July Round Up | 2019

Welcome to my first Monthly Round Up post! Here I fill you in on the books I’ve read, the movies/shows that I’ve watched, and some general tidbits about the month just gone. This post is a way for me to see what I’ve done, what goals I’ve achieved, what my most memorable moments have been, and just a way to document the months as they fly by! Does anyone else feel like time is passing us by too quickly!? As always, any suggestions or contributions are most welcome!

July Reads

This month I’ve read:

  • The Big Little Things by Henry Fraser | image source: Waterstones
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl | image source: Book Depository
  • Meat Market by Juno Dawson | image source: Amazon
  • Saving Noah by Lucinda Berry | image source: Amazon
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Gareth Stein | image source: Amazon
  • The Catcus by Sarah Haywood | image source: Goodreads
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood | image source: Easons
  • The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry | image source: Amazon

Favourite Read

My favourite read was most definitely The Perfect Child by Luncinda Berry. I bought this book flippantly on Amazon as I was looking for one my mom might enjoy – we share our Kindle accounts with each other. This blew me away though! An outstanding book that took twists and turns that left me reacting-out-loud. I enjoyedthe book so much that I immediately bought another of Lucinda Berry’s books, Saving Noah. (Meat Market is another fantastic read that I’d highly recommend!)

Favourite Homegrown Song:

Outnumbered by Dermot Kennedy… what a voice!

Favourite Movie

This is one of the most upbeat movies I’ve seen in a very long time. I loved the storyline, the characters, and the way that this movie has re-introduced the music of The Beatles to the youth of today. If you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend watching this!

Favourite TV Programme

I’ve really been enjoying the latest season of The Handmaid’s Tale on Channel 4. I went back and read the book this month too. I wasn’t sure whether I’d enjoy it having followed the TV series for so long, but the book was fantastic. The ideas and concepts that Margaret Atwood created (although all of them were taken from history as opposed to mere speculation into the future) they are so frighteningly real. With current world leaders it doesn’t seem to outlandish to see things like this happening.

Something I’m Excited About

This month we picked out our kitchen for our house! I’ve never had to pick out or design a kitchen before so I was a bit stressed when we were doing it but it’s so exciting to know that the ball is rolling and we’re a step closer to moving in. It won’t be ready for a few months yet, but it’s all very exciting!

Most Memorable Moment

This month my brother got married. He married a friend of mine from school and I was one of her bridesmaids. It was, as well as being totally emotional, a very exciting and enjoyable weekend. Without a doubt it was the best wedding I’ve ever been at and one I will never ever forget.

Listening to Myself

Life has been nothing short of hectic over the past two weeks. My brother got married last week and there was lots to do in the lead up to it. I was really busy the week after the wedding too and so I found myself only being able to sit down and relax for the first time yesterday – after one whole week!

Yesterday I decided that no matter what, I was going to stay at home and have a duvet day. The sun shone, and the invites from friends rolled in, but I stuck firmly to my plan and I am so glad I did. I feel so much better about life today! It was exactly what I’d needed! I felt guilty saying no to meeting friends but I knew that if I didn’t take that time out yesterday that I wouldn’t be much company for anyone at all.

I’d met friends during the week to catch up and it was so lovely to sit down with people who matter and talk with them about watching my little brother get married. Things were lovely and chilled, and I ended up having a very deep and personal conversation with a friend who I hadn’t seen 1:1 in months. I’ve really learned to value my friendships so much this summer. Time seems to be flying by and I feel like I need to make more of an effort to make it a bit more of an adventure – I’m quite happy to chill out and do nothing most days but realistically, I won’t lead the most satisfying life by doing that!

I came across a post on Instagram recently that made me stop and think about how I spend my free time. My daily routine tends to include the following: meditation, gratitude journaling, listening to a podcast, and reading. These activities energise my soul so much because I am without a doubt an introvert – in fact I’m an extroverted introvert which means that I enjoy social situations but they drain all of my energy and I require some downtime/alone time to reenergise afterwards. This post really made me think though:

Image Source: Pinterest

How many of us do these things? We can all probably admit to meeting friends for lunch and a night out with friends, but after that I feel like we’d be clutching at straws. I meet a friend weekly for a breakfast date when I’m working so I know that I have that one covered, but the others are ones that I really want to try. Perhaps next month I’ll make this list a priority and see how full my glass feels as a result. I feel like my brain and body are in need of a challenge; I need to push myself somehow in my life but I just don’t know how as of yet. When I figure out what to do I’ll keep you posted! All I know is that my inner voice is telling me this and I believe it’s very important to listen to yourself and to trust your gut.

