30 October 2016

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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This week I am bringing you the mother of all gratitude lists! You see, being in Cornwall brings me so many reasons to be grateful and so much to share with you all. The food (oh, the food!), the nature, the visits to such amazingly beautiful places and all the other things in-between. Let's do this...

:: Fresh sour dough bread with butter. I haven't had bread since May. I felt so bloated afterwards but it is a treat that I didn't regret!

:: A little chat with a very sweet older gentleman about woodcarving techniques. He had some funny stories to tell and I loved talking to him.

:: Exploring a new coastal path that led to the beautiful Gwenver beach, pictured above. It was stunning and I have wanted to find this beach for a while but have never realised how to get there.

:: Trying two flavours of cake at The Eden Project (we had half chocolate and half Victoria sandwich each). Oh my goodness guys... heaven on a plate.

:: Stroking a little owl called Cleo at Eden; more to come in Wednesdays post.

:: Witnessing a little seal following a guy who was paddle-boarding in Carbis Bay. We spoke to him after he came out the sea and he said he hadn't realised it was there. The seal was staring in at us chatting and looked disappointed that his play-mate was no longer in the water!

:: Yummy fish and chips from Beck's in Carbis Bay :-)

:: Painting watercolour scribbles on the balcony after a long day of walking, with a hot cup of sweet tea.

:: Finding one of my favourite artists new gallery spaces. I have adored Kurt Jackson for a long time and his gallery in St Just is stunning. We had it completely to ourselves right until the last minute, which was pretty special for me.

:: Having a thick old layer of peanut butter for the first time in months.

:: Afternoons spent curled up in bed for an hour of reading and napping and watching the dogs playing on the beach from the bed (how luxurious it was to watch the sea from bed!).

:: Sheltering from the rain in St Ives in a tiny crystal shop. I left with a few bits and bobs and am glad the rain took us in there.

:: This week, the lovely Peta, from the fab blog '24 Hours in Today', mentioned me in her post 'Positive Friday' and, honestly guys, it made my day (yep, I got all emotional as usual!). Peta is so sweet and friendly (not to mention so gorgeous) and I love following her on Instagram and YouTube (as well as her blog of course!). You guys should definitely check her out :-)

:: Finding some very fluffy, very big cows wandering the coast road between St Ives and St Just. They were casually munching on grass and looked very chilled out with life.

There you have it, my highlights from this week... now you know why I have to live there! You cannot go a day without finding a list of things to be grateful for.

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23 October 2016

THE DIFFERENCE A PLACE CAN MAKE

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This week I am switching up my usual Sunday post to talk to you from, and about, my favourite place in the UK, Cornwall. If you have hung around here long enough, you will already know that this County is my dream home and I will call it home someday for sure. Everything about the place makes my soul feel rested and at ease, whilst encouraging a sense of belonging to appear in my mind... and that feels pretty amazing.

When we arrived yesterday, and starting unloading the car of our many bags, I was totally overwhelmed with emotions, because I always get this feeling wash over me of 'I'm home'. The smells, the sounds, everything about the place pulls me in. There are so many reasons for loving it here and I thought I would use this post to list out a few of them...

:: Coastal walks. There are so many to choose from, so many little hidden coves and tiny paths that wind along the coast, hugging you tight to the land but allowing for a stunning glimpse out to sea, out into the nothingness. Feeling nature over power you or watching the weather come in from the sea is an experience I could certainly deal with daily. 

:: Seals, birds and sea-life. Need I say more? Walk up to Godrevy and you will see all the seals shuffling about and hear them gently barking to each other. The sound travels up to the cliff edge, where you can stand and watch as they bravely drag themselves out into the waves to play or feed. Many a walk has been interrupted by bird running across the path (scaring us half to death), a caterpillar rescue mission (I was concerned he would be squashed!), and even a snake or two, sitting dozily in the undergrowth. Nature is where I feel my best and I cannot get enough.

:: Night times out at sea... seeing the little fishing boats bobbing up and down with a little light blowing about in the wind, or watching a huge ship passing on the horizon with just a faint twinkle of light out there seems magical to me. It's easy to forget what is still happening whilst we sleep warmly in our beds.

:: Windswept hair. Finally a place for my hair to fit in! I adore the sea-salt / wavy / slightly messy hair look and I can only really achieve it here. No amount of sea-salt spray from Boots can achieve the natural 'I have just been on the beach for a walk' look.

