Seatbelts for landing, please.

I shared my thoughts whilst taking off no so long ago and it went down pretty well, so on my next adventure, I figured I’d share my inflight thoughts with you.

Picture this, we’re on a flight to Crete, bums in seats and we’re off the runway.

  1. Ooh this one’s a bit wobbly.
  2. I don’t like this at all.
  3. Turbulence is not my idea of fun.
  4. It’s like sitting in one of those 4D cinema screens only I’m not on terra firma and I’m therefore not feeling fab about it.
  5. Annnnd we’re through the clouds. Phew!
  6. Seatbelt signs are off and it’s time for beverages round one.
  7. Sorry, let me just clarify… We’re talking five British pounds and fifty pence for 250ml of sparkling wine? You’re telling me, I’m paying for part soft drink here?
  8. Crazy town. Is the regular wine on the 2 for £8 offer? I mean, it’s still overpriced but at least the bottle is bigger…
  9. Right, smashing. Got me vino, got me snacks (which I brought from home to save dollaroo)… Let the holiday begin!
  10. I knew wine was a bad idea, I need the loo after a few sips.
  11. I don’t usually even take off my seatbelt, but here I am, wandering around in a floating metal tube with windows.
  12. Technology is pretty amazing, isn’t it.
  13. Right, wee time.
  14. The announcements are so much louder in the toilet. Wow. Can’t a girl have a wee in peace?
  15. I wouldn’t mind but it’s nothing important. Perfume that I’ve never heard of for sale about three times the price anyone in their right mind wants to pay.
  16. WHY DOES IT SOUND LIKE THE CONTENTS OF THE PLANE ARE GOING TO IMMEDIATELY BE SWEPT OUT INTO THE SKY?
  17. Oh, it’s just the flush.
  18. At least there’s proper handsoap and towels. Love a properly stocked bathroom.
  19. Righto, back we go.
  20. It’s lovely this, the plane isn’t full so if I wanted, I could totally sit on the opposite side of the aisle and put my feet up.
  21. I won’t though, I’m not that antisocial. (She says, writing a blog post on her phone…)
  22. Food round twoooooo!
  23. I’m not fussed for a bev, but since you’re here I’ll take some Haribo off your hands.
  24. Awww, they’re shaped like planes!
  25. Oh wow, look at the sky. That’s beautiful.
  26. *Takes generic picture of the sky from an aeroplane window*
  27. That’ll be going on Instagram.
  28. Ooh that didn’t feel nice. The engine is definitely slowing down.
  29. Cabin crew, seats for landing.
  30. Well that makes sense.
  31. Hey, if the air stewardess down there isn’t panicking, then it’s all fine.
  32. It’s all fine.
  33. Ooh my ears.
  34. CAN’T HEAR A THING, HAVE ANYONE ELSE’S EARS— *pop* oh, did anyone else’s ears go?
  35. Not sure if I’m yawning because I’m tired or because of my ears, but it’s working a treat.
  36. Does anyone else’s tummy flip about halfway down and we do that quick sort of dip?
  37. No? Just me…
  38. Oh I can feel it now. We’re so close… We’re so close…
  39. *BANG*
  40. Annnnnd we’re on land.

Can you relate to these? What are some of your thoughts during a flight?

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A Makeupless Day at Work

Makeup can be a confidence booster. Some might not want to leave the house without it; some might not feel ready for the day without it.

Makeup is a personal preference. Some might never have worn it; some might never leave the house without it.

Makeup can be an art. I personally wouldn’t say my standard combination of foundation, concealer, matte powder, eyeliner (on a fancy shmancy day) and mascara is particularly artistic but there are some beautiful creations out there with makeup. You’ve only to log into Instagram to see them all!

Prior to my very first makeupless day at work, I had spent the bank holiday weekend only wearing makeup on the one day that I was going to an event; the rest had either been completely bare-faced or just mascara and lip balm. This eased me in nicely to trying it for work.

