29 September 2015

TAKING STOCK | SEPTEMBER 2015

 photo fromlucywithloveTakingStockSept15_zpsc9ya8p5j.png
^^This gorgeous picture is taken from Pinterest, original here^^

As another month comes to a close I thought I would take the opportunity to think back over the last 30 days and remember what has been going on (considering I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday this is not an easy task). September is a month I always enjoy as it marks autumn and I seriously adore autumn. There is the poetic mix of warm sun and cool air that fills me with nostalgia and just enough heat to keep the coats in the cupboards but just enough cold to warrant a scarf. Perfect.

I hope you all have had a wonderful September. What has been the highlight for you?

Making | an epic mess in my home-office space. Watercolours everywhere, scraps of paper everywhere (but this means that there is creativity everywhere, which is goooood!). Oh, and a YouTube video...at last!
Cooking | mixed bean and vegetable soup in batches. Autumn is here!
Drinking | the usual amount of water and the occasional green tea with mint.
Reading | my own notes and scribbles. Business stuff is happening and I am trying to get all my notes together for my website, so my focus is certainly on that (and a couple of new magazines).
Wanting | a whole new winter wardrobe including these gorgeous beauties.
Looking | for super thick, warm tights.
Playing | my hubbies album.
Deciding | whether purchasing more Nutella is a good or bad idea.
Wishing | Nutella was calorie free and good for me.
Enjoying | the lovely smell in the air from the change of season (er, and Nutella obviously!).
Watching |'Doctor Foster' on BBC One. I am not usually one for dramas but I got totally swept up in this one and had to binge watch the previous episode that I missed.
Waiting | patiently for technology to sort itself out.
Liking | navy or deep red nails.
Wondering | how to do a whole load of things on Square Space!
Loving | shimmery bronze eyes and rosy pink cheeks.
Hoping | to have a day out here again soon so I can see all the autumn colours everywhere. They also have a fantastic art exhibition themed around my favourite things in nature...trees.
Marvelling | Over the beauty of our universe. Joe and I set a 3am alarm in order to see the lunar eclipse on Monday night/Tuesday morning. The stars seems super sparkly because the sky was just so clear. Simply stunning.
Needing | this gorgeous dress from Hush. I have fallen in love with it (and these perfect ankle boots too!)
Smelling | the last of my lavender pillow spray. It has been heaven and I shall be buying more soon!
Wearing | pyjama's and over-sized jumpers (far too often for my own good). 
Following | instructions from the vet to look after Gizmos poorly eye.
Noticing | it is getting darker very fast at night and is dark when I leave home in the mornings too :-(
Knowing | half term is coming up soon (it can't come along quick enough).
Thinking | I need to get back to a bit more relaxation and yoga as my body is hurting all over.
Feeling | emotional.
Opening | old boxes of clothes and realising I don't need any of them anymore.
Giggling | watching the cat hunting leaves in the garden and pulling faces when she comes close to a spiders web! She hates those!
SHARE:

25 September 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #31

 photo fromlucywithlovesept25_zpstb3yo40k.png
^^A pretty new notebook for all my bloggy-type notes / beautiful Salisbury cathedral / November magazines make me happy / the raspberry cocktail that knocked my socks off!^^

This week has been a bit of a blur, full of busy days and busy nights. I am not much of a social bunny, but over the last two weeks I have had two meals out on a school night, not that I'm complaining, but I can't handle the lack of sleep it brings! How people have a full on day at work and go out a few nights a week is simply amazing to me (cough, cough..old lady!).

I have also been a little poorly this week. What started off as a migraine, turned into almost three full days of a cracking head ache and nausea, yuck! Maybe it is a virus (it is still hanging about you see) but, whatever it is, it can go away!

On to brighter things.

Five things I am grateful for this week:

1. Catching up with old friends. Due to the madness of life, and time running away from us like a crazy thing, T and I kind of lost touch. But what I love about proper, genuine friendship is that, when you meet up after years and years of no contact (seven in our case) things just pick up where you left off. Life has changed...a lot, and T has been through the mill and back, but everything is the same between us, and that is nice. 

2. Long naps on the sofa with a hot water bottle and a cat (an a lovely husband on the other sofa who made the hot water bottle). I simply adore my little family and can't express in words how much I love them.

