Next up in my ‘Favourite Things’ series is blogs. There are a few I love and check in on regularly so I thought I’d share them here. 

 

Enjoy It

http://www.elisejoy.com

Elise Joy’s Blog ‘Enjoy It’ is my absolute Favourite. Elise lives in San Diego with her husband and two daughters. She owns a brand called GET TO WORK BOOK which provides tools for goal setting. You can check that out here. She has also sold many other things through the shop on her website. She used to post on her blog every single day. She doesn’t anymore but checks in with a new post every now and again. I absolutely love her posts and there’s a huge back catalogue of posts covering many things from her family life, to goal planning to DIY and homemade projects. She also has a brilliant podcast about small business and creativity, amongst other things. You can check that out here.

 

The Band Wife Blog:

http://thebandwifeblog.com

Laura Gummerman is a band wife who lives in Nashville. She recently had a baby girl and has two adorable cats. Lately she has been sharing posts about her lovely daughter Lola and her pregnancy but there’s also plenty of posts about her home life, her tour life, her style, her home and cats, cats, cats! Laura is a staff writer and project assistant for the ‘A Beautiful Mess’ blog which I will mention next. She has a really fun casual style of writing and she’s very funny. 

 

A Beautiful Mess

http://abeautifulmess.com

A Beautiful Mess is run by two sisters, Elsie & Emma.It is an entire lifestyle company. They share lots of home decor projects and craft projects as well as recipes and more. They also have a couple of photo editing apps and a couple of books. They sell lots of pretty things and you can check out their shop here. These women work hard and have turned what was once just a blog into a huge and very successful business.

 

Becky Higgins

beckyhiggins.com/blog

Becky Higgins is the creator of the  scrapbooking brand Project Life. I’m a huge fan of this memory keeping method and you can find some of my posts about it here. You can find out all about the concept and shop her products over on her website but you can also read posts about Project Life, digital scrapbooking,  “cultivating a good life and recording it” and lots more!

 

Ali Edwards

https://aliedwards.com/blog

Ali is a designer, blogger, workshop instructor and an author. My interest in her started a few years ago when I first learned of the concept of One Little Word, which I have posted about and you can check those posts out here. Since then I’ve also (kinda) taken part in her ‘A Day in The Life’ project. Ali is an avid memory keeper and her blog has lots of posts about Project Life and other creative projects.

 

My Tiny Mind

http://mytinymind.com

My Tiny Mind is something quite different from the rest of the blogs I’ve mentioned. It is a blog belonging to a middle aged, middle brow (his words, not mine) man who shares his opinion on things from Trump to his generation to local charities. He also discusses life long learning and random topics from what he calls his ‘Man Drawer’. Mostly though, he shares reviews of books and his travels which are definitely worth a read.

 

Some other new blogs, belonging to friends of mine, which are worth keeping an eye out for include:

National Steographic

Small Matters

Building Our Home

All of the pictures above where taken from the relative blogs. 

Focus on Your Own Shit

I can’t believe we’re nearly at the end of April and this is my first follow up post to my 2017 OLW post. I’m thinking not having a regular means of keeping in touch with my word and getting it down on paper means I’m less able to share how it’s going here. Despite this it’s actually going quite well.

I thought I’d start off by sharing what I plan to get from the word Focus this year, so here goes. In 2017, I plan to focus on:

  • My own shit! Excuse my language but I need to learn to focus on myself and where I am and want to be. I think there’s a thing that comes with age (and I’m turning 30 this year!) where we all start to think about where we should be and what we should have or be doing. I plan to focus this year on working out where I want to be in terms of life and career and not worrying about comparing myself to other people.
  • The here and now. I’m a worrier so I can spend too much time in the past so it’s important I learn to focus on the present.
  • Being content with what I have and on having less. I think it’s very easy in western society to constantly want more. The newest and the best things. This year, I want to de-clutter and focus on spending less money accumulating crap I don’t need. That doesn’t mean never buying things but it does mean quality over quantity.
  • Being productive and not just busy.
  • Losing more weight. I have a goal and I have been slacking on that majorly. 
  • Letting go of the small things. This is a big ask for someone like me who is very detail oriented. It’s the kind of goal that gets carried over because if I’m being realistic, this won’t change over night. 
  • Saving more money. By more I mean any at all.
  • Growing my hair and getting it back to a healthy condition.
  • Spending more time with people and books and less time hiding behind devices. This is very aspirational in today’s society but even if it has improved slightly by the end of the year, I’ll consider this 1 a success.
  • Being happy!!

