26 August 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



It's the last Sunday of the month of August, can you believe it? This month has been the busiest month I have had since I started Leaf Lane Studio almost one whole year ago; it has been filled with lovely orders for paintings and wedding stationery and I have really enjoyed getting properly stuck in to it, long may it continue! 

Before I get all over emotional at having a business that is one year old on Saturday, let's just get started on this weeks gratitude list!

:: Yesterday we had a turn around in the weather; it has been all Cornish mizzle this week and it felt like we had been living in a cloud. It was kind of humid and damp and uncomfortable, but yesterday we had the sun come out to play again and I made the most of it! I had a few odds and ends of work to do for a lovely bride, but after that I got well and truly stuck into the gardening. I had somewhat neglected it due to the fact that life got busy, but it was so nice to just lose myself in nature for a while. I find it so relaxing and it gives me time to reflect and mull over things in my head, something I don't always get to do if I am busy in the week. Gizmo followed me around being all kinds of 'helpful' (i.e. getting in the way at any given opportunity!) but I do love the fact that she is always keeping check on what is going on and sniffing about where I have been cutting back to 'check' everything meets her approval! She is such a cute little bear.



:: A week or so ago Peta messaged me with a picture of a t-shirt she thought I would like from Tesco's clothing collection, and she was quite right, I loved it and 'needed' it immediately of course. I actually was in the market for a couple of casual t-shirts, as most of mine have somehow managed to get holes in, so I was happy to check out a new one that just so happens to go very well with this very blog post. Anyone with a beady eye will see it in the background of the picture above, that's if you don't damage your eyes looking at the bright pink jumper I have on (which 'fell' into my basket in Tesco's!). I don't own anything pink at all, but I saw this jumper and fell in love with it. It is super over-sized and so soft (plus it was mega affordable). I wanted to treat myself because I am kind of proud of some things I have been doing and, all in, these two things came to under £25, so it didn't break the bank. I kept the jumper hung up on the outside of the wardrobe for just over a day because just looking at the colour made me so happy! Just in case you fancy checking it out, it also comes in grey and a bright mustard yellow too! :-)

:: I realise I am late to the party, but I watched the Christopher Robin full trailer this week and basically cried for the entire duration of it. I don't know what it is about Winnie the Pooh and friends, they make me sob like a baby! I really want to go and see the movie, but I daren't go to the cinema to watch it because, quite frankly, I will just embarrass myself! Have you seen it yet? What did you think?



:: We have noticed that Gizmo's 'Autumn routine' is starting to appear again and she has spent a few nights this week asleep on the foot of the bed (snoring her little head off!). She changes her routine with the seasons and it is so sweet to have her around inside again because most of the summer she has been out and about or asleep under a bush in the garden, only coming out at meal times! My only wish is that she didn't take up quite so much room on the bed because she really stretches herself out and I end up balled up and uncomfortable... the things we do to keep our pets happy!

:: Yesterday, post gardening, Joe wandered down to one of our local cafes and came home with some Victoria sponge for a treat; it is my absolute favourite cake and I really enjoyed it. I have been working really hard (during my food mentoring sessions with Peta) to see all food as just 'food' and not 'good or 'bad', trying to reduce the guilt and binge eating that can often occur with that kind of thing. I am really making progress but I know it will take a long time to undo patterns that have been around for years. On that note, I listened to a podcast episode from Kate Taylor's 'Practical Magic Podcast', called 'Intuitive Living / Connected Body', which I would highly recommend if, like me, you are looking to get past old fears and habits and truly realign with what it is your body needs once again. I also highly recommend you contact Peta too, as she is absolutely amazing to work with on this kind of thing.



:: One of my favourite illustrators on Instagram is Emma Block; she is so talented and I love everything she does. Last week her first book came out and I got a copy delivered the day after. I think you can never stop learning when it comes to anything in life and I always enjoy seeing how other artists work and how they structure a painting. This book is so pretty and incredible useful too. If you are a beginner and are not sure where to start, this book has 40 watercolour lessons in it that are so nice to follow along with. If you don't follow Emma already, you certainly should!

