31 December 2014

TAKING STOCK | DECEMBER 2014

 photo fromlucywithlovechristmastakingstock_zpsb48c9dfa.pngHappy (almost) end of 2014! I am still in utter shock about how fast this year has shot by. I remember my mum saying to me '...the older you get, the quicker the years go by...' and, I hate to say this, but she was right!

It has been a full-on crazy year. A lot of ups and downs but we made it, just about in one piece! I hope you have all had a fab Christmas. Tell me in the comments what you are hoping for in 2015! I will be putting up a post shortly about my 'to-do' list for the New Year (I am loathed to say 'resolutions' as, by calling them this seems to immediately deem them to fail!).

Anyway, back to rounding up this year with 2014's final 'Taking Stock' post:

Making | Christmas swiss finger biscuits. Terrible for your health but oh so yummy!
Cooking | chewy roast parsnips. 
Drinking | wine, for the first time in months and months. Well, it was the Christmas party!
Reading | a couple of new blogs, including 'Little Tiny Pieces', a beautiful lifestyle blog I recently discovered :-)
Wanting | new trainers. Still. Mine are all kinds of broken and are now hurting my tootsies.
Looking | sleepy.
Playing | Taylor Swifts 1989 album and quite enjoying it!
Deciding | on various changes to my blog for 2015.
Wishing | the world could be a more peaceful place.
Enjoying | spending a bit more time with friends this month.
Waiting | to see what January brings.
Liking | getting up early and switching on the Christmas lights in the lounge and kitchen. So magical.
Wondering | whether to get a spinning bike for the lounge :-s
Loving | 'Hot Pepper' lipstick from Bourjois - so 'my colour'!
Hoping | I can stop worrying about everything soon - I doubt it!
Marveling | over how loud Gizmo can snore for such a small cat (she's doing it right now!).
Needing | more than 2 weeks off over Christmas.
Smelling | spiced apple home fragrance.
Wearing | a whole lot of leggings and long jumpers (perfect camouflage for too many chocolates).
Following | many Vlogmas videos on YouTube! My favourites? Meghan Rienks as she is vlogging about her nose job recovery - I am nosy (no pun intended, honest!), Hello October and Essie Button!
Noticing | how mild it is this Christmas.
Knowing | that I have some fantastically supportive work colleagues and friends. If you are reading this - thank you so much xx
Thinking | I need to start making an effort to read again. I have a mountain of un-read books to get through. I think 2015 needs to include a 'step away from technology' day.
Feeling | snuggly in my onesie.
Opening | the patio door countless times in the middle of the night for the hypo cat.
Giggling | at the work Christmas party - I work with some fabulous nutters! (You know who you are!).
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30 December 2014

TAKING STOCK 'MAN STYLE' | DECEMBER 2014

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{Image sourced from Pinterest | Follow Joe here}

Making | the last trip in my old car.
Cooking | a beef joint that was horrible.
Drinking | whiskey.
Reading | contracts.
Wanting | to play Little Big Planet 3.
Looking | relatively scruffy. 
Playing | Journey on PS3 after a long time.
Deciding | on writing new music.
Wishing | it could be Christmas, everydaaay!
Enjoying | looking back at all the music we did this year.
Waiting | for the bloke in the post office.
Liking | the Christmas market.
Wondering | how this year has gone so fast.
Loving | watching the Muppet Christmas Carol and all of the Christmas Eve/Day fun we had.
Hoping | for a good New Year.
Marveling | at the International Space Station.
Needing | to start doing Insanity Training again.
Smelling | new car smell.
Wearing | some much needed new clothes.
Following | Gizmo down the stairs at 4am.
Noticing | I've eaten too many chocolates.
Knowing | it's only 3 months to go!
Thinking | about our wedding.
Feeling | warm and Christmassy.
Opening | Christmas presents.
Giggling | to the point of making Lucy hiccup!
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29 December 2014

CHRISTMAS WEEK VLOG | NEW YOUTUBE VIDEO

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Happy last-few-days-of-the-year everyone! How are you all? It is all-go this end and changes are afoot. More on that in future posts I am sure.

Last week I decided I was in the mood for a bit of vlogging, and what better week to partake in something I haven't done for ages then Christmas week huh? I was mostly just mooching about at home, getting a few things sorted out for the festivities but figured you guys may be nosy like me, so here it is!


I would love it if you could subscribe to my YouTube Channel - that way you can be the very first to watch all the new uploads 2015 will bring...or just click through to my vlogging playlist for more ramblings.

As I probably mentioned in the video, I am planning on doing some (hopefully) weekly health vlogs. It is 3 months until my 'big day' and, whilst I have no plans to make a drastic transformation that is totally unrealistic and not maintainable, I do want to lose a few pounds and tone up a little more, so I figured I would take you guys along for the ride. This idea, if I am honest, started life from a rather selfish point of view...I need motivation. You guys motivate me....ta-da! There we have it.

Eyes peeled for those bad boys in January then.

What are your plans for the New Year...let me know below!
xoxo
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25 December 2014

OFFICE TOUR | NEW YOUTUBE VIDEO

Happy Christmas lovely readers!

I won't even try and apologise for the radio silence you have been experiencing around here lately (except, I am really, really sorry).

Today I thought I would put up a little random video - an office tour. Not only do I love watching work-space tours but some of you lovely people who subscribe to my YouTube Channel actually wanted this (gasp!). 

All the things I mention in the video are listed on the main video's information bar (just click below the video on YouTube to open this section!).


Thank you to everyone who has subscribed and stays with me. You are all very much appreciated and I love chatting to you - let's make 2015 the best year ever!

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18 December 2014

HATS OFF TO L'OREAL!

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As regular readers of my blog will know, I don't really write about anything beauty related on any other day, other than Monday's, but I just had the urge to put up this post though as I know the products I am going to mention are available right now and if you like them too then you can grab them before the offer disappears. (Just a side-note - this is not a sponsored post!).

Last week I had to pop into Boots to get my poorly dad some late night cough medicine and whilst I was there I thought I would re-purchase L'Oreals (amazing) illuminating primer because it would be rude to leave without any make up right? I also need a new Superliner Black Lacquer - the best liquid liner, with phenomenal staying power, I highly recommend you try it if you are into your feline flicks! Now, I love a free gift and usually, at Christmas time, they are pretty good, but the one I got from L'Oreal I am seriously impressed with. It is called the 'So Couture' gift set and contains a mascara, nail polish, lipstick and eye-liner - basically, everything you need to create that festive glamorous look!

The set is worth over £25.00, and contains products that are true classics that you will use time and time again. L'Oreal are really rocking it for me at the moment. Get yourself out to Boots this weekend and snap up one of their gift sets whilst they are still about!

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15 December 2014

SIMPLE, LONG-LASTING MAKE-UP | NEW YOUTUBE VIDEO

This week is going to be a crazy one lovely readers. I am going to be consuming my body weight in meals (3 work parties and a lovely visit from friends coming up!). Other than trying to squeeze in some much needed cardio, I was thinking about make-up that would transition well from day to night, and so this video was born.

