Sunday, 30 December 2012

Small changes I've made in 2012...

I know, I know but yup there's more I need to update you on before the year ends! And as I did promise in my previous post it would be rude not to make it a hat trick...

Anyway, so I've waffled about 'What I Wore in 2012' and 'Where I've been in 2012' and I guess this one should be entitled 'Small changes I've made in 2012' seeing as the inspiration for this mini mission came from the fabulous Rockalily Blog which I stumbled across in April this year.

I posted a mini update back in October about how making some of these changes had affected my year so far and I covered off 8 out of the 10 things on the list. Now I am back to waffle at you about all 10 things! 

So, here are the 10 small 'things' I took into account this year. I hope you enjoy the read and even more importantly I hope it may inspire you as much as it did me back in April when I first read the list.

1. Dress like it matters. This can be small things like wearing jeans less, or wearing more smart than casual. It may be about giving your hair a 'style' or wearing lipstick.

Brighton Jollies : Flowers in hair and new sunglasses

Teeny tiny amounts of effort can indeed make the biggest of changes, particularly to ones self confidence. Personally I have found that wearing a bit of nail varnish now and then, styling my hair differently sometimes and putting a bit more thought into what I wear day to day has made me feel that little bit better about myself, especially when you the odd compliment gets thrown your way!

2. Read more. Perhaps set a specific title you want to read, or a goal of one book a month/week/year.

I wanted to read at least 10 new books this year... Hi-5 to me! These are the 10 I've enjoyed...

Steig Larson's 'Millenium Trilogy'
Terry Pratchet's 'Reaper Man' and 'Interesting times'
Nick Hornby's 'Fever Pitch' and 'High Fidelity'
James Patterson's 'Kill Alex Cross'
Mark Haddon's 'A Spot of Bother'
Alex James 'A bit of a Blur'

3. Watch less. You could do one evening a week with no television, or even one week....or a month?

Aside from the Great British Bake Off (which I watched over the course of 4 evenings with the help of marvellous catch up telebox technology) and a few episodes of QI and The Big Bang Theory, I think this year has seen a significant decrease in telebox watching and I haven't missed it one bit. Hurrah!

4. Realise what the small stuff is, and stop getting so stressed out about it. Catch yourself doing it, and distract yourself from it. Its pointless.

Over the year running has been the way I have learnt to stop myself getting too worked up about things. I have learnt to realise when I need a release and rather than getting in a tizz I now get my trainers on and lose myself in a nice run.

Alternatively on those extra bleak evenings and since November the other thing I have also come to realise works wonders for stress and anxiety is a cuddle with these guys...

Pegs & Toby : Sunshine Towers residents since Nov 17th 2012.

5. Learn to be alone. Perhaps you need to challenge yourself to go to the cinema alone? A pub? A restaurant? A holiday? Or even just an evening alone, with no television.

I didn't really see this as much of a change as I am already at ease with my own company and living alone gives me ample opportunity to potter about my quiet house more often than not. However there are 3 significant 'alone time' moments for me that stand out from the year...

Flying to India and home again on my lonesome - scary but exciting and totally worth it!
Decorating my bathroom - not usually something I'd do alone but I did it and it wasn't a disaster!
Running - as mentioned before, my most valued alone time and something that was new for 2012.

6. Say yes more. 

One little word can lead to so many adventures and opportunities. The list of places I've been to, the time I've spent with friends, the people I've met and the achievements from this year alone is evidence enough. Recognising the power of this word makes you appreciate the things you CAN do in life.

7. Stop being mean to yourself. You wouldn't call your best friend fat or ugly, so don't allow your own thoughts to say these unkind words either. 

Lets just say I'm getting there with this one... losing weight through running and trying to enforce point no.1 on this list has indeed helped. So, although I have my off days I'm getting there and intend to carry on throughout 2013!

8. Forgive more. Holding onto anger, bitterness or regret only causes you pain. Try and believe that most people want to be good, but just may make bad choices sometimes. 

Life is short. As hard as it may be to let go sometimes, the feeling of doing so and being honest with yourself when you do can only bring good things. It's never easy, especially when it feels like someone so close to you has betrayed your trust but just remember, they are close to you for a bloody good reason and if you can let go you'll be better off for it. I can personally and whole heartedly say this. True Story.

9. Don't wait until people die to say all of the nice things to them. Try and say some of it now, while they are here to listen. 

As much as it hurts to say this, I have learnt that realising this sooner rather than later is SO important. I lost a friend this year and although we were never really close he inspired me and many of my friends in so many amazing ways. I never told him this when I had the chance. I always believed he would come through the other side and be here. Now, no matter how many late night talks up into the sky I have with him it will never make up for the fact I should have told him every time he made me smile. 

Even if it's just a text message, a picture, a silly link to a song or a simple 'Hello!' to those you hold dear can make all the difference to their day let alone reinforce what they mean to you. Life is short and precious. Open your heart, be honest and take that time.

10. Seek more fun. What makes you laugh? Try and do it more.

So many things in life bring a smile to my face. Here's just a few things that I regularly indulge in and will continue to do so for many moons...

