Over the last few years, I’ve really got into reading. It’s becoming one of my daily escapes from normal life, and I can’t imagine not loving it. I’m currently on my 73rd book of the year (which even typing that sounds CRAZY), but I thought for todays post I’d chat a bit about how to read more, if that’s something you’re currently struggling with. I hope these tips help!

#1 FIND THE RIGHT TIME FOR YOU

For you, it may be reading a chapter on your lunch break, or doing the most of your reading on a lazy weekend. For me, it’s reading before bed. Every single night. That’s why I predominantly read fiction, because it makes me switch off a lot more than non-fiction does. I usually head to bed around 10pm and read for an hour before going to sleep. I might also read on an afternoon at the weekend, but that’s not where I get most of my reading done.

 

#2 READ WHAT YOU LIKE

I know it’s tempting to read what everyone else is reading on Instagram at the moment, but if you’re struggling to get into the right headspace, always stick to a book you think you’re gonna love. Some of the reads I enjoy aren’t particularly ground-breaking, sometimes I just want an easier, comfort read and that’s totally okay. And if you’re struggling on a particular book, you can either carry on or give it a DNF. Personally, in depends on how I’m feeling as to what I do!

#3 GO PAPERLESS

For me, I read a lot faster on my Kindle than a physical book. Maybe it’s something to do with the book percentages at the bottom of the screen that motivates me to keep going. The Amazon Kindle store always has some really great deals too where you can pick up amazing books for as little as 99p, I usually stock up on a few when I see them on offer and see where my mood takes me as to what I read next. You could also read on Audible, but I have to say that’s not something I’ve done as of yet, but I know a lot of people do like it as a great way to read more.


All of these pictures I’ve used in this post, are books that I’ve recently read and LOVED!

#4 SET A GOAL

I’m a massive goal person and always have been. They really motivate me to stay on track, so that’s why I set a goal of 100 books this year in 2020. Last year I think I read somewhere around the 60 number, so I definitely aimed high with this one, but I fancied a challenge and I doubt I’ll manage it again. To start small, you could always aim to read a chapter a day, or finish a book a month. Just make sure it doesn’t feel too overwhelming or you’ll never start.

 

Do you make time to read?

Photo from my Instagram

Creativity is a big part of my life. It’s what I share on my Instagram. It’s something I try to fit into my days. It makes me feel like, well, me. 

Believe it or not, when I was growing up, I never thought I was one of those creative types. This is probably because I wasn’t into Art, and if you can’t draw well, then you can’t be creative, right? WRONG. It’s only taken me about 25 years to realise that creativity is something that can come naturally to you, and it feels very freeing and liberating.

So, what do you do when your having one of those days where you don’t feel creative? Well, that’s hopefully where this post will help you out!

#1 FIND YOUR INSPIRATIONS

Whether that’s following your favourite content creators online, creating a new Pinterest board, or listening to a new album (hello Folklore), immersing yourself in something you find inspiring is only bound to create great things- just leave your comparison at the door, it’s not needed here. This is something I do regularly, personally I love to spend a bit of time on Pinterest looking for pieces of art that I really connect to, and having a look at the concepts that I might be able to use in my own work in the future. Also worth noting here, please don’t create exact copies of someone else’s work, put your own touch on it, that’s the magic ingredient that will make it wonderful!

#2 LOOK BACK ON YOUR PAST WORK

You’ve created things in the past that you’ve been really proud of, and felt exciting to share, right? So why not look back and revisit those images? Maybe re-create them, that’s something I do regularly too. Upgrading old images with new ideas means you have lots of inspiration already at your fingertips! You never know what lightbulb moment you might get.

#3 HAVE A BREAK

Sometimes, when all else fails, you just need to log off. Do something that isn’t related to the project you’re working on. Go outside. Workout. Have a duvet day. Coming back to something with fresh eyes is bound to feel so much better than staring at it for 5 hours non-stop. I know that I personally, like to work on an image throughout the day on and off, instead of just in one go. Every few hours I will add little bits here and there, and look at it throughout the day to see if it’s going in the right direction I want.

#4 DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT 

Whether that’s watching a different type of film than usual, treating yourself to a new magazine, or just getting out of your creative comfort zone in your photography, you never know what you could end up creating. I know it can feel really nerve-wracking to post something online that your audience isn’t used to, but I think giving people a little surprise works well every now and again!

#5 REMEMBER ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY

We are all on our own journey. Don’t compare your first draft to someone else’s best-selling novel. I really believe we will all achieve our own goals in our own time. Focus on yourself. Stay in your own lane.

 

What’s one of your top tips for creativity? Is creativity something you struggle with, too?

Photo from my Instagram

It’s that time again, monthly goals time..

July was a better month for us, in a lot of ways. I finally got to see my sister and nephew again, and it was also our second wedding anniversary so we went away to the seaside overnight, which was a very much needed respite. I can’t begin to tell you how nice it was to feel the sand and hear the waves.

Anyway, lets get on to how I did this month goal wise..

JULY RECAP

Walk more. I did walk more in July, but I wouldn’t say I completely smashed this goal out of the park. It’s still on my mind to do for August, but sometimes my motivation really does wane. Even when I know it makes me feel better, I think it’s just one of those things! Hopefully small and steady increases every day which mean I’m walking more overall. I’m thinking about maybe investing in an apple watch later this year, which I know will definitely motivate me to move more throughout the day.