3. Seeing the trees starting to change colour. This, for me, is one of the most magical moments of the year, I love it so much, especially at the start of the transition. It makes me want to wrap up in a cosy knit and a hat and go walking.

4. I've mentioned our little hedgehog friends before. Every night, like clock work, they appear in the garden to munch on biscuits and drink water. Their new routine is so cute. When we get up early to let Gizmo in (or out) they are often to be found sitting, waiting by the back door, for a biscuit refill. I think it is so adorable that they trust us to pick up the saucer, right next to them, and put more food down. It really is so cute. I am grateful for those little mites every day, but I am guessing that they will be disappearing into hibernation soon.

5. Trying a cocktail. Let's just refer back to the opening paragraph, where I told you I am official an old lady! Then let me refer you to last weeks 'Five Things...' post, where I shared that we had won a free meal for two at Bills restaurant. So, on Saturday, we trundled off into town, with empty stomachs and menu shopping lists as long as our arms. Nothing particularly unusual got ordered, we were actually quite controlled as we are believers of not being greedy, but I did treat myself to one, solitary cocktail and it was super scrummy! It had gin in it and frozen raspberries on the top which, one defrosted, soaked up said gin perfectly. I took one sip and almost fell over. It was a fabulous meal :-)

In other news:
I put everything into a cart that I really like from Boden's new Autumn collection, had a mini heart attack over how much it came to, and deleted everything. Today I ordered one dress for work / I discovered that one of my favourite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert, has a pod-cast to support her new book (which I really want to download as an audio-book). I could listen to her voice all day and night as I find it so darn soothing. The pod-cast series is called 'Magic Lessons' and it is brilliant. During the show she talks about creativity and everything involved within it and around it. I have downloaded a whole load to get my fix on the journey to work / we watched 'Muppet Christmas Carol' last weekend. I put it out on Facebook and general the consensus was that of approval. It was pure magic and unicorns!

I hope you have all had an amazing week and have an even better weekend.
SHARE:

23 September 2015

COPING WITH S.A.D

 photo fromlucywithloveSAD_zpsyejcttj9.png
{Image sourced from Pinterest}

I have wanted to pop up a little post about Seasonal Affective Disorder for a while, and seeing as the darker mornings are creeping in, I thought now was a good enough time.

*Please bear in mind that this is just my experience and everyone is different!*

It has taken me many, many years to come up with a routine that keeps me going in the winter. For me the worst time of day is first thing in the morning and having to pull myself up and out of bed in the pitch black that is 5am. This is really darn annoying as I have grown to be a morning person and, in the summer months, love nothing more than to get up early and take on the day.

It was only toward the tail-end of last week that I started to get that strange feeling in the pit of my stomach that I associate with the anxiety caused by SAD. As I haven't discussed SAD at length with anyone, I really don't know how other peoples symptoms manifest themselves, but mine is a growing sense of worry and anxiousness, always first thing in the morning, and only in the winter. I do occasionally long for warmth and longer, lighter days, but that is not all consuming for me, which, from what I have read, seems the most common thing. (Please feel free to share your own experiences in the comments or email me if you would rather - I am keen to know of anyone else gets this type of reaction).

Believe me, I have tried to reason with myself about this reaction, saying things in my head like 'come on Lucy, things are no different, it is just dark' and many other more strong sentences! When I worked shifts in a gym I found this feeling intensified. The variation of hours messed with my poor brain in the winter months, and I struggled with the more common symptoms of lethargy and much lower mood but this all calmed down with more of a routine, and I have now developed a few small but effective things to help me through the morning dip...

:: Don't go back to sleep! 
Hitting snooze, as ruddy wonderful an idea as it will seem at the time, can really give me the morning blues. I do set three alarms, 15 minutes apart, but these are my 'just in case' alarms (just in case I am in full hibernation mode and just didn't hear the first one!). Trust me though guys, just sit yourself up on the edge of your bed on the first alarm, it is a bit of a game changer.

