I promised myself last week that I was going to make the next post about something other than Covid-19 but what else is there right now?

POST PANDEMIC PLANS 

Things I want to do or do more of when this is all over:

  • More family photos. I have approximately one of us all together. 
  • A Sunday afternoon down the pub watching football.
  • Bottomless prosecco brunch in The Exchequer with the girls.
  • The obvious ones – nail appointment, hair appointment etc.
  • More exploring around Dublin. We’ve spent so much time at home since we bought the house which I’m grateful for because we were making it into a place we’re happy to spend all this time in. Now I’m looking forward to spending my weekends out of the house.
  • Go shopping for NON-ESSENTIALS. Let’s be honest, its a Penneys (Primark) and Ikea haul for me!
  • A cheeseburger and skinny fries from Bunsen. If you’re Irish, or visiting Ireland and haven’t had a Bunsen yet. Do yourself a favour. There are 6 in Dublin, 1 in Cork and 1 in Belfast. The Best Burgers.
  • Book that trip to New Orleans we’ve been talking about for the past couple of years. Hopefully in a 2021, post-Trump America.

One quick thing, am I the only one who is a bit worried that I’m going to be even more socially awkward when this is over?

Again, planning fills my cup. If it doesn’t fill yours, don’t do it.

LOCKDOWN LATEST

  • I’m worried about: The weather has been pretty damn good up until now, which has made this a whole lot better, but now we’re in for some rain this week and I’m interested to see how many meltdowns I have per day when that happens. Up until now I have been eating at least 1 meal a day out in our little garden. I’ve been working on outdoor projects and I’ve also been spoiled with the option to go for a walk whenever I choose, rather than trying to get one in between showers. Is this making anyone else nervous?
  • II’m reading: I’m almost finished ‘The Book of Life’, the 3rd book in The All Souls Trilogy. I think this has been my favourite of the 3.
  • I’m enjoying: The 100 Day Project is absolutely keeping me sane. At first I thought the timing was terrible because I wouldn’t have the access to supplies whenever I want them, but it’s been great because it has pushed me to work with what I’ve got or can get in the supermarket. It also puts structure on my day that doesn’t involve work, which is really helpful for me. It’s never too late to start your own project. Why not jump in? It can be anything, just do it for 100 days. Sounds simple eh?! The pictures above are 1-20 of my project – 100 Days of Paparali Projects. 
  • Online orders: I ordered some white masonry paint online for painting the wall out the back garden. It arrived today, just on time for all the rain!
  • I’m struggling with: Not seeing the very few people I like to spend time with and working from home. It’s getting harder, not easier.
  • Random supermarket purchases: This week, in the middle aisles of Aldi, I picked up – a new succulent (surprise, surprise), a highlighter (the make-up kind, not the marker kind) and some sanding blocks. Last week, I got an outdoor heater from Lidl. It was a big win and we sat out the back garden until 11pm.
  • I’m watching: We finished Season 3 of Narcos and plan to move onto Narcos: Mexico. We also re-watched Season 1 of After Life on Friday and then watched all of Season 2 on Sunday. I laughed and I cried.

How is lockdown going for you now and what do you plan to do when it’s over? Come & chat in the comments, slide into my DMs on Instagram or email me at ali@paparali.com

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

Ali x

 

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.

I’m taking part in The 100 Day Project for the third year running this year. For my 2019 project I plan to do ‘100 Days of Hand Lettering’. I got the idea when I was researching my One Little Word for 2019. Every time I typed the word Flourish into Google or Pinterest, Calligraphy would come up and I learned it’s a type of calligraphy technique so I hope to learn more about that as I go through my 100 days. I have absolutely no idea where to start and I have less than a week to work it out but I think that’s part of the plan. I hope to learn as I go so I definitely don’t plan to have anything visually appealing, at the start, at least. 

The project, in theory, is supposed to be creative but last year I went down the route of something different. For 2018, I did 100 Days of Less. It tied in with my word for the year – Less. In 2017, I did 100 Days of Blogging. Both years I completed the project and I’m hoping to do the same this year. 

I’m aware it will probably be tougher this year but for 100 consecutive days I’m going to try to create a “finished piece” of hand lettering. Some of them will fall on a Monday when I’m tired and most likely phoning it in, and some will fall on a Saturday when I have more time and hopefully I’ll be a bit happier to share them. My plan is to share the majority of them on my Instagram stories (as Lindsay Jean Thompson says “make up your own rules!”) and some on my feed. I’ll also share the occasional update here and maybe make a 1 Second Video of the progress. 

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. I haven’t noticed her mention a new podcast episode about it this year but I’ll be keeping an eye out. 

If you want, you can read my posts from previous projects here

This year’s The 100 Day Project starts on Tuesday 2nd 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 want to start by saying it’s August (already, how did that happen?) and it’s the first time I’m checking back in here about my OLW for 2018 but that’s definitely not because I’ve lost touch with my word. In actual fact, if you’re reading this and you also happen to follow me on Instagram, you’re probably bored to tears of me and the word Less. This year, as you may know, I decided to combine my OLW and my 100 Day Project. So for 100 days between early April and mid July, I decluttered my life of, mostly, physical belongings. Throughout those 100 days and really the year so far, I have spent less money, particularly on material things, which in turn means I have managed to save more. All things I hoped to accomplish as part of my One Little Word for this year.

