SS: Sunday Saves (#77)

sunday-saves

Good morning everyone and happy Sunday! After a three day weekend including two very productive days, I’m in a quite a good mood bringing you my Sunday Saves today. We weren’t meant to have a theme today but all the posts I have chosen all have the Autumn theme with two being quite focused on photography, quite appropriate right? I’ll be talking about photography (of course), interiors and musings. 

1) Dolly Dowsie (A Perfect Goodbye to Autumn)

If you’re looking for the perfect photography that combines the atmosphere of Autumn with the cuteness of a young family playing in the leaves of the season, Fiona’s post is what you’re looking for. It’s very cute and a lovely Sunday read.

2) Dayna Marie (Autumnal Home Additions)

Dayna’s post also includes some photography but more so of her interiors as she decorates for the Autumn months. I do love the chalkboard for meal planning and one of the reasons I want a ‘proper’ clock like Dayna is because it looks very elegant, I love it! If you’re looking for Autumnal inspiration for the home, check her post out.

3) An Enthusiasm For… (Autumn Wanderings & A Little Catch Up)

Again, as I said at the beginning of this post, all three of the posts has some element of photography and Kayleigh’s post is no different. As well as her photographs, she talks about how she has generally felt over the Spring and Summer months, and it’s something I can certainly relate to; comparison, self-doubt and anxiety (especially over the past month or two). You might be thinking why I chose a post that talked about general monthly musings? Well, I genuinely find bloggers who just write about little musings every so often, really interesting. It’s nice to find out how they feel in little snippets of their blog and especially if you don’t know them or have never read their blog before, it’s a nice way to find out more about them.

That’s all from me this morning, I hope you all have a lovely week ahead. If you have any posts you want to send my way, please send them to me over on @RetroSnowflake on Twitter!

 

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SS: Sunday Saves (#76)

sunday-saves

Good morning on another edition of my Sunday Saves! If you don’t know what my Sunday Saves are, each week I choose three blog posts that I’ve read throughout the week that I think those reading the blog should read too. Today I’ll be discussing regrettable spending habits, ethical fashion and growing your own confidence.

1) The Financial Diet (7 Regrettable Habits From My 20s That Stopped Me Saving Money)

I came across the Financial Diet on YouTube quite recently and I have been loving their videos, but I only started reading their blog over the last week or so. The post I’ll be talking about is habits that the author Samantha took part in during her 20’s that prevented her from saving money, and with my last monthly intentions post talking about a savings plan (That post is linked here!) I was interested to see if I am taking part in the same habits. The biggest one I can relate to on Samantha’s list (to a certain extent) would be not looking at my spending habits. I do try to at the start of the month but I seem to fall behind. Another thing I liked about Samantha’s post was that it wasn’t the same thing we’ve heard one hundred times. We know we shouldn’t buy a coffee (or a tea in my case) every day, we know we need to not buy lunch out all the time; I’m glad she came at it from a completely different angle. It was very refreshing.

2) Tolly Dolly Posh (The Answers To Your Many Questions | Survey Response)

I have been thinking a lot about ethical fashion lately and it’s something I want to dive into and discover for myself. In saying that, I’ve been one of H&M’s best customers lately because of my wardrobe overhaul I’m hoping to have soon (I also mentioned it in my new monthly intentions, linked above!) so while I’ve been thinking about it, I haven’t been putting it into practice, I’ll hold my hands up to that. If you’ve ever had questions about ethical fashion, Tolmeia’s post is the one to read. She’s squeezed in some key questions and answers about it while explaining it in a way that everyone can understand.

3) Mode Lily (Project Me Time: How To Grow Your Confidence)

Something I should bring up about Lily’s post, just like Samantha’s, is that Lily isn’t telling us what we’ve heard before. Her post is about growing your confidence; she’s not telling us “just to be yourself”; to a certain extent she is but she is helping enhance with her six tips. Her point about writing a list about what you love about yourself sounds like quite the challenge for me because I tend to dislike more than liking things about myself. That’s a comfort zone pusher right here! She also talks about giving yourself that extra push and incorporating everything with gratitude (something which I am passionate about too). It’s a really nice post and I recommend it very highly.

That’s all for this week’s choices; remember to click on their links and give their posts a little read too. Thank you so much for taking time out of your week to read this and have a great rest of your day!

Three Intentions For Me (#4)

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Happy November everyone! Now that we have Halloween over us, I’m so ready to get in the Christmas spirit (Society is not letting me just yet though). I’m back with another monthly intentions where I not only look at goals for the coming month, but I also look back on intentions I set for myself the previous month. So before we get into this month’s intentions, let’s look at last month’s.

