SLIDER

BATTLING THE WINTER BLUES

3 Jan 2018

Winter sucks. There is no denying it. The only thing that makes it any way bearable is Christmas. Christmas gives you something to look forward to in the depths of winter. The sparkling fairy lights and Christmas trees make the long hours without daylight almost seem magical. Getting up when it's still dark out isn't so bad when you know you have your holidays around the corner and all the delicious food we eat throughout the festivities make us feel happy and cosy.

But what happens when Christmas is over?

I don't know about you but the winter blues always set in when January arrives. In fact, it is this time of the year that my mood has always been it's lowest. The decorations coming down feels like joy is being taken away. After all the weeks, all the build-up and all the shopping, Christmas is over in a flash and it leaves me wondering what was the point of it all!

On top of that, the weather here in Ireland is usually horrific. It definitely is this year with Storm Eleanor flooding so much of Galway. Its raining, it's windy and lemme tell you it's god damn cold! Especially in work where 4 layers of clothes don't cut it.

Speaking of work, going back after the Christmas break is as depressing as it gets. I've only done 2 days work this year and I just keep thinking - 'if only I could win the lottery and never have to work again' like seriously, why can't this happen to me?! Then every day could be like Christmas, only better.
All of this topped with the pressure of the 'New Year, New Me' bullshit really makes for a rubbish month. As I've said in my last post I'm not buying into that crap and I haven't made any big resolutions but I can't help feeling anxious about the year starting all over again. I know a lot of people love the new start but there is something about it that makes me feel uneasy. I guess I subconsciously put pressure on myself to make sure I have a good year and whenever I feel like that's not going to plan and I'm not feeling very happy I am so much harder on myself and so those feelings are amplified.

It's safe to say I'm not feeling the happiest at the moment, I never am this time of year. But at least I am aware of this. I know I just have a case of the Winter/January blues and as the month comes to a close I will get out of this. 

Here's to pulling through tough times! Are you like me and find January a toughie? If so, do let me know in the comments. That's the thing I love about blogging - you can put your thoughts and feelings out there and find out that there are many more people who actually feel just like you. If you do get the winter blues I hope you can find a way to battle through them too. Before we know it the daffodils will be blooming and sunset will gradually get later.

The year can only get better.

Sinéad x
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ACHIEVABLE GOALS FOR 2018

30 Dec 2017

Previous years I have tried the whole 'new year, new me' approach. I would begin the year excited and full of optimism, sure that the following year I would improve myself in all aspects of my life. Turns out that's pretty darn difficult to do. I would wake up on New Year's day with a raging hangover and feel so disappointed in myself for sleeping in 'til noon even though I made a promise to myself that I would get up every day before 9am.

As January would slip away I became more and more angry with myself for still being the same old me. Still not a morning person, still a serial procrastinator, still hate reading and still so flaky with my blog.

 I have well and truly learned my lesson so this year I am not making any 'resolutions' I know neither my life nor I am going to change in 2018 unless I win the lotto or something which would be very much welcomed!  

There are however some small things I want to aim to achieve in 2018. I think it's always good to have some small goals to aim for to keep you focused so here are a few of mine.

1. Save more money 

I wouldn't say I'm a big spender but I do want to start saving more for my future and important things, spending less on frivolous things like makeup and shoes. I'm not saying I won't be buying any make-up or shoes in 2018 because let's face it, I definitely will. But maybe I don't need another red lipstick exactly like one I already have, Y'know what I mean?

2. Be more grateful

I want to be more consciously grateful. I want to really think about it or even write it down, whether that's here on my blog or in a diary, I am not too sure yet. It's no secret that life can be a b*tch sometimes and we can easily get bogged down by the daily grind so I think it's important to take note of all the good stuff in life and take a moment to be grateful.

3. Travel more

I don't necessarily mean travel abroad more, although that would be amazing if I could! I just mean to venture further afield at weekends than my local city or park. I want to go on more road trips, go on different walks, visit new beaches and just see more of Ireland. Even if I could just spend one day a month outside my county that would be great. 

4. Spend less time on my phone

I am definitely guilty of coming home from work and spending ages scrolling aimlessly through my phone. Sometimes I can hop in to bed only to spend up to an hour looking at my phone before going to sleep. I see this as one of my worst habits so I would really love if I could gradually cut it down in 2018.

5. Do more meaningful things

On Christmas day this year, I spent 5 hours making a 3d puzzle of the Eiffel Tower, I found this to be a much better way to spend my time than watching TV or looking at my phone like I've already talked about because when it was done I felt like I had accomplished something. I know this is a very small example but that feeling of accomplishment was so good and I really want to feel it more in 2018. So instead of being passive and doing nothing, I'm going to try and do something more often. Whether it be to create content for my blog, bake, take up a new hobby or sport, create something, help out somewhere, I want to be doing things that result in me feeling proud.

6. Go for more walks

Not only do I want to go on more walks for my own sake as a form of exercise I want to do it for my dogs sakes. Nicky and Lily love nothing more than to see me rattling their leads and I love them so much that I want to make sure they are living happy lives and getting all the exercise they need so I really want to up the amount I bring them for walks and not let a little drizzle stop me. 