One of my favourite people to follow on Instagram over the past 5 years has been Elise Blaha Cripe and last year she split her OLW into quarters or seasons. To be honest, I can’t remember right now what her word for 2017 even was, but I remember thinking it was a good idea to break it up and keep it fresh. For the first few months of this year, I tried to look at my word as a whole, then for 100 days, I focussed on Less physical possessions. Then I spent 2 weeks at the end of July not thinking too much about my word at all and just enjoying myself. I went to Wexford in the South East of Ireland for a week and enjoyed the sunshine and a slower pace. Then I came back and enjoyed a week of over indulgence, including too much food, too much alcohol and probably even too much sleep. I suppose for those 2 weeks, I was living with less normal life and thats good too.

For August and the rest of my summer holidays from work, I’m going to focus on things that make me feel less stressed in the hopes that when the silly season (no not Christmas, in education September is the silly season) starts again, I’ll have some helpful and practical tips for feeling less stressed, worrying less and thinking less negative thoughts. I’ll list some of the things I plan to do and I’ll keep you posted about how I’m getting on, probably more frequently on Instagram than here.

For my OLW in August, I plan to:

  • Stop to enjoy the moment more
  • Read more with intention. As in quality over quantity and that goes for books, articles, even Instagram posts.
  • Eat meals with intention (so much of our meals are consumed in a hurry)
  • Get enough sleep
  • make my bed every day
  • Eat healthily at least 5 out of 7 days
  • Light candles
  • Listen to podcasts that make me feel good
  • Meditate
  • Write down what I am grateful for
  • Criticise myself less
  • Buy myself flowers
  • Worry less about what others think of me
  • De-clutter
  • take better care of my skin
  • Get fresh air
  • Engage with hobbies
  • Stop comparing myself to others

Are you taking part in One Little Word for 2018? If so, how is it going?

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.

Reading… ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’ by Marie Kondo. Oh my goodness. Everyone should read this book. Everyone.

Watching… Breaking Bad. Yes, finally. I’m on Season 4. It took me a while to get into it, I found it a little slow the first couple of seasons but I’m pretty hooked now. Also delighted that Power and The Affair are back!

Listening to… The ‘Jen Gotch is OK, Sometimes’ podcast with, you guessed it, Jen Gotch. This woman is hilarious. If you’re looking for a clear, focussed podcast on mental health and business development, this podcast is NOT for you. If you’re looking for a fun, hilarious and at times scatty podcast that talks about starting a multi-million international company, as well as mental health in a relaxed way while still taking it seriously, then this podcast is for you. 

Happy about… Peony season. Those and Calla Lilies are my favourite flowers.

Surprised by… This AMAZING Irish summer. I can’t believe how long we’ve had this sunshine and these high temperatures. Long may it last. 

Focussing on… The 100 Day Project, still. Only 7 days to go. The same as last year, I get so into the project and I feel like starting another project as soon as this 1 is over. 

Eating…  A lot of BBQs. Too many Soleros and some yummy salads. 

Planning…  My friend Jade’s hen weekend for next March. Really fun and also very intimidation at the same time. I don’t arrange trips for 2 people, never mind a whole group.  

Enjoying… The World Cup. There has been a lot of surprise exits. Who will go on to win it? Brazil? France? Possibly England?

Looking forward to… a week in Fethard On Sea in Wexford later this month. I’m hoping the weather keeps up. 

We’re almost 3/4 of the way through The 100 Day Project. I thought it was a good time to check back in with how my Project is going. Realistically, I planned to check in at the half way point but then 22 days went by in a blink. In some ways I can’t believe I’m already 3/4 of the way through and in other ways I can’t believe I’m only 3/4 of the way through.

What I’ve learned from the project so far is that what drives me is the challenge. Most days I enjoy it & I look forward to it but there are days when I need extra motivation and the challenge of completing the 100 days on time, works. I’ve also learned I’m probably always going to have too many things and that I’m striving for a more purposeful life in terms of what I own rather than a minimalist life.

Other people’s interest in my project has been fascinating. Some people comment or send me messages of encouragement. I love when people say that it has pushed them to clear out things in their own lives. I’m also sure it’s driving some people mad to see it popping up every day, but as Jill (@jhives) on Instagram said “it’s easy enough to scroll on by” or in my own, less tactful words, feel free to unfollow. What I have found most interesting is people’s ownership of my project. The 100 Day Project is a fairly flexible concept in itself but the basic rules are to attempt to do something every day for 100 days. My project of 100 Days of Less has no rules besides that. I think it’s great that people are interested enough to comment and say they don’t think certain things really count, etc. At first I was mildly irritated by it but then I thought of a TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In it, she said that she spoke to a woman who read one of her books and came to tell her what she wanted her to write about in the sequel. Chimamanda, when speaking about the woman said that “she had not only read the book, but she had taken ownership of it and felt justified in telling me what to write in the sequel.” She went on to say that she was charmed by the reaction. So for the last 27 days of my project, I’m going to take the same approach. For every person who tells me I’m running out of ideas, I’m going to remain charmed. Believe me?! No, I’m not sure I do either.

On that note, I’ll sign off. See you at the finish line.

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!

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?

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?