22 October 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



One week and two lots of storms later and we are back for another 'Weekly Gratitude' post! I have basically had my head stuck into my computer all week long as I am putting my Leaf Lane Studio products on a wedding directory site called Love & Lilah, in order to help get my name out there, so I have been busy getting all the copy organised for that, which has taken a while! Being stuck indoors all week has not been a bad thing really though, what with the back end of a hurricane and then 'Storm Brian' hitting us hard. The fact that a storm has my dad's name makes me laugh; whenever Gizmo wanted to go outside in the wind we were saying 'go and see grandad!'. Yep, we are mad, clearly. We didn't have too much destruction though, only one poor plant pot kept falling over, other than that we did okay. Storm talk to one side, let's get into today's list of good stuff!

:: Number one on my list simply has to be the fact that I finally made it to the hairdressers for a head of fresh colour and a trim! I feel like a new woman! When people are asking you if you have ombre in your hair you know it's time to get the roots sorted! Thanks to my mum who helped me out with that particular pleasure! To balance out my wonderful afternoon of pampering I got caught in a monumental windy downpour on the way back to the car and swiftly ruined my fresh blow-dry but, hey ho, such is life!



:: On the subject of hair, but not gratitude (!), I did a very silly thing on Friday morning when I picked up my hair tong on the wrong end. Let this be a warning to you all... it hurts! Luckily, due to the copious amount of cold water I ran on my hand I seem to have escaped without too much of an injury!

::  For the last three weeks I have been at the gym by about 7.30am if not even earlier, four days of the week and, I have to say, I am really loving the early training sessions. I enjoy knowing that I am home for the rest of the day once I have showered and eaten etc. I am also feeling so much better in myself for not dozing past my alarm! 

:: Due to the fact that I am handling my wedding stationery a lot, and painting quite frequently too, I have been avoiding wearing dark nail polish (which I love so much!) because it can leave so many little marks on white paper and card, so I have been keeping my eyes well and truly peeled for a pretty, pale colour I can wear and I think I have found my perfect pink in the process! Barry M's speed nail paint in 'Freestyle' is a super cute and pretty pastel pink, but more dusky than Barbie (thankfully)! I love it! I do miss the vampy reds though :-(



:: This morning we went for a walk around our little village and along part of the coast path. It is so beautiful and I feel so grateful to have all of these amazing views right outside our back gate. I love walking along and looking at all the wild flowers, changing colours and gorgeous views over to Marazion and St Michaels Mount, it still feels like a total dream every single time. Also, how cute is our little village church ^^

:: During the storms this week our house smelt like the sea, which was so lovely! I want into our bathroom during the night that the first one kicked off and it was like I was standing on the side of the ocean, it smelt gorgeous! The waves were also super loud all night long.

:: Yesterday I had a really chilled out day, which was so needed. We chucked on Star Wars and I sat on the floor drawing and doodling through some ideas I have been thinking about for Leaf Lane Studios 'paper products' shop. I also had a little nap on the sofa too, which is something I used to do all the time but, more recently I haven't been able to fall asleep because my brain has been going a bit crazy! I was in a lovely, dozy state for a good hour, totally missing the good part of Star Wars (so typical of me when a film is on!).



:: The gorgeous Peta from pe-ta.com has been doing these magical little videos each day of things she is grateful for and putting them on her Instagram / YouTube and I have been loving them so much. The style of her videos is wonderful. You should check them out if you want a little lift because they make me all kinds of happy inside!

:: On Friday morning, I walked out the house at about 6.30am to go to the gym and was utterly blown away by the sky. The stars were so clear that I just stood and looked up for several minutes. I love it in the winter when the skies are clear. I am praying for clear skies next week as we are off to a 'Dark Skies' event in Devon! Sooooo excited for it!

That is all for this weeks little happy list. I am currently editing a vlog, which I will hopefully schedule for Wednesday, but in the meantime, why not watch the last one I put up if you haven't seen it already! Click here to go to the video! Have an amazing week!


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18 October 2017

NEW ADVENTURES



A couple of weeks back we made a list of all the places in Cornwall, many being National Trust locations, that we wanted to visit, either for the first time or to go back to because we loved it so much. The weather has been terrible every weekend since writing the list, but last weekend was dry and so we jumped at the chance to get out. I want to share some of the pictures with you because the places we went to were so gorgeous. I also made a video to go with this post too, which you can find at the very bottom!

S A T U R D A Y | G O D R E V Y
This place is somewhere we visit a lot, as it is the place where you are guaranteed to see a seal (or fifty!). It is also the place where we made the decision to move to Cornwall. Last October we sat on the bench that faces out towards the lighthouse, snuggled together to keep warm, and said 'we need to do this don't we?' and now we are here. It is a special place to visit (plus the beach cafe does amazing breakfasts!).



