21 May 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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Happy Sunday lovely peeps! Here we are on the 21st May (already) and that means I only have ten days of my YouTube challenge left. 'Every day in May' has been pretty awesome but has taken its toll on me! I have not stopped working until 9.30-10.30pm on 90% of the evenings and, to be totally transparent, my business 'to-do' list has suffered... BUT I have learnt so much and chatted to so many people that it was more than worth it. When I discussed the prospect of launching Leaf Lane Studio in June, I was always intending to be flexible about it... so it may be July but, if that is the case, then so be it, you know? It has to be right and I am doing it... this year! That is pretty awesome!

Onto the things I am grateful for this week:

:: This week I have managed to struggle through some fairly hefty cravings and, whilst I have certainly not met my low carb macro target all week, I have been much better, and that is something worth mentioning!

:: On the topic of health and fitness, I managed a set of full press ups on Thursday! I haven't even attempted them in ages (mostly for fear of making a total fool of myself!) but I managed a full set and then a few at the start of the other sets, before dropping to my knees and doing the easier (but still tough) alternatives!

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:: I am grateful that I said 'yes' to taking on a little commission piece this week. I always get anxiety around new things but the lovely lady who asked is so super-sweet that I jumped at the chance to do it for her! Once it is done, and when she has given it to the person I am doing it for, I will show you guys a picture! Then, if anyone wants something similar... I will say 'hell yes!' On a serious note though, I am making the effort to try and do things that will challenge me more as it is good for me, so watch this space!

:: If you watched yesterdays vlog (linked below) then you will know Joe and I went to Godolphin House, a stunning National Trust property ridiculously close to where we live (15 minutes tops). I am definitely going to be putting up the photos in a separate blog post, but I wanted to mention how amazing it was to wonder around the grounds and how crazy-yummy the Victoria sponge was too... this certainly was not in my macros but, when in Rome and all that ('My name is Lucy, and I am addicted to Vicky sponge!'). Stay tuned for Wednesdays post to see more about this little adventure!

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:: Part and parcel of having put up way more YouTube content then normal is getting more comments and, if you know me pretty well, you will know by now that I have my days where I am a total wimp when it comes to reading them. The fear I can sometimes experience is insane. Thankfully this stupidity of mine is no where near as intense as it used to be or I think I would be rocking back and forth in a corner by now! You guys are bloody fantastic though and I have had such wonderful feedback on the things I have been asking you all as well as just very sweet and genuine comments about other bits and pieces. You need to know that these never go unnoticed and that I always appreciate the things you take the time out of your day to write. It means the whole world.

:: You know my stance on trying to love your body, regardless of shape and size, and when I stumbled across a video by the channel StyleLikeU on YouTube, featuring plus size model Barbie Ferreira, a young, feisty and beautiful American girly, talking about fat-shaming in the modelling industry I got all fired up again. If you haven't ever seen any of their 'undressing' videos then you certainly should check them out. They talk about some really brave and compelling subjects, all around beauty and image.

:: This week has seen our Salvia spring into life (the plant we got from The Eden Project), it's little bee-friendly flowers, are starting to open up and I cannot wait to see the little 'bumblers' (Joes cute word for our bee friends) hovering around it!

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:: This week I thought I would mention a couple of things I am into right now... the first one is the Coldplay single (featuring The Chainsmokers) 'Something Just Like This', I love it so much right now; it never fails to make me smile! The other thing I wanted to mention is a film that Joe and I watched only last night, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. We are crazy-behind with films because it came out ages ago, but we caught up with it on Netflix. It is one of those films that a) you cannot lose concentration on for one minute without feeling lost, b) need to just accept what is happening and trust it will come together in the end and c) make sure you have a lots of drinks and snacks prepared because it is long. That said it was a cracking film, but somewhat disturbing in many ways. Scrap that actually; very disturbing in a lot of ways. As someone who has the attention span of a toddler when it comes to watching films, take it from me it is worth the watch (and the concentration!).

