25 September 2016

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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Welcome to another edition of Sunday's regular post... Weekly Gratitude!

Honestly, I really enjoy noting down all the little things in the week that make it special or make me smile. There are endless little Gizmo moments I could list every week, but I assume that would be totally dull to you, so I won't mention them, but she is super cute and makes me smile every single minute! I may have included one Gizmo moment below... one's okay right?!

Let's jump in...

:: Sugar free jelly. When you count macros and you find something you can have a couple of times a week as a treat, it has to go into the weekly gratitude list! I feel about five when I'm eating it, but it is so gooood!

:: My new Van's. I have wanted some slip-on Van trainers for years as everyone says how comfy they are and how long they last. I finally made the purchase the other week but, as my usual size was too big, I had to wait for a new pair to arrive. I would recommend going down by half a size if you are looking at getting some too. 

:: Berry lips. As soon as it felt a little autumnal I cracked out the dark nails and berry lips! I miss them in the summer time! Check out my latest YouTube video to see my favourite berry colours in my MAC lipstick collection!

:: For one special night this week (because it was cold out) Gizmo spent the night curled up on our bed. I honestly adore having her there. I can only imagine that the feeling I get having her in all night is how my mum used to feel when I didn't go out clubbing on a Saturday and she could rest in her bed knowing I was all snuggled up and licking her toes... oh wait, that's the cat, I didn't do that! :-)

:: A fab podcast! I had a message from Gemma last weekend, recommending a new wedding industry podcast, called 'She Creates Business'. I always find that recommendations are the best as you can spend hours trawling through various things before stumbling on a good one! I have binge-listened to all of the episodes so far because, as you know (if you have been around here for a while), I am trying to launch Leaf Lane Studio asap, my wedding stationary and paper product company. Episode one of the podcast was all about stationary too, so right up my street! Thanks Gemma <3

:: Surprise sunflower delivery. On Thursday I received a beautiful (huge) bouquet of sunflowers... one of my favourite flowers. Sunflowers = happiness. Thank you CB, you didn't have to do that but they are very much appreciated x

:: Early morning sunrises. I leave for work at 6.30am and on Fridays I head out to the gym at 6-6.15am. I adore the autumn weather for sunsets and low, still mist and fog. It is a very short, but oh-so-beautiful time of day and it is made even more magical by how quiet it is. Just the sound of nature and a few passing cars. Heaven.

What have you been enjoying this week? Share in the comments if you fancy a chat, it means such a lot to me when you guys comment. Have a fab new week <3

*Image from Pinterest, original from Billabong*
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23 September 2016

MY MAC LIPSTICK COLLECTION

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It's been a long time coming, but I have finally done what so many people have asked for and recorded a 'Mac Lipstick Collection' YouTube video (featured below!). I figured I would do a short post about it here also, as I quite enjoy being 'enabled' by other peoples collections, so here I am enabling you guys too!

I was seriously late to the Mac lipstick band wagon because I only bought my first ones right before Joe and I got married in 2015. I wanted something as a treat and something pretty long-lasting and special, so I purchased my first lipstick, Impassioned. I actually got two shades when I ordered Impassioned because, you know, you may as well (more about that in the video).

I am going to list the shades I own below grouped in the finish they come in (along with a short description of the shade from Mac's website)) - keep scrolling down to see swatches on a plain white background also!

Lustre finish - semi-gloss finish with buildable, lightweight coverage
:: Syrup (cloudy pink)
:: Lustering (outspoken pink)
:: Plumful (blossoming rose-plum)

Matte finish - creamy, rich formula with a high colour pay-off
:: Kinda Sexy (neutral pinky-rose)
:: Mehr (dirty blue-pink)
::Tropic Tonic (full power coral)

Cremesheen - creamy formula with a comforting feel; medium buildable coverage, semi-glossy finish
:: Fanfare (mid-tone yellow pink)
:: Crosswires (clean pinky-orange)
:: Party Line (red-toned plum)

Amplified Creme - creamy, smooth formula with a bold colour pay-off and full coverage
:: Craving (burst of plum)
:: Impassioned (amped-up fuschia)

Retro Matte - intense colour pay-off in a long wearing formula; completley matte
:: Relentlessly Red (bright pinkish-coral matte)

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18 September 2016

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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Another week into September and, I have to say, it has been a stressful week this week. Work has been insanely busy, but the first weeks of a new term are always crazy. I do love those new students though, they are super polite and so cute to listen to! 

