26 February 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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Happy Sunday everyone! Today I turn 36 years old, hooray! Before I go on, I just want to say a huge thank you to all of my friends and family that have sent cards and messages today, it really means the world. Also, you guys have sent some lovely messages on Instagram and that really is so sweet!

As Joe and I have just moved we went with a present-free birthday but, to be honest, he got me flowers and paid for all the food in the world this weekend, so I think we can safely say he did do my birthday! Mum and dad sent through a voucher to my church (aka Boots) which I spent this morning (I will do a mini-haul in one of my vlogs soon - recent vlog linked at the end of this post also!). Mum also sent a sneaky voucher over email for a 'dine in for two' meal at M & S, which we picked up this morning and will indulge in tonight :-) (She knows food is always the way to my heart!).

One more thing... I did a post this week about all the things I have learnt about life (and myself) by the grand old age of 36 so, if you haven't checked that out yet, just click right here to have a read.

Today's post is the usual 'Weekly Gratitude' post so let's get right to it!

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:: On Monday afternoon I took myself out on an hours walk part-way up the coastal path. It was drizzling and misty, but it was heaven! After my walk I head down to the beach and looked for shells and strange things to have washed up, then perched on a rock for a bit and just watched the surfers catching waves. It was so relaxing and I feel so free knowing I can do this at any time of day.

:: I finally spent a while sorting through all my sketch books and putting together a mood-board for what will be another range of watercolour stationary for Leaf Lane Studio. I am super pleased with my art space after having a final move-about in the spare room and I can't wait to get going on some pieces.

:: After receiving a very appreciated Ikea voucher as part of my leaving present from school, we had our order delivered this week. I spent an afternoon building side tables and a shoe rack and now our spare room is coming together and our furniture in our room looks like it belongs together at last! Thank you so much to everyone at work (I still call it work!), we really appreciate being able to get a few bits with the voucher - such a great idea!

:: On Thursday night Joe and I met up with some friends for a meal and it was delicious! I had fish and chips but the highlight has to be the gigantic dessert. I chose a marshmallow, peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake and got dished up the biggest portion I have seen, so big was this slice of cheesecake that I had to take most of it home in a carton!

:: Despite several heart attacks in the process, Gizmo has been out (and returned) a couple of times. I am no cat-expert, but after two weeks inside I made the decision that I needed to start introducing her to the garden as she was starting to go a bit nuts inside. On Friday I let her out and she did a full sniff about and then gave me a mini heart attack by disappearing over the fence for 10 minutes. She finally appeared again at the end of the public footpath at the back of the house. I expect she is very overwhelmed by her new territory! I find it all very stressful but am grateful she didn't just leg-it!

:: An early birthday present arrived this week from my lovely hubby; a huge box of Isle of Scilly daffodils. They are so gorgeous and make the whole house smell like heaven. Thanks husband! x

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:: Having spent quite a while in our lovely garden, supervising the bear as she gets used to the new surroundings, I have noticed how many gorgeous little buds are out! Spring seems so near right now. I love it so much.

:: This morning we indulged in a really yummy breakfast at the Godrevy Cafe, not too far from home. I had the most amazing waffles with syrup and fruit (and maybe a chocolate chip cookie too!). Food is the biggest indulgence for me on a day like today!

:: I am super-duper grateful for my cute bracelet, sent to me by the ever so lovely Helena and her hubby, Rich. Thank you so much lovely lady, I really love it.

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23 February 2017

36 THINGS AT 36

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This Sunday coming up I turn 36 years old. Woo-hoo, and also...how?!

Inevitably, I have recently been thinking about the things I do differently, the things (I think) I have learnt and the things I give more focus to now, compared to 10-15 years ago. I thought I would do a fun post about these things because, well, why not!

(Side note: I have popped my latest vlog at the bottom of this post too!)

