One Little Happy Thing

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Tag: lifestylequotes

Why you need words to live by.

What are words to live by?

Words to live by are phrases, mantras and affirmations which hold greater meaning to you. It can be anything. A quote from another person, a line from a book, proverbs, whatever.

These words should inspire you to be better, do better and improve your life. They should strike a chord with what you already believe or feel, and enhance those beliefs. They should also make you think deeper about your current situation, your life style choices and pretty much anything which happens in your life.

These words are not a fixed thing in your life. They can chop and change dependent on what is happening at any moment in your life. When you’re feeling down they could be something which pulls you up. If you’re feeling unmotivated they could inspire you to make a great change in your life.

Why you need words to live

Why you need to find your words to live by

The power of words is highly underrated. Reading something positive, inspiring or empowering has an impact on the way you feel. Read something uplifting and you’ll be inspired to be more than you are. Read something negative and you will start questioning your life and your decisions.

Words also have the power to inspire you to make great changes in your life, if you let them. They can sow a seed of brilliance in your mind and through a bit of nurturing your life could end up being massively different because of it.

Personally I like surrounding myself with these words. I have a board dedicated to this on my Pinterest. I also like creating my own art work incorporating some magical words. There is something about mixing together art and words that really gets my blood pumping.

Particularly when times get tricky I find solace in words and inspiration on how to move forward. This self help blog and many many others are brilliant sources for inspiration on how to get through those tricky moments in life.

My words to live by.

My favourite quote is “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds”. It’s an old Mexican proverb. It is powerful and wonderful. Being a typical Brit I love an underdog, and this makes me think of the struggles we all face against the nameless higher figures who try and tell us how we should be living.

I’m also a bit of a feminist, and this quote was used at a rally in London not so long ago. It speaks volumes to the feminist part of my identity, the oppressed vs the oppressors, and how the oppressed will grow through this.

However, this may not mean anything to you. Words are personal. For some they have no meaning, for other’s they can mean the world. You need to find the words which mean the most to you, and surround yourself with them. Immerse yourself into their meaning, the connotations attached and the images they inspire in your head.

Finding your words to live by.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a fantastic resource when it comes to finding inspirational, motivational and uplifting quotes, all set on beautiful backgrounds and incorporated into products. Create a board and pin some of your favourites.

The wonderful thing with Pinterest is that once it knows what you like, it will show you more similar things. So, the more quotes you pin the more it will show you. Like a big snowball effect. Guaranteed you’ll find something which speaks to you.

And if you don’t it’s almost like a limitless resource. Something will eventually pop up, so you just need to stick with it. I find a lot of the quotes on there can be a little samey, but wade through the rubbish and there are some gems.

Films, books, songs.

Think of your favourite song. Is there a particular line in it which says something to you? I love Everlong by the Foo Fighters. There is one particular line which goes “Breathe out so I can breathe you in” which I love.

Any sort of writing is a good resource for finding something which speaks to you. I can think of all my favourite books and films and think of a few quotes from each which mean something deeper to me, and I’m sure if you think about it there’s probably a few out there for you too.

Write your own.

Can’t find anything on Pinterest? Nothing inspiring you from your favourite song? Write something for yourself!

It’s not too difficult to create your own mantra. Think about what is the most important aspect. Do you want it to be about growth, or change, or motivation, or faith? There is an endless list of possibilities, but whatever matters to you at this moment in time is what you should be writing about.

If you’re struggling to find the words then google synonyms for what you want, and you may be able to make anything you write sound a little more beautiful.

Let me know what your words to live by are in the comments. I’d love some new inspiration!

How to plan the perfect mini break

How to plan the perfect mini break

Mini breaks are fantastic. My partner and I have recently returned from a visit to the Lake District and we are both feeling so much better for it. The wind was howling, we stayed at a cottage completely in the middle of nowhere (single track roads down steep hills, over stone bridges, right in the heart of the countryside, perfect) and walked until we couldn’t feel our legs anymore. For us deciding on a place to visit was easy: we both enjoy the outdoors, aren’t massive people people and live in the UK. There are so many spectacular secluded destinations all within a few hours drive, however it got me to thinking: how does someone plan the perfect mini break? How do we make the most of those precious few days away? So I’ve decided to put a little list together outlining some of the things I did, and wished I had done.

Selecting a destination.

This one can be difficult. Are you a fan of big cities or secluded villages? Do you enjoy fine restaurants or pub grub? Do you want to stay in your own country or travel abroad? Think about the things you enjoy and would like to make the most of over the course of a few days. The essence of a mini break is for it to be only a few days long, possibly a long weekend. We travelled on the Friday and returned on the Monday, not much time to make the most of anywhere. However we knew straight away the Lake District was for us, but if you prefer more hustle and bustle maybe consider a city break. I’d highly suggest checking out Groupon and Wowcher as you can get some fairly decent deals so long as you are flexible with your times and dates.

