22 April 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


Sunday, you little scamp, you come around so fast! This week has been ever so slightly bonkers, but in a good way! Right now I am as high as a kite as I am on a refeed day (carbs my friend, I love you so!) and, after this post has gone live I will be heading to bed for a nap! So, before I doze off, let's get cracking with today's post!

:: As you guys may know if you follow me on social media, I had hit a bit of a brick wall, both mentally and physically, recently, which had a ridiculous impact on my ability to human, more specifically to string a sentence together or come up with any new ideas for content for anything (bloody awful that writers block!). I am happy to report that I have had ideas flooding out of my little brain-box all week and have busy scribbling things down left, right and centre. Maybe it's the sun that has recharged my batteries; whatever it was that gave me a kick up the backside I am happy about it! I have been working hard on Leaf Lane Studio this week, on a blog post series that I am really excited about, all about budget wedding dresses, where I focus on a different style of high-street dress every single day (all for under £250). I would love you to head over to check out the business blog!

:: On Friday I received the cutest parcel ever from Sammy at Two Kissing Fish, a Cornwall based business, who will be featuring on this blog very soon! Sammy got in touch with me offering me one of her amazing pictures, handmade and personalised to whatever I wanted and so I asked if she wanted to answer some questions about running a business for a blog post and she agreed! Stay tuned for more on lovely Sammy and her cool little business. Thanks again Sammy for sending the picture, we love it so much!

:: I can't remember which night it was, but one night this week I had the worst nights sleep ever and just felt really fidgety and uncomfortable all night long. You know how it is when you wake up and keep saying to yourself 'go back to sleep' and then end up turning over and over (and over!) until you are all hot and bothered and stressed? It got to the point where I nearly got up at 3am but I laid there and decided to bring in a bit of mindfulness and tuned into Gizmo's little purr/snore combo that she was doing. There was something about listening to that gorgeous little fur-ball that calmed me down and enabled me to finally get some sleep; I adore that cat you know!

:: With the weather turning to heaven on a stick this week I have taken advantage of it and moved my office outside a couple of times (by office, I mean my notebook!). Sitting outdoors, working away with nothing but bird song, the sound of the sea and pub-food smells for company was super relaxing and I am so grateful for the weather turning.
:: On Thursday evening, after dinner, we took a walk to the beach, which is literally two minutes away on foot from our gate, and stood in the final rays of sun, watching the waves crashing in. It was a perfect end to a lovely spring day.

:: I am now at the end of my fourth week of counting macros again and am just over nine pounds down but, more importantly, I have lost inches too and I am so proud that I have achieved that because it is a bloody struggle this time round. If you missed Wednesdays post then you missed me chattering on about image and learning to love my body again, check it out!

:: As part of my refeed day I have been able to have a little treat and I chose a tub of Halo Top ice cream, it is only 300 cals per whole tub and tastes so good! Have you tried it?

That's really about it for this week! I am throwing myself into my gym sessions and macros tomorrow and hope to report more results next week! You guys help keep me accountable; if anyone else is trying to make some changes, either healthy eating or training, or both, then let me know in the comments so we can be in this together!
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18 April 2018

LEARNING TO LOVE MY BODY



I wanted to talk a little bit today about our own perception of ourselves, what we think others see when they meet us verses what they actually think! Not sure that made any sense but let's jump into it!

Some of you may already know that, about a month ago, I started another 'healthy eating' plan and, so far it is going well; I am four weeks in, half a stone lighter and staying totally on track with it all. When I mention my feelings on my body/weight to people it is often met with 'but you look fine as you are' and sometimes a little confusion over why I take things to the extreme when I put myself on these twelve week intensive plans, and this is what I wanted to talk about with you.

Life can be really bloody testing sometimes and we have all experienced physical insecurities for sure (we are, after all, only human!) but why are we so hard on ourselves when, the reality is, we would never be that hard on someone else! I was writing some blog posts for Leaf Lane Studio this week about different styles of wedding dresses and I was very determined not to keep referring to dresses as 'suiting this body type or that body shape', because that plants very negative feelings for someone and personally speaking I hate that kind of stuff! Whilst typing the posts up I was working my way through the dresses and thinking how amazing all different kinds of brides would look in them, so I tried to really boost the body positivity thing, because I genuinely believe people need to hear it and I really believe in getting that message out there, but then I realised something...

Guys, I am a f**king nightmare to myself when it comes to this stuff. How can I stand there and hand out advice and positivity to people and try and big other women up about how beautiful they are whilst I still feel super negative about my own body? WTF is that about?! Don't get me wrong, there are certainly good days where I just kind of accept where I am; a 37 year old woman who goes to the gym four to five times a week and is super careful with her diet (but also has hormones that can't decide what they are doing and a metabolic rate that looks at an oat and gains a pound!) but a large amount of my week is staring at myself in a mirror, grasping on to fat that I feel needs to 'do one' fast and wondering if I will ever feel comfortable in my own skin.