On that note we have reached the end of todays post...boo! But if you have some time to spare then why not keep on scrolling and catch up with some of this weeks vlogs? If you haven't subscribed to my channel yet I would love it if you did! Just click right here and then click on 'subscribe'!






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17 May 2017

WHO AM I?

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Let's talk about aging...

I know, I know, I am only 36 and that most certainly isn't 'over the hill', but I am starting to notice things about myself, both physically and mentally, that are, let's say... 'challenging' me somewhat, so I thought I would have a chat with you guys about it today.

Watching me look in the mirror at my face (something I have never particularly enjoyed by the way) would appear, to the outsider, like I am taking myself through one of those complicated facial muscle routines (you know the ones?!). These days, I often find myself contorting my poor old chops into all kinds of positions to see whether this wrinkle or that wrinkle is 'still there' or to try and discover where my confused old hormones have decided to sprout a new, ever so random, hair on my chin (wtf is that about?). Some days, I even manage to convince myself I have grown jowls and stare intensely at my face, poking and prodding, wondering how I can get rid of them. Other days I spring into the bathroom, wash my face, put my moisturiser on and think 'you look alright today' and, somehow, all the above issues are not there anymore. Then, and this is a big one for me, there is the issue of (*insert horror music here*) natural lighting. The amount of times I have filmed a clip for a vlog or something, watched it back and then sworn to all the angels that I am never, ever, stepping out during the day again. 

Now, obviously, everything I have just written was done so with a sense of humor, but the fact is that my body is changing and it is something I have been noticing creep in over the last couple of years. I am lucky in many ways; I have good genes (anyone who saw my Instagram picture of my mum, who is 73 years old, can see that I am lucky there) but, and this can't just be me, getting older and seeing your body shift is hard.

I have zero issues with age within itself. I am loving my thirties and would never want to go back but I am merely talking about acceptance. Acceptance of the nutty, frizzy, 'I will grow out of your head in every possible direction' grey hairs, the random outbursts of teenage spots, which seem to laugh and say 'ha ha ha, you thought I was gone, but I'm not... you're older, but I am still here!' and the body which creeks and aches a little more every year (I actually have to sit on the side of the bed and mobilise these days before stepping out into the world!).

But, all that said, along with the physical strangeness, comes a lot more mental clarity about who I am. I may not be quite settled into my body and, to be quite honest, I am not sure that will ever happen (I am working on it), but I am super confident about who I am now and, more importantly, I don't care what people think. In my teenage years and all throughout my twenties and early thirties, I tried to make myself be who I thought I was meant to be. I was afraid to give my opinion, I was scared to admit that I am spiritual and want to develop that side of me. I didn't want to dress in what I wanted to wear, for fear of what people would think. I had no self-belief whatsoever and felt like I wasn't true to myself at all. Whilst that is probably normal for most of us, I think it took me much longer to reach the stage I am at now, where I am aligned with who I am in my soul... and I will not shift it for anyone or anything. I am officially a stubborn old ox.

So, this is me...
I crave peace and quiet and, right now, I am feeling a little like a hermit but that's okay because I know it will pass. I am growing spiritually (intentionally) and, to do that, I need space and peace and that is something that many won't 'get' but I am alright with that. I am not anti-social and I love people but something is shifting and I am actually allowing myself to grow into that shift, rather than avoid it for fear of what others may think. I am spending a lot of time in nature right now and loving every second. Nothing makes me happier than being outside, feeding the birds, watching the clouds, listening to the sea and connecting with it all through being 'still'. I have lost the need to have 'all the things' because they just don't seem important anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love nice clothes (and could really do with some right now!) but, what I am saying here, is that they are not a priority at all. My health and mental well-being is. 

A big part of who I am is wanting to create a happy experience for the people I care about. I want them to feel good about themselves and have positive thoughts about themselves and what they are doing in life. I guess that is why Leaf Lane Studio is such a passion-project for me too. I talked, in a recent vlog, about the customer service experience of my business being of utmost importance to me; making my brides feel like they are the most special person to me. I can't wait to do that because it is genuinely something I like to do for people anyway.

