21 June 2017

A NEW CHAPTER IN MY HEALTH & FITNESS JOURNEY

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I wrote a blog post back in April titled 'Building a Better Relationship with Your Body', in which I talked about body confidence and the relationship I have had with my body over the years (it has been a big old roller coaster!). Whilst I stand by every single word of that post, I also like to be transparent about all things connected to my mental health in the hope that others, in a similar situation to me, may not feel so alone. 

Before I go into this post I just want to say, as I always do when I fear something may trigger someone, that if anyone wants to chat with me about anything that comes up in this post please comment below or feel free to drop me an email on fromlucywithlove@outlook.com - but please remember to speak to the professionals if you feel you need more support. I suffered for years before finally getting proper support and now, I can honestly say, with the help of a minimum amount of medication, my mental health is a lot more stable.

As you will already know if you have been a long-term reader of my blog, I have had quite a long term 'thing' with my weight. I judge no-one who is curvy (I love curves) or anyone who is 'overweight' but, for me, I don't feel well (mentally and physically) if I am carrying more weight than I should and my body does not react positively to it. On the flip side of that I would never want to be too 'slight' either. I adore muscles and being strong is something I love. Physical happiness is very much an individual thing and we all feel differently about our bodies and the weight we feel is ideal for us (and that is awesome). The long and the short of that very waffled paragraph is that this post is only my thoughts on my own body so please don't think I am judging. Read my last body confidence post to see that I will never judge anyone.

Last year I worked with a coach on-line on a 12 week transformation programme and it was amazing. I got results, learned so much about the food I was putting in my mouth and lost fat, which was my goal. The style of the programme was meant to be intense and designed to get results, and it really did. Over all I have kept off the weight, only fluctuating here and there at 'that' time of the month!

Almost a year on from the end of the programme and I am now in a different situation, particularly mentally. I am confident that I have a good knowledge of nutrition but what I find troublesome is my mental relationship with food. I am struggling and it is making me unhappy and anxious. It is such a strange place to find myself because I can, and do, make very good choices with food. I know what my body needs and I give it what it needs 85% of the time. 

I am also finding the mirror is my enemy once again. Honestly guys, I am aware how stupid it all is but I am also not willing to let it take a hold on me. I have been disliking what I see in the mirror for as long as I can remember. There are things I have to learn to accept and there are some things I can improve on and it is time I focused on those things. It is so pointless looking at loose skin on my inner thighs and beating myself up about it because, unless I have it operated on, it is not going anywhere. This time of year it is magnified by the heat and I let it make me feel disgusting. I am doing my best to overcome that by journaling daily and getting my thoughts on paper, which helps me a great deal.

After several weeks of struggling to go to the gym for the worry of what people will think when they look at me I decided the time had come to snap out of it and so I have made the decision to do some more coaching. This time it is different though; although it is an on-line programme, the coach I will be working with is an awesome personal trainer who takes clients at the gym I go to. We had a chat and her approach is slow and steady and she is aware of my current food issues. I am starting with her soon and cannot wait. More on that when I get going but I wanted to let you guys know about the latest stage of 'Lucy's Self-Love Project'!

There are so many crazy, psychological facets involved in learning to accept the skin you are in isn't there? I just find it frustrating that I spend so much of my precious time on this planet worrying about going somewhere for the fear of what someone might think of how I look. If anyone has any magical remedies for this stupidity please get in touch! (ASAP!).

Anyway, what with Leaf Lane Studio almost there and a new coach situation (thanks to my ever so amazing husband) I am hoping that I can stop feeling so anxious and start enjoying where I am in my life right now.
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18 June 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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I feel like I start each Sundays 'Weekly Gratitude' with the same sentence of 'What a week!' but, quite honestly, I feel like that fits to each and every week at the moment. If you guys have ever started your own business then you will know what I am saying here! No two days are the same and, what I have learnt is that all the plans in the world don't mean something comes out the way you intended it to! But, unlike times where that is the case, for me, most things have come out much more positive than I could've imagined. I am trying to develop the business owners 'thick skin' that I keep hearing about but it doesn't come naturally to me. I am opting for a more 'medium-sliced' skin (wow, that sounds very Hannibal Lecter doesn't it!). I am just trying to dive into the situations I am afraid of and deal with things as they happen. I have realised how many stories and scenarios I actually build up in my own head only to find that they are much easier/less stressful then I told myself they would be. Say I am not alone?!

The other thing I have learnt this week is that my lovely husband has never heard the song 'Summertime' by Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. I learnt this last night and have been in shock ever since. How can someone reach almost 37 years old and not know that summer anthem? Discuss! Love him to pieces for the innocence. I think his music education of rock and metal may have bypassed the cheesy pop era of Jazzy Jeff. Shame though... tuuuuunnnneee! :-)

After that long waffle about life, let's get onto the happy part and all the good things that have been this week!

:: After realising that we hadn't been to the beach for several days, Joe and I had a lovely evening walk on Wednesday, after work. It was such a warm evening and the first time I took a paddle in the water. It felt so good and so grounding to feel the waves lapping around my feet.

:: We have so many birds nesting around our house; in the bushes, the roof and nearby trees and yesterday morning, whilst we were having a little mooch out in the garden, Joe spotted some teeny, tiny baby sparrows that looked like they were taking their first flight out of the nest. I have never seen birds that small! They were so sweet and looked so excited to be flying about.

