When I think back to last Autumn/Winter, I was running around frantic all over the place to fill my time with exciting weekend plans, putting all my eggs in making content and trying to be liked and be the same as everyone else. If she’s going to a Christmas market, I must go to one! If they’re uploading every day, should I do that too?

Now, I feel like I can reflect back on that time with a greater sense of peace. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my days (sometimes weeks) but on the whole, this year has been a massive learning curve for me. I’ve learned what I need to do more of (have a routine, not too much time by myself or I feel down) and what I need to do less of (pushing myself to do things I don’t want to). That’s also not to say that I’ll never feel overwhelmed again, but I know the things I need to do to get myself back on track- see my well-being toolkit post for that one.

Instead of desperately trying to jam-pack every day with things I should be doing, and then feel burned out afterwards, I’m having a season of rest.

This doesn’t mean that I sometimes don’t worry that I’m not being productive enough (I definitely do) or that I’m being lazy compared to everyone else, but I know at this moment in time, it’s what I’m craving the most, both physically and emotionally. I’m not sat on the sofa all day everyday, but I also don’t have any busy weekends planned, and that’s A-Okay by me.

After a wonderful, magical and extremely busy summer, I know that I now need time to focus on myself a little more, and to rest and recuperate doing things that fill my cup back up.

For me that means lots of walking and making the most of this daylight, stretchy and gentle yoga, afternoon runs followed by pyjama evenings, and doing all the creative hobbies that I adore like painting, taking photos for Instagram, and embroidery. Eating hearty food. Spending time with family and cosy candle-lit reading. Some days that might end up in me being bored and wishing we had adventures to go on, but for right now, rest looks good to me.

 

Are you in a season of rest like me too? 

It’s been quite a while since I did a book post, and because reading is such a love of mine, I thought it was about time to show you what books I’ve been digging into recently. Hopefully here you’ll find some recommendations that you’d like to read!

 

Elizabeth Gilbert- Big Magic 5/5

I know I’m super late to the party with this one, but once all the hype had died down, I decided to pick it up and see what it was like. Honestly, I was not disappointed! It’s up there with one of my favourite books of the year, and probably my favourite of the ‘self-help’ genre. If you’re a creative, you absolutely MUST read this because it’s packed to the brim with great advice and inspiration. I know for sure I will be definitely re-reading it again when I get stuck in a funk and need some creative direction.
Read this one if: You want to learn more about creativity, or you need a creative boost.

 

Emma Cline- The Girls 1/5

Okay, I’m kind of cheating here because I didn’t even get halfway into this book before I decided not to finish it (which to be honest, isn’t something I do often). It was just too weird. I feel like I have a weirdness scale and this was pushing it too far, to the point where I actually wasn’t looking forward to reading it in an evening and it felt like a chore. LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO SPEND IT READING BOOKS YOU DON’T LIKE. Right??
Read this one if: You’re into that kind of stuff.

 

Lucy Dillon- Where The Light Gets In 4/5

I’m not a big crier when reading books, but boy did this make me bawl! Yes it was kind of predictable, but it was such a lovely gem of a book that you just have to read it. I took to all the characters immediately, and it was filled to the brim with emotion and heart warming goodness. I even still think about it now, a few weeks later.
Read this one if: You want a super cosy read to enjoy on these Autumnal evenings, with a great story behind it.

 

Lindsey Kelk- One in a Million 2/5

I’ve read Lindsey’s books for years and I was a massive fan of the ‘I Heart’ series, so I’m always super excited when she releases a new read. Honestly, I was kind of disappointed by this one which makes me sad to say. It was a bit too fluffy, I’m never that interested in reading about social media in a fiction book, and it felt a little flat. I probably had my hopes up to high as I am such a fan of her previous work, but this one didn’t cut it for me.
Read this one if: I’d recommend her other works!

 

Megan Hayes- Write Yourself Happy 4/5

I actually included this in a creative writing post I did last week, as this book really gave me the inspiration and motivation to share something a bit different than I usually do, and write more than my usual gratitude lists. I completely loved going through a different chapter and writing every night, and I was super sad when it eventually finished. Plus, the design of the book itself is beautiful too.
Read this one if: You journal regularly, and want to up your game.

 

Kevin Kwan- Crazy Rich Asians 4/5

After seeing rave reviews about this online, I wanted to pick up a copy (originally so I could watch it in the cinemas after, but I didn’t make it in time!). In this book you dive deep into the super rich and luxurious life of a massive family in Singapore, and I have to say it was really fascinating. It’s quite unlike anything I’ve ever read before, but I’ve heard people liken it to Gossip Girl, which I thought I’d mention. I got completely sucked in and loved devouring it every evening!
Read this one if: You want to go watch the film, or read something different than you’re used to. Actually, just read it. It’s good.

 

Sarah Vaughan- Anatomy of a Scandal 5/5

I absolutely LOVED this book. It’s not like something I usually read, as it’s a court case thriller involving a member of Parliament. It gripped me the whole way through, I literally stayed up past midnight reading this because I was hooked that much. I’ve passed it onto my mum and I’m making her read it!
Read this one if: You want a book that grips you until the very end. One to devour over a lazy weekend, I think.

 

 

Have you read any of these books?

 

 

 

I spend so much time creating photos that I’m proud of on Instagram, yet it’s not something I mention that much here on the blog (which is probably where the other half of my time goes!).

I definitely want to shout about it more in the future, and I know whenever I’ve shared ‘before and afters’ on my Instagram stories (saved in my highlights) they have always gone down really well, so hopefully you’ll like this too.

