My Word for 2020

My word that I have chosen for 2020 is a purposeful and meaningful one for me and I intend to carry it further through the new decade. Keep reading to see what word I’ve chosen!

Word of the Year 2020
Word of the Year 2020

Happy 2020!

Here it is, January. Another new year and the same old question… “What are you going to do differently in 2020?”

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, I mean yeah I’ve set them plenty of times – although not in stone and possibly under the influence of alcohol most likely on a new years eve night out!

And as with most peoples New Years resolutions, they end up out the window by mid-February or in some cases – mine – even sooner.

Turns out that I’m a rebel by nature, and also by personality type according to Gretchen Rubens Four Tendencies Quiz, so as you can imagine, New Year’s resolutions or any expectations at all really, I have the tendency to resist them all, inside and out. They just haven’t worked for me.

I decided for 2020 I wanted to swap out my half-arsed resolutions and replace them with a theme that I could focus on for the whole year.

It took me a while to think of something that would resonate with myself, something that was purposeful and had meaning and that will take me in the right direction of the life I want to live!

So without further ado, my word for 2020 is: Intentional

What Does It Mean To Be Intentional?

Within the definition of intentional, you’ll find a variety of words such as planned and deliberate, but the description I was looking for and defines it perfectly for me I found over at liveandlovework.com

This is how Chrysta defines it:

“It means you are purposeful in word and action. You live a life that is meaningful and fulfilling to you. It means you make thoughtful choices in your life. Being intentional means you actively interact and engage with your life”.

Why Did I Choose This Word For 2020?

Firstly because there are many areas of my life that I am not happy with and if I don’t start with being intentional about my own life then things are not going to change by themselves.

I have dreams for my life and so far they’ve been put on the back burner for other people, too many times over the years I’ve put my life on hold for others – opportunities, friendships, even my children – and it’s time that I took back control of MY life and be more engaging, purposeful and intentional with it.

My Word For 2020
Make This Day Great!

The Ways I’m Planning On Being Intentional In 2020

These are just some of the ways I’m putting being intentional into practice this year, you may even find some ideas in here for yourself to try!

  • Family – As a single mother of five children under 10 years old I have found it hard to try and just focus on one child at a time, what I mean by this is we never really get any one-on-one time. There is always something or someone grabbing my attention away from the child that I’m currently with. – This year I’m setting time aside to focus on just the one child at a time, whether that’s sitting and reading, playing a game they chose or just sitting to listen to them talk, they will each have a dedicated time where the other children will know that it isn’t their time at that moment and that they will have their own time with me that won’t be disturbed by the rest.
  • Declutter – Not only our living spaces – which DO need a lot of work – but I’m intentionally decluttering habits, attitudes and people that no longer serve me, what this means is – When something no longer serves you, it no longer helps you move forward in the direction you (currently) want to go – and this space is in need of a serious bout of decluttering!
  • Finances – In 2019 my finances had some good times and some bad times, it turns out the bad times were the ones where I never actually set my budget, in turn, this made me lose track of where my money was actually being spent, who was being paid etc. So this year I’m setting my budget and not taking my eye off the ball this time around! (A bonus to 2019 was that I did manage to get rid of £7651.72 debt)
  • Myself – It turns out I don’t put myself first – EVER – so this year I’m focusing my attention to my own self-care and planning to take some time out for myself, this will include things like having a relaxing bath (2 baths in a year and a half isn’t good for anyone – I will add that I do shower! haha), spending time with friends, buying myself clothes – I mean there’s only so many times in a week you can wear the same outfits right?

I’m looking forward to 2020 now with my word of the year set in place and with my goals to work on.

Until next time,

Much Love

Laura xx

Did you choose a word for 2020? If so, I’d love to hear what it is and why you chose it!

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Free Things To Do With Kids in Leeds

Looking for some free activities for you and your kids around Leeds?

 

Here are some free days out I’ve found that won’t cost you a penny (Food & Travel being the exception of course).

February Half Term is almost upon us and even though it’s going to be a cold one, (free) days out still need to be planned.

Being a mother of five, Days out with the kids can seriously damage the bank balance. Doesn’t it seem like the kids have forever off with school holidays throughout the year and then weekends too!