❤ Run further.

This intention was very broad but it was broad for a reason. I didn’t want to set myself a specific distance or time so if I only ran an extra 0.1K, I would have been happy. If you’ve been reading my blog, you would have seen my post about running further distances where I talk about running 9K. Yes, I ran 9K! (If you want to read the post, it’s right here) I’m so over the moon with that, and with my longer race coming up this month, I haven’t felt so worried about my ability to run the full 10K.

❤ Get back into my morning gym routine.

I didn’t do this to its full potential but I feel like I still got a win here. I wake up between 4:30am and 5:30am most work mornings and if I wasn’t going to the gym, I was still being productive. I stuck washing on, I had a relaxing breakfast, I was able to read in bed for half an hour and I can take my time getting ready for work. So yes, I only went to the gym in the very early morning a few times this week but I was able to take some time for myself in other ways, so it’s still a win (technically).

 Try a new recipe.

I tried a new recipe from Deliciously Ella’s second book “Deliciously Ella Every Day”. It was a lovely vegetable paella that I’ve taken into work to have for my lunch and it’s quite nice. I posted a photograph on Instagram of the meal so you’ll see it right here!

That’s really two out of three but I feel better for my more relaxed mornings so if I wanted to, I could say that’s three out of three. Now onto this month’s intentions…

 Organise my clothes.

I would say my wardrobe but most of my clothes don’t hang up. I would say I’m going through a style crisis, and when I say crisis, that means I currently struggle with my style and I’m trying to figure it out. I’m hoping to write a more in-depth post about this so this month I’m hoping to go through all my clothes; declutter, throw out, donate then gradually buy a few key pieces of clothing that I would like. Essentially, I want to have a capsule wardrobe but I can’t do this until I have a big clear out.

 Make a plan about savings.

Ideally in the New Year, I would love to put some money away each week or each month. In order to do this, I need to sit down (with myself), look at where I could be saving and what I could be putting it towards. I don’t think it will take me too long to do but I need to look beyond Christmas (when all the presents have been brought and the festivities are over) to give me a better overview on what is on the cards for my finances.

 Get better at time management.

Admittedly, my time management has seen a massive improvement over the last month but when I find myself get overwhelmed with a large amount of tasks, my anxiety tends to kick in and then procrastination then comes in pretty quickly after that. This month I want to try and work a plan for myself that will help my productivity while combating the overwhelm.

Thank you for reading this month’s intentions and make sure to check back at the start of next month! ☀️

 

SS: Sunday Saves (#75)

sunday-saves

Good morning everyone and welcome back to another edition of my Sunday Saves! This week I’ll be talking about writing tips, time management and what happened when one woman became pregnant.

1) Hannah Gale (Six Things My Job As A Digital Journalist Taught Me About Writing)

What I really loved about Hannah’s blog post is that it was something I haven’t read before. There’s numerous posts out there and says “Be yourself when you’re writing” and yes, that’s completely fair enough and rightly so, that’s what you should do. Reading that post after post after post gets boring and that’s why I loved Hannah’s; it was fresh and I learned something new. Odd number lists is probably the one I was surprised by, I always thought most readers would prefer even numbered lists but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

2) Sophie So (Time – How Many Hours Do You Really Have In A Week?)

Have you ever looked in depth at your week in terms of hours? Sophie has looked at every hour in detail so you don’t have to. From commuting to work, to actually working, eating your lunch, going to bed at night and including exercise too. Her post is quite interesting and talks a little about dealing with time management, something that I’m not that skilled in just yet. If you’re someone (like me) who feels like they have zero time, maybe take a read.

3) She and Life (I Found Out I Was Pregnant… And I Became Unemployable)

Now, I’m not pregnant but I found Natalie’s story very sad and it seems like she’s not the only one who is currently going through this horrible process. Her story is the title that’s linked above; she found out she was pregnant and then she lost her job. I’m sending all my wishes to you Natalie, something that doesn’t deserve to happen to anyone but especially someone who is pregnant.

That’s all for this week! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and remember to click on the original posts and take a read too.

Training for a 10K Race: Starting Out With Longer Distances.

Apologises but this will be a slightly longer post, I’ve been running more than usual lately, so that’s only a good thing. If you missed my post about signing up for a 10K race, it’s linked here.

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After I recovered from my injury and started back on the parkruns (which I talked about in my running update) my long distance running had to begin in order for my 10K training so that’s what I done and before I begin, all the long distance runs I have done so far have been in the same place which I’ll talk about, except I’ve just gone a little further each time.

