May Favourites

I’m going to do it. I’m going to start a favourites post by saying ‘How on earth did it get to June already?!’ I’m one of those people.

But, seriously. It’s June??
May has been a really busy month for me and I’ve honestly just felt like the whole month passed me by without me noticing. However, there have still been quite a few things that have made me smile this month or captured my interest.

Darkmilk bar, ginger shampoo and a book flatlay

Let’s start with one of my favourite ways to wind down in the evening – TV!

Game of Thrones

Yes, it was controversial. No, it wasn’t perfect. But I really loved watching the final season of Game of Thrones. I won’t spoil it for anyone (but seriously – have you not watched it yet??) so all I say is that although I wasn’t a huge fan of the final episode, the rest of the series really impressed me. The cinematography was incredible, the cast were amazing and I think for the most part the show was wrapped up well.

Chernobyl

So I’m not up-to-date with this one yet, so please no spoilers!
About a week ago, Mr W and I sat down to watch Chernobyl because we had heard so many people saying really great things about it. They weren’t wrong!
This show is so atmospheric, so tense, and just utterly heartbreaking. It is a fascinating drama based on the true story of the nuclear power station accident in Chernobyl in the 1980s and, although I don’t know an awful lot about the real story, I think they are doing an amazing job of telling it. Some of the characters make me so angry! It really is a heartbreaking story and, at times, quite hard to watch. But I would highly recommend it, it’s some of the best TV I’ve seen in a while. (It’s on Sky Atlantic, available via Now TV)

Cadburys Darkmilk

Cadbury Darkmilk

Yum!
Not much to say – it’s a really nice bar of chocolate! But I’m a huge chocolate fan, so I thought I’d give this a mention. It’s a mixture between dark chocolate and milk chocolate. I wasn’t sure if I liked the sound of it, but it’s really delicious. The perfect choice if you want something that is a bit decadent, not completely dark chocolate…. just, yum.

Vans (finally!)

white canvas pair of vans with a bow

I have had my eyes on many different pairs of Vans over the years, but I’ve never been able to justify the cost of buying ‘branded’ shoes, unless they’re for running. But a couple of weeks ago, on the hunt for some decent shoes to replace by old New Look slip-ons, I finally bit the bullet.

I love that the colour of these Vans go with everything but the bow detail makes them just a little bit quirky. They’re really comfy, although I do need to get some new little slip-on socks to wear with them, to avoid blisters. I really hope these are going to last me a long time.

The Body Shop Ginger Shampoo

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This is honesty one of the best shampoos I’ve tried in years – I’m so glad I picked it up!

It’s actually an anti-dandruff shampoo, which I bought because I have been experiencing a really dry and itchy scalp recently that was driving me mad! So far, this shampoo seems to be doing the trick, and on top of that it makes my hair feel really shiny and healthy. I love The Body Shop and this is definitely going to be one of my new go-to products from their range.

And last but not least…

Hive

Hive the Game

Me and Mr W love a board game. Some of our favourites for two-player games are Forbidden Island, Pandemic and Plague. I might do a blog post soon about our favourites and why they’re so good!

This month we were in Waterstones and we picked up Hive.* I’d heard of it before but didn’t know much about it, but we played about 10 rounds of it as soon as we got home, and now we’re hooked!

It’s a two-player game, so perfect for couples looking for a new game to play. The idea is to use your pieces to surround the other person’s queen bee. Each piece can move in a different way, and the whole gameplay area becomes the ‘hive’. It’s really easy to pick up, quick to play, and comes in a really handy travel-sized bag that is definitely coming on honeymoon with us!

So they were some of the things I’ve been loving this month. More than I thought!
As always, you can see what I’m currently reading or watching all through the month here.

I really enjoyed writing this post, I hope you enjoyed reading it just as much!

Let me know what you’ve been loving in the comments 🙂

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*Please note – any Amazon links are affiliate, which means they won’t cost you any more, but I might earn a small commission if you buy the product

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What Self-Care Looks Like To Me

Well, it’s been a while!

I haven’t written a post in quite a few months, which I’m sure not many people have noticed, but I wanted to get back into the swing of things and start blogging more frequently again.

So, this #SelfCareSunday, I thought I’d talk a little bit about what self-care looks like to me…

Preventative Self-Care

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Photo by Leon Martinez on Pexels.com

I’ve been trying to put more of my time this year into preventative self-careThat is, taking care of myself to keep my body and mind healthy, to avoid any down-turns in my mental health, rather than waiting until I feel the need to use self-care to recover.

