The Weekend Share #71
Today’s Top 10 is a bit different to normal, I’m not going to be sharing a Top 10 today but I’m going to tell you about the 10 things that I have noticed have happened to me since I left Facebook over a month ago.
- I’m less bothered about what other people think and more confident in my own opinions. Before I left Facebook I would always be checking it out to see what my “friends” had posted about all sorts of different subjects, from news items to the latest storyline in a soap, and I would let their opinions sway my own. Now I don’t have that social media channel and can not check what people think, I’ve found that I’m not bothered about what others think so much and I feel that I am getting more confident in my own beliefs and opinions. It feels like I am able to develop my own opinions better and not let what others think influence my own thoughts.
- I’ve started to enjoy doing nothing. At one point in time, sitting and doing nothing would have bored me to tears and I would soon have been reaching for my phone and skimming through Facebook pointlessly. Now though, I find it is really nice to sit and not do anything, just take some time out and enjoy the moment for what it is.
- I’m not checking my phone as often. While I still have Instagram and WordPress on my phone and check those 3-4 times a day, the majority of my phone checking would be down to Facebook and the ingrained fear of missing out that it cultivated in me. I thought that this would be a really hard habit to break but, because I know that the app has been deleted and my account shut down, it doesn’t even occur to me to pick up my phone. It is almost as if the habbit was broken the second I deleted my acount with Facebook.
- I’m not wasting so much time. Or maybe I should say that I seem to have gained extra time? I seem to have more time in the mornings to get myself up and ready for the day, more time to enjoy my lunch, more time to spend with family and friends, more time in general. It’s crazy how much time I now seem to have and how much of it I wasted by being glued to a site that gave me next to nothing in return.
- I’m not judging myself so harshly. I am being kinder to myself. When I am having a bad day or feel like I have not succeeded at something it used to be so easy to go to Facebook and see all the success stories of friends, whether it be them going out, having fun days, holidays or anything else, these little things would make me feel so much worse and I would judge myself and what I have accomplished or not. Now I feel that I am being kinder to myself and giving myself the allowances that I need.
- I’m not comparing myself to others so much. This sort of ties into the above. I used to compare myself to everyone – they are prettier than me, have more friends, are having more fun, and in this social media filled age, where everyone seems to share everything except those insecure moments, it was really easy for me to forget that everyone can feel like this and somewhere, someone was probably comparing themselves to me. But comparing yourself to others is not healthy, especially when you lose sight of how different we all really are. And now, I’ve stopped comparing and I’m focused more on myself and what I have to offer and I’m a lot happier with myself.
- I’m not being so easily influenced. It’s weird how coming off of Facebook has made me realise how much seeing things on there influenced me and my decisions, from what I wear, what I buy, read, eat, use, how I look, it all seemed to have some kind of influence over me. I feel like I am now becoming myself again, emerging from this social media cloud that I have worn like an armour to “fit in” with the crowd. I feel like, even though I wasn’t aware of it, that somehow lots of little things influenced me, my style and who I am and that is pretty scary.
- I’m feeling more relaxed. I used to feel like I was forever rushing around, not having any time for anything, constantly being connected to everybody, constantly having this role to fulfil and an audience that couldn’t be let down, whether it be from me not sharing something, liking or commenting on someones post or wishing someone a Happy Birthday, there always seemed to be a million things that needed doing. Since unplugging myself I have felt like the pace of life has slowed and I no longer place this pressure on myself to connect with everyone. I’m feeling more relaxed and like I can breathe again.
- I have more time to focus on the things I want to. It’s weird, whatever I was doing when I had Facebook, like reading or watching tv, there always seemed to be half of my brain occupied with thoughts of what was going on on-line and I never fully focused on what I was doing. My concentration was not the best, it still isn’t, but I’m not getting interrupted with thoughts of Facebook anymore. My brain used to use Facebook as a procrastination tool – if I wasn’t enjoying something then I’d have a look on Facebook, wasting time, waiting for inspiration. Now if I’m not enjoying something I tend to see it through, focusing on the end of the task and then reward myself with a cup of tea.
