Dealing with a thirty item to-do list

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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

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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!

Ponderings on perception

I’ve been thinking a lot about perception recently, either your perception of someone/thing but also how we perceive ourselves or think others perceive us. It amazes me how often we get the wrong idea or realise that our perception has been distorted for whatever reason. Perception really is a fascinating subject, I mean how does it even work and how does our perception of the world differ to that of the rest of the world? Imagine if in actual fact we are all see things totally differently. Maybe the way I perceive colours or shapes is totally different to everyone else, who knows! Whilst pondering perception I came across the below quote by Louise C. K., which I 100% agree with.

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Such a good point that perception changes all the time. There are a number of reasons why this topic sprung into my head, so I’ll share two such reasons with you. The first one stems from a picture my sister found of the two of us from a couple of years ago before the much written about (at least by me on this here bloglet) lose of three stone of me (and of her too). Now I remember exactly when the photo was taken and I can honestly say that I would have sworn black and blue that I looked nothing like this at the time. Even when I looked at that picture back then it did not look like it now does to me. I look like a totally different person to how I imagined I did. In fact if asked to I would have drawn you a picture of a much thinner person, which clearly was not the reality. How is it that at that time I didn’t see myself as I really was and what is it that has since changed the perception I have of myself? As now I can clearly see what I was like then but I wasn’t able to before.  Also do I now imagine I look totally different now to how I actually do? Talk about mind-boggling. How do I ensure I am really seeing what I actually look like, do I simply trust that what I’m now seeing is correct or do I just always assume that my perception of myself still screwy?

Now to the second thing that got me thinking about perception; It was realising that the perception I have of two people was right for one of them and not for the other one. I won’t go into too many details as who knows if those people read this blog but it got me to thinking why our perception can be so wrong, especially when it comes to others. Is it something in us that sees their actions in an odd way or is this due to something that the individual does to make us look at them incorrectly? Do my feelings towards people (liking them or not) impact on how I see what they do? Do I give more compassion and understanding to those that I like and do the opposite, see the negative, with the people I don’t like? And if I do allow my feelings towards people to impact on my perceptions of them and their actions how do I ensure that I stop doing this or is it too heavily ingrained in our personalities that we can’t amend it?

I don’t really have any answers, in fact writing my jumbled thoughts has raised more questions than I had already about perception. But it is certainly one of those fascinating subjects, what about you have you similar thoughts on perception or similar stories as to when your perceptions were proven wrong or confused? I’d love to hear them!

Brilliant supporters, neon and giggles

Happy Monday you lovely beans, how is the world treating you this fine and furry morning? I don’t know about you but my past week hasn’t been the easiest. I suppose any week post holiday will be tricky but this week has been made infinitely worse thanks to an epic amount of work stress, big life decisions, food that disagreed with me and the stinker of a cold that I’ve STILL not shifted! So yes a bit of a rubbish seven days in all honesty. But let’s not dwell on the bad, this post is meant to be about the good stuff. And thankfully there were some lovely things that made this week so much better. I’m not sure how I’d have handled this week without some beacons of joy mixed in. So this week I’ve been cheered up no end by this week’s…

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  • Lovely lunches with brilliant friends – twice last week I was joined by good friends for lunch and it was lovely. Sometimes you just can’t beat a good old gossip.
  • Coffee and catch ups – More lovely friends this time teamed with good coffee. Ideal during a hectic day to just take ten minutes for a good dose of what’s actually important.
  • Someone going above and beyond – Sometimes people do far more than they need to and this week one such lovely person did that for me and whilst we didn’t resolve the problem I am really and truly grateful for that extra bit of love
  • Hysterical laughter  – What can I say that’s one of the best things that can happen. Laughter that turns into hysterics with a good dose of tears!
  • Making a breakthrough on one element of a campaign – That feeling you get when you hit on the idea that solves that one problem you’ve been stuck on for weeks, what joy!
  • Celebrating with family – It was my Dad’s birthday last week and it was a joy to catch up with my family and natter away, giggle a lot and eat scrumptious food. Baked avocado is my new favourite thing.
  • Surprise American sweets – My lovely friend surprised me with dark chocolate peanut m&m’s from a recent trip to NYC. What a star she is, so kind!
  • Appreciation at work – Most work places are a bit rubbish at showing appreciation so it was lovely to get some brilliant feedback this week on one project that appears to be taking over my life – very rewarding and almost worth all the pain
  • Comedy trailer footage – My Thursday was made infinitely better when I watched footage for an upcoming work trailer – the footage just cracked me up.  Sometimes my job is aces.
  • Two more new neon necklaces – no more explanation needed!

