Mindfulness, Gratitude and Healthy Living – Journaling with Caroline Gardner
Mindfulness, gratitude and healthy living have all become part of our daily lives, especially living through a global pandemic! We don’t know about you but, it has made us realise that we should be grateful for every little thing no matter how big or small. It has taught us not to take our health for granted and that our mind is the most powerful tool in our body!
Over the years and especially in the last 6 months the art of journaling has been on the rise. So, what is journaling? If you don’t already know it involves the practice of keeping a diary/journal that explores the thoughts and feelings surrounding the events in your life. At the start of the pandemic when people started experiencing their lives being flipped upside down and experiencing emotions they had never felt before, many took pen to paper and started writing down how they felt. By putting pen to paper it helped build control and structure in a time when many had lost their sense of ‘normal.’ By writing thoughts down it helped to break down even the most daunting of tasks. It taught us to take the time each day to write down what we were grateful for and focus on goals we may have put on the back burner. Many realised by doing this and taking time to focus on the good things, helped them have a positive outlook on life.
So, with that in mind we are so excited to launch our Caroline Gardner range of journals and notebooks. Within the range are three different journals all dealing with different areas in your life and two notebooks with motivational/inspirational quotes on the front and plenty of room to write down your thoughts and feelings each day! So let us take you through each one!
Say hello to the ‘Sleep Easy’ journal. Although many of us are still working from home, routine and sleep are even more important and journaling is a great way to monitor this. The ‘Sleep Easy’ journal includes diary pages to set goals and clear your mind before bed. The idea of this journal is to clear your thoughts so you can get a good nights sleep and start the next day with more energy and a fresh approach ready for the day ahead!
The ‘Year of You’ journal includes 366 diary pages for daily notes, reflections and thoughts. This can be used as a day-to day to-list or you have the freedom to write all your thoughts down for the day.
Make notes, keep on top of tasks or doodle away with the ‘Make Your Own Magic’ notebook. This small chunky notebook filled with lined pages is the perfect place for you to write down your thoughts, ideas and tasks. Secured with a gold elasticated strap it will help keep your life organised. Also available in green with the slogan ‘Perhaps the Grass Is Green Enough.’
‘Home is where love resides, memories are created and laughter never ends.’
Now more than ever is a time to keep spirits up so we have compiled a list of activities that we hope will fill you with joy if you are stuck at home or wanting to stay in more at the moment.
READ A BOOK
Kick back and relax with that book you have been meaning to read for ages but just haven’t had the time. Pour yourself a cuppa and head to a quiet room and delve into the pages forgetting the world exists.
ORGANISE YOUR WARDROBE
One of our favourite accounts to follow on Instagram is the Style Sisters, if your wardrobe needs a detox then these are the girls to follow! Now is the perfect time to have a complete wardrobe clear out and a mass try on. Go through your wardrobe getting rid of anything that as Marie Kondo would say, doesn’t ‘spark joy!’ Once you have decided what you are going to keep, separate the remainder of the clothes in piles for the charity shop and things you will sell on Depop/Ebay. By the time you have finished you’ll have hopefully have made enough room to go on a shopping spree!
WATCH ALL THE BOX SETS/FILMS/SERIES
You know all those shows people have been talking about? Now is the perfect excuse to catch up on them and see what all the fuss has been about! Check out our ‘What to Watch on Netflix’ blog post to see what we are loving at the moment.
Almost everything will work again if you just unplug it for a few minutes, including you! Take 20 minutes each day to have a bit of ‘me time.’ Get your skin care routine back on track, meditate to clear your head, work on you, for you. Self care is about giving the world the best of you instead of what is left of you, so line up those face masks as we might be here awhile!
Remember that summer body you have been dreaming about but never had the time to do anything about it…..now is the time! Forget the gym, there are millions of YouTube exercise videos that you can do from the comfort of your living room and improvise, use tins or bottled water as weights, run up and down the stairs to get the blood pumping and if your lucky enough to have a garden take advantage of the outdoors set up circuit training or a mini boot camp!
BAKE A CAKE
Nothing says home more like the smell of baking. Why not have a mini bake off in the kitchen whether it be with your husband, partner, sibling, kids or housemate. It’s a super fun way to pass a few hours and the outcome couldn’t be better…..cake for days!
