The New Years Resolution that changed my life…

What’s up guys? Now Christmas is over, It’s safe to say that New Years Day is officially creeping up on us, and so I’m sure many of you are thinking about setting a New Years Resolution, or if you’re anything like me, just bracing yourself for the tsunami of inspiring “new year new me” status updates from those Facebook friends you just haven’t got round to un-friending yet.

In my adult life I never really believed in New Years Resolutions, and Quite Franklii (😉 she said it!!!) Every year without fail I would become increasingly tired of everyone indulging in some new ridiculous fad diet, and of middle aged women exclaiming how “naughty” they’ve been for eating all the mince pies. (Just so you know, every time you punish yourself for indulging in a tasty treat you deserve at Christmas, a piece of Santa’s soul wilts.) But, if you’re looking to try something realistic, meaningful and achievable this year, put down that Gym Membership you’ll use once this year and keep on reading to find out the one New Years Resolution that actually did change my life.

 


 

You reap what you sow…

Growing up, I was always a confident child. Then I got bullied, had abusive relationships and shitty/toxic friends. As an INFP, my thoughts have always been fairly altruistic and kind, so I struggled a great deal growing up and realising this was not inside everyone. I found myself listening to girls tearing each other down and speaking behind each other’s backs, often saying things I would never even think, let alone say. Though these experiences didn’t necessarily affect my thought patterns- they definitely did impact the way in which I viewed the world, I became more cynical and much much more ‘shy’ and ‘reserved’ with my opinions- mostly for fear of standing out, looking odd or weird.

In 2015, a friend made an innocent comment that really stuck with me. He said “I love it when you give compliments, because it happens so rarely I know when you approve of something you really mean it.” At the time, I was in a major depressive episode, and was on a really serious spiritual journey to find out more about who I really was. Naturally, this involved a great deal of self-reflection.

I’d always known I wasn’t the most demonstrative person, I’ve always been a little reserved, and consequently accused of being “cold-hearted” and detached. As I mentioned previously, though I would laugh and play into that stereotype, this was never because I didn’t have love to give, more that I was very guarded and careful with who I shared it with. (Now, actually, this is a trait that I’ve accepted and actually like about myself, as it provides an extra ‘security check’- My empathetic nature often means that people will take advantage of me and drain my energy.)

But- I didn’t realise I was withholding admiration for those closest to me.

This really got me thinking, when was the last time I complimented my mother? My grandmother? My closest friends? A stranger? The truth was, I’d become so paranoid about coming across as creepy, or weird, that I had begun to come across as cynical and cold.

Now, I don’t necessarily totally believe in ‘the law of attraction’, but I definitely do believe in karma. I try hard nowadays to be as kind as possible to people, because regardless of how much someone dislikes me, I never want people to be able to say that I was unkind. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” if you will. Thinking about this, It was then, that I made my New Years Resolution.

If you have nice thoughts, be kind and give compliments freely, (and the hard part) even if your anxiety tells you it makes you look weird.
This is about reconditioning your mind, and reminding yourself that no matter what your anxiety or your insecurities say, it doesn’t. By reaching out to say something kind, what is the worst that can happen? Perhaps the recipient does think you’re a little odd, or a little creepy- but at least you’ve maybe made them feel good and boosted their ego even the slightest bit.

I think so often in this world of social media, it can be so tempting to just give stuff a “like” and move on with your day. But what makes this Resolution so achievable is that you can even ease into it by exercising it on social media. Instead of just leaving a like- tell someone you love the way they do their makeup, their writing style, their work ethic.

The more you do this, the more you will be encouraged to continue doing it. It’s honestly so rewarding. 9 times out of 10, people will generally be so grateful, especially for the more thought out kind gestures, that it will really boost your confidence, ease your anxiety and actually make you feel good yourself.

So, if you don’t have a Resolution yet, you never usually stick to them, you don’t believe in them, or you think they’re all meaningless- think again, and maybe consider making a simple vow to work on yourself and try to give compliments and give love freely. You’ll be surprised by how instantly your own life will become more positive and light.

really hope you guys enjoyed this post, and that perhaps it’s inspired you to give kindness a little more freely in 2018. With the amount of hatred and the global political climate we’ve been left with after 2017, it’s more apparent than ever that there can never be too much love and kindness in the world. Pick up the phone and tell someone they are awesome today.

Happy New Year everyone!

Love from,

Frankii. X

My thanksgiving to-do list!

Hey Guys!
Believe it or not I am one of the few bloggers out there with the worst organisation skills ever. Therefore, as promised this morning, I thought I would share with you the to-do list I created to assist me with the lead up to Thanksgiving! Let me know in the comments if I’ve forgotten anything or if you’d like to see any recipes from my menu! I really hope you enjoy!! 

My To-Do List Includes:

3-4 Weeks Before:

Write a guest list

Invite family and friends you are genuinely thankful for. In my case this involves missing out toxic individuals, or those who I know or suspect would disrespect the house and the beautiful environment I’m working hard to put together (especially if there is alcohol involved). After all, this is my home.
Don’t feel pressured to invite people who you or other guests may not feel comfortable around. Drama free evening please!! (I divided my thanksgiving in two, not to prevent drama, but because my family isn’t very social, and I don’t want to force them into an uncomfortable situation with strangers- a.k.a. my potentially very drunk friends.)

Purchase an outfit

If you’re planning on wearing something a bit special, like a new dress or possibly something a bit Autumnal, think about ordering this a few weeks in advance in order to avoid heartbreak and paying next-day delivery.

