Outfits

Outfits
Outfits

Adventures

Adventures
Adventures

Writing

Writing
Writing

Forest air

I believe in the restorative power of the forest.  There is something about being surrounded by 'nature untouched by the hand of man', where you can walk for miles and not see another person.  The air feels different; cleaner, clearer somehow.  It's good to fill your lungs with.  It's good to have that sense of something much bigger, and older than the things you're struggling with.  The scale of the trees and the forest makes you realise that everything you're carrying around with you just pales into insignificance.

When we were in Yosemite National Park last year we saw the Giant Sequoia trees at Mariposa Grove.  They are said to be the largest living things on earth.  In our Junior Ranger Handbooks we had to write five things that the Giant Sequoias have lived through.  Many of them are over 3,000 years old, and so we wrote down that they'd lived through both World Wars, through the Roman Empire, through the Industrial Revolution, through the Black Death, through the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, and so on.  To them, we are nothing but a speck of dust in the Universe, and they will be here long after we've gone.  I'm sure, if they had voices, they would tell us to shed our petty worries and move forwards.

Sunny forestHolly
Muddy Bodhi Walking Bodhi and Rosie 02
// coat: ASOS, £35 // jeans: topshop jamie petite jeans £38 {similar}
boots: two tone hunter wellingtons {old} // scarf: atterley road, £8

Rosie Ice Rosie walking

Whilst we were walking down this path, three deer walked out, crossing the path ahead of us.  The last deer stopped, and stared us for what felt like a really long time.  It was quite a special moment.  I had my 50mm lens on so I couldn't get much closer (but that's okay).

Forest deer Deer 03

On a final note, thank you for all of the kind comments on my previous post.  They mean a lot.

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Lost - and words that help

I'm sure a few people are wondering what's happened to my blog lately (I know I am!).  It's gone from a hubbub of reviews and photos and roundups, to either radio silence; or smatterings of poetry and bits and bobs placed here just to avoid losing the flow completely.  It's not that I've gone off blogging, it's just that I've slowed down with almost everything so much lately that I'm finding it hard to start again.

Back in October/November I got myself really quite burned out.  My diary had entries for every day, my to-do lists stretched on for pages and pages, I was working hard and playing hard.  After Christmas I resolved to slow down a little - I cleared my diary so that I had very few plans through January, and I've spent a huge amount of time home alone due to Tom's work commitments.  I don't have many friends where we live (as we moved half-way between our friends and family to live together), but I thought I'd relish all that time alone to read, do yoga, blog, cuddle Bodhi and take long Lush-filled baths.

Instead I found myself wandering the house aimlessly, as if I was looking for something I'd lost.  So many free evenings stretched out in front of me and I just couldn't get a handle on what to do with them.  We both should really be wedding planning but the enormity of the task has left us pushing it to the back of the drawer, like that pile of pizza menus and batteries you really should sort out but don't have the energy to do.

img credit: portlandjetaime

I always thought of myself as an introvert - someone that took all of their energy from being alone. But being alone so much lately has meant I've started to feel a little lost.  Call it January blues, or the enormity of wedding planning (and, let's face it, the idea of getting married is both incredibly exciting, and a little scary!), call it not enough sunshine or the pressure of a New Year, but things have got a little off track.  I've not been doing any of the things that usually nourish and repair me; I've not really been eating properly, or exercising, or meditating, or practising yoga, I've just been wandering aimlessly and waiting for it to pass.  It's been a few weeks now though, and it hasn't really passed.  I feel a little like I've climbed down into a hole and gotten used to being in the dark.  I am angry at myself for this happening; I know I have so much to be happy for.  
img credit unknown/quote credit unknown

I am hoping with the lighter evenings will bring renewed energy and direction.  I don't seem to have much energy for running, or yoga, but I want to get myself back out there as I know the feeling afterwards will be worth it.  I've been searching in books and on Pinterest (so cliché) for little snippets of words that will help and I came across this on Tumblr.  The author doesn't seem to blog anymore but I've linked to her blog anyway.  It has helped me today - I hope that if you're feeling low or need a little direction, that it will help you too.

