31 October 2013

Happy Halloween

Have a lovely and ghoulish day! This is my favourite holiday (that isn't really a holiday) because it involves costumes, pumpkins, candles and a little magic - all my favourites!

I'm going a bit off-tradition by going to see the Rambert dance company at the Theatre tonight, but I'm going to wear some cat ears with my nice dress as a nod to the day!

What a shame we don't send Halloween cards anymore because I found some gems....


28 October 2013

Every Day....

Here are some lovely daily goals for health and happiness from 'Elephant Journal' you only get to view a few post a day tho before needing to pay subscription so I have copied and pasted!

I think these are great tips and am definitely going to try and take these on for each day, especially 1. 2. 9. 10. 14. and 16.

Each day try to:

1. Set a simple intention or goal for your day, exactly as you do at the beginning of each yoga practise.

The intention should be something that you can complete that day, not some long term, big goal. Sometimes my intention is to let things go that bother me and other times it’s clean out the linen closet.

2. Prepare a simple meal.

Heating up hot pockets doesn’t count. I mean something like make a salad, chop up some fruit.

3. Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.

4. Drink water.

5. Spend time outside.

Walking from your house to the car and your car to your work doesn’t count. I mean actually be outside for a little while, as long as you can. I find the more time I spend outside each day the happier I am. Nature recharges us and if you spend a great deal of time in front of a screen, you need even more time under the sky out in the open air.

6. Exercise.

I don’t care what you do. Just do something. Take a walk. Go to the gym. Do yoga. Jump on the bed. Whatever. Just move. A yoga teacher told us one day that the body was designed as the spirit’s vehicle in the physical world. In other words, the body is made to move our spirits around on earth. The body wants to move because that is its purpose and when we don’t move it, it gets sick because it’s not being used properly. This was a huge ah-ha! moment for me. Her words really resonated.

7. Stretch a lot in addition to your exercise.

Stretch whenever you can. It’s good for your joints and you feel good. Notice how much your dogs and cats stretch themselves. They know!

8. Pay attention to your personal grooming.

Do something to make yourself look better each day. Fix that chipped nail polish, condition your hair, stick a Biore on your nose, pluck your eyebrows, whiten your teeth, get a haircut, anything. Just pick one and do it. Don’t let yourself look like a mess. When you look better, you feel better. When you honor your body and take care of it, it responds with good health.

9. Read something for fun.

Reports from work don’t count. Read an article, a book, an email from a friend, US Weekly and of course, elephant journal. Whatever makes you happy, read it and don’t judge yourself, thinking you should be reading something more productive, more literary or more highbrow.

10. Throw something away.

We all have too much junk and clutter can suffocate us. Find a little something every day and toss it out. Clutter blocks our energy.

11. Straighten up.

No one can function in a mess. When things are tidy we can relax and we are happier in our surroundings. I’m not saying become a cleaning maniac. Once a day I breeze through the house and put stuff away. Sometimes it only takes five minutes. Other times longer. It always makes me feel better.

12. Have tea.

Or coffee. Or whatever hot drink you prefer. I do this in the morning and in the evening. I even got my three year old enjoying a cup of chamomile before bed now. Teas are healthy and taking the time to stop, relax and take a tea break (or coffee too) is calming, comforting and yummy.

13. Be affectionate with another person.

It can be as simple as hugging a friend when you greet them. Humans need loving-contact with others.

14. Give something to someone else.

I got this one from Deepak Chopra’s book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. In the book, Chopra talks about generosity and giving; he says every time you meet someone or go see someone or encounter someone else, you should give them something, even if it’s just a compliment. I love this idea. He says he gives people flowers. I’ve been trying this out lately, giving people things from my garden or stuff I’ve made; if I don’t have anything on hand, I do what he says and give lots of compliments. So far, this has been a lot of fun for me and makes me feel great. Please try it.

15. Spend time with people you love.

Now I get that this isn’t always possible in person, but you can always call a loved one or reach out to them on Facebook. You can write them a letter. Anything that makes you feel connected to and engaged in some way with people you love, do it. Every. Single. Day.

