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What Not To Worry about #38

What Not To Worry about #38

And so it was October. A month that feels a little bittersweet as nature puts on a final show of colour and magic before the sedentary months of winter roll in. Despite it being a month that sees the temperatures fall and the trees baring themselves to the world, October is when I find myself reawakening and finding the motivation that disappeared in the haze of summer.

It’s as if a light switch goes off as the world outside darkens, I suddenly remember the tasks and creative projects I had set aside months ago and immerse myself in books and articles that I know will inspire me. I spoke of the blogging event I attended in last week’s post which is one of the ways in which I am trying to push myself back to where I want to be again, surrounded by people who lift me up and encourage me to create.

I am also attending the TBEX conference in Kerry next week which I am so so excited about (and a wee bit nervous if I’m completely honest). My friend Rebecca had asked me to go with her earlier this year and I jumped at the opportunity to speak and listen to photographers and bloggers who have travelled the world while making a living. I have had to use up the rest of my annual leave (it’s going to feel like a long time until the Christmas break!) but I reckon it will all be worth it, even just to have the opportunity to leap about the fields of Kerry.

I hope you’re feeling just as motivated these few weeks as we say goodbye to the summer that never was but if you are lacking a little and are in need of a gentle push, have a gander at the worries I am letting go of this week. I have linked some articles which have inspired me too so please read them to enlighten you or even just made you chuckle because a wee giggle can be enough to lift us 🙂

Here goes…

Listening to bullshit – we don’t have to put up with it and we’re actually doing ourselves a disservice by participating in even listening to it. Read this article which is an excerpt from BrenĂ© Brown’s new book to help convince you!

Not being able to write – working a full time job and then coming home to write a post from scratch can feel almost impossible which is why I need to have a wee space at home to wind down. I loved reading this piece where writers spoke of how they get their creative juices flowing, where they can create best and even what they choose to wear!

Getting major wedding envy – I trawled through the photos from Sara Tasker’s wedding (who is the genius behind Me & Orla) and heard a little whimper escape because it was all so beautiful. If I ever get married it will be in a barn I am almost certain with ferns in my hair OR I might just wear ferns in my hair at the weekend for kicks.

Being a very lazy baker – I have hardly baked all summer and feel guilty that my cake mixer has been sitting in the corner abandoned and unused. With the apple season rounding out I decided to pop down to Armagh to bake some apples and either re-try this recipe or give Rebecca’s mum-in-law’s recipe a go.

Missing someone – Autumn brings with it moments of contemplation and this can sometimes lead to pangs for the people we wish were by our side. Read this poem if you’re feeling the same. It made me ache in the most beautiful way.

 

Have a lovely week folks and if you have any tips for Kerry, help a sister out and leave a comment!

What Not To Worry About #21

What Not To Worry About #21

A whole week of sunshine transforms the mindset of the Irish people. We become unnaturally positive as we pull all of our furniture outside to the garden with naive enthusiasm, attempt to have a BBQ without at least one argument and pretend that the midgies aren’t so bad really. We understand that weather this beautiful is not to be taken for granted and while some might have the audacity to say that it’s ‘too warm’, most of us can’t believe our lucky stars when we wake up to another blue sky.

 

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There is this fervour of activity that occurs when the sun is streaming down on us. We fear that we aren’t doing enough to make the most of the sunshine when in truth all we should be doing is stopping to savour it. We don’t need to book a weekend away or take half of the house with us to the beach. The best way to enjoy this weather is by not putting shoes on for the whole weekend while we potter between our garden and the indoors. This is how I spent my Saturday; by stripping the beds and throwing all the windows open, sitting on the back doorstep to listen to kids playing on the street, cooking a fry for brunch, going through all my unused cosmetics (man, how good does it feel to throw out crap you don’t use?). Bliss.

 

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Sunday was spent outdoors with my sister Shannon when I realised I had to sit in an office the next day. She collected me from my house and took a spin to Dundrum with Bella in the back to keep us company. It’s not often that we get to hang out like this just the two of us but she is probably the person I feel most at ease with in this world. We can sit in total silence and it will still feel like quality time together.

 

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On our way back to Belfast we passed a rapeseed field that was bursting with colour against the setting sun. Being the Instagram lunatic that I am, I convinced her to pull the car over and have an impromptu shoot. She didn’t need much persuading to be fair as she’s as big an addict as I am and so we leapt about the yellow flowers like a pair of eejits. It was the perfect way to end a sun-filled weekend.

