My 2022 Word of the Year – Simplicity

I have chosen a 2022 word of the year. And that word is SIMPLICITY.

Today I’m going to share why I chose it and what it means to me. I’ve also got some tips for diving deeper with your chosen word, a journal that may help you connect with your word and links to my previous writing about chosen words for more inspiration.

Simplicity - my 2022 word of the year. A graphic showing a zoomed in photo of the dictionary definition of simplicity.

Finding my 2022 Word of the Year

I played around with a few words in December but didn’t feel ready to settle on one. I contemplated something around play and playfulness as well as explore and adventure. And I also added simplicity, simplify, clear space, less and ease to my list of potentials. Then I took a break over Christmas.

In early January I was ready to come back to it and I think, in the end, simplicity chose me. It kept coming up in conversations and online content and I was intrigued by where it could lead me. I did some further brainstorming and research and then made the decision to make it my chosen 2022 word of the year.

What does it mean?

For me simplicity is all about keeping things simple and getting to the heart of the matter. I want to focus on what really matters and make things easier where I can. I’d love to do some decluttering and create some space in various areas of my life and I think simplicity can help me do that.

I have a tendency to overcomplicate things and overthink them and I definitely have too much stuff. I need some simplicity in my life.

Here’s a couple of quotes about simplicity I found that resonated with me:

  • “Simplicity is the soul of efficiency.” – Austin Freeman
  • “The key to finding a happy balance in modern life is simplicity.” – Sogyal Rinpoche
  • “Make it simple, but significant.” – Don Draper
  • “Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

I am excited to see where simplicity might lead me in 2022.

Diving deeper into my word

After choosing a few words over the years I have developed something of a system for getting to know my chosen word. Here are some of the things I do:

  • Take some time to journal or list what it means to me
  • I look up the dictionary definition and write it down along with any synonyms that help me understand my word further
  • Then I look for quotes, affirmations and inspiration relating to my word (usually with a simple Google search or having a look through Pinterest)
  • I also try and check in with it with some regularity – I sometimes do this with:
    • blog posts
    • journaling about how my word has come up in my life
    • continually seeking out inspiration about my word

As I was beginning to do this work this year I decided to create a journal to keep me connected to my word throughout the year. It has space for getting to know my word and collect quotes and inspiration as well as 12 check-in pages (each one has a space for observations and a different journal prompt around my word). I’ll be using this journal throughout 2022. And I thought you might find it helpful too…

Word of the Year Companion Journal - digital version
Word of the Year Companion Journal - Paper version

My Word of the Year companion journal is available in my Etsy shop so you can use it to connect to your chosen word if you wish. You can see the paper version here and the digital/eBook version here.

My Word of the Year Collection (and Monthly Mantras too)

I enjoy creating these posts each year. And love seeing my collection of words that are important to me build up over time. You can read more about my previous chosen words here:

That’s a lot of words and each time I’ve picked a word it has helped me explore life through a different lens and often taken me on a different path that I initially anticipated when I chose it.

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Have you chosen a 2022 Word of the Year? And how will you be connecting to it throughout the year?

21 Happy Things from 2021

I really enjoyed sharing 20 Happy Things from 2020 last year so here I am with 21 Happy Things from 2021.

2020 and 2021 both brought with them lots of uncertainty and challenges and I want to be able to remember the good stuff that happened amongst that.

So let’s get started…

21 Happy Things from 2021

1 Strictly Come Dancing

I am so late to the party on this one…it’s been going since 2004 apparently. But I left the UK in 2005 for 11 years and I don’t think Strictly was screened in New Zealand. I jumped on the Bake Off wagon when we returned in 2016 but it’s taken a bit longer for Strictly. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching it this year and might even dip into some of the archives before the next series.

2 The Isle of Skye

We visited Scotland in the Summer and enjoyed a wonderful few days on Skye. It was incredible. The whole stay was wonderful and we managed to cram a lot in. It’s hard to pick favourites but I have fond memories of a mammoth day where we visited Dunvegan Castle and took a boat trip to see the seals, walked out to Claigan Coral Beach and paddled in the very cold sea and then took a late afternoon hike to the Fairy Pools. I’d love to go back and see even more and visit other Scottish Islands too. I shared a selection of photos here.

A mosaic of 4 images from the Isle of Skye including Portree, Dunvegan Castle, a loch reflecting the blue sky and 3 sets of feet on the Coral beach.
3 Opening my Etsy Shop

I opened the doors to the Find the Good Everyday Etsy shop at the end of the May. It’s been a wonderful ride and I’m looking forward to coming up with even more guided journals and items to help you find the good in daily life next year. A BIG thank you to everyone that has supported me along the way.

4 Sewing

I took a Learn to Sew course back in Autumn 2019 and since then I’ve enjoyed creating things from fabric and thread! In 2021 I tried sewing lots of new things including clothes for my son. I enjoy the challenge combined with the process. Sewing is very mindful for me because I have to pay attention. And I look forward to continuing to develop my skills and make ALL the things!

