Advent Calendar: Day One

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!

D E C E M B E R!!!!

And as it is time to countdown to Christmas I thought that I would offer up one Christmas song that I love everyday until Christmas day itself, sound like a plan?

So here we go Song Advent Calendar Day One is…… drumrrrrroooolllllll….

Can you think of a better song to start the Christmas countdown with?!

And because one song is not enough… Let’s have a bonus new song too!! As soon as I heard about this collaboration I just could NOT wait!!! Ahhhhhhh so exciting, and, well you can listen for yourself but I think its great.

What are you making of it? I am loving Beyoncé’s vocals on this. Stripped back but still sooo powerful and the gorgeous way Ed Sheeran’s and Beyoncé’s voices entwine to me, make this stronger than the album version.

I think music is the best way to feel festive, hope you enjoy having a listen to both of these.

Work Mantra

Sometimes work is hard. And I would say 9 times out of 10 its not the work… it’s the people…

A friend once told me people don’t leave jobs they leave the management AND BOY HOWDY IS THAT TRUE!!!

A while ago I was having a tough time in my job. The management was really going down hill… Not to go into too much detail as there’s no point crying over spilt milk (that you didn’t spill in the first place)… Some real interesting appointments in management had happened… who then dismissed and promoted some real interesting people… roles were being devalued left right and centre… it was demoralising… And then when these problems came home to roost… rather than looking up… they looked down… and so the wrong people were taking the brunt of poor management skills… cut a long story short… It was time to leave.

A few weeks before I did actually hand in my notice and while the big weighty decision was still being made in my head I spoke to someone who had a similar job to me in another company and they told me, “Stay Classy”. And these TWO SIMPLE words became my mantra. When I handed in my notice, when I explained to colleagues my decision, when I was challenged as to my decision, when I was continually asked to go waaaaay above and beyond my job description during my notice period, when they extended my notice period… I clung to that best piece of advice I ever got…

STAY CLASSY.

It became the slogan with which I career by. I highly recommend it becomes one of your go to life phrases especially for work… it has never let me down!

Do you have a piece of work advice that has helped your career?

Stay Classy has turned into so much more than just that jobs mantra as well, I genuinely mean it, Stay Classy helps get you out of all situations if like me you really struggle lying, and when people ask you a question you just kind of tell it how it is… this is when Stay Classy can be really very helpful!

It has taken me years to learn that this is totally an achievable goal, to Stay Classy, to not say too much to people who don’t want to hear what you have to say anyway… just Stay Classy, the rest will take care of itself.

 

 

 

Black Friday Anxiety

I woke up today and I was genuinely excited to go online and look at all the Black Friday deals and offers… and then I got serious anxiety about it all… looked round my house and realised that I literally have everything I need!!

Something you should know about me…. I am pretty much a walking contradiction… (paradox… contradiction… both? I don’t know).

Like I know soooo much about healthy eating but I freaking love a Macdonalds breakfast.

I love my creative work… but sometimes it breaks my soul…

I love sleeping…. But I never want to go to sleep…

I really don’t think material things are important… but buying stuff feels so good…

Black Friday is a contradiction, especially coming after Thanksgiving – where you literally give thanks for the important things in life… and I’m guessing most of the time its not stuff… so then why is the next day all about what you can buy when we know that what you can buy doesn’t bring you joy / contentness / lasting happiness.

But…. Who can deny the excitement of buying new things!

And its that struggle of the contradiction that I just find hard to reconcile in my brain… a day that is all about GETTING STUFF when you’ve just spent a day being thankful about all you have… BUT BUYING STUFF IS FUN… BUT YOU ARE ENOUGH… Material stuff doesn’t make you happy… but you cant deny that buzz when you buy something new… We have too much stuff in our homes… but we all like shiny things…

I know what we’re talking about here is consumerism, and consumerism is both completely stupid and yet completely addictive…

For instance I spent several days this summer (and I’m talking full days) sorting through my clothes, (ALL OF THEM), I read Marie Kondo’s book, ‘The-Life Changing Magic of Tidying’, I was inspired! And then I realised how much I BOUGHT. Like I buy a lot of clothes, some of them I had bought a year ago at least and they still had the tag in them… so it was like I was only getting the joy out of buying it not even the joy of using it… Something is not right with this!