 

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I hope you made plenty of Spring memories this weekend. And here’s a few of the worries and stresses I am letting go of this week…

 

Getting an Ed Sheeran song stuck in my head

The man is everywhere and even though I might face the wrath of his army of fans by saying this…. I don’t like his music. Galway Girl is like listening to what Americans think Irish music should sound like but holy Moses it can really get stuck in your head. The man is a musical evil genius! I find myself bursting out in to song as I type out an email and feel instantly ashamed of myself. Damn you Ed!

Spring Winds

To quote every person in Ireland, “Aw Jaysus boy, sure she’s warm when you’re standin’ in an aul trap but once you’re in the shade thon wind would cut ye in two”. Translated as: “Yes, you’re quite right, the weather is splendid however if you were to step in to the shade you would find it rather chilly really”. I like the Irish version better though.

Flies

One of my Dad’s pet peeves of the summer. And mine too if I’m to be honest (not cynical I swear!). One morning during the week I woke up to the sunlight filtering through the room which was the loveliest way to wake up until I heard this steroidal blue bottle attacking our curtain like a monster. What a jaw-clencher.

People that complain about the heat

As I mentioned above, these people are the worst! They yap all winter about how you can feel the cold to the bones but when the temperature lifts above 15 degrees you would sweat it was Doomsday. They’re out fanatically watering their precious plants as if the gates of Hell are about to open at the bottom of the garden! Chill out folks – we live in Ireland and it will be raining again in no time.

Walking on mopped floors in socks

*Shudder* – is there anything worse than damp socks???

 

Have a lovely week!!!

 

What Not To Worry About #19

What Not To Worry About #19

Hello Monday faces! I missed writing this post last week. It’s so therapeutic writing on a Sunday evening and planning what little worries I am choosing to let go of for the week ahead. Alas I was too busy enjoying my long Easter break and this week is the first 5 day week I’ve had in wee while – I’m trying not to be a little sad about it! Personally I think 4 day weeks are a good way to go but since I’m not my own boss (yet – one day!) I will have to accept that I am on the Monday-Friday hamster wheel and make sure weekends are always jammed with the good stuff.

 

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Last weekend was a special one after watching one of my best friends marry her person which is one of the strangest and most beautiful things to witness. I have been friends with Louise for 15 years and seeing her stand up at the altar in the dress we had all imagined since we were teenagers and saying the words we have all dreamed of saying was incredibly surreal. It doesn’t feel all that long ago that we were crying in toilets over boys or spending hours trying on each other’s clothes!

 

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The rest of the weekend was spent recovering in Armagh mostly beside a lit fire which in April feels like a real guilty pleasure. I fell asleep in the armchair and had to be shown to my bed like a sleep walking toddler and woke up not having a notion where I was. On Sunday afternoon I was fed by the Moffett’s and then fed again by the Donnelly’s in the evening like a touring grazer – Sundays are made for ceilidhing!

 

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My uncle has come home from Australia to help us celebrate Granny Una’s 90th birthday next weekend and his return has given the family plenty of excuses to get together. For such a big family it’s not easy to get us all under the same roof but we piled ourselves in to my Aunt’s house for a Chinese and Inidan (your typical Irish Sunday feed of course) and shouted over the top of one another while my poor Granny tried to make out the conversation. A couple of hours with the clan is enough to make my heart swell and we’re all clinging on to these special moments with Una because we know how lucky we are to still have her.

 

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This week I am starting out with a positive head despite how far Friday feels! Here are a few of the worries I am shedding…

 

Breaking Things

Much to Andrew’s continual dismay, I am renowned for breaking or losing things. The most recent damage is to my glasses which currently have one arm (or is it leg?). I’ve ordered a new pair but I’ve spent the last couple of weeks looking totally unprofessional in the office like I’m trying to start some sad new trend. I’m not I am just horrendous at replacing things!

Hackers

The joys of the modern era are the hackers/trolls/bullies we find all over the internet and I was lucky enough to be a victim of a Facebook hack a few weeks ago. Some lovely person decided to remove me as my blog page admin and despite trying to contact Facebook several times there was no happy outcome. I’ve had to create a new page all over again so if you’re reading this please share my page on Facey-B if you can so I can reach out to all my old followers. Hate to be a pest but I will promise to make you a cup of tea or at least send out some positive thoughts (don’t say I don’t spoil you).

