It's easy to get caught up in the trivial, everyday aspects of life, living on autopilot and not taking the time to step back, assess, adjust and celebrate what's around you. It's something I've been thinking a lot more about over the last few months, and I'm trying to live a more intentional life - here's how. 

But first, what is intentional living? 

To me, there's no true definition, and it's very subjective as to how you live an intentional life. What I feel is that it's living with a clear purpose and focus; being self-aware and making adjustments in your life to make it even better! This can be from changing a small aspect of your every day to planning a vision for your future - it really is what you choose to make it. 

5 ways I live an intentional life every day

Celebrating the small things

Don't live life passively but discover the joy in the mundane, enjoy the everyday moments and be happy for what you accomplished each day. Did you have a fab breakfast that morning? Did you have a nice walk outside? Did you meet up with a friend? Celebrate the joy these small interactions give you! 

Treating every day with care

By this, I don't mean planning every day down to the hour but, again, finding those small pockets of positivity, embracing the daily tasks and making the most out of this time. From taking the time to make your coffee just the way you like it to making sure you're looking up and at your surroundings on your walk. Paying attention to these small moments will bring you more joy than you realise! 

Practising gratitude

This has become part of my daily routine. It takes some getting used to, but it's been a really nice exercise to do in the mornings - I use my planner from Mal Paper* which includes a section in their daily spread to share 3 things you're grateful for. It's a nice thing to do first thing in the morning to help me reflect and be thankful. This is just one way to practice gratitude, read about more ways you can practice gratitude

Romanticise the heck out of your own life

Give off that main character energy - live that morning routine montage from the Disney films, take joy in the small details of your workday from how you reply to your emails to the stationery you use. The characters you envy in your favourite rom-com, coming of age films, that can be you! 

Finding ways to focus

It can be difficult when we are surrounded by constant distractions; zombie scrolling social media, getting distracted and overwhelmed by the news you see when you switch on the TV. Even if it's for a few hours, find ways to eliminate these distractions: turning off the TV, putting your phone on do not disturb. You'll be surprised how much time you'll now have to focus on the things you enjoy, even time to pick up a new hobby and work towards your goals. This will really help you live more intentionally and make the most out of the day-to-day. 

What do you think about intentional living? 

Thanks for reading, 
Sarah

*Mentions previously gifted products but all opinions remain my own!*




Spring is well and truly here and summer is right around the corner. That means the season full of light, fun, uplifting reads to enjoy sunning yourself in the park, relaxing on the beach or enjoy with an iced coffee in hand. Here are just a few books that are sure to put a spring in your step as the sun starts to shine! 


The Switch by Beth O'Leary

If you missed this one last summer, it's the perfect easy read to feel all warm and fuzzy inside! A simple romantic- comedy book to make the perfect beach read! 

When Leena is given a two-month sabbatical after a presentation at work doesn't go to plan, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen's house in a quiet village in rural Yorkshire. Eileen has just turned 80 and is looking for a second chance at love but, there's no luck in her quiet neighbourhood. It's here that Leena and Eileen decide on a two-month house swap - Eileen moves into Leena's flat in London and Leena moves out to her grandmother's to give her the break she needs. 

Everything about this book is wholesome and light - exactly what you need this summer! If you've already given this one a read, keep an eye out for Beth O'Leary's new book, The Roadtrip!

Beach Read by Emily Henry 

Speaking of beach reads, this is another easy-read romance to enjoy this summer. I read this one last summer and if you haven't got round to this one yet, this is the ideal time. 

January Andrews is a bestselling romance writer and Augustus Everett is a literary fiction author. When they end up as neighbours at their beach houses, both struck with writer’s block, they strike a deal - January will write a literary novel and Augustus will try his hand at romance writing. They spend their summer, researching and writing while learning more and more about each other in the process.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Hilarious and heartfelt, this is definitely worth the read! The audiobook is also a fab option for this one - great to take in a few chapters while you're walking, enjoying the sun to really put a spring in your step! And it's not just about romance, I loved the storyline of an election and a royal wedding all rolled into this read! 

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz and Prince Henry have been long-standing nemeses and when their confrontation at a royal wedding is leaked to the tabloids, staging a fake friendship seems to be the only thing they can think of to prevent any negative fallout that could damage the relationship between Britain and America. When President Claremont is getting ready for reelection, Alex finds himself in this relationship with Henry that could derail the whole campaign. How will this all end happily? 