Mosaic featuring 4 sewing photos including a rainbow chevron tote bag and purse, a pyjama top for my son, some bags made from sloth and toucan fabric and some zipper pouches made with bird fabric.
5 Turning 40 – Visiting Kent and a Swim in the Sea

20 years ago I am sure that I thought everyone over the age of 35 was old. But now my age starts with a 4 I have discovered I care less about what others think and more about the things that bring me joy. (To be fair – I think I have been working on this throughout my 30’s). I enjoyed turning 40 and we timed it with a few days away in Kent which was an adventure. I even got into the very cold sea for a dip!

6 Hosting Workshops and Lives

It’s interesting to me that these things have made the list as on the run up to them I feel anxious and nervous. Hosting some Self Care Journaling Workshops and some Instagram Lives this year felt like a push out of my comfort zone and they are something I want to explore further and continue with in 2022.

7 Jigsaw Puzzles

It can be hard to find the good amongst the pandemic but I am grateful that it granted me both the inspiration to try some jigsaw puzzles and the time to do so. I’m not sure why they didn’t make the final cut in 2020 but they are definitely one for 2021. I enjoy looking for puzzle images that bring me joy – and that spurs me on to get them made. I find puzzles a great way to step away from screens and it’s fun when the whole family gets involved.

8 A Family Mini Break in Norfolk

We didn’t go anywhere in 2020 after the first lockdown and I felt sad about that. Exploring places and going on adventures is something I love doing with my loved ones. So this year we decided to stay fairly local and short but ensure we got some time away from where we live. Our first trip was at the end of May – to Norfolk. We took Reggie (our greyhound) on his first holiday. It was only 2 nights away from home but felt like a balm after so long without a trip away.

9 My Birthday Lists – 39 and 40

I’m starting to wonder if Birthday Lists are my life’s mission! (Although journaling and documenting life is up there on the list too!) I thoroughly enjoy coming up with my lists of things to do between one birthday and the next. As with any long-term projects – I tend to lose my way somewhere in the middle but I enjoy striving to complete as many fun things as I can. I’m proud of everything I completed whilst 39 and I’m having fun with my 40 for 40 list so far.

10 My Son finishing primary school

This one is bittersweet for sure. It felt like a big milestone for him but I hadn’t realised it would feel like one for me as well. There were some happy moments mixed with sad ones as he farewelled his primary school and made the move to secondary. As someone who loves reflecting (and can sometimes wallow in nostalgia) I am glad I made the decision to enjoy and embrace all the feelings.

11 My Spring Wreath

I like to honour and acknowledge the Solstices and Equinoxes in some way and when I was scrolling through my photo reel from 2021 for inspiration for this list I found myself pausing over the photos of my Spring Wreath. I purchased it from a local business. It’s a willow wreath and completely natural. I was able to plant the primroses and mini daffs into pots when I was finished with the wreath. And I’ve also kept the willow base to use in the future.

12 My Pink Raincoat

I treated myself to some new clothing items (and some help from Sarah at Styled by Susie) as my 40th birthday approached. My favourite new item by far is my pink raincoat! After years of using a raincoat we got free with dog food (we sadly said goodbye to that dog in 2016 but the coat endured!) I am so happy to put something on that makes me smile when I walk the dog every day.

21 Happy Things from 2021 - 4 photos featuring me in my pink raincoat, my new handbag, my Spring wreath and Reggie the greyhound
13 My bargain ‘designer’ handbag

We are local to quite a few charity (goodwill) shops and I often peek into the windows as I pass. I’ve found some lovely items in them over the last few years. A few months ago I peered in and saw the bag of my dreams (I’d never seen the bag before but I knew that’s what it was as soon as I saw it!). It’s a navy handbag with a detachable long strap. I think it cost me £20 and was as new (the strap and hardware were still wrapped in packaging). I love it!

14 Journaling

This list would be incomplete without a nod to my own form of therapy. I’ve consistently written morning pages and a daily gratitude journal this year and it has such a positive effect on my mindset and mental health. I’ve also taken part in some journaling challenges and programmes. And I thoroughly enjoy coming up with journaling prompts for my newsletter subscribers (sign up for my newsletter here!) and IG community regularly. As well as created my guided journals for Etsy. Even this 21 Happy Things from 2021 list counts as journaling!

A mosaic of 4 photos showing my Autumn and Winter journals, my affirmation cards and my rainbow gratitude journal.
15 Reggie & Dog Walking

I’m so grateful for our dramatic and often grumpy greyhound – Reggie! Our daily walks are always good for me and he encourages me (& gives me a very good excuse) to get out the house and move my feet every single day. Getting outside and as close to nature as I can has been a necessity this year more than ever.

16 Making the kiddo some pyjamas

I’ve already touched on how happy sewing makes me but this one deserves it’s own place on the list. I love making things and I enjoy making things for other people. But being able to make clothes? And then feel joyous every time he wears them and thinking ‘I made that!’… that’s priceless! I hope to make some clothes for myself next year. Please wish me luck!