7. Take better care of myself 

In 2018 I want to take better care of myself in general. I want to be good with my skincare, invest in things that work. I'm also really concerned with my dental care, I need to floss every day but I'm so bad at doing this. I want to eat as healthy as possible and try to avoid takeaway food altogether. If I can continue to avoid the doctor in 2018, as I have done most of my life so far, I will be pretty happy.

8. Drink more water

So this should probably have been put in with the last point really but '7' felt like a weird number for a list! I am terrible for forgetting to drink water. I find myself with a headache and feeling tired and it's usually because I have drunk barely any water that day so I'm going to try to change this in 2018. 

So there we have it, some small things I would like to do in 2018. Wish me luck in achieving them! 

Finally, I just want to wish anyone who reads this a wonderful 2018. I hope it's filled with love, happiness and good health. Happy New Year my loves. 

Sinéad x

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WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS CHRISTMAS

12 Dec 2017

After the snow this morning I am well and truly in the Christmas spirit. I'm even finding myself singing along to Christmas songs around the house! Some years I'm not too bothered but It's safe to say I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year. I thought I would write a little list of all the things I am looking forward to this Christmas season. 

Christmas Parties

My work Christmas party is next Saturday night and I am so looking forward to getting all dressed up and going out for a lovely meal, drinks and dancing with my colleagues and friends. It's always such a fun and festive night complete with singing chefs, Christmas dinner, mince pies, prosecco and dancing the night away to 'Fairytale of New York'. I could share my outfit and make-up details on here if you guys are interested? Let me know in the comments!

Food, Food & More Food

Where do I start when it comes to food?! Christmas is a right of passage to eat all the food and not feel guilty. From the tubs of roses to the Christmas dinner itself everything is so delicious and I am really looking forward to indulging. Lucky for me I don't have to make the dinner, thank God as that seems like far too much pressure. I would like to contribute a bit more this year though and maybe make a starter. Let me know in the comments of some good Christmas starters.

Time off to Relax

I think anyone who is working really appreciates the Christmas break. I'm hopefully going to have the whole week off so I am really looking forward to spending time at home with my family relaxing and not having to worry about any responsibilities. I feel like Christmas time is the only time of the year you can switch off and do nothing because that's what it is for!

Giving Gifts

This is so cliche I know but I really do prefer giving gifts than receiving them. I can just buy myself whatever I want so getting gifts doesn't excite me that much (I am appreciative none the less though!) I just love the feeling of seeing a smile on someones face when you get them something. I have pretty much all my presents bought and wrapped now waiting to be opened!

Playing Games

Christmas is literally the only time of the year that I get together with my whole family, we enjoy each others company and play games. From making jigsaws and playing board games with my nieces and nephew to having a midnight game of cards and a glass of wine with my parents and siblings. It's so nice to sit down together, put our phones away and do something fun.

Eeeep writing this has made me even more excited for Christmas. Less than two weeks to go now! I can hardly believe it.

I would love to know how you spend your Christmas holidays? What is it that you are really looking forward to? Let me know in the comments down below.

Sinéad x
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HOW I GET IN THE FESTIVE SPIRIT

5 Dec 2017

Happy December my loves! I can't quite believe we're in the final month of 2017, seriously, was this not the fastest year of your life?

Every year it feels like the Christmas festivities start earlier and earlier, I mean this year they were talking about Christmas on November 1st! I have to say, I don't agree with this. I think it makes Christmas drag on too long and I honestly get bored of it. So I try not to even think about Christmas until December and then I dive right in to full-on Christmas mode because let's face it - it is the most wonderful time of the year!

I thought I would share with you some of the ways I get into the festive spirit and make myself feel all 'Christmassy' 

Play Christmas music

One of the first things I do is play Christmas music. This doesn't take much effort on my part because work has changed the radio station to Christmas FM on December 1st. Therefore I spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week listening to festive tunes. I'm loving it so far as it's really making me get in the spirit but I sure won't be playing it at home or in the car too as I think that might be a little overkill!

Wear a Christmas jumper

Something else I do to mark the beginning of Christmas is wear my Christmas jumper. I adore Christmas/wintery jumpers and you will probably catch me wearing one most days in December. When I wear one or see someone wear one I just feel like 'yup it's officially Christmas' I also got myself some new Christmas earring in Penneys today complete with snowflakes, candy canes, reindeers, Christmas trees and more! they're adorbs.

Burn festive candles

I love a good scented candle anytime of the year but there is something about Christmas scents that give me the warm fuzzies. I feel like they give a much more festive atmosphere to the house. My all-time favourite would have to be cinnamon. To be honest I start burning them at Halloween!

Put up decorations

Speaking of making the house more festive, putting up decorations is an obvious one! We don't have our tree up just yet, will probably put it up at the weekend. I have got some small decorations up though, like mantle garlands and little ornaments. They help to remind me that Christmas is well and truly on its way!

