OLW - Focus

I may not have been great at posting about my 2017 One Little Word but I still exercised it a bit more than I did my 2016 Word. My word for 2017 was Focus. I wanted to focus on my own life & career. Decide what I wanted to do with myself a bit more. This time last year I was pretty miserable in my work but now I’m a lot happier. It’s partly changes that were made & partly settling into changes that had been made the previous September.

Another thing that I focussed on was saving more money. Or as I said last year, any money at all. I’m happy with it but I plan to up the ante this year. I also cut my hair up pretty short and stopped dying it in September in an attempt to get it back to a healthy condition so with a bit of luck that won’t take too much longer. Before I go any further, hair, I know! First world problem but hey!!

One of the things that didn’t really change was how much I worry about things out of my control. That’s getting added to my list for this year’s Word. Another thing I planned to do in 2017 was build on the progress I made losing weight in 2016 & lose more. That did not happen. I spent the year losing & gaining the same half stone. This year, I vow to get back on track with that.

There’s plenty of other things I plan to do with my Word for 2018 & I’ll share my word along with what I plan to do with it in my next post.

Are you taking part in One Little Word this year? What’s your word for 2018?

If you would like to check out Ali Edwards’ One Little Word workshop, you can here. You can also find out more information about One Little Word here. The link is also in my side bar. Finally, if you want to check out my previous posts on this topic, click on One Little Word here or under the Series tab in the menu bar.

2017 was wonderful and these were my highlights:

January

January:

1. Lots of walks in the fresh Irish air to shake off the cobwebs of the late nights & alcohol of December.

2. A trip to Liverpool for a match with Mam & Stephen. The result was disappointing but the weekend was great.

3. A hen weekend in Carrick-On- Shannon with the girls.

February

February:

4. A weekend visit fromScott & Viv.

March - BudapestMarch - Budapest

March

March:

5. A trip to Budapest with Dave. Our first trip out of the country together.

6. A friend’s wedding. How pretty is that flower wall?

April - Fethard On Sea

April:

7. A girl’s night away at the Osprey Hotel.

8. Another hen weekend in Carrick-On Shannon.

9. Dinner with Dave to mark 1 year (kind of!)

10. A trip to Fethard-On-Sea.

June - Jennie’s 30th

June:

11. Celebrating Jennie’s 30th birthday.

JulyJuly -VentryJuly -Ventry

July:

12. Another wedding. This time it was friends of Dave’s and it was a very beautiful summer one in Dublin City.

13. A few days away in Ventry, Kerry. 

August:

14. Our summer holiday in Bratislava.

15. Followed by a week travelling the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland.

16. My 30th birthday celebrations.

September:

17. Electric Picnic for the 3rd year in a row.

18. The Repeal the 8th March for Choice.

November:

19. A weekend in Paris. A present from Dave for my 30th birthday.

20. Galway to celebrate Jade’s 30th and her & Owen’s engagement.

December:

21. Christmas drinks in town with friends.

22. A night away in Kilkenny with the girl’s from work.

23. The girl’s Kris Kindle night out.

24. Christmas Day with family.

25. And finally, New Years Eve drinks & games with friends in Jade & Owen’s house.

You were good to me 2017. Here’s to a great 2018…

I’ve been looking for breakfast or brunch ideas for the weekend that isn’t quite as bad as a typical Full Irish Breakfast. I found a lot of the muffin tin type recipes but I was hoping for something I could just put in the middle of the table & dish up.

So I decided to go with some of the ingredients from many of the muffin tin/ramekin recipes, with a few extras, and put it all in 1 big dish & pop it in the oven. The following recipe is enough for 3-4 people.

First I chopped 8 bacon medallions and put them on the pan with some spray oil (6 would be fine but they needed to be cooked before tomorrow so I decided to throw them all in)

Then I chopped up 6 mushrooms & added them to the pan. I had 3 baby potatoes left over from yesterday’s dinner so I chopped them up and added them in. (They are definitely optional but a great addition if it’s a brunch meal that you want to keep you going until dinner)

I used my spray oil again to spray the bottom of the oven dish and added the bacon, mushrooms & potatoes.

Next, I added a tin of baked beans. I removed a tbsp of the sauce because I thought there might be a little too much but I can’t see that it would make a huge difference.

