29 April 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ All today's pictures are from our morning walk at the National Trusts Trengwainton Garden, how beautiful is this picture (no filter whatsoever!) ^^

Guys, I don't know how this has happened but tomorrow is the last day of April, how can this be?! It is even harder to believe it is almost May given that I have spent most of this week wrapped in more than three layers and with a hot water bottle stuffed down my trousers (what a vision!).

As we enter the fifth month of the year I have set myself so many goals to achieve and I am so excited about all of them. One of my goals, for From Lucy with Love, is to have some more collaborations lined up; I have asked another blogger if she would like to collaborate and she said yes, so that is great (I must just email her back though... where does time go?). Come to think of it, I have more than one who has said yes! If you are interested just shout and we can have a chat (email me on fromlucywithlove@outlook.com). If you missed this weeks awesome little interview with Sammy from Two Kissing Fish then click right here to see the post!

Right then, let's crack on with all things happiness and gratitude for the week gone by (be sure to comment below with what you have been up to this week!).

:: I started watching Call the Midwife on Netflix this week. Yes, I have only just started watching it; I have seen the odd episode here and there, but not actually watched it episode by episode and, I have to say, I am really enjoying it! I like to have something on in the background when I am painting or editing artwork etc, so this seemed like a nice one to get into!

:: If you follow me on social media then you may have seen me rabbiting on about my new wedding stationery collection for my little business, Leaf Lane Studio. I am so happy with it and am about to send it off to the printers for some proofs before I get the samples sorted out. It feels really nice to have another collection coming out and I am so grateful to be able to be making these collections for brides to be! Here's a sneak preview of the back of the RSVP!

^^ RSVP, part of the Leaf Lane Studio 'Fern' collection, coming very soon! ^^

:: I recently did some hand-lettering for a lovely lady's wedding invites and I had the most wonderful message this week to say that the post had arrived with her guests and she has received lots of messages praising the envelopes! That made me super happy and totally made my week!

:: I could include this every single week, but I absolutely adore Petas (www.pe-ta.comWonderful Wednesday posts (well, actually, I adore everything she creates because her loveliness comes over in each and every single thing she does and makes me feel all calm!). I honestly love that lady and think she is one of the sweetest, kindest humans there is. She is always working her socks off and I sometimes don't think she realises how amazing she is! Also, her cats are so gorgeous!


^^ Busy collecting the good stuff for the hive! ^^

:: Last week I made a batch of homemade turkey curry, which totally fits my macros and tastes so good! Last night, in a desperate attempt to have some food that would fill up my endless hunger, I decided to have some carrot, swede and potato mash with it, along with some cauliflower and broccoli; you wouldn't think that would be a good combination but, I am here to tell you, it was delicious!

:: Ages ago I bought an issue of 'Flow' magazine and loved it so much, so to give myself a little treat this month I got the latest copy. My taste in magazines has shifted completely; I am no longer interested in 90% of what I used to be and so, Flow magazine, with its creative articles, focus on life's little imperfections and many other things that make me feel all chilled inside, is a perfect fit for me. It isn't cheap mind you, but as it only comes out every now and then it is a lovely treat. Once I finish reading it I like to use the paper and gorgeous patterns inside to decorate my Bullet Journal spreads so, when all is said and done, I really do get my money's worth!



:: I am super grateful for the following things that have helped get me through the sweet cravings this week (and they fit my macros too!): a teaspoon of almond butter, dark chocolate (2 squares a day, woo-hoo!), Grenade cookie-dough protein bars and frozen strawberry protein made with almond milk (tastes like Angel Delight!). So good!

:: This morning Joe and I went for a walk around one of our favourite National Trust gardens, Trengwainton, near Penzance. We last visited in February but it is really worth going back every month as it changes constantly. It is so calm and pretty there, like a little oasis; when you walk to the top there is a gorgeous view across Mounts Bay, right over to The Lizard (I think that's where it is anyway!). I would also highly recommend the cafe too, although we didn't head there today because, well... this healthy eating thing I'm on gets in the way and I can't be within a foot of a Victoria sponge!

That is it for today my loves, I will leave you with a few more pictures from our walk this morning because it was too beautiful just to include a couple here! Have a lovely week, see you Wednesday!

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25 April 2018

COLLABORATION CORNER WITH SAMMY FROM TWO KISSING FISH


^^ I mean, come on guys, how bloody cute is that! ^^

A little while back the gorgeous Sammy from the cutest Cornwall-based business, Two Kissing Fish, and I had a little chat on Instagram and decided to get together for a blog post to chat all things Two Kissing Fish, how the business started and what keeps her going in life (because we all have our guilty pleasures don't we!).

Before you jump in to the post I just want to say a huge thank you to Sammy for answering my questions and for sending me the most gorgeous, personalised pebble box, with Joe and I and little Gizmo featuring next to us too! Sammy will personalise these for you and pop inside whatever you want; for me, it had to be the sentence 'You, Me and Little G', as this is what I have always said to Joe when describing our little family! When I opened the parcel I was so excited and couldn't have been more pleased with the piece! I would highly recommend Sammy and her business and you should definitely go and check out Two Kissing Fish... but not until after you have read this post of course (because you will love her even more then!).