That is it for this week guys, sorry it is a short one, it's honestly just been me painting a pallet, painting pictures, wrapping pictures etc etc, and not much else at all! It should be easing off a little soon so I am hoping to have more time to get out and about again real soon!

I hope you enjoy your Bank Holiday Monday (if you are in the U.K) and have a wonderful week ahead! PS: Don't forget, if you or any one you know, are getting married, my Leaf Lane Studio August offers are still running! Head to Leaf Lane Studio to see what you can get!
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22 August 2018

WHAT WOULD AN ONLY CHILD DO?


^^ Oh just look at that angelic face ^^

I was chatting to someone recently about being an only child and they said they thought I 'didn't have the characteristics of one', but I honestly think that, for my generation anyway, many kids without siblings were bought up the same way as me, fiercely independent! That image of an only child snatching toys and sweets from other kids is probably less realistic than we think really, although I can't imagine what it is like these days, so I won't try and talk about that! 

After the conversation I had about how I 'handled' being alone a lot as a kid, I reflected a bit on some of the things I got up to when I was left to my own devices. Firstly, us 'only's' can be very creative with games, and it is surprising how many parts we can play during a very intense solo 'Game of Life' session! We can take on many characters and act them all like a pro, for instance, as a kid I used to love playing 'schools', mostly because I liked to write out a register and then pretend to call out the names, questioning where the kid was who didn't respond and promptly popping an 'X' in the box next to their name. I was both teacher and student and I was not lenient on myself! I even gave myself lines to do for being 'naughty in class' once! I mean, at 37 years old that fact seems equally tragic and kind of cute all at the same time; the image of me sitting there, writing out lines of 'I will not be rude to my teacher' over and over summons up quite the picture doesn't it! 

My parents remind me of how much of a tomboy I was on a regular basis, with the most common story being my love of the woodlice that ran around the garden/house. Now, if you are picturing me gathering them up in a little bucket, giving them names and having them as pets, you are very much mistaken; I did that with many things, but the poor old woodlice suffered a tragic end as they were stuffed in my mouth and eaten (even typing that makes me feel ill!). What a prime candidate I was for 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Outta Here!' when I was young; these days I rescue everything that moves because I hate harm coming to nature (perhaps it's karma!). My goodness, I was a gross child.

When I think back to some of the other things I used to do as a kid I have to laugh because I am sure I have used up my nine-lives on more than one occasion. I was such a tomboy and just loved getting outside and doing random things: I climbed trees (falling out many times), rode my bike like a nutter (and knocked a tooth or two out...oops), scooted along on skateboards (straight into a gate...oops again), lifted my wendy-house above my head and ran like a lunatic around the garden (right into the rose bush... can I keep saying 'oops'?), I did 'amazing' cartwheels in the lounge (and crashed my legs into the radiator guard, definitely denting it and definitely not saying it was because of a cartwheel!), I fell 'legs-akimbo' on a brick wall and ended up with severe grazing all up my inner thighs on both legs (ouch!), I ran into the lounge on a weekly basis, launched myself at my beanbag but missed it completely and knocked myself out, I once had a very bad fall of a bike that I was trying to do a trick on and ended up with bloody everywhere and a huge 'egg' on my head... all this doesn't cover it, but you get the gist, I wasn't careful! (Unfortunately I am still the same but with a few less skateboards!).

See, it isn't boring being an only child at all, we know no different anyway, so it really is kind of okay! There is only one downside, one which I hated so much, and that is this: you can't blame anyone else for anything. For example, when your dad brings home a giant bar of Cadbury Chocolate to be 'saved' for Christmas and you open it up and start to demolish it over way too short a time, get questioned about it and say 'it wasn't me'... chances are you will not be believed, just saying! Damn! These days I just blame my dad for eating things! (sorry dad... I needed those seven biscuits last time I visited and mum had to know where they went... okay, so I am joking about the biscuits... it was actually eight!).

