Learning How To Be More Grateful.

Gratitude: “the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness to.”

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(The views in Rome will always be something I am eternally grateful for. Absolutely stunning!)

That’s what gratitude means according to the Oxford Dictionary but to me, it means “being grateful for the little things that life gives you and to be thankful for where you are right now”.

Since the start of the year, I’ve begun to incorporate mindfulness more into my daily life and gratitude is an addition to this practice. The one thing that I struggle with when it comes to gratitude though is when it’s a bad day. It’s the easiest thing in the world when you can think of all the great things from your day, but if you have a bad day, it can be very difficult.

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(Self reflection at the Ormeau Embankment in Belfast. It’s so gorgeous at night!)

You can show your appreciation for gratitude in many ways; some choose to write it on their blog or on their phone, some say it out loud as part of their meditation practice and others prefer to write it down in a notebook or a journal.

If you read the blog regularly, you’ll know I’m working with the Itty Bitty Book Co. on spreading the message of positivity and happiness and this is where their new product launch comes in. They have released their very own gratitude journal in three colours: yellow, blue and white. It’s a 21 Day Challenge with yourself (because the best person to compete with, is yourself) to see how gratitude can change your mindset, if that’s something you’re wanting to change or simply improve on.

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To give you a sneak peek into the journal, I thought I would share what my first day looked like. These were my three things for the day that I was grateful for. They don’t have to be big things; they really can be that really good cup of tea you had first thing in the morning or maybe you caught the early bus that morning to work. You can be thankful for the people that you have in your life, whether that’s your friends and family or the bus driver that smiled at you.

I’m planning on doing the journal every other day just to ease myself into the challenge, but if you can, you should try to do it everyday!

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(One of the first pages in the journal giving you a very simple explanation on how it all works.)

I wrote a post last year on appreciating on the small things (which you’ll find right here!) and I find that really relates to the gratitude journal, because you really are appreciating the little things in life.

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(One of the many bowls of Italian ice-cream I had on holiday with some tea; you can be thankful for the food you ate that day or the happiness you got from eating that food. It really is that simple.)

If you want to have a look at the Gratitude Journal for yourself, you’ll find it right here! It’s currently £4 for one but if you want all three colours, it’s just £10.

Please note: I am an affiliate for Itty Bitty Book Co. so affiliate links have been used throughout. This journal was sent to me to try for free but views shared throughout this blog however are one hundred percent my own.

A perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your loved one (or yourself!)

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With the most romantic day of the year (Please take this with a pinch of salt!) coming up next Tuesday (February 14th, if you didn’t already know), it’s important to know that the day isn’t just for boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives; it’s also for your friends, for the people around you that you love and most importantly, yourself!

To tie in with Valentine’s Day, I’m very happy to announce that I’m now an affiliate with the lovely Itty Bitty Book Co. who I have spoken about a number of times on the blog now. I talked about their #PositivityTakeover movement and I posted a recent update including the gorgeous city of Rome. I even have their “Book of Strength” and I’ve had that for a few years now and it’s still in perfect condition, so I’m a huge advocate of the company and their ethos.

Itty Bitty have released a Valentine’s Day collection and of course, it’s shining brightly as always so I wanted to share what they had in store for everyone this year.

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We’re going to start with the big one first, naturally! This is jam packed full of goodies for that special someone in your life and/or going all out to treat yourself too!

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We’ll start off with a lovely 6×8 print (that you could even put in one of those lovely box frames after it’s opened! It’ll be the perfect print to stand out in the bedroom or even the bathroom.) If you want to tell someone they’re beautiful but you can’t find the right words, this one will serve you very well.

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Next up is the full set of mini Itty Bitty Books which boost motivation, strength and inspiration. They’re really small so they can fit in your handbag or they can even sit on your bedside table for a reflection of gratitude (and if you add a ten minute meditation to this just before bed, it’s the ideal way to fall asleep straight away. It’s a tried and tested method, trust me!).

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Finally, it’s the ‘Choose Love’ Irish Linen wall hanging which I think would go perfectly in the kitchen. I know I would put mine beside the kettle because that’s where a lot of love goes for me, into a perfect cup of tea!