:: I feel like this week has seen some really big progress in my business-to-be. I picked up my proofs from the amazing (and very patient) printers, Headland Printers in Penzance, and was incredibly happy with how they are looking. It is strange, after all this time to be able to hold physical products in my hand and see stickers with my business name on it! I felt like a kid when I got them home and started showing Joe! See this weeks vlog at the bottom of this post for more!

:: A weekend in the sun has been much needed. This week I have felt better in myself (in comparison to last week), but I did get hit with a migraine on Friday night, which made me feel shocking on Saturday. Several naps/lay-ins and some time spent chilling out in the garden seemed to help so much though. This is the first weekend in a long time that has actually felt super-relaxed for me. Putting on sun cream and sitting in the warmth of the rays felt wonderfully healing. The only thing I have to complain about is the straight line of redness I have across my shins from rolling up my jeans for 20 minutes on Friday lunchtime. Rookie mistake = burnt legs.

:: Yesterday I dug out a book that I bought a few years back and just couldn't get in to, called 'From Atoms to Angels'. Isn't it funny how sometimes you know you will like a book and that it kind of 'calls' to you but, for whatever reason, that moment just isn't the time for you to read it. Now though, however, it seems like the right time and I am devouring it totally. If you are into your slightly spiritual books (it isn't totally 'fluffy') then give it a little read. I may write a post about some of the points soon as it really speaks to me. It certainly isn't the easiest read I have had but I am loving it now and felt glad I got it all those years ago!

:: It wouldn't be a gratitude list without something food related. Whilst doing the weekly shop in Sainsburys this week, I picked up some of their yoghurt coated, gluten-free rice cakes. They were so good. Unfortunately they seemed to disappear rather fast though. Must be some kind of magic.

I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend. Joe is off for two weeks now so I need to find some immense self-discipline and carry on with my working hours regardless. As Gemma so rightly pointed out to me this week '...the light is at the end of the tunnel' and it truly is. Leaf Lane Studio is almost a physical thing now and I cannot tell you how good (and slightly terrified!) I feel. I am a happy bunny right now to have the opportunity to try and work for myself and am looking forward to launching it in the next few weeks.

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14 June 2017

DREAM VERSES REALITY | STARTING A BUSINESS

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Unless you are brand new to my blog (hello and welcome if you are!) it will not have escaped your attention that I am launching my business very, very soon. With that being literally all I can think about at any given moment, I thought I would write a post about the craziness that is starting a business. 

A disclaimer: I am loving every single (mad as hell) second and what follows is purely tongue in cheek (just in case you think I am serious and send help). Well, I am serious, of course, this is not too far from the truth but just remember that I am passionate about what I am doing and wouldn't change it for the world... I might consider it for a packet of chocolate digestives though!

Dream - I will be working from home and will be able to have a lovely lay in, lazily put on a full face of make up, choose a somewhat stylish outfit to wear and finish at a reasonable 'o'clock'. I will then be able to float in a bath that smells like heaven and read a book to help me escape into a fluffy world of fairies and unicorns.
Reality - I go to bed thinking about all the ideas I have, drive myself insane, finally get to sleep past midnight and wake up looking like something the cat dragged in. I get up, make tea, try and cover the dark circles under my eyes and pull my somewhat greasy hair up into a ponytail or scruffy bun. I work all morning, break quickly for lunch, fit in a training session, shower, make more tea and get straight back to it. 

Dream - Each day is an inspirational love-pod of joy. I am motivated; doing the things I have longed to do for so long and cannot believe that I am now actually doing them!
Reality - I sit at my desk with, what I consider to be, a great idea. The artwork commences and suddenly I realise... this is sh*t. What am I doing? Why did I think I could do this? How am I trying to do this? Actually... this might have something going for it, maybe it'll be okay. I quite like this now. This is the best thing I have ever made! {A couple of hours later} What was I thinking?

Dream - Just think of how amazing it will be working from home! I can eat all the healthy things. I can sip on green tea all day and drown myself in pure spring water and snack on bowls of health every afternoon.
Reality - Oh my God, is that the time? Crap-sticks... runs to the kitchen and open fridge. Finds one egg, a moldy pepper and a diet coke. Great. Note to self, must go shopping.

Dream - I will be at home with my husband and cat all day, how lovely.
Reality - I never see the hubby and, when I do find the cat, laying up on the bed, I feel the need to curl up next to her and nap. That would be a perfect afternoon. But, who on Earth has the time for naps these days?!!

Dream - At least I know exactly what branding I want for the business. That is one of the hard things all sorted out. Now all I have to think about is the packaging, which will be easy!
Reality - I redesign the logo a million times; switch all the branding colours (only to go back to the original ones from last year) then go online to order envelope samples, only to realise there are millions to choose from. I love envelopes but, my goodness, they come in all shapes, sizes, colours and designs. I am like a kid in a sweet shop which only means one thing: procrastination! #getawriggleon

Dream - I will have a dreamy work-space, like all the ones I have on Pinterest and I will be sure that everything has 'its place' so I can find anything I need easily.
Reality - Chaotic, paper piles and notebooks. Probably shouldn't mention the post-it notes!

