close up of pink petal flowers

Things to Do During the Coronavirus Lockdown

As surreal as the lockdown in the UK might feel right now, there are plenty of things you can do to stay occupied. Unfortunately, for the most social groups of people this is probably quite difficult. Also, it can pose challenges for those who are out of/can’t work. I’m lucky enough to be working from home so I still have some kind of routine. It does feel strange not having to travel to and from the office and I miss seeing my colleagues face-to-face.

For the past 10 days I’ve had Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms so I’ve stayed indoors (self-isolating). The only places I’ve been includes the bins at the front of the house and going into the back garden. Those who are on the COVID-19 high risk list have been urged to stay at home (shielding), whilst others are staying 2 metres apart (social distancing) and under restrictions to only go outside for:

  • Shopping for necessities
  • Exercise
  • Medical reasons
  • Traveling to and from work if ‘absolutely necessary’

Take advantage of the time you have to relax

If you’re anything like me and you struggle to just relax and chill, now is the time to understand why you should do it more often. ‘Me time’ is really important. I’ve talked about ways you can relax before. Pamper yourself or take the time do something you usually put aside because you don’t always have the time e.g. reading a new book, starting a blog etc.

Clean up and tidy up

I always find something to rearrange whether it’s clothes in the wardrobe, the cupboard under the sink, the medicine cabinet, you name it, there’s always something. Why did I have 6 boxes of plasters in the medicine cabinet, who knows? I love to organise and keep the house clean and tidy so this an everyday hobby for me.

Binge watch TV series or films

Okay, I’ll admit, I do this anyway. But there’s no harm is watching more right? Make the most of those Netflix subscriptions. I’m making the most of some girly series at the moment, including a bundle of Gilmore Girls episodes (my 3rd time watching the whole series from start to finish). And as Disney+ is out in the UK, you might as well sign up and be ready for all of your Disney favourites. I’m so looking forward to reliving my childhood!

Do some gardening

If you have the tools available, why not take the opportunity to venture into garden. It’s never really been on my to-do list before. However, since we moved into the new house last year, the back garden has been an area I like to spend my time in, when the weather is nice enough. I’ve had fun tidying the garden, cleaning the patio, and painting the fence.

Keep in touch with family and friends

The most important one on the list. Check in on your family and friends. And don’t forget about your neighbours, especially those who are vulnerable. There are many options such as: a call, text, social media, instant messaging like WhatsApp, video calls e.g. FaceTime etc. Some groups of people are also using quiz/gaming apps to keep them in high spirits.

As miserable as everything seems at the moment, do something that you can look back on and know it was time well spent. Think about the positives and have a forward-thinking perspective to keep you motivated.

pathway made from decking with hearts at the side

Don’t Let Anything Stop You From Dreaming

With everything that’s going on at the moment, there’s a lot of uncertainty about what happens next. It’s so easy to feel unmotivated or doubt many things right now. But it’s down to you and the perspective you have that makes a difference. There were so many things I was looking forward to in 2020, it was going to be the year.

  • June 2020 – New York
  • July 2020 – finally going to see Alicia Keys
  • Somewhere after that – buy a puppy (I’m a changed woman)

Never stop dreaming

You can wonder, it’s only natural to think things like… “I wish… We could’ve..” blah blah. But for me, the thing that matters the most is the health and happiness of those around me. Yes, I’m gutted that we might not get to experience the trip of our dreams to the one place I’ve always wanted to return to. But it doesn’t mean that we have to stop dreaming. There are countless of things to be thankful for and many things we’re blessed to have, putting each other at the top of that list.

I also think that as much as you to try plan things, life happens. It always will. If the current situation around the world doesn’t teach you the importance of not taking the small things for granted, I don’t know what will. Time is more precious than some people realise.

Putting all of this into perspective I know that good things can still happen. No matter how long it takes, I’ll keep dreaming until it’s real. And that’s why I’m not afraid to share it. I don’t talk about every single detail of my life with others everyday. But sometimes as long as you know what you want and you’re not afraid to go for it, you can do anything. When it comes down to it, there are much bigger and special things to look forward to than trips, no matter how exciting there are/were going to be.

