Thursday, 27 February 2014

Blog launch giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway UK residents aged 18 and over.

We are really excited about the launch of our brand new blog and can't wait to share with you our continuing quest to get our lives in order and gain the perfect life balance.

To celebrate our arrival we are giving away a Rock Angel Eau du Toilette Gift Set containing eau du toilette, shower gel and shimmering body lotion.

Rock Angel gift set
Good luck!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Who wants to be hard to please anyway?

Have you ever said "I'm easily, pleased aren't I?". It's usually said in a disparaging way as if being easily pleased is a sign of weakness. Well excuse me, but who actually wants to be 'hard to please'? We can't have exciting lives all of the time with huge events making our lives super interesting to keep us stimulated. It would be exhausting anyway. In my opinion, I'd rather gain pleasure from the simple things in life.

I heard a phrase that said "Happiness in youth comes from excitement, in maturity from contentment". As someone who hit the big 4-0 last year, I can totally relate to this. I don't need too much excitement in my life (although a little is nice now and then). I achieve happiness from my family, my wonderful friends or just a bit of me time doing something that I want to do, no matter how trivial.

So how do I experience pleasure in day to day life? I started to think about the simple pleasures. The ones that we all come across on a regular basis. The ones that almost sound ridiculous when you say them out loud but can provide a fantastic satisfaction or can just make you smile to yourself for a moment.

Here are ten of mine.

1)  Seeing the milometer in the car (or any kind of meter, digital or analogue) change. The more numbers changing, the better. I was thrilled to see it change from 56999 to 57000 recently.

2)  Finding money in a pocket of something you haven't worn for a while. Needs no explanation. It could be of token value but I never feel richer than when I do this!

3)  Popping the foil on the top of a coffee jar. The noise, the feel and the smell of fresh coffee. Amazing.

4)  Getting into a freshly changed bed. So luxurious and feels wonderful.

5)  A classic on many people's lists... popping bubble wrap. It can keep you entertained for hours. There is also a secondary buzz.. you think you have popped all of the bubbles but no, there is one bubble sitting waiting for you to.... POP!!

6)  Putting a USB cable in the right way around. First time. A rare achievement in my world.

7)  Going up or down the stairs, not concentrating and doing an extra step at the end when there isn't one.

8)  You're cutting wrapping paper, you get right in your stride and the scissors start to gliiiiiide through the paper. Marvellous!

9)  You switch on the radio and hear a song that you had forgotten existed... but you know every word.

10)  You're in a huge queue at the supermarket checkout. A new till opens and the cashier catches your eye and beckons you over. You are now head of the queue. In your face fellow shoppers!

So you get the idea. What are your simple pleasures?

By Bee

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Don’t Put Off Until Tomorrow What Can Be Done Today

There is nothing like finishing a task successfully to give a feeling of warm satisfaction. The thought that that task is done, gone and finished. The results and benefits of said task being done.... so why, oh why do I procrastinate so much?? “I don’t feel like doing it today. I’ll definitely do it tomorrow when I have more time/energy/motivation. I need to do this irrelevant thing today. I’ll just check Facebook, and then I’ll do it. Well it’s just too late to start now.” Sound familiar? I know it does for me. I have so many unfinished (or more commonly, not started) diy jobs around the house and I can literally look at something that needs doing a hundred times before I actually do something about it.

I’ve done a bit of research into procrastination (defined by Wikipedia as ‘The practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the "last minute".’) and the article on Psychology Today has struck a few chords with me.

Here are a few points from the article:

·        Twenty percent of people identify themselves as chronic procrastinators.
·   Procrastinators are made not born. It is one response to an authoritarian parenting style. Having a harsh, controlling parent keeps children from developing the ability to regulate themselves. Procrastination can even be a form of rebellion. 
·    Procrastinators tell lies to themselves. Such as, "I'll feel more like doing this tomorrow." Or "I work best under pressure." But in fact they do not get the urge the next day or work best under pressure.
·     Procrastinators actively look for distractions, particularly ones that don't take a lot of commitment on their part as a way of regulating their emotions such as fear of failure.
There are three basic types of procrastinators:
· Thrill-seekers, who wait to the last minute for the euphoric rush.
·      Avoiders, who may be avoiding fear of failure or even fear of success
·     Decisional procrastinators, who cannot make a decision which absolves them of responsibility for the outcome of events.

