A change guna come.

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit absent recently… We had a bit of a shock a few months back you see. After a week or two of feeling a bit ‘off’ I decided on a whim to take a pregnancy test, mainly just to rule it out. I had one left over from a while ago so I didn’t need to go through the embarrassment of buying one in boots and hiding it under my shirt whilst not looking the cashier in the eye.

Anyway as you’ve probably guessed, it was positive!! To say I was surprised was an understatement, my whole body was shaking as I called out to Andy and I don’t think I spoke for the next few hours. Andy on the other hand was thrilled which helped me come round to the idea.

Its not that I didn’t want another baby, I did! But, my best friend is getting married this year, I am joint maid of honour and am also organising her hen, so I wanted to wait until after that to be a big, tired, waddling whale. Sometimes though, life takes you by surprise and things just happen how they are supposed to, not how you plan them to.

The first few weeks were fine, I felt a bit sicky and dizzy but other than that I plodded along most of the time forgetting that my body was cooking a little bun and making a new organ to feed that bun.

Then week six hit and knocked me for, um, six… Wow, the ‘morning’ sickness, or should I say, ‘the every time I breathe sickness,’ was a force to be reckoned with. Not only was I being sick at least 3 times a day but I could not shake the all day/night nausea. It was so bad it would wake me up multiple times through the night and doing simple tasks such as showering/brushing my hair/blinking became almost impossible. My energy levels slumped and even getting out of bed made my heart race as if I’d just run a marathon.

Life became such a chore and on top of keeping myself clean/alive I also had a business to run and a child to look after. Not only that, we had our house on the market so I had to keep the house spotless for viewings and be out of the house when people were looking round.

Looking back I honestly don’t know how I made it though the 8 weeks until the sickness eased. I’m ashamed to admit I did get a bit behind with my work and I let the admin slip slightly, but Freddie had to take priority and I used all my energy on keeping things as normal as I could for him.

The great thing about running your own business is that you can take a step back if you need to. I increased my shipping times and the fact that I couldn’t bare to go on Instagram (the thought of seeing people having fun/making beautiful things/having clean and tidy houses was just too much!!) meant that I wasn’t promoting my work as much and therefor my orders were just about manageable.

So now I’m 16 weeks and now that my sickness has pretty much gone and my energy levels are increasing I’m playing catch up. I need to get back on top of the business, promoting and looking at all of the recent Etsy changes! I’ve managed to catch up on life admin which means my house is now finally in normal working order and our cupboards are full because I can go to the supermarket without the fear of puking in the meat aisle.

Pregnancy wise everything is so far so good! Baby is currently as big as an avocado and I have started to feel little kicks which is so cute!!!! We had a private gender scan last week and found out we are expecting a little girl which is just lovely! Oh and to top everything off, we found our dream house a couple of weeks ago and we should be moving in around the end of September!!

so prepare to hear more from me going forward as I’ve made a promise to myself to keep on top of blogging. I’m also starting a new blog to coincide with my personal Instagram which will focus on being a mum and renovating our new house as well as our life in general by the sea. I’ve not got a name for it yet, but if you fancy following my Instagram account its currently we_3_bees however it will be changing as there will soon be 4 of us!!!!

So here’s to an exciting future ahead!!

Lots of Love



5 Tips to keep you focused when working from home

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When I worked in an office, working from home was the ultimate dream, I imagined waking up when I liked, watching morning tele with an ipad on my lap, lounging in my pj’s and lunching with friends at the drop of a hat. Then I was lucky enough to actually work in the comfort of my own home it didn’t take me long to realise its not always as rosy as expected.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love it and the fact that I no longer have to suffer the dreaded tube journey twice a day is heaven on Earth… but it can also be very tough. It can get very lonely, monotonous and it can be really hard to keep yourself motivated. After a few years of working from home under my belt, I’ve found a few ways to combat some of the pitfalls that you’re likely to encounter and some ways to thrive when working in your own little haven.

