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.

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❤ My 2017 New Year’s Resolutions ❤

Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to 2017! It’s the year we’ve all been waiting for. I hope you all have a lovely year this year!

It’s Sunday today which means there’s normally a Sunday Saves but I wanted to post about my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions instead. Next week Sunday Saves will resume, and if you come back tomorrow, you’ll see a reflection of my 2016 Resolutions. (I’ll link it here when it’s live!)

1) Take part in Veganuary.
First and fore most because this starts in January, I’ll be participating in Veganuary. I’m planning on doing a blog post later on in the week about what exactly Veganuary is and about how I became vegetarian because I haven’t talked about it on the blog yet.

2) Create a morning and evening routine.
Having a morning and evening routine is one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle in my opinion but yet, I don’t have either. I want to get up earlier and achieve more with my morning before I go to work. I want to have a healthier attitude to ‘bedtime’ and have a set routine that can settle me down for the night.

3) Create a sleep routine.
This ties in with the morning and evening routine goal. Over the past nine months or so, on an average work day, I have lived on about four or five hours sleep a day. It’s not healthy, I know it’s not. Every part of me has felt the effects so I’m committed to going to bed earlier and getting up earlier too. I’m slowly killing myself otherwise.

4) Meditate more.
Ideally, I would love to do a ten minute meditation in the morning and in the evening but I don’t want to throw myself in to such a big task at first. One meditation every other morning would suit me at the beginning of the year at first and then I would want to build it up to once or twice a day.

5) Practice more yoga at home.
Okay, so I’ve covered getting into yoga and advancing yoga over the past few years but I want to take that even further by making sure I practice yoga at home rather than just in the studio once a week.

6) Live in the moment.
This is really important to me because I am either so stuck in the past or the future. I never take time to appreciate where I am right now and how far I have come. I always float back to my past and how I can’t change it or I race to the future thinking “Okay, I need to be here in the least amount of time”. I really need to take each day as it comes, go with the flow of life and take it in my stride.

7) Expand my knowledge on mindfulness.
Through therapy and reading mental health blogs, I have been really interested in learning more about mindfulness and the techniques behind it. I tend to participate in it quite often but I would like to make it a daily routine of mine because when I do, I genuinely feel better about myself. So I want to practice it as well as do my own reading and research into the ‘science’ behind it too.

8) Keep a Happy Jar for the year.
I love this idea! I featured a jar like this on one of my recent Sunday Saves but I found a post that explains it more, so if you click here, you’ll see it. I’ll do a blog post on mine once I have it decorated!


If you have a New Year’s Resolutions or Goals posts or videos, please send me them via the comments below or over on my Twitter, I love finding out about everyone else’s goals!

SS: Sunday Saves (#5)

So this is the Sunday I leave for holiday! I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty terrified; I’m a worrier so every possible bad situation to do with this holiday, I have thought about ): But onto a slightly brighter note, it’s the fifth Sunday Saves, so I hope you enjoy!

1. Franzizzy (Book Quotes That Stayed With Me)

I recently talked about how I want to read more, and I love the idea of quotes from books. Yes, it might be cliche but I don’t care. Book quotes are cute and I think that they can really stick with you and they can reflect on your life, your situation in that particular moment and even help you through a hard time. Because I’m not a big reader, I can’t really remember any quotes from the few books I have read, that’s why I liked Franzizzy’s post because she posted some lovely quotes, and even I could relate to a few of them. I just think it’s such a nice idea, and by her sharing a few of her favourites, it lets us into her world and what she is like as a person (if you didn’t know her, like I didn’t until I found her blog).

2. Iga Berry (How To Make The Most Out Of Your Trip)

Yes, you can probably guess I was going to include at least one travel post into my Sunday Saves. I loved this post by Iga because she’s wrote about what I should have done. One of my big regrets before going away and I hate myself for it, is that I didn’t do enough research. I’m a big research girl; I love research and I love making lists and getting excited by what I’ll be discovering. But life got in the way, I became too busy, things cropped up, I got stressed, I had other things to do and sadly, the research didn’t happen as enough as I’d like. I’m hoping to cover a similar post in the future, so I found Iga’s really interesting to read through before I go. I can always look up a few places while I’m there, so I’m still doing research technically (just not as much as I’d like).

 3. I Believe In Romeo (Mindfulness: An Introduction)

Over the past few months, I’ve been really interested in finding out more about mindfulness. It’s such a unique practice that at some point, we all do try and do it but it doesn’t quite happen that fast. I’m a sleeper, I’ve tried mindfulness a lot and I fall asleep. I’m currently testing a technique where I start counting and if I can’t remember what number I get to, I start again, just to keep myself awake. I relate to Zoe’s post, I often struggle with repeative negative thinking and it’s so exhausting. It’s something I’m slowly learning to control over time, but it’s hard at times when you do something you don’t like and all you want to do is tell yourself how stupid you are and how could you do that. I’m finding myself trying to talk to myself and tell myself that I made a mistake, I’m accepting responsibility and I’m moving on. That process on its own is hard but again, slowly but surely. My boyfriend and I actualy went to a few Mindfulness classes and we enjoyed them so once we get back, I want to start delving into it on a deeper level.