27 February 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #8

Hello lovely people. The weeks in the countdown to our wedding are moving so ridiculously fast that I literally feel like I am writing this post every day! We are four weeks and five days away, holy moly! This week has also been my birthday (did you catch yesterdays post?) so it has been a somewhat over-indulging week and I still have the weekend to go yet! What have you guys been up to this week? Here are the things that have made my week special...

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^^Just a few of my lovely birthday flowers, I was a lucky girl^^

1. Being swept away for the day by my lovely friend L last Saturday for heavenly beauty treatments, tasty food and Fifty Shades! It was a birthday/hen-do treat and was ridiculously wonderful! We don't get to spend large amounts of time together these days so it felt like a proper treat (thank you so much L xx)

2. Coming home to a kitchen table full of daffodils on Wednesday evening. My man knows the way to my heart! It's amazing how those little yellow blooms can cheer up the most stressful of days (along side a cuddle of course!).

3. My mum turning up at work with a balloon, cup-cakes, flowers and pressies. I spent the rest of the day explaining to the students that '...yes, it is my birthday' and '...no, I'm not 47' (thanks a lot kids!).

4. I work with some utterly bonkers, but wonderful people, who I love sharing my day with. This week we have been out for fish and chips together and, yesterday, a few of them ambushed my office with silly string (interesting to get out of your hair but loads of fun either way!). My lovely office buddy M also bought me a yummy cake, which is currently sat on the kitchen side awaiting its fate. They are great fun, fab listeners and have hearts of gold. <3

5. My Red magazine dropping through the door. I have a serious problem with magazines, I love them and specifically the spring editions. Bright colours, new products to swoon over... bring on Sunday morning with a cup of tea!

This week really has been equal parts stress and fun but that is life huh?! I am another year older and apparently meant to be wiser, although I am not convinced on that one right now! Please comment below and let me know what the highlight of your week has been too! 
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26 February 2015

34 THINGS I HAVE LEARNT AT 34

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{Image sourced from Pinterest}

Today I turn thirty-bloody-four. Whilst I am not quite sure how this happened, I am at peace with ageing, I mean, what would be the point in getting down about something you are powerless to prevent. No point.

To celebrate another grey hair, and new wrinkle appearing, I thought I would list some things I have learnt in my life up to now. Advanced warning: these may not be overly serious, life-affirming things!

1 :: It's never too late to buy a pop-stars album and play it like an obsessed teenager.
2 :: Showing people that you are struggling is not a sign of weakness.
3 :: It is okay to want some time totally alone at least once a week.
4 :: Buying a lot of make up does make you feel better.
5 :: Swearing at an exercise DVD totally helps (and burns extra calories right?).
6 :: Meal planning before the weekly grocery shop does not make you a pensioner.
7 :: Only wanting to spend Saturday nights at home in pyjamas is utterly acceptable. 
8 :: Catching yourself repeating your mothers phrase's you never thought you'd say is just inevitable!
9 :: Heating your clothes on the radiator whilst you're in the shower is the way forward (except your pants...that just feels like you've wet yourself!).
10 :: Cat/dog cuddles are one of the best cure for sadness.
11 :: Listening to Radio 2 and Magic FM doesn't mean you are 'past it', it just means you are super cool.
12 :: There is something to this 'Mindfulness' thing. Reading about this has made a difference to my ridiculously anxious brain.
13 :: A red lip equals instant feel-goodness (yep, that sentence makes total sense!).
14 :: Having a different opinion to everyone else is just fine (providing you're not being a totally idiot!)
15 :: Not every friendship/relationship story will have a happy ending.
16 :: Cornish fish and chips just taste better.
17 :: Reading Harry Potter is the best escapism there is.
18 :: Learn lessons about yourself from every experience, good or bad, just take something away from it.
19 :: Getting up early and sitting in total silence with a cup of tea is heaven on a stick.
20 ;; Having a healthy mind is a million times more important than worrying about being thinner (who knew!).
21 :: There is nothing wrong binge eating your body weight in chocolate...sometimes (helps no: 20 also!). 
22 :: Some people will just be rude no matter how you are to them, that is just who they are.
23 :: Stop trying to be someone you are not, if you are a jeans and sloppy jumper girl then be her  - fully commit. If you want to dress in glitter from head to toe, then sparkle, damn it - be you.
24 :: Glasses are sexy, not geeky. Or maybe geeky is sexy...yep, geeky is sexy.
25 :: Beards grow on you in time (ha ha, see what I did there!)... basically, I used to hate beards, now I love them. I didn't mean I was growing one...oh, never mind!
26 :: Quoting Friends, Life of Brian and Fawlty Towers as part of your daily vocabulary is awesome, no matter what others tell you.
27 :: Respect everyone for what they are experiencing, no matter how trivial it may appear to you. Everything is in context to someone's life as it is now. Don't compare.
28 :: Jump in with both feet to situations that scare you.
29 :: Home-made pizza (including the base) taste bloody amazing. Make some tonight!
30 :: Wearing fluffy socks with ears is more fun as an adult.
31 :: Look after your feet. Seriously!
32 :: Tell you friends how much they mean to you, as often as possible.
33 :: Sing out loud as much as possible - this is wonderfully healing (add some dancing too for good measure!).
34 :: It is really hard to think of 34 things I have learnt at 34 ;-)
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23 February 2015