Find out whats on offer

Once you’ve selected your destination you pretty much need to check out TripAdvisor. This lists almost everything in that area which you may want to visit: restaurants, attractions, museums, art galleries, cafes. The list is endless. You can also check out hotels and B&Bs and can sometimes get pretty good deals for accommodation. Overall its the top website to check out when visiting some place new as it also features customer reviews. I’m an avid user and always make sure to leave reviews of places when I come back, even if it is somewhere local. This knowledge is invaluable to other people who make be thinking of paying that establishment a visit. Just bare in mind the internet can be a callous place and sometimes there is more at play when reading a negative review. I always think how the establishment responds to negative criticism is more telling than the negative review itself.

Packing your suitcase.

You’ve selected a destination, booked your dates, now all thats left is to pack! Make a list, and check it twice. Is there anything worse than unpacking at your chosen destination and finding no toothbrushes in your carry case? Don’t be that person! I always make a list and tick off as I pack. And I always take an extra pair of pants, socks and trousers. You never know what may happen! Another thing to consider is groceries. Is it self catering? Then make sure you take essentials like tea, coffee, milk and bread. Also, always take a loo roll with you, you just never know!

If you only have a small carry case/rucksack and are struggling to fit everything in, I have a top tip for you: don’t fold your clothes, roll them. I fold in half once, then roll them as tight as possibly into a cylinder. I also do this with the towels and flannels, and can fit a surprising amount into one bag. When visiting Dublin with a friend I managed to fit enough clothes and toiletries for 4 days in quite a small rucksack. Save your space, roll your clothes!

Travelling to your destination.

All you have left now is to get there! Plan ahead. If you are travelling abroad, get to the airport with tonnes of time to spare. Either stay at a hotel nearby the night before or travel up with at least 2 hours to spare. If you are driving, then add an hour onto your driving time to take into account breaks. Our trip to the Lake District was four hours, I was driving and foolishly I decided I wanted to get there with minimal breaks. During that four hour drive we stopped once for 10 minutes. What. A. Mistake. By the time we reached our cottage I was exhausted and had to sleep for an hour, wasting precious time. After tedious motorway driving I was also cranky and hadn’t eaten properly the whole time. Don’t be a fool like me, make the journey itself part of the break! Pack a picnic and stop every hour or so. It doesn’t have to be the boring part before the fun begins. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you could plan other places to visit on the journey. Make the most of it.

Enjoy your mini break!

This is a pretty big one. Spend your days away doing what you enjoy, whether it be on your own, with a partner or with friends/family. Make the most of your time away, wake up every morning smiling and looking forward to your time ahead. Little bit of dust in the place you’re staying? So what! Unless the cleanliness levels are complete abysmal don’t let it detract from your stay! The cottage we stayed in was part of a converted farmhouse, wooden beams, the lot. This also meant a little bit of dust. Did we care? No! Everything which needed to be clean, was clean. And it was more of a base camp for us whilst we went out and explored the local area. My point is to not let the little things build up and become big issues. You have the power to put a positive spin on any negative thing that happens, so do that. And you’ll feel all the better for it.

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I hope these tips have been of some use, please let me know if you’re planning your own mini break soon! My partner and I are off to Devon next month for a few days staying in Combe Martin, and you can be sure I’ve already checked out tonnes of things to do on TripAdvisor. Enjoy your break!

My top ten tips to bring Hygge into your life

(This post contains affiliates links, see my a full disclosure on my About page. I may receive a small commission for any link to Amazon. Any purchase you make helps support me write and provide this content.)

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Hygge: the danish word which describes a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. As it isn’t directly translated into a specific word it can be difficult to pin down what is hygge and what isn’t hygge, but the general consensus is that hygge is a feeling, a warm glow in your belly, contentment within what you have. Because of this hygge can be a very personal affair; what one person considers comfort could be the complete opposite of another’s. But there do seem to be some basics everyone can agree upon. Below I’ve listed the top ten tips I have for bringing hygge into your life, and how you could possibly personalize these and make hygge your own.

1. Candlelight

One of the very basic things you can do is light some candles. Big ones, smalls ones, it doesn’t matter. Turn off the artificial lights and sit by candle light. My personal favourite’s have wooden wicks so you also get the gentle crack and pop of burning wood, just like these ones here. A take on this could be to also have a bonfire! Who doesn’t love toasting marshmallows on a stick? This is also ties in to some of the following tips!

2. Spend more time in nature

Go for a walk to the park. Plan a day trip to a forest. Sit in your garden and enjoy a bonfire. In Scandinavia being outdoors is part of their way of life, it is ingrained within their very culture, and it’s something us Brits seem to be losing focus of. There are so many areas of natural beauty across the UK, and generally within a few hours drive. Not to mention I don’t think I’ve been to a city which didn’t have a park somewhere. If this is really out of your grasp maybe try and catch up on some gardening, or sit outside anywhere just for the fresh air. Make it work for you.