This bumper set is priced at £40 and postage starts at £3.30 (UK to UK), all you need to get is a cute little bow, you won’t even need to wrap it (but if you do, it’ll be even more of a surprise to the recipient.)

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However, if you’re looking for something a little smaller in size and in price, I introduce the smaller version of the box. It’s £15 and includes the Positivity Itty Bitty Book as well as the gorgeous print listed above.

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If you want to find out more about their Valentine’s Day collection, you can click right here and it’ll take you to their full collection. If you live in Northern Ireland, you’ll find them at St. George’s Market most Saturday’s and Sunday’s but if you’re not from Northern Ireland, don’t worry! As I mentioned earlier, they do ship across the world but if you’re from the UK and Europe, you only have a few more days to get your orders in in time.

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Finally, and probably the most important thing I want you to take away from this blog post; it doesn’t matter if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend or if you don’t, you’re still loved no matter what. A lot of people (including myself at times) make Valentine’s Day to be the be-all-end-all of romance and you feel like you need to have the perfect day or you’re not in the most wonderful relationship or you’re a failure because you don’t have someone to share this day with. At the end of the day, the most important relationship you have is with yourself so cherish yourself, treat yourself and take care of yourself.

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(*I have used affiliate links throughout this post but this post contains 100% of my own honest opinion and that’s it.)
(All images belong to the Itty Bitty Book Company except the first image which I have downloaded from Pexels.com under the Creative Commons Zero licence.)

(Blogmas Day Eleven) Positivity Takeover Update #1

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Welcome to Blogmas Day Eleven!

So if you read my Life Update that I posted last week or you seen my Instagram, you’ll know that I was in Rome last week! That was a pretty perfect opportunity to take my Positivity Takeover cards from the Itty Bitty Book Company over to Italy with me. I only left two around the city (I was too busy sightseeing and then I kept forgetting) and they were both in the same place (but quite a distance from each other of course!)

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You’ll have seen this one above on my Instagram!

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Both photographs were taken at Ponte Sant’Angelo in Rome on a lovely sunny day (which is why I think the second card is so appropriate!)

I love being one of the many Positivity Takeover ambassadors and I’m going to be spreading more happiness and positivity throughout the New Year!

Spreading positivity with Itty Bitty Book Co!

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When I first started my blog, I never imagined I would be talking about my mental health, I thought my blog would just be a place to talk about nail polish, lifestyle and my beauty empties. Here I am though, in a community that talks loud and often about issues that affect them, mental health being one and because it’s such a true reflection of me, it makes me proud to write my blog and share some of the experiences that I have had in my life so far.

Positivity is a word that I see every day on Twitter and Instagram and hear in almost every podcast I listen to. I think positivity and negativity both have their place in life, but today I’m focusing on positivity. I am very happy to be teaming up with the Itty Bitty Book Company for, what will hopefully be, a long partnership of spreading happiness throughout the web, Northern Ireland and the world!

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Who are Itty Bitty Book Co? As you may or may not know, I live in Northern Ireland and Itty Bitty are based here too. They make all their products here and they were established in 2013. I’ll not give you their whole back story when they do a much better job to telling it over on their website, but I want to tell you about one of my favourite quotes from their website (which is available in print form here! )and what it means to me.

“Believe in yourself and all that you are, know that something inside of you is greater than any obstacle”

I think a lot of us are held back by ourselves; our worries, our fears and our self-doubt. Now yes, some of us might even be held back by other people but ultimately when it all boils down to delving into our deepest fears and what we worry about, it comes within ourselves. This quote to me tells me that we all have our negative moments and negative thoughts but if you work on yourself continuously, you can come out on top of that negativity and win. Whether that be on your own, with a friend, with a family member, with a therapist, with a group; if you work through your emotions and go in deeper as to why you feel the way you do, you build up a relationship with yourself that will be harder to break as time goes on.

This won’t happen over night, this won’t happen by saying one quote every day for a year, that’s not what I’m getting at at all. You can defeat anything, you just have to believe in yourself. Belief is much more stronger sense than people give it credit for.

I’m really looking forward to taking part in the #PositivityTakeover (and I’ve just ordrered their little cards which you can find right here!) and all the other campaigns with Itty Bitty too! I have included affiliate links throughout this post as I am a Itty Bitty Ambassador.

(Photography credit goes to Sera from The Style Guide Blog)