1 :: I have been bigger and smaller, heavier and lighter,  not toned at all and more toned but, what I have learnt through all these transitions, is that I am never fully happy with my body (how stupid is that?). I have been thinking about this more and more recently and, because of the great education I got from training with Olly Foster last year, I am finally at a stage where I can let myself have treats, and I really feel that I have gained a better (healthier) understanding of balance. I am finally recognising that my body is pretty awesome; it can lift heavy things, walk up huge hills, survive emotional pain and come out the other side smiling and strong (but maybe a bit tired!). 

2 :: Do not stress about the small things. Worrying about a situation will not change the situation. Bloody hell, it has taken me years to figure that one out!

3 :: Positivity breeds positivity. It really does.

4 :: Dream big, then reverse engineer the plan. I am still working on this but it has forced me to make some brave moves.

5 :: You can't ever do 'all the things'. I learnt this pretty fast over the last couple of years. When I was younger I didn't have as much on my plate as I do these days, but working with Olly last year meant that I had to step back slightly from building and launching Leaf Lane Studio. I went into panic about this but then Gemma (you guys know about Gemma!) said to me 'that's fine, you were focusing on your health' and I thought... doh! Of course it is fine to shuffle things about. It would have been counter productive to go full out on all the things at once.

6 :: Sometimes crappy life-happenings can open amazing friendship doors.

7 :: Always tell people how you are feeling, without fear. 

8 :: If you are feeling rubbish; get up, brush your hair and put some lipstick on.

9 :: Lift heavy weights. This is the best fitness tip I have for women. You won't end up big and bulky, believe me. Just get your butt to the gym, learn how to lift and go crush it!

10 :: Don't glance back over your shoulder once you are committed to doing something. The path is forward. 

11 :: Whatever you do, don't let someones negative opinion on something you want to do stop you from doing it.

12 :: When you have spare time, spend it feeding your soul. For me, this is reading books that 'light me up', taking a long walk or even slowing down and chucking on a meditation app. Life is so damn fast paced that it is important to nourish your soul.

13 :: Journal. You guys know I love bullet journalling, but use whatever works for you; it may be stream of consciousness writing or writing three things you are grateful for everyday. Emptying your head of thoughts really helps.

14 :: Comparison is unhealthy. This is a big one. I wish I had realised this when I was younger. Accept that you are where you are on your journey and that other people may be further on, and that's okay.

15 :: When things get a bit much, remember your place in the universe. We are so teeny tiny. Just look up at night and watch the stars... that does it for me in an instant.

16 :: Appreciating nature aids calmness. Go for a walk, cuddle your pet, be kind to living things and you will feel so much better.

17 :: Sleep when you need it. Obviously I realise that you cannot sleep in the middle of a work day (unless you have a super-star of a boss of course!) but I have learnt how valuable sleep is when it comes to repairing my body from training or healing my mind, when my mental health has taken a dip. Naps=happiness!

18 :: Sometimes you have to just accept a situation for what it is because there is nothing more you can say or do to heal it. 

19 :: It's alright to cry in front of people. I think this comes with being older and not caring as much about looking a bit of an idiot. 

20 :: Percy Pigs are not just for children (seriously... those chewy little piggies are life!).

21 :: Be a big cheerleader for other people, their ideas and their achievements (especially other women).

22 :: No amount of planning can force things to go the exact way you had originally set out. When they roll the opposite way, just got with it; there is clearly a reason why, you just may not know it yet.

23 :: Stop buying things 'just because you like them'. The older I have got, the more I realise that I prefer a more simplified version of life. Don't get me wrong, I like nice things. For example, I wish I owned pretty much every shade of Mac lipstick that existed and I can never have enough stationary, but I have a serious word with myself whenever I think I want something. I usually fool myself when shopping on-line by throwing everything and its cat into the basket, then I return over the course of a week and, nine times out of ten, I have lost interest within a few days. It really works!

24 :: Tackle the harder parts of the day first. Get the tough stuff nailed first and the rest of the day just feels so much better!

25 :: Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. If you think something that has happened is out of line, do something about it.

26 :: Sometimes you need to embrace the days where you just feel like sh*t. This may mean you stay in your pj's, eat ice-cream and cry to The Lion King, but just let it be.

