Wonderful Wednesday #2

Hello my lovelies! So it’s my second Wonderful Wednesdays post and I’m a bit out of sync with blogging, so it’s a little late on a Wednesday, but better late than never!

This week is going by so quickly, it’s scary how the time flies. Not much has happened since my last post. My other half went away for a good few nights to do some work, so I spent time with family and chilled out at home. Yesterday he came home and I was so happy to see his face, I hate being soppy, but you have to every now and then 🙂

 

Cooking

Up until a couple of years ago I had never really had to cook for myself. My Dad is a fantastic chef and always loved to cook for us and feed us up. Since we moved back in with my parents I haven’t cooked very much – today I cooked a healthy pasta with tonnes of vegetables. It was easy, tasty and therapeutic to cook.

Save the Change

I follow a fantastic blog called Can’t Swing a Cat, it’s a great thrifty finance blog that doesn’t suggest saving coupons and doing surveys to earn money. From this blog I found out my bank account has a ‘Save the Change’ feature to transfer extra change into my savings account without knowing. I’m looking forward to saving without having to think about it, and I feel like I’m taking all the right steps to be financially responsible.

Easter Eggs

I’m not normally one to celebrate Easter but as my family were all together this past weekend we ended up accidentally celebrating. My Mum bought everyone an Easter Egg as a treat so I decided to buy her one. Sometimes it’s nice to give small tokens to those you care about. She was really pleased with her egg and even though it was only small it felt good to get her a treat. I think this is something I’m going to try to do more, even if it’s just a little something here and there, or doing some extra housework.

Holiday Plans

This week I have been thinking more about this years holiday plans. It will be a little harder than previous years to plan holidays around both our jobs, but i’m excited all the same. At the moment we are thinking of going to the Eden Project for a weekend and a long trip to somewhere in Italy. A little more research to be done I think!

Al xx

Monday Musings #1

Hello friends! I hope you have had a lovely extended weekend, and feel rested and refreshed. I have just sat down in bed with a hot cup of lemon and ginger tea and some rubbish tele in the background – lush!

I have been feeling quite tired and run down this week, an extension of the snotty cold I am getting over, but I’ve still had a super productive weekend. So here goes, another list, because as I have said before, I do love a list!

  • Spring Cleaning and Getting Organised – this weekend I have focused on organising the bedroom whilst Drew is away. I have gone through my cosmetics/toiletries, the desk, hoovered and polished all surfaces. I’m now going to change the sheets and prepare for a good nights sleep.
  • Coffee – I realised my annual coffee costs (takeaway cups) is probably around £600. That is money I cannot afford to lose! I now haven’t had a takeaway coffee in 5 days. I always want to treat myself to a coffee, but every pound adds up and I know I’ll regret it if I don’t try and save the pounds a little more.
  • Talking of finances I have a new tactic to curb my spendingWhen I’m thinking of buying something I like to think how many hours I’d have to work to pay for it. For instance, I’ve been coveting a Surface Pro 4 for a while, technically I can afford it, but I would have to work around 2 weeks to pay for it. That’s a total of 75 hours to pay for the Surface Pro…. Maybe I don’t want it quite so much! This is also a good one for those cheap purchases. A £5 impulse buy would take 30 minutes to pay off – I don’t want to have to work 30 minutes to pay for impulse purches!
  • Lust Lists – I’m going to make a lust list for any items i’m interested in buying and see how much I really like them in a month or two. My second Lust List is for the items I already own: My tan ankle boots, Gap Body Long Johns, the bag I use every day (almost) without fail. Making a lust list of your own items is so much more positive than things you need to spend money on. Why don’t you give it a go?

What’s on your lust lists? Any tips for pinching the pennies? I’d love to hear some suggestions in the comments 🙂

Al

xx

List #1

I love writing lists; shopping lists, to do lists, lists of aims, packing lists – if I can put it in a list I will.

Today i’m writing a list on my way to work of small happies and things to appreciate.

1. The life saving magic of a hot cup of tea. Sorry M.K today is not your day.

2. The smell of washing powder. For some reason this smell is very seasonal for me. It doesn’t seem to smell as good in winter.

3. Guilty Pleasure Playlists. We all have them right? It can’t just be me? Mine includes The Osmonds ‘Crazy Horses” – that’s all i’m saying.

4. The skincare routine that WORKS. I’ve found a winning combination in burts bees sensitive skin cleansing balm and Pixi toner.

5. Summer Jackets – this has little to do with the actual item and a whole lot to do with the fact i’m no longer lugging around my huge wool coat.

