Dealing with a thirty item to-do list


Source: Diaries of an Essex Girl

A few weeks back Kate at Diaries of an Essex Girl wrote a post about tackling your blogging schedule and included the above inspirational image about stress. This image really struck a chord with me, not about blogging per se but just generally how I react to having too much to do, whether at work or in my personal life. My initial reaction when things are getting too much is to have an internal freak out and panic which means I’m unable to do anything productive for ages. Then I’m left with only one option – to do everything at the last-minute after making myself feel stupidly sick with worry. This is such a ridiculous reaction and most importantly an unproductive one! Especially when I’m inevitably freaking out because I have far too much to do. So I’ve decided that I need to remember this quote and maybe even print it out and carry it with me so that when I next have a freak out I’ll stop and think. After all stress is most definitely not a good idea when I need my brain to work and get something done, be it a creative idea or just one of the two hundred things on my current to-do list.

Another brain wave I’ve had recently is to sit down and calmly with a cup of coffee and write a to do list when I’m having a mini meltdown. By breaking a big scary task into a load of smaller tasks it’s far more manageable plus ticking each bit off one – no matter how small the task is really does help. I feel like I’ve instantly achieved something and I can achieve things much faster. Clearly something to do with actually getting my brain together and back to the task at hand! What about you what do you do to calm your crazy brain down when things get a bit too overwhelming?


Hello and Goodbye

Hello & Goodbye


Today I leave Penguin Towers after five and a half years working here doing my dream job. As you can imagine I’ve got a million different thoughts around this, not least excitement and trepidation. I don’t really know how to sum up all these thoughts and I’m honestly not sure that today is the day for working that all out in my head. As I want to enjoy my last day here and say goodbye to all the wonderful friends I’ve made, before heading off on a new adventure at my new job next week. So I think this picture and quote says it all, after all it’s right and these two words will be used by me a lot over the next week or so. Wish me luck!

Boring walls: a problem and a solution!

Happy Sunday one and all, how are you all? I’m away this weekend in the stunningly beautiful Peak District with the family so hopefully I’m having a whale of a time. I will obviously update you all as soon as possible upon my return to London – you lucky lucky things! Anyway back to today’s post, let’s talk about art. For a while now I’ve been wanting to do something more interesting with my bedroom walls as they feel a little bit unloved. Don’t get me wrong they’re not bare, I do have stuff on them, lovely stuff in fact – but it’s all a bit higgledy-piggledy and things have been put up without thought. So this needs work.

I just wasn’t sure what to do until I saw a recent post by Will at Bright Bazaar’s recent, which got me all excited. As a gallery wall is most definitely the answer to my boring bedroom wall problem. The only problem is that I only have a couple of pictures in my room  – this one and a landscape picture of the wonderful Moreaki Boulders in New Zealand. So what I need are a few more frames to work with, so of course that means I’m on the lookout for some gorgeous works of art! Current faves are below and weirdly I seem to have headed towards brilliant quotes (let’s be honest we knew there’d be a Potter one in there somewhere didn’t we) and skylines/maps. Not sure what that’s all about but I must find both things fairly inspiring, which to be fair isn’t the worst idea for my bedroom wall. Surely waking up to lovely inspirational quotes is a good plan – won’t it just mean I’m taking the inspiring words to heart and doing more? Who knows! But maybe I should buy all of the below and see!

Wall inspiration

Dr Seuss quote / Albus Dumbledore quote / Bookshelf picture / Edinburgh Skyline / Always Remember / Life is too short / Hope quote / World Map / London Skyline

What’s your favourite quote and would you ever pop it on your wall? Any suggestions about what I should be adding to my wall, all ideas/suggestions/thoughts welcome. I’m clearly in dire need of help!

Wise Words #1 – Ralph Waldo Emerson


Greetings chumlets, how are you all today? I wanted to share this lovely image (humble aren’t I!) that I created using the wondrous site that is PicMonkey. Can I just say this site is totally revolutionising my life right now. I’m having such fun using it! Check out my first image over on the latest ‘Smiley Happy Things’ post, as you can tell I was inspired by a school chalkboard! Anyway whilst playing around I created the above image using one of my photos from a recent Portugal trip. I’m quite proud of it to be honest!

Anyway back to the actual sentiment behind the above image. I stumbled across this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote last weekend and it really made sense to me and captured exactly what I’ve been trying to channel recently. I like the idea of putting the past behind you at the end of the day and just focusing on the positives before starting the new day with optimism and enthusiasm. After all optimism and a positive outlook never killed anyone and looking on the bright side of things can’t hurt anyone. This quote also reminds me a little of the sentiments in The Silver Linings Playbook, which is about there always being a positive side to things, no matter how small. So really I just wanted to share this image with you as a reminder that we should take each day as it comes, face it with enthusiasm, give our all and then at the end of the day put the bad bits behind us and learn not to dwell on things.

Phew, that’s a lot of waffle for one day, especially for a Friday! Go forth and enjoy your last day of this work week and have an epic two-day weekend, huzzah!

Pinterest Corner #21 – Indications of good or bad


I couldn’t agree more with the above sentiment – J.K. Rowling really knows what she’s talking about doesn’t she? This quote sprung to mind a couple of times this week and I wanted to share it with you all. I’m not going to go into details of what happened to make me think of this quote, as you never know who’s reading this and that wouldn’t be fair to others. But suffice to say I learnt a few things about certain people in my life (not all bad) and I was reminded that it’s important to treat others how we would wish to be treated, no matter their status in relation to us. This goes for simple things like not barging people out-of-the-way on a bus because you have an important meeting to get too or holding open doors but also other things like making sure you allow others to share their thoughts and opinions without judging them.

No regrets, never ever, no way!

