Project HeatherED

Live your happiest, healthiest, and emotionally wealthiest life

Month: April 2018

The Seventh TWIG Post (or how I’m learning to value working hard after work)

It’s Sunday afternoon and, at long last, I’m finally getting some down time. Having spent the majority of the weekend prepping our old house for the estate agent’s photo shoot, it’s felt like an endlessly long week of hard work.

In recent years, I’ve learnt that I don’t do well mentally if I don’t get enough rest. This was evident yesterday, in my being more than a little short tempered with C. Frustrated and tired, I’d become resentful at finishing work on my day job, only then to have to spend my precious weekends working another kind of job.

I felt justified in my irritation, until I began to really think about why we had sacrificed our free time these past couple of months. It reminds me of this quote I like from Jim Rohn; Tony Robbins’ teacher:

“Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If you work hard on your job you’ll make a living, if you work hard on yourself you can make a fortune.” Jim Rohn

Taking a different perspective, I can see that working on our old house is an extension of working on myself. Not only is it a tangible investment, hopefully generating funds we can reinvest in our new home, but it’s also been an emotional investment. It’s been C’s house for over twenty years, so holds a million memories for him, not to mention it becoming our first real home together.

Knowing that how I feel is within my control, this morning I took action to motivate myself to feel positively about spending one last day working on the old house. I primed myself during my shower, Tony Robbins-style, reciting an uplifting incantation. I listened to mood-boosting music. I made a list of tasks to complete, ensuring I felt organised and alleviating anxiety. By making a conscious decision to have a good day, I then acted in a way to make it happen.

I can confidently say that C and I worked hard on this project. Together, we’ve invested our time, effort, love and care, to create somewhere special that will house new memories and stories for someone new. Hours spent painting, cleaning and sanding magically translate into a beautiful home, which C and I can feel proud to have created.

Now, sitting cross-legged on our lovely new sofa, I’m delighting in wearing my comfiest clothes and munching hot, buttery toast. As I sip my tea, I can feel my body begin to relax. I know I’ve earned this, which makes it feel all the better. So whilst I have a moment to myself, I want to share with you my other highlights from this week.

This Week I’m Grateful for:

  • Having beautiful memories of happy times in our old house that I will treasure forever. Amongst many, those that push themselves to the forefront of my mind include my first meeting with C’s old cat, K. Bringing with me a family-sized bucket o KFC as we welcome gift, K sat at the kitchen table with us and made his decision then and there that I was a keeper. Scorching hot summers spent wearing shorts in the garden. C’s amazing fireworks display in the back garden, culminating in applause from the neighbours at the end of the street. Sharing impromptu barbecues with our elderly neighbour K, whose kindness (often in the form of fresh fruit from the garden, or home-made fairy buns) kept us living in this too-small house for way too long!
  • Finally finishing our renovation work on the old house and being ready to sell. It’s a little nerve-wrecking, but incredibly exciting, too.
  • A well-deserved break from DIY, At least for a while, C and I can sit back and relax, knowing we don’t have to spend our weekends working.
  • Feeling like a loved Aunty Heather. A message from C’s Mum, informing me that my niece S had such a lovely stay with us, she wants to move in next door! It made me feel warm inside to think that I’m making such a positive impact.
  • Making Thursday night our Movie Night, and rediscovering the joy of a bowl of popcorn and snuggles on the sofa. Bliss!
  • Creating a clear plan for my book, and feeling proud that I’ve already got words for every chapter. It’s amazing to think that in just over a week, I’ve taken more action on making my dreams real than I have in years. There’s an absolute ton of practical experiments I want to conduct, and a mass of desk-based research to devour, but it’s the most exciting work I think I’ve ever done.
  • Starting my newest challenge for the next month. I’ll be writing about my Role Models Challenge later as the first week draws to a close. For now, I’ll simply say how inspiring it is to surrounded myself with successful people from all walks of life, and learn from their perspectives.
  • Getting confirmation that I’ll be travelling to South Korea in the Autumn for work.
  • Being surprised by the double-headed daffodils from Asda, opening in our hallway. They’re unlike any other daffodil I’ve ever seen!
  • Feeling great for having walked to work, doing my Hour of Power, every weekday. This morning ritual makes a huge difference to the quality of the rest of my day.
  • Embracing that I’m good at my day job. I’m far more confident and competent in all kinds of situations, including working with new people and speaking out about my successes to more senior people.
  • Looking forward to the first May Bank Holiday. I’ll be spending a day working as a rhino keeper at the zoo, and will visit my sisters to catch up. Our first five-day break this year, C and I are feeling more than ready for it!
  • Feeling good about getting to know who I really am. I’m confident that my true passion is writing. My life’s purpose is in learning how to become happier, healthier and emotionally wealthier, and then sharing that knowledge with others. It’s exciting to be able to combine both loves in writing my book.
  • C’s trail camera capturing footage of incredible British wildlife in our new garden. Wild foxes and badgers are quite literally living alongside us!
  • Enjoying a Friday evening getting a tipsy in the pub with C from three G&Ts. Then eating American-style burgers in a red leather booth.
  • Falling asleep on the sofa mid-film. One of the most relaxing experiences in the world, I adore napping on the couch or in the car. It’s where I catch my best zzzs.
  • Filling my house with flowers. Fluorescent pink carnations and beautiful rainbow tulips I’ll be able to bring home tomorrow, post-estate agent photos.

