WAYS TO LOVE MONDAYS

15 Jan 2019

Everyone tends to have quite the vendetta against a Monday. For most people it means the weekend's over and it's back to work/school/college. For me, it's straight back into lectures at university. However, this past term at uni I've actually found myself less resentful about getting out of bed in the morning to start the week and have actually, dare I say it, started to like them.
For some people this new year, they be looking to stop, as many do, hating on Monday's and instead looking at how you can learn to love Mondays. So, today I thought I'd share with you some positives about Mondays and a few things you could do to make the most out of the start of the week and to make them a little bit easier.

MAKE THE MOST OF SUNDAY

For me, the process starts the night before. Sitting down and writing a to-do list that I will start to tackle the next wee allows me to get my head in order. Any appointments, lectures, deadlines I might have that week I make sure are in my diary. I was thinking of doing a post about my Sunday Routine in more detail but it's very similar to the points I made in my "HOW I RESET" post so maybe give that one a read first. 

I make sure that everything is ready for tomorrow. Bag packed, lunch prepped. This means there's less rushing around and stress for the dreaded early morning that most have on a Monday. 

NEW WEEK, NEW START

Treat Monday as a refresh. If you had a hard week last week, thinking more positively of all you want to accomplish can really help you love Mondays and realise the potential it has to set yourself up for a successful week and beyond. Monday is the perfect time to go "Right, let's get this done this week" and can be a great chance to start something new you may want to introduce into your routine or something extra you want prioritise. 

EARLY NIGHT, EARLY MORNING

For many, you probably don't have a choice if you have to be in work for 9 or even earlier. If you don't have to wake up early it doesn't mean you shouldn't. Starting the week off early may seem annoying but I find it really sets the tone for the rest of the week. Being up and ready at a reasonable time gives you the day to be productive whether at work, uni or at home. I find it really gets me in the right frame of mind and gives me enough time to properly wake up before I have to get the jobs I need to do done for the day. 

If you are one that does have to get up early for work, I think making sure you a good night's sleep makes Monday morning a little more bearable. I find, while I may not seem it as soon as I wake up, give it an hour and happier and more energised than if I'd not gone to bed earlier and even if I'd chosen to stay in bed the extra few hours. 

EAT WELL

I tend to plan my meals along with my week on a Sunday and I make sure that Monday's especially, I take care in what I eat and make sure I'm not just rushing around in trying to get a meal together but making sure each meal is something I enjoy. Most importantly, I make sure to have time for a good breakfast; making time to sit down and enjoy it instead of running out the house with a bit of toast in of my mouth makes me feel a lot calmer and prepared for the rest of the day. 


These are just a few simple I think make Monday's that little bit easier and would love to know if you agree! Are you a fan of Monday's or are there any positives about Monday's that make them a little better for you? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 

WORD OF THE MONTH: RENEW

7 Jan 2019


So I've seen a similar idea floating round the blogging world. Specifically, I saw Emma at "NotCopperArmour" talk about how she has a "Word of The Year". I thought this sounded like a really cool concept but, as indecisive as I am, I thought I'd do a Word of The Month/Focus Of The Month instead. This will be something that will mean tackling a part of my life that I want to improve and making sure that I plan ahead to make sure I get the most out of each month. As I give this new idea a go I thought I'd bring you along for the journey and share with you what each focus of each month will be and also share how well it goes. I have a few ideas for certain months already but if you have any ideas for things you think would be good to focus on over the next 12 months let me know. I'd love to hear!

As it's the start of a new year, I thought it was only right to have January's focus as"RENEW". If you saw my previous post "LET'S TALK NEW YEAR" I touched upon how people put a lot of pressure on themselves to completely transform and set big goals in January and isn't always beneficial. With that, I do see the benefits of using January to reset and get your life planned and organised. That's why I think the word "Renew" really fits with how I want to use this next month.  

WHAT I WANT TO FOCUS ON THIS MONTH. 

University
The first port of call this month is exams. As I post this, I'll have entered exam week so will be in full stress mode but hopefully will be getting close to it all being over. I want to start this term a fresh. After putting too much pressure on myself and not really giving myself a proper break over Christmas, I want to take things steady but making sure I'm still putting the effort into trying my best. As my time at university will soon draw to a close, I want to make the most of the time I've got while I'm still here and try and get involved even more over this next term. 

