Let’s Go!

Hi Lovely People 🙂

It’s been a hell of a long time since I wrote a post, Feb 2016 to be exact was the last time I wrote one!! I feel like I sit down to write a post and think it’s been way too long, I promise myself I will write more and then life gets in the way, I get too busy and don’t have time. I am really truly making a promise to myself for 2017 to write more blogs. It is on the list and writing it here it has to happen.

I have signed into my blog for the first time in nearly a year and I’m so blown away at the amount of people who continue to visit the blog on a daily basis, re-reading old posts. I am delighted with it and thank you to everyone who is reading the waffle I write.

I’ve been back and forth for about a week now trying to sit down and write a new post so I guess I’ve got the hardest part out of the way!

The last year has been crazy, busy and amazing all wrapped into one. I have a new job which I abso love, have traveled to London and Venice , was bridesmaid for 2 weddings, went to one of my favourite places in Electric Picnic and had fantastic nights outs, catch ups with friends, Christmas and New Years all in the mix. If 2017 is anything like 2016 I can’t wait.

In 2017,  really want to bring theUPSIDE to the next level. I am not sure yet what that is exactly, well I do have a few ideas, but I just know I want to make more time for it. I feel everything happens for a reason and I know that is so cliche but it does. I believe I set up this blog for a reason and I should give it 100% effort. Even if only one person reads it or follows the social media pages and find it helps then I will be very happy.

Over the last few months I have talked to so many people who have been suffering with anxiety and I myself have experienced this from time to time, so just know if you are feeling this way you are not alone. The more you open up to people you will understand so many people are in the same boat! Luckily, I know for me the gym, walking, being active is something that really helps me. This is on the list to do more of for this year also! I am someone who gets into the gym for a few weeks then falls off so I want to make a conscious choice to not let this happen. It’s a viscous circle with me sometimes I feel crap, don’t want to go to the gym but know I should, don’t go to the gym and feel worse. So, I am going to try to keep going on a regular basis. I managed to do something active everyday last week and am so proud of this. My brain and body were so thankful 🙂

The reason I have named this blog post Let’s Go is that’s how I’m feeling about 2017! Let’s go, come at me 2017! January has been going pretty well so far with so much to look forward to this year so I am running with the positivity. Who’s coming?

I would love to hear from anyone reading these on what works for you in times of stress/anxiety? What is theUPSIDE for you?

For anyone suffering from anxiety or depression here are some helpful links;

Pieta House- http://www.pieta.ie/

Aware – http://www.aware.ie/help/information/information-on-depression/?gclid=Cj0KEQiAnvfDBRCXrabLl6-6t-0BEiQAW4SRUC6-otuezm2DZIsGeo_gPYJR3cnZtlZy9z_bnINljOcaAlXK8P8HAQ

Steps for positive mental health – https://www.stpatricks.ie/turning-january-blues-january-boosts

Jen x

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Mental Health fair 2016

Hi Guys ‘n’ Gals,

 

So I just wanted to take the time to write a little post about the St Patricks mental health fair I attended on Saturday in the Clarion Hotel Cork.

It was a fantastic day with so many people attending and great things happening all day. As we entered the room there was a drumming session, with Tom Quinn, happening which looked like fantastic fun and a great way to get people laughing and enjoying themselves.

The main hall was full of people wanting to spread the word on what they did and  how they were helping in the world of mental health.

I was lucky enough to get to talk to the guys at Mental Health First Aid which gave me an insight into the course and what you would learn during the course. It is definitely something I am going to look into so will keep you posted on that.

I also picked up a leaflet on laugher yoga which i thought looked so interesting so I am going to give that a try in March. if anyone in the Cork area would like to join me please drop me a message on Facebook, Twitter or email and I will give you all the details 🙂

Last but certainly not least the highlight of my day was hearing Grace of @FacesByGrace talk about her issues with mental health. It is so refreshing to hear someone be so honest and talk of their struggles and how they are getting on with it now. You are a real inspiration to anyone out there suffering from any mental illness.