That (^^) is me, mostly... but I am also a... ripped jeans wearing, stripe-obsessive, cake craving, crystal buying, weight-lifting, Jeremy Kyle-watching, animal loving, popcorn addict with a kind heart and constant need for a nap (and so many other things too).

I want to end with this adorable quote from the Velveteen Rabbit, which I love so much...
'...you become. It takes a long time... Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand'.
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14 May 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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We are half way through the month of May (and half way through my YouTube series 'Every Day in May'! - see the bottom of this post for all of this weeks videos, starting with today's and working back). Today has been super warm and bright, but we have had some really cold nights, where I find myself checking the calendar to make sure it is actually May!

This week has been a different one, as you will know, if you have been following the daily vlogs, I have spent four days away from home, decorating mum and dads lounge and kitchen for them and so it kind of feels like this week has flashed by. I got home on Thursday afternoon and pretty much crashed out on the bed for a couple of hours (covered with Gizmos blanket, much to Joes disgust!). It was lovely to do the road trip back though and see mum and dad and catch up with friends.

Have you had a good week? What has been going on?

Let's jump right in to all the good stuff shall we?

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:: This morning Joe and I walked into Marazion, pictured above (as seen from St Michaels Mount). Seeing as yesterday it was raining all afternoon and we have bad weather forecast for the start of next week, we figured we should make the most of the sun and so we wandered off, along the coast path, over the boulders and beaches and onto the beautiful beach we got engaged on. The plan was to go up St Michaels Mount, but we only made it to the bottom of it, as I had a wobble of anxiety. Nonetheless, we walked 10k and felt very tired when we got home! 

:: I am loving the amount of birds we have had in the garden this week. We have little Goldfinches nesting in the roof and we can hear their little babies chirping and chattering away. It was one of the things I was most looking forward to about moving; having more nature about and wildlife to look after. I am so happy that they are not fussed about Gizmo and, so far, she is not fussed about them. May that long continue. 

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:: Last night we had our annual 'Eurovision Party'. Well, I say party... it pretty much involves Joe and I giving the countries a score out of ten and deciding who will come into the top five. I didn't get anything right (as usual). You may be wondering what makes it a party? Well, let me tell you... popcorn and chocolate buttons make it a party! 

:: I am so grateful to have a garden that surprises me almost once a week with new flowers growing in it that I haven't noticed before. This week, as I was unloading the car with my various bits and bobs from my travels to mums, I noticed we have carnations in several places and this gorgeous red rose (^^) has opened up and looks so stunning. Whoever has spent time on this garden deserves a pat on the back because it is wonderful and there is so much to look at. I just love it here.

:: Yesterday, on a morning jaunt to see the seals at Godrevy, Joe and I discovered a quiet little cliff-top to sit on that was totally out of the gust of wind that almost knocked us off our feet. The view was stunning and we even got to watch the seals playing in the water below us. 

:: Whilst at mum and dads I got treated to a new plant for our house and some lovely skin-care bits too. I am so grateful for the pressies because, right now at least, I am not in a position to buy myself anything. Thanks mum and dad :-)

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:: On Wednesday, among the madness of paintbrushes, rollers and ladders, I found a spare bit of time to fly into where I used to work and catch up with some lovely peeps. It was so good to see everyone and to chat with some of the students too. It felt like I hadn't been away at all. 

:: I can't publish this post without mentioning food. As of today I am back to counting macros and back to my fat loss mission, but this week there were some treats and they were good! Dad took mum and I out for dinner on Wednesday evening; I had a delicious burger and I may have had sticky toffee pudding... there, I said it. Then there were the Percy Pigs I had on my road trip. What can I say? I was driving for give hours alone... a girl needs sugar!

Thank you so much for reading guys! Please scroll down to see the latest 'Every Day in May' vlog and the rest of this weeks vlogs too! I would love you forever if you would subscribe to my YouTube channel too, I am on a mission to grow the channel and I can only do that with your help... click right here to go to YouTube and then simply subscribe! Easy!