Childhood is a funny old time isn't it; it shapes us in so many ways but it also is a miracle we come out the other side sometimes (especially when you clearly think you are some kind of movie stunt woman in my case!). I would love to hear some of your memories and silly things you have done; I am sure I have missed many 'events' from my childhood and I am also sure my mum will remind me, but in the mean time pop some of yours in the comments!
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19 August 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Merry Sunday all! ('Merry Sunday' (?!) not sure where that came from but hey-ho!). How are you doing? Have you had a good weekend? Mine has been a working weekend (seriously, over 12 hour days this end, which I am not proud of because my self-care has gone out the window and I feel exhausted).

The last week has been kind of mental, but in all the good ways, as Leaf Lane Studio has been really busy (if I had the energy for a little happy dance right now, believe me I would be doing one!). On Monday I met up with a beautiful bride-to-be and collected some bits and bobs that I am brush lettering for her wedding day next month. It was lovely to meet her and have a little chat and, since Monday I have been in my element, sanding a palette and painting it white, ready for the lettering. I seriously love projects like that, I like a bit of DIY! I have also had a few orders for the little 'initial paintings' I am offering too, although I still haven't got them onto the website this last week due to a lack of time (partly my own fault for taking on some additional work from my printers too, doh!). I will be getting them in the shop though, but you can just pop me an email if you want to order yours on hello@leaflanestudio.com. Prices are as follows: A6 £10, A5 £15 and A4 £20 (I will do bespoke sizes too, but just get in touch for a chat about what you would like!).



I am going to get right on into this list of mine before I start getting heavy eyelids, because I have a lot more work to do before this day is through (I will be painting some pebbles in front of Star Wars right after I hit 'post' on this!).

:: The first thing I wanted to mention this week is an beautiful email I got from a lovely lady. I really love it when people resonate with something I have put out there into the big wide world and get in touch. Sarah, thank you so much for your email... I promise I will answer it very soon!

:: I always pop Netflix or a podcast on when I paint, or both in the case of this week because I have had so many hours to entertain myself at my art desk! I finally listened to all the people that have been telling me to watch Queer Eye on Netflix and, having watched about ten minutes of episode one, I fell in love with the guys in a big way! Oh my goodness, I balled my eyes out to several episodes, which forced me to stop painting before I messed up someones work. Those guys to some wonderful transformations don't they? I messaged Peta (who was the first person to recommend the series) and basically asked her how I can get myself on the show! 

:: Whilst I am in 'recommending' mode, let's talk about a podcast I am seriously late to the party on shall we? I have not only binge-watched Queer Eye this week, but I have also binge-listened to 'The Fringe of It', a truly wonderful podcast by Liv Purvis, from the blog/YouTube channel 'What Olivia Did' and Charlotte Jacklin from Betty Magazine. Why do I love this podcast? Well, I totally relate to so many of the things these guys say, mainly Charlotte, because we are closer in age, and I specifically have a chuckle when Liv is talking about really trendy things and Charlotte just cannot get her head around them or has just never heard of it, that is me all over! They have a topic every week, but they also just chat, and I love it so much! If, like me, you have never listened, please give it a shot, it is brilliant!

:: I had my second food mentoring session with that cat-mum I always mention (cough, cough, Peta, cough cough!) and guys, seriously, it is helping me so much. I will completely open up to you at some point about my main issues around food but for now, let me just say that I am learning so much about the psychology surrounding the things I do and habits I have got, but I am also learning that everything is available in abundance if I want it, which has eased my binge-eating way back. Some of the things Peta says to me are so simple, yet have had such huge effect on my ability to handle things. I cannot recommend working with this wonderful human being enough; the way I see it is that we very quickly pay for a fad or a short term fix, but this is our mental and physical well-being, so if you have questions make sure you reach out to her (she is one of the nicest people ever) and have a chat because, take it from me, it is worth it.


:: Speaking of beautiful human beings, I finally got a lovely catch up with my bestie this week and it felt so lovely to just natter away and talk about everything that has been going on. Girly chat is wonderful at clearing out the mind isn't it! 

:: Thank you to the people who shared my Body Stories bits and pieces on Instagram this week; I am trying so very hard to get around to talking about it on Insta stories every single day, but with life suddenly becoming a little busy, I do forget. Any help you guys can give me to get the information out to the world is very much appreciated. Click right here to read the full Body Stories-story!

