Photo from my Instagram, link here

Happy first day of 2020! Wow, crazy isn’t it. I’m spending today with our annual family party like we always do, and then tomorrow it’s back to work. We did go out for a nice meal last night though which was a great way to end the year! Following my last post about 19 things I’ve learnt in 2019, todays post is all about 20 things I want to do in 2020. I don’t really make resolutions, as you will know I do monthly goals so January’s will be coming next week!

  1. Visit a new city
  2. Run a 10k
  3. Save money
  4. Re-decorate
  5. Master some yoga poses I’ve always wanted to do
  6. Donate books I’ve read to charity
  7. Have fun
  8. Read lots
  9. Dance around the kitchen more
  10. Spend less time worrying that I’m not enough
  11. Practice the piano
  12. Go for a walk every single day
  13. Swim in the sea
  14. Watch more films
  15. Spend more time creating than consuming
  16. Find more ways to help the environment
  17. Cook more meals
  18. Knit
  19. Do more puzzles
  20. Upgrade a few pieces in my wardrobe

 

What would you like to do in 2020?

Photo from my Instagram, link here

With it being the last few days of 2019, I wanted to sum up my year in a slightly different way. Instead of going over the year as a whole (it was a life-changing one in many ways) I thought I’d share 19 things I’ve learnt in 2019.

  1. You are stronger than you think
  2. Meeting your nephew for the first time is a moment you’ll never forget
  3. A walk outside always makes everything feel a little better
  4. Oat milk is a great alternative in Yorkshire tea
  5. Being at home will probably always be your happy place, and that’s totally okay
  6. Creativity needs breaks
  7. Reading is the ultimate escape
  8. A better sleep routine is totally manageable, and something you can work on
  9. Mamma Mia 2 will always make you happy
  10. Grief is the most painful heartbreak you’ll ever experience
  11. Making the most of little things in everyday life are so important to you
  12. Understanding your body is a lifelong process
  13. Yoga and meditation are great routines you’ll always come back to
  14. Being yourself is easier the older you get
  15. Having painted nails makes you feel put together, even when you definitely aren’t
  16. Don’t follow fashion trends, just wear things you love
  17. Being uncool is cool, but in your heart I think you always knew this didn’t you?
  18. You will always need 9 hours sleep to be your best self
  19. In 2020, work on being unapologetically you more than ever before. It’s great seeing you grow.

 

What has 2019 taught you? Can you relate to any of these lessons?


I’ve read some gems recently so I wanted to check in on the ol blog and chat to you about them! If you’re a book lover like me, then you might like my book Instagram account HERE.

Before I Go To Sleep

I’ve had this on my TBR for ages, I borrowed it from my sister this summer (and nope, I haven’t seen the film). My mum’s read it and told me that it was really good, and she was totally right! It is completely hooking and I couldn’t not stay up and read more of it every single night. It’s a pyschological thriller and I would highly recommend it.

We Met in December

I can’t resist a festive read at this time of year, and I’d seen this raved about online. I actually loved it so much! It’s still one that I think about now, weeks after finishing it. A super sweet ‘rom-com’ read that makes you feel super festive too. It’s very similar to One Day in December that I read last year, but I think I might of enjoyed it even more!

American Royals

Another book I’d seen hyped up on social media, but I just knew I would love it. It’s got a ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ vibe to it, but american and royal- obviously. It is ridiculously addictive and one of those books you keep sneaking in chapters with ALL DAY. I would love to see a film made out of it, and I’m excited to see the next book in the series in 2020.

My Sister, the Serial Killer

I got this in a book swap a few weeks ago, and decided to take it on holiday with us to read it. I ended up reading this in just one day, it’s a super quick read which I was quite surprised about. It’s definitely a unique story and I’ve not really read anything like it before, but I really enjoyed it and can see why other people like it so much too.

 

Have you read any of these?


Hello!

It feels like I haven’t chatted to you guys for ages!! We got back last night from our holiday in the canary islands, so as I’m writing this I’m spending my sunday in loungewear with lots of tea and sofa time.

