Monday, 29 May 2017

The Itty Bitty 21 Day Gratitude Journal Results

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful, having a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. It's a proven method of bringing more happiness into your day-to-day life, without you even noticing.

On Monday the 8th of May, I posted a short introduction to the Itty Bitty 21 Day Gratitude Journals, sent lovingly by IttyBitty Book Co themselves for me to use, review and giveaway over Mental Health Awareness Week - but being grateful and spending a bit more time looking after my mind and my body this year, was already on my ever-growing to-do list.

During the 21 days, I did find that these pocket-sized journals had been proving difficult to complete; however the prompts such as -3 People You Are Grateful For Today-, certainly came into good use and encouraged me to think about those both in and outside my family circle and why I was grateful for those individuals at that particular time. 

Not only did the gratitude journals change my perspective in a matter of days, I found sifting through the Itty Bitty Inspiration Books for guidance very useful also - especially when I was having an offish day.

The Results - 21 Days Of Gratefulness: 

Day 1 -
  • The Blogging Industry,
  • Warmer days in Northern Ireland &
  • Having a supportive family.
Day 2 - (3 People You Are Grateful For Today):
  • My Mum
  • My Dad & 
  • My boyfriend Matthew.
Day 3 - (Today I'm Grateful For):
  • Having options,
  • Having a stable income & 
  • Having my own independence.
Day 4 -
  • Itty Bitty Book Co,
  • The Gratitude Journal & 
  • The challenge.
Day 5 - (Nice Things That I've Done):
  • Fundraised for Northern Ireland Chest, Heart & Stroke,
  • Walked for AWARE NI & 
  • Walked for Alzheimer's Society in Belfast.
Day 6 -
  • The ability to have me-time,
  • Evening walks with Matthew's sisters & 
  • Coco cuddles (Matthew's dog).
Day 7 -
  • Almost Adulting by Arden Rose, for providing something to think about, 
  • Freshly washed bed-sheets & 
  • Good company.
Best Things About Last Week -
  • Matthew returning from University,
  • Date nights in Kampar & 
  • Evening walks.
Day 8 -
  • Love Give Ink & their beautifully packaged notebooks,
  • Night-time talks with Matthew & 
  • Having two, very understanding parents.
Day 9 - (3 People You Are Grateful For Today):
  • My sister Ashley,
  • My brother Johnathan & 
  • My soon-to-be nephew, otherwise known as 'wee man' or 'bump'.
Day 10 - (Your Happy Places):
  • The beach,
  • The Slieve League Cliffs & 
  • Home sweet home.
Day 11 -
  • Late night phone calls with Matthew 
  • Car chats with my Dad & 
  • My clients for returning time and time again.
Day 12 -
  • Good reads,
  • Gin and Tonic & 
  • BBQ's at the McNamee house.
Day 13 -
  • Anderson's Injury Clinic for finally sorting my back out,
  • Good music &
  • The ability to take time out from social media.
Day 14 - (Nice Things That I've Done):
  • Volunteered at an Animal Shelter,
  • Fundraised for Cancer Fund For Children & 
  • Given money to the less fortunate.
Best Things About Last Week -
  • Car chats with my Dad, 
  • Night-time talks with Matthew & 
  • Being in good company.
Day 15 -
  • Longer days,
  • Late nights & 
  • Movies with Mum and Dad.
Day 16 - (3 People You Are Grateful For Today):
  • My Client Donna and her chocolate treats,
  • Ella (Matthew's sister) & 
  • My driving instructor for kicking my butt.
Day 17 - (Positive News That I've Heard Recently):
  • That my application for Ulster University's Foundation Degree in Counselling was acknowledged - pending interview,
  • That my nephew will be here in a matter of weeks (June 7th) & 
  • Matthew is coming home on Tuesday 30th.
Day 18 - (3 Memories That Make You Smile):
  • Visiting/staying with Granny Johnston & our mutual love for Charlie's Spar garlic cubes,
  • How/when Matthew asked me out & 
  • Days away with Mum and Dad i.e. walking the Gortin Glens Forest Park.
Day 19 -
  • Tea talks with Mum, 
  • Living out of town & 
  • The outdoors in general.
Day 20 - (Today I'm Grateful For):
  • New reads,
  • Better weather & 
  • The ability to work from home.
Day 21 -
  • My readers/those who continue to return, 
  • For passing my driving test first time today & 
  • Chilled evenings.
Best Things About The Last 21 Days -
  • The Itty Bitty Gratitude Journal/Itty Bitty Book Co, 
  • Spending time in good company & 
  • Better/longer days.
What are you grateful for today? Is the gratitude journal something you would try?

