100 Happy Days

#100happydays – Day 29 – My Family

Tonight was a night of celebration. One of my brothers has finished his course, another has finished his Masters and graduated today, and I am due to graduate from my post-grad next week. So we went out to celebrate.

It was a really lovely night filled with familygood food and great company. I know we can all say that our families are amazing, but I really hit the jackpot with mine. My parents are the most amazing, most caring people in the world. They’re great fun and are always up for a laugh. My brothers are both hilarious and I usually have tears streaming down my face with their jokes! Now, don’t get me wrong, more often than not I’m the butt of their jokes and I want to kick the crap out of them, but the good outweighs the annoying. Every single time.

Then there’s my wonderful, beautiful, future sister in law. A friend of mine from school, and now engaged to my brother, it’s so amazing having such a fantastic person marrying my brother. It makes it that extra special that we’ve known each other for the last 16 years! God, that’s crazy! But I couldn’t have handpicked a better match for him.

I sat there tonight and I just felt so lucky to have an amazing family around me. It’s great knowing that we all get on so well! And I know that this may seem like a soppy post, and if they ever read this they’d rip the piss out of me from here til kingdom come, but I don’t really care. I have come to have a really sincere appreciation for my family and friends; for the constant support network we have around us all the time. We really don’t know just how lucky we are.

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What do you love most about your family? For me it’s how much we laugh! I love laughing! And to have a family that make me laugh so often is amazing!

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Awards

Liebster Award

So, during the week I was reading through Sea Of Words and got a lovely surprise when I saw that I had been nominated for it! I’m so grateful for this! A second award in less than a month and I am over the moon!

The Liebster Award is an award to discover new, beginning blogs and is a great way to connect and support the blogging community.

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As with any award, there are a few steps involved in its acceptance! So here we go….

Step 1: write a 150-300 word post about your favourite blog that is not your own

This is hard. I love so many blogs and I don’t want to pick one and make others feel like theirs are of any less value to me. But as I have to choose one, I am going to choose Coffee with Caoimhe. I really like this blog because Caoimhe is a young girl of 16 and, as an English teacher, I feel that what she is doing is outstanding. Her standard of writing is of a high quality and she Her blog deals with mental health issues and she comes across as being so mature and dedicated to her subject. She really is such a great example to us all, and for a teenage girl I think she is someone to keep your eye on. Well done Caoimhe, I wish you every continued success on your journey.

Step 2: thank the blogger who nominated you

I’d like to thank Sea of Words for nominating me. I really do appreciate your nomination and, even though we are only newly acquainted, I enjoy your posts and look forward to what’s to come.

Step 3: 10 facts about yourself (optional)

I have only just recently posted a piece with facts about myself so I will try to come up with some more pieces of unique information! I apologise if I bore the socks off of you!

  1. I used to write a lot of poetry before. I put a book of it together once and gave it to my old English teacher from secondary school to thank him for being such an inspiration to me.
  2. I’m a Virgo and everything about it fits me perfectly!
  3. I try to give as many compliments as I can; particularly to people I don’t know. If I’m getting a coffee and I like the waitress’ make up or nails I’ll always let them know! It’s little things like that that can make people happy.
  4. Alcohol makes me really really anxious, so I’m not a big drinker.
  5. I am a bit of a grammar Nazi… I’ll correct people’s texts… mainly the texts from Himself… I think he uses bad spelling and grammar in his messages to me on purpose!
  6. I used to do face painting for parties before… It’s something I’m good at and really enjoy!
  7. I can play the piano and have completed up to grade 8 in piano exams.
  8. I have a dog who will only sleep in my room. If I don’t come home he sleeps downstairs, he won’t sleep in anyone else’s room! It’s quite cute!
  9. I can’t sleep with my hair tied up. I know most girls can’t sleep with it down, but there is no way on earth I’d ever be able to get to sleep with my hair tied up!
  10. I’m not a girly girl which also means I’m not a huge fan of dresses. I’ll always avoid wearing a dress if possible… god help me on my wedding day!

 

Step 4: Answer the questions your nominator has asked

1) Do you believe in life after death and why?