17 1SE Videos

I use an app called 1SE to edit together a video containing 1 or 2 seconds of footage from every day of the year. I’ve done this for a few years now. It’s gotten much easier now with live photos as each photo I take has some video. I tend to collate the clips together in bursts. I share each month’s video to a personal IG account and save the year-long films and share the link with family. It’s emotive to watch and appeals to my nostalgic side.

18 Planning some work on the house

We’ve got some work coming up on the house (hopefully it will start before the end of 2021) which I’m excited for. It’s going to be a lot of work to move everything around in our small house to get it done but I know it will be worth it to have freshly decorated and carpeted bedrooms to relax and rest in.

19 Revisiting Flylady and Routines

A friend reminded me of the Flylady system recently. It’s a system for keeping your space clean and tidy and being kind to yourself along the way. I followed the system years ago and even have the book so I re-read it and was pleased to try it again. There’s an app now which helps you stay on track with what jobs to do when. It’s very early days but I’m taking the baby steps that Flylady encourages us to do.

20 Getting the Home Office organised

Way back in February we gave our home office a bit of a makeover (no decoration but some new furniture and a fair bit of decluttering and sorting out). I’m so glad we did this as my husband continued to work from home for almost all of this year and it’s now a much better space for him to work in. I also use the space often as that’s where our printer is and I enjoy using the standing desk!

21 Seeing Reggie’s Progress

Reggie is quite a nervous fellow (as retired greyhounds often can be) and he’s particularly wary around other dogs. We brought him home in January 2020. With lockdown happening while he was still settling in he didn’t really get the chance to meet people or dogs other than us. It’s been lovely this year to see him warm up to friends and family when he meets them. He’s still wary of other dogs and hates fireworks with a passion but his progress is fantastic!

21 Happy Things from 2021 Pin image

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Ahhh it feels so good to have written that list and reflected on the good parts of 2021.

I urge you to give it a go if you haven’t already and write your own list of 21 Happy Things from 2021. There’s lots of Happy List inspiration here if you need it.

I hope you’ve found some time for joy and happiness this year and wish you a wonderful 2022! See you soon!

Reflections on Curiosity (my word for 2021)

Today I’m sharing my reflections on curiosity which I chose to be my word for the year in 2021.

Curiosity - my 2021 word of the year pin image showing a hand pointing at a question mark alphabet magnet with other letter magnets above

I’ve just sat and read through my initial blog post which introduced the word, why I chose it and what I hoped it would do for me. And then I read my update from August about how it was going. Now I’ll share some final thoughts as we close out 2021.

Does Curiosity still mean the same to me?

Back in January I shared what Curiosity meant to me…

“For me, curiosity is all all about:

  • Exploring
  • Experimentation
  • Keeping an Open Mind
  • Creativity
  • Less Judgement
  • Wonder
  • Joy”

I’m glad I took the time to think about the meaning of it. I didn’t refer to the above list all that often through the year but I think this list still rings very true to me.

Almost a year on I’d also add that curiosity…

  • relieves/removes pressure
  • is playful
  • gives me space
  • and freedom

I feel like it’s been successful as a guiding mantra for 2021.

Where did Curiosity lead me?

I shared some thoughts in my August update about this but looking at the year as a whole I think Curiosity led me to…

  • Creating seasonal guided journals
  • Opening my Etsy shop
  • Creating other items such as self care kits and affirmation cards for my shop
  • To continue working on Find the Good Everyday as often as I could
  • Being more experimental with content I create and share
  • Trying new things in terms of my health and wellbeing
  • Being more gentle with myself when things didn’t turn out how I expected
  • Trying to be less judgemental – of myself and others
  • Feeling my feelings rather than trying to block any I deemed negative
  • Be more open to ‘putting myself out there’
  • Hosting journaling workshops and Instagram lives
  • Pushing myself and my comfort zone at times
  • Exploring new places
  • Taking chances

Final Reflections on Curiosity

I feel almost sad to be coming to the end of the year. There are no written rules to say I can’t keep Curiosity as my word for 2022 but I think I’d like to explore the possibility of something fresh and new.

I am sure Curiosity will continue to be an important word to me and help guide me at times of uncertainty. I think the benefit this year (in particular) was that in itself Curiosity isn’t fixed or determinate. And I needed that in 2021 when the world was uncertain and the rules kept changing and we weren’t entirely sure what was coming next or how we would get there. Curiosity gave me a pass to explore and experiment and let it grow as we went along. And as I start to ponder a possible guiding word for 2022 – that’s something I will consider. I want to choose a word that allows me space and freedom. Let’s hope I can find one just as good, if not better, than curiosity!

More on Word of the Year

So that’s my reflections on curiosity. This wasn’t my first rodeo for Word of the Year and I’ve shared previous words in these posts:

Did you choose a word for 2021? And if so – where did it lead you? And have you picked a word for 2022 yet? I’d love to hear what it is!

Reflections on my 2021 Word of the Year Pin image showing a dog with his head under an old wooden door being nosy.

My 40 for 40 Project

I turned 40 recently which means it’s time for a new project!