Joking to one side though guys, this is all coming together so wonderfully now and I am super excited to share everything with you. I do feel slightly chaotic in my head but I really think I wouldn't be normal if I was finding this all simple and plain sailing. I think I have now mastered the joys of MailChimp and will be launching a little freebie soon (within the next three days!) so I will let you know when that is ready!

I would also love to have a newsletter for the blog now that I know what I am doing so I will add that onto 'Lucys-ever-expanding-list-of-things-to-do' and bring that to you really soon. I am keen to have a space to share exclusive content with you and I think a newsletter would be great.

Lastly, if you didn't see my latest weekly vlog, panic ye not! Check it out below! I would absolutely love it if you would subscribe to my YouTube Channel also. It means so much and I am trying so hard to grow the channel (not easy when you are my age let me tell you!).

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11 June 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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^^ I love seeing the moon out during the day like this ^^

It's Sunday again and, you know that means a 'Weekly Gratitude' post from me! How has this week been for you? In all honesty, this week has been strange from start to finish for me. It started off amazingly, dipped in the middle and picked up again this weekend (see the vlog at the bottom of this post for more!).

This country has been through all levels of emotion over the last month or so and it really feels a bit up in the air still, which is why, for me anyway, remembering to take note of all the amazing things in life is even more important. Let's do it!

:: As I write this the sun has come out, for pretty much the first time this week. That is something I am so happy about. Yesterday I was having a mooch on Instagram and watched a load of peoples Insta-stories and I was jealous to see several people laying out in their gardens, enjoying soaking up the sun and preparing cold drinks to sip whilst they got a tan. Meanwhile, Joe and I, were in the house, wrapped up in big winter jumpers! Even the birds weren't really about yesterday and Gizmo slept all day long. She just never ventures out when the weather is horrible!

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^^ 'Mummy, make the rain go away please!' ^^

:: We treated ourselves to a beautiful dinner on Friday night. Fish and chips. Yum. Need I say more? We drive  for 15-20 minutes to get ours from a fabulous restaurant in Carbis Bay who do the greatest fish and chips ever! So worth it guys.

:: If you watch my vlogs (today's vlog linked right at the bottom of this post) then you will know that I love my training. It really helps my sanity and is a great way to pick up my moods and to help keep me more productive during a general days work. This week has been a training disaster. Not sure why, but on Tuesday I walked out the gym mid-session and didn't go back all week. That all sounds very negative for a 'weekly gratitude' list but the point I am leading to is this; for the first time in a long time I let go of the huge guilt I have around missing training and let my body chill out a bit. I did do some cycling yesterday and will again today, but I let myself rest. Did I feel bad? A little, for sure, but I knew I must need it because it isn't like me to just not want to go. I love the gym, so I felt like I should listen to my body and my intuition and just go back fresh and ready to go on Monday.

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:: I had a pretty productive week business wise; learning a fair amount about Mail Chimp (#mybrainismelting) and finally getting my anxious backside to the printers to put in my 'blue range' to get samples ready for potential customers (beautiful brides to be). I know I keep harping on about my vlog but I tell you guys so much in those little videos that I can't help but point you in the direction of them so that you can see a bit more of what has been going on this week.

:: On the topic of my 'blue range'; it now has a name and everything! About time right? I will tell you what it is in the next video! I am super excited to have finally come up with a name for it. It took a while because I am dedicating it to someone and I wanted it to fit the situation perfectly. Joe actually came up with it and it couldn't be more perfect. Watch this space.

:: If you follow me on Twitter then you may have seen me mention this last week but I was doing yet more mooching, this time on Spotify, and stumbled across Taylor Swift... she's on Spotify again! Okay, I know I am 36 and should probably be listening to Radio 2 or something grown up and nourishing for my soul, but sometime a girl just needs a bit of Taylor to sing to on a grey old June day you know?

:: New jeans!!! I am so happy to have finally replaced my old Zara jeans that I loved so much! The new pair are also Zara, but it took a bit of time to find a pair I liked as their sizing is beyond madness. I tried on a pair of size 14 jeans that were 3 inches smaller on the waist then a pair of Zara size 12 jeans I own. I give up on sizes! Anyway, the ones I got are a boyfriend style and I love them! Shopping for jeans gives me a headache though!

That is all for this week guys. Right now I need to get my backside into our garden and do some tidying up post-stormy week! I went out briefly mid-week to pick up palm tree leaves that were scattered everywhere, but today calls for a bit more work. Wish me luck! Also, I think we have yet another snail in our hall way that needs re-homing! The little ones seem to (somehow) squeeze their way under the front door or else they sprint in when I let the cat out!! Or maybe they are an advanced species and have already invented some kind of new travel technology that involves them dissolving into silver liquid, Terminator 2 style. Clever little buggers.

Keep scrolling down for this weeks vlog!

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7 June 2017

A LITTLE UPDATE

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It's been just over a week since I posted which is because I was a bit poorly last week and hadn't got myself together enough to schedule anything (sorry guys) but I am feeling a bit more human again now and am bringing you a casual update post today! Also, I have had a few questions about vlogging and people asking me when my business is going to launch so I will answer those questions whilst I'm at it!