I don’t know what I believe to be honest. Sometimes I think the concept of life after death is a construct that someone designed purely to eliminate the fear we have of death. I like the idea that our souls travel to a new vessel in order to live a better, more moral life than the one that has just ended. If you read The Top 10 Things Dead People Want to Tell You by Mike Dooley you’ll get what I mean. I think we’re more than our current bodies. Kind of a Buddhist mentality of me, but you know what I mean! Reincarnation of some sorts.

2) What do you find most important in life?

Wow, that’s a hard question to answer. I suppose positive and meaningful relationships are top of my list. They mean that we are loved, we have support, and that we have people who make us laugh and smile. Without positive and meaningful relationships I don’t think we have very much. No house, no job, no online persona could ever mean anything if you have no love or friendship in your life.

3) What would you do with the money if you won the lottery?

Definitely the first port of call would be to buy a house. I’d probably pay for our house and our wedding and then give some money to both of our families and friends, as well as put some into separate savings accounts for our future children. I’d donate a nice sum of money to charity then I’d probably buy an apartment in Italy… Maybe invest some… It’s not something I’ve thought hugely about!

4) What is your favourite season and why?

Autumn. Without a doubt! I absolutely love the colours and textures of Autumn. It’s the cosiest season! It’s the season of changing leaves, crisp mornings, chilly evenings; time for big woollen jumpers, the time for hats and scarves, the time for fires and books! What’s not to love about Autumn!

5) What do you want to change in this world and why?

I know that this is totally cliché but peace and hunger would be top of my list. I think that there is so much death and destruction in our world that it’s just made the place far too scary. It worries me what kind of a world our kids will be born into. Hearing of terrorist attacks every second month, it’s petrifying. I don’t understand the need for so much hatred at all. I understand that we all have different beliefs, but can someone please explain to me what kind of a god would want to cause so much death and horror to his people? What kind of a god thinks its ok to kill innocent people? What kind of a god allows their people to starve to death? I just can’t get my head around it. If there was peace then I’d be able to believe in a god, but at the rate the world is going I think any trace of faith has slowly but surely faded away.

Step 5: Nominate 5-11 bloggers with under 200 followers

My nominations for this award are:

  1. Caoimhe – coffeewithcaoimhe
  2. Sarah – sixfeetofsarah
  3. Chloe – toomuchtooyoung
  4. Elanor – beurownlight
  5. Georgia – lush after yourself

 

Step 6: Ask your nominee some questions

This is the part I love! I love finding questions that I think will get me more familiar with the bloggers I have nominated! Here are my questions for ye!

  1. What is your favourite book and why?
  2. What would the title of your autobiography be?
  3. Share the last photo you took (not a question I know so this can be optional!)
  4. What was the most unsettling film you’ve seen?
  5. If you could get rid of anything to make the world a better place, except for things like war and hunger etc, what would you get rid of?
  6. What artist or band do you always recommend when someone asks for a music recommendation?
  7. What piece of advice do you think everyone should hear?
  8. What’s your favourite accent in the whole world?
  9. What current trend makes no sense to you?
    and just for fun….
  10. Would you rather have legs as long as your fingers or fingers as long as your legs? Why?

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post! I’ve had a great time writing it! Please give my nominated blogs a visit; I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Much love,

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100 Happy Days

#100happydays – Day 28 – Being Kind to Myself

I’ve been feeling really down and paranoid. Something has triggered my anxiety and I’m finding it hard to be positive. I’m constantly putting myself down. I’m finding my flaws and pointing them out to myself. I’m finding the reasons why people might think that I’m not a good person. It sucks.

I met a friend today for lunch and we had really deep chats. We were able to offload everything to each other and know that there was no judgement there whatsoever. I feel so grateful for the friends I have. They are so amazing it’s not even funny. I know that I can count on them to be there for me whenever I need them, no questions asked. We really have a very solid and caring group and I really do appreciate them all completely.

After our three our lunch date, I went day28.jpgto Penneys (that’s Primark to anyone outside of Ireland) and spent €45 on their new skincare range! I had seen lots of bloggers talking about Penneys’ new skincare range as they had been asked to test it out and they’ve all been raving about it. I decided to go and buy the things I had heard about and spend the night being kind to myself. I lit loads of candles and put on my fairy lights and called my mom to come and watch a movie.

