Top 4 Gift Ideas!

Hey folks! Hope you are all enjoying your weekend so far. I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite gift ideas, considering it’s the run up to Christmas! Plus I’ll be telling you what’s coming up this week on the blog.

This time of year is wonderful for all that festive fuzziness, but it’s also fab for showing people how much they mean to you. And what better way than to show them that through something you’ve really thought about? We’ve aaallll been there, panicking at the last minute- buying something you know isn’t so great because it’s Christmas eve and you have so wpid-img_20150923_165211.jpgmuch to be doing! Don’t get me started on the wrapping! But caallmm. Deep breaths. Sit down, get cosy and think about the person you wanna do something for.

So jot some things down and think about who you’re buying for. And do you really need to buy something? How about getting mega creative and making a present?

Whip out that notepad and scribble these top four gift ideas down. Be gentle with yourself, Christmas after all, is about love and kindness ❤

  1. Memories album – You’ve got a trillion selfies, memories and funny photos of your friend/relative that only get the light of day through albums on your phone. How about getting them printed and making them a cute little album? You can go to any stationary store like Tiger, Paperchase or even your local supermarket to hunt down a blank photo album. I recommend using Boots to print your photos, they even do photo books for your loved one! Simple!
  2. Take them to a show – Whether that’s their favourite band, film, theatre show, art exhibition, restaurant, event or place- take them out! Make them a cute personalised ‘Christmas coupon’ that sets out the day and time of what’s going down, or if you’ve pre-booked tickets- print out the confirmation and make a little card to put it inside. You don’t have to be an artist, it really is the thought that counts ❤ get crafty!
  3. Cheesy does it – I think some of the more memorable presents have been the most corny, or completely stupid. Such as a hand knitted christmas pudding beanie, a unicorn horn lolly (inside joke from my best friend) and spongebob pants (yes, I wear those still). Something that makes you laugh your head off, cannot go amiss! MenKind do great gifts novelty/fun gifts this time of year especially for secret santa ideas. Get silly!
  4. Get Arty – You don’t have to be amazing at art or be the next Picasso to show someone you love them. I love cards that are scribbled with silly drawings and love hearts. Get a big piece of A3 paper, fill it with photos, scribbles, love hearts, lyrics, a poem, glitter anything. Make them smile ❤

 

Hope these serve you well in looking for gifts this time of year! Also, coming up this week on kimmykeepreal.com, my wonderful friend Shaun will be guest posting about an extremely important topic about mental health. Go follow him on Twitter here. You’ll also see posts about teen mental health, and men’s health.
Stay well, and as always – keep real! x

 

Advertisements

You Can Take The Leap!

Good Afternooooon, how are you? I thought today, I would do a post on where I am now aspiration/career path wise, to where I first started thinking of my own business. It has just occurred to me, that I don’t share so much about how I got to where I am. And that isn’t without it’s hard work! Things do not happen overnight, and you just gotta roll with the day, the here and now. I am not saying I am successful or anything like that (who knows, maybe in a few years huh!), but I am saying that I am content with where I think my chosen paths are taking me. Overcoming mental health issues played a part too, so hear me out.

Anxiety held me back from a lot of what I really wanted to do. During my time at University, I had therapy outside of my degree, but also self awareness and personal development lectures and seminars as part of my course. If I didn’t have both of these things, I don’t think I’d be doing what I’m doing today. I gradually became more confident in my abilities, slowly gained awareness of my weaknesses and strengths, and realised that it’s possible to achieve anything as long as you believe that you can. One hundred percent of the time, the only person stopping me from achieving was myself. Mindfulness personally helped me take a step back, and learn to pass each moment not worrying about the future, so I eventually found myself focusing on the present.  So what was happening right here, right now?

I started designing in my spare time, developing scribbles into more scribbles on tote bags and t-shirts. Maybe my hobby could be a business! I took the leap, walking with my scrapbook in hand to the local art gallery in Huddersfield, to see if I could put my work up in there. Hey Presto! They accepted, and that’s where it began. My confidence boosted, I continued to draw. At this point, I had no idea what I wanted to do career wise. I liked to draw, and maybe others would like it too!

I eventually found myself drawing more than studying for my degree, it also kept my anxiety at bay too. In the space of a year, I put myself and my work out there. Even though my vision as a business wasn’t clear, I went for it anyway. During the year of 2014, I exhibited my work at the annual Art Walk Exhibition, my work was up in two local stores, amazing arty connections with some fantastic illustrators and creatives made, had my first big commission for a small menswear company down in London, Levi’s looked at my work a lil’ bit and I created my first mini collection.

*phew* – what a year! All of that while studying, and having two part time jobs.

