30 June 2020

TIME TO REFOCUS


I popped an Instagram post up yesterday to explain that I am going to take a break from this blog for a while. The reason for that is because I am trying to put all my focus and energy into Leaf Lane Studio and getting it on its feet (running a business is a lot of work guys!). 


It has been a tough decision to actively step back for a bit, because I LOVE this space that I have created. I adore you guys, and I feel so excited to share things I write with you, but the fact is that I need to earn money and I don't (and never have) earned a penny here and, whilst that isn't a problem (I didn't start it to earn money), I need to use all my energy and creativity on my buisness. Once that is more established I will be back here for sure.

I have goals for this space just as much as my buisness, but I have learned that I cannot be everywhere at once and definietly can't find the time to make it all perfect. I wanted to relaunch my blog on a different platform, and rebrand it, and I will certainly be looking to do that in the future, but for now my concentration has to be with Leaf Lane Studio.

Than said, I am still going to be mini-blogging over on Instagram and will just be putting my weekly gratitudes there instead. I will continue to write and share, just not right here for now!

My studio vlogs are still going to be 'a thing' over on YouTube too, so really not much is changing! I haven't been able to show up as much as planned here since I started working with a group coaching programme because I am learning so much and want to make sure I get the most out of it, which involves work too.

I will be back here for sure, so please bear with me! In the mean time, make sure you are following me on Instragram, YouTube and Facebook (all linked in the side bar). I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you guys being a part of everything I create on line and I am so grateful for you. 

Stay tuned for what is to come!
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22 June 2020

WHAT A WEEK!


I am going to keep this blog post SUPER short and sweet because I have A LOT of catching up with myself to do this week after last week and all its happenings!

On Tuesday morning I turned on my computer and saw a screen that filled me with dread 'hard drive no available'. Yep, the bloody critter had given up and took a lot of things with it. Thankfully I have an external hard drive for all Leaf Lane Studio bits and bobs, but I hadn't backed up anything else. It was always one of those things I put off. Let it be a lesson to us all... get cloud storage and avoid the panic! I will be sorting out mine TODAY.

Luckily for me I have a husband who knows 'all the things' about computers and also has the patience of a saint when it comes to technology (I have ZERO patience for anything like that so was losing my sh*t left, right and centre as you can imagine).

New hard drive and SSD drive was promptly ordered and by the end of the week I had a new, very fast, computer to bring back to life. Thanks Joe for all your time and skill(z), because I would not have known how to even try to get things working again. I have now been shown how to fit a new hard drive into my computers base unit, and I predict the knowledge of that hanging around for approximately another week or so (the knowledge of how to 'initialise' it has already vanished - sorry Joe!).

What I have learned from last week is that Mercury Retrogrades really do upset technology (!) but also that we must back up! It becomes so evident how much we take for granted at times like this doesn't it. So, for now, know that my biggest gratitude of last week was living with someone with computer knowledge, and also being able to rescue my computer without totally losing my marbles, because right now there really isn't much room for manoeuvre.

I will leave you with some pretty pictures from my walk taken the very morning my computer died, because it was STUNNING, and I will be back soon with a 'proper' post! Have a great day!

PS: I lost my latest Studio Vlog, but am looking at what videos I still have on my memory card and phone today, so may be able to reconstruct it! Watch this space for that coming soon!

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15 June 2020

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


The last couple of weeks have been, quite frankly, bloody exhausting, but I am back here to try and get into my normal routine again. I haven't been able to even think of working 'as normal' until today (and it still is a bit of a struggle!). You know when you just feel a little off kilter? I think it just takes throwing yourself back into it again in order to almost force the reset of your brain you know? At least that is what I am trying!

As much as it has been a strange time all round, I can always find little things to be so grateful for; it is important to remember the things that make you smile when you are struggling isn't it. That said, let's jump into those things right now!

:: I have been taking myself out for early morning walks before work to clear my head and enjoy some moving-meditation in nature. My mind feels at home outside, when it is really quiet and no one else is about. The coastal paths have been full of nature and the wild flowers are so beautiful at this time of year. I have tried to capture some of the moments I love on my recent couple of vlogs, one of which will be going up on YouTube in the next couple of days and the other will be close behind it. I am also sharing my walks with you guys over on Instagram too, so make sure you are following both my Leaf Lane Studio and From Lucy with Love accounts to see them! My walk this morning included a herd of cows, which I thought I may have to negotiate on the way back, as they were very close to the gate I needed to walk through! The walk was so beautiful though and it set me up for the day and gave me so much energy.


