It’s finally April and I don’t think I’m the only one who will say that that was officially the weirdest and longest March ever. A new month and a new quarter and I’m in planning and project mode. There are definitely days when I don’t want to do anything and there are days when my moods are high one minute and low the next. I keep reminding myself that:

  • I’m not stuck at home, I’m safe at home.
  • Every new day, we’re one day closer to this being over.
  • It is an absolute luxury to be able to stay at home, safe and maybe even bored.

THINGS I’VE BOUGHT ONLINE THIS WEEK

  • This loungewear set from Asos. Yep, they’re technically pyjamas but if I get up in the morning, have a shower and put them on, I’m calling them work clothes. 
  • 10 postcards from @framesthatsparkle on Instagram. They were part of a Fiver Friday offer Caroline runs ever week. I can’t wait for them to arrive. I’ve ordered some great prints from her before.
  • An A5 print from @tinybisonillustration which was part of Steph’s Fiver Friday. I’ve already bought some hand drawn tiny portraits from her and I’m obsessed.

THE 100 DAY PROJECT

The 100 Day Project starts next Tuesday 7th April and I’m joining in for my 4th year. I usually prefer a really specific project to keep me focused. Last year I did 100 Days of Calligraphy for example, but this year I’m going with a broader topic. I’ve decided to do lots of little projects – 100 Days of Paparali Projects. I’m going to do a mixture of photo projects, home DIY, painting, sewing, baking, Project Life spreads, doodles and more. I’ve been planning my projects and I’m excited to get started. Have you ever tried a 100 Day Project? This could be a good year to give it a try. 

FINDING WHAT RECHARGES YOU

I have been using Elise Blaha Cripe’s ‘Three Things’ method, from her book Big Dreams Daily Joys, to help me stay productive each day during this lockdown (sorry Leo Varadkar, the rest of us are calling it a lockdown even if you’re not). Some days I put tasks on it that might take a few minutes, like watering my succulents. Other days I put tasks on it that might take a few hours, like re-organising my kitchen presses. Sometimes it’s things like drinking more water that I can tip away at throughout the day.

Planning things and making lists recharges and energises me. The point is not to get all of the things done, but to plan and to be a bit more productive. If I get the three things done, great. If I get one thing done, it’s one more than nothing. It’s really not about beating yourself up about the things that didn’t get done. I’m sure I drive some people mad by posting them on Instagram, and that’s fine. They can mute or unfollow. We have the ability to curate our Instagram feeds. This is what works for me. It’s what makes me get out of bed, especially at the weekend when I’m not trying to work from home. I’m not saying I’m productive all of the time. Are there days when I sit on the sofa for the day and binge Netflix? Absolutely. What energises you?

Come & chat in the comments, slide into my DMs (not in that way) on Instagram or email me at ali@paparali.com

Anyway, that’s enough from me this week…catch ya next week…maybe!

Ali 😉

P.s. I love a bit of eucalyptus.

EMAILS & EMAIL NEWSLETTERS

I love email newsletters and I would love to create my own, but here are 3 reasons why I’m not going to:

  1. I’m sure you need some sort of software that I’m not going to buy. 
  2. I may get bored if it starts to feel like an obligation and stop wanting to do it.
  3. The only person likely to sign up to it is my dad because he’ll want to be supportive.

What I have decided to do instead is to post something that resembles a newsletter here for as long as it makes sense for me.

Earlier this year, I paid a very small fee to take this Inbox Bootcamp e-course. I would highly recommend it. It was a brilliant idea because it helped me clear my inbox and unsubscribe to all of the unwanted emails that come into my personal email every single day. Could I have done it without the e-course, most likely, but it focused my mind and I got some great tips. Now, instead of just deleting multiple junk type emails every day, I have signed up to a handful of email newsletters and I really look forward to them coming in throughout the week/month. I’m working off a zero inbox policy now and it feels like a big accomplishment.

 

WHY SOCIAL MEDIA IS GREAT IN A CRISIS

Did you see that? I got 2 paragraphs in before I mentioned the Coronavirus. Before you roll your eyes and leave, this is actually a positive point. When the government, here in Ireland, first announced the schools would be closing, it looked like people were just going to bulk buy and then turn on each other. It felt very uncertain and scary. Over two weeks later, we have further restrictions and everything is still up in the air, but people are coming together to help and lift each other up. Here are some of the things online that have made me smile through all of this: 

  • Musicians doing ‘gigs’ from their homes for charity. The Gavin James one for Alone on Instagram stories was so good.
  • People offering their services to parents trying to homeschool their kids. The Body Coach Joe Wicks doing P.E. from his living room every morning for kids at home is a great way to burn off a little energy before tackling the academic subjects.
  • Penguins wandering free around aquariums. This is the content I want to see.
  • Videos of Italians singing together from their balconies.
  • Irish people singing Irish songs from their front gates on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Kids chatting to and entertaining their grandparents through windows.
  • Exercise classes and bingo on the street.
  • People reaching out to elderly neighbours to help them with shopping and collecting prescriptions.
  • People using apps like Zoom and HouseParty to connect with friends and family in a fun way.

What did you see online that made this crisis a little more bearable this week? Let me know in the comments, slide into my DMs (not in that way) on Instagram or email me at ali@paparali.com

Oh and here’s a picture of my very cute old dog…his face sure makes me feel better and yes, this was taken just across from my house because it’s important to respect that 2km from your house rule.

Anyway, that’s enough from me this week…catch ya next week…maybe!

Ali 😉