:: Wildflowers. I am the biggest fan of little flowers that grow in such extreme conditions and look so pretty doing it. There is never a dull moment by the sea and the colours are magnificent. You just don't get the same thing on an estate do you?!

:: Drifting off to sleep to the sound of the sea. This is probably just a holiday luxury as, I assume we won't be able to move into an apartment on the sea front when we relocate! Come on lottery!

:: Finally, and this is one of my main reasons for wanting to move here, I feel 'at my best' here. Spiritually, mentally and physically I feel like 'me' here, I feel at ease and whole. I am overcome with inspiration to create and to write and to connect with the deepest roots of myself. That may sound woo-woo to you, but that is how it is for me. I am just not a city dweller you see!

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Do you guys have somewhere you know to be your spiritual home? Maybe you are already living there. Where would be your ideal place to live and why? Let me know in the comments!

PS: I am vlogging a little this week so hang on in there for that next week! In the mean time you can see some more pictures on Instagram!

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16 October 2016

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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^^Image: one of my little watercolour garlands^^

Whenever I sit down to write these posts I feel so calm and content because remembering all the things you have enjoyed or been grateful for in one week is such a lovely exercise. One thing I certainly haven't been grateful for this week is how cold I have been! On Thursday I think I moved around the building at work most of the day, trying to find a desk where I could feel my fingers again! I used to be the person that was always over-heating, but not anymore!

Only one more working week until half term comes along and Joe and I pack ourselves up and head to Cornwall for one whole week of relaxation, a bit of indulgent food and lie-ins by the sea. I have never been more ready to escape the everyday grind as I am right at this moment.

Lets jump in to the things I have been most grateful for this week:

:: Cozy evenings of colouring in. I mentioned, several blog posts ago now, that I had gotten into mindfulness colouring books. I thought it would be one of those fads that I tried and never did again, but I honestly love it. I encouraged Joe to have a little colour one night this week, or maybe it was last weekend, but he also loves it and we plan to take our colouring books (!) on holiday. With life being so very manic and somewhat stressful at the moment, doing this completely clears my mind. I am going to get a couple of the Lorna Scobie books off of Amazon this weekend too, as I like the variety of the pictures. If you don't follow her on-line anywhere you should definitely check out her Instagram if you like very cute animal pictures/watercolours.

:: Sweet and salty skinny popcorn. On my higher carbohydrate days I can have treats like this and discovered this only this week and love it. I know it is not nutritious or voluminous, but it is seriously yummy and feels like a proper treat these days!

:: Dark chocolate dipped in tea. As I sit typing this I am dipping my daily allowance of dark chocolate in my tea and it is so good I had to report it!

:: Seeing conkers lying on the ground; a true sign of autumn being here.

:: A surprise bunch of flowers. My lovely mum decided to buy me a bunch of flowers this week and drop them off into work for me. A colleague delivered them to me and they made me super happy. This was followed up by me arriving home to a card from her too, filled with words that really lifted me up. Thanks monkey!

:: A beautiful angel reading. If you have read my 'About Me' section, you will know already that I believe in guides and angels. Yesterday I had another reading (it's been a while) and it was the best one I have ever had. So specific that it left me all light and inspired at the end.

:: A wander around the garden centre. Today we finally went to the one of our favourite places to kill half an hour... the garden centre. They had all their Christmas bits and bobs in and it was lovely to spend some time looking around, planting the little seeds of festivity again!

I hope your weekend has been a fantastic one... if you are looking forward to the school holidays, like me, then hang on in there, just five working days to go peeps! 
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12 October 2016

CRAZY-LADY THOUGHTS

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It dawned on me at work the other day just how many absolutely ridiculous thoughts I have flying around in my skull during the day. I started to list them out and suddenly found myself giggling at how bloody daft I would seem if these things could be seen by other people, like speech-bubbles coming out my head. I thought I would celebrate my hideousness by popping a list of things on here for you all to read. The deal is that you have to tell me which ones you think about too and then tell me at least one other one! Deal? Okay...

