This week has been all kinds of busy and exciting. There have been whoop inducing emails, top secret projects and tons and tons of work. I am exhausted but LOVING IT.

Here’s a throwback Instagram post I shared this week that sums up my feelings. Thanks for being so supportive!

Back next week with hopefully some more DIYs and home themed posts! (If I can manage to tidy the craftermath that has taken over my entire house – sorry G!).

Happy weekends!



Ask Me Anything 2015

Back in 2013 I did a series of posts where you guys could Ask Me Anything. As it has been exactly 2 years, I thought I would do it again, especially as there are lots more of you now yay!

So how does this work? You get to ask me whatever you like in the comments below and I have to answer in a second blog post. It can be about my business, my life, my blog, my cat, whatever you wish!


I will do my best to answer every question and to be interesting! I like little experiments like these as I am really nosey and I bet some of you are too 🙂

The answers will be posted a week or so later – so keep an eye out. I’d love to also get to know you guys a little more, so please do tell me a bit about yourselves when you ask a question too.

So it’s over to you in the comments now – be kind!



Think Happy Thoughts

I consider myself a positive person. To a certain extent it comes naturally, but I often think about positivity and gratitude and what they mean to me.

G sometimes laughs at me for my love of motivational quotes (he’s very practical and scientific, rather than a dreamer), but I wholeheartedly believe a little reminder can make a big difference. My current planner dashboard has given me a productivity boost with a (curse) word or two!

I know that a positive mindset doesn’t always come easy for some people, so I want to share with you a few techniques I practice to keep my positive focus.


Practice Gratitude

Being a planner geek and Project Lifer, I like to organise and document my life before, during and after events take place. The after is most important as it allows me to reflect on the positive moments and to remind myself of the good things I have. Although not consistently, I take time each week to note a few things that I am grateful for (perhaps on a journalling card in my planner).

Enjoy The Simple Things

When I am at the day job and a migraine starts, working close to home has a great advantage. G looks after me when this happens. I get home to a cup of herbal tea, my cold migra-cap, and my pjs and slippers heated up on the radiator. He covers me in a blanket and checks on me regularly. We make sure the cat is within snuggling distance. It helps SO much and I am really grateful.

Someone else makes you a cup of tea, or offers to do the dishes or just tells you to look outside because it is snowing. In the winter our electric blanket brings us a lot of joy and we don’t care if that makes us boring. In the summer I revel in being able to cycle through my historic city in the sunshine. I literally grin like the Cheshire Cat.

I find that appreciating thoughtful and simple moments helps to boost my mood.

Let Things Go

In general, I am not one to hold a grudge. Over the last year, a couple of (not dramatic) things happened to me that bothered me more than they should have. I felt all knotted up inside at not being able to immediately let any anger/betrayal/frustration go.

Eventually those negative feelings did go and I began to see the positive aspects of the tricky or upsetting situation. I’ve always been someone who just gets on with things and I believe that you are the only person who has the ability to really change your life. So I never understood the purpose of moaning and not taking action.

OK, I do love a little moan every now and again (I think it’s good to rant to clear your mind), but I don’t want to hold those negative thoughts and I try to see what I can do to move forward and change focus. I turn the negative into a challenge for improving myself.


Celebrate Success

Shameless self promotion? Oh go on then! It is SO important to reflect and share. This year, I have started to record my achievements. Both personally via my Project Life scrapbook, but also professionally. Each month I am tracking my productivity for Claireabellemakes by logging what I have achieved and celebrating success by sharing with others.

Being able to reflect on my month/year has been instrumental to motivating me in all aspects of my life. I have let the not so great things go (bereavements, rejection, poor health) and made a conscious decision to focus on the positive events and memories. I am celebrating when I have a week without a migraine and when I get an exciting sale in my store.

Have a glass of wine (or apple juice in my case) and toast your hard work. Life isn’t easy and people should know how ace you are.

Spread Positivity

Ring someone you love and tell them you miss them. Give a homeless person a hot drink on a windy day. Make your friend aware that you are proud of her achievements and tell her that she inspires you. Tell your Dad that you finally watched that movie he lent you months ago that he really wanted your opinion on. Send a letter, snail mail is so thoughtful.

And no word of a lie, at the same time as writing the paragraph above (after a few horrid migraine days), a message from my sister popped up with the subject “to cheer you up”. Attached was a photo of my niece and nephew holding up big moustache pillows to their faces. It made my day.

How do you think happy thoughts? Fellow blogger Lisa has a great series on Positivity – definitely worth checking out! Come share your positivity with me on social media using the hashtag #thinkhappy.




A Postcard from Cyprus

We took our summer holidays late this year (due to work commitments) and chose to revisit Cyprus as we always enjoy our time there.

A week in the sun was just what G and I needed. Here are a few snaps and thoughts on our trip.

Our home for the week…the flowers were incredible and the smell hit you as you walked around the resort.

Paphos Cyprus

Pafos Cyprus

Grapes in Cyprus

I tried scuba diving in a swimming pool because I am a massive wimp in the sea.

Scuba Diving Practice

A trip into the mountains…..with some stunning views.

Cyprus mountains

Cypriot Views


Cypriot Church

Cyprus Sunset Sunset on Paphos Beach Cyprus

I took some crafts with me and made progress on my crochet jumper from Simply Crochet issue 9.

Simply Crochet Cream Jumper

And I had to get some traditional lace which is “made by old ladies in the mountains” as the seller informed me. If I had more luggage allowance, I would have packed my case full of linens and embroidery, it was so pretty.

Cypriot Lace

I am relaxed and full of energy, let’s hope it lasts.

Claireabellemakes in Cyprus

Things I learned from this holiday:

  • Sea sickness is horrendous, even if you do see Dolphins
  • It’s a small world – seeing a friend from Cambridge City WI was brilliant
  • All you can eat Cypriot food is dangerously amazing
  • Scuba diving is much less frightening in a swimming pool
  • Aqua aerobics is a whole lot of fun
  • Migraine meds help me sleep through turbulence on a plane
  • Crochet creates a talking point and you never know who you will meet (Canadian upcycling hippie who told us tales of her life)
  • A Shirley Temple is my new favourite virgin cocktail
  • Cats are amazing in any country
  • I love Baklava

I hope you enjoyed my lovely guest bloggers in the meantime! If you missed them you can check out Miss Jojangles and Erica from Caught on a Whim via these links.



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Migraine Awareness Week 2013

Today marks the start of Migraine Awareness Week (MAW). Every year The Migraine Trust promotes Migraine Awareness Week (1-7 September 2013) to raise general awareness of migraine as a serious public health issue.

As you may know, I have suffered from migraine attacks for around 15 or so years with the latter two years as a chronic migraine sufferer. I occasionally blog about my migraine experiences in the hope it will help others. The Migraine Trust are campaigning to encourage understanding that migraine is ‘more than just a headache’.

Migraine Awareness Week 2013 poster


I have found that my online migraine friends have offered a great deal of support, advice and understanding. In particular, Victoria of the Migraine Monologues is an advocate for migraine sufferers and I always learn something new from her posts.

So, whether you are a migraine sufferer or not, I urge you to take a look at the Migraine Monologues blog during MAW 2013 to learn something about the condition. Victoria will be posting each day throughout the week.

So far in 2013, I have lost 70 days to migraine. Knowing that others understand what I am going through is a great comfort.

You can find links to blogs and articles by using the hashtag #MigraineAW2013.