Thursday, 29 December 2016

Flying the Nest


I've finally flown the nest.

Moving out. Those two words I thought I'd put into action many years ago when I finished Uni. I thought I'd be the girl who never came back home after Uni. I pictured myself living in London or maybe New York, working in a high rise building, living in a high rise building, working for a blue chip company and being a 'proper grown up.' But life doesn't always go the way you think does it?

I became a home bird. I loved spending time with my family. I didn't like change, I didn't like separation and I didn't like thinking about life without my family. But things do change and seperation does happen. Relationships end, people get sick and sadly we all leave this earth at some point...

These experiences taught me to cope better with big changes in life but at the same time it made me become more anxious. I worry about people a lot. Perhaps by being at home this whole time I felt like I had a comfort blanket, something there to protect me from the bad stuff? But the bad stuff happens anyway, right?

I've been so lucky to have such a close knit family. My parents, my brother and I are all so close. We've all followed different paths and we've all been through our own ups and downs but no matter what we stick by each other.

My mum and I are incredibly close.

We have PJ nights with endless hours of boxsets and plenty of chocolate. We can gossip for hours about an article we've read on the Daily Mail App (guilty pleasure!). We bake. We shop. We laugh hysterically. We support each other through the storms without judgement. Like two peas in a pod.

Being at home, I thought I'd never grow up (that's my inner Peter Pan right there!) and the boxset binges would never end.

Circumstances change, life throw's you a curve ball, you fall in love, you suddenly feel like an adult. And voila - you're on a totally different track to where you thought you were going. But that's okay, that's the pathway that fate leads you to and that's the pathway to your next chapter.

For me, instead of that high rise flat and that high flying job, I've just moved to a beautiful village in the middle of the countryside and I earn my living by being a digital freelancer with a passion for reading books. It might not be what I dreamt when I was a little girl but right now I'd say I'm living the dream.

Life is all about chasing those dreams. Dreams can change and alter. What makes the dream real is a feeling of wholeness, contentment and happiness. Accepting that whatever has been and whatever will be is out of our hands and what is happening right now is all just part of our exciting journey.

So hey, it might have taken me longer than others to flap those wings and fly the nest but in that time I've ironed out some new hopes, I've learnt a few lessons and without really even thinking about being 'an adult', I've reached adulthood with open arms bigger than I imagined.

It's okay to be a bit different isn't it?
SHARE:

Friday, 28 October 2016

When Change Comes Knocking


I'm a Libran. That makes me incredibly indecisive. I find it difficult to say 'No' and I make every effort to make sure everyone around me is happy. I like harmony and balance. 

Do I like change? Well I don't think any of us like lots of changes all of the time, do we? 

Over the last 4 years, I have embraced change and I've learned a lot about how change can make you a stronger person. 

The next few months will see a BIG change happen in my life and in anticipation of this I thought I'd share my thoughts on the subject of change...

We make decisions every single day of our lives. 

What to wear to work? 
What to eat for lunch? 
And even what time to go to bed. 

Our routines are based on a series of decisions knitted together to form a sequence...something that becomes familiar. 

Something we call day-to-day life.

Our routines can be affected by big life events like love, health, death and money. And sometimes we can feel like our lives are 'all over the place' - a little off balance, a little uncertain. 

Waiting in anticipation of something to change in our hectic routine to put the balance back in the picture. 

We wait for the world to change.

Going through uncertainty can be massively stressful for us. We can't sleep because our minds race with thoughts and anxiety about tomorrow. We panic about the future - 'Where will I be?'. 

Our foundation feels like it's been built on a plate of jelly...know that feeling?

But with patience and strength, I believe we can fix that wibbly wobbly foundation, come out the other side and make the world we live in change. 

I recently made a BIG decision. A decision to finally fly the nest. At the ripe old age of 28. Some might think this is really old to be leaving home but actually, I just needed to wait for my world to change slightly so that I would make my world change...take that leap finally, no backing out. 