PS: I have to share a screen shot of this particular Insta post of Sammy's too as it is adorable; she paints pretty pebbles and leaves them for people to find...



Right then, let's jump right on in to the questions I asked Sammy shall we?

Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you end up in Cornwall or have you always lived here?

I’m not originally from Cornwall, although I can sing the combine harvester song and make a pasty with the best of them! My mum was a single parent with three girls living in North Lincolnshire and we had a little retro caravan, she used to pack it up on a Friday after school and we would go on awesome adventures, just us girls. One weekend we headed to Cornwall and we never went back… hey presto a semi-Cornish girl.

When did you launch your business and had you always wanted to work for yourself? 

I was a bit of a late bloomer, I had my third child in 2008 and, after nine years of being a stay at home mum, I was so bored so I signed up to a higher education course when my baby was 10 weeks old and went on to do a Bsc degree in Health and Social Care. I so desperately wanted to help children and adults whom had had experience of sexual abuse, but unfortunately being in Cornwall nobody knew the path I should take to achieve my goal, so I ended up working in special needs residential home; I loved it and I was amazing in my role but it wasn’t meant to be as government cuts meant I was made redundant after just a year. Whilst struggling to find another job role Christmas was coming, my husbands family is huge (how are we going to buy everyone gifts!) so I made a few bits and bobs which got posted onto Facebook and a few orders came in… and then more, and then more, Two Kissing Fish was born

What do you enjoy the most about running your own business?

For me it's people’s reactions upon seeing my boxes, when they ask me to make something so personal to them, and they come and collect it, their face and the joy, it makes my day! I get all warm and fuzzy and I’ve had customers be brought to tears when they receive their orders.

What did you find the biggest struggle when you first started, and how did you overcome it?

I would say it’s the ongoing struggles; you can’t take your eye off the ball for a moment. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in August 2017 and this put me in a bit of a tail spin. I had a few months of sulking and then pulled up my big girl knickers and found my motivation again. The only problem was I felt I was starting again, literally, I’ve had to find money to pay for the bigger events again and start marketing and finding stockists again, it is almost as if Two Kissing Fish never existed in the first place


^^ I love these cheeky little guys! ^^

Where do you get your inspiration for your lovely pieces of work?

My customers are my inspiration. I started making button head families on slate, then someone asked me to use pebbles, another wondered whether I can put them in a frame, and Two Kissing Fish went from there. I absolutely love it when a customer pushes my boundaries especially with pets, although I have found I cannot make horses or elephants out of pebbles! When a customer gives me an occasion or life event that I haven’t done before I love running with it and coming up with new ideas, So my lovely customers are who inspire me.

What are your favourites to make?

I love experimenting and I love glitter, so anything that combines the two are my favourite things to make.

Do you have any big goals for the business and how are you working towards them?

I don’t work well under pressure, so setting goals aren’t really my thing, I just take each month by month and hope that I’ve made a few people happy; that’s not to say I don’t have a dream because I would love, love, love my own store one day, but I’m also a commitment phobe and terribly scatty… so that’s not a great combination for a business woman!

Some other random/fun questions…

Describe your ideal day in five words.
Pyjamas, Sunshine, Bonfires, Beach and Camping (all at the same time, bliss!).

Favourite song of all time?
Oh this is so cringey, but my all time favourite, headphones on, sing at the top of my voice song (as long as no ones listening) is Come on Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners, I have absolutely no idea why and there is no specific connection with the song, I just LOVE it!

You have a Friday night to yourself at home, what would we find you doing?
Orange is the New Black on TV, Sweet chilli chicken and chips ordered in, Lindt Salted Caramel chocolate and pyjamas, heaven!

What is your guilty pleasure?
Ha, that has got to be Rosie my Flamingo Van. She is a first edition Volkswagen T4 and I adore her, she is my baby. I do get some funny looks when driving her and she draws that much attention there is no chance of picking your nose discreetly whilst driving her! We love nothing more as a family than taking her and my hubbies Zombie Van around the country visiting Van Festivals…. I will win the show and shine one day!

Favourite place to visit in Cornwall?
We found a little place a few years back that we named 'Secret Beach', its amazing, its right on the Helford River and not many people know about it. It has everything you need, rocks for the kids to jump into the sea, dogs are allowed, its fairly quiet, caves to explore. We tend to make an entire day of it with a picnic during the day and then a BBQ and bonfire for tea time… best day ever!

If you could learn to do something new, what would it be?
I find Glass work fascinating so I would love to try glass blowing. Myself and the children did a glass fusing workshop in Mullion one Mothers Day; my 11 year old entirely put me to shame… his was awesome, mine was terrible.

Thank you so much Sammy for being so kind and answering my questions and, guys, you must check out Rosie, the flamingo van, I saw Sammy post this picture on Instagram and she really is something!

The thing I love about collaborating is how much I get to learn about the behind the scenes of someone elses business, and I really love it when collaborations happen totally unexpectedly and naturally (I never do any collabs that I don't genuinely believe in). I genuinely love what Sammy is doing and I really want you guys to say 'hi' on her Instagram and Facebook Page too, tell her I sent you over because, us small business owners sometimes feel like there's no one out there, so it really is wonderful to get a 'hello' throughout the day!

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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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