My Top 5 Smoothies

Last year, in the run up to our wedding, I got myself into green smoothies, in the hope of losing a little weight. I didn’t lose a huge amount of weight but I did feel a lot better for it, they are a great, quick way of getting some much needed fruit and veg into your diet.

Since the wedding my smoothie consumption has gone up and down, (mostly down over the Christmas period) but since the new year I have kicked my butt into action and am aiming to have a smoothie at least 5 days a week.

I have to say, with all the rubbish I was consuming over Christmas, I was started to feel quite lethargic and un-motivated but after a few weeks of being back on the smoothies I have a lot more energy and am feeling great!

I have experimented quite a bit with different ingredients and recipes, so thought I would share with you my top 5 smoothies.

 

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This is my quick and easy go-to recipe and my favourite, with a good balance of fruit & veg, plus the banana and avocado both add extra creaminess, I really dislike a watery smoothie!

The ingredients are:

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The very berry is great if you are in the mood for something sweet, this is also the hubbies favourite, he’s so fussy when it comes to fruit as he doesn’t like a lot of the textures, but loves a cold fruity smoothie!

The ingredients are:

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The super green is great if you’re in the mood for something zingy and fresh, and the apple adds a little sweetness.

The ingredients are:

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Now, this is not at all the tastiest, but its actually a lot nicer than you would think, and its amazing for a super quick energy boost.

The ingredients are:

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Now I know this last one is definitely not a super healthy option, but I have included it in my top 5, as I think everyone deserves a little treat sometimes!

The ingredients are:

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Do you have any favourite smoothie recipes? I’d love some recommendations!

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping Up The Motivation

Sometimes, working for yourself, it can be very hard to keep motivated. I will be honest, I’m not and never will be a morning person, so just getting out of bed can sometimes be a struggle! I have now resigned myself to the fact that this is ok, as long as I work in the evening instead and get the work done that I need to, I don’t have to be up at 7am (or even 8am) if I don’t want to. Thats the best part of being self employed, you make up the rules!

But how do I motivate myself to work and keep building my business?

  • Mondays are very important, its the start of the week and will set the tone for your week ahead and how productive you will be.
  • The first thing I do on a monday morning (around 10am) is complete my weekly planner, set out a day to day guide of what work I want to achieve, as well as add in any appointments, shoots or weddings I have booked in. Just doing this makes me feel productive and motivated, as I have already completed a task for the week!
  • As I complete each task I put a (very satisfying) big fat cross right through it, theres nothing better than completeing a list full of tasks and having a page full of scribbled out jobs to do.

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So keeping motivated day to day is not so tricky, but having long term goals and aspirations can be a far more daunting task, especially when you are making the rules up as you go and don’t have a boss giving you weekly, monthly or yearly reviews.

Again, I find the best way to get motivated and keep on track is to write it all down, every month or so I set myself monthly, 6 monthly, yearly, and 5 yearly goals. These sometimes change along the way (which is fine), for example, two years ago I wanted to set up a studio space, but as time went on I have developed my photography style and found that the studio thing just isn’t for me and the over heads of a studio space is unnecessary, considering 90% of the time I am shooting weddings. So I am now offering natural outdoor or at home shoots and plan to get together the equipment to photograph newborns here in our office.

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Its good to have future goals, but its okay if they change along the way.

Re- evaluating your goals and aspirations isn’t always a bad thing, sometimes plans change and may take you in a direction you didn’t plan on taking. But without having something to aim for in the first place, you will achieve nothing. As long as you are always looking and moving forward, opportunities will come your way. You may have to work hard and there will be times you fail or have setbacks but as long as you keep focused on moving forward and don’t let yourself get complacent, then you can achieve your goals.

My Top Tips:

  • Putting a weekly timetable together on Monday morning will help keep you on track throughout the week.
  • Writing down your goals and seeing them on paper makes them more real and even more attainable.
  • There are times I get stuck in a rut, or start to feel self doubt about my abilities, but looking back at my goals and taking small steps to achieve the smaller ones, will then motivate me to achieve the bigger ones!

 

 

The Little Book Of Hygge- Book Review

You have most likely seen the word ‘Hygge’ (pronounced hue-gah) online somewhere in the past few months, there has been a recent hype concerning the Danish word Hygge and the meaning behind it.