S U N D A Y | P O L D H U  C O V E
It's shameful the amount of places in Cornwall we haven't yet visited in the (almost) twelve months since we moved here. Poldhu Cove is past Helston and about a half an hour or so drive away from our little village, but it was more than worth it. I initially found Poldhu on Instagram, after seeing Poldhu Beach Cafe sharing images of their amazing hot chocolates (see below for my choice... Reeces!). The pictures say it better than I ever could, it was so beautiful. If you get a chance to visit then you certainly should and take some time to walk the coast path up to the left of the cafe too; the views are stunning. PS: Poldhu Cafe sell some bloomin' amazing bobble hats (which you can also get on-line), I was a lucky girl and got treated to one and I am in love with it!



Penrose Hill was just as stunning as I had imagined it would be, more so actually, with beautiful woodland, surrounding Cornwalls largest natural lake, and even coastal views to top off the already impressive list of scenery! This is a dogs happy place, and there were many happy dogs sniffing about on Sunday, tails high and noses low! As much as I love to be surrounded by sea views, I also have 'a thing' for trees. They have a power and a strength that I can feel within my soul when I walk among them and they bring a peace to my mind which I can't explain. This place is so close to home and I will definitely be going back many more times in the future.
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15 October 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Here we are at the mid point of October already and, quite honestly, I am loving every single second of this beautiful month! Autumn has shown up in such a pretty way this year and has reminded me why I love it so much. This weekend we have been out and about and seen some gorgeous views but more about that on Wednesdays post (plus a video too!). For now though, let's talk about the rest of the week!

:: Having had a few strange old 'mental health' days this week, I took to my watercolour paints for comfort and found myself painting wishy-washy circles of bright colours and puddling paint within an inch of its life (I love how it dries!). I ended up with a mountain of ideas from just doing this one mindfulness exercise! I love how inspiration strikes when you least expect it!

:: Porridge has to be included on this list because I haven't had proper hot porridge for ages! We were getting rather low on the food front this week so I had to look around the kitchen for something to have for a late lunch, so I chose porridge. I added a little bit of honey and some chia seeds on top and it was so delicious!

:: I decided to have another attempt at meditation this week. I keep throwing it into my routine and kind of failing at it because I can't do it in the mornings. Then it dawned on me that I don't have to do it in the morning (doh!). It was just one of those things that I see everyone doing as part of their moring practice and so I thought that was the thing to do. As it turns out I am a 'get-my-arse-to-the-gym-and-lift-weights-in-the-morning' kind of girl, so meditating before that is pointless! Anyway, I am trying it as and when I can in the evening or late afternoon if I want a break, and I am loving it! I highly recommend the Hay House Meditation podcast if you are looking to try a few different types of meditation because I have found some real gems on there.

:: One of the things that made me smile from ear to ear this week was watching a little crow (it looked like a young one) trying its very best to hold onto a huge orange leaf whilst balancing on a skinny branch on the tree at the end of our garden. It was so sweet to watch and entertained me for a while!

:: Gizmo and I have had a couple of cuddles together this week which have led to both of us dozing off together. The sound of her purr and the warmth of her snuggled up with me makes me sleepy!



:: I had the most gorgeous delivery of flowers this week from my mum and dad which have been making me smile each time I see them in the kitchen. Joe also bought me some little sunflowers too, which joined mum and dads flowers in a big old vase. Lucky old me!!

:: I am so excited for Thursday this coming week! I get to have a bit of a pamper and get my hair cut and coloured. I am pre-grateful for it because I haven't had my hair coloured for about a year or cut since April! I always like to keep my hair nice but, since not having a 'proper job' I haven't been able to. My mum has treated me to the hair cut and Joe is treating me to the colour; I cannot wait to look less 'Rapunzel with roots'! I don't know about you guys but I feel terrible when my hair isn't looking nice.

:: One of my favourite things from this week was watching the amazing waves at Godrevy yesterday. It was so wild out at sea and yet so humid and kind of still inland. It was hypnotising to stand and watch the rolling power of the water crashing into the rocks. The seals were loving life too and we saw plenty in the surf as well as in their usual little cove.

:: I had some lovely mentions on social media this week with Leaf Lane Studio. Each time I see myself get tagged in something I get super happy and I really think that will never change! It is just so exciting. I am working so hard at it behind the scenes and know all the hard work will pay off at some point. Don't forget that I have my 'All I need is the ocean, moon, stars and you' print available as a download in my shop! You can find it by clicking right here.

Stay tuned for Wednesdays post as I am putting together a little video to go with the post too. Have a great week!

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11 October 2017

A DAY LATE...



{Scroll to the bottom of this post for useful contact points for mental health issues}

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. I always like to write a few words about mental health (as you probably know by now!) and so I figured I would jump on my blog and have my five pence worth!