Time with my whole family, no matter how many of them, who we visit and who I'm with.
Time with my niece, every second I'm with her.
Time with my friends. Old and new, investing time always brings smiles and memories a plenty.
Food. Especially combined with the above, always brings fun.
Running and cycling, although they don't make me laugh out loud that often I enjoy them very much.
Adventures! On my doorstep, far away, at home or abroad. I love exploring!
The kittens. They make me laugh and provide so much fun even when I'm just sat on the sofa.

So... there you have it. A simple yet important list that has actually helped shape and reinforce my perspective on life this year. Although I won't be blogging regularly about this little list in 2013, it will be with me for many years to come I'm sure and I hope you can see how taking the time to sit down and reflect on even the smallest things can have such positive results...

If you have got this far through this blog post, Thank you! Thank you for reading and I hope you've enjoyed the waffle. I'm not a big writer but I do enjoy sharing some of my thoughts so I hope they inspire and raise the odd smile! 

Until next time... next year now... toodlepip! ☀

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Where I've been in 2012...

Ok, as promised, here's another instalment to make up for being a bit slack on the ol' blog front these past couple of months... 

Yesterday I looked back over my 12 What I Wore Today doodles, which I hope you enjoyed! Today I am revisiting one of my New Year Missions that I set myself back in January which was  to visit 12 new places (near or far) in 2012.

So where did I go and what did I do throughout 2012? To be fair I probably went to more than 12 new places this year, whether it was a brand new city or country or if it was a city I'd been to before and just a new place within it... but the 12 I decided to highlight throughout the year are as follows...

January took me to beautiful Oxford.

February involved a mini (chilly) adventure exploring Prague.

March wasn't an entirely new place but I made new memories in Matlock.

In April a long weekend in Brighton introduced me to a new beautiful tearoom!

May meant it was time for birthday fun times in Amsterdam!

June brought the jubilee and a craft fair in a new place on my doorstep : St Mary's Church

July was a month for weddings and a reception in Branston was my new place that month!

August... well I think I covered more new places in one month with my Jollies in India than in the whole year... AMAZING

September, although not a new place at all, Nottingham provided me with nearly 13.1 miles worth of unexplored roads and routes on the Robin Hood Half Marathon.

I feel in love at the O2 Academy in Leicester in October when I went to see the amazing a beautiful dreadlocked talent that is Newton Faulkner *swoon*

November, the month of the Moustache, my favourite! I ran 8 miles up in Hull at the dreaded Grim Challenge. A new place to visit and a new challenge for sure but jolly good (and frickin' freezing) fun!

And here we are in December! It's whizzed by and although I haven't been to any new places per say I've been to a lot over the month, including 2 Craft Fairs in Nottingham, the Frankfurt Christmas markets in Birmingham, London with work and a wedding in nearby, beautiful Plumtree.

I think the most visually exciting and memory provoking place I ended up in December has to be London, outside Harrods to be precise gazing through the windows at their stunning Disney Princess Designer windows. Just stunning! And being a mahoosive Disney fan and big kid at heart I was in my element reliving all of the fairytale stories within the fabulously dressed windows at Christmas time in the big smoke. Here... have a gander for yourself...

It's amazing looking back and actually think about how much I've seen and done in the past year, considering I'm sat here right now feeling like it went by in a heartbeat! I was excitable yesterday when I looked back over my What I Wore Today drawings but looking back over these snapshots and thinking about the times I've had, I'm even more excitable! 

Not just because I'm pleased I managed to do so much but because I have 2013 on the doorstep now and even more adventures to plan and places to discover! *excited happy dance*

Did you discover new places in 2012? Maybe you discovered new restaurants? Foods? Towns? Shops? Countries? Whatever it was I hope you enjoyed it and I hope me sharing my mini travels and 'snaps' of the places I've been throughout the year has inspired you for 2013...

Friday, 28 December 2012

What I've Worn in 2012...

Wow! It's nearly the end of 2012 and I have almost let December slip by with only a single blog post *slapped wrists* But what a month it's been, not to mention the couple of months leading up to it!

I hope you'll accept my apologies for being quiet recently (or maybe you'll thank me for the peace and quiet?) but I hope to make it up to you over the next couple of days that are left of 2012 while I fill you in on a few bits and bobs with tales from Sunshine Towers...

I'll start with my last three months worth of What I Wore Today doodles - don't panic, if you remember I only do these ones monthly so there's only 3! Since I ran the Robin Hood Half Marathon and provided you with Septembers doodle I am pleased to present you with Octobers, Novembers and now Decembers...

So there you have it, three months, so far, illustrated by a wedding outfit, a craft fair complete with pimp mobile and myself in a Onsie with the kittens... with which actually concludes a whole twelve months of What I Wore Today doodles! Eep! 

Obviously I trust you all remember the past years worth of doodles but just in case here's a recap on 'What I Wore' in 2012... it would be rude not to recap after all...

I have to admit I have bloomin' LOVED doodling an outfit from each month throughout 2012 and looking back now they highlight A LOT of AWESOME times that I've had this year in so many ways! 

I can safely say that 2013 will be holding more of the same doodles so I do hope that you too have enjoyed seeing them and following my wardrobe adventures...

Monday, 3 December 2012