29 January 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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Two more days of January left, well three if you include today, and one more week left at work for me. Yikes. One. More. Week. Holy crap sticks! This whole, moving to Cornwall thing seemed like it would never happen and then, suddenly, boom, it's a couple of weeks away... not even that actually. Can you feel the excitement levels rising? I am so giddy about this move that I can barely see straight.

Yesterday we had a Cornwall road trip, and packed up the car with three humans (Joe, me and my mum) and one fur-ball (Gizmo) and set off West to drop Giz into her temporary home for the next ten days. I am heartbroken to be at home without my buddy, but it had to happen. She was getting a little freaked out with the changes around the house, but then totally confusing me by playing on/in all the boxes like a lunatic. I plugged in the Feliway for her, to try and help any stress... well, actually I almost plugged in an air-freshener but, luckily for the cat, Joe noticed my mistake! She would have been chilling out to 'freshly washed linen' if I'd have had my way! Bless her paws.

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Other than worrying myself into an early grave about the bear, these are the positive happenings of the week...

:: The first thing on this list must be my wonderful husband, who I am always grateful for of course, but this week specifically I have been a bit all over the shop, health-wise. I don't know how he does it, but he always knows the best way to comfort me, and gives the best hugs ever :-)

:: On Monday, whilst painting set for a show in the dance studio at work, we decided to have a mini-disco. The lights were turned out, the disco lights were turned on and some rather cheesy music played for us to dance to. Three mad people prancing about at 10.30am on a Monday = one of the many reasons I will miss my job!

:: On the subject of my job, I received an email, wishing me well on my new adventures, from an ex-school governor. I thought it was so nice of him to email me and say goodbye and thanks for what I have done over the years (although I did immediately thank him back, because he was pretty amazing!). Those sorts of things really mean a whole lot to me.

:: My mum pulled out all the stops on Monday and made the most yummy dinner! I can't, for the life of me, remember what it is called (I will have to ask her), but all I know is this: it was Greek, there were aubergines, there was mince and it was soooo good!

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:: On a mission to 'clear out the cupboards' ready to move, I discovered an unopened jar of cashew butter... I've never tried it and clearly forgot about it! Guys, it is amazing! 

:: Baths are back. Did you not know they had gone away? Well, post tattoo there is no bathing for a few weeks. Last Sunday, I finally ventured back into the tub for a long, hot soak after training and it was wonderful. I missed the bath! 

:: Having visited our new place again this weekend, I have to say how overwhelmingly grateful I feel to be moving to a beautiful, cosy little cottage with the most gorgeous views. You can see the sea from all front windows and the garden but, and this is such a wonderful thing for us, you can hear the sea too! We didn't notice it last time, when we first viewed the house, but were over the moon to realise that we will be able to hear the sea whilst we lay in bed at night or are relaxing in the garden with a cuppa. Renting may be a bummer, but there is no other way we would have this opportunity... every cloud and all that!

I think that pretty much sums up this week. It is now full on until we move but I will do my very best to get a post up on Wednesday and Sunday (we move over 6th and 7th February). Forgive me if I do go a little AWOL, I know you guys understand. Have a lovely new week.

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25 January 2017

TAKING STOCK | JANUARY 2017

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Welcome to January's 'Taking Stock' blog post. I cannot believe we are here already. This has been the fastest month ever, what with all the life-changing shenanigans! How has your month been? Why not do a Taking Stock of your own and let me know in the comments if you have done it; I really enjoy reading these posts.

Let's get straight to it shall we?

Making :: my Bullet Journal layout work for me (click HERE to see the video!)
Cooking :: batches of food for work again (Turkey Muffin recipe is on my list 'to do' for you guys)
Drinking :: some new pre-workout from PE Science called 'Alphamine' - loving it so far!
Reading :: old card / notes / letters I have found whilst packing up my office <3
Wanting :: a pizza, so desperatly!
Looking :: dazed by everything we have to do
Playing :: Ed Sheeran's 'Castle on the Hill' and Adele's 'Water Under the Bridge' - my favourite songs this month.
Deciding :: on a moving date! (7th Feb!)
Wishing :: I could zap Gizmo to Cornwall, rather than having to put her through a car journey.
Enjoying :: how much more organised and ahead of schedule I am now I am using a different planner.
Watching :: old Star Wars films, snuggled up with Joe and our bear.
Waiting :: for my last day at work to come around. It will be the end of an era.
Liking :: that I am feeling super inspired, despite being in the middle of one of the most stressful things you can do (moving).
Wondering :: how long it will take to get used to the fact we have finally moved to our favoruite place. It will feel so surreal for a while I'm sure!
Loving :: my new tattoo :-)
Hoping :: I will be able to find a little job sooner rather than later when we move.
Marvelling :: at the stars on a cold, clear, winters night. Simply stunning.
Needing :: to look up some more 'macro friendly' recipes for next month as we are having the same things all the time. Anyone have any good low-carb meals that can be batch cooked? Let me know!
Smelling :: of an open fire, after leaving the pub with Helena last Tuesday evening.
Wearing :: ripped jeans and old t-shirts #movingfashion.
Following :: lots of new business podcasts (blog post soon).
Noticing :: that many of the materialistic things I used to think were important don't even enter my mind anymore.
Knowing :: I will miss my work buddies so much.
Thinking :: of the future and feeling unbelievably excited!