Some of you know my journey: when I was a bit younger I was a lot bigger, I qualified to work as a personal trainer, taught lots and lots of classes too, and worked with so many people towards their goals, but it is an ongoing battle for me. What I do feel though is that, despite personal thoughts on my own appearance, I will always be the one to hand out compliments and they will always be genuine and heartfelt because I never want anyone feeling how I felt at the hands of the people who told me how fat and ugly I was every single day. It really does stick in your brain doesn't it.

Much like the morning meditation I am currently doing, which is a manifestation/law of attraction thing, I see the whole giving other people a bit of positivity thing working much the same way on my own psyche; the more you say these things and look at all kinds of bodies with kindness, love and as having their own story to tell, that those happy thoughts will soak into my own mind and gradually water down the shit. It is happening, just very slowly. 

This time round, as I weigh out and measure out my food, train even though I am exhausted and drink enough water to re-float a sunken ship, I am really questioning my next move. What am I going to do post-plan? How am I going to stay positive and upbeat when I reintroduce foods that I really crave and I am just thinking that I will only succeed if I start to work on that mindset right now, rather than drop off the end of twelve weeks work into a dark hole of despair and self-loathing again. It is really tricky isn't it? 

What I do know is this: I am 37 and I do not want to still be feeling like I am at 40! So, I am learning every day, trying to practice a bit of self love every day too (by saying nice things to myself) and unpicking the places within my lifestyle that I may need to make a change of routine happen quickly.

That was all a bit of a mind-dump wasn't it! What are your opinions on this subject when it comes to your own body? I am keen to get your advice on how you feel good every single day or, if you used to feel bad about yourself and now feel better, how did you get there? If you fancy a chat in the comments I would love to hear from you!
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15 April 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


If you are reading this on the day it comes out then happy Sunday evening! I have had a full on day of jobs to do so have only just got around to finishing this post! Apologies! How has everyone's week been? Let me know your highlights in the comments! Shall we hop right on in? Okay then!

:: Mum and dad were visiting this week and we had a roast dinner the day they arrived, which was super delicious; even mine, which I had to edit somewhat to fit my macros! They also bought us a few new plants for our garden and potted them up too whilst we were working, which was lovely!

:: I have continued on my healthy eating this week and managed to lose a little more weight, bringing my total loss to half a stone now. I am more focused on the fat I am trying to lose than the actual weight (as we all know that is a stupid thing to fixate on don't we!) and just want to fit comfortably into a size 12 (I am sort of between sizes right now) so I am pushing forward and doing my best not to sit myself down in the sweets isle of the supermarket and stuff my face!


:: Yesterday Joe and I took advantage of the sunshine, and our National Trust membership, and went back to Godolphin House, which is one of my favourite places to visit and it is just up the road too. We always miss the house being open but, this time we were super lucky to be one of a very small group allowed in on Saturday. The house is usually rented out three weeks of the month, and only open to the public on the first week in the month, but it just so happened to be empty this weekend and so they were asking visitors if they wanted a tour! Being the history nerd I am I was all over the opportunity, and it was wonderful! When I am in old houses like that, I can't help but visualise what it must have been like all those years ago, such as in the 1600's, when the family were there with guests of great importance arriving, and how amazing it must have been to own the property and walk through the gardens all alone. The gardens really are so beautiful; I would highly recommend you check them out if you are in the West of Cornwall, you won't regret it (just try to make it on a day the house is open!).

:: On Friday I had a much needed catch up with one of my most favourite humans, Gemma Sands. If you are new to my blog then you won't know much about Gemma, but I mention her a lot here, and not without great reason; she is such a beautiful soul. Gemma took me under her wing (about a million years ago) to coach me towards launching Leaf Lane Studio, and the poor thing has been stuck with me ever since. I am so grateful for her and all she has done, and continues to do, for me and am so proud to call her a friend. She means the world and it was wonderful to catch up and see how things are going. I highly rate Gemmas podcast if you fancy gaining some of her knowledge in bite-sized chunks via the medium of the interwebs!

:: This afternoon, after I had done most of my 'to-do' list and struggled through half an hour of cardio (I am sore all over from training this week!), I treated myself to the best Epsom salt bath ever. I popped on a podcast and just laid there for twenty minutes, totally chilled out. I then got into bed for an hours sleep! It is one of my favourite things to do these days: training, bath, nap! Try it, it really is amazing!

:: I have resurrected an old dieting favourite this week by way of protein ice cream, i.e. mixing a shake as normal, but maybe slightly less almond milk, and then putting it into the freezer for an hour to an hour and a half. I use a strawberry flavour one which tastes like Angel Delight when frozen (I am waiting for it to set as I type actually!). It is such a 'hack' if you are in need of something sweet and want to fool yourself into pudding!