My 40 for 40 Project pinnable image featuring a cupcake on a cake stand with sprinkle covered chocolate 40 decoration on tip.
So what is my 40 for 40 Project?

It’s a list of 40 things I want to do while I’m 40. This isn’t my first time doing this project… and I’ve shared a few of them on this blog:

I have a year to try and complete all 40 of these things. This year has some repeats of favourite activities (like my annual soundtrack, seasonal celebrations and a random me-day!) and some new ones too. A lot of sewing made the list this year. And lots of fun.

I’ve already made a start and ticked a couple of things off! (Can you guess which ones?).

And here it is – my 40 for 40 List

  1. Reiki training
  2. 40 Soundtrack
  3. Sew myself some clothes
  4. Sew the rainbow quilt
  5. Try stand up paddle-boarding
  6. Volunteer
  7. Something fun with the kiddo
  8. Something fun with the husband
  9. Afternoon tea with my friend Sarah
  10. Try and escape room
  11. Learn to say “um” less when speaking
  12. Keep track of everything I read
  13. Family holiday with Reggie
  14. Family Trip Overseas
  15. 40 x Strength and Resistance Workouts
  16. 40 x Yoga practices
  17. Try another NRAS course or similar
  18. Visit Saffron Walden
  19. Make the sewing with stretch dress
  20. Wild/open water swimming
  21. Watch 12 new to me movies or TV shows
  22. Read 40 books
  23. More mindset training
  24. Visit Scotland
  25. Random me-day trip/adventure
  26. Seasonal celebrations – mark each season
  27. Ride my bike
  28. Host a workshop
  29. Go to London
  30. Visit Kent
  31. Day or Week in the Life
  32. The elusive Spa Day
  33. Take a creative class
  34. Organise all my craft supplies
  35. Finish my sentence-a-day journal
  36. Sewing Club – finish silver level
  37. Sewing Club – Gold level
  38. Write a letter to 50 year old Katie
  39. Try hot stones reflexology
  40. Get a facial
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I’m sure I’ll post an update here at some point and I will also share some of these things as I do them over on Instagram.

Have you ever done anything like this? What would be on your list?

39 Before 40 Final Report

It’s time for my 39 Before 40 Final Report. I set myself the task of achieving 39 things between my 39th and 40th birthdays and today I’m going to let you know how I got on.

You can see the original list here and I also did an update part way too.

My 39 Before 40 Final Report

39 Before 40 Final Report

1 Blog 25 18 times COMPLETE

I didn’t quite manage the 25 I originally intended but I’m happy to call this one complete with 18 posts written and published over the year. And that year included a chunk of national and local lockdowns and home learning for my son… I did what I could!

2 Release 3 FTGE (Find The Good Everyday) paid for products COMPLETE

I am so pleased that I opened my Etsy shop this year and have already reached 40 sales! I’d love it if you popped over for a look. And I overachieved here – releasing more than 3 products.

3 Mindset Training COMPLETE

I have realised this year that mindset is a constant work-in-progress and it’s something I want to prioritise regularly going forward.

4 39 Soundtrack COMPLETE

I love this one and recommend you give it a go! I pick one (sometimes 2) songs each month that I’ve been listening to or that remind me of something we’ve done or even shows/films we’ve been watching. Here’s the 39 Soundtrack on Spotify.

5 Document Christmas Learn Cross-stitch COMPLETE

You can see the little rainbow I stitched here.

6 Sewing with Stretch course COMPLETE

I started the course and got 2 of the 3 items made which is awesome. There is one more item from the course to make – I have the pattern and supplies ready to go and it’s on my 40 for 40 list!

7 Take Reggie on “holiday” COMPLETE

Reggie is our greyhound. We took him away to Norfolk for 2 nights in an Air BNB and we all enjoyed it!

8 Go to Skye COMPLETE

I’m so happy we got to do this in the Summer. I loved Skye and would love to revisit as there is so much to see and do. I shared a few snaps on Instagram here.

9 Ride a Horse Do a 20k step day COMPLETE

I didn’t get to ride a horse but I did do a 20k step day when we were in Skye (visiting Dunvegan Castle, the Coral beach and the Fairy Pools) and I felt that definitely deserved a place on this list!

10 Visit Norfolk COMPLETE

We did this in May and took Reggie.

11 Plan an epic 40th COMPLETE

We had dinner out (with cocktails!) at the newly opened Cosy Club, I treated myself to some new clothes and we went away to Kent for a few days – it was really lovely.

12 Spa Day Personal Shop (With a Stylist) COMPLETE

The Spa Day got cancelled again! (We originally bought the Spa Day package in November 2019. Hoping it will happen while I’m 40.) Instead I got an online shop with a stylist to help me pick some new items for my wardrobe. It was lots of fun.

13 Day in the Life COMPLETE

I took part in this in March. I blogged about it here and also created a photo book too.