Morning Routines

Brighter mornings has meant I am up earlier than usual but I’m not using the extra time as best I can. Instead I usually sit in a zombie-like state dribbling granola all over my PJ’s. I plan to start introducing some yoga stretches and a few minutes of meditation to wake me up a little better in the hope I might be a little more productive which leads me to my next worry…

Work To-Do Lists

Lately I’ve been a little unmotivated at work and the to-do list stares at me from my diary while I battle to get everything done. I plan to start managing my time much better in work so I don’t get the guilts when I leave a pile of stuff still to be done – no more jumping between a million tasks! Wish me luck.

Not Seeing the new Beauty & The Beast

How have I not seen it yet?! Someone please take me!!

 

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Wishing you lovely lot an even lovelier week!!

 

 

What Not To Worry About #18

What Not To Worry About #18

Hello friends. How are we this Tuesday? Feeling fresh as a daisy or did you reach for the covers this morning to hide away from the morning light? I’ve been feeling a little knackered lately and my body has been telling me so in a few different ways; cough is a little worse, I have developed a very attractive rash on my belly and I have been in my PJ’s before sundown the 3 few evenings. Hot stuff.

 

So overall I have been better but at the same time I have definitely been worse. There are so many wee things that are lifting me back to where I am happiest – a few little ailments won’t tear me back down. The last few weekends have been permeated with sunlight, the coats have been shed and I have definitely welcomed the return of daytime cocktails. It’s all good right here.

 

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Last weekend was a mix of good and bad behaviour. Friday was spent with friends tasting delicious beer at a local brewery which escalated in to a night of dancing and a few too many whiskies. I tried to exonerate myself on Saturday with a yoga workshop at Flow Studio which was nothing short of tingly loveliness. I learned so much and forgave myself for the debauchery the night before until I wolfed a chicken goujon supper after and then I was right back on the road to Guilt Town.

 

On Sunday we discovered a new slice of heaven at Mahee Island which blew lots of good sea air in to my lungs and made me smile from ear to ear. I love stumbling upon new corners of this country especially when they’re so close to home. Mahee Island is actually a part of a bunch of tiny islands in Strangford Lough and is only about 15 minutes from Belfast so it’s the perfect Sunday escape from the city. The islands are connected by narrow bridges with water surrounding every view from the road – it felt like we were so much further from home.

 

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Having a quick jaunt to the water is the best way to clear the head of negative thoughts and these are the thoughts that Mahee Island cured me of this week…

 

Hearing My Voice Recorded

There is truly no other sound that can make me want to pull my own ears off than the sound of my own voice. When I hear it recorded I try to imagine why anyone speaks to me or why I have any friends at all. The reason I mention this is because I have recently started to record myself on Insta stories and so the fear is very real but like any fear I just have to get over it and hope that I don’t drive followers away in their hoards!

Hospital Appointments

I have THREE hospital appointments this week. THREE. Three times I will have to wait in a crappy waiting room with nothing to read but Woman’s Own or ancient posters about COPD. Three times I will have to talk to medical staff who have been whittled down to a point after years of listening to the moans of others. Naturally I’m super excited about it especially the extortionate car park charges which I never seem to have the change for. But I will not let the negativity get to me!

Man Cables

Andrew is a hoarder. He hoards the most random of technical stuff which he stores in most corners of our tiny house. He thinks if he puts a lamp on a drive drive he can try and disguise it as a table but he ain’t fooling anyone. This week I decided that his pile of cables/keypads/LED lightbulbs will no longer torment me so I shoved them in the cupboard under the stairs like a good housewife.

Itchy Feet

No this isn’t another ailment but refers to my wanderlusting ways of the last few weeks. In my spare time (and by spare time I mean when I’m shovelling my lunch at my desk) I have been researching a new adventure and emailing Andrew links and ideas. He seems to not care quite as much and every evening I browse Airbnb beside him in the hope it might interest him a little. I think I’m just going to have to book his flight to the Philippines which I think he might be OK with.

Deseeding Avocados

Is anyone able to do this without fear of decapitating their fingers? I can barely look down when I’m making my guacamole! Scary business.

 

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And that’s it for this week folks. Wishing you a super lovely week filled with copious amounts of cherry blossom pictures and a little more sunshine 🙂

 

What Not To Worry About #17

What Not To Worry About #17

Oh my goodness it’s actually feeling like Spring and today was the first day I was able to spend some time outside after work – hurrah! I almost forgot what it felt like to take big gulps of fresh air after spending hours parked in front of a computer hidden in an office of artificial light. But today Andrew and I bounded up to Stormont while dinner was in the oven, we watched the sun go down on the city and I forced him to take photos of me amongst the daffodils – a true Insta partner.