16. Do something creative.

I have always believed that when God said he created humans in his image that he meant that we, too, are creators. Everyone is creative in some capacity. It is our nature, so go out and create. Anything! Make something, come up with new ideas, change something. It’s all creative, whether you’re building a subway system or making a sticker book.

17. Meditate.

Even if all the time you have left is a couple minutes as you’re falling asleep, you will still receive the benefits.

18. Give thanks.

You can do this as you pray/meditate or you can make it a separate act, but mindfully be thankful. Some days I swear to you I feel like my life sucks so badly that all I can think of to be thankful for is my daughter and her good health and the fact that I am alive at all and that my cat is still alive too. One day I gave thanks for the paint colour in my dining room because I really love it. Who cares? You can be thankful for any and everything. Gratitude leads to happiness and happiness leads to good health.

19. Laugh!

Life is hilarious and funny things happen to us every day. When we can laugh at ourselves, our fears and our aggravations, we can overcome universes of negativity. Make it a point to seek out the comedy in life. Find something you can laugh at every day and share the laughter. I know it’s a cliché, but laughter truly is the best medicine.

20. Be responsible for your mental and physical health.

Give yourself a little scan each day and see if anything feels off or needs extra work. Make sure you always take your medicine and keep your doctor’s appointments and get tests done that need to be done. Don’t neglect this and if you feel anxious or sad or weird in any way do not hesitate to make an appointment with a mental health practitioner of some kind. There is no shame in it and you will be a better person for getting whatever help you need. Likewise, if something hurts or doesn’t feel right physically just go get it checked out even if it’s nothing. The peace of mind will be worth it.




22 October 2013

Number 30

Not number 30 on The List (although I was tickled to see no. 30 goal is visit Miami, which I will be doing in 3 weeks!)

But 30 years, that's right, today is my birthday and I've hit the big 30. I feel.... pretty much the same! But what I am really grateful for is the push that this impending year has given me. I've achieved a lot this year, several of those achievement so great I can barely believe I did them (I'm eyeballing you, Tough Mudder)

Now, about this time last year I made some Birthday resolutions for my 29th year which were:

1) Find a job more suited to my skills see (Goal .18) - Not done, but now I am training to be a yoga teacher perhaps I will find my dream job is something quite different to the ones I have imagined...and I am am fully prepared to accept that my job hunt has been haphazard and unsuccessful because I don't really know what I want to do. I will continue to strive for this, to find my dream career, its all anyone can do really.
2) Weigh at most: 10 stone (Goal .22) whatevs :P
3) Save £20,000 -  (Goal 14) not even close! but I will be putting the birthday money I received straight into my savings and put said savings into an ISA for safe keeping.
4) Go on a date - 5 dates total; with two very different men - the wealthy, handsome IT guy, who stood me up in the end and the arrogant author, who I couldn't stand in the end. Well, I can tick that off the list! now, to happy spinsterhood....
5) Book a yoga retreat. booking on pay day, I'm going in February with a work pal. A full on, actual, yoga, detox and pilates retreat! finally! This is the first of two I have planned. This one being a long weekend. The second will be a week in Spain in September, all being well.

Aside from these goal lets have a lil' recap of my year as a 29 year old:
  • Studied for and completed a course in veterinary care
  • Trained for, and ran the 12 mile demon that is Tough mudder
  • Decided to and signed up to be Yoga teacher
  • Travelled to Paris, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Chicago, Lake District and in 3 weeks; Peru, The Amazon rainforest and Miami
  • Signed up for the Bath Half Marathon
  • Became a trustee for the RSPCA
  • 10 months (and counting) of Crossfit

Its been a good year, and I hear-by pledge to make the next one equally rocking in my goals and adventures, turning 30 pushed me to do new things, and I want to keep that momentum going.

Now, I'm off to pick up my birthday cake, have a massage and drink champagne!


21 October 2013

30 things I have learnt in the last 30 Years??