14 Take a creative course/class COMPLETE

I did this virtually. I finished the Bronze level of my online sewing club and moved along to the Silver level. The items I made were:

  • Lay flat drawstring bag
  • Some cushions – envelope back and zipper closure
  • Drawstring project bag with internal zip and handles
  • Mug Bag
Sewing Projects from 39 Before 40
15 Instagram growth – reach 1k and grow my community COMPLETE

Instagram is my favourite social media platform and I enjoy creating content and spending time chatting there. I’d love it if you popped by for a visit!

16 Europe city break First 100 Days Journalling Project COMPLETE

This was a pandemic related switch.

17 Grow the FTGE newsletter and mailing list COMPLETE

I really enjoy sending my monthly newsletters. I create a freebie to send out each month. It’s usually journalling prompts or a worksheet to help you find more good in your everyday. It makes me happy each time someone signs up! If you don’t already get the newsletter you can sign up here.

18 Visit Bury St Edmunds/Suffolk COMPLETE

We visited Bury St Edmunds and stopped there for lunch and a walk on our way to Norfolk in May.

19 Reach my Find Your Happy Sales Target COMPLETE

So pleased with this one. You can learn more about Find Your Happy here and purchase a copy here. Every purchase makes me so very happy! I really appreciate each and every one.

20 Be Published and Paid NOT DONE

I was so convinced that I would do this but it just didn’t happen. I found more enjoyment working on items for my Etsy shop than I did pitching for work. So I embraced my word for the year – curiosity – and I followed my nose. This may be something I come back to in the future but it wasn’t the right time this year.

21 Submit the kiddo’s high school application COMPLETE

This was done back in October and we were very pleased to find out he got his first choice school in March.

22 Family Movie Night with a Theme COMPLETE

We watched Harry Potter, made Butterbeer and had HP related snacks! (M&S sell chocolate frogs and other wizard treats!)

23 A Me Day for Whatever I like (follow my nose!) COMPLETE

I originally intended to take myself off for an adventure but instead I read a whole book (that I’d been eagerly awaiting) in a day!

24 Do some work on the house NOT DONE

I had a list of things we wanted to do but it didn’t happen. We started looking into a new kitchen and other things we wanted done but were never quite motivated to crack on with the projects. Hopefully soon!

25 Solstice and Equinox adventures COMPLETE
  • Winter – made a wreath
  • Spring – purchased a beautiful Willow wreath
  • Summer – went on a lovely walk with the family
  • Autumn – got my hair done and worked on Autumn items for my Etsy shop!
Celebrating the seasons for 39 Before 40
26 Find fun ways to use glass jars COMPLETE

I ended up playing with glass jars for my Crafternoon in aid of Mind.

27 Host a Crafternoon to raise money for Mind COMPLETE

I did this in November. I really enjoyed hosting and would definitely consider doing it again.

28 Food bank donations COMPLETE

I set up a monthly financial donation to our local food bank at the end of last year.

29 Share my RA story NOT DONE

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in March 2020. I’ve had a blog post drafted about this for a while and I had planned to share it around the time of RA Awareness Week in September but I don’t feel quite ready to share yet.

30 Read Untamed COMPLETE

I read it, loved it and recommend it!

31 Monthly RAKs – big and small COMPLETE

I didn’t always do these monthly but I did at least 12 over the course of the year. I really enjoyed this one. It was fun coming up with different ideas. I did giveaways on Instagram and through my newsletter and chose someone who purchased from my Etsy shop to win a £5 voucher.

32 Try dairy free (for a week? Or month?) Try Second Nature COMPLETE

I changed this one to trying a 12 week programme around nutrition and mindset. It was good – I learnt a lot and have recently started a repeat of the 12 weeks to build on what I learned the first time around.

33 Bring back a meat-free-day each week Try More Meat Free Recipes COMPLETE

I didn’t keep track of this so I don’t know if I managed a meat free day every week. But we did try more Meat Free Recipes and make sure we add some to the meal plan every week.

34 Review this list monthly and make plans COMPLETE

I didn’t use any ‘formal’ way to review but I regularly checked the list to see how I was getting on. And this 39 Before 40 Final Report counts right?!

35 Aim for 30+ rejections pitches and learn from them NOT DONE

As I said for Number 20 – this didn’t happen. I did send some pitches and followed them up. But in the end I found more enjoyment and satisfaction from working on items for my Etsy shop so I focused my time on that instead.

36 NLP Training Taster COMPLETE

NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. I did this in January. It was interesting and something I would consider exploring further in the future.

37 Be a guest blogger/tutor/speaker COMPLETE

I was a guest on the Creative Productive podcast and also did an Instagram Live with the host Sarah (@stationerymagpie). I was a guest tutor for the Bring Back Paper membership. And I did an IG Live with Alexis all about Instagram and how I use it.

38 Make Hot Chocolate bombs with the kiddo COMPLETE

This was fun and we’ve made more since. Maybe we should make some for Christmas presents this year?

39 Get kiddo ready for high school (uniform/kit, equipment etc) COMPLETE

We did this and we are continually working on getting him set up for success.

Summary

So that’s my 39 Before 40 Final Report. In summary:

  • I’ve completed 35 items on the list – really chuffed with that.
  • Of those 35, 7 were changed from the original list for various reasons and I am okay with that.
  • 4 were not completed but I’m at peace with that.