  1. Set yourself work times – I am an early bird, I function better in the morning through to late afternoon so the normal working hours of 9am-5pm suit me. However my hubby on the other hand is the opposite and works best in the late afternoons into evenings. Once we’ve collected our son from nursery at 5.30pm I’m ready to settle down for the evening whereas Andy is keen to get back to work! We both run our own businesses so technically we can work the hours that suit us best. If you’re able to, set yourself working hours when you know you will get your best work done. If you know that you need to lie in until 10am in order to feel more energised, then start work later and finish later. That is the beauty of working from home… the office never closes!
  2. Limit distractions – I don’t turn on the tele because I know I’ll find it hard to pull myself away from. I also don’t have it on in the background because I would be constantly distracted. I keep my phone plugged into an iphone doc so that I don’t find myself insta-scrolling or checking emails whilst working. I’m really into podcasts and having them on whilst I work doesn’t seem to distract me at all, in fact I often feel really inspired and motivated whilst listening to them. I Find music works in the same way, if I need to calm down during a stressful day I’ll put on some slow chill out music, or if I need some energy I’ll play something that’s fast and uplifting.
  3. Set yourself goals – just small ones. When I’m on a roll I will work until I’ve finished something. Sometimes I’ll really need a wee or a drink but I will work until I get to a certain point before I let myself stop. That may sound extreme but even something small such as, ‘I will make lunch once I’ve read all of my emails.’ That small goal will keep you focused and will also give you some motivation to get things done.
  4. Meet up with friends – Working from home can be quite isolating and lonely so I make sure that I plan to see a friend at least once a week. I know that if I go too long without seeing another human I will go a bit crazy. I try to limit going out in the evenings because it can get a bit much for me, so instead I will meet up with friends either when I do my morning dog walk, for a coffee at lunch time or on the days that I have my son at home with me and I’m not working. If you are more of a night owl than I am then meeting up with friends in the evening after a day at home is a great way of making sure you stay in the real world and don’t become a bit of a hermit!!
  5. Try social media networking – I’ve met some lovely people through social media. There are a lot of us ‘work from homers’ out there and the internet is a great way to connect. The people you meet online will know exactly what you deal with and how you feel when it comes to working from home. They can offer advice, sources of motivation and even just someone to chat to and bounce ideas off of. There are lots of networking groups that you can join to meet like minded people and lots of them host events and workshops etc which means getting out of the house too – bonus!

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful! Is there anything that you do to stay focused when working from home? I’d love to hear your tips,


Till next time

Jade x

How do you define success?



When I ask you to think of a successful person, who does your mind go to?

Someone in a suit? At the top of the corporate ladder? Someone with a healthy bank balance and houses in 3 continents? Yep – me too.

I’m all about girl power and I have such admiration for successful women, but I’m guilty of thinking that success means lots of money and material things too. My mind automatically thinks of Karen Brady, Deborah Meaden and Emma Walmsley when I picture success and yes, these are hugely successful and admirable women, but just because they have made it to the top, doesn’t necessarily mean that they have it all, does it?

I am a huge fan of Podcasts (I desperately need to do a blog post on recomendations!) and I was listening to Emma Gannons ‘Ctrl Alt Delete,’ with Dawn O porter – its a must listen, go check it out!

They started talking about Dawns life on television and how she had a great career, but that she was never really fully happy, and didn’t consider herself ‘successful,’ until she wrote her first book. She explained that although as an author the money isn’t great and the hours she had to put in were beyond human capabilities, it made her the happiest and most fulfilled she had ever been.

This got me thinking about my life and the careers I have had. I left university and quickly landed my dream job on the fashion buying team at ASOS.com. I couldn’t believe my luck. Thousands of girls would kill for that job and I was lucky enough to be given it. My God did I have to work hard though. Some days I would work until 9pm and feel as though I was getting home to go to bed and do it all again the next day. Yes I had the dream job designing clothes, but it didn’t make me happy. I would paint at the weekends and write in my lunch break just so that I felt as though I was still doing something I loved and still felt like me. The job was great, but it didn’t suit me and it was stripping away everything that I was. Although on the outside I may have looked successful, on the inside I felt very far from it.

Cut to now, 6 years later. I don’t have a fancy job in a swanky office. I don’t earn hundreds of thousands of pounds a year (not that I did in fashion either!) but I do what I love and I’m lucky enough to earn a living from it. I feel the most fulfilled I ever have and without trying to sounds too cheesy I feel super proud of myself for trying to make a go of pursuing my dream job and working for myself. Right now I feel successful because I have achieved my dream and I’m not even started with where I want to take my business.