I am a massive fan of the Maybelline 24 Hour Eye Tattoo's, of which I have four in my collection, but recently experimented with the newly released Excess Shimmer shadows by Max Factor - amazing! They last all day long and have a high colour pigment and great setting ability which means they do not budge at all. They are a no fuss product too, which means you don't need a separate socket colour, just keep building the same shade up for more depth - simple.

To see more of the products I am using at the moment just watch the video - why not subscribe to my YouTube Channel to stay up to date and leave me a comment with any video suggestions you may have too - why not!



As usual, if you have any video suggestions you can leave them in the comments below or perhaps get in touch via one of the many social media channels (linked on the right!). Have a lovely Monday everyone!
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12 December 2014

Loving, Needing, Meh! #74

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{Image sourced from Pinterest | Original found here}

This week I have been LOVING:
  • Watching a whole variety of YouTubers doing Vlogmas! I really enjoy vlogs but personally I couldn't do vlogmas, my life is quite literally the same on any given day. If you don't know what vlogmas is it is just daily video diaries all through the month of December. Call me nosy!
  • Going into Boots late at night to pick my dad up some medicine and leaving with a gorgeous L'Oreal gift-set with all the make up in it that I was desperate to buy for the Christmas party but couldn't stretch the budget! In love with it all. Thanks Boots.
  • Making the house festive. My favourite thing was draping the left over tinsel all over the picture frames! 
  • The special edition Liz Earle, sweet orange and mint hot cloth cleanser. You guys know how much I adore shampoo and conditioner with mint so when I saw this cleanser I was all over it. Liz Earle products are simply amazing, I highly recommend them. Their original hot cloth cleanser is a staple (not to mention classic) product in my opinion. Also, they always give away freebies and travel sizes for you to try :-)
  • Gizmo cuddles. She laid in my arms like a baby yesterday, it was adorable. Heaven knows how many times a day I say 'I love you' to that fur-ball!
  • Random dance moments at work. We were getting Christmas-party-ready so it is allowed!
  • Hearing from an old friend (xx).
  • A few Celebration chocolates. I am not off the wagon of health, just testing them to make sure they are okay for everyone. Like Henry VIII's servants did for him.
  • My new hair colour. No one has noticed and that is ok because I asked for subtle. I have just had some honey and light brown highlights put in to jazz it up and give it a bit of warmth - honestly, love it!
This week I have been NEEDING:
  • A lot of head ache tablets. I have been feeling a whole lot of rough and yesterday had a migraine (again), My body is ready for an MOT people!
  • To find my huge purple scarf. Where is it? I love it and have matching mittens (insert sad face here...). Off to design a 'missing' poster.
This weeks 'MEH!':
  • What kind of idiot would spend about an hour looking for a new Moleskine diary in a specific design and then wait a week for it to arrive (all the while feeling like an over-excited child - seriously, Moleskine diaries are the best) only to realise the diary was a 2014 one. Er, that would be ME. Luckily I can return it. Maybe I should order a brain instead. HUGE idiot award goes to (drum roll) ME!!
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8 December 2014

December's You Beauty Box | New YouTube Video

After a two week YouTube break I am finally back! What with work hours and no daylight when I am at home (and no studio lighting), I have been stuck for making videos but I am hoping that I am now 'back on it'! Thank you for being patient with me.

What better video to come back with then a You Beauty Discovery monthly box. I always say this, but I really look forward to picking from the menu and receiving my box through the post every month, it feels like a little treat. It's the small things that keep me happy peeps!

To see what I thought about the products I chose this month just watch the video below, to see a more in depth write up scroll below the video!


This month I chose...
If you hang out on YouTube a fair amount and subscribe to a lot of beauty channels you will definitely have heard of the beautiful Ruth Crilly, from the channel 'A Model Recommends'. Ruth recently brought out this dry shampoo range which is shockingly affordable! The full size is only £2.32 in Superdrug. In the beauty box this month were two, mini sizes (worth £1.32 each) in the scents London and Rio.

I had never heard of this brand before and love trying new cleansers (skincare products generally actually!) so thought I would give it a shot. At just £4.95 for the full size, this product is available from UK stores such as John Lewis and Waitrose, as well as from Amie's own website. The scent of this cleanser is, in my opinion, heaven! It is not so scented that it will upset your skin, just a subtle, natural smell that is lovely to use. I actually really like this product and the price point just makes it even more appealing.

At the same price for the full size (£4.95) this moisturiser is also a bargain. I have a habit of skipping moisturiser sometimes in the morning when I am in a rush as it can take my skin a while to absorb a product, so this is perfect for me. It is light, smells great and sinks in so fast, leaving skin refreshed and matte. Perfect.

Let me know what products you got in your beauty boxes this month, any good recommendations?
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5 December 2014

Loving, Needing, Meh! #73

For the first time ever I missed writing this post last Friday. But now the Christmas event I organise is done, over, finished, I am back to normal (maybe!). How are you all and how has your week been? Chuck a comment below and tell me some gossip won't you? 

I feel out of the blogging and YouTube loop right now. I currently have 635 (!) unread posts on Bloglovin and over 20 videos on my 'watch later' tab on YouTube. I wish this was because I have been festively gallivanting about but it all down to work and lack of sleep. Anyway, let's catch up on the week shall we? I may throw in some of last week also!

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{Just thought I would include this little triptych of our Gizmo... scary!} 

This week I have been LOVING:
  • Discovering my blog had been featured on Reloved magazines blog post about their favourite blogs! Thanks Reloved!
  • Glittery nails. I am loving the nail polishes that are mostly clear but have various sizes of glitter in them. I apply one coat so it is so subtle but I think it looks so pretty.
  • Our little anniversary dinner at Bills restaurant in town. If you are a regular reader of this blog then you will already know how much Joe and I love Bills! We had such a lovely meal, the food there is super-dooper (!).
  • A beautiful little gift given to me by the totally fabulous Syb, my gawgous work colleague and friend. She knows how to cheer me up (and make me cry a little too!). Thank you so very much x
  • Christmas card swapping with the lovely Angie B (check out her site here). When the envelope arrived from Angie I wasn't at home so Joe text me to say my Hogwarts letter had arrived - that is how beautifully addressed it was. Thank you lovely lady and gold star for the thought of a blogger/Instagrammer Christmas card exchange! Genius.
  • 'Thinking Out Loud', by Ed Sheeran. The hopeless romantic in me loves this song so much :-)
  • On the topic of music - I have been playing Christmas songs in my car on the way to work. You cannot beat a bit of Shakin' Stevens 'Merry Christmas Everyone' at 6.30am.
  • Christmas lights. As I returned home from my week and pulled into our road I saw that many people have dug out their pretty Christmas displays. I adore seeing lights, especially the sparkly gold ones, around doors and fences, they are just so magical!
  • My advent calender. The only chocolate I am allowing myself until right before Christmas. Yes, I still have an advent calender. Mum buys us one each every Christmas. I will have one forever because I am a child.
This week I am NEEDING:
  •  Last week we went to see Billy Elliot the musical in London. I have seen it before and I wasn't disappointed when I watched it for a second time, in-fact, I think I loved it even more. Unfortunately Joe was unable to come along (boo!) but low and behold they released a DVD of the live show taking place, with the same boy playing Billy that we saw. So this weekend we will be needing to rent that on PS3! Whoop!
  • To find some fake tan for my see-through limbs. I have been in our local Boots store twice now and failed to find any. Am I stupid or do they just stop selling it in the winter?
This weeks 'MEH!':
  • Post training migraines. They really suck :-(
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2 December 2014