I’ll be back soon to share my 40 for 40 list which I’ve already made some progress with!

5 Ways to Embrace Autumn Days

The first daddy-long-legs have made their way in, the leaves are turning and I’ve started wearing extra layers – Autumn is here! So today I thought I’d share 5 ways to embrace Autumn days. 

5 Ways to Embrace Autumn Days Pinnable image with a photo of sunlit trees in Autumn.

5 Ways to Embrace Autumn Days

  1. Get outside as much as you can – it helps to have layers and raincoats handy with the changeable weather! Enjoy the Autumn scenery and the crisp air. And take advantage of any sunshine and blue skies we get before the darker months of Winter.

  2. Make a list of things you want to do to celebrate the season. You could:
    • Cook/bake with seasonal ingredients
    • Create a nature table/tray/display filled with conkers, acorns & multi coloured leaves
    • Have a pyjama day
    • Watch some Autumn themed TV or movies
    • Try a new hobby or craft…you could learn to knit/crochet and make yourself a scarf ready for Winter!

  3. Come up with some season specific self care ideas (I wrote a post about this recently)… what do you need this Autumn to take care of yourself? Here are some ideas:
    • Regular early nights
    • Using a good hand cream
    • Creating a vision board
    • Making an Autumn playlist
    • Trying some Cozy Yoga

  4. Make a list of all the things you LOVE about Autumn and make time to enjoy those things.

  5. Think of something you’d like to focus on this season (like a goal or intention) and schedule some time regularly to work on it. Imagine how good it will feel at the start of Winter if you’ve committed to it over Autumn. Examples include:
    • A new exercise schedule
    • Keeping a gratitude journal
    • Having regular ‘me time’ to do what brings you joy
    • Reading up on a subject that interests you
    • Getting back into a favourite hobby

Which of these suggestions will help you embrace the Autumn days?
What are your favourite things about the season?

Helping you Embrace Autumn Days

I’ve just released some items in my Etsy shop which are designed to help you make the most of the season:

Photo of printed Autumn Days Guided Journal surrounded my Autumn stickers. A cup of tea, a lit tea light candle and a pen also feature.

The Autumn Days Guided Journal is available in paper and digital format and provides lots of prompts that build on the suggestions above to help you celebrate Autumn. 

It has plenty of space for: 

  • setting seasonal goals 
  • making plans
  • exploring what you love about Autumn 
  • helping you make the most of and find the good in the season
  • creating an Autumn playlist (of seasonally themed music, TV, movies and books)
  • writing your own Autumn activity list
  • planning some seasonal self care
  • and capturing your memories of the season

See the DIGITAL version here.
And the PAPER version here.

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Embrace Autumn Days with the Autumn Days Self Care Kit

The Autumn Days Self Care Kit has been created to help you embrace Autumn and focus on cozy self care.

Each item has been carefully made and chosen to help you find joy in the Autumn days. All items are vegan friendly. And it includes:

  • A handmade Zipper Pouch in an Autumn fabric
  • Lavender Bath Salts/Foot Soak – made with lavender grown and harvested in my garden
  • Autumn scented candles
  • Colouring sheets and pencils
  • Seasonal drinks and snacks
  • Autumn themed stickers

View the SELF CARE KIT here.

You can also purchase the journal and self care kit together at a special price.

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Find the Good Everyday Rainbow Gratitude Journal with a rainbow pen and rainbow wooden ornament.

The Find the Good Everyday Gratitude Journal is a handy A6 sized journal printed in rainbow colours with space for 31 entries. 

This is a great starter for developing a regular gratitude practice. Why not try it every day for a month and see how it feels?

Each page offers space to write the date and list 3 things you are grateful for (feel free to squeeze even more in!). There is also a prompt on each page to help you if you’re stuck for ideas – flick through the prompts until something resonates.

See the GRATITUDE JOURNAL here.

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I am planning to create similar items for each season so please consider marking the shop as a favourite so you can see items as they are released.

Wishing you a wonderful Autumn!

A Word of the Year Update (Curiosity)

Back at the start of the year I shared my chosen word/theme for the year. My chosen word is CURIOSITY. And now it’s time for a word of the year update.

I talked about why I chose CURIOSITY and what it means to me in this post. So how’s it going?…

Curiosity - a Word of the Year Update. Pin with an image of colourful alphabet magnets. A hand is pointing at a question mark shape.

A Word of the Year Update

Good things it’s led me to
  • Seasonal journals – I created Spring Goodness as a practice run and then Love Summer to sell in my etsy shop. An Autumn version will be coming soon!
  • Creating my etsy shop – trying not to get to hung up on what’s right and just experiment
  • Looking at nutrition and wellbeing from a curious perspective to try and lessen my all-or-nothing mentality
  • Getting back into sewing and making new things – I took a Learn to Sew course Autumn 2019 and loved finally being able to use a sewing machine. Over lockdown with a focus on home learning and not having enough space for sewing it fell by the wayside but I’m gradually getting back to it now
  • Trying different planning methods – it’s good to try new things but in this case I realised bullet journalling really suits me and I started a new bujo last month (I’ve previously blogged about bullet journalling here and here).
  • I’m more aware of the word Curiosity and tend to notice when it comes up in conversation or discussion – it helps me tune in and learn more about curiosity!
Any negatives?

