15 January 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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We are mid-way through the first month of 2017 already (mid-way. what?!). How is 2017 treating you so far lovely peeps? Have you been sticking to your goals and new motivations for this year? I'd love to know what you have set your mind to this year so please do come and tell me in the comments below!

For me, this week has flown by in a blur of painting set for a school dance show, breaking the news to colleagues that I will be leaving in early February, and feeling more tired from life than I have in years. Not in a bad way, just in a life-is-pretty-full-on-right-now-and-my-brain-is-tired kind of way! I officially fell asleep in Waitrose car park on Thursday morning, whilst waiting for it to open. I woke up in a right old tizzy, not knowing what was happening. Thank heavens no one saw my dazed face!

On that note, let me share with you some little moments and things that I am grateful for this week...

:: My new journal experiment! I decided, after years of having a notebook for every subject matter and every life-happening, that I would give this whole Bullet Journal thing a go and, I have to say, I am loving it so far. I plan to do a short YouTube video to show you my first ever set-up and what layouts I decided on for January, and will try and do monthly updates to. I have been hooked on watching other peoples videos because, well, I love all things lists, planning and stationary. This method of planning is so flexible, which is why it works for me, plus I can be super creative in the layout and add in little quotes and doodles because there are no rules or limitations. If you want to see this video recorded please let me know!

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^^My stunned face having handed my notice in at work^^

:: Amazing support from the lovely Gemma Sands. You guys may remember that I was doing some wonderful business/lifestyle (life-saving!) coaching with Gemma and we have stayed in touch since, which is fab, because she is awesome. I have been messaging Gemma to fill her in about what Joe and I are up to with the move and she has been super supportive and so encouraging. I swear that, if I hadn't of worked with Gemma, I would not be anywhere near the person I am now.

:: Clear nights and bright moons. After driving home through pretty full-on rain and snow on Thursday night, we had the most clear, starry night and it was so beautiful. You guys know that stars are 'my thing'. I will stand outside during the early hours of a freezing cold morning in mid winter, whilst I wait for the cat to decide whether she wants to go out or come in or whatever, just watching the sky twinkle and satellites pass over. It is humbling and so hypnotising to watch, plus it reminds me how small my problems and worries are.

:: Hearing, somewhere on Instagram, about Etsy Resolution. I plan to set up my Etsy store within the next month or two, which will be the paper products arm of Leaf Lane Studio. Whilst it isn't rocket science, I want to make sure that I do things the right way on Etsy, and create some impact with my new venture. I was scrolling through my IG feed this week when I saw a post that mentioned Etsy were doing a free set of emails, plus other support, to help newbies like me set up and launch their shops. I am super excited to start this new venture as I have wanted an on-line shop for as long as I can remember!

:: Finding another inspiration podcast. You guys know I love a good creative entrepreneurial podcast and, this week, I got really into 'Creative Biz Rebellion', run by business owners Caroline and Kelly. I listened to a few but loved their 'How we rock Instagram' episode. I find their style so easy to listen to and not too 'stuffy'... if you know what I mean? They are just normal girls sharing their experiences and I can connect with that! I have quite the list of business-related subscriptions nowadays, so may do a little blog post updating you guys on which ones I like soon.

:: Lastly, albeit a little late (because I had to break the news to my parents...eek), I am super grateful to have had my little tattoo done! Yep, after years of wanting it, it has been done! I had it in December, right before Christmas, and I love it. It is the one I put on my Instagram a while back, so click here to remind yourself, but I had it put on my left ribs. It is ever so dainty and small, but it is just for me, to remind me of some of the things I have gone through in life and I could not be happier with it. If you want to know who did it, her name is Georgina and she is one cool lady! (Check out Georgina's Instagram!)

Anyway folks, that is about it for today! Have a wonderful week, speak to you soon.

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13 January 2017

EXCITING TIMES AHEAD!

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The time has come for a bit of news! 

Eeeeeeek!

Those of you that have been following this little blog for a while wouldn't have failed to notice that one of me and the hubby's major dreams is to live in Cornwall. Well, it is happening people! Oh. My. Goodness! We can't quite wrap our head around it, but it is all moving along (very fast) and we will be aiming to be there by mid February.

I have a better blog post lined up, going in to more detail about 'why Cornwall', but I wanted to let you guys know because I want to be able to get excited about it on-line. It has been almost impossible not to put up an Instagram post just spilling the beans immediately, but we had to wait until we had our contract for the house (renting!) and things were 100% happening.

The other thing I have already started doing is creating some video content about moving because we want to document this, but also because it may help people planning on relocating too. It is a massive step and, of course, there are some down-sides, like being miles away from the people we love, but sometimes you have to chase your dreams. It is only Cornwall, not the other side of the world after all and, if the roles were reversed, I would encourage anyone I know (family or friends) to chase what their heart desires.