6. Payday next week – again, not so much about the money but the happy feeling that comes with financial security in full time employment.

7. Family Sunday – I’ve decided to work this bank holiday but will be having a family barbecue on Sunday. So i’m excited for the Easter break all the same.

8. Weekend To Do List: in two weeks Drews exams will be over and we can resume our weekend to do list. First up Isokon gallery in Archway.

9. Pinterest: I’ve always loved pinterest but now I know we will be moving soon I have gone all out on my interior boards.

10. House plants: At the moment we have three small house plants. I’m planning the new ones we will get in the new flat. I want to be surrounded by nature, even indoors.

What are your small happies?

Wonderful Wedneday #1

Here it goes, my first Wonderful Wednesday post. I decided to start doing these as I genuinely wait for them and enjoy reading them on other blogs. I don’t know what direction I will take them or the blog in, but who cares, it’s just fun and a nice way to document the week.

Flat Hunting

After the generosity of our parents whilst we finished our degrees and found full time employment me and the Mr are going to look for a one bed flat to rent. Property hunting in Londo is a bloody minefield, but i’m excited for the challenge and to gain a little more independence. We are going to start looking in a couple of weeks time, when we bth have time to go to viewings, and i’m so excited to start this process!

Sunday Dinner in the Garden

This Sunday we went to dinner and as the day was so gorgeous and sunny we ate dinner on the grass in the garden. I don’t know whether it’s because I work full time now, but the longer brighter days make me so much happier than ever before. I used to be a happy winter bunny, but now I just crave those long summer evenings and time spent outdoors.

Phoebe Cat

My cat phoebe is an indoor cat. Phoebe was mistreated as a kitten, taken away from her mum too soon and sold to me too young. We didn’t realise she was only 5/6 weeks old when we got her, until the vet let us know. As an indoor cat she has alsways been a bit on the porky side. Recently I have cut down her food and stopped everyone giving her treats. She seems to have lost weight in around 2/3 weeks, you can see her little cat cheekbones, her fur is soft and shiny and she is far more confident! Yay phoebs!

Getting Organized/Routines

After a hectic week and feeling a bit overwhelmed I have changed my Sunday evening routine. Now I make sure I spend 15 minutes looking at my work diary for the following week. It’s helped me to feel more prepared and in control of my work week. My new diary also helps as it has a section for extra notes each day and general week notes. I make a To Do List on the Sunday and at any point in the week. I might also try adding in personal weekly goals to this diary, just in the corner of the week. First one: Cut down on coffee!

Ballet Flats and Boots

After the dog ate many pairs of my shoes I have seriously been lacking shoes, particularly for work. This week I found some nice quilted chanel-esque pumps and tan ankle boots in the sale! So chuffed as the two pairs together cost less than 40 pounds! The ballet flats have caused a tiny blister, but are extremely soft and comfortable to wear all day. Very pleased I don’t have to wear trainers everywhere now!

Love Al,

xx

Thanks to Kelly for her Wonderful Wednesday posts and the links to blogs like Sally’s .

 

Weekly Roundup

tinygirl

I’ve felt a little uninspired to post anything on this blog, not because I dislike blogging, I really enjoy reading the lovely blogs I follow on the way to work in the morning, but I’m not a natural writer, and I think that’s put me off a little. I’ve also felt a little uninspired by the Minimalism thing – this was the main reason I started a blog, and yes I do agree with the principles of living a more meaningful and purposeful life, but ultimately it’s a little boring reading about it all the time, let alone writing about it. So where do I go from here? Well something I think I will do to get back into the swing of posting is start writing weekly roundups – something I have seen a lot of my favourite blogs do. So here goes!

This week has been a little chaotic to be truthful. Work was so busy I barely had time to eat lunch, and on a couple of days I didn’t. This was fine the first day (Tuesday) but by midday Thursday it started to take it’s toll and I felt absolutely exhausted. Friday morning I worked a half day which really rejuvenated me, and this weekend I have spent doing life admin and relaxing, so i’m feeling on top of it all again – Because of this I have decided to dedicate a short amount of time Sunday looking over my diary to prepare myself for the week to come.

Today I went to the supermarket and bought a few bits and pieces for the week for lunch. I really struggle with lunch as not many places near work have vegetarian options, and I really shouldn’t be wasting my money on overpriced sandwiches anyway. So I picked up some stuffed mushrooms reduced, for Tuesdays lunch, tomorrow I have left over frittata we made this weekend, and I bought some nice bread to make sandwiches myself. I also made a beetroot salad, so I’m quite excited for my packed lunches and to make sure I look after myself this week. No more exhaustion. No more low sugar levels.

