Podcast Feature Friday: Happier with Gretchen Rubin

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These days I spend around 2 hours a day travelling to and from my place of work. I use public transport because it’s cheaper and quicker so that means I end up with a lot of free time. I have a confession to make. Up until about 2 months ago, I didna know what podcasts actually were. I know. I’m ashamed of myself too.

I came across podcasts in the most random way. I watch an amazing YouTuber called Favorite Daughter Emily who talks about saving money, budgetting and planning. She said she was using the Dave Ramsey plan so I searched him randomly on Spotify and his live podcast show thing came up. Since then i’ve been searching keywords in podcasts and have found some amazing ones I wanted to share with you all!

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the block- buster New York Times bestsellers, Better Than BeforeThe Happiness Project and Happier at Home. She has an enormous reader- ship, both in print and online, and her books have sold more than two million copies worldwide, in more than thirty languages. She makes frequent TV appearances and is in much demand as a speaker. On her weekly podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she discusses good habits and happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft. Rubin started her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

The above is the press biography from her website and explains perfectly why I love her podcast with her sister Elizabeth Craft. Her podcast is my daily dose of productivity during my long commute to work in the morning; by the time I get there I am feeling much happier and inspired.

My favourite episode so far is episode 134 which you can find here and listen to on her website if you don’t have a podcast platform currently. They talk about a concept that a listener wrote in about and something i’ve been doing for a few weeks actually; the “ta-da list”. I hadn’t given it a name when i started doing it but “ta-da list” is clever and makes sense.

The idea is that you write down all of your achievements in a list rather than your “to-do’s”. It’s a very simple idea and helps you to keep track of what you’re doing and gives you a sort of diary to look back on. The example the listener gave is that she was now in an unstructured job and needed a way to log all the work she was doing for her project. She said it also serves as a progression diary when asked by her boss to show her progress.

If you’re looking for a positive and inspiring podcast hosted by two hilariously sweet and funny ladies then definitely give this a go!

Do you have any podcasts you would recommend? 

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Isabelle xo

 

 

September Goals 2017 / August Recap

It’s about time for some goals I think! As per last months post that you can find here, I’m going to do a review of how I got on with last months goals and then get into this month’s goals.

August 2017 Goals

1. Meditate – This is something that I did a few times but didn’t really see much benefit. I was just too distracted to fully engage with it which I think says I need to meditate more than ever. This month I’m going to make more of an effort to practice it regularly and see if I can’t calm down a little.

2. Lose 10lbs – As you will quickly be learning I struggle a lot with my weight and have done so again this month. I spent the majority of this month in tremendous pain so this really was the last of my worries, unfortunately. I’m finally feeling a lot better so will be back on this one this month!

3. Plan next trip – I’m technically still in the middle of this one and am writing a few posts on places I want to visit and as I write the post I am researching where to stay, costs etc. 2 birds with 1 stone you see.

4. Workout – Unfortunately as I mentioned earlier I have been struggling so much with my health this month that working out hasn’t really been an option. I plan to tweak this goal for this month to try and make it more manageable.

5. Research the benefits of minimalism – This is the only goal I feel I’ve fully achieved in August :(. I’ve watched a lot of videos and read blog posts on the topic and am now in the market for a few books I can read that will expand my working knowledge of minimalism. It seems to be something people interpret very differently.

September 2017 Goals

1. Yoga/ meditate 3 times a week or more – 3rd time lucky right? I’ve had this on my 2 previous goals in some form or another. Last month I decided not to quantify the goal but have learnt then I trick myself into thinking once means I’ve done it if I just say “practice meditation”. Technically practising it once is practising though, right?

I want to try and either meditate or practice yoga a few 3 times a week because I found yoga really helped me before and I seriously need to stop stressing over unnecessary things and focus.

2. Drink 2+ litres of water a day – I mentioned in the recap that I had struggled a lot with my health last month and this was due to recurrent kidney issues. I’m actually writing a post at the moment talking all about it but it’s really difficult.

I never used to drink any water/ squash and would drink a can of something carbonated and that would be it for the WHOLE DAY. I know, it’s ridiculously unhealthy and childish to think it wouldn’t catch up with me. I know I should be doing it but don’t. Therefore I want to drink at least 2 litres a day to try and prevent further health issues.

3. Grow my blog further – This one I’m excited about! I have managed to almost double the amount of views in August compared to July and have a huge ambition to try and do the same this month! I also want to learn about Pinterest and how to properly use it to bring in more viewers. I do have specific social media and blog targets but those are very personal so I may share these if I hit them in next months report!