I am feeling a bit on edge at the end of this week after not doing all my training sessions and having a curry (albeit a healthy option) on a night out, but I am remaining positive as I am back 'on it' again now. It's funny how one or two abnormal days can lead to your mind driving you bananas isn't it?! As more of a home-body I get all unsettled when my weekly routine is thrown out but quickly remind myself that life is meant to be about getting out and enjoying yourself huh?!

I have continued on with my new, evening meditation practice, only missing a couple of sessions. I fell asleep in every one but don't necessarily see that as a bad thing because I sometimes struggle to get off to sleep anyway, so anything aiding sleep gets a thumbs up from me!

These are the things that have made me smile and feel grateful this week...

:: Relaxing in my pj's as soon as I got home from work on Wednesday. No gym, nothing to do apart from blog planning and eating dinner... perfect excuse to take off all my make up and put on my pj's then! It was super humid on Wednesday evening so it felt great to lounge about in soft and comfortable clothes. I am so easy to please!

:: Getting my new diary made me happy this week. I always have a Moleskine diary as I love how it feels to write in them. I get the one that has the week on one side and a notes page on the other. I usually get an 18 month one also, as it fits nicely with my job as it is based around the academic year. I am always super inspired by new stationary and planning is my 'thing' so I will be busy with that next week for sure!

:: Snapchat messages. The lovely Nicole (nicolecorbett on Snapchat) made my day on Wednesday, when she sent me some snaps talking to me about the blog post I put up about following your intuition. It was a little bit of a waffling post on my behalf but I am glad it resonated with someone! She was so very sweet in her messages and honestly made me an emotional wreck! Thank you so much Nicole! <3 (Despite me saying I was no longer going to use Snapchat I have, in-fact, been using it more than IG Stories... typical huh?! Follow me by the username lucycarterart if you fancy).

:: Itsu dark chocolate rice cakes. Need I say more?

:: Chocolate chia seed pudding. I made it for the first time yesterday and am planning on making some vanilla and fruit varieties too. I will be certain to blog about what recipes I choose as they are super tasty and so easy to make, and healthy too. Watch this space.

:: Planning to go to 'Go Ape' with hubby. I have wanted to go for ages but have never gotten around to it. There is one not far away so Joe and I are going to sort out a date to go really soon and I cannot wait! Have you been? What did you think?

:: Pinterest. I had a whole lot of time without pinning on my blogs pinterest account, mostly because I forgot my password and couldn't be bothered to sort it out (I know, lazy!) but now I am back and loving it! It inspires me so much. Recently I have been pinning autumn style ideas and interior ideas. I am always wanting new people to follow so let me know in the comments what your username is or link to your profile. My username is lucycarterart! See you over there :-)

That's all for this weeks list but I hope you enjoyed the post. Come and say hello in the comments or over on any of the usual social media! I love chatting to you guys so much. Have an amazing week.
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14 September 2016

FOLLOWING YOUR HEART & SPOTTING SIGNS

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I am absolutely no authority on what I want to talk about today, but I figured I would still hop on here and talk to you a bit about my thoughts behind following your intuition and keeping an 'eye-out' for signs to encourage, inspire and motivate you.

I have always been a fairly intuition-led person but it kind of got pushed to the back of my life due to the stresses and stains of general, everyday happenings, as well as just getting caught up in how we 'should' think and how we 'should' go about our lives. It is only recently that I have started to allow my intuition back into my life again (it is always there of course, but you have to consciously want to listen to it!), and I  have found that what I have discovered underneath it all feels really freeing and honest.

