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Educate series: 3 easy ways to boost your positivity

 

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I was chatting with some of my girlfriends recently and they each shared with me actions that they take each day to focus on the positive and to stay grateful and appreciative of the little things that make a difference in their lives. I loved this idea and so wanted to share some of their daily exercises with you.

#1. Write down 3 ‘sunshines’ from your day in a diary or calendar. (We have a bit of an obsession with A5 moleskine diaries at my workplace. Seriously, everyone has one. Mainly because they have a handy lined page next opposite the days of the week so you can write notes but sorry, I digress). Anyhow, my friend S writes 3 positive experiences or things that she has appreciated throughout the day next to a small sun in her diary and reads through them at the end of the week. A simple idea yet one I’m going to try for myself this week.

#2. Another friend, J, writes down her 3 things on Facebook at the end of the day. She only did this for a week but I really enjoyed reading her posts and it made a change to the usual notifications that come up on my feed. It also really encouraged me as I read it. J is very creative and she sometimes does this with photographs that she has taken instead of using words which may be more your thing.

#3. Finally if writing or logging things in a diary isn’t for you, why not spend just 2 minutes at the end of the day (or even during the day), reflecting on 3 things that you have appreciated?

The main idea of this activity is to remain thankful and positive. It is not meant to be another task on your to-do list each day because if it becomes that, you won’t enjoy doing it after a while I’m sure. However you engage with this though, I would challenge you to give it a go in some form as it’s made a positive difference to my life recently. I don’t personally always write mine down but I do try to stop and think throughout the day. Even if it’s only for a few seconds.

Here’s 3 things I’m grateful for today:

- The sunshine. Clear skies make a big difference to my mood during the day.

- Flowers that were sent to me from my niece and nephews for my birthday.

- Some thoughtful messages from friends that I am in a whatsapp conversation with this week.

Image via

 

 

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Weekend links

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One of my favourite Saturday morning rituals is to wake up, make tea and spend an hour or so in bed reading. Bliss. Here are some links I followed this morning (and earlier on in the week) that inspired me and that I think you might like…

1) The ladies over at A Beautiful Mess are renovating a small home which they are going to donate to Habitat for Humanity. How amazing is that? Talk about small businesses giving back. This is seriously impressive and I’m really looking forward to watching the project unfold.

2) Erin from House of Earnest has such a great eye for interior design and styling. Follow her tips on how to style an Autumn dining table here.

3) Red Online’s tips on taking interiors shots for Instagram have given me a new focus for the next time I reach for my i-phone.

4) Want to see the best picnic party ever? Check out the party that Ruth from The Planned Adventure threw for her friend this summer. Ruth you can throw a party for me anytime ;)

Hope your weekend is restful. Enjoy folks.

Images via: A Beautiful Mess, House of Earnest, Red Online, The Planned Adventure.

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Cosy apartment spaces

One of my interior design loves is seeing how designers style small spaces. I’m a sucker for the room sets at Ikea and have been ever since our early days of marriage, where we would often trawl IKEA for furniture we could afford to fill our first home together. We started out with just a bed and an armchair donated to us from Toby’s granny so had a way to go!

Anyway, here’s a gorgeous apartment I stumbled upon whilst browsing through the Fresh Home website last week. Take a look and let me know what you think.

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I love how light and airy this apartment is. The neutral colour palette enables the eye to wander through the space quickly, creating the illusion of space. Meanwhile the pops of colour from the rug in the kitchen/dining area, alongside other colourful accessories, allows some interesting details to be added to the apartment which give it some personality.

Images via Fresh Home

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Sunday night feeling

Sunday night feeling mosaic October

Hi there, how was your weekend? I had a lovely time in Kent with my family being spoiled for my birthday – we indulged in a cream tea, fancy food and lots of birthday cake. The diet’s gone out the window this week but that’s what birthdays are for right?

It’s been a while since my last ‘recent happenings’ update so I’m using tonight’s Sunday night feeling to catch up with you all.

Reading: Philippa Gregory’s ‘The King’s Curse’.

Visiting: Canterbury in Kent, where I indulged in a little birthday shopping, followed by a visit to Chilham village for a cream tea.

