31 July 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #26

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^^Some snaps from my Instagram over the last 14 days, including H's delicious wedding cake^^

I cannot tell you guys how amazing it feels to be back on the blog with a computer that works. It feels great! I really hope you are all okay and that you haven't given up on me altogether :-s

So, other than big computer failure not too much has been going on. Right now is my manic time at work so I have been mostly sorting out summer school programmes and getting things in place for the September term (I can't believe I am saying September already...how!?!). I have been trying to work on my business plans to but. as you can imagine, recent technology melt downs have prevented too much happening. But I am staying upbeat and positive about it all. What you can't change there is no point worrying about I guess.

I figured that (for this week only) rather than rounding up one week I am going to list some things I have been grateful for over the last couple of weeks, since I have not been here to tell you for a while. Be sure to say 'hello' in the comments and tell me what you have been up to also, let's have a chat!

Things I am grateful for (the extended addition!):

1. The Being Boss podcasts that have more than inspired me of late. They are perfect for my hour-long commute and I have been playing catch-up on the old ones so always have something to listen to. For anyone out there with a blog or creative business I highly recommend this for a listen - amazing!

2. Sharing a very special day with H and R as they got married. It was amazing to be invited and we both had the best time. We booked a hotel for two nights and embraced the wedding day from start to finish. I was slightly embarrassed to be full of tears from the minute we arrived at the church and had to be fanned down by Joe with the order of service...oh well! It was such a beautiful day and H, you looked gorgeous! :-) xx

3. Whilst we are on the subject of the wedding... Hotel breakfasts. Wow! I steered clear of the fried treats but had Greek yoghurt and granola with fresh berries, but the icing on the cake was definitely the mini pan au chocolate. Heaven.

4. Peanut butter on rice cakes. My new obsession unfortunately. After a week of weddings and work 'do's' I am back on the training and nutrition programme but I am having a small amount of peanut butter on a couple of rice cakes as my little treat. Seriously, I have to keep an eye on myself with that! Too good people, too good!

5. Sweet gifts from colleagues. As most of my colleagues run out of the school for six weeks (much deserved) holidays a few of us remain to work our magic ready for the new term. I work with some bloody wonderful people and they got even lovelier when they passed me a few pressies last week. I got a beautiful plant and a gorgeous photo frame, perfect for one of our wedding photo's to sit in on my desk. I am endlessly grateful for all their support and advice everyday and they are what makes my job so wonderful to be at everyday.

In other news; One of my favourite lifestyle bloggers, Rosie, from the blog Cider with Rosie, also tied the knot this month. I have been keeping up with (and slightly obsessing over) her beautiful Instagram pictures of her wedding and honeymoon / I will be writing a post soon on a few ways my life and thought process is shifting about of late but part of what I am attempting to do is spend more time in nature, as this is where I feel super at ease and rested. I decided I would send for the RSPB's '20 Ways to Give Nature a Home' booklet (you can actually download it too if you are interested). It made me cry when it arrived as some of the ideas are so cute and so lovely to do. Watch this space on that! / The September issue of my favourite magazine, Red, dropped through the post box yesterday. As I said above, I cannot believe we are so far through the year already, it seems unreal that we are getting autumn catalogues and magazines through now! But, if I am totally honest, I really don't mind a jot, as autumn is my fave! / Speaking of autumn, I finally got my paws on Mac's 'Plumful' lipstick, which I have wanted for a long time. I am treating myself to one thing every payday from there (ish!) and decided that shade was what I needed. I have been wearing it already just patted in to my lips but when winter comes around it is going to come into its own! / Lastly, I have recently discovered a new fitness YouTube channel which I am loving. It belongs to Nikki Blackketter, a bikini competitor from the USA. I am super into her vlogs as she shows all of her training and show prep - I love body-building but if you are not too into women with muscles you will probably be okay with this channel as the bikini category is really feminine. I have such admiration for these guys, the discipline is huge!

I hope you have all had an amazing week guys, let me know what you are up to in the month of August! 
xx
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30 July 2015

MARRIAGE, FOUR MONTHS IN

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^^These beautiful flowers were at my lovely friend H's wedding a few weeks ago, gorgeous huh?^^

(Woo-hoo! I'm back on-line...it has been a horrendous few weeks of technology issues but, thanks to help from my hubby and the wonderful IT team at work, I am able to post on here again...still unsure about being able to edit videos at the moment though so bear with me if YouTube is your thing!)