Hopefully this will help explain why I may go AWOL occasionally and why I am high as a kite other times. I can't wait to share the journey with you all. There will be highs and lows (the fact that I have handed in my notice to work without a job to go to is the most terrifying thing ever, but I will find something!).

That is all for today guys but I look forward to blogging a lot more about the things I love most in the world, from the place I love most in the world. I will be setting up an Etsy shop and launching Leaf Lane Studio this year as well so... big year. Any support / tips from you guys are warmly received always, so feel free to get in touch with me in the comments or on fromlucywithlove@outlook.com if you want to reach out.
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8 January 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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Phew, one week of 2017 down! I am always thankful to get the very first few days marked down of a new year and to get past that strange stagnant time, where no one knows what day or time its is, and we all kind of float about for a while! How has this week been for you all? Good I hope.

This week has started well for me really. I am grateful for so many things already and am feeling super positive about the next few months ahead. I feel in a much more positive frame of mind this January, when I usually start the year feeling a bit deflated and subdued. 

Without further a do, let's dive straight into this weeks gratitude list shall we?

:: Puppy cuddles with the gorgeous Huxley! He has grown a whole lot since I saw him before Christmas and is so lively but I just adore him!

:: This week, a colleague of mine told me that she had re-used a handmade watercolour Christmas card I did for her and, when she told me what she had done with it, it made me all emotional. Several months ago she lost a family member and decided that she would lay some flowers on her grave, along with the painting I did on the card as she loved it so much she wanted her loved one to have it. I thought that was so lovely.

:: I have got straight back on the macro-counting now and I am grateful that I have learned to chill out a bit more after a Christmas binge. Did I put on some weight? Yep! Did I gain inches? Yep. Am I okay with it? Hell yes. That is quite an achievement for me because I usually feel awful about it. Last year I worked so hard to lose weight and gain a healthy mindset that would see me through for life, that I knew I deserved a break and a bit of indulgence. I enjoyed it so much but stuck with my training throughout the festive season, only letting go of the nutrition for about ten days. I noticed how my body felt sluggish and that I reacted quite badly to the amount of dairy I ate, but I got straight back to it and already feel so much better. I have set more goals and am determined to reach them. Having a more healthy mindset has made so much difference to me though. I am learning, after all these years, that balance is key to achieving.

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:: Supportive work colleagues. I am smack bang in the middle of a huge change of direction and, having shared my thoughts with some close colleagues, it is so lovely to feel the support and encouragement of other people. Nothing major usually happens around here so it can be a little daunting, but it has been awesome to feel a boost from the people you care about.

:: De-cluttering. I hate to sound like an old lady, but there is nothing like sort-out of all your treasures to help you feel more organised and 'free'. Joe and I sorted through a whole load of books, DVD's and computer games this week and, in a rather inspired move, we decided to give Music Magpie a shot (after seeing that slightly terrifying TV advert, with that stuffed bird pointing his wing at various things in that poor mans house and asking if he wanted him to take it away for cash!). Having typed in over 100 bar-codes we earned ourselves almost £90! Woo-hoo! #goteam

:: This week I watched a really, really good documentary on Netflix called 'Minimalists' (or Minimalism... can't remember right now!) and it was so aligned with how my brain is starting to function. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with the pace of life or the materialistic things in life, I recommend giving it a watch.

:: Early mornings. I am not always grateful for my alarm going off, but I do like watching the sun come up and seeing peoples lights slowly turning on in their homes, imagining them all sleepily wandering about making tea or coffee. This week I got up early every day, even this weekend, just to ensure I got my workout in and had the whole day ahead of me still.

That's it for this weeks post guys. I am hoping to share some exciting news with you next week (fingers crossed) so hang on in there! Have an amazing week ahead.

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1 January 2017

HELLO 2017

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Happy New Year lovely people! Did you have a good NYE? Joe and I were actual old people for the night and I loved every minute! We watched Harry Potter, ate yummy food and I even cracked open my first, and last, bottle of wine of 2016. We know how to do rock 'n' roll guys, we really do! I have this stupid theory about how to make New Year celebrations successful and that is that we either do it 'all in' (smart dress, a bit of glitter perhaps, champagne and definitely dancing!) or we stay home and have our comfy clothes on. This year we obviously went for the latter!

If you read my previous blog post about saying goodbye to 2016 then you will already know what my thoughts were about my achievements last year and how I ended the year feeling all positive and 'ready' for this brand new one! I talked about not having intentionally chosen a 'word of the year' but, upon reflection, I realised that I had one: transformation. I really like the idea of having a word to use as a bit of a booster throughout the year and, after a bit of a think, I have decided on my one for 2017.

B o l d
Definition: 
(of a person, action or idea) showing a willingness to take risks; confident and courageous.

