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13.8.19

7 Good habits I already practice




Over the past year or so, probably coinciding with starting my bullet journal in fact, I've become a lot more interested in self development and self improvement. I think it's tallied with some personal stuff, which has meant I needed a shift in focus and something new to concentrate on.

I would like to talk about the topic of personal development more on my blog in general, but I'm going to start with habits.

Habits are mentioned a whole lot when it comes to self improvement (for good reason) and whilst obviously the intention of creating good habits is to enhance your life, it can sometimes feel like if you don't achieve them you are a failure. I'm really not a lover of motivational quotes (other than a few select phrases here and there) but 'don't forget how badly you once wanted what you have now' is very true and I think it's important to remember how far you've already come and to celebrate what you have achieved.

To that end, here are 8 life improving habits I have already mastered!

1. Making my bed

This crops up a lot in all the self-care lists, and I just see it as second nature and thought everyone did it. I did a poll of the women in my team at work, and I was surprised that it was basically 50/50 between bed makers and non bed makers!

2. Getting up early

Another classic habit on Pinterest lists. I've always been an early one, ever since I was a kid and I used to go in and ask for money from my sleeping parents so I could walk down to the shop and buy allll the magazines and sweets my 10 year old heart desired (for £2). Now it's the cat that wakes me up at an ungodly hour, but she is the cutest alarm so 9 times out of 10 I'll just get up anyway. I love the serenity of being awake when most people are asleep.



3. Organising my diary

I used to constantly double book myself, and I tell you, it was bloody annoying. Now I don't confirm anything until I've checked my bullet journal. I have created a Whatsapp group with only me in it called 'Remember' and I write the date I need to check if I don't have my diary with me at the time. Side note: The personal Whatsapp group thing is a game changer as well FYI.




4. Wearing sunscreen

I used to think this was totally unnecessary and imagine it would break me out all over the shop but I went on a long ass walk last summer in the full sun with just my trusty La Roche Posay SPF 50 and I had a lovely hint of bronze to my face whilst everyone else was burnt to the hills. 



5. Bringing my lunch to work every day

Not only do I hate spending money on lunch every day, I also hate deciding what to eat. There are A LOT of options around my work and I can't cope with the choice, or the possibility I might have a sub standard lunch, as I have high standards when it comes to eating. The easiest way to not have to buy lunch is to just freeze most of your dinners and then take one out the night before. This way you also get a surprise as God only knows what's in those Tupperwares, especially if they're opaque.

6. Rounding up my savings

A classic savings tip - open a savings account with your current bank, then just round up to the nearest pound once you've spent some dolla. E.g. If you've got £93.47, transfer that £3.47 right over. Adds up surprisingly quickly, and you won't miss it! 

7. Hanging my clothes up after wearing them

This is my husband's influence for sure, as he is the tidiest man on earth. I am messy by nature, and when I had a room to myself I not only had a floor-drobe but a bed-drobe, a desk-drobe...you get the picture. Now I have just an organised wardrobe and I put them away as soon as I get home.

Hooray for habits!

7.8.19

12 Habits - Meditation




Another semi-fail. I started off full of enthusiasm for meditation - I downloaded the Headspace app, I dutifully sat in my comfortable yellow armchair, concentrating on my breathing for 3 minutes and trying to ignore the cat as her nice purring turned to biting me savagely on my wrists.

However, it all went a bit downhill once the free sessions ended. I didn't really want to start paying as I wasn't sure if it would be worth it at that point and so I tried to do the free sessions again but it was all a bit half arsed.

I think what I should have done is longer sessions, as I was selected the 3 minute ones but was I really getting any benefit in 3 minutes? I'm just not sure if I got anything out of the whole experience tbh. I do yoga pretty much daily now and I feel this can be somewhat meditative, so I reckon I'll stick with that.

My habit for August is daily journalling.


5.8.19

Notes from July



There may or may not be anyone who cares about my monthly likes and dislikes, discoveries and food comas. Nevertheless, writing them makes me happy. Here is July.


Reading

  • As a former Topshop employee, I found this article about its demise a v. interesting read
  • This open letter so eloquently explains why Cancer Research's poster campaign linking cancer to obesity does more harm than help
  • If the internet has been great for one thing, it's highlighting micro annoyances of being female. Contraceptive pill admin being one of them
  • The Lion Queen, not The Lion King?
  • Trip Advisor's harshest reviewers taken out to dinner. Lols ensue
  • This review of street style fashion from 2010 to now is fun

I also read more books than usual this month, and I am happy to report that they were mostly good or great!

My Mum Tracey Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson and Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume (a re-read) were both nostalgic ones which made me feel warm inside.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is different to books I usually read, a true story about a guy that dies (not a spoiler) whilst trying to survive in the Alaskan wilderness. I found him fascinating.

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney was everything my millennial self wanted it to be. The characters aren’t particular warm, nothing big seems to happen, but it’s kind of hypnotic and the writing is addictive. I can’t wait to read Ordinary People.

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott (a Girl on the Train style thriller) was intriguing but a bit irritating by the end.