GET READY WITH ME/CURRENT MAKE UP FAVOURITES!

Recently, I have bought one or two new make up items as little treats to myself for my wedding day make up. Justification for these purchases has usually gone as follows in my mind... 'Lucy, you are getting married soon and need to work out what make up you should wear on your wedding day...' / 'you must get a few things to give yourself time to experiment...'

Of course, I listened to those thoughts, and there is now a video which includes me using these things! To be completely honest, the only things I purchased with the wedding make up in mind were the foundation (Mac Face and Body) and the eye-line, a beautiful, soft bronzey-brown (also Mac). I am still yet to experiment too widely on wedding day make up as I can't decide what I want to do!

Anyway, enough babbling on from me, I hope you enjoy this video, please feel free to click on through to YouTube and subscribe too, I would love you forever and a day :-)

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20 February 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #7

Happy half term (I guess this is only valid if you are in the UK!). Although I work in a school, I was working this week. My colleague, Matt, and I were busy painting set for a couple of school events so it was all hands on deck to get the job done. I hope you guys have all had a great week so far. What are your plans for this weekend? Whilst you ponder that, let me tell you the things I am super grateful for this week...

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1. An amazing head massage whilst I was at the hair-dressers earlier today. I had one hell of a headache so it felt ruddy amazing. I love it when they are waiting for your hair-dresser to be free so they drag that part out!

2. Absolute Radio coming out of the mega speakers in the school hall whilst I painted. You can't beat a bit of loud Metallica Foo's and Genesis on school grounds (although I did feel slightly like I was going to get a detention for breaking school rules...!).

3. The tiny little daffodil shoots I saw coming out of the ground on my way out today. Spring is on its way and I cannot wait! 

4. Being told that the itinerary for tomorrows girly afternoon out included beauty treatments, dinner and tickets to see Mr Grey. Something tells me it'll be a good 'un!

5. Tasty mid-week fajitas with a side of mini-eggs...just because. 

Let me know what you guys have been up to! Have any of you seen the film 'Cake' yet? I really want to see it, it looks amazing! Also, if you have seen Fifty Shades, what did you think? I guess I will find out for myself tomorrow! Have a fabulous weekend xoxo
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19 February 2015

LESS THAN SIX WEEKS TO GO!

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{Image sourced from Pinterest}

The lovely ladies in the finance department at work have a 'days until Lucy's wedding' countdown going on. It is written in big letters on their white-board and they update it daily, bless them. Seeing that every day is bringing home just how close it is now...less than six weeks in-fact! 

I feel so unorganised right now and, as I told my lovely friend Helena via email just moments ago, I need a kick up the back-side! I have so much more to think about that I feel a little overwhelmed! I haven't found shoes yet, and, despite this recent blog post, I haven't experimented enough with my hair to find something I actually want to do with it. Then there's the make-up, although I am the least worried about that.

