30 November 2016

'WINTER', BY LUCY FISK | GUEST POST

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When I was re-launching my new look blog, earlier in the year, I put out a little note on my Instagram account for bloggers who fancied 'sharing the love' a little and guest posting on From Lucy, with Love. The first person to get in touch was the lovely Lucy, from the blog Tired from Whitstable. Lucy's blog is open, honest and about real life, life as a hard working mum in her thirties and how she manages all the every day things that we all face (along with the special moments too of course!). 

When Lucy sent me what she wanted to post I couldn't have been happier, because it is just the sort of thing I love to read as Christmas approaches and I know you guys will enjoy it too. Pop over to Lucy's blog for a little read of her posts and give her a follow on Instagram also because she is a super lady! Over to Lucy...

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So, this is my first guest blog post, and for one of my favourite fellow bloggers From Lucy, with Love.

One of the things I love most about Lucy’s blog is her way of seeing the positives an the wonder in our world in such little things. When I was thinking about my ideas for this blog I wanted to embrace this and look at all the positives in the coming season....... Winter.

Christmas is my very favourite time of year, this part of the year seems to glow with fairy lights, hope and goodwill. It makes us think of the people we love and how grateful we are for the last year we have had and looking forward to the next one. I love that, now I have children, I can relive my own childhood through them and watch the wonder in their eyes as they find all the parcels under the tree on Christmas morning, visiting grottos and singing along with Christmas music in the car (I come from a family of car singers and the boys much to my husbands dismay are following my roots!)

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The home becomes a much bigger part of life again in the Winter. Summer for us is about being on the beach, spending time in the garden, going on long walks and enjoying the outside world around us. We do, of course, do all these things in the winter, but the bit I love most is coming home. Taking off welly boots and warm coats, little red noses, cups of warm hot chocolate and snuggling under blankets on the sofa. Cooking comfort food such as stew and dumplings and enjoying crumbles with custard. Burning lovely smelling candles and cuddling up to my boys. I love making my home warm and inviting for the winter and appreciate how lovely and warm my home is.

Winter is often seen by some to be a potentially depressing time. The thought of Christmas not surrounded by people you love or looking back at a year where you have made mistakes or are not sure where to go next or even the dark and cold weather can affect people negatively. In general we need more love and understanding in the winter, to check on people who might need some help, to visit friends or family who don’t get out much, to give some food to the local food bank that can add to someone’s Christmas or to help others to start and continue a new exercise regime or period of mindfulness in their life. If we all tried to do at least one of those things how many peoples lives could we touch? Wouldn’t that make winter a brighter season for all?

What do you love about Winter? What memories from childhood do you have about Christmas, the colder months, the sights, smells and tastes of the season? Does the thought of snow leave you all warm inside or do you have happy memories of jumping in muddy puddles and getting into a hot bath when you got home?

As John Boswell wrote ‘Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey and enjoy every idle hour.’

Find me on my blog, Tired from Whitstable and on Instagram!

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Thank you SO much Lucy for writing this nostalgic post for my little blog. I love getting to know fellow bloggers via social media and love it even more when we can collaborate and share our blogs with our readers! 

If any of you guys reading this wish to hop on the guest post wagon (either me writing for you or you for me) then drop me an email to fromlucywithlove@outlook.com.

I would love to hear from you!
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20 November 2016

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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^^Beautiful Salisbury Cathedral, basking in the morning light last Sunday^^

Forgive my week of silence. It has been rather a difficult one for various reasons, which I won't go into. But, I am here now, and that is what matters! I hope you have all had a great week. I have been super busy and trying to fit in all my training, despite being half human/half zombie. I am finding it hard to get home and it be dark already then have to throw myself back out the front door and head to the gym. It is so much easier when it is light! Tell me I'm not alone?!

That said, I have had many reasons to be grateful this week, despite my sleepiness:

:: Coconut peanut butter (Meridian). There are no words. It is heaven.