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J Klune

Sweet and wholesome, what more could you ask for? While it covers some heavier topics like child abuse and targeted hate, it doesn't take away from the happy storyline filled with heart-warming moments, an unexpected family and magic. This is a great summer read, but also the perfect cosy read for all year round, whenever you want to fill your heart with all the fuzzy feelings! 

Linus Baker is a caseworker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth where he oversees the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages. When Linus is summoned by Extremely Upper Management, he's given a highly classified assignment: travel to the Marsyas Island Orphanage where six dangerous children reside. But when Linus arrives, the children aren't the only secret kept on the Island. The charming caretaker Arthur Parnassus will do anything to keep his wards safe. As he and Linus grow closer together, Linus must choose what to do; destroy a home or protect the world.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I remember the summer of 2017 like it was yesterday; everyone and their mum had read this book, but I thought it's still worth the shout-out for anyone who missed out! 

Eleanor Oliphant struggles with social interactions. She avoids unnecessary human contact and tends to say whatever is on her mind. But when Eleanor meets Raymond, the IT guy from her work, and Sammy, an elderly man named who they save after taking a tumble, things start to change for Eleanor. This is a slow burner but a truly uplifting read of unexpected friendships and an out-of-the-ordinary heroine. I remember loving how this book was written, and all the quirks of Eleanor's character, I think you will too!

What's on your summer TBR this year? 
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x



Picture this - it's June and life is the most normal it's felt in over a year. I'm enjoying a coffee in the park. I would have sat inside and read my book, but it was a little busy and the weather is crisp with a slight chill in the air, but the coffee is warming me up. I sit on a bench and read for a few hours, stopping to take in what's going on around me. Families are greeting each other as they sit down to enjoy a picnic lunch. There's a game of doubles going on over on the tennis courts - you can tell they're a little rusty, but you can see the smiles on the faces as the ball hits the net, happy to be back, enjoying their regular Sunday morning game.  Of course, there's a kid crying - come on kid, be happy, we've been locked inside for a year but, what do they know! Did they even know what's going on?

Finishing up my coffee, lukewarm now, I stroll into the town, no longer constrained to window shopping. I browse the shelves of the local bookshop, arms hugging the selection of books I'm taking home with me. This one sounds interesting; oh I didn't know they had a new book out; only £2! 

I pass the art studio and decide to go in. I've never been in before but today's the day. I spend some time flicking through the prints and pretend I can afford the paintings they have. I look intently at a pink splodge on a canvas for a few minutes and leave after telling the lady I'll be back once the builders have finished renovating the third bathroom of my country home. If I stop my weekly trips to the local bakery, I'll have enough money for the splodge in three years.

I cross the road and into the bakery to buy my favourite tiramisu slice. I had one two birthdays ago and have been counting down the days until I could have another. Leaving the bakery I head home after enjoying my small slice of freedom.

While friends start planning trips abroad, family members are finally setting a date for the wedding they postponed a year ago, I'm looking forward to taking it slow and enjoying the small moments that we perhaps took for granted over lockdown. I'll still be baking banana bread at the weekend and enjoying the perks of working from home but, I'm also excited to ease back into normal life. Catching up on gallery visits and meeting up with friends, all at my own pace. 

What are you looking forward to in life after lockdown? 
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x

 




Notion is such a great tool for so many reasons - great for students writing up lecture notes, fab for freelancers organising their calendar and switching between clients. I've been loving using Notion to organise all things content and I'm shocked I haven't used it sooner! If you're interested in setting up a Notion account but unsure where to start, I hope this can help! Here's how I use Notion as a content creator to organise blogging, social media and more! 

All my drafts in one place

For blogging, I've drafted posts using a few different tools. I previously used Bear and also used Google Docs but Notion has been the best I've used so far! I can organise my drafts into sections and subsections: drafts to be uploaded, drafts for a certain month or campaign. It really keeps my thoughts organised. I can keep track of the drafts I have yet to share and once I have, keep them recorded in a "published" folder. 

Creating an editorial calendar

I've gone from planning my monthly content on paper to a spreadsheet and now a wonderful editorial calendar in Notion and it's so much better! I can drag my drafts to the date I plan on publishing and update the progress right there - whether it's just an idea yet to be drafted, waiting for images or just needs a push on social, I know exactly where I'm up to for every post and everything I need to do before I hit publish!

I've also been using this to schedule in Instagram posts - what I'm posting, typing out captions and hashtags that I can just copy and paste over the photo is ready to go! 