27 :: Talk about mental health with no shame, most of the time people we react in an amazing way to it and if they don't, then they don't matter.

28 :: Take time to look after your skin. I cannot stress how different my skin has been since I have taken the time to double-cleanse at night and use a nice oil. My mum looks amazing for her age and I strive to make sure that can look that good when I am her age! 

29 :: Smile and chat to anyone. People are really closed up these days, but if you take the time to catch someones eye and smile it can make all the difference.

30 :: Don't be afraid to live a slightly different life to 'the norm'. If you are not meant for marriage and babies, don't sweat it! If you are meant for travel and tattoos and shaving your head whilst dancing about with feathers, bloody go for it.

31 :: Boring, I know, but drink at least 2 litres of water per day and you will have so much more energy.

32 :: Always ask for help when you need it. It took me years to understand that asking for help was not a weakness.

33 :: Sometimes in life you just need to thrust your head into a bag of sweet and salty pop corn and eat your way out. 

34 :: No matter what mood you are in always show up to that days situation and be present in your own life, not just walking through it in a daze. It is somewhat trendy to say this at the moment, but it doesn't make it any less important.

35 :: If you think you should do something just go ahead and do it. If it fails, you have learned something. Nothing is a waste of time.

36 :: This is something I learned big time last year, and have been grateful for it happening ever since... when someone you care about shows you they are vulnerable or lets you in to a side of them you have never seen before, this is such a wonderful thing. It means they trust you and that they care enough about your friendship for them to 'let you in'. Never abuse this or take it lightly.

There you have it. I know there was a whole lot of cheesy stuff there but I feel that is what is needed sometimes (plus a Percy Pig of course*).

*If you are not familiar with Percy Pigs, they are only chewy sweets from a UK shop, but I love them!

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19 February 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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These Cornish weeks seem to fly by even quicker then the other ones. Here we are back at another Weekly Gratitude post already, when I am feeling as if I just posted the other one! It is safe to say that moving caught up with Joe and I this week. It got to Wednesday and we were both struck down with the most severe tiredness ever! It felt horrible and, to be honest, I initially didn't even compute the fact that it could be the move taking its toll. 

We are still fighting the 'internet monster' this week and are expecting another (poor) BT engineer tomorrow afternoon. We have internet at least, but it just needs a broom up its bottom (I'm desperately trying to be polite to the internet for fear of scaring it off!). Apparently, our village all has 'top-speed', it is just our cottage that has an attitude problem. Typical. I mean, two people who work from home don't really need the internet to be fast at all. Thanks tech-demons, thanks a lot! That all said, I did manage to upload the second 'Cornwall Relocation Vlog' this week and it only took just under two hours (much better than the 24 hours plus that YouTube previously quoted!). Because of the internet issues I now have three vlogs waiting in the wings to go up, just thought I would mention it! Eyes peeled to YouTube for the next one in a few days time.

I hope you guys are all having a great day. Today has been a seriously chilled one here, aside from a very sexy mission to track down a grill pan. Yep. A grill pan. In case you are dying to know how that went... it didn't, Amazon was the hero of the day in the end! Before I start telling you exciting stories about air-fresheners or cat litter, let's move on to the highlights of this past week!

:: I managed to join the gym, which I mentioned in my previous post. I serious love it in there guys! It feels good to be back to some kind of routine again. Plus, my first week back on 'macro counting' has gone well! Hurrah!

:: On Monday evening my daddy called me... on the phone... by himself. I am honestly not taking mick here, it's just that, anyone who knows my dad will tell you he 'doesn't use the phone'. We used to be home alone on Monday nights, whilst mum went off to her dance class, but now I am not there, he gave me a call. It was really lovely. Thanks Popple.

:: We walked one part of the coast path, going West, this week. Wowzers guys... the views! I have a vlog coming up with that walk in, so stay tuned. It was the warmest day ever and so clear. I feel so grateful to be here.