Instagram is a wonderful place for escaping into a different reality, but as it’s social media after all, I love hearing and speaking myself about the stories behind the squares. So, let’s get into the photos I’ve chosen for today’s post…

The idea I had originally for this picture, was a picture of me eating candyfloss, against a pink wall with my pink jumper that I already had on. However, this house was the only pink thing I could find when I was at the seaside, and the candy floss just didn’t work properly. By chance I bought this at the sea front as a back-up prop for the photo, and it fit perfectly! It didn’t smell too great though so I didn’t sample it after.

 

I knew I wanted to make boots out of leaves, but I couldn’t get the placement right at all and it wasn’t working! It also took me quite a long time to make them because apparently, I find boots quite tricky to draw. When I found out the weekend hashtag project was on perspective, I had the legs on the wall idea. I added in the clouds and grass afterwards to add to the upside down-ness! This is still one of my favourite photos I’ve taken even months afterwards.

 

Before we went on holiday I already a donut picture in mind, so on one sunny morning I headed off to a local bakery and picked up said baked good. I tried it with me in a bikini on the beach which was the original idea I wanted to go with, but it was taken from behind and I just didn’t want to put my bum and upper thighs on the internet, laid bare, literally! I saw this yellow wall in the same afternoon, and got Dan to take a picture of me because I liked my outfit that day, thinking I could use it for something later. Deciding to just put the two photos together to see what they could look like, and I was so happy with the outcome!

 

 

Did you enjoy seeing Behind The Instagram? Let me know and I could do a part 2 🙂

 

 

I really love creating monthly goals for me to focus on throughout the next few weeks, and I always feel so productive when I achieve them, they really keep me on a positive track. With that being said, it’s time to check in for October’s goals and what’s in store for November…

 

OCTOBER RECAP

Listen to my body more. Kind of a tricky goal to measure, but I feel like I really did listen to my body a lot more this month, and I kept reminding myself of this goal in particular. When my body felt tired, I didn’t push it in my workouts and rested instead. When I was craving specific foods, I let myself enjoy them without feeling guilty about it. I really want to keep this up!

Re-do our bedroom. FINALLY this happened! I’ve been wanting to do this for months on end, and we ordered two ladder shelves for our bedside tables, put some of the prints in storage so it feels less cluttered, and Dan put the TV on the wall too. I can’t say how nice it feels to actually like our bedroom again and enjoy spending time in there without seeing things I wanted to change. A more minimal, less busy space works so well for me and I definitely hope I remember that in the future.

Declutter and change up my Autumn wardrobe. Another goal ticked off the list! I re-organised my wardrobe at the beginning of the month, took bags to the charity shop, and now I have a dedicated space to summer, and winter clothes. It looks so much better! I’ve also purchased a few skirts that I can wear both for work and outside, and a new winter coat/jumper/tights. I’d say I’m very satisfied with how it’s looking at the minute.

 

NOVEMBER GOALS

Mantra work. I’ve always enjoyed using positive affirmations and mantra’s in my everyday life, but most days I forget about them to be completely honest. I really want to make it part of my evening routine where I sit and read out some mantras, and use my crystals alongside that to bring a sense of calmness before settling down to sleep.

Complete my festive shopping. Most years I leave it till at least December to start buying gifts, but I want to change that this year and hopefully I’ll feel a lot calmer when the time comes. I already have a list of what I want to get, so it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge!

Start learning the piano! I spent a while learning the keyboard in my pre-teenage years, but it didn’t amount to that much and I wasn’t in love with it. However, after spending time having fun on my stepdad’s piano, I think it’d be great to learn playing it. He’s a great piano player and he says he would happily teach me, I’ve ordered a beginners guide too on Amazon so I’m hoping this should be a fun goal to work towards this November.

 

Do you have any goals for November? 

 

 

 

 

 

From a little girl with a big imagination, to a former nerd in high school who loved her English lessons, writing has always been something I’ve felt connected and drawn to. I used to love the lessons where we could make up our own stories, and I’ve always found it fascinating what our minds can conjure up when we get in the writing flow. To me, there’s nothing quite like it. It’s a meditative practice.

Creative writing isn’t something I have even thought about in years, never mind something to go back to. To be honest with both of us, I thought stories were for high school, and pointless when we reach ‘adulthood’. (Another post for a later date, I’m sure).

However after listening to Sara’s podcast episode on the Hashtag Authentic podcast with Megan Hayes, I felt compelled to order her book, Write Yourself Happy: The Art of Positive Journalling.

I’ve had a journal for years, but over that time it’s become more of a gratitude practice. Which is completely great don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t a place where I expressed myself in my writing. In the book, Megan talks about different positive emotions we experience, and asks the reader to write their thoughts about them, for example, joy, hope, serenity.

I’ve nearly finished the book and I can’t believe how much I’ve enjoyed tapping into that creative writing flow, and describing each different emotion and what it means to me, personally. I’ve completely fallen back in love with it.

I’m a bit nervous to share the following, but I really wanted to, so here goes! These are a few of the sentences that I wrote.

JOY: Joy is finding spare change, that hint of luck you never knew you needed. The gesture of a loved one, showing you their appreciation, no matter how big or small. Joy is puppy kisses, hot salty liquid on your nose, excited squeals and wagging tails. Joy is where life leaves you speechless, you want to soak up every detail. Joy is where you can feel the magic.

GRATITUDE:  Gratitude is a hot cup of tea on a cold winter day. Gratitude is something you always forget you have, it’s finding out that maybe that insignificant thing didn’t matter all along anyway. Gratitude is mother nature welcoming us with open arms, kindred souls uniting together, neither one realizing just how much the other was needed.

HOPE: Hope is the song lyric that resonates with you. Hope is powerfully brave, it is the knowing that it may not be easy, but still showing up anyway. It is the courage to keep calm, and carry on.

I definitely want to learn more about creative writing, so hopefully it’s something I can continue to share on here with you all.

 

Will you be having a go at positive journaling/creative writing?