When something happens beyond our control it's like fate is telling us it's time. The world is making a decision for us. 

And so for me - my fate has told me over the last couple of months it's time to fly the next and create my new pathway. 

However anxious I might be feeling about moving out I am also excited. 

I'm excited to be taking charge of my future. 

I'm excited to be a little less of a 'Libra' and think about myself and my journey a little more. 

It's good to take care of yourself now and again isn't it? 

I'm sure the emotions that I will go through over the next few weeks will be a huge mixture of ups and some downs, but what's important to remember is that change is positive and change can help solidify that jelly on a plate.
SHARE:

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

#30before30: Get A New Piercing


Hooray!

I've done it. I've ticked off one of my 'to-dos' before I hit the big 3-0.

A couple of weeks ago I accomplished number 21. I got a new piercing.

On a completely random afternoon after a meeting finished I had some free time before meeting a friend for lunch and so I stopped by the wonderful team at Punktured, Brighton.

Having had my ears pierced when I was 8, I begged my parents to let me get my belly button pierced pretty much everyday between the ages of 13 and 16. And on my 16th birthday off they took me to Punktured to get the job done. Since then I've never had another piercing anywhere other than Punktured. I trust the team there totally and can highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for a friendly piercing studio. So clean, helpful, patient and just a really nice bunch of people!

I have 4 or should I say 5 piercings in total. My belly button, first ear lobes - standard, my tragus and now the top of my right ear - not even sure what this is called?! Is there a technical term?

I did actually have every intention of getting my nose pierced would you believe but I have decided against it...for now. So off I went to get the top of my ear pierced!

I had the super friendly Eli pierce my ear for me and even though I'd been in the chair before, Eli put me at total ease asking me about my day and chatting through the procedure with me - we even found a common love for mindfulness and meditation! Eli helped me decide on the perfect position for my piercing and we settled on positioning the ring just slightly lower than the usual spot. I have a tiny bump in my ear so my new piercing hides this well!

It's now been a little over 3 weeks since I had my ear done and it's healing really well. I bathe it with salt water twice everyday and so far I've managed to refrain from picking, scratching and twisting the piercing - it's healing nicely.

It cost £26 to get the piercing done and that included a small silver ring - there is a selection of bars, rings and studs to choose from and after your new piercing has healed you can change it up.

I'm now thinking about my next one...maybe I should wait till after I'm 30 now though?!

Have you got any piercings? Have you ever had anything done at Punktured?

D
SHARE:

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Digital Detox Your Holiday


Working in Digital Marketing it is incredibly hard to go on a total digital detox.

And that's not an excuse I know. Maybe this is a weakness?

But the nature of my job means I keep my finger on the pulse most of the day - I check what's trending on Twitter, I follow Facebook Live events and I monitor Instagram stories from top influencers many times a day. It's second nature to me.

So how did I take a step away from it all on my recent trip to Dubrovnik? Here's a few tips to help you go on a digital detox while you soak in the sun...

1. Leave your phone in your room

Perhaps the easiest way to step away from the digital world is to simply leave your phone in your room. Lock it away in your safe if you've got a day round the pool planned.

What's the worst that could happen?

You can pop back at lunchtime to check your messages if you're expecting a call but when your phone is out of site it's probably out of mind. Now pass me a cocktail!

2. Turn off all your notifications


If you're on annual leave, chances are you've set an 'out of office' on your emails or if you're a freelancer like me you might have dropped your clients a note to say that you're away and will only be checking emails infrequently. That way no one can expect an immediate response from you.


Turn off your notifications too - if you need your phone when you're out to call a taxi either turn off your data or just remove your notifications.

Do you really need to worry about what your best mates brother is having for dinner when you're busy sipping Sangrias? Thought not.

3. Pack a camera

With thanks to the smart phone it's too easy for us to forget to take cameras out and about with us now. We can take a snap of whatever we want, whenever we want.

But with a smartphone it's not just about taking a photo off the cuff.

