I had a slow start to Sunday with a lovely lie-in, some painting out the back garden, chats with the girls and some time spent out in the sunshine. A good Sunday all round.

If you want to find out more about Ali Edwards’ ‘Week in the Life’, you can here  and you can see some of Ali’s pictures here.

10:42am | I had a glorious lie in until 10am.

11:58am | Women at work. Mam and I getting the paint out and finishing off the fence out the back garden. I definitely picked up my love for painting from my mam.

1:22pm | Getting ready to go and meet the girls for a socially distant chat. 

1:38pm | Time for a socially distant, but in real life, catch up with the girls for the first time in months.

4:54pm | Soaking up some sunshine out the back garden. Chief taking the opportunity to get a belly scratch from an outstretched foot. 

7:48pm | Turning this spaceship into a hanging basket for The 100 Day Project. Ok, it’s not a spaceship but it kind of looks like one.

8:54pm | A pretty sunset and time to finally go inside for the evening.

11:34pm | In bed catching up on Instagram stories…and that’s a wrap for ‘Week in the Life 2020’.

 

I usually like to get things done on Saturday but with very little sleep on Friday night, it was mostly a day of rest.

If you want to find out more about Ali Edwards’ ‘Week in the Life’, you can here  and you can see some of Ali’s pictures here.

4:53am | Chief had me up at 4:10am because he can be a real asshole sometimes. Luckily, I love him. After I fed them, I tried to catch some more ZZZs on the sofa. 

9:15am | Everyone is up out of bed and someone is still stalking me for my tea.

10:36am | The laziest morning. I got approximately 1.5 hours sleep so having a lazy morning was the top of my agenda (and everyone else’s, apparently).

11:42am | I woke up with a second coldsore in a matter of two weeks and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, so Dave was being the voice of reason and telling me it could really be worse. 

11:59am | I looked up and saw her little face staring at me through the chair. 

2:32pm | After my terrible night sleep, I needed a nap. I’m terrible at taking naps so really I read for an hour and kind of half napped for 30 minutes.

3:49pm | Still feeling tired and a little sorry for myself so it’s the world’s comfiest onesie for the rest of the day.

6:03pm | Making candle holders for The 100 Day Project. 

8:13pm | Zoom quiz number 4637 of lockdown. I mean no offence when I say that I’m fairly over video calls. 

12:28am (technically Sunday) | Late night snuggles with Chief while we watch The Chase. We’re truly living the dream. 

 

 

I don’t work on Friday so I had a lovely lie in. I’m struggling to focus on reading the past couple of weeks but I woke at 8:30am and managed to stay in bed until 10am.  

If you want to find out more about Ali Edwards’ ‘Week in the Life’, you can here  and you can see some of Ali’s pictures here.

11:11am | While Dave worked, I drove down The Strawberry Beds to get us a (late) take away breakfast.

11:18am | How beautiful is this cottage on The Strawberry Beds? I love the Wisteria at the entrance and I would love to see what it looks like inside. I always admire it as I go by, this time I stopped and took a photo.

11:37am | Breakfast. Fresh sourdough almond croissant and a sourdough pain au chocolat. I couldn’t choose so we split them in half and shared. 

12:26pm | Waiting for the rain to stop so I can call to see Stephen & Sally for a socially distant chat and to drop off some pastries.

3:33pm | Covid-19 related things. I’m not having an easy time getting refunds for flights from the airline so I’m attempting a chargeback from the bank instead.

4:01pm | Adding gold polka dots to the bottom of the wall in our box bedroom/dressing room for day 46 of The 100 Day Project.

4:43am | Relaxing (and resting my back) for a few minutes while I wait for Dave to finish work so we can go for a walk.

5:12pm | Going for a walk and stopping at Dave’s parents house to say hi.

7:10pm | Look who’s back for the weekend! My mam arrived with Chief & Lady just after 7pm.

7:51pm | A rainbow after all that rain.

9:20pm | Gin & Tonic and Jack Change it. When you have nowhere to go at the weekends, you have to think of things to do at home. We play cards or games one night over the weekend. 

1:53am (technically Saturday) | Both of us on devices as we stay up way too late because it’s the weekend.

 

Coming to the end of my working week, picking up some paint to finish the garden fences at the weekend and working away on The 100 Day Project and our Star Wars marathon.

If you want to find out more about Ali Edwards’ ‘Week in the Life’, you can here  and you can see some of Ali’s pictures here.

9:09am | I thought I better show myself brushing my teeth at least one of the days, in case people think I don’t do it. I draw the line and sharing my showers.

09:37am | I won’t miss the queues for EVERYTHING when (read: IF) life goes back to normal. I’ll never take popping in to a shop for some milk or going to a DIY shop for paint for granted again.

1:53pm | Throwing together a prawn fried rice  to have for lunch out the back garden. 

2:24pm | Still keeping an eye on that peony and it has opened a bit more today. 