4. Pursue a hobby – I half-markedly (that’s a word right? ;]) have a lot of hobbies that I do when the mood takes me but I want to get serious about at least 1. I’m sort of already on track with this one because on Tuesday I have my first rehearsal session booked in with a local acapella group – I’m so excited. I also want to work more on my guitar skills and try and do an open mic night next month.

5. Learn something new – When I was in university I was totally done with learning and had had enough by the time my course was over. Ironically now I want to learn about a topic or something in particular and have no idea where to start. I kind of miss the research aspect and testing my theories as sad as that sounds. I’ve checked out eDX and have enrolled on a free course on productivity to test the waters before I actually pay for a course. I’ve also been re-learning German through an app on my phone.

6. Get my s**t together – I know, could I be vaguer if I tried? Probably not. I want to focus on using my bullet journal more and also logging all of my achievements. I get so caught up in what I haven’t done and really don’t focus on the small wins that I’ve had this month. I’ve decided to log these in my planner so I can see that the day has been better than I thought.

How has your month been?

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Isabelle xo

August Goals 2017/ July Report

So, I thought it would make sense to do my August goals but also to update you guys on how my July goals went. July was my birthday month and I had so much fun exploring and doing what I wanted to. Not saying that that is an excuse…

July 2017 Goal Report

1. Lose 10lbs – Weight loss is something I’m really struggling with at the moment and my weekend away in Cambridge meant I ate terribly. I only lost 2lbs but with the way I was eating and treating my body, I’m surprised I lost anything.

2. Read/ finish 1 book – Technically I have been reading a book but haven’t finished it yet. I got “The Million Dollar Blog” by Natasha Courtenay-Smith. It’s really interesting and I’m learning a lot about blogging as I go along. Expect a book review on this one really soon!

3. Go to the gym 14 times – This one I actually did the opposite of… I actually cancelled my gym membership. I’m currently looking to move away from my home town in the next few weeks and gyms in the city are more affordable. I’ve been going for runs outside and will be trying yoga this week.

4. Practice self-care once a day – If you recall I actually wrote a post on self-care and actually managed to do one thing from the list every day which I am proud of. I can see a change in myself because I am a lot more relaxed and my Fitbit that I got for my birthday has shown my average heart rate is slightly lower.

5. Blog once a week – YEP! Nailed it! I am so proud I’ve managed to do a post a week, even if it has been a bit hectic at times. I’ve also managed to grow the Instagram and Twitter following for the blog as well and met some lovely blogger ladies.

August 2017 Goals

1. Meditate – This links closely to last month as I was practising self-care regularly. I’ve found that meditation helps me to relax which is important as I’m a worrier and stress out quite easily.

2. Lose 10lbs – So I hopped on the scales this morning and had an unfortunate shock. I’ve actually put on weight since updating the top of this post. I’m going to start using MyFitnessPal to track all of my calories in and out. It’s quite awesome because it syncs to my Fitbit and any extra steps I do will be added to my calorie allowance!

3. Plan next trip – I’m one of those few people that have yet to leave the UK. I really don’t travel very far at all if I’m honest. Last weekend  I stayed in Cambridge for a long weekend for my birthday and it was so amazing. This has made me want to go somewhere else new. I have a passport so it’s just a case of booking the trip and saving up! I’m thinking about going to Spain or somewhere hot 🙂

4. Workout – Last month I said go to the gym 14 times but I think leaving it more open ended may be more helpful. I’m going to try and go for a run every other day and practice yoga as well.

5. Research the benefits of minimalism – I’ve been looking into minimalism and am unashamedly addicted to declutter videos on YouTube. I’ve heard a lot about the benefits of minimalism and I’m currently in a small room that is way too overcrowded. I need to actually get rid of a lot as 70% of it I don’t know I have or don’t use. Does anyone have any suggestions for where to start?

What are your goals this month?

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KBCBxo

#NewMusicMonday Top 5 Songs – Week of 31st July 2017

{Photo from WeHeartIt 📷}

I am still trying to find my bearings here on WordPress and in the blogging world. I enjoy the lifestyle posts, as well as the music posts so I thought I’d start a regular music post.

Here are 5 songs I love that I think you should check out.

  • Rain – The Script

The Script hold a special place in my heart. I met Danny when he was handing out business cards for their first ever single before them supporting the Hoosiers. It was cute, needless to say.