Pin Free Days Out in Leeds

 

Finding days to entertain them all at once hasn’t been an easy or cheap task. Especially with their different personalities and interests.

We moved back to Leeds in 2014 after my 3rd Child was born and after a few months of settling back over in the West of Yorkshire I wanted to get the kids out and about in Leeds.

We went to a few places that I’d been to growing up to find that quite a lot are now charging for admission. Although at the time I was only paying for one adult and one child. The first park was £9.30, the second £14.50 this isn’t really a lot for a day out, but it’s a shock to the system when it has been FREE for 25 years of your life! haha.

We did go in and have fun but the only thing is, these places were not worth the money!

They hadn’t changed from when I was younger and our day lasted a couple of hours before we were back out of there and heading home again, not exactly what I’d call a day out!

Over the past couple of years, with the children getting bigger, and the days out cost increasing each time one of them hits five-year old, I’ve managed to find a few favourites of ours that we have all enjoyed a good couple of times over the years.

*Disclaimer – This post may contain affiliate links & as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases*

Here are some of our favourite free places in Leeds:

 

1. Roundhay Park

Free Days Out with Kids

Roundhay Park is one of our favourites all year round, it covers a 700-acre nature park. We like to take a picnic, scooters, bikes and a football here because there is plenty of space for them all to just be wild.

We like to have a walk around the big lake and head up to the castle ruins that overlook the lake, the views are lovely!

You can have a walk through the wooded gorge where the kids like to try spot the squirrels, birds and other wildlife in the area.

At the bottom end of the park there is a Lakeside Café, and this is where you will find the ice-cream van too to keep you cool on those hot days! There’s also a couple of adventure playgrounds the kids love too.

All sorts of events are on here throughout the year too. Check the website when planning a trip, Ed Sheeran is making an appearance in August!

 

2. Royal Armouries museum

Autumn Leaves

This is one of the best free things to do in Leeds for the kids and adults too. It has five floors of displays from hunting to self-defence and oriental galleries, a war and a tournament gallery.

They also do themed weeks so be sure to check out there “what’s on” before you plan your visits, it is certainly worth coming back to again and again.

For this years February Half Term they are hosting “War Games” activities from Wed 13th – Sun 24th Feb. Check out the PROGRAMME for the week.

We will be visiting in April too for the Medieval Easter activities and the International Jousting Horse Show.

Whenever we are visiting Royal Armouries we usually have a walk around the Leeds Docks, Leeds City Centre is only 10-15 minutes walk too, or they offer a free water-taxi depending on the weather.

 

3. Leeds City Museum

Tiger's Face

 

Although we haven’t been here in a couple of years, this is definitely on the favourites list of free things to do in Leeds!

Leeds City Museum is situated in the City Centre, in Millennium Square. There are always different things going on throughout the year.

The kids love it at Christmas when the Traditional German Markets arrives with all the cosy looking wooden chalets, all the beautiful lights and the kids love to ride the Carousel…

but anyhow, Christmas is a long way away so we’ll get back on track!

The part the kids and I like most in the museum (activity days exempt) is the “Life on Earth Gallery”. It is filled with displays of animals, butterflies and also have interactive screens and even a craft area for the kids to do some colouring.

I’m looking forward to Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in stories coming to the Leeds City Museum from this weekend 8th February right up until 16th June!

Here’s a little about it :

Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s best-loved story makers. This unique exhibition showcases, for the first time, the notebooks and manuscripts that have become the classics we know today, including:

War Horse is a film I love but I’m yet to read the book, it is on my TBR list of course!

There is going to be an original handwritten draft of War Horse, along with props from the stage show and film. I will definitely be looking forward to giving that a visit.

Pin Free Days Out with kids in Leeds

The best thing about these places is that they offer so many different variations of events. The fact that most of these events are free for families makes it that more budget friendly.

Have you visited any of these places in Leeds?

If you have let me know what you enjoyed about them in the comments. If not, would they be places that interest you?

Until next time,

Much Love

Laura xx

25 Ways to Practice Self Care to Become Your Best Self

25 Ways to Practice Self Care to Become Your Best Self

 

The best way to be able to care for others is to start with caring for yourself.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the busy day-to-day hustle and bustle of life’s responsibilities. It sometimes feels like life is flying by way too quickly and we don’t seem to have any time to enjoy it!