This week we changed our sheets over from my favourite jersey duvet set to a poly cotton set. I absolutely love the jersey set, but i’m glad it’s getting warmer and the days are getting longer and brighter. Plus I forgot about this zigzag pattern duvet cover and I think it looks really lush.

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I finally found some work shoes that fit! It sounds so silly but I have THE most awkward feet ever, no shoes fit them! During my second week of my new job my dog ate my work shoes and I haven’t been able to find replacements (look at that face, she could get away with murder!) This weekend I found a pair of quilted pumps that fit, just in time for the warmer weather!

Lastly I have started to draw again! Since finishing my Fine Art Degree in July last year I have hardly made anything. I felt so uninspired, as if University crushed my creativity – To be able to pick up a nice illustration pen and doodle without the pressure of critique and grades is so enjoyable. I really like the doodles I have done and can’t wait to continue to practice. Drawing has always enabled me to zone out, off into another world. So to feel that way again is so brill. I may even post some of my drawings on here another day.

So how has your week been?

xxx

 

Be Kind to Yourself – Self Care Tips

Modern life can be hard and stressful, even more so if you suffer from a mental health condition. I’ve suffered from anxiety pretty much as far back as I can remember and received treatment for a pretty chronic anxiety condition last year. But ‘mental health’ isn’t just a term we should use if we have a diagnosis or for those that feel they have a mental health condition. Guess what guys? Everyone has mental health! Our mind is equally as important as our bodies, they work as one (I find it puzzling when people act as though they are separate entities). Ill mental health can effect anyone and everyone, not just those that seem to be wired slightly differently.

Anyway, what i’m getting at is it’s useful to know ways we can aid our mental health, like you would take paracetamol for a headache, or put a plaster on a cut. I’ve put the list below together for anyone that’s a little stressed, feeling anxious, down, depressed, or all of the above. These are a few things that I genuinely think help boost my mood, make me feel better or even just distract me from my anxiety.

Maintain your personal hygiene/ pamper yourself. 

Pampering isn’t something I do regularly. When I’m feeling a bit off or down I like to put some effort into pampering myself. You know when you feel physically unwell with a cold, a hot bath or shower makes you feel so much better? It can work the same for your mental health too, I like feeling the water hit my face in the shower – it seems to clear the mind. This is also my biggest tip for anyone really struggling with mental health, sometimes just getting out of bed can be difficult, getting the basics done is your go to here. And you should be proud if you can get them done when it feels like you can’t (small victories! Yay!)

Treat Yourself

Not to anything big and expensive, let’s not make rash decision here! But buying yourself your favourite chocolate bar, a luxury tea, some flowers, a new pair of socks or something to just sit and appreciate is a nice way to treat yourself. Often it’s the small things that make a difference, savouring something small and seemingly insignificant can sometimes put things into perspective and just help you to relax.

Go for a walk

Again this totally depends on how bad you are feeling. If I am generally feeling okay, but a little down,  a really long walk helps to clear my mind, focus on other things, feel at one with nature, and if I’m with someone else – have a good old chin wag! Pretty much every doctor you see will tell you to try to do exercise to combat ill mental health, I don’t know whether they are right, but going on a walk and engaging with nature definitely helps ( I think people often call this ‘grounding’)

Change your bed sheets

This is kind of along the same lines as pamper yourself, but it’s definitely something that whether I’m feeling bad or not makes me so happy. There’s just nothing quite like fresh bed sheets…. Well maybe new pyjamas, they are pretty great as well.

Watch your favourite film

Snuggle up in bed and just watch your favourite film you have seen 5000 times. I like to watch animations when I am feeling poorly, and there is nothing more comforting than watching a film in bed, with a tea in your favourite mug.

Make a Self Care Box

I got this idea from buddy box – At the time I couldn’t afford to sign up and I also thought “who knows what would cheer me up better than myself?”. So I’ve stolen the idea and decided to make my own. For me having a small colouring in book, fancy teabags, a slab of chocolate, photos of lovely things, a scented candle, some pens and a face mask is a good start. Tailor it to your own needs and preferences. It’s also a good way of taking care of yourself in advance, we often neglect our own needs because of all the external stresses in life. Take some time to care for yourself and reap the rewards.

Sit in a coffee shop/cafe and watch the world go by

Take a book/sketchbook/laptop or whatever. Buy yourself a coffee and just take some time to relax. Watch people, watch cars, watch the birds, watch the staff. I don’t know why I find this relaxing, but it’s some great me time, without thinking too much about yourself.