I love their new song rain but not because it’s them. I honestly feel like they’ve gone too mainstream on this one. I do like it as a song though, hence why it made the list. It’s a fun and upbeat song with a reggae vibe to it with a bit of a sad meaning behind it. I would love to see if Danny can hit those high notes live though. I’m sceptical. Either way, I’m glad they’re back.

  • Legends – Kelsea Ballerini 

This song has found its way into my Spotify this month because I absolutely love Kelsea Ballerini (think a cross between country-era Taylor Swift and a modern day Carrie Underwood). The song itself reminds me of Long Live by Taylor Swift a lot. If you’re looking for a new summer country song then I’d highly recommend this one!

This is a beautiful love song and my favourite lyrics, in particular, have to be “Like we were written down in permanent marker, not even the brightest sun could ever fade”. It’s such a beautiful image and has actually made me consider these lyrics or something similar for a tattoo I’m looking to get at some point soon. It’s one of those “sing your heart out” songs for the car, especially if you’re a modern country music fan.

  • Weak ft Louisa Johnson (Stay Strong Mix) – AJR & Louisa Johnson

What a title, right?! This is actually a remix of the original song called Weak by AJR. I stumbled across this song because it was on the top 40 for the UK. This is definitely another summer song and I really like the drop before the chorus. If you watch this performed live they used a digital recording thing for the female voice in the chorus.

Louisa Johnson (X Factor, So Good & Best Behaviour) is a welcome addition to this song. I love her voice and couldn’t believe the original wasn’t a credited artist in the beginning. She has such an impressive vocal range and I love the beautiful harmonies she brings to the track. I feel like the AJR singer can sound very autotuned at times so her raw vocals are a beautiful change.

  • Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato

I will unashamedly explain that I used to love Camp Rock and Demi Lovato in general. I sing myself so I love listening to her music because her vocals are the main focus. I’m not entirely sure who upset Demi (i don’t really keep up with the “drama”) but this is an amazing girl power/revenge track.

I find myself singing the main line “baby I’m sorry, not sorry” quite a bit as it’s a phrase I’ve seen a few people using and posting. I have heard Demi is a very busy lady at the moment with a YouTube documentary being filmed about her, her collaboration with Fabletics and also her other musical collaborations. I’m so happy for her and this new hit is definitely just that, it is a hit that highlights how well she is doing now and if people don’t like it then they can expect her success as her revenge.

  • She Looks So Perfect – 5 Seconds of Summer

I had to look 5SOS up for this post to see if they were still even around. It turns out they seem to still be on a tour for their first album. How strange. Anyway. This remains as one of those older cringe-worthy pop songs that occasionally someone will mention American Apparel and me start singing the song again. It’s a decent mix of typical pop backing and catchy lyrics.

They’re an Australian boy band and I’ve actually been listening to the live version of this song. I think it is potentially better than the released track. Just to let you in on a little secret; this is kind of my drunk song. I sing the main lyrics when I’m rather drunk. That’s how you know it’s a good song, right? All silliness aside if you like pop boy bands *cough* One Direction *cough*  then you’ll totally love 5SOS if you haven’t heard of them before.

Have you had any new listens this week?

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KBCBxo

 

3 Month Bucket List (Summer) #1

Summer Bucket List

Alright, so it’s been summer for a while here in England and I totally get that. That’s why I’ve called it my 3-month bucket list. Hopefully, I want to cross most of these things off the list before October!

  • Picnic in the woods.
    If you have read my self-care post you will know that I have a thing for nature and the outdoors at the moment. I think this has something to do with being stuck inside 9-5 during the week. There’s nothing more adorable and romantic to me at the moment than the idea of taking a picnic and finding a beautiful place to enjoy it. Ideally, I want to go somewhere I haven’t been before by a lake if possible.
  • Beach at night.
    This one has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Technically I’ve been at the beach at night with my dad when he went fishing. This time I want to see the sunset from the beach and just lay on a blanket and stare at the stars with the relaxing sounds of the waves.
  • Theme Park. 
    Theres something about a theme park that screams summer to me. Coincidentally my manager recently mentioned going to the beach near me that has a theme park at one end. Maybe i can watch the sunset too and kill two birds with one stone.
  • Outside Cinema.
    This is the something that i have seen and heard a lot of American YouTubers and programmes talking about (Riverdale). It isn’t, however something i’ve heard about here in England until recently. It seems to be a phase in this country at the moment but i can totally see why. The only issue being our beautiful weather…
  • Go somewhere new. 
    This is an overarching theme at the moment since i recently got my first passport and have never in my life left the country. Terrible i know. At the moment this relates more to within the UK and we’ll leave the overseas travelling for when i have more time and money.

