Looking Forward Into 2021 & A Retrospective Look To 2020

We live in a world full of oversaturated images of ideal circumstances. Pinterest and Instagram is stuffed full of overly clean interior design: kitchens without a drop of mess, living rooms with no life, bedrooms lacking spice and excitement. We see pictures of DIY projects completed seemingly in one go by yoga practicing, straight laced, ‘my body is a temple’ gods and goddesses, who seemingly have endless holidays and limitless bounds to their finances.

Overall, there is something very wrong with the way we present ourselves on social media.

Once we lose sight of the fact that these perfect lives have taken hours to capture the right moment on camera, waiting for the right lighting, the right opportunity, we start to wonder why our own lives don’t reflect those of the people around us, or who we chose to follow online. It begins to affect us in ways we cannot always physically see, in ways that niggle us from the corners of our minds. Suddenly, our own imperfect images online aren’t good enough, and we’re not sure why. Suddenly, the pictures from a very merry Christmas with aunt Susan and nana Peggy don’t look as fun as you remember.

In 2020, the world took a very strange turn into the world of the online due to Covid-19. We worked online, saw our friends through the palms of our hands, and we found ourselves alone a lot more than usual. Now, although this seclusion at first glance doesn’t appear the best, we found that we had time to reflect on our lives, retrospectively assess how we wanted to spend our time.

Some of us, myself included, felt that 2020 was the year we hit rock bottom. We saw a record loss of jobs and an increase in people asking for help. We saw people learn to live with their new surroundings, survive with the bare minimum and surprise themselves in situations they didn’t think they could survive.

Yes 2020 was the year we hit rock bottom but if we hadn’t hit the floor, we wouldn’t have found our solid foundations on which we could build and grow from.

Its important that when we look at the lives of others online who have seemingly thrived during the pandemic as motivational content rather than as competition, or something to be jealous of.

Its Ryan Serhant who said that this year has been like sitting in the backseat of a moving car and looking out through the right window and seeing a brickwall, dark, dingy and unappealing to look at. Its easy to think, looking through the window that this is the only outlook on life that you can have yet if you switch up your outlook, jump from one seat to the other and look out of the left window you might see bright sunny skies and a beautiful view. You’re still in the same car but with a tiny bit of effort you now have a much lighter view.

Its easy to slip into bad habits, think negatively about your situation and here’s the thing: no one is responsible for changing your world views but yourself. You can’t rely on anyone else for your happiness. Your sadness is caused by your outlook on life.

If you’re sad, lacking in motivation, craving change, then it’s you that also needs to stop being lazy and get moving. Wherever you are with your plans, implement something today. Not tomorrow, today. Why wait?

Yes we’ve had a bad year in terms of a life threatening pandemic but it doesn’t mean life has to stop, we just have to learn to adapt and change with it.

I think in 2021 we should look to incorporating more life into our online presence, more human error. We should promote normalcy, encourage candid shots of everyday adventures and show people that life is perfect just the way it is. We need to start creating a world we are proud to leave behind to a future generation of community based survivors, people caring prodigies, life loving collectives.

Believe in the message? Join in with the candid collectives on social media by using the hashtag #candidadventure in your everyday positive posts and help build our positive vibes across the globe.

Because when we help each other succeed, we all succeed.

Until next time, beautiful readers.

Being The Best You & Encouraging Others

I found myself having a discussion about who I’d be in an ideal world if money wasn’t an option. I said that if I could buy what I liked, when I liked, that I’d be one of those women who ate avocado toast for breakfast, drank healthy smoothies for lunch, did yoga in the early hours of the morning and pole dancing lessons to strengthen my core. My partner said he’d love to take up skating again and get some sort of exercise routine going.

Our discussion got me thinking about how we could mutually encourage each other to do these things, to make ourselves the best versions of ourselves. We ended up looking for used in-line skates on Facebook marketplace and gumtree to see if there were any cheap skates going. Unfortunately there weren’t at that point but the seed had been planted so that we could keep an eye out for the future.

My partner suggested that I start getting up with him in the morning and doing my yoga then in the living room, following along to a YouTube video. The only hurdle I have to overcome in the mornings is actually getting out of bed that early and not just wasting the time on my phone.

I enjoyed our discussion, our small sharing session incited excitement and got the brain cogs whirring. It also felt like an intimate discussion, an honest expression of our hopes and dreams, albeit humble ideas. It’s these kinds of conversations I live for, these two way streets which allow both parties freedom to express themselves without fear of being judged or persecuted.

I highly recommend opening a dialogue with your significant other about what each others hopes and dreams are for the future. If both couples are willing to discuss, it’ll offer a really fulfilling conversation which I think is much needed during this current climate.

So how about it? What are your hopes and dreams for the future? How can you see your best self? Are there small steps you can take now to achieve these goals?

Until next time.

Adding Childlike Sparkle To Your Life ✨

It’s this time of year especially when we can get in touch with our inner child, where we don’t mind singing at the top of our lungs the wrong lyrics to a Christmas song, or get creative while we craft our decorations. And oh what fun we do have in these times. We forget the stresses of life and lose ourselves in the moment, free of cares or worries.

But why do we only get in touch with our inner child when we’re near Christmas? Surely everyone would be a lot happier if we lost ourselves in childish ambition once in a while.

Pablo Picasso once said that every child is an artist and it’s only adulthood which squashes this ambition. But does that mean that artists are just big kids who never lost that creativity? I hope so.

