Three Things I Do Every Day For Motivation…

February 27, 2019
Picture of my journal with my name on the front, a succulant in the middle of the image and a grateful journal with pink cover on the right.

Creating motivation and having a positive mindset is not something that comes naturally to me. I was born on a Wednesday and the rhyme that ‘Wednesday’s child is full of woe’ has always felt accurate for me. A few years ago I felt that changes had to be made. Seeing the worst in things wasn’t making me happy. It sounds obvious but changing mindset and finding motivation can be really hard. For me it is a constant project. When I forget or ignore it those woeful thoughts creep back in causing lots of harm to my self esteem. A gratitude journal, working on a positive mindset and playing around with keeping a journal are three things I so to stay motivated.

A picture of my gratitude journal open with some enteries and a bunch of daffodils.  My hand is holding the journal open as I couldn't make it stay open with out it!

Having a gratitude journal helps.

The idea is that you write three things that you are grateful for on a daily basis. I started doing this in random notebooks and on pieces of paper. I have a friend who has a note in their phone that they have been adding to for years. A year or so ago my sister found this Kikki K gratitude journal and I now use this. Honestly, doing this daily is not what I do, but it is what I should do. It really helps reset my mindset when I do this and creates a positive world for me. I find that when I am feeling good I then stop doing this gratitude journal and I don’t feel great again!

My journal with my name on the front and my hand hovred over it wit ha rose gold coloured pen ready to write.

Playing around with journaling.

When I went on the Elmley Nature Reserve retreat Hannah spoke about journaling. This is something she has been doing for over a decade to set their family and relationship goals. I wasn’t really into it as it was essentially diary writing and I never felt safe putting my words down for others to read. Yes I see the irony of that here! Hannah gave us two things to focus on; writing a stream of thoughts and then finishing with a list of at least twenty positive things. These tasks allow you to essentially purge all the thoughts flowing in your mind. For me that is soooo much! Ending with essentially a gratitude list on steroids. It can be a daily task however I find it more useful doing it twice a week. Again it isn’t something I have been doing recently and I feel I am suffering mentally for that. Time to refocus and start again. Hannah has a free journaling guide and has a guided course that she runs.

Positive thinking and vocalisation.

I know I am slipping when I talk about something and ‘balance’ the conversation with negative thoughts. For example, ‘I really love Yorkshire puddings but best be careful I eat too many and put on weight.’ This for me is a classic example of countering a nice thought with a balancing negative thought. Humans do this a lot. Not wanting to appear as though they are showing off or being too happy! I actively make an effort not to do this and conversations with others become much more positive and pleasant. If I am close to someone who does this I try and gently point out what they are doing but ultimately it is up to others to change. I am very good at being self critical and have incredibly high standards for myself. Recently I have found myself being even more so like this and it took a conversation with a therapist to track my words and realise how horrible I was being. I’m working on that and trying to be kinder to myself.

Some other thoughts!

These are the three main tasks I do to achieve a positive mindset. I’ve learnt there are no quick fixes and I have to keep doing them. When I stop the worlds influence creeps back in. To help prevent that I don’t watch the news or listen to it on the radio. I find that the headlines are usually quite depressing and also delivered in the worst possible tone of doom and gloom. Reading it in my own time is best. If something is urgent people will tell you about it!

I also don’t watch tv shows or movies that don’t have nice storylines. I won’t be watching You or Luther anytime soon as I’d rather be entertained with funny and upbeat shows like The Good Place and The Umbrella Academy. I am even thinking about not reengaging with Game of Thrones! To make sure I can still be part of social conversations I often research the storyline on wikipedia. The whole storyline or episode guide is there so I can still be part of conversations, without having to expose myself or spend my precious free time watching horrible things.

Friendships are the other area that I keep a careful eye on. I find I attract lots of people when I am positive, but I also have to be getting some positivity back. I am understanding that we all go through trying times, but I can’t be a long term friend with someone who recognises they need to change, and does nothing about it. Staying in self-induced cycles of mental self harm or deliberately behaving in ways to make others feel horrible doesn’t sit well with me. I can’t believe it really sits well with anyone but we all, including myself, will ignore or laugh off someone’s bad behaviour to prevent confrontation or losing a friend. Bonding over someone else’s downfall or having a friendship based on bitching about others is not my cup of tea. This is why my friendship circle is very small and sometimes my friendships don’t last long!

What do you do to keep you motivated? Any tips I’d love to hear them in the comments. PF xo

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The Best Housewarming Gift for Family and Friends…

February 20, 2019

This post contains affiliate links. To understand why I use these click here.

