Taking inspiration from YouTuber, Amy Landino, I thought I would share my 20 for 2020:
x PB x
Taking inspiration from YouTuber, Amy Landino, I thought I would share my 20 for 2020:
x PB x
In the eve of a new decade, social media is plastered with far-reaching goals and habits that probably won’t stick beyond January 2nd along with the usual reflections of how good or bad a year 2019 has been.
And I am not alone with any of the above. I looked back on my year in photos and there have been plenty of wonderful moments mixed in with some moments I’d like to forget and not repeat.
One photo in particular was of a mug of lemon water taken on 6th January waxing lyrical about how I had a new habit and was starting the year off right. That habit lasted a week I think.
For 2020, I’m not setting goals or intentions. I’m not launching into a new routine or thinking of habits to try to stick to. My life is busy enough.
So, I’ll be doing what I’ve done every morning and every evening but a bit more consciously and with a bit more enjoyment about it. I’ll try to rush less and embrace my love of being organised along with some EARLY NIGHTS!
There. Done. May 2020 be filled with laughter, enjoyment, smiles and happiness and if there be tears, let them be short in duration followed by a comforting hug.
x PB x
Well, apparently, I spent it doing nothing important.
I discovered the screentime function on my iPhone the other day….and I learnt that I spent nearly 12 hours in a week on social media. 12 HOURS!!!!
I then found myself trying to justify it – well, its how I keep in touch with my friends (cough “rubbish” cough), but it’s good research for me to see what others are talking about in the planning world (cough “rubbish” cough). Ok, but if I didn’t look at social media, how would I know what’s going on in the world (cough “rubbish” cough).
I succumbed to accepting that the reason I was on social media that much in a week is because I was filling my empty time (and maybe even my family time…..ok, actually my family time) with mindless scrolling and comparison.
How did something which didn’t exist 10 years ago now take over my week quite so catastrophically? I heard someone say that we don’t open our door every 5 minutes to check if anyone is there so why check our phone?
And to be honest, it scared me. What had I missed in those 12 hours? What had I not paid attention to? What could I have been doing in those 12 accumulative hours that was valuable and important. Well, I could have been writing this blog post for a start!
So, I thought about what I should do – and I didn’t start mindless scrolling to avoid making some decisions.
Don’t think that by realising my failing, I STOPPED and deleted my Instagram account in a vain attempt to think it will help or threw my phone in the bin. Because it won’t help – I’ll find another way to look, be it logging onto the computer at home or peering over someones shoulder on the train, or even just uploading the app back onto my phone.
That’s what people with addiction do. They look for the loophole. And yes, I said addiction because actually, the thought of being without my phone and being connected to the world wide web, freaks me out and if I haven’t looked at my phone for a good hour, I feel lost – like I haven’t ticked something off the to-do list.
So, let’s get real – my phone IS a way of connecting with my friends and family – sharing family photos via WhatsApp, creating something and sharing with all of you on Instagram – as well as checking the weather, my bank balance or my train time. The honest truth is without our phones, things would be pointlessly difficult and painfully slow so I’m happy to embrace that part of technology.
But I do want to reduce my mindless comparison time – because that is what it is – comparing yourself with the world as much as you may think its about admiring other peoples talent and it makes you feel pants. Research has suggested that Instagram is the worst for young peoples mental health with negative results such as anxiety, depression, dysmorphia and FOMO (fear of missing out).
As a mother, the above worries me more for Little PB than me – so I need to change my habit drastically to ensure he understands the positives you can gain from technology in your pocket.
These are the steps I’ve taken and you are welcome to do the same:
I’ll be sure to update you on my progress but please also share your views & comments
x PB x
I am a relative newbie in the planner world compared to some and therefore when The Reset Girl team asked me to be a Guest Designer, you can imagine that my world was suddenly filled with the celebration emoji!
The Reset Girl was one of the first YouTube channels I watched when I became aware of this whole world of planning and crafting – a world I now know was missing in my life. Those waving hands at the start of a video sharing a style of crafting that I truly related to, I even now watch back on some of those classic episodes for inspiration.
I was determined to make the most of my Guest Designer slot. I was immensely excited when I saw the Hopeful Collection as it was just my colour palette and I knew I could do it justice (or I hoped I would be able to!)
