R is for Roxy Takes Over

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

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Mummy said that today, because the letter for the April A to Z Challenge is R, that I could take over her blog for the day!  I had to promise not to change anything on her blog though and I was only allowed to write this post, I had to agree with her but if I had my way, I’d change all her blog posts to pictures of me because I’m sure I’m much more interesting to look at than the posts she writes!

I’ve been watching and helping Mummy with her blogging since she started this blog so I sort of know what I am doing but, incase there are any mistakes then I will apologise now!  Hooman typey pads are not made for pupper toes to use easily!

So, how is everyone doing today?  I’ve been having a lovely sleep, its one of my very favorite things to do apart from snoozing and napping and digging.  I’ve really been liking the weather we are having at the moment, its been sunny but not too hot – perfect weather for a little play in the garden while Mummy digs for treasures.  She says that she is preparing the flower bed so she can plant some things to grow but she seems to be making big piles that are just stones and weeds…

The other day, my Mummy and Uncle went out in the day and came back with some new toys for me, they said they were Easter presents but I don’t know what that means… all I know is I have 3 new toys that I can get everyone to play with!  I had a piggy that you unscrew and Mummy puts these circle treats on, they take aaaagggggeeesss to get back off but they are yummy!  I also had a throwy thing and a tug toy that is really heavy duty, I don’t think I will be able to destroy it as quickly as other toys though!

How are you liking Mummys posts on the A to Z Challenge?  She has been working super hard on them, she tells me about them but I forget to listen sometimes….  How are you all doing on the challenge?  I think I will get Mummy to read some to me, she has read a few different ones to me when we are going to sleep!

Hope you all have a lovely day!  I hope Mummy lets me blog with you all again soon!  I’m off for a little nap now, blogging is super tiring isn’t it?

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Q is for Quiet

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

Todays Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter is Q and the topic I have chosen for this letter is Quiet.

In a world that is filled with noise, from physical noise such as cars, phones, household goods, televisions, radios and chatter, to the mental noise of our brain – the lists and thoughts running through our head on a minute by minute basis I often feel the need to seek out some quiet.  I need to escape the hubbub of the day, switch off the thoughts I have and just escape to a place of solace where I can just exist for a while and become an observer of all that noise.

Sometimes, I like to sit and read in the quiet of my room, with no tv or music in the background, just the peaceful silence, other times I take a bath and lie fully immersed in the water just listening to my breath and heart creating their own musical pattern, and other times I like to sit and meditate, using Mindfulness and it’s teachings to help me observe the things I can’t change.

I have been on a few different mindfulness courses over the years and have found these lessons to be really helpful when we are surrounded with noise, both internally and externally, it can help you to focus on the moment, lets you check in with yourself and how you are feeling and raises an awareness of things that you may not have noticed before.

There are lots of ways to practice mindfulness, from breathing exercises to full on meditation sessions.  My favorite is the Calm App which lets you practice different mindful skills and is a really good guide when starting out.  I really like the Breathe section which helps you to focus on your breath.  This always helps to centre me and bring me back to the present moment.  I like to use this exercise when I am in work and need a few minutes to myself.

I think that having Quiet in our lives is even more important now than it ever has been and whether you choose mindfulness or any other way to have quiet moments, it is worth building this into your day-to-day routine.

How do you incorporate quiet into your life?

P is for Planning a Crafternoon

This post contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

I held my first Crafternoon to raise money for Mind back in December and have decided to host another one for Mind in July.  As today’s Blogging From A to Z Challenge letter is P I thought I would share with you how I plan for this event.

Where to hold the event.

I would love to host a large Crafternoon event and invite all my friends and family but it can be difficult to find a venue with parking that is easy to get to and that is cheap which is why I held my last event at home.  I will be doing the same for this event.

Guest list.

The size of your venue will determine how many people you can invite.  I can comfortably have around 8 people in my home so my guest list will be small.  Last Crafternoon I invited my close friends that I knew would enjoy the crafting aspect of the event but, even if no actual crafting takes place then getting a group of friends together who all have fun is always a good thing!

Invitations.

I bought invites from Amazon for my last event.  I chose these as they were art and craft themed but any invites would work.  You could set up an event on Facebook and invite your friends or send texts or emails to the people you want to attend, just remember to let them know the date and time, where the event will be and ask that they let you know if they can come or not.

Activities.