I think if we have learnt anything from this pandemic it’s to be grateful for the little things. I don’t think any of us will take our freedom for granted again. Each day make a list of the things you are thankful for. In the current situation it can be hard to only focus on the negatives. I guarantee you that making and practising gratitude will set your mind up for the day.
CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN
Cleaning is probably everyone’s top priority at the moment but don’t stress yourself out thinking that you’ve to have it all done in a day. Make it enjoyable, have plenty of tea breaks and rope in the kids to help were possible. Tackle one room at a time and I promise you the smell of Zoflora will boost your mood instantly!
LEARN SOMETHING NEW
When are we ever going to get this time to learn something new? Whether it’s a new language, how to cook/bake, starting a blog, photography skills, learning how to edit on YouTube the list is endless, now is the time to do it!
MAKE A BUCKET LIST
Make a list of all the places you want to visit, whether it be local or a dream destination. It’ll help you look forward and have something to be excited for.
WRITE A JOURNAL
If you are feeling anxious then getting pen to paper and writing down your thoughts and feelings can really help. Keeping track of each day is also a great way to reflect in years to come, you could create a scrapbook a great way to keep your mind busy and great for kids too.
SET UP A PINTEREST ACCOUNT
Disclaimer: Be prepared to get lost in the pages of Pinterest for hours as you search for inspiring and amazing content! If you don’t already have Pinterest (where have you been?!) set up an account and enjoy spending hours building boards that inspire you, whether it be home related, quotes, fashion or recipes, Pinterest has it all!
Let us know in the comments below how you are filling your days at home.
Bye October thanks for the memories. Hi November I look forward to making new ones.
Forget cosy nights in, throw on your chunkiest knitwear, grab a spiced latte and join us for our roundup of the top 5 things to do in November, we promise you won’t regret it!
1. Watch a Mega Firework Display
BOOM! Kicking off or top 5 things to do in November is London’s biggest and best firework festival. Back with a bang, on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd November Ally Pally’s legendary firework festival will be lighting up the skies of London . Taking Bonfire night up a notch they have a lot more than rockets and Catherine wheels on offer! Why not head on over to the Luna Cinema where they will be showing the first Harry Potter movie or if that’s not your thing take to the Ally Pally ice rink where you can glide around the ice whilst listening to a disco soundtrack (singing is optional!) You can book your tickets here
2. Stylist Live Luxe
If you love Stylist Magazine you won’t want to miss their Festival of Inspiration from the 8th – 10th November. Join them for a line-up of seriously brilliant women (and men!) celebrity interviews, catwalk shows, uniquely curated shopping market and fabulous entertainment. If that wasn’t enough each person who attends will also receive a goody bag worth £185. Book your tickets here
3. Explore Hogwarts In The Snow
Credit: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Calling all Harry Potter fans, this one’s for you! The Warner Bros Studio Tour is having a festive makeover from November 16th-January 26th, with the movies iconic sets all getting a dusting of snow. Expect the Great Hall to be lined with Christmas trees finished with golden bobbles and topped with witches on miniature broomsticks , while the Gryffindor common room will be decked out with cosy Christmas decorations. Book your tickets here before they sell out
4. Visit Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland
Located in the heart of London get ready to fully immerse yourself in all things festive from November 21st – January 5th. Completely free to enter, you can save your pennies for funfair rides and hot chocolate. With over 100 spectacular rides, thrilling shows, London’s largest Christmas market, restaurants, cafes and bars, this Christmas extravaganza will keep you topped up with festive cheer!
5. Christmas Light Switch On
Credit: Time Out London
November is the month when many places in the UK get transformed into the sparkliest. blingiest, most festive places on earth, with the switching on of the Christmas lights all over the country. There’s nothing like the sparkle of Christmas tree lights to get you in the festive mood.
February 1st 2018 – The day Wisteria London went live!
Hi Everyone and happy Friday! As you can see today, is actually an extra special Friday for me as it marks ONE YEAR since going live with Wisteria London, and what a year it has been! It would be easy for me to sit here and fluff up the last year, but in reality it has been bloody hard work! I think I have been through every emotion imaginable and learnt a lot about myself in the process! I wanted to sit down and write this blog post, so I could share the twelve lessons that the last twelve months have taught me. So grab yourself a cuppa and let’s delve right in!