I am free-styling this post as I haven't pre-prepared anything which, in my experience, is the way I usually end up writing about mental health issues. It works best this way as I am 'in the moment' and  the thoughts and words that flow are usually the right ones for the time, if that makes any sense? As it happens, as I type this post, I am having quite the anxious day. Yay! I started feeling like this yesterday and it has reached somewhat of a peak right now. Why? Well, laughably it is because I am about to go out the door to a hospital appointment. It isn't the appointment itself but the journey to it, mostly the walk into the hospital from the car park actually, that is my biggest cause for concern. Who will be laughing at me when I walk into the wrong door or take the wrong turn, who will notice how anxious and flustered I feel inside and how will I cope when I start to feel overwhelmed by it all? The actual reason I am going to the hospital doesn't concern me at all; they can do whatever and I really don't have a worry or thought about it. When it comes to actual medical procedures I am a 'think about it when I need to' kind of girl but when it comes to walking into a new environment, where other human beings will be it really does scare the sh*t out of me! How stupid is that? Bloody illogical crappy brain!

Anyway, that to one side, things have been a little up and down the last couple of weeks. Heaven knows why, sometimes it is just the way it is and there are no obvious reasons for it. I am learning to accept it and try my best to do what I need to do to help myself. That said though, I also push myself on a daily basis! The gym acts as a haven for my mental health; I can go in feeling awful and leave feeling so much better. I still have days where my anxiety means that just being in the gym environment I can reach a kind of sensory overload and people probably think I am a super anti-social deer in headlights. Recently though, I have started chatting more to people in there and making the effort to take my headphones out (which is a tough one because I feel somewhat protected by them) but it is nice to know that there will be some friendly faces about when I go in. That sort of thing helps me so much.

I am still taking my medication too and, despite my occasional thoughts of coming off it, I do appreciate the fact that it is certainly doing its job at keeping everything 'level'. It is one of those situations where you can easily be fooled into the place of thinking 'I don't need this anymore, I am better' but as soon as you stop and a few weeks go by it can be pretty scary. My advice to anyone taking medication is to never ever take yourself off it cold turkey. I speak from several experiences here! Don't do it. Wait and go to the doctors for heavens sake. Do it the right way and it will be worth it.

Generally speaking, I think we are seeing more people start to open up about their personal experiences of mental health issues and I salute anyone who feels like they can share their story as it is really, really difficult to do so, but so helpful to so many people. For me, reading or listening to someone else talk about their experiences helps me feel less like a total moron. It is also so bloody important for people to realise that not all mental health is obvious. The cliche description of people rocking back and forth in a corner or randomly shouting out loud in the street to the friend in their head may be a reality for some poor people, but many people you pass each day are struggling silently, fighting a battle in their heads which they may never express on the outside.

Every single person living has a story, every single person has known some kind of pain: heartbreak, loss, emptiness, loneliness (etc) and when we hear of someone who is heart broken, we tend to rally round, say positive, helpful things, be kind human beings. Why is this not always the case with depression or social anxiety (or any of the many other diagnosed mental health issues).

What I am trying to say here is, before you make snap judgement on someone who passes you in the supermarket, looking a bit shifty (it could be me!), think about the fact that they just might be on the verge of a panic attack or they might be super self conscious and being in the supermarket is the hardest thing in the world for them at that moment. Maybe they have been building up to getting out the house for days and have finally found the courage to do it.

Let's think a little more about each other, smile at each other a little more (a lot more would be better) and not judge as fast or at all if possible. Let's all remember that we have all been through something that has hurt us mentally and, whether we have ended up poorly as a result of it or not, every persons reason for feeling low or anxious is within context to their own lives and existence. What may seem easy for one person may be what terrifies the next to their very core but that doesn't make them any less of a human being. Keep talking about mental health and smash the sh*t out of the stigma.

Useful contact points for those suffering with mental health issues:
The Samaritans From the UK you can call this number at any time of day for help 116 123
Mind have a very useful 'I need urgent help' yellow button on the top of their website
The NHS number '111' is useful if you need advice
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8 October 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Another Sunday, another weekly gratitude list/all the things that have made this week kind of fab (only that would make for a long old title!). I hope you have all had a wonderful week. Every week I write this post I seem to comment on how fast time has gone by and this week is no different! I honestly wish I had a 'slow it down' button some days! That said though, it has been a good, productive week, which always feels nice come Friday afternoon, when I look at my Bullet Journal and realise I did achieve quite a lot of things. I think most of us need to quit being so hard on ourselves and stop thinking we always need to do more. I am first to admit that it is something I think a lot, but I am making a conscious effort to go with the flow I am in on a specific day and accept it for what it is. Some days are amazing, super-woman-pants-over-my-jeans kind of days and others are more sloth-staring-at-the-computer days but that is okay sometimes!

Not sure where that rant came from, so before another comes along let me get on with what this post is all about...

