Finding my 2019 word definitely wasn’t as easy as usual. Normally my word kind of finds me. My process every year is to start looking at what I want from my word around the start of December. Then I usually have a look on Pinterest at lists of words to see what jumps out. I usually find around 5 or 6 that stand out and then I look at dictionary definitions for the words and quotes involving the words. It may sound strange but then over the month of December I just tend to see the word popping up in different places. As I said, it kind of finds me. 

Eventually my word for this year came to me & here I am on the 2nd January and I’ve finally found it. My word for 2019 is Flourish. Grow and Thrive stood out to me too and I think they’re perfect supporting words.

I looked up the word Flourish in a few different dictionaries, some of the results I found were:

  • to thrive in growth
  • to grow or develop successfully
  • to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way

The areas of my life I want to Flourish in 2019 are:

  • My health. Mental, physical & emotional. I definitely haven’t looked after my health very well the past couple of years. I need to pay more attention to my mental and emotional health but I definitely need to work on becoming physically healthier. I lost almost 3 stone a few years ago and in the past 2 years I’ve put half of it back on. So my goal for my physical health is to reach that 3 stone weight loss I was so close to before. In turn, feeling physically healthier will help my mental health.  
  • My relationships. They take work and I plan to work on all of mine in 2019. You have to nourish something to see it flourish. 
  • Our new home (hopefully!) We had a bid accepted on a house in early December so all going well, we’re hoping to turn it into a home in 2019. Something tells me this will play a big part in my OLW this year. 
  • My true self. This sounds so cheesy. I even feel a bit uncomfortable saying it but I think because I’m not a typically extroverted person, I tend to feel like my natural instincts are wrong rather than just different. So this year I plan to spend my time focusing on what I really want rather than what I think I should want. In doing that, I hope to learn to say yes to more things by saying no to things I really don’t want to do. 

The word Flourish also plays well with my plans for The 100 Day Project for 2019, but more about that later. 

So that’s it for now. I’ll be posting updates on my word here and on Instagram throughout the year. Mostly because I know that’s the best way to keep me accountable when it comes to my word. 

Have you chosen a word for 2019? I’d love to hear more about it. 

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. My previous words have been Less (2018), Focus (2017), Balance (2016) and Stronger (2015).

I just wanted to share a final update of my One Little Word for 2018. My word for the year was Less.

I’m very aware that the word Less is in itself a negative word but a huge part of my goal for 2018 was to have less negative thoughts. There’s really no point in pretending there has been a huge change in that area for me. I’m naturally a worrier which means my natural reaction is to think worst case scenario. It was naive of me to think that I could just change that mentality without any work. That will definitely need to be added to 2019 with some more in-depth plans.

I also planned to spend less money in 2018 which was a huge part of my plan in order to save to buy a house. We had a bid accepted on a house early December so that was definitely a successful part of my OLW for this year.

Something else that worked well for me was that I got rid of a lot of physical things. I definitely wanted to have less possessions by the end of 2018. I incorporated my 100 Day Project into my OLW and it resulted in me getting rid of A LOT, which was great.

I’m really happy with what I’ve gotten out of my word this year. There’s plenty of other things I wanted to do with my word for 2018 & I’m sure some of it, I’ll be able to carry with me into 2019. I’ll share my word for 2019, along with what I plan to do with it early in the new year.

Are you taking part in One Little Word this year? What’s your word for 2019?

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.

Yay, week 1 of The 100 Day Project is complete! 7 days down, 93 to go. A week in and I’m still really excited about this project. I wake up each day and I think about what I’m going to do, how I’m going to do it and also how I’m going to document it. I’m also really enjoying checking out other people’s project on Instagram. I was getting this creativity FOMO (even though there was kind of a certain level of creativity to some of my photographs) before the Project even started so on day 1, I decided I was going to draw a little picture to represent my project each day. I might not actually draw it on the day and I haven’t decided if I’m going to share them all but the plan is to have 100 mini drawings by the end of the project. Drawings 1 to 7 are above.