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10 May 2017

TRENGWAINTON GARDEN

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If you guys are watching my 'Every day in May' YouTube videos, then you will already have seen that I visited Trengwainton Garden last week (video linked at the bottom of this post). Joe and I have been members of the National Trust since we got married two years ago, and it was the best thing we ever did (and it is even better now we are living in Cornwall!). I thought I would take advantage of the lovely weather and visit somewhere that is just up the road from our village.

You know a place is amazing and magical when you totally lose yourself in it and forget about everything else for the time you are there. As I walked through the gravel pathways, sheltered by the trees, I felt a (much needed) wave of calm wash over me. Just being surrounded by nature and the sound of birds chirping and bees buzzing, made me want to step so quietly and just listen. It felt like a form of meditation, which I really needed, having spent hours and hours sat in front of a computer screen recently. 

This time of year is such a great time to visit any gardens, as there are carpets of bluebells everywhere, which makes the scenery even more beautiful. I find the experience of walking around these places so therapeutic and more helpful for my depression/anxiety then anything else. The National Trust really know how to do it well... 

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“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” 
― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

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I didn't know what to expect at Trengwainton, but I was so overwhelmed by just how stunning the gardens were and will definitely be returning really soon (with Joe of course!). I have plans to visit so many more National Trust properties and gardens this summer, so stay tuned!

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7 May 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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We are one week into May and, I don't know about you guys, but we have had quite the mixture of weather down here in Cornwall this week. Today is gorgeous and warm but two days ago we were scared to let Gizmo out, for fear she might have to hang onto the washing line (with her teeth) for dear life or get blown out to sea. Yesterday it rained solidly all day long too. I kind of like the fact that it is so changeable though so I am not complaining.

Have you guys had a good week?

:: Having a treat weekend (last weekend) was the most needed thing at that specific moment! I don't find it easy to 'let myself go' at times like that but, what I do know is that it is healthy to enjoy yourself (in moderation) and so, sometimes, it has to happen! It was fab!

:: I finally got my prices all sorted for Leaf Lane Studio, which is such a big relief honestly. I am pretty sure that the first six months of my business will see some tweaking here and there of everything I put together at the start, but that must be true for most new businesses. I am so excited to share it all with you guys. I am putting somethings on Leaf Lane Studios Instagram account, which you can find right here or just search 'Leaf Lane Studio' in the app! I love having you guys following the journey.

:: I have been so grateful for you guys and all your comments on my 'every day in May' YouTube videos (all of this weeks videos are linked at the bottom of this post for easy viewing if you are interested!). You guys have been so sweet and funny and I really love hearing from you.

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:: As you may have seen from the vlog I put up on Friday (linked below, along with the rest of this weeks vlogs!) Joe and I had a morning out at the Eden Project. I love visiting Eden and this time was the best because it was the first time out of school holidays and it was so quiet that we barely saw anyone in the (usually packed) tropical dome. We had such a fun morning and I am so grateful to be so much closer to one of our favourite places.

:: As much as it felt that I was cheating on my old hairdresser (miss you Abi!) I had to find myself a place to get a haircut pronto this week and found somewhere nice in Penzance that could fit me in fast! So, like a grown up, I was all brave and had almost two inches cut off my hair. It feels so much better now :-)

:: We enjoyed a lovely walk in Sennen today and sat looking out to sea just taking in the crystal waters and feeling the sun on our backs. It is almost like you can feel it healing you, it feels so incredible. We watched some people having a surf lesson (what a perfect day for one!) - maybe one day I can join them although, I think I prefer the thought of paddle-boarding over surfing, but never say never.

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:: The other week I mentioned that my wonderful husband treated me to a couple of skin-care bits, following my skin returning to a teenage-like state. I am so pleased how fast it has changed after just a few days of double cleansing and popping some nice treatments on my skin. I really hate getting break-outs, especially at my age! 