One of the main ways I’ve been doing this (hint the picture above…) is heading to the gym. I have a real love-hate relationship with exercise on the whole, but I do know that if I drag myself out the house and go for a jog, or sweat my way through a gym class, I do feel better. This works if I’m in a bad mood, but I have also noticed that on the weeks that I put the effort in to work out more often, I feel better on the whole.

I also like to make sure that I am always getting enough sleep. I am someone who needs plenty of sleep to function properly! I know this fact about myself, so why starve myself of sleep? For me to feel calm and prepared for the day ahead, I need to have had a good night’s sleep.

Self-Care First Aid

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Photo by Jaymantri on Pexels.com

Sometimes (frequently) you have a bad (awful) day, filled with stress and panic, and you need some serious self-care time that evening to recover.

On those days (and there are plenty of them, believe me!) I like to take time to myself to calm down, relax and repair. This will look different all the time, but it usually involves some of the following:

  • Climbing into bed early.
  • Curling up with a good book. (Have you read my post on The Best Book Genres for a Cosy Night In?)
  • Watching Netflix. (I might write a Netflix recommendations post soon, if you’d be interested in reading that then please let me know in the comments!)
  • Cuddling my cat.
  • Cooking up some delicious comfort food.
  • Taking a bath with lots of Dead Sea salts.
  • Stretching/attempting some funny-looking yoga.

 

I have found that doing some more pro-active and preventative self-care has lessened the frequency of those ‘first aid’ days, but sometimes you just have to spend a few hours recovering.

What does self-care look like to you?

 

If you want to read more about my self-care habits, I have written posts before on winter self-care ideas and low energy self-care activities.

 

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#SelfCareTogether – A Self-Care Challenge for October

It should come as no surprise that someone with blog title ‘Self-Care Sloth’ thinks that self-care is important.

Of course I think self-care is important! Taking care of ourselves is one of the most crucial things that we can do to keep ourselves healthy and happy. If we don’t take care of ourselves, then who will?

Thankfully, there are hundreds of other bloggers and wonderful people out there who also take self-care seriously and one of those is the lovely Anneli at Pigletish.com, who has created the #SelfCareTogether October Self-Care Challenge.

There are loads of different ways to practice self-care, be they indulgent and only for the odd occasion, or low-energy and everyday activities. What Anneli has done is collect 31 of these activities together and created a plan for October that encompasses four different aspects of self-care. Isn’t that such a great idea?

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I am definitely going to be taking part in this challenge and I will share most of my thoughts over on my Twitter @ASelfCareSloth, but today I thought I’d start off with some thoughts here on my blog.

My Self-Care Plan for Week One: Self-Care Basics.

01: Go outside.

On day one, I will make an effort to get outside, for more than just the walk to my car in the morning! This was one of the only benefits of my old office job, actually. Every lunch time, I used to go out for a walk and get some fresh air. Now that I’m at a school, it is expected that I’ll be on-site for most of lunchtime, so I don’t get this same opportunity. I am glad that this challenge will give me a push to get outside on Monday after work, even just for a walk round the block. My aim is 20 minutes of fresh air.

autumnal leaves

02: Eat Something Nutritious.

A big one for me at the moment. My relationship with food isn’t great and I often make the wrong choices, even though I know that healthy and nutritious food makes me feel much better. On Tuesday, I am going to make a nutritious and healthy dinner, including lots of colourful veg!

03: Venture Further Out

I’ll admit, I’m not totally sure I know what this one means. But I’m going to take it to mean venturing out of my comfort zone – because that is always a good thing to do, and I don’t necessarily need to venture further out of the house. There’s always a way to push my comfort zone a bit further when I’m teaching, and my comfort zone is pretty small, so I’m sure I’ll find a way to venture a bit further on day three.

04: Shower/Bath

This is such a key self-care topic, I’m really glad that it’s been included in this list. Sometimes, just having a shower or a long soak is what both your body and mind need. I’ll have been to the gym on the fourth, so a long hot shower will be needed! But I’ll level it up a bit this week by using a hair mask, properly cleansing my face, and really putting the effort into this regime.

relaxing shower head with water

05: Life Admin

How often do we all get behind on this?! If you’re anything like me, this is an ongoing to-do list that always gets forgotten – so day five will be my life admin day. My priorities will be finally filing some very important paperwork and going through my finances.

06: Social Media Cleanse

My aim is to cleanse my social media by unfollowing anyone who I don’t actively want to follow or who doesn’t bring positivity to my feeds. We’re all guilty of following someone on Twitter once and then never really reading their tweets again, or following that Victoria’s Secrete model lookalike on Instagram whose account really only serves to make you feel bad. Day six – cleanse my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds of all those people! This is a great idea and one that will hopefully have long-term benefits to my mental health when I’m online.