So for me I don’t think success is defined by money, status or material things, I think its a feeling. A feeling happiness, fulfilment and contentment. I don’t think anyone would picture me when asked to name a successful person, but I’m totally ok with that because I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and that’s all that matters.


How do you define success? Do you feel successful? If you struggle to feel like you are succeeding it helps to take a step back and to really think about how far you have come. That’s definitely something that I think we all find hard to do in the fast paced world that we live in.

Till next time,

Jade xx

When your hobby becomes your business


I started papercutting as something to pass the time whilst my son napped. I found it super relaxing, fun and it stirred up some creative juices in me that had been lying dormant for years. I really enjoyed it and was so thankful to not have to sit through another 3 hours watching daytime tele and checking on Freddie every 3 minutes to see if he was awake.

I remember back then (jeez I’m talking as if it was 20 years ago, it wasn’t even a year ago…!) thinking, ‘wouldn’t it be cool to sell these for a living.’ Everytime I mentioned my pie in the sky idea to someone they’d look at me and smile as if to say, ‘yeah good luck with that.’ I don’t blame then because it did seem like a bit of a dream at the time, I felt like a wannabe actress telling people she’d be famous one day whilst pouring them a flat white. 

My confidence grew and grew with each person that asked me to design a papercut for them and after returning from a family holiday abroad I saw my designs with fresh eyes and thought, actually, they’re quite good! That was when I decided it was time to be brave and try Etsy. I had no idea what I was doing but I listed a few things and despite the pictures being shockingly bad (see previous post) and having absolutely no idea about SEO or how to promote, I started slowly selling! 

My first sale came a few days after I opened and in the beginning I sold around 1 a month, which at the time was great! I had a 1 year old who was still very reliant on me and another small business I was running part time. 

As the time went on and Freddie became more independent and started attending nursery I thought it would probably be nice to sell a few more. I made a New Years resolution this year that I would really concentrate on making it a business and hopefully to one day work on it full time. 

I joined a few etsy seller groups on Facebook which are so great, I’ve got so many tips and great advice from other sellers from them. I also started listening to podcasts, webinars, read blogs etc and started making changes to my shop. 

My hard work started to pay off pretty quickly and January was a great month for me, I doubled my sales from December – which I think is pretty unheard of – but then February hit and my sales were shocking…! I had 1 sale in 2 weeks and I was devastated! I honestly felt like a failure and I questioned everything. Was my stuff even good enough to sell? 

I then went on holiday to South Africa for 2 weeks, I had to change my shipping times to say that nothing would be sent until after my holiday which probably had an impact on sales, but at the time I didn’t see it that way. I’d just released a Mother’s Day collection which had got a lot of love on Instagram and Facebook so I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t selling anything! 

I wrote a blog post called ‘this thing called business,’ and after that decided I wasn’t going to keep refreshing my etsy stats every 5 minutes, I was going to enjoy my holiday. 

After getting back (I did actually get a couple of sales by the way, and I managed to enjoy the holiday!) I gave myself a good telling off. I realised that February hadn’t been a total disaster and I also realised that the minute the papercutting changed from a hobby to a business in my head, my stress levels went through the roof. I thought that if I didn’t make sales then I was a failure. I started paying for adds on Facebook and Instagram to try and increase my reach which did nothing… actually my organic reach was much better than my paid reach but that’s another story… and I wanted to cry if my views were low. I was in such a rush to be a success that I forgot how far I’d already come. 

I decided I’d had enough of stressing over it all and that I’d let the business grow organically like I’d been doing before. I’d still work hard on photos, SEO, making new designs and keeping in top of social media but I wouldn’t try and pay for sales through advertising or by practically begging for sales on social media, it wasn’t worth the money or the time. I thought back to the ‘me’ at the start of it all and realised that I’d be pretty happy back then to see how far I’d already come, I think when you want something to work you don’t ever stop wanting more and so it’s hard to live in the moment and be proud of your achievements.

My change in attitude really helped and I started enjoying papercutting again. I designed new products, kept up to date with my social media and worked hard on improving my shop. I was still thinking of it as a business which was important, just not one that had to be massively successful straight away. 