Get some rest + drink water

It’s taken me a long time to realise how important these two things are, but I have, this week to be precise. Sunday/Monday my anxiety was as high as a kite, yesterday I fell asleep at 9.30 and I really needed it. I often find myself getting distracted in the evenings to the point where I lose track of time and suddenly it’s 12 o clock. Getting enough sleep is so important for our health and our general wellbeing, and I feel so much better today having caught up. I always hated the taste of water (huh?) but I’ve found that drinking it out of a water bottle is the best way for me to get enough water, some people like to drink a pint in the mornings or when they eat, whatever suits you, just do it!

Last but not last

Don’t be so hard on yourself

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend ‘To Do’ List

As mentioned in my last post, here is our Weekend ‘To Do’ List.

Parks/Gardens + Other

  1. Primrose Hill + London Zoo (Sloth)
  2. Richmond Park – The Isabella Plantation
  3. Severndroog castle
  4. Hampstead Ponds + Kenwood House
  5. Shadwell Basin
  6. Skip Garden Kings Cross + Kings Cross Nature Reserve + Wellcome Collection
  7. Kew Gardens
  8. City Farms
  9. Red Cross Garden + Borough Market
  10. Battersea Park
  11. Culpeper Community Garden – Islington
  12. Gardens off Essex Road
  13. Holland Park – gardens
  14. Walthamstow Marshes
  15. Abney Park Cemetery 
  16. Victoria Park + Broadway Market

Walks

  1. City Tree Trail
  2. East End Walk
  3. Inns of Court Walk
  4. Woodberry Wetlands + Parkland Walk
  5. Lee Valley Walk + Otter Discovery Trail
  6. Capital Ring
  7. Little Venice – Warwick Avenue

Museums and Galleries

  1. Design Museum
  2. Science Museum
  3. Natural History Museum
  4. Isokon Gallery – from 4th March
  5. Royal Academy + Serpentine
  6. Tate Extension + Postmans Park, St Pauls
  7. William Morris Gallery + Epping Forest or Walthamstow Marshes
  8. Barbican
  9. 221b Baker Street
  10. Anselm Kiefer at White Cube
  11. British Museum The American Dream

Day Trips

  1. Hitchin – Lavender Fields
  2. Box Hill
  3. Brighton – booked
  4. Cambridge
  5. Eden Project (probably a weekend)
  6. Heriot-Watt University Trip
  7. Open house

Food/Drink and Shopping

  1. Franks Bar – in summer
  2. Skygarden
  3. Portobello Market
  4. Jam in a Jar
  5. Cahoots – Kingsley Court, Carnaby Street

What’s on your ‘to do’ list? If you have any suggestions of places to go in the UK please comment them below!

Ally. xx

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Goals for 2017

I’ve decided to set some goals for 2017, this is partly to aid the ongoing declutter but also to reduce the amount of free time I waste. When I get home from work I flick between Facebook, Emails, Pinterest, and whatever else online. I waste time. So these goals are to make the most of the time I have, improve my health, and hopefully improve my day to day.

  1. Continue to Reduce Clutter – So far I have done well to organise my clothing, put things on eBay, and stop looking at shops online. I have also started to be more mindful about what I want to buy, if it is practical, good quality, and will be valued it can go onto a wish list. If it’s none of the above, why am I looking at it?
  2. Establish a Morning and Evening Routine – I don’t want to meticulously plan my time, that’s a bit over the top, but I do want to establish a morning and bedtime routine. I want to cut back on the time I waste doing nothing. I want to use my time wisely to practice a new hobby and make my mornings easier .
  3. Take More Photographs – As I shared in my last post, I love my camera. I love taking photos, waiting for them to be developed and then seeing the results. I often spend my weekends exploring the different heritage sites and community gardens in London, and would love to document these in a photography project.
  4. Make Homemade Lunches – Since starting my new job a month ago I have been super lazy with making lunches – this is important for me nutritionally and financially, so should probably be number one!
  5. Do Everything On My Weekend to do List– At the beginning of the year me and Drew (my other half) made a list of things to do at the weekend. The list was composed of all the things we have said we wanted to do over the years, but had either forgotten, or never got round to – We made the list because of our busy schedules, so we don’t wast the time we have together and so we never have an excuse to not do something. So far it has worked out really well. I recommend making a list like this, it will probably last us all year!

What are your goals of 2017? How are they going? What are you finding the easiest and hardest to implement?

Ally x