That is all I have for you for this week guys! I am off for a much needed 'sit' as I have spent the past weeks worth of evenings sticking boxes together so am looking forward to relaxing on the sofa! I am also having a rest day from training tomorrow as I feel bruised all over, so no 5.15am alarm tomorrow for me! What are you up to next week?
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8 April 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Well, I had a bit of time off there didn't I? Sorry guys. I haven't quite been feeling myself emotionally or physically for a couple of weeks but I think I am back to (almost) 'normal', well, my normal anyway! I started typing this post for last week so I am going to leave it as it was and add some other stuff in for jolly good measure (plummy British accent needed for that obviously!). How are all you guys doing? Has the sun come out where you are too? It's bloomin' gorgeous in Cornwall today, which is just as well to be honest, as my parents are on their way and it usually rains especially for them!

Let's get into the yummy stuff of the post shall we (let me know what you're grateful for this week in the comments!).

:: Some how I have managed to lose just over five and a half pounds this last two weeks, since hopping back on my counting macros plan; I am guessing a large amount of that is water weight, but all will be revealed when I take my measurements! It is still a bit of a booster, mentally speaking, so I'm certainly not complaining.

:: I always find a new healthy routine (food wise) a little challenging at first and so, when I find something that helps keep my sweet tooth happy I am all of a celebration (oooh, Celebrations!). This time I have taken a liking to the 'Options' hot chocolate in the honeycomb flavour! It is low on calories and carbs and so slots right in to the plan! Plus, it smells like a Crunchie bar (and tastes (almost) like one too).

:: I have been having a funny old 'brain week' this last week and have basically done 70% sleeping and 30% trying to function as a human. It has been really difficult but also really interesting to allow the process to just happen and see what comes up in my head. I am fighting a few demons to do with life at the moment but I am really liking that my attitude to it all has shifted recently and that I try to deal with things in a logical way rather than getting struck down with deep depression for days. My morning meditation has helped so much! I am also grateful for Joe not wanting to stab me in the eyes with a sharp implement for all my napping and general moping!



:: Sometimes I do forget how close we are to the sea and, last Sunday afternoon, whilst having one of my many recent naps, I was laid in bed all cosy and had a warm breeze coming in through the window and could hear the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks down the road. It was one of the most relaxing little afternoon snoozes ever!

:: I must mention a podcast episode that I really enjoyed listening to this week with Jen Carrington and Sara Tasker (from the well know Instagram profile and blog 'Me and Orla'); the episode was Jen interviewing Sara and is definitely worth a listen, check it out here. I love both these amazing ladies individually, but to hear them together was so inspirational. 

:: Wednesday was such a beautiful day here that it felt like summer had arrived; everything looked super green, alive and fresh in the garden and Gizmo was loving it! She rolls about in the sunshine all full of life and spends hours climbing trees, exploring next doors garden and waiting by our back gate for the next vole to run past. Whilst the last one isn't ideal (having spent hours trying to get rid of a mouse last year) I do love to see her so content.



:: I am really trying to up my game with Leaf Lane Studio, so whilst I am doing that I may have to let my vlogs slip a bit, but what I am doing more of and will aim to improve on (fast!) is Insta-stories on my Leaf Lane Studio and blog Instagram, so make sure you are following along to keep up with the exciting life I lead of naps, tea and cat snuggles!

:: I mentioned my new morning meditation routine recently and I thought I would share the YouTube video I am doing (not that there is anything to watch... just set it playing and off you go!). It is all about the law of attraction and manifesting and I find that the ten minutes is just the right length for me, mostly because I seem to have the attention span of a soggy cornflake. If you are interested in giving it a go, here is the link to the video for you. After the meditation I always sit for a couple of minutes and journal about what I am trying to attract into my life as if it is already a thing. So, I am writing as if I already have everything I need in my life and getting into the head space of how that feels... it really does kick start the day and I am loving it! If you do something similar let me know!

That is all for this week lovelies as I have to get back to gluing mug boxes together (I know, I know, how much more rock and roll can I get!). Have a fab rest of weekend and I will see you later in the week! Come say hi over on Insta!

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28 March 2018

TAKING STOCK | MARCH 2018



It's been a long time since I did an end of month 'Taking Stock', monthly round up post, and I just fancied doing it this week, so here we go, let's launch right on into it!

m a k i n g :: lots of watercolour paintings for a new wedding stationery collection for Leaf Lane Studio! I am currently creating a collection that is fresh and green and, well, leafy! So far I am really liking how it's going, so stay tuned for that! I am also making lots of other bits and bobs for the general products section of the business, i.e. not wedding related, so I am really looking forward to sharing those things with you too!

c o o k i n g :: batches of healthy dinners! I am back on the counting macros thing and being very careful with what I am eating and the quantities of it.

d r i n k i n g :: loads and loads of water (and less tea...boo!).

r e a d i n g :: I haven't had an awful lot of time for reading recently, I mostly listen to podcasts, but I love catching up with blog posts, specifically the beautiful Peta's 'Wonderful Wednesday' posts!