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: Joe and I have been making an effort to sit and eat at the kitchen table together each evening, now that we are finally spending the time with one another after four years of me not being home three to four days a week! It's been nice to step out of the lounge and actually talk or listen to something on the radio, cook and eat together.

:: It really has felt like spring is coming this week. Our garden has daffodils and buds forming everywhere and it brings so much promise with it. I can't wait for spring.

:: I had a wonderful delivery from Pullingers Art Shop this week, following an order I placed using the voucher the fab ladies at work got me! I recorded a mini art haul on one of the vlogs to follow (you have so much coming your way peeps!). I am so happy to have been able to get some much-needed bits and pieces so I can be newly inspired to paint!

:: Speaking of art, Joe and I visited Kurt Jacksons gallery in St Just this week too. I love his work so much, he really is a fave of mine. Check him out if you like seascapes and landscapes.

:: Sweet tea saved me yesterday, after we returned from the other coast path outside our house. We walked right up to the furthest point we can see from our garden, a total of nearly five miles. That in itself isn't too far but the terrain made it harder work! I loved every step, but after running up several steep inclines (I can't help it, it's a compulsion!) I felt exhausted and shaky by the time we fell through the garden gate back home.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks little round-up! I love writing these (made so much easier since I keep a daily gratitude journal as part of my Bullet Journal now - see my video for that here!). Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the two Cornwall Relocation vlogs if you fancy a watch.

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15 February 2017

LIFE LATELY

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I couldn't decide what to call this post when I sat down to write it; I wanted to hop on here and have a little chat about the last couple of weeks; it is all so overwhelming that my brain is not functioning on full power (hence the title struggle!). So, consider this a general 'life update' post!

Relocating to somewhere that we have always wanted to live is so unbelievably exciting, but it really takes some strength to leave one life behind and venture into another (even when you know the place you are moving to is amazing!). That said, it is surprising what inner strength and bravery you can muster when you realise that now is the right time to do it and you have to go for it.

As woo-woo as it sounds, I have been spending the last twelve months consciously trying to 'tune-in' to my intuition so, when we first came to start the whole process of moving to Cornwall in the summer of last year, I really tried to pay attention to how the situation we were looking into felt. You may remember we came to look at the Falmouth area in August because I had a job interview and we also viewed a house (it was a big 48 hours!), but something just didn't feel right about it, so nothing more happened. Then in November we viewed a gorgeous house in an idyllic village setting, that we adored but, once again, something just didn't feel right about it. I had all these deep-set feelings of unease and anxiety that were quite different to anything else I had felt before.

Some of you may know that I am into my spiritual stuff, and I talk to my guides/angels and regularly pick out cards to help give me inspiration for my day or week (I am no way near developed enough in this area but am trying to work on this specific area of my life daily). When all this ^^ was going on and I was getting feelings of unease, I did an angel card reading that told me to wait, not make any moves for a while and to tune in to my intuition.

After what felt like a lifetime, we finally saw the house we are in now on a property site on-line and arranged a viewing. Before the viewing I said to Joe 'that's our house', I knew it was the one, I felt it was right. Other people had booked viewings before ours and we knew that there was a high possibility that it would already be rented out before we even got to see it. As it turned out, everyone else cancelled and we were the first, and last, to view it. Everything else just seemed to slip into place from there, with no ill-feelings and no barriers. Maybe there is something in this intuition thing!

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Now we are moved in (second 'Relocation Vlog' going up on my YouTube channel as soon as the internet allows!) and most of our belongings have a home, life can now start being formed here. I must admit, it has been strange going about the usual, daily activities, somewhere normally associate d with holidays, but it feels so good.

Quick bit of moving advice anyone? Okay...

:: If you are moving somewhere that means you have to start over with everything you know, I would recommend that you quickly plan out how you are going to maintain the 'usual routines'. For me, joining a gym was a top priority, for both my mental and physical health. It is also something that gives me quite a lot of anxiety, despite being a regular gym-goer, so I felt it was important to just get it done, so I got my butt to the gym within a few days of being here and signed up immediately. I went for the first time yesterday. and it was so good to have that sense of normal life back again.

