My Productive Morning

Today, didn’t go to usual plan. When I arrived at school my classes were cancelled for the whole day and instead of staying on site, I decided to saunter back home because right then all I could think about was crawling back into bed, especially on this cold morning. When I got home, I planned my weekend and dedicated Saturday to be my rest day (as I work all day Sunday) normally it’s Friday evenings but because I had the whole day free I motivated myself to get all my work ticked off today rather than wasting it. And I had a lot to do.

I made sure I could be as content as possible whilst doing work (which I didn’t think was possible). So… I made myself a cup of tea and grabbed all the work I had been assigned and jumped into bed. I put on one of my favourite movies and raced through all the cover work my teacher had set. I had to write a short essay on meanings and representations of accents and do some research on a new novel we are starting this term. It was a lot of work and looking at it was daunting but I made sure I was comfy and set up all the resources I needed around me. This took me around three hours to complete and after that all I could think about was getting the rest of my to-do list done, as I felt more motivated than before even starting the work. After that long period, I had lunch. It was a strange mixture of foods but it was delicious, I had roast potatoes, pea crisps, sandwich with vegetarian chicken tikka and leaves and an apple. Is it just me or when you’re at home you have for lunch the weirdest combination of foods? Probably just me aha. Also, whilst I was downstairs I made myself a hot water bottle to hug in bed. Then I was super cosy.

Next on my to-do list was an extra reading assignment to analyse context, themes and language techniques. This took me a fair few hours because the text was huge! But, once I had done it I sighed with relief as I filed it away in my folder. “Right! What’s next?”. It was still pretty early on in the day, so I looked at work that maybe I hadn’t finished or was messy and I remembered my essay I wrote yesterday that was due today but now the deadline is extended to Monday. I read through it line by line, trying to improve it and add extra bits and bobs.

After that, I put on Harry Potter, grabbed a bowl of cereal and pulled out my laptop to write this blog post. I love reading blog posts about peoples productive days and organising their lives, I know I’ll be reading this back to motivate me. These days can be very rare!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed!

Bye x

My Cheap Skincare Routine

Hey guys! I’m gonna share with you what I use for my skincare routine that works really well for my acne and combination skin. Many people think the better the brand or the most expensive product defines its quality but sometimes that isn’t true. I’ll show my night time skincare that you can purchase on a budget.


1.Garnier Micellar Cleanser

This is my trusty make-up remover, it takes off every product on my face. It also comes in many bottles depending on your skin type, I personally have combination and sensitive skin but there’s also sensitive skin, infused dry and sensitive skin, normal skin, combination skin, delicate skin and eyes and water milk. The bottle supposedly lasts 200 uses but to be honest I’ve never counted so I can’t say whether that’s true but the bottle is recyclable anyway and has last me a good few months. Click here to buy it!

2. Waterproof mascara remover

This may not apply to some people but if you’re like me and wear trusty waterproof mascara, this product does wonders to get rid of it at the end of the day. I’ve tried numerous brands to remove waterproof eye make-up and it never completely comes off, apart from this one. This product is so cheap for how long it lasts, it can be bought at supermarkets and drug stores and is named no.1 eye make-up remover. Click here!

3. Cleanser & Toner

After I’ve washed my face I begin to close my pores after exfoliating them. I’ve used this product for years, it cleanses, tones and moisturises and it makes my skin feel very hydrated. It is quite heavy but after a few seconds it sinks into your skin. You can also use this product to remove your make-up. You can get this product in supermarkets and drug stores also. Click here!

4. Toner

This is a little extra thing I love to put on my face. It’s a little pricier than the other products but definitely affordable. It is rose tonic toner and I love it because rose water is so good for your skin, when I put it on it’s cold and refreshes me quickly. Rose water helps maintain your PH balance and control excess oil, so perfect for acne prone skin! Rose water has inflammatory properties that reduce’s redness, acne, dermatitis and eczema. Click here!