:: Over the last couple of weeks I have made a conscious effort to be eating a lot more fruit and vegetables in my day to day diet. I have no issue with eating carbohydrates, but my body is struggling a lot with things like pasta and bread, so I have replaced pasta with lots of vegetables and just started putting my homemade pasta sauce on top of the veg. It tastes so good and I have been feeling so much better in myself for it. I have tweaked my breakfasts to go from smoothie shakes to smoothie bowls; which doesn't take too much more effort, but tastes like I am eating a really creamy fruit ice-cream! This morning I had a tropical smoothie bowl, made from a frozen fruit mix I got from Morrisons (consisting of mango, papaya, pineapple and passion fruit), and I just add a little Fage Greek yogurt, some protein powder and almond milk. I then put it into my Nutri-bullet and mix it until everything is smooth and it is super thick and like you need to eat it with a spoon, rather than drink it with a straw! I add a tiny bit of granola and a few chia seeds and some mixed seeds and there you have it! Delicious and good for you!

:: I have been working on my goals for Leaf Lane Studio over the last ten days or so and have been trying to break them down into something that I can work on (and actually achieve!). When it comes to goal setting, I am really great at listing lots of things, but sometimes I feel really overwhelmed with things and feel stuck when it comes to knowing how to start. Through a recent lesson on Holly's academy I have now started to see a better way of breaking goals down and actually working on them in a quicker, more achievable way. I am now trying to set goals quarterly, based off a huge list I made recently, and then just pick a few to achieve and work through them in baby steps. Wish me luck!


:: Speaking of projects and things on lists... if you have watched my Studio Vlogs from way back when I was designing my 'Cute Cats' collection, you may recall me mentioning an idea that I had for producing some 'sweary cat' designs. On Saturday, after chatting this thought through with all the wonderful souls in the Nourishing Soulfully Kindness group, I decided to make it a 'thing'. So, you can now follow 'Sweary Cats' on Instagram and will soon be able to get Sweary Cat products too... think cards, stickers and calendars! Lots more information to come soon! Please do not follow if you are easily offended though, these kitties are rude and don't care what anyone thinks!

:: One thing I did last week, which really helped to shift my mindset, was to have a little shuffle about in my office. My desk was too small for my computer and so I moved a few things about and now have a larger desk with my computer on it and much more room to pack orders too. I remember how, as a kid, I always loved changing my bedroom around, and recall that feeling of new energy in a room that you have rearranged. It really does work wonders for creativity I think. I also moved a new plant into my office, which is such a lovely little feature on my desk now too. Plants are just everything right now!

:: Something that made my heart really happy this week was watching a little magpie following a pigeon about in the front garden. Everything the pigeon did, the magpie had a go at doing right after, and it was so adorable to watch. I think the magpie was still really young, but it seemed to want to impress the pigeon, who didn't seem at all fussed for a new pal in its life at all!

:: Having binge-watched the new season of Queer Eye when it came out, I have now started right at the beginning again and I am enjoying it so much. I adore all those boys; they make me laugh, cry and want a make over too! If anyone wants to nominate me go right ahead! 

:: This weekend I started working on some Christmas card designs for Leaf Lane Studio. I haven't done Christmas cards since I launched the business, but I wanted to try and get just a few designs listed in my shop this year. I have started working in a sketch book again, pulling together ideas and colour palettes I like, and am currently painting some things on pre-prepared jewel-toned backgrounds, and I am loving how they are looking so far. I am trying to be a bit more playful with what I am creating and allow myself freedom to make mistakes, which is something I do struggle with. I can be really hard on myself when I start a new project as I often think I need to get it right immediately, which we all know is not possible! Watch this space for more on those designs! I am excited to develop them and to get them out for Christmas!

I will leave it there for today but I will be popping up a new studio vlog soon, so be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep up with the latest videos as they come out!

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1 June 2020

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


Well, that was a busy old week last week! In case you didn’t catch it, I threw myself into a bit of a project which, in full transparency, totally pushed me out my comfort zone! I decided, rather on a whim, to put together a three day mini series called ‘Beginners Tips for Hand Lettering’, as well as putting it up on my Leaf Lane Studio IGTV, I also uploaded all three videos to my YouTube channel too. If you’re interested in watching it I would love to know what you think! I put it together because I am considering structuring a beginners hand lettering course that you could download and work through in a far more in-depth way. Let me know what your thoughts are!
 
