This happy things post is going to be all about the festive feels, so if Christmas is your thing, you might like this one ūüôā

 

#1 Buying some new baubles!¬†Every year I like to treat myself to a couple of ‘special’ baubles, and this year I picked up a three star one from Homesense, and a lovely home scene from Sainsburys. It’s so nice seeing them on the tree.

#2 Having an excuse to eat all the chocolate.¬†A chocolate santa on an evening? Sure thing. The odd celebration or two while watching the TV? There’s no harm in that surely. It’s the season after all. The lovely team at Thorntons send me over a cheeky elf to enjoy on these cold nights with a cup of tea and I’m so excited to crack into it! I always use to get a Thorntons treat from Santa when I was little, so it feels so nostalgic and comforting to be reunited with their delicious chocolate again. They are for sale on their website for¬†¬£7.00, and I think it would make a great stocking filler, plus theres also a 3 for 2 offer on too!

#3 Festive reads.¬†Around Christmas I like to get in the spirit by reading a few festive books, to really soak up all the magic. I’ve just finished One Day in December which I absolutely loved, so if you have any other recommendations for christmas books, I’d love to hear them!

#4 Getting all cosy! One of my favourite times of year is coming home from work, and turning on the Christmas lights and lighting the scented candles. It makes me feel so happy inside!

#5 Being at home.¬†This month I’m going into quite a bit of a hibernation mode, which is completely opposite to last year when I was running around frantic trying to do all the festive things. But I’m loving being settled at home, watching Netflix and taking long hot baths whilst it’s so dark and cold outside.

#6 Wrapping presents.¬†I love wrapping presents so much, and I always start at the beginning of the month so I can do it in sessions, and not feel overwhelmed with just how much I’ve bought to wrap up! I’ve been doing it this year with Vlogmas on in the background, and it makes me so excited.

#7 Festive Instagram pictures.¬†Instagram is so festive and sparkly at the moment, and I’m lapping it up! I’ve tried to add the festive feel to my photos and lots of Christmas goodness, so I hope you like them if you join me over there. I’m enjoying seeing everyone else’s photos too, it’s so magical at this time of year.

#8 Finding the perfect present.¬†I feel like with some of my presents this year, I’ve really nailed it. I can’t wait to see the faces of my loved ones when they open them up on Christmas Day.

#9 Christmas shoeboxes.¬†A few weeks ago at work we did the Christmas shoeboxes for charity, and it always feels good to help people in need out, doesn’t it? I like to imagine all the children will love receiving their boxes and opening sweets, stationary and cuddly toys.

#10 Films galore!¬†I’ve only watched one film this year, but I’m so looking forward to snuggling up over the next few weeks and watching loads of festive films!

 

Whats made you happy lately? Bonus points if its Christmassy ūüėČ

 

 

If you’ve followed me for a while on Instagram, this summer you might have noticed that the style of my photos have changed slightly. Now, they are much more focused on creativity, playfulness, and a touch of imaginative/whimsical fun too. That’s not to say I didn’t think my other photo’s were good enough, I just found my passion in a place I didn’t even know existed at the time.

Instagram is a platform I’ve always felt like I used to struggle with if I’m being honest, I was never totally happy with what I shared, and my pictures didn’t make me joyful, or fufilled. I kind of just did it, because I thought I had to share something. It all felt lacklustre and empty.

When I discovered Kika’s instagram, thats when my eyes started to brighten a little. I realised that there was a creativity that I had which I wasn’t using, I wasn’t letting my imagination flourish in my photos, and more importantly, I wasn’t being myself. A while later, I signed up for Sara Tasker’s Instagram course, Bloom & Grow. I absolutely loved the whole course, and it made me feel refreshed and renewed about how I could use Instagram to express my individuality.

Fast forward, 5 or 6 months and I feel happier with what I’m posting on there, than ever.

I’ve also received such great feedback, and after putting in the effort, it seems that now my account is starting to grow too- but I’m trying not to focus on the numbers as much, and just focus on great feedback and posting pictures that¬†excite me.