Use up my skincare. Yep, definitely did this! Although speaking of which, I’ve just done another beauty pie order so…

Daily happy things. I feel like I did focus on one happy daily thing a day this month, which felt really good. I also think it’s something that I can still do going forward to make sure I feel good everyday and know I’m practicing good habits too.

AUGUST GOALS

Fitness challenges. Me and my mum are currently a week into a plank challenge, where you do it every day for a month and build up your time, so at the end your planking for 5 minutes! Lets be honest, that definitely doesn’t feel like it will happen yet, but we’ll see. I also want to do a 15k this month, I’ve been slowly building up my running distances, and I managed a 12k in July, so in August I’m aiming for 15k.

Blog more! For some reason the blog this month has had a massive spike in views? I’m not sure why, because in July I feel like I’ve blogged less than ever. Which kind of makes me sad, but I guess on busy weeks something has to give, and it’s been the blog. Most weeks I have tried to post once a week though, just for my own sake really, because I do enjoy writing so much and this is a great creative outlet for me. So here’s to more blog posts in August, fingers crossed hey?

I’m just going to stick to two goals for August, because they feel quite lofty ones that deserve my focus, instead of adding another third one which I don’t feel as passionate about! Check back at the end of the month to see how I did, and you can always follow me over on my Instagram linked HERE where I’m very active and post every week.

Do you have any August goals?

Photo from my Instagram

The last few years, I’ve really tuned into what has made me feel good. Certain habits and mindful activities that I could do, which I know would benefit both my physical and mental wellbeing. Plus, the fact that I actually enjoy them means I can stick to them more easily too. For todays post, I thought I’d share them with you and give you more of an insight into my daily life.

#1 EXERCISE

For me, thats in the form of yoga, HIIT workouts and running. I mix them up throughout the week depending on how I’m feeling or what goals I’m working towards. Doing some form of exercise everyday though is important for me, unless I’m having a rest day, in which case I’ll do some gentle walks and short yin-yoga routines instead.

#2 OUTDOOR SPACE

Carrying on from the last point, making sure I at least get out for a walk once a day, in nature is crucial. I know it always makes me feel better no matter what kind of day I’m having. Obviously it’s a bit harder to motivate yourself when it’s pouring it down outside, but popping on a podcast helps!

#3 TIDY HOME, TIDY MIND

Something I’ve learnt since having my own home, is that it’s true what my mums always said, a tidy home equals a tidy mind. I do most of my cleaning while catching up on Youtube, which I must say makes the time pass a lot quicker too! My trick is little and often everyday, so I don’t have to go full steam ahead every weekend.

#4 FOOD BALANCE

I don’t talk much about diet or food on here, one because it’s so individual to every person, and two because lord knows I’ve been on such a journey with it myself. But I try to make sure every single day I’m having a few portions of fruit and vegetables, and that way I don’t mind treating myself to some vegan ice cream at the end of the day either.

#5 SOMETHING CREATIVE

I like to try and do something creative most days. Whether that’s working on a new photo edit, writing a blog post, or even giving myself a new manicure. Sometimes you need a creative break, which is totally okay, but I’ve found other times that creativity does breed more of the same.

#6 FAMILY TIME

My family are my best friends, so I need to check in with them multiple times a day. That can be a quick Facetime call with my nephew, going to see my grandma or ringing my dad while I’m on a walk.

#7 IN THE TUB

Baths are one of my favourite things ever, and I can say that I love every single one I take. I’m a water baby, I need it! Follow that with another favourite of mine- skincare, and I’m a happy girl.

#8 READING TIME

I’m a big reader, and I like to end every evening reading my book. I always choose fiction before bed, because it makes me switch off more and is more of an escape, I’ve found. I try to cap it to an hour maximum, but sometimes a book is just so good you don’t want to stop reading it! I’m currently reading Girl, Woman, Other and it’s really great so far. I’ve been thinking of doing a ‘reading tips’ post on how to read more, so let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in seeing on here.

Do you do any of these everyday, to make sure you feel good?

Photo from my Instagram

It feels weird to think we are finally in summer, as much as you can be in the UK anyway. I love all the seasons, but I definitely think summer is my favourite. The hot weather, floral dresses, ice-cold drinks and sitting outside eating, reading, relaxing. Obviously it’s going to be very different this year given the whole corona situation, but I still want to enjoy the summer of 2020, because if this year has taught us anything, surely it’s that life is for living?

SUMMER BUCKET LIST

  • Sit outside in the sunshine and read my book.
  • Get the paddling pool out again.
  • Have a go at making a smoothie bowl.
  • Do yoga outside.
  • Enjoy more evenings sat outside after a cool shower, reading a magazine or catching up on podcasts.
  • Sleep with the windows open.
  • Go to the beach!
  • Do more body brushing.
  • Workout outside.
  • Walk more.
  • Wear neon nail polish.
  • Try a new hair braid.
  • Go somewhere new.
  • Spend time with family.
  • Wear SPF- obviously.

 

What do you have on your summer bucket list?