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(Results from our first long distance runs and as usual my tracker decided to play up and over estimate the distance rather than under. So we ran 4.7 miles rather than 4.9 miles.)

The first long distance run was done one Sunday evening when it was just starting to get dark. The towpath we run on is 4 miles or just over 6.5K altogether when we turn at the tunnel and come back around. Once we finished on the route, we actually ran a little further to hit 7.5K. This particular run wasn’t that difficult, I thought I would have struggled but because we slowed down, I didn’t feel out of breath and I even said I could have kept going. I’ve never ran that distance before so I was over the moon with it, and at that point I didn’t care about timings, I was just so happy that I done it.

IMG_20171012_220544_460.jpg(A first 9K run! Distance was 5.61 miles which equals 9K.)

The next long distance was done after work one evening and as much as I love the Autumn and Winter seasons, I hate that it’s getting so dark so soon. We run down a quiet towpath near our area and it’s really lovely but the one downside is that at night, it’s very badly lit. Thankfully Scott had his head light with him and when it was really dark, he went in front of me so cyclists could see him first. Again, this wasn’t a tough run and I only really started to feel tired after the towpath and we went further than the 7.5K stopping point. We went to the 9K stopping point!

Yes, I ran 9K. You have no idea how happy I was, and quite frankly, I’m still proud of it. According to Scott, I was four minutes faster at the 7.5K mark this time too. So because I was four minutes faster, I’m assuming I picked up the pace and I had been at work all day so I put my added tiredness to the fact I’d been in work all day then I came home to run. My dinner was thoroughly enjoyed that night.

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(I moved to Strava for my running training statistics, mainly because it is known to be more reliable and more accurate that my FitBit but of course, I’m still using the FitBit.)

My third run was a lone run which I didn’t mind too much. I really like when I run with Scott but I don’t like feeling dependent on someone so that’s why I don’t miss out on parkrun’s if he can’t come with me, I want to feel like I’m progressing all the time and this experience was no exception.

I went straight after work meaning I rushed in, got changed and make-up off within ten minutes then headed to my route and it was already starting to get dark. Thankfully I have a torch on my phone so I stuck that on in very dark patches or when I thought I would need to be seen by other runners or cyclists.

I would say this was the toughest run but yet, I wasn’t overwhelmed. I wasn’t gasping for my last breath like sometimes I can be at the parkrun but it certainly wasn’t a walk in the park (or shall we say run in the park? Ha!). If you scroll up, you can see my first 9K run was finished in one hour and eleven minutes; this 9K run was completed in one hour and four minutes. How? For me, these longer runs are not about the time because I need to prove to myself that I can run a longer distance and be able to mentally get through it (which I feel like I’m doing pretty well) but when you see such a significant time difference, you can’t help but be pleased.

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(Because I run later on at night now, the photographs don’t turn out too well. I took this before starting on my route while the sky still had a little light in it.)

So that’s my long distance running progress so far. Am I happy? Absolutely! I’ve been running more than just the parkrun and I genuinely feel better because I can see progressing happening. I’m still worried about the 10K itself but I think that’s completely normal to be nervous. Thank you for reading! 💛

SS: Sunday Saves (#74)

sunday-saves

Hello all, and welcome back to another Sunday Saves! After my bumper Sunday Saves last week (which will be linked here) I’m back with another edition of three blog posts I have came across during the week that I wanted to talk about. This week I’ll be talking about being your own best friend, cleaning tips and changing your diet.

1) She Was A Day Tripper (How To Be Your Own Best Friend)

Are you your own best friend? That’s what Sarah is talking about in this particular post and I can honestly say that the only one of her points that I genuinely do one hundred percent of the time is enjoy my own company. She also talks about forgiving yourself and that is one of the hardest things to do but I am becoming better at it. It might be a short post but it will make you think about the relationship you have with yourself.

2) Fizzy Peaches (12 Cleaning Tips For A Clean Home)

Cleaning is one of the simplest housework chores that we have to deal with yet it fills me with anxiety like nobody’s business because I take on too much. I’ve spoken about it in therapy and we are working on a few techniques on how to combat the anxiety and get on with the housework a little easier. Lyndsay gives so many good tips on how to keep a tidy home with not too much effort and I think I might try the the minute challenge she talks about, I do love a challenge.

