Bucket List

Two weeks ago I returned from my Route 66 adventure!

It was everything I expected and more.

It’s also opened up the conversation at Magenta about bucket lists and fulfilling your life. We are keen to advocate work life balance and living the life you love!

This trip was something I’ve always wanted to do. So, this year, without any study on the horizon and Magenta now set up and running well, it seemed like the right time!

Since I’ve been back everyone has asked me what was my favourite thing. It’s taken me a while to reflect on it all and I can’t possibly narrow this down to 1 thing, so here are my top 5!

  1. Chicago – the city is amazing and I only scratched the surface. I love all city trips… the art, culture, food and hustle and bustle and this was no exception!
  2. Springfield – Illinois. This is a lovely town with great character – the home place of Abraham Lincoln. We had a lovely boutique hotel, fabulous Italian food and a crazy taxi man.
  3. Albuquerque, New Mexico. Wow! The old town is beautiful and such a different feel! New Mexico was ruled by the Spanish for a time, then Mexico & now falls under the USA. So it’s architecture and style is Spanish / Mexican and I loved all the little shops and it was so lovely and warm!
  4. Grand Canyon – as you imagine it will be, but vaster, quieter, calmer and more beautiful.
  5. Spending two weeks with my parents. Even though we fell out over directions, moody when we were tired and snappy when hungry. The laughs at taking selfies, picnics in the car, having our fortunes from the crazy machine, drinking cocktails in Vegas and talking about our memories and beloved family. How amazing to share this trip with them. Its cheesy – but true.

You can read more about Magenta’s bucket lists on our Blog at http://www.magentafp.com

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Get your kicks on Route 66!


Next week, I will be starting the trip of a lifetime. Travelling over 2000 miles on the historic Route 66, my parents and I will cover off 8 US states and go through 4 different times zones – eek!

We start in Chicago and end in Las Vegas, both cities I have wanted to visit for a long time. In between, we make overnight stops in the 8 states we travel through and have so many things to see I don’t know even where we will start.

The thing I am most looking forward to is being in Chicago and seeing ‘Cloud Gate’ the sculpture by Anish Kapoor, the Ozark Mountains in Missouri, driving our convertible on the second leg and, of course, the Grand Canyon and Arizona. There’s plenty more in-between!

The USA has seen some extreme weather this week, Tornados in Texas and severe flooding in Missouri, but I am hoping it will have all calmed down for our trip. The forecast looks good, so I’ve packed the shorts! But if anyone has any insider knowledge of issues on my route, do let me know!

At Magenta, we often talk about having a bucket list and looking to pursue those dreams in your lifetime, after all we only get one shot at it…… Well, this was one on my list, so I can’t wait to start.

I’ve brought a new camera and selfie stick to document our adventure and I hope to get some new cowboy boots along the way!

First up in Chicago…. some American pancakes for breakfast I think….

More soon…

I am sorry this is the first blog in over 4 months. Work and life is busy, but I will try and update my blog when I get back and share some of the experience.

 

Surround Yourself with Positive People

positivity-uhd-wallpapers

This time of year is dreary …. Dark mornings, dark nights and a long time till the holiday season.  Life also throws us curveballs, maybe unforeseen illnesses, unexpected costs, hard decisions, tricky conversations…. life can be tough and there’s no manual!

It can be hard to stay positive, manage your emotions and find the energy to do everything you need to.  To manage the ups and downs, we need a support network of people to help us – the ones who remind us to be positive.

In my mind these people are those who can help you make sure the voice in your head is more Angel than Devil (more positive than negative).

It’s really important for your own sanity and personal growth that you choose positive company and get rid of those who drag you down each time you meet or talk.

I am really lucky to have some wonderful friends and family who help me see the light when it all feels gloomy.

So here are my thoughts about why surrounding yourself with bright, positive, happy, determined and genuine people is so important.

With positivity comes authenticity – Those with a positive outlook on life will look out for your wellbeing, instead of trying to destroy it. They genuinely want a friend, not an enemy.

A support system – Having a positive person in your life brings comfort. If you ever need a shoulder to cry on or guidance with problems, you know who to turn to. Instead of keeping you down in the dumps they will try to raise your spirits, even if it’s just listening, pouring the wine, helping you make a plan, or lightening up the mood a bit.

Drama free zone – No one likes drama and I can’t stand it. Those who practice being positive don’t have any time or energy for drama. If you want to avoid these negative incidents, then avoid the drama queens.

Motivation – Being around positive people will motivate you to stay clear of downward spirals and hopefully encourage you to make good and healthy decisions in life. Life is all about moving forward and it’s important to be around those who help us aim towards our success.

They have your best interests at heart – Positive people are genuine. Usually because they care about you, as well as themselves. It is important to them that you are feeling happy about yourself or that your goals are met.

 So, if you don’t have a resolution for 2017 yet, make it that you will spend time with the people who support you and help you stay positive and happy.

Dancing to your height

I am a huge Strictly Come Dancing fan. I even loved the original ‘Come Dancing’ with Rosemarie Ford. It’s the glitter, costumes and drama of it! I love Autumn and Winter Saturday nights, cozied up with a glass of wine and enjoying the wholesomeness and fun of it all with family and friends.

Earlier this week, on the sister show, It Take Two, Jeremy Vine spoke about how a professional dancer had told him right at the start of the competition to “Dance your height”. This really stuck with me and got me thinking.

I’ve read a lot about successful people having two characteristics: they believe in themselves and they are always maintaining a positive disposition in everything.

I think this is easier said than done, especially when things do not go according to the plan and emotions come into play.

I’m generally a very positive person, but sometimes life and things can just get you down. My Father refers to it as having the devil on your shoulder, that nagging voice, wearing you down saying that ‘you can’t do it’ or ‘don’t bother no one cares’.

A lot of this, I think, is about mindset and your support network. If you can master the art of positive thinking and surround yourself with helpful and optimistic people, then I think you can be better equipped for the hurdles and obstacles that get thrown in the way of your plans.

A step towards mastering this positive thinking is to be proud of your achievements no matter how big or small they are – this itself I think can help maintain a positive mindset.

It’s surprising the time and energy we expend on worrying what other people think of us; our appearance, our intellect and our faults. We should more often use the time to consider our strengths, our abilities and our best points.

Proud

Saying this, I’m not very good at receiving praise or accepting compliments without being embarrassed. But, I’m determined to learn that there is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating your successes and achievements. I’ve put in the hard work and I should feel happy!

On that note, I am proud to show you the wonderful badge that I received from the IFP, showing that I was shortlisted (down to 3 people) as CFP Professional of the year 2015. I am very proud of this.

Award

Enjoy Strictly this weekend if you watch it! It’s the Halloween spooktacular! I’m routing for Jeremy to Dance Tall and Proud.