We threw on The Notebook because my mom had never seen it, and I used the hot cloth cleanser to take off my make up. It worked so well. My makeup came off so effortlessly, I didn’t have to go over any area on my face at all! I then used a plumping face mask – which made me look super  freaky and ghost-like I might add – and just chilled out. My skin is feeling very soft and smooth after the mask. Sometimes, people are convinced that something cheap couldn’t possibly be good value, but I’m finding that’s not true. I’m loving the Aldi and Penneys beauty ranges. They’re very affordable and work wonders!

I’m back up to my room now, chilled out on my bed with Spotify playing nice chillout music in the background as I type. I’m going to keep working on a post I’ve been editing and then do some journaling before I go to sleep. I’ve got a serious knot in my stomach at the thought of going to work tomorrow. I hate the fact that I feel this way. I know that when I get in there everything will be fine. I’ve no idea why I have the knot in my stomach, just general anxiety I suppose. Hopefully it’ll have subsided by the end of the night and I’ll sleep well.

I’ve been really good at keeping up with my Life Goals Journal work too. I’ve done my journaling every day without fail, even when it’s meant staying up til 4am after two nights of wedding celebrations. I’m that dedicated to turning my mindset into a more positive one. It’s kind of killing me that I’m still falling into negative thinking even though I’m being really proactive. I’m blogging about it, doing a #100happydays challenge, doing the Life Goals Journal work, and listening to and reading books that are meant to teach me how to think more positively…. how much more do I have to do?? Really! I’m feeling a bit lost…

Hopefully this will pass quickly because I hate feeling this way. I feel so useless and pathetic.

With love,

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100 Happy Days

#100happydays – Days 26 & 27 – Weddings & Weekends

Yesterday I attended my cousins wedding. Today I am exhausted, so I apologise for the short post!

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We had a lovely day yesterday. Family weddings are always that little bit more special. Being around people you’ve known for your entire life… it just makes you realise how lucky you are to have such amazing support all the time. The ceremony yesterday was lovely, and the meal and the after party were top-notch. I really enjoyed getting to watch my cousin walk down the aisle to the man of her dreams. It was special. Watching her made me so excited about my wedding… I’ve no idea if I want to get married in a church, or if I want to do the traditional hotel wedding reception, but it made me feel really lucky that someday, I’ll be having my own special day with the man I love.

Today has been a serious chill out day! I’m thrown on my bed. I’ve started watching Girl Boss on Netflix. I’m a few episodes in and the main character, I don’t even remember her name, she really annoys me. I’ve had to stop watching it for a bit because I actually find her really frustrating! Hopefully that will subside and I’ll be able to watch another episode in a while!

So my very brief post today is expressing my gratitude for weddings because they make me feel so happy, and the weekend because it means I can sit on my ass and do nothing if I want to… and I both want to and need to today!

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100 Happy Days

#100happydays – Day 25 – Unexpected Invitations

It’s one minute to midnight as I start this, so it still counts right? I’m just back from the pub. My cousin is getting married tomorrow and when I dropped up a card and present to her she had asked me to join her for drinks tonight. I was a bit reluctant, I don’t like these unexpected get-togethers. I had mentally prepared for the wedding tomorrow and that was enough for me… Usually, in a situation like this, I’d say no. I’d make my excuses. Social anxiety would get the better of me. Now, don’t get me wrong. My cousin and I, we’re great friends; I love her. I have no issue with spending time with her whatsoever; it’s more the issue of feeling unprepared, and talking to people I don’t really know too well. It scares me.

However, in the moment, when she asked, I said yes.

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I am reading Year of Yes on audible, well, listening to it… I don’t yet get the correct term for reading an audible book so please feel free to correct me on that one! Shonda Rhimes is currently telling me all about how she decided to stop being afraid of things and say yes to everything that she is afraid of, yes to everything that she would naturally say no to. Its something I’m finding really inspiring. I like the thought of signing that imaginary contract with oneself and just saying yes instead of no. No safety, no bubble wrap, just pure, unadulterated terror. Getting out of our comfort zone is so important. We need to move to develop and change. So, maybe Shonda is responsible for my saying Yes tonight. Maybe she is the reason why I abandoned my plan to do a face mask and have a relaxing night in with my blog and my book before the onslaught of the traditional Irish wedding. Maybe she is the reason why I reapplied my make up, put on nice clothes and dug out a pair of heels. If she is I must say thank you Shonda.

