I’m writing this post the day before it goes live, so it’s coming freshly squeezed and feels like I’m having a bit of a catch up with you all. I wanted to check in today and talk about a few things I’m enjoying doing lately…

CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY

I feel like I’m really pushing my creative limits on my Instagram and I’m really enjoying creating the images I’m putting out there. They seem to take more time than ever (well, sometimes) but there’s nothing quite like that feeling when you feel proud of what you’ve done. Plus those days where you have your mind buzzing with ideas is so exciting, I’m sure other fellow creatives will get what I mean.

BEING CRAFTY

I’m talking about my craft projects of course, not being shady! I’m working on a massive cross-stitch project at the moment which I know is going to probably take me up to Christmas but I love the feeling of a big project which you can dip in and out of. I’ve been painting a lot more recently too which feels great.

MY YOGA/RUNNING ROUTINE

I’ve been really working on my running lately, and doing two runs a week whilst building up my distance and time is something I’m quite proud of! I’ve never been a natural runner so I definitely don’t find it easy, but I love the ‘runners high’ you get after, especially meaning I can treat myself to some chocolate and a hot bath guilt-free too. My daily yoga practice keeps me grounded and meaning I’m always tuning and checking in with myself, which is invaluable to me.

READING

At the moment I’m reading Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty. I’m always hooked by her books, and this one is no different. I’ve heard it gets a bit weird at the end though so we’ll see what I think to it when I’ve finished it!

TIME IN LONDON

I’m just back from 4 days in London staying at my sisters and spending some quality nephew time, which is just the best. I never would of thought I would be as comfortable as I am now travelling up to London by myself, but that just shows me how far I’ve come. Feels good!

 

What things are you enjoying doing at the moment?

 

Does the world need another blog post on self-care? Probably not. Am I going to write one anyway? Heck yeah.

Because to me, in my life, self-care is so, so important. In fact, I’d go as far as to say pretty vital. Without it, things can soon start to go downwards and you can get to a point where it can feel tough everyday to pick yourself up.

Self-care can also come in so many forms. Both physical, and mental. And also those things that you might not even associate it with either.

Self care can be more than early nights and bubble baths, but it can also be those things too.

Self care can be more than an exercise routine and eating healthily, but they do matter.

Sometimes self-care is making that appointment you’ve been putting off for months, or making yourself go interact with other humans even though you might not feel like it, but you know you’ll feel better after you do.

Self care can be choosing your battles, and self-care can be knowing that they’re sometimes not yours to face.

I make self-care a priority by choice. You can bet at some point in every day, there will be a bit of self-care included. I organise it in my diary like I do everything else.

Do I ever feel selfish by giving myself so much valuable time? Of course, and writing that sentence out sounds ridiculous. Surely I can give myself as much time as I want? Who knows, maybe that’s another blog post in itself.

I hope this post encourages you to think a little bit about your own self-care journey, and maybe you’ll realise how valuable that could be. I think it’s something everyone has struggles with, we’re definitely not alone here.

 

What’s your version of self-care?

 

 

It feels like ages since I’ve done a post like this and I always love reading about other peoples recommendations, so lets crack on..

 

WATCHING

As usual, I’m still working my way through the latest seasons of Dynasty (I know, how much can one person talk about a TV show?). I’ve even got my sister obsessed too so I can have daily conversations about it.

We’ve just watched Turn Up Charlie on Netflix but to be honest I don’t think I’d recommend. We’re going to start Dead To Me next and the trailer looks good so I have high hopes. We’re actually struggling to find a good TV show we can both watch together but we do have a new season of Sneaky Pete to binge.

READING

I feel like I’ve read some great books lately! I loved The Shape Of Us which was a really great fiction read about different lives and relationships, and how they interlace. Eat Drink Run has helped hugely with my running mojo, and I’ve also just finishing reading The Overdue Life of Amy Byler which was a fab chick-lit too.

The last few days I’ve started Girl Boss and I’m enjoying it so far. It’s an easy funny read which leaves me feeling pretty inspired about being a woman.

I’ve always been loving Red magazine on my London commutes which is becoming one of my favourite magazines!