Taking Stock | November 2014

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{Picture sourced from Pinterest for no other reason other than it makes me smile!}

Making | porridge for breakfast again.
Cooking | much healthier options (this is not easy coming up to Christmas let me tell you!).
Drinking | festive green tea (caramelised apple and gingerbread specifically).
Reading | creative business books for inspiration.
Wanting | time to make YouTube videos again. Soon people, soon!
Looking | like I need a good holiday!
Playing | old Genesis and Bryan Adams CD's (yep, CD's!).
Deciding | what to get people for Christmas and various birthdays that are coming up. 
Wishing | for a huge, calorie-free chocolate cake.
Enjoying | watching The Muppet's Christmas Carol with Joe.
Waiting | for the weekends for a treat. I am on the healthy wagon but allowing myself a treat once a week, but boy does it drag!
Liking | every bobble hat I try on. I may have a problem!
Wondering | how a cardboard box can entertain Gizmo for so long, yet her actual cat toys barely get a look in. #catownerproblems
Loving | my work colleagues support - they are the best.
Hoping | to start party planning really soon...post wedding knees up anyone?!
Marvelling | over the talented kids in Billy Elliot the musical - so good!
Needing | a new thumb after pushing what felt like a billion drawing pins into the worlds toughest noticeboard at work.
Smelling | mulled wine in the air at Salisbury Christmas Market.
Wearing | glitter nail polish on my ring finger. I do love a bit of festive sparkle in my life.
Following | way too much of 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' for my liking... I am not meant to like that show - save me.
Noticing | there are a lot of sweets at work that I can't have :-(
Knowing | how much I love my hubby to be.
Thinking | that this Saturday's hair appointment cannot come soon enough - my roots are below my ears. No joke.
Feeling | excited that it is only 4 months until we get married.
Opening | a surprise gift from a lovely friend.
Giggling | at inappropriate children's books and toys. Surely they do it to keep adults entertained?
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27 November 2014

Self Portrait

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{Picture sourced from Pinterest}

Hi guys, remember me? Okay, I am exaggerating because it hasn't been that long since I posted but it is currently my busiest time of year - yep, that is me in that picture (or at least that is how I feel right now). 

I just wanted to touch base and say 'hello' and that I hope you are all still out there and haven't given up on me due to a week of totally radio silence.

My big work event is tomorrow evening so after a weekend of sleep I will be back! (I should've inserted a picture of Arnie at this point huh?).

See you all soon xoxo
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21 November 2014

Loving, Needing, Meh! #72

Welcome to another Friday! It is a grey one here, I hope it is brighter where you are! 

It's been a busy one this end, I have an event I organise at work taking place next Friday, The Twilight Christmas Market, so it is all go here. I am struggling to get my brain in to the mode of having to put up two trees next week! Fingers crossed it all goes well - wish me luck! For now, let's focus on what has been happening this week shall we?

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This week I have been LOVING:
  • The carpet of leaves in our garden. Joe tells me he will be clearing them up over the weekend, which is probably for the best as they will soon turn to mush, but for now they really brighten up a grey old day.
  • Hozier's single 'Take Me To Church'. Not my normal taste in music but I have been loving this song! 
  • Getting a surprise card at work this week from a lovely friend. It made my day.
  • Making Christmas related plans. This also involved how to stop Gizmo from scaling the tree - any thoughts and tips welcome lovely people!
  • Trying on a 'little black dress' from years ago that still fits. That always feels good! (I'm actually hoping it will fit with room to spare by the Christmas party as I am on somewhat of a mission right now!).
  • Looking back to the start of Joes Instagram at all our silly pictures! This is so much fun to sit and do together. Oh the memories!
This week I have been NEEDING:
  • To start thinking about wedding make up. Yes, there is 4 months to go, but I need to think about what I want because time is flying by and, before we know it, April will be along.
  • Talking of wedding...we really need to sort out the post wedding party. I haven't even started thinking about that yet and really, really need to. We are not doing a conventional wedding so, don't worry, it isn't the reception that I haven't planned! Maybe I'll do a post on our plans really soon.
  • Tea. Not just any tea. I am trying to make an effort to drink some green tea at work rather than regular tea with milk and I heard that Twinnings have introduced some new wintery flavours that I need to try, including salted caramel and gingerbread. Apparently they are good but I currently can't find them in our local store. Boo!
This weeks 'MEH!':
  • You will remember the accident I/the cat had with Joe's Playstation 3 controller (if you didn't read about it let's just say it involved water!). That has now been replaced and we are happy campers. Fast forward to the weekend just gone when we decided that a Guitar Hero Metallica would be a good way to kill a couple of hours... the ruddy batteries leaked in the little guitar and now that too has entered the graveyard of PS3 controllers. Now that I am upset about.
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17 November 2014

Skin Care Chat & Haul | New YouTube Video

This week I have posted a video to show you some of the most recent skin care products I have introduced into my routine. You know what it's like, things mostly run out at the same time and you are forced to part with way too much hard earned money to prevent a disaster erupting. In my case this happened anyway as my skin has recently reverted back to it's third year of secondary school state - how and why still remains a mystery!


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The products I am using at the moment are mostly for sensitive skin, despite my skin not actually being sensitive, I figured I should do my best not to anger the beast within! To see a full list (with links) to the products I bought please click here and see the description box under the main video for all the details.


Let me know if you use any of these products or if you have any recommendations from these brands or others.
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14 November 2014

Loving, Needing, Meh! #71

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{Image sourced from Pinterest | Original found here}


This week I have been LOVING:
  • I seem to be very late to the party but a colleague showed me this YouTube video. It is such a beautiful animation and sweet message, if you haven't watched it all the way through then you certainly should.
  • My new glasses. They are an early Christmas present from Joe and I love them a whole heap.
  • Malteaser cupcakes, well, one, singular Malteaser cupcake. Don't you love it when someone brings in cakes to work?
  • An afternoon snuggle and sleep whilst we half watched 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks'. Kids films rock! Bring on Mary Poppins :-)
  • Catherine-Wheels and burgers in buns. We had a sort of bonfire-night meal with my mum and dad at the weekend and my dad, feeling brave, brought with him a Catherine-Wheel. I watched from the lounge whilst looking after a slightly freaked out cat, but was impressed that it didn't fling off the fence and over to next doors garden! 
  • Mindfulness Meditation. YouTube really has all sorts of gems that, in the past, we would have had to pay money to take part in. I mentioned in another post that I have been doing some yoga, with the YouTube channel 'Yoga with Adriene', after a yoga session this week I layered up to keep warm and threw on a meditation session to help try and calm my mind. Meditation is not easy for someone who has a mind that goes a million miles an hour but I did feel more chilled out afterwards so that has to be a good thing right?
This week I have been NEEDING:
  • To somehow encourage Gizmo to use her outside bed. In-fact, trying to encourage Gizmo to use anything actually intended for her is a struggle. This pin illustrates our struggle.
  • A new hot water bottle. Ours has sprung a leak. Unfortunately it chose to do this when it had just been filled with hot water. Why do these things break when it gets cold?
  • To organise some Christmas party outfits. I have three Christmas 'do's' in one week. This slightly ruins my usual 'I'll-just-wear-the-same-outfit-each-time' plan. Some of the same people will be at the same thing so they may notice!
This weeks 'MEH!':
  • The shower bracket thingy suddenly giving up and falling on my head as I turned off the taps. Ouch. Until the landlord visits to fix it we are showering holding it over our heads which is fairly awkward!
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12 November 2014