 

 

I got dressed and I showed up. It was so lovely. I was chatting to her friends whom I had met on her hen party and really enjoyed getting to know them a bit better. I had initially felt the panic and paranoia set in; why was I here, I didn’t belong here; all of these girls know each other so well and I’m here like a spare tit next to them all. Eventually, after a bit of self calming, it subsided. I was comfortable and relaxed.

“If I don’t poke my head out of my shell and show people who I am, all anyone will ever think I am is my shell.”

– Shonda Rhimes

Something I’ve noticed lately is that I seem to be trying very hard to get people’s approval, to get people to like me. I don’t understand why. I catch myself in the moment, feeling the need for someone to laugh at my joke, for someone to make me feel like I’m a valued member of the group or conversation. I find myself in that moment and I chastise myself for it. I don’t need approval… I know that other peoples’ opinions don’t define me…. I know that I don’t ever set out to be a bad person… so why should I care at all?!

In the pub we raised our glasses and toasted day25my cousin and her husband to be. We chatted about the wedding, and about life in general, and I found myself knee deep in a conversation about anxiety and depression with one of her friends. It’s amazing how much you can connect with people as soon as you both realise that you are one and the same. I had such a lovely time chatting about everything with her friend. We got on extremely well and I really loved that we had gotten to know one another better tonight. If it wasn’t for me saying yes, to accepting my invite to this unexpected gathering, then I wouldn’t have had such a lovely night. I really am so glad I went out, so glad and grateful that I said yes.

 

Have you said yes to something scary recently? If so I’d really love to hear about it! If I finish the book and feel that it’s a good and beneficial idea I might just do a Year of Yes myself!

Love,

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100 Happy Days

#100happydays – Day 24 – My Night Time Routine

Its that time of night again. I’ve turned on all the fairy lights, I’ve lit a few scented candles, and there’s a relaxing playlist on Spotify. The mood is set. I hit the power button on the laptop. It’s time to write. It’s time to let it all out. It’s time to be me.

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My night time routine has changed massively since I’ve started this blog. I write at night because it is my only free time at the moment. The rest of the day is so hectic that I don’t always get the chance to, even though I’d love to be writing at different times too.

My night time routine starts out with the lighting. I pull the blinds even if it’s not that dark out, I flick on the fairy lights, light my candles, and turn on myNIGHT TIME 2 Himalayan Salt Lamp. Then I change into my PJs… if I’m not in them already! I tie my hair up and take off my make up. This is like a cleansing ritual, and I don’t mean literally. Taking off my make up is starting to feel like I’m cleansing myself of the stress of the day. I’ve never felt this way before but I do believe it’s because of what my night time routine means to me. Taking off my make up is the start of relaxation, the start of me-time.

When my make up is off, I go and make myself a cup of tea; either Barry’s or Lavender, and bring it upstairs to my room which at this stage is smelling amazing from the candles! I turn on the laptop and get cosy. It’s time to switch off and disconnect from the world – ironic I know seeing as I’m connecting to so many of you guys, but my blog is an escape for me.

After I’ve finished posting on my blog I like to take a scroll through the blogs I follow and like and comment on posts that grab my attention. I think its so important to build up a connection to this online community. I love reading all of the posts and often find myself crying tears of laughter, and genuine tears of sadness too. There’s a certain bond between bloggers that I never really understood. You see all these bloggers on Snapchat talking about how much they love each other and I used to think “God, they don’t even know each other like” but now I get it… it’s almost like a family of sorts. We’re all here for the love of writing. Our content may differ, but we’re here for some very similar reasons.

After all of my scrolling, I turn off the laptop and grab my journal. Part of my Life Goals Journal challenge is to journal every single day. This month it’s about getting to know myself better. That’s something that scares me, but I do enjoy that I get to write the old fashioned way now too at night. It’s a great way to unwind at the end of the day. I then grab my book and read for at least half an hour at night.