Friday, 26 May 2017

Love Give Ink / The Copper Name Notebook

Love Give Ink was established at the end of 2013 by Martha Keith, when she left her job as a Business Director at a healthcare company to follow her passion for creative ways to say 'I love you'. Inspired by gifts that her and her husband had given each other over the years; including a treasure hunt when he proposed and a box of 'reasons why I love you' on their first wedding anniversary, they decided to create delightful ways to help others show they care to. 

According to the website, All Love Give Ink designs are created by Martha herself and turned into gifts and stationary by the team at Paint HQ in Chiswick, West London. They have a wide variety of products ranging from; Notebooks, Planners and Diaries, Boxes of Love as well as Invitations and Cards - among many others. They are a company I would move countries, just to work for. 

To celebrate the Bank Holiday Weekend at the beginning of May, not to mention the companies new copper foiling - which I find is outstanding in quality, they decided to hold an Instagram giveaway wherein three lucky people were given the chance to win a personalized notebook of their choice. Fortunately and quite lucky actually, I was one of these individuals and I knew exactly what I was looking for.

I chose the 'Copper Name Notebook' - delivered in a grey box with pretty white ribbon and a card handwritten by Martha herself, it felt wonderfully personal.

The personalized copper foiled notebook with a geometric design would make the perfect gift for any stationary lover. It has a hardback cover and is filled with thick white pages, it's wire-bound so it can be easily flipped open or laid flat to capture ideas and inspirations (in this case, blog post ideas). 

Soft to the touch and printed lovingly with real foil, it has a quality about it that certainly stands out from the rest, so much so I have gone on to purchase the '2017 Is Your Year Weekly Diary'. 

I can't thank Martha and her team enough for my notebook, I've been getting plenty of use out of it and I can't wait to sift through their website and see what other items I can manage to pick up over the coming weeks. 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Music Monday's - May

Music has always been something that I have dabbled in, quite sporadically actually over the last five years. I took music as a GCSE, sang in various school concerts and gigs, never mind YouTube videos, which have since then been removed - but unfortunately that's as far as it goes. I started College, began pursuing new things and ultimately that meant music had to take a back seat as a result; nonetheless this doesn't mean I don't sing at the top of my lungs in the shower, or when I'm running on the treadmill, despite how out-of-tune it must sound.

Since setting up She In The Know in January, I have found a real interest, a real passion in writing advice-like posts, however these can become quite samey same if you're seeing them all the time - hence why I have decided to chop and change to create a series called -Music Monday's-, which will cover all the artists and songs I have been listening to throughout the month, some may even have a bit of a theme.

Music Monday's - May: 

1. Camila Cabello - Crying In The Club

2. Iggy Azalea Ft. Anitta - Switch

3. Galantis - Hunter

4. Katy Perry Ft. Nicki Minaj - Swish Swish

5. Dua Lipa Ft. Miguel - Lost In Your Light

6. Halsey - Now Or Never

7. Bebe Rexha Ft. Lil Wayne - The Way I Are

8. Sub Focus Ft. Alma - Don't You Feel It

9.  Chace Ft. Yade Lauren - Something About You

10. Lewis Capaldi - Bruises (Delta Jack Remix)

I'd love to know what you've been listening to this month; do you have any favourites? What do you think of my new series - Music Monday's?

Friday, 19 May 2017

Stress And How You Should Deal With It

In today's day and age it appears that our lives are pretty jam packed with things to do, to think about or if you're unfortunate enough; to stress about... but I'm sure you, very much like me, find yourself constantly running from a to b, juggling too many tasks at once and generally just living on high energy to keep up with you ever demanding life - this is why we can often forget to take some time out, to stop, to get some perspective.