Top Pins | Autumn

At the moment I am all about cosy autumn things. Snugly looking rooms, over-sized jumpers and scarves and piping hot drinks. The weather in the UK is official dull and Pinterest is just the place to find some cheer! Here are my 'Top Pins' for autumn.

Keeping Warm
Despite the dark mornings (and very early sunsets) this is my absolute favourite time of year. It is all about colours and layers and textures... heaven. One of Joe and I's top things to do is to wrap up warm and head outside for a walk, swiftly followed by a hot cup of tea and a happy film.

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(Left to right)
:: Tartan. I have got big-time in to tartan since we went to Edinburgh last October. When did I turn in to a cliché?! I think I now associate it with such a lovely couple of days and seeing it everywhere we went lodged it in my mind. I am on the hunt for a big tartan scarf, much like the ones pictured!
:: Hot chocolates. Need I say more?
:: Blankets, rugs and all things cosy certainly are a must at this time of year.
:: Bobble hats. I am obsessed. Marks and Spencer have some cracking ones this year :-)
:: I love the colder evenings so that I can bring out the cosy socks. Slipping your feet into the gorgeous, fluffy insides is heaven.
:: Whether you enjoy a Sunday breakfast at home or at your favourite cafe, you cannot beat some hot waffles or pancakes with a little syrup to set you up for the day ahead.

Hair & Beauty
The thing I enjoy most about this time of year is that you can get away with a little bit of glam during the day; a touch of glitter liquid liner or big lashes and a red lip - gorgeous! I have a thing about hair tucked in to scarves and roll-necks too, it kind of makes you look like you have had a whole lot of hair chopped off but it keeps your neck warm so is a bonus for sure!

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(Left to right)
:: Personally, I can't 'pull off' dark hair like this, but I think it is so pretty, especially with simple eye make-up and a pop of colour on the lips. A true classic look.
:: Hair tucked into roll neck jumpers or big scarves is a unique way to keep it from blowing around in the autumn wind.
:: I adore khol eye-liner in the winter months, more for an evening look than during the day, the matte red lip is gorgeous too.
:: Last year I tried this nail look out as I am not one for glitter on every nail. I like the contrast between blood-red/black nails with a touch of glitter on one nail for a bit more impact.
:: Do you apply fake tan in the winter? I am so pale that it is a must for me. If I have a bit of tan on and am having a rare 'good-skin' week I enjoy this kind of bronze, dewy-skin look, with a touch of shimmer to try and give the illusion of cheekbones.
:: Messy buns and geeky glasses are where it's been at during the weekends of late.

Christmas Cheer
You cannot beat a little glitter and fairy lights to brighten up a dreary day.

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(Left to right)
:: I may make this very cute little orange-peel garland. I adore the simplicity or the string too.
:: We don't really do wreathes in our house but I think this twig and berry one is gorgeous. 
:: These yummy looking ginger bread cakes might just satisfy a sweet-tooth or two on a cold afternoon!
:: I must confess that we keep some white fairy lights up all year but will be getting some like these for the festive season too.
:: Can you tell I am hungry whilst I pick my top pins? These snowflake cookies do look good though!
:: Call me crazy but I enjoy the process of wrapping. Pinterest has some fab wrapping ideas!
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10 November 2014

November's You beauty Discovery Box | New YouTube Video

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The good thing about a beauty box subscription is that it gives you something to look forward too. I count down to the first day of the month so I can go online and order my two products from You Beauty...I just love the concept! This month, I admit, wasn't the greatest of months, but still, for the money, I am happy with what came through my door this month.


The two products I ordered were:

Skin & Tonic London's 'Steam Clean'
This organic cleansing balm smells fabulous, let's start with that! Its main ingredients, which make it smell so yummy, are eucalyptus oil and spearmint oil. I have a thing about minty products which is what drew me in about this cleanser. I thought it would be a nice refreshing one and I wasn't disappointed. The instructions with this product are a little different to most cleansing balms as it comes with one additional step; once you have massaged it in to the skin you have to lay a warm muslin cloth over your face for 30-60 seconds to allow the pores to open and to allow you time to breathe in the aroma created by the oils. Once wiped away my skin felt soft and clean. Job done! The sample I received was about 15mls, for the full size (50ml) it retails at £27.00 from the company's website, so it is not the cheapest but if you are in to your more natural, organic products certainly one to look at.

Magnifibres 'Brush-On False Lashes'
This is a strange old thing, not bad strange, just strange and unlike anything I have ever tried. Maybe I need to get out more! What did I expect? Well, I have used lash-primers in the past that you put on like mascara and it is white in colour, you know the ones. But this stuff, well, let me just say that it was perfectly timed around Halloween! The consistency of what you see on the wand, when you pull it out of the tube, is what can only be described as in line with those fake cobwebs you buy to put in your doorway, sort of wispy fur... Consistency to one side for a moment. Let's talk about product performance. It was shockingly great actually! You have to put on one coat of your regular mascara, then quickly add one coat of Magnifibres. This process allows the fibres to bond to your wet mascara. You finish by adding one more coat of ordinary mascara. I certainly have longer, thicker looking lashes, I wouldn't say they look like false ones but I guess I may not have applied enough - I was being a tad cautious on first attempt! The full size, which is what came in the box (hooray!) retails at £16.99. That is quite a hefty amount for what it is but it is a fun product to play around with.

As usual, let me know what you got in your beauty box this month or if you don't get one let me know what your favourite product of the moment is!
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7 November 2014

Loving, Needing, Meh! #70

Welcome to your (almost) weekend people! How has your week been? Anything exciting to report? My week has been pretty full-on, with some Gizmo induced 'fun' (see this weeks 'Meh'!) which led to a night of barely any sleep whatsoever and Joe and I aging 10 years in a very short space of time. But, before I start waffling on, let's get into this weeks round up!