I found this picture on Instagram. Check out keelyrust to find it. You can keep up to date with where I’ll be sharing words around my OLW Focus over on  Pinterest. my name over there is @paparali. You can also check out my other OLW posts here

Saved from: weheartit.com

Saved from: weheartit.com

So I may have gone totally AWOL on my word for 2016. It was a total mess. I exercised balance alright, but in two halves not as a whole throughout the year. For that reason, I’ll be carrying Balance over into 2017 with me. I still wanted to have a new word for this year too so I considered a few but one word has continued to jump out to me since early January. So my word for 2017 is Focus.

Usually it takes me a while to decide on my word but this year it has seemed pretty clear from the get go what it would be. I usually look up dictionary definitions of the words and searched for quotes on it on Pinterest. I wasn’t blown away by the dictionary definition but I didn’t let that put me off.

 {FOCUS; (noun) an act of concentrating interest or activity on something}

Last year I  signed up to Ali Edwards’ One Little Word workshop. I really stuck to it for the few months but then it seemed to trail off.  I haven’t signed up again this year but I do plan to go back over some of the lessons from last year that really stood out to me. Other than that I plan to record my progress a little bit here and on my Pinterest and Instagram account. The thing I love most about OLW is that you can use it and document it however you like.

Are you taking part in One Little Word this year? What’s your word for 2017?

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.

 

OLW #5

Jana Kingsford www.MumsJugglingAct.com (pinned by www.naturallysassy.co.uk)

This month I’m asking myself questions to keep me focused on my One Little Word for 2016. All along I’ve been wondering how I can find balance, like it’s something I’m going to stumble upon. So when I saw this quote on Pinterest, it got me thinking that balance is something I need to create. The first question I’m asking myself this month is ‘how can I create balance in my life?’

How do you create balance in your life?

I took part in Ali Edward’s ‘Day in the Life’ for the first time this year. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it on March 29th with everyone else so I did it on April 1st instead. I’m planning on incorporating the photos from the day into my Project Life album but I’m not sure how yet. I wanted to share all of my pictures here so other people can see what a day in my life looks like. As I was off work for the Easter holidays my day was spent at home which meant a lot more natural light than my work days would have. I used my iPhone 6 Plus to take all of my pictures. Next time I hope to have prepared a little better and take pictures of me using a timer rather than just selfies. I took all of my pictures using the Snapchat app so that I could save them and then add the time stamp to them and save them again. This meant I could move about my day a little quicker without having to pay too much attention to keeping a record of the times for each photo.

So here’s my day:

09.04am

09.04am | Messy bed // No work today as I’m still on Easter holidays from work // I was up until 3am last night so 9am isn’t bad.

09.15am

09.15am | Snuggles with Chief (for a little too long) // I like to do this on days that I’m not in work because I don’t have time on work days. He loves an ear rub // Lady was busy out the back garden barking at the neighbour’s cats.

09.52am

09.52am | Breakfast time // Soaked porridge with 0% fat Greek yoghurt and berries // I also took this time to scroll through my Instagram and Facebook feeds.

 

10.33am

10.33am | Brushing my teeth // Pyjamas and slippers // I have to use a soft toothbrush because my gums bleed very easily.

10.45am

10.45am | Pain Killers // My back is not as good as I thought it was so some paracetamol will help with the pain // Hopefully it will be back to normal tomorrow 

11.01am

11.01am | Organising my craft room // It’s a slow process but I’m getting an hour or two in each day while I’m off work // Trying to purge a lot of craft supplies // I’m also checking back over my files to see if I can minimise what I need to keep.

11.18am

11.18am | Purging & organising stickers // relocating my stickers from one of my Ikea Alex units to one of my Raskog carts with my Project Life kits // I find I forget to use them because they’re not kept with my kits. Hopefully this will remind me to use them more.

11.44am

11.44am | Purge complete, still organising // It’s taking a little bit longer than I thought.

12.37pm

12.37pm | Stickers on the bottom shelf of my two Raskog carts under my Project Life kits // I organised my Project Life kits alphabetically yesterday and added labels using my Brother label printer and black card // the black sack is for recycling.1.26pm

01.26pm | Time to put my make-up on and get dressed // Yes, I’m aware it’s the middle of the day but what’s the rush when you don’t have to leave the house.

