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Oh, hi there. Remember me?

As regular readers will have no doubt noticed, a little while ago I rather abruptly went on a blogging break. I did so quietly, as I wasn’t quite sure at the time how I felt about it or how long it would be for.

As you know, a bit over a year ago I took on a part-time job. With those hours in addition to this blog and my other business, it was just crazy-making. I did simplify things somewhat by cutting out freelance design work (oh yeah, I was doing that too!) and reducing my guest blogging… along with other things like housework and sleep.

Even with those efforts, it was still a daily battle to juggle all these often-conflicting demands, especially once we added our new house renovations to the mix. As so often happens when we overcommit, I felt I was doing-doing-doing, but none of it particularly well. Being the ambitious, oriented type A that I am, this undercurrent of frustration at not doing my best work or progressing towards my goals was not good for anyone.

It was time to make some big changes.

I immediately set about streamlining Akimbo by ceasing the retail line and hence the related work of wholesale accounts, daily shipments, markets, product development, managing inventory etc. While I did enjoy and have success with it, my heart has always been with the wedding invitation side of the business. I knew it was the right decision as soon as I’d made it, because all I felt was an overwhelming sense of relief.

During one conversation with The Man about my newly focused business, he quietly asked whether it would help to scale back Atypical Type A as well. It wasn’t something I had admitted to myself yet but as soon as he uttered the words I knew he was right.

I stopped posting and accepting sponsored content and, after a few weeks of enjoying the break, took it a step further and removed the shop and advertising.

Side note: Around this time I was also suddenly made redundant from said part-time job. After a very stressful few days I was extremely fortunate to land another job — and a better one, at that — so thankfully that didn’t throw my new direction into disarray out of necessity.

It’s been over three months now and I can honestly say the difference is like night and day. Despite renovation chaos, redundancy and family health worries I’m feeling the best I have in a long time. I’m getting enough sleep for the first time in years, am spending more time with friends and family and the cloud of chronic headaches I’ve suffered from for over a decade has lifted.

Narrowing my focus has enabled me to condense the majority of my work into three reasonable workdays. I no longer wake up on Saturday mornings dreading the weekend, which had become just another couple of workdays to frantically squeeze in everything on my to-do list. I’ve been able to make some real progress on business goals and projects that had been stagnating in some cases for years and have reignited my passion for design and business.

Unfortunately the cost of this improvement is the sacrificing of Atypical Type A as you know it.

I’m still super excited about all the progress and plans for our home and am dying to share them with you, however the fast-paced editorial calendar will be a thing of the past. We will simply live our lives and work on our renovations as time and money permits, rather than based on artificial deadlines due to the pressure of a blog schedule.

What I’ll lack in frequency I’ll be making up for in authenticity. There will be no sponsored posts or projects-for-the-sake-of-projects. Just the juicy before-and-afters that I know you love (I’ve got some doozies for you soon!). Since there won’t be a daily post, you might like to subscribe so you can receive the posts without having to check back in all the time. You can also keep up with what I’m up to in between posts via Instagram and Facebook.

Thank you so much to everyone who checked in to make sure I hadn’t dropped dead. I know my departure was sudden and unexplained which was not my intention. I love this blog and have been blown away by the amazing support and community; you are all incredible and I’m so appreciative of you taking the time out of your busy day to read Atypical Type A. When I sat down four and a half years ago to write my first post I never would have imagined all the opportunities and relationships that would come as a result.

I do miss blogging but right now I need to be elsewhere. I hope that you, too, are right where you are meant to be.

Alicia xo

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Solid perfume

Hello friends!

I’m popping in today to share what is the final regular post in my craft column for Polka Dot Bride. Yep, after three years of fortnightly posts it’s time to take a bit of a break from wedding crafts to focus on my wedding stationery business.

It’s been a big honour and a lot of fun working with Ms Polka and team and I can’t thank them enough for letting me loose on their blog.

So! Without further ado, here’s how to make your own solid perfume.

Akimbo free marriage advice cards

My latest little wedding DIY is up over on Polka Dot Bride. Go see!

P.S. Congrats to the winners of the Moo giveaway Eryn, Deb and Jeannie! (Check your email.)

One thing to do list

For a few years I’ve been a productivity nut. Hack this! Automate that! Become more productive so you can squeeze ever more things into your day!

All the GTD in the world was still leaving me feel no more accomplished at the end of each day.

Why? Because I had more things on my to do list than I could possibly achieve on even the smoothest of days.

So I present to you: The One Thing to do list!

Now, of course you have more than one thing to do in each day. But things like making dinner and feeding the dog will always get done, so the idea is to plan ahead what your #1 task will be for the day and do that ahead of everything else. The key is that it’s achievable on all but the messiest days, so once you’ve ticked it off you can either put your feet up guilt-free or use your new-found motivation to get ahead on another task of your choosing.

Wrangling my out-of-control work to dos is still very much a work in progress. However I’ve been limiting myself to one task each evening. I’m spending less time trying to get just one more thing done before bed; I’m living more and sleeping more. Yet I’m finding I get just as much done, possibly more because I’m not so overwhelmed.