- I’m not missing it. I never, ever, in a million years, thought I would ever say that I am not missing Facebook. But it’s true, I’m really not. At one point, when Facebook first started and all you could share were a few sentences about what you were doing, how you were feeling, how your day had been or whatever else you wanted to write, it felt like you were really getting to know your friends and it felt social. now though, because Facebook introduced sharing links to websites, memes, music, and anything else, you rarely see thoughts from your friends, just long news feeds of memes and other random shared items, it’s not really very “social” anymore. I think if Facebook was like it was when it first started I would probably miss it, but now, when you see what is on people’s news feed, and that none of it is really adding anything to your life, its not teaching you anything, giving you information, creating conversations, letting you get to know your friends any better, well, I’m not missing it.
I decided at the beginning of the year that I would not make any Resolutions or yearly goals but, rather, make monthly ones that were more easily obtainable, you can find all my Monthly Goal posts here.
Today I am looking at the goals I set myself last month and whether I achieved them and setting myself goals for March.
Here are last month’s goals and whether I managed them!
Blog and Social Media
- Learn how to use Twitter. I feel that there is a lot more to Twitter now than there was when I first had a twitter account. It has changed so much and there is so much to learn! I am able to follow people, like, comment and share tweets but that is as far as it has got so far! This, I think is going to be a continuing learning curve for me!
- Update my About Page. I had already created my new About page, so that went live on 5th February!
- Work on my content plan, ideas and blog schedule. This is another thing I can tick off as being done, at least for a few months…I have worked out my content plan, ideas and schedule for the next few months and have ideas written down for around 6 months worth of posts. All I need to do now is to keep updating my schedule and content plan!
- Plan/Host another dinner for Mum and Dad. I have yet to organise or plan another meal for my parents as my Dad hasn’t been too well recently. He is getting much better now though so I shall, hopefully be able to plan something for this coming month.
- Sort spare room cupboards. I made a start on tis and have moved a few things around but I still need to work on tidying it up a bit and making it more organised so this is an ongoing project!
- Make a start on the garden. I was hoping that the weather would have been better for me to be able to make a start on this but it has been a damp, rainy and cold month and only in the last few days it has started to get warmer and a little drier. Hopefully I will be able to make headway with this in March.
Art and Craft
- Start making cards. I managed to make a few cards, one being a card for my Mum’s Birthday. I had forgotten quite how time-consuming a process it could be! I might not make a ton of cards in the future but I would be happy to keep up making cards for friends and family and special occasions.
- Take more photos. I feel like I have definitely taken more photos this month and it has been nice to have an array of photos to choose from to share and also to look at. Having more photos to choose from has made my blog work a lot easier and has minimised the amount of time I have had to put aside to edit images too!
- Sort through my craft supplies and re-organise. Another work in progress…I didn’t realise how much stuff I actually owned and how spread out over the house it was! I did buy some small storage boxes from Flying Tiger and they worked really well to organise some of my smaller pieces, however when I went back to get some more they didn’t have any in stock so I need to go back and get more when they are available!
- Do my nails. I took off my old polish and have trimmed and filed my nails into a nice shape and I have been applying OPI Nail Envy to my nails as the medication I am taking has made them a bit fragile. They are starting to regain some strength but I don’t want to polish them just yet.
- Meal plan. I have a basic meal plan in place now which is good and seems to work for me, now I just need to work on sticking to it every day!
- Skin Care routine. I have got a skin care routine going now but I think I now need to focus on which products work best for me and get rid of all the products that really, just don’t do anything for my skin or work that well.
Blog and Social Media
- Increase my blog visibility and interaction. I now have Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Bloglovin’ that are linked to this blog, I now need to start using them at their fullest in order to get my blog seen by more people. I also want to make sure I am following all my blog friends on their social media channels too. If you have a social media account then please share your links below and I’ll be sure to follow!