:: On Monday, when I powered on my computer to start the week, I was flicking through Spotify, when I spotted a playlist it had created for me called 'Your Time Capsule' which, as the title suggests, was filled to the brim with the most awesome songs (well, awesome to me... Gizmo didn't appreciate be held up in the air a couple of times when random songs from The Lion King came on!). We are talking old Oasis, Bon Jovi, old R & B and reggae classics and some good old cheesy songs that make you wanna sing loud and dance about like a lunatic, which is exactly what I did. It was the best start to a new week and I will try my best to reproduce it this coming Monday!

:: The later half of this week saw the most gorgeous autumnal weather. On Friday, I even managed to step outside with no shoes on and wander about in actual warm sun, gasp! I adore walking around in the garden when all is peaceful and the sun is shining brightly. There was a wonderful smell to the air too, which just feels magical to me. I get totally overwhelmed by autumn, it is captivating and one of those romantic seasons that tugs on my heart.



:: I managed to get a print up on Leaf Lane Studio's 'Paper Product' page this week too. I am releasing downloadable artwork first and then, as and when I can, I will be adding physical products too. If you are interested in having a look just click right here or on the picture I have now added to the side bar of my blog! I also have a free downloadable print still available to you guys too, so if you want to get your hands on that then just hop right on over to Wednesdays blog post!

:: I have been super chuffed this week as I have been tagged in a few social media posts regarding Leaf Lane Studio wedding stationery and the print I made available and it felt so wonderful to see something I have spent time creating appear on someone elses feed! Thank you so much if you have shared my links or added something of mine to your feed, it means the world.

:: One lunch time Joe and I listed a whole load of places in Cornwall that we haven't visited for a while, or haven't visited at all yet, and stuck it onto the fridge. Our National Trust membership means that we have no excuses but to go to some of the most amazing places without a worry about paying extra to park or get in and I really cannot wait to visit these beautiful places. I will be vlogging of course, so stay tuned for those appearing soon! I love this time of year for visiting old houses or castles, there is something more atmospheric about it. What has been your favourite old property you've visited?

:: Now Gizmo is getting a little bit older, she doesn't have as many 'mad five minutes' as she used to, but this week I was watching her out the window when, suddenly, she went bonkers and sprinted up the palm tree at the end of our garden like a teenager! I find it hilarious when she does this. The first time she ever did it, back in February, when we first moved in, she had no clue how to get down and just looked at me as if to say 'help!'. But, as the months have passed by, she has gotten much better at the decent! She has also developed a love for any of my big old winter jumpers and some nights I can only get her settled down if I place one on a cushion for her to knead then sleep on. Yes, I know she is spoilt, but she is my fur baby and I love the bones of her!

:: On the subject of cats... anyone with a cat will know that 3am is their witching hour. Yesterday, Joe pointed out this YouTube video on the trending list and I wanted to share it with any cat owners out there because it made me laugh so much! 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend guys, I highly recommend starting your Monday morning with an cheesy song on Spotify or wherever... let's attack the new week with some energy together! Have a good one!

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4 October 2017

FANCY SOME NEW ART FOR YOUR WALLS?



Today I wanted to give you a few updates regarding my blog and my new business, Leaf Lane Studio, and have a general chat, as well as offer you guys a little freebie, if you are interested of course!

It's funny really how, when you are looking at setting up a business, you become so hyper focused on the prize (launch day), that you almost forget that the setting up is actually the easy part. It is now, post-launch, that I am realising how much I have to learn when it comes to actually running a business and, well, letting people know I exist! The whole process has been a steep learning curve and, even though it has been super hard and a little stressful in places, I am still loving every single minute.

I will admit to getting a bit crazy and frustrated when it comes to anything tech-wise that is new to me and I can usually be found pushing my palm against my achy head and saying...'how-on-Earth-do-I-get-this-[insert any technical process and a bunch of expletives here]-to-do-what-the-bloody-hell-I-need-it-to-do', but I hear this is totally normal...right?! But, it really is worth all the pain to learn something new and to see a process you were sweating over actually come together *cough cough, mailchimp automation, cough cough* :-)

The reason I share all this on here is that, when I was setting this business up, it became very easy to think that no one else in the history of new business had ever struggled and that it was only me who didn't know what they were doing. The opposite is true of course and everyone has their highs and lows and everyone has lots to learn, that is the nature of it all!

I have also realised that I cannot do 'all the things' at once. Gasp! One of the things I hope to achieve is making From Lucy with Love bigger and better, in a way that feels authentic to me but, the truth is that I just don't have the creative energy to do anymore at the moment as all of my time is being fed into Leaf Lane Studio. I finally accept that and am fine with it... BUT, the one thing I do want to get sorted out before the end of the year (no pressure then!) is to have a mailing list for this blog. I have so many of you that have been here for a long time and I would really love to pop into your inbox, even once a month, with a more personal note and occasionally, where possible, offer you guys a bit more for being part of the family! So I am working on that and will keep you posted on that too.