For day eight of the May blog challenge I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and choose one of the pieces of advice I’d pinned previously on Pinterest. That way this post fits into this weeks Pinterest Corner – genius right?! So below is my piece of advice – very important to remember if you ask me.

You’re living in the now, so it is crazy not to act like it and to instead dwell on the past or worry about what could happen. As a well-known sports brand would say: Get out there and ‘Just do it’. After all you are important and you deserve it, so you’d be letting yourself down if you didn’t grab every opportunity that comes your way by the scruff of the neck and just go for it. This is definitely a piece of advice I should remember more often, although I do think I’m good at not having regrets. Maybe that’s more to do with my stubbornness than any desire to not life in the past though….!

p.s just one other word of advice. Don’t ever smother jelly beans in chocolate, it’s foul. There’s definitely a reason why it’s not a snack prevalent in society, just sayin’!

Favourite quotes – decisions, decisions

Choosing just one favourite quote for day three of Blog every day in May is a hard one I have to admit. I’m definitely one of those people that collects quotes like others collect handbags or nice crockery. Case in point I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to quotes (currently at 71 pins) and I’ve also kept a quote book since I was sixteen, just so I don’t lose or forget a favourite quote. Some of my all-time favourite quotes are below:

The most wasted day of all is that on which we have not laughed. – anon

We’ve all got both light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are. – Sirius Black (J. K. Rowling)

Let me get this straight. You know her. She knows you. But she wants to eat him. And everybody’s okay with this? DID I MISS SOMETHING! – Timon, The Lion King

Spend life with who makes you happy, not who you have to impress – anon

Left side, strong side – Remember the Titans

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter. – Martin Luther King

It is my belief that the truth is generally preferable to lies – Albus Dumbledore (J. K. Rowling)

If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face life sunbeams and you will always look lovely – Roald Dahl

We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy. – Albus Dumbledore (J. K. Rowling)

But I think my all time favourite quote has to be the below. Not just because it’s from one of my favourite films or because it’s spoken by the lovely Hugh Grant *swoons* but because it is a sentiment that we could all do with remembering from time to time. When we’re having a bad day, when we lose perspective or we just need a smile it really is helpful to remember the sentiment expressed below:


Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.


Pinterest Corner #15 – The important things, thanks to the Weasleys for reminding me!

I’ve been having a major stress this week trying to find the perfect present for my sister’s birthday next week. I’ve been panicking because most of the items on her list have now sold out both online and in store – it’s been an absolute nightmare and I’ve been quietly (or not so quietly) panicking about it. I’ve been so worried that I’ll fail on my mission and end up having to get her something she doesn’t like or didn’t want, I also don’t want her to be disapointed and have to do a fake ‘Oh it’s brilliant, and just what I’ve always wanted’ when I hand her a present of smellies and socks (not that she doesn’t like socks). As I’d know – as you do with close friends and family – that she didn’t like my gift and then I’d feel bad. Anyway, after a manic rush to a very specific shop over my lunchtime today, in the snow and through the dawdling tourists – what is with that?!, I finally managed to get her something off her list and I’m no longer feeling like the worst sister/present giver in existence as she’ll at least have one thing she likes, hooray!

So after the panic of this week and the rushed lunchtime trek across London, it was good to see the below image on Pinterest this afternoon as it suddenly hit me – I was being totally ridiculous.
Pinned Image
Thank goodness the wise Weasley’s were here to remind me of the important things! This image is completely right and it reminded me to stop being such a nitwit, as the important thing is the thought that goes into the present and that we’ll be spending our birthday celebrating together. Don’t get me wrong, I know that the presents are nice too, as they are a way of showing appreciation for the birthday girl and it’s nice to be spolit on your birthday, but I know that as long as I don’t buy Laura any of the below items she’ll like what I get her.
As she’ll know that I know her and have put thought into how to make her birthday special. She will appreciate that, even if I go off list and don’t buy her something that she wanted. Yes she might love birthdays and yes she might have sent said list a month or so ago as she loves her birthday that much(!) but I know that it’s not about the monetary value for her. It’s all about the togetherness, the love and the little things when it comes to events like Christmas and birthdays. Deep down I know that my sister will appreciate and like whatever lovely gift I give her – even if she gets something unexpected. So thank you Weasley family and whoever created this image for reminding me that I don’t need to panic and give myself a stomach ulcer as in the end it’s not the presents that matter.

Pinterest Corner #14 – Reading and emotions

One of the main things I love about Pinterest is the numerous pins that are brilliant quotes or wise words. No matter how I’m feeling there’s always something inspiring or comforting to be found on Pinterest. So this week when thinking about my Pinterest Corner post I thought about some of those wordy pins and wanted to share one that echos something I’ve always felt, ever since I realised how wonderful a book can be when I was five or six. The pin is this one – don’t you just love it?


The quote is anonymous but I can’t help but agree whole heartedly with the clever person who said it, it’s just absolutely true. This is how books and reading make me feel. I love that the characters and the emotions evoked by a story stay with me for years afterwards. I still remember how utterly amazed I was by Roald Dahl’s Matilda when I first read it and I’m always putting myself in the shoes of characters, be it Harry Potter, Anne Elliott or Wilbur the pig and imagining how I’d have reacted. Even years after reading the stories I wonder if I’d have had the strength of character, or wishing I could have experienced that era. My favourite books, characters and fictional worlds are the place that I turn to on a regular basis in my daydreams when I want to forget how rubbish a day I’ve had or just want to be transported to another time and place. It’s these amazing characters that make me so grateful that I’m a book-worm, I wonder how other people cope without my absurd love of books and I’m so thankful that I’ve always found peace,  friendship and laughter in the pages of a book. It’s certainly made my imagination more colour, given me a greater understanding of the world and allowed me to experience the most amazing emotions and journeys without moving from the sofa.

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