After the beans, I added a sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese (if you’re trying to be good, you could leave this out) but the amount I added wouldn’t even be a tbsp per person.

Last but not least, crack a few eggs on top & season with salt & pepper before putting it into the oven for 20-25 minutes.

It’s a relatively quick and easy brunch idea with a limited amount of cleaning up. Add a pot of tea and everyone is happy.

The only thing I would do differently next time is possibly add some scallion or red onion to the mix.

Nikki
Well I tortured Jennie back in June with some old pictures to celebrate turning 30 & its only fair I do the same to Nikki. 

Nikki
Shots shots shots!
Now, lucky for everyone getting to enjoy these photos (or unlucky for you Nik & those in them!) I don’t have any up to date photos of Nikki as she has been living in Australia for several years now! 

Nikki's 21st
Nikki & I have known each other over 20 years. We first met when she joined my primary school in second class (I hope that’s correct, you’ll tell me if not) We had plenty of great times and got up to plenty of mischievous over the years. Some of these pictures show that.  


We may only get to see each other every couple of years now but when we do, it’s like nothing has changed & no time has passed. That makes us still in our mid-20s right?

Nikki & I
I hope you have a wonderful 30th birthday Nik. Welcome to the club. X

P.s. I’m getting away with that first picture because you’re too far away to kill me! I was originally looking for a nice school pic but I couldn’t pass this up!!


Reading… Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong. At least I was until my car was broken into and it was taken inside my bag. I’ll need to buy a second copy.

Watching… Power. Season 2, hooked! I’m also watching Ozark. I’m about half way through the first season. I’m enjoying it but waiting for it to pick up pace a little.

Listening to… Casefile podcasts. I listened to their 3 part podcast on Jonestown because I find Cults fascinating. I always have. Now I’m listening to them on the way to and from work. If you are interested in true crime then I’d highly recommend them.

Celebrating… Chief turning 10 at the weekend! He’s really turning into a grumpy old man but he was very happy with the steak he got for his birthday treat!

Focussing on… work mostly!

Eating… lots of smoked salmon and poached eggs but unfortunately all of the things I shouldn’t eat too!

Happy… about my new haircut. It was badly in need of a cut.

Scrapping… my 2017 Project Life spreads. I’ve just started this year so I’ve got my cover page and January completed.

Purging… beauty products and old make-up that I will never use or is most likely passed its use by date.

Planning… to make some healthy soups this week and to plan my meals a bit better in the hopes I don’t fall off the wagon!

Enjoying… a couple of unexpected days off work due to Storm Ophelia. Thankfully we didn’t get hit badly but my thoughts go out to the parts of the country that were and the people who lost their lives.

Looking forward to… A trip to Paris that Dave got for my 30th birthday. We’re going next month!!

This is me, enjoying the last year of my 20s and drinking a cocktail out of a fake coconut because why not?

So tomorrow I turn 30 & leave my 20s behind. It feels like this is the right time to evaluate my 20s and what I’ve learned. Here are 20 things that I have learned in my 20s:

1. A drama free life is a wonderful thing. There is soooo much unnecessary drama in your early 20s. 

2. You don’t have to and shouldn’t pretend your life is perfect all the time. It’s okay to tell the people close to you about the bad stuff as well as the good.

3. Relationships (of all kinds – friends, boyfriends, family members) are so important. They also take work. It needs to include equal effort (maybe at different times) and making time for each other. Oh and quality > quantity. 

4. It’s okay to mess up. That’s pretty much what your 20s are for. Learn from it.

5. Everyone doesn’t like you and you definitely should not lose sleep over that. 

6. Less is almost always more. Leaving something to the imagination is a good idea. 

7. Stand up for your beliefs. Don’t ever go along with the popular opinion to impress people. 

8. If he cares, you won’t have to chase him. It’s a man’s natural instinct to chase. If you’re the 1 doing all the chasing, he’s not worth it. 

9. Look after your skin! High SPFs and skin care routines are where it’s at. You’ll be glad of it later. 

10. Duck face poses are ridiculous and extremely unattractive. 

11. Taking photos is so important. Your memory will fade and photos serve as great memories. 

12. Wear comfortable heels or put flats in your bag. Don’t walk home in your bare feet. 

13. Your gut instinct is almost always right! 

14. Travelling is a good way to spend your money. Do it your way though, because there are so many travel “know-it-alls”. Whether it’s a week at a time in 5 star hotels or a year at a time in hostels, do what feels right to you. 

