Random Acts of Kindness Day!


Today it is officially National Random Acts of Kindness Day and we here at Hurley HQ want to celebrate all of your wonderful acts of kindness. Are you the kind of person who is always willing to offer a helping hand, give up your seat on the tube, chase someone down the road when they’ve dropped a £5 note, well we want to hear from you!

We want to know about the times when you’ve carried out a random act of kindness, and in return we are going to choose our favourite story of kindness and give back some, not so random acts of kindness.

So what are you waiting for, get in touch via Email, Twitter, Facebook or just drop us a comment below, we want to hear from you!

Thank you for reading today and we look forward to hearing from you!

Sarah & Team Hurley


Dealing with Anxiety…


As some of you probably know, I’ve been dealing with anxiety and panic attacks since I was a teenager. Sometimes I go ages with nothing and then BAM! there it is again. I know lots of people will think well you’re alright, what’s your problem? etc… but anxiety and panic are not logical things and while most days I’m fine, other days it creeps up on me, sometimes for seemingly no reason at all and it’s very VERY hard to get past the anxious feeling. Other times the anxiety is related to an isolated incident like a crowd, a person, large crowds, feeling trapped etc… and I have a mini panic attack. Today I wanted to share some of my experiences and tips for dealing with anxiety to hopefully help some of you who may be experiencing the same thing.

Firstly, don’t be scared of talking about it. I was always brought up to believe you do’t talk about depression or anxiety in case people thought you were crazy and you couldn’t get a job or you were stigmatised in some way. As a grown up (ish!) I’m not afraid to admit I’ve had severe depression (about 5 years ago as some of you know) and anxiety and panic attacks which have become worse since then. Talking to people makes you realise you aren’t crazy or alone, others are dealing with exactly what you’re dealing with, however ‘together’ they might seem.

Also, letting people around you know whats happening and what you need them to do really helps. Disclaimer – some people won’t get it, they just won’t. My first reaction when I feel anxious or depressed is to disappear for a bit, I stay off the internet, don’t reply to texts or emails and ignore my phone. I like to stay in my little bubble by myself and I prefer it if noone talks to me and I don’t have to talk to anyone, I need to spend all my energy just calming down and getting through it. I’m very lucky that B understands this, he’ll leave me to go off and wallow on my own for a bit, have a nap or do what I need to do to get past this. But I’ve also had people close to me think I’m shutting them out, pushing them away or doing something to personally hurt them (all of which really doesn’t help as then I feel worse!) Try your best to explain to your nearest and dearest what’s happening and what you need and, most importantly, even if they don’t understand, do what you have to do anyway to take care of yourself.

Secondly, develop a self care strategy. You will get to know what you need to get yourself back on track. You might to sit in silence, escape somewhere, have a nap or a bubble bath or maybe a good cry and scream. Know what it is that helps you and as soon as you recognise the first stages of anxiety setting in, begin your plan – the sooner you do, the sooner it’s over. Don’t be afraid to spoil yourself, even if only for a limited time, curl up in bed with a book, order yourself a pizza, watch a soppy film (Movies24 have some great sentimental happy ones) whatever it takes to make you feel right again. This isn’t selfish, getting yourself back to your best is beneficial not only to you but to everyone around you.

Thirdly, breathe! I know this is pretty obvious but still, it’s good to remember, really focus on your breathing (it can be difficult, especially mid panic attack!) This is especially helpful to me during those one off incidents I mentioned. So, last week I went to Chessington and we queued for ages for this Rollercoaster, about halfway down the queue I realised there was no way out, the path was narrow, there was no route back, no exit gates, nothing I could do except stand there in the enclosed space with strangers and children all around me. Even thinking about this again now makes me short of breath! Firstly, I told my friend who was with me how I felt, just getting it out made me feel better. Secondly, I focused on breathing slowly, calmly and getting it back under control. Then I distracted myself, I chatted with my friend, played Pokemon on my phone, anything except look around me at where I was and the crowds around me. This distraction technique works great for me as it refocuses your mind.