w a n t i n g :: a little hair cut and fresh highlights for spring.

p l a y i n g :: Jenna Kutcher's podcast 'Goal Digger' - I love her and think she is super inspirational.

d e c i d i n g :: what products you guys might like me to create for my shop (notebooks/stickers/to-do lists etc...comment below!)

w i s h i n g :: I could feel less tired! I seem to be super lethargic right now and it is starting to get me down a bit :-(

e n j o y i n g :: watching the gorgeous birds bathing in a little tray that we have left out in the garden for them. I sat having breakfast this morning and watched as a robin enjoyed a wash in the sunshine, it was so sweet!

w a t c h i n g :: I was glued to a short series on Netflix recently called 'She Wolves'. It is a documentary about England's Queens and the struggles they faced being rulers as women, particularly way back in time. I absolutely love history and am always looking for documentaries to watch, so if you can recommend any feel free to let me know! 

l i k i n g :: my new Orson jeans from Topshop. Recently many of my clothes have been falling apart so I saved for a new slim-leg pair. I haven't got anything from Topshop for a long time, but these seemed perfect and they are also high waisted so they are a dream! I ordered them a little shorter in length so they sit about ankle length; perfect for spring and summer!

w o n d e r i n g :: how I can get a job napping for a living... as well as my actual business of course!

l o v i n g :: going to bed with a drop of my doTERRA lavender oil under my pillow, it is so relaxing and instantly helps to calm my mind as I drift off to sleep.

h o p i n g :: to try some of the Halo Top ice cream on my 're-feed' day! (Have you tried it? What is  it like?!)

m a r v e l l i n g :: over the speed my back has started to recover. I honestly feel so lucky to be able to be back at the gym already, albeit light and somewhat easy in intensity in comparison to what I would normally do, but it is good to be doing something.

n e e d i n g :: a really warm day, a chair in the sun and a good book!

s m e l l i n g :: my beautiful narcissus that I have in the house!

w e a r i n g :: a very strange combination of clothes recently! Due to the bad weather I have been so layered up that I really do look like a crazy person! 

f o l l o w i n g :: the Salisbury spy poisoning incident with great interest; before we moved to Cornwall we used to live right next to the city and the bench that the story is centered around is somewhere we would walk past regularly. It is so strange to see somewhere you know very well on the news. We live in mysterious times don't we.

n o t i c i n g :: so many beautiful tulips pushing their way up throughout the garden, some are flowering and some are just coming up, but they cheer me up to see them appearing.

k n o w i n g :: that I am on the right path. I have up and down days with my new career path (starting a business is amazing, but very, very hard) and I love it so much, but struggle a lot with momentum some times. I am learning to go with the flow though and realising that, on some weeks I will feel unmotivated and on others there will be no stopping me, and that is okay!

t h i n k i n g :: about peanut M&M's constantly... it's a real problem!
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25 March 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Today marks the start of a big few months for me, which I will talk about on Wednesday I think, as it will take up way too much space here otherwise! This week, despite the rain fall here in Cornwall, has been a really positive one. I have been consistent with my little morning routine of ten minutes of uplifting meditation, using peppermint essential oil to help energise and uplift my mood (seriously guys, this is so awesome) and I have been journaling after my meditation too, just writing really positive little goals and dreams on paper. I am trying to work a bit with the law of attraction and manifest all the good stuff... I'll keep you posted on that :-)

:: This week I went back to very (very) light gym training in the form of cardio only, just to ease my back into it and to see what it felt like afterwards. I am so lucky that I have recovered so fast (obviously I am not fully back to normal yet, but I am well on my way for sure) and I feel so grateful that the pain has been minimal. It has really made me take stock of how amazing the body can be.



:: I have had a 'good art week' this week; meaning I actually managed to be patient with myself for once and allow myself proper time to create what I set out to create. I am super impatient with myself a lot of the time and label myself a big, fat failure if I can't do something I want to do on the first attempt. I have been working on a new wedding stationery collection, themed around leaves and foliage, that I want to be super fresh and clean looking and I am really happy with where things are going with it! I tried a few different things and really enjoyed the process of it all.

:: Speaking of art... I stumbled across the wonderful Katie Moody recently, a gorgeous illustrator / artist / all round lovely human (bean!) and spent way too much time this week admiring her from a suitable Instagram distance! Then, on... Wednesday (I think), I open up my Insta to a little message from her and I was the happiest ever! It gave me a little spring in my step to have a chat with someone I really admire online.

:: Yesterday morning, just before the rain hit, Joe and I managed to get a little walk in. It was possibly the muddiest walk I have ever experience and, I have to admit, I felt like a right wally when we got over taken by a cool surfer dude, who was easily navigating the mud in just his wet-suit, whilst I walked like I had wet myself across the slippery surface! In my defense, I was just being super careful not to slip and hurt my back even more!



