14 August 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR #28

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^^Some Instagrams to round up the week! Follow me here^^

Another week of August is over. It's been a funny old month so far to be honest guys, what with all my plans being scarpered by technology, but I think I am finally up and running again. This weeks tech issues were all internet based. The robots that run the web decided that they would make it so incredibly slow that no work could be done. My wonderful husband managed to figure it all out last night and (fingers crossed) we are back on track (I feel like I have said that a million time this month!). 

Let's jump straight into the happy list shall we. As cheesy as it sounds, when I have a stressful week, I find that writing my 'grateful list' is even more needed, as it is so easy to get lost in the crap of a bad week. Let's do this...

1. As much as I hate food being an emotive presence in life, sometimes you just need a hearty meal to make you feel all warm and content inside. That was certainly the case on Saturday. Joe and I jumped in the car and hot footed it over to my mum and dads place, something we rarely do together because of time and distance. But we were continuing his birthday celebrations and there was an offer of paella and garlic bread (oh, and birthday cake) and we never turn down food, especially mums paella! We came home with food babies and a garlic aura, but it was so good! Thanks mum!

2. Summer rain. There is something about a bit of a rain storm in the middle of summer that makes me feel all giddy inside. I love the smell in the air before it rains and that anticipation of the relief of a cooling breeze. It has been a funny old summer here in the UK, but I don't think there is too much to complain about, it's only weather, and weather is good! (I should get that made into a t-shirt...'weather is good!').

3. Cuddles with puppies that are softer than air! I was about to direct you to the photo containing the puppy in question but I am sure you can work it out! His name is Rodney ('Rodney, you plonker!' - sorry if you don't get the reference). He is a little cockapoo and was brought into work yesterday as he is being looked after by a colleague. It was love at first sight (don't tell Gizmo!). Animals make me happy. Fact. (Another t-shirt?). PS: If you read this list last week you may like to know that we still have our hedgehog visitor...they are such messy eaters aren't they?!

4. Couples training. I managed to convince Joe to train alongside me for one session recently and, I must admit, it was nice to have the company. I am totally motivated on my own, but sometimes, when I am feeling a bit...meh, it is nice to just have someone else there. It motivates me to keep going. That said, I had to give myself a bit of an off-timetable rest day yesterday. I slathered myself in Voltarol gel (an anti-inflammatory miracle worker!) and just napped for the Olympics. Training full on for almost three weeks took its toll. Back on it today though my friends!

5. Old jeans. I have been looking all over the internet (when it has been working..grr!) for a ripped pair of boyfriend jeans. To be honest, as I am not blessed in the money department, I have not been overly enthusiastic to spend my hard-earned cash on old looking jeans, so sort of gave up. until last weekend! I was rifling through my chest of drawers and stumbled upon some old jeans that I know I will never wear out in their current style again. Cue many google searches for ways to rip your own jeans...watch this space! 

In other news: I have been obsessing over Rosie's wedding and honeymoon blog posts as they have started to appear this week (Joe and I certainly need to save for a honeymoon!) / I am still buying peanut butter, after telling you guys last week that I needed to STOP! / This week I discovered a new blog (new to me that is) and I cannot get enough of it. 'Her Lovely Heart' is a creative persons dream and crammed with inspiration, definitely check it out / I have also been loving (for over a month actually) Jessica's vlogs on YouTube. Having had a recent rant on my channel about people that, in my opinion, are not being true to themselves any more, Jess is a real breath of fresh air. Her diaries are just so sweet and she does a lot of healthy recipes throughout too, which I love. Find her channel here.

Anyway, I am off to take on Friday, so have an amazing day guys. :-)
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10 August 2015

A MID-THIRTIES BUCKET LIST

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{Image from Pinterest}

I mentioned in last Thursdays blog post that, recently, I have felt some shifts in myself... some changes that made me realise (without me consciously considering anything) that my 'life-priorities' have altered. 

Since I became aware of this shift I have been doing what I am great at: over analysing and thinking 'why do I feel different?', 'why do I suddenly want different things?' and 'wow, this actually feels really damn good!'. I put it down to all the positive podcasts, blog posts and books/articles I have been reading lately. I think they have slowly been seeping into my psyche and changing my thought patterns and processes... gotta watch those positive pocasts, they are sneaky little buggers! 

As a huge believer in continuous self-growth I am always looking for new things to give me some excitement or to teach me something new, but, lately, I am feeling this in a different way. I want to experience life at its core; look for experiences within nature or within myself, rather than looking for a fast adrenaline rush like I used to. It is time to step out of the four walls of home (although this is easier said than done given that I work long hours, blog, YouTube, exercise at home and now have my new business project...I'm remaining positive guys!).

So last night, I drew up a small bucket list of things I would like to do. Truthfully, all that will hold me back is the money to do some of these things, but I am going to make it my mission to at least try and experience tasters in some of these things, where relevant, to see whether they are for me or not. I also figure that writing this down will mean that I have made a commitment out loud, so to speak, and I am far more motivated when I have told someone I am doing something rather than keeping it in my head!).