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^^This little monkey has added new grey hairs to my head this week^^

This week I have been LOVING:
  • The new John Lewis Christmas advert. Gorgeous. I may have cried...a little (a lot!).
  • Audio-books. I have really taken to listening to a book on my way to and from work. I am finding that it helps to quieten down my mind. I am currently listening to 'There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You' by the late Lynda Bellingham. Although this book, in essence, is about her diagnosis and struggle with colon cancer it is peppered with humour and lovely stories which make you laugh and cringe at times too. 
  • My newly updated office. Last week I mentioned our trip to Ikea to get a desk and subsequent office mini-makeover to follow. It is pretty much all done now I am pleased to say and it feels so much better to work in without all the clutter everywhere. It is only a small room so is still pretty full of things but it is certainly a much nicer experience!
  • Choosing Christmas food for a work do. Knowing that I will be getting a Christmas dinner followed by hot waffles with toffee apple slices and ice-cream on 18th December is heaven! 
  • Switching on our white fairy lights that go across the kitchen window when I get home from work. The dark evenings call for twinkly lights!
This week I have been NEEDING:
  • Vitamin C and Echinacea. I have been feeling shivery on and off since Sunday. Boo. I feel like I am fighting it off gradually but certainly can't afford to have a cold right now, so jog on germs!
This weeks 'MEH!':
  • Our lovely little fur-ball, Gizmo, decided not to come home on Tuesday night. Some of you will think this is normal, but for her it is not. She is a creature of habit and never misses dinner, let alone goes out for long. She is always in her bed by 10pm, washing away for ages, before settling down for the night. But Tuesday came and went and no Gizmo. Joe walked around calling for her, nothing. Being the slightly over-emotional, over-sensitive wreck that I usually am, I was going out of my mind with worry. Wednesday morning comes around and still nothing. Not until about 8.30am when she turns up, looking slightly tired but otherwise fine. The verdict? She could have been stuck in someones garage (she has a habit of climbing into nooks and crannies in ours). I bet some poor, unsuspecting person went to take their car out for work on Wednesday and she shot out like a bat out a cave, I am still recovering. She is fine.
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5 November 2014

The best things in life are free...

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(Image sourced from Pinterest)

I like to think we are friends over here now so I have no problem telling you that the last few weeks have been full on. Even though things have been rough I wanted to take the time to acknowledge a few things that have really made me smile recently, because, well, why not...

:: The lovely email I received from H, one of the people who actually read my ramblings (people read this - I still can't quite believe it sometimes!). She decided to email me after reading this post and her email was perfectly timed. I won't go into the in's and out's of it but I just wanted to say thank you, again, for your kind words and taking time out of your day to get in touch (xx).

:: Reading old emails that Joe and I sent each other whilst he was on holiday in America when we first got together. It is so nice to recall the feelings that were then so new.

:: Having an out of the blue text arrive from a work colleague to see how things were and just say hello. Very much appreciated.

:: Reading some lovely comments from you guys on my posts - you always cheer me up with your thoughts and responses, get in touch at any time!

:: Trying on a multitude of fluffy and bobbly hats in a late night trip to Marks and Spencer with mum (this also resulted in me looking like I had been electrocuted - static overload!)

:: The early morning, pre-school-opening giggle my colleague and I often share as we get ready for the day ahead. This mad five minutes is worth its weight in gold.

:: Watching our cat, Gizmo, going bonkers to Bon Jovi. There are no words for what she gets up to at times.

:: Getting a text from Joe to say he is going to cook sausages and baked potatoes for dinner (and gravy of course). Comfort food always helps :-)

:: Smelling every Christmas candle possible. I want all of them!

Thank you guys for being patient with me. Normal service will be resumed shortly, I promise. xx

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1 November 2014

Taking Stock 'Man Style' | October 2014

What better way to start the month of November than rounding up October with my lovely man. Did you read my 'Taking Stock' post too?

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{Image sourced from Pinterest | Orginal found here}

Making | progress on our wedding plans!
Cooking | steaks.
Drinking | rather a lot of coffee.
Reading | terms and conditions.
Wanting | to live by the beach.
Looking | at wedding rings.
Playing | our new EP on iTunes!
Deciding | on presents.
Wishing | to never hear that song 'Happy' ever again.
Enjoying | our trip to IKEA.
Waiting | for Christmas!
Liking | having a few days off work.
Wondering | what it must be like to take 240 million years for earth to orbit the centre of the Milky Way.
Loving | Lucy's homemade pizzas.
Hoping | to get a lamp for upstairs.
Marveling | at Lucy trying on new glasses.
Needing | a Guitar Hero & whiskey night.
Smelling | some bonfires in the air.
Wearing | my coat.
Following | what the sat nav was telling me.
Noticing | my sleeping pattern has changed.
Knowing | there are plenty of terrible films still to be seen.
Thinking | about how brilliant our early morning film watching was.
Feeling | better for doing INSANITY.
Opening | flat pack furniture (and building it together).
Giggling | at Megashark Vs. Crocosaurus.
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31 October 2014

Loving, Needing, Meh! #69

Happy Halloween lovely blog friends! I hope you have had an amazing week. If you have been in the UK you will know that we have had awesome weather for the time of year (today is a beauty too!). If you are reading this from somewhere else in this lovely world of ours let me know what it is like where you are!

For those of you that are slightly tired of pumpkin pictures, I humbly apologise, this should be the last of it!

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This week I have been LOVING:

  • Making this guy with Joe (^^see picture^^). Mum bought a pumpkin and asked if we could cut it out for her so we kept it simple. I think he looks rather smart!
  • A mid-week roast dinner. We visited my mum and dad this Wednesday, as we are both off work and rarely get to see them together these days. We had a full on roast with yummy homemade desserts (yes, there were two!). It was one of those 'I'm so full I can't ever eat again' meals... followed, a few hours later, by 'do you want something to eat?'!
  • Leaving the back door open and smelling the autumn air. As I said, the weather here has been unusually mild for the tail of October. The sky has been (mostly) blue and the sun has been shining. Right now I have the windows and doors open and a t-shirt on. I really enjoy this weather the most.
  • Our trip to Ikea. Ok, it was rammed with people, which scares the living you-know-what out of me, but it was a success. I have been saving a few pounds to get a second, small desk for my office room and managed to sort out just the thing. I will be doing a short 'office tour' video soon. 
  • My new fitness discovery. For those that follow my Instagram or Facebook page you may already know this! I have been looking for a balance in my fitness regime to allow me to still feel like I am doing something and not being lazy. I train fairly intensely most of the time as I like to feel like I am about to die apparently (!) and I am not so good with taking rest days. So, I thought I would try adding some yoga and relaxation into the mix. I discovered this amazing YouTube Channel called 'Yoga with Adriene' thanks to another YouTuber who recommended it on her channel! I have surprised myself with how much I am enjoying it and, let me tell you, I still sweat plenty :-)
  • Baths. What can I say...Netflix, bubbles....lovely!
This week I have been NEEDING:
  • To get better at making bread. See this weeks 'Meh!' for further details!
  • Another week off. I don't wish to sound greedy but you know how it is! I am just feeling like I am starting to chill out and it is Friday! Grr.
  • To re-purchase my teenage skincare. I have run out of all the things that help keep my unpredictable boat-race (that's face in case you were lost) under some form of control. The three things I need are all over £10 and it is heart breaking to part with that sort of money all at once, but I also do not want to continue to look like a dot-to-dot picture either. Blurgh.
This weeks 'MEH!':
  • Right now I am attempting to make ciabatta bread for tonight. Can I just say that the pizza dough I made this week was the first time I have ever ventured into the bread making department at all now suddenly I think I am Delia ruddy Smith?? What am I thinking? I guess you will soon know whether or not it has been a success - stay tuned on Instagram! Right now I am not holding my breath because it was so unbelievable sticky. I am following a recipe from one of the British Bake Off chef's too - it can't go wrong...can it? (Yep!). On the plus side I now know what the two strangely shaped things were that came with my mixer, bread hooks! Hurrah! (wtf?!)
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29 October 2014

Taking Stock | October 2014

It is the end of the month already. I don't particularly mind because I enjoy the festivities that come along at this time of year and the build up to, dare I say, Christmas!