Ive read online that the English translation to Hygge is ‘cosy togetherness’. Now, I am all about the cosiness, so I thought I would do a little research and find out some more. dsc_4631

I found ‘The Little Book Of Hygge‘ online and put it on my Christmas list, the hubby did his job well and stuck to my list!

The author, Meik Wiking, is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen (doesnt this sound like the best job in the world?!) and has spent years studying the Danish way of life, Hygge and, of course, happiness! So, if I’m going to get some tips on how to add a little Hygge to my life, then I think he’s the man to listen to.

I have read a lot of self-help and business style books, but I thought this one would would be good as a lighter read to start the year with. I was right, and my only regret is that I didn’t pick it up last year, so I could make the most of all the cosy Hygge tips over the winter months and Christmas.

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Reading this book, I didn’t have any profound, life changing epiphanies, but it has slightly changed the way I look at certain elements of my lifestyle, helped me appreciate the Hygge moments I already have and inspired me to create more.

Without giving too much away, the main elements of Hygge I have taken from the book are:

  • Cosiness- Curling up with a blanket, some warm socks, a good book and a hot drink
  • Lighting- Candle light, fireside light, natural window lighting, its all about subtle & relaxing
  • Food & drink- Hot drinks (coffee, hot chocolate,tea) and something indulgent like cake or fancy chocolates
  • Home- Being safe and warm in your favourite place with the people you love
  • Togetherness- Spending quality time with your closest friends and family

dsc_4649One of my favourite parts of the book was when the author talks about different languages and unique phrases from around the world, this is where I found myself annoying the hubby most, as I read certain parts out loud (he really hates it when I do this, but sometimes you just have to share!) I had a real giggle reading some of these, such as the French saying ‘rire dans sa barbe’ which means, ‘to laugh in your beard, quietly, while thinking about something from the past’.

If you are looking for a book that will change your life, you may want to keep looking, but if youre looking for something that will give you a lovely little warm feeling in your heart, then this is the one for you.

Most of all, it made me realise (even more than I did before) just how much I love to be cosy & warm, to feel safe and loved and that this brings me a lot of happiness. It has also helped me to see that this isnt always just acheived by curling udsc_4636p at home on your own, but by sharing quality time and experiences with the people you love.
‘Hygge’ is now my new favourite word, I have even decided to change the light in our living room to create a much more relaxing, soft glow of light. Instead of the current harsh, bright exposed bulb shining right above our heads; this is not very ‘hyggelig’ at all!

How to create your perfect workspace

When working from home, having a workspace that helps you get creative and motivated is really important. Just as having a messy workspace can make you feel like you are in chaos, a tidy space can make you feel inspired, and can breed productivity.

 

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  1. Choose a colour scheme which will help you feel relaxed as well as motivated.
  2. De-clutter, keep your space as organised and as clear as possible.
  3. Add inspirational elements like a favourite quote or your fave #girlboss book.

 


What To Avoid:

  • Not enough storage; make sure you have plenty of shelving and storage for all your files and folders and keep your desktop clutter and stress free.
  • Trends that may not be around for too long; buy decor you love, not just because its the latest in-thing!
  • Direct sunlight, you need your screen or workspace facing away from the window ideally, or invest in some decent blinds to help filter the light on bright sunny days.

 

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Most of all, you need the space to work for you, theres no point in creating a beautiful space thats not usable, it needs to be as functional as it is pretty. You don’t have to be spend thousands, places like Ikea and Homesense are great for office furniture and accessories and you can slowly add extra features as you go such as lamps etc.

 

Small changes every few weeks, like moving around your shelving or adding a new quote will make you feel refreshed and love the space all over again.

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There are no rules, just experiment and find what works for you, if you find your bright, canary yellow feature wall helps you keep inspired then great. For me greens and greys are my favourite colours, but my husband loves orange.

DSC_0733His Marvel figures get his creative juices flowing, whereas I love my black and white print of Marilyn Monroe, the way the photographer uses the light inspires me to take beautiful images. We share our office, so we have divided it into different sections, to each add our own personal style and touches.

 

So create the right space for you, not the space that will get the most Instagram likes!