I was delighted to meet Grace after the talks. Here’s a pic of our smiley faces 😀

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I am really looking forward to attending more events like this in 2016 and bringing theUPSIDE to the next level with some events around Cork and maybe else where and will bring you all the info as I go 🙂

If any of you come across any events please let me know!

Jen X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year beautiful people ❤

I signed into my blog today for the first time in 6 months and I cannot believe it’s been that long. Time abso flies when your having fun and that is what I’ve been having. theUPSIDE to the last few months has been spending so much time with family and friends and it’s been incredible. I always feel at my happiest when i am surrounded by people. Whether it’s a good or bad day a hug, cup of tea and a quick chat can fix just about anything.

It’s crazy when a new year comes around and you wonder what did I do with the last year? It has absolutely flown by. Two takeaways I have personally, amongst others, this year is making it to the longlist in the Blog Awards Ireland and making it to the finalist of the Cork Digital Marketing Awards for me they have been amazing achievements. Big or small you should be so happy and proud with any achievements you make!

People can make all these resolutions and put themselves under so much pressure in a new year. I say just take it day by day and maybe give yourself one thing to strive towards for the year. Let it just be something small there is no need for everyone to jump on the ‘fitness’ badwagon if you do not want to and if you do then go for it! Do more of what makes you happy I say.

Over the past few months there has been festivals, jazz weekend, a 5k run I did with work, went to to Poland with my Mama, we took our mamas away for a weekend before Christmas, then it was Christmas and we had a wedding for New Years. It’s been pretty manic.

Here are some photo’s of the last few months

I honestly love having a few things to look forward to in the year I think it makes hard work and saving worthwhile. This year will be manic now also as I have 2 weddings that I am so thrilled to be bridesmaid for and cannot wait to spend the days with my best friend and cousin 🙂

In 2016 I hope to get some more guest bloggers and if you think it would be something you would be interested in but wouldn’t have a clue where to start please do not hesitate to give me a shout and I will help 🙂

Thanks to everyone who is still following the blog and I promise to update on a regular basis this year.

Jen 😉 x

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theUPSIDE To My Summer So Far

Well hello there lovely people 🙂

It’s been a silly amount of time since I’ve posted last as I have been super busy. In the time I haven’t posted I have managed to travel Thailand for 2 weeks, get a new job 😀 and run a 5K, and it’s only been a little over a month.

So I’ll start at the beginning. In May I travelled to Thailand with some amazing women who I have the pleasure of calling my best friends. We had an absolute ball. We travelled to Chang Mai where we met some tigers, took a ride on an elephant, ziplined through the jungle, did some shopping, met some night squirrels and did a thai cooking class.

We then moved onto Ko Samui where we lived in a hotel that was nothing short of paradise which was right on the beach. Here we relaxed for a few days before making our way to Ko Tao where we did scuba diving which was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I am so glad I did it.

From here we moved to Ko Phangan for the famous “Full Moon Party” which was an all night party on the beach. We then made our way to Bangkok where we only stayed for 2 days and managed to fit in the King’s temple and floating markets. Such an amazing experience all round. theUPSIDE to this trip was getting to spend so much time with my amazing friends. We have all been through so much together since we have been friends and we just love getting to share experiences like this together and leave our crazy busy lives at home for a few days. Here are some photos of my trip;

After I came home I started a new job in a marketing & PR company here in Cork and I am loving it so far 🙂 Everyone I am working with is amazing at what they do and I am learning so much. On Tuesday June 30th we did a 5k which was so much fun and everyone had a great time. I am so happy at the moment and am so excited to see what else the summer will bring.