1 . If you can dream it you can do it
I can’t believe that today marks a year of the launch of Wisteria London. Time really does fly when you’re having fun. This time last year I had quit a job I wasn’t 100% happy in, to start up on my own! The very thought of being my own boss scared the living daylights out of me, but I am a great believer of chasing your dreams and seeing where they take you. If you have a dream and are determined to work damn hard then don’t let anyone take that dream away from you! Sometimes, all you have to do is believe in yourself and the rest will follow. So whether you want to start your own business, sign up o run your first marathon, learn a new language, go travelling or simply take the leap into a new job the DO IT!! If it doesn’t work out, then we can’t say we didn’t try…..life is to short for regrets, fight to do what you love every chance you get!
2 . Don’t let the naysayers have an impact on your dream
Not everyone is going to be your biggest fan and that’s okay! I received some pretty harsh comments in the beginning (we won’t name names!) but I was basically told that I was making a BIG mistake and that I would never succeed! HA how wrong were they?
3 . Accept you will never fully be ready
Whether you’re starting up your own business, running your first marathon or writing your first blog post, you will never feel totally ready. The plan will never feel perfectly formed, you’ll never feel as strong and prepared as everyone else seems (I’ll let you in on a secret; they’re not that strong or prepared either! No one is!) No one has every last thing figured out, we are all just paddling. Paddling is good though, it’s what puts us in charge of the situation!
If I had waited for the ‘perfect’ time to start Wisteria London, I would never have got started, and I would still be in a job I hated, wondering ‘what if.’ Off course I was scared, scared I would fail, scared I would run out of money and scared what people would think! The moral of the story is, that none of these things, matter in the whole big scheme of things as long as you are willing to work hard. Who cares what people think, at least you are taking a risk at following your dreams and if it doesn’t work out you can say you tried, more than any of them can say! So paddle like you’ve never paddled before!!
4 . Start where you are, Use what you have. Do what you can.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘if only I had,’ thought process. My advice….do your best, given any situation, and be grateful for what you’ve been able to achieve because in the end, amazing things will happen! I created the entire Wisteria London website from scratch, myself. Now, I am no IT genius and funny story is when undertaking my degree in Business Management, one of the modules was building a website and I swore from the day that class ended, I would never build a website again! Six years later here we are….LOL! It may not be the most technical site in the world but I am proud of it. Same goes with product photos, I take all the Wisteria London photographs myself (bar a few I use from the brands we stock) but these are all taken on my iPhone 7 and edited on a free app on my phone.
What I am trying to say is that you don’t need to wait around to know it all, or have a fancy camera to take pictures, or have the latest high tech editing app. You can start now! Use your mobile phone camera and edit images on a free app, there are lots of them out there. Use Instagram/Facebook and Twitter (again all are free marketing tools that reach thousands of people daily,) to promote your business or blog posts, as you never know who might see them. I was lucky that some of the girls from Dancing on Ice last year saw my page and got in touch, and we were lucky to send them some of our products which they then promoted on their Instagram, to their thousands of followers.
5 . Nothing happens overnight
I’ve never been someone that could simply ‘wing it’ in life. Everything I have achieved, I have achieved through hard work and determination. I am the most impatient person in the world, I want everything done yesterday, but this year has taught me that nothing happens overnight and the same goes for a lot of people in business. Sophie and Hannah Pycroft, the sister duo behind the fabulous Spectrum Collections, worked out of their garage and didn’t make a sale in their first six months, Coca Cola only sold twenty five bottles in their first year and Michelle Mone took three years to launch her brand Ultimo. Not one of these businesses found success overnight but that didn’t make them any less of a person, it just made them appreciate it more when they did make it!
Don’t get me wrong, there are still days I wish I had more sales, or my following on Instagram would grow a little quicker and there are many brands and businesses out there that cheat their way to the top but this is something I will never do with Wisteria London. I respect myself and my followers too much to do this. I want to build my brand properly and learn from my mistakes and if that take 5, 10, 15 years then so be it!
6. Be your biggest cheerleader
As one goes through life one learns if you don’t paddle your own canoe you don’t move’ – Katherine Hepburn
With many of us preaching self-love these days, it’s only right that we practice what we preach and become our biggest cheerleader. We deserve the praise and recognition and we need to start believing in ourselves!