Once you have read my short list, tell me in the comments if you have done or do any of the things on my list. Perhaps you have some recommendations or advice? Tell me what things are on your list too, share them with me, if you would like to, in the comments below.

Let's jump in to my little list of mini dreams shall we?

:: Learn to paddle board
I have wanted to learn how to surf for as long as I can remember but, more recently, I have been day-dreaming about spending some time out in the ocean paddling about, viewing the coast from a new perspective. I guess this one will remain on my list until we go back to Cornwall again (where I have already been pricing up some taster sessions!). If you do this, or have done it before, tell me what your experience was! I'd love to know.

:: Stargazing
Those of you that have been reading my blog for a while will already know that I am a space geek. (If you are new to this place then you should certainly check out my 'About Me' section for a laugh!) I would love to pack up the car in the middle of the night and drive to a super remote area, unaffected by light pollution and simply sit and look up but aside from that I am determined to go somewhere that you can see the Milky-way. For me, looking up at the nights sky reminds me that we all exist on this tiny, beautiful planet, floating about in a vastness that we will never fully understand and that makes me tune back in to how wonderful nature is.

:: Go on a yoga/meditation retreat
I am a beginner at yoga and a extreme beginner at meditation (I have the attention span of a gnat) but I really fancy experiencing a retreat to help clear my mind and re-centre myself. I think I am channelling my inner hippy to be honest. I just fancy having a whole stretch of time focusing on learning to de-stress, relax and have some time spent at a slower pace.

:: Climbing
Learning to climb is something I have always wanted to do. My upper body is the weakest part of me so I know it would be a challenge but it is challenging my body that I enjoy more than anything. I think I will stick to learning in-doors for now as I am not sure I have the bottle for actually climbing up a cliff, that kind of freaks me out - it is definitely more about the physical challenge for me.

:: Take a trip to the Isle of Skye.
This may be the next trip Joe and I do. It's remote location appeals to us both and I think it would lend itself to being an amazingly inspirational place to kick-start the creative juices...it may even be good for star-gazing too (Scotland gets clear skies sometimes right?!).

There you have it, my top five things to do before I'm 40. I have five and a bit years to get on these!  
What makes your list?
xoxo
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7 August 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #27

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^^As you can see from this small selection of Instagram pics from this week, my days have been art heavy and all about the flowers! I bought myself two beautiful bunches this week after having a bad few days. The bottom right sunflower is one I have been growing for a while and I am so excited to see it open up!^^

This weeks theme has remained the same as last weeks: 'technology fails'. I needn't go on as you are all aware that I am still struggling with computers. To top off my week of broken things my car fans decided enough was enough and that they were going on strike, leaving me to drive the hour long journey to and from work in a somewhat melting state. Lovely stuff. Worry ye not dear friends, I have booked Pedro in for a service and a kick, I mean an investigation, into said fan failure. Needless to say that I had a mini meltdown (quite literally) and got angry and tearful and all 'woe is me' about all the things that had taken it upon themselves to break or give up. I am hoping that we are now done with that specific chapter of fun. That is quite enough now!

What kind of week have you guys had? Let me live through you for a while...tell me what you have been up to of late.

Negative happening to one side as this post is all about the positive, and, despite it all, there have been plenty of things to be grateful for this week...let's explore those shall we?

1. On Saturday I treated Joe to a breakfast at Bills restaurant in town (can't beat a birthday breakfast!). I am so in love with their pancakes, which are always delicious, but I also had my very first fresh mint tea (see picture above!) - it was super tasty. I am always grateful for the times I get to spend enjoying good food with lovely company.

2. Hedgehogs. One evening this week we were sat watching tv when I saw something shoot past our patio window. Low and behold it was a gorgeous little hedgehog on his/her way to have a drink out of Gizmo's water tray. I was over the moon to have it in the garden and pleased it found the water as I know that dehydration is a common reason why they can unfortunately pass away sometimes. People, please put a little saucer of water (not milk) on the ground so the little hoggies can get to it. (I also think that the hedgehog may be responsible for gobbling down Gizmo's biscuits that we put outside when she wanders off at night as they have been very messed up for the last couple of weeks and Giz is not a messy eater!)

3. A supportive email. The lovely Michelle, who happens to have a rather awesome blog, sent me a really nice email yesterday, following a blog post I had put up, and it was just what I needed at that moment in time, so thank you gorgeous lady bird for your motivational words ;-)

4. Getting the time to train. The last couple of weeks I have been working my butt off to make sure I have regular and varied exercise sessions and I have been really enjoying everything that I have been doing, despite some old injuries hanging around and some good old-fashioned aches and pains from moving my body like a nut case (I don't necessarily mind those kinds of aches and pains though as I feel I have worked hard). There was only one morning where I had to get ever-suffering Joe to go and get me a hot water bottle as I was in so much pain between my shoulder blades I couldn't actually get out of bed. A couple of Nurofen, some heat and a stretch sorted it though!