3. Make time for loved ones

Another integral part of hygge is to enjoy time with others. Us humans aren’t supposed to be alone, we’re a herd animal and should interact as much as possible. If you’re a bit of an introvert like me this can sometimes be a challenge, but make time for those who really mean something to you. Maybe invite friends to your own bonfire bash, complete with marshmallows on sticks and mugs of hot chocolate? We’re all busy people so it can be difficult to align schedules, but make it happen, it will be worth it.

4. Wear warm comfy clothes

During our harsh cold winters is there anything more pleasing than to wrap up in woolly jumpers, scarves and gloves? Take pleasure in the comfy clothes you wear. Have an extra long, soft scarf. Oversized mittens. Hats with excessively large bobbles. My favourite is wearing shoes with fluffy linings, warm feet are happy feet and put a smile on my face everyday. Do what works for you.

5. Soup glorious soup

Simple, warming, comforting food is essential, and does it get more comforting than soup? For the full hygge effect make the soup yourself (butternut squash with cumin is a personal favourite) and pair it with freshly baked bread. After preparing, cooking and consuming your own simple dinner you’ll be guaranteed to have a warm glow in your stomach. Soup not really your thing? Thats fine! Simple Mediterranean dishes have the same effect for me, platters of meats and cheeses combined with salads. Healthy, nutritious, easy to make. I’m smiling just thinking about it.

6. Switch off those screens

Put your phone on silent, turn the laptop off, throw the TV remote in the bin: enjoy some down time. It’s all too easy to pass an evening watching television, or scrolling through Facebook on your phone, but you need to make time to disconnect. Read a book, play a board game with your family, do some painting! If a particular craft takes your fancy then indulge in it for at least one evening a week. Knitting and crochet is a perfect endeavour as you can create your own comfy blanket, mittens and hats! I’ve written another post here which explains why this is such a good idea.

7. Get baking!

This ties in slightly with number 5, but I’ve decided to list it seperately as there is a huge difference between cooking and baking. Find a recipe for a dessert you have always wanted to take and give yourself an afternoon to do it. I’ve found, in the past, the bigger the project and with no time constraints the happier I feel once it is finished. Plus, who doesn’t love slicing into a freshly made cake?

8. Make tea in a teapot

Warm drinks and nostalgia, this works for me every time. My partner and I invested in a nice teapot as we both know it’ll be used a lot, and so far we haven’t been wrong. This is the exact one we have, he is beautiful and we use him as much as possible! Hygge to me revolves around warmth, and nothing is warmer than tea. Now this doesn’t have to be PG Tips, it could be whatever flavour you want it to be! For my UK friends I implore you to check out In-Fusion Tea. They do beautiful different blends for everyone. Even a chocolate gateau. Yum. Tea not your thing? Try hot chocolate with tonnes of marshmallows and cream. Or coffee in a cafetiere. Enjoy your warm beverage, and turn it into a little mini occasion.

9. Have a bath instead of a shower

Showers are functional, they clean your body but aren’t overly luxurious. However baths could be considered the more basic version of a hot tub (that’s how I try to look at it anyway). Take time over your bath, don’t consider it just an exercise for getting clean, it is time to enjoy. Light candles (see tip 1!), use a bath bomb, lay back and relax. The scrubbing can wait, enjoy the soaking first.

10. Watch the sunset

My last, and probably favourite tip. Nothing is more powerful and uplifting than watching the sunset, or sunrise. It is new beginnings, the introduction of warmth into our days, and can have a profound spiritual effect on us. Get comfortable either outside or inside, and watch the sun. If this isn’t your thing then just take some time to look up and feel happiness and gratefulness in what you have. Hygge is at it’s core a feeling, a feeling of contentment, and I personally find looking into the sky has an ability to make me appreciate more than anything else.

I hope you’ve found some new idea’s on how to bring hygge into your life, and to hopefully increase your sense of well-being and happiness. There is a good reason the Danes are considered to be the happiest people in the world. I’ll be following up this post with similar tips and tricks for bringing some of the scandinavian into your lives. Comment below and let me know what you think!

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5 ways to make the most of your 9-5 job

5 ways to make the most of your 9-5 job

So many of us are now slaves to jobs which we don’t feel fulfilled or satisfied by. We sit at our desks, running reports and daydreaming about going home, putting our feet up and maybe drinking a few glasses of wine. For those of you out there who enjoy your jobs completely, congratulations! But I highly doubt you’ll be reading this post if that is the case. Luckily for the rest of you I have created a list of the top tips I use everyday to make the old 9-5 go smoother and feel more enjoyable. A lot of this takes a positive open mindset, so read on if you’re to change your outlook and hopefully you’re life!