I do wonder if I use the excuse of curiosity to keep exploring new things rather than cracking on with existing hobbies. And if sometimes it lessens my focus?

But all in all I think it’s been a great word for me and I am glad I chose it.

Plans for curiosity for the rest of the year

I want to continue to use it as a lens and theme for the year. Something that I think about when new opportunities arise and also when issues and challenges come up in daily life… looking at things from a point of view of curiosity rather than judgement helps me to be more open minded about how I deal with problems. At least that’s what I hope!

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Did you pick a word for 2021? If so – how’s it going? Has it had an impact on your life?

Curiosity - a Word of the Year Update. Pin with an image of a dog sticking his head in a gap under an old looking wooden door.

Seasonal Self Care & ideas for each Season

Today I want to talk about Seasonal Self Care and how planning and thinking about our self care seasonally can help us take better care of ourselves.

Pin Image entitled ‘What is seasonal self care?’ And showing an image of a light box with the hashtag Take Care of Yourself surrounded by flowers.

What is Seasonal Self Care?

So many people I chat with say that making time for self care is hard and it’s often the first thing to fall by the wayside when life gets busy and routines get changed up.

But what if we looked at our self care on a seasonal basis? For both the seasons of our life and the seasons of the year.

We know that self care isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach and that we have to work out as individuals what taking care of ourselves means (Hint – it’s not always about the bubble bath and pampering!). Different times in our life call for different ways to take care of ourselves. And I know that my self care in Winter looks very different to the Summer.

Perhaps part of our commitment to self care should be sitting down at the start of each season and working out how we can take better care of ourselves? It’s also a great opportunity to review and reflect on what’s been working and what hasn’t… to help us determine the self care that feels right for us every day and what works at certain times.

For me – journalling is a constant… every morning (about 90% of the time!) I write morning pages and every evening (99%) I write in my gratitude journal. Getting outside in nature is also a constant for me… but where I choose to go is dependent on the weather and the seasons.

Action Point:

Take a moment to think about the things you do regularly that contribute to your self care and figure out if they work every day or change up depending on the season.

Examples of Season Specific Self Care

Here are some examples of seasonal self care but remember – it can look different for everyone.

Summer Self Care
  • Wearing SPF daily
  • Meditating or doing yoga/exercise outside
  • Creating and listening to a Summer playlist
  • Visiting the beach or seaside
  • Making salads that use plenty of in-season produce
Autumn Self Care
  • Making crumble and other Autumnal recipes
  • Starting/getting back to a hobby that suits Autumn and Winter (like knitting, crochet etc)
  • Buy a new sweater or jumper to keep you cozy
  • Treating yourself to a new candle
  • Go for a walk somewhere where you can see the Autumn colours
Winter Self Care
  • Making sure you have warm layers to wear including hat, scarf and gloves
  • Trying out new hearty recipes for the slow cooker
  • Cozy yoga
  • Putting up fairy lights to add some twinkle
  • Have a regular early night where you cozy up with a book or to get more sleep
Spring Self Care
  • Visiting your favourite spot to see Spring flowers
  • Getting outside in the garden
  • Decluttering your space
  • Trying something new (a hobby or activity)
  • Use the extra evening light to walk in the evenings

If you have any season specific self care activity suggestions please do share them in the comments below.

More on Self Care

For more on Self Care take a look at these Self Care Ideas.

There are also plenty of Summer Self Care suggestions in my LOVE SUMMER guided journal. You can find out more about that in my Etsy shop. As well as Self Care the journal also guides you to:

It even comes in a kit with some summer themed self care items.

Remember – it’s not too late to make the most of the Summer season and plan out your Summer Self Care.

Pin Image entitled Seasonal Self Care - what is it? And how can it help us take better care of ourselves. The image shows a tree reflected in water and is split into quarters depicting the 4 seasons.

Summer Bucket List Ideas

Today I want to share some Summer Bucket List Ideas with you.

A graphic titled What’s on my Summer Bucket List? with icons for 6 different Summer activities

What is a Summer Bucket List?

It’s a list of activities to do over the Summer season.

Some people have life-long Bucket Lists (a list of things to do before they kick the bucket.) There’s even a film starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman called The Bucket List.

I love creating seasonal bucket lists – they help me to make the most of the season and to celebrate what’s unique about each one.

We usually display ours somewhere the whole family can see it. This reminds us of what we want to do and gives us ideas when we’re stuck for ideas.