:: You guys know that I get endless hours of entertainment from our little bear (Gizmo the cat... just in-case you may be new around these parts!) and this week I discovered her new little 'look-out' spot, up the weather-beaten old apple tree at the back of our garden that looks out to sea. She reminds me of a little sailor, up the crows nest of a ship, keeping watch for anything of interest! She is awful at climbing though and looks very un-lady-like on her way down!

:: Today we woke up to bright sunshine and it was beyond needed and oh so beautiful. After I had been to the gym we decided to make the most of the clear, sunny day and head to the coast path by Godrevy and have a walk. It was very clear and so pretty; the sea was super blue and the colours in the rocks seemed to jump right out in contrast; I love days like this. We have not long come back from a short walk to the beach by the cottage, which was mostly quiet, other than a few dogs playing in the sea and some surfers/paddle-boarders enjoying the lighter evening!

It's a bit of shorter one this week, as I have still been keeping myself to myself to help my back recover really, but I hope that the warmer weather approaching will mean more adventures very soon!

Thank you so much for reading this weekends post, I hope you have a lovely week ahead; in the meantime, here are a few more pictures from today to remind you that the sun is still out there!

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21 March 2018

DEALING WITH DIFFICULT THINGS


I'm the sort of person who, given half the chance, will ignore certain things in my life if I am tired, overwhelmed or just unsure on how to handle them. Sometimes things just get a bit much don't they and, during those times, it is super easy to bury your head in the sand and wait for the storm to pass (which it usually does, only to spring up ten times stronger somewhere else!).

I am learning so much having my own business to promote and often find myself really picking myself to pieces over the things I haven't done yet and, it was only when I heard someone on a podcast say 'we (small business owners) are just one person trying to do the job of several people rolled into one' that I realised that I needed to give myself a bit of time to get my head around this whole business thing. I am always going to be the type of person who thinks I should know how to do everything immediately and I should be able to do it all perfectly. I mean, how high do I want to set this bar of mine? The fall is sometimes so great that I take days to recover, rather than setting realistic expectations for myself from the start! As a result I end up feeling disconnected, not good enough and generally a bit of a failure.

As you will see, if you watch my latest vlog (linked at the bottom of this post!), I got so fed up with my mood last Friday, that I sat and wrote down everything that was whirling about in my head and just looked at it all individually. A lot of what I wrote down were things I hope to achieve; positive, inspirational goals and dreams that I want for my business or for myself, but they had turned into something I was struggling with because I have so many ideas in my head that I don't move forward on any of them. That causes frustration and puts out any fire of creativity I have, so I decided that I would just write all my ideas down and start working on them in a logical way... item one on the 'how to deal with difficult things' list! I always find list-keeping a way of keeping my head in order and that is why keeping a Bullet Journal works for me so well. I really like to see my tasks ticked off and feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I do everything on my list.

Another way I like to deal with difficult things is to start the day right. I am a huge believer that if you start your day by jumping right on into the worry and angst of work, or whatever it might be, that your brain just stays in that mode and it is very hard to bring back a more positive vibe. Most days I do some form of exercise in the morning; usually I get to the gym by 6.30-6.45am and get my training done and it feels so good (once I'm there and warmed up!). I feel so invigorated after a workout that I am ready for my to-do list and energised for the day ahead. 
A new thing that I have added to my morning routine thanks, once again, to Gemma Sands, is a little peppermint essential oil. I heard Gemma talk on her podcast, about how she pops a couple of drops of peppermint and wild orange oil onto her palms each morning and rubs them together, taking a few deep breaths to help invigorate and energise the body. Gemma sent me a little set of oils for my birthday and I have recently started using the peppermint for this exact thing each morning, followed by a ten minute meditation all about bringing abundance into your life. I don't know whether the oil is responsible, but I haven't had my 2 o'clock 'slump' hit me since using it... I will keep you posted on that!

Part of the reason why I am talking about how to deal with difficult things, as and when they come up, is all about self-development. This year I am consciously trying to heal some of the patterns that I have seen occur over and over again in my life and, to get over them, I think I need to face them head on. It is so hard and very draining to pick yourself apart but when you do it, and realise what you learn, it is so freeing. Podcasts really help me to dig a bit deeper into my psyche; some favourites are Gemma's 'Free to Flourish Radio', Julia Treat's 'Stepping into the Light' (a more spiritual one), and Lori Harder's 'Earn Your Happy' podcast, but there are so many good ones out there. I want to be captivated when I listen to a show and feel so much better about myself and learn ways to not 'sweat the small stuff'. 

What do you guys to when you are faced with something that really tests you in life? I am totally up for any tips and tricks you may want to share in the comments!

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18 March 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Happy Sunday everyone! As I sit, finishing off this weeks Gratitude List, it has just started snowing! I think it looks so pretty, but I am really ready for the warmer weather that spring brings now! It has felt like a very wet winter period and I am more than grateful for that, as we need water too, but the selfish side of me, who needs sunlight to function, is ready now! Has it been snowing where you are? 