And last but not least…

07: Focus on Drinking Enough Water

Every day, I carry round with me a large, 1 litre water bottle. My aim was always to drink at least two of these bottles a day, meaning I drink at least 2 litres of water a day. Sometimes this happens, but honestly it is a habit that has really slipped in recent weeks. I’m really disappointed with myself that I’ve let this habit drop and I need to get back on top of it! So, on day seven I will be aiming to drink at least 2 litres of water and I will make sure that I document it on my Twitter!

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Thanks again to Anneli for putting this challenge together. I think this will really give me and lots of other people a push to prioritise self-care in October.

Are you taking part? Let me know below if you are, and leave your social media handles so I can follow your progress. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SelfCareTogether as well!

Happy October…

The Self-Care Sloth

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge: Day 3

Today is the third and final day of my 3 days, 3 quotes challenge. So far I have quoted Shakespeare and Stephen King, and today I’m turning a bit more philosophical.

Thank you again to Kelly for tagging me in this challenge. Today I would like to tag Milenka.

RULES

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote each day for three consecutive days.
  • Nominate three new bloggers a day. (I don’t really know enough bloggers yet to tag 3 people per day, but I’m hoping 3 in total is enough!)

 

Today’s quote:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Today, I am sharing this quotation often attributed to Aristotle (turns out, misattributed – see this website for more info!).

The most important part of this quotation to me is the first half. “We are what we repeatedly do.” To me, this means so much. If you consistently act in a generous and kind way, then you are, clearly, a kind and generous person. By contrast, if you repeatedly tell yourself negative things, you are a negative person. Every time you do something, you reaffirm the type of person you are. I find this inspiring, as it is so easy to believe that we are hard-wired in a certain way, but actually all we have to do is change our actions. We can be who we want to be, by doing what we want and need to do.

I’m not sure how much that makes sense, but I find this quote very empowering.

Have a lovely week 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

August Favourites

I love reading about other people’s monthly favourites, or watching favourites videos on YouTube, so this month I thought I would share my own.

As I’m not a niche fashion blogger, or strictly a book blogger, any favourites post from me will contain a real assortment of things! From TV shows I’ve loved, to products I’m using, hopefully there will be something in here that catches your eye. If you have any questions, or something here is your favourite too, then drop me a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!

Now, without any further ado, my favourites for August 2018:

My Favorite Murder (podcast)

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Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered.

This podcast has been a firm favourite of mine for the last few months. I learnt of it through Youtuber Katie Snooks and I’ve been a little bit obsessed ever since! MFM is a true crime podcast that covers some quite horrible murders or crimes, but the presenters (Karen and Georgia) are absolutely hilarious and honestly it can be quite  a comforting listen. True crime podcasts might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I would recommend My Favourite Murder to almost anyone. Karen and Georgia talk crime, comedy, mental health and much more, and they are a joy to listen to. They release episodes on Mondays and Thursdays and all through August I’ve been impatiently opening my podcast app every half hour on those days waiting for the next episode – I love it!

My Nutribullet

Nutribullet with ingredients
Nutribullet – photo credit http://www.yourbestdigs.com

For my 26th birthday earlier this month, I was lucky enough to receive a shiny new Nutribullet from my in-laws-to-be. I had been eyeing up Nutribullets for years and I was instantly hooked! I love having a smoothie for breakfast, particularly during my recent health kick and weight-loss journey. (If you’d like to hear more about that journey in a blog post, let me know in the comments.) I love experimenting with different flavours, having sneaky chocolate shakes for breakfast and sneaking plenty of greens and lots of protein into my breakfast. The Nutribullet is so powerful, it easily blends ingredients like frozen banana without trouble, and chops spinach so small you can’t tell it’s in the smoothie at all. If you like a smoothie or smoothie bowl for breakfast, I would 100% recommend getting yourself a Nutribullet over some of the bigger, more traditional blenders on the market. Mine also came with two cup sizes and a mixture handy lids for travel.

Regal Rose rings

A silver chevron ring and a silver knuckle ring.

One of my lovely friends is always wearing gorgeous jewelry and every time I ask her where it’s from, she says Regal Rose. I finally got round to looking at the website and found a very long list of beautiful silver rings that I told everyone I wanted for my birthday! I was very luckily given both this silver chevron ring and thin knuckle ring, both of which I love. I want to wear more rings, and I love thin silver rings, of which Regal Rose have a really wide range. There are loads of quirky accessories on there, so if you’re on the hunt for some new jewelry, definitely give their website a look! 