So onto the ideas…

Summer Bucket List Ideas

  • Make a Summer plan (draw up or use a calendar, mark out any plans you already have and then start filling in gaps with your Bucket List items)
  • Have a picnic
  • Visit the beach/seaside
  • Go camping
  • Eat in-season produce
  • Try tie-dye
  • Water balloon/gun fight
  • Get (or give yourself) a pedicure
  • Meet friends at a park or garden
  • Go on a bike ride
  • Make summer themed cocktails and/or mocktails
  • Play mini golf
  • Watch the sunrise or sunset
  • Have a barbecue
  • Make a Summer fruit salad
  • Go swimming
  • Take a walk in a shady spot
  • Create a summer playlist
  • Go out for ice-cream
  • Collect seashells and sea glass
  • Try a new summer activity like stand up paddle boarding or surfing
  • Visit some stately gardens (they usually have a great cafe for a meal/cake!)
  • Make ice lollies
  • Read a book set in Summer
  • Make some summer themed art

Make the most of Summer

There are even more Summer Activities suggested in my LOVE SUMMER guided journal which you can purchase from my Etsy shop.

I’ve created the journal to help you make the most of the Summer season and as well as creating your Summer Bucket List it will help you to:

  • think about goals and intentions for the Summer
  • plan out fun summer activities
  • create a summer happy list – of all the things you love about Summer
  • come up with a self care plan for Summer (including a list of Summer specific self care activities)
  • make a Summer playlist (there’s even a Find the Good Everyday Love Summer playlist)
  • capture and document your Summer memories

The journal comes with a Summer themed self care kit. You can read more about the LOVE SUMMER journal and self care kit and buy your own here.

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For other seasonal activity ideas and buckets lists – take a look at these posts:

What’s on your Summer Bucket List this year?

Summer Bucket List Ideas Pin showing an image of a rainbow windmill in some sand at the beach

Love Summer Guided Journal & Self Care Kit

Today I am so excited to share the latest Find the Good Everyday product with you! I have created a Love Summer Guided Journal and Self Care Kit and it’s available for sale now. There are 20 kits available in total.

This post contains spoilers! If you want the contents to be a surprise – you can go to this link and order your box without knowing what’s in it!

Read on if you’d like to know what’s included before you decide to buy… I’ve also filmed a video sharing the contents of the box. You can view that here.

A sneak peek at the LOVE SUMMER guided journal and self care kit.

How did it come about?

I’m a big fan of embracing and celebrating each of the seasons. Most of us have a favourite season and ones we don’t like as much. And sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in what we don’t like about a season. I had an idea to create seasonal kits (yes, the plan is there will be one for every season!) to help us find the good in the season.

I’ve previously shared lots of seasonal activity ideas and suggestions for making the most of each season… you can view all my seasonal posts here.

I’m a big fan of journals and journaling (as you can see here (morning pages), here (gratitude) and here (Find Your Happy)) so I created a journal for the main part of the kit. I have also created and curated other contents along the theme of LOVE SUMMER.

So what’s in the LOVE SUMMER guided journal and self care kit?

Photo showing the contents of the LOVE SUMMER guided journal and self care kit. Read on for the full list of contents.

The main element of the kit is a 20 page guided journal to help you plan and create an awesome summer. It’s an A5 journal printed in black and white – allowing you to decorate it however you wish. There are lots of suggestions and ideas to help you create your own lists and plans. It’s hand bound (by me!) and has plenty of space for:

  • setting seasonal goals
  • making plans
  • exploring what you love about Summer
  • creating a Summer playlist
  • writing your own Summer bucket list
  • and capturing your memories of the season

I wanted to create a kit to go with the journal to really help you decorate your journal, focus on summer self care and make the most of the season. So alongside the journal you will receive:

  • SPF30 lip balm in a summery flavour (vegan)
  • a heart shaped pink tea light candle – perfect for lighting while you write in your journal
  • Glow tea bag (individually wrapped) – Strawberry, cucumber, green tea and aloe vera – a lovely summery blend
  • Either: Heartea tea bag (individually wrapped) – Blackcurrant, rosemary, honey and hibiscus or: SLEEP tea bag (individually wrapped) – Spiced apple, vanilla, camomile and Passion flowers (vegan option)
  • Rose quartz tumble stone crystal – symbolises love and peace
  • Blue gel pen for completing your journal
  • Small roll of glitter washi tape in a lovely bright colour to compliment your journal
  • Small roll of decorative washi tape to match your journal
  • An affirmation card (I’ve created a deck of 24 affirmation cards, 1 will go in each box – like a fortune cookie type message!)
  • Some love heart sweets (vegan)

This will all be wrapped and presented in a pink A5 mailing box. All of the packaging is recyclable and I’ve had as much fun putting that together as I have the kits!

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So – what are you waiting for? Head over to have a look at the LOVE SUMMER Guided Journal and Self Care Kit… remember there are only 20 kits available so please consider buying as soon as possible if you do want to get one. Plus – the sooner you purchase – the sooner you can use the kit to make the very best of this Summer season.

I’m also selling full sets of the affirmation cards in a handmade popper pouch. And paper copies of Find Your Happy journal too. You can see everything in my Etsy store here.

A BIG thank you for reading this far. I really hope you like the kit and it helps you enjoy Summer.