Setting up a blogging workflow

If you're someone that works on a few posts at once, Notion can definitely help you keep track of all the posts your creating. If you've used tools like Asan before, you can create similar templates in Notion to keep on top of all the moving parts that go into creating a post. Whether it's a simple tick list per post or something more dynamic, there are some fab Notion templates for you to use to get started. 

Using Unsplash images in Notion

If you like using stock images in your content, Notion makes this really easy! Unsplash is available to be used within Notion so, you can find the perfect image as you draft your posts instead of leaving it to the last minute! You can really get a sense of how your post will look in Notion before you upload it. 

It's great for personal stuff too! 

I don't just use Notion for blogging, but I've created sections for other projects, personal habit tracking and reading lists to make it an all-around great tool to help you organise your life while making your blogging life even easier! 

Notion really does everything in one home. I no longer need to have different docs and different tabs open to organise my life digitially. I've definitely been feeling much more organised and motivated to create content since using Notion! 

Do you use Notion? Any tricks I'm missing out on? Let me know! 
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x 





If you were as emersed in the OASIS of Ready Player One as me, loved this character-driven sci-fi novel with a treasure hunt, game storyline that makes you chuckle every once in a while; with geeky references and an amazing film adaptation, there is definitely a book here for you! If you liked Ready Player One, check these out-of-this-world picks with book recommendations similar to Ready Player One! 

The Martian by Andy Weir

I remember reading this at a similar time to Ready Player One and while they are very different books with completely different plots, but I remember laughing at them both and loving the main characters in both of these sci-fi picks. The Martian is also a blockbuster film just like RP1 so is another great one to read and then enjoy the film! 

If you haven't heard of The Martian, we follow Mark Watney, one of the first people to walk on Mars. When the crew have to evacuate Mars, thinking he's dead, they leave Mark alive and alone on Mars with no way of even contacting Earth. With the high chance of him starving to death and stranded in an unforgiving environment, he isn't ready to give up. This book had me laughing out loud in parts and on the edge of my seat in others. Such a great sci-fi read! 

Warcross by Marie Lu

If you miss reading about the OASIS, experiencing the virtual world and are up for reading about more online contests, Warcross is for you. 

Over the past 10 years, millions of people have become obsessed with Warcross, logging on every day to reality. Emika Chen is a teenage hacker and works as a bounty, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally in order to make some money. But, when Emika needs some quick cash she takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships. When all doesn't go to plan and she ends up glitching into the action, she becomes an overnight sensation, attracting the attention of millionaire Hideo Tanaka. He approaches her with an irresistible offer in exchange for spying on the tournament to uncover a security problem.  For a book that's fast-paced, filled with online adventures and mysteries like Ready Player One, this one is for you. 

Ready Player 2 by Ernest Cline (obviously)

Ok, let's get the obvious over with! Of course, if you enjoyed the first instalment, the 2021 released Ready Player Two makes sense to pick up! We follow on from where the first book left off and learn about what Wade Watts discovered days after winning James Halliday's contest - technology that could change the world forever. With this, an unexpected quest ensues with the future of millions of people hanging in the balance. We have the same amount of games and classic references as the first book and a whole new adventure for Wade Watts and his friends. 

While I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first book, if you want to find out what happened next, this is the one to read! 

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

For some more of the quick-wit humour of Ready Player One and if you liked the relationship between Parzival (Wade) and  Art3mis, I think the Illuminae series is for you! It was one of my favourite reads of last year, so it's one I'll always be recommending for sci-fi lovers. 

The first book follows Kady and Ezra - teens who have recently broken up but, with a hostile warship in pursuit causing them to evacuate their planet and aboard a ship with a warship in hot pursuit and a deadly virus breaking out, this is the least of their problems as they try to survive. This heavy sci-fi, action-packed read is so worth it! It's not only unique in the way it's laid out with multi-media format, in parts I found myself laughing out loud - I was so invested in the characters and their journey. An all-round fantastic sci-fi read!  

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

From the same authors as the Illuminae series, I think this is another great sci-fi read for fans of Ready Player One. It's 2380 and graduating cadets of the Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star student Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but that doesn't go exactly as he had hoped. But that's not his only concern right now - Aurora is a girl he rescued from interdimensional space, trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, but she could be a catalyst that starts a war that's millions of years in the makes. Worst of all, it might be up to Ty's squad of misfits to save the entire galaxy. 

The friendships Wade makes and how they develop throughout Ready Player One is the reason I'm recommending this one as we follow not just Ty but the group's quest to save the galaxy!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my sci-fi picks for books like Ready Player One! 

What are some of your favourite sci-fi reads? 
Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x