Mustard rucksack

mustard rucksack on dark background

At the start of the month, I bought this mustard rucksack/backpack from Clarks. I’m not 100% sure if it has a brand other than just being Clarks, and I can’t find it online, so I’m really sorry that I can’t link it for you! I’m sure there are loads around though, mustard is always big in the Autumn. I love mustard clothes and this bag was just too pretty to resist. It’s big enough to fit an A4 folder, so perfect for work or school, and it’s really roomy so great if you have loads of daily must-haves. (Which I do!) This is definitely a staple of my wardrobe now, both casual and for work.

Disenchantment

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If you’re a regular UK Netflix viewer, I’m sure you’ve seen the trailer for ‘Disenchantment’. This is the new show by Matt Groening, creator of ‘The Simpsons’. If you like ‘The Simpsons’ or particularly ‘Futurama’, then you will probably appreciate the humour of this show.  It follow Princess Bean, her new friend Elfo, and her personal demon Luci, and it’s totally bizarre and random, but good fun. It’s a little slow-paced, but an easy watch and it’s been a firm favourite for cosy, relaxed viewing this month.

Hello Happy foundation by Benefit

hand holding Benefit's Hello Happy foundation on striped background
hello happy – shade 2

If there is one topic I didn’t think I’d ever be blogging about, it’s beauty! I actively avoid wearing make-up because I’m honestly just too lazy to learn how to do it all properly! However, being a teacher means that I am standing up in front of a full classroom all day, every day. Although I’m 99% certain that my pupils don’t notice if I have pimples or big pores showing, it does help my confidence to wear a little bit of make-up and make myself look presentable. ‘Hello Happy’ by Benefit is exactly the foundation I’ve been looking for for years. It is really lightweight, gives a nice even coverage, and can be built up on areas that you feel you want to cover up a bit more. It’s really breathable, I don’t feel like I’m wearing foundation when I wear it, but I know that my skin is looking more even and my blemishes are concealed. It gives a nice glowy finish, but without looking shiny. Personally, I prefer a matte finish, but this is a nice glow doesn’t leave me feeling oily. Also, shoutout to the friendly Benefit lady who did my make-up for me and helped me understand what to do with primer and bronzer.

So those were my favourites for the month of August 2018! This month I had my first Summer holidays, I pet-sat a cat and a tortoise, and I turned 26. And this selection of items helped me kept me feeling happy along the way. Here’s to a fantastic September, I hope you’re all doing well, and do comment below if you liked this post.

hugs

The Self-Care Sloth
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Disclaimer: All of these opinions are my own, none of this post is sponsored or part of a promotion, and any links provided are not affiliate links.

Why Self-Care Isn’t All About Bubble Baths.

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I think that there is a misconception about self-care, that it is all about indulgence, pampering sessions and long, hot bubble baths. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a bubble bath as much as the next lifestyle blogger, but that isn’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to self-care.

Let’s take a quick look at the term ‘self-care’. All it means is to take care of yourself.
That’s it – no compulsory bath bombs, no minimum time allocated to it, no deadlines – just look after yourself.

The new push towards self-care in popular culture is amazing. Books, magazines and bloggers everywhere are encouraging people to take time out of their day to have some self-care time. (Me being one of them!) However, I think that the way it is described or ‘marketed’ on the whole, can be quite alienating to some people. That sounds a bit extreme, but let me explain:

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The stereotypical ‘self-care evening’ starts with a bubble bath and ends with nail polish and face masks. That doesn’t suit everyone and I don’t believe that is the self-care that everyone needs. For example, I’d imagine there are a lot of men out there who aren’t totally comfortable with this picture. A busy mum who can only carve out 20 minutes to herself might find a long relaxing evening quite inaccessible. And as someone who suffers with bouts of depression and anxiety, I know that sometimes that perfect, relaxing evening is actually too much effort. What I need is a basic level of self-care; something accessible and easy that will actually help me, rather than just fulfilling a cliche of what I think self-care should look like.

So if you’re ideal night of time to yourself is filled with Lush products and skincare, Netflix and ice cream, go ahead! But if you need to take care of yourself in a much more basic or simple kind of way, then just know that’s great too. Small acts like getting out of bed, splashing water on your face and having a bowl of porridge can be just as much acts of self-care as any hot bubble bath. (Again – I don’t hate bubble baths, it’s just the cliche image that keeps coming to mind!)

I’ll be posting next week a few ideas for simple self-care activities or tasks that can help you to look after yourself, when perhaps you are depressed, anxious, or just really short on time. In the mean time, let me know in the comments what you consider to be self-care that perhaps the mainstream magazines or vlogs just aren’t covering.

hugs

The Self-Care Sloth
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