LISTENING

I listened to The Fringe of It episode with H&M and sustainability, and it really opened my eyes up to the brand in general and the positive steps it’s making.

I’m obsessed with the Yoga Girl podcast, which I’ve always listened to but these days I’m looking forward to new episodes even more.

I’m half way through the She can She did podcast episode with Lauren Aston who I love online, definitely check out stuff out, she makes gorgeous knits and has a super good Instagram too!

 

What are you watching/listening or reading lately?

 

 

As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve teamed up with some fellow creatives for our own hashtag, called inspire_and_create

So you all get to know these awesome ladies a little better, I decided to ask them a few questions based on their Instagram!

 

 

Ozlem

What made you start your Instagram account? I started to follow my friends on IG. Soon after I bought my first proper camera and started to take pictures of my favourite subject: flowers!

Describe your account in 3 words? Flower addicted. Colourful, and sharing my seedhead love

What advice would you give to those starting on the app today? The main thing is, enjoy it! Enjoy sharing your pictures, enjoy the photos from your community, engage with your community and just have fun!

Jenny

Describe your account in 3 words? Magic, whimsy, creative.

Are there any pictures that don’t make it on to your grid? Loads! Edits frequently don’t work out as well as I hoped!

What advice would you give to those starting out on Instagram? There aren’t any quick wins here, so make sure you enjoy the process. Also, remember it’s a social network, you won’t get far without getting out there and engaging with people, plus, the community you build will be the best bit!

Lauren

When did you first join Instagram? September 2018

Are there any pictures that don’t make it on to your grid? All the time!

What’s your go-to editing app? I don’t use apps, I use Photoshop and Lightroom on the computer.

Dana

When did you first join Instagram? July 2014, but didn’t really do Instagram like I do now until December 2017.

Describe your account in 3 words? Fun, creative, moody.

What’s your go-to editing app? VSCO and Afterlight.

Ali

What made you start your Instagram account? I started my account when I had my first child Otis two years ago. It was a way for me to connect with other mums and I found it a really useful way to keep sane when stuck night feeding. Then I started to get more creative with my account and grew a small but mighty following.

Describe your account in 3 words? Whimsical, interiors, family

What advice would you give to those starting out on Instagram today? Do you. And be proud of your style. Instagram has a lot of goal posts that move and change and if you chase followers and likes, you won’t enjoy the experience and community as much as if you just get stuck in and make those connections and post content. There is a misunderstanding about quality over quantity too that can hold some people back posting. Because I think that the quality of a post isn’t just to do with the image, but to do with the caption. The message, the story, the connections made. Quality has a lot of facets beyond just the image.

Sarah

What made you start your Instagram account? I started my account what seems like ages ago. At first, it was for me and an album of memories. After the birth of my daughter, I wanted to create beautiful photos of her. That’s how I discovered creative photography.

What’s the favourite photo you’ve ever taken? This one!

What’s your number one Instagram tip? Use hashtags properly. They can increase your visibility on this platform and it is a free tool to use to promote your work without spending money on paid ads.

Nanhes

Describe your account in 3 words? Philosophy, marshlands, home

What’s your go-to editing app? VSCO

What advice would you give to those starting out on Instagram today? Think about your goals. Are you aiming to form a community and connect, or for recognition and growth? I don’t believe there’s a genuine way to combine both. I would advise to make Instagram a platform to look around, and be inspired.

Amy

What’s the favourite photo you’ve ever taken? This one!

What’s your number one Instagram tip? Focus on community and connecting by getting involved in hashtag challenges and building friendships.

What made you start your account? I started my account after I became a mother because I really wanted a creative outlet. I always wanted to learn about photography but didn’t have the courage. I decided to put myself out of my comfort zone and start sharing!

Ozge

When did you first join Instagram? Since 2012.

Describe your account in 3 words? Creative, whimsical, calm.

What’s your go-to editing app? Lightroom mobile, photoshop mix mobile and afterlight.

Sumedha

What’s the favourite photo you’ve ever taken? This one!

Are there any pictures that don’t make it on to your grid? Lots. I always struggle with making me grid cohesive but lately I’ve just been posting what my heart feels right.