:: I can't remember if I mentioned this previously or not, but as I have been listening to this song non-stop all week I figured I would mention it again. One of my favourite songs of all time is a song called Heaven, by Bryan Adams. I have always adored the song and rarely like covers of it but, several weeks ago, I found a live cover on YouTube by country singer Jason Aldean (featuring Bryan Adams) and I have fallen totally in love with it. If you fancy checking it out click right here! <3

:: Finally, I am grateful (a million times over) to have such an amazingly supportive hubby. This whole 'following your dreams' thing is bloody amazing but very stressful. Starting a business has been something I have wanted for so, so long now and to have Joes support whilst I am finding my way through it all is incredible to me. I don't have the words to say thank you for everything he has done and continues to do for me but I hope that, one day, I will be successful and can make him super proud of me.

Thank you for reading this post guys... continue to scroll down for all of this weeks vlogs, starting with the latest one and working backwards! If you are enjoying them, and haven't subscribed to my channel yet, I would love it if you would. Head to YouTube and hit the subscribe button!



















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3 May 2017

TAKING STOCK | APRIL 2017

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Another month of 2017 is over and I am, for the first time in years, really looking forward to summer approaching. The next few months are going to be super busy, probably a little bit stressful but definitely very exciting! By the summer, Leaf Lane Studio, the business that I have been dreaming about for years, will be up and running and I will be a self-employed girlie! It seems as if it is still not really happening, yet the number of hours I have spent sat at this desk, prove that I am working towards bringing my dreams into fruition. April has been a big month, and so much has happened, yet I can barely remember it as time is zooming by so quickly. Thank heavens I keep notes in my Bullet Journal or I'd be totally lost!

Let's get onto the best bits of the month:

m a k i n g :: lots and lots of strawberry protein smoothies (so good!).

c o o k i n g :: low carbohydrate brownies and pancakes too (click here for some recipes, pancakes coming soon).

d r i n k i n g :: too much tea and a lot of water... did I mention the delicious smoothies too?!

r e a d i n g :: The BFG. I am almost done and have quite liked immersing myself in a children's story. I never read that particular book as a kid, so Joe got it for me for Christmas! It makes a nice change for me to read something very easy going.

w a n t i n g :: some new summer clothes. I had a clear out but I am a little low on some things, although I am sure I will make do for another year!

l o o k i n g :: for suppliers for my business ideas.

p l a y i n g :: reggae playlists to match the warmer weather. They always make me feel so much brighter, especially on a Friday!

d e c i d i n g :: that June is the month to launch the business. Scary! Not sure which end of June it will be, but that is the main goal right now.

w i s h i n g :: I could have a make-up spree in Boots.

e n j o y i n g :: getting glimpses of dolphins playing in the sea and the occasional seal popping its head up for a look around.

w a t c h i n g :: all the birds in the garden enjoying the feeder we put out. I find it so relaxing just watching them come and go and listening to them chat away to each other and play in the trees. It reminds me what is important.

w a i t i n g :: for all the things I have been working on to come together and look like something that is more of a 'whole thing' rather than several fractured ideas!

l i k i n g :: wearing my hair in a half-up messy bun.

w o n d e r i n g :: when I should book in for my moon tattoo (maybe a business launch celebration treat?).

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l o v i n g :: discovering new wild flowers and realising how much grows in the strangest of places!

h o p i n g :: for more painting time really soon.

m a r v e l l i n g :: over the view from this house every single day.

n e e d i n g :: a hair cut, big time.

s m e l l i n g :: a mixture of freshly cut grass and pub food!

w e a r i n g :: knots tied into the back of overly baggy t-shirts.

f o l l o w i n g :: an inspiring new YouTuber (new to me), called Bethany Tomlinson. Her channel is fitness based information, meals and workouts and she is bloody awesome, not to mention crazy-strong!

n o t i c i n g :: that a few days of tracking my macros really helps me feel better.

k n o w i n g :: that Gizmo is really taking advantage of having me home every day now. She knows how to work the charm on her mummy!

t h i n k i n g :: about food, all day, everyday.