I’ve created a free printable for you to try the system yourself. It has six days per sheet so take Sundays off (I’m generous like that).

Download it here and tell me how you go!

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Chalkboard table numbers

It is definitely stay-indoors-with-a-cup-of-tea-and-craft-project weather here at the moment. Still, it is nice sitting in my cosy office watching the rain through the window.

My latest little project is up over on Polka Dot Bride. Go see!

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Re-Love buffet after

After much hard work, the time has finally come for the Re-Love pieces to go up for sale! You can see all the before & afters here and click through to the eBay listings to place your bid.

Remember, all the proceeds are going to the Salvo’s so bid generously!

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This post is brought to you by Moo.

Moo business cards

I finally got around to ordering some business cards… only four years after I started the blog. Cute, no?

Moo business cards

I had them printed with Moo and took full advantage of the ability to print different designs on the back by including some of my favourite craft projects and vignettes from over the years.

Moo business cards

I also picked up some cute address labels for the times when only snail mail will do.

Moo business cards

GIVEAWAY

In addition to providing me with the cards you see above, the folks at Moo want to give you the chance to get your own cards or stationery. We’re giving away a $90 Moo voucher to three readers anywhere in the world.

To enter, simply leave a comment stating why you need some Moo printing in your life!

Competition closes 31st July at midnight Australian CST and winners will be notified by email. Voucher may be put towards product and shipping. Open to readers worldwide.

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Will you be my bridesmaid card

Here’s a little treat for newly engaged lasses. I’m sharing a free printable ‘Will you be my bridesmaid?’ card over on Polka Dot Bride today.

See the full post.

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Re-Love project after

You guys! It’s finally time for the big reveal of my piece for the Re-Love project.

Before I get into all the juicy after pics, I need to wrap up the final progress stage.

Re-Love project before & after

I was originally planning to just use a clear varnish to keep the authentic timber colour, but the damage was worse than first thought. To even out the discolouration I used the Timber Primer mixed with a Walnut stain.

Re-Love project before & after

I didn’t want it as dark as a true walnut shade so I just used a small amount of stain and gradually built up the colour with a few coats until it was looking lovely and even.

Re-Love project before & after

Granted the sides (shown here with one coat of stain) were not nearly as damaged as the top (shown unstained), but you can see the difference that the stain made.

Re-Love project before & after

Re-Love project before & after

I continued with the rest of the piece, including the drawers. Subsequent coats can be applied wet-on-wet which cut down on the need for drying time, which was handy.

Re-Love project before & after

I said goodbye to the pale green paint with a few coats of Dulux One-Step, an all-in-one primer and topcoat.

Re-Love project before & after

Re-Love project before & after 

After a light sand, I applied two coats of Clear Varnish (Satin) which really brought out the rich colour.

Re-Love project before & after

To finish, I cut the wallpaper to size, sprayed it with water and adhered it to the drawer insides and the back of the shelving. After a quick clean, the glass shelf and doors went back in.

Re-Love project before & after

And here she is now!

Re-Love project before & after

Let’s all just agree to ignore the half-painted skirting boards and tablecloth-covering-heinous-carpet situation happening in the scene and look at that gorgeous timber instead. The half-finished lounge was the only remotely suitable photo shoot location.

Re-Love project before & after

Re-Love project before & after

Re-Love project before & after

It’s quite a change from the honey-coloured sideboard with warped veneer and bits of sticky tape along the edges! I’ve tried to restore it in a way that was faithful to its origins while appealing to a new buyer.

To refresh your memory, here are the before and during stages.

Re-Love project before & after

Huge thanks to Feast Watson for having me on board this year’s Re-Love project. I love giving new life to neglected furniture so I’ve really enjoyed seeing this come together. I can’t wait to see the rest of the bloggers’ projects revealed, too.

Stick around for the big eBay auction starting on 24th July so you can bid to take one of the pieces home! All the proceeds are going to the Salvos, so get behind this very worthy cause.

As part of the Re-Love project, I and seven other bloggers have donated our time to revamp a piece of furniture using products supplied by Feast Watson. The finished pieces will be auctioned with proceeds going to Salvos Sores. Find out more here.

handbag notes

I mentioned the other day that my one and only handbag for this season was totally falling apart. Well, having bits of leather flaking off the outside was not the only problem. The inside was a disaster zone.

You know by now that I love lists. Unfortunately I’m not so good at throwing out the list once it’s been used. Every time I’d go out on an errands run (tell me I’m not the only one who spends most of their Saturday running errands all over town?!) I’d write a list on a scrap of paper and throw it in my bag. Along with a pen, of course, so I can have the satisfaction of crossing things off.

I then wind up with no less than nine pens and scribbled scraps of paper with shopping lists for travel gear for our Europe trip (you know, the one that was a year and a half ago). ‘Eeeek!’ indeed.

I’m a big fan of going paperless wherever possible, but for whatever reason I prefer paper and pen for my out & about lists. I picked up a cute mini notepad from Target and put it in my bag along with a single pen. Even if I forget to tear off the previous week’s list at least it will be contained in the notepad and not turn into handbag flotsam.

Are you a pen & paper girl like me? Or do you use your phone or even try to keep everything in your head?

A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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