- Social media content. I post to Instagram usually when a blog post goes live (though for the past few days I haven’t as I forgot…), Twitter, LinkedIn and Bloglovin’ are set to post automatically when a post goes live and Pinterest…well, I’m still trying to figure that one out… I need to work on using these platforms more often and posting things myself as well as automatically. I think, realistically, I need to come up with a social media content table and attempt to post and interact on all of the platforms for at least half an hour each day.
- Create a timetable of work/home hours. As I am doing a phased return to work over the next few months it would be beneficial for me to work out a timetable of my hours in work and at home so I can get a better overview of my work/life balance and see how everything will work in the long-term. It will also help me to schedule my time better for things like blogging and household chores.
- Pantry/Cupboard staples master list. I want to make a list of each item that I have in the cupboard that are staples – pasta, rice, soup, beans, pulses, herbs and spices etc, so I can use it as a check list when it comes to shopping. I am a nightmare for buying things like vinegar over and over (even with a shopping list!) when I don’t need it so a list would help to stop me from buying the wrong things!
- Start a virtual wardrobe. I have thought about this one for a long time and have decided to take photos of all my clothes, shoes and bags and then create a folder of outfits using the images that I take. I will then, hopefully, be able to come up with lots of different outfits rather than relying on the same looks all the time.
- Plan/Host a meal for Mun and Dad. Hopefully, now Dad is starting to feel better I will be able to plan and organise a meal for us all this month! I already have a few ideas for recipes that I would like to try!
- Organise the Spare Room Cupboards. I have a few hours set aside in the next few weeks which I would like to utilise to get this task completely finished and over and done with!
- Make a start on the Garden. Now that the days are starting to get warmer and the weather is getting drier I should be able to get out in the garden and finally make a start on getting it looking lovely for summer!
Art, Craft, Hobbies and Interests
You may have noticed that I have added Hobbies and Interests to this section. I have expanded the section to cover a few more things that are related in this category.
- Learn a few different styles of blog and social media photography. While I have had a little play around with flat lay photography I feel that my knowledge of this style of photography is lacking, both in the styling element and in the execution of the image. I also want to learn how to take good lifestyle snapshot images for social media use.
- Learn about creating perfumes/scent. I would really love to be able to make my own scent and know what sort of things I like and don’t like when it comes to perfume. I think that there is something really lovely about being able to create a fragrance that is your own and is unique so this month I will be spending some time researching how to create my own fragrance and sourcing some scents to use. Ideally I would like to make two versions of the same thing – a daytime sent that is softer and an evening one that is a bit stronger but that may be a bit too ambitious.
- Work on book idea. I have started making notes about an idea that I have for a book and I’d like to work on the notes some more and start working on a proper draft of it this month. Once I have all the basic ideas down I can work on a writing timetable, start putting it all together in a way that makes sense and make a start on all the other bookish things that need to be done!
- Finish Sorting and Organising Craft Supplies. Hopefully, by the end of March, this will be finished and all my craft things will be set out and organised nicely!
- Sort out hair/body/face care things. I seem to have accumulated a large stash of products and really need to sort them out before going and buying more things. One I have an idea of what I have got then I can start using them before spending money on things I already own!
- Dye hair. I used to dye my hair once a month but recently I have been able to get away with doing it every other month as the dye I use fades down from purple to a blue toned lilac then to a light blue colour but it’s now at the stage where I need to get my roots sorted which means bleaching the whole lot before dying it again.
- Sort out printer. I bought ink for my printer but when printing it doesn’t seem to like printing with the black ink and its missing bits when it prints too. I guess this is down to it not being used for a while and that it needs a good clean. I’m a bit frustrated that I’m not able to print things out properly so this is going to be a priority this month for me.
What goals do you have for this month?
This is the second book that I read from my purchase of A Box Of Stories box and I chose it because the description intrigued me.
“LIVERPOOL, 1940. When her childhood sweetheart is killed in action, Maxine Grey loses more than her husband – she loses her best friend. desperate to make a difference in this awful war, she takes a nursing job at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital.
