Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Why routine is a good thing

I have been resisting routine for a very long time, partly unconsciously but also with every fibre of my conscious being. I am Spanish, so you would be forgiven for assuming that I am programmed to be laid back and spontaneous. Whilst not everyone in Spain is blissfully chilled, there definitely is a difference pace of life, a more start-stop attitude than the go, go, go that is so common in the UK. Then of course we all like to think that we are spontaneous and go with the flow.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Stylish free downloads

I like to change the background of my gadgets quite regularly, especially my laptop. I spend so much of my days sitting in front of it that I prefer to have a bright image to cheer me up in the winter or a motivating quote. There are A LOT of free desktop wallpapers on the net, but so many of them are just a little bit bland or so absolutely full of images that it’s impossible to find what I want. Over time I have come across a few good websites that have plenty of choice but their selections are much more the style I like!

This blog is my absolute favourite! The dress your tech posts are full of really colourful backgrounds not only for your laptop, but also tablet, phone, etc. There is a mixture of interest patterns, bright florals and motivational quotes that aren’t twee at all. I couldn’t love it more. I also follow DLF on Instagram as she is always posting lots of bright photos which are straight up my street.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Winter break: Vichy Catalan spa in Spain

A few years ago I discovered the joy of post Christmas breaks and since then I try to fit a quick escape every year. Somehow instead of running away from the cold I’ve quite often ended up in even colder places like New York, Vienna or Berlin, but this January has felt so gloomy in the UK that I wanted some peace and quiet somewhere, if not warmer, at least sunnier than here, so I chose a break at the Balneari Vichy Catalan, which is about an hour north of Barcelona. My travel companion was my cousin Carmen.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Perfumes I love

Scents are incredibly powerful. There is a model that categorises people into visual, auditory or kinesthetic, depending on whether they take their information by looking, hearing or touching. However, something as simple as using a shampoo that you once used during the summer when you were 15 can take you back there in an instant, and remember a multitude of experiences.

Some scents can evoke our sweetest fondest moments. For me, there are a few that take me back to my childhood.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

How to keep your New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year!

I love this time of the year, even more than I do Christmas (shhhhh, don't tell anybody!). It always marks a fresh new beginning. It doesn't matter how bad the previous year has been, there is hope that the new one will be better. It is a time to reflect and count our blessings, to make resolutions and be the best version of ourselves that we can be. Resolutions can sometimes be hard to stick to, but they don't have to be. Here are some tricks to make yours more achievable.

1. Think about what you want to be, not what you're not.
Sometimes resolutions can feel like a burden or punishment. They remind us of all the things we are not and make us feel not good enough, giving up even before we have started. Try to think about what you enjoy, what you want to be.

This year I have written a list of things I would like to do in 2015, one of which is to be able to run 10k. I'm starting slow and have broken it into manageable mini goals. I'm aiming at running three times a week (I've done twice a week before, so I know it's achievable) to manage 5k in 6 weeks. Then I'll join Parkrun on Saturdays to get me motivated and meeting new people. 

That is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. Well, you may want to be a bit flexible and skip the time-bound... Or maybe that is what will motivate you more. We are all different after all, but focus on achievable and realistic. Remember that you don't have to be great to start but you have to start to be great. It doesn't matter if you've never run, there is always a first time!

3. Be gentle on yourself
Do you want to eat more healthily? That's fabulous, but don't beat yourself up if you don't drink green juices and eat kale every day. Remember that for it to be sustainable, it's better to start slow and build up so it doesn't feel too overwhelming. And if you have an indulging day, enjoy it, don't ruin it by feeling guilty about it!

4. Give yourself the luxury of time
This is to really think about what you would like what you remember next year for, to reflect on what makes you happy, what motivates you... Write a list, make a mind map,... Whatever works for you, but spend some time and you will find that they will be more meaningful and you will want to stick to them.

Good luck and may this be a healthy and happy year for you! X

Sunday, 28 December 2014

New Year Resolutions: embrace creativity

We are fast approaching the end of 2014, and having some time off work over Christmas gives us the perfect opportunity to look back at the year we are saying goodbye to, taking stock of what we have done over the past twelve months, and to dream of what we want 2015 to be.

For me, 2014 has had some fantastic moments. It all started with a house move in January. After years of commuting for 3 hours a day and living away from many friends, I decided something needed to change, so I put my house on the market and waited for months on end for an offer to come through. It eventually did and last January I finally made the move. It has brought so much happiness to my life! I am within walking distance of my office and my friends, and because of being nearby, I have been able to socialise more, therefore widening my circle of friends and meeting some fantastic people. That same month I got a new job in the same company. It is in an area I'd been interested in for some time, and it hasn't disappointed.

Another highlight of the past year was a week long trip to Southern California to visit a friend. I had such a blast! Our friend Phil, who was hosting, was incredible and organised such a variety of activities. We went sailing, hiking in Joshua Tree National Park, went to see Jimmy Kimmel Live the day he was interviewing Pharrell Williams, had a crazy night out in West Hollywood and even appeared as extras in a friend's film! I have to pinch myself to believe I really experienced all this.

However, whilst the year couldn't have started better, it took a turn for the worse during the second half, when a dear friend passed away. It wasn't a surprise, but it has been deeply painful nevertheless. She was far too young, and her loss was a reminder of how precious our lives and our health are. When you are confronted with something like this, cliches suddenly have a genuine meaning, and you realise that you truly don't know what is around the corner.

Although I haven't been able to articulate this until a few days ago, I have been (and to a certain extent still am) a bit lost for the past few months. My heart is full of hope and vitality, of thirst to do lots of things, but it is also full of sadness. Something I have found to help during this time is doing yoga, exercising and eating healthily, which I intend to make a priority in the New Year. 

Moving to a bigger house gave me the opportunity to be creative and my Pinterest is now bursting at the seams with photos of bedrooms, mirrors, gallery walls, DIY projects,.... Reflecting as I like to do, I realised that I have always had a bit of a dormant creative side which I have always been scared to tap into, for fear of not being good enough. 

I was trawling through Pinterest and came across this quote from Henri Matisse. It caught my eye because I love this style of illustration, with the handwritten font and bright cheerful colours, but also because of what it said. Creativity does indeed take courage, it requires to take a leap of faith in none other than yourself (why is it sometimes so much harder than having faith in others?) and put your creations in front of others, whether it is a handmade cushion, a room layout, a make up look or a blog post. 

This year I am going to take that leap of faith and believe in myself, be ready to make mistakes and embrace my creative side. Writing this blog is only one small part, although perhaps one of the scariest. I have written other blogs in the past, but always kept them anonymous, hiding behind a pseudonym, trying to erase any details that would help anyone work out it was me, and ended up having something that I couldn't be proud of. This time will be different. I have not set myself with a specific topic, or at least not to begin with. I plan to write about what I am genuinely interested about, about the things that help me be happier, and see where that takes me! 

If you have ever wished you could be better at something, give it a go this year! All you need is a bit of courage and an open mind. Who knows, there is every chance that you will be great at it. 

See you soon,
Inma x

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