:: Refresh.
I have always been a morning shower person. I need to cleanse my mind and body before the day gets going or else I feel stagnant for the entire day. If you can stand it (and you have the time - which you will have, because you will be up on the first alarm!) then definitely give it a shot. Make it something you look forward to. I like to treat myself to a little hair mask every now and then; I usually save this treat for really bad mornings and it does help me a lot.

:: Distract.
As a bit of a YouTube addict, I like to save videos on my 'watch later' playlist. I work my way through them when I am putting on my make up in the morning, or I'll chuck a TV show on that I have missed in the week. Having voices on in the  background is a winner for me.

:: Make time for small moments.
This kind of fits in with the 'not snoozing' thing. If you give yourself a bit of extra time, so you are not rushing about like a mad thing, then you will have time to give yourself a few minutes to enjoy a cup of tea and some breakfast. If you associate your mornings with rushing and not having time to eat/drink/put your face on, whatever it is, you will not look forward to getting up and at 'em! Not only that, but feeding your body with nutrients, especially first thing in the morning, is so important.

:: Make the commute a haven.
I am a massive radio fan but, more recently, I have enjoyed turning my 60 minute drive into an audio-book or pod-cast haven. I really love this time and look forward to getting into my car and absorbing the words being spoken. I always listen to something uplifting or motivational, never something sad or scary (call me a wimp but I need lifting up at that time in the morning!). If you have a project you are working on, write a blog or have a hobby you love, why not use your commute to listen to a pod cast that will drive your passion? Now that my hour in the car is productive I feel I am starting my day off on the right foot - I get to work in what seems like a flash and I am full of new ideas and inspiration. It's a win-win situation :-)

Let's not forget the importance of drinking lots of water to ward off tiredness and the positive effect of a good, nutrient-packed diet (pack a good lunch and enough healthy snacks to keep you going). After all of this, when you arrive home, try doing 30-40 minutes of exercise to pick up your energy, before settling in for a cosy night in front of the TV - don't sit down first, just get in, get changed and get moving!
SHARE:

18 September 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #30

 photo fromlucywithlove18Sept15_zpsydpcfrlp.png

{I was in a flowery mood this morning, so I sourced this beautiful image from Pinterest}

As we dip toward the finish line of another week I can honestly say that this week has been a pretty good one all in all. As someone who doesn't really go out that much, thanks to the constant madness of life, it was nice to venture out for a lovely meal earlier in the week (on a school night as well - literally!) - more on that later.

How has your week been? Tell me, have you guys pulled out your boxes of jumpers and warm layers yet? That is on my 'to-do' list for this Saturday because it has turned really chilly here in the UK! (I kind of love it though!). I have been folding over pages in the new Boden catalogue like a mad women, creating my dream Autumn/Winter wardrobe...seriously guys, I am in love with way too many things from their new collection. Does my budget allow for it? Certainly not. Do I want it all? Hell yes!

Let's get cracking on this weeks 'grateful' list...share some of your favourite moments of the week in the comments too!

1. Yummy food with a yummy lady. H and I may not see a lot of one another but when we do it is giggle central! When H first emailed me about a post I wrote on this very blog we discovered that we are basically life-twins and have been buddies ever since. Seeing as we live a little way from each other we meet half way when we can align our diaries! So, on Tuesday evening we ventured out to a rather cute little pub in Surrey for burgers and tea (yep, tea!) and didn't stop chatting until we were basically thrown out. It was so nice to catch up and see H's wedding photos (all ruddy gorgeous of course!) and to talk future plans, silly happenings and random celebrity cleavage's...just don't ask! Next time I think we need a strict itinerary to stick to as I came away thinking 'oh damn, I meant to mention that!'. Thanks H, I needed that so much after the month I've had xxx

2. A lucky email. Just as I thought I was in for another unlucky month (August was horrendous!) I received an email from one of my favourite places, Bills restaurant, to say that I had one the competition I entered last month. Whoop whoop! After initially thinking it was a fake email I was over the burger-eating moon to see it was actually real and I had won a free meal! Wondering what I did next? I opened their menu of course and quickly planned three courses of heaven! Thanks Bills :-)

3. Christmas leggings. If you have followed me on Instagram for a while you will have seen me parading about in these Christmas leggings from Primark about two years ago. Well, I have pulled them back out from the depths of my drawer and they have been keeping me all snuggly and warm in the evenings as it has gotten rather cold here suddenly. I swear that they are the best, most comfortable leggings ever invented and they have reindeer's and hearts on them!