Thank you so much for stopping by today guys. If you want to see a bit more waffling from me, be sure to 'like' my Facebook Page! Have a great rest of week.
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22 January 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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Another Sunday has shown up on our doorstep again! Do you guys notice how much faster time goes when you are ridiculously busy? As you can imagine, what with me finishing up at work in two weeks and our move progressing super-fast, we have so much to do and time is seemingly racing against us right now.

I have never relocated before, not a full-on distance away and, whilst moving is moving, there is so much more pressure on getting everything aligned as efficiently as possible, as travelling four hours back and forth, because you have forgotten to do something, is not a viable option! That said, I am super happy and excited (there is a little anxiety attached to moving Gizmo also!) and cannot wait for a new chapter to begin.

Before I get into this weeks gratitude list I thought I would quickly tell you guys about the new video I put up on my YouTube Channel this week. You may have read, or seen on my Instagram, that I have chosen to start a Bullet Journal this year and so I thought I would show you guys my layout and what is working well for me so far. The video is linked at the bottom of this blog post if you would like to have a watch. If you haven't yet subscribed to my channel I would love that so much as each and every one of you mean the world by being there and helping me to build a little, friendly community on-line. Also, it will be worth subscribing so that you don't miss out on our Cornwall relocation vlogs, which will be coming up soon.

Anyway, let's get onto the list:

:: This week I received such a sweet email from a lovely blog reader, Steph. I was waiting to meet my gorgeous friend, Helena, for dinner after work and was trawling through all my rubbish emails when I stumbled across her wonderful one! I sat there reading it and felt all soppy. I love hearing from anyone who reads the blog or watches my YouTube videos and think it is so nice to connect that way. Thank you so much Steph, you made my day!

:: Talking of the dinner with Helena; we met up in our usual haunt for some food and a good old chat (for what will be the last time in... I don't even know how long, sob!). I somehow managed to wing us a double dessert by some 'creative talking' to the guy who was taking the orders (yep, we ate brownies and loved every second!) and we had a catch up and tried to establish when we would see each other again now that I am moving even further away! We already meet half way between our places, but Cornwall is pushing that boundary!

:: One day this week was utterly horrendous and I couldn't have been more grateful to the wonderful people I work with for looking after me in my hour (or two) of need. Plus there are bonus 'husband points' to Joe who cooked dinner twice this week because I fell asleep into a deep state of exhaustion and was next to useless helping... well, I didn't help at all, so I was all useless!

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:: I am always grateful for our little fluff-ball, but yesterday she really was the cutest ever. I was at my dressing table sorting out some bits and pieces and giving my hair a quick brush, after having hat hair post walk around town! Gizmo jumped up on the top and came and pushed herself up against me, lifting her paw up (something she does when she wants what you have) so I started brushing her with my hair brush and she absolutely loved it, bless her socks. She is my little buddy and I am going to miss her for the ten days she is away from home :-(

:: I think I mention this as something I am grateful for every week, but I have seen some truly gorgeous sun rises/sets this week. I am either driving home from the gym first thing in the morning and witness the sun peaking up from the hill, or I am driving home as it sets and casts the orange-pink shadows all around. So beautiful.

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:: I can't go one week without mentioning food on this list and this weeks choices are the white chocolate Grenade protein bars. As protein bars go, Grenades are one of the tastiest, in my humble opinion. I love both the white chocolate and the milk chocolate cookies and cream bar. Yum! Also making it to the list are the Kalo corn cakes (they appeared next to the rice cakes in Tescos and had lower carbs, so I figured I'd give them a shot!). I also had some cashew butter on them and, I have to say, they were pretty darn delicious!