Here’s to another happy week – and a long weekend!

Heather

X

The Sixth TWIG Post (or how I’m working on feeling happier this week)

After what felt like an emotionally challenging week, I was determined to approach this week with a more positive mindset. I figured this would be an easy feat, given that I had Wednesday booked off work to look forward to, as well as the promise of plenty of sunshine!

However, as in this infamous quote from Scottish poet Robert Burns, it didn’t quite go as I’d hoped.

“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

Working from home on Tuesday, I called my Dad to let him know that our new sofas had arrived. He’d kindly gifted us some money towards their purchase, so I wanted to thank him. I was really looking forward him visiting me at the weekend to see my home for the first time, especially now we have a comfortable seat to offer!

However as I put down the phone, angry and upset, I regretted my decision to call. During our conversation, he said some things that hurt me deeply.  Over the next forty-eight hours, I went through a process not unlike that of grief, whereby I experienced a period of numbness and shock, followed by anger, shame and eventually sadness.

Having lived for two days in this negative emotional state, I decided I’d had enough of feeling terrible, and I wanted to get into my Vortex – as Abraham-Hicks would put it.  I understand this as being in total alignment with who we truly are at heart, and therefore feel our happiest, most joyful and positive self.

So I took action to change my state. In seeking support from others – asking and being open to receiving help – I gained a different perspective on my situation. I was able to re-frame my thinking, and in so doing, totally change my own mind. As I’ve learnt many times over since the start of this year, when I change my mindset to one of positivity , the world around me also changes for the better.

“Your mind is a powerful thing, when you feel it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.”

Anonymous

So in the spirit of the school of thinking that is the Law of Attraction, and looking for the good in the world, I hope you enjoy my sixth TWIG post!

This Week I’m Grateful for:

  • Our gorgeous new sofas! They’re the most expensive single purchase I’ve ever made (other than our house), and it feels fabulous to finally invest in something special for our new home. I’d forgotten what a difference having a real sofa makes! Having lived with second-hand sofas which were destroyed by our kittens for the past few years, I didn’t mind moving into the new house and making do with occasional chairs and a sofa bed. However my life has improved 10x since the arrival of upholstery from Heaven!

    DaveSofa

    D’s making himself at home on the new sofas, too

  • Working from home: the Holy Grail for an open-plan office worker like myself. Having an occasional day whereby I can get on with tasks according to my own agenda, without the perpetual interruptions of my (mostly) well-meaning colleagues.  Being able to burn scented candles, listen to my radio aloud and, simultaneously, get to the bottom of the washing basket – it feels great!