There are so many beautiful pieces of work being created by the Design Team, I knew I couldn’t compete so, I focused on using the collection in my planner – how you can use the collection to decorate your planner and use in a layout, specifically in my Erin Condren
So, my projects included:
Listers Gotta List:
Using a vintage children book is such an easy way to collate LGL layouts. The Reset Girl collections compliment this style so easily and so with a pair of scissors and a glue stick, you can create some beautiful lists
The collection comes with a selection of printable lists and so I chose a couple for my planner and laminated them back to back. Attaching an EC coil clip, this is such a simple way to add practicality and personality to your planner. A dry wipe pen will make full use of these lists whilst you are on-the-go
Using 2 of the printable papers (that floral is just divine), I used my We R Memory Keepers Fuse Tool to create a shaker dashboard. Adding some ephemera and sequins, this is a beautiful addition to my planner and the perfect page marker
Although its March (nearly April!), I was keen to remind myself of the commitments I had made at the beginning of the year. Armed with a selection of magazines, I cut out pictures and words that inspired me. Along with cuttings from the Hopeful Collection and some more of those fabulous printable papers, I created a layout in my Erin Condren that is such a wonderful sight to behold! A great way of motivating me to stick to my intentions!
I was keen to show how the collection can be used practically in your planner as I know a lot of Reset Girl fans are also planner addicts too! Lots of enjoyable fussy cutting, I love the spreads I created – again with just scissors and glue!
The colour palette was perfect for all my projects and I can look back through the pieces with pride and joy. I hope you enjoyed the pieces I created and it gave you some inspiration for future projects
x PB x
Spontaneity isn’t something I usually go in for but with the desire for some much needed sun, time away and a British Airways companion voucher about to expire, Barcelona felt like the perfect trip for a long weekend…..with a toddler!
I’ll be honest. I was a little apprehensive. Long haul trips to the US with plenty of days out to keep little one entertained felt like a breeze compared to a short(ish) flight, transfer via public transport to a hotel and stuck in a city not being able to enjoy the nightlife as you may usually do pre-children.
How wrong I was. In fact, I would go as far to say that Barcelona is by far my favourite city to take a young family to, because it has so much more to offer than just being a city.
We started the trip off with an overnight stay at the Sofitel Heathrow Airport to ease the early flight of 7.45am the following day. It’s such a great base for a one night stay and makes travelling with young ones very convienient. The added bonus was a new feature of BA bag drop and check in. A fully functioning check in desk with weigh scales and printed barcode stickers meaning that we could drop bags off and then head straight to Terminal 3.
We travelled by Heathrow Express and it was super quick! We were through security and in the lounge with an hour to spare before boarding. An enjoyable breakfast of pastries and coffee with a view of the planes kept Little PB entertained.
The flight is a little over 2 hours. With films downloaded on the iPad and a helpful love of his headphones, Little PB was quite content for the whole flight.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by our driver from Sun Transfers. I definitely recommend a private transfer as it avoids the hassle of buggy, bags and baby to contend with. The transfer took less than 30 minutes.
We arrived at Midtown Apartments, locates between Eixample and the Gothic Quarter. We were very impressed with the amount of room and facilities. A great space for a few days and very central.
With plenty of the day still to enjoy, we headed off to the aquarium. We walked from our apartment which took around 30 minutes but you can get the metro or a bus – the whole city is well connected by public transport. The aquarium is a good morning or afternoon spot – it certainly wouldn’t take you more than a few hours to work your way around.
For our first evening meal, we tried some fantastic tapas just round the corner, El Camino. Tapas is great for little ones – such variety and as much grazing as you like. We now know we have a 2 year old who loves a charactuerie board, melted cheese and squid.
Day 2 involved a bus ride up to the top of the mountain to Tibidabo, the theme park. You could enjoy the scenic route via the Blue Tram and funicular railway but we opted for the direct bus service from Place de Catalunya at only €3 euros each.
The theme park is a great day out with young families. Lots of great rides for all ages and even better are the views back down to the bay.
The evening tapas was at El Nacional. A fantastic array of small restaurants all under one roof and they do the best dulche de leche ice cream.
Day 3 centred around some traditional sight seeing. We bought tickets for La Sagrada Familia and found there is a significant benefit in having a buggy with you as we jumped most of the queues. A short metro ride took us down to the beach where we enjoyed the only chicken burger I’ve eaten in it’s entirety. I would highly recommend a lunchtime feast at Bacoa Burger as not only is the food exceptional but the view of the sea isn’t bad either.
From the beach it’s a short walk to the base of the cable car. The queue was long but was well timed with Little PB’s nap and the weather was glorious! It was worth the wait though as the view from the cable car is breathtaking. The cable car takes you up to the Olympic Park. You can usually get a funicular back down but, you guessed it, it was closed so bus it was! This time less crowded and better air conditioning.
Despite being full from lunch, we still found time for some tapas – fois gras flatbread and grilled squid with squid ink risotto soon became firm favourites.
We booked a transfer back to the airport for the final day. A prompt pick up at 11am, it only took 20 minutes back to the airport so plenty of time to enjoy some brunch in the lounge. The lounge facilities were excellent – a wide choice of food and plenty of space. All went to plan with the flight home and we were soon back in grey British weather.