:: I had a lovely book-delivery this week and I can't wait to read what arrived (even though I have a whole queue ahead of it yet!). I have wanted to get my paws on Matt Haig's 'Notes on a Nervous Planet' for a little while, but just couldn't justify the spend, but I saw it pop up on Amazon on offer (it was just £4.99) so I had to get it! Have you read it yet? I've just had a look and it is still on offer, so click right here to go and get your copy!

:: The one thing I did do this week (before my 'to-do' list went wild) is draw out my September Bullet Journal spread. It really isn't anything to write home about, as I didn't have the time to really go for it, but I am happy with what I did. I carried over something I started in August which I enjoyed doing, which is a huge gratitude mind-dump! Basically it is as simple as it sounds: I wrote 'August Gratitude' in the middle of a double spread and added something/s to it every single day. I love having that to refer to for these lists, but also it is nice to remember some of the little things too. I also changed up a couple of things for September and the way I lay them out. Maybe I can do a little Insta Stories video to quickly show what I have done; if you want me to do that pop a comment below!

I think I will leave it there for this week. I am so tired right now and am pretty sure I will have missed something vital off this list but you'll have to forgive me for my melting brain! Have a wonderful week guys and I will see you on Wednesday!

PS: Don't forget, if you want a little 'initial' painted, email me on hello@leaflanestudio.com asap as they are all painted to order and I have a little list going already. They will make wonderful little stocking fillers/gifts for loved ones (they look so cute on a notice board in the office too!). I would love to paint you one, so get in touch soon... Christmas is not far away you know!! Eek!
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16 August 2018

WHEREVER YOU'RE AT, IT'S ENOUGH


^^ Taking a quick five minute break in the sun, because it had been raining all morning! ^^

I have been having a super busy week this week so yesterday, when I suddenly remembered that it was 'blog post-posting day' and I hadn't actually written anything at all, not one word, I got myself into a fluster. What do flusters equal? For me, getting flustered equals nothing creative can come out of my brain whatsoever. So, as I sit down to write said blog post, one day behind my usual schedule, I realise that I am still in a void of nothingness when it comes to content! Anyone who blogs, or just is a bit creative in general goes through this; the highs and lows of creativity, where one minute you cannot write/draw/paint fast enough for all the ideas to flow out, and the next you are staring out the window counting the birds go by, hoping that you will be struck by a moment of genius!

Thankfully for me, it is only ideas for written content that has jetted off on a holiday, not anything more, so I can at least paint without the restrictive brain, and monkey clapping symbols in my mind. I think that when we suddenly realise we aren't being our usual selves, creatively or otherwise, it is easy to beat ourselves over the head and get annoyed, frustrated and generally self-deprecating, but I also think it is important to remember that what we are managing to do is bloody fantastic actually.

Whilst chatting on the phone to my bestie Helena (a.k.a 'Lobby') last night, who owns a gorgeous bed and breakfast in Lynmouth (Devon) with her lovely husband Rich, we spoke about how being your own boss can be somewhat overwhelming at times. As wonderful as it is to have flexibility and so many other perks too, when you list all the things you are 'in charge' of getting done it can seem like one hell of a lot. For instance, with my business, Leaf Lane Studio, I have the social media accounts to keep active and make sure I share every bit of content across all platforms as well as remembering (which I often don't) to put my products on Pinterest too, then there is the interaction with wedding industry brands and magazines/blogs (sending samples and media packs) and trying to make sure I stay visible, there is the actual art work involved in creating a product line or wedding stationery collection from start to finish (I did a blog post on how I do this over on Leaf Lane Studio's blog if you are interested), there are hours upon hours spent designing the actual individual pieces of a collection and mock-printing them to check the over all aesthetics, then there is the printing itself and getting everything pulled together. After that there is photography and editing of the product photos, pulling together content for the website and designing brochures and marketing for all of that too. Whilst all this is happening there are commissions and brides getting in touch and many other little things that need to be seen to. For From Lucy with Love there is the social media, responding to comments, content creation/photography, planning ahead (not for this post clearly!) and reaching out to companies or bloggers for collaborations. There is website updates and amendments, responding to emails from lovely readers like you and much more too. Add into the mix general life 'stuff', such as the exercise regime, running a house and cooking and we have a party right? (Or a very exhausted Lucy who is in her PJ's as early as possible snoozing on the sofa... or wide awake and dreaming of peanut M&M's!).