Let’s jump into this weeks gratitude (and general random happenings from the week!).

:: I am so grateful for the feedback I have received from those of you that have watched the hand lettering videos. It makes my heart happy to watch you having a go at lettering the quote and showing me your amazing efforts on Instagram! I find lettering such a mindful exercise and feel really glad that you do too!



:: Last night I closed my charity sticker for the Last Chance Hotel, with the current total at over £160. I’ll confirm the exact amount this week on Facebook and Instagram because I need to just double check everything again! I’m so proud of what we have achieved with this fundraiser guys and I wish I could hug you all for buying a sticker and helping me do this for such a truly wonderful charity. Thank you so much.

:: I talked a lot about the houseplants in last weeks list, but this week, something amazing arrived in the post and I am thrilled about it. Emily (from Emily and the Whippet, who is the plant enabler I mentioned last week!) sent me a little parcel of the most wonderful plant cuttings EVER! I have so many now and they fill me up with joy! I can’t list them all here but if you keep your eyes peeled on my YouTube they will be popping up in a Studio Vlog soon! Thanks Emily!

 ^^ I love watching how the water droplets form on Barry, the banana tree! ^^

:: This amazing weather we’ve been having is creating such a wonderful feeling for me throughout the day. I love lighter mornings and evenings, hearing the birds sing, watching the light in the trees and smell the summer scents in the air. Recently I have been sitting in the kitchen, at the big table, with the back doors open and the little blinds pulled down half way, just painting in the early evening light; it’s gorgeous. There’s something magical at that time of day.

:: On Friday I finally launched my Bay wedding stationery collection on Leaf Lane Studio, and on Saturday the samples arrived from the printers! They are stunning guys, I’m so happy with them! I need to get a couple of props for the Bay photo shoot and then you’ll be able to get samples of it on the website. I’m also about to start work on another new collection too, which will be super simple, very versatile and elegant. I can’t wait to start work on it!



:: Whenever I am spending a while at my painting table, I love having a series to get stuck into. On Saturday I started watching Killing Eve and I love it! I don’t know how to describe it, because it is equal parts humour and total darkness, but it is brilliant! Have you watched it? Any recommendations for my next watch welcome!

:: I went out the front door to look for Gizmo on Friday and there were three horses, with ‘drivers’ (!) busy munching the weeds out the front of the driveway. One of the ladies called out in what seemed like a panic ‘... they’re only eating the weeds, not your trees!’. It dawned on me that they probably thought I’d leapt out the front door like a right old battleaxe to tell them off! Gizmo had been MIA for a while and I was in a panic, so didn’t think that they might worry when I appeared! We get horses and their owners trot past the end of the house every day, several times a day, and I love it so much. I also very much appreciate the stubbornness of a horse that refuses to move until it finishes its weedy snack!

:: I have been wearing my super soft, stripey maxi skirt and more summery clothes recently, which feels so nice. I am trying to get myself into different clothes whilst I am working, because it always makes me feel so much better in myself, as does a good, trusty lippy! What self-care do you put in place to make you feel ready for the day?

:: On Thursday I had a little treat meal of curry, rice and the most delicious naan bread (yum!). I had also ordered a packet of white chocolate buttons as pudding and they were fab! I love curry and all the trimmings so much, not that we have it very often at all, but when we do I am so grateful for it!


:: Whilst mooching about on YouTube yesterday, I stumbled up these really short videos on the House and Garden channel (of all places!), that are called 'Things to Put in Frames'; they are little films showing artists in their spaces, discussing their work. I love things like this (which is why I adore watching and creating studio vlogs). I find artists sketchbooks, inspirations and processes so interesting. You should check them out if you enjoy that sort of thing, they are only 3-5 minutes in length and truly lovely to watch.

I hope you enjoyed that weekly run down! Last week was truly mad but it a good way! Included in all the madness was a magpie that found its way into the kitchen and was flapping about all over the shop trying to find an exit. It wasn't in there for long and flew out absolutely fine after just a few seconds, but it came as a bit of a shock!

Have a wonderful week and enjoy this wonderful weather!