The thing is, unlike the vast majority of brides to be, I will be doing everything myself on the day. This is because Joe and I have decided, after many, many months of talking and thinking it through, that we are going to go and marry by ourselves. This is a controversial decision, but something that more and more people are deciding to do these days. I will talk more about where and how this all works after our big day so I can show you some images too!

Recently, I have found myself thinking about things to do with weddings that I swore I would never consider (not being much of a 'bride-y' person!). Do I go with the whole 'something old, something new...' thing? I am not superstitious in any way, but it is a kind of tradition right? What present can I get my husband to be for our wedding day? Joe is so hard to buy for. He never asks for anything and is certainly not a cuff-links person (something that everyone keeps saying is the thing to get). I am totally stuck with this... any suggestions are totally welcome!

So, lovely readers, it's over to you - any top-tips? Any advice for the day? Help!
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14 February 2015

HEALTH HAPPY LIFE #4 - MENTAL HEALTH

The video below was made several weeks ago and has been sitting behind the scenes of my YouTube channel awaiting its five minutes of fame. I am a bit of a wuss sometimes, when it comes to putting out personal videos, but in this case I decided that I would go for it because it may help someone.

When I wrote the blog post titled 'The Importance of Understanding', way back in October last year, I experienced a similar anxiety when it came to hitting the 'publish' button, yet it was very well received by you guys, so here's hoping you feel the same about this one too.

I won't jabber on any more here as the video speaks for itself. Please click on through to the main YouTube page to subscribe and 'Like' the video, I would really, really appreciate it.

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13 February 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #6

As I type this weeks post (I never pre-schedule this one for obvious reasons!) I am looking out at grey, moody skies and trees blowing about in the wind, but in front of that view is the one pictured below! 

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1. Let's talk about these beautiful blooms first. When I got home from work last night the postman had put a note through the door to say there were perishable goods left in the bin round the back. Doh, obviously, it's a bin! However, what he was actually referring to were these boxed up lovelies. The only trouble was that they were addressed to Joe, so I thought, either he is sending daffodils to himself OR some other woman has sent them to him (cue nail sharpening!). When he came home though it became clear that they were for me, phew (*retracts claws). Seriously though, daff's are my favourite and the best option for Valentines ever! Thanks Joe xx

2. Rest days. I had to take a few days rest this week as I managed to pull a muscle in my back on Sunday. Good job Lucy, good job. Anyway, I am back 'on it' now but feel very grateful that a few days off of training did the job.

3. E45 lotion. Is it just me or has anyone else turned into a scaly mess this winter (sorry, I hope you are not eating lunch right now!). Does my body not know I am trying to get 'wedding-ready'? This stuff is a God send and I cannot live without it at any time of year. Just saying.

4. Fabulous work colleagues for organising fabulous adventures. 

5. Laid-back lunched with friends. Technically this was on Sunday, which is this week really! Joe and I went to lunch with L and A last weekend and it was awesome. We felt like we were tucked away in a beach cafe somewhere in Cornwall. Bob Marley was playing on the radio, pizza was served and laughs were had. Laid back meals like this one are always appreciated. Thanks guys.

This week I have discovered the fabulous Carrie's YouTube channel, called 'It's Way Past My Bedtime' and enjoyed watching her videos titled 'Dear Tom & Gi' - it was only after a bit of research that I realised she is the sister of McFly's Tom Fletcher, call me slow! / I also enjoyed reading (and laughing, a lot) Michelle's birthday blog post '31 Little Life Lessons', especially because I have already drafted something very similar ready for my 34th birthday coming up. What can I say, we are in-tune! / My soon to be hubby has had some of his bands tunes on several radio stations this week too. They have a new Alice in Chains cover out for your listening pleasure if you are interested, hear it here!
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11 February 2015

THINKING ABOUT WEDDING HAIR...

Not sure if I have mentioned this, but I get married soon, very soon...under seven weeks sort of soon. I haven't really written a post about how Joe and I are getting married but I will at some point. However, for the sake of this post, I will tell you that I am doing my own hair and make up. I don't know 100% what I am going to do yet. All I do know for sure is that I want to look like me, not totally and utterly different to any other day in the week. I also don't want to look like I have had a fight with a tin of hairspray.

