The Only Thing Wrong With Dogs, Is They Don't Live Forever

Disclaimer: This isn't going to be the usual happy, upbeat sort of post you might be used to from me. This week has been one of the saddest, most heart breaking I've ever been through & I'm writing this as an attempt to organise my thoughts and clear my head a bit. 
(In other words, feel free to come back another day for the positivity, cute doodles & pep talks!) 

My dog died on Monday, and I'm not okay.

I've realised that essentially, I'm grieving for her as if she were a person, and that is okay.
She's been my constant companion for almost 13 years, my furry side kick while I work from home, and in my mind, in terms of the friendship & bond we shared, she's just as important as my favourite humans, so why shouldn't I?
I know there will be people who think I'm being over emotional, a bit dramatic maybe, and that's okay too.
Maybe I am over sensitive (actually there's no question about that, I'm the very definition of HSP, which probably is magnifying everything, but doesn't make my feelings any less valid), or maybe they've never had a dog in their life, maybe they just don't get it.
That's okay.
(What's not okay is dismissing someones feelings as "silly" or an "over-reaction" because you don't get it, or telling them to "get over it", making them feel worse in the process... but that's another blog post entirely.)
For the record, I know a lot of you do get it because of all the kind words & messages I've received. Thank you so much, especially those of you who've been through it first hand, it means a lot.

Those messages are part of why I'm writing this (several of you suggested it!) My thoughts and emotions are a tangled, jumbled up mess right now; but I've decided to put them down on "paper" all the same, partly in the hope that it'll be cathartic somehow, and partly because if reading this ever helps anyone in the future feel less alone, or less like their feelings are "silly" or "over-dramatic", then that's a good thing.

So. here we go...

What Leslieanne Read in August... & September, October & November!

Yeah, so in the midst of the mayhem of the last few months, keeping up with my little monthly book round ups may have gotten away from me a little... oops.

To be honest, I was tempted to just start fresh in the new year, but that neurotic little voice in the back of my brain wasn't having any of it, so I made a compromise with myself to mush four months into one post with really brief thoughts on each (because the pile is kinda hefty!), then I'll aim to do December's round up as normal & promise to do better in 2019 ;)

Ready? Let's go...

Smiley Snail Mail is Changing!

Don't panic, it's still going to be a monthly dose of colourful happy thoughts, it's just getting a bit of a makeover...

Hang on though Leslieanne, isn't it only two months old? Well, yes. But as with most of the random ideas from my brain that I turn into *actual things*, I basically jumped in & went for it, planning, as ever, to learn & adapt as I went. That learning curve, plus some super helpful feedback from you lovely lot, has helped me decide to make changes sooner rather than later, as I believe they're going to mean more fun for you (& a slightly easier life for me!)

SO! From September, Smiley Snail Mail envelopes will absolutely still be colourful, decorated treats that come flying through letterboxes once a month, but they'll now contain:

- A double sided A4 letter from me, full of chatter, doodles, tiny reminders and other happy things.
- ONE A6 Postcard &
- ONE Jumbo (60mm round) sticker. ...all of the content will still be brand new, unseen & kept secret until it's sent.
*PLUS!*
On post day, everyone who has bought an envelope will receive an email from me with an exclusive discount code for 20% off EVERYTHING at leslieannemadeit.com, which will be valid until the end of the month you receive it.

(And yes, you can also use that code to grab the next month's envelope for £4!)
(And also yes, as long as you're on the Smiley Snail Mail List, you need never pay full price for LMI Brand treats again! Exciting!)

Sound Good? You can snap up your spot on the September mailing list here :)

So why the changes Leslieanne?
Well, the reasons are two fold...
Reason One: I had lots of messages from people who just wanted the letter, ie. the fun of treating themselves & receiving the snail mail, but who had no real use for so many postcards & stickers each month, so were reluctant to sign up.
The original focus of this project was about sending out smiles & positivity, so really, concentrating more on the letter than the extras makes a whole lot of sense!

With that in mind, the new-look Smiley Snail Mail is more about the simple joy of receiving the fun envelope & letter, it's more focused on the chatter, the happy thoughts & the doodles - (the way I actually wanted it to be before I got distracted with extras!)

Of course if you are a fan of sending snail mail as well as receiving it, and you do want to add to your sticker & postcard stash, you can use your monthly discount to do just that (and to snap up the next month's envelope for £4!), plus you will still receive one new postcard & a newly enlarged (?!) sticker in your envelope, so hopefully, everyone's a winner!

Reason Two: In the interests of transparency & keeping it real (as is my general way!), the old style contents took a l o n g time to design and pack up. I've had so much fun putting the envelopes together these last two months, and I have made a tiny profit in terms of costs vs revenue, but throw in the many hours of design time and packing envelopes? Not so much! (Honestly? My over enthusiasm to jump in & get started blind sided the biz-savvy part of my brain a tiny bit!)

The new style envelopes will give the time to make sure the quality of the content you receive stays high, and that my sanity stays in tact!

Phew! If you're still with me after that essay, THANK YOU! I hope you'll understand why I'm shaking things up a bit, and that you'll still be excited to receive colourful bursts of Smiley Snail Mail in the future!
As ever, your support means the absolute world to me - I literally can't do this fun stuff without it!

You're the best, and I'm so very grateful!



What Leslieanne Read In July

I tried to make the photo of July's books extra girlie, since the book choices themselves seem to have taken a bit of a sinister turn!

Turns out, contrary to all my protesting when the Tall One tried to pull me into his literary world of thrillers and crime, I actually do like a bit of the darkside! (I'm going to have to throw in some sappy romance next month to even things out though!)

Of the five I read in July, I really enjoyed all but one - so let's get the less great one out of the way first shall we...

What Leslieanne Read in June

Yes, you read the title right - June's reads... on the 20th July. Oops.
(At least you can tell I had good intentions - the photo was taken weeks ago - the peonies are long gone!)

I'd feel less bad about it, but there were only two books to write about! Which feels sort of like slacking in itself since the last few months have had much bigger stacks, but it was a busy month and both of these took me a while to get through, for different reasons.

Anyhoo, shall we crack on before I'm supposed to start writing up July's reads?! Let's go...

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