Anything can be in store for the future

There’s so much the future can hold – good and bad. But I think even during the hardest of times, if you have each other, you have everything. That’s something I’ll never take for granted. And as most of you will have read before on my blog, I’m a big believer in doing things in your own time. Life isn’t a race.

It’s like when I tell people about how I’ve longed for a family of our own for quite some time. They seemed shocked. Perhaps it’s because I don’t put it out there. I’m already afraid that it might not happen because of complications mum has had in the past and wonder if I’ll experience it too. Kinda stupid I know because we all have our bodies but it’s true. And she does have 3 children who adore the bones of her. Some might wonder, why haven’t you got there then? It’s not about ‘getting there’. Me and Danny talk about these things and have known from the get-go what we want. I can only imagine how heartwarming it would be. Until then I might just have to bombard you all with some puppy love when that happens! Can you guess what Disney character’s name we’ve picked?

There’s always something to be thankful for

When you think about these things, it shows you what matters in your life. As much as I’d like to venture outside more often and continue my usual routine, it’s not much of a sacrifice when I still have the luxury of working from home, Danny’s company 24/7 (yes I genuinely love it) and my health and happiness.

Think about all of the reasons to be happy If you’re missing someone right now, FaceTime them, message them, call them.

field of spring flowers

There’s Always a Reason to Smile

In the midst of all the Coronavirus (COVID-19) worry across the world right now, there ought to be something out there to create some happiness. It all seems quite surreal doesn’t it? I’d like to play my part and share this post which stems from the idea that there are plenty of reasons to smile, 4 of which hold a lot of relevancy to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Kindness

As the Coronavirus outbreak increases, I’ve seen panic buyers at the shops, some selfish acts – overbuying and not giving others (mostly those which are more vulnerable, havie children, elderly etc.) the chance to purchase essentials items. However, I’ve seen many acts of kindness amongst all of the madness. Stores across the UK such as Iceland, M&S and Sainsbury’s are offering an hour in the morning for the elderly and vulnerable people to shop. There are also people in their local communities working hard to create packages for the people most in need. And it goes without saying that, the NHS are doing an incredible job looking after those who are hospitalised and emergency services are increasing their efforts to help.

Spring

20th March 2020 marks the first day of spring here in the UK. It’s a time of year that always makes me smile. As we slowly move away from the wintry weather (or at least we hope) it’s exciting to look forward to the sunshine and brighter days. There’s something about the appearance of colourful flowers and daffodils that makes me smile. It also means we’re closer to summer. Even if we don’t know how summer will play out at the moment we can still hope for good things. One thing that comes to mind is the old buttercup challenge from my childhood, you know the one where you would put a buttercup under your chin to see if there’s a yellow reflection to show if you ‘like butter’?! My grandad used to do this every spring when I was a little girl. It’s the littlest thing but it makes me so happy when I think about that.

Relaxation

I know this is harder for some than it is for others. If the stress is hitting you hard at the moment with work situations, money, concerns about your health or of a friend/family member, find some relaxation techniques that work for you. For me, a long soak in the bath and a cuddle from my favourite person in the world helps. The biggest kick in reality is that, sometimes there isn’t much you can do to stop situation. But together, we can help it e.g. self-isolate when necessary, social distancing, listening to the expert advice etc. Throughout it all, try your best to stay calm, surround yourself with positive thoughts and keep in touch with friends and family members to check in on them.

Music

I really do believe that there’s a song for every kind of mood. There’s music to help you concentrate, relax, sing your heart out in the shower… you know what works for you. Listening to music is something I do on a daily basis. I’m not quite sure what I’d do without it. It has the power to boost my mood and helps me put my thoughts into perspective. On days like today it’s important to find the the things that help to better your mood and keep you in high spirits. Let music be a part of it!

Look after yourselves everyone and remember to be kind, especially in all of the craziness that’s happening in world right now. And remember, the impact a smile, or doing something to make someone smile has. Especially, for those who need it the most right now, it’s something small, but very meaningful.

two pink balloons in the sky

What the Last Year Has Meant to Me

The last year has been an incredible journey. It brings me to think about 28th February, a date that will stay in my mind for all of the years to come. On that day one year ago, me and Danny became homeowners. From the moment we officially received the keys to our first house we knew that a new adventure was about to begin.

Many people tend to look back on accomplishments at the end of the year. However, now is the perfect time for me to have this reflection.