Blogging
This has to be one of the main reasons I thought of starting this Word Of The Month Challenge. I think it will really help me focus on aspects of blogging that I'd like to improve. Sticking with this months theme, after being intermittently in and out of blogging, I want to enter back into this online world as much as I can. 
I want to focus on planning blog posts in advance and making sure I'm putting out the best content I can. 

Reading
This is similar to blogging. It was really something that was put on the back burner last year but this won't be happening in 2019. After I was under my reading challenge by an embarrassing amount this year, I am determined to not only read at least 20 books but also complete a few extra reading challenges I've set myself along the way. These will help me expand the book choices I make and dip into genres I've never tried before and read authors I've never read before. I want to focus on reengaging with reading and reinstating my love for it over January. If you want to keep more up to date with all the books I'm reading and the challenges I've set myself, I recommending heading to my goodreads.

Art. 
Another one that was neglected in 2018 and probably since high school and one that I always regret not doing more of. I have so many ideas I want to get down on paper both with pencils and paint brushes. I feel re-inspired to get creative and I'm going to make sure I find time to do this too. 

So with my word of the month being "RENEW" and my focuses set out, I guess it's time I go away and see how well this goes. 


What do you think of this idea? Do you have any suggestions of words I should use as a focus for the next 11 months? 
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x



LET'S TALK NEW YEAR

3 Jan 2019



It was on the radio the other day when the presenter said that New Year is the biggest party night on the calendar and, for so many, that is exactly what it is. However, I've never been one to care too much about it. I would always spend it with friends and family, would count down to midnight and have a few drinks, let off some fireworks and I loved that. But, every year I've always thought I've been doing it wrong; everyone seems to have a better new year than me and maybe it's almost like a bad omen; this bad start throughout the rest of the year. 
So, when my sister asked if I wanted to join her and a few of her friends to go to Ireland I thought "Why not?". I hadn't been away all year and what better way to start a new one but in a different country experiencing something new with new people. 
We were there over new year and had a lovely time visiting some bars, looking around the city, laughing in copious amounts and, of course, being together at midnight. All in all, it was a really nice break to escape the reality of university for just a few days. 

However, one thing that always gets me about new year is the notion of "New Year, New Me". I get it; I too will make resolutions (that I will most likely not keep to) and embrace the new year as a fresh start. But, I think it's easy to get caught up in this idea and forget what happened before that stroke of midnight and take too literally what the start of the new year represents.

"This is it. This is when things change"

It's something we all do; wait until a defining point in time before making a change and it's something that almost baffles me that we're all so used to doing. 

As I head into 2019, yes, with some vague resolutions, I don't want to forget the progress I've made in 2018 as, while it may not seem like much now, just because something didn't finish in 2018 doesn't mean it can't carry on. Your troubles from 2018 are still with you and should not just be brushed off in a way that later down the line could effect you even more. But it's also worth remembering that as you utter to yourself and those around you "This will be my year!" to not put pressure to live up to your resolutions and high expectations if you, later down the line change your mind or things don't go exactly as planned.  We're human and shit happens. 

What I'm trying to says is, yes, it's good to take the start of a new year as a time to make some changes as well as using it as a time of reflection. However,  that doesn't mean your fresh start has to be in January, hell, you don't even have to start a fresh. Just because 2018 is over doesn't mean some of the stories created in that year are done and they can still continue and that the book doesn't have to end.  Progression is important just as much as resolutions. 

So what's happening in 2019? 

With what I said above, I wasn't going to make any real resolutions for 2019. However, I'm human and it seems like a wasted opportunity not to encourage myself to make some changes in my life, little or big; to take the time to plan what's to come in the next 12 months and beyond. 


TO UNIVERSITY AND BEYOND

As shocking as it is to say, I will be finishing my degree in Psychology in June. Whenever anyone had asked me what I was doing after I finish, I would be telling them I would be applying to do a masters in something Psychology-related. However, over the past years of endless testing of knowledge, essays, reports and continued stress I feel I've almost fallen out of love with the subject and instead think a break is necessary. 