:: Lastly, and I mention this lady a whole lot on here (but for a good reason), I had a message from Gemma Sands this week which turned me into an over-excited/over emotional wally! I won't go in to huge detail right now but Gemma and I will hopefully be working together again, as soon as Joe and are are settled in to our new house. I honestly cannot believe the amazing generosity of this lady, who is one of my biggest inspirations and someone I feel grateful to call a friend.

That's all for this week folks. I'd love it if you checked out my video below and clicked on the little 'like' and 'subscribe' button. Clicking 'like' really helps my channel grow as it becomes more noticeable and that is one of my goals this year! Thanks for reading everyone, have a fab week!

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20 January 2017

RELOCATION SERIES | WHY CORNWALL?

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The secret is out! You finally know why I have been super cryptic about some things on here and on social media recently (and you may realise why there has been a few, not so cryptic, day trips to Cornwall too - yep, day trips... ouch!). If this is all news to you, and you missed my Friday post, go check it out! But, in a nutshell, we are moving to Cornwall! (*insert all the excited emoji's here!*)

You all probably know by now how in love with that most gorgeous place Joe and I are. It is no secret, we go there a lot.

The first time I ever visited Cornwall it was like I already knew where things were, like my soul said 'oh, I am home again' and, ever since that day, over ten years ago, I have yearned to live there and never wanted to leave at the end of a weeks stay.

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No amount of people saying 'but you'll never find work' / 'do you realise how quiet it will be off season' / 'but it is just so far away' (etc) has made a drop of difference to me/us. It feels like home and now, finally, it will be home. I don't think I have ever been more excited about anything. It feels so right. so perfect. Everything will change, but I couldn't be happier.

We will have the sea at the end of our road, with a coastal path, to one of my favourite places, Marazion, not far from our back gate. We will be able to walk everyday with the most beautiful views (come rain or shine) and have rugged, changeable scenery everywhere we turn. Inspiration will be found around every corner, from things that wash up on the beach, to gorgeous, weather-beaten wild flowers, clinging onto the cliff tops for dear life. 

Fulfilling this dream comes with a very, very scary side though; to start over in Cornwall I have to quit my job before we move and find something new asap. That is the single most scary thing I have ever, ever, done. It terrifies me to my core, but it is a sacrifice that had to be made. I have plans, as you know, to finally launch my wedding stationary and paper products business, Leaf Lane Studio, this year and to set up an Etsy shop too, but I will need at least a part-time job. The silver lining to this, because you have to look for one, is that I will have that very precious commodity that we all could use more of, time. I will have more time to create for a while. Time to set things in motion.

Sometimes in life you can't listen to that little voice in your head that is saying 'stay where you are, it is safe here' because you need to jump, to take a risk. Life is about risking it all sometimes, and that is what is happening now. But the pro's far out-weigh the cons and that is when you know it is right.

Thank you to all of you who have messaged and commented your positive and supportive words because we certainly need them whilst we pack our life up! You guys are the best!

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15 January 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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We are mid-way through the first month of 2017 already (mid-way. what?!). How is 2017 treating you so far lovely peeps? Have you been sticking to your goals and new motivations for this year? I'd love to know what you have set your mind to this year so please do come and tell me in the comments below!

For me, this week has flown by in a blur of painting set for a school dance show, breaking the news to colleagues that I will be leaving in early February, and feeling more tired from life than I have in years. Not in a bad way, just in a life-is-pretty-full-on-right-now-and-my-brain-is-tired kind of way! I officially fell asleep in Waitrose car park on Thursday morning, whilst waiting for it to open. I woke up in a right old tizzy, not knowing what was happening. Thank heavens no one saw my dazed face!

On that note, let me share with you some little moments and things that I am grateful for this week...

:: My new journal experiment! I decided, after years of having a notebook for every subject matter and every life-happening, that I would give this whole Bullet Journal thing a go and, I have to say, I am loving it so far. I plan to do a short YouTube video to show you my first ever set-up and what layouts I decided on for January, and will try and do monthly updates to. I have been hooked on watching other peoples videos because, well, I love all things lists, planning and stationary. This method of planning is so flexible, which is why it works for me, plus I can be super creative in the layout and add in little quotes and doodles because there are no rules or limitations. If you want to see this video recorded please let me know!

