Morning Rituals

Heading towards the end of my blogging (almost) every day in May! I think I’ve only missed a few days so far… Today’s post is about morning rituals, what do I do each morning to set myself up for the day?

coffee

I don’t function very well without coffee in the morning, I don’t think it’s even so much the caffeine but just the ritual of making it. We have an espresso machine that Adam’s parents got us for Christmas a year or so ago, and I use it every day, sometimes more than once!

We always start the day with a crappy instant coffee, though, it’s faster and easier while we’re rushing around at 6.30am. After Adam leaves at around 7.20am, I get started on my work in the office. By about 7.40am, after setting up what I’ll be working on for the next few hours, I’ll head back downstairs and make an espresso (or a latte, or a cuban espresso… whatever I’m feeling).

I get a weekly coffee delivery from eightpointnine (if you sign up with code GBQSNV5, you get 50% off your first box), so I have a different blend to try every week.

Sipping on an espresso while I’m getting into my day has definitely become one of my morning rituals, and afternoon rituals.. and sometimes early evening rituals. Mmm. Espresso.

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Birmingham Blognix

A week on Saturday (omfg), I’ll be taking part in/speaking at an event called Birmingham Blognix. Organised by Elizabeth from Rosalilium, blognix is a blogger event with a twist!

We are taking the standard conference format and turning it on its head. We want to learn new skills to take our blogs to the next level. We also want to meet other Bloggers, network, connect and most importantly have fun. We believe that some of the best lessons come from conversation. This event is part picnic, part meet-up and part conference. The aim of the day is to learn, to be inspired, to connect and to have fun.

I’ll be running a couple of blog design round-tables where I’ll be discussing the ins and outs of making sure your blog is looking awesome, whether you’re DIYing or paying someone else to do it for you.  Half of my session will be focused on tackling your burning questions while you watch me squirming in my seat – erk! The other topics I’ll be covering include:

  • My pro tips for simple blog branding
  • My favourite resources (both paid and free)
  • Simple tweaks you can make to take your default blog design to the next level
  • User experience basics – dude, I can’t see half of your sidebar! 
  • Just because you like something, doesn’t mean it should belong in your blog design.

This’ll be my first time doing any public speaking, so I’m pretty excited (and scared!). Please come along, the tickets are a steal at just £20Plus! I’ll be offering all Blognix attendees 25% off my soon to be released WordPress course.

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Meet our Puppy…

puppy

We went and chose our Golden Retriever puppy this morning. The litter is 4 weeks old now, and we picked between the two remaining girls. All the pups were adorable, strong, lively and playful – it was a really tough choice! We met their mum, who was incredibly friendly, and not at all defensive or aggressive. The pups are being brought up in a house with a cat, which is a huge bonus for us.

puppy-2

The puppy we picked was one of the darker furred ones, and she has a little white mark on the top of her head. We’ve not 100% settled on a name right now, but we’re leaning towards Luna. She seemed a little more robust and playful than the other girl, but really, all of them were full of beans!

puppy-3

I can’t wait to bring her home in 4 weeks, we’ve got dog stuff laying around the house already so that the cats can get used to it all.  I’m sure they’ll all get along fine eventually, but we’re ready for a tough first few days of introductions!

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Thoughts on Friday

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Last week in Burghead, Scotland

I missed last week’s ToF because I was travelling back from Scotland. That 7 hour drive was a killer, we made it almost all the way home without any traffic jams or anything, though, so that’s always good!

I’ve been struggling to catch up with everything this week, but I’m happy to say that I’ve got a couple of projects done and dusted, and my life is feeling a lot less cluttered. We’re also going to see our puppy for the first time tomorrow, so exciting!

  • I’ve been hunting for a new bed this week, and SO many people have recommended Warren Evans to me! I think we’re pretty much decided on this one.
  • Great photo collection of people with freckles. I love freckles.
  • Speaking on photography, I got sucked right in to the National Geographic tumblr this week. Lost hours!
  • Danielle is having a ‘Pay what you can‘ day for her Desire map, but be quick, ends soon!
  • Here’s the lovely Kaelah wearing one of my custom name necklacesj in her latest blog post.
  • Incase you didn’t get the memo, Arrested Development starts up on Netflix this weekend. Unfortunately I have to wait to watch any as Adam’s away for work until Wednesday. Gutted.

It’s another bank holiday weekend, are you doing anything fun? I’ll be working I think, from my sofa office, as Adam won’t be here. I’m taking the Wednesday off to watch Arrested Development, so it’s not all bad!

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How to accept a compliment

how-to-accept-a-compliment-1

I don’t know about you, but I’m incredibly British when it comes to accepting compliments. I always try and pass things off, “Oh it wasn’t that hard really…” or, “Well, I guess I just lucked out!”.

It seems ingrained in many of us that we should always be humble when anyone issues us a compliment. I’m calling bullshit!

You know what, we all work so unbelievably hard at damn near everything that disregarding an achievement as “luck” is just down right ludicrous. You should be proud of whatever you’ve achieved, and if someone compliments you, then you should graciously accept it.

Why you should accept compliments…

  • It makes you feel good & confident to have your hard work recognised, revel in it for a bit.
  • It makes the other person feel good because they made you feel good, you’re saying that you trust their judgement and appreciate their opinion.
  • It leads to interesting conversation and an exchange of advice.

How do you accept a compliment?

  • Be confident in, and aware of your achievements. You know how hard you worked, you know it wasn’t just luck.
  • When someone compliments you, be gracious “Thanks so much for saying that, I really gave it all I had and I’m happy with the results” is so much better than “Well, what did you expect?”.
  • Consider the context of the compliment. If it’s something minor, “I really like your outfit”, then there’s no need to tell them Every. Damn. Thing. about the shopping trip. However, if you’re being complimented on completing your first 10k race then it’s a great chance to discuss how you went about training for it, or swap work-out tips, just make sure you’re not boring them!
  • Don’t always assume you need to give a compliment in return, I believe that compliments should be given sincerely and not as payment, but it’s always nice to try and return the compliment at some point.

Choo-choo, all aboard the compliment train!

PS. I really like your hair today, did you do something new?

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