It’s actually the first time I’ve been away at this time of year and I wasn’t sure how festive it would feel, but we completely loved it! It still felt super festive, but without less of the ‘I need to see x’ and ‘I have to do this before this day’, if you know what I mean. I’ve got a lot better at travelling but it isn’t something I enjoy, and I had a few really bad IBS flare ups which was a bit disappointing, definitely something I need to manage in the future. (Just incase you needed a dose of reality within the Instagram story snaps)

Now I’m home there’s a few more little bits and pieces I need to do before the big day arrives (10 days and counting if you can believe it!) but I’m planning on getting that all done this week. Christmas itself looks a lot more of a chilled event than normal and a lot less rushing around thankfully. We usually go and see everyone on the day itself, but this year they are coming to ours, so that will be a super nice change.

In other news, I’m really trying to get less stressed recently about the little things. Learning that I’m not responsible for everything that I think I am. It’s a long journey but small steps everyday is the motto I’m going with.

I’m sure I’ll be posting on here before Christmas, so I’ll see you soon.

Are you feeling festive?

I did this post earlier on this year about our inspire and create hashtag on Instagram. Since then, we’ve reached over 5,000 entries which is just wonderful, and we’ve expanded our own communities too. I wanted to check in with my fellow creatives and they were kind enough to answer a few questions I had to ask them!

Ghazal (herdaintydays)

  1. What is your number one app for Instagram? Snapseed is my go to app. There is not a single photo on my grid that didn’t get processed in Snapseed. A quick light fix, adjustments on selected areas only. It all got covered!
  2. Do you have any rules or posting schedules that you follow? Instagram helps you with your ideal posting time. If I’m honest, I’m irregular since I’m a mum but posting at my ‘right’ time makes a lot of difference on reach.
  3. Do you have any Instagram story tips? I like my feed cohesive but my stories are random and unfiltered. Raw and full of life. Basically everything that can’t make it on the feed will come on my stories. Highly recommend to use all Instagram’s features to interact with your followers better.


Amy (imagineamy)

  1. What inspires you and the photos you take for Instagram? For me, other creatives on Instagram inspire me. I also get inspiration from books, films, nature and music.
  2. What is your number one app for Instagram? I use Photoshop the most for my edits. I also like Snapseed, Lightroom and BokehCamFX for added magic.
  3. How do we get over creative block? I regularly have to have a break for posting because I have to fill my creative cup back up. I take the pressure off and take photos for fun not with any images in mind. I watch tutorials online and learn new skills just for fun and have a play! If I’m not in the mood just going for a walk or listening to music and doing fun creative things with Dylan my son gets me back in the creative mood. His imagination inspires me. I also scroll Pinterest for ideas too!

 

Ali (homewiththebuckleys)

  1. How do we get over creative block? I get creative blocks all the time. I find creativity is like a muscle, if I don’t keep using it, it gets weak. The best way to get over the creative fear is to just start. Start small. Take a photo of something simple and see where it takes me. I find that practical doing is better than planning.
  2. Christmas is coming up! Any tips for a creative photo? Christmas is the time for all things sparkle. Fairy lights and bokeh on everything in my opinion. I love adding sparkly layers to even the simplest of photos. Also, the pallet changes and becomes more dark and moody, I love that too!
  3. Do you have any Instagram story tips? Stories can be an intimidating place. And story fear is real! I tend to keep stories as true to me and my real life as possible. For me that’s what works best and resonates with my viewers. So my biggest tips are 1. Do what feels comfortable (you don’t have to talk to camera to do great stories) 2. Mix photos and videos through your day 3. Keep them dynamic with gifs, doodles, music or even use an outside app like ‘Unfold’ to create something that stands out.


    Sarah (sarah.simple.moments)

    1. What inspires you and the photos you take for Instagram? My kids inspire me. I want to create a magical world for them, even if it’s only on my photos. According to recent research, now at an earlier age children cease to believe in miracles. It’s very sad, and I want my kids to believe in magic and miracles for aslong as possible.
    2. Engagement can be up and down on Instagram. How can we not let it bother us? It’s a tough question. It’s hard not to look at those numbers, but if you find your tribe and friends here, you can always ask them to make a shoutout for you or to show some love to a post that gained less likes or comments. The creative community is very kind and supportive, so don’t hesitate to ask for help and support.
    3. Who’s your favourite person to follow on Instagram right now? I thought the second question was hard, this is even harder! I can’t choose one, all the profiles I follow I love! They are all unique and different. One of my rules that I teach and do it too is that you should only follow those people whose work really inspires you and you really love.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post and gained a few helpful Instagram tips along the way! If you want to follow me over on Instagram, I’m here and please have a look at the lovely ladies profiles above too.