The office I work in is the workplace for varying dress senses, styles and personalities, as I’m sure most offices are. There are women who choose to wear heels every day (how they do it, I’ll never know!); some that wear flat shoes and more casual clothes; some that are well-known throughout the office and some that keep themselves to themselves (the latter is more me, I’m pretty quiet).

There were a few observations that I made from my makeupless day and some of them may well surprise you.

People didn’t tell me I looked tired or ill.

I was nervous that in an office with many young, outspoken people, I would be told that I looked tired or ill, or worse even, asked if I was okay. I naturally have a blushed complexion and though I did feel myself blush out of nervousness once in the morning, there were no different reactions or any questions about my wellbeing. Ker-ching!

I saved 5 minutes of my getting ready time in the morning…

I don’t take too long with my makeup, as I’m sure you’ve guessed from my standard combination described above, but it still did save me 5 minutes in the morning which I spent making my breakfast instead and leisurely eating it instead of rushing it.

…and my winding down time in the evening.

This a bigger bonus than the extra time in the morning, for me personally. Sometimes I forget that I have makeup on and I’m practically asleep on the sofa when I realise that the eyelids slowly closing still have eyeliner marked on them, which then wakes me up completely because I have to get up and remove it. Other times (though rarely), I have fallen asleep with my mascara on which is neither good for your eyelashes or for your morning routine which is 5 minutes longer because you have to remove yesterday’s Rimmel. Not wearing makeup removed the potential for either of these situations which meant for a very relaxing evening!

I didn’t spill matte powder on my clothes.

When I put matte powder on, sometimes it smoothes over in the dish and doesn’t come out right (fingers crossed this is making sense to someone out there), which means that I have to scratch away at it so that the powder comes away and onto my brush. Are you still following? Sort of? Well, when I scratch at the smoothed over matte powder, sometimes it falls onto my clothes and black trousers or dark tops do not take to this well. So, my point is that not wearing makeup, or specifically matte powder, meant no spillages.

I could wipe my face or blow my nose without affecting how my face looks.

Blowing my nose and wiping off the foundation from around my nose is kind of irritating although I don’t go as far as taking my makeup to work to re-apply, so not wearing makeup was just far easier than having a red nose for the day. Similarly, if you wipe your face or use a headset that has big pads that go over your ears/face (if you have tiny ears like me), you might notice that makeup comes off your face and onto those – not a good look. Clean headphones and no patchy foundation: sounds like a win to me!

I have no-one to impress here anyway.

As long as I look respectable should a potential client be in the office, I’m good to go. I have no-one to impress so there really isn’t a need for me to wear it. Yes, it makes me feel a bit more confident but I’m working on embracing my natural complexion, natural hair and comfortable clothes, because it’s just easier.

Do you wear makeup whenever you leave the house? Are you one of those impressive makeup artists who shares their incredible work on Instagram? Let’s chat in the comments!

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How to Jumpstart Your Motivation

We all have those days when you just don’t want to move off the sofa and you know what? Sometimes we need those days. Other times, we just need that push to leap up and start/resume a productive day. Often I need a little push on a Sunday to prep for the week ahead instead of watching the day pass me by from the comfort of my lounge.

Sometimes at work I might finish one task and then not know where to start at all, and I might even fall into the trap of procrastination.

Procrastination (n.): The action of delaying or postponing something.

– Oxford Dictionary, 2019.

Procrastination can happen for a lot of reasons but it’s important that we don’t let it win. Whether you’re at work, at home or out and about, here are some ways that I fight procrastination:

Stretch

I know that feeling of being sat down and feeling like you absolutely cannot move. No energy, no drive, just nothing. Stretching your arms and back can give you some relief in your joints, and progressing to some standing stretches can really help wake up your muscles. Now you’ve stood up off the sofa, you’re halfway there!