15. It’s ok to spend Saturday nights binge watching TV series rather than binge drinking but it’s also okay to go drinking and let your hair down with friends too. 

16. ‘No’ is a full sentence. You don’t always have to have an excuse/reason. 

17. Pick your battles. This is a big 1 for me. Sometimes it’s easier and makes more sense to hold your tongue. 

18. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is on a different journey. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Be happy for your friend’s achievements, wish people who are no longer in your life happiness and be grateful for what you have. The grass is not always greener. 

19. Never point out your flaws to other people. They might not have noticed before you drew their attention to them.

20. This 1 leads on from the last and it’s a bit of a cliche but stop hating things about yourself. You might never be the skinniest or have the prettiest hair. So what. You have plenty of other things going for you. 

Of course, it’s not all plain sailing and if I’m being honest, I’m not 100% there with #19 & #20 but it’s definitely a work in progress. Unfortunately I don’t know everything and I still have a lot to learn so maybe in 10 years time, I’ll be sharing 30 new things I’ve learned.

Here are some things I hope to learn/do in my 30s that I haven’t quite mastered in my 20s:

1. Budgeting my money better and not being afraid to check my bank balance! (Shopping obsession, anyone?)

2. The 6 month mantra. I tend to over worry and I can be a bit of a worse case scenario kind of person. I’ll learn from this in the future, I’m sure. So I need to try & think of the mantra of asking myself if it’s something that will still be a problem in 6 months time before I freak out. 

3. Not to let my emotions or mood dictate my day.

4. Patience. Mine are definitely getting worse rather than better.  That’s enough said about that. 

5. Stop making excuses not to exercise. 

I’ve added June into my July spread for 2016 because as I have previously said, I lost my pictures & so other than San Francisco, the only photos I have for June are the few taken in the last few days of the month. 

Spread 1:

Spread 1 is made up of a couple of pics from the end of June. I arrived home from San Francisco on my Dad’s birthday so I bought some doughnuts on the way home from the airport & some happy birthday candles. Mark was visiting from Cork with his new puppy Bear for a couple of days. The euros were on so it was only right to put an Ireland scarf on him. 

Project Life Kits: 

Strawberry (Core Kit)

Alpha Stickers: 

The blue & pink alpha stickers used for ‘summer’ and ‘June & July’ are Macaw Thickers.

The small pink alpha stickers for ‘Dads Bday’ are Snap Studios by Simple Minds.

Embellishments:

I have no idea where the loveheart embellishment is from. Oops!

Pocket Pages:

The pocket page I used for this spread is Design D from Project Life. 


Spread 2:

Spread 2 is made up mostly of pictures. The top left is a picture of Chief with his bandage. He got his nail caught in a metal bridge and it ripped off. Poor baby! The top right picture is me & Bex heading off to the cinema after her art summer camp. The bottom left is a picture of Emma, Bex & I having a picnic in the park. The bottom right is Stephen getting ready to BBQ. The two 3×4 picstures in the middle are my new nails – pink for summer and Lady hiding under my chair from the sun. 

Project Life Kits: 

Strawberry (Core Kit)

Pocket Pages:

The pocket page I used for this spread is Design D from Project Life. 

Spread 3:

Spread 3 is made up of pics from a night in July in Jade & Owen’s having drinks. It’s the first time Dave appears in my Project Life album. 

Project Life Kits: 

Seafoam (Core Kit)

Alpha Stickers: 

I can’t work out where the black alpha stickers used for ‘Drinks, Friends & Fun’ are from. The label had been cut off so I have no idea. 

The small grey alpha stickers for ‘Jade & Owen Singing!’ are made by Project Life.

The black alpha stickers for ‘July’ are Ali Thickers made for Studio Calico.

Pocket Pages:

The pocket page I used for this spread is Design D from Project Life. 

Spread 4:

Spread 4 is made up of pics from a couple of nights out in July. Me & Jade met a guy called Bobby that we met in Las Vegas a couple of years before. The other was a night Emma, Kiara & I went out in Lucan. 

Project Life Kits: 

Seafoam (Core Kit)

Alpha Stickers: 

The black alpha stickers used for ‘Who, What, Why’ are Handmade Boutique Elements by Little Birdie.