5. Relaxing hours spent watercolour-ing and watching programmes on Netflix. Having been forced into stepping away from my computer I was able to focus on a really important part of my business venture...creating. I find painting really relaxing (once I know what I am doing that is, otherwise it is hell on earth!). Throw some YouTube or Netflix on in the background and I can be working for hours upon hours without realising the time...heaven.

In other news: I have realised that my work-from-home uniform is stripes. Stripy t-shirts, stripy tunics and stripy socks (that's a lie, I am always bear-footed!) / my food obsession this week has continued to be rice cakes with peanut butter. I have now decided I had better not buy any more of these when I go shopping tonight as I literally have no self control with this snack / I ventured onto Periscope to see what all the fuss was about this week and have decided that I really don't think it's for me...if I know the person that is broadcasting I can ignore what drives me mad, but what is with all the endless hearts and stupid things people type whilst someone is talking. I guess that is the thing with social media these days, people can jump in and say something totally inappropriate and then just leave...grrr! / lastly, and I know you are going to scream at me, but I just cannot wait for autumn. Layers, scarves, jumpers...I love it. There is something really romantic about the smell in the air and everything changing colour and being all wrapped up and snuggled up that I adore. I know, I know...it is still summer!! Just saying though :-)

Have an amazing weekend everyone. xoxo
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6 August 2015

THINKING POSITIVE

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Over recent weeks, helped along by not having a functioning computer to lose many hours on, I have been asking myself a lot of big questions and assessing many areas of my life in ways that I haven't before. (Side-note: being without technology is not always a bad thing - unless you desperately need to edit a video, put up a blog post or generally get on with your life!).

As you guys may already be aware I am in the stages of setting up a small, creative business. If you have done this then you will know just how many questions this throws up. I was already an over-thinker, and could worry for the Olympics, but throwing myself into my dream has actually been equal amounts stressful and epiphany producing! (Please comment down below if you have a small business of your own, I would love to chat and hear how you found it all as this is totally new to me, maybe leave me your email or send me an email...I'll leave mine contact info at the end of this post!).

Sorry, I digressed, I'm great at that!

One of the big things that kept on surfacing for me was that somehow I wasn't good enough to do this, to venture down the path of self-employment and tip toe into the unknown. It wasn't until the other day that I realised that I had made some kind of psychological change over the last year when having the self-doubt kind of thoughts and that change was not running away, not thinking 'give up, this is too hard'. Something has re-programmed in me and I feel...different, stronger (in an anxiety led kind of way!). 

Every New Years Eve for the last few years I have said to Joe 'I really want to work for myself in some way' and chatted on non stop about this idea of what I want to do. And every year I have not moved it forward. But this new year something felt different. This was the time. My time,

A lot of my forward-motion is spurred on by someone who I have mentioned here many times, my lovely business coach, Gemma (find out more about Gemma here). She really helps me explore my issues as they come up as well as teaching me about the many aspects of putting together plans to do what I want to do that I hadn't even thought about. 

One of the biggest things to surface time and time again for me is the thought of entering a market place where there are already so many awesome, talented people already doing what I want to be doing, what I will be doing. Gemma and I have discussed this from the 'what are your USP's' point of view (Unique Selling Points) and I really struggled to have confidence to answer this when she asked me. But, what I have really learnt of late is that my USP is...well, it's me. That may sound super corny, but that is what it is! 

On that same subject I recently watched Madeline Shaw's video (below) about the five things that changed her life and one of the last things she talks about is that exact worry that she faced when deciding to go into nutrition as a career, about not being different to anyone else. She received some awesome advice from a friend, which is so simple but I love it and it is so true...check it out, it's a lovely video!


I guess what I am saying here is that, if something is your passion, if you feel it in your heart and want to give it a shot, then go for it. When I launch my business I am fully aware that I will be working full time in my 'proper' job and working my socks off keeping the business ticking over, but something about that excites me. Putting in hours and hours when it is for your own thing seems so much more fun! 

Going on this adventure has made me so much more aware of what I want in my life and it has already changed me so much. I am finally finding out who I am, not just being a watered-down version of me that I think I should be for other people to get on board with my life and for their approval. This takes (and is still taking) a lot of courage and sometimes I feel mentally and physically exhausted from it, but it is amazing and gives me a spring in my step too - nothing beats that feeling!

Anyway, before I waffle you in to a coma - check out Madelines video and let me know in the comments what things have changed your life or what you have recently discovered about yourself that you feel has had a positive impact on you. I would love to hear from you.

If you have your own, relatively new small business or have any wise words for me feel free to get in touch, you can email me on fromlucywithlove@outlook.com - I always love to hear from you guys.
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