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Things That Made Me Smile Lately

Photo of books, flowers and woman

No matter who we are or what walk of life we come from, we all experience our ups and downs.

I’d be lying if I said this year had been without its downs. Some we’ve worked through and have come out the other side from. Others, well, we’re still in the thick of those, but you’ve just got to keep ploughing on through.

One thing I’ve learned with age is to try and look on the bright side. I’ve found that focussing on worry and the worst possible outcomes puts me into a state of  paralysis, where the only way is down.

You’ve got to make your own rainbow*. Or so people say. Actually, do they say that? Or have I just made that bit up? Either way, it works for this post, so I’m going to run with it.

These are the things that have been my rainbow these last few weeks.


First things first, I’m going to get my little moan out of the way here: attic rooms and heatwaves do not mix. Our bedroom is hotter than hell most nights and I’ve been seriously contemplating setting up a bed in the garden just to get some sleep.

However, sleep deprivation aside, this sunshine is having a seriously positive effect on my mood right now. There’s a tiny part of me that feels like I’m on holiday and all I want to do is in the garden with an ice cold beer, while the kids play in the paddling pool. I’d like it to last forever.

Turning off my Instagram Notifications

Now this isn’t a woe is me, social media is evil thing. I’m not planning to announce a ‘social detox’, before coming back a day or week later to boast how AMAZING it was not to think about or talk to anyone I interact with online. I actually really bloody love social media.  I’d just got to a point where I felt like being constantly switched on was getting in the way of my day-today life.

Simple things like folding the laundry were beginning to become an hour long ordeal. Just because every time my phone pinged, I’d reach to read a DM or a comment, before falling down a 30 min Instagram shaped rabbit hole. And to be honest, it was making me feel a bit stressed.

I’ve now gone a little OCD with how I use my phone and apps. I’ve organised them into little folders by category and have turned off notifications on most social media apps, so that I only dip in now and again to reply to things as I see them. No more replying to one thing, before finding myself spending an entire afternoon watching Instagram stories and scrolling through photos.

Has the world ended? No. Have I fallen into some sort of disconnected social media abyss? No. Am I folding washing a whole lot quicker than I did before? Absofrickinlutely. In all seriousness though, it has made me feel a lot more chilled out, so that’s a good thing!

Having a Wardrobe Full of Clothes Actually Want to Wear

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how, with the help of minimalist extraordinaire Jessica Rose Williams, I completely stripped back my wardrobe. I threw out or ebayed what must have been in the region of 200 items and haven’t looked back since.

I love that when I open my wardrobe now, I know that everything inside it fits. I no longer have to feel bad about clothes that don’t staring back at me with a judgemental gaze. And it’s also allowed me to see where my wardrobe’s missing a few things.

Take summer dresses for example. This morning I pulled out a perfectly good summer dress that had survived the cull, but when I tried it on, I realised it didn’t make me feel good. I was only wearing it because it was there, it fitted and was also the only dress I own that neither needed ironing nor a strapless bra. I wasn’t wearing it because I loved it.

Whereas, previously I would have spent the morning pulling stuff of hangers and shelves to find a better (and also non-existent) alternative. This time I was like, huh, OK, weird that I don’t have something like that, but at least I know what I need to buy.

So the ‘wrong’ dress is now listed on eBay to help me put some pennies towards the ‘right’ dress. Win.

I do realise that this must sound rather ridiculous. I mean, it’s only clothes after all, but changing how I think about clothes has changed how I feel about myself. Being really particular about what clothes I keep in my wardrobe, means that more days than not, I now wear things that truly make me feel good. This has had the knock on effect of making me feel more confident and heck, maybe even a tad more attractive. If that’s not a good outcome, I don’t know what is?!

Anyway, here are a few the contenders to become my new favourite outfits. Admittedly, quite a few of these would still need a strapless bra, but I just couldn’t help myself!

*FFS, the saying is “make your own luck”, isn’t it? And yes, I did have to google that.


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