A BROKEN HEART. Maxine takes comfort in the attentions of a handsome surgeon, but Edwin Blake might not be all he seems. As the Blitz descends on the capital, Maxine returns to Liverpool heartbroken and surrounded by the threat of scandal.
A BRAVE SPIRIT. When offered a job at a Dr Barnardo’s orphanage, Maxine hopes this is the second chance she has been looking for. And one little boy in particular helps her to realise that she needs the orphans just as much as they need her.”
I don’t usually read books that are set in the past and tend to skip past them on the shelf, preferring to reach for books that are set in the present day so this book isn’t one that I would usually reach for. That said, the back of the book really made me want to sit and read it, regardless of the time period setting.
This book covers topics of love, loss, friendship, starting over and overcoming problems that were frowned upon in that time. From the first page I was hooked and, snuggled up with my dog, Roxy, a blanket and a cafetière of coffee I read most of this book in one afternoon. So many of the themes running through the book are relevant to the struggles we face today with family and the relationships within the family being first and foremost.
I really liked the way that Molly Green painted pictures with words, you could really imagine the scenes that Maxine, the main character, was confronted with, the way the relationships between Maxine and other characters developed through the book and the way the different characters individual stories were interwoven with each other. The story itself was really beautifully written and I loved every minute of it. The only down side, for me, was that the story seemed to finish a little abruptly, I would have liked to know more about what happens next…but maybe that is the best way to end a book?
Have you read this book or any others by Molly Green? What did you think of the book?
I don’t know about you but, sometimes, it feels like a whole day has rushed by and I don’t seem to have achieved or done anything much at all. Today I’m sharing with you my steps on how to have a productive day. There will be tips, tricks and hacks that seem to work for me, mean I get more done, and more out of my day. These simple steps seem to help me both in my working day and in my personal life so can be applied to any part of your life.
Knowing what you would like to achieve in a day goes a long way towards actually achieving those things. I like to sit down at the end of the day with a notepad and pens and create a list of things I need to do, want to do and things I should do the following day. Every activity gets written down however big or small, significant or insignificant it may be. Once I have a list then I can move on to the next step.
Next, I like to go through the list and categorise everything into 3 lists – Need, Want and Should. I like to use highlighters here so I can see what categories things fall into. Things that go into the Need list are things that absolutely have to be done that day, they can be things like making appointments, sending emails, household things, anything that has to be done that day and is time specific. Next is the Want list which I use for things that I want to do or achieve that don’t really have any fixed priority except for personal gain. Want things can include reading a book, having a bath, working on art, anything that is about you and what you want to do. Lastly is the Should list which I use for things like cleaning the fridge, clothes washing, tidying up, organising my books, things that should be done but are not really needed to be done at a specific time.
Now I have the categories sorted I go through them and number them in order of importance – 1 is high importance and 4 is the lowest/no importance. I can see then what order I should complete the tasks in.
Next I allocate timings to the tasks, so, for example 20 mins for responding to an email, 10 for a phone call, 40 mins for reading…. I can see what will take the longest and what will be really quick to tick off my list. I like to work with a mix of high priority and quick tasks as it makes me feel good about getting things marked off and encourages me to continue with my work.
- Make a Timetable
The final step I take is to timetable everything into my day. I write out my day in hourly blocks then schedule in the things I want to achieve in that timeframe. I schedule in all the Need and Should items then add the Wants in around them where there are gaps.
Creating a list and timetable like this the night before helps me to wake up motivated and ready to start the list. I get up knowing what needs to be done and have an itinerary for the day that I know will work for me, I get things done that I need to, things I should do and also have time for anything I want to do as well. I find mixing the tasks up keeps energy and enthusiasm high while keeping productivity going. And scheduling in Wants through the day means I have a reward of sorts to look forward to along the way.
How do you plan your day? What are your tips for being productive?
Today’s recipe is really simple and tasty, doesn’t take much to prepare and is really filling! I love serving this with oven warmed crusty rolls and vegan margarine.