1:: I wonder if Gizmo (our cat) is okay.
2:: When will someone invent calorie free cake?
3:: Is my nose shiny?
4:: I'm so cold.
5:: I hope Gizmo's not too cold.
6:: I must text Joe/mum/random-person-I-haven't-text-in-ages.
7:: Is it hot in here or is it me?
8:: Man, I'm ravenous.
9:: I should do the lottery.
10:: Maybe Gizmo's collar is stuck under her leg again and Joe doesn't know.
11:: Is it time to eat yet?
12:: Wow, I am so sore from training!
13:: I wish I was painting in my little office right now...
14:: What if next doors cat is sleeping in Gizmo's box and she's getting cold/wet somewhere?
15:: I need a nap.
16:: Why is my hair falling out?
17:: Am I looking older?
18:: I need a hug.
19:: I fancy a burger.
20:: I can't wait to get to the gym.
21:: How many macros are in a biscuit?
22:: I can't eat biscuits.
23:: Where are my almonds?
24:: I can't believe The Bake Off is going to Channel 4, what are they thinking?
25:: What a great job it must be to present The Bake Off...
26:: I really need to buy more plants for the house.
27:: I wish I could pin things on Pinterest for a job.
28:: What Snapchat filters are there today?
29:: Why can't I look like that Snapchat filter all the time!
30:: I need a bloody good sports massage...weekly. Why can't I afford that?
31:: I haven't drunk anywhere near enough water today.
32:: I hope Gizmo's water bowl is clean...
33:: Did I take my supplements this morning?
34:: Crap, I haven't watered the plants!
35:: How long is it until Christmas?
36:: ...Christmas biscuits....Christmas chocolate...  
37:: Is it too early to watch a Christmas film?
38:: I feel so bloated.
39:: Why can't we wear onesies to work?
40:: I wish I had some rice-cakes with me, I love rice-cakes.
41:: If I was at home I would put the kettle on and do some colouring in.
42:: What goes on in a cats head?
43:: I really want some Chelsea boots.
44:: Do I have my phone charger... yes I do, thank God (I rarely use it anyway!).
45:: I wonder if there really are parallel universe? 
46:: Shall I just have a quick look on the Mac website to see what lipstick I want next?
47:: I cannot spend any money this month.
48:: Why does vitamin B smell so bloody awful?
49:: I am so hungry, my tummy hurts.
50:: Shall I book that sky-dive? What if the parachute doesn't open? It probably will open though...

There you have it... crazy thoughts from a woman who is clearly as mad as a box of frogs! Your turn...

*Image sourced from Pinterest*
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6 October 2016

MONTHLY ROUND UP | SEPTEMBER

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September arrived and departed so fast I had to check it even happened! Work has been the busiest ever, it is getting so much darker in the mornings and colder at night, which just makes the days harder to start! But, we are now into October, one of my favourite months of the year. I love the changes in the seasons and think we are so fortunate in the UK to be able to witness such beauty within nature. The colours, the low mists, the winter sun rises/sets, the trees becoming skeletons of their summer-selves and all the wonderful winter food and hot drinks to comfort the soul... who couldn't love autumn/winter time?

For now, let's look back at September, crazy month that it was...

:: I am most proud of...
What I am most proud of this month is my hubby's amazing new album, which is coming out soon. He puts so much work into his music and is extremely dedicated and talented; I envy him in so many ways for how much commitment he has to every single second of what he does. After months and months of hearing him repeatedly playing the same song parts over and over again, and tweaking this part and that part and asking me my opinion on whether some volume or other should be higher (I never know by the way...I am rubbish!) he has finished the album. I should say they have finished the album, as it is not just Joe's work, but he is the reason it gets turned into an album and I admire his dedication massively. If you are interested in hearing some of the music you can find the band, Minus Cube, on iTunes, Spotify or check out their website of course!

On a selfish side-note: I am also very proud of my weak little arms because I can finally do full tricep press ups! Hooray! I mean, I do have to drop my knees down towards the end of a set but I am so proud of myself for achieving that mini goal!

:: During September I have been most grateful for...
Sunday morning lie-ins with a hot cup of tea and some gardening programme or other playing in the background and amazing podcasts that inspire me to just keep going, despite September being one of the hardest work months I have had in a long time. I listen to podcasts to and from work and whilst I do artwork as they really help my head stay in a positive state. Without this input I reckon I would get down so fast. (If you are interested in an updated list of my favourite podcasts please let me know in the comments and I will do a separate post for you guys).

:: I have spent the month listening to...
All sorts! I put all my old Bryan Adams albums onto my phone recently, so have been enjoying them (mega BA fan over here, I'm not even sorry). I have also had Mumford and Sons playing on Spotify too.

:: I have spent the month reading...
Not much I'm afraid. I have dipped into a few business-related books here and there but have felt too tired to read! I have just started reading the new Gabby Bernstein book 'The Universe Has Your Back', and will try and talk more about that in a blog post soon.

