Shine Bright Like a Diamond

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Diamonds – I usually burst into song when I think of them.

Think Rhianna…

Shine bright like a diamond
Shine bright like a diamond
Shining bright like a diamond
We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky

Marilyn Monroe…

A kiss on the hand
May be quite continental
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend

Or my personal favourite Lily Allen…

I want loads of clothes and f***loads of diamonds
I heard people die while they are trying to find them

Did you know that…

The word diamond comes from the Greek word meaning unbreakable

They are the best known natural thermal conductor 

Naturally occurring diamonds are formed over billions of years under intense pressure and heat.

So let’s recap – unbreakable, warmest natural conductor and their beauty is often unearthed in the most intense situations?

Sound like someone you know?

Women, in my opinion are like diamonds. 

💎 We carry enormous pressures but continue to shine. Rarely complain. Never give up. We prove our strength time and time again by rising to the challenges that life throws at us.

💎 We can be our most productive, inventive, brilliant and motivated when facing difficult situations.

💎 And we are the warmest creatures I know; spend an evening with your girlfriends and you often come away with your battery fully charged due to the amount of warm, positive energy you share when you get together.

So, how about just for today – you shine like the diamond you are.

You dazzle others with your positivity.

You stay strong when everyone else crumbles.

You are virtually indestructible remember?

💋 xoxo

Want to read more fun facts about diamonds? Click here.

Finding your spark again

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After nearly a month of not blogging; I. Am. Back!

After the highs of the holidays, January hit me with a bit of a low.

My pesky sinus infection has been lingering like the smell of Christmas Day sprouts, going back to work felt heavy like a bad day at the sales and life just felt a bit like I was on a crazy train with no station in sight!

I tell you this, not for your sympathy nor to get it off my chest – but to let you know it happens.

It happened to me.

And it’s okay.

Sometimes we need to retract from daily life, retreat to the comfort of our safe places and bunker in.

When you feel physically unwell you rest, you stay in bed, you eat what little you can making sure you drink plenty of fluids and change your routine to suit your energy levels.

So why not treat your emotional health in the same way?

Here are 5 tips to help you feel a million times better, when you’re feeling a little blue.

Recharge – I cannot rank this high enough. Go to bed early, play with your kids or pets, meditate, read, colour, stare out of the window, have a dance party in your kitchen, take long baths, go for a walk. Do something for yourself simply for pleasure. How you ‘rest’ and recharge will be different to everyone else. Alter the pace you are moving at, mix it up, have some fun! Your brain needs a break from the worries, never ending lists and million and one things you simply have to do today.

Water – again, top priority. We all know we need to drink more water so I’m not going to bang on about it, however in a nutshell if you want to improve your energy levels, skin, digestion and simply have your body working at it’s absolute optimum level – drink more water!

Notice – start reflecting on what areas of your life affect your mood and how. Start to notice when you feel good about yourself and your day. Who supports you and is great to be around? Who are energy vampires and bring you down? What areas of your home need a little love because they stress you out? What activities seem a chore and which ones bring a little magic into your day? What do you absolutely need in your day and what do you look forward to?

Change – choose one thing right now that you can change to improve your mood. Just one. It might be that you set your alarm 15 minutes earlier so you can drink your first coffee in peace. You might decide to tidy that kitchen drawer that stresses you out every time you venture there. How about buying coordinating stationary to help you feel inspired when taking notes at work? You might decide you need some new cushions for your favourite chair to entice you to sit and read. What if you were to explore changing your style and spend hours creating inspirational boards on Pinterest? Don’t look at the bigger picture as it may feel too overwhelming, this is about making one small change that will bring joy into your day.

Do all this with love – it’s not about being hard on yourself because you’re having a bad day. Nor is it about comparing your life to someone else’s. This is about improving your life, your way. A happy life can be created by a series of small moments that make you smile, no matter what your circumstances.

When I teach children strategies to manage their emotions, I tell to them that there are a million ways to enhance your day – but only you know which ones will work for you.

I hope this list is helpful if you’re feeling a little low, have lost your spark or are in need of a little love.

The thing is you’re not alone – we all feel like this from time to time, but there are things you can do to make yourself feel a little better. We just need to start.

What things improve your mood when you’re not feeling at your best? Let me know below.

Warm hugs and calm thoughts

💋 xoxo

Goal setting for 2017

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is NOT a New Years resolution post!

I’ve written before about my hate/hate relationship with New Years resolutions here. In a nutshell I think we put far too much pressure on ourselves to achieve things that are unachievable, unproductive and for all the wrong reasons in a limited time frame.

Having said that – I do set intentions or make plans to have the best year yet. Around the beginning of December I start to ‘notice’ words or phrases that resonate or sit deep in my soul. I start mentally (and sometimes in my journal) exploring what I want from the new year. I ask myself questions such as…

What do I want to do more of this year and how can I achieve this? What will I have to include in my routine to ensure I stay happy? Which people lift me up and add value to my life?

I think about what brings me joy and helps me feel fulfilled. I think about what I enjoy doing, the things that light me up and make me smile.

Then I work out how to incorporate these feelings into my day and what experiences I need to have and do to help me feel this way.

When you’re planning to make this the greatest year yet be realistic, pick things that are easily do-able and regularly achievable. It’s not about the big win win, but a steady series of small events you can do regularly with enthusiasm and smiles!