When March hit, my sales started to increase and I had a fab month. I didn’t freak out if one day I had low views, I just enjoyed making and watching the sales come in. April has also been a very good month so far and I’ve even seen my conversion rate rise to over 1% which is a real achievement – apparently this is what you should be aiming for! 

I’m loving watching my business grow organically and I’m going to keep it going that way. Facebook will receive no more money from me – because it doesn’t work for me anyway, I don’t believe that my customers hang out there – I’m just going to keep on going as I am, scalpal in one hand, coffee in the other and killing it like a boss… oh all whilst playing with dinosaurs, toy cars and watching paw patrol. 

Till next time guys

Jade x

3 tips that helped grow my Etsy shop.

Ok I am by no means an expert, my shop is still very small and very new BUT after promising myself that I would concentrate more on my shop this year in the hope of turning it from a hobby to a full time business, I’ve learnt quite a bit. 

Tip 1 – photos

Photos are beyond important, they’re the reason you are going to get a sale and they have to be great. I live in a Victorian terraced house in West London, we don’t get a huge amount of sun in London and when we do, my house seems to repel it! I’ve tried tonnes of different spots around the house trying to get the best light and finally found it, at the back of my kitchen… on the floor! I created a make shift shelf from a box and a painted piece of wood and started snapping away! I’ve found that morning light is better than afternoon light as it’s less yellow and also a tip for frame sellers, take the glass out to avoid reflections! 

Another great tip when photographing your work is to create a lifestyle shot to show how it could look in the customers home. Surround it with beautiful props and show it off! I found adding a pop of colour with flowers looks nice against my work as it’s mainly white so it stands out. You need to firstly capture the customers eye so that they click your product amongst the thousands of others on the page, and then you really need to sell it to them once they’re in. Show them different angles and positions and include the lifestyle shot. You can get great ideas for these on Pinterest.

So now you have amazing photos, you need to get them seen…


                                         My Photos then….                                            My Photos now…

Tip 2 – SEO

Yes you’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again… it’s SO IMPORTANT! You might be sitting at your desk creating a masterpiece but if you don’t get the SEO right, nobody will see it and therefor nobody will buy it. 

Etsy rank and Marmalead are great sources to help you with this. Etsy Rank is free and in my opinion I found it easier to use than marmalead (although lots of people swear by marmalead) when filling out your tags and titles you need to think like a buyer, what would they search for? For example, I sell papercuts but I know that not everyone knows what they are and that they would make a great gift. So as well as tagging ‘papercut’ I also tag, ‘unique wedding gift’ and ‘custom wedding gift,’ as examples. Also ‘framed wedding gift,’ ‘wedding frame.’ That way the people searching for a gift for the happy couples walls will also be shown my papercuts. 

It’s really important to also tag words that directly relate to the listing, so for example ‘framed wedding papercut,’ because the people searching this are more likely to buy my product as it’s exactly what they’re looking for, therefore my ranking for that tag will be better. 

For ideas on what to tag look at your competitors, what have they tagged? Ask friends, ‘how would you search for this,’ look at your stats for other listings, what key words are bringing people to your shop? 

Another tip with SEO is to make sure that the key words are in both your title and your tags and that the first 3 match and are your strongest key word for that listing, this will get your ranked higher in the search. 

This is just a really brief summarised write up on SEO there is so much written about it that you can find, there are also great podcasts and webinars to listen to. Make sure you really get an idea about how it works and you’ll see the benefits! The hard work is worth it. 

Tip 3 – Make it as easy as possible for the potential customer to buy.

Try and answer all of their questions in your description, tell them the size, the colour, where it could go in their house and what it does. If somebody can’t find the information they’re looking for they’ll more than likely move on to the next listing. 

Listen to your customers, if someone has reached out and asked you a question that’s great, but not everybody will do this. If you keep getting asked the same thing, include it in your description to help the customer make their decision. 

Try not to have too many variations. I recently changed my listings from framed/unframed to just framed. Removing this variation increased my sales by 100%!!! I think it was clearer to the customer what it was I was selling but also that the price didn’t change when they came to buying it. If you have lots of variations it might be best to list them separately. I’m planning on listing both framed and unframed of each listing when I get the time (🙈) 

So to summarise these 3 tips, firstly make sure that you have your SEO down, make sure people can find you. Then once you start showing up in search your photos need to capture the customer and entice them to click your listing. Then once they’re in, make the sale as easy as possible, tell them everything they need to know and also why they need your product. 