The wonderful news for me this week is that my back is feeling so much better! It has had a couple of 'blips' but overall is doing good, hooray to that! I will be back at the gym tomorrow for some gentle exercise, which is awesome because I hate missing training!

Let's jump into this weeks happenings and gratitude!

:: On Friday I found myself in a bit of a 'funky' mood. Unfortunately, it wasn't the kind of cool-funky you are probably envisioning, but a more I-have-so-many-things-in-my-brain-I-don't-know-where-to-start kind of funky! My head was swimming with both positive, inspirational thoughts and some little, annoying, negative ones which were causing me to feel somewhat stuck. I decided that the best course of action was to get a blank sheet of paper and write it all out, in no particular way really, simply list all the mind-crap on a piece of paper. Once I did that I cast it to one side and popped on some podcasts including Gemma Sands 'Free to Flourish Radio', episode 46 'Be Responsible for Your Energy' and Julia Treat's 'Stepping into the Light', an episode called 'The Importance of Allowing the True You to Shine Through'. Isn't it funny how sometimes things come along that totally resonate at that specific moment, about that specific thing you are experiencing? I am super grateful for these two ladies and their podcasts, they are my absolute favourites by a long way and I highly recommend them. As an additional note, yesterday I listened to Gemma's latest episode, 'Five Steps to Gaining Momentum in Your Life', which I would also recommend, as it is super motivational! 

:: This week I got to have an actual telephone conversation with my 'Lobster', otherwise known as my bestie, Helena! Her and her hubby, having recently relocated to Lynmouth, to run a bed and breakfast, have just reopened for the season, and have spent their time off totally redecorating and jazzing up their gorgeous B & B! If you fancy a weekend break in Devon please check out Lynmouth and their bed and breakfast, East Lyn House, as it is truly gorgeous! Our busy lives mean that we touch base over WhatsApp but don't get to see each other at all now really, so I am always grateful for a girly natter! 


:: I am so grateful to be living right by a beach. We have taken a few walks this week and they always remind me to step back from the bigger things that we take on board in life and remember that we truly are somewhere amazing. There is something new to see each time we walk the same path and the sea is forever changing and I absolutely love it.

:: On the subject of nature... on Thursday, around 4am, Gizmo wanted to go outside and, as I stood at the door, waiting for her to take her tail with her (she always sits for ages making up her mind, knowing that, if she leaves her tail over the threshold, I won't shut the door!) I noticed just how super-clear the sky was. I stepped out, bare foot (so cold!) and just stared up at the stars for a couple of minutes; I don't think I have ever seen so many, it was so beautiful. It made me think about clear, warm summer nights, when we sit out on our garden chairs and look up for ages without fear of catching pneumonia!

:: As a total stationery freak (who's with me... comment below!), I jumped for joy when these mini, pastel highlighters arrived this week! Aren't they so cute? Honestly, I wish I would just have a job testing stationery out forever more, it is my 'thing' and I can't get enough!



:: I have mentioned this lady before but I thought I would mention her again as she makes me feel grateful and happy every single time I see any of her Instagram Stories! Who is this magical unicorn lady? Her name is Emily Coxhead and I highly suggest you check her Instagram out, because everyone needs a bit of her happiness! (She also has a book out called 'Make Someone Happy and Find Your Own Happiness Along the Way: a Creative Kindness Journal', which I am desperate to get my paws on at some point!). I totally resonate with this beauty as, not only do I also sing and dance at my computer whilst I work (I just don't have the balls to put it on my IG for fear of terrifying everyone who dares to look) but I am of the same school of thought as her, which is all about positivity creating positivity! Go check her out, you'll adore her!

:: After buying the birds some 'bird peanut butter' but missing them actually eat it every single time, I finally witnessed a gorgeous robin pecking away at it yesterday. I knew that they had been enjoying it from the hundreds of little beak marks in it, but never once have I seen a bird doing it (I was beginning to wonder whether my own peanut butter obsession had driven me to sleep walking and stealing off our feathered friends!).

That is it for this week lovely guys and girls; thank you for being here! I have a new vlog that I am due to edit soon, so keep your eyes peeled to social media for that! Have a great rest of weekend and a lovely week ahead and I will see you on Wednesday for another post!

xx
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14 March 2018

BULLET JOURNAL UPDATE FOR SPRING (WITH VIDEO!)



If you have been following me for a while you may know that, in January 2016, I set up my very first Bullet Journal (see my previous video by clicking right here!). I thought I would give it a go because I was always finding that diaries weren't adaptable enough for me (and all my lists!), so it made sense to experiment with something that allowed me the flexibility that this way of journaling does.

Now it seems like everyone is having a go at it and I really love seeing what other people are up to, especially on Instagram! Although I think the original idea behind the Bullet Journal was to use it in a very simplistic way, so many more people are getting super creative with theirs and so, naturally, they are turning into a bit of an art journal too.