1.51pm

01.51pm | OOTD // All black, everything.

2.13pm

02.13pm | Time to leave the house.

2.37pm

02.37pm | Lunch and a chat with my friend Jade // In a pub in the village I live in // Cajun Chicken on Ciabatta.

3.32pm

03.32pm | Hood is up because it’s raining // Irish weather is unpredictable // The sun was splitting the sky yesterday.

3.49pm

03.49pm | Food shopping // picking up some food for lunches and dinners over the weekend // I also got some flowers to brighten this rainy day.

4.04pm

04.04pm | Came home too these two guilty faces // The stuffing was pulled out of one of the cushions.

4.30pm

04.30pm | Flowers // cutting the stems of the flowers and putting them in vases // I’m also tidying the kitchen and putting the food shopping away.

5.01pm

05.01pm | Dropping in to Dad and Marian // I wanted to drop something in and stayed a while to chat.

5.07pm

05.07pm | Dad’s dogs // Chilling in their crate even though they don’t have to. 

5.28pm

05.28pm | Hair up // out of my way because I’m ready to sit down and finish off March’s One Little Word prompt before I check out April’s lesson.

5.39pm

05.39pm | Vision board for One Little Word // flicking through some magazines to find pictures that represent balance for my One Little Word vision board.

6.25pm

06.25pm | Spending time with Chief and Lady // I can work on my One Little Word prompt anywhere so I’m doing it in the living room so I can spend time with the dogs // even if they would prefer to just snuggle together and fall asleep // Chief fell asleep looking out the window // Lady is happy once shes snuggling near Chief.

07.05pm

07.05pm | A tea dinner with my Dad and Marian // A perfect Friday, rainy day dinner.

7.50pm

07.50pm | Nose biter // chatting to Dad and Marian while Klaus bites Dad’s nose.

8.28pm

08.28pm | More snuggling // the picture is blurry because the lighting is poor in that room but she’s too cute not to post it // I sat with Lady and Chief for another little while and watched the soaps.

9.43pm

09.43pm | Sweeping the floor // someone tell me how 1 woman and 2 dogs can make such a mess in 1 day // something tells me Lady brought a lot of this in from the back garden.

10.02pm

10.03pm | April’s One Little Word Lesson // sitting on my bed for a few minutes to check out this month’s lesson // reading the PDF, I’ll watch the video tomorrow.

10.19pm

10.19pm | Some more tidying // back to the craft room for another while // working through a box of miscellaneous things like thread, pens and notebooks.

12.41am

12.41am | Bedtime // technically not the same day but my bedtime is rarely before midnight // taking my make-up off in bed.

12.46am

12.46am | A little reading before I sleep.

 

Did any of you take part in Ali’s ‘Day in the Life’? How do you plan to document it?

 

image

exilelifestyle.com (via Pinterest)

While I’m still aiming to do something productive and something for pleasure every day in March and it’s going fairly well, I’m also off work for 2 and a half weeks for the St. Patrick’s Day and Easter breaks. I have to remember that what I’m striving for is a balanced life and that extremes in any situation are rarely a good thing. So in other words, it’s okay to eat a piece of cake but it’s not necessary to have cake everyday. It’s okay to be Irish, spend time with friends and get a bit drunk on St. Patrick’s Day (warning: major cliche alert) but it’s also good to spend time at home, enjoying my own company and getting early nights.

I’m still working towards a balanced life that comes naturally, how’s your One Little Word going?

OLW #2

One of the things I really struggle with is the work/life balance. It seems to either go completely one way or another. I can be a complete workaholic & spend my weekends working and late into the nights or else it’s the complete opposite and I’m living a little too much. Going out more than I should at the weekend and mentally not turning up for work as much as I could. I’m trying to find a happy medium on this one. I agree with the idea of ‘work to live, don’t live to work’ and fully believe nobody, on their death bed, wishes they’d worked more. However, I think that’s a bit too simplistic. The majority of us have to work in order to have a good life which makes both work & life very important. This quote really stood out to me because in order to fill our souls with adventure, we have to work to fill our pockets, therefore I think it’s important to work hard & enjoy what we do in order to have the adventures.This year I hope to find a healthy balance between the two.

I found this beautiful image on Pinterest and you can go to kaylanicole.me to find the poster designer.