I hope these tips are helpful! Let me know if you try any and if they help, and also if there is anything that you tried that really increased your sales? 

Till next time guys, Jade x

Its tough this thing called business

Ok, so I’ve run a successful business before. It was a service business and I luckily lived in an area that had plenty of people needing that service. Does that sound a bit dodgy…? It wasn’t dodgy! I ran a dog walking and doggy daycare business and at its height I was making very good money and I had some great clients who were very appreciative. I also had fabulous well behaved and well trained dogs so that made my job a gazillion times easier!

The work came in steadily and when the business was around a year old I was fully booked. The clients were regular and so in essence, the hard work was done. Simple.

When I had my son I realised that there was noway Id be able to continue at the level I had been working at, so I decided with a heavy heart that I could only take back a tiny percentage of my clients and do one walk a day. I was lucky that my husband had a great job that could support us and so going back to work was more for my own sanity than to earn money, but it was really hard to let go of the amazing business I had built up over 4 years.

As happy as I was bringing up my son and taking care of the dogs I’d taken back on, I felt as though I needed something that was just for me. I hadn’t been creative since I left my buying job at ASOS.com and so I decided to start drawing and painting whilst Freddie napped. I think by now you guys know the story of how I found the art of papercutting so I won’t bore you with it again, but finding it really did fill a hole and I felt like me again.

In June 2016 after a few months of practising I decided to open up an etsy shop. To say I was nervous about putting my art out there into the world was an understatement, I was terrified!!! I listed a couple of designs, not having a clue about the way etsy worked and just let them sit there.

A few weeks later I was designing a new piece in the garden and I felt my phone vibrate on the table next to me. I looked and was stunned to see the words, ‘new order,’ It took a few seconds to process what had just happened but it didn’t take long for me to be jumping around my house with excitement.

The order was for a wedding design and it was from America. I started making it immediately and once I’d finished it I realised I didn’t have any packaging! So I headed down to paperchase and bought some pretty tissue paper, made my husband print me off some business cards and packaged it all up beautifully. I then paid a fortune for bubble wrap and a large jiffy bag from the post office and almost fainted when they said it would be £17 to send to the US. I’d charged just £6 for delivery…

So its safe to say that my first sale was a disaster and I barely made any money but still, it was my first sale! To someone I didn’t know, in a different country. To me it was such an achievement if not a massive learning curve!

It was after that sale that I decided to offer my papercuts unframed. I jiggled about with the pricing and the postage costs to make sure I wouldn’t be out of pocket and I stocked up on cheaper packaging from ebay.

I didn’t do much else to my shop apart from list the odd new item and over the summer I sold around 1 piece a month. My son was still young at this point and still very much dependant on me so that suited me just fine.

It wasn’t until this year that I started to really focus on my store. My new years resolution was to focus on making my papercutting a success and a business that could support us (when I say that I mean support my coffee and clothes addiction and Freddie’s soft play and toy cars addiction)

I set myself a goal when I started this of selling one piece a week, which I’m very happy to say that I am now achieving after being open for 6 months, wahey! My next goal is to be selling 2 a week and to finally get up to selling 2  a day (which could take me a couple of years!) As that is the equivalent to what I was earning walking dogs before I had Freddie.

All of this sound achievable right? Well yes I think so too but the hard part is finding my target market and finding the people who are going to buy from me.

Etsy is a really great platform but it is sooooo saturated. There are a bazillion people on there selling pretty much anything you can think of and for your product to come up in the simple search ‘wedding gift’ is pretty much impossible. There is so much you have to do with tags, titles, seo, pictures, descriptions, key words… I  could go on and on about this but I won’t, I’ll just say that it’s a lot of work.

Then there is finding customers outside of etsy. Social media is great for this, but I find that its easy to find lots of people who love my work and tell me how great it is, but its really really difficult to find the people who are actually going to buy it!

To help me out with this I have recently started selling on a website called allbymama its a curated site that supports mums in business. Its very new and so is nowhere near the size of etsy so I’m hoping that my products will be found easier on there. I’ve also joined up with an exciting new company called mamatribe. It is a marketing tool that supports and connects mums in business.