So, fast forward to the present. I’m working on my business plan. It’s getting prettttyyy serious. I have such confidence in my business idea and what to do. It’s very much under wraps (although sneaky behind the scenes is on my Instagram), I’ve been blogging about mental health more, and working with the charity Rethink- where I blogged for them regarding Anxiety and University. My work is more refined and it feels sooo good to have a solid style that I’m happy with. I was asked to go down to BBC Radio 4 in London for All in the Mind (which you’ll get to know more of soon, it’s a wee bit of a secret right now!), and I’m in the process of being interviewed for a Manager in Training at a certain amazing company. Exciting!

You can take the leap into whatever your heart is set on. You wanna start your own business? Go for it. You wanna change your career path? Make it happen. You don’t have to have a clear vision straight away, but once your heart is set on something, I implore you to take the steps in making it happen. In the last few months, I have only just realised what I want to do business wise. It’s taken research, trial and error, plus a substantial amount of patience to get to this point here. It’s only just beginning.

If you believe you can do it, you will do it. I believe in you, because you have never ending potential. You got this. ❤

Inspirational Bloggers – Chanelle Hayley

wpid-img_20150615_113845.jpgNow, I’m quite a fan of Chanelle’s. I think her blog was one of the first I followed here on WordPress- and haven’t looked back since! Her posts are wonderful and she is one of the most inspirational bloggers on my list! She has a beautiful outlook on life and beauty, and I hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as I have asking her the questions!

Follow her on wordpress here. You will definitely not regret it! ❤

What initially made you want to start blogging?

I initially started blogging as a way to keep busy and keep my mind occupied while I was looking for a job. I completed a Communications course in 2013 and started my blog in June 2014 (six or so months later). I hadn’t really been a reader of blogs before and didn’t have any blogs I read regularly or bloggers I followed. During my Communications course one of the assignments was to create a blog through WordPress and I really enjoyed it so I came back and started my own!

What inspires you most for your blog content?

This question is a tough one… Most of my content is inspired by ideas I come up with myself and the sort of posts I like to read. Of course I’m also inspired by other bloggers and their blogs, certain posts can spark off an idea and inspire you to do something similar. (I’d never want someone to think I copied them though). Anything can inspire me really, I love the creativeness blogging brings!

How do you like to spend your free time?

Hardly a day goes by without me singing and listening to music. Music is my biggest passion in life and I have this crazy dream to be a singer one day. I also enjoy reading books and watching TV, I’m particularly a fan of quiz shows and British murder mystery programmes like Midsomer Murders and Miss Marple. Lately my free time has been spent playing Candy Crush Soda – it’s so addictive.

Do you have a favourite quote that keeps you motivated? If so, what is it?

One of my absolute favourite quotes is this one by John Lennon:

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

To me happiness is the most important thing. It doesn’t matter how much money I have, how many friends I may or may not have as long as I can be happy with who I am. That’s the goal at the end of the day. There’s also a line in Dannii Minogue’s track ‘Summer of Love’ that goes, “and only do it if it makes you happy,” which I think reinforces this quote.

What makes you happy? 

Music makes me the happiest. It doesn’t matter what sort of day I’ve had I know that I can put on an album or listen to a song and it’ll help. The only way I can think to describe it is that music is like a drug. It makes me feel so euphoric and when I’m without it, it’s not the same. Small things make me happy like my cat, or sweet unexpected messages. It’s a nice feeling knowing someone has thought of you.

If you could pin down a strength and a weakness about yourself, what would they be?

A strength would be my kindness. I’m always thinking of other people and how to help them even if it’s a Tweet with a few kind words. This can be a weakness though, if you’re not around the right people they can take you for granted and expect you to always be there for them. You end up caring so much you forget to invest in yourself.

A weakness would be my confidence. I can be quite an anxious person and I worry and overthink everything. Strangely, I also see this as a strength. I may not be confident with the way I look or where I’m going in life but I have strong morals and know myself as a person. I won’t be forced into doing something and I’m not afraid to be different.

It’s all about turning the negatives into positives!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

In 5 years I will be 25 and hopefully getting to live my dream of moving to The UK and becoming a singer. Even if I’m not a singer I’d still like to be living in The UK, it’s been something I’ve wanted to do since I was 12 years old. I’d also like to think I’d have someone special to share my life with.

If you could give some wise words to anyone, what would they be?

I’m going to link back to the quote I chose from John Lennon about making happiness your top priority. Don’t worry so much about everything, I know that’s huge coming from a worrier like myself, but in the end it doesn’t help the situation. Try to find something that makes you happy and is your passion!