I just thought I would finish with a bit of a promotion for my month of vlogging in May! The hashtag #everydayinmay has been around for years and I thought I would have a go at this as I have never vlogged every single day for a month! Head on over to my YouTube channel 'From Lucy with Love Blog' to subscribe and watch the videos that have gone up so far! I would love to have you along for the ride!
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30 April 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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It's May tomorrow guys, May! What?! I am attempting a little series on my YouTube channel for the month of May, called 'Everyday in May'. It speaks for itself really doesn't it? I am going to try to post a short video every single day, just to switch things up a little on my channel really, and give myself something else to do (because launching a business is not taking up enough time obviously!). I would love it if you would subscribe to the channel and support my daily ramblings as it would really help keep me going and generally support the channel too.

Back to this week. It has been a fairly big week for me, more mentally then anything else. As you may have seen, from Wednesdays blog post, I have had a bit of a mental health struggle recently. Things have been up and down like a roller-coaster and it has been confusing, disorientating and isolating. That said, I have had some good days in there too and I think things are back on the upward spiral, which is great. A big thank you to anyone who commented on the post or on anything on social media. You guys have no idea just how comforting your words are and they really make a difference.

Brain update complete, onto the happier bits and bobs from the week!

:: I put my 'big-girl pants' on this week and allowed you guys to have a peep into my Leaf Lane Studio designs on Instagram and on this vlog too! Whilst they are not professionally printed out and ready to go just yet (nearly) I wanted to share this specific part of the journey with you. I had some lovely comments and messages from you guys and, honestly, they gave me such a wonderful boost. I am so excited to get this launched now (not long to go!).

:: When we lived near Salisbury, our garden was a bit of a mossy postage stamp of nothingness. We couldn't grow anything and there were so many left-over builders bricks and rocks under the grass it was crazy. Now, we are fortunate to have a really amazing garden, which has clearly been well loved and cared for. I am constantly amazed by what I find growing in it and this week I was super happy to find some sweet peas; I adore sweet peas and to find them just growing in the middle of the flower bed was fab!

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:: Yesterday we drove the coast road from St Ives to St Just and decided to take a trip to Pendeen Lighthouse and have a wander. I had been once before but, as Joe hadn't seen it, I figured it would make a nice change. The view there really is amazing and the water was super blue/green and totally gorgeous too. Because of the rocks out at sea, there was a really unusual ripple effect happening in the water that I have never seen before. I just cannot get enough of the Cornish scenery.

:: A much needed treat day. Yesterday was a re-feed day for me and it was so needed. There was fresh bread, digestive biscuits and sweet and salty popcorn. No more needs to be said. It was delicious.

:: Now that we are both at home during the day we have started a bit of a lunchtime ritual of venturing outside to enjoy a cup of tea together (when it isn't raining of course!). It is so nice to take ten minutes out of the day and stand and have a conversation outdoors, enjoying the sun and looking out to sea. It helps to clear my mind and kind of refreshes my thoughts for the rest of the afternoon. I will never take those moments for granted.

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:: This week I discovered a great new blog, thanks to the lovely Gemma, called The Collative. It's a blog that shares all sorts of resources, stories, bio's and artistic ideas and is predominantly aimed towards anyone working as an entrepreneur or freelance creative. I am loving it so far and recommend it to anyone interested in creativity or creative business.

:: As a cat-mum, I can't help but love watching cat related Instagram stories and my favourite this week has to be from the ever so gorgeous Peta! There were some cat-bed related drama's this week which made me giggle (more so because we only have one cat, who has over four beds and pretty much sleeps in none of them!). Check Peta out on her Instagram but definitely have a look at her blog too, because it is so lovely.

:: As you will see in this weeks vlog (linked below) I have had a bit of a teenage-style breakout over the last few days, which is so frustrating and painful. I had pretty much stopped my usual cleansing routine because I don't have the money to go and buy more products, so I think that is mostly why I have had this sudden skin war on my hands. Yesterday Joe kindly bought me some bits for my face, and they have already calmed it right down. I always go back to trusty favourites; in this case it was the Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Cleanser and Efficlar Duo, by La-Roche Posay. The latter is super-soothing for me and really helps to unclog my skin.

That is all for this week folks but scroll on down to see todays vlog and click right here to go through to my YouTube Channel to subscribe for Everyday in May updates!

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