Picture of toilet with beauitufl silver tiles behind it.  The Aesop post poo drops are sitting on top of the toilet.

Housewarming presents didn’t have much thought to them.

When family and friends move into their new homes I like to bring a little gift, something small to make their house a home. When I was in my early 20’s housewarming parties were big events and the only thing we were required to bring was the alcohol! These days my family and friends are moving in together with their significant others and some are even purchasing their own homes.

Now I have three criteria for housewarming presents.

I’ve found it to be a bit tricky to determine the best housewarming present. I want something that will last a while, is a true joint present for both people and fits into the aesthetic of their home. This can be challenging if they have never lived together before and haven’t settled on their home design. Plants are always a good option, already in pots make any house a home. Fancy tea towels and cushions for the lounge work well too.

Picture of bottle of Aesop post poo drops open with dropper next to it.  You can see the liquid in the dropper.

This is the most successful and well received housewarming present I have given.

Recently I came across the best housewarming gift that I felt really worked for all the members of the household. Aesop’s Post-Poo Drops*. One of my favourite brands, I thought this was a joke when I first saw their press release years ago! I even dismissed it regularly instore even through it was clearly real and on sale! One day I decided to see what it smelt like and immediately converted I bought a bottle. The great thing about this type of toilet freshener is that it all stays in the toilet and doesn’t get sprayed on the floor. For me it has been the perfect gift for housewarmings as both people will use it! I’ve found it also opens up conversations between the couple about bathroom use, hygiene and even prompted a change in towels for one couple who wanted to have a ‘nice set’!

Picture of my hand holding the bottle of Aesop Post Poo drops.

I have a tip for you if you use this product.

If you are purchasing these for yourself or friends I recommend making sure you don’t squeeze and use an entire dropper of the liquid. You really only need one or two drops of the Aesop Post-Poo Drops*. The design of the bottle can result in a significant amount more being used which is a waste. I find this product lasts me around six months in my one person home.

I’d love to hear what house warming presents you give to friends and family. Tell me in the comments. PF xo

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Rich People Problems By Kevin Kwan Book Review…

February 18, 2019
Rich Peoples Problems Pretentious Fringe Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. To understand why I use them click here.

Have you watched Crazy Rich Asians? One of the funniest movies of 2018 depicting the lives of the Asian elite whose endless amounts of money afford them the most extravagant of lifestyles. Years ago I read the book, Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan and absolutely loved it. Kwan’s background as part of an established Chinese family, living in Singapore, means that you can guarantee lots of the story is inspired by real events! With Singapore as the backdrop the story centres around the Young family and their various offshoots. The reality of the family politics rings so true for me as various members vie for the attention of the matriarch, Su Yi, or actually compete for her wealth and properties when she passes on. Rich People’s Problems by Kevin Kwan* is set two years after the previous novel in the trilogy.

The Story.

I started to consider the curtains and I began to imagine how they would lookin the fron windows of the town house I would buy in London. Victoria

Nicky Young and his wife, Rachel continue to be the main focus of Kwan’s narrative alongside the same generation cousins. Relunctant to return to Singapore, Rachel convinces Nicky to return and make up with his grandmother. A quick hop on a jet later and we are back in Singapore hearing about the families desperate antics to determine who is the sole heir of the family fortune. As each family member fantasises about their life after Su Yi’s death, not everyone wants Tyersall Park, some manipulative behaviour sees Nicky and Astrid barred from the estate.

Kwan’s writing.

Then they drove up a long winding gravel lane that had been cut through thick trees, giving way to an avenue lined with majestic palm trees, until suddenly the most magnificent building she had ever seen came into sight – Ah Ling

Kwan’s descriptions of the details of the Asian elite bring you into a world accessed by the few. The stunning island of Singapore extend this time to India where there is a surprise proposal! No expense is spared with dancers and elephants just the tip of the iceberg. Meanwhile back in Singapore the narrative describes in detail the palatial Young estate hidden on the island. All 64 acres that only no one on the island seems to know about or notice exists! The peacefulness and tranquillity that Nicky feels in this one spots cannot be replaced.

My Thoughts.

I expected the book to finish with the reading of the will declaring Nicky the heir, but a surprise twist means we get more story. Yay! Over the last few chapters there are so many twists and turns the final owner/s of the Young estate changes hands multiple times and then boom we are transported a year in the future. I love this series from Kevin Kwan and whilst this book neatly ties up the loose ends and finishes the story I want more! Hope you enjoy Rich Peoples Problems*. Here’s hoping that Kwan writes something else soon! PF xo

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