 

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It takes something as little as a short walk outside to cure me of any restlessness or bad temper I might have been feeling that day. Today was a bit of a tough one not only because it’s a Monday but also because I had just spent the last weekend at a hen party drinking a little too much wine and way too much beer for my own good. The things we do for our friends eh?

 

My voice is slowly returning (and my sanity too I think) but it was all worth it for the laughs we had. Getting a whole weekend away with my friends is such a rarity and it reminded me of the time I spent travelling Asia and Australia in my early twenties; living out of a suitcase and not having a care in the world. I know to cherish these moments that return us to our girlhood because it won’t be long until we start becoming mothers and a whole new chapter in our lives begin.

 

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This week I plan to relish in the golden hour – even if it’s just doing a few stretches in the back garden or sitting on my back doorstep was my face pointing up to chase the last moment of light. The worries I carry around are easier to shed now and here are a few that I plan to shrug off this week…

 

Quiet Moods

Do you ever get in those moods where you retreat in to yourself and can’t bring yourself to summon the energy for chit chat? The girls in work know me well enough now to recognise my wee quiet moods. It’s not that I’m in bad form; I just become an introvert now and again and can get lost in my own thoughts. I’ve been like this since a child so much so that my Mum thought I was deaf because I would be in my own world while she would be roaring at me to come get dinner!

 

Writers Block

I never thought I would say this because I have never considered myself to be a writer but since I started this blog there are times when I feel at a loss. The words hang over my head taunting me while my brain goes dark. It’s not a nice feeling when I allow myself to think that I have nothing valuable to share but I have to remind myself that the words and stories will come again. Usually a wee dander and a cup of tea is enough encouragement!

 

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Chipped Nails

My little sister Shannon is a goddess with her beauty routine. She puts so much care and thought in to her appearance and not because she’s vain but because she actually enjoys it. I on the other hand try to avoid standing next to her in public because it’s so apparent I didn’t brush my hair that day/don’t own an iron/should never attempt to paint my nails. There really is no use in trying to paint these bitten-down talons because they get chipped within a minute which makes me look even more thrown together than usual. I’ll leave the glamour to the baby sister I think!

 

Snorting

When I was away this weekend I snorted A LOT. This is an adorable trait that I inherited from my mother and gets progressively worse when I drink alcohol. It’s something I have no control over and I tell myself it’s an endearing treat when in reality I sound like I should be in a barn.

 

Warm Toilet Seats

Because. YUCK.

 

Have a great week folks and make sure to get out and enjoy this spring sunshine!

What Not To Worry About #16

What Not To Worry About #16

My favourite kind of Monday is the Monday of a short week of work! Friday is St. Patrick’s Day and not only that, it’s the first day of my best friend’s hen party so I have so much to look forward to (including a whopping hangover on Sunday – I’ll be sending out SOS calls no doubt). We’re headed to Kilkenny which will be jammed to the rafters with fellow revellers but I’m most excited about getting some quality time with the girls; talking over one another, laughing until our sides hurt and basically pretending that we’re teenagers again for the weekend.

 

It was International Women’s Day last week and so it feels more important than ever to surround myself with the women who have influenced me the most. I am incredibly lucky to have the same group of girlfriends that I had aged 13, friendships that have endured university and living thousands of miles apart. What unites us is our loyalty to one another and how fiercely we protect the relationships that have shaped us in to the women we are today.

 

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day was #BeBoldForChange with the aim of calling on the masses to help forge a more gender inclusive world. The World Economic Forum predicts that the gender pay gap won’t close entirely until 2186 – the year I would turn 198! It’s ludicrous to think that we are still campaigning for equal rights today let alone that we still can’t expect total equality for the next generation of badass women. This is why it’s more important than ever to drive these issues in all areas of our lives and lead the call for action.

 

Within the workplace there are plenty of opportunities in which we can be bolder and encourage change for all our female employees. I’m lucky enough to work for a company that encourages employees to network and join committees that will create mentoring opportunities. Aligning yourself with a female colleague you admire or a junior female who you feel could benefit from mentoring is a crucial way to enable gender parity issues to be more widely discussed and acknowledged.

 

At home be sure to educate your partner, your parents and your children on gender stereotypes, violence against women and the underrepresentation of women within politics, science and business. Our daughters, who are more likely to complete secondary education, should feel that any career is available to them and our sons should feel just as passionate about narrowing the equality gap.

 

It feels like we’ve gone back in time recently with recent elections – friggin’ terrifying really – but our voices are still heard especially when we shout together. Be loud ladies and gentlemen and make sure to give the IWD website a browse for more ideas on how you can be bold for change.