In order to connect to yourself and learn to listen to your inner voice, I invite you to try one of the following:
1. Listen to this podcast by Jay Shetty: https://jayshetty.me/lala-anthony/
2. Try this 20 minute meditation and let me know about your experience in the comments below:

With love,
C x

100 Things I Love

It’s been proven that writing out a list of things that you love raises your vibration. It’s taken me a while to compile this list as I’ve been fairly busy with a family wedding. I haven’t done this in years so I decided to sit down and get writing a very mixed list of things I love…

  1. The sky
  2. Sunsets
  3. Salt & Vinegar flavour crisps
  4. My dog
  5. My Other Half
  6. My family
  7. Prosecco
  8. The smell of freshly cut grass
  9. The smell of the ground after it rains when the weather has been really warm
  10. Being at the beach
  11. Reading
  12. Writing
  13. Singing songs out loud in the car
  14. Listening to podcasts that resonate with my soul
  15. Taking photos
  16. Playing the piano when I’m on my own
  17. Bed
  18. Laughing until I cry
  19. Mind-reading looks between me and my Best Friend
  20. The colour Blue
  21. Being really high on a swing
  22. The feeling after doing something that scares me
  23. Sitting by the water with my Best Friend and talking about everything in life
  24. Stepping into the shade when it’s really hot outside
  25. The calmness and stillness of early mornings
  26. Birdsong
  27. Rainbows
  28. Seeing a robin
  29. Making presents for people
  30. The feeling after meditation
  31. The way my OH can make me laugh and giggle
  32. That feeling when you know that you’re falling asleep – between the two states of alerness and total relaxation
  33. Babies, toddlers, children…. their innocence and playfulness
  34. When the Universe sends you reminders that it is on your side
  35. Receiving a compliment… who doesn’t love a good ole compliment!?
  36. Doing Random Acts of Kindness
  37. The relief of going to the bathroom when you’ve been bursting to go!
  38. When my make up is done and I’m feeling confident in myself
  39. The Beatles
  40. The Harry Potter book series
  41. When my waxing is done
  42. Sitting in the garden having drinks with my friends
  43. Having something to look forward to
  44. Going camping
  45. Puppies
  46. When I don’t look at my phone
  47. Positive role models online trying to teach everyone to be kind and lift eachother up instead of tearing eachother down
  48. Peaky Blinders
  49. Meteor showers – lying out on a blanket and watching the shooting stars overhead
  50. Having really deep and lovely 1:1 chats with friends and family – connection is everything
  51. Crunchy Autumn leaves
  52. Cherry Blossom trees
  53. How much my two brothers make me laugh
  54. Freshly painted nails
  55. Being able to help people when they need it
  56. Synchronicities from the Universe – like when you are thinking about someone and they call you or you bump into them
  57. Family celebrations
  58. Singing/Rapping along to Nelly songs
  59. Banoffi Pie
  60. Rollercoasters
  61. New Baby Smell
  62. When you’re reading a book that is so good you can’t wait to get home to read some more of it
  63. Rupert Grint
  64. When you get unexpected money
  65. Really thoughtful texts/cards/kind words
  66. Light Alarm Clocks
  67. Road Trips
  68. Trees
  69. Catch ups with the girls
  70. Sleeping in your own bed after you’ve been away for a while
  71. Making decisions that make you realise “we’re in this together forever”
  72. When you’ve been meaning to buy something and it goes on sale so you get it for cheaper
  73. Spending quality time with my parents
  74. Being so happy that I cry
  75. Mary Poppins
  76. Getting into a Flow State
  77. When I’ve been in a social situation and realise that I wasn’t comparing myself to others
  78. Burning oils
  79. Meeting friends for coffee before work
  80. Having great holidays from work because they will be ideal for when I have kids
  81. Seeing my brothers really happy
  82. Lying in bed and listening to the rain outside
  83. Walking on the beach
  84. Having deep and personal conversations with friends
  85. Remembering my dreams
  86. Inspirational videos that make me cry
  87. Days when you don’t have to leave the house for anything
  88. Days when you have something really fun planned
  89. Looking up ideas for our new house
  90. Not being critical of myself over things that don’t really matter
  91. McFly
  92. Really tasty food
  93. When the Universe gives you a very clear nudge in the right direction
  94. Getting lost in an excellent movie
  95. Pizza
  96. Italy – Rome in particular
  97. Brie
  98. Hearing a song from my teens/childhood and remembering all the words perfectly as I sing along
  99. Brightly painted buildings
  100. Knowing in my heart and soul that everything is going to work out perfectly

I hope this inspires you to sit down and write your own list – trust me, it really works!
C x

‘The Little Big Things’ by Henry Fraser

Henry Fraser was 17 when he became paralysed after an accident on holiday in Portugal. I read his book The Little Big Things yesterday and was blown away by his strength, determination, and positivity. When you’re told that you’ll be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of your life, I’m pretty sure that the easy way out is to wallow in self pity and throw in the towel for a bit. Henry, however, refused to do this. He is now an inspirational speaker and artist.

It’s hard to imagine how terrifying it must feel to wake up and realise that you can’t feel your limbs. I don’t want to say too much, because I really do believe that every human being on the planet should read this book – it will only take an hour or two of your time, but it made me stop and think about all of the things that we generally take for granted in life.