Doing

This month I went to France where we have a house in which I lived for one year when I was 6. It is old as shit and I would describe it as modest yet loveable. The heatwave was very much alive so we went to the beach, ate delicious seaside pizza and visited the local open top swimming pool. We wandered about in nearby towns, took sunset strolls and did some impromptu strawberry picking. There were rabbits in the fields and it was all in all, a lovely time. 

I also went on the, now annual, pilgrimage to Torquay. One of my friend's parents lives there so we like to congregate there when it's warm to eat chips, have the best afternoon tea and potter about. This time we went to an antique shop and I bought a 1960s dress, a disco ball and a woven bag. 

I went to Birmingham as my friend wanted to visit the massive Primark. It had an underwhelming Disney cafe where I had some sad pancakes in the shape of Mickey. No tea no shade to Birmingham but I won't be rushing back. 


Eating

This month I did not visit any new Bristol restaurants, but I have been eating a whole bunch of fruit. Summer fruit is my absolute favourite thing, especially cherries which I could (and do) eat by the punnet. I also discovered Lara Bars, which are like Nakd bars but better and they are a treat let me tell you.

Now French food isn't usually all that great for vegetarians but we mostly just eat bread and salads which is fine by me. However, foods that are the absolute BEST in France include baguettes, croissants, carrot rapee (carrot in a delicious vinaigrette), potato dauphinoise, yogurts and madeleines. Oooo mumma. 


Listening

I've been listening to back issues of a podcast called 'Ologies' where Alie Ward talks to various experts about various ologies (e.g. Phonology (linguistics), Egyptology, Mixology and so on). It's interesting and Alie is a charmer. My favourite one so far is the one about cats. 
 

Enjoying on Instagram

Pink and zebra are a classic combo

This vintage looking jumpsuit is a gem

I could cry about how much I love this outfit

Cow print is underrated


Watching

I watched 'When They See Us' on Netflix about the Central Park 5 and let me tell you it was EMOTIONAL. But also it was brilliant. Especially the 4th episode. Watch it now as it is a limited series. I started watching Fleabag 1,000 years after everyone else and the second episode made me laugh so hard on the ferry Rich had to tell me to shut up because he was trying to sleep.

Films what I have watched are: Mary Queen of Scots (enjoyed), Toy Story 4 (meh), The Lion King (enjoyed but a pale comparison of the original).

Buying

Whilst in Birmingham I purchased a spotty top from H&M and a black cardigan from Topshop. I found a website called Rapanui which sells ethically made clothes and I bought a great T-shirt dress, which I would highly recommend. And free returns which you don't often get from smaller sites!

3.7.19

Notes from June

Reading


Bookwise, I read A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman, which was way too whimsical and magical realism-y for my liking. However, I loved Entanglement by Katy Mahood and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, the latter being the best book I've read so far this year. The real life, relatable style writing reminded me of Judy Blume, who is probably my favourite author ever.

Doing

Rich and I went to Mean Girls: The Movie and More in London, which was a tad disappointing. It was fun to see the film on a big screen again with tons of other super fans (obviously there was a chorus of 'Four for you Glen Coco, you go Glen Coco!), but the photo ops (the lighting!) and food left a lot to be desired, especially for £25!

A performance that did make my heart happy was seeing Jessie Cave's live show, Sunrise. I don't know what it is about her but I find her so intriguing and loveable.

I had a facial at John Bell & Croyden in London which was a monthly highlight - the facialist Maria, was so lovely I would quite like to adopt her as my auntie. She suggested Dermalogica for me, which I've not used before (bar the Daily Micro Exfoliant ) so we will see how that works out. My main issue is the scarring and marks left over from previous blemishes so I hope these start fading.

Eating

June is always an expensive month as it's both my parents' birthdays. I took my dad out for a meal at Michelin starred Box-E in Bristol. The food was delicious and they made a special complimentary birthday dessert for my dad which was adorable to the max. I took my mum for a vegan afternoon tea at Earthcakes, which was a sweet delight. Sandwich fillings included tofu egg mayo!

Listening

My beloved Elis James and John Robins have joined BBC Five Live with their new podcast and I am super glad to have them back!

Enjoying on Instagram


Watching

I finally got around to watching Season 6 of Orange is the New Black. I still find it compelling watching but I'm kind of relieved next season is the last. I loved new Netflix series Jail Birds ('I met him on the bowl' is all I'm going to say) and OBVS I've been watching Love Island. Rich hasn't been watching this year which is sad as it's a lot more fun to view and discuss with someone else. I invited myself into two women's conversation in the office last week though so that scratches the itch somewhat.

Film-wise, I was not overly impressed with Aladdin - much preferred the cartoon! I feel like they didn't make the most of Genie, I found Will Smith irritating, and lacking in personality, especially compared to Robin Williams. I rented The Favourite out of the library and it was great - weird, compelling and darkly amusing.


Buying

Forever trying my best to be eco-friendly, I bought some Biodegradable washing sponges and resuable cotton wool pads from The Wisehouse, Rich doesn't rate the sponge but I think it's perfectly adequate. I bought a delightful pink suit (see what I mean about the lighting) from ASOS to wear to the Mean Girls event, for obvious reasons. A suit has been on my wishlist for ages, and I sure do love ticking stuff off of lists.

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