1 6  s t e p s  t o  h a p p i n e s s  { by Emma Elsworthy}

1. push yourself to get up before the rest of the world - start with 7am, then 6am, then 5:30am. go to the nearest hill with a big coat and a scarf and watch the sun rise.

2. push yourself to fall asleep earlier - start with 11pm, then 10pm, then 9pm. wake up in the morning feeling re-energized and comfortable. 

3. erase processed food from your diet. start with no lollies, chips, biscuits, then erase pasta, rice, cereal, then bread. use the rule that if a child couldn’t identify what was in it, you don’t eat it.

4. get into the habit of cooking yourself a beautiful breakfast. fry tomatoes and mushrooms in real butter and garlic, fry an egg, slice up a fresh avocado and squirt way too much lemon on it. sit and eat it and do nothing else. 

5. stretch. start by reaching for the sky as hard as you can, then trying to touch your toes. roll your head. stretch your fingers. stretch everything.

6. buy a 1L water bottle. start with pushing yourself to drink the whole thing in a day, then try drinking it twice.

7. buy a beautiful diary and a beautiful black pen. write down everything you do, including dinner dates, appointments, assignments, coffees, what you need to do that day. no detail is too small.

8. strip your bed of your sheets and empty your underwear draw into the washing machine. put a massive scoop of scented fabric softener in there and wash. make your bed in full.

9. organise your room. fold all your clothes (and bag what you don’t want), clean your mirror, your laptop, vacuum the floor. light a beautiful candle.

10. have a luxurious shower with your favourite music playing. wash your hair, scrub your body, brush your teeth. lather your whole body in moisturiser, get familiar with the part between your toes, your inner thighs, the back of your neck.

11. push yourself to go for a walk. take your headphones, go to the beach and walk. smile at strangers walking the other way and be surprised how many smile back. bring your dog and observe the dog’s behaviour. realise you can learn from your dog.

12. message old friends with personal jokes. reminisce. suggest a catch up soon, even if you don’t follow through. push yourself to follow through.

14. think long and hard about what interests you. crime? sex? boarding school? long-forgotten romance etiquette? find a book about it and read it. there is a book about literally everything. 

15. become the person you would ideally fall in love with. let cars merge into your lane when driving. pay double for parking tickets and leave a second one in the machine. stick your tongue out at babies. compliment people on their cute clothes. challenge yourself to not ridicule anyone for a whole day. then two. then a week. walk with a straight posture. look people in the eye. ask people about their story. talk to acquaintances so they become friends.

16. lie in the sunshine. daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn’t a thing. open your eyes. take small steps to make it happen for you.

***

I don't know how to finish this, except to say that the reason I'm posting this here is because I've read a few blog posts recently where people have been open about struggling with things, and it helped me a lot.  It helps to know you're not the only one now and then waving a little flag that says "This stuff is tough, I'm finding it hard".  I think especially as women, we feel like we have to have things dialled and under control all of the time, and put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect.  So I'm telling myself, and everyone else, that it's okay to not be perfect, or even good, now and then.  And now it's my time to climb out of the hole.


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Where have you been?

I've not been blogging as much over the last couple of weeks - I'm not entirely sure why, it's actually the opposite of usual as I've been home alone for most of it with no plans.  But I've chosen to spend that time reading, and chilling, and just generally having some me-time instead, and I haven't really had a great appetite for blogging.  It's good once in a while to have a little break, and I don't believe in forcing it when the inspiration isn't there.

I thought I'd share a few snaps of things I have been up to however - I haven't been out and about with my camera really so I'm afraid these are all photos from my phone.  