Image Source: Waterstones

Henry’s book really made me consider what the ‘Little Big Things’ are in my own life and has encouraged me to express more gratitude in my day to day life. To be honest, I felt awful reading the book at times. I’m very much unhappy with certain aspects of my life at the moment and have been complaining to friends about body image issues etc… only to read it and feel like I should be so completely grateful that I have a body that functions in the first place. I have limbs that move, I can breathe, eat, swallow, cough, all on my own… I need to get my priorities in order. The book has also made me consider my relationships with friends and family; the people who are there for us at the drop of a hat, and has made me consider how I can do more for those in my community.

This book isn’t a sob story by any means, in fact it is quite the opposite. You’ll leave this book feeling completely inspired and knowing in your heart and soul that you can make the best out of whatever situation life throws at you.

When Nature Catches You Off-guard

I’ve been here in West Cork the past few days with two of my young cousins whom I mind regularly. Last night, mid-movie, we looked outside and spotted the sky… we got into the car and drove out to the beach to watch the colours sweep across the horizon. It was a truly amazing sunset and I am so grateful to have the senses to experience it. What fascinated me too was how amazing the boys found the sky. Sometimes I wonder will the younger generation appreciate things like this when they’re so caught up with technology.

I’m also so grateful for the wonderful relationship I have with these two boys and how much fun and adventure they bring to my life. 💛

My Four Legged Friend

It’s been a very quiet few days on here, and for good reason! I have a miniature Jack Russell, Patch, who’s been around for the past 14 years. He’s the most kind hearted, loving, friendly little pup you’ll ever meet. He’s got big brown eyes, a heart of gold, and is so intuitive it’s freaky.

Having a snooze on the couch

You can imagine my heartache when, after a vet visit, we found ourselves in a predicament where, if test results came back a certain way, we’d have to put him down to prevent his suffering. I cried for 48 hours straight. To some of you that sounds ridiculous I know, but this dog means the world to me. He’s snuggled up to me every time I’ve cried over friends, family, and life’s heartaches… he’s sat with me every time I’ve been hyperventilating and unable to sleep due to anxiety and panic attacks… he’s slept in my room for 14 years… and he’s never not been excited to see me.

A little Patch Profile…

His dislikes include:

  • food delivery people
  • FIFA on the PlayStation
  • When he thinks people are arguing

He is afraid of:

  • going into water
  • the hoover
  • men with shaving foam on their face

His favourite foods are:

  • pizza
  • fish
  • chicken

He loves:

  • going to the beach
  • running frantically around the house with excitement when we come home
  • snuggling up with his head resting on some part of you when he’s having a snooze.
  • Watching Meerkat Manor on TV
  • The Disney movie Lady and the Tramp.

Patch most definitely has such a fun personality and has been a huge part of my life. I felt so overwhelmed at the prospect of losing him. As those of you with anxiety will understand, my thoughts kept going to the worst possible scenario. When I dropped him to the vet for his surgery I honestly thought I’d never see him again and was heartbroken. My brother couldn’t understand why I was letting myself get so upset before I even knew what the prognosis was, but when you are a catastrophizer you really can’t help it.

Luckily, Patch got away with a small surgery and, to the Vet, it didn’t look as though it had spread. He’s back at home and recovering and is doing really well. I was never so relieved in all my life to get the phone call to tell me he would be ok!

(On a side note, I’ve been wondering how on earth I’d ever manage navagating a life with kids if I’m this upset with a pet!!)

7th July 2019

I am so grateful for the hard work, care, and concern of the vets who made sure that Patch got through the surgery on Friday. I’ve been thinking so much about how to express my gratitude to the vets that took care of my little man… I’m most definitely going to drop in some wine or flowers or something to them because they’ll never know how happy they’ve made me! 🙂

I am also extremely grateful for my amazing little pup.

Dolce Per Niente

Today was a really gorgeous, warm day here in Ireland. I did something that I haven’t done in such a long time and I sat outside in my garden, reading and soaking up the sun. I am so grateful for having a quiet house today and a book, The Catcus, that pulled me in. I also got the time to look through a few Home Decor magazines to get some inspo for our new house! It was bliss. Sitting in the sun and reading is one of my favourite things to do – it’s up there with sitting in front of a crackling fire and reading a book! Dolce per niente – the sweetness of doing nothing. There’s very few pleasures in the world as sweet as this one.

There’s something very exciting about the prospect of decorating a home from scratch; that and terror. If you’ve never decorated a house before then how in God’s name do you know which tiles to pick, what kitchen will work, what couches to buy… but getting to sit down and soak in ideas without having to make any decisions felt pretty good. The time of making decisions will be creeping upon us soon enough so I’m enjoying the freedom of browsing for now.

I got a bit of a tan today. I drank a shit-load of water. I did not do my 10k steps. I chose to not be hard on myself. I chose to be kind to myself. After a rollercoaster few days emotionally, sitting and being was just what I needed and I’m grateful for allowing myself the time, space, and energy to do so.

What kind of things are your Dolce Per Niente moments?