What is love?

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Is it fresh flowers in my kitchen

and dinner already on the table?

Is it warm puppy dog snuggles

and lazy Sunday mornings?

 

Is it an afternoon spent reading

and a candlelit bubble bath?

Is it one pudding and two spoons

and a glass of wine on a school night?

 

Is it spontaneous hugs

and the way you hold my hand?

That look that gives me butterflies deep inside

and smiles that melt my heart?

 

Is it catching up with friends

and creating new experiences?

Is it the laughter that fills my whole house

when we are all together?

 

It is.

All of it.

 

What is your definition of love?

How do you show it? When do you feel it? How do you know that it is real?

How could you encourage it? Share it? Show yourself more?

 

You don’t need a date on the calendar to prove your love. Don’t buy into the hype.

Do it whenever the feeling takes you.

Spontaneously. Frivolously. Regularly.

💋 xoxo

 

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Why I Don’t Need a Bucket List

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI recently tried to write a bucket list. I was unsuccessful.

I’d just read this short, but thought evoking post from Basically Classy entitled before I die.

And felt inspired to think of all the things I’d like to achieve before I kick the bucket.

But try as I might, I couldn’t do it.

And not for the first time I might add.

The internet is full of Things to do before I’m 30/I die/I settle down*…*delete as necessary! However, I have always found this tough to do for some reason.

I found focusing on all the things I have yet to experience quite heartbreaking. Not that I don’t think we should have dreams and set goals – I absolutely do.

But I think that we live in a world of comparison, where it’s totally acceptable to only post the perfect parts of our lives on social media, where people are not content with what they have and a ‘dog eat dog’ mentality has us all working our asses off.

And at times, some of us can feel a little disheartened, as if we don’t meet the standard, insecure or maybe just a little sad.

Bucket lists are in theory a list of wishes, things you dream of doing before you kick the bucket. People make them so their life will have purpose and is full of once in a lifetime experiences.

However, and this is my issue with them…they’re too big!

And I don’t mean they are long – I mean they are full of tasks and experiences that are grandiose, extravagant and ‘once in a lifetime‘.

We don’t all have the health, time or resources to climb mountains, live abroad for a year or maybe even go skydiving. Some of us have commitments, restrictions and maybe even a lack of desire to go on a pilgrimage, be enlightened or change our lives.

And I’m here to tell you, that’s okay.There’s nothing wrong with that.

Nor is it wrong if you do crave, strive and yearn for excitement and experiences that are wild, wonderful and life affirming.

I believe we all have one thing in common.

The desire to have experiences that are memorable.

Whether they are new or familiar, exciting or comfortable. We all desire to create long lasting memories, feel special, connect with others and enjoy life even if it’s right in our own back yards.

So, instead of writing an enormously extravagant list of specifics – how about you create a list of subheadings that loosely define what you want to experience, feel, see or do?

For example – you want to visit new places, but can’t travel abroad right now for whatever reason. How about you make a list of places nearby or easily accessible with a little planning that you could visit? They might be a little closer to home, smaller and more achievable.

That local restaurant you’ve never gotten round to eating at, a walk in the park on your own, a day at the zoo, breakfast in a cafe or coffee shop you’ve never been in before, jump on a train and ride to the last stop – the possibilities are endless.

Okay, it’s not the same as going to a new country or visiting the seven wonders of the world…but maybe you’ll still get to experience the joy of exploring a new area. Maybe you will be inspired to go out regularly and do new things? Maybe you find a new hobby, new friends or simply get a thrill from stepping out of your comfort zone?

I’m not saying don’t do something that’s grand and once in a life time – but what I’m saying is do it because you want to or the opportunity arises – not because you simply want to cross it off your bucket list! Sometimes the most amazing experiences we have, where everything comes together: company, atmosphere, laughter, love – cannot be planned. They just happen.

Here’s another idea – how would you feel about creating a list of things you have done rather than a list of things you wish you could do.

Maybe creating this list will help you live a life of gratitude, become aware of all you have and encourage you to notice the little things in your every day that make you smile.

So here’s my list. It’s not particularly long nor is it particularly astounding – but honestly, I don’t really want for much.

I would like to experience beautiful places – that includes restaurants, hotels and beautiful spaces in nature.

I would like to stay young at heart, have fun and be spontaneous – laugh a lot, not take life too seriously and live a life where I say yes more often!

I would like to have fabulously  authentic relationships – that includes meaningful conversations, friends that lift me up, people I can look up to and learn from, spend time making memories.

I would like to be excited by life – jump out of bed in the morning, feel inspired to try new things, meet new people and stay open to opportunities that come my way.

I would like to become freer, financially secure and work less – less routine, more me time and space to be creative.

I would like to live a life of gratitude and happiness – surrounded by my family and friends, be thankful for what I have, smile lots.

As long as I stay true to what I desire in my life, I believe I will live an authentic, fulfilling life. This list isn’t exhaustable – but these are the things that are important to me regardless of whether they are costly, simple, once in a lifetime or everyday.

I don’t need a bucket list – my dreams and goals are ever changeable. They are presented in opportunities that come my way, the people I meet and the little things I do regularly.