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Leave your house 10 minutes earlier.

Something you can before work even begins, leaving yourself plenty of time to commute to work removes a lot of the stress many of us feel on our daily travels. Obviously this could be a bit tricky if you rely on public transport, but consider an earlier bus or train, even if it is only a few days a week. You’ll be surprised what a weight if takes off your shoulders when you’re not rushing and constantly watching the clock. For my daily commute I purposely go a route which is longer, but much more scenic and rural, so there is less traffic and more beautiful scenery. Its a win win. Try it.

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Don’t get involved in office gossip.

All of us who work in an office based environment understand (and probably participate) in a fair amount of office gossip. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of discussing Janet in HR’s awful new haircut or Vince in accounts’ obvious mono-brown. Stop it. Don’t discuss it. Laugh along if needs be, but don’t actively comment. This kind of behaviour is totally negative and lets be honest, doesn’t achieve anything other than filling a conversation gap. Try and steer the conversation towards more lighthearted, positive topics: plans for the weekend, upcoming holidays, birthdays, anything so long as it brings a smile to your face. You’ll be surprised in the elevation if your own mood, and also your colleagues moods. Positivity is surprisingly infectious.

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Take all of your allocated breaks.

This is one I personally struggle with. But make sure you do. If you’re entitled to an hour’s break and only usually take 30 minutes you’re only stealing time from yourself. Bring a book to read, download a film on Netflix to watch, or ideally leave the office entirely and go for a walk. Whatever it is, just make sure you unplug from your desk and take what you are entitled to.

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Immerse yourself in the task at hand.

How often do you stare at the screen and instead of working think about how much work there is to do and how much you don’t want to do it? We’ve all been there. But this attitude achieves nothing but lost time. If you immerse yourself completely in what you are doing and make sure to work and not procrastinate you will feel much more of a sense of achievement at the end of the day. Plus, the hours will likely go much quicker, time is relative afterall.

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Stop competing!

It is work, not a competition. We all feel it, the need to be noticed and acknowledged for being the best, but it is just unnecessary. The quality of your work should shine through and be enough to show your superiors that you are a hard worker. Have confidence in what you’re doing, you’ll feel so much happier if you’re not constantly vying for someone else’s approval. Plus, if you follow the previous tip your work levels will naturally increase.

I hope you’re found some handy tips in the above list, please try and implement some changes in your daily structure, you’ll be surprised how much of a difference they make. It is my mantra after all, little changes make a big difference. Let me know how you get on!

5 ways to boost your mood

We’re all guilty of it, waking up on the wrong side of the bed, the world is against us and we could think of nothing better than wallowing in self pity all day. Or is that just me? Well, I’ve put together a list of tips which I use to overcome these negative feelings, boost my mood and generally make the world seem a little bit brighter!

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1. Yoga.
If you haven’t ever tried yoga before you should definitely start (I have a board dedicated to yoga on my Pinterest page). You gently stretch, breathe deeply and focus on nothing other than the feeling of moving and being connected to the Earth beneath your feet. Nothing elevates my mood more than a few simple stretches. Seriously, give it a try.

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2. Stay hydrated!
It seems a bit of an obvious one, but it is all too easy to lose track of time and drink barely anything across the course of the day. Keep a bottle on your desk at work, in your bag, hanging from a chain around your neck if it helps. The old adage of drinking 2 litres a day doesn’t have to apply to you, just keep sipping and you’ll soon notice an increase in clarity. Clear mind, clear heart.

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3. Stop what you’re doing.
No, seriously, stop what you’re doing for at least 30 minutes a day. Take a 30 minute break from work, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, whatever it is, and enjoy those 30 minutes to yourself. Read a book, put on your favourite song (on repeat, this is my go-to when I’m really in a slump), put your feet up and allow yourself to unwind. We should stop glorifying busy, sometimes doing nothing is exactly what the doctor ordered.

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4. Write down one thing you are looking forward to.
This could be something as small as getting home from work and putting your feet up, to something larger like going on holiday in 3 months. Use this moment to focus on something truly positive which will happen within your life. It will put a smile on your face for definite.

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5. Eat mood boosting food.
I am absolutely terrible when it comes to my diet, it is all too easy to make peanut butter on toast rather than a healthy nutritious evening meal. But eating some of these foods really does make a difference. Examples of mood boosting foods are oily fish, oysters, chicken/turkey, spinach, lentils, oats, bananas, and my personal favourite, dark chocolate. You’d be surprised what a difference just putting a little thought into your meals can make.

Please please please give some of these tips a go, and please please please let me know how you get on. Small changes in our lives can sometimes make the biggest impact. Since introducing yoga into my every day routine I’ve noticed a huge increase in positivity through every aspect of my life. Leave a comment to let me know how you get on!

5 ways to boost your mood

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