Ways to Practice Self Care for Best self
 
 

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

 
  1. Take a long hot bath
  2. Listen to music that makes you feel good
  3. Re-read one of your favourite books
  4. Do some Excercise
  5. Take time for yourself, away from others
  6. Burn your favourite smelling candle
  7. Buy yourself some fresh flowers
  8. Read Inspirational Quotes
  9. Unplug from Social Media
  10. Take a nap
  11. Make a gratitude list and jot down everything you are thankful for
  12. Avoid toxic people
  13. Try some Yoga
  14. Watch some funny Youtube Videos
  15. Get out in the sunshine and fresh air
  16. Meditate for 5 – 10 minutes
  17. Clear your desk
  18. Take a short walk
  19. Call a friend
  20. Look through photos
  21. Check in with yourself regularly
  22. Make a hot Cuppa
  23. Dance
  24. Do something creative, write a poem or doodle
  25. Turn off your phone for a day

 

What is your favourite way to practice Self Care, do you have a routine in place to care for yourself?

Comment down below!

My Reading Challenge 2018

I’ve been looking for a challenge or two to do for 2018 since the beginning of December (because five kids, starting up a blog, packing and moving isn’t enough of a challenge for me in January alone) haha!

I first found the goodreads challenge which you basically set yourself a goal of how many books you will read in the year, so I’ve set myself a target of 30 books.

It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, I wanted something different!

Since 2016 when I started up my Online business, I’ve been working more on myself so my reads have been more on the personal development side and that is basically all I’ve been reading – it’s obviously not a bad thing to do, working on yourself, but you just know when you need something more…

I’ve missed the fantasy and thrillers, the Fairytale and true stories, the chance to be lost in another world – you know the ones – and the enticement of the book world is just too great to ignore for very long.

I found it!

I found exactly what I need to get me back into the world of books :-

The Popsugar Challenge!!

Not only is this going to grow my reading experience again, but I will be experiencing books I would never normally read, such as sports and feminism – if it’s the new age feminism stuff then, yuck!

I’m in love with the idea of the challenge and I’ve made a start with my reading challenge and my first book of choice is: The Colour of Magic written by Terry Pratchett, I love his books and I found 3 of his while packing the house up, all brand new I’d bought a couple of years back that I never got round to, so it was the perfect book to begin with.

The fact it falls under three of the categories helped – although I’ll not be cheating myself out of the challenge by marking one book as three – no point in doing it that way really is there?!

If you want to join me and many others in the Popsugar reading Challenge, here’s the list you’ll be needing for 2018

Have you joined in any challenges for 2018? Or even set your own? Let me know in the comments, I’m always looking for new things to get involved in.

Much Love

Laura xx

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My New Year Goals 2018

As 2017 draws to an end and a New Year comes at us in full force, it’s time to start setting some goals for 2018.

2017 has been a very, very challenging year, infact it’s been totally shite!! So many crappy things gone wrong that I now need to focus on the good things to come from the year ahead.

I’ve always been good at setting out goals but sticking to them, well that is a totally different story!

I’m living in hope that by publishing this post and having my goals plastered on the internet will give me more than enough motivation and accountability to actually get things done… I’m counting on you folks to keep my arse in check haha!

My goals for 2018 are: 

Blogging

  • Get self hosting
  • Monetize my blog
  • Get into the habit of regular posting
  • Grow my audience
  • Grow my presence on social media

Life – Family & Friends

  • More outings with the kids
  • Meet up with and contact friends more regularly 
  • Make new friends
  • Have a family holiday – destination yet to be decided

Myself

  • Create a Miracle Morning routine
  • Exercise/ Yoga
  • Give myself some TLC 
  • Make some free time for me
  • Look after my health better 

There are quite a few things I want to get through this year and plenty more too that will come to light once I manage to get in a routine of the above.

I will be using the Trello app to keep me on track with my blog and creating some space in my bullet journal for tracking alot of the goals I have set myself.
I’m totally ready to rock the new year!

Let me know in the comments what some of your goals are for 2018. I’ll look forward to reading them =)

Much Love 

Laura xx