It comes as no surprise that stress is a fact of life, we all experience it - particularly when we want to succeed; it's inevitable that challenges will arise along the way, but don't let this be something you think of negatively. Stress can actually be a really good thing. It pushes people, helps them react and is a sign of physical and mental hard work, so essentially all you need to learn is how to make stress your best friend, not your enemy. Here's how:

More often than not we like to think we are in control and that we are on top of it all; but this isn't always necessarily the case. You need to learn to accept it for what it is - this doesn't mean you're giving up, but it does mean you'll find a way to deal with your current situation. We're only human, we experience and deal with things in different ways (preferably not by hyperventilating into a plastic bag).

Stress is great at helping you reach certain achievements, but; being overly stressed occurs when there is just too much pressure. You'll need to come to terms with the fact that slow and steady wins the race and it's going to get you places. Take your time and don't try to overdo it by tackling too many jobs at once. If you're feeling stressed open up about it, whether it's by writing it down or simply talking to a close friend or family member - create a plan of action, but take it slow.

Don't let your stresses or worries get out of hand, talk - ask for help. Knowing when the stress you are currently experiencing is something you can handle, or can't handle is absolutely essential. If you recognize that things are starting to pile up, it's time to speak up. Talk to friends, family members or a partner about it, jot your thoughts and feelings down, I promise it will help.

Periods of stress can be a great lesson, or a kick up the ass. Take every challenge as it comes and use these as opportunities to grow, to learn from your experiences. Being stressed isn't the be all and end all, you're going to come out of this much more head-strong, you'll appreciate down time and you'll appreciate your friends and family for lending a helping hand. A good way to eliminate stress is to exercise - I'm sure you'll have heard all about endorphin's, so I won't bore you with the details.

Sometimes when we're stressed we can adopt a negative mindset and attitude. We focus far too much on the little details, as though they are mountainous. Gaining perspective will help you overcome this and in turn can make stress a much more positive thing - who would have thought? Be grateful that you are busy, making achievements and progressing in life.

It always seems impossible, until it's done - remember that tomorrow is a new day and although your stresses may seem endless, you will get there, I believe in you.

How do you cope with stress? 

Friday, 12 May 2017

Almost Adulting By Arden Rose

For fans of Alexa Chung and Grace Helbig comes a fresh-faced, hilarious guide on growing up in your own way from social media influencer and lifestyle vlogger Arden Rose.

In Almost Adulting - a book fit for budding adults, failing adults and eaters of microwave mug brownies, Arden welcomes us to the future, where there are more things to know than ever before. Topics include:

  • Making internet friends who are cool and not murderers 
  • Flirting with someone in a way to make them think you are cool and not a murderer
  • Being in an actual relationship where you talk about your feelings in a healthy manner??? To the other person???????
  • Eating enough protein 
  • Assembling a somewhat acceptable adult sense of style when you have zero dollars
  • Going on adventures without starting to smell and 
  • How sex is supposed to feel, but, like, actually though 
On top of;

  • Dealing with Trichotillomania and other Mental Health problems
  • Her two-year relationship with Will Darbyshire; including their first encounter, their budding romance and all the things in between as well as 
  • The pros and cons of online friendships/online dating
By the end of this read - which consists of essays, lists and illustrations - you'll have learnt not only how to dress yourself, how to travel alone, how to talk to strangers online and how to date strangers (in PERSON!), but how to pass as a real life, functioning, appropriately socialized adult/human being.

Above all I thoroughly enjoyed Arden's take on Almost Adulting as a whole and found her honesty and candid thoughts somewhat refreshing. I appreciated how she was able to put a real focus on it being more of a memoir, than your typical generic advice book and feel that Arden and I connected on many levels; particularly when it comes to long-distance relationships, struggling to connect with people in person and her condition; Trichotillomania - a condition wherein a person feels compelled to pull their hair out, as I have a tendency to pull my own eyebrow hair out when I'm feeling anxious or stressed. 

Monday, 8 May 2017

The Itty Bitty 21 Day Gratitude Journal And Giveaway

The Itty Bitty Book Co, was established in 2013 by husband and wife - Astra and Al, who run their entire business from home; in Belfast, Northern Ireland. According to the website, everything you see is 100% made in Ireland, has been recycled, is eco-friendly or is ethically sourced.

If you you've been following my Facebook page closely, you'll know that I became an Ambassador for the Itty Bitty Book Company at the beginning of February and thus have been very fortunate enough to have since then, been sent their 'Itty Bitty 21 Day Gratitude Journals' - two in fact; one for my own personal use and one for a reader.