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MINI SERIES | BEGINNERS TIPS FOR HAND LETTERING


Last week, over on my Leaf Lane Studio Instagram, I decided to pop up a three day mini series, for beginners who wanted to have a little go at some lettering! It is a basic look at some of the important things to think about when starting to get into it, and includes tips on how to link letters together, make your lettering look like it has been done with a calligraphy pen, without actually using one, and ends with some ways to make your envelopes look super pretty so you can impress your friends and family!

I have popped all the videos below for you to watch, and keep this post really short so you can get stuck in! If you enjoy them, please let me know as I am seriously considering putting together a mini course that you can access on line, going into far more detail for you. Think of this as a little 'hand lettering taster'!

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you are liking the content I am sharing with you right now; there will be a new Studio Vlog appearing in the next 24 hours too!

Thank you for being here and supporting me, you are so appreciated.

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25 May 2020

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Hello, hello! Welcome back to another ‘Weekly Gratitude’ post, but not only a new post but also a new STUDIO VLOG too (and about time frankly!). With my vlogs I sometimes worry that I don’t have ‘the right’ sort of content for you and then panic a bit, struggle with the feelings of ‘what if I bore them all half to death’ and finally I get over myself and put the bloody thing up! I actually have another one heading your way sooner rather than later too (why am I like this?!). Anyway, I will link my studio vlog at the bottom of this post as normal if you fancy watching it. I am also going to ring the ‘please subscribe to my channel’ bell again. Here’s why I keep going out about subscribing... 

Back in the day, YouTube allowed anyone to monetise their channel, meaning it plays adverts occasionally and pays teeny-tiny pennies to the creator of the video. You didn’t get paid out until you reached something like £50 of ad revenue, which I was a couple of pounds from making, and BAM, YouTube change it’s rules. The new rules stated that you had to have over 1k subscribers to monetise, meaning that 'my' money/earnings are stuck in the system until I get to that amount of subbies and can release it. What a sh*t! Anyway, I am on around 555 subscribers now... almost there then eh?! (Sobs silently into a gin). So, along with just wanting you to subscribe because you’re all my readers and I appreciate each and every one of you, and wouldn't want you missing out on all the excitement that comes to you via a vlog, but it would also be so helpful to me, my blog AND my business. Click right here to subscribe!

Right, enough YouTube waffle, you get it! Onto the gratitude post...

Oooh, one more thing, I am doing a final push on my charity sticker, if you haven't got one yet I would so appreciate you checking out all the information right here and considering helping out with this fundraiser! I was so excited this week as my local radio station, Pirate FM, popped up a blog post and Facebook post in support of this and, as they have over 150k followers I figured I may reach my overall target, but not even one person visited the page... I wanted to cry, but then I remembered how many amazing people have helped and got myself back on track.



:: Unlike last week, this week has just zoomed on by. It’s been full of work, Zoom calls and creativity, and for that I am so lucky and so grateful.

:: My new banana tree, Barry, is settling in fabulously, and has even started growing a tiny baby tree right next door to him. having consulted my plant ‘Yoda’, Emily, from Emily and the Whippet, I now know I can leave ‘baby Barry’ for a bit, until he’s older, and then give him a pot of his own! We spent too much time this week choosing names for the plants in this house, and now we have ‘Puff’ (no, not a drug, a Dragon Tree... Puff the Magic Dragon), Spike (a Christmas cactus), Barry (banana tree dude), Matilda (Monstera goddess), Laura ( a new cutting who’s planty name currently escapes me), Pea-Pod (soon to be Burro’s Tail when they grow from cuttings) and Kevin (Pilea). I also have recently taken cuttings from Puff, so have two new ones I am hoping to grow (I have not named these yet) and also there are three cuttings from Spike currently drying out, so I am hopeful about those too. As a beginner I am learning on the go, but very much enjoying myself. I blame Emily FULLY for all of this happening. I’ve always wanted to get 'into’ houseplants and she just tipped me over the edge and enabled my fall! I don’t mind at all though really!

:: I’m not sure if any of you guys have seen my Leaf Lane Studio Instagram this week, but I’ve been having quite the moment with the colour pink! My paint palette has been (and still is) full of gorgeous baby pinks, which means my water is also the most pretty pink ever! Just when I thought my week couldn’t get more pink, my new phone case showed up, well over a month earlier than expected from Amazon! I am in love with it guys! It has cat ears for heavens sake! If you fancy laying your paws on it, here’s the link!* It definitely isn’t a massively great quality case, but it is so adorable and I would buy another one! In fact, there was a two pack that I am now wishing I had gone for, which has my pink one and a black one too! I just wanted to make sure it fit my phone first!