 

And with this in mind, I will be choosing not to let the following bother me this week…

 

Feeling Embarrassed About Voicing My Opinion

I usually shy from confrontation but I want to be braver at pointing out unjustness when I see it. When I overhear anything which encourages sexist ideals I won’t cower but voice what I feel is right.

 

Accepting Women-Bashing Behaviour

Women supporting one another is so necessary for change and we should be lifting each other up, not tearing one another down. If I witness this behaviour I will not be silent especially when it’s on a social forum where nastiness can breed freely.

 

Taking My Full Time Job For Granted

Only half of the world’s working-age women are in the labor force compared to around 77% of working-age men. I am lucky that I live in a society where full time employment is accessible – next up is fair pay!

 

My Choice of Clothes

I will dress exactly how I want to and appreciate how lucky I am to freely express myself through fashion. With more extremist views emerging, women from Muslim communities do not feel as free to dress how they like according to their own values. All women should dress for themselves, not for any man or woman.

 

Be Complacent In My Education

I will not worry about not knowing enough but instead use this as a fuel to learn more. Read more studies, sign more petitions and be more vocal in my day-to-day life. It’s the little changes we make that can make the biggest difference.

 

Wishing you all a lovely week ahead and please share the ways in which you are being bold for change!

 

5 Ways to Get Out of the Winter Funk

5 Ways to Get Out of the Winter Funk

Hello friends, it’s been a while. I am well aware of the fact that I’ve been neglectful of this wee space over the last few weeks and I want to use the excuse that it’s because I was without a laptop (no lie – it was more difficult being without Pinterest more than anything!) but in truth I was in the middle of a major funk that I am only starting to resurface from. I’m not sure if it’s the weather and my neediness for Spring to be here already but whatever it was it really dragged me under.

 

When I get in to this negative mindset my confidence and motivation are the first to go. I become lazy in just about every area of my life which only makes me feel worse about myself. I am the eternal optimist in the eyes of my friends and yet when this fog comes down I turn in to the person I least want to be; needy, insecure and just a little sad. I don’t really know what triggers the fog but I do think being cooped up inside and forever yearning for a sunny day does tend to influence my pattern of thought – living in Ireland doesn’t help this at the best of times!

 

This state of limbo is not something I talk about often because it doesn’t really happen that often. It’s so common for people to feel this way at this time of year; we’re all waiting for the chill to leave us and for the sun to warm our souls again. But why shouldn’t I talk about it? Because I might share a part of myself that I don’t like? This part of me that’s far from perfect and far from the positive shiny person I want people to see me as is not something I should be ashamed of. Learning to like ourselves is such a necessary step to happiness and so accepting these little negatives is a lesson I will always be working on.

 

The weather is turning though and I can feel the weight being lifted already. Right now I’m writing with speed for this first time in what feels like ages and my fingers can’t keep up with the ideas that are flowing out. Yes spring is here. Actual sunlight is streaming on to the table I am writing at and I can see blue skies from my seat. How good it feels when we can finally see the light at the end of a tunnel we didn’t think would end.

 

Of course the dark moments will come and go but they are always a temporary blip that I shouldn’t pressurise myself to get out of as quickly as possible. I will endure them at my own pace. I will talk as much or as little as I feel I need to. I will like who I am even when I feel I shouldn’t. I will be the first person I am kind to each day.

 

If you are feeling a little burdened by our long winter and are in need of a little positivity to help guide you in to spring, then try a few of the below ideas that I turn to even when all I want to do is throw my jammies on!

 

Make Plans

Every Sunday I like to make my plans for the week which can wreck Andrew’s head because it means planning his as well! But knowing that I have people to see and fun things to look forward to allows me to get excited about the week ahead of me. Surrounding myself with people I like reminds me that I am in a much better place than I think.

 

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Practice Yoga

I went to my first heated yoga class last week and walked out with my mind and body buzzing. I was soaked in sweat but I also felt like I shed a tonne of baggage that I hadn’t realised I was carrying that day. I have known how much good yoga brings in to my life for a long time but the heated class only heightened the positive change. Please try it out! I couldn’t recommend the Flow Yoga Studios in Belfast enough but there are sure to be classes near you if you’re not in the city.

 

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Do A Little Good

I am lucky enough to volunteer on the ‘Time to Read’ programme but to be honest I feel like the children do more for me than I do for them. Watching their confidence grow and the wee improvements they make over time is such a joy and it’s usually one of my favourite parts of the week. You don’t need to volunteer to do good, all it takes is a drive to make someone else’s day a little better. Bringing a smile to someone’s face will surely bring a smile to yours so it’s win-win all round.