I have really tried to be mindful of this going forward.

And I am doing better with clothes.

Beauty stuff… less so well with… like do I NEED five different eye creams? No.

Do I buy all five because they all do slightly different things? Yes.

I’m a work in progress… The truth is somewhere in the middle… Is that a cop out? I don’t know! I just wondered if anyone else feels this consumerism anxiety struggle on Black Friday?

What do you when you’re feeling blue?

I’ve got a case of the blues… I don’t know why, I know I should be getting festive but I just feel sad, low, altogether blue.

So how to combat these blues….

Take some time out for yourself – Literally 10 minutes – I’m not talking about going on holiday but if you have the time and budget then totes go for it! But just light a candle, set a timer on your phone and just count your breaths 1 – 10 and then back to 1, it sounds a bit silly but it will work to just help you get some perspective.

Go for a walk – get outside!! This is my number one tip. Just do it now!

Buy yourself a treat! Treat-Yo-Self is a national holiday in my world but when you’re blue just buy something nice for yourself, could be your favourite chocolate bar, a funky bath bomb, a new book. And then give yourself some time to enjoy it.

Talk to someone – Actually this might be my number one tip. Talk to a friend, talk to a parent or parent type figure in your life. Choose someone who you know is going to be able to give you some time and will listen to you. And then importantly listen to them, being a good friend will make you feel better.

A Random Act of Kindness – donate to a charity that resonates with you, go to Crowd Funder or similar type website and find a project that you think sounds awesome and make their day by donating a tenner. You will feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

What do you do when you feel blue to get yourself back on track?

 

 

Mindful Morning Routine

Sometimes when life gets complicated putting in some routines can REALLY help.

(I took the above pic earlier this year watching the sunrise in Cornwall and as I’m going to be talking about morning routines my little piece of advice if you will allow me… is simply… when you can go and watch the sunrise – for me it was deeply spiritual and beautiful… yeah!)

I spent the summer (and now quite a lot of autumn) cultivating ‘My Mindful Morning Routine’.

It all came about after having a bit of a tough time (aka life). I had a look around and felt like how I started my days was an achievable place to begin to bring a bit of order, a bit of control (the positive kind) back into my daily life. (Previously my morning routine was a lot me thundering around the home in a rage that I’ve been awoken from my slumber like the giant tiger thing in Aladdin which guards ((or is?)) the cave of wonders… that definitely used to be me)*

My Mindful Morning Routine starts with me waking up and looking out my window as soon as I can! I love seeing what the sky looks like each day – its always changing and is ALWAYS beautiful.

Then I like to make a cuppa tea, normally a classic Tetley Tea or English Breakfast Tea with milk and honey but recently I’ve started craving fruity herbal teas first thing.

I now fight the urge to jump on my phone, and instead open up my ‘Dailygreatness Journal: A Practical Guide For Consciously Creating Your Days’ by Lyndelle Palmer-Clarke.

This is a fab journal all about taking stock of each day, setting achievable goals. All in all it literally helps you count your days, and in doing that make your days count. (I had been struggling with that feeling that life is slipping through my fingers**)

The whole journal is split into four twelve week sections (and scarily kids – that is a whole year). And then you get a take stock of the lat week page and a plan the next week page. But super importantly…

Each day you receive four prompts for the morning, to help you set your goals and think about what you need to do that day and importantly what you WANT to do! (This is important!) And then four prompts for the evening to help you take stock of how your day actually went. It really helps you take responsibility – you’re in control,  you write each day with the actions of your life.

I found that the most important thing is the affirmations. I love doing these and I really find that over time speaking life, love and creativity over yourself has an impact upon your actions and what happens. So yeah give it a go!