I have chosen this word for the next twelve months because this year is going to be a huge year of change, bringing with it scary challenges and big steps. There are going to be many tough times but all pointing towards something bigger and better. This goes for mental and physical health, home, work (blog and business) and other personal things that life has to offer.

This year is the year to take bold steps, be brave and willing to leap.

I have some huge plans, which are going to be separate blog posts/YouTube videos in their own right, but I really hope you guys will join me for the ride and that I can join you for your new year of adventures too. I adore this on-line community and have made so many friends through blogging, Instagram and other social media platforms and really love the encouragement that comes from it.

So, that all said, let's take on 2017 together. Let's encourage each other and cheer each other on. Let's share skills and knowledge to help each other along our journeys and be a kind ear when needed.

Happy New Year everyone!
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27 December 2016

GOODBYE 2016

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Well 2016, you've been a tricky little sod haven't you? 

I can't write a post like this without acknowledging all the 'greats' that we have lost this year. It seems like a year where many of the worlds most talented individuals have been called on from our little planet to a more peaceful existence. Unfortunately I have known more than one friend this year who has also lost someone very close to them, and my heart and love goes out to them too (as always).

Not only has 2016 brought with it a lot of sadness (and political madness), but it has also brought along some positive changes to my life and, for that, I am eternally grateful. It doesn't pay to only think of the sad times, so I want to round off the year with some thoughts about what this year has been about for me, and set my mind towards, what I hope will be, an amazing 2017.

One of the things I see many people doing, at the start of a new year, is giving themselves a word or a phrase, as a point of focus and motivation for the days that follow. I have never done this before (although I am considering it for the coming year) but, upon reflection, I would say that my word for 2016 has been transformation. This year has been the year of allowing myself to transform into the person I have always wanted to be or perhaps the person I have always been inside but been afraid to show. I have shifted spiritually, mentally and physically in the last twelve months and whilst a lot of things have been because of a direct intention, some changes have come about naturally or as a result of one of the other components changing. 

The biggest transformation for me has to be the physical one. The decision I made, in April, to sign up to work with Olly Foster (his 12 week ART programme) was one of the best choices I made this year. Not only have I seen many physical changes and learnt so much about nutrition and weight loss, but my mental health has improved more than I can say. I cannot thank Olly, his team and the community of other people doing his training enough for the constant support and encouragement. Because of this programme I have more knowledge to go forward into 2017 and set realistic goals for myself. I have gained a totally new mindset toward food and training now which will stay with me forever.

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Without this physical transformation I know that other areas of my life would not have seen such positive results this year. I have had to learn to become more resilient, which is something I am still working on. Along with my new found inspiration to eat healthy and train more frequently, came much more negativity from people around me than I could have anticipated. I found myself having to become more self-focused and let comments slide off me, or else I was never going to achieve my goals. I have also become a lot more able to tune in to my intuition this year and really pay attention to what feels like the right path to follow or the right decision to make for me. I have read a whole load of books, listened to many, many podcasts and watched countless videos on-line about tuning in and aligning to your 'truth' and, you know what, it feels bloody amazing to be learning more about that stuff. It feels like I am discovering who I really am and I don't care what people think about that part of me anymore. I am 'woo-woo' and proud damn it!

Alongside the shift in following my intuition came the need to become a little more brave in my actions and reactions. This is a work in progress but I am slowly getting better at worrying less. So much has happened to people around me this year that you simply have to learn to be a bit more relaxed about the way things could turn out because, ultimately, worrying will not change anything. Joe and I are smack bang in the middle of finally making some huge life decisions and that is because we have seen some crappy things this year and so it feels right to move forward now. Standing still won't make changes happen and that is probably the most recurring message to come out of the year we are just about to leave behind.

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Because I made a choice to commit to a few other things this year I have had to accept that my business goal, of launching Leaf Lane Studio in the autumn of this year, had to be pushed back but, do you know something, I am so pleased, because I feel so much more capable now. I am going to take on 2017 with determination and passion, but I will tell you my goals for the new year ahead in a separate post very soon.

If you are still with me and made it to the end of this extremely long post then I truly salute you! If you have the energy to comment and tell me what this year has been about for you then I would love to know!

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22 December 2016

TAKING STOCK | DECEMBER 2016

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The end of 2016 is approaching so fast and, this time of year usually signals completely surrender to food and sleep and relaxation but, right now, I am super busy and my mind is all of a blur with things that will be happening in the New Year to come. For now though, lets round up December and all its goodness!