:: Thanks to an afternoon spent reading in the garden yesterday (and getting a bit burnt...oops, we have ordered sun-cream now), I have almost finished my Jonathan Van Ness book*. I have loved this book so much; his openness and wit has kept me gripped. I think there is a new series of Queer Eye coming out soon and I really cannot wait to watch it!

:: Gizmo has been hilarious this week with her ‘zoomies’; she comes indoors, after a few hours outside, and then proceeds to go absolutely mental for about 15 minutes, sliding about on the floor, crashing into things at full speed and trying to climb up the doors. It really makes me smile to see her play, she is the best little bear!

:: We have the most gorgeous hedgerows and trees around the house right now; the garden is full of wildflowers, bees, all kinds of birds and it makes me so happy! Nature is thriving in a way that I have never seen before. Earlier in the week Joe spotted a male and female Bull-Thrush in the front garden; I have never seen one before and they are stunning! The male has a bright orange breast and they both have the most gorgeous markings. I don't know whether this lock-down is making more birds come into places that they may normally avoid, but either way it makes me so happy.


:: On the subject of nature, with all the trees around where we live, it is really something to lay in bed at night and just listen to the wind blowing the leaves in the trees. It is such a soothing sound to just here owls and trees and that's it. So wonderful.

:: I have been continuing my training and sweating myself half to death in the garage. I still want to get my hands on a kettlebell and maybe a box to jump on, they are just so expensive and, getting a proper box will mean it takes up quite a lot of space too! I am enjoying the different way that I am challenging my body at the moment. I also threw in a BodyCombat workout this week, which was awesome, but I had totally forgotten how sore my toes get with all the jumping about! They will toughen up soon if I keep at it though! Persistence (and stubbornness) is key here!


:: I have been so grateful everyone’s response to pictures I have put up showing my wedding stationery collection, Bay, and am pleased to say that it will be making its debut on Leaf Lane Studio on Friday 29th May! You will be able to browse the entire collection on my site as a preview, and when I have my samples here I will put together the brochure (photos need to be taken first you see!). I am excited to see this collection be on my website for people to see very soon!

* = Amazon affiliate link, meaning that if you purchase using this link, I will get a few pennies.

That's all I have for you this week, but scroll on down to watch my new vlog if you fancy it! I would love you to head to YouTube, give the video a 'like' and subscribe too, it really makes a difference!

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21 May 2020

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE FULLY 'YOU'



How many sides of 'you' do you show to the world everyday? Go back to before lock-down, and imagine yourself going through your normal routine; how did you act around people? Did you have different 'versions' of yourself for the various situations you found yourself in each day? If so, what did they look like?

I'm asking these questions because I have been thinking a lot about the subject and analysing myself, which is not unusual, but is something I have allowed myself to do for a bit of self-development through this lock-down thing. I have been questioning myself, in a gentle way, and trying to see if the Lucy I am every single day at home, is the same Lucy I am showing up as when I set foot outside the door and mix with other people in different situations and environments. The answers have been interesting. 

What would you say if you asked yourself the same questions? Could you say you were consistently the same person? I can't, but I think that might be okay actually.

Right now I am reading Jonathan Van Ness' book, 'Over the Top', and, in the book, he unpicks a little of why he thinks that we all have these sides to us that we draw on at different times, saying.:

'...(Dr Richard Schwartz) created something called Internal Family Systems Therapy. According to him, we were all born as a centered 'self' who is perfect and whole and can handle anything. But as we experience trauma in life, the centered self doesn't know quite how to deal with it, so it develops pieces of ourselves that we can call upon based on the situations we find ourselves in.... we all have these parts in our personality, but some people's are more extreme...'

That is a far more articulate way of explaining what I am trying to say here I think; and he goes on to say:

'if you think of your personality like a car, it's like this: my busy bee sits in the drivers seat, saying yes to every job coming my way with no thought of overbooking...my people pleaser is in the passenger seat... and my inner child is in the car seat. Meanwhile, my inner critic...can't stop backseat driving and telling everyone how I could be driving so much more effectively...'