⭐️ Find your excitement and visualise your best year yet. Reward yourself along the way, visualise yourself already doing that thing and celebrate every small achievement.

⭐️ Find your mantra, intentions or goals and follow your heart, making your soul sing along the way.

⭐️ Find the little things that amplify your wellbeing, the things you need in your life every day that make you come alive.

Do all of the above in 2017 and have a happy year – all of it!

What goals are you planning to explore and how will you ensure you stay on track?

An honest evaluation of my blogging journey so far…

cropped-image1.png

The New Year seems like a good time to evaluate and reflect on my blogging journey (more like expedition!) over the last 12 months.

Blogging has been a blast! Since publishing my first post back in February I have gained over 700 followers, published 200 posts and connected with so many of you from all corners of the world.

The Highs…

Starting out I had no idea which direction I would go. I had a sassy web address, a desire to write, a passion to be authentic and an insatiable appetite to help others see how fabulous they truly are too. It was exciting and scary and fun and overwhelming all at the same time and I was a total virgin at all of it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I started #itsthelittlethings as a way to document the little things that made me smile throughout the week and now it’s become a bit of a catchphrase for when something goods happens around here!

I’ve written some articles that have made my soul sing and they seemed to have deeply resonated with you guys too – Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful was such a pleasure to write and a message I try to live by.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve talked honestly about myself in the Things You Need to Know About Me series and shared my experiences about how the death of my younger brother completely changed my life and was the motivation to start writing.

In my monthly round up (Monthly Musings) I regularly share new blogs I have stumbled across that I feel are worthy of a look – this has been so successful and something that I enjoy doing so much. Connecting with others is a great bonus that I didn’t expect when I started blogging. I even became pen pals with one of you lovely readers.

The lows…

The last few weeks I have definitely felt a little ‘off my A game’ blogging wise. But hey, it happens to us all I’m sure. The pressure of juggling a full time job (and life) alongside a blog is hard. And whilst it is a great hobby, unfortunately it is the thing that suffers when time isn’t available.

Also as a result of not being around so much lately I have noticed a drop in my monthly stats – despite never being hung up on the numbers previously, it’s hard not to feel like a bit of a failure when they dip.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sometimes you have an abundance of ideas. You find inspiration for posts on every corner it seems. Then some days you stare at that blank white screen and…nothing. Just nothing. Even when you do write something, some days you hit that delete button so many times and question the validity and worth of what you have written that you don’t publish it anyway! My post on Why Do I Write When It’s All Be Written Before came from such a moment of unworthiness and thoughts of ‘who am I to even think I can do this’.

Also it seems there’s an unwritten rule, expectation if you like to define your niche and put yourself into a category; lifestyle, food etc. Can I not just be someone who writes to inspire people to find their smile, find what makes their soul sing and help them become the best version of themselves with the occasional lifestyle type post thrown in every now and then?

Final thoughts…

One thing I have learnt about blogging is that there are no hard and fast rules. My blog, my rules. Blogging to me, is about writing and creating content you are passionate about.

It’s about finding your voice, your slant, your style and running with it.

img_1471

It’s about sharing your experiences and thoughts and asking others what they think.

It’s about connecting and sharing and reading and creating and not taking it all too seriously!

Can I get a hell yeah?

So keep creating and writing. Stay passionate and authentic. Be true to yourself, be amazing and continue to share the love.

image

Merry Christmas you gorgeous people – see you in the new year!

Nicky 💋

 

Evaluating the old before you start planning for the new

img_2096

Do you dread the New Year or do you await it’s arrival with much anticipation?

Many of us look forward to the New Year, make plans, set goals and hope the next 12 months are as good, if not better than the last ones.

Whilst this is all good and well (I’m not a fan of New Years resolutions – but do set intentions) sometimes we are so impatient to move on we forget how important it is to spend a moment reflecting on the last year.

Without a good ending you cannot be ready for the new start.

Without reflection you cannot be sure on what worked well or what you would like to leave behind.

Without reminiscing about the past you cannot be sure of the things you wish to repeat or have remain in your life in the future.

Spend just a few moments thinking about the last 12 months and give your mind, emotions and soul chance to spring clean the mental cobwebs of 2016 away.

I like to journal about my year very, very simply.

What am I letting go of?

This year, it’s the unhealthy thoughts I have about myself, the choices I made that I replay over and over in my mind, the overthinking and trying to second guess everything, the beliefs that I have adopted that aren’t true for me any longer, the skeletons that are in the closet of the person I used to be.

What did I learn?

Recently I learned not to judge people by my standards, actually not to judge people at all, sometimes the right decisions are the hardest, it’s not someone else’s job to make you happy, it’s not my job to rescue everyone, you will be strong when you need to, you should take the time to celebrate something every single day.

What do I need to do more of?

I need more quiet time, to slow down, to simplify my life, to embrace being me, to continue to learn, to spend time connecting with others, to smile, to be happy and to let things go, to be fully present in the moment and to trust it will all work out for the best.

There you have it. It’s not rocket science. But I believe it’s important to make the decision to let stuff go, to throw out the bad vibes and inhale the magic and promises that will serve you well should you put your mind to it.

This year should be amazing for you!

Choose to make it the best year yet – set yourself the challenge to look forward to the new with anticipation.

Choose to leave the old behind!