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.

Build a Toolbox to Cultivate Positive Energy

Today I want to talk about how we can cultivate positive energy.

It’s helpful to know what activities and things raise our energy. Then when we are having a meh day we can try them to see if it helps lift us up. It may not always help and it may not always be what we need (sometimes we need to feel our emotions and not brush them aside). But it’s great to have an idea of what might help raise our energy when we want to try it.

Cultivating Positive Energy pin

Get to Know Yourself Better

Something that has been super helpful for me in how I cultivate positive energy is getting to know myself better.

There are various quizzes you can take online if you like that kind of thing (I do!) to help you discover more about your own traits. I know some people aren’t a fan of labels and being pigeon-holed but I’ve always found things like this a great leaping point to understand myself better.

If you do any quizzes I’d recommend following it up with research on your “type” to see if you do feel like it fits you. And then use that knowledge to give yourself tools and help in the areas you want to improve.

Knowing I am an introvert has probably been the biggest game-changer for my energy levels. Now I understand when my battery is running low and that quiet alone time is exactly what I need to help raise my energy again.

Get Ready to Cultivate Positive Energy

If we’re having a meh day and want to try and raise our energy – that often isn’t the best time to work out what we need. What is helpful is already having a file or toolbox you can open up when you need it. So let’s look at how we can do that…

Create an Energy Toolbox

Open up a notes file on your phone or a page in your notebook to record your answers to each of the prompts below. It can become something you revisit when you need to lift your spirits.

  1. Make a list of things that raise your energy. E.g. listen to music, dance, go for a walk, talking to friends, being creative
  2. What one thing can you do every morning to help you cultivate positive energy? E.g. journalling, meditation, hydrate, exercise, stretch, wear something that makes you happy, put on your favourite jewellery/perfume
  3. Make a playlist with songs that make you want to dance and sing. If you prefer podcasts to music – which ones inspire you and motivate you?
  4. Engage your senses… what colours mean happy or high energy to you? Which scents wake up and refresh you? What food/drink revives you?
  5. What’s your perfect break when you get overwhelmed or stressed? Do you like to get outside? Have a nap? Have a drink? Switch to a different activity?

This is a great starting point. If you know your personality traits or have answers to the quizzes you could also screenshot your answers and keep them together to refer back to.

Start creating a file on yourself – what makes you feel good and what helps raise your energy when you need to. And then open it up on those days when you need a boost!

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What’s the number one tool in your energy raising toolkit?

And if you liked this post you may also enjoy 9 Ways to Boost Energy and Get Things Done.

Build a Toolbox to Cultivate Positive Energy Pin with a photo of a person on a beach reaching up to the sun.

My Morning Pages Practice

I’ve recently started my 36th volume of Morning Pages so I think it’s a good time to share more with you about my Morning Pages practice and how I make it work for me.

I’ve been writing Morning Pages for over 5 years now and I first blogged about them here.

My Morning Pages Practice pin featuring a photo of a notebook, pen and cup of coffee.

What are Morning Pages?

Morning Pages are a form of journaling suggested by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way.

This is what Cameron says about them on her website:

“Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.”

How I make my Morning Pages practice work for me

  • I use A5 notebooks and aim to write 3 pages each morning before I start my day.
  • I do miss the odd day – especially if I oversleep, have an early appointment or feel unwell.
  • Some days I only write one page and sometimes it’s more than 3 pages. It’s usually 2-3 pages.
  • I used to write whatever came to mind and sometimes still do. But I have also developed something of a structure which I often use to keep the words flowing:
    • I start out writing about how I’m feeling and how I slept.
    • I often give myself a score out of 10 for how I am feeling. Then note down some ideas of what I can do that day to improve my score.
    • Recently I’ve been drawing a card from my Starseed Oracle deck each day. I write down which card I’ve pulled and any thoughts about it.
    • Next I write out my affirmations – I currently have a list of 9.
    • I write about plans for the day, things on my mind and about dreams I’ve had.
  • If I don’t have time to write my pages first thing sometimes I get to them later in the morning. I’ve even written them in the afternoon and evening.
  • It usually takes me around 10-20 minutes depending on how many pages I write, what’s on my mind and if I am interrupted by family members.