It's now all about adding a filter, posting to Snapchat, sharing on Instagram, checking in on Facebook...oh all the places that photo needs to go.

But the reality - well it doesn't.

So invest in a decent hand-held camera, hold off on the sharing functionalities and just get totally lost in snapping shots of the scenery and sunsets.

4. Build a playlist on an iPod

Old skool? Nah. I recently did this whilst I was away with my niece and my mum. We spent the weekend listening to some tunes we had loaded to Mum's iPod instead of streaming from Spotify.

It made the whole thing a little more enjoyable as we took ourselves back to some of our favourite songs when I was young and introduced my 6 year old niece to some classics - without having to rely on wi-fi!

5. Read an actual book

Don't get me wrong I love my Kindle. One of my favourite things I own. But when I'm lazing by the pool or about to get on a flight I love a good book in my hand.

I love it when you finish a book on holiday and by the time you get home the pages smell like suncream and the cover adorns a few grains of sand.

Maybe it's a nostalgic thing...

6. Meditate

Step away from the phone. Step away from the tablet. And step away from your computer.

Focus on you and see if your hotel or resort holds any mediation sessions during the first couple of days of your holiday.

Or book yourself in for a mindfulness and meditation class before you take-off and get to grips with what it feels like to just be present.

It'll change your life.

What do you do to unwind on holiday? And do you find it hard to totally switch off? Would love to here your top tips!

D
SHARE:

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

30 Before 30: The List


I remember being a Bridesmaid for the first time when I was about 7 years old. The bride, a family member was in her mid 20s at the time and I remember looking up at her in complete awe. What an exciting time it must be at 25 and imagine 30 - WOAH. 30 is all about being married, having a house, probably a few children and totally understanding what life is, what it all means and why we're doing what we're doing...right?

No. Nope. Nada. It never turned out quite like that!

Mabey it's just me but being 30 in the 90s isn't quite what it means to be 30 now is it?

I'm turning 28 this October which means the year after next (THE YEAR AFTER NEXT!!!) I will turn 30. Madness. 3 whole decades.

It's so easy to think 'what have I done in the last 30 years' and I'm one of those that always whines to my friends 'I need to get my life sorted' but actually in reflection there isn't anything wrong with my life.

I just need to realise that the life I thought I'd have now...when I was 6...is just not the pathway I was meant to have and that's okay.

In light of turning 30, I - like many others have decided to pull together a list of 30 things I want to do or achieve before the stroke of midnight on the 5th October 2018.

1. Have Afternoon Tea at The Ritz
2. Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride
3. Visit Scotland  - 2nd June 2017
4. Move Out - 24th November 2016
5. Go Fishing  - 12th June 2017
6. Sew something I can actually wear - from scratch!
7. Build up my freelance into a Boutique Agency - 25th March 2017
8. Travel to New York
9. Climb and Camp on a Mountain
10. Learn how to Paddleboard
11. Start a New Business  - 7th November 2016
12. Go to Art Classes
13. Travel to Bali
14. Grow my Nails - once and for all!  - 25th October 2017
15. Get a Second Tattoo
16. Go to a Bottomless Brunch - 21st August 2016
17. Visit Iceland
18. Go a month without using heat on my hair
19. Take up Yoga/Pilates
20. Do a floristry course
21. Get a new piercing  - 26th August 2016
22. Learn a language - Spanish or Italian
23. Publish an Article
24. Sleep in a Treehouse or Under the Stars
25. Go to Thailand
26. Visit Ireland
27. Carve a pumpkin - 26th October 2016
28. Do a sports event for Charity
29. Go to the Ballet at Christmas
30. Grow my hair - long!

And above all else - feel totally content with who I am and my journey, the choices I have made and the place my life is in.

Bring it on 2018!
SHARE:

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

#FreelanceLife - 5 Tips That'll Get You Ticking-Off Those To-Dos!


The to-do list.

