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It’s been a hard weekend. I think all of us got hit by the sad news on Saturday, and I know that I for one felt really affected by it. I grew up watching Caroline on Xtra Factor when I was a teen, and I was so shocked and saddened when I found out.

When things feel heavy, I try and focus even more than usual on those little things that cheer me up and make me smile. So that’s what I wanted to do with this post today, a regular happy things post that I’m sure you’re familiar with if you usually read this blog. Even just writing these things down make me feel happier, and more positive, plus the act of counting what you’re grateful for is such a good pick me up too.

#1 Vegan nutella on toast.
Now I’m dairy free, I’m still on the hunt to find alternatives to things that I love. I picked up some vegan nutella in Aldi and it’s been a love affair reunited. Toast and tea is soon becoming quite the comfort blanket of mine, and I’m happy for it to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

#2 Running 7k.
I’m signing up to a 10k in July, so I’m slowly making my way towards that goal. I had scheduled a 7k run in February, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it. It’s a long way for me, and even though I’m not a fast runner, I wondered if my stamina would make it that long but I’m happy to say I did it and actually really enjoyed it too! There’s something quite therapeutic about plodding along on a long run and sorting through the thoughts running through your head.

#3 Good podcasts.
I’ve been catching up with my podcast library recently, and I’ve listened to some great ones! Newest to the list is Talking Tastebuds by Venetia LaManna, and I’m super happy The Fringe of It is back too.

#4 Great reads.
I’m on my 15th book of the year (I know, I can’t quite believe it either) and I’ve read some gems. I did a post the other week about 3 of the books I’ve given 5 stars so I’ll link it here. Ones I’ve loved more recently is The Marble Collector, If I Never Met You and The Girl He Used To Know. I’m over on Instagram on my book account here.

#5 The thought of Spring arriving.
I’m not sure about you, but for me Winter seems to of lasted 2721973 years. It’s getting slightly lighter now too which is bloody fantastic to see. Bring on getting my white jeans back out into rotation, flowers blooming again and more blue skies. Yes please.

#6 Our cottage getaway.
We’re going away on Monday for a few days to a little countryside cottage and I can not wait! I’ve told myself I’m going offline too for a bit of time out which should leave me feeling refreshed too. I think I’m going to take lots of photos and pop them all on here in a little ‘travel’ post, does that sound interesting to you?

#7 Miss Americana on Netflix.
You know I’m the BIGGEST T Swift fan, so of course I was all over her Netflix documentary. I watched it the other weekend with my sister but I really want to watch it again.

#8 Good TV shows.
We’ve watched some great TV recently. I’ve finished all three seasons of Workin Mom’s (the third season is probably my favourite of them all) and we’re halfway through The Stranger which we’re both really enjoying it.

#9 Homemade flapjack.
I did some baking this weekend and now I have afternoon snacks for the week- well, lets be honest the next 3 days.

#10 Glitter nails.
Because if I’m going to finish this list on something superfical, at least make it glittery.

What’s made you happy lately?

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Truth be told, when I was at school I hated the weekends. I found them boring, I didn’t like the lack of routine and structure they had, and I used to long for Monday to roll around so I could get back to a routine and see my friends at school. Now obviously, my opinion has changed! A few years ago I got into a real habit of making my weekends super busy, running around like the headless chicken amongst the super busy crowds of everyone else doing the same thing. Now I like them to be a lot more relaxed and laid back. I thought in todays post I’d tell you why slow weekends work for me and exactly what kind of stuff I’m getting up to.

They are a time to unwind.
I’ve worked out now that if I have a busy weekend, I end up paying for it. I don’t feel relaxed, I feel more stressed out than ever and like I’ve had no time for myself. I need a slow weekend to really unwind and get back to feeling like myself.

You can catch up on the things you missed during the week.
I know that I for one never get everything done that I’d planned during Monday to Friday. I always have a few little jobs left over that I don’t mind doing on a weekend, because chances are I’ve had a good week where I haven’t over-scheduled myself. I’d rather have a calmer week and a few things roll over into the weekend, then be crazy every weekday and laid bare on the weekend feeling too tired.

Time for you to do whatever YOU want to do.
To be completely honest, this is quite revoltionary for me and something I’m still getting my head around. I know of course there are certain things we sometimes have to do, but now I schedule them in the week, that way I know I have the weekend all to myself. Having two days where I can fill up my creative cup, do things for myself by myself, no obligations or plans set in stone, really makes a massive impact to my daily life, health and well-being.

You start Monday feeling fresh and renewed.
I actually love Mondays because they feel like a fresh start, and I’m sure a lot of why I do is down to how I spend my weekend. I feel happy, energised, and ready for the week to see what it will bring.

