon us, which mean lots of you are going on your summer jolly.
This is, of course, very exciting, but can also be a little daunting for some people, the thought of going somewhere unfamiliar, and the stress of packing!

But sometimes, it’s also great to look at what is already around you.

We’ve heard of the stay-cation, but even closer to home than that, there could be, and probably is, amazing things to see right on your doorstep, that maybe you’ve never noticed, or maybe even take for granted.

So, grab your camera, and see what you can find…

Karen x

Set Up A Trip Or Getaway

I’m currently sitting in the office, looking out of the window, and the weather is beautiful, so this tip & blog post is perfect timing. It’s also a Bank Holiday weekend, so there’s an extra excuse to have a mini getaway!

Arranging a trip with family or friends, or even by yourself, is exciting and gives us something good to look forward to.

It could be an extravagant getaway, like booking a holiday, or it could be something that costs nothing at all.

Sometimes, we forget to look at what is available on our doorstep. It could be a walk around a country park, or visit to an animal attraction, or if you fancy something educational, or even a little culture, there may be museums and art galleries not far away, which are often free admission.

With it being a bank holiday, there is likely to be fayres & fetes too, so take a look, and maybe get a few friends together for a day out – ice cream is compulsory!

Have a lovely long weekend,

Karen x