Benefits of Morning Pages

  1. My morning pages journals are a great place to vent, express emotion, solve problems, come up with creative ideas and untangle all the random thoughts that get in the way of me getting on with things.
  2. Writing them each day (usually in the morning) gives me that all important time as an introvert to process my thoughts and have time to myself.
  3. They often help me wake up. I am often bleary-eyed as I begin and feel much more awake by the time I am done.
  4. They are a commitment to myself and my self-care. By completing them first thing they often create a momentum for the day to get other things done.
  5. I usually write my morning pages before I pick up my phone or go near a screen. They help me have less screen time. Plus I get my own thoughts out before I am bombarded with the internet and everyone else’s thoughts!

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Have you tried writing morning pages? How did you get on?

I hope my morning pages practice inspires you to give them a go… be sure to let me know how you get on!

My Morning Pages Practice Pin features a desk with stationery items including a journal and pen plus a yellow cup of coffee

39 Before 40 Progress Report

Hello. It’s time for a 39 Before 40 Progress Report. This is a fairly long one so you might want to grab a cuppa. Read on to see how I am getting on with the 39 things I want to achieve by the time I turn 40 (in October 2021).

My 39 Before 40 Project Progress Report text overlaying a background image of a woman holding a sparkler

39 Before 40 Progress Report

1 – Blog 25 times IN PROGRESS

I’m up to 11 posts (including this one). 14 to go with just under 6 months remaining. That’s doable! I’m aiming for 2-3 posts each month.

2 – Release 3 FTGE (Find The Good Everyday) paid for products IN PROGRESS

I have something coming very soon. A Summer Guided Journal and Summer Self Care Kit. I also hope to release an Autumn themed project in September.

3 – Mindset Training IN PROGRESS
  • I did Sophie Cliff’s Master Your Mindset course in November 2020
  • I also did Sophie’s First 100 Days journaling project
  • And I am currently working my way through Jamie Varon’s Live with Intention course

I think mindset is a constant work-in-progress and I am grateful that these trainings have helped me to continue working on it.

4 – 39 Soundtrack IN PROGRESS

This is such a fun one. It’s shaping up to be a list of songs that hold specific memories this year rather than a collection of my favourites. Previous annual soundtracks have been a mix of both. You can see what I’ve picked so far here.

5 – Document Christmas Learn Cross-stitch COMPLETE

I didn’t get myself organised enough to Document Christmas so I changed it to Learn Cross-stitch which I did in February. You can see the little rainbow I stitched here.

6 – Sewing with Stretch course

No progress on this yet. I’ve not been doing very much sewing at all lately. I am still hopeful to make a start though – perhaps over Summer.

7 – Take Reggie on “holiday” IN PROGRESS

Reggie is our greyhound. We have something booked. Just a short overnight break quite close to home to have a practice run and get him used to travelling and staying somewhere else with us.

8 – Go to Skye IN PROGRESS

We’ve got something booked for later in the year. Fingers crossed it goes ahead!

9 – Ride a Horse

I have no immediate plans to do this. It may get swapped for something else. Or I might just get something booked and do it as things start opening up again.

10 – Visit Norfolk IN PROGRESS

This one is tied in with number 7 (taking Reggie on holiday!)

11 – Plan an epic 40th

I’ll wait a bit longer before I make any plans for my 40th in October – who knows what the rules will be by then?!

12 – Spa Day

This is booked for the summer and I am really hoping it will go ahead as it’s been a long time coming. My friend and I originally had a spa day booked for March 2020 and it’s been postponed a few times already.

13 – Day in the Life COMPLETE

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

14 – Take a creative course/class

Hoping to do this as the world opens back up. I’d love to do something in person rather than online.

15 – Instagram growth – reach 1k and grow my community IN PROGRESS

I’m getting there with the 1k… please come and follow me if you don’t already. And I’ve been trying to share posts and stories that help people feel part of the Find the Good Everyday community. I love having chats with people in my comments and DMs there.

