26 November 2015

TAKING STOCK | NOVEMBER 2015

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^^This beautiful image is from Pinterest^^

*Insert box-standard 'I cannot believe it is the end of another month' jibber-jabber here* (seriously though, it's almost Christmas!).

November has been a month of a variety of emotions for me. Personally speaking, I have been extremely up and down but I am trying to keep focused on the things I want to do and look forward to the festive season and the New Year ahead and all that it will bring. This time of year is my absolute favourite, it feels incredibly nostalgic and magical to me and I just love it as wintry smells fill the air. Here are the things that have made my November particularly special...

Making | my very first printed watercolour reproduction in the shape of a Christmas card. I was really nervous to approach a printer to get it done and I am hoping it will come out ok, but it one small step towards bigger goals for 2016.
Cooking | late. Now Joe and I are gym-ing it in the week we are finding ourselves cooking a little later than normal and not being too enthusiastic about it also!
Drinking | a highly recommended pre-workout drink. I was told that it would make me feel 'like a hulk' but it literally didn't make me feel any different. Not too sure what that says about my body. Immune to super powers clearly.
Reading | 'How to Style Your Brand' by Fiona Humberstone - it's awesome!
Wanting | to book a holiday to Cornwall for 2016 pronto. How did we used to get to go twice a year?
Looking | at a sweaty reflection in the gym (but it is good to be back!).
Playing | lots on Spotify, including a Christmas playlist and a little playlist I put together for fun, un-creatively titled 'Autumn 2015' - it's full of cheesy oldies and one or two new-ish tunes, check it out if you dare :-)
Deciding | which Christmas 'do' to go to this year. Last year I went to every one I was invited to and ended up skint as a flint, but this year I am old, grumpy and worn out so am picking one and one alone!
Wishing | burgers were calorie and fat free.
Enjoying | my new computer!
Watching | new Peep Show. Joe loves it, I'm still not quite sure but am giving it a good old British try for the sake of our marriage ;-)
Waiting | for advent calendar day. Yum!
Liking | all the Christmas jumpers I am seeing in the shops, especially this one from Dorothy Perkins.
Wondering how on Earth Snapchat works.
Loving | my hubby more and more. He is just the best human :-)
Hoping | for a little bit of snow soon!
Marvelling | over how the world can really pull together sometimes. Can't we just do it all the time?
Needing | speakers for the new computer. Although, the headphones I am currently wearing whilst typing this post are pretty darn groovy!
Smelling | mulled wine and roast chestnuts at Winchester Christmas Market.
Wearing | more layers.
Following | more fabulous creative people on Instagram. Instagram's my favourite social media ever <3
Noticing | that my mum is saving up enough Christmas food to feed an army this year. Better exercise three times a day in the lead up to going over there this year!
Knowing | I need more winter gym wear. I seriously shiver when I leave the place in the cold. 
Thinking | about it only being a few months until I turn 35 years old...say what?!
Feeling | warm and snuggly in the evenings again now that I have rescued my onesie out of the wardrobe.
Opening | fabulous art-related parcels, filled with gorgeous watercolours that dreams are made of.
Giggling | at getting ID'd for buying Joe some beer, and loving it (a bit too much possibly).

I love reading other peoples 'Taking Stock' posts, so if you have one on your blog please let me know in the comments! :-)
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20 November 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #35

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^^I was so cold on Monday night that I borrowed my mums onesie...she has such a festive one too! / I am kind of obsessed with my new office plant / work in progress in the studio / our little bear all curled up is the best thing ever^^

I bring this post to you fresh from my NEW COMPUTER!! The day has finally come and I am back up and running, after months without something of my own. I feel it necessary to do a mini Oscar-style thank you speech here because without a very generous contribution from my mum and dad and my lovely hubby I would not be in this position. It is an early Christmas present from them and I couldn't be more grateful for it {big old internet hugs to you all for getting me back on-line again}

Obviously the computer is the thing I am MOST grateful for this week but it deserved a paragraph at the top rather than a place in my usual list so I hope you don't mind. Let's get on to the other stuff that has made this week so great...

1. A delivery from Cass Art. If you know of Cass Art, you will know how wonderfully exciting it is to get a parcel from them. I didn't even realise, until last week, that they did on-line orders these days. For me, Cass Art represents a trip to London, as I would always pop in the little Aladdin's cave of artistic wonders after a trip to The National Gallery. Their stuff is usually much, much cheaper than anywhere else so it was a no-brainer for me to go to them when I needed to buy some new watercolours. I came home from work on Wednesday to a box of goodies including the best watercolours I have ever had, sketchbooks, brushes and some metallic ink, which I have been lusting over for a while, and could not be happier with my purchases. Happy arty days ahead.

2. Seeing the most amazing sun-rise on my early morning drive to work. There is something about a wintry sunrise that really is phenomenal.