Today I wanted to talk about being married. People keep asking me 'how's married life?' and I always respond 'great!'. As someone who really wasn't fussed on getting married I guess I had never built up any expectations of what I thought it would be like, but when I met Joe I knew I wanted to marry him and knew that our relationship was already darn awesome and so marriage was just something to join us together in a more legal way I guess.

What has changed for us? Nothing we can show you that's for sure, but there has been an invisible change, a shift in some part of my brain that makes me feel like I belong to something amazing, someone amazing. This feeling just happened (and it is wonderful). 

I feel part of my own little family now, Joe, me and Gizmo (yep, the cat is family people, get over it!). I'm am beyond content when it is pouring rain outside and we are all snuggled up on the sofa, warm and cosy. Did I feel like this before we got married? Yes. Does it feel different now? Hell yes - who knows why, it just does!

Although we don't want a family of our own we still feel like a family and that is pretty amazing. We are best friends, a unit and we have each others back in a far more connected and passionate way then before. I'm telling you guys, nothing beats that, it really doesn't.

So, in a matter of months I have become a huge cheerleader for marriage, after never really seeing the point. Seeing two people totally in love and getting wed, for all the right reasons, makes me an emotional wreck because I remember saying my vows to Joe and knowing that, from that moment on, we were each others, for life.
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28 July 2015

HANG ON IN THERE...

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{Image sourced from Pinterest}

I am frantically typing this up at work right now so need to keep it brief! 

Just thought I had better update you (you will already know this if you are on my Facebook Page however) - something happened, something that sent me in to a frantic state of hoo-ha (yep, that is a medical condition!).

Here is it...

My computer is dead. Dead as a door nail (I have never understood that saying).

I thought I had lost everything but, after calming down and staring blankly at my ever-patient hubby whilst he explains things that are way too technical for my tired brain to compute, we (well, he) managed to save my work. This is all to be confirmed of course as I haven't actually opened the files yet.

I lost my Photoshop, my editing software and all manner of things I like to use for my blog and YouTube. 

I need therapy.

I think another solution may be sorted by the end of the week so please bear with me, I am not on strike, I promise.

See you all soon...on the other side of what will forever be known as 'Crappy Tech Week'.

:-)
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11 July 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #25

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^^A Saturday morning garden centre stroll was super healing and is highly recommended to soothe a tired soul^^

You may have noticed a slight absence this week! Apologies. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I travelled with the school I work for to the Rock Challenge competition, and that it was a 22 hour day. That week I went AWOL also. This week we went to the national finals of Rock Challenge, another 22 hour day, hence the tumbleweed on the blog. But the good news is that our wonderful students won! Best in the UK...amazing! Mix that day with a few late nights due to other work events and you have one very tired and headachy human being. I spent yesterday trying to work whilst battling the mother of all headaches. I honestly felt so rough I wanted to curl up into a ball and stay there. But, I'm back...hooray!

Better late than never is my new moto.

So, how are you guys? What's new with you? Let me know what you've been up to this week and why not tell me some of the things you are super grateful for this week too, I'd love to know.

In the mean time, here are my top five things:

1. Taking a chilled out stroll around the garden centre this morning with the hubby. I don't know about you guys but the garden centre is somewhere I feel entirely relaxed and happy. Watching the bees buzzing about between flowers and soaking up the sun whilst wandering about, taking in all the textures and colours, seems to work wonders when I am tired and a little deflated. We managed to get everything we needed on our minuscule budget and planted a few new beauties into our empty pots when we got home. A successful visit all round.

2. I am always grateful for my amazing husband but, more recently, I have been more grateful than ever for having a wonderful man who loves me even when I am struggling to love myself. For this, and many other reasons, he is my bestest buddy :-)

3. Vanilla ice cream with caramel salted chocolate broken up on top. Good old treat meals!

4. Concealer. Heaven knows where I would be without this wonder-product. That and my Bobbi Brown corrector are keeping me afloat at the moment! Sleep is very, very required right now as the lack of it is starting to show up in a big way on my face. Oh, blusher and tinted lip balm are also main characters in the 'let's make Lucy look human' drama.

5. A Paperchase delivery! Anything involving stationary is always bloody wonderful right? I went on the website for a couple of things and ended up with a basket of fab sale products! I love Paperchase damn it! I cannot help myself. I got a few of their cool postcards and an awesome new notebook that I love, as well as some sweet washi tape and another pack of their colourful mechanical pencils which I use all the time because I love how they write :-) 

I hope you are having a wonderful, restful weekend guys, please come and say hi below or on Instagram or my Facebook Page, I'd love to see you over there :-)
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3 July 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #24

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^^ This very pretty plant was potted up by my mum & given to me to bring home on Wednesday - thanks mum!^^

Hello and happy Friday everyone! It's a beautiful sunny day here in Wiltshire, perfect barbecue weather or beach-strolling weather and, although I am going to be doing neither of those things, it is lovely to look out the office window and see sunshine.