So, how do I try to get over my procrastination? New Year’s Resolutions? Empty pledges and promises? Well, my main tool has to be the list. It has to be a physical list, not just one in my head. I have a list at work of everything I have to do, and a sub list of everything to be done that day. It’s just written down on paper.

List Master on Android

At home, I use a list app on my mobile. There are several available but I use List Master. I can make lots of separate lists (shopping, to do lists etc) and also prioritise my tasks. It also has a fantastic tick function which is a really good visual tool.

I try to put everything on it, no matter how small. On days when I don’t feel like doing a big job, I do a little job and tick it off when it’s done. Seeing those jobs being ticked off is great motivation. You just need to look at the list often.

I have also tried telling friends about jobs that I am DEFINITELY going to do in an attempt to shame myself into doing it. I must confess this is not terribly effective. My friends know me too well and the shame just isn't strong enough.

Hopefully the high of completing a job will one day outweigh the good feeling of lazing around on Facebook!

I’m so glad I’ve done this post. I’ve been putting it off for ages!

Do you procrastinate? How do you deal with it? Leave a comment... go on, don’t put it off.

By Bee

Thursday, 13 February 2014

What are you giving up for Lent?

The phrase that transports me back to my Catholic childhood - “What are you giving up for Lent?.” The usual answer being “sweets and chocolate.”

Although I wouldn’t consider myself religious, the Lenten ritual is something I’ve carried on doing. If you ask me these days what I am giving up, things have moved on from “sweets and chocolate”.

A few things I’ve done over the years have been:

  • No alcohol
  • No TV
  • Exercise
  • Tidy Up

So what is the point in giving something up for Lent? When I explained to a friend how I was giving up alcohol one year, her reply was “Why would you put yourself through that misery?”. I hadn’t really thought of it like that - to me it’s about a self-discipline and reminding yourself of the things you take for granted. It helps you take a step back and appreciate what you have.

I think my hardest Lenten task was giving up TV. Not so much the lack of TV, but more the inconvenience it caused trying to avoid it. At the time I lived in a houseshare with 3 others so it was going to be a lonely 40 days and nights if I couldn’t go near the sitting room for that time. My solution was to listen to the radio with head phones and read a book…..and felt incredibly guilty every time I heard a bit of Coronation Street! It got really awkward when I went away for the weekend to stay with friends and had to repeat the same “radio and book” solution. Although it was the toughest Lenten task, it was also the most satisfying to complete.

Jane Fonda's New Workout video

Fancy working out with Jane for 40 days?

Of course there were also the years I failed in my Lenten tasks. The “exercise” year. How I thought I would do my Jane Fonda work everyday for 40 days I don’t know. A little too ambitious and I gave it up after about 3 days.

I’ve seen some great ideas for Lent on the Internet while searching for a little inspiration. Some of my favourites are -

Giving up:
Social networking
Make up
Hot showers
Your bed (sleeping on the couch or floor)
Using mirrors

Write letters
Visit friends and family
Give away 40 of your belongings
Eat only fresh foods
Use the rice bowl app

I also came across a really interesting blog called 12 Months of Lent about a girl who gives herself a different Lenten challenge each month. A wonderful idea and a great source of inspiration

This year I’ve decided to go for something more manageable. In line with my New Year’s resolution to declutter I’m going to commit 10 minutes per day to concentrate on this. I’m hoping by keeping it to just 10 minutes I won’t be tempted to duck out of it. Surely I can spare 10 minutes out of every day? I’m also hoping that on some days I’ll get into a rhythm and do more than 10 minutes.

Ramekin collection: Why do we end up collecting these?

The first thing that pops into my mind is to find a new home for the many ramekin dishes I have collected over the years from those yummy desserts - after 4 years I still haven’t found a use for them.

So what are you giving up for Lent? or do you avoid it altogether?

By Lee