When 2020 rolls around we’ll not only be entering a new year but also a new decade. It feels positive but also like a new beginning. It becomes even more poignant to be able to reflect on the last ten years but also look forward to the next decade with a childlike ambition and sparkle in our eyes.

I propose that in this next decade we do more silly things just for fun. Sing more, dance more, tap into that creative mind to create something new and innovative because if we do this I believe we would all suffer less with stress and care less about what people think around us about jovial topics such as how what you’re wearing doesn’t aesthetically please someone else.

If you’re like me and you’re not around children a lot then it can be easy to lose touch with what it means to be childlike. It can be easy to become a very serious person, stressed, anxious with problems which to other people can seem insignificant and probably are to you as well, if you dig deep enough.

I toyed with the idea of teaching. I thought I could be an art teacher, watching young adults develop their skills and learn to love being creative. It’s still something that intrigues me but a part of me thinks that that boat may have sailed as I encroach my late twenties, the big 30 balloons waiting in the wings ready to announce that I’m no longer a spring chicken. However, no matter old I get, as long as I maintain a positive attitude with the odd childlike tendancies, I think I’ll always be young at heart.

What do you think about getting reconnected with our inner child? Is it a silly notion or something which could actually benefit our oh so serious society?

Until next time.

Life Update: Where Are We Now?

As I keep saying to my boyfriend Darren, this year is a year of firsts. From the blog perspective, this means trying videos on my posts, and social media tactics I wouldn’t have tried prior to this year. It also means trying online shopping properly for the first time. From a business perspective it means taking on creative projects like art installations for The Mad Catter Vintage Cat Cafe in Eastbourne which is proving to be both intellectually stimulating as well as encouraging my imagination.

As previously mentioned, I am still struggling with the work/life balance, however weekends are now proving to be both productive as well as socially recharging.

This year has been a year of firsts but it’s also been a rollercoaster ride of events. From breaking down on our way to Chessington last week, to travelling to Portugal in March, to spending time developing my creative business and having opportunities to do so has meant this year has been a mixed bag of ups and downs. This year has seen death but it has also seen an abundance of life and passion, love and creativity and has shown me that it can be one big surprise, one after the next.

I am blessed to be able to say that I have lived life to the fullest, I have had adventure after adventure and have created memories which will last a lifetime.

While I look around, I see that the most fulfilled people are the people who have explored their passions and followed their dreams. My brother is now working in Ireland doing what he wants to do, Lucy is opening her cat café next month, Louise is about to pop a baby out, Andy is getting married, Ruth has successfully moved house, and I am so incredibly proud of all them and wish them all the best during their adventures.

Whether you have had a small or large life success we should learn to celebrate these. It is also worthwhile celebrating the life successes of others, as we should be able to celebrate and be happy for those of us around us.

I hope that the rest of this year will be as fruitful and as we creep into the darker, more dismal months of the year, I hope we can all keep our sights on our best futures, our new and existing adventures and grow into wonderfully enriched adults with a whole host of memories under our belts.

Until next time.

Overcoming Holiday Blues & Spring Cleaning

Let’s be honest, no one likes returning to reality after a memorable holiday, where you’ve eaten and drunk like kings and queens, explored new and interesting places, and expanded your cultural horizons.

Normal life can seem incredibly dull after an adventure of a lifetime.

(Just look at how happy I was to be fed swordfish!)

We can feel the blues beginning to creep in as our holiday buzz dies down, the “how was your holiday” question becomes less frequently spoken until eventually it dissipates entirely and the only thing left to reminisce with are the photos and videos you took of your trip.

There will be things you’d forgotten about doing: the washing, the cooking, even paying the bills and suddenly, not even a week back home, and you’ve been thrust into chores that seem to have a vendetta against you.

Battling against the tide, you finally reach the apex, the top of the mountain and it feels blissful. Suddenly you feel on top of everything: the chores have been completed and you can finally relax for a while.

This week, I have been firmly thrust into my holiday blues and have decided to combat this by keeping busy, especially when it comes to my spring cleaning.

When you’re someone who actively follows fashion trends, purchasing clothes like you actually have money to spend, it can mean your wardrobe can end up looking a bit cluttered. The best solution: a tidy up, and a ruthless dispatch of unwanted garments.

After all, did you know that there are places that will pay you for your textiles? When clearing out your closet, why not earn a little bit of coffee money in doing so? You’re not only helping the environment by not clogging up rubbish tips, but you’re also giving to charity and getting paid for it. It’s a win win situation.

My best method for spring cleaning? A try on day.

Pick a day when you’re feeling body positive otherwise this method won’t work, especially for those body con dresses, and try on each item of clothing, see what items it pairs with and create outfit ideas with what you have.

If you have an odd top or skirt that doesn’t seem to go with anything you have, or makes you feel uncomfortable wearing it, then ditch the thing- you don’t need it, I promise. They’ll be other clothes to replace it, especially if it’s getting old or over worn.

Another tip is to look at the age of your garments, you may have a top or a dress in your wardrobe that you feel has been a staple throughout the years but the problem with well worn clothes is that they show their age and, unlike wine, do not age well.

Ditch the scraggly old baggy tees, the age old faithful, the see-through dresses.

The idea is to scrape back your cluttered wardrobe into something more manageable so we don’t look inside thinking we have nothing to wear.

I hope this post has inspired you to do some of your own spring cleaning.

For those it didn’t inspire and for those it didn’t solve the holiday blues for, maybe check out the latest deals through icelolly.com?

Until next time.