Putting the dreaded 'C' word behind us for now let us see what an exciting, adventurous month I have had (are you sensing any sarcasm?!). Seriously guys, it has been a bit quiet but what the heck, that is life huh!

PS: If you do a Taking Stock post on your blog please, please, please, link it in the comments because reading these posts is one of my favourite things to do :-) If you don't yet do one then try it, go on!

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^^My mini pumpkins from Sainsbury's - too cute for words!^^

Making | pizza dough for the first time. It was easier than I thought! Next stop, bread! 
Cooking | half term cupcake treats. 
Drinking | way too many tea's - as usual.
Reading | Tracey Emin's 'My Life in a Column'. I have had this signed copy sitting around for a few years from when I went to hear Emin talk in the Hayward Gallery and have never quite found the time to read it. It documents the weekly column she used to write in The Independent newspaper. I know she isn't everyone's cup of tea but I find her writing (and her art) fascinating.
Wanting These beauties and one of these wotzits!
Looking | way too tired and zoned out from life.
Playing this song to cheer me up. I know I am almost in my mid 30's but dancing alone to pop is still allowed (right?)
Deciding | whether or not I can rock metallic nails...?
Wishing | for a clear mind.
Enjoying | American Horror Story. Specifically Season 2. Scary yes, but watchable!
Waiting | for Joes wedding band to arrive to see if it is the right fit. Fingers crossed.
Liking | middle of the night cat cuddles.
Wondering | what new winter meals to make. I need me some healthy, low fat/high protein recipes people!
Loving | the new French Connection glasses I have my eyes on (see what I did there!).
Hoping | to get our little sofa soon (thanks for passing it down mum and dad!). No more sitting on the floor in our house when people come over :-)
Marveling | at how fast this year has passed. It is less than a month until my best friends baby is one year old. Scary fast year people.
Needing | to rearrange my office thanks to a lovely trip to Ikea! Perhaps I will do a blog post on that soon :-)
Smelling | wood smoke in the air. One of my favourite autumn smells. It is so nostalgic.
Wearing | vampy red/black nails, over-sized knitwear and ripped jeans.
Following | a fantastic new yoga channel. Yoga with Adriene is perfect for my busy life and allows me to try and find some relaxation and balance without the need to take part in a two hour class. I have done the abs and arms session and the yoga for bedtime - highly recommend!
Noticing | that having my laptop on my lap only encourages the cat to want to get on my knee as well - impossible!
Knowing | I have to replace Joes PS3 control very, very soon after knocking it in water - giant oops!
Thinking | about what to get people for Christmas. I try and get organised each year but usually still rush about like a woman possessed anyway!
Feeling | super proud of Joe - his EP is actually on iTunes for all the world to see, a-maz-ing! Follow him on Facebook for all the information. (Well done Mows!).
Opening | up (a little more).
Giggling | at myself trying to do rap dance moves. Don't ask.
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27 October 2014

Sunday Snaps on a Monday (again)

After a very tough couple of months I am trying my very best(est) to get back on track with my blog. If you are wondering where I have been and why have been so intermittent then maybe this will help explain a little bit. Due to my current hermit-like situation I haven't exactly been happy-snappy on the old photo front, hence there has been no 'Sunday Snaps' since mid-August. 

Anyway, let's start a fresh shall we, I have uploaded some for you to peruse at your leisure - enjoy!

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1. I have said it before and I will say it again - mini food rocks! These peppers are so sweet and incredibly tasty. / 2. We have had a fair amount of family nights on the sofa this last month. Tiredness has been taking over all three of us, although I must confess my love for such dozy times. / 3. A silly selfie whilst waiting for Joe to get his shoes on. / 4. Last month in Salisbury after a dinner at Bills Restaurant (see, I do go out every now and then!). / 5. These are called 'Munchkin Pumpkins' and were two for £1.50 in Sainsbury's - I can resist mini things...oh, wait, I have mentioned that already! Seriously though, they look so cute on my kitchen window ledge. I also think they could look sweet with little night-lights in them and delicate patterns cut out (maybe I will do that soon). / 6. You may have to ready yourself for the vision of these reindeer leggings over the coming months. They were from Primark last year and they are super warm and comfy. Add in a cuppa in my favourite mug and I am one happy camper. / 7. Ta-da! Homemade pizza, dough and all. It was kind of tasty. We did it with those sweet and colourful little peppers, chicken, chorizo, mozzarella and a bit of cheddar too. / 8. This is Joe. He has a stick he uses to knock down spider webs (there are literally hundreds...we live in the countryside ya know!). This is his face having spotted several unwanted nests above the kitchen window. Scary? Yep! / 9. Colours! I heart autumn.
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Empties (plus mini reviews) | New YouTube Video!

Better late than never! My Monday beauty video is up, up, up and away! This week I finally did my empties video that have been gathering around my office (and feet) for months. I warn you now, there are quite a few...go and make a cuppa and settle down! (I won't be offended if you have a snooze too).

Please 'Like' and 'Subscribe' to my channel if you want to be the first to hear about any new videos going up.

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24 October 2014

Loving, Needing, Meh! #68

Do you ever get to the end of a working week and feel like you need to go in to hibernation? Yes? Then you will be understanding how I am feeling right now. But, on the upside I am on a one week break as of Monday as October half term has come around once again. This time last year we were getting ready for a trip to Edinburgh, I can't believe a year has gone by since those wonderful couple of days.

