As a way of opening up and letting you get to know me a little more I thought I’d share a few of my favourite things this week, it’s a random bunch of stuff that I adore and use regularly that makes me feel like I’m schooling ‘adulting’ so hard, gives me the relaxation vibes of a sloth wrapped in a cloud, or feeds my soul (I told you it’s a smorgasbord at a bazaar of randomness)
Comfort and Relaxation.
So I am not good at relaxing, I’m awesome at sitting and laying down but relaxing is another story. There is always something to be done and when I’m not doing those things I can’t relax, I don’t feel I deserve to. ‘This is not healthy!’, I hear you cry and you are right, it isn’t, relaxation is elementary in recovery and progress – take exercise, you rip your muscles to shreds when you’re working in the gym but you build muscle by resting. Same goes for the mind, you put it through its paces all day but at night when you switch off, relax and go to sleep that’s when the brain is doing its magic. So to help me get into my zen state I rely on atmosphere and little props to get me in the mood for chill out. I adore candles, the soft light and the beautiful smells, I light my candles after I’ve put my son to bed because,
1. I can’t fully relax until I know he’s safe and snuggly, fast asleep and I’m not going to hear any ‘Mummy, can you get me some warm juice?’ or ‘Mummy I love you so much in the whole wide world, can I come down give you a kiss and a cuddle and get my Lego?’
2. He is fascinated with candles because of the birthday cake deal and he is obsessed with blowing them out – again because of the birthday cake deal. I’m always terrified he’s going to get too close to them and turn himself into the human torch (not in the cool Fantastic Four way but in the ‘oh dear god, my son is a fiery fatality – I’ll never get my deposit back with that burn in the carpet’ way) So when he’s dreaming, I light my candles, put on soft lights and if I’m feeling particularly buzzed to get all my life achieved in the next two hours, I’ll get crazy and burn some incense too.
I also enjoy adorning my house with inspirational quotes, if ever I’m feeling low I can turn my head in any direction and see something uplifting to perk me up. I think it’s so important for you to turn your living space into a place that nourishes you and for me I know having my framed prints and canvasses makes me feel wonderful.
My favourite props to get me in the mood for different times of day are my mugs, I have my ‘Today is going to be a good day’ mug that I like to drink my morning coffee in, I have my ‘Dream, Breathe, Create, Inspire’ glass tea-cup and saucer that always sits on my desk with herbal tea in for when I’m working and last but by no means least I have Nelly, my gorgeous (if somewhat impractical) elephant mug which I love to have my sleepy time drinks in. I find having these as markers of my day helps my brain understand when its time to get up, time to get to work and time to wind down for the evening.
Of course I had to include my bed! My whole room really, for the longest time (6 years) I had decorated every other room in my house, except mine. I always thought it wasn’t needed as I was the only person in there. I was so, so very wrong. The minute the room was complete I couldn’t wait to be in it, I look forward to my rest time now. I’ve made it my ‘sanctum sanctorum’ and I think it’s essential to have a space that is uniquely yours to retreat to at the end of the day (or you know for a cheeky mid day nap)
So you remember I was saying I often don’t feel I deserve to relax (you should do I mentioned it 2 minutes ago, seriously pay attention would you?) Well how I conquer that feeling most days is by being crazy organised, which is a full-time job, let me tell you! I am a slob by nature, yes I admit it,
‘Hello my name is Samantha and I’m so messy it’s not normal’
Seriously, ask my mum, she has horror stories about my room when I was growing up – actually don’t ask my mum its way too embarrassing! I realised that a lot of my issues were coming from my environment and that if I wanted to feel less cluttered in my brain I needed to get less cluttered in my home. It worked and continues to do so (I speak more about this in my previous blog Where I’ve Been and Being Accountable.)
It turns out I love being organised! I have my monthly and weekly planners that go on my bedroom door. There is something so helpful about seeing a month in its entirety laid out, I rarely forget things now (unless it’s something I’m taking out of the house with me other than my bag, in which case if it wasn’t for my best friend – let’s call him Steve, I would always forget those things. Thank you Steve!) I have little boards all over the house with specific things on (Menu board, weight board, chores board etc) I also have fallen in love with storage! Tiny baskets to big tubs for toys, I love it all!! So I made myself a desk tidy using old cans and a couple of trays from Tiger. I always have a little smile when I sit at my desk and look at my custom made, recycled desk tidy (seriously, bespoke realness!)