Lastly, find an activity that helps you release your anxiety, my favourite two are long walks (without your phone, its the all important escape again!) and anxiety art journaling. This is a favourite of mine. Grab an art journal or sketchbook and pen. Start writing, literally write every thought that comes into your head. Whats bothering you, all of the what ifs and worst case scenarios going through your head, everything thats buzzing around inside. If you can’t put it into words, scribble and doodle until its all out and your head isn’t buzzing so much anymore. Next, pop down a craft sheet or some newspaper, put the book into the centre open at the page, grab some paint and throw it at the page, keep going, throw it, smear it around, use a brush, your hands, anything you have, until its all covered up. There, it’s all gone – Sounds mad, works like a charm! Being creative is a great way to release anxiety and to this day I credit that to my recovery from severe depression a few years ago.

Remember, you’re not ‘suffering’ with it, thats a choice, you’re dealing with it and you’re stronger than you think! I hope some of my ways of dealing with this help you or maybe just realising someone else is feeling the same way will make you feel less alone.

Take care of yourself

Sarah x

p.s. If you need more help, you can also contact MIND – To support my friend John Bloodworth, in the All Counties Craft Challenge in aid of MIND, the mental health charity, please click here for his Just Giving page.

Do Brave Things…

My thought for the day…

Do Brave Things Inspirational Quote Sarah Hurley

It’s been a week of brave things at Hurley HQ, big decisions, bold moves (and B being a real life hero!) The scary things are what help us grow. If there’s one thing we know for sure, its that every good thing for us started with something brave, a big decision, a scary meeting, a bit of a risk, leaving something ‘safe’ behind for what we really want, doing something out of our comfort zone, all of it brings you to where you need to be – so we say, bring on the next fantastically brilliant scary thing! (Maybe after the weekend though! 😂😆🎉💖

What brave, scary things are you doing to break you out of your comfort zone? (and if you aren’t, maybe you should think of a couple 😉 good luck! x)

Sarah x

A Little Inspiration – Follow Your Dream…

Yesterday, my lovely friend Diane, shared this video on Facebook, I very rarely click on shared stuff if I’m honest but I clicked on this, I watched the little one minute video and had one of those moments where you just want to shout YES! this is true! I had to share…

I’m grateful every single day that I ‘failed’ at what I chose to do out of practicality, the thing I thought would be secure, pay the bills etc… (it seemed like the end of the world at the time!) now I do what I LOVE, what I knew I really should be doing all along and I’ve never been happier (or more secure since I only depend on me!) We all have to do things out of practicality at times, jobs we hate (trust me, I’ve been there! I’ve squeezed shoes on to smelly feet in a shoe shop, lugged boxes, shooed rats out of a warehouse, packed shelves, been yelled at, cried myself to sleep and even contemplated falling down some stairs so I didn’t have to go in that day! madness…) But just because we are doing those things doesn’t mean we can’t keep taking small steps towards our dream – I never envisioned being lucky enough to do what I do, not ever, but still I never stopped creating, never stopped drawing, never stopped writing, never stopped imagining, because thats what I love to do and eventually – at a point where I had nothing left to lose, I went for it and it happened!

I hope you love this little clip as much as I do and it gives you a little inspiration wherever you are on the path to your dream (don’t give up!)

Thank you for dropping by today!

Sarah x

Thought for the Day…

As a child / teenager my differences were my biggest weakness, I hated my bright hair that got me teased at school and made me look different to my family & classmates, I hated being the smallest because I got picked on, I hated being a bit odd and different, not liking (or being able to afford!) the ‘cool’ stuff and finding weird stuff funny, because I didn’t fit in, I couldn’t talk about my hopes and dreams because they weren’t the same as my classmates and made people laugh at me, as an adult, it’s all of these differences and struggles that allowed me to shape the life I wanted, to stand out when I needed to, to set myself and my business apart and to achieve those dreams I was told were impossible for me. So today, decide to celebrate your differences, they are wonderful! 

