Did you know I once got arrested?

Was put in a cell and everything.

Yep…aged 11 and I was caught with my best mate shoplifting in Boots.

It wasn’t my finest moment, and sadly wasn’t my first time stealing either.

It’s not like I didn’t know it was wrong, I was raised a Catholic for God’s sake, so boy oh boy did being a thief come with a heap of guilt and shame too…I can remember how mortified my Dad was coming down to Barking Police Station to get me.

I first stole stationary off a stationery stall in East Ham indoor market run by two little old ladies…and when my Mum found out (they always do) she marched me straight back there and made me apologise and give it back.

Oh the shame.

Another time my Nan caught me in WHsmiths in East Ham weighing up my options…I was also bunking off school that day. She didn’t tell my Mum though (my Nan was good like that…she’d been a bit of a bunker too) and instead bought me sausage and chips in the cafe.

I don’t know what the thing was with stationery.

I just wanted all of the nice things I saw that my friends had that I didn’t. I am sure my Mum did buy me stationary occasionally as a treat or for birthdays and Christmases etc…but it never felt like enough.

I wanted tippex, and gold pens, and gel pens, and felt tips, and notebooks, and post it notes, and pritt stick and a stapler…I wanted all of the things.

I even lusted after a rubber stamp…you know the ones that librarians use to date stamp your books.

You will be glad to know my shoplifting days are well behind me.

Gosh could you imagine the shame?

But my obsession with stationery continues.

There is nothing worse that writing with a bad pen.

A few years back I made the decision I was done with using shitty pens…you know that thing where you can never find a pen that actually works or doesn’t leak in your bag…and so I made a decision to upgrade and to chuck out all my crappy pens and only use these beauties…I was going through a turquoise stage.

And then…this year in January I started bullet journalling…and wanted all the things, all the tape, all the glitter pens, all the fineliners…and I of course had to stash them away from my 7 year old who is equally as obsessed with stationary.

My stuff would just get ruined if she used it OBVIOUSLY.

As we entered lockdown a couple of months ago, I signed up to my friend Katie Chappels…bullet journal gang (check her out here, she is awesome)…and OMG she introduced me to all of the things…and I realised I was still holding onto the shame and guilt of my stationery theft days…and worst still I was worried I was creating terrible money mindset for my 7 year old.

I think I want to be an illustrator when I grow up…apart from the fact I can’t draw….I got Katie to sketch out some images for me as part of a promo animation last year…and as you can see she’s very good!!!

But back to the stationary.


I heard myself saying to my 7 year old last week.

And when she later asked me to buy her a bullet journal of her own I found myself thinking,

“I’m not spending fifteen quid on a special bullet journal when she’s got hundreds of notebooks already”

But those feelings and thoughts of lack, just create more lack.

And I don’t want her heading off to WHSmiths to get her fix.

And so £40 and a delivery from Amazon later, and my daughter has her own bullet journal (which is actually better quality than my one from Paperchase) and she has her own collection of nice pens especially for bullet journalling.

Was it worth it?


It means I’ve put to bed the story that there’s never enough nice stationery in the world.

We have a shared interest.

She’s super into it, doing research on Pintrest, using it to track her mood, and write lists, and create habits….

“What about tidying your bedroom?” was a gentle suggestion for her morning routine from me….and it’s working a treat.

Money mindset has a way of jumping up and smacking you round the face…tuning into those childhoos memories which set the tone for your beliefs about the world.

In my house there were

  • Colouring pencils a plenty but never a sharpener
  • Little blue betting shop pens
  • Half bitten biros
  • Bingo Dabbers (or the 1980s equivalent)

And with 5 siblings, if you did happen to come in to possession of some good stationery, you guarded it with your life before some little tike came a long and stole it from you.

So I am currently embracing my love of stationary.

I don’t smoke, I rarely drink…and sex is out of the question right now, so a girls got to have some kinda vice, right?

And if anyone would like to treat me for my upcoming birthday….this would be the gift of all gifts….click on this link to see how much this little lot will set you back.

Heck I might even buy it for myself.

What little secrets do you have? Money stories? Stories of not having enough? And how are they playing out in your life and business?