A lot of my friends and most students look at grad jobs and, while I have pondered doing the same, there hasn't been anything I've seen that really sticks out to me. Instead, I think, when uni ends, I will be looking to stay in York where I've been loving to live these past years and find any job that will pass the time. I'll take those 6-12 months after graduating to look for something more permanent, maybe reconsider a masters but also try and get back in touch with the hobbies I have been neglectful of for many years now. Maybe from this, something will spark an interest or I will have a light bulb epiphany of realising what it is I really want to do. 

MY LITTLE BLOG

One of the hobbies I've been neglectful of is my blog. It's something that I think I've finally started to find my feet and my passion for again. I'm hoping to try and put out content as often as possible but, in doing so, not forcing myself to share posts and writing that I am not 100% happy with. 
I think building a more positive relationship with blogging again could be really beneficial looking into the future and I'm excited to see what I can produce from now on. 

I should take this opportunity, if anyone would like to, to ask if you have any blog posts of mine that you enjoyed reading and would like to see more of.  I'm continuously trying to evolve my "voice" on my blog and bring something new to the table but, it'd be nice to know that people are enjoying it too and would like to read more! 


SOME MORE PERSONAL CHANGES

I think this is the biggy. I've already mention leaving university and life changes related to finding a new place to live in York as well as a job. 

I've had a rocky relationship with self-love and, like many, it's a bit of a rollercoaster. At the start of 2018 I felt as though I was in a good place with my confidence and it's only recently that I've hit a bit of a bump in the road. I want to continue to focus in growing an appreciation of myself. How I'll do this is still undetermined but it's one of those that is a continued progression over many years and won't just be starting in 2019. What maybe starting in 2019 maybe being more openly honest about this subject to my friends and others close to me. 

My creativity is waiting to be put to use and I have already so many ideas I just need to put in place  in 2019. I want share these ideas with as many people as I can. Once my January exams are over, it's definitely the first resolution I want to tackle. 

Lastly, self-care is something I am putting at the forefront of my mind moving through 2019. Not just a face mask (while that may help) but talking about my problems to people who want to listen, and seeking help if or when necessary. Also, not pressuring myself to do anything I don't feel comfortable doing and all around focussing on myself. 

This may seem like a little all-over-the-place-post but I wanted to get a little message across as we enter 2019 and also share with you some of the changes I'd like to make and any progression in previous resolutions I want to implement. 

How do you feel with the start of 2019? Are there any changes you're thinking of making over this next year? 
Happy New Year!
Sarah x

THE PERKS OF A BLOGGING BREAK

18 Nov 2018

I seem to have become the queen of blogging breaks. While most of these breaks are never intentional and are mostly due to life being life and getting in the way, after each break, I always come back ready to get creating content again. I'm definitely an advocate for not over-doing it with blogging and to regularly take a step back and enjoy everything else. So, today I thought I would share with you some of the benefits I think there are to taking a break from blogging every once in a while.

TIME TO RELAX 

While blogging is always fun, you can definitely start to feel pressured to post regularly. When you start to run out of ideas or energy to blog, it can cause you to fall out of love with it all and, honestly, the reader can tell. By giving yourself some time to forget about the blogging world, it can really help you to relax. There is probably other stresses going on in your life such as work or uni and so putting blogging on the back burner can help you focus your attention on those which will benefit you in the long run. 

REALISE WHY YOU STARTED BLOGGING

Blogging without a break can really cause you start resenting your blog but, when taking a break, I always realise how much I miss it. Putting my energy into sharing something I love is something I don't think I could get tired of. It's nice to have some time to go back and look at old posts, laugh at your terrible grammar and photography skills and also enjoy seeing how much content you have created. It's such a great motivator for making me want to continue writing more. 

REFLECT AND RESTART

This is a big one for me as well. Looking back at the content I've created and deciding which parts I love to write, which bits not so much as well as what the people reading also seem to love. It gives me some direction as to where to head with blogging when I start back up again. The break really gets me ready and excited to start writing new content that I may have not tried before. 