I was inspired by this post to make a 'what I have learnt' a list of my own. A slightly different premise as I think its negative to say "If only I had known this when I was 21" because frankly, there's nothing I can do about that now!

The idea was to look at 30 things my last 30 years has given me... (except I got bored by 16, maybe I'll throw some more in at a later date!) .

1) It really is possible to run a half marathon - who knew??! but 1 year ago I thought the idea was ludicrous and could not comprehend how it was possible. Now, having completed the gruelling 12 miles of Tough Mudder, I know I will be able to take on the Bath Half.

2) Go to university. This one perhaps is very personal to me, as many would argue whether its worth the high fees, and if you'd even get a decent job at the end. But it was to date, the best time of my life and I wouldn't give up the experience for the world.

3) Make Lists: Well I would say this wouldn't I?! but I often see this as a tip for a more productive/happy life is to have your goals somewhere where you can see them regularly.

4) A recent gem from this post "always remember that, nine times out of ten, you probably aren’t having a full-on nervous breakdown – you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit" I have found this often in the last year as my job has reached new levels of stressfullness, that when I get home to just have some guacamole and nachos, and go to bed -the world is better in the morning. Nachos are my tea and biscuits...but you get the idea!

5) One more from the same post "Never love someone whom you think you need to mend – or who makes you feel like you should be mended. There are boys out there who look for shining girls; they will stand next to you and say quiet things in your ear that only you can hear and that will slowly drain the joy out of your heart. The books about vampires are true, baby. Drive a stake through their hearts and run away."

6)  Make a cleaning rota - having lived in shared houses for years and no on my own, I cannot stress this one enough. Essential for co-habiting harmony and creating non-hovels, and generally clear house =clear mind.

7) In some small way, every day, make each day count - as I say in this post even if all I achieve in a day is to get a little fitter, or apply for a job, or do the laundry. Well, that's something!

8) Make Mistakes, and not to be afraid to make them. Author Neil Gaiman puts it much better than I could:

" I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.
So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes."
10) Put on your gym clothes. I know you don't feel like it, but just lace up your running trainers.....
11) Along the same lines: find a exercise you love, do it with friends, have fun!
12) Be nice, this doesn't mean be weak, or be a pushover or don't be opinionated - on the contrary in fact, the real skill is being these things whilst still being nice. Always be nice, because so many can't manage it, we need to show them how its done.
13) Be grateful for your friends - they have chosen you despite your failings and stuck by you, not something to be overlooked. My best friends describe me kindly as 'delightfully bonkers' instead of my foes, who just consider me weird.
14) Create something - cakes, crafts, novels, blogs, music - doesn't matter what you create but DO create. After days sat at a desk, to create something tangible soothes me.
15) Throw away your TV - Seriously. When I tell people I'm an events coordinator by day, a trustee for the RSPCA, a WI member, training to be a yoga teacher, training for half marathons, attend crossfit 4 times a week, cook up stews for my lunch etc I always get the question 'how do you find the time?' the answer 'I don't have a TV'.
16) Go to the Cinema - cos don't get me wrong, I still love a good film, and a good story :)


17 October 2013

51. Enter a photography competition

Nailed it! made it onto the website and everything. I am a very proud pumpkin today :D


15 October 2013

Happy Tuesday

Super quick post about an interesting article: Be Happier Today


P.S An old friend of mine who now lives in Chile is looking for an Au pair for her little girl for 6 months. I put my name forward, because, well, why the hell not!

11 October 2013

51. Enter a photography competition

Done. Thank-you, National Geographic Traveller one of my favourite magazines. I went with quite a simple shot I took in Chicago, because it instantly sprang to mind, and I'm happy to go my my first instincts here.

Enter yourself, its super quick and easy! The deadline is December 9th - and there are 6 categories to choose from city, nature, people, iconic, modern and action. They also have a travel writing competition which I think would also be fun.

My shot: Navy Pier Sunset, Chicago

Check out a few of these submissions already on the website for inspiration...


A List for Living

Check out this List for Living an inspiring tale, by a brave women with limited time left on this earth.

I'm delighted to see 'get a dog' is on the list, just like mine!