Of course there are times when I don’t feel creative, or have any photo ideas, and I’m working on those moments to not resist them, and stay grounded in the knowledge that it will always come back. There are also things I still want to work on and pictures I don’t feel I’m able to do justice right now, either because I don’t have a tripod/high ceiling, or ways of photoshop that I’m not great at yet. But that’s okay.

It feels so good to feel positive about the Instagram platform. Once I started posting what I loved on there, it changed my outlook on it completely. I hardly find myself moaning about it (or a lot less anyway), and I actually enjoy logging on and using it.

Who knew? Maybe social media can be good for us afterall.

 

 

How do you feel about Instagram? Do you have your own style on there?

 

 

 

Weddings are such personal events, so feel free to take everything I say in this post with a pinch of salt, and always go with your own gut feeling. This is just how I see it from my point of view, and of course with the added knowledge that now I can look back at this time with added hindsight!

 

ENJOY THE ENGAGEMENT

This might seem a little strange to add as the first step, but it’s something I wish we had done more. Of course we had an engagement party which was wonderful, but I wish we had really made the most of the time being an engaged couple with all the excitement that it brings, without getting overwhelmed planning the big day. Even if you want to get married fairly soon, there’s no harm spending the first few weeks in engagement bliss- it’s a one off and something you won’t experience again.

NOW, FIGURE OUT THE IMPORTANT STUFF

With this, I’d recommend speaking to your partner and working out together¬†what’s important to you both. For us, well, me in particular, that was having an outside ceremony. I knew it was what I’d always wanted and it wasn’t something I was able to comprimise on (luckily for me I didn’t have to). We had to really settle on certain elements though, as I think orginally Dan wanted a bigger wedding, whereas I preferred something much smaller (we met in the middle and ended up at around 60 day guests). If there are things you really are passionate about, voice them and see if there’s a way you can come to an agreement that works for you both. And try not to argue too much, it is a nice thing you’re planning afterall!

RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH (and budgets…eek)

Weddings are HUGE. The amount of things included in one day still blows my mind, from the big stuff like the -actual getting married business- to the background music you want while dinner is being served, and the colour theme you want to go for for the decor. And while you’re researching, have a think about how much money you realistically want to spend on the wedding. They are extremely expensive, so you really need to consider numbers and try and keep on budget as much as possible. If you want to spend less than ¬£5,000 and your venue cost is ¬£2,500, realisitically, that might not be¬†feasible.

ASK FOR HELP

There’s no way I could of done it alone, in fact Dan probably did just as much preparation in wedding planning as I did, if not more on occassion. My sister and mum were happy to help with whatever we asked them too, aswell as both families helping out financially. No-one expects you to do it alone, and you shouldn’t have to either. When people ask if theres anything they can do to help, let them.

I hope this has helped you in putting together the first steps to planning a wedding, I know how overwhelming it can sometimes feel. In a few weeks I’ll be posting my advice for future brides, so stay tuned to read¬†that post if it sounds interesting to you!

 

This year has been quite the milestone one for me personally, and I’m looking forward to setting some December goals to finish the year off positively. In terms of goal setting for 2019, at the moment I’m still thinking that I will be setting monthly goals instead of New Year resolutions, as I love having them to focus on throughout the month and they feel a lot less pressurised.

 

NOVEMBER RECAP

 

Mantra work.¬†I really wanted to incorporate positive affirmations into my daily routine, and I feel like I’ve gotten somewhere good with this, so far. It’s definitely something I want to continue, and I usually do it before bed with a crystal, just repeating mantras to myself like ‘I have everything I need’ or ‘Today, I did enough’ with a few deep breaths. It feels good.

Complete festive shopping.¬†I still have a few bits and pieces to collect, but on the whole I’m nearly done with my Christmas shopping, which makes me very happy! I did this because I didn’t want to feel stressed nearer the time, so it does feel like a weight off my shoulders that it’s nearly all done. I still need to re-assess how I can spend a bit less on presents next year, because even though I’ve scaled down somewhat, it still seems like a huge amount.

Start learning the piano!¬†If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a few of the clips I put on my stories of me learning to play. I’m absolutely loving it, it’s something I’m doing multiple times a week (whenever I get the chance really), and I’m halfway through the book I bought to teach me. It feels like my new hobby and I’m really enjoying it.