First of all I want to say a big old 'Happy Birthday' to my dad, who is in Spain right now (he is always away on his birthday!). I never really talk about my dad on here because he likes to keep himself to himself so I respect that. Have a good day Popple, love you xx

Let's get going onto some stuff that's going on right now!

:: Weird energy levels.
I am struggling right now and trying to understand the fact that there is absolutely no routine to how my mind and body feels anymore. It is frustrating the life out of me and means that I am out of bed like a spring lamb on one day and then dragging myself about like an extra from a zombie film the next. It is something I am not dealing with very well as, on the bad days, it makes me feel beyond useless and unproductive. My mind starts racing with all the things I have to get done and then I seem to lose myself in a pit of doom! In contrast, on the 'up' days I am ticking things off my 'to-do' list like a woman possessed and have endless amounts of energy. Send help... I also spent several hours last week in back to front gym leggings!

:: Vlogging
Thank you to all of you that have been in touch to say that you enjoyed Every Day in May (click here to go to my playlist on YouTube if you want to see the videos!). I really enjoyed doing it and will definitely be doing daily vlogs again. My focus at the moment is all on launching Leaf Lane Studio but I am continuing my weekly vlogs throughout this madness and will go back to doing more videos when the business is up and running! Thank you for all your understanding whilst I am working on this new venture, it means so much to have your support.

:: Husband Update
Despite my strange mood and the inability to put a pair of trousers on the right way round, I still have a husband! That is not the reason I mentioned Joe though! I wanted to say how proud I am of him and his band, Minus Cube, for everything they have been doing but, more specifically, last week they put up a music video for their song 'Into the Air', which is my favourite song of theirs. Joe spent a long time trying to find someone to collaborate with on a video before stumbling on an animation made by some super-talented students and getting permission to use it for the song. I absolutely love the finished video and I wanted to share it with you guys. The lyrics are linked in the information box underneath the video on YouTube, which you can access right here if you are interested!


:: Leaf Lane Studio
So much has been happening for the business and it is so exciting! I am officially a fully qualified grown up now as I have registered the business and opened a business bank account (even typing the words 'business bank account' makes my stomach do flips!). I am also going into see my printer this Friday, to arrange to get my first lot of samples printed. I am starting off with my 'blue range' (which now has a name by the way!) and once that is done I will be getting more ranges printed for customer samples, taking product photos and getting the site off the ground! The 'paper products' side of things won't be too far behind and will be available both on www.leaflanestudio.com and on an Etsy store that I will be opening shortly after the website has launched. I am working as hard as I can to get a small range of products out for you guys but obviously I will be constantly adding to the ranges and creating seasonal products too!

Today I am busy learning all about the various things that Mail Chimp has to offer as I will be giving away a little wedding-related freebie to my Leaf Lane Studio newsletter subscribers really soon. It won't all be wedding related talk so, if you are interested in keeping up to date on everything then stay tuned, keep an eye on the Leaf Lane Studio Instagram and sign up to the mailing list!

Have a great rest of week guys and I will speak to you all really soon.

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28 May 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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Given that this is the last 'Weekly Gratitude' of May, I figured I would do things a little bit differently today and throw in a few things I have been doing, loving and working towards this month, as well as all the things I have been grateful for this week (of course!).

Exciting thing of the week
The first thing I want to mention (and something I am hugely grateful for) is being featured on the lovely Sairas blog, The Wild Sheep. She reached out to me to ask whether I would like to collaborate on a post and I jumped at the chance (I do love a good old collaboration!). The post she wrote went up on Friday and features all sorts of topics including business, mental health, moving to Cornwall and blogging (of course!). She named the post 'Salty Sea in Sight', which I think is really cute, and I love it so much! A big thank you to Saira for featuring me, I really appreciate you taking the time to do it.

Update of the week
If you, or anyone you know, has recently got engaged, then stay tuned for a little freebie I will be launching as part of Leaf Lane Studio in the next couple of weeks. I have been working on a pretty little Wedding Day Checklist which covers all the little things (and big things!) you need to think about if you are planning a wedding. I am just adding the finishing touches and will let you guys know, really soon, how you can get your free copy!

Favourite moment of the week
We had some stunning weather in Cornwall this week and, without question, my favourite moment of the week has to have been sitting at my art desk, the window fully open, with the smell of the sea, the sound of the birds and a lovely cup of tea on the go whilst I create some paintings. I feel so lucky every single day I am in there and cannot wait until I can show you guys all the things I have been working on as actually products! It won't be long now!

Something to be proud of
This may seem insignificant to some people but yesterday, as you will know if you have been watching my Every Day in May vlogs (this weeks linked below for you), I was feeling a little low and, for the first time in ages, I took myself upstairs and allowed myself to rest up for over two hours. This rarely happens, unless I am forced to lay down with a migraine or something else; I usually try and power on but I was proud of myself that I actually listened to my body and ended up feeling better for it. I meditated for 20 minutes, had a nap and then read some blog posts and just relaxed. I am still trying to work on my guilt around sitting still for a bit but I will get there.