001. Making Nigella's Eggs in Purgatory for Sunday brunch, with warm bread for dipping.  Too good!


002. Going on lots of rainy and cold dog walks.


003. Partaking in Yoga With Adriene's 30 Days of Yoga (although I have quite a few to catch up on!) Time on my mat with the lights low and incense burning is ultimate relaxation time for me.


004. I've been getting the train in the mornings rather than driving to work at the moment so this is where I usually am at 07.30 - shivering in the near darkness on the train platform! Being able to read my book and listen to music on the train rather than being stuck in traffic is a bonus though.


005. Been on a few lovely morning runs at the weekend lately.  My pre-work morning runs last week were a major fail though, the one where the head torch cracked me in the nose and then failed, meaning I was running in pitch black and a torrential rainstorm was 'character building' to say the least.


006. Sometimes I post my work outfits on Twitter.  I do love these Boden red trousers, I always feel a little nautical when I match stripes, navy and red.


007. Yesterday was three months until we get married, so we've made a big list of all of the things left to do.  Rings, invitations, flowers, shoes, outfits for Tom and ushers, cake, hair, make-up - should we be more sorted by now? Oops!

008. We have been planning our honeymoon though (we've got our priorities right, right?) We're going to Bali for a month - if you have any Bali tips for us or have blogged about a trip there please let me know in the comments!

009. Been doing lots of reading already this year - finished Etta and Otto and Russell and James, and Cape Fear, and now reading Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed which is quite emotional but wonderful so far.

010. New hair! I went to the hairdresser's yesterday to get highlights but they said that if I really wanted all over colour (which I did) then a scalp bleach would get the effect I wanted - they weren't too worried about the damage as I'd grown out most of the old bleach and said it was in really good condition.  So behold my new white hair! I really don't like it my natural colour so it's nice to be light again!

 

Hope you're all having lovely weekends wherever you are.  I'm away at a work event for most of next week so my Sunday is going to be mostly full of packing and ironing!

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Pictures instead of words

When words fail, the camera does not lie.  I have not been entirely in the right of frame of mind to write with enthusiasm or impunity as much as I would like lately.  I am tired, and I have had a busy brain, and everything has been a little stormy (I write, as outside the rain lashes against the window).

It seems to be a common theme for January - perhaps something about rising and leaving the house in darkness, and returning in darkness, makes me turn inwards a little.  Last January I also found myself being more introspective; I remember marathon reading The Power Of Now and Auspicious Good Fortune on the plane to Slovakia and trying to smooth things out a little and get back on track.  This year I feel the same, a little like I've stumbled off the path and got a little adrift in the wildnerness.  It will be fine, I'm sure.

Instead of trying to write and explain things, I thought I'd just share some photographs I've taken on my new camera.  Actually this collection is a better way to capture my life at the moment anyway - there is comfort in tea, and books, and bed, and doggy cuddles...

Tea Bodhi Heart
Bedroom
Book
Garden
// all photos taken on my canon 6d, with a 50mm f/1.8 lens.

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A poem and a picture {02}

I still feel very nervous of sharing my poetry here; it feels much more honest and raw than to just post photos of something I wore, or to chat about things I might want to buy, or read, or bake (not that I mean to assign any less value to doing those things).  But those types of post don't necessarily reveal things about me, or express emotion or deep thoughts - it can be a comfort blanket to blog without showing too much of yourself sometimes. It's natural, I suppose, to feel vulnerable to share something you've made, be it a poem, a short story, a drawing or a song - it's something you're sending out into the universe with purpose, rather than just a casual punting out of a product review or update on places you've been, or things you've seen.

I started this blog to share creativity and to have a platform for my writing and photography, and though it's meandered into a lot of different directions, I feel that I want to, when I can, take it back to its roots.  So if I'm scribbling poetry in notebooks on train journeys to work, it feels right to share those words here and to challenge myself by letting go a little bit and not taking the process so seriously.  I can be quite a self-conscious person and I want to feel slightly free-er and less 'embarrassed' to share, and talk about, poetry, and other things like self-care and meditation and creativity and spirituality.  Somehow those things sometimes feel juvenile, or as if they'd elicit a snort or raised eyebrow from people who know me in real life (it feels though, that the 'blogosphere' is more accepting and supportive).  But that's me - these things are part of my life, and it would be inauthentic to pretend that they're not.

