I absolutely love reading, so I thought I’d pop in today with another post about the books I’ve read recently.

JILL MANSELL- *4.5/5*

It’s been a good few years since I last read a Jill Mansell book, and I thought it was about time I indulged in another, after all they are one of my favourite reads! This was the ultimate heart-warming book, I couldn’t put it down despite it being quite a large one, and I just fell completely in love with this story.

 

ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST- LAURA JANE WILLIAMS *5/5*

I’d seen this book everywhere last year, but never gave in to the hype, until now of course! This book is all about what Laura learned when she gave up her full-time job for a year and became a nanny, and what the children taught her.

It is absolutely fantastic and I would recommend this to everyone! It’s sweet, funny, endearing and sometimes a kick in the b*lls. Definitely a must read.

 

WHAT ALICE FORGOT- LIANE MORIARTY- *4/5*

I’ve read and loved two of Liane’s books, so I wanted to download another on the Kindle.

I went for What Alice Forgot, which is about a woman who falls over at the gym, and wakes up thinking it’s 10 year’s earlier. I couldn’t put it down because I was just so interested to hear what happened next, plus it was a book that kept me guessing too.

It didn’t live up to Big Little Lies which was my favourite book of hers so far, and I still haven’t watched the TV show because the book was just SO GOOD and I don’t want to ruin it!

 

LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE- *5/5*

I heard great things about this book, so when I saw it in Sainsbury’s I popped it into my basket. It is a chunky book, so I was a little intimidated at first, but also excited to get stuck in. This is my favourite fiction book I’ve read so far! Guys, it’s so so good. I lapped up every page.

 

What have you read recently? What should I read next?

 

 

 

Please be aware that this post sounds like I don’t ever just sit, scroll Instagram and watch Gilmore Girls which I definitely do! But recently, when I have a bit of time free, I’ve started to spend it a bit more wisely than I previously would.

Of course there are times when I just lay on the bed and watch my Youtube subscription feed, but 80% of the time, I try to put my energy to better use and enjoy some of the hobbies I’ve picked up over the last couple of months.

So, what do I do?

Get out for a walk

I’ve been on a mission to up my steps a bit more recently, and that combined with my new love of podcasts means that when I can fit it in, I’m always taking the dog outside or just nipping for a walk to the park solo.

I love the fact that I’m moving my body more, which feels fab, plus I always love getting fresh air! Promise you it feels better than just sitting on the sofa, although sometimes that feels amazing too.

Craft and paint

I’ve really picked up the art bug lately and I’m just loving how creative and inspired it makes me feel.

On an evening whenever I’m watching TV with the family, I’m usually working on my cross-stitch, and if I have a spare hour in the afternoon I’ve really been enjoying painting too!
Bake

I’ve yet to master cooking, but I’ve been enjoying baking so much these days that I just have to mention it.

I tend to go for healthier versions of my favourite sweet treats and I swear by Livia’s Kitchen recipes, although being 100% transparent here by telling you that not all bakes go that well!

Baking for me is starting to feel very theraputic and rewarding, and that combined with the fact that I then have snacks for the week is perfect.

 

How do you spend your free time more meaningful? I would love for some more tips ūüôā

Maybe people have always had this mentality, but I think this generation more than ever it is so prominent.

We slog away 9-5 the five days of the week, and all we have in sight is a mere 2 days that take forever to arrive. Well I think it needs to stop, and this is how I’m doing it, my way of course.

Give your daily treats to look forward to.

I’m basically a dog in that my motivation is treats. All shapes and sizes of course, some days it can be a good mount of chocolate at the end of the day, or a sweet cup of tea on my yoga mat *alone* with no stresses to worry about.

The little things keep my mood uplifted, and make me stay productive and motivated in this game of life. Find what yours are and make them a part of every day.

 

Make plans for after work.

I used to be so bad at just working, then sitting at home pondering all evening. I was so bored! Of course sometimes it’s just what you need, so adjust to your own gut feeling, but now I go to yoga on Monday nights and it’s something that I always look forward to, and Wednesday nights are¬†an evening gym session with makes me feel great afterwards.

Making a plan for a catch up with a friend after work is a great idea, don’t wait until the weekend to do what you want to do with your free time.