My favourite projects include the two wonderful hosts. Elle Luna’s animations are amazing. Did you see Day 4? Wow! Lindsay Jean Thompson’s project is great because it seems so doable and then you read her lovely words and realise, not so doable because she’s an amazing writer. Her day 5 was my favourite and her day 7 is so inspiring. Like she even needs to be mentioned because I’m obsessed with her project every year but Elise Cripe’s project is so good. I love love love her unicorn print from Day 7. I can’t wait to see it finished and find out what she does with it. Allie Lehman’s project is another 1 I’m really enjoying. She’s blogging everyday for 100 days. My favourite post so far was Day 2 Anticipation. My absolute favourite project so far this year is my dad’s. I’m really loving checking in each day to see what he’s doing and I’m really excited he’s taking part. His bookmark on Day 5 is my favourite so far.He’s going to be getting a lot of bookmark and jewellery requests from me. I’m really excited that barbells.and.baking decided to join me in 100 Days of Less. The girl is putting me to shame with her clear outs. She went very big on Day 1 and hasn’t slowed down. You can follow her Project on her Instagram stories. Finally, I’m enjoying checking out anyone who is doing any sort of calligraphy, typography or hand lettering because I’m really interested in learning more about that.

Things I’ve learned 7 days into this project:

  • I will never ever be a minimalist.
  • I have serious anxiety at the thoughts of getting rid of certain things including books and notebooks.
  • There are things I’ve kept because I like them or think they look nice and to justify it, I’m holding on for dear life to the William Morris quote “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”.
  • I am very far from an artist and I’m “drawing” (or colouring in) with pens for goodness sake but I’m enjoying those tiny pictures so much.
  • Even though my project is not creative, it is making me want to create things which is a great outcome.

How’s your 100 Day Project going? What have you learned after the first 7 days?

the100dayproject.org

I’m taking part in The 100 Day Project for the second year running this year and my project is going to link in with my 2018 One Little Word. For my 2018 project, I plan to do ‘100 Days of Less’.

I kind of felt a little bit like I was cheating because the project is generally supposed to be 100 days of creative habit and where last year’s project was kind of creative with blogging, this year’s isn’t at all but it’s what feels right for me and I’m sure the creativity will come with trying to photograph my project (hey, I guess it’s 100 days of really bad iPhone photography too!) After listening to Elle Luna and Lindsay Jean Thompson’s interview with Michael Beirut where he said that your 100 day project can be anything really once you do it for 100 days (yes, even brushing your teeth!), I felt much better about my 2018 project.

For 100 consecutive days, I’m going to try to create a more minimalistic life. The things I intend on having less of by the end of this project include makeup, clothes, books, shoes, unnecessary plastic objects, handbags, craft supplies and photographs. I also plan to clear out my emails, phone storage, work files, social media “friends” and hard drives. Finally, I plan to worry less, stress less, think less negative thoughts, eat less unhealthy food and spend less time doing things I don’t want to do.

Now, the difficult part is how I’m going to share my project. I haven’t fully decided and there isn’t always a pretty way to share photos of this kind of thing but I think I’ll post as many Instagram pictures as I can and share some parts of my project (most likely process pics and videos) to Instagram Stories. I’m also going to create a video using the 1 Second Everyday App and most likely blog a few times throughout the 100 days with some progress updates.

I love this project and I have been looking forward to it starting again for ages. Sure it’s not always easy and I tend to hit some road blocks but I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t want it to end last year.

If you are interested in learning more about The 100 Day Project, check out Elle Luna  and Lindsay Jean Thompson on Instagram.You should also check out Elise Blaha Cripe on Instagram because if you’re having thoughts about giving up, her enthusiasm is amazing! Also check out her podcast on her previous experiences and plans for The 100 Day Project here and here and here and here.

If you want, you can read my posts from last year’s project here and here and here and here! Okay, I’ve said the word here waaaay too many times now.

This year’s The 100 Day Project starts on Tuesday 3rd of April but if you don’t see this on time, you can join in and start your 100 days anytime.

What are you doing for the 100 day project?

I’m going to talk about my new favourite app but I want to start off by saying this post is not an Ad. What? You didn’t think it was anyway? Oh, ok.