3) The Mother Hen (Lifestyle Change – I’m Going Vegan)

Before I get into Kathryn’s blog post, I have to say that she is one of my favourite Instagrammers especially her Instagram stories. I don’t have children so I can’t relate to her in that aspect but she just seems so down to earth and lovely! Anyway, her blog post talks about changing to a plant based diet and it always excites me when someone I follow chooses to do this because obviously I’m on the same journey. I can’t wait to see how she gets on!

Thank you so much for reading this week’s blog post. Remember to go and have a read of this week’s blog posts, I really recommend them. I hope you all have a lovely week!

 

Not Passing Your Driving Test The First Time.

Today I’m talking about my experience about not passing my driving test the first time and about the enormous amount of pressure that we seem to be under when it comes to that all important result.

pexels-photo-418490.jpeg(Original Source Photograph)

When you make the decision to learn to drive, it’s quite a dramatic life decision but you might not even think it. It’s a huge piece of your independence that you can gain; even if you can’t afford a car, you still have the skills and knowledge of knowing how to drive a car which can even help you with your career.

I passed my test a few months before my twenty second birthday so a lot of people would see that as quite late to learn how to drive because most people tend to do it as they turn seventeen or eighteen. At that age though, I had zero interest in learning how to drive but once I came back from University, I suddenly became interested.

1001334_635239689820951_2038492520_n(This was me when I passed my test! I look so different.)

I didn’t pass my practical test first time round and I would never pretend I did. I can’t remember the exact number of times, I think it was five. Does that mean I’m a bad driver? Absolutely not and I will fully admit that I have had a car accident that was my fault. It was in my second year of driving but it still doesn’t make me a bad driver and it has taken me quite a while to accept that accidents do happen and it doesn’t make me a bad person. For those wondering, it wasn’t a serious accident; it only involved one other person and they were genuinely lovely about it happening meanwhile I was in floods of tears. I had to immediately drive from the scene and I was driving most of the day after it had happened but that was a blessing in disguise; I wasn’t put off from driving and I think if I had have walked away from the wheel, it would have taken me a while to get back into the driver seat again.

pexels-photo-133826(Original Source Photograph)

There seems to be a stigma around not passing your test first time and even a few years later, it still gets to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so happy for anyone who gets their driving license because it’s such a huge achievement but I definitely think there is that stigma especially when it’s pointed out, “I passed my driving test and I done it first time!” Sometimes it feels like because we’re not in that “first time group”, we’re not as good as someone who is, and believe me, even four years later, I still struggle with it.

So for those reading this who have had a similar experience to me or who are starting to learn to drive, here’s the four most important things I learned from my experience and what I would tell my younger self.

1) It’s not the end of the world.

There were A LOT of tears from me. I felt really sorry for my instructor, she mustn’t have known what to do with a crying woman in her car quite a few times. It really isn’t the end of the world, something which took me some time to realise. I had the luxury of being able to take the test a few weeks later but I understand that finances can vary for others. In that case, some time away from the wheel to take the pressure off might help.

2) It doesn’t mean you’re a bad driver.

Unfortunately when you first start revising for your theory exam, you start to hear stories of booking your practical exam. You shouldn’t book it for the end of the month or you should book it for a specific time. You hear the stories of examiners having a quota each month so they can’t pass everyone so even if you were a good driver, they might not be able to pass you before of this. Are these type of stories true? I really don’t know. My point is that your instructor wouldn’t tell you to book your test if they didn’t think you were a good driver and for whatever reason, you didn’t pass, but that just means you can take some time either to yourself or with your instructor for some self-reflection (based on the instructors points system).

3) You’re no less of a driver if you takes you more than once.

This is the most important point of my four points. If you passed on your first try, congratulations! If it’s your tenth test, my congratulations mean no less. It’s such a lovely feeling passing your test and just because you didn’t do it first time, it doesn’t make you any less of a driver because of it. You still know how to use the clutch, you still know how to work the gears and you still knows how to do the manoeuvres regardless.

4) Don’t let anyone make you feel bad.

Anyone who tries to make you feel bad for not getting it first time, I call them toxic people and you don’t need them in your life. What you can do though is one very important thing; they can try to make you feel bad, but quite frankly, don’t let them. They weren’t there on the day, they weren’t feeling how you felt on that particular day, they aren’t you and this is your experience and your experience only. I’d feel bad for them that they have nothing better to do with their time that try and bring you down.

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It’s important to remember that no matter how many times it takes you to pass your test, you did it! Whether that’s the first time, second time, third time or as many times as you need to; we all go at different paces and that doesn’t mean that you aren’t as good as someone else. Don’t let anyone put you down for trying your best!