Give People the Best of You: Why it’s OK to Say No (Sometimes!)

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Recently, I had to teach myself a new word. OK, I’m exaggerating – it wasn’t a ‘new’ new word, but more of a word that I was not used to using! It wasn’t a long or particularly eloquent word, but it’s one that holds a lot of power nonetheless. The word was NO (and it turns out it’s just as uncomfortable for me to write as it is to say!).

Hold up! Before you think I’ve gone and turned over a new, sourpuss leaf, allow me to explain! As most of you will know by now, I’m a happy-go-lucky kinda gal and really enjoy helping people – whether it’s supporting my closest friends or even people I don’t know so well. If there’s something I can do, I will always try to help. It’s something that’s in my DNA, and I don’t think anything could ever make that side of my personality disappear – and I wouldn’t want it to!

On top of that, there’s also the fun stuff, the things you want to get involved in and the opportunities that can develop you and your skills. They’re important too, and often don’t feel like work because you’re enjoying yourself – but they still take up time and energy.

Lately, I found myself saying yes to a lot of things. A ridiculous amount of things, in fact! It was almost as though I had lost the idea of time and was starting to see what people meant by saying there weren’t enough hours in the day. Eek! So I did what I think is crucial in that kind of situation and took a step back and looked hard at what had become my standard routine.

I quickly realised that I was spreading myself WAY too thin and that this was not the way I wanted to go about my business, or my life in general! I thought about why this was, and the main factor was that I had become unable to say no to people. Simple, but true! This in turn made me think about reasons why it’s OK to say no sometimes and the positive effects that it can bring (really!). Today, I’d love to share a few of these thoughts with you…

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First things first – remember that saying no to some things does not make you a negative person! It’s important to say yes and embrace new experiences, that’s what makes life so wonderful. At the same time, saying no to specific requests or ‘opting out’ doesn’t make you the world’s biggest party pooper. It actually shows that you care, which brings me to my next point…

Give people the best of you. If you say yes to everything that is going, the inadvertent result will be that you will give less of an effort to the things that deserve your focus. If people ask for your help, or request your input into something, they are asking you because they admire your ability. If you’re trying to spin all the plates at the same time, it’s possible that you won’t dedicate the time or attention that you normally would and this might result in your own standards slipping, or the temptation to cut a few corners here or there. It’s not a situation I would want to find myself in, would you?

Prioritise your tasks and make lists. Taking a few moments to look at your to-do list will help you understand if you’re taking on too much at once and if you are overdoing it, put the list into order of importance. Ask yourself why each item is on the list and how it makes you feel. Is there anything on there that doesn’t need to be? This will help you to understand which tasks are more important.

Make self-care a permanent fixture in your plans. In order to truly give people our best, we need to FEEL our best. If you’re being offered a seat at the table, show up feeling energised and bubbling with those great ideas that you’re known for! The best way to do that is to make sure we are exercising self-care – that time where you rest and let your body and mind recharge. If you’re sitting up at 3am replying to emails (and due to get up again at 6am!), I would guess that you aren’t looking after yourself so much. Taking that time might mean that we need to drop one or two of the lower priority things that we were thinking of doing, but think of it as an investment.

Pleasure vs pressure. I have always stood by the firm opinion that life should be filled with joy. A little bit of pressure (like a deadline, for example) is OK now and then but constantly feeling like you’re swimming against the current is no way to live! Enjoy what you do, and push yourself forward, but make sure you have space to breathe and enjoy the journey too!

One of Dr Suess’ (many) quotes is, “life’s a great balancing act” – and I think that has really resonated with me recently. It’s all about balance. Make time for others, but also time for yourself. Say yes and know when to say no. By doing so, you’ll give the important things your best shot and let others get the best of you.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, too! Have you ever spread yourself too thin? How easy is the balance for you?

With love,

Miss West End Girl x

 

Friday Hi-Fives: Cue The Confetti!

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Happy Friday, you guys! I don’t know about you, but I feel like this week has been NON. STOP. It really doesn’t feel like a whole 7 days ago that we were last hi-fiving together. I hope your week was filled with magic and mischief!

Last weekend, I took to the sunny days like a fish to water and hung out in the park, shooting for Blog Your Colour (catch all the details here if you missed it!). We had a mexican-inspired food fiesta at night to give our besties a send-off – they’re touring California as we speak! During the week, I spent a couple of days catching up with friends and brainstorming ideas and also made it along to some fun local events.

My brow game was SERIOUSLY raised (ha!) on Tuesday when I visited the new HD Brows Academy in the city centre. I was truly given The Works, with my brows tinted, waxed, threaded and plucked – I can’t believe the difference! On Thursday evening I hopped over to YUU Beauty to join in their birthday celebrations and today I’ve been in coffee-fueled meetings for most of the day (sidenote: if you’re in Merchant City be sure to check out Spitfire Espresso, I popped in at lunchtime and really enjoyed my visit).