What is my point? Well my point is that we are all doing a million and one things in our lives and, if something slips for a day or two (or a week or - gasp - a month!) it is okay. I am learning this more and more as I realise that, as one thing is running smoothly, generally speaking another is slightly lagging behind. I think as a rule we give ourselves such a hard time and we need to just stop doing that. We can often fall into the trap of comparison and, the truth is we just have zero idea of the context of someone elses life. With my list of things above as an example... yes, I am busy, but I am also learning one hell of a lot because it is my first year of business and I am scared and excited and loving every single second; I chose this path and it is my journey. We each have our own path in life and I honestly think we can look at anyone around us and think 'wow, you're awesome' and think totally opposite of ourselves, which has to change doesn't it?

So, I started this post as a little 'I'm a bit mentally full right now and can't write a post for you' and have ended up mind-dumping all of that, but I hope it is somewhat interesting and makes you feel a bit better on the days when you are feeling all the emotions and not really knowing what to do with it all.

Basically, what I am saying is: remember you are doing all the things you are meant to be doing right now, you are enough exactly how you are in this time and space and you are a human being who will feel weak and fearful but you are here and doing it anyway and, I think that is pretty bloody amazing, don't you?
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12 August 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



This week has been a very 'all over the place' week for me, both physically and mentally speaking; do you guys ever get days/weeks where you just can't focus on anything 'big' on your to-do list for more than five minutes? When I get times like that I have to switch things up a bit and go over to doing something creative instead, that usually does the trick!

Before I get into this weeks list I just want to say a huge thank you to those of you that either commented or sent me a message about Wednesdays post (catch up with it here). You guys are always so wonderful and it is lovely to chat about things we are all feeling and help each other, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Let's dive straight in to the good stuff!

:: The week started off amazingly well. I had a food mentoring session with one of my favourite humans, Peta (I can't possibly write a weekly gratitude without mentioning Peta can I!). I am definitely going to do a full post on just these sessions but I wanted to mention it today because, after just one session I feel different in my head. Peta is a genuine, kind and very caring human being and not only that, but she is super knowledgeable about food (and she has four, beautiful cats too). If you guys are totally done with 'diets' and want to find some inner peace around how you think about food, as well as many other magical things, please head over to Peta's page and have a look at how you can work with her because it is worth investing in yourself (stop paying diet companies and work on YOU, I promise it's so much better... it really is soul work guys). Peta also has some really fab free resources too, such as her 'New to free-from eating' and 'Un-boring salad' guides; if you want regular inspiration you will need to be signed up to her newsletter ('Letters from Peta') too as she provides constant value there as well as some really thought-provoking writing. #fangirl



:: The sunsets have been epic over this way all week; there have been huge clouds around too, making everything much more dramatic. Sunrise and sunset are my favourite time of the day for sure; unless I happen to be letting Gizmo out at 3am on a clear night, because those stars... wow!

:: After discussing food and my crazy mind with Peta on Monday, it seemed only right to celebrate that by going for cake with a lovely friend on Tuesday morning (oops!). I enjoyed every, single bite of it though and it was lovely to have a chin-wag too!

:: I finally put another one of my crazy amount of creative ideas into action this week and created an example of something I am now offering through Leaf Lane Studio, which are these cute botanical-illustrated initials. They will officially be on the site next week but you can still order from me in the mean time and here is how: just drop an email to hello@leaflanestudio.com telling me which letter you would like and I will get back to you confirming your order and provide you with an invoice. Prices are as follows: A6 (pictured) £10, A5 - £15 and A4 - £20. They are all painted to order so won't be dispatched immediately, but I will let you know when you contact me how long it will be! All standard orders will be created in the same shade as the letter below, which is a very deep 'midnight' blue/black and will have white illustrations. If you require something more bespoke please get in touch with me. I have already had several orders so please get your name on the list asap! I think these would make super little gifts! Don't forget I also offer other personalised paintings via Leaf Lane Studio too, all created to order and beautifully wrapped and I am open to commissions so just email for a chat!