I had been doing the same set up since 2016 and recently found myself wanting a change and also wanting to be a little more creative within my pages, so I sat down and re-jigged the journal for next month and, if you are interested, you can see the whole thing in the video at the bottom of this post!



If you fancy giving it a try for yourself, here are some ideas for what you may need!

:: THE JOURNAL
I use the original Bullet Journal but, quite honestly, it really doesn't matter. You could use a blank, dotted, squared or lined page if you want, it can be so easily adapted. The original Bullet Journal is a Leuchtturm (1917) and is handy purely because it has numbered pages, several ribbons to help you find your various spreads and many useful dotted pages. I would recommend that you look into something with thicker paper if you know you are likely to be using intense markers or paints though, as the Leuchtturm is just standard writing paper and some marker pens will show through to the next page.

:: PENS AND OTHER SUPPLIES
I show what I used for my April spread in the image above. In my previous Bullet Journal I used several different pastel coloured pens for a mood tracker too, and will continue to do this. I also have a supply of paper that I have torn out of magazines, that I use to collage with. There are no restrictions though, just let your creativity run wild!


I love drawing and using a few different hand-lettering styles in my journal. It is not only great practice, but also so therapeutic! I always have a store of quotes I like on my Pinterest account, so just sketch out my pages roughly first then, armed with a cup of tea and something good on the TV, I will sit and draw over the various quotes in my fine-tipped black pens and make them look more interesting by adding borders etc. I do try and think about what I have going on in the month and pick out images or quotes to suit what I predict I will be feeling. April this year will be a full on health kick again, and I have big fat loss goals, so many of the quotes and things I have pre-written into the spreads for the month are with that in mind!



I hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures inside my journal. If you want to hear me talk about it in more detail please give the video below a watch too! If you haven't subscribed to my From Lucy with Love YouTube Channel yet, I would LOVE it if you could! Just click here and hit 'subscribe' when you get there!

PS: I am currently in the (early) stages of designing some printable journal goodies. When they are done they will be available (for a super affordable price of course) on both my Leaf Lane Studio shop and my Etsy shop too. I am thinking that each 'journal pack' will be between 4 and 8 pages to print, will be themed (botanical, stars, flowers etc) and will contain things like: hand-drawn/painted pieces, patterns for collage or layering, hand-lettered quotes, days of the week and months, gratitude prompts and much more! The good thing about printable packs like this is that you can print off as many as you like and use them for anything you like! I am super excited to get working on these!

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11 March 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE...ISH!



Well, this has been an interesting week...grab a cuppa!

*before I start this post, I have a new vlog out which is at the bottom of this post! It's not a very 'talky' vlog, but the next ones will be, so if you prefer my waffling over simply music you will not be disappointed next time I hope!

This week started off so promising, with a trip out to a National Trust property and the Eden Project too, then everything came to a grinding halt. Let's start with the good stuff from the beginning of the week shall we?

:: On Monday, as the weather was positively spring-like, Joe and I decided to take a walk in Trengwainton Garden, a National Trust property only ten minutes away in Penzance. I have been before but Joe hadn't so we thought it would be nice to get out and have a nice walk. This time of year there aren't many flowers about (a trip is planned for mid-April to see all the spring flowers though!) but the views at the top of the path are wonderful and, with some snow still on the ground in shady areas, it looked very pretty (see my vlog, linked at the bottom for more on Trengwainton!).

:: On the subject of Trengwainton... they have a really cute second hand book shop in a cottage on the site and I found a 1981 edition of a tiny illustrated book of berries. We didn't have the right change but the kind gentleman in the shop let us have it for what we had so thank you to him! I really love it and find those books so helpful for art work referencing.

:: There also was a brief stop at the tearoom for a scone :-)


^^ Trengwainton House - not open to the public but very grand to look at from outside nonetheless ^^


:: On Tuesday it was the turn of the Eden Project and it rarely disappoints; it is always beautiful there. The weather was gorgeous once again and we had a lovely wander about. It was one of the busiest times I have ever been there, which was slightly strange as it wasn't a school holiday or anything, but it is always so magical there and you can find peace once you step out of the domes. Some of the morning we spent at Eden will be in my very next vlog too!

:: I have had a couple of very luxurious afternoon naps this week (as I have been kind of 'on holiday' so it's fine!). I always get so dozy at two in the afternoon so took myself off for a rest and it was wonderfully relaxing; I just wish I could do it every single day! There is something so nice about climbing into bed, the window open a little for some fresh air, and just reading for an hour or sleeping; it feels wrong, but in all the right ways!



