How to Sunday Like a Pro and Prep for a Productive Week

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We’re all familiar with that old saying that “a weekend well spent brings a week of content” right?  I mean, if you haven’t seen it captioned all over on Instagram (y’know; a weekend well spent, brings a week of social media content…) then you’ll have probably heard the words muttered with a smile over weekend brunch.  I used to think that the phrase meant cramming the weekend full of activities – that if you hadn’t hiked up a mountain, gone out for brunch, been to a museum, hit the shops, gone to the cinema, spent time with the family and polished everything off with a whopping great big roast then nope, you were doing weekends wrong.  I mean, who has the energy for all that!?

Growing up, I used to absolutely HATE Sundays – and even though it’s still a whole 50% of the weekend, it always used to feel like the end of it.  It was just one big clock-watch and countdown until bedtime and giving into Monday’s looming arrival, and the back to school/back to work blues would hit me hard.  Because of that feeling, Sundays were never “well spent”; I’d resent going out somewhere or running errands because the day would just disappear, but at the same time I’d hate staying in because then it just felt like a massive waste.  I just didn’t know how to spend the time in a satisfying way.

The truth is that time “well spent” means something different to everyone.  For me, it’s all about balance, and I’ve come to realise that when we’re talking about Sundays that balance is between doing things that relax my mind and make me smile, and doing things that’ll get it into gear for the week ahead.  It’s the basics of self-care, right?  Allowing yourself to indulge in the things that not only make you happy (a big ass brunch and new shoes), but also doing the things that are necessary to function as an adult (changing the sheets and ticking things off that to do list)!

So let me give that old saying a little bit of a tweak, because I think the truth of the matter is that a Sunday well spent brings a week of intent.  People who Sunday like a pro feed off of that back to work feeling because it enables them to spend the time wisely, not only having fun but prepping for Monday’s arrival. I’m still no Sunday Pro myself, but here are a few things that I like to do to rest and prep for the week ahead… 🙂

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Have a Fancy Breakfast

During the week I’m a fast bowl of Frosties kinda girl; they’re grrrrrrrrreat to slurp down quickly on a Monday morning, but not exactly worth getting out of bed for on a lazy Sunday, right?  We can do so much better!  Sundays (and Saturdays…) are for Brunching – which is basically another way of saying “On Sundays, we fancy”.  I’m talking eggs, pancakes, french toast… A little bit of whatever you fancy and can’t be bothered/don’t have the time to make or enjoy during the week.  A slow Sunday morning is one of my favourite things!

If you’re looking for a couple of recipes to pump up your Sunday jam then check out some of my Favourite Egg Recipes here, a whole post on Fabulous French Toast here, as well as Five Lazy Breakfast Ideas here.  Breakfast food is my favourite food, in case you didn’t already know… 😉

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Do Something FUN

I guess the point with this one is to do something that sparks joy – something that you can’t do during the week – whether that’s slobbing out on the sofa and binge-watching three seasons of Alaskan Bush People (…No regrets), baking a little something-something, going out for Sunday Lunch, hiking up a mountain or going for a bike ride, filling up your ASOS shopping bag, or just taking the dog on a proper walk.  Let the good times roll before Monday rolls back around!

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Meal Plan

I started meal planning last year and honestly, it was a total game changer.  It’s helped me not only to cut down on how much I spend on the weekly food shop, but also to cut down on food waste and all that time spent faffing around trying to work out what the hell to cook for dinner every night.  These days I make just one trip to the supermarket and pick up everything I need for the week ahead.  A little bit of planning goes such a long way!

Because I do my food shop on a Monday, Sunday is the day I like to meal plan.  I check my diary for the week and see what’s happening – to see if there are any days where either myself or Sunny are out, or days that are looking crazy-busy (takeaway night!) – and then I start planning!  I jot down all the meals I plan on making over the next seven days (focusing on dinner – that’s the big one) and then I write up a shopping list. 🙂

You can read all about how to start meal planning – along with some tips and tricks – right here.

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Sunday Soak

I LOVE having a bit of a pamper-sesh on Sunday evening. Yes, it’s relaxing, and sure, it’s nice to sit and stew in some suds for an hour rather than have the ten minute shower I tend to go for during the week… but honestly, it’s kind of necessary if I want to keep myself looking (and feeling!) ship-shape and shiny.  I don’t have time to re-paint my nails during the week, or to shave my legs, or clean my makeup brushes and sit around in a hair or a face mask for an hour; so Sunday is the day where I catch up and take the time to tick off all those things that a woman’s gotta do.