 

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Notice Pretty Things

Being a self-confessed Instagram addict means that I am always looking out for the beauty in the things around me. Some people might think that Instagram can create a constant need to share everything and can lead to comparing ourselves to others (which is never a good idea). But keeping an eye out for the little things that I might usually take for granted encourages me to appreciate the corners of my wee world.

 

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Get Outside

Yes Ireland brings an awful lot of rain but this also means that there are endless fields, rivers and forests to get lost in. My favourite place to clear my head is Helen’s Bay. It’s my spot where I go to on my own to feel the sand, let myself get battered by the sea winds and watch dogs lunge themselves in to the waves (dogs make me SO HAPPY). Make time for those solo moments of gratitude, a time to sit and think of nothing. No internal arguments you will never actually have. No memories that make you feel bad. Just your own piece of wonder near you which makes your heart sing a little. Feel free to use mine if you don’t have your own!

 

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Do you have any methods of bringing a little lightness in during the darker moments? Any ideas that will always guarantee a happy head? Would so love to hear them!

 

 

What Not To Worry About #15

What Not To Worry About #15

Hello fellow Monday people! How’s the heads? Are we starting off positive or are we stumbling wildly in to the week wondering where the weekend went? I’m planning on starting the week off with a fresh head after a slow weekend filled with family, friends and lots of food. Here’s hoping I can carry it through to the end of the week!

 

The main reason why I feel a little lighter this Monday is because I was able to be a part of a pretty special event last week that I am still beaming from. The Assembly Gathering is an inclusive community workshop founded by Mel Wiggins which encourages those seeking an environment in which they can inspire and be inspired by other creative women. I have spoken about my tenious relationship with this side of myself in a previous post as I have struggled to acknowledge that I am, and enjoy being, a creative person.

 

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Having seen posts about the first event in autumn and reading about how wonderful those who attended came away feeling, I promised myself I would jump at the chance if there was another. You can imagine then how delighted I was when I saw tickets released for the winter gathering a few weeks ago and of course I wasted no time in registering. I went on my own and didn’t feel an ounce of nervousness about that since the very reason I was going was because I was doing something just for me. Putting myself in the rare position of being ‘me’ in a crowd of unknown people wasn’t so terrifying when I knew how supportive the environment would be.

 

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The gathering was held in the Boundary Brewery, a coop based in East Belfast and when I entered the room I was blown away by how pretty a brewery could be! Grace & Saviour had transformed the place in to an ethereal wonderland, an Instagrammers dream! We were taken under Mel’s wing and split in to 2 groups; one group learning the wonder of natural dyeing with Colour & Cloth and the other learn about the brewing process by Sheena from Boundary along with a few sneaky tasters.

 

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Christine from Colour & Cloth provided us with our silk scarves and we started off learning about all the amazing natural products that can be used to dye materials which as it turns out is an exhaustive list. I chose to use teabags for mine and folded the silk using pegs and elastic band to create psychadelic patterns (I hadn’t a notion what I was doing really but sort of hoped for the best). The colour came out beautifully, almost a grey-gold and I used it as a table runner for yesterday’s Sunday lunch!

 

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After we tasted some pretty delicious beer, we were spoiled with a spread laid out by Little Pink Kitchen. The cutlery alone had me sold but the food was outstanding from start to finish. And the conversation that was had around this feast was something that will stay with me for quite some time. We were given some questions that were in a wee bowl in the table to help guide the conversation but to be honest the discussions were already so open and honest that we didn’t really need the help. We spoke of what we felt we were lacking or allowed to hold us back, what we dreamt of doing and what our creative fears were. Incredible stuff.

 

Obviously I came away rejuvenated and full of plans. To connect with like-minded people is such a joy and it made me realise how I needed more of this. This time of year is where I can feel a little demotivated and unsure of myself and now I feel like I know more than ever what I want to be doing. I am so incredibly grateful to the gathering for getting me to this place.

 

And so I shall continue on with my usual ‘What Not To Worry About’ post to let you know the little worries I am shedding this week…

 

Unwise Outfit Choices

This time of year is a little cruel for fashion because I begin to get restless with being covered in endless layers. After Lisbon I got a taste for skirts and light clothing again and forgot myself when I came home. I quickly realised that skirt season is definitely another wee while away and so I will have to suck it up and make do with panicking every Sunday night to make sure I have enough tights to get me through the week.