 

  • A perfect day of my own.This week I treat myself to a day’s leave, whereby I spent the whole time on my own, doing what I love best. Taking myself for a long, lazy lunch in my favourite cafe, I spent hours reading and writing, over hot drinks and delicious food. Full of tea and cake, I walked home, chatting on the phone with my best friend. Arriving home to glorious sunshine and two happy cats, I got to wear shorts and go barefoot in our parkland of a garden for the first time ever. It was an utterly perfect day, during which I felt truly grateful to be me.

 

  • Writing my own book! Reading someone else’s manuscript this past week, I felt inspired. I’ve been secretly wanting to write for years, but couldn’t figure out exactly how to put my ideas into words. This week, something clicked and I’ve written over 11,000 words so far. There’s much work yet to do, and a ton of reading and research ahead of me –  but that’s what’s so exciting! I feel like a real writer!
  • Not-so secret scruffiness. This is the pure joy of being able to wear my shabbiest clothes and slob out (in the relative privacy of my own home and garden). After a long day at work, there’s nothing more satisfying than slipping on a fresh pair of PJs the moment I get in. And I know I’m not the only one who does this; there are many secret scruffs the world over! Gretchen and Elizabeth recently tried to address this habit on the Happier podcast, but for me, this is a guilty pleasure likely to outlast any attempt to dress like a more glamourous grown-up.

 

  • Filling my house with flowers. I bought myself a bunch of sunshine-yellow tulips, and one of unusual-looking star-shaped daffodils (double daffodils, according to Monty Don), to decorate my house this weekend. Dad brought me a rainbow-coloured bouquet from Aldi to add to my collection which, ironically, look set to outlast the more expensive ones we’d recently received from a florist!

 

FlowerDad

Beautiful, bargain blooms!

 

  • Creating calm by tidying my home environment. I really appreciate the feeling of mental and physical relaxation that comes over me when the space around me feels organised and orderly. Taking an hour to put things where they belong, and to run the hoover round, makes me feel virtuous. Having long-since accepted that we’ll never live the Scandi Dream – the minimalist lifestyle is not one to which C and I adhere, I’ve settled on hiding the clutter collected in cupboards. Living in the largest space we’ve ever had, I can luxuriate in its “empty” spaces.

 

  • Finally being ready to sell our old house. After months of hard work during weekends and evenings, C and I have finished renovations on our former home and are in a position to get it on the market. Having been C’s home for twenty years, it’s important to him that we find the right buyers and get the best possible financial and emotional return on his investment. Being the first home we’ve shared together, I’m also attached to the place. It’s where C and I – and our cat at the time – became a family, and where we “raised” our current kitty monsters. I’m sure I’ll feel a little sad, as well as relieved, when we do sell it, but mostly I’m thankful for the home it was for us and look forward to someone else making it their happy home, too.
  • A successful family visit this weekend. After the telephone conversation earlier this week, I wasn’t exactly brimming with enthusiasm at the prospect of him dropping by. Truth be told, I nearly told my sister not to bring him over. However having received some incredibly thoughtful advice, I was able to change my mental approach to his visit and treat my Dad as I would any other older person; with kindness, compassion and patience. As a result, I was much more relaxed, and the visit went really well. My Dad was really positive about my house, and I think taking a different approach to him being in my space enabled me to  soften my heart and welcome the visit. I know his intentions, and mine, come from a place of love, which is really all that anyone can ask.

And on that note, I wish you a happy week!

x

The Fifth TWIG Post (or how I’m taking back my mental power)

It’s been a bit of a funny week. Not so much funny “ha ha”, but more the weird, unsettling kind. In what seems to have been an endless stream of grey days, the recent un-Spring-like weather has got most people feeling a little down. However for me, it’s set my mind drifting towards depression, leaving me feeling rather odd and ill at ease with myself and the world.

I have to admit that getting myself to post this week has required a disproportionately large mental effort. It’s frustrating, because I truly love to write, and I’m trying extra hard not to keep kicking myself when I’m already feeling down.

Reassuringly, I know by now, from my own experiences and from the expertise of many, that any particular state of mind we’re in at any given moment is  only temporary. Regardless of how I feel, I’m still me and the beautiful qualities that make me the person I truly am is always there, underneath whatever emotional blanket comes over me.