Visit the Christmas Market

If there is a Christmas market in a city near you, you should definitely visit it! The one in Galway isn't the biggest or most exciting in the world. But the gorgeous lights, delicious food and the smell of mulled wine are enough to put anyone in the spirit. It really is so magical, almost makes me feel like a kid again!

Take a kid to see Santa

I know this may not be doable for everyone, y'know, if you're not close to any kids I wouldn't recommend stealing one to do it. But I'm lucky enough to have 3 nieces and 1 nephew. They are a big part of my Christmas as their excitement for it makes it so much more special. There is nothing quite like taking a kid to visit Santa or even see just to see some lights being turned on. Their excitement really is infectious. 
I hope this list inspires you if you're finding it a little bit difficult to get in the festive spirit.

Do let me know in the comments what it is you like to do during the lead up to Christmas that makes you feel all Christmassy!

I hope you are all having the most wonderful December so far and it's going as magically as possible for you!
Sinéad x
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HOW I FEEL AFTER A MONTH OFFLINE

30 Nov 2017

It is kind of a tradition here in Ireland that you give something up for the month of November. Sorta like lent I guess. One of my friends was giving up alcohol and my mum was giving up sugar, she only lasted a couple of days, which didn't surprise me! But I decided to give up social media, or spend less time on it at least. 

I did pretty well and didn't really miss it if I am honest. I did scroll through twitter every now and again and I posted the odd insta-story but I wasn't consumed by it. I wasn't wondering what to post on Instagram that day or thinking 'I need too interact more on twitter' and blogging barely crossed my mind. 

Let me tell you, it was so nice to get away. Don't get me wrong, I love blogging but lately I feel like the blogging world has all gotten a bit too much. Too competitive and too narcissistic.
Sometimes I wish it was the way it used to be when I first started out 4 years ago because back then I never felt like I wasn't good enough for someone to want follow along with my life. As much as I love following other people on social media, it was so nice to take a month away because continuously looking at someones life on a screen can get really exhausting.

It was nice not comparing myself to people online and just focusing on people in my real life. It was nice to be doing something awesome and not feel like I had to record it for Instagram for the approval. It was nice to just get away from my life online and just live my life privately without feeling the need to document things or share my thoughts. 

Hopefully my little break away will allow me to continue with my blog with fresh eyes. Honestly, to me, your online popularity is futile. I just want to take photos, write and share things with you because I enjoy doing it! not because I need any validation about my life. The whole online world can be a bit overwhelming at times, and sometimes I don't want to be apart of it. I still want to blog though, like the old times and that's what I'm going to do. 

Sinéad x
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IF YOU CAN'T SEE THE SUNSHINE, BE THE SUNSHINE

22 Oct 2017

"If you can't see the sunshine, be the sunshine"

This is one of my all time favourite quotes, one I try to live by and remind myself of every day. I think spreading happiness, positivity and kindness is so so important. I know what it feels like to be around someone every day who is always moody and sends out such bad vibes with just a single look. We all have our bad days but I believe they shouldn't have any influence on how we treat others. 

The other day in work someone told me I was 'a breath of fresh air' and honestly, this was the best compliment ever. I would die happy if I left the legacy of being a breath of fresh air. 

I don't think I would always have been called this. Definitely not back in my secondary school days. It's not that I was a grump or anything, I just kept myself to myself. I didn't make any real effort to be kind to others and I honestly didn't worry too much about how others were feeling, or care about cheering them up. I guess that's just teenagers for you - self obsessed! 

But as I've grown older, spreading positivity and kindness has become more of a priority to me. I empathise with others more, I am more conscious about how others are feeling and I genuinely want to make them smile and make their day a bit brighter, even just for a minute. I thought I would write a little list on how I try to 'be the sunshine'

SMILE AND SAY 'HELLO'

This is a very cliché one but it's probably the most important. Smiling is key. I know when someone smiles at me and says hello, it makes me smile and makes me that little bit happier. It definitely beats pretending not to even see them. I make sure to greet and smile at everyone in work when I see them first in the mornings. Also, just try be more smiley in general. This can be hard, especially when you're having a bad day but if you try to smile and have a happy vibe you usually end up feeling a bit happier too. 

HELP PEOPLE

If you see someone struggling offer them a hand, they will really appreciate it, I know I do when others help me and when I see people helping each other, it gives me the warm fuzzies - sounds so cheesy I know. I just love when people are selfless and thoughtful.

SHARE STORIES AND EXPERIENCES

Be a little personal. Open up about your own life. Let a collegue know about that embarrassing thing that happened to you at the weekend. Go on, it will give them a laugh. Be fun and witty, be carefree, don't hold back, crack a joke and have a laugh even if it's at your own expense. 

COMPLIMENT AND ASK QUESTIONS

Showing an interest in other peoples lives is so important. If they tell you about something they are going to be doing at the weekend, show you remember and ask them about it on Monday. Notice the good things in people and let them know - like that girl who told me I was a breath of fresh air, or another woman in work who told me I had a lovely smile. Those compliments were so touching and they didn't need to tell me. 

There are a million other things you can do to spread some positivity but they are the main ones that spring to mind for me. Be sure to let me know in the comments what you think are good ways to make others smile.

Sinéad x
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