I like to have a few different activities that people can try out that are not too hard to master.  At my last event, as it was in December, I chose a Christmas theme and chose to make paper decorations.  My friend also provided an activity where we were shown how to decorate our own pocket mirrors and phone cases which my guests loved.  I have not chosen a theme for this event yet, though no theme is really necessary.  I am thinking of an activity involving scrapbooking and making cards.  My neighbour has also offered to show us how to make some jewellery which should go down well!

Activity Area.

It is worth setting up a designated area for your guests to do their crafting.  I set up my dining table with craft supplies and tools that we would need for the event and all my guests gathered around the table to do their crafting.  I had a separate area set up on my coffee table for another of the activities.

Food and Drink.

My friend, who is an excellent cake maker, made some cakes and brownies for the event and I also made a cake.  I provided tea, coffee and squash and asked my guests to bring a bottle of their choice to have if they wanted.  Most of my guests bought a bottle of wine each and we all sat and had a few glasses while crafting which was really lovely.  This time I am thinking of doing a few nibbles, things like crisps, peanuts, and other party food depending on how many people want to come.  It isn’t necessary to provide food but I thought it would add to the event atmosphere.

What sort of things would you add to plans for an event like this?  Let me know in the comments!!!

O is for Outfit of the Day

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

It’s starting to get warmer and that means that I can start to break out my summer clothes finally!  And with today’s Blogging from A – Z post being the letter O I thought that there would be no better opportunity than to share with you my Outfit of the Day!

I work in an office that is open plan and can either be really chilly or can be pretty hot depending on what the heating decides to do that day so layering is a must for days when I am in work.  And, even though the weather is starting to get warmer, there are times when the day is still pretty cold with a breeze that feels sub-zero in the mornings but by the afternoon can be fairly warm and pleasant.  Today’s outfit is perfect for the weather we are currently having.

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I love mixing summer dresses with items that are meant for cooler weather and today I have picked my favorite summer dress, a lovely tie dye strappy piece, which in summer I wear with bare legs and shoulders.  Today I am teaming it with tights, a t-shirt from Primark, a long cardigan from Asda and my favorite, sparkly sandals (which are jelly shoes!).

I love this outfit, it is bright and fun but comfortable at the same time and pared with my black cardi isn’t ‘over-the-top’ bright for work.  I am a huge fan of open cardigans too, they are the perfect item to layer and add to many outfits.  I like to wear mine over shirts and leggings, jeans and t-shirts, dresses, cute skirts and tops, the list is pretty much endless!

I bought my dress at a festival several years ago and wear it each and every year.  I have worn it with a turtle neck top underneath and thick tights and boots in the winter, and can transition it to summer wear by adding either a long sleeve top, t-shirt, vest top or nothing underneath it.  It works really well with several different cardis over the top too, from my chunky arran knit cardi to a pale pink chunky knit cardi that I own.  I love the colours of it as I can mix it with pinks, blues, purples and black and it still looks lovely.  I can dress it up or down depending on where I am going too!  It really is the perfect dress for me!

I got my jelly shoes in a charity shop last year.  They were brand new with the tags still on and cost me £2.00 which I thought was a complete bargain!  I love how comfortable they are and I have worn them with black skinny jeans and socks, shorts and dresses.  They look really nice with bare feet or with socks.

What are you wearing today?  Let me know in the comments!

N is for Netflix

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

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Todays post is bought to you by the letter N and the topic Netflix!

I don’t really watch tv, I haven’t seemed to even switch the box on for such a long time so when I got an offer sent through to my inbox for a 30 day free trial of Netflix I didn’t really see the point in signing up for it.  This was 4 months ago and I now subscribe to the service monthly.  So, “what changed?” I can hear you all ask… well, one evening I didn’t really have anything to do and fancied sitting and watching something, anything and couldn’t find anything that I fancied watching on “normal” telly so I had a look on-line at what I could find on Netflix, saw that they still had Gilmore Girls on there (which I had watched parts of previously) and decided that I would use my free trial to watch the show from the beginning, then the plan was to cancel.

I watched the whole of Gilmore Girls (all 7 Series, 153 episodes) and then I saw that they had an extr a seriesfor the Gilmore Girls called A Year in the Life.  By this point I was nearing the end of my free trial so decided to stick with it and finish watching this show.