Onto the fun stuff... get your FREE A4 'Keep Shining Bright' downloadable print!

*Quick side note - if you are already on my Leaf Lane Studio newsletter subscription, you will be getting the freebie I am about to talk about on the latest newsletter very soon, so no need to sign up again!

Within the next week I will be popping some downloadable art prints in my Leaf Lane Studio shop and, to celebrate that, I am giving one away to each of you guys right now! All you need to do to grab yours is to click on the image below, follow the super easy instructions and it will come straight to your email inbox, along with some tips to print it out - please check your junk mail if you are not seeing it as some email providers throw new addresses into the junk box right away!



If clicking on the image is not available for you, please CLICK HERE to get your freebie!

Thank you, as always, for all the support you guys give me, you are all amazing and I value you so much! I hope you like the print! Have a wonderful rest of day :-)

PS: If you do download the print and fancy sharing it on Instagram, please tag in @leaflanestudio in your pictures too, I would love to see them!

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1 October 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Welcome to another weekly gratitude post! These truly are my favourites to write as there is always something positive to find in even the most mundane week and this week has been a little mundane in many ways; I have been working and training and that's about it. We had planned to go out this weekend but the weather has been so terrible that we ended up just being at home for the most part. Yesterday I had a wardrobe clear out and ended up channeling my inner Monica Geller (again) and having to clean the whole house from top to bottom so I 'felt right'... anyone else do this?! (I know a couple of you do!).

Other than the cleaning frenzy, here are a few of my favourite moments from the week...

Side note - I uploaded a new vlog this week which I will link at the bottom of this post if you are interested!

::Whilst putting away the unused summer clothes in the very grown up vacuum packs I store under the bed, I rediscovered a few winter jumpers that I had totally forgotten I even owned. This is a huge relief as I cannot afford any new winter clothes this year, so I will have to be as creative as possible with what I have.

:: I have spent some time this week getting some bits and pieces together to send to a couple of wedding planners and local wedding magazines who said 'yes' to having a parcel from me. I made some hand-painted cards too and wrote little notes on the back for all the individuals I have been chatting too. Who knows if it'll make a difference, but I had lots of fun doing it! I am also working on a few downloadable art prints plus a 2018 downloadable calendar too, which will soon be available to buy on Leaf Lane Studio and on Etsy (I'm working on my Etsy store too!).



:: It's funny what a small world we live in isn't it? I think it was the week before last, I received an email, via my Leaf Lane Studio website, from a lovely lady asking me a question and I soon realised that I knew her from school. I responded and asked her if she had once gone to the secondary school I attended and she said 'yes'. We have been having a catch up since and it is so lovely! So random to connect the way we did though!

:: On the subject of messages, I am always made an emotional wreck when I get a message from someone via my blog or social media. The fact that someone takes the time out of their day to get in touch with me is always so lovely. Yesterday I woke up to such a wonderful message from a lovely lady called Carrie. Her words made me cry happy tears and lifted my spirit up so much. Thank you so much Carrie xx

:: These days, I don't tend to watch too many beauty blogger YouTube channels but the one person I have always kept up to date with, just because I think she is adorable and totally down to Earth, is Anna, from The Anna Edit. She always cracks me up and I just love her style too, plus Anna and her hubby, Mark, are the cutest ever! Anna was being interviewed on a podcast by Lizzie Evans called 'How to Curate Your Life' and listening to her chat away just made me love her even more. Check it out if you fancy!

:: Whilst I am dishing out all the lady love, there is one more beautiful human I would love to mention, who I have most certainly talked about before, in-fact, she was interviewed right here on my blog, the lovely Peta, from www.pe-ta.com. If you don't know Peta, certainly check her out, but what I wanted to mention was that this week she released a fantastic e-book called 'Too Many Tabs' a 7 step digital detox guide with amazing tips and advice to help alleviate the stresses that todays fast paced, social-media mad world can bring. I don't want to go into too much detail because it is all Peta's hard work but I found it so interesting and I am definitely going to make some changes as she suggests. What I found to be the most shocking thing was how much time I spend on my favourite social media platform, Instagram! Peta tells you how to find this out and it really shocked me! Click on this link right here to get your copy of the e-book and support this wonderful lady!

:: This week, because I have been working a lot on design and not needing to focus too hard, like I do if I am writing, so I have had a big old catch up with programmes I have been watching. Right now I am really into the second series of Doctor Foster (BBC) and have also been watching Liar (ITV), which has been fab but so frustrating to watch too! On Netflix this week I watched a new Lady Gaga documentary which wouldn't normally be my thing, because I am not into her music at all, but I really enjoyed it! Maybe it's because I am a nosy sod! There is a Foo Fighters one on there I have my eye on too!