Have you spotted a link here…? Yes I’m going with the mum thing as my usp. I’m a mumpreneur. A mama bear trying to support her cub and his car toy and organix popcorn addiction. I think this creates a really strong story behind my brand and as my target market is mainly mums I think its speaks to them and creates a common bond and hopefully makes me and my business more relatable.

So that’s where I’m at so far. I’m slowly trying to understand etsy and alongside that I’m trying to reach out to my target market. It’s not as easy as it sounds but I’m determined to make it happen.

Anyway, I’m off now to research etsy’s new attribute lists that they’ve just added, one more thing to make my mind boggle… Oh to be technical…

Until next time.

Jade x

My first craft fair!!!!

Ok so I’m really nervous about this… I have no idea how much stock to take, what kind of thing will sell, if people will actually like my work etc etc. Its totally different selling your work online because even though I can check my daily stats to see how many people are stopping by my shop, I have no idea what they actually think of my work. There might be some people who glance at my designs and just don’t get them, or maybe don’t even like them, but thankfully I am blissfully unaware of that.

Its not like that at a craft fair, I’m going to be confronted by actual people, people looking and even scrutinising my work and I find that slightly terrifying. I’m not my own biggest fan, I’m very critical of myself so I think I’ll find it quite difficult to sell at first but on the flip side of that, if people do actually like my designs, and maybe someone might even buy something, well now that will absolutely make my day and I’m sure I’ll forget all of the people who walk by giving just a side glance in my direction.

I’m going with the view that its all great experience. It will help me realise the designs people like and I can perhaps even get feedback on pricing etc. I’m going in with a completely open mind so if I sell nothing, or I sell everything, I’ll be a happy lady.

If you’re in the area on the 3rd of December please come along to the Richmond Adult Community Collage and say hi, there are 40 etsy sellers that are going to be there selling all sorts from ceramics to baby clothes. Its a great opertunity to buy some unique christmas gifts and support local small businesses in the process.

Hope to see you there!img_0566

Love Jade x



Life is a juggling act

Do you ever think of yourself as a circus act? I see myself now with Baby in one hand, work life in the other whilst domestic chores and social life float above my head waiting until its their turn to be caught, oh and don’t forget husband, hes there too!

I find it so hard to fit everything in most of the time and to dedicate 100% of myself to any of them is pretty much impossible. Gone are the days where going out on a Saturday night would fill every part of my brain, the left side would be building the perfect outfit whilst the right side would decide how I was getting there, what coctails I’d drink and how I was going to remember my alcohol tolerance so I didnt embrass myself… too much. And the remaining parts were just filled with excitment about what the night would bring.

Sadly, thats no longer the case and my social life is the one that usually gets left behind, floating in the air. Nowdays I can hardly remember my own name most of the time because my brain doesnt deem it important enough and I’ve come to accept it. As long as my boy is happy, my businesses are running smoothly and the house is in order, life is good!

Right now I’m sat in the Sports cafe in Centre parcs after a wicked weekend  with hubby, freddie, my mum and dad and nephew Charlie. I’m writing this while Freddie is running riot in the soft play and hubby is chasing after him making sure the big kids (who by the way are much too tall to be in there) dont accidently kick him in the face. Its been a ‘break’ that has become standard these days. Its not actually a break at all, its us with the baby in a place that isnt our house. We still get up at 6am, we still have to schedule everything around his naps, feeds and toddler tantrums and I still have to work. The great thing about being on holiday though is that daddys here, so I can sit and relax whilst finishing papercut orders, marketing or blogging and daddy has to follow freddie around whilst he terrorises the place. Happy days!!

My Business is very new and is still in its infancy (except this infant doesnt have a melt down in the middle of marks and spencer – horray!) so I dont have the luxury of taking time off from it or putting my shop on holiday mode because I cant afford to miss out on orders. I have to keep on top of instagram to make sure my follower dont get bored and I have to keep designing and filfilling orders otherwise I’ll get left behind.

I’m still trying to work out how best to keep on top of everything and I’m sure one day I’ll master it, but at the moment I’m ok with how things are because I love every part of my life and I’m happy to dedicate a part of me to each one.

please note… *every other part of my life is dealt with whilst the toddler sleeps*

Thanks for reading, till next time

Jade xx