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^^The beautiful autumn leaves outside work this week^^

This week I have been LOVING:
  • Autumn colours. As much as the leaves have been a nemesis to the Head Teacher and caretakers at work I have been loving them! (Although, getting leaf mush in your shoe at 7.30am is not ideal!).
  • Opening the fridge to find a little Kinder chocolate stick. My man knows how to cheer me up.
  • Planning our half term holiday. It may sound boring to most people but we have an Ikea trip planned and I cannot wait (rock 'n' roll baby!).
  • Yummy Marks and Spencer's dessert treats (thanks dad!).
  • A surprise box of chocolates and card I received from a student this week for helping him out with his computer issues - the chocolates went straight to the real heroes - the IT department!
  • Random cups of tea at 7.15am in the caretakers office (can you tell it has been a big work week?!)
  • Coming home to a big cuddle and a lazy family night on the sofa.
  • Listening to old Genesis and Bon Jovi tunes and reminiscing of the old days!
  • Looking at sparkly Christmas clothes on the tinterweb.
This week I have been NEEDING:
  • To know the date that Boots No 7 are releasing their Christmas calender! (Please be affordable, please be affordable, please be affordable!).
  • To dust off my watercolour set - I've got plans people, I've got plans!
  • Right now I believe I need these Topshop boots. I have prided myself (for years) for not being a 'shoe person', it appears I overlooked the fact that I just might be a 'boot person'.
  • Pumpkins. I want to autumnise (is that a word?) the house - I see pumpkins as a generally lovely accessory for autumn, not just a Halloween decoration. I made some pumpkins last year that lasted a while in the house, see them here.
This weeks 'MEH!':
  • Hitting my dad over the head with empty the cling film box, pretty harmless... until you realise you hit him over the head with the tooth-side of the box...right after he presented you with a yummy caramel shortbread dessert from Marks and Spencer. Oops. Sorry pops!
  • Accidentally knocking Joe's PlayStation 3 controller into water. In my defense I wasn't alone, the cat helped, but she gets away with it as she is cute.
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20 October 2014

Matte Lips & Shimmery Eyes | Simple Autumn Make Up

Monday is here once again and in this video I am experimenting with my new eye-shadow stick from Gosh (I love it by the way!). As it is so very shimmery I thought I would team it together with a matte red lip and I really like the result, so much so I have kind of been wearing nothing else but that look since! 

The eye-shadow stick in question you can buy in Superdrug and it comes in some pretty fancy colours - I will be buying a couple more for sure. They last really well on the eyes and even lasted me through a very intense training session (I know, I know, I wore make up through exercise but in my defence I was at home and I had to do it before I fell asleep, which I almost certainly would've done had I put warm water on my face!).

Check out the box under my video on YouTube for all the links - enjoy!

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18 October 2014

Loving, Needing, Meh! #67

Sorry this is one day later than usual ladies and gents... Happy Saturday! I hope you have had a great week and that your weekend has kicked off well. Let me know what you have planned for this weekend as well as what has been your highlight this week!

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{Image sourced from Pinterest | Original source unavailable}

This week I have been LOVING:
  • Starting the week with a work quiz night on Monday evening. Despite being pretty rubbish with most of the questions involving geography and sport I did ok. Although my other team members were amazing! Watch out Mastermind! It was nice to get out again as I am starting to feel like a bit of a hermit.
  • 'Trialing' my work buddies raspberry and amaretto cake - someone had to do it! It was delicious.
  • An evening catch up with my bestie. Nothing beats a cup of tea and a good natter does it.
  • Singing 80's songs at the top of my voice whilst cooking dinner. I didn't realise how amazing Absolute Radio 80's is :-)
  • Looking at beauty related advent calenders online. Probably can't afford one but loving window shopping none-the-less! My current favourite is the You Beauty Discovery one - heaven! On the advent calender note - mum has already got us some choccie ones (thanks mum!)
  • Planning a mini fire-work night dinner at our place, with sparklers and everything...sometimes it has just got to be done.
  • American Horror Story. I needed a new Netflix series any boy, have I found a strange one! I heard everyone talking about this show and thought I would check it out. I am strangely glued to it. Have you seen it? Thoughts?
This week I have been NEEDING:
  • To find trousers for work which cover my (cold) ankles! I am currently still wearing my ankle-grazers and am just about getting away with it. I just can't find a good fitting pair of trousers for work. It is starting to prove impossible. They are either super baggy around my backside or too long; it's like Goldilocks and the three pairs of trousers!
This weeks 'MEH!':
  • I can't think of any - yay! 
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17 October 2014

Thoughts of now.

I shared a little insight with you on the blog last week through this post, so thought I would also share one more thought with you today, because it is Friday and, well, why not?! (If you are looking for my regular Friday post then it will be up first thing tomorrow, I promise).

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{Image sourced from Pinterest | Originally from this lovely Etsy shop}

In last weeks post I mentioned a few things that help me cope when the chips are down (actually, chips help quite a lot!). One thing that I wanted to talk about, that really helps me, is teaching yourself to stay in the present (as much as possible anyway!). Obviously this is nothing new to the world, just something I am trying to drag into my head-space, kicking and screaming, as a way of helping me to cope when I start over thinking and worrying about every darn thing on the planet.

Last year I downloaded the audio book 'The Power of Now' and it was like a light switch popped on in my mind as I listened to it. The main message of it is this: all we have is 'the now' so worrying constantly about the past or the future is pointless. The author states that to a point we cannot totally dismiss the past, the human condition means that we do dwell on past experiences and memories are always there, likewise we cannot ignore the future, after all we all have bills to pay and have to make plans for daily life, but as a whole becoming anxious about what may happen is pointless.

I know this is not easy to get your head around and I am the worlds worst at trying not to worry but I can honestly say that re-focusing on the present, in times of stress, really has helped. The statement 'now is all we really have' is what slapped me around the face and made me evaluate how much I live in the current moment. The answer? Not very often. That is something I am trying to change and I believe it will help my overall mind-set.

To sum up, just try focusing on...

:: that yummy slice of cake you are eating rather than worrying about how many calories you are consuming the whole time (if you are going to have it anyway, at least enjoy each mouthful!).

:: the way the air smells this time of year when you step outside the door for work at 6.30am instead of feeling low because it is cold and dark, there is nothing that can change the seasons so try and work out ways to enjoy it! For me it is listening to upbeat music on the way to work :-)

:: the fun you are having with your group of friends on a Saturday night; rather than smiling on the outside but worrying about work on the inside - give that moment all of your time and leave work for Monday.

These are just a few silly examples but you know what I am saying. It takes time but it can help a whole lot :-)
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13 October 2014

Autumn Clothing Haul (& some beauty too!) | New YouTube Video

With a bit of a Zara order under my belt and a couple of other things from over the last few weeks I thought I would put together a little haul video for you this Monday. I have linked all the products and clothing I mention underneath the original YouTube video so certainly check that out if you wish to get the items yourself!


Have you bought any new autumn pieces recently? Let me know what your favourite things to wear this time of year are in the comments!
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11 October 2014

That's Love That Is

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Joe and I have always had these little moments where one will say to the other 'that's love that is!' over something quite run-of-the-mill. For example, when we first met, Joe's butter container was full of crumbs, which is something that freaks me out for some reason (hands up if you are with me here!). Now, you know what it is like when you are first together, you don't want to complain, let alone over a few crumbs, but over time I finally mentioned it. The next time I went to get some butter there were zero crumbs present. I said something along the lines of 'wow, no crumbs!' and Joe said 'yeah, I know, that's love that is!'. 

That's love that is...
:: pulling out grey hairs as they appear on my head (thanks a lot! although my hair-dresser recently informed me that by doing this the cuticle will become damaged and the next grey monster will be growing at a wacky angle, doh!)
:: wiping tears away, one by one, on one of those days.
:: having the soggy fajita wrap at the bottom of the pile and not complaining one single bit.
:: washing my hair and drying it when I was recovering from my operation back in January.
:: making a cup of tea to cheer me up and forgetting to make his, all because he wanted to sort mine first.
:: still saying nice things even when I am wearing my onesie, spotty socks and my hair looks like something out of a horror movie.
:: buying me bottles of my favourite iced tea in Tescos every week.
:: taking hold of my hand in the middle of the night.
:: having the toast that I have burnt by accident (Joe secretly loves burnt toast - it's true!).
:: pretending the last Malteaser is mine despite him knowing I scoffed most of the pack.