 

Live in the moment.

We all knew I was going to include this, didn’t we? Yes I know I harp on abut mindfulness all the time (blah blah blah) but seriously, just focus on your breath in this ONE moment. Take it from there.

If being mindful doesn’t interest you (and it doesn’t have to, believe it or not) just make sure you have time to be curious, smell the roses, take the deepest breath you’ve taken all day. Promise you’ll notice the difference!

 

Be pro-active.

I am the queen at putting things off. Sorry gals, that’s my title and I’m claiming it. I’ve realised how actually, it makes everything so much harder.¬†

Delaying making a phone call, booking an appointment and cleaning the house doesn’t do me any favours and just increases the ol’ stress levels. Once I get my arse into gear and do things there and then, I feel so much better after. A weight has lifted off my shoulders. Is this what it means to be an adult? (Don’t tell me).

 

Are you guilty of ‘living for the weekend’?

 

Silence is weird, isn’t it? I know that I for once rarely have any in my life. And when it usually appears, I urge to put something on to fill it.

Podcasts, Youtube, Instagram stories, not to mention Netflix and the TV are all a touch away, and we rely on them to occupy our brains when we have time to rest. When the house is quiet.

It’s extremely rare to ever just sit. And notice.

And being honest, for me, it is sometimes a little un-nerving too. Sitting in silence makes us realise how fast paced our minds are, and it warrants us to take a step back from the ordinary. It creates space between ‘then’ and this present moment. It makes me for one realise how we get swept up in the day to day. The goals, the jobs, and the chores we ‘have’ to get done.

If you have any worries or issues hounding you, the done thing is to not think about them, and distract ourselves until they magically disappear. Which of course, most of the time doesn’t happen.

Now I’m not saying sit and over-think them for the next half an hour, because that isn’t helpful either, but giving yourself a bit of peace and quiet to ponder for a few minutes may clear some things up and bring answers to a much needed dilemma.

Even if you just take a moment to sit and appreciate the life you’re living, and the things you have.

A moment of gratitude is not a moment wasted.

 

A few ways to make friends with *silence*:

  • Spend the first five minutes you get home without reaching for your phone or turning the TV on. Let this be a time to digest your day, and a moment where you can unwind into your evening.
  • Make a silence ritual. Simple things such as a cup of tea, watering the plants or doing the wash-up could be done silent, and can be a cue to incorporate more mindfulness into your life.
  • Enjoy it with other people. One of my favourite parts of my relationship is where we can hang out, and there is no need to fill the ‘silence gap’. Sitting in each other’s company and being totally okay with being quiet is so refreshing.

 

Do you ever have silence?

 

I haven’t done a monthly goals post on the blog before, but a few months back I did document them on my Instagram highlights to see how I would get on.

Now I’ve decided that I really wanted to put them on here, so let me know if you like this idea too! I always find¬†them interesting to read, personally.

APRIL RECAP

I’m pleased to say I accomplished all of my April goals! I went somewhere new (a new hairdressers and a spa break in Sheffield), I did something new (started practicing calligraphy), and… I read 2.5 books instead of 3, but I’ll take that as a win.

MAY GOALS

The first of my May Goals is to COOK MORE.¬†As you probably know I’m loving baking at the moment, but cooking is a bit of a downfall for me, and I don’t enjoy it as much as the former, unfortunately. Although the last few days I have started cooking a bit more already, so hopefully that will continue. I made some yummy tacos that I really enjoyed!

I also want to FOCUS ON MY PHOTOGRAPHY¬†more this month, specifically challenging myself for more creative shots. I’m pretty sure this one will happen, especially as I am currently on the Bloom & Grow Instagram course. (Let me know if you’d like a post about that when I’m finished?)

Lastly, my final goal for May is to START RUNNING AGAIN.¬†Whether this is outside or on a treadmill, I really want to take up running again. Even though it’s definitely the exercise I feel is the hardest for me, I’m ready to lay off the cross-trainer a little and hit the treadmill. I’m not planning on tracking any miles I do (most likely because they won’t be very far), I just want to be able to enjoy a half hour run without stopping.

 

Do you have any goals for May?