16 – Europe city break First 100 Days Journalling Project COMPLETE

I switched this up as I don’t think a Europe trip will happen this year. I changed it to a project I’d already started at the time and have since completed.

17 – Grow the FTGE newsletter and mailing list IN PROGRESS

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

We may do this as part of our take Reggie on holiday, on the way to Norfolk. Or it may be a seperate day out. But I plan to do it over the next few months.

19 – Reach my Find Your Happy Sales Target COMPLETE

I am so chuffed to have met my mid-range target for sales. I do still have some copies left though with no immediate plans to reprint the paper copies. 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

I’m working on this by pitching to publications.

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 (here’s our recipe!) 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!)

I haven’t done this yet due to the lockdowns and schools being closed but I hope to schedule this in before the Summer holidays and take myself off on an adventure!

24 – Do some work on the house

I really want to get some work done on our kitchen but we need a surveyor/engineer to have a look because it involves knocking down a wall… the first step is to make some phone calls and find someone to come and have a look.

25 – Solstice and Equinox adventures IN PROGRESS

I made a wreath for Winter Solstice and purchased a beautiful Spring Wreath for the Equinox. And I enjoyed spending time outside on both of those occasions too. Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox to go!

26 – Find fun ways to use glass jars COMPLETE

I ended up playing with glass jars for my Crafternoon.

27 – Host a Crafternoon to raise money for Mind COMPLETE

I did this back 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

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in March 2020. I’ve got a blog post drafted about this but it doesn’t feel quite ready to share yet. I might share it around the time of RA Awareness Week which is coming up in September.

30 – Read Untamed COMPLETE

I read it, loved it and recommend it!

31 – Monthly RAKs – big and small IN PROGRESS

I wasn’t as consistent with this to begin with and got a little behind. I’ve got one month to “catch up on” and will continue them monthly. Most recently I gave away a Gratitude Journal on Instagram and a Happiness Toolkit to a newsletter subscriber. I’ve done some RAKs offline as well.

32 – Try dairy free (for a week? Or month?)

Haven’t tried this yet. I think it will be a week to begin with and I’ll see how I go from there.

33 – Bring back a meat-free-day each week

I’ve got meat-free dinners on the menu plan each week but I don’t always make sure I’m meat-free for lunch as well so I need to revise the menu plan to reflect that. One of our favourites is this Smoky Chilli recipe by Jamie Oliver.

34 – Review this list monthly and make plans IN PROGRESS

I’ve not been “formally” doing this but I do have a paper version pinned up and I check/update it every few weeks or so. Plus I’m writing this 39 Before 40 Progress Report!

35 – Aim for 30+ rejections pitches and learn from them IN PROGRESS

This was in relation to pitching to publications. I realised recently that the wording was putting me off so I’ve changed it to sending pitches rather than waiting for the rejections. Part of pitching is undoubtedly receiving rejections which is why I chose the wording originally – to accept that it was going to happen. But I prefer the pro-active wording of tracking the number of pitches I send rather than the responses (or non-responses) I get back.

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 (but would love to do more!)

I was a guest on the Creative Productive podcast – the episode went live in November and you can listen here. I also did an Instagram Live with the host Sarah (@stationerymagpie). And I was a guest tutor for Jocelyn at The Reading Residence Bring Back Paper membership in January – chatting all things journalling.

38 – Make Hot Chocolate bombs with the kiddo COMPLETE

This was fun and we’ve made more since. Here’s a photo of some we made.

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

I’m not sure I am ever going to be emotionally ready for this one but we will be working on this over the summer months ready for September.

39 Before 40 Progress Report Pin image featuring a cake with sparkler 40 candles

Summary

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

  • I’ve completed 13 items on the list – a third complete at the halfway point.
  • I’ve made a start or have things planned for another 13 things.
  • Which leaves 13 things still to start and get ticked off.

If you’ve read this far – bonus points to you! I know it’s been long but I share my birthday projects and progress for accountability and I appreciate you, as the reader, helping to hold me accountable!

I’ll be back with another update, once I’m 40, later in the year!