As the brilliant Beyoncé was reported to have said:

“I’m more powerful than my mind can even digest and understand.”

Beyoncé

Source

A little arrogant, some might say, but the sentiment is totally true. Hence I’m choosing to believe in my own underlying capability to overcome this “grey day” mentality. I’m acting in spite of negative, dis-empowering feelings because I know I deserve to feel great again.

And so, in the spirit of living by my positive, happy-making life values, and deciding to take back control of my mindset, I’m here looking back at my week and focusing on its shiny, sparkly, highlights.

This Week I’m Grateful For:

  • My amazing nieces. Two pink, sparkly whirlwinds, took over our house last weekend. They filled it with laughter, love and Lego. Making themselves immediately at home, they turned our lives upside down for two days. C and I were impressed by not only the noise levels two tiny kids can make, but also the amount of Dominoes pizza they can put away! Wow! Yet whilst raising children is undoubtedly incredibly hard, spending time with the girls, I feel it’s probably the most valuable and worthwhile endeavour we humans can undertake.

 

  • Silly songs! A lasting legacy of the girls’ recent visit (quite aside from the chocolate smears and fingerprints on the walls) is having been introduced to LilDeuceDeuce. My youngest niece instructed Alexa to play “Beep Beep I’m a Sheep“; apparently her favourite dance track from a game on the Nintendo Switch. Tickled by the tune, C Googled the guy, and came across the Epic Rap Battles of History.  I think my favourite may be Stephen Hawkins vs Darth Vader, but they’re all awesome! Dancing hysterically in my slippers to these tunes has been by far, the best laugh I’ve had all week!

 

  • My quick thinking response to my niece’s Monday morning questions. When I was getting ready for work, she asked why I put “that sparkly stuff” on my face. Her Mum doesn’t wear make-up regularly, so it must have seemed peculiar to observe. Not wanting her to think that women have to wear make-up to look and feel good, but also not wanting her to think there is something wrong with doing so, I gave my honest reply: It makes me feel happy. I showed her the glitter on my cheeks and said that seeing my face sparkle when I’m at work makes me smile. I felt super proud of coming up with this on the hop, and glowed with “Good Aunty Heather” vibes all day!

 

  • A welcome delivery of new (to me) books. I was genuinely touched that a kind stranger went out of their way to post their old Gabrielle Bernstein books to me. I’ve not read her work, and am keen to do so, so this was very much appreciated; I’ll get hours of pleasure out of this gift! Particularly exciting was a box of affirmation cards (see below), which are both lovely in sentiment and are visually gorgeous.  Not only that, creating new connections with people has reaffirmed for me that most people in the world are good, which inspires hope in me.