3. Another surprise from the Nutella fairy! You may remember, several weeks ago, that a certain fantastic colleague of mine left a 1kg tub of Nutella on my desk to make me smile after a particularly bad week at work. I happened to mention to her last week that I had managed to almost finish it and, despite the fact that I was not hinting to be stocked up again, stocked up again I was! On Monday I unlocked my office door to discover an entire family of Nutella jars, from big to small. I don't think I will be getting through that lot any time soon!

4. Joe's Christmas CD. I know, I know, it is still November! We drove to the gym last night listening to all the best Christmas tunes and it made me feel all festive an happy.

5. The constant entertainment from the students at school. If you have ever worked in a school you will know that it can be equally frustrating and hysterical. But what you can guarantee, on most days, is that you will hear something that makes you laugh so much you feel like your going to pass out. This week I have managed to get the nickname 'thunder thighs' (in the nicest way!) from a Year 11 girl, after she witnessed me breaking a key that was attached to a filing cabinet...with my leg. I was also grilled by a Year 8 student about everything 'I'm a Celebrity...' and 'X-Factor' related, which I failed miserably, gaining me the title of 'old and uncool', as we watch neither of those programmes. In contrast, I was told I was 'awesome' for knowing who Bruno Mars is. They are a funny old bunch but they are okay really...most of the time!

I hope you have all had a fun week. Enjoy your weekend and come and say hi over on Instagram if you fancy!


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6 November 2015

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK #34

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^^Image sourced from Pinterest - Happy Bonfire Night everyone!^^

Happy first Friday in November everyone! November is one of my favourite months; the smell of bonfires in the air, beautiful coloured leaves creating a carpet of colour (before they turn all slimy and become one big slip hazard of course!) and the excitement of Christmas starts to filter through, which I know can drive a lot of people crazy, but I love it!

Last week Joe and I had a week off together (you can find a little vlog here or linked in the sidebar and a blog post here if you haven't seen it yet) - in the interest of honesty I have to say that my health was at a bit of a low, so it was a tough one for me but I am just starting to feel a bit brighter in myself and, hopefully, it will remain that way for a bit longer.

Because I haven't done this post for a couple of weeks I figured I would wrap my 'Five Things...' into one to cover those two weeks because, let's face it, more things happen when you are off work then when you are at work! So, here are some of the bits and bobs I have been grateful for of late...

1. Rediscovering my Friends box-set. Perhaps 'rediscovering' isn't exactly the correct word as Friends is a classic and, I must admit, 80% of my vocabulary probably stems from my years of watching the show (that and Fawlty Towers of course!). Seeing as Netflix has taking off the majority of things I enjoyed dipping into I figured I would go all old fashioned and put on a DVD! Friends is, hands down, the show that cheers me up the fastest (maybe The Inbetweeners is close too). I never fail to laugh at Ross yelling 'PIVOT!' or the fact that Monica and I are practically the same human (Joe may roll his eyes and smile when he sees a similarity, which is often!).

2. Lifting weights. I've had almost one whole year out of gym training and have been doing everything at home, which has been fine, but when Joe said he wanted to go to a gym I thought I would seize the opportunity to go with him so that we can at least be in the same room. I stopped before due to injury but a big part of it was because I would come home from work and then go straight out for another couple of hours. It is so good to be lifting heavier weights again. Lifting and challenging my body that way is something that makes me feel so good inside. I am spookily strong for a girl (genetics I guess), but that aside, whatever you can lift is a good way to increase confidence and give your body a buzz. It's good to be back!

3. A new, inspirational book. I cannot remember for love nor money how I discovered Fiona Humberstone's Instagram account, it was probably one of those things where she was tagged into another picture and I clicked on it, but I am so glad I found her. Fiona is a specialist in brand styling and many creative bits and pieces and, when I stumbled upon her account, I saw that she had a book out called 'How to Style Your Brand' and I immediately purchased it. With my slow, but gradually progressing, small business idea I need more guidance about branding and design but I need it from a source that I can relate to: a.k.a something pleasing on the eyeballs - this book is mega pleasing on the eyeballs! If you are a blogger or a creative entrepreneur I would highly recommend it.

4. A muffin (chocolate), a coffee (my first coffee ever) and a chat with friends.

5. Receiving a lovely card from my even lovelier friend Helena. It is so nice to get a surprise letter or card through the post but hers couldn't have arrived at a better time for me and was filled with kind words to make me smile too. Thank you lovely lady - see you soon :-)

In other news:
After months of not being able to access my iTunes account, due to a lack of computer, Joe kindly put mine onto his laptop so I can finally change a gym playlist I have been training with forever! It is so good to rediscover old albums I had stored on there and to download new stuff that isn't restricted to my phone, happy days! / Speaking of computers...I am finally getting one. My fab parents are clubbing together to help me out and I could not be more grateful - when I get it you will know because there will be more action here and more YouTube videos again, hurrah!

I hope you all have an amazing weekend and enjoy the firework celebrations (if you celebrate November 5th of course!) - we will be in doors looking after the cat, although, to be honest, she really isn't bothered - we are lucky!

xoxo
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