Favourite YouTuber of the week
Victoria D'Ariano is someone I have only just recently discovered and I am hooked on her recent series called 'Courage To Be You' in which she talks about her struggles with mental health and body image. If you like fitness-related channels then check her out, especially this series as it is rather lovely :-)

Favourite blog post of the week
Yesterday I read 'Goodbye to Bear' on the ever so lovely Peta's blog www.pe-ta.com. This made me actually sob all the giant tears because, let's face it, most of us know how sad it is to lose a family pet and, well, this post is simply the perfect way of articulating all the emotions involved in losing a fur-baby. Please give it a read, it really is wonderful.

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A few other things I am grateful for this week

:: Marks and Spencer, I bow down to your Dine In For Two offer. Steak and caramelised-onion pies and Millionaires Shortbread desserts... *heart-eyed emoji a plenty*

:: This deserves a much bigger mention but it really isn't something I feel should be given in detail... I will just say this: thank you , thank you, thank you a million times over to the lovely peeps who 'own' me for their much needed help. I appreciate it with all my heart; I won't let you down.

:: The Salvia plant (the one Joe and I bought at The Eden Project) has grown so much and there were some cute little bees on it yesterday! You have no idea how happy that makes me!

:: The beauty of the weather has fascinated me this week. Thursday was stunning and then Friday evening/early hours of Saturday we had some crazy rain, lightning and thunder. I went downstairs at about 12.45am to let Gizmo out and saw something I have never seen in the sky before. It was like a big ball of light flashed right above my head (I was at the door letting the cat out so saw it directly). It was the brightest thing I have ever seen. As much as I tried to convince Joe I saw a UFO, I think his argument for lightning probably won. Apparently it was something like 'ball lightning' which is super rare. Whatever it was, it was kind of cool and the smell of the rain was also bloomin' fabulous!

:: Late night girly chat! Last night H and I finally had a little catch up. She has recently moved to Devon, to start a new life as a bed and breakfast owner, with her lovely hubby and gorgeous dog too. I may ask her soon if I can do a post on her place (any excuse for a visit!). It was nice to find out how everything has been for them and to have a giggle over my imaginings of them being exactly like Fawlty Towers!

:: The struggle to keep up with the appetite of birds and their little ones is real! But today we ventured out to a different shop and managed to find a 12.5kg bag of seed for our feathery children... that should last us at least a week given their current rate of eating and the fact that I found Gizmo munching on the seed that was on the grass too! It's like a military operation!

That is all for today folks! Stay tuned for a double video tomorrow (I am being forced to join days as we really are not doing much at the moment as we both have separate projects going on which make us very anti-social indeed!).

This weeks vlogs...

M O N D A Y



W E D N E S D A Y (nothing on Tuesday because of the Manchester event... it didn't feel right to vlog)



T H U R S D A Y



F R I D A Y  &  S A T U R D A Y

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24 May 2017

A VISIT TO GODOLPHIN HOUSE

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If you have been keeping up with my Every Day in May YouTube series then you may have seen the video I put up on Saturday (linked below), where Joe and I took ourselves off to Godolphin House, a gorgeous National Trust property only 15 minutes away from us.

This stunningly magical place had me in tears. I can't exactly explain why it had this affect on me, but it was so overwhelmingly beautiful. The funny thing was, it wasn't even fully open to the public so, heaven knows what I would've been like if we'd have seen it all. The gardens alone made us feel like we were transported back in time and all the worries of the world just melted into insignificance. Walking around the walled gardens and among the apple trees and bluebells sparked my imagination of all the ladies in grand dresses and smartly dressed gentlemen that must've strolled the exact same paths over years gone by.

There is barely any reminder of modern life whilst you wander the gardens, other than a very, very distant whir of a car engine, but you really have to listen for it. All that can be heard are the birds, busy chirping away to one another and the sound of the many bees, floating from flower to flower and returning to the collection of hives they have within the grounds. We were hypnotised by the bees; there were so many, of all shapes and sizes and they were gorgeous!

Rather than try and make this post about the history of the place and details of all the interesting people who have lived/visited over the many, many years the land has been inhabited but, the truth is, nobody can do a better job than the National Trust website can, so for all the information on the house just click right here! Instead, I thought I would let the photo's speak for themselves...

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21 May 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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Happy Sunday lovely peeps! Here we are on the 21st May (already) and that means I only have ten days of my YouTube challenge left. 'Every day in May' has been pretty awesome but has taken its toll on me! I have not stopped working until 9.30-10.30pm on 90% of the evenings and, to be totally transparent, my business 'to-do' list has suffered... BUT I have learnt so much and chatted to so many people that it was more than worth it. When I discussed the prospect of launching Leaf Lane Studio in June, I was always intending to be flexible about it... so it may be July but, if that is the case, then so be it, you know? It has to be right and I am doing it... this year! That is pretty awesome!

Onto the things I am grateful for this week:

:: This week I have managed to struggle through some fairly hefty cravings and, whilst I have certainly not met my low carb macro target all week, I have been much better, and that is something worth mentioning!

:: On the topic of health and fitness, I managed a set of full press ups on Thursday! I haven't even attempted them in ages (mostly for fear of making a total fool of myself!) but I managed a full set and then a few at the start of the other sets, before dropping to my knees and doing the easier (but still tough) alternatives!