In work one day I overheard someone talking about The Umbrella Academy (on Netflix) so I then thought I’d watch the first episode to see what it was like… I was hooked and have since completed the first series and am anxiously awaiting the next series.

And now I have watched the following…

  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Orphan Black
  • Black Mirror
  • Consumed
  • Girlboss

And I have a to watch list that keeps on growing steadily….

What series have you watched on Netflix?  Do you have any suggestions of things I can add to my list of things to watch?

M is for Morning Skincare Routine

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

Today, as part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge I am sharing my Morning Skincare Routine.  I wrote about my Evening Skincare Routine at the start of this challenge (as my letter E post).

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My morning skin care routine is a lot different to my evening routine and I like to focus on cleansing and preparing my skin for make-up preparation if I am going to work, or just cleansing my skin when I am at home.

I like to start my morning by applying a creamy cleanser, I find the Soap And Glory Peaches And Clean Deep Cleansing Milk to be really good for my morning routine as it doesn’t dry my skin out and leaves my skin soft.  I usually apply this product to damp skin with my hands and use my Facial Brush if I need extra exfoliation.  I remove the cleanser with my facial sponges.  I will use a flannel to remove if my skin is looking a bit dull as it can help to boost the skins circulation and help to further aid in exfoliation.

I use B Pure Micellar Oil to remove any residue left on my skin from the cleanser.  As this is oil based it really helps to moisturise my skin while removing any impurities.  I use tissue to blot my skin to remove any excess oils that are left over from the micellar oil.

Once I have finished cleansing my skin I then use this moisturiser from Tesco, it is a light moisturiser which absorbs well into my skin and contains an SPF.  This moisturiser doesn’t leave my skin greasy or any residue on the surface of my skin which is perfect for days when I want to wear makeup.

If my skin is starting to look and feel dry I follow my moisturiser with Superdrug Calm Skin Hydrating 2 in 1 Serum and Moisturiser, which I tend to apply on weekends rather than work days.  If I do use this on days when I intend to wear makeup I will apply the serum and then let it sit for around 10 mins (perfect coffee drinking time!!!) then I will blot my skin before adding a primer to my skin.  It’s not that this serum is oily or leaves much of a residue but in the past, when using different serums I have learned that my makeup doesn’t last as long if I skip the waiting and blotting step.

What is your morning skin care routine like?

 

L is for Life (A Day In Mine…)

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

Today’s post topic starts with the letter L and today I will be sharing with you what a typical week day in my Life looks like!

7:00am.  I wake up and reach for my phone to catch up on some blog posts from my favorite bloggers, respond to any comments I may have received and check up on my Instagram and Twitter.

7:30am.  I get up and start getting ready for my day.  I wash my face, brush my teeth and decide what I am going to wear for the day if I haven’t picked out an outfit the night before.

7:45am.  I put on my makeup and sort my hair out and spritz myself with my favorite perfume (incase you are wondering its Yardley English Rose!)

7:50am.  I wake Roxy up.  She’s a typical teenager trapped in a dog’s body and hates the mornings!  She would stay in bed if I’d let her.

7:55am.  We head downstairs and I let Roxy out into the garden to do her thing.  I put the kettle on and prepare my lunch for the day.  Once the kettle is boiled I make myself a coffee and fill my flask with coffee to take with me to work too.

8:10am.  Usually by this time I am ready for a hit of nicotine (I know, it’s bad and I’m slowly weaning myself off of cigarettes and onto a vape…)

8:20am.  I drink my coffee and start the hunt for my car keys and other things I will need for the day.

8:30am.  I say goodbye to Roxy and head out of the house and to my car to start my journey to work.

8:45am.  I arrive at work and park in the usual spot.  At this point I will have another nicotine fix before heading in.

8:55am.  I get to my desk and fire up my pc and log myself in to the system.

9:00am.  While my pc is loading all the software I use I check what work has been allocated to me, sort through it all and place it in piles from highest priority to lowest and in order of geographical areas.  (The work I do covers the whole of Wales and gets processed in order of area types.)

9:10am.  Once I’m logged in to my pc and all the software has loaded I check my emails and respond to any that I need to, otherwise I read and file them away into their relevant folders.

9:20am.  I start the work that has been allocated to me.

10:00am.  Breakfast!  I bring Weetabix to work with me that I eat at my desk as I work as I really struggle to eat breakfast any earlier, it makes me feel a bit sick if I eat too early.