 

Rainy Weekends

What a dull and wet weekend we had! Save for a sliver of sunlight on Sunday afternoon there seemed to be no hope of a bright weekend. It’s beginning to get a little tiresome but it’s weekends like this that encourage slow paced activities which felt exactly right for me this weekend. On Saturday we pottered about the palm house in Botanic Gardens and yesterday we had family over for a Sunday Roast. Nothing to complain about here.

 

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Nervous Chat

After the gathering I realised I am not so great at striking up conversation. I usually enter with a joke and I am quickly relieved when the other person doesn’t slither away in disgust. Why do we do this to ourselves? I have to keep reminding myself that in those situations the other person is more than likely thinking the same thing and so I shouldn’t be too embarrassed. And my jokes are OK sometimes!

 

Weak Handshakes

This can give me the heebie jeebies especially in a professional scenario. Weak handshakes are just weird. Stay firm people!

 

My Stationery Habit

I found my new favourite shop on Saturday.  is a lovely place on the Lisburn Road and it’s chocked full of beatiful designs. I wanted everything but I settled for a gorgeous notebook which seems to be the only thing I come away when I find my new favourite shop. I can’t help myself!

 

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Wishing you all a great week!!

 

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What Not To Worry About #12

What Not To Worry About #12

Here we are, edging in to the second month of the year but more importantly, edging closer to Spring. As much as I have been enjoying the slower evenings and spending more time on things I tend to neglect in the warmer months, I’m looking forward to brighter days and being able to venture outside more during the week. I can feel a little caged in when I don’t get out to stretch my legs after a day at a desk and breathe in fresh air. We’re nearly there though and the appearance of the snowdrops is the light at the end of the tunnel.

 

I hope you all were able to venture out a little and enjoy another weekend of wonderful winter weather. I was down in Armagh again spending some time with friends, especially one friend in particular who suffered a sad loss this week. It’s never easy having a friend in the circle who is going through something painful but when I looked around at the women I have grown up with coming together to be there for one of us, it filled me with so much gratitude. It’s rare to have the same friends you had when you were 13 and I am so aware of how lucky we are.

 

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Andrew and I took some time with his niece and nephew on Saturday and braved the madness of a playground – whose bright idea was it to install ONE infant swing?! It was great craic watching them go up and down the same slide a hundred times and staring in awe as the big kids ran past them. At three and two they’re at such a fun age and I get all wobbly when they reach for my hand or cuddle in to my chest – hello hormones.

 

Saturday night was our first night out in Belfast in a long while and I felt a little rusty at drinking to say the least. I bought tickets to see James Vincent McMorrow who was playing at the iconic Ulster Hall and who happens to have the voice of a bearded angel  We amazingly managed to score unreserved front row seats so I was within arms reach of this glorious man – quite dangerous. We had a grand old time however it is apparent that wine can hit me like a speeding truck and I was ready for home by 12 – I definitely do not still have it. I awoke to empty sweet wrappers by my bedside and the Sahara in my mouth so I quickly made a mental note to swiftly avoid wine in the near future.

 

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My Sunday went pretty much uphill from there as I spotted blue skies with my bloodshot eyes. I downed about 10 litres of water and had a shower to feel a little more human again before donning my comfy shoes for a wee spin to the seaside. Groomsport is a wee village about 20 minutes from us and it’s where I like to go when I fancy imaginary house-shopping. My dream is to live on the coast one day so I live out this little fantasy by strolling along the pier and pretending I’m a local.

 

After our coastal jaunt we went grocery shopping on empty stomachs which is never a good idea. Prime example is us coming out laden with ingredients to make a full roast dinner for two people. No regrets though as I wolfed down a massive plate piled high with roasted deliciousness! I recuperated after the feast by not moving from the sofa except for a few dozen cups of tea and cookies. I have the life of it really.

 

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In light of a pretty lovely weekend I intend on extending the loveliness to this week because as the wise Roald Dahl once said, “if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely’. To help start the week a little more positively, I am choosing to let go these not-so-positive thoughts…

 

Returning Festive Purchases

I am the Queen of Never Returning Items. I have them in the bag with the receipt all ready to go but it’s the act of physically putting them in my car and taking them to the shop that I seem to have the most trouble with. I curse myself every time I clock the bag in the hall and I know I’ll end up taking the clothes to a charity shop in a few years with the tags still on them.

