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 😉

Reading… ‘The Year of Less’ by Cait Flanders. I heard a bit about this book on Instagram so decided to give it a go & it hasn’t disappointed. I’m amazed by how much of her possessions Cait has managed to get rid of.

Watching… Dexter. I’ve only 1 episode to go and it got a bit silly in the last season but I’ve enjoyed it over all. I also watched season 1 & 2 of Divorce and loved it. Sarah Jessica Parker is fashion goals in everything she does.

Listening to… ‘There Are Other Ways’ podcast with Fiona Barrows. Oh my god, I could talk about it for ever. It’s soooo good. Fiona talks to different women in each episode who are living life a little differently to the “norm”. It’s thought provoking and entertaining and as a woman, it’s so inspiring.

Focussing on… The 100 Day Project. 28 days in & loving it.

Pinning… healthy food recipes & calligraphy fonts.

Eating… lots of cauliflower rice & trying a new oat, banana & peanut butter cookie recipe. Although, we were at a wedding this weekend and ate & drank all of the wrong things.

Scrapping… nothing right now. I have January & February done. I was hoping to get a start on my March spread before April was over, but no such luck.

Looking forward to… a trip to Madrid next weekend!

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!!!!


Reading… ‘Fully Functioning Human (Almost): Living in an Online/Offline World’ by the Irish YouTuber Melanie Murphy. I’m only a couple of chapters in but so far so good.

Watching… Suits. I’m on season 2 and it’s fun and easy-watching. And before you ask, I’m completely guilty of watching it to get a look at Meghan Markle before she gave it all up for Harry. I’m also excited that Grey’s Anatomy is back after it’s winter break and I’ve just watched Big Little Lies and loved loved loved it.

Listening to… Pink’s new album ‘Beautiful Trauma’. It’s great and I didn’t expect any less. I’ve loved all her albums.

Focussing on… My one little word for 2018 – LESS.

Pinning… quotes and ideas for my One Little Word for 2018.

Eating… A lot of Weight Watchers recipes so lots of chicken, eggs & fish.

Totally over… Winter! It’s long, miserable & grey.

Scrapping… My 2017 Project Life album. All of the photos are printed. I’m just working through my PL cards and embellishments now.

Planning… My 100 Day Project for 2018! Yes, I’m aware it doesn’t start until April but the idea came to me this week and now I’m excited about it.

Enjoying… making the most of weekends with less alcohol intake.

Looking forward to… a couple of days away in Donegal next month


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!!

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?

 

This past weekend was a bank holiday weekend in Ireland so I thought I’d share my weekend in photos here. I shared a post like this a few years ago and I don’t know why I don’t do it more. There’s endless photos in my camera roll that never end up anywhere so I’m going to take the opportunity to share them here. (not pictured: drinks with friends on Friday, nachos for the Champion’s League Final on Saturday and drinks and dinner with Dave’s family on Sunday!)

Lady & Chief

Going Shopping in New Sandals Rasmopoliton

Dublin CityLadyCooling Down on a Warm Day

Chief

Picnics in the rainCar Picnic
A belly rub for Chief

1) Lady & Chief enjoying a lazy Friday afternoon (not sure there’s any other kind for them!),  2) Going shopping in my new sandals,  3) A razmo before dinner,  4) Dublin – Henry Street with a view of the Spire, 5) Lady looking a little fed up of having her picture taken, 6) nothing cures a hangover like an ice-pop, 7) Chief wishing he could have my ice-pop, 8) I was using my new picnic basket this weekend rain, hail or shine!, 9) picnic in the car, it is!, 10) If Chief rolls over and presents himself for a belly rub, you don’t say no!!

So today is Day 50 of The 100 Day Project. Yes, you read that right. Day FIFTY! Half way point and I’m actually kind of amazed to say I haven’t missed a day. So far I have written and released 16 blog posts (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, shared posts to a Flipboard magazine and pinned lots of old posts to Pinterest. 

I thought it might end up feeling like a bit of a burden but it hasn’t at all. I’m really enjoying the process. I think coming up with a plan that makes it easier to spend literally 10 minutes doing something on my phone on the days that are a little more hectic has made it really do-able for me.

My plan for the next 50 days is to carry on as I have. The challenge, as I’ve said in the previous post, is mainly for me to create a creative habit when it comes to paparali.com but the one thing I hope to do is encourage more people to subscribe to the blog instead of just stopping by and reading once in a while. I’m also going to plan ahead a bit more because I’ve definitely had days when I’ve gone a little blank trying to work out what my next post might be.

Are you taking part in The 100 Day Project?

 

100 Day Project 100 Day Project

So today marked 15 days of The 100 Day Project and I’m happy to say I’m still in the game. The idea of The 100 Day Project is to do something creative for 100 days and I decide to focus on my blog. In the past 15 days I have written and released 5 blog posts (including this 1), edited photos on my phone from 2 different trips, edited photos on my MacBook from 1 of trip, started a new notebook for the blog, made lists of post ideas, planned a long, detailed post (the Budapest 1) in that notebook, took a couple of photos, shared posts to a Flipboard magazine and pinned lots of old posts to Pinterest. 

I would consider that pretty successful so far. This blog is never going to be the type to have new posts released every single day so I didn’t want to attempt that because I knew I wouldn’t keep it up after the 100 days were over, if I managed to keep it up for the duration of the challenge. I want this to be the beginning of a creative habit which encourages me to work on the Paparali blog regularly and consistently.

So here’s to 85 more days. Are you taking part in The 100 Day Project, or are you considering starting?