:: Autumn is very much arriving in our garden. One morning this week I had a little wander about and took a couple of pictures of the plants and flowers as they are starting to shift into their autumn gear (followed closely by Gizmo of course!). This time of year is so very beautiful.

That is all from this week! Keep scrolling down to see the latest vlog and, if you haven't already, I would love it if you would subscribe to my channel! Oh, one more thing! I am doing my own October Instagram Challenge over on my Leaf Lane Studio Insta page designed to allow your customers/readers to get to know you better; if you are a small business or a blogger and fancy joining in the head over to my Instagram to see the challenge and screen shot it too! Tag me into your pictures if you are taking part!



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27 September 2017

YOU ARE NOT AN IMPOSTER


This morning, whilst doing my mandatory half an hour of cardio after my weights session, I did what I do every morning to pass the time and threw on a podcast (that way I feel like I am learning whilst I am dying of boredom on the step-mill!). This mornings choice was Lola Hoad's One Girl Band Podcast on Imposter Syndrome and, whilst I have listened to my fair share of podcasts about 'how to deal with feeling like an imposter', this one just jolted me, in a positive way! Before I tell you the quote that made me smile and made me just think 'oh... we all feel like this at some stage then', I just want to recommend you listen to Lola's podcast because it really is a great one!

Towards the end of the episode, Lola mentions a quote she saw from author Neil Gaiman and I really wanted to share it with you because it made me smile and feel a little less concerned about the cloud of 'not good enough' that can follow us all about!

'... Some years ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to a gathering of great and good people: artists and scientists, writers and discoverers of things.  And I felt that at any moment they would realise that I didn’t qualify to be there, among these people who had really done things.

On my second or third night there, I was standing at the back of the hall, while a musical entertainment happened, and I started talking to a very nice, polite, elderly gentleman about several things, including our shared first name. And then he pointed to the hall of people, and said words to the effect of, “I just look at all these people, and I think, what the heck am I doing here? They’ve made amazing things. I just went where I was sent.”

And I said, “Yes. But you were the first man on the moon. I think that counts for something.”

And I felt a bit better. Because if Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe everyone did. Maybe there weren’t any grown-ups, only people who had worked hard and also got lucky and were slightly out of their depth, all of us doing the best job we could, which is all we can really hope for.'


Looking in, from an outsiders perspective, it is so clear that we all think the other person is doing just fine and is totally confident and self-assured but I think this quote just proves the opposite is true! If bloody amazing Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, yet still managed to fly about in space and step foot on the moon then, surely, we can tell those little imposter-devils-on-our-shoulders to sod off when they show up and be the best we can be doing what we do?! Above all we need to continue to help one another realise how awesome we all are and build one another up because there really is way to much negativity out there! Community over competition and all that!
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24 September 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^This little flower popped up almost overnight and is so pretty^^

Good afternoon guys! How has everyone's week been? Good I hope. Are you all seeing the change in the trees in your gardens/surroundings? This morning was super foggy here; it was so quiet and cosy laying in bed, in the warm, just glancing out at the fog drifting by.

Let's jump into the highlights of the week:

:: After a couple of up and down weeks with exercise, due to business stuff and work I needed to get done, I have finally got back on track with training again and managed four gym sessions and a couple of cardio sessions. To some, that may sound excessive, but for me it is necessary to keep my mind in tip top shape, mental health wise.Without exercise I can feel awful, so it is super important to me. I managed to increase some weights this week too, which is great! 

:: After Wednesdays blog post I received some lovely, honest and heartfelt messages from people who found it helpful and, I just wanted to quickly say here, that getting those messages is exactly the reason why I open up in this space and share the experiences I do. Thank you so much if you took the time to message/email/comment, it means the world.

:: Yesterday we went off for a much needed afternoons walk on the beach; it was gorgeous even with the wind blowing a constant speed (which certainly cleared the cobwebs out!). The beach was back to its usual quiet self, post summer madness, and it was wonderful to see dogs back on there again, leaping in and out the waves with tails wagging high! After a walk we popped into the Peppercorn Cafe, just near our house, and treated ourselves to a slice of the most amazing cake I have had in a long time. As you guys know, I am on a mission health wise, but I am trying to let myself have the very occasional treat as and when because I can really give myself a hard time over food. It was delicious and I enjoyed every bite!



:: I have been feeling down for a little while now and find daily brightness from several people on-line, but the top prize for cheering me up this week goes to Emily Coxhead, a gorgeous artist/illustrator who never fails at making me smile with her Instagram feed but, more specifically her Insta-stories! She has a smiley face always and is usually found singing/miming away to something whilst working, which is exactly what I am usually doing, so I really enjoy seeing what she is up to! If you guys don't know her and you crave a bit of sunshine in your life you need to add her to your IG feed right now!