:: I would also recommend getting yourself a 'space' set up that allows you to feel like something familiar is in your new home. I set up my computer desk straight away, and started hanging some pictures around the place, it really helped my mind settle in.

:: It is also so important to take a step back, during the move, and take in your new surroundings and remind yourself of the 'why' behind the move. Yesterday we stepped out our little gate and walked the few metres to the coast path that leads around to Marazion. We walked for a while in the sunshine, and just took our time to appreciate how lucky we are to be here and to celebrate actually doing the move!

:: Get back in to a normal sleep pattern and eat healthy, nutritious food. Maybe it was just us, but moving meant quick snacks on the run and I really suffered, energy wise, as a consequence of this bad nutrition. I did, however, manage to drink so much water that my tonsils needed armbands, so that was a bonus!

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Plans for the next few weeks...

With only a few odds and ends left to do from the move I have a period of time ahead where I need more focus than ever. I am now ten days in to not having a full time job, which is so strange for me, but I want to make sure that I use my 'free' time effectively, whilst I have it. I am giving myself until the end of this week to finish the moving-house-jobs then, with Joe back at work on Monday, I will be hammering away at Leaf Lane Studio work, trying to increase what I do with From Lucy, with Love and also looking at setting up my Etsy shop too (all the while looking to pick up some regular hours somewhere else too). Any words of encouragement or advice are always welcome, so feel free to reach out if you have any nuggets of inspiration for me!

One last thing to mention is that, during the move, I re-visited some artwork that I have made over the years, including some limited edition dry-point prints that I did whilst at university. Over the next couple of weeks I will be photographing them and getting them on a temporary Instagram account, where they will be available to buy through PayPal, should you be interested in doing so. It will be a first come/first served, kind of deal, and you will need to comment with your PayPal email under the picture you would like. I will include all the details in the information below the picture, and will probably show everything one week in advance of it going on sale, remove all the images the day before and then start the sale (not everything will go up at once!). If you think you may be interested the best thing to do is to follow my 'fromlucywithloveblog' Instagram for now, but the temporary account is 'fromlucywithloveshop'... so, add both to be in the prime position!

Thank you so much for all your support guys, you really mean the world to me.

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12 February 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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This post is coming from Cornwall!! (*mini celebratory dance and song here*).

This post is also coming to you from super-slow internet! (*huge thumbs down emoji!*).

We had a poor, long-suffering BT engineer at the cottage on Wednesday from 9am until 5pm, bless his socks, I was ready to cook him dinner and add his name to the tenancy! He thought he'd worked out the issues but it turns out there is a 'network fault'... not sure what that means, other than we will have another engineer here on Monday! If it is the same guy I had better buy him some posh biscuits!

But, all that said, we are in the house! This has been the very first move that we have actually used a proper removal service. Last time we hired a van and just drove back and forth (moment to appreciate the fact that I loved driving a van!). Having two men lift all your worldly goods onto a truck, drive it to your new house and unload it again is bliss. They work hard! They were little superheros too... running about, disconnecting washing machines, reconnecting washing machines, banging their heads on strange shaped cottage ceilings and walls etc.

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So, with the kind of week we have had, forgive my 'moving to Cornwall' themed post this week; it was totally unavoidable! Let's get to this huge 'list of things I am immensely grateful for':

:: On Tuesday we arrived at the cottage to a hallway full of post. It was so lovely to see some familiar handwriting on the envelopes and be greeted by some happy words and well-wishes from people I/we love. Mum had sent us a card, along with a separate envelope addressed to the cat! Sweet and something that only people with pets would understand! I also had cards from work colleagues and my beautiful friend Helena. I cannot tell you how very grateful I felt to stand those cards on the window ledge right away! I had purposely put a card our hairdresser, Abi, gave us in to my handbag, so I had something to put up immediately!

:: Narcissus everywhere! My wonderful mum and dad sent us some Isles Of Scilly flowers, which arrived on Wednesday. There were so many, and I enjoyed every minute of filling up several vases with their gorgeous happy faces (they are my absolute favourites). They make the place smell so amazing too. 