Embellishments:

I have no idea where the arrow embellishment is from. I probably shouldn’t pour whole packets of embellishments into tubs and not label them. 

The ‘Smile’ and the camera sticker are from MAMBI.

Pocket Pages:

The pocket page I used for this spread is made by Photo Freedom.

Copyright: 2017 #The100DayProject

 

Yay!!! Today is Day 100 of The 100 Day Project. It’s officially the first social media challenge that I’ve started and finished!!! It has been so fun with only a little bit of pressure on my busier days. I can’t believe I completed the challenge on time. I don’t think I’ll be able to switch off tomorrow and not do something towards my 100 Days of Paparali Blog. I hope that the creative habit that I have worked on over the past 100 days reminds me to blog more often and keep up with all the other aspects of the blog like social media, planning, etc.

So over the 100 days, I have written and released 40 blog posts (not including this 1), edited plenty of photos on my phone, edited photos on my MacBook, started a new notebook for the blog, made lists of post ideas, planned posts, took photos, chose books for The Big Book Challenge, Read books for The Big Book Challenge, explained & promoted my blog, read other blogs for inspiration, created a widget for a photography site I have, printed photos for Project Life, started a new Blog Series, shared posts to a Flipboard magazine and pinned lots of old posts, as well as new posts to Pinterest. 

I thought it might be a good idea to share some of the stats from my blog over the course of the challenge. I have no idea if they are good, bad or indifferent for a blog like mine, that is purely hobby based, but here goes. Over the last 100 days, paparali.com received:

  • 1631 views
  • 459 visitors
  • 24 likes
  • 19 comments

Not only that but it received views from 36 different countries. Those countries include: 

Ireland, UK, USA, Australia, South Africa, Switzerland, Sweden, Philippines, France, Netherlands, Canada, Vietnam, Pakistan, Czech Republic, Mexico, Israel, Hong Kong (China), Lebanon, Brazil, Bangladesh, India, Argentina, Denmark, Hungary, Germany, Trinidad & Tobago, Chile, Kuwait, Singapore, Greece, UAE, Poland, Spain, Morocco, Malaysia, Thailand. 

I was so unsure of the idea of a challenge like this at the beginning and how easy it would be to fail but I’m glad I stuck it out. I really enjoyed it and I’ll definitely be taking part, probably with something different, next year. 

Did you take part in The 100 Day Project? How did you get on? If not, would you consider something like this?

 


Penneys is on an absolute roll right now! I literally never use pencils but how could I not buy these. There’s 10 in the pack. 5 different kinds in 4 different colours. I can’t remember the price but I know they were really really cheap. 

The 5 different slogans say:

  • I’m super busy
  • I love Monday
  • Is it Friday yet?
  • Working hard
  • The real boss

I have had to ban myself from even looking in the homeware section because I do not need more candles/lights/picture frames/ring plates etc…

What great deals have you found in Penneys/Primark?

Dave and I were in Dingle in Kerry for a few days with friends last week and on our last night we went to the Blue Zone for dinner. It’s a jazz, wine bar that predominantly serves pizza. The first thing I’ll say is it really doesn’t look like much from the outside but when we googled places for pizza in Dingle, it was the first to pop up. The place itself had a nice relaxed vibe. There was some jazz music playing in the background. I’d love to know if they ever have live jazz playing. That would really add to the atmosphere. We got there around 9.30pm and ordered a drink and some food. The two negative things I have to say about the place were both about the drinks. The first was that the prosecco on sale was really not very nice. That’s not a complaint though, just a matter of taste. The second negative was that the bottle of red wine ordered cost €27 and we had bought it in another pub the day before for €15.

That being said, the pizza was one of the best I’ve ever had. I ordered the Hangover Cure pizza which was pretty much every type of meat imaginable – beef, chicken, pork, ham and Italian sausage. The base was thin but not too thin and it was lovely and crispy. It had a kind of yellow colour to it so they may use polenta to make it. Dave got the Oriental Mood pizza which had duck, lemongrass and red peppers. We also got a side of garlic potato wedges and they were delicious. Molly got the Spicy Chicken Salad and it was huge and the presentation was brilliant. 

Overall, I would definitely recommend this place for a relaxing night with some enjoyable food.