Playlist – March 2016

 

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Can you believe March has already come and gone? Tomorrow is April 1st (April Fool’s Day!) and so starts a new month and for me, a new chapter of my life.

This month’s soundtrack is filled with tunes I only recently discovered either by radio or by chance when walking around the shopping centre (Shazam is amazing in these moments!).

Check out my Spotify playlist below…



What songs have you been listening to this month? Make sure you comment below with your recommendations!

Life Advice – starting over

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If you had told me this time last year that I would be accepting redundancy from my job next week, I would have slapped you in the face and called you a liar.

It’s amazing not only how much things around us can change in the space of a year or a month or even a week; but how our reactions can change as well. Our confidence levels can increase or drop and our ability to make somewhat difficult decisions can be relatively easy.

Looking forward at the coming months, I know that I will find another job. When or where is yet to be seen, but I am looking at things in a positive way. This is my chance to start fresh and start over. Sometimes all it takes is 1 thing in our lives to be out of whack for us to decide to take a new path. Whether that path is still being paved or whether we know exactly what is coming next, starting over can be daunting. But it can also be incredibly empowering.

Take matters into your own hands and make the decision to try and be positive. I say try because we all have days where we just don’t understand why certain things had to happen to us. I have questioned “Why?” so many times over the past month and have cried over the choices I have had to make more than a few times. But there is only so much moping than you can do before you realise you are achieving nothing by focusing on negativity. Stand tall, look forward and know that things will be alright in the long run.

Sometimes it can take a major lifestyle change in order for us to really start over. Whether it’s changing jobs, moving to a new city, dealing with the passing of a loved one or going through the breakdown of a relationship, these things can help us decide to begin a new path.

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Personally, I have been setting goals for myself now that I know I will most probably be without a job next month. I want to focus more on health/fitness, get outside in the sunshine more, write more and spend more time improving myself for nobody’s benefit but my own. Setting goals for yourself during times of change can be incredibly beneficial for your wellbeing. It is so easy to fall into a slump and not want to do anything, but picking yourself up and writing a simple list of what you want to achieve – whether they be daily, weekly or long-term goals – can be so helpful on getting yourself back on that path that’s being paved.

Another awesome thing about starting over is making the decision to change something about yourself. Whether you decide to dye your hair a different colour, or cut it off, sometimes the best way to start over is to make that change in your appearance. We all know of people who have cut their hair after a major life event has occured – how liberated do they always look? Do something different – wear a different shade of lipstick, wear different shoes, swap skirts for pants…change it up!

This is OUR TIME to feel liberated and motivated for our next chapter. There is nobody standing in your way of achieving your goals but you! Push past those times where starting over can feel like you’re stuck in a car without gas and get yourself to that service station for a tune-up!

If you are currently starting a new chapter in life, just know that you are not alone. Things will be okay – keep paving that path and eventually you will arrive at your next destination.

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DIY – mini easter ‘hampers’

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This past weekend I was feeling creative so I put together some materials and made mini Easter ‘hampers’ for my work collegues. I use the word ‘hampers’ loosely, but with the use of the cellophane to tie all the contents together I really did think the finished product looked a bit like a tiny hamper!

Here is how I created the mini hampers (with horrible photographs by yours truly, I am sorry!).

Firstly, the majority of my craft items were bought from Spotlight except for the gelato cups which are from eBay and the chocolates which I bought from Woolworths.

You will need:

  • Gelato cups – alternating colours
  • 1 x pack of shredded green cardboard
  • 1x pack of mini Easter chickens
  • Clear cellophane
  • 1x sheet of ‘Happy Easter’ silver stickers
  • 2x rolls of Easter-themed ribbon OR ribbon which matches/complements the colours of your gelato cups
  • Chocolates of your choice

 

To create an Easter ‘Hamper’:

  • Taking 1 gelato cup, place a ‘Happy Easter’ sticker on the front of each. You may want to use other stickers for decoration as well – this is up to you and your creative mind!

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  • Decide which chocolates you would like to put inside your hamper. Lay out your gelato cups individually and place your items in each so you have a rough idea of how things will fit without the green shredded paper taking up more room.
  • Each gelato cup will need about a handful of shredded green paper fitted into the cup to fill it. It all depends on how many chocolates you are giving – less chocolates, more shredded paper.
  • Place your chocolates into your gelato cups while rearranging the shredded paper to help certain chocolates sit higher than others.
  • Add a tiny toy chicken into the centre of your creation (this is something I decided to do for decoration, it is up to you what you do/do not add!)

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  • Take a sheet of clear cellophane and trim to fit gelato cup/contents. You want enough cellophane to bunch up and over your contents with some to spare for a ribbon
  • Place your gelato cup into the middle of your cellophane and bunch the cellophane around and over the contents.
  • Secure cellophane with a ribbon and let the top of the cellophane stick up wildly to add some character to your design. You can tie your ribbon into a bow or curl it using scissors if you like
  • That’s it!

Other things you may like to do when designing your own mini Easter hamper are adding a name tag to the ribbon or perhaps use the gelato cups to hold some other Easter treats such as painted eggs or even nail polish!