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:: Everyday, other than yesterday, we have walked the two minute walk to the beach at the end of our road and looked out at the surfers, boats and huge tankers. Life on the coast is so much more interesting to me. So much is happening and nothing is ever the same from moment to moment. The nature shifts as the weather comes in from the sea and the locals are either in flip flops or wrapped up like snowmen! It is so much fun to see it pour with rain, then burst with sunshine and rainbows... that is one of the many reasons I love it here.

:: We have a garden with two separate parts to it and I am totally in love with the smaller area that has a massive table squashed in to it. It is such a gorgeous sun-trap which we took advantage of on Wednesday and sat out with tea, looking out to sea and dangling our legs over the edge of the table like kids! It feels like a dream here.

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:: On Friday I drove to pick up our 'little bear' from the cattery we put her in two weeks ago. She was her usual 'don't even look at me' self (always sulky post-cattery!) but she seems to have settled in. She had me on edge for a while after not emptying her bladder for 36 hours although I was assured, whilst registering her with the vet, that this is normal. I quite literally cried when she finally did it (sorry for over-sharing, but this blog is all about the realness of everyday life!).

:: I have so enjoyed unpacking my home-office bits and bobs. In our old house I had a room to myself which had two desks, one for computer work and the other for craft/painting. Because we have now got one room less, and definitely need the spare room for guests, I have now sorted myself out with my computer desk in the lounge, placing it next to a window so I can see the horizon. The art desk is in the spare room and facing a window for maximum daylight... also looking out to sea. I don't think I even imagined it could be so lovely! There is inspiration everywhere here.

:: For some reason, when we lived in Amesbury, we barely had any birds in our garden. Here in Cornwall we have lots and I couldn't be more thankful. There are robins everywhere here too and I adore those little guys!

:: Last night we ate yummy fish and chips (back to counting macros tomorrow!). We had promised ourselves this treat once we had moved in so Joe drove to our favourite shop in Carbis Bay, and returned home grasping hot fish and chips. I also had a small glass of 'grape juice' to go with it!

:: Dogs faces. Let me explain. From the back, our downstairs windows are on ankle-level to people walking by. This means that, rather than human eyes looking in, we have cute dog faces looking in... it makes me laugh every time it happens!

That is it for now, I could go on and on about all the things I am grateful for this week, but had better not over-do it for fear of running out of future content! I hope you guys are all doing well. From tomorrow I am back on another twelve week 'mini cut', like the one I did before. I would love you guys to hold me accountable but if you are on a health and fitness mission why not let me know and then we can stay in touch and cheer one another on! I will be more active on Instagram and will also be using my hashtag #fromlucywithlovefitness so jump aboard the motivation train, there is nothing better than helping each other out and keeping the inspiration and motivation high!

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5 February 2017

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

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As I sit at my computer typing this I am very gritty-eyed and heavy-hearted, but not in a sad way, well, sad because I already miss some of my work buddies, despite only saying goodbye to them yesterday, but other than that I am happy for the coming days and weeks, as we move our whole life to Cornwall and start all over again. I feel heavy hearted for the close of a chapter of my life that meant so much to me, but it was the right time and the right thing to do, it was just very, very hard for my poor little brain to comprehend! Not only that but, this morning, I had to drive away from my mum and dads house for the last time for a while and that was tough too.

It is such a bitter-sweet time. I am ready to start a new adventure and ready to get things I have only ever dreamed about up and running. I am ready to make some new friendships and push myself in new ways that will align my life with where I want it to be. Anyone who has ever gone through a big move will understand the emotional roller-coaster that it involves.

Everyone at work was saying to me 'you mustn't be doing much this week' but, honestly, it was one of the busiest weeks I have had in a long old time (it was also pretty great fun too!). I was utterly spoilt on my last day and I was/am still completely overwhelmed by it all.