:: Driving home from the gym on Friday morning at 7.30am, there were yellow and orange leaves everywhere and, with the sun coming up at the same moment, everything was golden and beautifully lit. I wish I'd have had the time to pull over and take a photo of that moment because it was nature in all its glory.

:: A Bills breakfast. Despite the fact that I am still counting my macros and trying to shed a little more body fat before Christmas, Joe and I treated ourselves to a Bills breakfast on Sunday. It felt good to eat pancakes and dip croissants in chocolate sauce (oh yeah!).

 photo fromlucywithloveweeklygratitude20Nov2016b_zps79nadzp5.png^^Fresh mint tea at Bills^^ 

:: An early Christmas present. For so many months now, in-fact for the second winter in a row, I have been searching for a pair of chelsea boots. I wanted something fairly specific, in that I didn't want a pair that were smart, heeled boots, but something casual and sturdy and with a bit of grip! After seeing a pair on my hairdresser, Abi, that she got from Primark, and trying them on, I was even more determined. Abi mentioned a fleece lined pair that H & M had, so last weekend Joe and I went in search for them (well, actually, he was kind of bored probably!). These are the boots... they were under £30, well, just, and are super warm! Joe kindly treated me to them for Christmas... thanks Hubby!

:: 'Options' white hot chocolate (with a drop of milk). A girl has to have a treat when she's counting macros!

:: A stroll around Salisbury Cathedral square on Remembrance Sunday. We stood in the square to observe the two minutes silence and listened as 'The Last Post' played out in town and in the cathedral. As everything fell quiet, we stood and reflected on what others have done for us and admired the beauty of the day. We both always find this particular spot in town so relaxing and it is the perfect place to go to contemplate life and pay respects to those that are no longer with us.

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^^This years poppy was a knitted, glittery one^^

:: This may seem a bit of a strange thing to write, but I am most grateful this week for the fact that my hair is pretty much not falling out any more. If you saw my first Cornwall vlog recently, you will have seen me talking about the fact that my hair had been falling out in a big way for weeks and weeks. It is totally normal for the hair to shed and go through a few weeks of this, but mine had been coming out seriously and for a long time. I am not going to lie, it was making me freak out. Joe mentioned that he had read somewhere that dry-shampoo can make this happen, so I figured I had nothing to lose and stopped using it completely. I am now about three weeks on and my hair is full of life again. My hairdresser (who is getting quite the mention in this post!) told me that dry shampoo clogs up the hair follicles, so maybe there is something in it. I have also noticed that my roots seem cleaner again, so maybe that was what was going on?! If you are having a similar problem, and have had blood tests, like I did, and know everything is well, then cut the dry-shampoo and see what happens. Rant over.

 photo fromlucywithloveweeklygratitude20Nov2016d_zpseb5d952t.png ^^My other love^^

:: My little bear. Gizmo has been following me about like a little shadow for weeks now. She is super cute and I love getting up at 5am and having her follow me to the kitchen and have cuddles before I start my day. I love that little fluff ball to death.

:: Finding the time to paint. On Monday and Tuesday, whilst I stayed at mums place, I actually painted for the first time in ages and it was wonderful. My brain takes a big old breath and relaxes when I get in the zone and it really is super therapy. I will pop some photo's up on my Instagram soon.

What has been your highlight this week? Are you starting to ready yourself for the festive period? I genuinely cannot get my head around the fact that Christmas is five weeks away! Arrrggghhh!!! Panic!

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^^Aren't winter sunsets the prettiest?^^
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6 November 2016

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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Welcome to another weekly gratitude list! This week was 'back to work after an amazing week in Cornwall' week, and I was not happy about that! (Who is happy about going back to work after a holiday?!). I always take so long to settle back into a routine after a holiday and everything feels out of sync but I am trying to be a big brave soldier and suck it up!