I think I might be addicted

Do you ever go through a period of time where you just seem fixated on two or three things (outside of work and normal life) or is that just me? I seem to go through stages where I get wrapped up in certain things. Often I then do them to death and get bored and move to something else, hence why I have a jumble of wool I’ve not knitted with for about six months and a stupid number of cookbooks, that I got out sporadically and document over here. So my current addiction appears to be Netflix, which we recently downloaded. I love having hundreds of programmes and films at my finger tips – it’s really quite brilliant. I sort of want an excuse to not leave my sofa for a week so I can properly get stuck into it. I’ve been watching all sorts on there at all times – first thing in the morning, of an afternoon and most recently long in to the night.

So far I’ve rediscovered Christopher Eccleston as Doctor Who and Gossip Girl – the latter of which is a very underrated show if you ask me. I’ve also been watching Modern Family, I can’t believe I never saw the first episode of the show, it’s actually genius and they are all so so funny! Although it’s maybe not ideal to watch it last thing at night as my laugh can be a tad too loud at times. I also watched a really good film with Chris Pine (he’s a little bit of a crush of mine) which I’d whole-heartedly recommend, it’s a good easy watch film called People Like Us. We’re also making our way through House of Cards, I’m not as into it as I assumed I would be yet, but I’m sure that’s just a matter of time. I mean with Kevin Spacey in it, surely it has to be freaking brilliant, yes?

So yes I think I might soon need Netflix Anonymous, but for now I think I’ll make the most of it – after all the newness will wear off soon right?! Until it does I’m totally up for a load of suggestions as to what I should be watching – anything you would suggest as a must-watch on Netflix?

A Pinterest Promise from me to you.

For those of you who are regular readers of this blog (hopefully there’s one or two of you out there listening to my incessant waffle) you’re probably familiar with my Pinterest Corner posts, which are in theory a weekly occurrence. When I originally started these posts around Christmas the logic behind them was to make me be more creative and to complete some of the crafty projects that I’d seen and coveted on Pinterest. By sharing one such project/recipe/item with you each week the idea was that I’d get some of them done as there’d be some sort of accountability. Sadly that hasn’t worked out quite to plan. The last few posts have been more about my thoughts on life, fitness and good quotes, rather than actually using my deeply hidden craft abilities. For some reason I’ve just not had the motivation (or much-needed time) to actually get on and create anything.

I want this to change, so I’ve decided to fiddle around a little with the Pinterest Corner concept and make it a monthly occurrence. So going forward I’ll post my crafty goodness on the blog on the third Wednesday of each month. This will be far more achievable for me as I’ll have a whole month to do something – therefore being away for one weekend won’t prove a problem! And it’ll hopefully mean I’ll start to make the things I want to rather than just sharing the things that are easy. So watch out for the 21st August as you’ll spot a brand new Pinterest Corner post showcasing something super lovely. To be honest I’m not sure what yet, but possibly something inspired by one of the below ideas as I want them all in my London flat! But what about you? What lovely things do you want to create and make, it can’t be just me who wants to be more crafty!

Glitter Jewerly Tray

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Buy alphabet magnets and spray paint them

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letters2

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Jellybeans, honeycomb and whimsy

Another month and another list of things that are intriguing me, bothering me and making me laugh – check them out!

This month I’m dreaming about making this honeycomb recipe as there’s really nothing like the crunch of honeycomb. I also cannot wait to make this chocolate pudding – it’s made from avocados. Um hello, genius or what now – I wonder if Lau would notice the taste of avocados if I made her this… I’m tempted to give it a whirl. What clever people there are out there in the world!

The YouTube video The Time you have (in Jellybeans) has got me thinking, A LOT. It’s fascinating to see how the average person spends their life, I’m amazed that looking after others doesn’t take up more of our ‘jellybeans; and I’m 99% my watching TV amount is way higher than this video shows. But it’s asking an interesting question isn’t it? What would you do differently if you had half as much time and what would you do if you just had one day – most definitely the important and simple things I’m sure.

I’m also pondering why I didn’t take two weeks off of work, rather than just the one. As getting back into the swing of this work malarkey has not been my favourite thing ever. Setting the alarm on Sunday night for the ungodly hour or 7am was literally the most taxing and depressing thing I’ve done all year – sad times indeed.

I’m not a massive fan of the Royal Baby hype and some of the activity I found really rather distasteful but I did smile when I saw the below video of Kermit and Miss Piggy’s reaction to the Royal Baby, so hilarious! My favourite bit: ‘tadpoles don’t have feet!’ Bless Miss Piggy.

My obsession with How I Met Your Mother is well documented on this here blog, so it won’t surprise you that this video made my day when I stumbled upon it thanks to Hypable. At ComicCon this video was realised and it shows Ted’s kids finally snapping thanks to the fact that he’s still telling them the same story, and it’s eight years later. I won’t spoil any of the video for you, but needless to say it’s absolutely hilarious!