Let me know below, how do you feel about bucket lists?

Monthly Musings: November

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November is no longer with us, never to be seen again and the end of the year is nigh…

Bit dramatic, I know! But seriously where has this year gone?

Here’s a round up of my favourite bits on the blog this month…

New things for me this month

🌸 Anna shared last months musing post on her fabulous blog The Self Actualized Life

🌸 I was nominated for the fabulously named Mystery Blogger Award and mentioned on The Untamed Wildfire‘s blog too

🌸 I celebrated my 200th post!

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Best of #itsthelittlethings

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Penpal parcels
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The Shimmer Within household got festive
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Christmassy photo opportunities with our local shopping centre mascot
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Christmas coffees

My favourite posts

🌸 Need a little pick me up? Read A letter for when you are struggling.

🌸 In my other life…find out where my mind wanders to and why I believe it’s helpful.

🌸 Read about one woman’s revolutionary year Can I get a hell yes?


My favourite thoughts

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Blogs I’ve recently found that I think are worth checking out

Betcha Didn’t Know

Honey lemon Chai

The Thriveness

Where Is Adri

An Orchid’s View

The Little Mermaid

From This Window

Dancing in Violent Fields


Looking forward to next month

🌸 Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!

🌸 The posssibility of snow

🌸 Visiting the German market


Thank you to everyone who is still with me 🙂

I write because I love it and have learned so much in the past 9 months of blogging. I love connecting with you all (although lately I am struggling to find the time!) but I think it’s great to mix, meet and share our thoughts with so many fabulous people such as yourselves!

As we head into December, here’s one final thought to keep you company…

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What did you get up to this November? I’d love to know in the comments below or why not follow my Facebook Page and get in touch there? 

Nicky 💋

Feeling Thankful

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Regardless of whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, we all have room in our lives for a little gratitude.

Saying thanks for what you have helps you hunt for the positives, focus your mind on the present moment, aids contentment.

Start small and see how quickly you can change your frame of mind. Think of 3 things you are grateful for or glad you experienced today before you fall asleep.

Give a whispered thankyou for the potential of a brand new day right before you get up in the morning.

The more you look for, the more you will find.

Here’s my list of 10 things I am grateful for today…

⭐️ Warm doggy noses in my ear

⭐️ A hubby who makes me a cup of tea when I come home after a long day

⭐️ Facebook videos and jokes that make me laugh

⭐️ Kids that ask “How was your day?”

⭐️ My happy household

⭐️ Loved ones

⭐️ My journey so far

⭐️ My love of books

⭐️ The little things that make me smile

⭐️ The weekend lie-ins

Moaning is easy. Whining is an everyday affair. Negativity permeates every corner of our day.

True strength lies in believing in better; compassion over conflict; sprinkling positivity over all you come into contact with and smiling from the depths of your soul.

Be grateful for this precious moment.

What’s got you feeling all thankful this weekend? Let me know below.

xo

What Flowers Can Teach us About Authenticity

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My love of flowers is well documented on my Instagram account.

There’s something so beautiful about a flower when I look at it through a camera lens that I can’t help but smile. I adore having fresh flowers in my home and always wonder at the journey that has taken place to transform a small seed into this array of colour, scent and beauty.

Starting to live a more authentic life can be daunting. It’s about assessing which elements of your life no longer serve you or fit in with who you are becoming. You can feel lonely, even misunderstood or struggle to fit in where you once belonged. You may even encounter resistance from people who don’t want you to change.

But it can also be freeing, colourful and beautiful as you transform into the most beautiful and natural version of yourself. Some may see it as an opportunity to stand out, be different and blossom.

Flowers don’t concern themselves with what every other plant in the garden is doing and they certainly don’t copy or mimic other plants around them. They grow and evolve and become what they were always destined to be. Whatever that may look like. They show up every day, quietly occupying their own space beautifully.

Here are 3 thoughts to keep you motivated and reassure you that any path that takes you closer towards authenticity and being the best version of yourself is one that’s worth walking down.

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Be who you are. Stand out, grow tall, bloom. Be there as the truest version of yourself, not pretending or trying to be like anyone else. Be extraordinary, whatever your role – be great at it. Put effort into all you do, even if no one is watching. Commend yourself on a job well done and remember to love yourself in all your uniqueness.

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Wherever you are – be amazing. Claim your space. Your home, your work, your ideas. Don’t be concerned with what others are doing alongside of you. Focus on you and your little piece of the world. Make it work for you. Make it beautiful, fill it with things that inspire you, make you smile. Surround yourself with like minded people. Find your tribe, people who have great energy, who are great to be around.

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Keep growing, always moving closer to your goals. Your journey is unique to you. Don’t be concerned with what anyone else is doing or how they’re doing it. Don’t compare yourself to someone else. Don’t run before you can walk but also don’t focus on the finish line. The learning is in the journey. The path may not be straight and there may be obstacles in the way, but it will be worth it. Change happens slowly and one step at a time. Keep going.

Where in your life can you be as authentic as a flower?

This is a previously published post that has had a little makeover and a lot of love added.