  • Becoming a book reviewer! Quite possibly the highlight of my whole week, an (as yet) unpublished book manuscript (the first I’ve ever seen!) arrived in the mail. I’m excited and thrilled to review it for the Hearst Big Book Festival! As I write this post, I’m half-way through the book, which I’m genuinely enjoying. I feel a connection with the author, sharing similar life experiences, interests and passions. I’m looking forward to writing a positive review.
  • Making a major spur-of-the moment decision and found myself offering to go to South Korea with work! I’ve no idea what possessed me – perhaps the result of an especially motivating morning Hour of Power. Regardless, I’m proud of how far I’ve overcome the anxiety that had made my life so small for so long. I’m excited to visit Seoul, to meet new people and experience the Korean culture. I’ve genuinely surprised myself –  not to mention my colleagues!
  • Receiving a plethora of free food. Getting refunded for a broken caterpillar cake made it taste all the better this week. Mini Lindt bunnies from a kind colleague, and free egg sandwiches at a work buffet this week contributed to my conclusion that nothing tastes as good as free food.
  • Living in my house. Having hosted another family weekend reminded me how lucky I am to have this home. Intentionally taking the time to look at the house through the lens I first saw it last Summer, before it was ours, I’m truly blown away by how grand it is! It’s got so much potential, and yet it’s already perfect because we can bring together the people we love. I cannot express how much this means to me.
  • Living among the animals. Thus far, between C and I, we’ve looked out of the window to see a badger, several foxes, giant squirrels and more British garden birds than I’ve ever seen in my life! It’s such a privilege to live so close to the city for work, and yet also alongside nature on the edge of the beautiful Peak District. C plans to install a wildlife camera in our garden, and go all David Attenborough on me.
  • Daring to step up and volunteer my help. After participating in several events run by and for women in my large public sector workplace, I took action and emailed to offered my support. Attending my first meeting with the organizers this week took a whole bunch of braves, so I’m super proud of myself. The other women seem to be genuinely lovely people, and the tasks I’ve been asked to help with feel achievable. I feel optimistic about taking up this new task.
  • The hopeful anticipation I feel upon seeing a pile of shiny, new magazines. With four (or more) current magazine subscriptions, and being just after the start of the month, it’s looking a bit like WH Smith’s in my lounge at the moment. Whilst I’m having to prioritize the book manuscript this week, the excitement I feel about delving into my monthly magazines fills me with pre-emptive joy!
  • Having a house full of  gorgeous flowers! Our lovely nieces (and their parents) sent us a surprise thank you gift  of this gorgeous bouquet and chocolates. As the hyacinths are opening, they fill my house with an amazing scent! Alongside the plethora of daffodils filling all our biggest vases and glasses, my house is positively radiant with Spring blooms! 
  • Being financially fortunate.  Whilst we’re by no means rich, I’ve felt truly wealthy this week, in the sense that C and I are lucky enough to be able to afford to buy the things we like, and which make us feel happy. Listening to the audio book version of Napoleon Hill’s  “Think and Grow Rich” this week, I realised I already feel truly rich because I spend so little time worrying about money.  Being able to comfortably take care of ourselves’ and our cats’ basic needs, and having enough money left over to enjoy the small things in life with a huge happiness payoff (like magazines and gym memberships), I feel very fortunate. This is my definition of financial wealth. Whilst I know there’s much for C and I to do if we want to ensure we continue to prosper into old age, I am grateful to to be able to appreciate the position we’re in right here and now.

Completing my edit this Monday morning, I can honestly say that I feel lighter, brighter and way more hopeful than I did initially writing this post earlier this weekend. Once again, I’m learning that techniques for creating a positive mindset are by and large simple, but aren’t always easy to put into action. However pushing myself to practice what I preach, the mental fog is lifting and the Spring sunshine is starting to creep into the dark corners of my mind.

Happy Monday!

x

 

 

The Fourth TWIG Post (or how I’m learning to love giving almost as much as receiving! )

“The entire universe is conspiring to give you everything that you want.”

Abraham Hicks

Now, I know this is kind of “out there”, but I’m finding that the more I look for the good in life, the more positive things are coming to me. Equally, the more kindnesses I do, for myself an other people, the happier I feel. In Law of Attraction speak, this is manifestation.

Creeping its way into my vocabulary (in spite of C cringing when I say it), manifestation seems to be working for me. By acting with the intention of brightening other people’s lives, my own is increasingly vibrant. It’s taken some reassurance, but I think C believes me when I say I’m not falling into some kind of new-age trap, nor am I on a slippery slope to becoming religious – or, God forbid (!)- spiritual. Having happy, sunny Heather seems to be worth embracing a little mental magic.

And so, in this, my fourth consecutive week of TWIG posts, I’ve tons of things to be thankful for today.

This week I’m grateful for:

One minute the garden is all sunshine and Spring greens…

*Experiencing every type of weather! After a sunny weekend, we woke up on Monday to be snowed in for the Bank Holiday. One rainy day – along with one soggy shoe – later, I was taking off my coat walking home from work in the warm Spring sunshine! British weather is utterly bonkers – and I kind of love it more because it’s nuts!

…the next it’s covered in snow!

*Rediscovering Gala Darling. I’m currently writing a long-form post on this topic, so I won’t go into detail here, but I’d like to give props to the this fabulous femme! Her YouTube video series, Wonderland, is presently brightening up my life – and my iPhone – with her own special, sparkly brand of pink mental magic.