:: Last night I cooked up a batch of the most yummy sweet potato and spinach 'burgers' ever (recipe recommended to me by... *drum-roll*.. Peta!). They couldn't have been any easier to put together: microwave a couple of large sweet potatoes (or several small ones!) until soft, scrape out the potato into a bowl and mash with a fork. Pour boiling water over a bag of spinach (approx 160g), I should probably point out that you need to put the spinach in a colander then pour the water over it, don't be a wally and literally pour it over the bag (this is why I don't do recipes!). Once the spinach wilts, run the cold tap over it to cool it down and then squeeze the water out and chop finely, pop in with the potato. Add one whisked egg, seasoning and some breadcrumbs (enough so that when you mix it all together with your hands it holds some shape, I found that about 60g was good, but it depends on the amount of potato you used). Use your hands to form balls from the mixture (these can be frozen). If you want to cook straight away you can use coconut oil or oil of your choice in a pan, flatten the ball with your hand and cook for a few minutes on each side, just to heat through. Simple and so tasty. I have some in the freezer and can't wait to dig into them! I also cooked up Peta's own recipe of Chocolate Oat Cookies (delicious!) and froze a batch of her Microwave Oat Brownies too!

:: Little Gizmo was the cutest this week. She has been following me around like a little dog and was absolutely adamant she was going to sit out on the road whilst I chopped back a tree that had shot over the fence and was getting in the way of people wanting to park their cars. She kept hopping over the gate and scurrying around to where I was working which, in essence wasn't the end of the world, but it was the time of day where all the beach-goers were leaving and driving like maniacs up our road and I really didn't want anything bad to happen (I tricked her by putting biscuits in the lounge and shutting the door so she was safe in the end). She has also been loving the fact that the wind dislodged many palm tree leaves this week, meaning they were available for her favourite game... hunt the leaf! She loves chasing it around and pouncing on it! Better that than a mouse I think! PS: Check out that 'resting bitch face' in the picture below! She hates having the camera pointed at her!

:: I am still totally obsessed with Sara Faber's studio-vlogs. I have mentioned Sara before but it has been a while so... why not mention her again! She is a Berlin based illustrator/artist and her vlogs are just so aesthetically pleasing! I would love to live in a big, open apartment/house like that, with plants everywhere about and have the creativity to put together some of the work and gorgeous meals she does! I highly recommend you check her vlogs out, they are just so lovely!

That is all I have got for you this week guys, I hope you have a wonderful day and I will be back on Wednesday with another blog post! Please do get in touch if you would like me to create one of my 'initial' paintings for you, they would make lovely (dare I say) Christmas/birthday/anniversary/ wedding/'just because' presents and so be sure to place your orders early to ensure you have them in time for the occasion! x

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8 August 2018

THE TRUTH BEHIND THE PHOTOS



As we all know only too well, the internet is full of people living their 'best lives' and showing all the wonderful things that happen every single day on their feeds (hmm!). You guys know that I try my best to always be open, especially when it comes down to mental health and everything attached to it and, whilst I do like to keep my social media positive as much as I can, that clearly isn't the case every single day. My mental health means that I will get 'bad days' every once in a while, sometimes they last a few days, sometimes they seep into way too much of my time and I have to work harder to drag myself through to the other side of it.

It is rare for me to post when I am 'in' a crappy time, although I have once or twice, but I usually try to wait until the metaphorical fog has lifted, so I can actually find something useful to say about an event that has occurred. Honestly, suffering with any thing mental health related is torturous and when it comes out of nowhere it slaps you in the face like the darkest of clouds, filled with angry rain, but what is worse is when you are already feeling pretty bad and then something else comes along to trigger a huge downward spiral. That is what happened to me about two weeks ago and I am now just about recovered.



