Surviving a week without Instagram

Just writing the title of this post makes me realise how ridiculous it is that a week without Instagram is so notable but as I quickly (and rather alarmingly) realised during the past week, it truly is just that. Last Friday, three days after updating my iPhone and being introduced to the eye-opening ‘Screen Time’ feature, I decided to delete the Instagram and Facebook apps. I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to re-download the apps until at least Sunday evening. Three days without social media? The world wasn’t going to implode, adorable photos of nephews and nieces and a blogger’s current beauty favourites could definitely wait for a few days.

So how did it go? Here are my thoughts from the days that followed.

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Three cheap ways to fill your walls

Living in a rental property it can be quite hard to make the place your own. With age and various outgoings, investing in art isn’t top of the priority list. But I’ve found a few cheap ways to lift my living space above floor level.

For all of these pieces I’ve used the Ikea Ribba picture frames. I love their simplicity and they are very affordable at only £6 each.

In addition to these, I also love checking charity shops and making the effort to print off photographs.

Wallpaper samples

My favourite ‘trick’ has to be using wallpaper samples. Back when I didn’t have fun financial outgoings such as council tax and a sewerage bill to worry about, I bought a few cushions from the floral patterned wonder that is Bluebellgray. Their vibrant watercolour patterns are also available as wallpaper for which you can purchase sample pages for only £2. I ordered five samples, gave them a bit of a trim and stuck them into frames. The result adds pops of colour to a very white room and ties in with the beautiful cushions of my expendable cash rich youth.

 

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The Alex Project – January

The Life

For me, January has been such a good start to 2017. I’ve squeezed lots in and feel like I’ve barely sat still. There have been big family get togethers, a cinema trip to La La Land, a games night and a doolally arts and crafts session, a night out (aht aht!) and an impromptu sleepover, and even a trip to laser quest (thankfully no eight-year-olds in sight).

This month I somehow ended up being interviewed on the radio about being a woman in engineering which was crazy but hilarious to look back on. I went to my first Goodgym session and had a weekend away at Bovey Castle in Devon (room service, afternoon tea, spa facial, big open fires and comfy sofas – the dream). I’ve also just gotten back from a trip to Bath with my Mum which was really lovely. I might write about some of these things soon – there’s too much to pack in to one post!

January - The Life

The Food

Booting this blog back up has reminded me how much I enjoy cooking and food photography. I’ve been experimenting with my camera and love love love this shot of some very yummy cookies! Continue reading

Ikea fixes that make all the difference

Moving out of home for the first time, my first rental flat was bound to be a bit sparse especially as the rooms were huge and the ceilings super tall (helloooo expensive heating bill). Until a few weeks ago, I had all of the basic furniture and a few knick-knacks from home scattered about. With a few more bits and pieces after Christmas, I ventured to the Mecca that is Ikea  to pick up a few extra things to finish it off.

I was really surprised how much of a difference they make, my flat now feels a lot more like a proper home and less like I’m camping here temporarily! Below are some of the items I picked up; let me know below what your favourite quick fixes are for making your space even homier.

Kitchen

kitchen

The kitchen is painted a dark grey which, whilst I love the colour, means it can be quite dark and the single window means it’s not the perfect place for a plant to thrive… These three succulents (basic, I know) and their pots add some freshness to the kitchen shelves and (hopefully) are unlikely to die on me!

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Why we should be striving for contentment

Recently I went on a training course at work (a systems engineering short course – I live a glamorous life) and as a starter activity we were asked to call out what we believe a successful life looks like. For me, I sat there thinking of things like ‘no money worries’, ‘good health’ and ‘happiness’. The former two indeed went on the list, but the latter did not. Instead of ‘happiness’, many people called out ‘contentment’.

And this surprised me. Contentment? Isn’t that just being satisfied? Settling with what you have? Surely happiness trumps contentment? We should always be looking to improve, not just settle. Since the course and until a couple of days ago, this continued to baffle me. As someone who has gone through their own stress-filled, reclusive period in their life, I now want to be happy. I want to have a healthy work-life balance, be ambitious, laugh (a lot) and take as much enjoyment from life as possible. I want the highs. Sure, they’re going to be interspersed with lows but I want to strive for happy moments, not just settling for what I have.

And then the other morning it all made sense. I was sitting in my lounge, it was about 8.30 am and I’d been awake (annoyingly because it was the weekend) since half-five. The curtains were pulled back, the sky grey but brightening. All the side-lamps were on, some acoustic yadda-yadda playing in the background and I was sat there, in the middle of the sofa, in amongst far too many cushions and under a delightfully-tacky fluffy blanket and I felt it. Contentment. And it was just really really lovely.

Contentment

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