5. Moisturise!

I moisturise my skin all throughout the day, especially in winter, my skin gets very dry but it also reduces oiliness which are both causes of acne. I can safely say this moisturiser lasts all day and feels so light on the skin. It also includes SPF, which is important after exfoliating as it is more sensitive to sun damage and that includes during winter. Click here!

6. Facial Spray

This is a luxury I like to keep close to me, especially in summer, it is so refreshing! It is a product by Mario Badescu (who I am obsessed with) called Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater. It has amazing ingredients that benefit your skin in many ways, reducing inflammatory further. It says on the back once you’ve tried it, you won’t want to be without it and that is very true. This is my second bottle and as you can tell it is pretty much empty. It can set make-up, hydrate and soothe your skin. I like to use this as a finishing touch to my routine 🙂 Click here!

Thank you for reading!

Bye x

Inspire

“If you were able to believe in Santa Clause for like 8 years, you can believe in yourself for like 5 minutes”

-anonymous

This quote really means something to me. Of course, you can interpret it in your own way but it’s made me think about how I can reach my goals. If someone really wants to do something, be it making more money or finding a better job, they need to believe they can, otherwise it will be a continuous circle of doubting over and over. To accomplish a dream, they have to picture it in their head, brains can’t differentiate between imaginary and reality. The quote shows if someone can believe in a fictional character for years, they can believe in themselves, even if only for five minutes. It’s a start. All someone needs is a starting place and if they believe they can accomplish their goals and desires, they can figure out the stepping stones and start to strive for it. Just believe!

I know this post is cheesy but this quote inspired me when I first saw it and hoped it would do the same for some of you guys 🙂

Bye x

When the Blues Come

As the seasonal blues come along I thought I would share some tips to get out of that funk, which I’ve definitely dragged myself away from over Christmas break and I have to be back on it for when sixth form starts up again! Here are a few self care tips I tried that help me to stay productive and content during winter:

Walks

This isn’t for everyone but I love going into nature and finding new places to explore. It takes you away from reality for a bit, inevitably taking away your stress and anxiety. Here are some examples of all the advantages of a walk: it improves self-perception, self-esteem, mood and sleep quality. On New Year’s Day, my parents and I went on a walk (our New Year’s Day tradition) in a secluded place for an hour or maybe even less and I felt so relaxed and to be honest didn’t want to go back home to reality. But, my point is, that it is the perfect thing to do if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, try it and you’ll see. It’s hard to explain the sensation but it’s worth it.

Reading

Getting lost in a book can create a new world for you to delve into. It can distract your mind from all the overwhelming negative thoughts. I’m currently reading ‘Little Women’ and I love setting up my cosy room with candles and fairy lights, with a good book. I always get lost in the words and characters, trying to visualise the authors descriptions.

Blast Your Music

Make sure you have a playlist for every emotion, especially upbeat tunes! I found out your heartbeat changes depending on the music you listen to, when you’re feeling low and unmotivated, music can increase the heart and breathing rate. It will hopefully create that motivation inside you that’s trying to get out. Even if it just pulls you out of bed, it’s still something.

Act Of Kindness

Do a random act of kindness. It will give you a different outlook on your day when you selflessly help another person. You could: donate money to charity, drop a few pennies or pounds into a guitar case for that singer on the street, give some coins to a homeless person, volunteer your time at a charity shop or donate all your clothes and books you don’t use anymore to a charity. In more selfish terms, it makes you feel good about yourself and seem like a better person, others will also have a better view of you.

Set Goals

List all your goals that you want to achieve, whether that’s weekly goals or life goals. It will give you a path to start on and you won’t feel so lost on what to do with your days. You need to figure out the steps to accomplish those aims. For example, I want an A on my next assignment, the step is revise for an hour daily on that subject. The motivation to get that dream into reality will be large enough to pick yourself back up again.