Wash your face

A shower in the morning wakes me up but if you’ve already had your shower and you just need waking up, a splash of water to the face uses less water and is just as effective. Freshening your face can make you feel like you’re just waking up again and can be that little spark of energy you might need to resume your day.

The 5-minute technique

Do something for 5 minutes and if you then want to continue, great, and if not, you’ve done something. You might now have the energy to do something else. It might just lead to a completely productive day!

Break down your To Do list

If your To Do list is 20 items long, it’s only natural that you might feel overwhelmed and not know where to start at all. A technique that I use in these situations is to prioritise. What doesn’t need to be done today? Which items have a deadline? Which items are desirable?

Go for a walk

You might just need to get the blood pumping around your body to get back into the swing of things and that’s easily done: get yourself up for a wander. If you’re anything like me, a change of scenery from your computer screen and your desk can really help reset your mind.

How do you jumpstart your motivation?

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Monthly Gratitude: August

Would you believe it, we’re back for month four! I’m loving sharing my gratitude with you each month and I hope it’s encouraging you to look for the positives. These posts aren’t supposed to make you think that everything is rosy because of course we all have our bad days but:

It isn’t about the times you fall, as long as you get back up as many times plus one.

Here’s a round up of August just to get started:

Week 1: First yoga class (as opposed to home yoga).

Week 2: Trip to London and Contact Lens Trial.

Week 3: Pay day (wahoo!) and Last CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) Session.

Week 4: A day at the races with Dean and his parents.

Without further ado, let’s have a look at the things I’m grateful for this month:

1. Living in the city centre.

This enabled me to walk to a FREE yoga class during the first week of a new yoga studio opening. 10 minutes and I was there, 20 minutes and I’m at work! Whilst we might move further out as we get a bit older and perhaps look for a house; right now, living in the city centre is pretty perfect for everything we need.

2. The lovely lady at the opticians.

It costs nothing to be nice and I know she was paid to teach me how to put in and take out my contact lenses, but it was her choice to be as patient and precise in her guidance. I can now choose between glasses and contacts – wahoo! It means that when I spend more than 5 minutes on my makeup for date night, that I won’t have to hide it behind my specs!

3. The therapist that has listened, waited and guided me through my first batch of CBT sessions.

I’ve seen a lot of change in my daily life since I started CBT and I’m managing situations I used to avoid like the plague thanks to techniques I’ve been practising. I know it’s her job, but I just feel like a huge weight has lifted and it’s all thanks to those one hour sessions on a Thursday afternoon that I’ve just finished.

4. The blogging community.

I reached a social media milestone this month and whilst I know it isn’t all about the numbers, it is absolutely delightful for the amount of people who appreciate my writing to have increased to quadruple figures. I never used to share my work on my personal Facebook, let alone with a thousand people. It’s a truly lovely space to be in.

5. Extra time off for bank holidays.

I know it’s important to make the most of every day and appreciate the week days, but you’ve got to love a three day weekend (that you extend to five days thanks to annual leave). It’s nice not to have the Sunday rush to get clothes clean and lunches made, and just let all those things wait another day (or three), or the Monday blues!

I’m looking to start a bullet journal soon so this will hopefully make it into there. Do you record reasons you’re grateful or consider them when you need to ground yourself?

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Breathing

“Just keep breathing and keep calm. The only real control we have is over ourselves.”

The above words are from the song Just Keep Breathing by We Came As Romans and it’s as close to a mantra as I get.

I’m a lover of a motivational or uplifting quote, and when it’s paired with my favourite genre of music, that’s something pretty special.

The inspiration for this post was the #springhashtagchallenge on Instagram back in April, in which the prompt for Day 3 was “Breathe”.