The tooth-brushing and last-time-peeing all happen before I come in and blow out all of the candles and turn off the lights.

It’s time to meditate.

I like to use guided meditations. They’re so widely available and they really are a fantastic resource. I’m currently using the Buddhify app, and the Insight Timer app. I’ve used Headspace before and it is fantastic but it’s too pricey for me to pay for it at the moment. I find sitting up to actively meditate is the best way to do it. Then, when you’re done, simply lie down and you’re out light a light! Another great free meditation resource is the YouTube channel by Jason Stephenson. His voice is very soothing and calming, and I always find I’m asleep within minutes of doing one of his sleep meditations.

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Meditation, if it’s something you’ve never tried, is amazing. It has really helped me with my anxiety over the years, particularly that stomach dropping “oh shit” moment that tends to hit at night as you start drifting off to sleep. You know the one… You’re almost asleep and then BANG… your mind decides that now is a great time to remember that mistake you made five years ago, or that conversation you had today in work;
“did I come across as a bitch… I couldn’t have, I mean I didn’t say anything that would make me look like a bitch did I? Oh God, what if they’re pissed off with me….. Over what though? I don’t know, but I think they’re pissed off with me…”

 

 

My mind tends to go mental at night. I’ve spent so many nights wide awake, pacing my room, unable to breathe, and all because of that “oh shit” moment that I didn’t get the better of. Trust me. Meditate.  

And that’s it… my night time routine. It can be timely, depending on how long I spend writing on my blog. But I love every single second of it all. It’s tranquillity at the end of my day, my time away from everyone, the stillness my body and mind yearn for.

What’s your night time routine? I’d love to know how you unwind at the end of your day!

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100 Happy Days

#100happydays – Day 23 – Just A Good Day

Today was an amazing day. We had another day off work because of power and water outages, so I had a day to myself to chill out. Naturally the first thing I did was arrange to meet a friend for coffee.

We met up and were talking about bloggers that we follow on Snapchat. I had recently introduced her to Rosie Connolly and she really liked her. Then my friend started talking to me about the books that Rosie recommends. I didn’t recall her recommending any books and asked my friend what ones she had recommended. My friend then reached lagominto her bag and pulled out a gift bag for me. It was one of the books that Rosie had recommended. I didn’t understand what was going on at all! Basically, because of the crappy few months I’ve been having, my friend thought that I would enjoy the book because Rosie swears it helps her! How adorable is that?! The book is called Lagom by Niki Brantmark and is similar to Hygge. I can’t wait to get stuck in! The strangest thing of all is that I had decided this morning that I would pop to the bookshop and get a book about Hygge today… what are the chances?! The Universe has my back today!

revolution make upAfter that I decided that I would go to the pharmacy to look into anti-redness skin care. I didn’t find anything I was looking for but instead ended up buying a cream concealer palette, an eye shadow palette, and an aqua primer from Revolution. It was an impulse buy but I don’t think I’ll regret it as they look like they’re going to be fab on!

I came home, made lunch and went out to my waxing appointment. I’m attending a wedding on Friday and so the prep is well and truly underway!

As I was driving home from my appointment and thinking about the goals that I’ve set for myself for my Life Goals Journal challenge, particularly the goal about the blog. I don’t have any idea how I’m going to reach 1,000 followers – not a notion! I was wondering how to improve my content, how to improve my photography… would people like it more if I used my real name and photograph? Lots of thoughts were going through my mind. I toyed with the idea of being identifiable but at the end of the day I’m a teacher and I need to keep this anonymous for that reason alone for now; whatever about anything else. In the end I decided that I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and to make little improvements as I go and as I feel more confident. Fake it til you make it I suppose!

I got home, turned on my computer to do a bit of photo editing, and got a notification that I’d won an award! I’d won the Sunshine Blogger Award!! I was so so happy! Honestly, the award was such a sunshinebloggerlovely surprise! And the way in which Elanor spoke about the blogs she had nominated really made me feel like I might be making a difference to someone somewhere… It was so nice to sit down and write the post. I really am humbled by the award, so thank you once again Elanor.

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I’m now curled up in bed ready to read my Lagom book and see what I can take from it! I hope you have all had a wonderful day!

With love,

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