4. Evaluation. This week I had my final session with my coach Gemma. The session was all about evaluating how far we've come during the time we have been working together and seeing what has made a difference and how things have developed and changed. I can see clearly the value of a coach so this process was relatively easy for me, but it was fab to go over things together and really dig into the progress I have made. I actually think I will do a full post on my experience with Gemma soon, as I honestly think it was life-changing for me.

5. Cough, cough *nutella on toast* cough, cough!

In other news: 
I managed to pull a muscle in my back whilst putting on my socks to do a workout (I mean, really?!) / Joe and I have put up a piece of paper on our fridge to write out Christmas 'wish-list's'. Mine will be mostly a list of my lusted-for Mac lipsticks and a new water-colour palette / Our poor little bear, Gizmo, has been being nursed all week for a badly scratched eye. She is so not impressed with having five lots of drops in her eye per day :-( 

Have an amazing weekend guys!
xoxo 
SHARE:

15 September 2015

LIFE AUDIT

 photo fromlucywithlovelifeaudit_zpsm5bbtb6m.png

Sorry guys, but I'm coming at you with another one of those posts again. You probably know the type because I have been coming at you with them a fair bit recently (in between broken computers that is!).

I'm not going to lie to you, I'm in a funny old place at the moment...a weird just-slightly-over-quarter-life-crisis perhaps, or just a natural stage of change. That is not why I haven't been posting here, we all know that is tech-related, but I must admit to feeling a bit at a loss for words in my head. Does anyone else get like that from time to time? It is like I have reached a capacity in my mind and there is no room for anything more until something else disappears. 

Most of you guys will know that I am working on a small business on the side of everything else and that has certainly taken its toll, but in a really good way (on a side note to that I will be telling you guys about that before Christmas has come around, not because it is ready to launch but because I want to have the motivation/ownership that comes with telling people!). But, other than my poor dwindling brain being full of ideas, tiredness and a gazillion thoughts that come with setting up your own thing, I have been pondering a whole lot of 'stuff' when it comes to the world of blogging. I kind of touched on it before in a YouTube video and I am still in that place now. I just feel like I don't quite know where I fit. I'm not even sure that makes sense. Hopefully it does.

I have always adored blogging and the creative outlet that comes with it, and I certainly have no thoughts of stopping any time soon, but I felt like I needed to step back to see the wood for the trees. My very nature means that I am an obsessive self-assessor. I both love this and hate this about myself all at once. Recently I have realised that I am always trying to do what I think I should be doing because I don't want to upset anyone (or offend, because I really have the potential to offend with my stupid opinions...I have a lot of those...so I'm told!). Constant worry about saying something that may bore someone or not be of interest to someone has rendered me kind of paralysed, creatively speaking. On top of that, my life has been purely about work and, therefore, not about me popping out to some beautiful location to photograph life.

I wish, more than anything, that I had more time to do all the things I have written, in all the notebooks I own, to do with blog posts I intend to write: visit such-and-such a place, film a vlog about bla-de-bla or whatever, but life just has not been that way of late.

In August we lost a dear family friend. Out of nowhere he was snatched away. That rendered me numb as hell for a long time. Life's perspective shifted, and suddenly I thought 'okay, so I can't blog right now...that's alright' and, you know what, it was alright. With that, and all the other crap that has been happening, I have been getting more and more frustrated by some of the stuff I have previously loved on-line, specifically YouTube related things. I went on a huge un-subscribing marathon the other week as I feel, and this is just my opinion, that certain channels have gotten rather shallow in their efforts. The editing is stunning, and it cannot be said that many, many hours have gone into the videos, but with all of that they have lost something that attracts me to want to watch. I can't exactly put my finger on what it is, maybe integrity is not the right word, but it is all I have for now! This made me lose my place within my own channel. I felt not good enough, and that is not what I wanted, or needed, to feel. I am mostly over that now in that I am totally okay with the fact that I cannot afford a proper camera and that I will never look illuminated from within by amazing lighting. I am real, I am doing this and earning no money from it because I love it and I adore all you guys, truly.