Next I like to open my Headspace App and do 10 minutes of meditation. This is one of my favourite times of day. I find it just the most chill. And I can tell the days when I haven’t done it.

After this, I try and do at least 15 minutes of stretching, it’s somewhere between yoga, pilates and just moving my bones – connecting my body back up with my mind (body-mind connection is sooo interesting to me any thoughts on this are so appreciated).

After easing into moving its practical things like having a shower, moisturising my skin, getting dressed and then… Eating!

Breakfast is sooo the best meal of the day! Todays is yoghurt, fruit and honey!

So in short my morning routine looks like this:

Look outside – welcome the light

Drink some tea – rehydration is key

Headspace App – for perspective and chill

Daily Journal – to feel in control

Exercise – to get into my body

Shower – to get clean (clean body clean mind)

Breakfast – Sustenance

And then I’m ready to FACE THE DAY***!!!

What should I add into my morning routine? What are your mindful morning routines?

Dory

 

 

 

*And sometimes still I suppose.

**Is that too heavy?! Not too serious, but just sometimes… Does anyone else ever feel like this?!

***Most of the time!

 

My must see Christmas films for the festive season

I really don’t know if it’s too soon for this… But here we go….

My list of Christmas films to watch this festive season!

It’s not ALL the classics, and it’s not all of my favourites but it is the films that I am definitely going to watch this year! Do let me know what I’ve missed out, what should I be watching?!

First one first…

Home Alone

Growing up this was my older sister’s favourite film and in that petty sibling way I kind of felt like it was her film and not my film… BUT ITS AN AMAZING FILM!!! And I didn’t watch it last year so this year it’s a must.

 

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Well if you’re watching the first one, you’re going to have to watch the second one. I kind of want to watch it in New York… Yes this is a hint… but even if I just watch it from home its still an awesome film!! Especially the first half of the film.

[My theory for Home Alone 1 & 2 is that if I could have the first half of the second film and then switch to having the second half of the first film then I would have the perfect film]

 

Love Actually

Because I have actually had a couple of years away from this film I am now seriously excited to watch it again. I’d say for the first 5 years of this films existence I watched it every other day from November – January every year… So it will be nice to see it again this year!

 

Elf

This. Is. Christmas. Hilarious, funny, heartfelt, lovely, its the most feel good film ever. And I really appreciate the family morals within it. Also my girl crush Zoe Deschanel when she was blonde = dreamy.

 

The Holiday

I love this film, and I like watching it in that post Christmas, pre-new New Year lull. Trust me its perfect for this.

Talking of which…

 

A Christmas Carol – (Robert Zemecki version)

This film, in my humble opinion (of the versions that I’ve seen) (there are loads) captures the Dicken’s morality tale in the most truthful way. Its why I think after the excesses of the Christmas season it is perfect to watchl, say 27th December, to get some perspective, forget the materialistic nature of Christmas and remember what is really important about this festive season.

 

Die Hard

Because I have never seen Die Hard before… and everyone who finds that out tells me I should watch it! And apparently its Christmassy??

 

Miracle on 34th Street (the newer version)

So Richard Attenborough is my father Christmas. When I picture Father Christmas its him in this film! I loved this film growing up sooo much but I don’t think I’ve seen it for about ten years. I am actually excited about seeing this one again!

 

Jingle All The Way

This is my bonus… It wasn’t really in my mind but then my SO was like this year we need to watch this… I’ll give it a try!

 

And there we go, its not an exhaustive list but this list is totally achievable which is what I like! I would love to hear what your must watch Christmas films are for this festive season.

Dory

Saturday: A whole day to myself

Today I have decided to start up a new blog.

Dory Daily Diary is a place for me just to share little personal anecdotes that I want to and that kind of thing,

I’ve always wanted a blog and never really known where to start, so if people have any hints or tips please do let me know.

But the point of this blog is for me is to tell you a story each day, about stuff that I get up to.