She says "My bucket list has given me some kind of a structure. There are no excuses anymore. You have to get on and do things rather than thinking you must do it someday. It's almost like giving pleasure a priority, in doing so you create powerful memories."

So, what would you do in Helens' place? If you knew you only had 5 years left?


9 October 2013

New goal

Welcome to the list number 55. Teach Yoga abroad

I love this idea and figure I  have my whole life to become a teacher good enough to do such a thing. So its going on the list! and I am very excited by the prospect!

But where I would most like to teach it, at least in my mind, today, is Iceland. One of the most wonderful, magical places I know. Check it out:

Looks great right?! ;) XXX

7 October 2013

Moody Monday

I'm sure I can't be the only one who suffers badly with the Monday blues, but today is a particular doozy. As things seem to be sliding a tad downhill with my life in general - this weekend for example I had a few cocktails too many and talked maniacally to my crossfit coaches we ran into whilst out drinking because 'I desperately wanted them to like me' no doubt an ego ricochet from a recent romantic rejection AND running into an old boyfriend whilst looking like crap. I'm feeling uncool, unliked and a general mess.

So as list are obviously my thing, and soothe me. Lets have 10 things I am grateful for and 5 mini goals for my week, in an attempt to cheer myself up:

1. My work allows me to go to 3 lunchtime yoga sessions each week
2. I have the means to take on my yoga teacher training - not everyone has the time/money, I should be grateful that I could basically pick this up on a whim
3. In 5 weeks I'm travelling to the Amazon Rainforest (for crying out loud!)
4. I have a small and select group of lovely friends - who accept me even tho I'm weird. From this day forth I shall never again 'try' and make people like me. I shall simply be nice, and hope for the best, a few less cocktails would probably help as well.
5. I live in a nice flat, in a nice city, in a country that has health care, and plumbing, etc
6. I am fit and healthy - so easily taken for granted, but I sure miss it when I've thrown my back out!
7. I can go home after work and choose exactly what I do with my time, and answer to no one. If want to curl up in bed with a book, and a bowl of chips, I can (and I will!)
8. I have enough disposable income for the occasional takeaway and cinema trip - not to be sniffed at
9. I have a packed schedule of activities for my week - even tho work is a drag I have lots of extracurricular activities to fill my time/look forward to
10. Its October, I love October and the impending festive season.

1. To write down a list to 'to dos' for each day at work and DO THEM I am a terrible doss at work, but life would be much less stressful if I actually did some work.
2. Do Laundry - because I always feel better for getting it done
3. Clean the flat. Again, cos I feel better for it.
4. Go to all the commitments I have scheduled for the week: Crossfit 4 times, 2 runs, craft class, writing workshop, 3 hours of yoga theory, 3 yoga classes, and an afternoon tea. Because while I may not be in the mood - its not like I will use the time productively if I don't go, and will undoubtedly regret it.
5. Apologise to the crossfit coaches for being so drunk and over familiar and then LET IT GO I've been cringing about it all weekend. I can't change it, its not like I was nasty, just silly, so I just need to get over it.

and, just like that, its Friday afternoon. I'm at my desk with classic fm on and a coffee. I've done my laundry and am tidying the flat tonight. I've done all my yoga classes and read my yoga textbook. I'm looking forward to a weekend of afternoons teas and a spot of running. Life feels just fine and cosy. A little happy ending for the weekend :)


3 October 2013


Tim Minchin gave a guest speech at his alma mater, The University of Western Austrailia.


His advice to graduates on how "to be" is very interesting, to sum it up very very simply, he says:

1. You don't have to have a dream.
2. Don't seek happiness.
3. Remember, it's all luck.
4. Exercise.
5. Be hard on your opinions.
6. Be a teacher.
7. Define yourself by what you love.
8. Respect people with less power than you.
9. Don't rush.


1 October 2013

I love October - Autumn is here, Halloween is coming and so is my Birthday! everything is feeling more cosy and festive.
I've completed some big challenges this year and have taken on a few more.

Here's  to a great month!