Sunday, 23 August 2015

A Reading List

You read everyday. You read the subject line of all those e-mails you're not allowed to avoid at work, you maybe even read the odd article on 5 easy ways to boost your happiness and have miraculously better skin. You're reading now. But reading a book just feels different doesn't it, whether you love it or hate it? Maybe it feels different because it's good for us to read a book - improving memory, reducing stress and even making us more empathetic.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

An Irish Summer in Instagram

Ireland Belfast Giants Ring Minnowburn New Look

As much as July was a bit of a wash-out on this particular Isle, it looks like perfect stay-in-and-blog weather is on the cards for August too. It's been a little quiet on Any Idle Sunday as - irony - I've been enjoying some extremely idle Sundays following my new routine of actually going to work! After three lovely but sometimes soul-destroying months of applications and interviews, it finally paid off and I started a new job in July! 

Another reason for the blog-hush...Between both Wexford and Belfast I've been experiencing the sloooooooooowest internet since 1999, and I just haven't had the patience to watch images endlessly uploading or risk a full post disappearing..!

In between all the overly optimistic haven't-been-paid-yet-house-hunting, excel spread-sheeting rent vs. mortage, getting bus-passes and renewing my driving license, I did do one or two fun things worth sharing this month...

Saturday, 4 July 2015


gym fitness exercise routines weights

Going to the gym can be daunting - if you're unsure what to do, chances are you'll be spending the whole time  huffing and puffing on the treadmill, or "stretching" - a personal favourite for stalling for time. While the phrase "no pain no gain" is definitely true (a good workout means pushing your limits past the comfort zone), if you're going to come back for more you need to enjoy the gym. Here are a few suggestions to make it a fun experience:

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Salads for Salad-Haters

I hate lettuce. It makes me mad. Really, I've often imagined how my whole life would be different if I really enjoyed it - loving "proper" healthy lunches would surely make my skin / energy / outlook better. I just can't imagine not getting increasingly frustrated through lunch with someone because I can't get the rocket to stay on my damn fork...Safe to say I don't just "meh" salad - I have a personal grudge in exerting any effort on salad leaves.

Not enjoying something as much as a bowl of nachos is not a good excuse not to be healthy at all, so I do buy leaves from time to time. These normally end up so covered in dressing or to eliminate the fork issue, sometimes get stuffed into a wrap, slightly negating the whole healthy vibe. It wasn't until I saw Lark & Linen's recent salad-round-up that I actually started to see the appeal..!

Grilled Peach & Burrata Salad // Shaved Zucchini Salad

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Trying a new scent: Elie Saab

This is a little topsy-turvy, but instead of sharing Father's Day gifts - hope you didn't forget! - I wanted to share a lovely gift my Dad gave me recently.

Since F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is still big in our house, we do love to bring back giant Toblerone for each other in if we've been away. Maybe we overdid the last Toblerone haul, or it was eaten en route, because this time my little sis and I were surprised with pretty "grown-up" gifts - how adorable is this set?

Friday, 19 June 2015

When you're Stressed but not Motivated

Stress can be experienced in many ways. If you're whirling around the house/office like a tornado in panic and disarray some lovely person may direct you to the camomile tea and a much needed chat. But what if you're one of the many who Go Ostrich and stick their head in the sand (and sometimes Netflix)? Those times when there seem to be more tasks than minutes in the day, or one big obstacle to overcome, my brain feels like the optical illusion of a propeller - it's revolving so fast that it looks like it's not moving. At. All.

I won't go into ways to de-stress, but Just Like Sushi and Bethany Georgina have some helpful thoughts on that subject. We're talking about "legitimate" don't tell me to calm down that doesn't get s**t done, need to be Superb*tch to get through it all Stress.

Do this now

First of all, whoever is giving you advice is right, do not yell at said person - if you haven't done so already, put the kettle on and calm down just a second. If you've been hiding out calming down all day, make it a strong brew.

Unplug. Turn off the background noise / box-set, and close the laptop, put your phone on the charger and step away. 

Write a to-do BY WHEN list. You may not do it all in a day. What can you achieve today? Is today looking busy - what can you achieve before lunch? Think about the Why, When and Who behind your many tasks. This should help you sort them into an actual priority rather than what you can be bothered to tackle, and remind you that you can and should speak to anyone you can to share, help or just be patient to help you out.

If you don't have a time-frame on a big list of to-do's, you only "win" once - when they are all completed. This puts you in the mind-frame that until its all wrapped up, you are constantly failing. Divide your day and win the morning tasks, you'll get that confidence boost to keep going.

Finish your list off with a little scheduled fun - you should be enjoying a bit of list-writing (who doesn't) but I mean real fun.. If your list is stretching all week, plan something nice to do in the evenings, someone to meet for lunch, or a mini treat when you complete a task.

Keep the momentum going

Get up earlier - the instinct is of course to wake up, remember your Big List and hide under the duvet for five times "five more minutes". Let me put it this way - even if you're hiding from it, you're thinking about it. That's five minutes you could have spent doing something better, like actually looking at your list and telling yourself you can do it.

Create a routine - this will help your to-do-list targets by setting some clear time aside for tasks. Going to the gym, preparing your fruit salad and ironing tomorrows outfit will cease to be big tasks hanging over you when they're finally part of your everyday routine.

Change how you eat. Step one, make it routine, not constant pick-me-up Kit-Kats and toast. It's not so strange is it that the super-successful blogger / photographer / media-type you follow on Instagram always seems to be posting totally unrealistic healthy breakfasts? Could a healthy diet be linked to the energy needed to be truly successful? At the very least, giving yourself a fruit and veg boost is another mini-win on the long list of things you should be doing anyway!
Set a goal - or at least recognise you are working towards one. That busy week at work? You just achieved your goal of signing off two major projects - put it on your CV. Just doing your day job? Set yourself a goal for promotion, and speak to your manager, those pesky tasks on your to-do list might just get you there.

How do you get motivated?


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Tips for a Stress-free Weekend in London - Part 2

If you read Part 1, you'll know where to lay your head in London if you want the best experience of the real City. It's amazing to find a spot in London that's peaceful and quiet on a Sunday afternoon, but still an easy walking distance to the beautiful St Pauls Cathedral...!

Christchurch Greyfriars Garden //  St Pauls Cathedral