The good and the bad times

Becoming a homeowner plays a part in the things I’m about to tell you because in my eyes, it makes you more grown up than you could imagine. But there are also other things along the way that have happened, good and bad, that have given me the strength I needed today. It’s been the best year of my life but it hasn’t been exciting for the whole part.

The loss of uncle Dom was the hardest time; seeing him just after he lost his life to cancer literally was the biggest gulp I’ve ever had to take. But whenever there’s loss in your life, you think about the things that should be celebrated and just how much things and people mean to you. There are bound to be times of silence but there are also many moments of happiness and they are the ones that you should hold onto. They help you to move forward and value all of the great things in your life.

Talking of moments of happiness, since I moved into this house, I don’t think I’ve ever sang so much in the bath or shower. Usually I can’t even stay in the bath for more than 10 minutes because I struggle to relax. Things are so different now. I’ve learnt how to relax… a lot more than I used to anyway.

Times of worry

I don’t think anyone really knows how much I worry – it’s a great deal. I have coping mechanisms now for certain scenarios. However, the biggest lesson I’ve learn is how you react, standing your ground and keeping your head up high. Surrounding myself with the people who accept the random and craziest parts of me is the energy I need. What’s more, to say I’m lucky to have that one person who understands when I need have my own space, but to be there 24/7, is so comforting for me. Without that, I wouldn’t have shaped into the person who’s here today writing this post.

The last year has been brought me huge career progression. New and exciting things have always scared me. I don’t have a fear of commitment, it’s more the thought of failing something or someone. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t doubted myself this year. I’ve probably done it far too many times. But what’s important is keeping your focus and staying on track for the things you know you can do. Having faith in yourself is step number one. If you’ve got that then you’re onto a good start.

No disguise – just us

The best of all though, has to be the experience of living with Danny. Many people will throw things at you like, “Oh you’ll learn so much about each other…. you’ll do each other’s head in.” Guess what, learning more about each other is what it’s all about. Being there for each other and seeing each other in all kind of lights, is what should make you love them more. We’re talkers, we don’t hide our emotions. Calling each other names isn’t our thing or slamming doors, it’s about communicating when we’re in a disagreement and understanding each other’s perspective.

That’s always been us though, doing our own thing. And Danny has always told me to be proud of who I am, regardless of what anyone else sees in me/us. Having each other is what we need.

There will always be challenges

Neither of the above have passed without a challenge. But what’s life without hurdles that you pass to help you grow into the person you are today? Together, me and Danny work hard to maintain our home. We plan together and still save together to enjoy life’s biggest adventures, whether it be physically and emotionally. The last year especially has shown me that we don’t have a ‘still’ point. There’s always more to feel. And I think that’s so important and for us, acts as a big part of who we are and how our relationship is built.

It seems surreal at first, when things happen that you didn’t expect, or in a bigger way that you could’ve imagined. I never thought I’d see myself as a manager, nor have did I imagine to become a homeowner at this point in my life. But things can take time, special milestones even longer. And I’m so glad I let time play its part. I’ve never rushed into anything because, well, why? I’m a believer in having patience and seeing where life can take you. Sometimes, you can blink too fast and miss the best things that life has to offer. I like to experience and feel everything before coming to decisions that affect my future.

Then and now

I remember the days when me and Danny were just friends and he always pictured taking me on dates, watching his favourite film together, buying me flowers… so much has happened since then. I couldn’t possibly write it all in a blog post.

It’s been crazy! There’s so much more to look forward to this year. New York in June has got to be the best thing yet to come. And I’m going to see Alicia Keys in Kraków (because she’s in Manchester when we’re in New York)! On the day we return from New York, it will be uncle Dom’s anniversary and that makes me realise how scary it is to see how fast time passes you by.

If you take anything away from reading this post, remember to love the small moments, the ones that can’t be replaced, the ones that wouldn’t feel the same with anyone else. Take new situations with an open mind and give it all you’ve got. Talk to someone if you’re feeling down and most all, be happy and be kind.

star shaped confetti being poured out of a jar

Small Acts of Kindness

There’s always something and someone who inspires me to write each post. This particular one comes to life as I think about my grandad, a man who never asked for anything and gave nothing but love and kindness. A piece of his personality stays with me each day no matter how many years go by and I think it always will. I want to continue his kind-hearted nature, it’s the legacy he left behind and it’s what I’m supposed to do.