Making: Autumn displays and flower arrangements for our home.

Seeing: The Saturdays in concert with my gorgeous, very sweet and very excited 9 year old niece.

Planning: Blog posts, a DIY tutorial and my next MA assignment!

Have a wonderful week folks and enjoy the autumn weather. Here’s hoping it’s not too rainy.

C.x

Images via Celebrate Creation. From top right: A rainy evening in Richmond, Surrey; Tudor houses in Chilham, Kent; flowers from the Handmade fair a few weeks ago; The Saturdays in concert.

 

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Navy blue bathroom makeover

It’s no secret around here that navy blue is my go-to choice of colour for bathrooms. We’ve been working on updating our bathroom for a while now, saving and completing aspects of the interior as we go. Today I’m sharing our progress so far…

Our first step was to paint the walls in a deep navy blue and change the existing bath tiles for white subway tiles.
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My sister gave me the vintage mirror which we decided to hang on the wall as a gift. I like the way is gives this room a focal point when you first walk in and also that it reminds me of her when I look at it.Navy bathroom 3

There are still a few finishing touches required, such as a bathroom blind. I can’t find one that I like at the moment and as we don’t have any neighbours who look over our back garden, and the glass is frosted, I’m happy to wait a little longer until we find the right one.

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We’ve had the pressure to our shower improved which means there are no more ‘dribble’ showers in this house! The next step is to update the hardware, which will hopefully mean a new shower head and taps. I’m dreaming of a nice, wide shower head which will make showers on those cold winter mornings ahead a less daunting prospect. I have my eye on something like this:

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It is from Mira showers and it’s easy to get lost whilst you browse the wide variety of shower heads on their site!

We have a lot of white in the room which helps to balance the dark navy. Our bathroom is on the snug side and so it would be easy for the room to seem even smaller with such a deep colour if we didn’t have lighter accessories and tiles. We’re still progressing with the room but I’m happy with how far we’ve come. It’s great to see projects planned and dreamt of brought to life.

If you are searching for more inspiration, you can see some other navy blue ideas on my bathroom Pinterest board.

Images via Celebrate Creation and Mira Showers

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Mira Showers. However all opinions are my own and the bathroom makeover was not influenced by Mira Showers.

 

 

 

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Sunday night feeling

Autumn scenesAutumn is well and truly here and I love it. It’s my favourite season of the year and October is my birthday month and so I suppose I’ve associated this season with treats and fun times with my loved ones for many years now!

This weekend has been blessed with good friends. I managed to catch up with some very much missed friends on Friday night, we had people over for a steak last night and we got to spend the afternoon with our church home group today. Toby and I feel so blessed to have so many loving people in our lives.

I also spent some time on Saturday with Angie, who is part of this great postal book club. I read about it yesterday and I want to join one! I’m going to write a more detailed post about this in the week but the crux of it is that I’ve decided to set up my own postal book club so if you fancy joining me, keep any eye out this week for further information on how you can join in. In the meantime I’m going to quiz Angie on how her club works ;)

Have a great week folks,

God bless,

C.x

Images Celebrate Creation

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Styling the Seasons: October

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Well here it is. My first attempt at the #styling the seasons challenge! I wrote about this concept in last week’s Friday links and spent some time last weekend thinking about where and how to style a space in our home. I decided upon the kitchen as we have recently been painting in there and trying to give the area a bit of a face lift. Also we have a thin black picture shelf which I thought would be easy to style by adding a few autumnal touches. We use the shelf to house our big, beautiful station clock and trust me, it’s not easy to be late in our house with that huge thing ticking away at you every morning.

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I made these little pumpkins last year and am glad to be able to use them again this year. Toby thinks I’m a little crazy as I like to make garlands or other bits and pieces to decorate our home with each year but I think it’s great. It’s a way for me to create traditions in our home.

Talking of garlands, I made the leaf one you can see in the picture in about an hour last weekend. Such a simple, quick project to do. I’m writing a tutorial on it which I’ll share soon.

Styling the seasons 2 October 2014

The only thing that I would change about this styling is the height of some of the objects. Ideally I’d like a tall thin vase so that I can play around with height difference and create something a little more aesthetically pleasing. However I’ve lent my only tall vase to a friend so will do without for now!