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^^My stunned face having handed my notice in at work^^

:: Amazing support from the lovely Gemma Sands. You guys may remember that I was doing some wonderful business/lifestyle (life-saving!) coaching with Gemma and we have stayed in touch since, which is fab, because she is awesome. I have been messaging Gemma to fill her in about what Joe and I are up to with the move and she has been super supportive and so encouraging. I swear that, if I hadn't of worked with Gemma, I would not be anywhere near the person I am now.

:: Clear nights and bright moons. After driving home through pretty full-on rain and snow on Thursday night, we had the most clear, starry night and it was so beautiful. You guys know that stars are 'my thing'. I will stand outside during the early hours of a freezing cold morning in mid winter, whilst I wait for the cat to decide whether she wants to go out or come in or whatever, just watching the sky twinkle and satellites pass over. It is humbling and so hypnotising to watch, plus it reminds me how small my problems and worries are.

:: Hearing, somewhere on Instagram, about Etsy Resolution. I plan to set up my Etsy store within the next month or two, which will be the paper products arm of Leaf Lane Studio. Whilst it isn't rocket science, I want to make sure that I do things the right way on Etsy, and create some impact with my new venture. I was scrolling through my IG feed this week when I saw a post that mentioned Etsy were doing a free set of emails, plus other support, to help newbies like me set up and launch their shops. I am super excited to start this new venture as I have wanted an on-line shop for as long as I can remember!

:: Finding another inspiration podcast. You guys know I love a good creative entrepreneurial podcast and, this week, I got really into 'Creative Biz Rebellion', run by business owners Caroline and Kelly. I listened to a few but loved their 'How we rock Instagram' episode. I find their style so easy to listen to and not too 'stuffy'... if you know what I mean? They are just normal girls sharing their experiences and I can connect with that! I have quite the list of business-related subscriptions nowadays, so may do a little blog post updating you guys on which ones I like soon.

:: Lastly, albeit a little late (because I had to break the news to my parents...eek), I am super grateful to have had my little tattoo done! Yep, after years of wanting it, it has been done! I had it in December, right before Christmas, and I love it. It is the one I put on my Instagram a while back, so click here to remind yourself, but I had it put on my left ribs. It is ever so dainty and small, but it is just for me, to remind me of some of the things I have gone through in life and I could not be happier with it. If you want to know who did it, her name is Georgina and she is one cool lady! (Check out Georgina's Instagram!)

Anyway folks, that is about it for today! Have a wonderful week, speak to you soon.

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13 January 2017

EXCITING TIMES AHEAD!

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The time has come for a bit of news! 

Eeeeeeek!

Those of you that have been following this little blog for a while wouldn't have failed to notice that one of me and the hubby's major dreams is to live in Cornwall. Well, it is happening people! Oh. My. Goodness! We can't quite wrap our head around it, but it is all moving along (very fast) and we will be aiming to be there by mid February.

I have a better blog post lined up, going in to more detail about 'why Cornwall', but I wanted to let you guys know because I want to be able to get excited about it on-line. It has been almost impossible not to put up an Instagram post just spilling the beans immediately, but we had to wait until we had our contract for the house (renting!) and things were 100% happening.

The other thing I have already started doing is creating some video content about moving because we want to document this, but also because it may help people planning on relocating too. It is a massive step and, of course, there are some down-sides, like being miles away from the people we love, but sometimes you have to chase your dreams. It is only Cornwall, not the other side of the world after all and, if the roles were reversed, I would encourage anyone I know (family or friends) to chase what their heart desires.

Hopefully this will help explain why I may go AWOL occasionally and why I am high as a kite other times. I can't wait to share the journey with you all. There will be highs and lows (the fact that I have handed in my notice to work without a job to go to is the most terrifying thing ever, but I will find something!).

That is all for today guys but I look forward to blogging a lot more about the things I love most in the world, from the place I love most in the world. I will be setting up an Etsy shop and launching Leaf Lane Studio this year as well so... big year. Any support / tips from you guys are warmly received always, so feel free to get in touch with me in the comments or on fromlucywithlove@outlook.com if you want to reach out.
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8 January 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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Phew, one week of 2017 down! I am always thankful to get the very first few days marked down of a new year and to get past that strange stagnant time, where no one knows what day or time its is, and we all kind of float about for a while! How has this week been for you all? Good I hope.

This week has started well for me really. I am grateful for so many things already and am feeling super positive about the next few months ahead. I feel in a much more positive frame of mind this January, when I usually start the year feeling a bit deflated and subdued. 

Without further a do, let's dive straight into this weeks gratitude list shall we?