As I would always say if you do not like something change it or if there is something you want to do go and do it. If you want the ‘dream’ job pursue it and do not stop until you get it. I am really looking forward to what the summer brings as i have a few things to look forward to including Longitude in Dublin this July and Indiependence in August. 🙂 These will for sure be theUPSIDE to my summer

Make sure you get outdoor and enjoy the summer 😀

I am still always open to guest bloggers if anyone would like to share their story with me please let me know 🙂

Jen x

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Kayaking Fun

So this weekend I jetted off to the beautiful little town of Union Hall for some night time kayaking. My Boyfriend had planned this as part of a birthday trip away and I have to say it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

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Having the experience of kayaking in a double kayak as the sunset was absolutely amazing. We cruised around for about 1.5hours and I could have stayed out there for so much longer. There were about 15/20 of us in total and we all cruised along in a group stopping every now and again to make sure everyone was together and to hear some amazing stories about the area. There was an abandoned ship in the middle which also added to the experience perfectly. We also came across Bioluminescence, which I had never heard of before, and it was absolutely amazing. it was as if there was glitter sparkling in the water, and every girl loves a bit of glitter 🙂 it was truly magical.
For anyone wanting to try this amazing experience my advice would be GO FOR IT!!! If you are thinking that the darkness might be an obstacle for you, don’t worry your eyes adjust and you can see perfectly. I have to admit I am petrified of the dark and i had no issue with it at all. I think having someone in the kayak with you is perfect as you can chit chat away while enjoying floating along the river.
The weather was perfect but I wouldn’t let that sway your decision to go either way as it was miserable just before we got on the water and then it was perfect as we got out on the water. I cannot recommend this place enough please give it a look. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take any photos this time around but they have plenty on their website.
http://www.atlanticseakayaking.com/, Twitter @jjkayaking and FB https://www.facebook.com/pages/Atlantic-Sea-Kayaking/241838637039
Jen x
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Random Acts Of Kindness

A very inspiring story of how kind people can be.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/21-kind-acts_n_7223362.html…

This woman performed 21 kind acts for strangers on her 21st birthday. Just goes to show there are still some good people in the world.

I think I will start taking a leaf out of her book and start doing some random acts of kindness for people. The summer is coming and woe should make sure people are happy & healthy. Share your random acts of kindness with me via social media 🙂

However you celebrate your birthday do something you love and that will make you happy. This year I celebrated with the people who mean the world to me and would support me through just about anything.

I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today without these people in my life and with every passing year I am more and more grateful for each and every one of them.

Make time in your life to celebrate with those who love you unconditionally every single day.

And also, HAVE SOME FUN 😉

I plan on having a birthday month this year as I am heading to Thailand in exactly 2 weeks today with 5 of my amazing friends ❤

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The Power Of Music

As I was driving home from work today a song came on the radio and the words of the song really resonated with me. I know sometimes you can hear a song and it the words can mean a lot but I hadn’t heard this song for so long that I just thought the words were very meaningful.

The song was Des’ree You Gotta Be, CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

The lyrics start off like this;

“Listen as your day unfolds, challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears, stand up and be counted
Don’t be ashamed to cry

the-future-is-excitingI thought this first paragraph was just so motivational. The sentence “challenge what the future holds” could not be more true. We all can sometimes get caught up in the “what if” or saying “I will never do that” or having the attitude of “that will never happen me” but whatever the future holds for all of us we need to grab it and run with it. We only get one life and most of us don’t know what is in store tomorrow so we need to challenge it. Take risks and follow your heart. I believe that what is for you will not pass you and every step you take is meant to happen for you good or bad.

The next few sentences “Try and keep your head up to the sky” and “Don’t be ashamed to cry” are exactly what this blog is about. Even though life can be pretty hard & s**t at times hold your head up high and take everything in your stride. We all get days we would like to hide under the duvet and not speak to anyone. Have a cry I know we all need one once in awhile. If you have to watch a soppy film or rant to a friend do that and get it out of you. Everyone cries and everyone needs someone to talk to at one stage or another in their lives.

The next part is;

“You gotta be
You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day”

This part got me thinking of the stereotypes out there today. It’s all about “being an independent woman/man”,  “standing up for yourself”,  “be tough” , “give them a piece of your mind” “stay cool” or maybe it’s “stay together” for example for people unhappy in marriages “think about the kids”. But sometimes we just don’t know how to be strong. We don’t know how to be hard & tough. Sometimes we just breakdown for no reason at all just because we feel like a big bag of crap. Sometimes we just need to cuddle up to a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/ partner etc and just need the comfort of them and don’t need them to say anything. And that is perfectly fine. Everyone in the world goes through the same emotions but we do all deal with them differently. There is so much pressure out there for people these days and I just want people to know they are not alone and everyone is the same.

be_youJust be you is my advice. Don’t try to be who you think people want you to be. Find who you are, what you love to do, what you love to wear, what you love to eat and do all of that! Just be you & you will be amazing at it.