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful, having a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. It's a proven method of bringing more happiness into your day-to-day life, without you even noticing.

The pocket-sized journals challenge you to write three new things each day, for 21 days that you're grateful for. In doing so; it will train your brain to scan the world for more positive things, helping you stay healthier and happier in the long run. Would you believe I've just completed day 6 and I'm already reaping the benefits.

Each page within the book has been intricately designed, some come with short prompts to inspire your writing efforts such as; '3 people you're grateful for' or 'nice things I've done today'. Other pages have been sporadically designed with quotes to help you maintain focus on the task at hand.

At present the journals are available in three colours; Yellow, Light Gray and Blue Gray - they also make a pretty thoughtful gift for someone in need of a positivity boost.
The Gratitude Giveaway:
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Itty Bitty Book Co and I have partnered up to comprise the Gratitude Giveaway - this will ensure you're about to take your first steps into a more positive and happier you. The giveaway includes;

- One Itty Bitty 21 Day Gratitude Journal in Light Gray,
- One Gift Set of 3 Itty Bitty Books including; Positivity, Motivation and Strength.

To enter the competition, head over to my Twitter and start retweeting!

I hope this post empowered you to think a bit more about what you're feeling grateful for today.

*DISCLAIMER* - The Itty Bitty Journals were sent to me on a gifting basis by Itty Bitty Book Co.

Friday, 5 May 2017

May Goals

If you're a regular reader here on She In The Know, then I'm pretty adamant you'll have gathered just how busy April was for me as a whole. I started working part time as a Coffee Shop Assistant on the 19th and Matthew came home for the Easter holidays - not to mention I'd somehow managed to leave myself feeling overwhelmed, sluggish and generally in a bit of a creative funk with my blog and its content. This meant that I took an Unexplained Break from writing for the entirety of a week.

However; with that being said - May is very much a new month and I'm really looking forward to getting back into a regular blogging schedule. I'm also looking forward to expanding my blog in order to cover a myriad of subjects and passions of mine.

Thus, I have compiled a list of 'May Goals' - both of which are blog related and personal.


Goal #1 - Consistency 
Since officially launching my blog in January, I feel it's an absolute must that I try to blog consistently, not only to keep my potential readers updated, but to ensure that my audience continues to grow at a somewhat steady pace. I'm hoping to put my Dot Creates Ultimate Blog Planner to good use this year, by jotting down what I'll be writing next, when it needs to be posted and how I'll be able to squeeze in time to plan and schedule alongside working part time - even if that means setting aside 20 minutes each morning to focus on content or updating my social accounts.

Goal #2 - Increase Traffic And Social Media Reach 
As a relatively new blogger/creative, it is essential that I work towards increasing my traffic and social media reach - my blog simply wouldn't progress otherwise. Thus I intend on making more of an effort this month to join Twitter chats and Facebook groups, so I can network with other writers/bloggers/readers. In particular; I would love to hit 300 Bloglovin follows this May.

Goal #3 - Take Stock Photos / Work On My Flat Lay Photography 
Flat lay photography is new territory to me; but it's something that I've always wanted to dabble in and I have to say I've been really enjoying the process so far. Thus I want to spend the month of May stock taking photographs and practicing/playing around more with my current Nikon D7200 and up my use of natural light/artificial lighting.


Goal #1 - Create A Consistent Workout Routine / Stay Active
If you've been following along with my fitness related posts here on She In The Know, then I'm sure you'll be well aware of my significant weight loss since January. However; this hasn't come without wanting to throw in the towel once and for all - this month I'm going to focus on staying active and setting up a consistent workout routine. 

Goal #2 - Create A Weekly Budget / Save
This year I've been gradually tightening the belt when it comes to spending and it's safe to say I have completely ditched impulse purchases. Since January I have managed to accumulate a substantial amount in savings and hope to continue working on a weekly budget, in order to lodge savings from week-to-week.

Goal #3 - Drink More Water
It's safe to say I've managed to cut drinking fizzy drinks well and truly out of my life. I no longer have to deal with heart burn after a can of Coca Cola and instead have been able to focus on just drinking more water. However; this May I really want to make more of an effort to drink the suggested 2 litres a day - it'll be interesting to see how my body adjusts to this.

What goals have you set aside this month?
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