Last but not least my planners, journals and notebooks, I have a notebook for everything, making lists is my jam almost as much as checking off my lists. By having clearly written things I want to accomplish down and striking them off I feel I’m achieving things and moving closer to the big goals. I have night-time journals for my thoughts, gratitude and mindfulness which means I can get everything out of my head so I can then do a relax.
Soul Food and Things That Make Me Happy
Reading gives me life, it expands my brain, it lets me escape, it teaches me and it feeds my soul. I love reading (in fact I have a reading journal too, where I write a little review for the books I have read) The picture shows the books/plays I have read in the past two months (If you think that’s a lot you should see my bookshelves) I never feel any guilt reading like I do sometimes when I watch TV because I feel it’s really making me a better version of myself, also your brain stays very active when reading in a way it doesn’t for TV. I have to mention the last book I read ‘I Am Malala’ by Malala Yousafzai. Seriously, everyone needs to read this book, it is necessary. I had my eyes opened to a world that feels so distant from my own, I realised that while feminism still has a way to go in the western world it hasn’t really taken its first steps in most of the world. She is so inspiring, honestly, read it.
Moving on to my happy things, I adore makeup and you may be able to tell I’m on a little Too Faced kick right now! Makeup is a relatively new passion of mine (maybe the last three years) and it is something I enjoy and collect. There’s something about being able to play around with different colours depending on the day and mood that is so thrilling to me. I don’t wear makeup every day and I don’t always wear a lot of makeup but by god do I love it and have a lot (not enough obviously, but a lot)
Hair goes hand in hand with makeup. I have quite fine hair but a lot of it which means it can look quite flat to my head which is not what I’m about. I had about 12 inches cut off my hair this year to freshen it up, it could have also been something to do with almost every celebrity I saw rocking a lob – but to admit that would mean I’m saying advertising affects me, which it obviously doesn’t! (Does anyone else suddenly fancy a Subway?) I also have found some products (see picture) that really help give my hair texture and lift so I don’t look like I’m wearing a hair hat!
Lastly my new gadgets, both early Christmas pressies! I have developed adult acne, yeah I know right, what the actual fudge bucket?! I have been taking so many supplements, prescription medication, I’m eating and drinking well and changed my skin care. Nothing helped until I got the Clarasonic and I know I’m late to the party but this thing is a face saver! Seriously, acne is horrible, it makes you feel like shit and an alien to yourself, so to find something that actually seems to help makes me squee with happiness!
Then there’s my Sprocket. Listen the damn thing is the size of my hand, doesn’t need ink, is wireless, comes with an app so you can edit your photos with filters, text, stickers etc and it is so cute, I just can’t. Why wouldn’t I be happy? Ok, the paper’s bloody expensive but OH MY GOD I LOVE IT!
So there you go a list of things that make me function and live like a human, there is one thing I left off and that is my beautiful son because he’s too precious to me to share (he’s mine, all mine!) He is my everything and my life was not a whole life until he arrived. I love him beyond words, I love that is growing up to be a kind, intelligent, caring human. I also love that he calls people ‘fumans’, I hope he always does.
I’d love to hear about your favourite things, or if you think there’s a book I should add to my list? I’ve listed the products pictured below in case you want one too 🙂
Until next time,
Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.
Comfort and Relaxation.
- ‘Today is going to be a good day’ mug by Happy Jackson, available on amazon
- ‘Dream, Breathe, Create, Inspire’ Tea cup and saucer by Kikki K
- Elephant Mug by Urban Outfitters
- Glassware by The Pound Shop
- No 15 candle by Primark
- Sign by TK Maxx
- Bed by http://www.rightdealsuk.co.uk
- bedding by Wilko
- Desk Tidy – my own
- Month Planner, pack of 30 by Kikki K
- Week Planner 2017 by WHSmith
- Planner and Journals by Kikki K
- Notebook by Paperchase
- ‘She designed a life she loved’ by Zoella available at Superdrug
Soul Food and things that make me happy
- Books, I got these from all over but Amazon stocks most books
- Too Faced Christmas collection, highlighter and blush all available at Debenham’s or the Too Faced website
- Clarasonic available at Boots
- Sprocket available at PC World
- All hair products available at Boots