11.00am.  Break time!  We don’t have a proper break allocated to us except for a lunch break but we are allowed to make coffee/tea whenever and at this time I tend to make myself a coffee and have a snack (usually a piece of fruit) at the same time while I work.

1:00pm.  Time for lunch.  I bring sandwiches with me and will eat them while I read something I have downloaded to my Kindle or I go out for a walk with a friend.  I find that this “time out” can really help me to re-gain my work focus and boosts my energy for the afternoon.

1:30pm.  Time to return to my desk.  I re-check my emails and respond if needed and then I re-check my work allocation to see how well I have progressed and to alter my priority if needed.

3:00pm.  Coffee time.  By this time I really need a caffeine hit and I will treat myself to a snack of some description, sometimes this will be a yoghurt, other times crisps or a piece of cake.

5:00pm.  I work through until 5pm most days, though we do have flexi time available to us which means that I can accrue time if I work earlier or later which enables me to leave work from 4pm onwards.  Usually, though, I work from 9 – 5 as I find these hours suit me the best.  I close down all of the applications that I have been using and log off from the system, gather my things and start to walk over to the car park to retrieve my car.

5:05pm.  I reach my car and start my journey home.

5:25pm.  I arrive home.  Roxy has usually only just woken up and will greet me at the door stretching and yawning.

5:30pm.  I get changed out of my work clothes and into home clothes (jeans and a hoodie or t-shirt).

5:40pm.  I let Roxy out into the garden and put the kettle on to make a coffee.

5:45pm.  I make a start on tidying the house and wash up my lunch box and flask for the next day.  I might put a clothes wash on at the same time and put the hoover around or sweep the floors if needed.

6:00pm.  I drink my coffee and sit down to catch up on the blogs I follow, respond to any comments and work on my blog schedule and any up-coming posts that I need.

7:00pm.  Dinner time!!!!  Both Roxy and I eat at the same time, she has her food while I have mine.  I usually opt or something easy for me, usually something with toast, pasta or rice.  Roxy always has the same food she always does, dry kibble!

7:30pm.  I clean up from my dinner and make another coffee.  I then head to my front room and settle in for the night with a tv programme or Netflix.

9:00pm.  Shower time.  I like to have a shower at this time as it means my hair can dry naturally, I find that it is easier to style if it air dries rather than using a hair dryer.

9:20pm.  If I’m not in my pjs by now then I normally climb into them now!

9:30pm.  I head back downstairs and will make another coffee or make myself some squash.  I will work on my blog a bit more or continue to watch my tv show.

10:20pm.  I let Roxy out into the garden so she can do her biz while I check the fridge for sandwich options for the following day.

10:30pm.  I’m head off upstairs and check out my clothes for the next day.  I like to have an idea of what I could wear before the day arrives.  This little habit stops me feeling anxious in the morning and having a panic about what to wear!

10:40pm.  I’m ready for bed.  I like to lay and read for a bit before lights off as it helps me to sleep.

11:00pm.  I check that my alarm is set for the morning and turn out the lights, snuggle up to Roxy and we both drift off to sleep.

What does your typical day-to-day life look like?

K is for KonMarie

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

Today marks the 11th day of the Blogging From A – Z Challenge and that means today’s corresponding letter is the letter K.  Today I am writing about the KonMarie Method and why it didn’t work for me.

I’m sure most people have heard of Marie Kondo and her book “Life Changing Magic of Tidying” which was published in 2016 with a follow-up book “Spark Joy” following in the following year, 2017.  Since then there has also been a programme “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” which is available on Netflix.  The method that Marie Kondo teaches, fondly referred to as KonMarie, with regard to our stuff and things, is to hold a “tidying festival” and go through our belongings in a set way, starting with clothing and ending with kimono (miscellaneous).  It involves piling all the items together that belong in each category, so for clothes you would gather every item of clothing you own, from jumpers, underwear, sportswear, hats, gloves, shoes, boots, into a pile and start going through them.  That sounds easy enough, but you have to hold each item and thank it, decide whether it sparks joy or not and then discard any item which doesn’t leave you feeling joyful.  Then you need to fold the items you will keep in a certain way and put them away.  Not only will everything you own, eventually, spark joy from within but you end up with a nice, tidy home with space for everything you own.