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:: I am grateful that I said 'yes' to taking on a little commission piece this week. I always get anxiety around new things but the lovely lady who asked is so super-sweet that I jumped at the chance to do it for her! Once it is done, and when she has given it to the person I am doing it for, I will show you guys a picture! Then, if anyone wants something similar... I will say 'hell yes!' On a serious note though, I am making the effort to try and do things that will challenge me more as it is good for me, so watch this space!

:: If you watched yesterdays vlog (linked below) then you will know Joe and I went to Godolphin House, a stunning National Trust property ridiculously close to where we live (15 minutes tops). I am definitely going to be putting up the photos in a separate blog post, but I wanted to mention how amazing it was to wonder around the grounds and how crazy-yummy the Victoria sponge was too... this certainly was not in my macros but, when in Rome and all that ('My name is Lucy, and I am addicted to Vicky sponge!'). Stay tuned for Wednesdays post to see more about this little adventure!

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:: Part and parcel of having put up way more YouTube content then normal is getting more comments and, if you know me pretty well, you will know by now that I have my days where I am a total wimp when it comes to reading them. The fear I can sometimes experience is insane. Thankfully this stupidity of mine is no where near as intense as it used to be or I think I would be rocking back and forth in a corner by now! You guys are bloody fantastic though and I have had such wonderful feedback on the things I have been asking you all as well as just very sweet and genuine comments about other bits and pieces. You need to know that these never go unnoticed and that I always appreciate the things you take the time out of your day to write. It means the whole world.

:: You know my stance on trying to love your body, regardless of shape and size, and when I stumbled across a video by the channel StyleLikeU on YouTube, featuring plus size model Barbie Ferreira, a young, feisty and beautiful American girly, talking about fat-shaming in the modelling industry I got all fired up again. If you haven't ever seen any of their 'undressing' videos then you certainly should check them out. They talk about some really brave and compelling subjects, all around beauty and image.

:: This week has seen our Salvia spring into life (the plant we got from The Eden Project), it's little bee-friendly flowers, are starting to open up and I cannot wait to see the little 'bumblers' (Joes cute word for our bee friends) hovering around it!

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:: This week I thought I would mention a couple of things I am into right now... the first one is the Coldplay single (featuring The Chainsmokers) 'Something Just Like This', I love it so much right now; it never fails to make me smile! The other thing I wanted to mention is a film that Joe and I watched only last night, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. We are crazy-behind with films because it came out ages ago, but we caught up with it on Netflix. It is one of those films that a) you cannot lose concentration on for one minute without feeling lost, b) need to just accept what is happening and trust it will come together in the end and c) make sure you have a lots of drinks and snacks prepared because it is long. That said it was a cracking film, but somewhat disturbing in many ways. Scrap that actually; very disturbing in a lot of ways. As someone who has the attention span of a toddler when it comes to watching films, take it from me it is worth the watch (and the concentration!).

On that note we have reached the end of todays post...boo! But if you have some time to spare then why not keep on scrolling and catch up with some of this weeks vlogs? If you haven't subscribed to my channel yet I would love it if you did! Just click right here and then click on 'subscribe'!






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17 May 2017

WHO AM I?

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Let's talk about aging...

I know, I know, I am only 36 and that most certainly isn't 'over the hill', but I am starting to notice things about myself, both physically and mentally, that are, let's say... 'challenging' me somewhat, so I thought I would have a chat with you guys about it today.

Watching me look in the mirror at my face (something I have never particularly enjoyed by the way) would appear, to the outsider, like I am taking myself through one of those complicated facial muscle routines (you know the ones?!). These days, I often find myself contorting my poor old chops into all kinds of positions to see whether this wrinkle or that wrinkle is 'still there' or to try and discover where my confused old hormones have decided to sprout a new, ever so random, hair on my chin (wtf is that about?). Some days, I even manage to convince myself I have grown jowls and stare intensely at my face, poking and prodding, wondering how I can get rid of them. Other days I spring into the bathroom, wash my face, put my moisturiser on and think 'you look alright today' and, somehow, all the above issues are not there anymore. Then, and this is a big one for me, there is the issue of (*insert horror music here*) natural lighting. The amount of times I have filmed a clip for a vlog or something, watched it back and then sworn to all the angels that I am never, ever, stepping out during the day again. 

Now, obviously, everything I have just written was done so with a sense of humor, but the fact is that my body is changing and it is something I have been noticing creep in over the last couple of years. I am lucky in many ways; I have good genes (anyone who saw my Instagram picture of my mum, who is 73 years old, can see that I am lucky there) but, and this can't just be me, getting older and seeing your body shift is hard.

I have zero issues with age within itself. I am loving my thirties and would never want to go back but I am merely talking about acceptance. Acceptance of the nutty, frizzy, 'I will grow out of your head in every possible direction' grey hairs, the random outbursts of teenage spots, which seem to laugh and say 'ha ha ha, you thought I was gone, but I'm not... you're older, but I am still here!' and the body which creeks and aches a little more every year (I actually have to sit on the side of the bed and mobilise these days before stepping out into the world!).