:: Some of you guys may know that I am a huge fan of the Alien films and finally got to see the new one on Wednesday night. I hadn't heard the most amazing things about it but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! I still prefer the older ones and I do really like Prometheus, but it was okay! Also, I actually managed to sit still and not do any work through the entire thing, which is somewhat of a miracle for me, I am grateful for that!

:: I have decided to structure my week so that I have one full art-focused day per week now, as I have so many ideas for my general 'paper product' store that I want to get started! I also need to get some more wedding collections underway, and I need a dedicated day to get stuck in because, and you will know this if you are a creative person, as soon as you start creating, time just seems to slip through your hands! I took Thursday (and Friday...whoops) as arty days and enjoyed them so much. It felt like just what my soul needed after weeks and weeks of being tied to my computer! I had the window open and could smell the fresh, salty-sea air whilst I was painting and it just felt perfect. Art and fresh air... a wonderful combination.



:: On a business note... I am finding that this next stage of launching a business is feeling like the first day of school all over again! When I decided to try and make my dream happen, with little idea of where to actually start, I felt the same way. The whole thing is a constant learning curve but what i am noticing is that I am grabbing new experiences quicker and with less hesitation then I did before! For example, having put together a rather huge spreadsheet of blogs, magazines and wedding related contacts I wanted to try and get my sample packs out to, I sent out lots of emails to say 'hello' and introduce my business. This was a big deal  for me guys as, a year ago, or even six months ago, I would never have done it! I heard back from 95% of people and had some really positive feedback and ideas, so I am excited for what will happen! I have so many more people to contact this week too. It is so scary (and I definitely have zero nails left) but my advice is just get on it! I am working on building this 'thick skin' that everyone is constantly talking about!

That is all for today guys... but before I go... I put up a vlog on Wednesday, so if you want to check that out scroll on down to the bottom of this post! I would love for you to subscribe to my YouTube channel too, if you aren't already, as every new subscriber helps my visibility over there!

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20 September 2017

THE AFFECT OF TIREDNESS ON MENTAL HEALTH


^^This gorgeous piece of work can be found on Etsy, by Ariana^^

*Before you read this, please know that I am talking about one extreme day here and, for the record, it ends well but you guys know I like to share and help people realise they are not alone, so if you don't like these sort of posts please visit on Sunday when there will be a lovely gratitude post up instead!

Seeing as my mental health has been fairly stable recently (other than the occasional hormone related meltdown) you can imagine my total overwhelm when I was hit with a severe bout of dark depression last week. It was nasty and came along with its best mate, anxiety. Anyone who has suffered with these two 'buddies' together will know how conflicting and paralysing they can be when they have a day out together. If you are not familiar, let me sum it up for you...

Depression, for me, can come along for no reason. It hits like a wave of overwhelming fear and darkness. For me it sings the tune of 'you will never succeed, you are not good enough, you should give up on everything, what is the point of you being here?'. It makes me feel tired, emotionally numb and, sorry for the honesty, somewhat suicidal at its worst. Anxiety, on the other hand, is like a hyper alien, jumping about in my brain. It never stops chatting away and fidgeting about inside my head. Between the two of these things they push and pull me one way and then the other and, let me tell you, there is no winning whatsoever. Both are equally exhausting. The conflicts they cause can be so frustrating, for example...

Me: 'I am so tired and I haven't really eaten anything... I should get something'
Depression: 'If you eat you'll get fatter, you already look like shit, look at you... actually who would want to look at you!'
Anxiety: 'You should eat lots and lots, it will make you feel better... go on, do it, you know you will feel better... go on!'

Me: 'I haven't been to the gym for a day. I know I will feel better if I go'
Depression: 'What's the point? It'll take more than a gym session to make you look better.'
Anxiety: 'You should go, what will people think of you if you don't go? They will think you're a failure. But if you do go, they will all stare at you and know how anxious you are...but if you don't go they will judge you when they see you again because you haven't been'

Yep, it is exhausting isn't it? 

However, these days I don't let it get away with turning my brain to mush as quickly as it used to and I certainly will not let it wipe out an entire week for me. When I realised what was happening to me I forced myself to sit quietly and think through what had changed, what was different and why I could be feeling so terrible and I suddenly realised the big thing that had changed... sleep. I had taken on a big piece of work and was getting up at silly o'clock to get it done and still going past midnight with barely any time off. I didn't think about the affect it would have on my mental health at all. How ridiculous is it that such a small thing can switch everything around in such a significant way? It served as a massive reminder that I do still have mental health issues and they haven't disappeared. When I am super productive and happy with what I am doing, I barely notice anything is there and it would be easy to forget that it exists, but as soon as something as small as a few hours sleep is different, and it hits me face on from nowhere, I get taken aback by it and it reminds me how awful it can feel.

The upside? Well, this is rare now, and that is a huge achievement. I am able to identify what the cause is most of the time and 'get over it' much faster but that has come from years and years of dark days that went on and on and on. It has come from listening to my body, eating right, exercising, reading useful and inspiring books and having people around who 'get it' (or at least try to get it!).