I recently had to take some pictures of me in this beautiful jumper for a lovely Cornish brand, and it was in the process of getting these shots that I totally lost my head. My biggest trigger for mental health is my appearance; I am self conscious beyond belief and carry my 'fat kid' taunts from school everywhere I go, along with many others. I can hear these things echoing around in my mind when I look at photos of myself and wonder how I am ever going to leave the house again. Looking through these pictures made me sob, and I mean properly, heart and lungs aching sob. In the moment directly after taking the photos I felt I couldn't stand living in my own body any more; years and years of feeling this way have warn down my brain and it becomes more and more fragile each time I go through another time like this. We can be very cruel to ourselves can't we?

To anyone who is reading this and thinking it is some self-indulgent 'fishing for compliments' type of post, you couldn't be further from the truth; what I am trying to highlight is a) how to get over things like this and b) that we all have our moments and that there is something within all of us that is a little bit broken (that doesn't mean it needs fixing either!).



Let's move on from the state of my poor old worn out mind and think about a few ways to deal with this suffocating issue (because that's how it feels in the moment, totally all consuming). Whilst this is always going to come up for me from time to time, I feel I do have a little bit of knowledge about how best to deal with the days where you just can't deal with yourself! Here are my thoughts...

T A L K
If, like me, you have one or two people you are close to, who you trust and who won't just think you are being totally silly (which you are not; your thoughts and emotions are valid and important) then it is vital that you be as vocal and open with them as you can. Sometimes, when we are in the middle of a crisis, it is so easy to not be able to think or see things logically. Having someone else listen to you and offer advice will help no end.

L E T  I T  O U T
This could just be me, but I find that if I don't let my emotions out (i.e. cry for however long I need to!) then, regardless of any other things I do I won't quite feel fully better. Just allow yourself to feel, whatever that actually looks like for you. It's such a cleansing process. As a side note, for any mental health flare up I find that sleep helps more than anything!



S P A C E
Give yourself some space from whatever the thing is that has triggered you. For me, it would have been totally counter-productive to keep looking back at the pictures and getting totally overwhelmed by my feelings towards them. I gave myself the time I needed to find some logic, rather than torturing my tired head over and over again, pulling apart the pictures and pointing out all the things I felt I have wrong with my face and body.

S E L F - C A R E
Self-care is awesome at any time, as well as being so important for us all, but if you feel your mental health spiraling a little (or a lot) you need to take some time to do nice things. Make a list of all the things that make you happy, pin it to a notice board or keep it in a journal, and then pick a couple of things to do at the times you need to. Some of my favourite things to do, other than sleep (always my number one!) are to make a hot water bottle, climb into bed and listen to a guided meditation or read a book. Another one of mine is to have a bath; water always relaxes me. I will pop on a podcast and just lay there and try and take my focus away from anything that is causing stress or discomfort.

J O U R N A L
This is one that can be a little bit painful when you first sit down and start writing, but as you let things flood out of you, you can start to realise why you feel the way you do; just let everything settle in the pages of your journal, rather than in your head. This is a tool I would highly recommend to everyone, it really is so useful.

I know we all have our body issues (one of the reasons I am doing my Body Stories e-book - please contribute your story... just click here to find out more!) but, honestly, we do give ourselves so much stress that we needn't have. I felt horrible within myself for well over a week and I allowed my mental health to take me to the worst places it can go, the darkest corners of the illness that I fear so much. I felt like I had undone most of the hard work I had been doing surrounding body confidence, all because of a few photos, but now I think I am almost back to that more positive place again.

I don't think I will ever be 100% happy with myself but is anyone? That doesn't mean that I am not proud of my body when I am lifting weights in the gym, because I am; it holds its own and I can really push my limits! I don't wish my faded stretch marks away anymore because they are part of my journey and part of who I am, the same way the invisible scars in my head are. All these things make me who I am and, when I finally looked back at the pictures (I had to post something for crying out loud!) I wasn't jumping for joy, but I wasn't crying again either. The journey to self-acceptance will be a long one, but it is happening and I will not quit.

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5 August 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Hello my loves... Happy Sunday!