The example I am going to use, that really woke up my intuition, is a situation I found myself in this July. It isn't anything grand or, in the greater scheme of things, a very big deal really, but it is one of the first times I have truly listened to myself and all sorts of things came up for me afterwards.

If you are a long-term reader of this blog then you will already know how desperate I am (hubby included) to move to Cornwall, well I had an opportunity arise to head for an interview in July and thought 'sod it', I am going to go and just 'see'. My initial reaction was total fear. Fear of the 'what if's' and the 'how's' and 'when's', as everything suddenly seemed like it could be a reality. These fears were soon replaced by excitement as we drove to the county and settled into our hotel (we even looked at a house because, you know, always be prepared!).

The long and the short of it was this: we both beyond adore Cornwall and certainly want it to be home some day soon (please). But, here's the thing... I came out of the interview, in-fact I knew in the interview, that it wasn't right. In all honestly I could have given it more effort (having driven all that way) but the 'vibe' just wasn't me and, not only that, but I know that my path is now taking a different route. I know in my heart, in my deepest soul, that I need to be creating. My business is slow coming along, but it is coming along and that is what my intuition is telling me I should be focused on.

I listened to that inner voice for once, and it felt bloody amazing to do that.

The job would have been amazing. The place was amazing. But it felt 'off' for me.

As I climbed back into the car and we started the journey home (and I comfort ate rice cakes... rebel!) I explained to Joe that I had this realisation that I needed to push forward with my business and blog. I told him how it hit me like a very inspirational ton of bricks during the interview and I knew that it was the right thing to do.

Okay, so that is only one example, but on the back of it I have been using my intuition more and am trying the following things to help me continue that development:

:: evening meditation - to be honest, I think this would be more beneficial in the morning, but I really can't get any time to do it. At least with the evening meditation I can fall asleep in a more restful way. Every cloud huh?

:: stream of consciousness writing/journaling - I have been trying to do this post-meditation. Sometimes I get stuff out of my head that really is totally useless, other times it can be useful, but it just helps clear out my mind anyway. Not only that but it also gives me ideas on blog posts too. It's funny what having a dig about in your brain can do for you!

:: having a bit of quiet time. I know this could be classed as meditation, but I guess what I mean is quiet time in the middle of a stressful event or work situation. Tune into what is going on in your thoughts and try and think about what it is you are really wanting from it or what it is you need to do. For me it is all feeling based emotion but if it is likely to be a wrong thought or decision then it just feels off for me.

Anyway, enough ramblings from me! Let me know if you intuition has ever led to something amazing happening for you too guys. It is a topic that really intrigues me so feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. 
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11 September 2016

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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I have changed the title of these regular posts but certainly not the content! I love sitting down at the end of the week and thinking about all the little things that have got me through the last seven days.

Back in 2015, when I was working with Gemma Sands (check her out because she is one awesome lady and her podcast is fab too), she had me writing a daily gratitude list which I found to be super helpful and very 'grounding', especially after a bit of a full-on work day. As I climbed/fell/launched myself into my bed each night I would sit for a few minutes and just mull over the day, jotting down anything that touched me that day. I had stopped doing this daily practice but have recently started making daily notes again in my diary and am looking forward to making it more of a daily routine, rather than just a weekly one here (although you guys see the highlights!). More on some new practices in a future blog post I think!

So, onto some of the things that have made me feel super grateful this week:

:: Having a good old catch up with lovely H. As busy as life is, and it is so crazy-busy, we try to make a girl-date every month or so. We are slight creatures of habit in that we always meet at the same place and eat the same thing (macro friendly salad...yay!) but it is the routine of getting together and putting the world to rights which I so look forward to. H is my life-twin. That may sound crazy to you, but we met through this blog and got chatting over email. It soon led to meeting up for dinner and we have been buddies ever since. Why a life twin you ask? Well, it transpires that our lives have run parallel to each other in most ways. We say the same things, post the same things on-line, text at the same time and have the same sense of humour. We manage to kill a fair few hours laughing like crazed hyenas whenever we get together. Good times!