You can read my step by step Sunday Soak and a see a list of my favourite products right here.

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Make a List of Goals

As well as writing up my shopping list, I also like to write a list of goals for the week ahead too.  It’s really nice waking up on a Monday armed with an attack plan!  I write down all the things I need to do by the end of the week in order of importance – as well as a list of a few selfish things that I’d quite like to do.  I also like to make some fun plans for the following weekend!  We all need a reward for hard work, right? 😉

Have a great weekend everyone, whatever you’re up to; let me know how you like to spend your Sunday in the comments below 🙂

Five Things Making Me Happy Right Now

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I can’t believe it’s actually going to be May by the end of next week!  We’ll be speeding through summer before you know it – and that flash of hot weather over the Easter weekend was just what the doctor ordered.  I spent the first couple of days of the long weekend catching up with a few jobs around the house that needed doing, and then spent Saturday afternoon soaking up the sun in my local beer garden.  Sunday and Monday was spent slobbing out on the sofa with plenty of chocolate.  It was lush!  So, aside from the lovely, summery weather, here are five things I’ve been enjoying throughout April…

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Blossom

I mean, who doesn’t love the blossom this time of year?  It’s always been one of my favourite spring things and there’s a tree not far from my house that puts on a hell of a show every year.  I pass it every day on the morning dog walk and I’ve really loved watching it slowly burst into colour.  Even Bungle’s loved it; he’s obsessed with the carpet of pink petals and likes to sit there for a couple of minutes during his walk. Weirdo!

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Game of Thrones

It’s back, it’s brilliant and… I’m bloody well terrified.  Considering there’s been a year’s break from the annual summer visit to Westeros (…what a jolly holiday that would be…), I was amazed how easily I got sucked back into it all.  What can I say?  The first couple of new episodes were downright deviousYes, not a lot happened in the grand scheme of things, but the truth is that the show’s producers basically spent two hours reminding us of why we love all these characters so much.  And that’s devious of them because the white-walkers are going to turn up at Winterfell next week and slaughter them all.  I’m scared.

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Left Over Chocolate

Easter was a strange one this year; I feel like all the eggs and chocolate were in the stores for such a long time that I kind of forgot about the whole thing!  Sunny and I did a lot of cream egg scoffing back in February instead.  But, one of the best things about Easter is the left over chocolate and all the half price chocolate banging about on the shelves right now.  We stocked up and have plenty to fuel us through a few binge-watching sessions at least.

If you fancy using up some of your leftover chocolate and doing a bit of baking, then you can’t go wrong with these Creme Egg Doughnuts that I made last year, and – in case you missed it – over on Instagram I posted a recipe for this Easter Tiffin Cake.

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Alaskan Bush People

Okay, this one is a strange one – I know – but hear me out.  Sunny’s obsessed with all those Discovery shows like Tanked, Storage WarsIce Road Truckers etc, and he happened to pick up the second season of Alaskan Bush People over on DMAX whenever he was working from home.  If you’ve never seen it before then it’s basically a show about a family living out in the wild (the bush) in Alaska.  Think Bear Grylls’ The Island, only years later… and in Alaska.  I made fun of my husband for watching it at first, because it all seemed so ridiculous, but over Easter weekend I managed to get completely sucked into it and somehow we’re now balls deep into season five.  Aside from the beautiful views of Alaska – of whales and bears – it’s just so interesting how the family live so far from everything and everyone, and how they chop their own wood, build their own houses, hunt their own meat and even invent their own appliances from bartered or salvaged materials.  Plus the nine kids are all so interesting – from their names (Snowbird, Bear, Bam Bam…), down to their different talents and resourcefulness out in the wild.  They’re such a tight, loving family too – you can’t help but root for them.  LOVE IT.