Thank you for dropping by today

Sarah x

Feeling Proud…

This wasn’t actually something I was going to share on my blog, I posted it on my Facebook page and I’ve had such a huge response to it that I thought I really should share it here, I know some of you aren’t on Facebook but have been with me since the beginning of my journey and this, I think, is a big part of it! (apologies if you are on facebook and have already seen this, I will be posting up something shiny new tomorrow :o) )

around 3 years ago, a friend was telling me how proud she was after having a
baby, she asked me what I was most proud of, and do you know, despite
having some fab jobs, travelling a bit, getting married (and
subsequently escaping an abusive relationship that had lasted most of my
adult life and making a new start for myself) I couldn’t think of
anything, not one single thing, I just cried… 

Today, 3 years on from that, after watching my business grow 500% in the last 7
months, growing my product range from 2 products to over 400 (with
about another 400 to come – so far!) working 18 hour+ days 7 days a
week, growing my little team to 20 people and doing all the things I
ever dreamed of, drawing, writing, creating, being able to share, on TV
and in magazines, planning huge things for the coming year and having my
best ever month in anything I’ve done, this November, (all with the
help of some wonderful people of course) I am, dare I say it, for quite
possibly the first time in my adult life, a tiny bit proud of myself…

Thank you for dropping by today

Sarah x

Happy 3 Years! How it all began…

Well, yesterday was the 3rd birthday of my company, although I was doing a few bits before then, dabbling a little bit, it was on the 27th October 2010 that I thought to myself ‘I can actually DO this!’ I stopped job hunting for a nice stable admin job and put my heart and soul into growing my business. You might think ‘so?’ but for me, at that time, that was a huge deal. At the time, I was as down as it’s possible to get, certainly as down and out as I’ve ever felt, I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and I actually remember saying to mum on the phone late one night ‘if this is my life, I don’t want it’ I had recently gone through an awful lot of bad stuff and was in severe depression, most days I couldn’t even leave the house – hard to believe knowing me now, right? Even I don’t recognise the person I was back then! Now I realise sometimes you have to fall apart a little so you can put yourself back together a better way.

I’m sharing this because I want anyone out there feeling the same way to know that you CAN do it! You can achieve anything you set your mind too. It may take longer than you’d like, there will be setbacks (just because I haven’t shared them all doesn’t mean they haven’t happened! I just try to keep my blog positive) not everything goes perfectly, there will be disappointments and rejections, some days you will still feel down and miserable and wish you’d gone for that nice steady job instead, you might feel alone and sad, there will be days when you feel noone understands you or everyones against you – in my 3 years, I’ve been let down, I’ve been copied (lots!) I’ve been ripped off, I’ve been bullied and slated and had rumours made up about me (had to check I wasn’t still in high school *sigh*) things that were promised haven’t worked out BUT it all came good in the end, I’ve achieved more than I ever thought I could, these things still happen, but you develop a thicker skin and learn to ignore the bullies and copiers and haters (who said let your haters be your motivators? do it! it’s true!) and your success cushions the disappointments, you learn from your mistakes and build on them, people judge you by what you do in the end, so get the dream moving, prove yourself, be kind, work hard, take a risk and put yourself out there – one of the great things about starting from nothing, is you have nothing to lose! I’m so pleased I took a risk, because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and today, I’m happier than I ever thought possible, my company is growing amazingly, I’m working on super exciting projects, I get to write, draw, create and imagine all day long, I work with fantastic people and have the daily support of my lovely OH (and Fuzzybutt too of course!) it truly is my dream come true and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.

I’d love to hear how you made (or plan to make!) your dream come true, I wish you all lots and lots of luck and success – you can do it!

Thank you for dropping by today

Sarah x
p.s. a big thank you to my lovely friend Di who gave me the courage to share this, she’s a fantastic motivator and encourager and just a lovely positive person! :o) x