But, all that said, along with the physical strangeness, comes a lot more mental clarity about who I am. I may not be quite settled into my body and, to be quite honest, I am not sure that will ever happen (I am working on it), but I am super confident about who I am now and, more importantly, I don't care what people think. In my teenage years and all throughout my twenties and early thirties, I tried to make myself be who I thought I was meant to be. I was afraid to give my opinion, I was scared to admit that I am spiritual and want to develop that side of me. I didn't want to dress in what I wanted to wear, for fear of what people would think. I had no self-belief whatsoever and felt like I wasn't true to myself at all. Whilst that is probably normal for most of us, I think it took me much longer to reach the stage I am at now, where I am aligned with who I am in my soul... and I will not shift it for anyone or anything. I am officially a stubborn old ox.

So, this is me...
I crave peace and quiet and, right now, I am feeling a little like a hermit but that's okay because I know it will pass. I am growing spiritually (intentionally) and, to do that, I need space and peace and that is something that many won't 'get' but I am alright with that. I am not anti-social and I love people but something is shifting and I am actually allowing myself to grow into that shift, rather than avoid it for fear of what others may think. I am spending a lot of time in nature right now and loving every second. Nothing makes me happier than being outside, feeding the birds, watching the clouds, listening to the sea and connecting with it all through being 'still'. I have lost the need to have 'all the things' because they just don't seem important anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love nice clothes (and could really do with some right now!) but, what I am saying here, is that they are not a priority at all. My health and mental well-being is. 

A big part of who I am is wanting to create a happy experience for the people I care about. I want them to feel good about themselves and have positive thoughts about themselves and what they are doing in life. I guess that is why Leaf Lane Studio is such a passion-project for me too. I talked, in a recent vlog, about the customer service experience of my business being of utmost importance to me; making my brides feel like they are the most special person to me. I can't wait to do that because it is genuinely something I like to do for people anyway.

That (^^) is me, mostly... but I am also a... ripped jeans wearing, stripe-obsessive, cake craving, crystal buying, weight-lifting, Jeremy Kyle-watching, animal loving, popcorn addict with a kind heart and constant need for a nap (and so many other things too).

I want to end with this adorable quote from the Velveteen Rabbit, which I love so much...
'...you become. It takes a long time... Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand'.
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14 May 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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We are half way through the month of May (and half way through my YouTube series 'Every Day in May'! - see the bottom of this post for all of this weeks videos, starting with today's and working back). Today has been super warm and bright, but we have had some really cold nights, where I find myself checking the calendar to make sure it is actually May!

This week has been a different one, as you will know, if you have been following the daily vlogs, I have spent four days away from home, decorating mum and dads lounge and kitchen for them and so it kind of feels like this week has flashed by. I got home on Thursday afternoon and pretty much crashed out on the bed for a couple of hours (covered with Gizmos blanket, much to Joes disgust!). It was lovely to do the road trip back though and see mum and dad and catch up with friends.

Have you had a good week? What has been going on?

Let's jump right in to all the good stuff shall we?

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:: This morning Joe and I walked into Marazion, pictured above (as seen from St Michaels Mount). Seeing as yesterday it was raining all afternoon and we have bad weather forecast for the start of next week, we figured we should make the most of the sun and so we wandered off, along the coast path, over the boulders and beaches and onto the beautiful beach we got engaged on. The plan was to go up St Michaels Mount, but we only made it to the bottom of it, as I had a wobble of anxiety. Nonetheless, we walked 10k and felt very tired when we got home! 

:: I am loving the amount of birds we have had in the garden this week. We have little Goldfinches nesting in the roof and we can hear their little babies chirping and chattering away. It was one of the things I was most looking forward to about moving; having more nature about and wildlife to look after. I am so happy that they are not fussed about Gizmo and, so far, she is not fussed about them. May that long continue. 

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:: Last night we had our annual 'Eurovision Party'. Well, I say party... it pretty much involves Joe and I giving the countries a score out of ten and deciding who will come into the top five. I didn't get anything right (as usual). You may be wondering what makes it a party? Well, let me tell you... popcorn and chocolate buttons make it a party! 

:: I am so grateful to have a garden that surprises me almost once a week with new flowers growing in it that I haven't noticed before. This week, as I was unloading the car with my various bits and bobs from my travels to mums, I noticed we have carnations in several places and this gorgeous red rose (^^) has opened up and looks so stunning. Whoever has spent time on this garden deserves a pat on the back because it is wonderful and there is so much to look at. I just love it here.

:: Yesterday, on a morning jaunt to see the seals at Godrevy, Joe and I discovered a quiet little cliff-top to sit on that was totally out of the gust of wind that almost knocked us off our feet. The view was stunning and we even got to watch the seals playing in the water below us. 

:: Whilst at mum and dads I got treated to a new plant for our house and some lovely skin-care bits too. I am so grateful for the pressies because, right now at least, I am not in a position to buy myself anything. Thanks mum and dad :-)

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:: On Wednesday, among the madness of paintbrushes, rollers and ladders, I found a spare bit of time to fly into where I used to work and catch up with some lovely peeps. It was so good to see everyone and to chat with some of the students too. It felt like I hadn't been away at all. 

:: I can't publish this post without mentioning food. As of today I am back to counting macros and back to my fat loss mission, but this week there were some treats and they were good! Dad took mum and I out for dinner on Wednesday evening; I had a delicious burger and I may have had sticky toffee pudding... there, I said it. Then there were the Percy Pigs I had on my road trip. What can I say? I was driving for give hours alone... a girl needs sugar!