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Chamomile Tea

Boring one and I’m probably really showing my age here, but I’ve started swigging Chamomile Tea at night (…in front of Alaskan Bush People) about an hour before bed and it’s really helping me to wind down, feel relaxed and sleep more soundly.  During the day I’m a strict Darjeeling no milk kind of girl, but I can easily – so easily! – swig my way through five cups or more in a day.  I’ve been trying to cut down on caffeine and have been trying to slip in a couple of cups of chamomile instead of my usual brew, especially in the evening. 🙂

So, come on then.  Who do we think is going to snuff it in Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones?  😉

 

5 Things I’ve Been Loving This September

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Can you believe it’s going to be October next week?  Yikes!  It feels like we were in the middle of a heatwave just last week and now we’re practically staring down Christmas (sorry!).  Still, I’m really excited for the next couple of months – Autumn is my season, my favourite time of year hands down – and I love that fresh feeling that’s always in the air every September.  And with that in mind, here are a few other things I’ve been loving this month.

Killing Eve

There’s been so much incredible stuff on the box this September, we’ve been totally spoiled!  The Bodyguard, Bake Off, Vanity Fair, just to name a few.  But my favourite – without a doubt – has been Killing Eve.  Sunny and I binged it a couple of days after the series dropped on iPlayer and we absolutely loved it.  In case you’ve never heard of it, the series is based on the Villanelle books by Luke Jennings and centre around a Russian assassin – Oxana – and the British Agent – Eve – who attempts to track her down and arrest her but gradually becomes more and more drawn to her.  It’s dark and hilarious and the outfits are amazing.

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#SundaySoak

The weather got so hot this summer that I swapped my Sunday night soak in the bath for a cold shower.  But now that everything’s cooled down a bit and tepid Welsh weather has returned, I’ve been really enjoying polishing off the weekend with a good old soak in the tub.  I fill it up, throw in a bath bomb (I love Rosie from Miss Patisserie), prop the iPad up on the toilet with some Parks and Rec and then just… stew.

Early in September, the Forum Spa at the Celtic Manor sent me over some lovely Elemis goodies to take my Sunday Soak to the next level – including this Thousand Island Mask.  It’s got a really funny mousse-like texture to it, but spread over the skin like butter on toast (and my skin really has felt like toast recently – you know, dry, gaping pores…).  I’ve been applying it just before I get in the tub and then wiping it off with a damp cloth just before getting out and it’s been really brightened up my tired skin and given it a little extra pampering before seven months worth of central heating dry it out.

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Autumn Fashion

September’s a funny one for clothes, innit?  I mean, it’s officially Autumn and it’s absolutely freezing when I take Bungle out for his morning walk – but then by lunchtime, it’s baking.  Yep, Faux-tumn is in full swing – that weird month when you get all excited to haul your jumpers and scarves out of storage and end up sweating in them.  We’re not quite there yet.  Doesn’t matter, I’ve washed all my jumpers so when that cold weather finally pounces I’ll be ready.  I’ve also been picking up a few new bits and bobs when I’ve spotted them, like this stripy Beetlejuice shirt from H&M. 🙂

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Apple Pie Cake

I tend to get really into baking this time of year – I don’t know whether to blame the cold weather or the fact that Bake Off is back, but I’ve been absolutely loving get back into the kitchen and trying out some new things.  I posted the recipe for this Apple Pie Cake a couple of weeks ago and I absolutely love it.  It’s a bit more interesting than the bog-standard apple pie I’m used to baking this time of year and tastes even better! 🙂

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This article from The Pool about how we’re a nation of Saving For Best-ers really resonated with me; I’ve got so many dresses and outfits in my cupboard that I’m saving up for imaginary future events.  I should just wear them  to Tesco on a Monday morning, right?  What’s the point of having clothes and not enjoying wearing them?

I’ve been absolutely obsessed with the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing that’s been going on out in the States.  Just in case you’re out of the loop – Brett Kavanaugh is Trump’s pick for the empty slot in the Supreme Court (if he gets it then he’ll hold the position for life and it’ll tip the balance of power in favour of the Republicans) however, since being nominated allegations have come to light about his past sexual misconduct – most notably from Dr Blasey Ford, who claims she was assaulted by him back in the early 80s.  The fact that she’s only come forward now has raised the issue of why women don’t report sexual assault.  The #WhyIDidntReport feed on Twitter is a pretty powerful read and a reminder that for every woman who has come forward and tweeted about her own experience of assault, there are at least ten more who still feel unable to.

What have you been loving this September 🙂