So here we go todays story is… WHEN YOU LIVE WITH A SIGNIFICANT OTHER AND YOU GET THE HOUSE TO YOURSELF!!!

F**k me!! Isn’t it the best?

I should put some caveats in… Myself and my SO live together all the time. We rarely have nights away from each other… And it is just one night away from each other. Much more than that then I’m sure I’d start to miss them. Maybe after three nights..

Today then I have a whole lot of pottering planned.

OMG The Art of pottering ok so there is a whole other blog post in that which I will get to soon.

So pottering… yeah today I am giving myself the day off, I have some work to do but nah that can totally wait today is about me chilling out!! I bought this amazing blanket the other day from Primark its pink, fluffy and SOOOO soft – I freaking love it! I’m currently sat on top of it on my bed typing away on my MacBook and it feels a bit like I’m sat on a cloud. And that is a good way to start a Saturday.

The pink and the gold go so well together I’ve had to stop and take pictures…

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(its teddy bear fleece and its soooo soft – I might go and buy every colour they have going!!) (And just a quick thank you to Apple for making the most beautiful MacBook ever)

I have a STACK of Christmas magazines I am going to read at some point today. I might even… woah… I might even watch my first Christmas movie… suggestions welcome! I sometimes feel like I’ve seen every Christmas movie there is to see, so if there are any alternative Christmas films I should be watching let me know.

I also am going to eat some soup that I made yesterday.. I’m a little under the weather so whenever that happens I tend to make a batch of soup. Yesterday I made a leek, potato and apple soup AND another one.. a batch of Butternut squash soup. I haven’t tried the latter yet but the leek, potato and apple soup was freaking incredible! I put a little bit of cinnamon in it and it rocked my world. (perhaps I could put the recipe up for that at some point.. if I can remember it… a lot of my cooking is put stuff in pot add time and then taste taste taste chuck more stuff in taste again and eat).

So then I am going to do some proper reading. (Like an actual book!) Last week I reordered ALL of my books, I had to say goobye to some as well… BUT I realise that there are loads of amazing books that I own but STILL have not read. As hard as it was to sort through all of them it feels like I just did a massive book haul and I have all these shiny new books to read!

Last night I decided to start Adele Parks: Love Lies (its like 8 years old, and I’ve had it on my shelf for that long!!)

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Have you read it? I am loving the grey with the pink so I just couldn’d help but take a pic…

I should let you know, that every book that has stayed on my shelves which did not fall victim to the book cull of 2017 I have VOWED TO READ! This means I need to read about a book every three days for the next 15 years of my life (which wouldn’t be a bad goal) so I thought I would start with Adele Parks over here. In the past I’ve read more of her stuff but this one I never got round to, I hope it’s a good ‘un.

My book collection and taste is vast… I seem to go through different phases, like I had a whole phase of dense history books, some of which I read at the time, some of which I did not. Some of these got culled but I have kept a few, but I just don’t know if I want to read about the American civil war on a winter weekend. Perhaps after Christmas. and then I have a tonne of plays (I loves the theatre), soo many poetry books, serious novels, lighter novels – all of this is a boring long way of saying I likes a lot of different books)

For dinner I’m having some chicken. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it but just something simple. Simple food when you are poorly is THE ONE.

Then I am definitely going to watch some tv, OMG!!! I THINK I HAVE GREYS ANATOMY TO WATCH.

Shall we all just take a moment to just send some love to Shonda Rhymes who created some of the best characters TV has ever seen. Thanks Shonda. Especially for Cristina. BE MORE CRISTINA was literally my mantra for 2007-2012.

OK and then I totally should get an early night. BUT I BET YOU ANYTHING MY BRAIN WILL COME ALIVE AT 10 PM. Thanks brain. Its awesome when you do that.

So anyway… I digress.

Weekends alone when the SO leaves AHOY!! I shall touch base with you soon and let you know how it went.

I hope that you are able to have some chill alone time soon, I’d love to hear about it.

Dory