There's lots of reasons why we do them and lots of ways they've come about - even Benjamin Franklin banged on about 'to-do' lists back in the day and you know what I LOVE A LIST. There is something so satisfying about ticking off your jobs, your tasks - whatever it is.

And yes, I am the kind of person that'll write something I've already done on my list - just so I can tick it off. I feel like its a way of give yourself a pat on the back - recognition you've achieved something whether it's putting out the washing or completing a massive social media audit.

Since I've been freelancing I've lost count of the amount of times I've 'Googled' productivity, organisation, how to stay sane etc and I've come up with 5 tips that are making me more productive, more efficient and getting me more ticks!

1. Shop, sharp, successful bursts!

I picked up this tip from the incredible business journal I have my head stuck in at the moment. From the people that created the Daily Greatness Journal comes the Daily Greatness Business Planner. These guys recommend setting your daily actions into 90 minute chunks with a 10 minute break every 40 minutes. This method has worked wonders for me. Instead of getting distracted I discipline myself to 40 minutes of solid work then treat myself with 10 minutes of listening to a podcast, answering emails or calling a friend.

2. Music to your headphones

I LOVE listening to music while I work. But it has to be something totally chilled and something that doesn't carry emotions or memories - no girl's night out songs here! I recommend the Work playlists from Spotify - this one 'Music for Concentration' is my current favourite. A mix of minimalism, electronic and modern classic. It really gets me in the zone.

3. BREAKFAST

Brain food. I used to be terrible at eating breakfast - in fact I never used to eat breakfast. But now I've gotten into the habit of starting everyday with a glass of water and a slice of fresh lemon and either eggs and smoked salmon, a green smoothie backed with banana, spinach and pineapple or porridge with apples and sultana. Whatever I eat I make sure it's healthy and big enough to fill me up till lunch. Sugar snacking makes me lethargic and tired - easily losing concentration!

4. Let's go Outside

As I write this I've just got back from a lovely walk on the beach with my pooch. I find a mid-afternoon walk really strengthens my productivity for the rest of the afternoon. It gives me something to work towards, it gives me time to step away and it gives me time to re-align my actions and how I will achieve them on a daily basis. The fresh air does wonders for the mind!

5. Tidy desk, really does mean tidy mind

Some days I don't work from my office but on the days when I do I always start the day by tidying my workspace. Rejigging my motivational quotes, organising which notebook I'm using for the day and filing any paper I don't need for the day ahead. I'll always light a candle and open up the window for some fresh air too. I love my workspace - its calm. Working in a space you can walk away from is also hugely important!

What productivity tips do you have?

D
SHARE:

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

#FreelanceLife - A Day In The Life Of A Freelancer: The Reality

freelance life

Freelance life. A new way of thinking, being, doing and living. Starting at 9am and finishing at 5.30pm. having an hour for lunch and 28 days holiday...freelance life is none of those.

The reality of freelance life is starting at 2am, 5am, 11am...starting your day when you wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep because you have a deadline or because you suddenly have an idea that you simply MUST share on your project Slack feed.

Freelance life doesn't allow for holidays. Sure you might look at my Instagram feed and think 'Wow this girl is always on holiday' but let me tell you...there are no out of office email notices and wherever I stay Wi-Fi is essential!

Freelance life doesn't mean an extra long lunch break or a chance to veg out in front of the TV - sometimes just a simple cup of tea is a luxury! I can be at my desk at 8.30am and power on through until I next look at the clock, wondering why I'm suddenly super hungry...at 3.30pm!

Freelance life is all play. This is one that in recent months is absolutely not true. I've lost count of the amount of times I have had to cancel plans, reschedule dinners, drinks, nights out and girly get togethers.

Freelance life is not money, money, money. Sending invoices, chasing payments, making sure you're making enough money to meet your bills and save some cash is all part of freelance life. And that can be super stressful!