This week also brought with it another new month (how?) and also... Christmas adverts galore! No, DFS, I do not want a sofa delivered before Christmas but I am looking forward to seeing what the John Lewis advert has in store for us this year, it always makes me cry and I am sure this year will be no different.

On a little side note, I am linking both my Cornwall vlogs at the end of this list, so if you want to have a little mooch then you can watch them right here or head over to my YouTube channel (where I would love you forever if you subscribed!).

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Let's get started on the lovely stuff that has made it onto this weeks 'Gratitude List'...

:: First frosts. On Thursday, when I left home at 6.20am (eek!) it was foggy and frosty and very, very wintry and cold. As much as I am not a big fan of freezing my... nose off at that time in the morning, there is something about it which holds a bit of magic and nostalgia isn't there?

:: Berries on the trees. This sparks similar feelings to the frost and fog, but I love seeing the berries on the trees, especially as they are such a wonderful contrast to the frost and other gorgeous colours that are around this time of year.

:: Noticing an increase in confidence. Let me be less vague... this week I went off to a wedding industry event in London (a place that terrifies me to my very core!). I went last year too and was so scared of getting on a train and walking about the place in general that I was in a state of anxiety almost all day. This year I got on the train, feeling fine and not at all anxious. Helena (my usual partner in crime) and I jumped on the tube... well, actually, we queued and got shoved onto a very packed tube, and stood 'tooth to tooth' with other commuters (the thought of which would have brought on a huge panic attack last year). Now, I won't lie, that specific adventure wasn't top of my list of experiences to repeat, but I tell you about it because I bloody did it. If you have suffered from anxiety or panic in your life you will know what an achievement that is! I am grateful for all the work I have been doing over the last 12 months that has helped me reach this point (at last!).

:: Planning the future. Joe and I are on a mission to do something we have wanted to do in forever. Watch this space, but plans are happening and it is becoming real. You guys will be the first to know, well, maybe not the first, but you will be way up there (and before you ask... no... it's not a baby!).

:: Gizmo cuddles. Since we got back from Cornwall and picked up our little bear she has been very cuddly and very clingy. On Tuesday morning, as I sat putting my make up on, she was snuggled up behind me with both paws clinging on to my pjamas! So cute.

:: Tea. I am always grateful for tea but, recently, a cup of tea has been such a comfort in the evening.

:: Painting inspiration. The other day I had such a flood of inspiration for ranges for Leaf Lane Studio, that I couldn't scribble them down quick enough. I love those moments!

What has been top of your gratitude list this week? Let me know in the comments!

Now... the Cornwall vlogs! Enjoy!

Part One:
Part Two:
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2 November 2016

CORNWALL DIARIES | THE EDEN PROJECT

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Visiting The Eden Project has become a tradition for Joe and I every time we visit Cornwall. It's not that you are deprived of nature in Cornwall or anything, but this place is so thoughtful and so magical, it is a must-see, for us anyway. I have been several times of year, throughout various seasons, but this time was hands down the most beautiful.

This visit was particularly wonderful for me as they had a special little section within the Mediterranean biome which showcased a local owl rescue sanctuary called 'Screech Owl Sanctuary'. They had three gorgeous owls there to help spread awareness about what they do, and I got to stroke the teeny, tiny one named Cleo (picture below). She was fully grown but oh-so-tiny and so very soft! At six months old it was her first outing from the sanctuary and she looked a little overwhelmed, bless her, but she did so well. It made me super emotional but it was a wonderful experience.

I highly recommend you go if and when you are in Cornwall and, when you buy your tickets, be sure to donate the ticket money to The Eden Project as this ensures that your ticket is valid for a whole 12 months too... win-win situation all round. I will also be posting some vlogs from our week away over the next few days, which include our time at Eden, so hang fire for those too. 


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30 October 2016

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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This week I am bringing you the mother of all gratitude lists! You see, being in Cornwall brings me so many reasons to be grateful and so much to share with you all. The food (oh, the food!), the nature, the visits to such amazingly beautiful places and all the other things in-between. Let's do this...