I know many of my readers resonate with these posts so I will always share my experience. I also share it because I am sick and tired of it being a stigma because it still is. I do have some people question why I put it all on the internet but, honestly, I don't care because if it helps one person get themselves help or just realise they aren't alone, that is all I need to know.

As always, make sure that if you, or someone you know, is suffering at all with any mental health concerns that you/they seek medical attention. It is super important and it can be helped, I promise you that.

In case you missed it...

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17 September 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Before I leap head-first into todays gratitude list I want to say a big old sorry for not putting up a post on Wednesday. All I will say for now is that I have had a bit of an up and down kind of week and just couldn't find any free time or brain power to sit and type words that made sense (I did try though, I promise!).

I have been basically housebound all week and that is never a good thing is it? I had a huge deadline to meet for some work and needed to just power through. This meant I was super exhausted and a bit all over the shop and that means that I can't give you heaps of amazing things that have happened this week! However, there is always something to be thankful for, so here we go...

:: This week I have basically survived because of Netflix and music! I am not one to sit in front of the television for long but, when I am forced into it I will make the most of it! This week I watched a lot of Friends (just like last week!) and also watched two films on Netflix that I have wanted to see for a while. The first was 'Paper Towns', have you guys seen it? After 'A Fault in Our Stars' I was expecting it to be great and thought it was okay but it didn't blow me sideways. The second film was a re-watch for me as I saw it when it first came out in the cinema, back in 2001 (I think), 'The Other Boleyn Girl'. It is no surprise to find me watching that when it appeared in the listings as you guys know I am a huge Tudor history geek, I love it. I really enjoyed the film actually but find it quite funny how many of the same actors are in all the Tudor programmes and films! It can get confusing if you don't keep your wits about you!

:: This week also saw the return of a new series of Doctor Foster. I loved the first series and was a little unsure whether they would be able to make the second any good but, one episode in and I am already hooked. If you watched it let me know what you thought in the comments!

:: I wanted to take a second to mention Holly, the lovely, inspirational lady behind the blog 'A Branch of Holly'. Holly's blog has been scribbled in my Bullet Journal as one to sit down and explore over a mug of tea for ages but with the business launching and work to be done, I just couldn't find any time at all. I have failed at reading other peoples blogs in the most part recently, which is so irritating because there are so many I love. Anyway, back to Holly... Holly, if you don't know, is a bit of a blogging wizard and her posts are super helpful to dig into and cover a wide range of tips and amazing pieces of advice for bloggers but, I only discovered on Friday, that she also has a YouTube channel! Hooray! I like being able to watch videos whilst I edit a picture on Photoshop, so felt over the moon to add myself as a subscriber. Anyway, I wanted to give her a mention and also say that she has an amazing (free) 'Blogging Breakthrough' magazine which you can pop your name on her list to receive to your inbox! I just got July's one but I believe she is doing a bit of an Aug/Sept double issue that comes out soon, so head over to her site www.abranchofholly.com to join in all the fun!

:: One of my biggest amounts of gratitude this week goes to the little fluff ball pictured below. When my mental health plummets she is a God send and she just seems to know what is happening. She has wanted to be super close to me and cuddles tighter than usual. I love this little bear.



:: As I drove along yesterday I noticed just how many trees are changing gold, red and orange. I honestly cannot believe it is that time of year again, but it feels so magical. I love each season when it changes and am trying to appreciate each moment of autumn, as it approaches, because it is truly very beautiful.

:: We seem to have a new feathered friend spending more time in our garden than usual, a cute little robin. I adore robins so get so excited to see it hopping about in the trees!

:: Yesterday both Joe and I were beyond desperate to get out in the fresh air after a mad week. Granted, we live right by the beach but, for some reason, every time the clock turned 5.30pm this week the heavens opened and we could go nowhere. So, Saturday morning saw a lovely trip to Sennen Cove, one of my all time favourite beaches to visit. I know that everyone says that the light in St Ives is magical, which is really is, but the light in Sennen is the same. Everything is bright, vivid and so very beautiful. The tide was right in, so there was no beach walk had, plus there were signs to keep watch for the Portuguese 'Man O'War' jellyfish which have been rocking up on Cornish beaches this week (don't want to mess with those guys!) so maybe it was just as well we didn't venture onto the sand. But it was so wonderful to get out in the (very cold) fresh air and have a walk about and admire the views. If you are ever in the far west of Cornwall you must visit Sennen, you won't regret it!

That is everything for this week friends! But, the good news (possibly!) is that I am working on a vlog again! I am editing right now and will aim to get one a week up like I did BL ('before launch'!). If you have any requests or questions relating to business or anything else you would like to see me talk about in the videos just leave me a comment below! Have a fab week!

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