Love that man. Heaps.
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10 October 2014

Loving, Needing, Meh! #66

I feel like I should make an apology for being a tad post-absent this week. I hope you will understand that sometimes things happen and you need to focus on other things. That aside, I hope you have had a great week, what have you all been up to? Why not share a 'Loving, Needing, Meh!' of your own in the comments or via Twitter?

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{Imaged sourced from Pinterest | Original destination unavailble}

This week I have been LOVING:
  • Late night shopping trips. Mum and I hit up Marks and Spencer and Next for a bit of mid-week meandering around. I was super happy to see some Christmas things in the shops - you can't beat a sniff of a good Christmas candle can you? There were some rather lovely dresses about too, just not sure on the work Christmas party situation yet! It seems strange thinking about festivities but they come around so fast don't they?
  • 'Let It Go' by James Bay (thankfully not the Frozen version!). I think I learned about this guy on YouTube, you can check out more of his stuff on his channel too if you like what you hear.
  • Dark blue nails. I 'accidentally' purchased two new nail varnishes whilst shopping this week. I have only worn one so far but I love it. It is a really deep, inky blue tone which looks awesome in the autumn I think. I also got the purple shade too - both are from Marks and Spencer Autograph range. So far, great wear and no chips - fab!
  • (This was kind of last week but too late to appear in last weeks LNM! post): Sitting in the car, post food shop sharing a snickers bar with Joe. We never buy chocolate really but we were both so hungry and tired that we caved and shared a bar, why not! It was so yummy.

This week I have been NEEDING:
  • To sort out the fallen sweet-peas. That is tomorrows job I think. They got so tall and then died and now they have fallen over in the wind we had the other day and won't stand up at all. Bye, bye sweet-peas, see you next year!
  • Tea and cake. I just fancy it. Probably shouldn't have it. No, I won't have it. A girl can dream though right?
  • A hot bath and Netflix. Can you tell that I am feeling the need for home comforts?
This weeks 'MEH!':
  • A silly delivery person wedging the box in Gizmos little rain shelter. Well, it is more of a mini house to be honest and it is where we keep her biscuits for when we are at work and it is somewhere for her to shelter. I received a text to say the delivery had been left at 9.30am, so she went all day with no biscuits or access to her little pad, thanks a lot delivery donut.
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The importance of understanding.

Prepare yourself for a longer than normal post. Sorry people, this is important (to me anyway!).

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. If you visit the Mental Health Foundations website you will notice that each year there is a particular focus and this year it is on Schizophrenia, however the site has a lot of interesting, insightful and educational material about all aspects of mental health. Today I have decided to tell you my experiences (very briefly). This is not something I have chosen to do lightly but I honestly feel it is important (and helpful to others) to share thoughts ans experiences and coping mechanisms. 

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{Image sourced from Pinterest | Originally from here}

Since the age of about 14/15 years old I have been on a roller-coaster of mental health problems, that is pretty much 20 years of my life. I have my extreme highs and lows and it is always in the background. As a teenager I think it was possibly looked upon as a phase but as I grew older I believed it was a part of who I am and that I had to learn to live with the shadows that frequently appear in my mind.

What happens and why?

Well, this has no pattern. Sometimes I can be on top of the world before crashing down. Other days it can be very evident why I have taken a downward turn. Either way it amounts to the following symptoms:
- low mood
- feeling tearful
- easily overwhelmed by simple tasks or situations
- panic attacks
- lack of sleep or wanting to sleep all the time
- quick temper
- lethargic
- inability to cope
- loss of concentration
- irritability
- feeling scared
- high level of anxiety
- agoraphobia

I have other symptoms that I would rather not discuss as they are very personal and, sometimes, more severe,  but I believe these are the more frequent ones experienced by most people.

My most recent assessment diagnosed me with depression, not bipolar, which is what it is, but I am generally a happy bunny, not someone (I hope) that you would look at and think 'wow, she is miserable!'. I would just rather think that my head is poorly and get on with it. I like to think that most people, unless I open up to them, would never know that this is part of my life. I work bloody hard to not show the struggle for a couple of reasons. The first is because I still believe that there is a huge stigma associated with mental health, I wish with all of my heart that there wasn't and it is something I am very passionate about, but there is. The other reason is to trick my very own brain in to a different mood. This works. More on this later.

As I have got older the darker days have got less, mostly due to my determination not to let it get the better of me but it can still hit me hard sometimes. More amazingly I have had absolutely no time off work with this stupid thing in well over 5 years. I put that down to working with some pretty awesome folk who regularly make me laugh and having a very supportive network of friends and family.

My other coping strategies.

Let It Be.
Sometimes there is no getting out of it, so let it happen, feel it and then let it go. One of my worst habits is (and I quote my mum here) snowballing it all together. I can't tell you how often she has said 'stop snowballing it all', but it just happens this way when you are feeling low. Acceptance of that moment is key. That and having an almighty cry. Always a good thing!

Brain Trickery
My way of getting the hell on with things. On the worst days, the days where I want to cover up my head with the duvet and stay there (forever) I see things in minute chunks. I say to myself 'right Lucy, all you need to do is get up and sit on the edge of the bed, that's all...can you do that?', then 'well done you (go team!), why not have a little shower and wash your hair, everything feels better then, you know I am right'... etc etc. When I get to work I plant a smile on my face and fake it until I feel happier. Simples. Brain trick complete. On days where this doesn't work (rare but it happens) refer to above  and let it be.

Exercise.
A game changer. Feeling depressed? Exercise. I find it hard to go out when I feel low so I have a way round that, exercise DVDs (is it ironic that I am doing INSANITY?).

Nutrition.
Another no-brainer. Eat right. Don't allow junk food and excess sugar to mess up your mood on top of what is already going on.

Don't Drink Alcohol.
I am basically a non-drinker 90% of the year. Alcohol lowers my mood. If it does the same to you just quit! Have treats in the form of other things and keep an eye on what makes it worse for you. Do your body as many favours as you can. Be nice to it and it will help. Trust me on this.

My decision is to stay away from medications also. Now, please don't take this to mean that I think they don't work. It is all very personal, depends on the severity of the issue and the condition you have, but for me they just do not work. I cannot handle the weight gain and sickness involved but I know some people who have had their lives changed through taking medications. Listen to the advice of the professionals but remember it is your body. Remember that there is nothing wrong with you for feeling bad for no reason, it is an illness so get help and, more importantly, talk about it. Fill your life with things that make you happy and surround yourself with positive people, this will also help.

Sorry if this post has been a bit of a mind dump but I am extremely passionate about this issue. I have also never discussed it in this way before but hope it will help at least one person.

If you want to get in touch please do. You can email me on fromlucywithlove@outlook.com or via any number of social media platforms!
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