What’s your number one Instagram tip? Explore. Inspire and be inspired.

Theodora

What made you start your Instagram account? I joined IG because it was where most of my blogger friends were starting to hang out, I was pregnant with my second child and wanted to improve my photography.

Are there any pictures that don’t make it on to your grid? It was just at the end of last year that I started to curate my grid more. I used to document my life more but since the beginning of the year, I’ve been more consistent on sharing the type of photography I want to capture more for myself and my clients. I want to refine my photography style so I don’t share photos that don’t reflect my new found photography aesthetics.

What’s your number one Instagram tip? Be mindful. When I’m offline, I’m offline. I don’t have my phone next to me checking it every second. When I get online, I time myself. I give myself the right amount of time to be present with my insta-friends. I’m learning to post content that is motivational and spend the time making a community instead of jumping from page to page to like and never taking the time to comment. If you feel overwhelmed by what others are sharing and comparing yourself, take a break to regroup your thoughts.

Camy

What made you start your Instagram account? When I started my account several years ago, I did it mainly because it was the ‘must have’ of the moment. Lately, I’ve started to acknowledge what a great platform it was for sharing something more creative. I use it as a place to express myself visually.

Describe your account in 3 words? Creative, dreamy, and pastels!

What advice would you give to those starting out on Instagram today? Don’t be afraid to try. We may often be scared by big numbers and algorithms, but my motto is ‘quality over quantity’. Share what you would love to share, not what others would love to see. Don’t stress, it’s okay to have periods lacking of creativity. Empower and support, rather than compare. And most importantly, have fun doing it!

Ghazal

When did you first join Instagram? I joined around Feb 2017 but it’s only about a year ago when I found out about hashtag challenges and WHP it became a game changer for my creative pulse.

Describe your account in 3 words? Everyday life, motherhood, and creativity. If I had a 4th word, travel!

What’s your go-to editing app? Snapseed! The selection tool is pure gold.

Wow, that took quite a long time to put together but thank you so much if you managed to read it all! I hope it left you feeling inspired about the platform, and creativity in general! How do you feel about Instagram?

 

#1 Nephew snuggles! I’m fresh back from a few days at London with lots of nephew cuddling, the dream! He’s growing so quickly already and he is just the most scrumptious little boy.

#2 Our new hashtag. I’m teamed up with some creative ladies to start our own hashtag loop, inspire_and_create which is filling up with loads of amazing photography. I won’t talk about it too much because hopefully there’s a post coming soon all about it!

#3 Running. I’m really enjoying running again, and this time I’ve took the pressure off myself too. I’m doing it for enjoyment and me-time, so I try to get in one or two a week, and the main thing to me is that I get out there and do it.

#4 Mini hoops. Pretty random, but I’m loving mini hoop earrings! I have quite a few pairs now, and I love how they look and make me feel.

#5 Cross-stitch. I’ve started a new cross-stitch project, which is going to take me all year but it’s kind of fun to have something I can dip in and out of. It’s so relaxing too so a great thing to do on the sofa while watching Netflix.

#6 Red magazine. I’m getting really into Red magazine lately, it’s not what I usually pick up but now I’m getting a pretty devoted fan. I think it’s a great magazine that covers lots of important topics, and luckily, it comes out monthly so I don’t have to wait too long in-between.

#7 New Taylor!!!! If you know me, you’ll know I’m a massive Taylor fan, so new music definitely makes me happy. I can’t wait to hear more songs and even an album!!!

#8 Yoga girl podcast. Massive yoga girl fangirl over here. I’ve always listened to her podcast but lately I feel like I’m enjoying it even more, and looking forward to a new episode every Friday.

#9 Crisps. Yup, another random one. I’m a huge sweet tooth which I’ll never bore of, but I am loving crisps at the moment. I’m literally averaging a packet every day.. oops.

#10 Dynasty. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve mentioned it, so I’m allowed to, right? Sorry, but you have to watch this show on Netflix. It’s so so good!!! Filled to the brim with drama and every episode there’s always a great cliff hanger.

 

What’s made you happy lately?