:: Fresh sour dough bread with butter. I haven't had bread since May. I felt so bloated afterwards but it is a treat that I didn't regret!

:: A little chat with a very sweet older gentleman about woodcarving techniques. He had some funny stories to tell and I loved talking to him.

:: Exploring a new coastal path that led to the beautiful Gwenver beach, pictured above. It was stunning and I have wanted to find this beach for a while but have never realised how to get there.

:: Trying two flavours of cake at The Eden Project (we had half chocolate and half Victoria sandwich each). Oh my goodness guys... heaven on a plate.

:: Stroking a little owl called Cleo at Eden; more to come in Wednesdays post.

:: Witnessing a little seal following a guy who was paddle-boarding in Carbis Bay. We spoke to him after he came out the sea and he said he hadn't realised it was there. The seal was staring in at us chatting and looked disappointed that his play-mate was no longer in the water!

:: Yummy fish and chips from Beck's in Carbis Bay :-)

:: Painting watercolour scribbles on the balcony after a long day of walking, with a hot cup of sweet tea.

:: Finding one of my favourite artists new gallery spaces. I have adored Kurt Jackson for a long time and his gallery in St Just is stunning. We had it completely to ourselves right until the last minute, which was pretty special for me.

:: Having a thick old layer of peanut butter for the first time in months.

:: Afternoons spent curled up in bed for an hour of reading and napping and watching the dogs playing on the beach from the bed (how luxurious it was to watch the sea from bed!).

:: Sheltering from the rain in St Ives in a tiny crystal shop. I left with a few bits and bobs and am glad the rain took us in there.

:: This week, the lovely Peta, from the fab blog '24 Hours in Today', mentioned me in her post 'Positive Friday' and, honestly guys, it made my day (yep, I got all emotional as usual!). Peta is so sweet and friendly (not to mention so gorgeous) and I love following her on Instagram and YouTube (as well as her blog of course!). You guys should definitely check her out :-)

:: Finding some very fluffy, very big cows wandering the coast road between St Ives and St Just. They were casually munching on grass and looked very chilled out with life.

There you have it, my highlights from this week... now you know why I have to live there! You cannot go a day without finding a list of things to be grateful for.

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23 October 2016

THE DIFFERENCE A PLACE CAN MAKE

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This week I am switching up my usual Sunday post to talk to you from, and about, my favourite place in the UK, Cornwall. If you have hung around here long enough, you will already know that this County is my dream home and I will call it home someday for sure. Everything about the place makes my soul feel rested and at ease, whilst encouraging a sense of belonging to appear in my mind... and that feels pretty amazing.

When we arrived yesterday, and starting unloading the car of our many bags, I was totally overwhelmed with emotions, because I always get this feeling wash over me of 'I'm home'. The smells, the sounds, everything about the place pulls me in. There are so many reasons for loving it here and I thought I would use this post to list out a few of them...

:: Coastal walks. There are so many to choose from, so many little hidden coves and tiny paths that wind along the coast, hugging you tight to the land but allowing for a stunning glimpse out to sea, out into the nothingness. Feeling nature over power you or watching the weather come in from the sea is an experience I could certainly deal with daily. 

:: Seals, birds and sea-life. Need I say more? Walk up to Godrevy and you will see all the seals shuffling about and hear them gently barking to each other. The sound travels up to the cliff edge, where you can stand and watch as they bravely drag themselves out into the waves to play or feed. Many a walk has been interrupted by bird running across the path (scaring us half to death), a caterpillar rescue mission (I was concerned he would be squashed!), and even a snake or two, sitting dozily in the undergrowth. Nature is where I feel my best and I cannot get enough.

:: Night times out at sea... seeing the little fishing boats bobbing up and down with a little light blowing about in the wind, or watching a huge ship passing on the horizon with just a faint twinkle of light out there seems magical to me. It's easy to forget what is still happening whilst we sleep warmly in our beds.