Read magazines/browse for inspiration

Find recipes and decor ideas either online or in magazines. Even in the UK magazines this is possible, because most places will already have released Christmas magazines that probably contain a lot of recipes that can translate for Thanksgiving as well. This year I loved reading the Tesco 2017 Christmas mag because it had some amazing recipes and visual stimuli. As usual, for decor, I was obsessed with Pintrest. I spend way too much of my life on Pintrest.

Order decor/other

Order or craft any decor you’ve seen on Pintrest that you just ‘need’. Also, consider whether you need extra cutlery or plastic cups. For example, I ordered an ash-tray to put outside, and a drinks dispenser for the punch.  

Write your menu

 Of course, this is the most important one of all! and needs to be done ahead of time so you don’t waste money on food that won’t be used, or forget to order certain items.
Consider any guests with dietary requirements or allergies; for example, my mother is what I like to call a sh*tatarian. She is technically a pescatarian, meaning that the only meat she eats is fish- but she can be very fussy with vegetarian options. I worry about her nutrition often, as she has a tendency to cook for her omni family and forget about herself. Normally with a roast we would cook a bit of salmon, but for this occasion I bought her a Linda McCartney pie, because even as a meat eater I think they are absolutely delicious. Mine includes:
***
Starters:
Frozen Hors d’oeuvres (cheating I know),
Bacon and Cranberry Puff Pastry Snowflake, with Melted Brie
Main:
Roast Turkey,
Roast Pork,
One Linda McCartney vegetarian pie,
Green Bean Casserole,
Cranberry Sauce (both smooth and whole berry),
Roast Veg with Seasonal Roots,
Asparagus Tips,
Pigs in Blankets,
Mashed Potatoes,
Carrot and Swede Mash,
Roasted Sprouts with Bacon,
Broccoli & Cauliflower,
Cauliflower Cheese,
Homemade Yorkshire Puddings (Just try serving a bunch of Brits a roast with no Yorkshires, & their faces contort in disgust!),
Stuffing (meat inside and vegetarian outside the bird),
Meat Gravy (Plus vegetarian one separate)
Dessert:
Sweet Potato Pie,
Chocolate Tart,
Pear and Chocolate Crumble with ice cream.
Drinks:
‘Apple Pie’ Punch
“Open Bar”

***


1-2 Weeks Before:

Write a shopping list & Order Non Perishables

Make a list based on your menu, then divide into 2 by frozen/non perishables, and food you need/want to order fresh. Order frozen and non perishables such as alcohol, then put your other list somewhere for safekeeping. That way, later on you can grab fresh food such as veggies + add any thing you forgot onto the new list.

Think about a punch that would be widely enjoyed– for example I held off on the Malibu as I know many people dislike/have allergies to coconuts. I love to watch Tipsy Bartender on YouTube- even though I rarely drink outside of big events/Christmas nowadays.

Think about areas where it may be possible to cheat! It doesn’t make you a bad person to cut corners in some places. For example, I realized my life would be made substantially easier if I purchased a pre-made shortcrust pastry for my sweet potato pie. No- it’s not that difficult to make- but it saves time and energy later on when I will be rushed off my feet.

Make Placeholders

This is especially useful if there are attendees who don’t get always along. In my case, Due to being extremely picky with my invites, I hope they will just serve as whimsical keepsakes.

1-2 Days Before:

Clean/tidy house

This may seem obvious, but make sure your home is guest ready. For me, I had to make  a list including chores I would normally put off- for example things such as bleaching skirting board and treating my bathroom for limescale. (Norfolk is an area that has very hard water, which causes a frequent build up). Austin and I also had a small domestic regarding whose duty it was to catch the unwanted guest in the bathroom… he is terrified of spiders! Make sure all your dishes are clean, or else you might find yourself scrambling on the day looking for something that is in the dishwasher!

Entertainment!

Bring your speakers downstairs, make a playlist. Consider games/activities for when it gets quiet. Cards against humanity is a must- but as massive nerds we actually are planning to introduce D&D to our friends for the first time. Not to mention probably some drinking games later on. My favourite is the nomination game!

Pamper yourself

 Pick an outfit, do your nails, shave, pamper yourself for the long day ahead. Speaking from the experience of last year, you won’t have much time to do this on the day- even despite the precautions you have taken. It is probable that you will still be standing in the kitchen until the very last minute!

Prepare your veg

Clean, peel, chop and vacuum pack vegetables so all you have to do is cook them the day after.
To do this, place your vegetables into a ziplock bag, and pop a straw into the outside corner. Do the zip up all the way to the edge of the straw, then use it to suck out all the excess air. Seal the bag, and pop in the fridge!

Cook the desserts

Hot ones such as crumble that can be refrigerated and then warmed up on the day. The day before Thanksgiving I’m setting some allocated time to make all three of the desserts on the menu. Luckily, the crumble is a fairly easy one, as the temperature required doesn’t necessarily matter-  so it can go in at the same time!

Put up decorations

Set and lay the table, as well as placing any center pieces and pretty bits where you would like them to go. I added an autumnal wreath, some themed balloons and candles for ambiance.


On the Big Day:

Consider roping off areas

Yes, they are guests, and you shouldn’t make the night feel too artificial by enforcing a 2 page list of rules. However, they should respect your boundaries, especially if there is alcohol and or children involved. Don’t feel bad for roping off a certain area of your house if you think it may cause issues or unwanted mess.

Cook

Obvious, I know (as though you need to be reminded). Cook the foods you have planned out in your menu. This should be much easier with your squeaky clean kitchen and ready-to-go vegetables. However, if you find yourself extremely stressed or short of time be sure not to push yourself too hard. There will almost definitely be enough food regardless of whether or not you miss out or forget one or two dishes, as it’s the custom for guests to bring something along.

Get Ready!

Lay out all the beautiful food on the table, get yourself dressed and ready and have a glass of wine while you wait for your guests to arrive! You’ve earned it!