I am going to be honest with you and say that I can be rubbish at this sometimes, however, I am learning and it’s forcing me out of my comfort zone! I am relatively a shy person and I’ve still to master the whole talking on Instastories malarkey, but rewind to last year, and when people asked me ‘what I did,’ or when I handed in my notice, ‘what are you going to be doing,’ my heart would race and I tended to either dodge the question or tell them quickly, and then change the subject! I don’t know why, but I was so worried about what they would think. Fast forward a year and I am getting better. If someone askes me now, what do you do for a living, I am more than willing to tell them about Wisteria London, hand them a business card and be proud to talk about ‘my baby!’
Moral of the story, be proud of you! Give yourself a pat on the back for going for it and trying your best. This is your journey and you’re on your own path! Who cares what other people think, this is your life? Everyone’s journey is different; if we were all the same it would be boring. So c’mon be your biggest cheerleader!
7 . Don’t get caught up in numbers on social media
I think we are all guilty of this! It’s easy to get lost in social media, especially when it comes to the numbers game. You can be left thinking why are they getting followers and I’m not? However, I’ve come to learn that it’s okay to grow slowly. As a small business, I want a community of like minded super fans, who love what I do, engage with my content, sign up to the Wisteria London newsletter and buy Wisteria London products! Off course we would all love to get to 10k to have the swipe up feature, but I would much rather have 1,000 engaged followers who support me than 10,000 who don’t give two hoots!
In the words of Sam Burgess from Small and Mighty Co, ‘I need a tribe not a crowd and I’m happy to grow slowly because I’ll gather followers as my business grows and that’s okay.’
8 . Structure is key
When you go from having a 9-5 to having a 24/7 job, you need to learn to manage your time better. You no longer have someone telling you what to do and when to do it by, so you need to be strict with yourself and plan how you can be the most productive.
9 . You need downtime
Running your own business undoubtedly brings quite a bit of pressure with it! If you don’t work hard enough, you won’t pay the bills! It can definitely be stressful and almost make you feel that you literally need to work every single minute of the day, but when I do take time to relax and switch off I feel like I come back a hundred times more productive. Nobody can keep going 100% all of the time, so it’s important to listen to your body and mind and make sure to give it the rest it needs. When it boils down to it, you are the boss, so you call the shots! Make sure to prioritise downtime, as it’s true what they say ‘your health is your wealth!’
10 . Reflect on what you have achieved
Sometimes we are so consumed by the now, that we forget the little things that have actually got us to where we are today. Last year, I made a conscious effort to note in my diary when something happened, whether it be big or small, so that when I was having a bad day, or feeling low, I could look back and see how far I’d come. It’s crazy how much you forget and the little things that make you smile. Although you may not think it, you’ve grown a lot from this time last year!
11 . Never underestimate Google Search or YouTube tutorials
Google Search and YouTube tutorials have become my new best friends. Starting your own business means you have to be a jack of all trades but not necessarily a master of them all. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, I may have a business degree but that doesn’t make me an IT specialist or a financial advisor, which are both part and parcel of my everyday business. When creating and designing my website, I found YouTube tutorials a God send, not only did they tell me what to do but I was able to visualise it as I went along! What we ever did without YouTube and Google I will never know!
12 . Enjoy every minute
One of the biggest things I have learnt is to enjoy every minute. Off course, some days can be tough, that’s life, but I have to remind myself that I’m doing something I have wanted to do for a very long time! I no longer have to dread getting up in the morning to go to a job I absolutely hate, I no longer have the Sunday night dread and I can look at Monday as a fresh start, a new week to achieve whatever the hell I want. Be grateful even just for the small things in life, as I bet/know there’s someone in the world who would love to be in your shoes! Monday-Friday are not days to be back at the grindstone, these are the days to be back at your passion. If you are working for the weekends you’re doing it all wrong!
And there you have it….12 lessons that the last 12 months have taught me!
I honestly can’t believe that it has been a year already! It has been thoroughly hard work and at times emotional, but I absolutely love what I do and wouldn’t have it any other way. I just want to say a MASSIVE thank you to my mum and dad who have been the biggest supporters from day one, my boyfriend Richard, who has picked me up when I’ve been down, and reminded me why I started and most importantly YOU. Thank you for being a part of my journey, for buying Wisteria London products and for following, liking, commenting and sharing our posts. My little business wouldn’t have grown in the last year if it hadn’t been for you, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.
To celebrate and say thank you there will be FREE SHIPPING on all UK orders until midnight on Monday 4th February 2019.
I hope you all have a wonderful day
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