With that in mind, here's my latest train scribble (in type form of course), accompanied by a photo I took on a forest walk a couple of weeks ago that felt like it fitted.



New Forest

If you're not a fan of poetry or this kind of post then I do not mind at all - feel free to check back in for something different over the weekend.  But also, big love to those who have read this and are supportive of me changing things up a little once in a while.

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Three inspiring women #ARWOMAN

Over the last year or so I've found myself drawn more and more to reading about, and generally thinking about, inspiring and empowering female role models.  I saw someone tweet recently that female bloggers have a responsibility to use their platform to talk about feminism and help women support and inspire each other, and I couldn't agree more. Women's leadership is a topic that comes up at work frequently - finding ways to help women build confidence to fight for the jobs and careers they aspire to, to speak up in meetings and to ensure that their voice is heard and represented.  It's said that in order to feel that we are capable of fulfilling an aspiration towards a career or goal, we need to see strong women already in those roles, so having inspiring women to look up to and role model is really key for women both in the workplace and generally throughout life.



Rather lovely womenswear brand Atterley Road have just launched their own campaign asking their instagram followers to share their own empowering and empowered women using the hashtag #ARWOMAN.  I thought it was a fun idea and shared the above photo featuring two of mine - Gabrielle Bernstein and Sheryl Sandberg.  I also mentioned Arianna Huffington but couldn't include her in my snap as I couldn't find my well-loved copy of Thrive!  Since it's a topic I feel passionately about, I thought I'd tell you a bit more about the three women I picked, and why they inspire me.

001. A r i a n n a   H u f f i n g t o n

img credit unknown
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post.  She has also written thirteen books and is listed by Forbes as the 52nd most powerful woman in the world.  In her book 'Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life', she issues a call to arms to redefine the nature of success; advocating wellbeing, wisdom, wonder, looking after our bodies and minds, self-care, spirituality and balance (as well as ensuring you get enough sleep and down-time).  I adored this book and it's one that I frequently revisit for a reminder to slow down a little and not get burned out in the pursuit of striving for career or financial goals.  She also writes a lot about women in the workplace, and finding a more sustainable business culture that recognises people for their skills, talent and creativity, rather than promoting those who are the most available and make the most sacrifices.  She says: "'The first revolution was women getting the vote, the second was getting an equal place at every level of society.  The third revolution is changing the world that men have designed. It’s not sustainable. Sustainability is not just about the environment, it’s personal sustainability.  Ironically, when we succeed at making these changes, not only are we going to have a lot of grateful men because they are paying too heavy a price, but we’re going to have a lot more women at the top. Many women currently leave the workplace because they don’t want to pay the price."

I love all of Arianna Huffington's ideas and theories, about wellbeing, about women in the workplace, about women getting together to drive this revolution.  She definitely inspires me, and I'd recommend her book to anyone (especially those of you that can relate to my constant feelings of being too busy and not always in complete control of my diary and commitments!)

002. S h e r y l   S a n d b e r  g

img credit: levo.com

Sheryl Sandberg is most famous for being COO of Facebook, as well as having worked for Google and being a board member for Walt Disney and Starbucks.  In 2014 she was ranked the 10th Most Powerful Woman In Business by Fortune Magazine.  Sheryl Sandberg also wrote a very successful book on leadership and the workplace, this time specifically about women in the workplace - Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.  Her book focuses on why it's so important to have women represented at the top table of business and organisations, and how women can take steps to get there.  I find this book incredibly inspiring and empowering; challenging some of the reasons why women hold back (or 'lean out') of opportunities to rise, such as avoiding new jobs or responsibilities when planning (or even thinking about planning) a family, or letting men dominate the agenda in meetings.  It also advocates achieving more balance in relationships with home chores or childcare responsibilities to allow women to unburden themselves from some of the barriers to career progression and meeting their personal goals.  I think it would be difficult not to be inspired and excited about opportunities at work when reading this book - it's another one I frequently recommend and have bought for friends as a gift in the past.  (Also check out her TED talk, which is excellent).