Buy Flowers

I actually did this recently when I was feeling a bit down. I walked into my local supermarket, grabbed a Starbucks and as I was walking out I saw some flowers, I marched over there and bought some beautiful roses. I didn’t feel instantly better but it definitely comforted me to have a pretty asset in my room, that makes my bedroom a lot brighter. I’m not sure how or why but it did put a smile on my face.

Organise Your Space

Tidying your room and decluttering, can have the same effect on your brain. And what I mean by that is your view of your space won’t be filled with clutter and rubbish, distracting you from what you’re supposed to be doing. A clear space equals a clear mind. It will be a relief when you finally clear out that draw you scavenger through everyday and donate all the clothes that take up room in your closet you don’t wear anymore. I am very minimalistic in my interior design anyway but having no distractions on my desk whilst studying, really helps me get through it.

Cry

Lastly, the best thing you can do if you’re having a rough day is to wallow. As Lorelai Gilmore showed us, to get over something you must wallow about it first. Let it all out for 5 minutes and be as sad about it as you want but after those 5 minutes are up you have let it go and the pain of it is gone. To cry with someone is always better than alone but sometimes that can be uncomfortable for some people, so just make sure you have a blanket, tissues and ice-cream. You have to admit to yourself you are upset before you get over it, otherwise you push it further and further to the back of your head and sooner than later it will suddenly appear when you least expect it. Wallow. That is the number one trick to letting go.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home”

– Edith Sitwell

Thank you for reading!

Bye x

Resolutions

As the decade comes to an end, I’d like to note down all the things I need to change in my life for a better one. I say that every year and try to stick to new year resolutions but I have never been determined to keep them, I normally just did them because I thought that’s what you had to do when a fresh start is handed to you. But, this year I am old enough to know what’s best for me, to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I can picture what I want for myself in the future but I know I will have to commit to different habits to reach that, which is not easy for anyone. I am using the new year as motivation for what I have been attempting to do these past months but I never reached the goal I wanted, so hopefully January 1st will be a wake up call. Here are a few of my 2020 resolutions:


Gym

This is a classic resolution for many people, to lose weight or get those toned abs, but I don’t want to go to the gym for that, although they are a plus. The act of going to the gym and working out, makes you feel content and raring to go. Every time I go to the gym I feel so refreshed and motivated for the day, it releases endorphins (happy hormones), which will pull me out of the hole of always feeling tired and stressed. I do have a membership already, which sucks out twenty pounds a month and when I don’t go, that is a reminder and I feel a bit ashamed of my laziness. The hardest part of going to the gym is actually saying you will go and getting into your car, once you’re there, you’re there.


Reading

As an English student I should be reading a lot more than I do. I would say I read my book about four hours a week (very bad), which is nowhere near enough, especially knowing it can help with my exams. I love reading but I can never find the time to sit down with a book. The aesthetic of slumping down with a coffee, in my favourite chair and a novel, is one of my treasured moments that I could do in my spare time. So, this resolution is to schedule in time to read for at least fifteen minutes a day.

I’m currently reading ‘Little Women’.


Family

Next year I would definitely like to spend more time with my family. We see each other a lot as we all live under the same roof, but having all different jobs and commitments to do makes it difficult to find a free hour together. Christmas has been perfect for this and i’ve loved the past few days with all of them, however, I know when sixth form starts again I will be consumed in school work and prioristise that over social activities. But no! Next year, I will arrange days in my calendar when I can spend quality time with them.


Study!

Stop procrastinating! I enjoy studying, I feel powerful when I am knowledgeable. However, the act of sitting down at my desk and committing to the fact that I will, never pans out unless I am in the mood for it (which is hardly ever). Having less lessons than last year, means I have more hours in the day to do what I want and over the first term, I have been misusing it. I sit on my sofa and watch movies or Netflix, which makes me happy at the time but at the end of the day I feel fatigue and unaccomplished. I am the sort of person that hates wasting a second in the day, but sometimes I burn out of energy and the lack of motivation drags me down and I admit to not wanting to do anything. I find it very difficult to self-motivate myself out of those thoughts, once my mind is set to it. Therefore, I am going to go to libraries or more coffee shops for studying because once I’m there, there’s nothing else I could do but the work I’ve brought in front of me.