*Receiving post. I absolutely adore getting things through the mail – even if I’ve ordered something myself. One of my most eagerly anticipated everyday occurrences is to hear the postbox open, or the doorbell ring, and be greeted by exciting envelopes and pretty packages. Opening them up to find something fabulous inside brings out my childlike joy – and a lingering desire to play Petite Post Office with my sisters.

*Specifically, receiving my 2018 Self-Love Almanac in the post.  as in this case. After falling for Gala again, I ordered her almanac (if, like me, you don’t know what an almanac is, then read this). I’m excited to start scribbling in it, even without the recommended bright pink pen!

That way the chocolates lie!

*Crafting creative surprises, I’m spreading some Spring cheer! For friends and family, I’ve sent chocolate thank-yous in the mail; home-made baby booties; and made heartfelt offers of baby-sitting services. This gave me such I kick, I hid an uplifting note from “a friend” in a gym locker, in the hopes of brightening a stranger’s day.

*Belated Easter egg hunts for my nieces. I was excited to see them race around our garden, filling our home with happy, spirited, noisy life – and I wasn’t disappointed! My hunt went down a storm, with my elder niece reading the clues all by herself. What’s more, even I got some chocolate! Bonus!

*Bonding with my beloved nieces. I’m grateful to spend the weekend with two fabulously funny, clever and lively little girls. I felt proud to be chosen to read Harry Potter to my enchanted elder niece before bed. Also, my heart nearly burst with love for my littlest niece as she snuggled up against me to watch TV. When they’re not destroying things, they’re a delight!.

Heather helps an Easter bunny to find treats in the tree.

*Manifesting books! Asking for audiobook recommendations online, someone offered to mail me copies of books I’ve been keen to read. They get to declutter, and I benefit from extra books, thanks to the kindness of a stranger.

*Wearing a dress for the first time this year. Rather reluctantly, I pulled on my tights and dress in preparation for the necessary awkwardness that is a smear test. While it makes me shudder just to think about it, in reality, it’s over in seconds. Thankful to have broken my over-reliance on trousers, not only did I spare myself having to hold an inadequately-sized tissue over my groin in front of a stranger, but I also remembered that I actually enjoy wearing dresses sometimes.

*Living my values by prioritising my physical health. Exemplified in the example above, I’ve pushed myself to confront my fears and attend appointments that, while embarrassing in the short-term, are essential to ensure I optimise my wellbeing.

*You’ve Been Framed-style cat-astrophes. This week D has given us the six-nipple salute; he’s high-fived his way to extra treats; and he’s nearly been flattened by a chair thanks to his own high jinx. The silliest, slap-stick animal antics are the best!

*Rediscovering Jennifer Lopez, whose noughties’ album “On the 6” is now on my Spotify gym playlist. From its gorgeous cover photograph, to its uplifting Latin / hip-hop beats, J-Lo got me lifting heavy and going low. She’s the original, pre-Kardashian, booty inspiration. Once again, I’ve got La Lopez body envy. #squatgoals

*Carpets of crocuses, which survived the recent harsh weather conditions and have bloomed in full-force this week.

Rainbow rows of perfectly planted crocus!

Happy Sunday!

Heather x

The Third TWIG Post (or what I’m thankful for this Easter weekend)

It’s Sunday again, and here we are, already on my third TWIG (aka This Week I’m Grateful) post. Although the clocks only went forward an hour, it feels like time is whizzing by!

Having spent a good portion of this week sick, I’ve not been at my most productive at work or home. However, as in this quote from the academic, writer and speaker Brene Brown, there’s always something to feel grateful for, so I’m here giving thanks and sharing what’s made me happy.

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”

Brene Brown

This Week I’m Grateful for:

*Looking at daffodils. I adore their lovely, yellow, cartoonish trumpets, swinging on their bright green stalks . A bargain at only £1 a bunch, they brighten up my home as well as my view as I walk into work.