What I really want my hair to look like is a slightly more groomed, shiny and voluminous version of itself. I want something girly and pretty, not fake and 'set' in place. (Now you know why I have such difficulty telling hairdressers what I do want!).

I have been on Pinterest a lot of late and have decided that I certainly have a common pinning style when it comes to wedding hair. I thought I would share with you some of my ideas. 

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1 :: I adore this four-strand braid, it's so soft and feminine but with a bit of an edge too.
2 :: Twists are simple yet oh so pretty and this one, pinned at the back of the head, looks effortlessly beautiful.
3 :: Loose waves are something I am always striving to keep in my hair. I like the bohemian nature of them and think they are the ultimate in romantic hair (yes, that is a thing!).
4 :: More braids
5 :: A smaller twist with a cleverly hidden hair grip.

If you are married let me know in the comment what you did with your hair on your big day or, if you have a wedding board on Pinterest, let me know where to find it! I need inspiration people :-)
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9 February 2015

FEBRUARY'S BIRCH BOX

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You guys may have seen, in this post from last month, that I decided to switch up the beauty box that I receive, just for a bit of a change really. I changed my subscription over to Birch Box and this month I received my first proper box (my first one was the Women's Health special edition so I knew what I was getting).
The reason I decided to switch things up was because I wanted the element of surprise, after a year of pre-ordering what I was going to get with the You Beauty Discovery Box. There are definitely bonuses with knowing what you are getting and pre-ordering from a menu, but I just fancied a bit of a change! 

This first proper box from Birch Box was a bit of a mixed bag but overall I was pleased with it. I will certainly give it a good chance before deciding whether or not I am getting value for money. 

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8 February 2015

RANDOM WEEKLY VLOG

Last week I felt the urge to do a little vlogging. I don't normally carry my camera about with me during the week. To be honest, most weeks are the same, but a few of you guys asked if I would do a little vlog, so here we go!

Monday to Friday are pretty mundane in our house really, but if you are as nosy as me you may find it interesting. My days, as you will soon see, are mostly made up of work and training (not to forget blogging and editing too, just for good measure!) as well as commuting back and forth, crossing the borders of Wiltshire, Hampshire and Surrey several times a week.

If you like watching my videos I would love it if you subscribed to my YouTube Channel; this way you will receive all the new videos straight to your feed and never miss anything, as I don't always write a blog post about the videos I post :-)

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6 February 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #5

I blinked on Monday, and when I opened my eyes again it was Friday...

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So, this week has been about searching for wedding shoes (I still haven't ordered any) and training myself into a quivering mess (nothing unusual about that I guess!). It has been a good one though but I am certainly pleased to be welcoming in the weekend.

Here are the things that I am super grateful for this week...

1. A mid-week trip to Tescos. Not something I would normally mention, but I had to rush in there to get brown paper and packing tape and happened to say to Joe, 'how would you feel about some mini-eggs?', his response was the right one, and so we enjoyed a little chocolatey treat, on a school night!

2. Discovering The Body Shops Instablur Primer - oh heavens, it's a good one people. I have been recommended Laura Mercier primers for my wedding day but, right now, the price point is just too much. I have been on the hunt for something that really works but am always skeptical about primers because, in my experience, they just don't work as well as they claim. The Instablur one, however, is amazing. It seems to smooth out my skin and certainly makes my make up last much longer. Stay tuned to my YouTube channel, where it is bound to be mentioned very soon.

3. Snow (but not too much snow). I really wanted to see some snow where we are and, on Tuesday morning, my wish was fulfilled. I woke up at 6am and looked out the window to see a fresh covering of untouched snow, is there anything more peaceful? I love seeing little paw prints, left from the various neighborhood cats, and the cute little foot-prints left from the birds. That said, it wasn't enough snow to cause absolute havoc, so that's a good thing.

4. Treats from the soon hubby-to-be. I have been a very lucky girl this week and been treated to several bits and bobs including; a new pair of training leggings, two pairs of very cute socks and a bunch of bright yellow tulips.

5. A sleepy sofa night. Last night, both Joe and I were absolutely exhausted so we succumbed to taking a sofa each and having a doze, with the TV talking quietly to itself in the background. I love the occasional evening like this, when we don't have to get up super early for work and can just totally relax. We ended up sleeping for two hours, which was a tad excessive, but clearly needed!