GET CREATIVE

Now this is the fun part. You come back to blogging and now is the time to switch things up if you fancy. For me, I love being able to come back and offer something new. While taking a break, it doesn't mean I've stopped thinking of ideas and now I'm excited to share them with everyone. I find that my best ideas come to me when I'm not expecting them. Still keeping track of any blog ideas is always helpful when it comes to writing content again. It can actually lead me to posting even more than I did before as I've stopped forcing myself for writing for the sake of it but now writing about new things that I'm so excited to share. 

So if you're a blogger reading this and having the realisation it's been a while since you last took a break from your blog, maybe take this as a reminder that you deserve some time off. Not only this but taking a break really does have its benefits. 

When was the last time you took a break from blogging? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

CURRENTLY LOVING

5 Nov 2018

Here's a few beauty items I've been loving recently and I think you will too. 

MYSA SKINCARE HAND CREAM

This product was kindly gifted to me by an old friend who has created her own range of products aimed at targeting redness and dry skin as it was something she struggled with throughout high school. I was so excited to give her products a go as they use all-natural ingredients as well as being cruelty free. I love all the products in the range but especially the hand cream. It's got such a fresh lemon scent and it leaves my hands feeling lovely and moisturised. I've actually also been applying it to eczema patches on the tops of my arms and I've really felt a difference so it definitely goes beyond just being your average hand cream. If you're someone who has dry hands and redness or knows someone who does, they do gift sets with all the essentials which make a perfect Christmas addition. You can visit her website here

FRICTION FREE SHAVING RAZOR SUBSCRIPTION

This was actually the result of falling for some Instagram advertising but I'm so glad I discovered this brand. It's a monthly razor subscription where, each month, you receive a new set of razor heads so that you're constantly stocked up. Not only is it super efficient and easy to sign up, but the razor heads along with the rose gold handle I chose, are a real treat. This is probably my favourite razor I've used as it really glides along the skin and, since using it, I have had no sign of cutting while shaving or in-grown hairs. What is also great is how easy it is to cancel, postpone a month if you're stocked up or switch your razors for one of the beauty products they offer. I already have their pre-shave scrub and post-shave balm and I love them all. This is a subscription that I think is really worth it and I think I'll be using it for the foreseeable future. 

THE ORDINARY GLYCOLIC ACID

While, sadly, there has been the news of The Ordinary and Deciem shutting down, there is still The Ordinary products floating around the online retailers. If there's one thing I'd try your best to get your hands on it is this Glycolic Acid Toner that I previously mentioned in my EVENING SKINCARE ROUTINE. It's been great at keeping spots at bay as well as helping with any hyper pigmentation or texture-issues I've been having. I'm already half way through my bottle so I'll definitely be trying to pick up another bottle before they all sell out. 

BARRY M GELLY SHINE NAIL PAINTS

I have had a long loving relationship with the Barry M Gelly Shine nail varnishes and I thought it's time to reiterate my love for them. After picking up one of the shades for my friend for her birthday to only borrow it off so many times we've collectively nearly finished the bottle in a month, I thought it was time to pick up my own. The shade we both loved is called "Nutmeg" and it's the perfect muted pink-nude which is great all year round for an everyday nail. When picking this up I couldn't help but also fall for the shade "Rhubarb" which is a gorgeous autumnal colour that I was definitely missing. Another new favourite is their "Ginger" which is more of a rust colour which is another great one for autumn/winter. The formula is just amazing and is pretty long wearing with, as the name suggests, a great shine. As an extra bonus that I've also recently discovered is that they are also vegan!

FAITH NATURAL DEODORANT

If you saw my previous "10 WAYS TO CUT DOWN WASTE", while I've always been careful about the waster I create, I am making even more of a conscious effort. One thing I love about this faith deodorant is the idea of the packaging; instead of wasting the whole deodorant container you can buy refills of the roll on to help cut down waste just that little more. While it's not the most effective and strong deodorant, if you just need a little protection it's a great one to try; with all natural ingredients and scents, it's definitely worth a go. 

So there's a little about some of the products I've been loving lately. Have you got any recommendations for me to try this month? 
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

Products marked * have been kindly gifted to me. However all opinions remain my own. 
Some links used in this post are affiliate links. Again, all opinions remain my own. 

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