*Admiring our garden. C’s parents tidied our garden for us, using their horticultural knowledge to transform it into something Spring-ready. Opening our patio doors for the first time, we can’t wait to get out and use our new barbecue! Spending time in nature, breathing in the crisp air and feeling the sunshine warm our skin, C and I become much happier people.

*Having an excuse to lay off the gym this week. Unlike most (sane) people I know,  I love working out at the gym. Whether at my favourite Body Max class, or making up my own solo routine, I get so much from exercise, both physically and mentally. Having more energy, being more relaxed with my diet, and getting a hit of happy hormones are all great reasons to keep fit.

Yet I’m grateful that C insisted that I leave my gym bag at home this week. Mentally, I felt ready to get moving again pretty quickly. Physically, I was way too wiped from whatever virus I had, but, left to my own devices I’d have pushed myself too far too soon. Knowing me as well as he does, C took this dilemma out of my hands, insisting I couldn’t go back to the gym until I was truly better.

*Being woken up by the cats. Yes, it’s a bit annoying to be woken up multiple times in the night as little paws pad over the pillows. However there is little that lifts the mood quite so much as being woken up in the morning by a happy, purry, furry fuzz ball.

Organised chaos, it’s flat-pack city!

*It’s already the first Spring Bank Holiday weekend! Easter has come super early this year, which is perfect timing for C and I. Like most Brits this weekend, we’re splitting our hard-earned vacation time between two traditional Bank Holiday endeavours: Eating to excess, and daring to DIY.

*Successfully building flat-pack furniture! Possessing the patience of a saint, C talked me, step-by-step ,through the Swedish stick-figure cave drawings that Ikea passes off as “instructions”. Under minimal supervision, I was let loose with power tools. Drilling, hammering and screwing my way to DIY glory, I now not only know what a grub screw is (and yes, it does look like it sounds), but I also very nearly got away with making a minor scratch inside the bed frame in my enthusiasm to help.

The finished article – a pull-out double bed!

*Smashing gender stereotypes. Taking over DIY duties while C was in the kitchen, basting lamb and roasting potatoes, I realised we make an awesome team! We’re both capable of turning our hands to whatever household tasks need to be done. Growing up, I can’t remember my parents ever veering from traditional gender roles. I’m proud that we’re setting a positive example to our nieces, nephew and any future children in our lives, who’ll know that they’re capable of anything and everything.

Pre-oven roast lamb prepped by male hands.

*Buying our first grown-up sofa. After much deliberation, C and I ordered sofas for our garden room. We also decided on my favourite Mid-Century modern sofas for our main sitting room, which will fit perfectly with my dark blue dream decor. Making moves to start working on our new home is so exciting!

*Going retro with Tony Robbins’ “tape” programs. In what I suspect is C’s attempt to stop me spending my savings on a live ticket (FYI C – it’s not the same thing), he did a little “internet magic” and found digital copies of several Tony Robbins’ programs. Starting with the highly recommended program “Personal Power II”, I’m eager to see where it leads. Thus far, I’m impressed with the longevity of the content, which remains unedited since the program was first recorded. Though technology has progressed from tape, to CD, to digital, Tony still instructs listeners to “turn over the tape” and has kept the eighties superhero-style “motivational” music which I love.

*Creating exciting, new plans for personal challenges. As part of the Personal Power program, I’m working on assignments which intend to put into practise lessons learned. I’m designing self-improvement strategies for small-scale habit changes, which I hope will have massive impact on my life. Watch this space!

Finally, my TWIG highlight of the week has to be:

  • Coming home to find #Chimpabuse. C’s parents came to visit last weekend, and a few days later, I noticed this:
She took my clothes!! #Chimpabuse

Ninja knitter, C’s Mum, had sneakily stolen Monkey’s Christmas jumper so that she could craft him a Spring sweater! While I’d never normally laugh at a pun on animal cruelty, this was exactly the tonic I needed upon coming home from work unwell.

So I’ll end this week with a naked knitted primate, for which I’m grateful, as that’s not something one gets to say very often!

Happy Easter!

X

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