Thank you so much for reading guys! Please scroll down to see the latest 'Every Day in May' vlog and the rest of this weeks vlogs too! I would love you forever if you would subscribe to my YouTube channel too, I am on a mission to grow the channel and I can only do that with your help... click right here to go to YouTube and then simply subscribe! Easy!

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10 May 2017

TRENGWAINTON GARDEN

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If you guys are watching my 'Every day in May' YouTube videos, then you will already have seen that I visited Trengwainton Garden last week (video linked at the bottom of this post). Joe and I have been members of the National Trust since we got married two years ago, and it was the best thing we ever did (and it is even better now we are living in Cornwall!). I thought I would take advantage of the lovely weather and visit somewhere that is just up the road from our village.

You know a place is amazing and magical when you totally lose yourself in it and forget about everything else for the time you are there. As I walked through the gravel pathways, sheltered by the trees, I felt a (much needed) wave of calm wash over me. Just being surrounded by nature and the sound of birds chirping and bees buzzing, made me want to step so quietly and just listen. It felt like a form of meditation, which I really needed, having spent hours and hours sat in front of a computer screen recently. 

This time of year is such a great time to visit any gardens, as there are carpets of bluebells everywhere, which makes the scenery even more beautiful. I find the experience of walking around these places so therapeutic and more helpful for my depression/anxiety then anything else. The National Trust really know how to do it well... 

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“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” 
― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

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I didn't know what to expect at Trengwainton, but I was so overwhelmed by just how stunning the gardens were and will definitely be returning really soon (with Joe of course!). I have plans to visit so many more National Trust properties and gardens this summer, so stay tuned!

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7 May 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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We are one week into May and, I don't know about you guys, but we have had quite the mixture of weather down here in Cornwall this week. Today is gorgeous and warm but two days ago we were scared to let Gizmo out, for fear she might have to hang onto the washing line (with her teeth) for dear life or get blown out to sea. Yesterday it rained solidly all day long too. I kind of like the fact that it is so changeable though so I am not complaining.

Have you guys had a good week?

:: Having a treat weekend (last weekend) was the most needed thing at that specific moment! I don't find it easy to 'let myself go' at times like that but, what I do know is that it is healthy to enjoy yourself (in moderation) and so, sometimes, it has to happen! It was fab!

:: I finally got my prices all sorted for Leaf Lane Studio, which is such a big relief honestly. I am pretty sure that the first six months of my business will see some tweaking here and there of everything I put together at the start, but that must be true for most new businesses. I am so excited to share it all with you guys. I am putting somethings on Leaf Lane Studios Instagram account, which you can find right here or just search 'Leaf Lane Studio' in the app! I love having you guys following the journey.

:: I have been so grateful for you guys and all your comments on my 'every day in May' YouTube videos (all of this weeks videos are linked at the bottom of this post for easy viewing if you are interested!). You guys have been so sweet and funny and I really love hearing from you.

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:: As you may have seen from the vlog I put up on Friday (linked below, along with the rest of this weeks vlogs!) Joe and I had a morning out at the Eden Project. I love visiting Eden and this time was the best because it was the first time out of school holidays and it was so quiet that we barely saw anyone in the (usually packed) tropical dome. We had such a fun morning and I am so grateful to be so much closer to one of our favourite places.

:: As much as it felt that I was cheating on my old hairdresser (miss you Abi!) I had to find myself a place to get a haircut pronto this week and found somewhere nice in Penzance that could fit me in fast! So, like a grown up, I was all brave and had almost two inches cut off my hair. It feels so much better now :-)

:: We enjoyed a lovely walk in Sennen today and sat looking out to sea just taking in the crystal waters and feeling the sun on our backs. It is almost like you can feel it healing you, it feels so incredible. We watched some people having a surf lesson (what a perfect day for one!) - maybe one day I can join them although, I think I prefer the thought of paddle-boarding over surfing, but never say never.

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:: The other week I mentioned that my wonderful husband treated me to a couple of skin-care bits, following my skin returning to a teenage-like state. I am so pleased how fast it has changed after just a few days of double cleansing and popping some nice treatments on my skin. I really hate getting break-outs, especially at my age! 

:: I can't remember if I mentioned this previously or not, but as I have been listening to this song non-stop all week I figured I would mention it again. One of my favourite songs of all time is a song called Heaven, by Bryan Adams. I have always adored the song and rarely like covers of it but, several weeks ago, I found a live cover on YouTube by country singer Jason Aldean (featuring Bryan Adams) and I have fallen totally in love with it. If you fancy checking it out click right here! <3

:: Finally, I am grateful (a million times over) to have such an amazingly supportive hubby. This whole 'following your dreams' thing is bloody amazing but very stressful. Starting a business has been something I have wanted for so, so long now and to have Joes support whilst I am finding my way through it all is incredible to me. I don't have the words to say thank you for everything he has done and continues to do for me but I hope that, one day, I will be successful and can make him super proud of me.

Thank you for reading this post guys... continue to scroll down for all of this weeks vlogs, starting with the latest one and working backwards! If you are enjoying them, and haven't subscribed to my channel yet, I would love it if you would. Head to YouTube and hit the subscribe button!



















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