:: Wood smoke in the air. I am probably a little early to mention the 'A' word (Autumn that is), but the smell of peoples bonfires makes me more nostalgic then anything and makes me crave the cooler air and the bright sun that comes with the season. I noticed, whilst walking around at work this week, that there are already brown leaves sitting patiently on the ground, waiting for their pals to join them. This year has gone crazy-fast so far; Tesco's have their Christmas chocolates in for heavens sake!

:: I am slightly cheating now, as I discovered this last week, but I am mentioning it now as I didn't have a chance before! I have started subscribing to the Hay House Meditations podcast as I was really struggling to clear my head some evenings. I would highly recommend it if you don't mind a bit of added 'woo-woo' in your day (if you didn't know already, I am into a bit of woo-woo!). Not all episodes are aimed around all things airy-fairy, some are straight up visualisation and relaxation. What I love about them is that there are all different lengths of meditation to follow, some are 5-8 minutes and some are far longer and more in depth. They have been working a treat for me. They also have some more invigorating ones for morning meditation too!

:: Higher carb days! My coach has put me on higher carbs on training days and I am loving it. Bring on the frozen raspberries, rice cakes and sweet potato fries (*insert HUGE smiley face here).

:: Cat cuddles. As it is turning a little more grey outside Gizmo has ventured in again, having shunned us for months. It is lovely having snuggles with our little bear again, although I can't help but think that she is using us as warmth rather than actually wanting to cuddle us. #catlife

:: I can't go through a 'grateful' list without mentioning The Great British Bake Off! As much as it pains me, whilst counting macros, to watch a programme that involves cake, biscuits and bread (oh, bread!), I do really enjoy the innuendo and comedy from the hysterical hosts! The only thing I wish is that they would turn down the mic's whilst Paul and Mary are crunching away on a contestants food... too much detail BBC!

I'd love to hear what your highlight of the week has been; let's have a chat in the comments!
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7 September 2016

MONTHLY ROUND UP | AUGUST

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Although I do weekly grateful lists I thought I would start doing a monthly round up/what my plans and goals are for the following month (why not join in if you fancy, it's actually a really useful way of setting some mini-goals and seeing what you have achieved!). I can't take credit for this idea of course as it has been done hundreds of times before and mine is a mixture of several templates I have seen other bloggers or lifestyle coaches use, or things that I have seen on-line.

Let's get right into it...

:: I am most proud of...
For the first time in a long time I have stuck to four gym sessions per week plus one home session of cardio and am seeing proper results. I am super proud of myself for sticking to the training but, more than that, the nutrition plans my trainer has set me. It has taken months to get my head around the counting macros thing but it is now fully ingrained into my head and I am making healthy choices naturally. I can certainly recommend investing in a coach, even short term, to help boost your knowledge about nutritional balance as it has been one of the best things I have done.

I have also been dedicating my time off to Leaf Lane Studio. I'm going to write a blog post about a bit of a 'light bulb moment' I had recently but, what I will say for now, is how amazing it felt to dig into some work that is mine and feel so good doing it. Creative work is really what I adore and it makes me feel so much more at ease with life.

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:: During August I have been most grateful for...
Receiving amazing support when faced with a possibly tough life decision. Although it didn't work out how I thought it would it really opened up some fab new motivation in me (blog post to follow!). The summer also felt like it was about discovering new levels to friendships and opening up a little more to some people in my life. As I get older I am noticing that the friendships in my life are changing (which is obviously going to happen as peoples lives alter and go in different directions) but it feels good to accept things for how they are now and realise that friendships can still exist even though you are on different paths.

:: I have spent the month listening to...
Reggae on Spotify (yep!). I have created a playlist of all the stuff that I love the most and it has been uplifting my little spirit! I have a mixture of the old classics and some of the tunes I remember being on my 'Now That's What I Call Music' albums! If you want to find me on Spotify my username is lucycarterart.