:: I have been watching... 
Old DVD box-sets of Mistresses, the BBC series from a few years ago. I have had endless artwork to scan, so I threw this on and have been loving it! I highly recommend it if you fancy something girly, sexy and gripping. I have also been indulging in Wolf Hall, which was shown on TV recently, but ticks my 'Tudor' obsession box in a big way! Joe and I have also binge-watched the BBC series 'People Just Do Nothing', which is bloody hysterical! It is one of those series that you just have to take for what it is but it cracks us up :-) 

:: Looking ahead to the month of October I am hoping to release...
Some of the fears I still have around progressing with my business and just getting on with what I need to do, completely free in the knowledge that it makes me feel great to do it and it is the right thing for me to do.

:: I am looking forward to...
Heading off to Cornwall for a few days break. We last went away (for a holiday) in February and we couldn't be more ready to do it again. For me, going away means a few extra treats too; something that fills me with a little anxiety, after having worked so hard to lose weight, but also fills me with excitement to have a few goodies. I am thinking fresh Cornish fish and chips, a pasty at The Eden Project (kind of a tradition for Joe and I) and maybe some cookies too. As you guys all know, Cornwall is like my spiritual home, both of ours actually, so I cannot wait to get there, get unpacked and hear the waves on the beach whilst we drift off to sleep. Heaven.

:: I am setting goals to...
Complete one business objective a week. This may not sound like much, but little steps are better than no steps at all right? Progress of any description is still progress! I am also going to be working on some artwork that I can give away nearer Christmas time as a free download to my lovely blog readers, so stay tuned for that.

I hope October brings you all lots of good things. Do you feel excitement in the air at this time of year like I do? Comment below if you do!
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2 October 2016

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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October is here! Autumn is creeping in (and so, unfortunately, are the spiders... with one particularly big one making itself a little too comfy on our bed on Friday evening...gross!).

There is just something about October that makes me smile. I seriously love this month so much, in-fact, I am celebrating it by doing a daily photo challenge on Instagram if you fancy joining in! Click here for the post with the themes!

What has been the highlight of your week? I have had such a busy one that I haven't done too much outside of my usual routine, but there is always something to talk about and feel grateful for, so let's do this...here is what I have been grateful for this week:

:: Last Sunday, whilst mooching about in Holland and Barrett for cacao powder, as you do, I let out a small squeal of delight as I discovered a particular brand of protein bars I have wanted to try for ages, Quest bars. I have heard that they are delicious and low in carbs too, so when I saw them I grabbed two. I bought the cookies and cream and cookie dough flavours and they were both super yummy, especially considering their low sugar level. I think the cookie dough one would top it, if I had to choose but, yay to Quest bars! I think Grenade ones are still my favourite as they are a little sweeter, but they also contain higher amounts of carbs, so that is probably why. It's the small things sometimes people!

:: A new book purchase from Amazon arriving in time for a Saturday night read! I am really into books about intuition, allowing ourselves to just 'be' within the world/universe and spirituality at the moment. Having read 'Black is the New Light' recently, by Rebecca Campbell, and adored it (I mean seriously adored  it!), I went hunting for books along a similar subject. I saw the new one by Gabrielle Bernstein, titled 'The Universe Has Your Back' and jumped on it immediately. I shall let you know what it's like soon!

:: One of my favourite songs ever is a Bryan Adams song called 'Please Forgive Me', which is a soppy one (just to warn you) but I love it. This week, whilst listening to Spotify, I stumbled across a version of this song which stopped me in my tracks! It is so very beautiful. It is a version recorded live with a full orchestra and the strings just make the song so much more wonderful.

:: Sunday morning onesie snuggles. Yep, you heard it right, the onesie is out and I am proud! We are kind of refusing to put the heating on just yet, but we sat quite happily in our fluffy suits (that sounds a bit dodgy huh?!) whilst we had tea this morning!

:: Funny desk presents. This week there have been great discussions at work about the need for a school dog (how amazing that would be!). I was doing some kind of 'crazy-cat-lady' waffling on about wanting to get a cat I could name 'Muggle' and when I arrived on Thursday morning there was little Muggle, sat on my desk, with his little comb and collar on. It really doesn't matter that it was a childs toy, it cheered me up no end! Thanks CB, you eternal nut job!

:: Tights. I have just dug out the good old tights! One of the many reasons I love this season: snuggly tights, scarves and knits! Bring it on weather, I'm ready!

I hope you have all had a fab weekend guys and girls, let me know what your highlight has been in the comments! Don't forget I post on Wednesdays too - did you see last Wednesdays post?
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