img credit: love creative blog

003. G a b r i e l l e  B e r n s t e i n


img credit unknown
Gabrielle Bernstein is inspirational for me in a slightly different way, although she also is an incredibly inspiring and empowering woman, and has spoken in the past on women's leadership, entrepreneurship and career pathing, as well as co-founding the Women's Entrepreneurial Network. (Check out her Lecture for Professional Women and Keynote at Columbia College on her Podcasts page for her guidance on women's leadership, coaching and finding mentors).  Gabrielle's background is that she overcame addiction and anxiety to find spiritual fulfilment, and is now a best-selling author, life-coach, motivational speaker and vlogger.  She advocates forgiveness, self-love, meditation and banishing fear from your life.  Her story, and her books (I recently read Spirit Junkie) are so inspiring because they provide practical ways to unlock the key to happiness, positivity and follow (and have faith in) our inner guidance.  I'd definitely recommend her books, teachings and meditations if you're in search of more confidence, happiness and peace (and who isn't?).

So, these are three women who inspire me and make me feel empowered - please tell me yours, and if you fancy sharing them on instagram, do use the #ARWoman hashtag.  Let me know any books I should be reading, or podcasts I should be listening to; I'm seizing my car and train commutes to find time to feel more inspired, so I'd love to hear your suggestions.

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Grown up house additions

I wouldn't go as far as to say I'm addicted to shopping, but I do have rather a propensity for... buying things.  If I'm bored on my lunchbreak I'll walk to town and rarely come back empty handed, if I'm feeling a bit down I find myself drawn to a little online window shop on ASOS, and if I'm starting a new hobby I can't help but go slightly crazy buying 'all the gear' (I own more items of gym clothing than I have probably ever been to the gym, and more cookbooks than I've almost actually had hot dinners).

The end result is that our house is rather bursting at the seams, and clutter fills every space, drawer and wardrobe.  I'm currently fighting a losing battle with my shoe collection, books are stuffed both on top of shelves, on top of other books and piling up on my bedside table, and magazines, papers and cardboard boxes are filling my office like some sort of stationer's version of Day of The Triffids.

It's no surprise that for someone who likes order and tidiness at home that this has begun to drive me a little bit batty.  I've decided this year to focus on owning things that actually make my life a little easier and contribute to me being healthier, happier and more at ease at home.  I've tentatively agreed to a 100 day spending ban on clothes, shoes, skincare and make-up, with the exception of things for the wedding and honeymoon (it starts tomorrow - more on that later).  We are obviously also saving for the wedding and honeymoon itself, so I really should stop being frivolous and put all of my effort into saving over the coming months.

So when John Lewis asked me to try an item as part of their 'Prepare for Christmas' campaign, I was particularly excited.  Our plans were to spend some time before Christmas and pre and post-New Year being at home and generally relaxing and being cosy.  Now, one of my huge bugbears about relaxing in the lounge has always been that it's usually full of clothes airers and feels a bit like we're sat on the sofa watching TV in a laundry.  We tend to put washing on a lot as Tom washes a lot of work gear (he works outside a lot so has a lot of outdoor clothing and kit), I wash a lot of my gym and running gear, and I tend to only wear work clothes once before washing them.  As a result, our washing machine was over-burdened and the smell of damp washing was permanently permeating our house.

Enter stage left, our new favourite belonging....