Making :: lots and lots of watercolour Christmas cards for people at work. This year I desperately wanted to work on my painting and, what better way to do it then paint forty individual cards huh?!
Cooking :: Christmas treats for work buddies.
Drinking :: one, very yummy, peach Bellini, at our lovely anniversary dinner. Needless to say, it went straight to my no-drinkers head (but was thoroughly enjoyed anyway!).
Reading :: hardly anything worth mentioning. I have some books to finish and some wonderful books to start in the New Year but I have been so busy painting that I haven't had any time to read.
Wanting :: almost everything on the Gym Shark website! I adore this long-line crop top and this vest top but am lusting after a whole load of their hoodies and joggers too.
Looking :: red nosed for the most part of this month, thanks to my lingering cold.
Playing :: Heart-Extra Christmas on the radio! I am still not tired of the festive songs :-)
Deciding :: to have a go at Vlogmas, before swiftly realising I have the most boring month ever ahead (but I'm doing it anyway!).
Wishing :: the world was a little more peaceful, such craziness is happening right now and it is just so sad.
Enjoying :: last minute road trips and big life-changing plans.

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Watching :: many festive films, lots of Vlogmas videos and Breaking Bad (again!).
Waiting :: (patiently) for Christmas dinner... aren't we all?!
Liking :: having the pretty fairy lights on early in the morning, before the day starts up.
Wondering :: what 2017 will bring.
Loving :: my work pals new puppy, Huxley. He is super cute.
Hoping :: to open an Etsy shop really soon.
Marvelling :: over the pretty winter mornings.
Needing :: more art supplies. 
Smelling :: mulled wine at the Salisbury Christmas Market, I haven't has any so far this festive season.
Wearing :: my lovely, new, H & M chelsea boots that Joe got me for Christmas. They are so comfortable and perfect to wear with skinny jeans, plus they have a fleece lining, which makes them super-warm.
Following :: my intuition so much more (and actually feeling better for it). It is so freeing to really listen to yourself when you are struggling to make decisions or trying to understand why you feel a certain way. I have been consciously trying to delve a bit deeper into my head when faced with a tricky situation and then follow what I feel is right, rather than being led by someone elses thoughts and it feels great!
Noticing :: way more lines around my eyes then I am comfortable with.
Knowing :: that I am feeling more brave then I was a year ago.
Thinking :: about what to do this New Years Eve and wondering whether lounging about in a onesie is acceptable!

Have a wonderful Christmas guys, whatever you are doing!

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11 December 2016

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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Another week down (which means Christmas is coming along fast!). This weeks grateful list is a very festive one, as you would probably expect! I hope you guys have all had an amazing week, come and have a chat in the comments and let me know what you have been up to this week! If you are in to all things festive, and you haven't checked out the super guest post titled 'Winter', by Lucy Fisk from the blog Tired from Whitstable, then you really should. Thanks again for writing for my little blog Lucy, you are awesome!

On to this weeks gratitude list:

:: On Monday this week Joe and I went out for an amazing dinner at Bills in Salisbury. I had a very tasty Peach Bellini, a burger and sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce and ice cream. It was such a lovely treat and we were super grateful to get a free box of truffles on our way out too. After the meal we took a stroll into the Guildhall Square, where they have the Christmas Market. It was closed at that time of night, but all the twinkly lights were so pretty. It was such a great evening.

:: This week I was very fortunate to receive some gorgeous Narcissus through the post from my fab hubby. The smell of Narcissus in the winter fills me with joy! I love them so much.

:: In a successful attempt to make me feel super-festive my lovely work colleague, who for confidentiality reasons I will call 'total nut job', decorated my office to look like Santa's grotto. There are paper chains, trees, a rather drunk looking robin, tinsel and even baubles filled with yummy treats! It was such a wonderful surprise and it means you can't enter the office without feeling super happy.

:: Yesterday Joe made mince pies, from scratch (yep, pastry and everything!), and they were bloody amazing (worth breaking the macro-counting to experience!).

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:: Small Christmas trees! Last week Joe and I got a mini tree in Tesco's but my mum topped our tree by giving me an even cuter one, sat in sweet little Christmas bag. Thanks mum!

:: Twinkly lights throughout the house. I don't know about you guys, but I love getting up early in the morning, switching on all the Christmas lights and sitting with a cup of tea and enjoying the silence. It is such a magical moment to experience. Recently I have been getting up and sitting downstairs to paint my Christmas cards and have been loving every minute of it. I am such a geek for the festive season, it makes me all warm and fuzzy!

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:: Early morning walks in Salisbury. We had to get to town early yesterday to drop Joe's car off for a service, so we had a little wander about to kill some time and everywhere just looked so gorgeous. There is something about this time of year which brings out the romance in the scenery everywhere.

:: Last on my list this week has to be Heart Christmas radio (or whatever it is called!). Being in the kitchen with the fairy lights on and a few Christmas tunes is so much fun.

Have a fab week everyone. Don't forget that I am doing Vlogmas (in my own special way!). Click here to find Part One. If you have already seen it, then check out the next installment! I would love it if you would Subscribe to my YouTube Channel and hit the 'Like' button too, if you enjoyed a video, as it really helps to grow the channel and create more visibility. Thanks guys xx

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