Here are some highlights and moments of gratitude from the week gone by:

:: Flowers, flowers everywhere! I have been such a lucky girl this week, receiving several bouquets of flowers from different people at work, including some from the lovely sixth form dance students and some from a company we work with, who I communicate with several times a week. Over a few years, even though we have never met, I feel like we have forged a friendship and manage to cheer each other up when we are having difficult times. When their flowers were delivered I was so grateful (they sent me a leaving card the very next day too, with some lovely words inside). I also had the most beautiful flowers I have ever received, given to me by a colleague at work. Honestly, they are gorgeous guys! Just see the picture for evidence!

:: My buddy at work, CB, made my week super special. She has always been the school nutter in many ways. Don't feel bad for her... my statement is totally justified, I mean, she wrapped my office in yellow paper, it was over everything. What couldn't be wrapped had a yellow post it note stuck to it. That was a couple of years ago and I was still finding post-its as I packed my office away. This week she continued her reputation but leaving a variety of gifts on my desk including: a bucket and spade, flip-flops, giant sunglasses, many tissues (for my many tears), a bag of pressies that were all the colour blue (because work '...will be blue without me'...bless!), teddies, chocolate, protein bars (whoop whoop!) and then at my leaving party, last night, I got a whole other bag of treats. I love that woman! 

:: I was also fortunate to receive some amazing gifts from other colleagues. I can't list them all but I am so grateful for everything these guys did for me. My Yateley School family have been wonderful and I shall miss them all so much.

:: Salted caramel cheesecake. Mum cooked a special meal on Thursday night. There was salted caramel cheesecake from Marks and Sparks and it was amazing. That's all there is to say about that!

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:: I got a rather cute jumper from a brand called Squidgys this week and I love it! I am not the biggest coffee fan at all and definitely think there is a gap in the market for a 'Carbs, Cocopops and Cuddles' jumper but, for now, I will feign an interest in coffee!

:: I am super grateful for the fact that there is now less than a week to go before we collect our little bear and take her to her new house. I am a little anxious about it but not as much as I was for her being in a car for five hours!

:: After thinking that I was going to have to move to Cornwall in desperate need of a hair cut, my gorgeous (and ever-so-lovely hairdresser), Abi, managed to squeeze my mess of hair in to her schedule this week! Phew! No Worzel Gummidge hair for me! Thanks Abi <3

:: Puppy cuddles. My final thing to mention is how amazing it was to have a surprise visit from little Huxley (I am his God/Dog Mother, in case you wondered!!). I am clearly not going to see him for a while as he lives with his mummy in Southampton, but he was brought to see me on Wednesday and I was so happy to see him! If you want to see a clip of Huxley (he is adorable) click here!

That is all for this week! I have to get back to putting our lives in a box! Thank you so much for all the support you have given me with this massive move. You guys are amazing.

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1 February 2017

GET INSPIRED BY PODCASTS

Last year I did a short post about some of my favourite on-line resources, including some podcasts, but having discovered quite a few more that I cannot wait to listen to when they fall into my podcast app, I thought I would dedicate an entire post to the lovely people who keep me company on my journey to and from work!

Obviously, what I listen to, and what you may want to listen to, will be different, but some of these are transferable between interests anyway! Mostly I love listening to creatives, entrepreneurs and lifestyle coaches. I enjoy coming away from an episode feeling inspired, motivated and super keen to get going on a new idea. That said, there are so many podcasts to choose from out there that, no matter what your interests, there will be something for you. It took me a while to find the ones I really enjoy, but once you find one or two, you will usually find others through the guests they are chatting to or in their show notes. 

Here are my current list of favourites:

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The Strategy Hour with Abagail and Emylee

Suitable for: Anyone wanting to start a creative business or improve the running of their current business.

Overview: These ladies know how to motivate! Not only do they discuss really relevant subject matters like creating a premium client experience, getting noticed, how to handle too many ideas at once, frugal habits of successful entrepreneurs, how to make the most of your day and loads more, but they give awesome, actionable steps and tip that can be implemented right away.

