Surviving a week without Instagram

Just writing the title of this post makes me realise how ridiculous it is that a week without Instagram is so notable but as I quickly (and rather alarmingly) realised during the past week, it truly is just that. Last Friday, three days after updating my iPhone and being introduced to the eye-opening ‘Screen Time’ feature, I decided to delete the Instagram and Facebook apps. I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to re-download the apps until at least Sunday evening. Three days without social media? The world wasn’t going to implode, adorable photos of nephews and nieces and a blogger’s current beauty favourites could definitely wait for a few days.

So how did it go? Here are my thoughts from the days that followed.

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Three cheap ways to fill your walls

Living in a rental property it can be quite hard to make the place your own. With age and various outgoings, investing in art isn’t top of the priority list. But I’ve found a few cheap ways to lift my living space above floor level.

For all of these pieces I’ve used the Ikea Ribba picture frames. I love their simplicity and they are very affordable at only £6 each.

In addition to these, I also love checking charity shops and making the effort to print off photographs.

Wallpaper samples

My favourite ‘trick’ has to be using wallpaper samples. Back when I didn’t have fun financial outgoings such as council tax and a sewerage bill to worry about, I bought a few cushions from the floral patterned wonder that is Bluebellgray. Their vibrant watercolour patterns are also available as wallpaper for which you can purchase sample pages for only £2. I ordered five samples, gave them a bit of a trim and stuck them into frames. The result adds pops of colour to a very white room and ties in with the beautiful cushions of my expendable cash rich youth.

 

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April Reading

I thought recently that it would be nice to note down what books I’ve been reading each month, something which I think will be good for two reasons. The first being the entirely selfish reason of motivating me to get back into what used to be one of my favourite pastimes. The second being that it forces me to actually reflect on what I’ve read, how its made me feel and if I’ve really enjoyed reading it.

So without further ado, here are the two books I read this month.

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Books haven’t been particularly successful at keeping my attention of late but I’ve found that Still Me by Jojo Moyes has been a bit of a turning point and I couldn’t stop reading it over the whole of the Easter weekend.

This is the third book in the series starting with the well-known poignant tale Me before you. Years back, I remember originally reading Me before you in bed far too late into the night, unable to stop. What’s so lovely about Jojo Moyes’ writing is how simply she gets across a whole range of emotions that are so easy to empathise with. Continue reading

Three simple ways to improve your mental wellbeing

Improving my mental health and wellbeing has been at the forefront of my mind of late. Quite often I have found my mind to be a messy jumble that I cannot clear. Since recognising the longer term effects of such a mind state, I’ve been doing my best to take moments of calm, to try and focus on the present and look after myself. Here are three small and simple things which have helped bring moments of peace and positivity.

 

Fresh faced beauty

Having little tendency to reach for a glass of water, my skin is often dry and uneven in colour. I have tried really hard recently to wash, hydrate and moisturise my skin morning and night. I’ve found using a hydrating serum has made my skin softer and feel plumper and healthier. Cleaning off make up earlier on in the evening means I’m more likely to clean it properly than I would in a sleepy state just before bed.

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Squash, Lentil & Goats Cheese Salad

I never thought I’d be the type to get excited about a salad. I think that stems from having the same uninspiring salad forced upon me for many years i.e. bagged lettuce, cucumber, pepper and at a push some diced tomato. However, I have since learnt that salad doesn’t need to be boring. This one combines some old favourites like butternut squash and spinach with my new great food loves: goats cheese, beetroot and pomegranate seeds.

It’s a great one for a sunny weekend lunch and even for the weekday lunchbox: just make a batch of each component, stick them in the fridge and chuck them together before work. Continue reading