I’ve just discovered Whimsy and I’m now wondering how I existed before I discovered its existence – it’s like a little bit of heaven in my life. Not only is it mighty appealing to look at – all that white space and cute colours, but it’s also packed with loads of brilliant articles and ideas. I mean how have I managed not knowing how to distress picture frames or make my own wall prints – life officially made. Plus lets just take a moment to appreciate the lovely word whimsy it’s definitely one of those words we should use on a very regular basis. Another thing I want to make is the pillow below and thanks to the tutorial at Sugar & Cloth I can now do so – hooray for that!

DIY sequined hello pillow from sugar and cloth

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What about you, what’s running around in your head or making you giggle on YouTube, share below peeps!

Three Plays. Three Reviews.

So as I mentioned here I went to three plays in just one week, yes three. Even I can appreciate that this is slightly excessive. I mean honestly I spent more time in a theatre than I spent awake in my flat. That’s just obscene. In my defence it certainly wasn’t planned like that – it just happened. We booked tickets for The Cripple of Inishmann about six months ago as soon as tickets were available because it starred Daniel Radcliffe – it would have been rude not to. That was on Wednesday night. Then we wanted to take our Dad to see The Hot House with Simon Russel Beale and John Simm for Father’s Day as he’s a massive fan of SRB and the only free night that we could get tickets for was the Monday (as we left it soooo late, oops – must plan better). The final theatre trip was on the Friday to see The Ladykillers and this was very last-minute (tickets were only confirmed on Friday morning) and these were free through work – one of the few and far between perks of my job! So yes a pretty fantastic week of theatre! Below are my mini reviews on each – you definitely have to see every single one of them as they are all absolutely fantastic. All very different but all awesome.

The Hot House – The staging of this play was awesome – they’d split it in to two, and would darken half of it when it wasn’t in use (with the actors still on there). The play itself was random to say the least, but beautifully acted and actually heart-breaking and too realistic at times. As per usual Simon Russell Beale was on fire and the rest of the cast were a revelation too. Well worth a watch.

The Cripple of Inishmann – it was really refreshing to see a play that I couldn’t guess the ending of or one where I didn’t know what was coming next. This unexpectedness was made better by the hilariousness of the play and the absolutely amazing performances by everyone. Daniel Radcliffe was absolutely out-of-this-world and amazing. You actually believed he was an Irish cripple, he was that good. The rest of the cast was just as good and there were some brilliant moments with eggs!

The Ladykillers – The best thing about this was the set, which was completely amazing and contained all sorts of extras that you weren’t aware were there until they used them. The cast was absolutely brilliant and really made the farce aspect of this play work without it being too silly. As for the little old lady in this play she was sensational. She was on stage pretty much the entire time and was just unbelievably good.

I have to say going to the theatre is one if my favourite things about London. I’m so lucky to be near such lovely stuff. Have you seen anything particularly good lately? Any recommendations?

Marketing campaigns I’m loving right now

I’m rather lucky that I get to do something I love day in and day out – marketing books through a number of different mediums. Recently I’ve been noticing some brilliant examples of great campaigns and thought it would be an interesting thing to add to this here blog. They are all very different but hopefully you’ll love them too. Are there any that I’ve totally bypassed and should have mentioned? If you think so let me know below.

Literacy campaign poster: This was a french literacy campaign that has now been translated into English and I love it because it plays on the similarity of ad designs for certain types of marketing. So below we have the look and feel of a fantasy film, which when you look closer you realise it advertising something completely different to what you assume. There are also versions for make up, clothes, cars and holidays which get the point across perfectly if you ask me.

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Monsters University: Everything Disney Pixar have done to promote this film has been exemplary. From their awesome teaser trailers  and tagline (More hairy than scary) to the website and activity on the Disney Pixar Facebook page I’ve loved it all. I can hardly wait to see the film now after such a masterclass in marketing.

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A lot of people have mentioned the Dove Real Beauty Sketches as being brilliant and I’d have to agree. Again it’s such a clever concept of showing how humans can be their own worst enemy and that what we focus on isn’t always what others see.

Below is one of three images that Penguin India created for an audio book campaign, isn’t it ingenious? I love it!

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Pinterest Corner #27 – I think I like who I am becoming

I think I like who I am becomingsource

You know I really do. I’m not there yet and I don’t know how long it’ll take but I’m definitely making progress.

I feel stronger that I have in the past (not just mentally but physically too).

I’m giving way to so many of my insecurities. I am now able to say no to that little voice in my head that says: that’s not good enough, that person doesn’t like you, they don’t think you’re capable, you need to do/give/be more.

If someone has a problem, it’s not my fault it’s all on them.

I am proud of my achievements and not automatically negative or quick to point out the bad things like I have been in the past. I don’t beat myself up about what I haven’t done I instead focus on what I have done and the goals I have met.

I feel proud of the decisions I have made recently about my career, my health and my friends. I’m doing the right thing, I know what that end goal is and I know what I will or won’t put up with on the way to it.

I don’t over analyse or over think and I am less of a worrier that I have been in the past.

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