My favourite episode: Shiny Object Syndrome

Website: Think Creative Collective - head over there for more information about other things these ladies do, such as their blog and whilst you are there subscribe to their newsletter and check out their awesome, free, course about getting the best out of your business and being productive and all round fabulous!

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Creative Biz Rebellion with Kelly and Caroline

Suitable for: Any creative-types running a product-based business or on-line shop.

Overview: This is quite a new podcast but, in a short space of time, it has rocketed up my faves list! Kelly and Caroline really know how to cut through the waffle and get straight to the stuff you need to know to run a successful on-line shop or product-based business.

My favourite episode: Instagram: How we rock it! (but there are so many good episodes!)

Website: Creative Biz Rebellion - also check out the two separate business these guys run. Kelly runs Hello World Paper Co and Kelly Parker Smith Surface Pattern Design Studio and Caroline runs Caroline Creates, a lovely little gifts and stationary company.

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She Creates Business, a Podcast for Wedding Pros with Kinsey

Suitable for: Anyone wishing to learn more about running a business within the wedding industry.

Overview: This was such an amazing find, actually it was a recommendation from a Gemma Sands, who hosts another fave podcast of mine. When I discovered She Creates Business, I felt like I had fallen on my feet because it specific to the industry I am about to launch a business in. Kinsey has such a welcoming approach to her interviews and is so transparent that you always feel like you learn something new. If you like a more gentle approach then you will love this.

My favourite episode: Alex Estes: The Prairie Letter Shop (this is more specific to me as I loved the wedding stationary chat, but there are lots of great episodes, including general business discussions like Branding (talks about wedding industry branding but you can take something away from it regardless) and Instagram/Pinterest strategy for business.

Website: She Creates Business Podcast

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Boss Girl Creative with Taylor

Suitable for: Anyone wanting to dig into blogging or creative business.

Overview: This podcast is a real celebration of 'girl bosses' and how they achieve success through their blogs/businesses. The interviews are honest and open and Taylor answers some burning questions we all have about blogging/running a business.

My favourite episode: Busting Through Overwhelm

Website: Boss Girl Creative (for the podcast) plus you may want to check out Taylors own blog, Pink Heels Pink Truck, which covers a variety of topics including beauty, diy and style!

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Free to Flourish Radio with Gemma Sands

Suitable for: A whole host of people! If you are looking to boost your self-esteem, improve wellness, be inspired in your day to day life, then Gemma's podcast is one to check out.

Overview: Gemma is awesome, you guys will know this because I think I mention her at least a hundred times a week, but her Free to Flourish episodes are focused towards helping you led a 'heart-led life' through tips around the subjects of wellness, meditation, business and essential oils. Check it out, I promise you won't be disappointed!

My favourite episode: How to Step Out of Your Own Way (but they are all incredible!)

Website: Gemma Sands (go to Gemma's website for all her information, including her blog, podcast episode and much more good stuff!).

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Being Boss with Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon

Suitable for: Creative entrepreneurs

Overview: These two ladies have to be the most 'bad-ass' ladies I think I listen to. They know business and they grab it by the balls and are so damn successful it hurts! They have been doing this podcast for such a long time that I can't even choose a favourite one. They interview the best of the best and are giving such awesome advice through their full episodes and mini-episodes that all I can say is get over there and subscribe immediately!

Website: Being Boss - you can also find them over at their individual business sites. Emily runs Indie Shopography and Kathleen is the boss-lady over at Braid Creative.

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Earn Your Happy with Lori

Suitable for: Everyone!

Overview: With a background in the fitness industry but also living life as a business-woman, Lori is able to help give you tips and tools to live your best life. Episodes discuss things like busting through your fears, keeping track of habits and achieving life/business goals.

My favourite episode: Six Steps We Take to Achieve Goals

Website: Lori Harder

They are my current favourites guys, but I have recently added a few new discoveries to my subscriptions and will definitely let you know if any of them are worth checking out. 

If you have any favourites then be sure to let me know in the comments, I would love to know who inspires you, no matter what the subject matter!

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