February reflections / March hopes

collage< Reflections >

Continue with January successes – remarkably, rolling laundry has actually continued and my Saturdays have been spared multiple laundry loads, I have continued to read my Bible every day, we’ve had a day trip to the coast and this little blog has been updated more than once. Tick!
Finish No Name and start reading German Sherlock – done! No name was great, completely the right ending, loved it. German Sherlock is underway although progress is quite slow…
Take at least one photo a week – I have definitely taken more photographs this month but I hope as spring really sets in, there will be even more scope to capture my life on camera. One photo a week hasn’t really felt enough to bring back photography joy.
Bake something red around Valentine’s DayRed velvet cheesecake pancakes. ‘Nuff said.

< Hopes >

March 3rd will bring a whole new routine to my life as I start a new job. It’s exciting and challenging and refreshing and it has the potential to overshadow the whole of the month so I want to make sure I have just a few little goals to keep me moving forward.

Start a new job – as mentioned, this one is going to happen no matter what I do
Plan a few surprises for our weekend away – my Christmas present to my sister was to take her away for a girly weekend with her best friends and I’d love to add in some extra little surprises. No clue what they might be as yet!
Get halfway through German Sherlock – reading in German takes more time as I have to switch my mind into another language but I think I can get halfway through the book by the end of March
Go for at least one walk a week – the weather is hopefully going to pick up a little so I’d love to get out a bit more and get some fresh air; this winter has been particularly ‘indoor’ focused!
Wear perfume more – it’s such a small thing but smells are powerful mind triggers and I’ve had the same perfume for about a decade so it’s quite comforting. It’s very ‘me’ and it helps me feel more put together when I probably won’t have the time to make much more effort than that!

Advertisements

Spring things

I adore the seasons, all of them, even if my favourite is Autumn. I love that just as one season is coming to an end, I’m perfectly ready for the new one to arrive. The change is good for me; I am refreshed by the shift in the air, the temperature, the mood and all that they represent.

I always try to make the most of what makes each season unique, so as spring approaches (and to me, spring is March-May), here are a few ways to make sure spring and all that it brings, is enjoyed in the moment.

springthings

  • Food & Drink: Elderflower cordial on a picnic
  • Bake: Mini-egg cupcakes & creme egg brownies
  • Places to visit: Northern Ireland, New York and Paris
  • Decorate the house with tulips and daffodils
  • Go to see some lambs
  • Visit a garden centre and plant something new in a windowsill box
  • Take a photo under a cherry blossom tree
  • Empty your handbag and restock only with what you need, not what you’ve accumulated!
  • Do a spring clear-out (if not a spring clean!)
  • Put on some wellies and splash in puddles

Graze box

IMGP4100a

I am a grazer by nature. I don’t often have big portions at traditional mealtimes but I eat constantly throughout the day. Being wheat intolerant, I find (although this may be entirely in my head) that eating little and often helps with symptoms like stomach pain. Plus I like food a lot so eating all the time isn’t exactly an inconvenience.

However, I did find that I wasn’t always snacking on the healthiest of foods – chocolate was and is one of my favourite things so that featured a lot – and it was getting quite expensive to fund my never-ending nibbling.

Enter the graze box. My husband encouraged me to sign up for this for many reasons:

  1. Primarily, it was something new and fun and different each week to look forward to, which he knew I would enjoy.
  2. It satisfied my grazing habit.
  3. It was healthy in some fashion – either low in calories, or high in fibre or one of my 5 a day. Every graze punnet has some kind of health benefit.
  4. It helped with our budgeting as the same amount was spent each week.

As soon as I signed up, I ‘binned’ everything that had wheat in. I then went through and binned items I knew I wouldn’t like – I’m not a fan of coconut flakes for example so I got rid of the options that had those in. Each week I rate the choices I’ve been sent as ‘like’ or ‘love’, or I ‘bin’ them so that I don’t get sent them again. It’s super easy.

IMGP4096a

I’m so pleased my hubby encouraged me to try it out as I now have such fun opening my box every week to see what I’ve been sent, knowing that it’s all wheat-free and that I won’t be sent anything I don’t like.

And the best part? They have a wheat-free black forest slice – my favourite!

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to write this post.

Calm in chaos

IMGP4105aThe storms in Britain have been pretty fierce this Winter. The cold has stayed away but the wind and the rain have battered our little island with some force. We visited friends on the coast at the weekend and fought against the gusts for a few moments to watch the waves pound the shore. It was a beautiful and powerful sight.

We spent many hours hiding from the weather in an adorable little tea shop. We watched the clouds roll by and the rain pour down before venturing out at the first promise of blue in the grey sky.

It’s so sad to read the stories of those people whose lives have been so affected by the flooding. Our own walk into town is currently completely submerged under water, as is the hotel where I got ready for my wedding almost three years ago situated on the banks of the Thames.

The elements have a life of their own and have the potential to cause so much damage. Amid the chaos that these storms are creating, I’m trying to find an element of beauty in their unstoppable strength. These waves were rolling in fast, as far as the eye could see and there was so much life in their nature that just a few minutes watching them crashing into the pebbles left my husband and me invigorated and refreshed. Somehow, even in the chaos, there was calm.

IMGP4106a

I want to be who they are

Looking around the internet – particularly the blogosphere – there are countless women who exude traits that I want people to associate with me: simple living, creativity, family values, wisdom and so much more. I’m pretty content with who I am; I know what I like, what I dislike, what I’m great at and what I’m fairly dismal at – yet there often seems to be something missing.

There are so many women I can relate to in terms of goals, values and lifestyle that I begin to wonder, how am I unique and what can I offer in amongst this shoal of successful, intelligent and warm-hearted women?

Today I had someone a few years younger than me tell me “you’re living my dream!” My job is the pinnacle of the career that she is hoping for and the goal that she is working hard to make progress towards. It struck me that what I admire in other people, others may covet in me. Who I am and the life that I have, is not to be taken for granted, it is one that others might be dreaming of.

So perhaps I’m not quite as contented as I had thought. I may know myself well but do I see myself as others do, or do I take for granted what I have, leaving me unsatisfied with my place in a vast world?

I love a challenge, I love to learn about myself and the world around me and I don’t think there is anything wrong with goals, ambition and wanting to fulfil your potential. What I think I’m missing along the way is learning how to embrace who I already am, so that I can recognise and appreciate the amazing traits in others without becoming disheartened that they devalue or supersede my own qualities. Instead, I want to be able to absorb those characteristics that I most respect to help me become who I want to be.

I don’t want to be who they are. I want to be my own unique blend of me.