:: I have spent the month reading...
The most incredible book, which entered my life at just the right time; 'Light is the New Black' by Rebecca Campbell. I won't tell you too much about it as I am planning a blog post all about it too but what I will say is that it helped me gain some perspective and also confirmed that the way I am currently feeling about things is okay. I highly recommend it but will say that if you are not into spiritual/woo-woo stuff it may not be for you!

:: I have been watching...
Lots of fitness YouTubers. I am loving them for inspiration and training tips as well as macro-friendly meals and treat ideas. My current favourites are: Lauren Tickner, who is one awesome lady! She is super knowledgeable and about to do a second fitness (bikini) competition. Zoey Wright who, I naturally love for many reasons, including the fact she lives in my favourite place... Cornwall! Zoey is phenomenal. She is a figure fitness athlete and makes videos featuring her meals, training and daily life. There are several others but I will dedicate a whole post to that subject very soon.

:: Looking ahead to the month of September I am hoping to release...
The worry about other people's thoughts about what I am doing and why I am doing it. This is getting better and easier but it is a continued goal for me as worrying about other peoples opinions is a huge anxiety trigger for me.

:: I'm looking forward to...
Creating new content for 'From Lucy, with Love' and trying to create a little growth for this space I love so much. I am also looking forward to seeing some of the colours changing as autumn creeps on in. I love a good old change of season!

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:: Setting goals to...
Carry on achieving fat loss and increasing my nutritional knowledge to keep achieving my health goals. I am also planning on making a YouTube come back... I know, I know, I keep saying that but I will try my very hardest. I really miss it and promise I will be back.

What are you hoping that September will bring for you? I am really excited for the month ahead and have lots planned for this blog and my business too. As I said in my last blog post, please bare with me a while whilst I settle back into this routine and get things together!

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram to see what is happening. I am planning on logging daily stories there from now on, instead of Snapchat (I think!). 
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5 September 2016

NEW MONTH, NEW LOOK!

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{Image from Pinterest}

As we enter a new month and (almost) a new season, one of my favourite seasons no less, I thought it was about time I switched a few things up around here. It came as quite good timing seeing as I ended up taking a little blogging break before the summer started and, so doing, allowed myself some time to evaluate what I wanted going forward with 'From Lucy, with Love'.

Whether or not anyone stops by here or not I really enjoy using this space as a creative outlet for myself and a place to document my life and things I am doing. I have really enjoyed the past few years of the blog and would love to start seeing it grow a little. Also, I adore writing and want to put a bit more time into some different posts over the coming months.

Whilst I am 'back up and running' with the blog, I ask you to bare with me a little longer as, inevitably, there are a few things that still need ironing out! When it comes to me and technology there are plenty of things that can, and have, taken more time than I predicted! Lovely stuff!

So, today's post is just a 'hi, I'm back!' one really and a chance for me to ask you if there is anything specific you would like to see happen in this space or any posts you particularly enjoy? Please do let me know in the comments!

I am hoping that my schedule for posts will be Wednesday and Sunday, with Wednesday being something different every week and Sunday being my 'grateful' list, which I know is popular and I love posting it to! As I work full time, blog and train (and am also trying to launch a business) please forgive me if I miss a Wednesday post occasionally, I will always do my very best to get something to you. I am also looking to start creating a little newsletter (watch this space) with free downloads of some artwork as a little gift from me to you. I will make sure you know when you can sign up!

Thank you so much to all readers, old and new, because I truly value each and every one of you. I have made some amazing friends through this blog and hope to make many more! On that note, if you would like to get in touch, please email me on fromlucywithlove@outlook.com or PM me on any of the social links possible... see the side bar for all the direct links! You know how it works!

PS: If you are interested in guest posting, just to 'share the blogging' love, then drop me an email! I would love to hear from you.


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