3:26pm | I’m working from the comfort of the armchair today because my back has been causing me trouble hunching over my laptop for work. The sun shining in on me doesn’t hurt.

5:36pm | Planning and hanging things on the wall in the attic to make a Harry Potter gallery wall. A really fun one combining home decor and Harry Potter, two of my favourite things, for day 45 of The 100 Day Project.

7:32pm | Getting a walk in to get some fresh air before dinner. I haven’t gotten any exercise in this week with my back but it really helped to get out in the fresh air. 

9:35pm | Embracing those dark photos. Enjoying a can of Diet Coke (ok two cans) and watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We’ve watched episodes 4,5,6 and 1,2,3 and now we’re onto the newer movies. I haven’t seen the last 3 yet so it’s really getting exciting now. 

An absolutely stunning day on Wednesday so I was really looking forward to getting out in the garden once work was finished for the day. I’m already feeling like it’s going to be hard to get out of the habit of photographing everything next week. 

If you want to find out more about Ali Edwards’ ‘Week in the Life’, you can here  and you can see some of Ali’s pictures here.

 

9:41am | It looks like video call meetings will be happening for the foreseeable future.

12:26am | Working with my mam (who is also on lockdown with us) means I get to spend some of my time working face to face with a colleague.

4:43pm | The dreaded food shop seems to be less stressful every week and it’s definitely quieter mid-week. I’m still buying stuff we would never buy pre-lockdown. 

5:25pm | Dave trying out the new bottle opener. The 100 Day Project pays off for him sometimes. 

5:39pm | It’s a gorgeous day and definitely barbecue weather. 

6:49am | The sun is still shining so we’ve moved to the front garden with some summer time treats. Remember when I said I’m still buying stuff we would never buy pre-lockdown. 

08:09pm | I’m painting today for The 100 Day Project. The painting days are definitely the most relaxing, even if I haven’t a clue what I’m doing and taking my inspiration from Pinterest.

10:19pm | Both of us on our devices while The Chase plays away in the background. I, at the very least, hope there’s some general knowledge going into our brains at least. 

11:39pm | Window selfie on the way to bed.

I’m slightly happier with the photos from Tuesday. I have to remind myself that setting up photographs with a timer feels very unnatural but in order to actually get pictures of my day, I have to. I don’t think Dave would appreciate if I called him from his work to take pictures of me eating my lunch.  I’m also trying to embrace the dark photographs rather than trying to brighten them up. 

If you want to find out more about Ali Edwards’ ‘Week in the Life’, you can here  and you can see some of Ali’s pictures here.

09:26am | Putting a wash on before work. Riveting, I know, but it’s part of life.

11:30am | I’m on peony watch. They’re my favourite flowers so I can’t wait for this one to open.

12:03pm | Working away at my makeshift desk.

2:40pm | More peonies. Impatiently waiting for some garden peonies to open too. I shouldn’t wish the time away, they last such a short time once they’ve opened.

6:30pm – 7:26pm | Some socially distant chats (and prosecco) with the family. My mam is staying part of the time with Dave & I and part of the time in her own house so we don’t need to socially distance.

8:34pm | Pizza on a Tuesday. This lockdown life is just crazy. We usually get one each which means dinner today and lunch tomorrow. 

9:43pm | I’m so not into gardening at all, but I’m desperately trying to keep the few things that we have out there alive, so I’m watering them in the evenings (when I remember).

10:55pm | Working on The 100 Day Project very late today. 

This is my first time doing ‘Week in the Life’ and I’m technically a week behind. Ali Edwards does ‘Week in the Life’ in May every year and she (and lots of others) did it last week. I had the best intentions of doing it last week too but I didn’t have the energy to do it so I’m doing it this week instead.

I definitely took too many photos for Monday which I’d imagine is normal but then when I looked back at them, I didn’t like any.  Anyway, I’ll just share a few here. I

If you want to find out more about Ali Edwards’ ‘Week in the Life’, you can here  and you can see some of Ali’s pictures here.

09:43am | A quick walk with the dogs before they go back to my mam’s house for the week. She lives 2.3km from my house so covid-19 rules were recognised.

11:16am | The day job. Working from our box bedroom/dressing room as Dave is working from the attic/office/craft room.

1:47pm | Lunch. I’ve been craving a fish finger sandwich. It’s usually a hangover go to for me but not this time. 

2:40pm | Some more work in the afternoon with a cup of tea to heat me up. 

4:32pm | Clocked off work for the day and thought it would be interesting to include a picture of our messy bedroom, it usually only gets shared when it’s nice and tidy. I wanted to tidy it but I turned around and walked back out. 

4:42pm | Reading some newsletter emails including one of my favourites by Allie Lehman

6:24pm | Time for day 42 of ‘The 100 Day Project’.

7:02pm | Sunday night’s leftovers on a Monday is always a win. I hate cooking on Monday which is ridiculous because in lockdown Dave has made about 70% of dinners. 

8:53pm | Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith before bed.

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 😉

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).