This week, as standard, has been pretty crazy, and it has also been the week where the dreaded 'thunder bugs' have come out to play. If you are unfamiliar with these little critters then you are very lucky. They are teeny, tiny little bugs that, quite literally, get everywhere including inside the computer screen and in framed pictures (many of our pictures have bodies in if you look close enough...yuck!). So, on Wednesday this week, when the UK had hit boiling point and we were all sweltering away, our house had the windows closed to avoid hundreds of our 'friends' setting up camp. Bug watch has begun people, take cover!

Let's move onto slightly less creepy things and onto the things I am grateful for this week:

1. Witnessing a huge, red moon on my way home last night. I left work about 9.30pm and as I drove around a corner the giant moon greeted me and actually made me jump! As a space geek I get all kinds of 'thinky' when I see the moon looking so awesome. I also hung about waiting to see the 'mega star' this week, I think it was on Tuesday (where Jupiter and Venus aligned to form a double star) but unfortunately, just as it was getting dark, a storm hit and it clouded right over...thanks Mr Weather, thanks a bunch!

2. A mid-week present from my lovely husband. It was our three month wedding anniversary and I got a very cute little pressie when I got home on Wednesday. I feel so lucky to be married to such a wonderful man, who is my best friend.

3. Last weekend I got an email from a lovely reader called Kelly. I have said before how much it means to get emails from you guys and I want you to know how much I appreciate it. When you post on-line it is hard to know who is reading and what people think but when I get such nice emails I feel really spurred on and motivated! :-)

4. Finally coming with a business name (I think!). It may change as I am currently 'sitting with it' for a bit to see what I think, but I think I like it a lot. For me, it was hard to define what I wanted other than the feeling I wanted it to conjure up. I am happy so far so let's see how I go!

5. Re-discovering an old favourite. Thanks to Lionel Richie's beyond awesome performance at Glastonbury last weekend I dug around in my CD collection for an old album with all the greats on it. This led to a really fun Monday morning drive to work and a slightly achy face from all the singing that occurred...not bad for 6.30am hey?!

Happy end-of-week to all you lovely peeps. Have an amazing weekend.
xoxo
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1 July 2015

TAKING STOCK | JUNE 2015

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Apparently it is now July. How?

Every year gets busier and busier and I can only assume that at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later, it'll all calm the heck down again. How was last month for you? How did you spend your time? Let me know in the comments! For now, though, let me delve into my memory of the month of June...

Making | many, many watercolour designs.
Cooking | gluten free brownies (yum!).
Drinking | water, water, water. 
Reading | literally nothing. It was a month of zero time to sit and read, but I did listen to an awesome audiobook by Matt Haig called 'Reasons to Stay Alive' - highly recommend this if you suffer or know anyone who suffers with depression and/or anxiety.
Wanting | more summer clothes for work...I'm melting!
Looking | at business name brainstorms and feeling a headache coming on (as an update to this comment...may have worked this one out...almost...ish!)
Playing | a lot of Royal Blood and, as a contrast, Lionel Richie. Blame Glastonbury for the latter. 
Deciding | to give up being stubborn and go to the doctors about my excruciatingly painful knuckles.
Wishing | for a few weeks of to enjoy some quiet time and re-centre my poor brain.
Enjoying | the countdown to H and R's wedding...not long to go and we are so excited to have been invited! (xxx)
Waiting | for the final school bell to ring on 22nd July and to have most of the building to myself :-)
Liking | being a wife (3 months into it and it is pretty darn awesome).
Wondering | what is going on in the world at the moment and feeling pretty low about it. In the bigger scheme of it, is it really necessary to treat one another this way?
Loving | treat meal days (obviously!).
Hoping | for a lot more time with the hubby over the summer months, once schools out.
Marvelling | at the awesomeness of some of the ladies in my life that help me push forward and remind me of the important things.
Needing | a proper holiday.
Smelling | my new Clarins perfume.
Wearing | baggy t-shirts and training leggings. too much!
Following | my dreams, slowly but surely.
Noticing | more spiders about - yikes!
Knowing | nothing is permanent.
Thinking | about laying in a breezy room, reading.
Feeling | proud of my hubby releasing an album in a couple of weeks :-)
Opening | my journal, every night.
Giggling | as Joe rants about a certain rapper's performance at Glastonbury.
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