All in Lifestyle

What I've Learned From Taking Swimming Lessons As an Adult

To the average onlooker, I’m one of those people who appears to be athletic. I’m not. I have real coordination issues that make my attempts at sports laughable. So, when I try to kick a ball, there’s a seventy percent chance that my foot will miss the ball; when I shoot hoops, there’s a two in ten chance that I will actually score—if I don’t hit the rim and send the ball bouncing back after me. I’m also terrible at handball and volleyball because the mere sight of a ball hurtling towards me sends me running in the opposite direction—I do not trust my body with sports.

The two things I can do are running—long distance—and working out (that counts right?). As a child, I tried hard to add swimming to my pitiful repertoire, mostly because everyone always said, “you look so athletic, you should be a swimmer.” I stopped trying because I was terrified of being under water and hated the feel of water in my nose or ears. I was a proud, self-proclaimed frolicker—content to hang out in the shallow end of the pool or on the sand.

But then I moved. To an island.

Weekend Notes X Links From Around the Web

Happy second Friday of January! It’s been the first one back to work for many people, so I hope you eased in nicely.

I looked at a calendar yesterday and was surprised to see there’s still 21 days left in the month. That feels like an entire month in itself! But how are you doing? I hope you’re still hyped about the new year and smashing your goals!

I’m definitely working on mine, and that’s one reason this post is back. We love to share our favourite links with you, and hopefully you enjoy them as much as we do.

I’ve also taken on the weekly gratitude jar challenge. The idea is that every Sunday, I will reflect on the past week, write all I’m thankful for, and pop it in the jar till the last week of the year. Our memories can really be short-term, so it’s always a good idea to write things down. There are only 52 weeks in a year, so that should be okay to manage; hope I keep up!

Nine Women on Turning 30: Joys, Fears, and Regrets

I turned 30 last November. But I didn’t have the time to fully take it in, as that birthday weekend last November was spent in a flurry of activities. So I guess I didn’t feel (at least at that exact time) the huge impact of turning 30. I don’t think I’d also previously given much thought to the 30 age. Apart from the fact that I’d considered a fancy photo shoot with the big 30 foil balloons included - because social media makes us believe that’s what you do, I hadn’t seen it much as a defining age and for the most part I assume things will go on as normal. 

But I’ve realised a few changes and inner paradigm shift in my thought process and general thinking. So, either it’s true that 30 for many women is an age where they really start to think, or it’s just a coincidence that right now in my life as I turn 30, I’m very conscious about self discovery. 

But how do other women feel turning 30? What are their joys, their fears and their regrets? In this piece, 9 amazing women who turned 30 at their last birthdays, share how they feel about this magical age!

Six Tips To Enjoy "Reading" Audio Books

Do you wonder how people actually experience books on audio? Do they actually understand everything? Is it enjoyable to “read” a book without actually seeing the words? Does that even count as reading?

I'm here to help you answer all those questions and more. I hope that by the end of this post, you'll at least be willing to try out ONE audiobook. Audiobooks are truly a wonderful addition to the world of reading because life gets so busy and humans get tired. On days when I'm too tired to read, but still want a story, audiobooks are my perfect companion. Depending on my choice, I could be listening to a person's memoir, laughing aloud to a ridiculous children's book or shaking my head at character's bad decisions while making dinner.

There are some things though that will improve your audiobook experience and help you add more reading to your busy schedule.

Here are six things to know about using audiobooks:

How To Get The Best Deals for Your Family Photoshoot Sessions

Now that back to school season is over, I’m sure that many of us are already thinking about the fast approaching holiday season and all the expenses that go with it. We’re also probably hoping to squeeze in a family photoshoot.

As a photographer and frugal mama, I thought this would be a great time to share my six top tips for getting the best photography deals for your upcoming milestones and events.

So here we go!

No More Cranky Mornings: Five Tips For a Better Night Sleep

I’m sorta doing cartwheels right now, because this post is sponsored by Leesa Mattress, which we three have been using for the past month and absolutely loving it. I say “three” because yes indeed we’ve been co-sleeping with our son. It seemed unfair to have this new amazing mattress to ourselves so we let him join us! Okay I kid. Truth is since he outgrew his bedside crib I mentioned in this post, we hadn’t got around to setting up his cot and we welcomed him into the big people bed. But at the time of typing this post, his cot is being set up! I know he’d miss us and our new mattress, because honestly even he obviously slept better the first night we had it - not a wink or his usual attempt to move his hand around and search for me in the middle of the night!

Anyway, let’s leave out co-sleeping situation and actually get to how we, i.e. adults can improve our night sleep. I think two major life experiences have had an impact on my night sleep pattern.

I Attempted to Go Viral on Instagram: 4 Important Life Lessons I Learned

A few months ago, a blogger created some Instagram story templates that allowed people fill in and share certain information. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you're either relatively new to Instagram story or you don't use the feature very much. But, it was a very chilled way to share information about yourself. Seeing as most of the templates were related to personal matters, I decided to create a few related to blogging. 

This process took me about three hours as I struggled with Canva to design the templates. And guess what? I was doing this at about 3 am in the morning - when I ought to have been sleeping soundly after a full day of being with baby! It reminded me of the one time, I spent pretty much close to 24 hours creating and editing a 60 seconds video about my best moments of the past year, in order to enter a competition to win a phone - that I didn't even need.

6 Steps to Creating the Perfect Gallery Wall

If you’ve been following for a bit, you’d know I’ve been going on about creating a wall gallery, including some posters and photos. Well well, after what seemed like forever, guess who has finally done that? I can’t take all the glory though – so many thanks to Desenio who offer a wide range of amazing posters and prints - first of all for making it happen, providing an incentive and also sponsoring this blog post as I spill to you what you need to do to create a photo gallery wall. Trust me, it’s sometimes harder than it looks.

First off, why am I such a stan for gallery walks? Because bare walls do not feel cozy and definitely do not feel like home. They feel precisely bare. It’s a fab opportunity to let your personality shine through frames, posters and wall art, illustrations etc. It’s often aesthetically pleasing as well and often a great backdrop for photos. A well-done gallery is always to be appreciated and makes the wall come alive.  Now that we’re in agreement that everyone needs a gallery wall, let’s get into the how!

5 Favourite Online Sources For More Books on a Budget!

For book lovers, I'm not sure anything is more precious than reading and owning books. We just love it! But our bank accounts? Not so much. Some people swear by libraries to read more books, but then you don't own it do you? There are those who like to own books. Personally, when I’m moved by a book, the thought of having to return it brings me to tears.

I need to have it with me, even though I may never re-read it. So, how can you build a personal library without breaking the bank? Budget-friendly booksellers are invaluable, especially when you live in countries where additional shipping fees can be hefty.

I'll be sharing a few online resources that are absolute gems, but first, let's get out of the way an actual physical gem that's present almost everywhere.

Switch to Re-useable Menstrual Products? - 7 Different Types to Try

When I first heard of Reusable Menstrual Products, commonly known as RUMPs, one of the first things that sprung to mind was stories of women from older generations using pieces of cloth for their periods during their monthly menstrual cycle.

And so I thought, why in the world of disposable convenience would anyone choose anything that they would have to wash and use again? Surely that was going backward? However, the thrifty, wannabe environmentally conscious, minimalist in me took over and I quickly concluded that it might not be such a bad idea after all.

So why choose RUMPs?