 

Unmade Beds

There are a few things I’m not fond of and one of them is getting in to an unmade bed after a long day. I’m not sure why but there is something so welcoming about a bed that looks tidy and clean and ready to be snuggled in to. The problem is that Andrew starts work later than I do so the chance of me coming home to a made bed is nil as the man gives himself about 10 seconds to get ready for work. I’ve gotten in to a routine of making the bed as soon as I’m home which Andrew seems to think is the work by elves.

 

Finishing a TV Series

I’ve a confession: I have had a major obsession with Downton Abbey since Christmas. I had heard a lot of people talking about the show but never thought it would be something I’d enjoy but it turns out I love a good period drama. I finished the last series during the week and I’ve been in mourning since. I’m going to have to find a replacement so if you have any suggestions, please send them my way!

 

Doing Make Up in the Dark

Brighter mornings not only perk me up before I head to work but they also guarantee a face that looks half made. On these dark winter mornings I have to rely on a crappy bulb to change from ghost to human which isn’t so easy. Hurry up spring!!

 

The Man Pile

The pile of clothes on Andrew’s side of the bed makes me weep as I step over them to make the bed after work. He just sheds his clothes like a snake and lets the pile accumulate all week. I bite my tongue and try not to nag too much because that wouldn’t be lovely. Instead I kick them out of sight and and hope that they’ll find their own way to the washing machine.

 

And that’s it for this week! I hope a great one lies ahead of you!

 

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What Not To Worry About #8

What Not To Worry About #8

Yesterday (Sunday) I woke up to the first frost of the winter. I was up a little earlier than the rest of the house and went outside for a wee moment to myself. I walked around our back garden listening to the crunchy grass beneath me and smiled as my breath hung in the air. Crisp mornings like these with the sun still lazily rising in to the sky allow me to appreciate the harshness of winter. Most of the leaves are gone but what’s left is the opportunity to start again.

 

While we scurry indoors to protect ourselves from the freezing weather we allow ourselves to replenish the energy we have depleted throughout the year. There’s no guilt in feeling like a day has been wasted since it’s too cold to venture too far anyway. We lit the fire in the morning which to me is such a novelty and I didn’t get out of my jammies the entire day – absolute bliss. The most I did all day was cook a roast dinner as it was our visitors’s last Sunday in Ireland and it felt essential we have a feast. The rest of the day was spent under blankets reading and watching movies.

 

Slowing down is no bad thing and it’s something I have slowly started to embrace. I have always felt this pressure to do everything and live every moment to the fullest by doing as much as possible. I tend to feel guilty if I sleep in or miss an event but what I’m really missing out on are the moments that are more special than any craft market, road trip or night out. The long breakfasts that roll in to the afternoon with friends and family, the hours spent alone with a book I can’t put down, my chats with my Granny. These are the things that matter most.

 

With that in mind, this week I will not rush or put pressure on myself to fit it all in as well as not worrying about…

 

Forgetting To Leave The Bins Out – Which reminds me that bin day is tomorrow. Andrew and I like to blame each other for always forgetting to leave the bin out. I reckon it’s his job since he’s the last to leave the house and he reckons it’s my job since he gives himself about 2 minutes to get ready each morning. I trust you know which side to choose.

 

Never Deleting Emails – I keep telling myself that I’ll have a deep cleanse of my email account so my phone will no longer say I have 12000 unopened emails. I’m sure it would be hugely gratifying but honestly I’d rather Pinterest for hours instead.

 

My Fridge Being A Cesspit – I’m currently too afraid to dig deep in to those veggie bins for fear of a spinach swamp because it’s been a while since I’ve had a purge. Since I was a child I was obsessed with laying out the shelves according to food type (meats on one, dairy on one and fruit & veg on one – can you tell I was a chubby kid?!) but right now it’s a hot mess. I wince every time I open the door which just means I grab the bottle of wine faster.

 

Being In Constant Fear Of David Attenborough’s Life – Because 2016 has been a complete bitch of a year and there’s only so much I can take. Sometimes I like to imagine he’s my Grandpa and he’s reading me a bedtime story to me before I nod off to sleep. That’s not uncommon is it? He’d be the best Grandpa.

 

My Daily Self-Diagnoses – That flicker of pain in my head? Definitely an aneurysm caused by my relentless drinking in university. The mole on my back? Yep, definitely cancer because I played it too fast and loose with the suncream in Australia. Pupils a different size? Another aneurysm. Totally screwed. It’s a wonder how I get through the day to be honest.

 

Anyway, I hope you’re all enjoying this beautiful weather we’re having even if, like me, you’re inside for most of the daytime! Make sure and take a dander to enjoy the bit of sun we’re getting if you can, even if it feels further away than ever 🙂

 

Have a great week!