Kindness, is something which is free to give and yet not enough people choose to give it. Imagine if half of us witnessed an act of kindness every day? Don’t you think the world would be more of a loving place? I do.

This is coming from someone who’s sensitive emotions can reach an all-time high on occasions but I honestly think people should consider people’s feelings before they act. Some might say that’s unfortunate because “it’s life”. But why should it always be that way?

Kindness costs nothing

We can’t make miracles but we can try to create more happiness and more respect for one another. So as the saying goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Since a young age, let’s say, early teenage years, I’ve witnessed people bring others down, bullying and judgmental acts. It’s as though it gives the person on the giving end a sense of power. Why? It doesn’t make you all big and mighty. It doesn’t make you a nice person.

If you’re giving or striving off bad energy then you need to take a long hard look at yourself. It’s not big and it’s not clever. To those people who disagree, why do you feel the need to impress your friends or whoever the ‘leader’ is by being unkind to others? Seriously, where’s the sense in that?

The sad thing is, some people don’t even need a leader. They might be blind to the fact they come across in an unfriendly/rude manner and think it’s just their personality. Or they know it and still continue to act that way. Imagine if more people considered how they speak to someone, treat others, and apologised for the instances where their words weren’t necessary…

Kindness should happen every day

It shouldn’t take awareness days to spread more kindness. Of course, they help, but it should be something we do on auto pilot. As someone who’s been bullied, words mean a lot. I go through stages where a small comment can play on my mind. It’s like it’s on repeat and I wonder if I need to be better. I’ve gained a lot of strength over the past few years but it doesn’t mean to say that my feelings haven’t been challenged.

The world can be a cruel place but it can also be a kind one. We need to live in a world where kindness outweighs the harshness of people’s words and actions. Words can be more powerful than actions, and combined they can cut deeper than people think. They affect the way people think, act and feel overall about themselves.

Start to show more acts of kindness today

I wish we didn’t live in a world where it takes for tragic events to happen for people to realise that kindness could’ve been an option. It is and always will be, so we should use it wherever we can. Will you start to show more acts of kindness?

Follow Tasha’s Lifestyle on Twitter to see more posts.

pink smiley face ball on water

Reflecting on What I’m Most Grateful for Over the Last Year

It’s a new year and a whole new decade. Being a 90’s baby means I’m entering my 4th decade which sounds pretty strange when I’m only 25 years old (for 3 more months). But I’ve learnt so much in my quarter of a century especially in this last year. That brings me nicely to the things that I’m most grateful for.

Becoming homeowners

Next month it’ll be a year since me and Danny became homeowners. To this day and probably for every day forward I’ll never quite believe it. Whenever I’m home alone I take a moment to look around and think about how we made it, we got something we always dreamed of.

Some people might say that living together is a nightmare; that for us girls it’ll drive us crazy with socks lying around on the floor etc. But believe it or not, this isn’t the case for us. It’s even better than I imagined it to be. Our relationship has grown so much stronger and I’ve realised it’s a bond that can’t be broken. Minus the snoring, there’s nothing better than falling asleep each night with the one you love and waking up each morning beside them.

Another year of us

From day one of officially being together, I’ve loved being referred to as “Tasha and Danny”. It’s something that was there during our friendship but meant so much more when that changed to a relationship.

Another year of being in love with the one person I never imagined to love me (for more than 2 weeks), has been amazing. It turns out I’m the clueless one because he has loved me for a very long time now. Recently, I’ve had a bigger perspective from all of the challenges we’ve faced. One day you realise what’s always been there and that it’ll only get stronger. This period of our relationship has possibly been the best one yet.

Keeping the best friendships

I believe that people appear in your life for a reason, whether they stay or leave, there’s always a purpose. And the ones that stay for the hardest and biggest times in your life are the ones who are supposed to be there.

Whether it’s a couple or a few friends you can count on your hand, the value means more than the number. I’m so thankful for the people I have in my life right now and I honestly think they’re the ones that will stay for a lifetime.

It goes without saying that I’ve built stronger friendships with family members too which is always nice to have.

Looking over the last year, what are you most thankful for?