Be Kinder to Myself

Starting sixth form has been really difficult for me, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs but I won’t bore you with them right now. I have made a few mistakes and I have really put myself down for it, thinking why can’t I have this perfect life everyone seems to have? Why is this happening to me? But, what I’ve learnt is ‘everyone is suffering their own battles’, some people just chose not to share them. And that you need to forgive and forget the mistakes you made because you’re human and humans make mistakes, that’s just life and because I am so young, it just shows that I’m learning. That learning process will shape me into a better person and a better life ahead of me, I just need to be patient and do all that I can now to work towards that dream.


Journal

I find journalling so relaxing and I recently did a blog post about it, where you can see my first attempt of an autumnal decorated page. Don’t be too harsh when you see it, I tried my best aha.

https://lilygracesnotebook.wordpress.com/2019/12/10/autumn-journal/

I have added onto my pages from there and gone into the new year planning. I have created a habit tracker, to make sure I am going to the gym regularly or doing my physio, which I always forget. I can now visually see how much or little I am doing. I’ve also added a mood tracker, so I can see what I’m doing when I’m happy and what I should be doing when I’m not. I won’t say too much about it, as I will be doing a blog post on it soon, but it is something I would like to upkeep in the new year.


Those are all the resolutions I would like to start fresh with in the new year of 2020. I am so excited to have a clear mindset when the clock strikes midnight (sorry too cheesy), to get my life in order again.

Thank you so much for reading!

Bye x

Londres

Yesterday, my mum and I spent all day roaming London, walking for hours on end. We started off in Covent Garden then jumped into Carnaby Street to see the strange, sea theme lights and then finally ended up at the amazing, vintage book shop in Marylebone High Street. Fun fact: the book shop is one of the oldest in London, although it doesn’t actually have many vintage books in it, the structure of the place is beautiful, it’s called Daunt Books.

Covent Garden was so cute, I don’t think that’s the best way to describe it but it was so appealing and well-decorated for Christmas, that I think I’m finally in the festive mood. The tree in the centre was gorgeous and the market was full of really sweet little gifts, perfect stocking fillers. We first stopped in a shop named Galeria Melissa, it’s a shoe shop but at the front door there was a some social media backdrop to take instagram photos and an amazing room downstairs with a mirrored floor and reflective stars dangling from the ceiling. It was a perfect photo opportunity, that didn’t got to waste ;). We then dawdled through the market, looking at all the stands of prezzies but I am definitely too broke to get anything nice from there. We then found ourselves in a little bakery called Le Pain Quotidien, which is a chain restaurant. I had chicken and leak pie, it was delicious! And, the little restaurant over looked Covent Garden, with an old-fashioned interior, I would definitely recommend this place. Leaving Covent Garden we roamed into Carnaby Street.

We weren’t in Carnaby Street for a very long time but we did get to witness this years Christmas lights. One word: whacky. The street had a theme of sea creatures, which was definitely not the classy route, most of London went along with. They had a huge whale and a school of fish floating above our heads, it was really unique and to be honest didn’t feel very Christmassy but more like a Little Mermaid themed party. Aside from that I loved it, it was so quirky and many people this year are theming their decorations on their tree and who knows one may be ‘Under the Sea’ theme. After that fascination we got lost… and then the rain came pouring down. We ran into an old record shop, which was very aesthetically pleasing and made me reminisce on all the songs my dad forced me to listen to from his era, that I gave into liking a few years ago. My mum also loved seeing her favourite songs from her era as well. The rain slowed but didn’t stop for a while so we ran street to street, trying to find this book shop.