Inspirational Bloggers – Natasha Aldred

wpid-img_20150615_113823.jpgHere is a wonderful segment I’ve been really excited to do ‘Inspirational Bloggers – The Interviews’ There are some beautiful and incredible people behind the blogs I
follow, and what a better way to celebrate how they inspire me by doing a little interview with them!

wpid-img_20150615_115345.jpg
Photo courtesy of Natasha Aldred ❤

My first interview is with Natasha Aldred, (check her blog out here!) who is an insanely talented Illustrator based in Yorkshire, UK. Her works are inspired by alternative fashion to tattoos, photography and music- amongst many other things! I’m lucky enough to call her a dear friend of mine. Such a beautiful person inside and out with such talent and compassion.

Here is the interview, links to her work are below! Please take time to check her out and follow her through her artwork adventures!

1) What initially made you want to start blogging?

I started blogging initially in my first years of university as a way to document my artwork and progress. I’ve always enjoyed writing and found this as a strong platform to get feedback from earlier projects and explain the reasons behind the artwork. It was also a nice release and less formal from the write-ups within my course criteria.

2) What inspires you most for your blog content?

Recently a lot of my posts have been a bit different to my initial blog posts so I feel that the inspiration has shifted. With my earlier posts the inspiration came from my progress and the changing of my illustration style. Nowadays I find it is more about my emotions and what is happening within the world we live in. I suppose my inspiration changes quite suddenly. I’m using the blog more as a diary where I can throw at it whatever is in my head. Using it for promotion of my own artwork or the talented individuals around us who have something to say about the world we live in.

3) How do you like to spend your free time?

Free time?? Apart from working in a record store and my freelance illustration I enjoy watching documentaries, reading, visiting new cities. I love long walks, photography and spend time looking up new artists and blogs. I’m addicted to tv series and I’m currently working my way through the bad ass ‘Sons of Anarchy’ series and ‘Vikings’. Oh how much I would love to be a viking!!

4) Do you have a favourite quote that keeps you motivated? If so, what is it?

wpid-img_20150615_115424.jpg
Nakoma by Natasha Aldred

My quote is “Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly. Bluebirds fly over the rainbow. Why then, oh why can’t I?’ it’s from the wizard of oz. I prefer Eva Cassidy’s version. It’s a song my grandma used to sing me when I was younger and I’ve always loved the idea that we can do anything.

5) What makes you happy?

I love meeting new people and hearing their stories, watching cheesy films and spending time with the people close to me. Learning something knew and producing a piece of artwork you’re really happy with. Crude jokes, eating junk and looking back through old photographs.

6) If you could pin down a strength and a weakness about yourself, what would they be?

Let’s start with weaknesses. I struggle to say ‘no’ to people and take on too much and get myself run down because of it. I get excited about projects and can struggle to keep them going… I need to learn to finish things. I can take things to heart. Which is a bad thing when you’re doing commissions for someone else. Let’s stop at 3 and look at strengths because I could probably go on for ages looking at faults. So strengths…. I’m open minded and love to learn. I have a strong imagination and always have new ideas and keep look out for new inspiration. Strong wpid-img_20150615_120225.jpgcommunication skills and know when to listen

7) Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Wow!!! In five years time, I hope to have my own studio, a mini zine and my online shop taking off. But most of all I just want to be happy wherever I am.

8) If you could give some wise words to anyone, what would they be?

Slow down, enjoy yourself and do things that make you happy! Also be yourself, there will be times in your life when you think you need to fit in, but what makes you beautiful is that uniqueness that we are all born with. So use it!!

Natasha Aldred can be found on…

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #2

So it’s official, kimmykeepreal.com! ❤

I’ve been designing away and getting down and dotty (heh) with my artwork. Really focusing on key pieces to bring to the collection, from t-shirts and crop tops to notebooks and accessories. At this stage, its all about the grafting and wwpid-img_20150525_132636.jpgorking on finding the right materials and fit for all you guys and gals. Patience is a virtue at this point, so I wanna be 112% happy with the overall outcome of Keep Real’s first positive goods collection.

Last years collection when I first started Keep Real, was just a tester to figure out what products and designs I could ultimately create (you can have a peek at some existing products that are now on sale here!). In my mindset, I wanted to give back with some of the products, such as giving 10% of each art print sold to Mind, the mental health charity here in the UK. I am still working towards raising money and awareness for mental health. This is so important to the Keep Real brand! Promoting a healthy relationship with yourself and others is key to Keepin’ It Real ❤

As well as designing the new collection, I also got another design by the amazing Niall Shannon tattooed! Bit of a celebration of finishing my degreewpid-img_20150523_184438.jpg and working so hard. The moth is a wonderful symbol of the soul and its transforming course. It follows the light, and that is where my journey goes too. I just knew I had to get this! A wonderful end to three years and a new beginning.

I’ve had a crazy week of working, designing and seeing some beautiful people. I’m ready for another wonderful week and I hope you are too. Let’s do this!

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.- Arthur Ashe