Barcelona will certainly be a city we return to. It was easy. Relaxed with lots of variety and still plenty to do on our next trip. Mr PB, when can we go again please?
x PB x
With the sun shining and temperatures set to reach a beautiful 18c this weekend, you could be fooled into thinking that we’ve skipped Spring and gone straight to early Summer!
But do not fear, for those temps are short lived. And so, there is still time for a refresh around the home (and you!) to welcome in the longer days.
1. Get those windows open! On beautiful sunny days when the air is fresh, turn the heating off and open the windows. Unsurprisingly, during Winter, we rarely sit having dinner with the doors open but when the opportunity arises, recirculating the air brings freshness into the home! It’s almost like your home is taking a deep breath after hibernating.
2. Get your bed linen on the washing line. There will never be a smell more sweet than clean linen that’s been spinning on a washing line in the sunshine
3. Time for a declutter. Get everything out of your wardrobe and drawers and start a mindful sift of the items you no longer love. It will give you a spring in your step wearing older pieces you had forgotten about or perhaps fixing that button on your favourite dress or shirt making it wearable. You don’t need to spend money on a new wardrobe – you just need to shop within your current one!
4. Book a haircut. Or a treatment or something that makes you feel that you are dusting off Winter and striding into Spring
5. Treat yourself to a home DIY pedicure. I rarely paint my toes in Winter but adding a splash of colour can make you feel positive to those heady days of Summer to come (even if you only see your toes when you’re in the shower!)
6. Buy some daffodils and tulips. Such a simple but beautiful way to add some sunshine into your home
7. Do some gardening. If you have a garden, give it some care and attention with a bit of de-weeding, some careful cutting back and a tidy. If you don’t have a garden, perhaps buy a houseplant or a window box. The evenings are still set to be cold so don’t plant anything that might not survive a frost but just the preparation towards planting can be therapeutic
8. Go for a walk. It’s easy to stay indoors when we’ve been used to it for the last few months, but push yourself to take a walk round the block and enjoy the sounds of nature around you
9. Get up early to hear the dawn chorus. I really encourage you to get up before sunrise one morning and listen to the dawn chorus. It’s been a beautiful way to start each day listening to the birdsong in the garden – awakening into a new day
10. Reset your intentions. You may be doing great with your New Year intentions or you may be in need of a refresh so spend some time reflecting and adjusting for the coming months
Hope that is all helpful! Enjoy the gorgeous weather this weekend
x PB x
In a world where we are always on the go and social media can take over, how we notice we are stressed and what we do about it can soon be forgotten.
So, I have 5 key steps to help calm and relax whenever I feel overwhelmed or just not myself
1. Write things down – I finally found a purpose for all those notebooks I bought over the years. I pretty much have one in every room I use in the house and one in my bag. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed or worrying that I’m missing something, I write it down. I have a master to do list in my home planner and work notebook that ensures I capture everything
2. Getting up early – I certainly feel more stressed if I don’t start the day off right. Dragging myself into the day does nothing for my overwhelm. So, I 5-4-3-2-1 myself out of bed an hour or so before Little PB and that ensures I can get the house tidy and clean, make a cup of tea, shower and be ready for the day
3. Listen to a mediation app – I listen to Insights. I love it and use it on the go and at home. It’s fabulous for guided mediation (cos I ain’t no good at the DIY version!) and some only last 15 minutes making a perfect quick pick me up
4. Pamper night – I’ll grab a face mask, my favourite skin care and the self tan! A tan in winter can do so much for my wellbeing – it helps to remind you of those heady days of summer (whilst smelling of digestive biscuits for 24 hours)
5. Reading – whether it’s an audiobook or an actual paperback, reading puts me in a different world and helps to suppress some of the overwhelm and calm the racing heart beat down
What do you do to alleviate stress levels?
x PB x
Thank you to all those who voted on my Insta Story last week – the chosen blog topic was January Favourites (not sure if the title gave it away!)
Affirmation Cards – those who follow me on Instagram will have seen that I started dabbling in Affirmations in January. I was very selective on the cards I purchased – it took me a good long while as I’m not particularly spiritual and I’m not religious so I wanted a set of cards that would match with my values along with a bit of humour. And these cards do just that! I purchased the Work version because, lets face, we spend more time at work than we do at home and working full time as well as being a Mummy, you sometimes need that extra push of motivation and positivity
Reading – Apart from a brief pause whilst I was poorly at the end of January, I’ve been loving reading at the moment. I find its the best way to wind down at the end of the day, and even though I’m guaranteed to fall asleep mid sentence, I certainly find I’m more refreshed the next morning from having that de-stress. You will have seen my earlier blog post on my 2019 Book List – I keep adding to this and will share my purchases on Instagram
Hazlenut porridge – I never thought that porridge would appear in my favourites! I normally hate the stuff BUT I’ve found a brilliant combination which makes me want to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Here’s my recipe:
1 cup jumbo oats
1/2 cup hazelnut milk (Innocent do the best I think!)