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Wednesday 17th April: Breathe. #springhashtagchallenge with @littlepaperswan and @edinburghwithkids 🌸 I find many things peaceful and helpful to re-centre my mind. I grew up by the sea and I now live by a canal, and there's something about walking alongside the water, maybe briefly sitting, and just taking in deep breaths that really helps return that inner peace for me. Maybe there's no one else there or maybe there are passers by but you don't concern yourself with them. Just your breathing. This is the same reason I took up yoga. You can't always go for a stroll, maybe it's raining (or you can go for a stroll in the rain, but you might need your brolly and that kind of ruins the vibe for me) so I get my yoga mat out, my headphones on and set up YouTube in front of me, and spend 20-30 minutes following a routine that primarily focuses on breathing and stretching. How do you like to relax or de-stress? #selflove #selfcare #relaxationtechniques #yoga #breathing #ohidoliketobebesidetheseaside #happyselves #curateyourownfeed #discoverunder1k #shinyhappybloggers #alifeofintention #bloggerstribe #themisfitbloggers

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It was the process of writing the caption that really inspired me to write this post – I didn’t think anyone would make it to the end of the Instagram caption, nor was I certain whether there’s actually a limit on characters…

This year I started practising Yoga and noticed a recurring theme is focusing on your breathing, and I really took to this practice. When I feel anxious, or overwhelmed, or stressed, I find it really helpful to stop thinking about everything else, go back to basics and focus on one thing: my breathing.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Inhale positive vibes.

Exhale the stress.

Whether this is during the practice of yoga, sitting at my desk, outside work on the steps, sitting on a bench in the park, walking to work… It can be tailored to you.

I find that getting some fresh air also helps because if I stay in the environment that made me initially overwhelmed, I can’t always shake it so easily. Sometimes I feel like I just need to get out.

There are lots of ways that people employ to cope with stress and overwhelming feelings; this is an easy one that I like to practise and have actually found very useful recently.

One example is when I had quite a rough night’s sleep, a horrid dream, and then an anxious morning that dragged out for the whole day and left me feeling very drained. I still went to work, but pausing every once in a while and just focusing on the inhale-exhale a few times really did help me reset my perspective.

Likewise, if I feel like I have too much on my plate, spending 20 minutes outside at lunchtime just taking in the fresh, cool air can help me recentre myself. It can be wandering down the street or sitting on a bench just relaxing and watching passers by, not really focusing on anything apart from my breathing.

Just a final reminder that you are tougher cookie than you think.

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Monthly Gratitude: July

Who’d have thought I’d have made it to episode three of my Monthly Gratitude series?! Here we are, team!

These posts are a great way to round up the month and remind me of all the lovely things that have happened. July has been a lovely month, here are the notable events from each week:

  1. I ran the Inflatable 5k for Leicester Hospitals Charity!
  2. We watched Yesterday at Cineworld (which I really recommend, by the way!)
  3. I met a milestone in overcoming anxiety, went on a bloggers brunch, and we had a date night.
  4. I had a reunion with a university friend and it was pay day, wahoo!
  5. We went to the theatre with my family for Mum’s birthday, and hosted my first blogger Twitter chat.

So without further ado, here are three things I’m grateful for this month:

My support network.

I participated in my first charity event on my own this year and it truly highlighted the support network that I have. Whether that’s sharing the link to get lots of donations or cheering me on at the sidelines, my friends, colleagues, and mine and Dean’s families were incredibly supportive and it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside just reminiscing.

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Last weekend was a lot of fun. My parents returned from their cruise and came with Dean to watch me run round a 5k course of inflatables for Leicester Hospitals Charity and a particularly life-saving treatment. Everything aches but I am so pleased having completed this personal fitness challenge for a cause so close to my heart. There's still time to donate if you haven't yet had chance! (The link is in my bio) ⬆️ #happyselves #curateyourownfeed #discoverunder1k #shinyhappybloggers #alifeofintention #bloggerstribe #themisfitbloggers #thegirlinflat26 #travelblogger #travelblog #travelgram #travelphoto #travelbloggerlife #wanderlust #traveldiaries #instatravel #cityscape #travelblogging #inflatable5k #leicesterhospitalscharity #justgiving

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Blogging and networking opportunities.