Something that struck a chord with me recently, on some podcast or another (I listen to a load) was when someone said 'you want to attract or repel someone (from your site) as quickly as possible' - it sounds harsh huh? But who wants a diluted version of life? I know that I don't. I don't want an airbrushed one either. So, if you fancy sticking with me, then I would love that. There will still be the occasional beauty video/post, because, after all, I bloody love beauty, but I may suddenly post something totally random too. Let's see shall we?

PS: The computer situation is still pretty bad :-(
SHARE:

4 September 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #29

 photo fromlucywithlove4sept15_zps8qp6xycc.png
^^Since I have been technology-less I have been working my socks off on my artwork (with a cuppa obviously! / we have had some seriously gorgeous sunsets recently / those little feet, I love those little feet!^^

I want to start this Friday (YAY!) post by saying a huge sorry for being so sporadic recently. I am not going to go on about it but I am without computer again (the one I had is no more). Joe has kindly lent me his laptop so I will do my best but you know how it is when you don't have all your own stuff?!

So, happy September guys. I love September (apart from the giant spiders that take refuge in our house that is... they are getting bigger and bigger aren't they!). Seriously guys, I am such an autumn person. The other day I opened the door to let the cat in and got a little whiff of wood-smoke from somewhere or other and it made me all nostalgic. Bring on over-sized knits and warm socks! (When my mum reads this she will be cringing - she is always cold and much prefers the sun I think...although she is planning Christmas like a nutter, so maybe the jury is out!).

What have you all been up to recently? I feel like I am seriously out the loop! Come and chat to me in the comments, or on Instagram (my favourite place to hang out!). In the meantime, here is what has been making me smile of late:

1. Inspirational women. You probably already know that I love podcasts, they are fantastic company to and from work and help me stay motivated, inspired and thoughtful throughout my day. The other day I listened to Nicole Antoinette's 'Real Talk Radio' podcast where she interviewed Laura Jane Williams, and it was pretty darn good! I have mentioned Laura a few times on here as I adore her blog, Superlatively Rude, and recently discovered her e-book 'The Book of Brave' and it is good guys, seriously! Laura is a genuinely independent soul, she is totally fierce in every sense of the word, totally opposite to me in most ways, but I think she is the most awesome writer and I admire her honesty so much.

2. Pyjama days. Last weekend I threw on my super soft (and stripy!) pj bottoms, and an old over-sized Zara jumper, vowing that after breakfast I would get changed, and found myself so comfy that I only took them off to workout, getting straight back into them post shower! Poor Joe must've thought I was terribly lazy but I was just in need of softness in my life. Does that make any sense? I was worn out and needed comfortable clothes and a 'let's not go anywhere today' day! It was pretty amazing :-)

3. Nutella. I feel like my life should be sponsored by nutella right now. It is my only vice most weeks and I love it. After a long day at work you cannot beat a really nice cup of tea and a couple of slices of warm toast with nutella on. I should probably limit myself to this treat once per week as it has crept in to about three days per week. It's just too damn good for heavens sake.

4. A visit to the hair dressers. I haven't had time to get my hair cut for a while so it was beyond amazing to visit my lovely hair dresser last Saturday for a trim and a chat (equally as important!). I get my hair cut at an Aveda salon near town and adore it. It is so zen in there and so far removed from intimidating. You get a little shoulder massage before they wash your hair, so you are already zoned out on the oils they use before having your head massaged! I have been all organised and booked my next appointment...it's on Halloween! I can't believe how fast the weeks go.

5. Planning some much needed time off. Joe and I have vowed to take Christmas off together this year. That is pretty easy for me because it is school holidays, but he has booked some time off too, which is so great. We love heading out to markets and hitting up a bit of late night Christmas shopping so we now have that to look forward to. Plus, this week I ordered two Christmas presents in an attempt to be a little organised this year...let's see how that goes!

Thank you so much for bearing with me whilst I continue to organise my technology issues, and sorry again for the sporadic posts. I promise I am working on it.

Have an amazing weekend (don't forget to come and say hello on Instagram @fromlucywithloveblog).

xoxo 
SHARE:
© From Lucy, with Love. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig