30 Positive Things To Do This Week #5

uk lifestyle blog

To celebrate posting one hundred 5 Positive Things Posts (that’s 500 positive things to do!), I thought I’d look back through the archives every day this week and share some of my favourite positive things to do this week. Here’s the final instalment, normal service will resume on Monday!

  1. Feed the ducks at your local canal, lake or pond.
  2. Treat yourself to a new book or visit your library for free.
  3. Paint your toe nails.
  4. Buy all your cards and gifts this week for October birthdays.
  5. Start collecting something.
  6. Sit with a hot drink outside (when weather permits) and watch the world go by for 15 minutes.
  7. Sort out your bookshelves. Any books you think someone you know would like? Leave a little note in the front cover and pop through their letterbox, post in the mail or leave on a train (unexpected gifts are the best).
  8. Find Jenga. Play Jenga.
  9. Have a movie night.
  10. Pop a note in the pocket of your favourite person and let them know how awesome they are. Or text someone you love to brighten up their early morning.
  11. Research some seasonal recipes.
  12. Ask information about your family history from the eldest member (preferably female) and begin researching your family tree.
  13. Sort through your spice rack and get rid of anything out of date.
  14. Pick yourself up a bright, jolly and sturdy umbrella to make these wet and grey days that little bit happier.
  15. If you live near a beach (lucky, lucky you), go collect seashells with friends.
  16. Declutter your fridge door of receipts, post and anything you no longer need. Give it a good clean and replace with an inspiring art print.
  17. Eat your tea at the kitchen table as often as you can. Or if you don’t have one, like us, make an effort to turn the TV off and play music instead.
  18. Look through your Summer photos.
  19. Buy someone a takeaway coffee without asking them.
  20. Go ten pin bowling with friends.
  21. Bake with someone. Making things is awesome; making with other people is great!
  22. Treat yourself to new condiments for your kitchen cupboard and fridge. Mmm sweet chilli sauce.
  23. Create a meal plan for the next 7 days.
  24. Save time in the mornings by sorting out your daily outfits for the rest of the week.
  25. Meet friends for a milkshake.
  26. Find somewhere peaceful to sit outside, then do some cloud spotting
  27. Book a gig to blow away the cobwebs!
  28. Sit on a wall then swing your feet. Sounds weird but feels so good!
  29. Delete unused apps on your phone and clear some storage. More space for great pics!
  30. Give someone a big, long hug.

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30 Positive Things To Do This Week #4

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To celebrate posting one hundred 5 Positive Things Posts (that’s 500 positive things to do!), I thought I’d look back through the archives every day this week and share some of my favourite positive things to do this week. Here’s the fourth instalment!

  1. Add some new photographs and inspiration to your fridge door.
  2. Do something that makes you feel alive. For me, that would be walking the streets of New York City. As I don’t have a pot of gold, I’ll settle for running instead.
  3. Treat yourself to a new notebook and fill it with nice things.
  4. Try a different magazine – it may become your new monthly fix.
  5. Forgive yourself. I’m constantly beating myself up for being messy, anti-social and awkward. But, I’m only human and life is short. So there.
  6. Support British designer-makers and buy something handmade. More on this later in the week.
  7. To refresh and revive your home, without spending a penny, swap around your paintings, prints and photographs from one room to another.
  8. Back up your precious blog/computer files and make this a Monday morning routine.
  9. Break a bad habit. For me, that means to stop nibbling my nails. I know, I’m disgusting.
  10. Try to not take things seriously. Sometimes I feel my head will implode with all the goings on in this world, and the part I play in it. Then I think of the folk in my life. Perspective, my friends, is a pretty special thing.
  11. Go out for breakfast for an alternative and cheaper meal out on the weekend. We did this on Sunday before work and it was my favourite thing all weekend without costing the earth…mmm Eggs Benedict.
  12. Read the books you own before you buy any more. I MUST DO THIS.
  13. Got some over ripe bananas in your fruit bowl? Make a banana loaf (I add walnuts and chocolate chips to mine) or pop them in the freezer and use when needed (the skin will go black but the banana is fine).
  14. Spend an hour in a book shop, it’s good for the soul.
  15. Arrange a romantic night in with your lovely other half.
  16. Have a pillow fight.
  17. Name your plants  – it helps you remember to water them.
  18. Treat yourself to a little luxury. Perhaps some posh bubble bath?
  19. To save energy and your pennies don’t leave your appliances on standby and always turn off any that you aren’t using
  20. Make bread. I was super skint last week and luckily had a packet of yeast in our cupboard to bake some tasty bread – it was really therapeutic and had me craving for more homemade delights.
  21. Take a long soaking bath and dream up happy thoughts.
  22. Buy or make all the birthday cards you need for the year to save yourself time in the long run.
  23. Give your computer keyboard a thorough clean.
  24. Pop to the garden centre, if only to see pretty flowers and plants, and purchase some seeds to make your own indoor herb garden. The cold weather is no excuse Lisa.
  25. Dig out your favourite band t-shirt and wear with pride. Wearing a band t-shirt is similar to wearing your boyfriend’s baggy clothes -they make you feel better.
  26. Buy a flower press and begin feeling excited about the Spring flowers you’ll soon be picking.
  27. Pop to your local book shop and buy a travel guide for the next country you want to explore.
  28. Wear only colourful and bright clothes this week to cheer up the grey days.
  29. Plan a night out with friends and pretend you’re 18 again. Take your time to get ready, dance your socks off and make sure you have the next day off to recover!
  30. Spend a whole week listening to music only – no TV. See if it changes your evenings for the better.

 Check out 30 more positive things to do tomorrow!

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30 Positive Things To Do This Week #3

mathilde heart manech blog

To celebrate posting one hundred 5 Positive Things Posts (that’s 500 positive things to do!), I thought I’d look back through the archives every day this week and share some of my favourite positive things to do this week. Here’s the third instalment!

  1. Try on something you wouldn’t usually wear.
  2. Say no to things that don’t make you happy or excite you.
  3. Purchase a National Trust Membership to encourage weekend jaunts in the UK.
  4. Spend some time working on your posture and consciously thinking about the way you sit and stand. This is a must for me before I turn into a creaky old lady.
  5. If you spent your weekend watching the Glastonbury Festival footage wishing you were there (hands up), start saving your pennies now for 2015 – tickets released October this year!
  6. Assess your year so far, is there something making you unhappy? This week, work on trying to change that.
  7. Switch off tonight and spend the evening discussing your inspirations (avoid work chat).
  8. Have your own outdoor movie night. I love this idea from SF Girl By Bay, great for you and the family or maybe a wedding party?!
  9. Take things slowly. I’ve been a clumsy mare lately, dropping phones, burning myself on  the oven, tripping up steps (then pretending it didn’t happen with a little jog). A little reminder to take some care I think.
  10. Turn your mattress.
  11. Pass on a book you’ve enjoyed to a friend or family member.
  12. Instead of spending your pennies on treats this week, head to your local pharmacist and buy a selection of vitamins and remedies to care of your health. I’ve only just started taking vitamins regularly (silly, I know) and it feels right spending my money on things that benefit my health and well-being. You can buy shoes the week after…
  13. Do a little stargazing to put things into perspective. I use the Google Sky Map to name all the wee glimmers of light in the evening sky.
  14. Have a DVD on standby for those blue days, when nothing else will do. Give me Alan Partridge any day for escapism and laughter.
  15. Transfer bought biscuits to a biscuit tin for days/weeks/months when baking is off the menu.
  16. Ask your family and friends what they eat regularly to get some inspiration for your weekly food shop; food ruts annoy me.
  17.  Find inspiration by discovering new lifestyle, design, food, beauty and fashion blogs.
  18. Make an effort to take a family picture this week. Your partner, your children, your folks; capture your loved ones and cherish it.
  19. Learn how to make a dish from one of your favourite eateries. I made American style pancakes for the first time this weekend; with maple syrup and crispy bacon, they make the perfect weekend treat.
  20. Check your fire alarms in your house and make sure you have spare batteries when you do need to replace them.
  21. Look through your windows from the outside to get a  different perspective of your rooms. I was pleasantly surprised how homely ours looked.
  22. Greet strangers when they pass you with a smile or “Good Morning”. It’s nice to be nice.
  23. Visit a record fair and spend hours perusing your favourite records and discovering new ones.
  24. Dress up your Switch Plates with Washi tape. Tutorial via Crab and Fish.
  25. Watch old movies one night a week. For some reason black and white movies always make me feel good.
  26. Tell someone you appreciate them. Don’t buy them a gift or card, just tell them.
  27. Fill a jam jar or milk bottle with flowers from your garden.
  28. Buy a sudoku or crossword book (not an App!) to keep your brain in check and away from your mobile phone.
  29. Skim stones for immediate satisfaction and relaxation.
  30. Have a makeup-free day. I have about two of these a week and swear it helps my skin.

Check out 30 more positive things to do tomorrow!

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Moving Home Checklist

uk lifestyle blog

When my parents first started looking for a new home a few years ago, the whole process seemed an exciting one. They were soon to be retired and were looking forward to moving a little closer to their children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, everything didn’t go according to plan and it turned into a big stressful experience, that neither has recovered from.

This was one of the reasons I’ve been dreading moving house, let alone buying one but I can now happily shout from the rooftops that we’ve made it through to the other side, thanks to supportive family and friends, a few tears and taking each day one day at a time.

Thankfully my folks have started to look at property for sale again, and I’m hoping our experience, albeit stressful, will prompt them to try once more. I’ll also tell them to read my previous post on how to stay positive when buying a house!

house buyers checklist

If you’re looking for a new home or are ready to start packing up your belongings for the big move, here is my moving home checklist to send you on your merry way!

  1. Make sure you save a little extra money. Beside removal companies, we spent a silly amount of money on takeaways, new bits and pieces for the house and trips to the tip etc.
  2. Pick up charity shop bags to get ready to sort through unwanted items. If you have the time, to earn some extra pennies, you could also hold a car boot sale a few weeks prior to the move. Anything you don’t sell, you can take to the charity shop afterwards.
  3. I think its much easier asking your removal company to supply boxes and wrapping materials prior to the move. Ours cost £30 and meant we weren’t wasting time trying to source boxes and bubble wrap. Time is precious when you’re moving house!
  4. Arrange someone to look after the children or pets on your moving day.
  5. Buy lots of cleaning products for the old and new house.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  7. Try and book off a few days from work to make your move a little less stressful.
  8. Label all boxes and bags with the room they are meant to go in.
  9. Take meter readings from your old property and your new home on the day of your house move.
  10. Have a list of telephone numbers ready to let people know of your change of address. These might include: bank, energy provider, council tax, broadband, water supplier, TV license, magazine subscriptions. Oh and don’t forget your doctors, opticians, dentist and employer.
  11. Check your home insurance is ready from the day you move in.
  12. Have a box ready with essentials including: mugs, bottles of water, tea, coffee, biscuits, milk, prescriptions, first aid kit, scissors, toilet roll, toiletries and tea towels.
  13. Open the fizz; the hard part is over!

moving home checklist

Have you moved recently?

Disclosure: Collaborative Post

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30 Positive Things To Do This Week #2

uk lifestyle blog

To celebrate posting one hundred 5 Positive Things Posts (that’s 500 positive things to do!), I thought I’d look back through the archives every day this week and share some of my favourite positive things to do this week. Here’s the next 30!

  • Thank someone.  There are many ways to thank the people in your life. Whether it’s your employees, friends or telling a company when you’ve received great service. We’re all quick to pick up the phone or write an email when we get bad service, and rightly so. But telling someone they’ve done a great job when they might be having a bad day could just turn it around.
  • Create a happy playlist. This is on my things to do list – a guilt free list of songs that make me smile that I can go to when feeling down in the dumps.*Adds 99 Luftballons to playlist*
  • Plan a weekend off. Make no plans whatsoever and just spend it doing whatever makes you happy. Bake, watch your favourite movies, take a nap – whatever you fancy. When someone asks what you’re up to just reply ‘I’m busy, doing nothing’ and revel in the glory.
  • Start making a list of everything you’ve achieved this year. Is there something you would have liked to have accomplished yet haven’t even begun? It’s never too late.
  • Book a break away with your best friend to lift the spirits. On a budget? Go somewhere with fewer distractions (shopping and nightlife) and enjoy a weekend in the country. Bring wine, nibbles, magazines, walking boots and put the world to rights!
  • Invest in a decent and colourful umbrella for the Winter months. My red and white polka dot umbrella has been going strong for 7 years and is a cheery so-and-so. Meh to rain!
  • Change one room (or more if you have the time and pennies!) in your home by adding new textiles. New cushions for the living room? Bedding for the bedroom or tea towels for the kitchen? Depending on your budget a small change in a space can make all the difference.
  • Keep a photograph of your family/friends in your purse/wallet. It really helps when you’re stood in the longest queue in the world. I’m talking to you post office!
  • Get the board games out.
  • Give someone you haven’t spoken to in a while a phone call. It will brighten your day and theirs.
  • Make space! Have a look through your house and pop a few items you no longer wear/use in a bag ready for the charity shop or eBay
  • Repeat the phrase ‘It’s not the end of the world’ over and over when having a rough day. Chances are, it could be worse. “Sod it” works just as well.
  • Give your computer/TV/radio/camera/mobile a hug and be thankful for them.  We’re a very fortunate part of the world’s population that has all these goodies at our fingertips. Go on, give them a hug.
  • Spend quality time with a pet
  • Listen. We can’t fix every problem – somethings just aren’t black and white. However we can take time to listen to others which often does more good.
  • Take biscuits or cake into work (preferably on a Monday) to cheer your colleagues up. Cake makes everything better.
  • Empty your purse/wallet of receipts and rubbish. I did this the other week and found a fiver. Bonus.
  • Sleep.
  • Give Blood.
  • Write a list of the things you’re looking forward to.
  • Try not to moan ONCE for a whole week.
  • Pop the clothes you’re wearing the next day on the radiator so when you wake up to get dressed you’ll be nice and toasty.
  • Attempt a bus/train journey without reading or using your phone. Simply look outside. It might be the only time you have that day to have some peace & quiet (minus the other passengers).
  • Try very hard not to catastrophize. I say ‘very hard’ as I know how difficult this is. I worry a lot and jump to a million conclusions before a problem has even begun. All I do know is that what I worry about today is likely to be forgotten in the very near future (hopefully/cross fingers/salutes magpie).
  • Use your car less. It’s easy for me to say, as I don’t drive and don’t have kids to rally around. But I do know an awful lot of people who use the car unnecessarily for short distances. Walk!
  • Have a date night out with your OH – a night at the movies is my favourite. Pub grub, a glass of red, movie, and then chat about the film whilst walking home hand in hand. Happy Lisa!
  • Pick a favourite childhood meal or snack and cook up a memory. I’m eating lots of banana and peanut butter sandwiches lately which remind me of ‘treat’ packed lunches when I was little.
  • Watch an inspirational film. Searching for Sugarman is an uplifting film that will move you to tears (if you’re a sentimental so-and-so like me).
  • Don’t keep worries to yourself. Talk to someone and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Learn the basics of a new language. I can’t abide it when I see British people abroad not even attempting the basics of the language of the country they’re in. Buy a phrase book and give it a go!

Check out 30 more positive things to do tomorrow!

 

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At Home: Office Space

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A couple of days ago this room was filled with boxes and bin bags and now I can happily prance around the space with ease. Like you do. It feels an utter luxury to have a space to work in at home when I’ve been working from our sofa (and bed) for the past 4 years, so I’ve promised myself never to take it for granted.

office11

I needed the office to be up and running as quickly as possible, so we headed to Ikea to find a desk that would work for now until I find ‘the one’. In the end we opted for a Linnmon/Adils desk in white for £15 so it would match my favourite Eames reproduction chair and Ikea bookcase that we bought a few years back.

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To make the space more cheerful, I added this multi coloured rug c/o Habitat for added texture, colour and personality. The hand-woven cotton flat weave rug works well coupled with the white furniture to create a bright and colourful room. One day soon, when we get our first dog (eep!), I can imagine it sleeping on it whilst I’m working away, so I’m happy it’s a hard-wearing rug too.

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We then hung some Cable and Cotton lights to make the room feel cosy; perfect for Winter afternoons when the light begins to fade. A few final additions included a vintage typewriter (just because), desk lamp, plant, notebooks, files, pin board, pencil box and a large Paper Bag for storage.

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Minus a cocktail bar (Mad Men style), I think it’s pretty much perfect. I’ll test it out properly for the first time tomorrow and see if it helps with productivity. If you see me on Twitter, tell me off!

Disclosure: In collaboration with Habitat

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