Styling the seasons October 2014Apologies that some of these images are on the dark side. I had to take the photographs before work as the sun has usually set by the time I get home and well, we’ve been having some very dark days in London recently!

Have you participated in styling the seasons? If so leave me a link in the comments so that I can see your post. If you haven’t tried it, why not give it a go? It’s a very creative way to spend an afternoon and I highly recommend it. You can find further information on it here.

Images Celebrate Creation

 

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Educate series: How resilient are you?

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You’re late.

It’s raining and you just broke the zip on your favourite coat. Not only do you need to get to your meeting in the next 30 minutes, you also need to arrive calm and ready to present a new concept to your boss and some difficult co-workers.

Or perhaps you’re late, tired from being up all night with the children and needing to run to the shops to buy some milk before heading off to meet a friend. Whatever the situation, I’m sure you can identify with those days where everything seems to be going wrong and it’s up to you to fix it all. In these situations, how resilient are you?

I’m not talking about resilience as a super power which will enable you to glide effortlessly through life, never feeling or experiencing difficult emotions. The examples I opened with can be quite trivial but what if you have been trying to cope with an intensely pressurised environment at work over a period of time which shows no signs of easing? How do you keep on going? Maybe the problem isn’t at work but is in your personal life, such as battling an illness or coping with a tricky family relationship.

It can be difficult to know how to act for the best in these situations but recently I found it useful to complete the online resilience questionnaire from Robertson Cooper which identifies strategies you have in place that will support your resilience and then thoughts or actions that you may engage with that will hinder it. The resilience questionnaire refers to the workplace in the main, but I think it’s useful to try it out regardless of whether you are in paid employment or not. I certainly learnt a few things that gave me food for thought. For example, my organisation skills help me to cope with pressure at work and new changes, but at the same time may make me slightly inflexible when it comes to said new changes as I like to be prepared for events ahead of time and know details.

If you have a spare 20 minutes, why not give the questionnaire a try for yourself? Don’t forget to let me know how you get on and if you find the exercise useful.

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This is not a sponsored post. Just another useful resource that I wanted to share with you all!

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Sunday night feeling

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Good evening, how are you? I hope your weekend has been happy and restful. We had some friends over for dinner last night but our cooker broke on Friday so we were down to one electric ring to cook for them on! Oh well, it actually turned out to be quite funny so no harm done.

Apart from church, there’s nothing I like better than snuggling on the sofa with a book or making something on a Sunday. We tend to see friends and run errands on Saturday if possible so that Sunday can be calmer and give us a chance to catch up with one another. It doesn’t always work out that way but we try. Both Toby and I have quite busy full time jobs and also lots of evening commitments so it’s important to us to have a day on our own together. How do you spend your Sundays?

The little pumpkin in the picture above is an example of some of my most recent crafting projects. I made some last year but quite late in the Autumn and so didn’t really get much time to display them around the house. I’ve put them out already this year and am using them in my entry for #styling the seasons which I wrote about in Friday’s post below. I’ll post my styling the seasons entry later on this week for you to see.

Have a good week folks,

C.x

P.S: What do you think of the new colour palette? I didn’t really like the pink I had before but couldn’t change it on this theme so paid for an upgrade. Now I can change the colour to whatever I jolly well like. Promise not to go too kaleidoscope crazy on you!

Image: Celebrate Creation

 

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Friday links

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What are your plans for this weekend? The weather has been gorgeous in London over the last couple of days so I’m hoping to don a pair of boots and go for an autumn walk on Sunday. I’ve been inspired to join in with #styling the seasons, a styling project run by two fellow bloggers – Apartment Apothecary and Lotts and Lots. There’s a spot in our kitchen that could do with a little tlc so I’m going to start there.

We also have some friends coming over for dinner and family coming to stay so it’ll be a busy one but hopefully there will be some time to relax too!

Other links you may be interested in this week are a new way to get engaged from A Cup of Joe and metallic home décor inspiration from Home Shopping Spy.

Have a good weekend!

Image via beacon blankes