This is the reality of freelance life...one year in. But, for all this I would not change what I do. All of the above require strength, determination, organisation and well, a whole heap of dedication. To my friends and family who have been here since day one...I'm sorry, but thank you for the support in my beginnings. And to my amazing clients. I love the projects I'm involved in; from established businesses to start-ups, small organisations to large corporations.

I am now working on my productivity, my work life balance and of course, learning about how my way of life can be the best it can be. Over the coming weeks I will be sharing my own #freelancelife tips and tricks that I have been learning and I hope to encourage more of you, like me to take the scary leap of faith and join the world of working for yourself.

D
SHARE:

Friday, 12 February 2016

I Created a Book Club!


My bookshelf is crammed full of books. In fact, my bookshelf, my 'dvd shelf', my bedside table, my wardrobe...is crammed full of books.

My library history is full of nearly the same 'type' of book. And my Instagram feed is full of quotes and snaps of books that inspire me and bring goodness into my life. And that's exactly the kind of book we all need once in a while. No one can resist a good story that sucks us in and take us off into another world for an hour but the books I REALLY love are those that are 'good for the soul'...no I'm not just talking about the Self Help section in Waterstones.

I'm talking about the Marie Kondo's - yes I am learning how to Kon-Mari my shit. I'm talking about the Diane Von Furstenberg's. The Miss Moneypenny's. The Robin Sharma's and the Sophie Amoruso's. The books that encourage us to think outside the box, the books that teach us about the meaning's of life, the books that nurture us and encourage us to grow into unbelievably incredible people.

And it turned out after chattering to a few fellow book worms I'm not the only one obsessed with these thought-food books.

And so I decided to create a book club.


A book club which is named after one of the most inspiring women to have every walked the planet - Samurai warrior, Tomoe Gozen. 

She fought alongside male samurais in the Genpei War. She was a strong woman who fought amongst strong men. She was an incredible archer and a swordsman. She was ready to face battle on foot or horseback AT ANY TIME. She was beautiful. Fearless. And respected. 

This is what I hope to bring to the book club. Beauty, fearlessness and respect.

It'll be more than just a book club - it'll be a place for us to share stories and be inspired whilst encouraging and supporting each other. It won't be a feminist group that slates men. It'll be a place to build relationships and a place for friendship. It will be a place for bookworms! Of course! 

The first few members are joining and I'd love it if you'd like to join too! Just follow this link to request your place and please let me know of any amazing, inspiring books you have read recently! 


D x
SHARE:

Monday, 8 February 2016

Going Meat Free


I think I've always been a little naive when it comes to grub. I don't think I've ever really thought about what goes into my tummy pre 2012. Why 2012? Well in 2012 I went through some anxiety problems and my body reacted by developing IBS. This is something I have now learnt to manage through various different means which I am sure I will share with you all soon.

However, this year I made a pledge to myself to get healthy and stay healthy.

Not so much because I want to lose weight - yoyo diets ain't my thing! But more in a bid to take better care of me. It got me thinking...what might help my health and help my IBS. Well a chat with a few friends persuaded me to try removing meat. Just for a little while.

And then this opened a pretty large can of worms.

Have any of you watched Cowspiracy?

Don't worry I'm not going off on a tangent here.

Cowspiracy, if you haven't seen it, is a documentary film which you can watch on Netflix about how the animal agriculture industry is the leading cause of Amazon deforestation as well as a HUGE factor on global warming. And it's all largely down to the amount of water this industry uses. One hamburger can use up over 600 gallons of water. I do not joke.

Amazing huh?

 So on one hand I've got this 'healthy body, healthy mind' mantra going on and on the other hand I've just been slapped in the face with reality about the future status of our planet.

Pretty.

Heavy.

Stuff.

I might not be able to change the world with my small contribution to going meat free but I'm interested in exploring the pros and the cons of going Vegetarian for a while, both to help the environment and to help my self. So here it goes...

Do any of you have any tips on going meat free? Or do you have any thoughts on Cowspiracy?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
SHARE:
© Notes By Donna. All rights reserved.
BLOGGER TEMPLATE MADE BY pipdig