I went for brunch with some local bloggers this month and it was so fun! It’s the start of having a bit more confidence and just going for it. It was a great chance to network, try a new brunch place, and find some new blogs to read and follow! I also hosted my very first Twitter chat which I really enjoyed, and that’s something I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do before. The blogging community is such a lovely, supportive place!

Mental health milestones.

After a couple of months of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), I managed two situations in one week this month in which I’d usually experience symptoms of anxiety. It is an incredible feeling when I know that one or two years ago, I would have completely avoided those situations or felt anxious to a point where I would have broken down in tears.

What are you grateful for this month?

If you’d like to let me know on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #GratitudeWithParis!

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10 Ways to be a Champion

On World Book Day, I shared my current read which at the time, was Sarah Millican’s How to be a Champion.

I bought the ebook, with the view that this would be quicker to read because I’d always have it with me. It still took me months to finish because I rarely find the time to read, but I did finally reach the end and when I did, I felt really happy and a little bit sad. Happy, because the book was really uplifting and offered loads of life tips; sad, because I’ve no idea what I’ll read next or whether it will be as heartwarming.

I really enjoy Google Books because I can highlight quotes without ruining any part of a paperback and I thought a productive way to share everything that I’ve highlighted would be in a blog post, so here we are.

Here are 10 quotes that I highlighted within Sarah Millican’s book and that I hope bring a little sunshine to your day in the same way they did to mine when I first read them.


Whatever you can do, or dream you can, do it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

I can’t remember the context for this one but I absolutely love it. Follow your dreams, follow your passion, if you can think of it, you can do it.

There is no substitute for hard work. I’m never keen when successful people say they’re lucky. It’s mostly just being good, focused and working your arse off.

Whatever you do, put your all into it. Work hard, earn your wages and then enjoy them!

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

Talent only goes so far. Work hard, keep ploughing on.

Be a good friend. It’s the best thing you can be. But only with those who would reciprocate.

Your friends are said to be a reflection of who you are. Cultivate those relationships and ensure they are equally give and take.

If you have nothing in common with the women and men in magazines, it doesn’t matter. They’re not the norm. Magazine women are put there to make us buy stuff. All it makes me want to buy is food. And fewer magazines. F*** that, none. If you know that you are a good person, kind, hardworking, interesting and interested then go with that. F*** what your hair looks like. Or your nails.

I personally find false nails, falsh eyelashes, fake tan and everything else in the same domain far too much effort for me. If it makes you feel good and you enjoy it, then go for it. But don’t ever compare yourself to an airbrushed, photoshopped magazine photo.

Bitterness and resentment is unhealthy, and can slow down or stop your progress. Stop looking where your peers are and concentrate on your own career.

This was written in Sarah’s chapter about advice for stand up comedy but I do think a lot of the advice therein is transferable to life and most other careers.

Gossiping is a negative use of your brain cells.

This, again, is a “Don’t” in stand up comedy, but applies to everyday life. Have opinions, that’s fine, just don’t hurl them around, it will only end in tears.

Never stick around somewhere that you instinctively feel is odd or potentially unsafe. “No” is a great word, look after yourself with it.

In stand up comedy, in your 9-5 office job, in every day life: a solid piece of advice.

Integrity is important.

Again, a piece of stand up comedy advice transferable to life. Honesty and strong moral principles don’t cost a penny yet go a long way.

The rule, whilst made for comedians, can be used by anyone, anywhere, who has a thing they need to get past. You must be strong and stick to the rule […] The rule is this: if I’ve had a bad gig […] then I can only be sad, furious, frustrated and annoyed about it until 11am the next day. Then, at 11am, I need to shake it off.

A good method for anyone like me who has a tendency to dwell on things, particularly negativity. Shake it off by 11am the next day. Those are the rules.

I hope you’ve found some helpful or encouraging words in here and I hope that you found something to make you smile. What’s your favourite uplifting quote?

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