Soaked through and exhausted with no charge on either of our phones, we managed to reach Daunt books just before it was closing. We raced through the door with 10 minutes to spare. It was a small shop but there was nearly every book hidden somewhere. I was in my element. My mum got very bored watching me look and touch nearly every interesting book in there, which was nearly all of them. I didn’t buy any, but I have some noted down to get when I finish my current one. And, after a long, long day of walking and once the rain had settled we made our way home, and finally tucked in bed at 10p.m. with a decaf coffee and my sister’s home-made cookies.

Thank you so much for reading! See you soon.

Bye x

How I Wake Up Motivated

Hello!

I can safely say that I am a morning person. I love to wake up early to get most of my work done before half the world is even awake. Knowing that all the work I had for the day is done before 11 a.m. Leaving me hours and hours to get personal errands ticked off my long to-do-list or extra credit tasks for sixth form to help boost my final grade. But… I know it is very difficult to wake up with a positive outlook on the day, especially when you’re tucked up in a bundle of blankets and duvets, hoping your alarm doesn’t read 7 a.m. So, here are a few of my personal tips to get up and out of bed with an optimistic view of the day.


  1. Gratitude

This is a huge one for me, because when you lye in bed thinking about everything you are grateful for, even the smallest things like the sunrise that morning, it creates this realisation that you’re actually a very lucky person with a great life. Even though something may have gone wrong the day before or a few days before, it doesn’t define you and it will be forgotten about before you even know it. And, the gratitude almost makes you think how can I fix that problem and carry on my days without the burden? I tried gratitude recently and it made a huge difference to my day, it opened my closed mind on the situation I was experiencing. I changed my attitude towards it and didn’t dwell in sadness, that unhappiness was a choice. Here’s a few examples of some gratitudes I recite:

  • My family and friends
  • My education, so I can get my dream job
  • Negative people who have walked in and out of my life, they’ve only made me stronger
  • I am healthy
  • I have clean water to drink, shelter and warmth
  • A new day to reset and start again

Did you also know that doing gratitude can make you at least 25% happier than you were before you started thinking about everything you’re grateful for. It heals and eliminates stress and lastly, improves self-esteem and relationships!

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.

– Brian Tracy

2. Motivational Videos

As soon as I get up out of bed and switch off my alarm, I pop in my headphones and play a motivational video on youtube. It really wakes you up when you have people screaming in your ear to get your life together! It makes me look at individuals lives and what they can achieve and I think, why can’t I do that? If they can, I can. I know it’s a little corny but it truly works and motivates you throughout your day. Most of the people speaking have gone through so much and it is so inspiring to see how they have picked themselves up and created their ideal life. I’ll list some YouTube accounts that I watch:

  • Law Of Attraction Coaching
  • Motivation2Study
  • Be Inspired
  • MotivationHub

3. Plan Out Your Day

I know some people like to plan their day out the night before but part of my routine is to sit down with laptop and plan out all the tasks I have to do for the next 12 hours. Also, a reason I do this in the morning is because I see what mood I am in when I wake up. I might have had a sleepless night, so I don’t plan hours of work that I won’t be able to complete to my best effort, when I can barely keep my head up. I chose those days to do personal tasks, like cleaning or work that I can sit down with my laptop and watch some background programmes. Planning your day helps give a structure to how long or how much time you should spend on jobs, and you can also see if you can get all the pieces of work you have piled up ticked off before the end of the day. I’ve done this for a while now and I can see that if I don’t plan my day, I get very stressed and panicked about everything I have to do. Finding out you have work due tomorrow but not enough hours left in that day to do it, is a gut wrenching feeling and it happened to me way too much. I personally use google calendar, it gives you notifications when to move onto the next task and you can also categorise each part of your day in different colours, for example studying, personal, friends and family. It motivates you and probably scares you when you see the work you have planned out for the day!


4. Smile

Smile! I’m not gonna lie to you I feel like a bit of an idiot when I do this on my own but it is proven to work and release happy hormones in you. The act of smiling and moving you facial muscles is connected to happy feelings in your brain, it is almost impossible to be sad when you’re smiling. Try it. The point of it is if you condition yourself to be optimistic and content, the easier it will be to maintain that. If you spend your time in a negative mood constantly, the more you’ll condition yourself to be pessimistic and that won’t change until you change it. Smile when you wake up. You won’t see results straight away but overtime it will be easier and natural to wake up with a grin on your face.