:: Windswept hair. Finally a place for my hair to fit in! I adore the sea-salt / wavy / slightly messy hair look and I can only really achieve it here. No amount of sea-salt spray from Boots can achieve the natural 'I have just been on the beach for a walk' look.

:: Wildflowers. I am the biggest fan of little flowers that grow in such extreme conditions and look so pretty doing it. There is never a dull moment by the sea and the colours are magnificent. You just don't get the same thing on an estate do you?!

:: Drifting off to sleep to the sound of the sea. This is probably just a holiday luxury as, I assume we won't be able to move into an apartment on the sea front when we relocate! Come on lottery!

:: Finally, and this is one of my main reasons for wanting to move here, I feel 'at my best' here. Spiritually, mentally and physically I feel like 'me' here, I feel at ease and whole. I am overcome with inspiration to create and to write and to connect with the deepest roots of myself. That may sound woo-woo to you, but that is how it is for me. I am just not a city dweller you see!

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Do you guys have somewhere you know to be your spiritual home? Maybe you are already living there. Where would be your ideal place to live and why? Let me know in the comments!

PS: I am vlogging a little this week so hang on in there for that next week! In the mean time you can see some more pictures on Instagram!

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16 October 2016

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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^^Image: one of my little watercolour garlands^^

Whenever I sit down to write these posts I feel so calm and content because remembering all the things you have enjoyed or been grateful for in one week is such a lovely exercise. One thing I certainly haven't been grateful for this week is how cold I have been! On Thursday I think I moved around the building at work most of the day, trying to find a desk where I could feel my fingers again! I used to be the person that was always over-heating, but not anymore!

Only one more working week until half term comes along and Joe and I pack ourselves up and head to Cornwall for one whole week of relaxation, a bit of indulgent food and lie-ins by the sea. I have never been more ready to escape the everyday grind as I am right at this moment.

Lets jump in to the things I have been most grateful for this week:

:: Cozy evenings of colouring in. I mentioned, several blog posts ago now, that I had gotten into mindfulness colouring books. I thought it would be one of those fads that I tried and never did again, but I honestly love it. I encouraged Joe to have a little colour one night this week, or maybe it was last weekend, but he also loves it and we plan to take our colouring books (!) on holiday. With life being so very manic and somewhat stressful at the moment, doing this completely clears my mind. I am going to get a couple of the Lorna Scobie books off of Amazon this weekend too, as I like the variety of the pictures. If you don't follow her on-line anywhere you should definitely check out her Instagram if you like very cute animal pictures/watercolours.

:: Sweet and salty skinny popcorn. On my higher carbohydrate days I can have treats like this and discovered this only this week and love it. I know it is not nutritious or voluminous, but it is seriously yummy and feels like a proper treat these days!

:: Dark chocolate dipped in tea. As I sit typing this I am dipping my daily allowance of dark chocolate in my tea and it is so good I had to report it!

:: Seeing conkers lying on the ground; a true sign of autumn being here.

:: A surprise bunch of flowers. My lovely mum decided to buy me a bunch of flowers this week and drop them off into work for me. A colleague delivered them to me and they made me super happy. This was followed up by me arriving home to a card from her too, filled with words that really lifted me up. Thanks monkey!

:: A beautiful angel reading. If you have read my 'About Me' section, you will know already that I believe in guides and angels. Yesterday I had another reading (it's been a while) and it was the best one I have ever had. So specific that it left me all light and inspired at the end.

:: A wander around the garden centre. Today we finally went to the one of our favourite places to kill half an hour... the garden centre. They had all their Christmas bits and bobs in and it was lovely to spend some time looking around, planting the little seeds of festivity again!

I hope your weekend has been a fantastic one... if you are looking forward to the school holidays, like me, then hang on in there, just five working days to go peeps! 
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