Please let me know if you end up creating something similar – I would love to see your designs!

Not long before the Easter Bunny arrives!

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International Day Of Happiness – 5 things I’m happy about

It’s the International Day Of Happiness!

Happiness can be felt in so many ways and for so many different reasons.

I am someone who tries to find happiness in every day activities and events.

Here are 5 other things that I am happy about today:

  • I have a job interview tomorrow – am I going to use this news as an excuse to shop for new work clothes? I sure am!
  • I bought some Nescafe Mocha-flavoured coffee sachets on the weekend and with the cool change in weather my morning coffee was absolutely delicious.
  • I bought my very first laptop over the weekend – a MacBook Air. I have never owned a laptop so this will be a whole new experience for me. Very excited to do more regular blogging once it’s delivered sometime this week.
  • Among my healthier grocery items which I purchased this morning, I also bought a jar of Nutella and a pack of bagels.
  • I have just finalised some plans with my cousin who will be visiting this Easter long weekend with her husband. We are very close but do not get to see eachother much, so I am very excited to see her!

Happiness can be found in events which are both big or small. It’s all about celebrating life’s many achievements and giving ourselves a pat on the back when things are going our way.

Here’s to a happy day for you all and to many moments of happiness in years to come!

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Life Advice – you are not ‘running behind’ on life

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It seems simple enough: we grow up being told we need to stick to a certain plan which was mapped out for us by our parents. We go to school, get a job and eventually some of us go to university. And then we follow a plan which we think  was mapped by ourselves, when we are actually looking to our friends/people around the same age of us for comparison that we are doing well on our journeys.

In recent times I have found that I have been looking around at other people’s lives a lot and, in turn, comparing what I am doing to what others are doing.

My achievements and strengths seemed to diminish while comparing myself to others. I realized that while a lot of my friends have moved out of home and bought their own homes this past year, I am still at home with my family.

Isn’t it funny how comparing ourselves to others can sometimes bring out our most negative side?

After some thinking about my life and whether I am happy with things the way they are at the moment, I came to this conclusion: just because people around you are moving forward, it does not mean that you have to as well. It is perfectly okay to be comfortable with the life you have, especially if you are happy with your current situation.

Living on my own is definitely a goal I have set for myself for the coming year. It is a goal I have set primarily for my own benefit and not because I want to be like my friends. (Although, seeing some of my friends new homes has definitely given me inspiration for my future home!)

It is important to make your life decisions based on what YOU want and need. Comparing yourself to friends is sometimes not realistic to what you are able to achieve.

Take a moment and write down your goals for the next 5 years. Some may be big goals and some may be small. Next, write down what you will need to do in order to achieve those goals. For example; you may need to save more money, or get a second job, look into taking some kind of course, or do research online…there are many steps to be taken in order to achieve your goals.

Just because you are not doing what everyone else is doing, it doesn’t mean you are behind on life. There is no set guideline for how we should live our lives throughout our twenties. Things go wrong, plans fall through and I guarantee that we do not usually end up in the same place we started by the time we turn thirty.

It’s scary and it’s hard, but if you stay true to yourself and to your goals and ambitions, your life will work itself out eventually. Who knows, your friends may be looking at you and wishing they had your life!

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Friday Motivation 

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Happy Friday, everyone!

What things (besides the fact that it’s Friday) get you motivated on a Friday morning?

Coffee and wifi definitely make a great team, working together to wake me up and keep me up to date on what’s been happening around the world while I was asleep!

Do you do anything special on Fridays? How do you celebrate the end of the working week?

I’m thinking a few wines will be consumed on my part tonight!

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Life Advice – having empathy

Having and expressing empathy towards others can be difficult for some people. Sometimes you probably use empathy in every day life and don’t even realise you are doing it.

The ability to forget your own views and opinions on a person or situation and see the world through another’s eyes for a short time can be tough. Especially if you are seeing through the eyes of someone who may have hurt or upset you directly.

Being present, focused and open is an important part of empathy. Putting yourself in the shoes of another and trying to understand why they think or feel the way they do can be difficult, but once you master it, it can change the way people see you as a communicator and confidant.

Having empathy for others is a life skill which should be taught to children from a young age. For children to think of how others’ may think or feel in certain moments can help them become caring adults who are able to look at life’s challenges in a much more compassionate way.

Using words like “I understand how you must feel…” when responding in times where anyone confides in you helps that person to trust that you are listening to them and that what they are saying is important to you. Repeating certain facts back and trying to relate their story to your own experiences can also help – not by making the conversation about you, but by showing that you understand the situation which that person may be in.

Personally, I have found empathy as a great tool in understanding why people in my life may have chosen to take certain paths or say certain things. I also think it has made me more compassionate towards the stories of strangers and celebrities who have made mistakes for the world to see and helps me see them as human instead of ‘celebrity’.

In the end, treating others the way you would want to be treated is incredibly true. Use respect and compassion when helping others and try to place yourself in their shoes.

Knowing that others are making an effort to understand us and rather than judge us without waiting is something we all deserve and would appreciate.

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