:: Puppy cuddles with the gorgeous Huxley! He has grown a whole lot since I saw him before Christmas and is so lively but I just adore him!

:: This week, a colleague of mine told me that she had re-used a handmade watercolour Christmas card I did for her and, when she told me what she had done with it, it made me all emotional. Several months ago she lost a family member and decided that she would lay some flowers on her grave, along with the painting I did on the card as she loved it so much she wanted her loved one to have it. I thought that was so lovely.

:: I have got straight back on the macro-counting now and I am grateful that I have learned to chill out a bit more after a Christmas binge. Did I put on some weight? Yep! Did I gain inches? Yep. Am I okay with it? Hell yes. That is quite an achievement for me because I usually feel awful about it. Last year I worked so hard to lose weight and gain a healthy mindset that would see me through for life, that I knew I deserved a break and a bit of indulgence. I enjoyed it so much but stuck with my training throughout the festive season, only letting go of the nutrition for about ten days. I noticed how my body felt sluggish and that I reacted quite badly to the amount of dairy I ate, but I got straight back to it and already feel so much better. I have set more goals and am determined to reach them. Having a more healthy mindset has made so much difference to me though. I am learning, after all these years, that balance is key to achieving.

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:: Supportive work colleagues. I am smack bang in the middle of a huge change of direction and, having shared my thoughts with some close colleagues, it is so lovely to feel the support and encouragement of other people. Nothing major usually happens around here so it can be a little daunting, but it has been awesome to feel a boost from the people you care about.

:: De-cluttering. I hate to sound like an old lady, but there is nothing like sort-out of all your treasures to help you feel more organised and 'free'. Joe and I sorted through a whole load of books, DVD's and computer games this week and, in a rather inspired move, we decided to give Music Magpie a shot (after seeing that slightly terrifying TV advert, with that stuffed bird pointing his wing at various things in that poor mans house and asking if he wanted him to take it away for cash!). Having typed in over 100 bar-codes we earned ourselves almost £90! Woo-hoo! #goteam

:: This week I watched a really, really good documentary on Netflix called 'Minimalists' (or Minimalism... can't remember right now!) and it was so aligned with how my brain is starting to function. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with the pace of life or the materialistic things in life, I recommend giving it a watch.

:: Early mornings. I am not always grateful for my alarm going off, but I do like watching the sun come up and seeing peoples lights slowly turning on in their homes, imagining them all sleepily wandering about making tea or coffee. This week I got up early every day, even this weekend, just to ensure I got my workout in and had the whole day ahead of me still.

That's it for this weeks post guys. I am hoping to share some exciting news with you next week (fingers crossed) so hang on in there! Have an amazing week ahead.

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1 January 2017

HELLO 2017

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Happy New Year lovely people! Did you have a good NYE? Joe and I were actual old people for the night and I loved every minute! We watched Harry Potter, ate yummy food and I even cracked open my first, and last, bottle of wine of 2016. We know how to do rock 'n' roll guys, we really do! I have this stupid theory about how to make New Year celebrations successful and that is that we either do it 'all in' (smart dress, a bit of glitter perhaps, champagne and definitely dancing!) or we stay home and have our comfy clothes on. This year we obviously went for the latter!

If you read my previous blog post about saying goodbye to 2016 then you will already know what my thoughts were about my achievements last year and how I ended the year feeling all positive and 'ready' for this brand new one! I talked about not having intentionally chosen a 'word of the year' but, upon reflection, I realised that I had one: transformation. I really like the idea of having a word to use as a bit of a booster throughout the year and, after a bit of a think, I have decided on my one for 2017.

B o l d
Definition: 
(of a person, action or idea) showing a willingness to take risks; confident and courageous.

I have chosen this word for the next twelve months because this year is going to be a huge year of change, bringing with it scary challenges and big steps. There are going to be many tough times but all pointing towards something bigger and better. This goes for mental and physical health, home, work (blog and business) and other personal things that life has to offer.

This year is the year to take bold steps, be brave and willing to leap.

I have some huge plans, which are going to be separate blog posts/YouTube videos in their own right, but I really hope you guys will join me for the ride and that I can join you for your new year of adventures too. I adore this on-line community and have made so many friends through blogging, Instagram and other social media platforms and really love the encouragement that comes from it.

So, that all said, let's take on 2017 together. Let's encourage each other and cheer each other on. Let's share skills and knowledge to help each other along our journeys and be a kind ear when needed.

Happy New Year everyone!
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