I went to Bratislava last August & while I was there I made a 1 Second Everyday video. I ‘mashed’ it and attempted to upload it here, to no success. I decided it was too big so I bought an app that made it smaller (or maybe I used iMovie, I really don’t remember, it was 6 months ago!). Anyway, I tried to upload it again & it didn’t work. I asked my dad to change the upload limit on the site so that I could upload larger files, and he did. That still didn’t work, so I gave up.

Then ‘snowmageddon’ happened and I got bored so I went back to it, but of course, still no luck. Finally, I did what I should have done months ago. I asked my dad for more help. I left it with him for a few hours and TA-DA!!! I’m going to take this opportunity to say it seriously sucks that I’m not a really successful blogger because if I was, my dad could work for the blog & sit at home doing it. A job that you can do from home with limited interaction with real people. Hello fellow introverts!! The dream right?! So eh…sorry about that, Dad! (And for anyone who wants to know what he did to fix it, you’d have to ask him!)

Anyway, back to 1 Second Everyday. I decided I was going to record my year starting on the day of my 30th birthday. I thought it would be a good idea to get some practice using the app first and so I decided to record our week in Bratislava using the 1SE app. I did that and I’ll share it in another post soon.

The idea behind the 1SE app is that you record 1 second of your life every day for an entire year and the result is a short movie to remind you what you did with your year. You can do it two different ways. Either a Timeline or a Freestyle.

A Timeline allows you to use 1 video everyday and it keeps track for you using a calendar template so you can see at a glance if you’ve taken a video for each day. If you miss a day, it allows you to add a picture instead or even choose a video from a different day. They’ve since updated this feature so you can now choose 2 seconds from each day.

The Freestyle option allows you to add as many 1 second video clips as you like to your accumulated movie. Freestyle is much more suited to shorter projects such as holidays or trip because you most likely want more than just 1 second for each day.

The purpose of the 1 Second Everyday app is to record a second of your life for an entire year but it can be used for so much more than that. As I said previously, my intention was to record my year, 1 Second Everyday, from the day I turned 30. I did that from 24th August – 31st December. Some days for me it felt like a bit of a chore or I’d forget until last thing at night & my videos would have bad lighting or they would clearly be something thrown together. I decided, on January 1st 2018, I was going to switch from a Timeline video,where I was disappointed in myself if I missed a day, to a Freestyle video. Using the Freestyle option meant I could record the moments that really mattered to me & skip out on the days that were dull & didn’t include much worth recording. So my video at the end of 2018 might not have 365 seconds (roughly 6 minutes) but it will include the things that mattered to me. Sometimes that might be several seconds in a day and sometimes it will skip a few days here and there. I’m enjoying the project much more now and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

That’s not where it ends for this great app. Recording your life for a year is just 1 way to use it. You can also use it to record trips, holidays, projects you’re working on, the growth of your children or your pet’s daily activities. Pretty much anything that you want to be able to look back on with a short movie once it’s over.

I’m currently using the app to record my own year and a year in the life of my dogs. I’ve been sharing Chief & Lady’s 1SE projects month by month over on Instagram. My handle is @Paparali if you want to check them out.

I plan to take part in The 100 Day Challenge for the second year in a row, starting April 3rd and it’s my intention to create a 1SE movie of that too. The options are endless & I love thinking of other ways to use this great app.

As you might have heard (or experienced) we’ve recently had our first heavy snowfall in about 8 years in Ireland and it’s been dubbed ‘Snowmageddon’ as well as ‘The Beast from the East’ and ‘Storm Emma’. I decided to make a 1SE video over the last few days of fun in the snow and I’ll share it over on my Instagram account as an example of how this great app works.

I’ll be sharing some of my 1 Second Everyday videos here soon. Keep an eye out for them.

If you want to purchase the 1 Second Everyday app, you can do so in your App Store on iPhone for the small fee of €5.49 (or something close to that) and I think it’s possibly free on Android. To find out more about 1 Second Everyday, check out their website here.

I hope you try this app & enjoy it as much as I do. Happy memory keeping!!!!

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!!

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. 

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.