It is ok to not feel ok. Just talk to someone, do some exercise, eat your favourite meal, have the piece of chocolate, have a take away. Life is to short to concentrate on the boring ol bad things. Think of #theUPSIDE instead.

I just thought I would share this little train of thought I had today and I would love to hear your comments on this and if you have any song that the words just mean so much to you. Good or bad I would love to hear them.

#theUPSIDE is life, so live it 🙂

Jen x

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Happy International Dance Day

So as today is international dance day I wanted to share some photos with you from my dancing years. Pretty cringe for me (and others in the pics) but I thought I would share them anyway.

I can honestly say that these were some of the best years of my life and the best memories were created that we still laugh about today. I think being involved in dance from such a young age gave me the drive to succeed, confidence and the ability to make a fool out of myself in front of people.
I have met some of my best friends through dance and would highly recommend putting your child into a dance school. Some people may feel like it is a lot of pressure for young kids to be involved in dance schools but it didn’t do me or any one I know any harm. If anything it teaches you the value of hardwork, determination, teamwork, exercise, travel, supporting and motivating one another and respect for your teachers. As much as I may have huffed and puffed when I was pushed and told to practice a dance 100 times over it always proved to be the best thing for me and was so delighted to come home with a trophy at the end of a weekend.
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I completed CSN Diploma in Dance a few years back and this was also an amazing experience. I tried this as I thought I would love to be a professional dancer. Through this course I was able to experience the strenuous work professional dancers go through every day. While I had the most amazing time doing the course I decided a career in the area was not for me. But I would highly recommend anyone wanting to try this to go for it. If you don’t like it and it isn’t for you then at least you gave it a shot.
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I have tried all different types of dance, jobs and courses and the more I do the more I know what I want. So my advice would be try everything once. You can’t knock it till you try it 🙂
#theUPSIDE is life lessons & experiences
Jen x
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theUPSIDE by Jen

Hey Everyone,

Its been awhile again since I have written a blog but I wanted to let you all know how well the fundraiser went. It was a great day and we had so much fun. The dance teachers were amazing and the facepainter was a great addition at the end for all the kids. We had some absolutely amazing prizes from Fota, Radission blu, Platinum Works, Energie fitness, Joan Cashman colour and image academy. Thank you all so much for donating and coming along on the day. We managed to raise over €1000 for the charities and this was so much more than what I expected. I cannot wait to hold another soon.
Throughout the entire day I had my family & friends there and they are honestly the most supportive bunch of people I could ever ask for in my life. With this fundraiser and my blog they have been so supportive never once asking why I am doing something always saying go for it and that they will back me 100%. I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today without them.
Here are a few shots of the day enjoy 🙂
I have also decide that with theUPSIDE I want to make it more of a lifestyle blog and want to bring you different aspects of things that make me and others happy on a day to day basis. little things like things I may have bought or came across on a daily basis that made a positive effect on my day I will share them with you all. I hope you will share yours also. wether this is recommendations for restaurants, make up, cosmetics, clothes, shops, technology, home products anything at all that has made you feel great and that is theUPSIDE to your day/week/month Share it here with me and we can make a positive affect on everyone together 🙂
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One thing I came across this week that was absolutely amazing was natural, homemade skin exfoliater. I am going on holidays to Thailand in 4 weeks and wanted to get my skin holiday ready. The mix I put together was coconut oil, coffee and sugar. WOW!!! My skin felt amazing afterwards I would def recommend trying this. After this I applied Palmers cocoa butter and my skin was super soft. This was for sure #theUPSIDE to my hump day
Whats theUPSIDE of your week so far?
Jen xx
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theUPSIDE to Averil’s Day

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 20.04.13I’m flattered to be asked to write a guest blog for Jennifer. It’s taken me a while to put ‘pen to paper’ or in reality ‘fingers to keyboard’, but life has been all consuming in particular from January 2015.