John Lewis washer/dryer
// John Lewis washer/dryer - £599*

I know I'm losing some major cool points by getting excited about a washer/dryer, but it has made a massive difference owning it.  It's a condeser dryer so it doesn't matter that our utility room doesn't have an outside wall, and it totally solves our problems of forever having rooms full of drying washing.  The steam anti-crease setting is my new favourite thing; even the ironing board hasn't been out since we got it!  Due to a little mixup we didn't actually get it before Christmas but it's definitely helped us prepare for going back to work last week and generally made life a lot easier!

Another item that's been on the list for a long time and we finally added to our lounge is a fire.  We were desperate for a wood-burning stove but after two surveys of our chimney we discovered that our chimney is lined with asbestos so we can't have any kind of open fire or wood burner.  After a lot of disappointment we gave in and went for an electric fire and it is perfect.  It's a Dimplex Courchevel and it does look like a real stove (it flickers and casts a lovely orange glow into the room).  Even without the actual heater on it's make you feel warm just looking it!

Dimplex fire

We took the tree and cards down this weekend so it looks mich tidier and neater now and we've had a good declutter of the living room.  I absolutely love our lounge now - it's the perfect place to relax and get cosy!

Have you made any rather grown up additions to your house lately?

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Throwing a housewarming party

img credit: make it cozee

It's definitely a sign of the times that rather than getting invited to house parties any longer, over the last few months I've been invited to a few house-warming parties instead (next it will be baby showers I'm sure...) So when I was asked by TSB to share some tips for throwing a housewarming party (and doing it on a budget) - I was keen to get my thinking cap on.

I've been lucky enough to own two flats and a house over the last seven years or so.  Sadly (tiny violins at the ready) we didn't really hold a housewarming party at our current house as we moved half-way between my friends and family and Tom's friends and family, so we didn't really have any friends where we lived to invite! Nonetheless I still have a few tips I've picked up from holding two of my own and having been invited to several other house-warming parties lately that I thought might be useful for anyone who might be planning on buying or renting a new home in 2015.

001. Do it before you decorate.  My biggest tip is to hold your housewarming party before you do any painting or decorating, and especially before you lay any new carpets or flooring (if you are). There's nothing worse than getting anxious about red wine being spilled on your immaculate new cream carpet - instead, hold the party when you've still got the green patterned carpet down that's heading for the dump.  The same goes if you're allowing guests to go in the garden - avoid any stress over muddy shoes by leaving old flooring down, or laying sheets if you have recently decorated.

002. Rope friends in to decorate in exchange for drinks! I know of several people who've combined their housewarming party with asking friends to help paint or lay decking or carpets etc.  Bribe your close friends with some beers and a barbecue (maybe not in this weather) and then invite the rest of your friends round once the job is done.

003. Repurpose old items for party props and accessories.  An old piece of chipboard can be painted as a menu board, decking planks can be used to make a 'party here' sign, and glasses you were planning on throwing out could be used one last time at the party to ensure your best glasses don't get broken.

004. Find a spot for coats and bags.  If you haven't got a coat closet, tidy coats and bags into a spare room or onto a bed to ensure your main 'party area' doesn't get too cluttered.

005. Have a guestbook or notes jar for guests to leave well wishes and tips.  I love the thumbprint idea below; such a fun way to remember who came to your party!  I've also seen jars that can be filled with small notes from friends leaving tips for how to enjoy your first home.  A fun thing to look back over on your 'moving in' anniversary (ours is 15th March - we will have been in this house for four years by then, no excuses for not having finished all the DIY!)




006. Have lots of accessible bins throughout the house, and a big bin bag in the kitchen.  Let's face it, you don't want to spend any longer cleaning your lovely new home than you need to, so encourage guests to bin their empty bottles and napkins with lots of bins and a big bin bag in the kitchen.

007. Clear your fridge if you've already stocked it.  If you've got as far as the first food shop then try and clear some room for all of the drinks your guests will bring.  If there's no room then find another place - filling your bath with cold water and ice is another option if you're having a lot of guests.

008. Use candles and diffusers to mask the smell of new paint (or an old home!).  If you think you might be painting right up until the moment your guests arrive, make sure you open lots of windows and burn some candles to mitigate the fresh paint smell (same goes if you've bought a project house that smells a little musty!)