This recipe is taken from The Vegan Recipe Club and you can find many more lovely vegan recipes on their site!
Creamy, Vegan, Mushroom Tagliatelle
- 100g of any (vegan/egg-free) tagliatelle pasta
- 4 medium-sized mushrooms (sliced), though I tend to use button mushrooms, and a lot more (I love mushrooms!)
- 50ml soya cream (I use the Alpro soya cream which you can find in the vegan and veggie chilled section of most supermarkets)
- 1 tsp vegan margarine (I use Vitalite Dairy Free)
- ½ onion (diced) (I tend to use the whole onion but opt for a small one!)
- 1 garlic clove (crushed)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Parsley as a garnish
Hint, if you use more mushrooms and double the amount of soya cream, add in about 2 pints of soya milk then this makes a lovely soup!
- Heat olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan and add the onion and garlic, you can cook these with a bit of water rather than oil if you prefer, just add a similar amount of water as you would oil and the same frying method.
- Fry the onion and garlic until golden brown adding in the mushrooms once the onion and garlic have cooked
- Put a cover over the mix, and leave on a medium heat for 5 mins or so. Once the 5 mins are up, take the cover off and stir, then leave to cook for another few mins.
- Add the margarine and soya cream to the mushroom and onion mix, stir and heat through for around 3 more minutes before removing from the heat.
- Blend the sauce using either a jug blender or a hand blender (I prefer using a hand blender for this bit as I have greater control over whether I want a chunky or smooth sauce)
- Cook the tagliatelle according to the packet instructions.
- Drain the pasta saving some of the water to add to the sauce shortly.
- Place the tagliatelle into the empty pan and add the sauce mix, return to the heat for a few mins, stirring as you go. If the sauce is too thick, this is the time to add the saved pasta water to thin the sauce down.
- Once steaming, heated through and the sauce is fully combined with the pasta, place pasta in bowls, garnish with parsley and serve with warm crusty rolls.
I can’t believe we are now heading into our 3rd month of the year and that 2019 is nearly a quarter of the way through! To see you through to the quarter year mark here are some of the posts I will be sharing on the blog this month.
- Recipe of the month – a lovely, creamy, vegan mushroom tagliatelle
- Monthly Goals for March
- 10 Things That Have Happened Since Leaving Facebook
- Top 10 Thursday posts including Cleaning Products, Laundry Products and Quick Cleaning Ideas
- Upcycle Project – Table Lamp
- What Is Upcycling?
- The Importance of Having a Content Plan
- Earth Hour
- Defining my Blog
These posts will be up on my blog on a Tuesday, Thursday (Top 10) and Friday!
There will be a few other posts shared during the month too so keep an eye out for them!!!
I hope you enjoy them!
It’s no secret that I have a massive love affair with all things stationery, so today in my Top 10 Thursday list I am sharing my favorite places to buy stationery and stationery related products. These are in no particular order!
I love the Spring, the days starting to get warmer and the need for less layers of clothing, but still experiencing the sharp coolness of the morning and the dampness in the air.
My go to outfit for this time of the year is my corduroy dungarees dress that I got from Asda a few years ago. It is a chunky, brown cauderoy fabric that is perfect for this time of the year and is neither too short or too long. It is great for wearing on weekends and work days and because of this I get a great deal of wear from it.
I like to pare my dress with a long sleeve t-shirt, sometimes striped, sometimes plain as it is a brilliant way of adding layers to the outfit without creating too much bulk that a jumper would add. I get my long sleeve t-shirts from Primark as they wash well and come in a huge variety of colours, styles and patterns.
I add a long cardigan in a chunky knit over my outfit, it adds a nice juxtaposition of textures and a cozy feel to the outfit. I got this cardigan in Asda but most places now seem to do long cardigans in all sorts of knit.
To finish the outfit off I like to add super thick tights (there is nothing worse than cold legs!), and a pair of cute, flat boots. I’m really loving this Dr Marten pair that my friend got me for my Birthday last year!
What is your favorite Spring outfit?