 

DECEMBER GOALS

 

Treat myself.¬†This might seem a bit of a weird choice given that at the end of the month I’ll be very lucky to be opening presents, but I mean this in a more non-materialistic way. Going into winter is always something I struggle with, so I want to treat myself more in doing things that feel good for me. Afternoon baths, not feeling guilty for staying in my pj’s, and picking myself up little goodies here and there.

Keep calm. I can very easily get swept up in the Christmas festivities, and even though that’s great, I lose my mindfulness a little bit in the midst of it all. This December I want to keep calm and be as mindful and present as possible. Hopefully I’ll do this by taking specific time out to meditate and continue my yoga practice.

Post more on Instagram/stories.¬†At the moment I’m trying to post on Instagram more frequently, around three times a week, but I’d ideally like to post on there every other day. It does prove quite tricky because sometimes a lot can go into a photo and the lack of daylight we have at the moment doesn’t help the situation. With that in mind, I want to focus on stories a lot more too, so I’m challenging myself to talk to camera for the first 12 days of December! I still get a little nervous but I’m hoping it will help my confidence on there a little, plus it’s good to show up online and be active I think.

 

Do you have any December goals?

 

I’ve been on the podcast game for quite a while lately. They are a massive part of my daily routine, whether that’s when I’m walking the dog, emptying the dishwasher or doing some painting. They feel more relaxing than a YouTube video, which you have to actually watch, and a lot less annoying than having the radio on (just me?) Plus if you choose correctly, sometimes it feels like you actually have friends over for a coffee!

So, lets get on to the most important part: what I’m listening to lately:

 

Fearne Cotton ‘Happy Place’

I know I’m very late to the bandwagon with this one, and I have no idea why because I LOVE Fearne, so of course I love her podcast too! I’ve listened to three or four so far, and they’ve been super interesting to hear about different ‘celebrities’ real lives. The production seems very laid back and relaxed, and every guest I’ve heard so far has felt really authentic and open.
One to listen to: Tom Daley & Lance Black.

 

Deliciously Ella podcast

I’ve always liked everything Deliciously Ella is about, but I have to be honest and did think this podcast might be too preachy for me, and in turn, probably make me feel bad and like I wasn’t doing enough. In fact, it’s nothing like that at all! It’s all about trying your best, which is different for everyone. Ella and her husband Matt, speak about health and well-being in such an approachable way, and after every episode I’ve left feeling very inspired.
One to listen to: They are all amazing, but the one that sticks out the most to me is with The Happy Pear.

 

Letters From A Hopeful Creative by Sara Tasker and Jen Carrington

I enjoy both Sara’s and Jen’s individual podcasts, but I love this one they do together. They work so well together, and whenever I’m feeling a bit fed up with the internet, I tune in and leave feeling my own kind of motivated. I love how they speak about different topics that I can relate to, and they always remind me that I can build an online life that’s different from the rest, and one that works for me.
One to listen to: I can’t possibly choose a favourite! They are all just as good as the other.

 

The Fringe of It with Liv Purvis and Charlotte Jacklin

This podcast is like a big comfort blanket for me! It feels like you’re joining two friends for a chat over a cuppa, and it never fails to cheer me up. I discovered this quite late to the game and I’ve loved catching up with all the episodes. I find them both super relatable, and I love how the episodes tend to be pretty long too. Each one is a catch up on their week, and then a discussion about a different topic.
One to listen to: Discussing Life Lessons & Advice, and Discussing Influencers and Life Online. 

 

Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert

A lovely internet friend mentioned this podcast to me after I asked for recommendations and I love it. I’m a massive fan of Liz Gilbert anyway (Eat Pray Love, is probably my favourite book of all time and the first thing that got me into meditation) and I read Big Magic this summer, so it was obvious that I was going to really like it! Each episode is with a guest and they discuss topics about creativity, inspiration and life lessons in general.
One to listen to:¬† “The Thing That You Are Seeking Is Also Seeking You”.

 

 

What podcasts are you listening to lately?