1/2 cup full fat milk
Leave the oats to soak for about 30-45 mins – I will usually put them in a bowl when making my tea first thing and then by the time its breakfast, they have really plumped up.
For those with time in the morning, I would suggest a gentle simmer on the hob but I usually microwave for 1 minute intervals being sure they don’t go too thick.
Add a bit of honey or brown sugar (or golden syrup) and your good to go! The hazelnut milk makes it taste like you have chocolate spread in your porridge!!
(Excuse the empty bottle pic but that shows just how much I love it!!)
I have cleaned my face every day with Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean twice a day and I can honestly see a difference in my skin texture and pores. It leaves such a squeaky clean feeling and a little goes a long way
I’m not usually an eyeshadow fan, partly due to time and partly due to no talent! It normally goes everywhere. But, I was intrigued by the burgundy reds I’d seen across social media and thought I’d give it a go. I found the perfect palette for me – Barry M, Fall In Love 2. I didn’t purchase for the brand but the range of colours. I literally sweep across the crease of my lid and the pigment gives enough colour without being dramatic. I purchased mine from Boots.
A well-timed business trip for Mr PB meant I was treated to some duty free. Having had a sample of Twilly D’Hermes in my John Lewis Beauty Advent Calendar, I fell in love. I’m usually only a fan of Jo Malone but this fragrance is so unique and the bottle is adorable with its little Hermes scarf!
Having watched Styled By Susie on Instagram for a while, I’ve picked up a lot of her tips on the importance of basics in a wardrobe. My shopping routine for clothes is always a bit ad-hoc and I will generally buy something and then a few weeks later fall out of love with it. So, I’ve gone back to basics and purchased some well fitted basic jumpers from good old M&S and its really helped me to pair with my more colourful scarves as well as my long-forgotten jackets and accessories. I highly recommend you follow her and even download her brilliant PDF’s for guidance.
This may sound bizarre, but I’ve been loving my cleaning routine this month. I’ve finally nailed The Organised Mum Method (TOMM) and am now in a rhythm of 30 minutes cleaning a day leaving the weekends free to play! I’ve adapted the routines to suit me and my work commitments but I’m thoroughly enjoying what I’ve achieved and Little PB even helps too!
x PB x
My heart beats a little faster whenever I see a bookshop in sight. I would often meander through the aisles of a Waterstones on my lunch break to browse (and sniff, cos who can’t resist the smell of a new book!)
And I always endeavour to include reading as part of my day, even if it’s just a few pages.
So, I thought I would share my book list for 2019 so far and add to this post each time I find a gem!
I just don’t stick to books in this list – I include audio books too via the Audible app, and there are also a couple of magazine choices too because not all of us have the time or desire to read a book from front to back.
1. Secret Barrister, Anonymous – I started this at the beginning of the year. Whilst hard work at times to make sense of the legal jargon, it is fascinating. To get an insight behind the court room doors satisfies my nosey personality!
2. Becoming, Michelle Obama – at the top of the bestseller list, I couldn’t not include this one. And being a fan of the Obamas, I can’t wait to get stuck in
3. Your Dream Life Starts Here, Kristina Karlsson – as an owner of 4 Kikki-K planners, I was already a fan but then listening to Kristina on a recent podcast, I became inspired by her life story, so the launch of her book was perfectly timed.
4. My Thoughts Exactly, Lilly Allen – I’ve seen a lot about this book on social media, and I’m intrigued. I’ve purchased as an audio book as it’s read by Lilly herself so watch this space.
5. Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis – in anticipation for Rachel’s next book, I want to re-listen to this gem
6. Re-Script Your Life, Reeta Gupta – just something I stumbled across when browsing Audible. I’ll let you know my thoughts
7. I’ve become a fan of Planet Mindful and Breathe magazines. Beautifully written and presented articles covering a wide range of health, wellbeing and mindful practices
What’s on your book list for 2019?
x PB x
Towards the end of last year, I became very intrigued in the true benefits of self-care and how it can be used to both better ourselves and sometimes set us back.
After much thought and chatting through with friends, I came to realise that there are 2 versions of self-care.
We talk often about mindfulness – defined as clearing our mind and focusing on the here and now. But actually, taking the word literally suggests you should be filling your mind, not emptying it.
So this got me thinking – why would it be such a bad thing to have both mindfulness and mindlessness.
There are many activities/actions I undertake that fulfil both emptying my mind and filling my mind – both are beneficial for different reasons and I consciously choose what works for me at the time
For example, if I need inspiration or motivation, I fill my mind with podcasts, audio books, chatting to friends or reading (mindfulness)
But if I need that time to clear and cleanse and reset, I may go for a walk, make lists, tidy, minimise my screen time or rest (mindlessness)
What do you do to for mindfulness and mindlessness?
Love Hannah x