5. Put Your Phone Across the Room at Night

This habit really drags you out of bed, no one wants to listen to that horrible iPhone alarm. Moving your body first thing to grab your phone gets your circulation going, it’ll be easier to get your morning routine started rather than debating to untangle yourself from your cosy blankets. Also, once you’re out of bed you don’t want to get back into it, knowing you won’t be able to get up again. It is proven that your attitude to the rest of the day is set within the first 8 minutes, when you’re up straight away and getting on with everything, it will motivate you to carry on for the whole twenty-four-hours. Go into the bathroom and splash yourself with cold water and your day has begun!


6. Make Bed

Making your bed in the morning sets the tone of the rest of the day. That small task is still a task and ticked off your to-do-list, it will subtly motivate you to complete more. It will ease you into more heavier jobs and make them more tolerable. If you’re like me and work in your bedroom occasionally, it is easier to do your work in an organised environment, it reduces stress levels. A massive advantage of doing this is it doesn’t make me want to crawl back into my bed, which I am definitely guilty of when I haven’t made it. And lastly, it helps me upkeep a tidy room naturally, what’s the point in having a perfect bed with dirty clothes on the floor? It becomes a habit to maintain a clean bedroom!

If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another

– Naval Admiral William McRaven

7. Stay clear of social media

I have recently deleted snapchat, which I got a few frowns about when I told my friends. I am a teenager and that is how everyone communicates, I hate it. I was constantly checking the app and aimlessly chatting away to people, however, recently I have pulled myself out of the cycle. And what have I accomplished? I have started this blog, I am studying harder than I ever have before, I have got rid of negative people in my life, I have been offered some amazing opportunities and I am so much more happier than I ever was! I know that’s ridiculous to say that deleting snapchat was the reason for all that but I can safely say it helped massively. Every time I looked at social media I became slumped and demotivated, you see people going out and having fun or in a happy relationship with someone and it makes you feel a bit low. It is really hard after that to pull yourself out of your sorrow and you end up staying where you are, staring at your phone, wishing you were someone else. Think about how many hours you spend on your phone, when you could be doing something great and you could be that someone you wished to be!

Social media is training us to compare our lives, instead of appreciating everything we are. No wonder why everyone is always depressed.

– Bill Murray

These are just a few things that starts my day off motivated and raring to go. I hope you learnt something and maybe the next morning you will try out some of these. Thank you so much for reading, I’ll see you guys later!

Bye x

Getting to Know Me

Hello!

I know this is the boring part of a blog but I thought I would introduce myself before I get into blogging about my life, so you know who’s life you are following around. I am a student at sixth form, studying English literature, English language and textiles (as you can see I am very passionate about English!). Writing is a huge love of mine and it has always been my strongest subject in school. In the future, I’d like to be a journalist, as I’m very interested in current affairs, fashion trends, new novels and expressing my opinions on them. This is my main motivation for starting ‘Lily Grace’s Notebook’ – a little journal of my life! I’m very excited to create content about my tips and tricks, noting down all my amazing days and my worst days. Eventually hoping to look back on my progression over the years. In my spare time, I go to the gym, play tennis and dance to keep healthy and fit, also, I go to my local town to find cafes, to complete all the work I have piling up on my desk for me to do! I love soaking up the ambience in cafes and living in my own little world away from reality, with motivational music blasting in my ears. My main goal for life is to be content and handle all problems with a smile on my face! I am working very hard at school right now and aspire for the highest opportunity I can reach.

Anyway, I am going to shut up and let you look around at some of my blog posts. I’ll be posting once a week delving into lifestyle, journalling, fashion and novel reviews. I really hope you enjoy this blog and I’ll see you guys again soon!

Bye x