This is part one of my Summer Bucket List. Expect photographic evidence of all of the above. Do any of you have a bucket list or think i’ve missed something crucial?

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July 2017 Goals!

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Happy 3rd July to all of my friends. I have decided to document my goals as I have been reading and researching productivity and how to make the most of my time. One of the main things I have learnt is to tell someone as it helps you stay accountable. So; this is me telling you guys. This is actually the first month I’ve ever had goals so I will report back at the end of this month and then report on the next month’s goals as well.

  1. Lose 10lbs. So, like most people my age I am currently trying to lose weight and get healthier. Those of you who know me, know that I eat very unhealthily normally so I’m trying to change that! The plan is to lose 10lbs. I will be going to the gym more, trying to eat out less and also walking wherever possible. If you have a Fitbit we should be friends!
  2. Read/finish 1 book. Alongside trying to become healthier physically I am trying to improve myself mentally as well. Read/finish 1 book is a goal for me at the moment because I have so many books I want to read but also I have a terrible habit of not finishing books. Find out what I’m reading on GoodReads here.
  3. Go to the Gym 14 times. I have found that the idea of going certain times a week is harder to achieve because some weeks I am busier than others. It also means if I get behind then I can binge go to the gym. My new boyfriend is also a gym/fitness enthusiast so that definitely helps! 🙂
  4. Practice self-care once a day. I have recently found out that my employer does a year’s free subscription to HeadSpace; a meditation app. I am trying to practice self-care once a day because that is the first thing I neglect when I’m stressed. I am aiming to at least do a meditation session a day.
  5. Blog once a week. This one is very self-explanatory. I have been meaning to blog regularly for years and finally feel like I know what I want to blog about. I’m going to focus on music, minimalism and self-development. So far I am keeping up with the once a month blogging thing. I’m so proud. 😉

Do you have goals for the month of July or longer term goals? If you do then let me know!

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#NewMusicMonday The Chainsmokers – Memories… Do Not Open Review

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#NewMusicMonday this Monday is the album that has been accompanying my commute to the work for the last few weeks. Memories…Do Not Open is the first full-length album by the Chainsmokers and has received mixed reviews from acclaimed critics.

I have to say even though the majority of the songs sound very similar I still go back to this album when I need a pick me up. I sing therefore I focus more on the vocals and there are some genius vocal tracks on this album!

The One is the first track on the album and I feel like this was a good decision because it sums up the rest of the album. Catchy piano and synth tracks with beautiful edited and unedited vocals thrown in for good measure. I should mention that a few of the tracks contain expletive but for someone with a potty mouth myself this is a positive in my eyes.

The “Genius” insights from Spotify explain how this song was written about needing more balance between work and social commitments which unfortunately is characterised by missing a wedding.

“Last Day Alive” is the reason I decided to give this album a chance. I am a huge fan of Florida Georgie Line and country music in general therefore this track really pulled me in. The overly edited sound to this track loses what I love about FGL but is definitely a foray into mainstream music if they ever wanted to pursue that.

“Something Just Like This” and “Paris” are the stand out tracks and were the singles that turned from the Chainsmokers from one hit wonders with “#Selfie” for me. {As an aside; I really hated #Selfie. With a passion.}If I’m entirely honest I find Paris catchy and “Something Like This” is a really nice song to sing. I also think the mix of Coldplay and the track by The Chainsmokers is a really good choice.

“Young” and “My Type” are my favourites from the album by far. The pre-chorus and chorus in “Young” are the lines that I find myself singing CONSTANTLY whenever I am doing menial tasks. I like the mix of guitar, piano and synth on this track. I think it hints that this kind of music would still survive in an acoustic setting.

“My Type” introduces Emily Warren. She is an amazing vocalist and is an award winning songwriter. I find it fascinating how people can be so well recognised but don’t become a “household name” until they actually take the microphone and sing the songs they have written. She features on two of the tracks. “My Type” is by far my favourite of the two and talks about something most people I know can relate to in some way or another. The idea that they have a type and that they know they’re not a good choice for them but like an addict they keep going back. I think this song is one of the best written in terms of lyricism.

Overall I’d say if you’re into dance music with strong vocal tracks then definitely give this a listen.

This is a must for me this summer and I’ve already added it to my summer playlist!

Are you an artist who wants to be featured next Monday?

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