This sounds like a really good way to decide on what to keep and what not to, but for me, well, I started with my clothes and got rid of a fair amount of things which didn’t spark any sort of feeling for me at the time.   I did end up with a really tidy home which was a positive outcome, and my book shelves and drawers, cupboards and wardrobes never looked more organised and tidy.  But, what didn’t work for me started further down the line, a few months later.

I found that, even though I had willingly gotten rid of things and had this whole neat space around me, I started to regret getting rid of things.  It started with a coat that I had got rid of.  Admittedly, I had not worn it for a year or so but I missed it being there, ready to reach for whenever I wanted it.  Then there were books that had gone that I suddenly wanted to re-read, decorations that I wanted to put out and vases that I no longer had that would have been useful at the time.  I found that “joy” for me, is a pretty subjective feeling.  One day I can really love something, and the next it just be forgotten about, then I will re-discover it and love it again, and this goes in cycles, happening to all of my belonging, not just clothes.  And for this reason, Marie Kondo and the KonMarie method really didn’t work for me.  Not just that, but all the things I said goodbye to, have pretty much been replaced with similar items as time has gone on.

Have you tried the KonMarie Method?  Did it work for you?

 

J is for Jewellery

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

Today’s post for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is the letter J, the topic I have selected to write about is Jewellery.

I own a LOT of jewellery; from watches, bracelets, bangles, rings, necklaces, earrings, ear cuffs, anklets, toe rings and other body jewellery.  I have jewellery made from beads – wood, glass, plastic and shell, feathered jewellery, jewellery made with shells, sparkly jewellery, big statement pieces and simple, silver pieces.  Some of it gets worn daily and other pieces I dust off for special occasions.  Today I am going to go through how I wear some of it and what sort of things I wear those pieces with.

Simple jewellery I class as fairly plain pieces, such as fine silver chains with a small pendant on, plain bracelets, and elegant rings get chosen for occasions where I would be dressing more formally, such as interviews, black tie events, or where I would be wearing an outfit that is dressy.  I like to wear a necklace with a single pendant on it, small stud or hoop earrings and a single ring.  I wear my watch and a single bracelet or cuff on the opposite wrist to my watch.

For day wear I will wear a few necklaces layered up – a choker style, a chunky pendant and my favourite silver chain, a few bracelets and my favourite rings.  This look seems to work well with most of my clothing.

For a party or other event where there isn’t a formal dress code I choose my jewellery depending on what I am wearing.  If it is summer and I am wearing a maxi dress and sandals I often reach for more eccentric jewellery – a shell choker, something feathered or tasselled and throw on a heap of casual beaded bracelets.  I choose bright earrings to complement or contrast with my clothing or makeup and make sure that they are fun and casual.

If I wear a v neck top that is plain then I layer my necklaces and will choose a longer necklace style that reaches past the v of my top.

For a plain top I will choose a bright necklace in a contrasting colour or something sparkly that will catch the eye and add interest to my outfit.

If my outfit has pattern or detail around the neckline or all over then I go for something that is more plain or a beaded style that complements the colours of the top.  Often I will choose earrings and bracelets in similar tones to the necklace.

If I choose a t-shirt or round neck top then I like to layer necklaces and play around with different textures, layering beads with chains and cord styles.

In winter when it’s all about thick jumpers and being cosy I like to wear more chunky jewellery with neutral tones.  I like to wear a short necklace over a polo top, under a v neck jumper; this can help to break up block colours and adds a bit of fun to a plain outfit.

I have spoken a bit about earrings and I have a few rules about which earrings to select.  I have 3 piercings on each ear and wear a pair of studs in 2 sets of holes and the other ones I change depending on what I a doing or where I am going.  I wear studs or plain, small hoops for any formal events and for any other occasion I will either match my earrings to similar tones or colours in either the outfit or to together jewellery that I am wearing.

I have my lip pierced and I always wear a ball stud in it.  I did wear a hoop of a bit but I found that I was forever clipping it with my tooth which wasn’t ideal.  I also have my nose pierced and mostly wear a fine silver hoop in it.

I love to wear ankle bracelets; I have a dainty silver chain with a heart on it that I wear most of the time though in the summer I will wear a woven, friendship band style bracelet and if I am wearing flip flops or thonged sandals I like to wear a toe ring on each foot.

Whatever jewellery you choose to wear, have fun with it and let it complement your outfit!

What sort of jewellery do you wear?  Do you have any styling tips?