I was at the end of 24 months of de-cluttering my house of both my own and my parents’ belongings. I had emptied the contents of my parents’ house into mine following Dad’s death so Mum could sell her house and move on.

Mum and Dad lived in a three bedroom bungalow in the countryside in North Tipperary. Along with the house, Dad had also built several sheds, a garage, greenhouse, etc. After living there for over 40 years every building was full. Dad’s death in 2006 occurred four weeks after his diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive malignant brain tumour. Mum decided she wanted to move into residential assisted living accommodation. This didn’t happen until September 2011, and thankfully she is extremely happy in her new apartment. She wanted to sell the house quickly but it had to be emptied first. When my brother came home on holidays from England he focused on clearing the sheds.

I focused on clearing the house and travelled down from Kildare at weekends or in the evening after work. Mum came to the house on the first few occasions to say what she did and didn’t want to keep. She wasn’t interested after that, and I was then on my own to make the decisions of what to keep, give away and dump. The quickest way to empty her house was to bring the stuff back up to Kildare to sort in my own time.

IMG_7983By the time I finished emptying her house in June 2012, my house was choking with her personal and house contents. I was mentally and physically drained, and couldn’t bear to go near it or look at it even though it had taken over most rooms of my house. After a break of a few months I tried to start decluttering my house but couldn’t. There was too much stuff and no where in my house to put anything. In early January 2013 I borrowed a friend’s 4-person tent which they kindly erected in my back garden. I moved a lot of the contents from a few rooms into it. I now had some space to start tidying and got rid of a few bags. However, that only lasted six weeks as the wind ripped the tent and I had to move the contents back into the rooms I had previously emptied. I started again.

drainedI decided to not only sort the stuff from Mum’s house but also to declutter my own house too. If I hadn’t used an item or didn’t really like it, I got rid of it. Keeping focused, determined and motivated has been really difficult since I started in January 2013. By either just sorting a bag at a time, or doing a half hour’s clear up, meant it was a bag or half hour less to be done. It was the only way I could think “theUPSIDE”, the only way I could face the job at hand and complete it. I had to break it down into tiny jobs, otherwise it would never happen.

It was as emotionally exhausting as I had thought it would be. Days or weeks would pass by and I would ignore it, and then I had many consecutive days when I dug deep and I was able to focus. On many occasions I ‘hit a huge wall’. But as no one else could sort it for me, I dragged myself back screaming to do another bag. On a few occasions a friend would come over and chat to distract me while I worked away.

I hated it. I hated having to do it. I hated how it took over my mind. I hated how it took over my house. I hated how it took over my life. If I wasn’t physically looking at it, it took over my mind and was a constant topic of conversation. I was bored listening to myself. I was bored looking at all the stuff. I was scared both of the amount of stuff to sort, and the amount of emotions and memories sitting there, stagnant, and going nowhere. I ignored it as much as possible.

I gave myself a totally unrealistic goal of 6 weeks to de-clutter my house; it actually took me 17 months and I gave 32 car loads and 2 jeep loads of ‘things’ to charity, 3 car loads to the dump, and filled 4 skips of rubbish.

The last hurdle involved sorting paperwork which I commenced in January 2015. Emotions were raw as I addressed both difficult and happy memories evoked by each book, photograph, diary, school report. Tears prevented me from continuing many times, but I kept going back. I was determined to finish. I had found the floors in my house, found the furniture, found space in wardrobes, cupboards and drawers.

determinedMemories, good and bad, were not going to stop me from finishing. I switched myself off from the world. I had to. I had to concentrate and focus to finish. I needed the space, the physical, mental and emotional space to let go and move on.

im_freeOn 15 March 2015, I finished. I had sorted, binned, shredded, and filed the last of the papers. I was free. My mind, my house and my life are now my own and that is theUPSIDE for me.

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones” Confucius

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