009. Ask for decorating tips or local contacts.  At one party I went to recently the hosts took us on a tour of their new home - there were a few rooms they were really stuck with so it was fun to chat with them about their plans and share a few of our own ideas.  If you're new to the area but have friends who live locally, take the opportunity to ask them if they know any great local painters/decorators/builders etc so you can start building up some contacts.

010.  Save your money for home-y bits by doing food on a budget.  If you're having a smaller gathering then you could always suggest getting take-away or asking people to bring something small like some crisps and dips, to avoid spending out of your renovating budget on catering for the party. Most people won't mind stopping at a shop on the way for some snacks that you can add to the 'spread'.

What are your tips for throwing the perfect housewarming party? If you're planning on buying your first home this year then there's lots of guidance on mortgages (and more) on the TSB website.

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{ post is a PR collaboration }

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New Year's Resolutions - Inspiration and my 2015 word

Firstly, Happy New Year lovely humans! I hope you all had a fab NYE doing what you love (we watched movies, ate baked camembert and drank champagne, so I feel I can say that I achieved that).

SO - as someone who is constantly making lists, pondering how to live better and reflecting on the days, months and years as they pass, I'm sure it won't surprise you that I'm a fan of setting resolutions and starting the year ahead with purpose.

img credit: weheartit.com
For the last couple of months or so I've felt like things have got a little out of kilter for me.  I've been more time-poor than ever and had less time to do the things I really care about.  I've also found myself dedicating less time to 'self-care' (which I wrote about here); attending fewer yoga classes, getting less sleep and letting my Filofax get a little out of control.  It turns out that being having plans for 10 weekends in a row, fitting in three gym sessions a week, planning a wedding, working my full time job (also moving offices; adding two hours to my daily commute), and finding time for blogging, is a recipe for burnout.

In December I decided to try and find my way back a little.  I started using my commute to listen to inspiring podcasts, cleared a couple of weekends for 'chill time', started reading Spirit Junkie and using guided meditations.  I went through a couple of weeks where I had to cancel plans just to be at home, catch up on sleep and regroup.  

I feel like I'm in a better place now than I was but I still have a little way to go to ensure I'm in the right place to meet all of my 2015 goals (or even decide what they might be!).  I've been reading The Desire Map and trying to get to the heart of what it is I 'desire', in order to guide me through the rest of the year.  (The Desire Map helps you decide on your core desired feelings, so that you can set intentions and actions that help you towards the way you want to feel).  Sometimes it's tough to look inward and decide what it is you really 'want', or even how you might 'want to feel'.  It's so easy to find yourself being guided by what others seem to want, or like, and lose your sense of 'you'.

I was chatting to Tom this morning about wanting to decide on a 'word' to guide me through 2015.  I have done this in previous years and I find it helpful in providing direction and purpose throughout the year.  I have decided that this year my word will be 'b a l a n c e'.  It's something that I think is sometimes lacking from my life, and when things have got a little out of control or unsettled it's usually because of a lack of balance.  Finding peace, balance and being more present will definitely lead me to a happier, and healthier 2015.  One of the tasks I want to undertake over the coming weeks is to have a huge de-clutter to allow me to find some more balance at home.

img credit: clementine daily
Of course, even without any of this goal-setting, 2015 is going to be a pretty amazing year! We get married in April, and then have a month on honeymoon in Bali (where lots of chill time, and yoga, will definitely be happening!)  There is a lot to be excited about right now and I can't wait to get stuck into this year.

What are your goals and resolutions this year? Here are a few links, and an image with some suggestions, to help find inspiration if you're still working on yours.  (And if you have a 'word', or have blogged about it, please leave your links as I'd love to read them).

t h r e e  p l a c e s  t o  g e t  r e s o l u t i o n  i n s p i r a t i o n



img credit: thyme is honey
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