There are more things to be grateful for this week for certain, but before I get into them, let me talk you through what happened on Wednesday morning. As usual, I got up at 5.30am to head to the gym; Wednesday was leg day and I rattled through my squats, lunges, leg press and dead-lifts and, as I was returning some dumbbells to the rack I felt something in my back 'give'. I felt instantly sick and very, very faint. I just made it to the sofa in the entrance, saving myself from a fall to the hard floor. Long story short I left the gym on gas and air (one of the things I am super grateful for this week!). I felt like the biggest idiot ever having a poor old first response unit cart me off (luckily they are based literally a stones throw away from the gym). I am now the proud owner of a prolapsed a disc, which I have done before (lucky me!) but this time, now that I am a few days away from when I did it, it seems to be making a much hastier recovery and I have even managed a few walks and to not be pushing painkillers into my mouth like a mad woman.

Having filled you in on that little happening, let's continue...

:: I am super grateful for all the wonderful people at the gym who looked after me on Wednesday, even though I did end up looking like a pile of lost property when they covered me in every jumper available to help me stay warm! I am also grateful to the ambulance guys who would be super rich by now if they had been given a pound for every time I swore... but the gas and air calmed that down!

:: Poor Joe, car-less and stranded at home, received an SOS call from the gym instructor and came to pick up the car in a taxi, which charged £13 for a five minute journey (eek!) then came to the hospital to retrieve me...great day for him, but I am grateful he didn't leave me there!

:: With all that going on and the thought of not being able to train for a while you can probably imagine I was feeling a tad sorry for myself. When the postman arrived on Friday though I was cheered up by two wonderful parcels, one from the gorgeous Peta (pe-ta.com) of a little set of Teapigs teas (thanks so much lovely lady) and one from Joe of a new Bullet Journal (something to keep me busy...much like you do with a child and a colouring book!). Thanks guys, that really perked up my grump!

That pretty much sums up my week! I will do my best to vlog this week coming and straighten myself up from my slightly strange posture I adopt when I am in pain! Fingers crossed I will continue on my fast road to recovery though! Thank you for bearing with me this week! Have a great one guys!

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4 March 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Happy March everyone! Well, what a week it has been! We have had two days of snow, which melted overnight, followed by a couple of days of quite spring-like weather; this morning was super warm and bright! As you will already know, if you read my previous post, Monday was my 37th birthday and my parents were here for a few days, narrowly missing the crazy weather, and so we had a bit of a cupcake fueled catch up and went out for a really yummy meal to a restaurant in Marazion. Joe is off work for a couple of weeks so there have been a few errands to run and places to go so, all in all it has been a crazy week... here's what has been happening!

:: My birthday, and the days that followed (including today), have been somewhat over-indulgent (more on what I am doing about that in a later post and vlog!). There has been some delicious food and some really lovely pressies too. Joe got me a gorgeous crescent moon necklace, mum and dad bought me some skincare bits and gave me some money too. I got a gorgeous set of essential oils from Gemma and I had so many flowers delivered (all beautiful daffodils and narcissus) that even the postman commented on all the deliveries! Thank you to everyone who sent me a card, pressie or message on Monday, all of them mean the world to me.


:: The couple of crazy snow days we had came out of nowhere but I really enjoyed seeing our village all covered in a white dusting. The birds got stocked up with fat balls, bird peanut butter (yep, that's a thing you know!) and seeds and they kept all cosy in our garden whilst the snow fell. We attempted a walk to see the beach but the road down was crazy amounts of slippery underfoot, so that mission was halted fast (mostly because I am so clumsy on a regular day, let alone a snow day!). Watching Gizmo look at the snow was so cute; to be fair to her, she went to bed at about 10am in the bright sunshine and when she got up at 4pm the garden was covered in snow. She looked confused but got out there and trotted about happily eventually!

:: This week we had no water for a day and a half (fun!), which fell perfectly on the day that I was finally allowed to have a bath again after having my tattoos! When the water came on yesterday I had the best bath ever! I really enjoy a soak in the bath with a podcast or YouTube for company!

:: Yesterday, in the rain, Joe and I took a drive to Godolphin House, a National Trust property about 15 minutes away from us. We have been there before but just fancied a walk and didn't really care about the rain. Having been there for about half an hour the rain stopped and we walked about the gardens; there was no-one else about whatsoever for the most part and all I could hear was the birds chirping. It is such a magical place and will be in the vlog I am currently editing, but to see a previous vlog of Godolphin House just click here!



:: This afternoon, whilst having a bit of a chill out on the sofa, I had a bit of a scroll on Netflix and finally watched a film I have wanted to see for a long time, The Danish Girl. Wow, what an incredible movie! Have you seen it? I really recommend it if you haven't watched it yet. It's so moving and proves that love crosses many boundaries... so beautifully made.

:: Through March, I am taking part in the hashtag 'March meet the maker' (#marchmeetthemaker) on Instagram. The challenge is thirty days of prompts to help creatives/makers let people know more about them and their business and was created by the lovely Joanne Hawker. I am really enjoying it so far and have had a chat with a couple of other creatives on the back of the posts I have put up already. If you want to follow along be sure to follow my Leaf Lane Studio Instagram!

I hope you guys have had a wonderful week, come and have a chat in the comments! See you on Wednesday! (New vlog coming soon!).

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