My Bedroom

Reading… Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a J.K. Rowling). Book number 3 for Galbraith. I’m only about 60 pages in and it’s a little slow but I’m hoping it turns out as good as the first 2.

Watching… Rookie Blue. I’m almost finished the final season and I’m getting a bit emotional. My favourite characters are Nick and Oliver.

Listening to… Adele’s latest album. It’s not living up to 21 but it’s growing on me.

Pinning…hair pics and gender equality quotes. See, you can be girly and a feminist.

Trying… soaked porridge oats with natural yogurt and fruit for breakfast. It’s making a nice change and tastes quite nice.

Drinking… less alcohol than this time last year. Trying to cut down a bit on all things bad for me. Don’t ask about the diet coke!! Please.

Considering…a trip to Amsterdam in the summer.

Scrapping… I still have catching up to do with my Project Life album from 2015 (ahem, and 2014) but I created my cover page for 2016 last week and now I’m working on my January spread. Keeping on top of it this year, I swear…kinda…hopefully!

Enjoying… spending time in my bedroom. I’ve had trouble getting to sleep lately so I’ve been going up to my room earlier than normal and trying to relax for a while before it’s time to sleep. I love the brightness of my bedroom even at this time of year. Also, it’s kind of pathetic how much new cushions make me happy. (see the middle cushion above from Penneys)

Cooking…lots of turkey dishes. Burgers, meatballs, tacos.

Planning…blog posts for the next couple of months.

Hating… The really cold, miserable weather but I’m looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Taking….the Ali Edwards’ One Little Word 2016 workshop.

Looking forward to…a great year ahead.

IMG_4974

 

Ta Da!!! My word for 2016 is Balance.

It took me a while to decide on my word. I’ve been playing around with it and trying it out for size over the month of January. I went through a similar process last year and I was glad I took my time choosing a word. The process that worked for me in 2015 was to think about what things I needed or wanted to change in any way and write down words that came to mind. Then, I looked through lists of words on Ali Edwards’ site and added any that caught my attention. Next, I looked up dictionary definitions of the words and searched for quotes on them on Pinterest. By this point I usually have it pinned down to around 3 words. I write down all the ways each of them can apply to my year ahead and how they can benefit me. I usually have one in mind by this point and I just see how it feels for the rest of the month and I have my decision made by January 31st.

Last year I didn’t really use any method of recording my progress, yet the word stayed with me all year.This year I’m not committing myself to any particular method but I definitely plan to track it in some way. The biggest change I’ve made this year is to sign up to Ali Edwards’ One Little Word workshop for 2016. It has already given me some ideas to run through when choosing a word and I look forward to finding out what it has to offer each month. If you would like to check it out, 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.

Are you taking part in One Little Word this year? What’s your word for 2016?

 

 

Stronger

Image made using the ‘A Beautiful Mess’ app & the ‘Color Story’ app.

I’m taking part in Ali Edwards ‘One Little Word’ again this year. I tried it last year for the first time and found it really interesting. I was surprised how much I took hold of the word and although I didn’t achieve everything I thought I would with it, I’m happy with the changes I’ve made and I plan to keep hold of that it while I take on this year’s word.

Last year’s word was ‘Stronger’ and I hoped to become stronger in lots of different ways. The most important thing I hoped to gain from ‘One Little Word’ was to become stronger mentally and comfortable staying in the house overnight on my own. It took some time but I finally got there and now I actually enjoy having the house to myself. This was a HUGE accomplishment for me. The second thing I wanted was to become physically stronger, fitter and healthier.  I have a long, long way to go on that but I’ve made some progress. I try to go swimming regularly and I still love chocolate and McDonalds when I’m hungover and drink waaaaay too much diet coke but I’m marginally better than I was.I’ve definitely become stronger as an individual person and I enjoy my own company more and I like the idea of being single and not worried about anyone else. I’d like to think I’m doing okay as a friend and I’m there for my friends as much as I can when they need me. I need to work more on the family bit, I could probably have more patience in that area. I suppose the people closet to us can end up on the wrong end of our bad moods. I think I’m definitely more positive than I was but I think that’s down to being happier in my life and doing more things that I enjoy.

I definitely didn’t build a stronger blog and kind of flaked on it completely. I also didn’t become better at my job.  These things needing more work have helped me to choose this year’s word. Stay tuned to find out what 2016’s word will be.  You can check out my post on 2015’s word here.

Have you tried ‘One Little Word’? How did your 2015 word go?