This post is much later going up then usual because I have spent 95% of today sat on a chair outside, reading my book! Sorry about that, but it was a much needed chill-out day today! The book I am currently devouring at a very fast pace is 'Chase the Rainbow' by Poorna Bell, and it is one of those books that is very sad and very beautiful in equal measures. I must have read about 160 pages today. I highly recommend it if you like a non-fiction read that really hits the heart strings.

Anyway, how has your week been? Mine has been fairly full on, leading to me sleeping on and off most of yesterday (I have been very anti-social this weekend!) but it was such a lovely relaxing weekend. Sometimes I just like being at home, away from the madness of the summer crowds and find a sense of calm in my own space you know?



Here are the things that have made this week a good one...

:: The skies this week have been so pretty! The picture at the top is one I took from my spot in the garden earlier today, as was the one above actually! I could lay back and watch the sky for hours, especially at night time :-)

:: On Friday I got to have a little Face Time chat with one of my faves, Peta! We officially titled it our 'Cat Mum-trepreneur' meeting (or words to that effect!) and had planned to chat about what we are up to business/blog wise, but actually ended up talking about the most random subjects including: why it is that we need to have just one leg out of bed to regulate our temperatures at night / various things to do with cats (obviously!) / the many topics we could talk about if we were to start a podcast, which we totally should and quite a few random things that I probably shouldn't mention for fear of the repercussions! I did have to apologise to her post-chat for waffling on and not talking about what we had set intentions towards, but I don't get to talk to too many humans!

:: I listened to a two-part podcast this week which made me cry in the first ten minutes. It was recommended by...erm, Peta (we message a lot on Instagram recommending various things to one another most weeks!). The podcast was 'From the Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl' and the episode was 'The Inner Critic'. It kind of speaks for its self but it was basically the hosts yoga-teacher-training class all sat around together discussing what their inner critic tells them (i.e. all the shitty things we say to ourselves) and then what the voice of their 'inner best friend' says to them. I would highly recommend it if you fancy feeling like part of a huge tribe of women who just need to show themselves a little more love!



:: This little bear has been all sorts of cute this week. She fell asleep in my arms like a baby one evening, busy snoring away, her little paws running after something in her dreams. I love her to bits, I really do.

:: After a while of pondering whether I should do the whole 'Body Stories' project or not (if you have no idea what I am waffling on about click right here and all shall become clear) I decided that I would go for it with all my might, so I created a page to guide people through the idea and started to message and email people who may be able to get the word out. I am hoping with all my might that it will gain some traction as I really think this little e-book of mine, containing your beautiful stories, could help so many human beans! Please check out my saved Instagram Stories, 'Body Stories' section, to grab some screen shots that you can share with your follows; just tag me in so they head my way!



:: It was Joes birthday this week, so yesterday I cooked him his favourite dinner, a roast chicken, with the works! I do like a good old roast dinner I must confess, it was definitely not a hardship to eat it!

:: Hands up if you have been watching 'Stath Lets Flats' on Channel Four? I know this programme won't be to everyones taste, but it certainly makes me die laughing; I honestly cannot stop watching it. The whole concept, for those who haven't seen it, is a family run letting agents (I'm sure you worked out the lettings part!) and Stath, who is the son of the owner, is basically useless, but you cannot help but adore him (and his sister too!). It is just so funny, please do check it out (and give it a moment before you judge it because the characters are so cute!). I'm praying for a second series!

:: Yesterday I actually took some time to sort out my gym playlist on my iPod; I have got so bored of it and keep meaning to sort it out. I deleted a load of tracks, threw some new ones on there and added a couple of older songs that I haven't had on there in a while. I know tomorrows workout will be all the better for it! I highly recommend it if you are feeling a little bit demotivated!

:: I am super chuffed to have had a little mention on two wedding magazine IG stories this week; You and Your Wedding and Wed Magazine! I sent out some media packs of my Fern collection and they kindly popped a picture up! PS: I have some really good offers all through August, so head to Leaf Lane Studio to check them out! (They include 50% off my wedding stationery sample packs!).

That is all for this week; I will be back on Wednesday with another post! Wednesday is also International Cat Day apparently... you're welcome!

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