Things I love doing on a slow weekend:

  • Getting my paints out.
  • Baking- I made flapjack this Sunday!
  • Seeing family who live closeby.
  • Watching a tv show with Dan.
  • Going for a run.
  • Doing calming yoga.
  • Reading lots of my book.
  • Decluttering and organising.
  • Having a long bath watching Youtube.
  • Doing face masks.
  • Face-timing my sister and nephew.
  • Catching up on podcasts.
  • Walks with Harvey.
  • Practising the piano.

 

As you see from above, a slow weekend doesn’t in any way mean a boring, unproductive weekend. For me, a slow weekend means relishing the time you have doing things that make you happy. Whatever that may be!

 

Do you enjoy slow weekends?

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Dear Diary, it’s time to slow down.

I always think you never quite realise how much you’re doing until you’re forced to stop.

Especially with this generation, busy is so glorified, and if you’re not crawling into bed at 1am after a 16 hour day, you quite simply are not doing enough. I find it so problematic, and even though I completely disagree with the whole thing, it even makes me feel like I’m never doing enough.

I work, blog, post creative images online, run, do yoga, meditate, organise, have our own home to clean, tidy and provide with food. I’m a daughter, sister, auntie, wife, grand-daughter, colleague. There are so many things we do without even realising, and I know that I for one always add pressure onto myself that I need to see x, organise y and complete x.

After a busy week (busy for me, might I add) my body sent me a sign to slow down.

And I’m listening to it. (Full disclosure: I’ve got the day off work today for rest, and I tried to be ‘productive’ this morning and clean the house, until my body AGAIN reminded me, hey you’re supposed to be resting? Let me pump up your heart rate and make you lie down to remind you).

This week I’m going to prioritise being less busy. I’m not even going to use the word ‘try’ because I’m really adamant about it. I AM GOING TO.

Here’s to a week of meaningful activity, listening to my body and my intuition, and learning that I am enough and I do enough, exactly as I am.

 Photo from my Instagram

READING.. I’m about halfway through The Rosie Project and I’m loving it so far. I just finished Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (ADORED) and Daisy Jones & the Six which I really liked too.

WATCHING.. Love Island. Obviously.

LISTENING TO.. I’m so excited The Fringe of It podcast is back! I can’t wait to listen to the first one.

EATING.. Lots of Oreo’s.

ENJOYING.. Walking more. I’m making it a priority this month to get outside a lot more often.

WORKING ON.. Meditating.

LOOKING FORWARD TO.. The little cottage getaway we’ve got at the end of this month.

STRUGGLING WITH.. Finding new vegan lunches. I’m just not a ‘lunch’ person!

SPENDING TIME DOING.. Pushing myself to my creative boundaries.

THINKING ABOUT.. That it’s so much nicer when theres blue skies around.

PLANNING.. To update a few pieces in my wardrobe this Spring.

INSPIRED BY.. Veganuary and trying to be more sustainable.

FEELING.. In a good place where I know when to be kind to myself, and when I need motivation.

What are you currently doing?

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Is it just me or has January lasted ages? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to wish time away but this month has been a super drag and I know I for one am ready to see the back of it. Anyway, enough rambling, lets see how I did with my goals.

JANUARY RECAP

Yoga with Adriene 30 day challenge. I did it! Whoop whoop. Some days I really didn’t want to get on my mat but I managed it, I’m really proud of myself. I think this is the 5th year I’ve done it and I love that it makes yoga a daily priority for me. I’m going to keep it up because it makes a massive difference to my mental and physical health.

Donate. I’ve definitely done this this month too. I donated lots of books, a few clothing items, two bedside lamps and some other bits and pieces we had lying around that we didn’t use anymore. Always feels so good!

Re-decorate our bedroom. This is half finished. I got a new lamp and changed up a few prints on our walls, and I got some new bedding too from H&M home but we still haven’t got the headboard yet, it’s currently in the works so I think by next month it should all be done and dusted.

FEBRUARY GOALS

For February, I want to focus on small everyday goals. Little things I can commit to every single day that make me feel good in myself.

Walk. I feel like I’ve really missed walking more so I want to make that a habit this month. Getting outside always makes me feel better and I just need to motivate myself to do it more.

Meditate. I’ve been doing this over the last few days and I’m really enjoying it. 10 minute a day meditation with nature sounds, where I can just zone out a bit and focus on my breath. It makes such a difference.

Ease. Relaxing when I can. Being creative when I feel like it. Not putting pressure on myself and doing things because I want to, not because I feel like I have to.

Do you have any goals for February?