I am super excited for this weekend as I am hosting my first ever sleepover at the Rainbow Palace with my blogging girl gang! Cue the confetti! I think an old-school pyjama party is way overdue and I can’t wait to spend the next few days hanging out with these babes.

Let’s celebrate the end of another awesome week! Here’s a few of my favourites, giggles and must-reads…

Link Love

EYEBOMBING (yup, really!) – Where street art meets craft comedy. Genius!

Emily’s snapshots from her recent trip make me want to bundle up and hit a windy beach!

Shinerock London released their new collection – I can’t get enough of those dinosaur prints

Creativity & corn chowder. Is it any wonder that this piece by Pip got my attention?

I want to give the fabulous Clare’s DIY a go!

 

Also Making Me Smile…

Blue, cloudless skies

Late-night Elvis Monopoly hilarity and the agony of not being able to afford Graceland (sob!)

The new Cinderella movie has finally been released!

Macadamia nut cookies

Wiggling my new brows at myself in the mirror (Zoolander ain’t got NOTHIN’ on me…)

 

Let’s make this weekend amazing. Go, go, go!!

With confetti, coffee and all the colours,

Miss West End Girl x

 

Afternoon Tea at Little Botanica

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Being able to write about new and up-and-coming places in town is one of my favourite things about blogging, but I’m sure you could have guessed that, right? That being said, there are so many awesome businesses that are already established in Glasgow that deserve the same level of  fanfare! If a place is new-to-me, or even just being revisited after a little break I still get super excited and can’t wait to share it with you! 

One great example of this is Little Botanica, on Pollockshaws Road. If you’ve never been, Little Botanica are a speciality tea and coffee house, as well as a florist, wedding boutique and gift shop (talk about multi-tasking!) – and if you have been, I am sure that you know just how adorable the place is.

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Recently I went along for an afternoon tea date with Gary and enjoyed some of their delectable goodies (and escaped a pretty sketchy weather day at the same time!)…

We had booked our table in advance and, being the huge afternoon tea fan that I am, I was looking forward to seeing Little Botanica’s take on one of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon. When we arrived, we were made to feel really welcome – so much so that it is the first thing I remember about our visit. We were looked after by a guy called Michael during our time at the cafe, who was super friendly and very knowledgeable! Michael talked us through the tea menu and chatted away to us while we ordered.

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To drink, I ordered the Orange Blossom Oolong tea and Gary opted for a coffee. The afternoon tea, as far as I could see, needed to be booked prior to arrival so I was glad that I had called ahead. The standard selection of cakes at the counter looked AMAZING though, and were all baked by local artisans.

While we waited, we enjoyed looking at the fresh, eco-chic decor. The neutral colours and natural trimmings created a really relaxed feel, while little pops of colour from the florals and sweet treats kept things very pleasing to the eye.

Little Botanica strive to keep a locally-sourced ethos when it comes to their products, as well as recycling whenever they can. The gifts that they sell have been specially curated, the flowers are (when possible) in season and the items on the menu are sourced locally too. It’s an approach that I can totally get behind – independent businesses helping each other out is the way it should ALWAYS be. Hi-five, guys!

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Our cake stand of food arrived and we couldn’t wait to get stuck in! Stacked with finger sandwiches, scones and cakes, Gary didn’t quite know where to start (this was his first afternoon tea!). The delicious sandwiches were attacked first before we moved on to the lightest, fluffiest scones I’ve ever had. They were still warm and came with a little jar of jam and lashings of cream – perfection.

This was all washed down with my pot of Orange Blossom Oolong tea, which was fragrant and sweet.

Moving on to the top tier, we were faced with a divine selection of cakes and macarons to finish off our tea. Sometimes the best things really ARE worth waiting for! We enjoyed a blackberry crumble, raspberry & white chocolate tartlet, maple & pecan macaron and finally a pistachio & rose macaron. They were all created by Glasgow’s own Bakery 47 and were spectacular! The blackberry crumble was probably my favourite, but it’s hard to choose!

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I managed to try each of the cakes (we split both in half) and the pistachio & rose macaron. There must have been a moment where I blinked and Gary inhaled the other macaron (I think I prefer the days when he thought he didn’t like macarons…THANKS A LOT, LADUREE!) so I’ll need to keep a closer eye on the plate next time…

We spent a little over an hour in Little Botanica, chatting and eating. It’s the kind of place where you feel totally at ease, and not hurried out of the door, which is what I always think an afternoon tea experience should be like. I’d happily go back for another pot of that yummy tea (and a cake of course – it’d be rude not to, eh?!).

Have you been to Little Botanica? What’s your favourite kind of tea?

With silver spoons and beautiful blooms,

Miss West End Girl x

 

 

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