I haven't had too much time to catch up with blogs and YouTube this week (hands up what I'll be doing this weekend!), but I did catch a couple of things that I really enjoyed including Rosie's 'Mudane Tuesday Vlog' - I adore vlogs, especially when they are just everyday life, these are my favourite. I am fascinated by what people get up to and Rosie's video's are always amazing to watch and I always find myself absorbed into her life. I also really enjoyed reading Anya's post all about having patience, I need to be more on bored with that also!
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4 February 2015

HEALTHY HAPPY LIFE #3

When New Year hit I decided I wanted to document a little more lifestyle/well-being on my YouTube Channel, so I started a new series, which I titled 'Healthy Happy Life' (i.e. I am not limiting myself to one specific subject, phew!).

At the weekend I put up part three of this series on my YouTube Channel as a bit of an update on how things have been through the first couple of weeks of January and places I have been reaching for some inspiration too!

I am putting up another part of this series this weekend coming where I talk about mental health, a difficult one for me to film but one I really wanted to put out there, so stay tuned to my blog and channel if this is something you may be interested in watching.

Enjoy!

PS: Come and say 'Hello' over on Instagram (I hang out on there way too much!) and Tweet me your videos, if you make them, I'm always after new channels to watch and blogs to read.


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3 February 2015

WHY BE CONVENTIONAL?!

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{Image sourced from Pinterest}

Whilst chatting with someone about my upcoming nuptials at work the other day, I found myself saying, for about the hundredth time recently, '...I'm not really a typical girl...'. This conversation got me thinking about all the other times I have said that sentence and ended up coming away from a conversation thinking that I must be missing out on something by not conforming to a certain female stereotype. To be honest, that particular thought probably only hung about for all of five minutes before I thought 'sod it, I am who I am' and then carried on with life.

Sometimes I find myself trying to overly justify my thoughts or opinions on life's expectations, you know, the things we are all supposed to do. For example:

:: I probably won't ever want to have a baby, but love my friends children with all my heart. I am knocking on the door to my mid-thirties people, I really do know what I want with my life and I have my reasons (and for this there are many, and maybe not what immediately springs into your mind). However, this does not equal abnormality or mean that I despise children, it just means that it is my choice...gasp! In reality I adore the little people, they are the cutest, most wildly unpredictable (let alone hysterical!) mites about, so there!

:: I have never dreamed of a big wedding. To be utterly transparent, I have almost never dreamed of getting married full-stop. Most girls are surprised at that, but I never really saw myself as the marrying kind. This was mainly down to the fact that I don't want children and I kind of always connected the two things, but when I met Joe, and so many of our thoughts aligned, I did change my mind on the marriage thing, which was handy because he proposed to me :-)

:: I am literally the worst at putting outfits together. I have zero clue. Zilch, zip! I am much more at home in workout gear (aka hoodies and capri's). Honestly, I wouldn't have a thing to put on right now if we were suddenly invited out for a meal. Maybe it comes down to the fact that I'm not a huge fan of shopping for clothes. I find shopping so stressful; the crowds, the changing rooms and everything else that comes along with it. I'd rather shop from the comfort of my sofa and try things on in the privacy of my bedroom (where I can get away with spontaneously bursting into tears and where I do not have ten billion mirrors and harsh lighting!)

:: I love DIY. Decorating, getting covered in splatters of paint and trailing bits of torn masking tape about the place on my sock makes me very happy indeed. I am proud that I can take a Kermit-the-frog-green room (one of the bedrooms in our current house when we moved in) and transform it into a nicely decorated space, gloss paint included!

;: Being strong is something I am also proud of, and I am talking physically here. I never, ever want to be a woman that has to ask a guy to lift something for me or help me undo a lid. It's not because I am some staunch feminist, it's just I am fiercely independent (and somewhat stubborn, okay, very stubborn). I am by no means knocking anyone who is not this way either, it's just my preference. I like to know how to do things for myself and, where possible, always try my (stubborn) best before asking for help.

How about you? Are there things about your personality that make your friends or family role their eyes? It can't just be me! (can it?!).
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