I think we can all relate to this can't we; all the facets of 'us' that can sometimes drive us crazy?! It can be thoroughly exhausting for us to keep switching roles like that. Of course there is a time and a place for it, but it is when we are doing it to please others or to try and conform to something we feel we have to: that is when it is destructive.

So, a few questions that may help you unpick this subject a little bit, if you are interested in delving into it more are:

- When am I most true to myself? (Ask yourself who you are with when you feel completely you. You may discover that it is only when you are in the safety of home that you feel like you can be totally you, so just keep asking 'why'). 

- Who am I with when I feel like I really need to dig deep into my energy reserves in order to function in that situation? (Here you are exploring your energy zappers! Be honest with yourself.)

- Ask yourself why you feel the need to act a different way around certain people. Do you feel you have to 'dumb' yourself down because it is easier? Do you feel like you have to agree with opinions because you feel like they may question yours? Why? 

I think journaling on those points, or something similar, can be really useful to start uncovering the roots of this.

I guess the reason this is at the forefront of my mind right now is that I don't want certain behaviours to continue post lock-down. I want to show up as me as much as possible. The routine I find myself in right now has opened up new parts of my mind and I feel happy about that, so of course, it is only natural, to not want to slip back into being 'the funny one' in one situation, or 'the one who is always self-depreciating' in others. I am a business owner, a creative, a little nerdy/geeky, very awkward most of the time, but that it who I am. I do weird things, I enjoy loud music and total silence. I need to get into bed in the middle of the day to switch off from normality for a bit and I don't always want to mix with lots of people, but that is who I am and, do you know what? That is okay with me.
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18 May 2020

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ There have been the prettiest skies ever recently ^^

As weeks in lock down go, this week has been the slowest. Up to now I have been commenting on how fast they’ve gone by, but this week has taken on a really slow speed; with each hour seeming soooo long! I’ve also been a little more tired than usual, which probably explains it, but it has still been an amazing week nonetheless. 

How are you doing? What has been the highlight of the week for you? I hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed some lovely weather too; it really was gorgeous here (but a bit chilly in the wind).

Shall we delve into what has happened this week?

:: I have found myself fully invested in my morning routine for a long time now but this week, after a coaching call with the gang, I found myself reassessing the evening routine too. Holly talked to us about how our evening routines play a huge part in our morning routines, which I have never really considered before to be honest, but of course they do. If we have sporadic bed times and lots of screen time prior to sleep, it is inevitable that we won’t exactly wake up feeling like we can take on the day. So, after a bit of a ponder, it has been decided that the new nighttime routine will be no phone from 9.30pm, and no TV in bed either, just reading and journaling. This is heaven for me quite frankly, because I got way too involved in my phone at night (just through habit rather than want or need really) as a means to try and fall asleep and wasn’t really reading any books just for fun. Don’t get me wrong, the books I read in the mornings are brilliant, but they are business/self development books, so to pick up something at night, that isn’t going to set my mind off back to business thoughts again, is really nice. I have finally started reading the Jonathan Van Ness book, 'Over the Top', that my lovely friend Kimberley gave me to read ages ago. I think I have half her book collection at home and am conscious to get them back to her (when I can!).





::  I am still pushing on with the charity sticker; I think we have raised just over £105 now, I say 'we' because you guys have helped so much and I am so grateful to all of you who have bought one and are helping to support the Last Chance Hotel. They are still working so hard throughout this pandemic and I can't stress enough the difference any donation will make to them. If you would like to buy a sticker and help the little fundraiser just click right here to go directly to the page. I am trying to reach out to local radio to help push things on their Facebook pages right now, but haven't heard anything back yet, so wish me luck! I have enough stickers to raise about £400, and I would love that to happen. If you fancy sharing the posts I have put on my Instagram I would be really grateful.

:: I mentioned, in last weeks post, how I have been bringing back calendar blocking in a big way. I used to do it but this is a whole other thing now (see the picture in last weeks gratitude post for details!), as you will see it is a very serious, somewhat military, operation! As much as it may look like a lot, it is so useful in terms of knowing that I have got everything done (or at least tried my best), rather than bouncing about like Tigger, from one task to the other with little thought about the end goal. I still have a lot to learn and will need to adapt things, but the bonus from it is that I managed to take the weekend for myself, well, 85% of it! I had a couple of little tasks to get done but otherwise it was all mine! It felt good!

:: On the subject of the weekend, it was beautiful here, and after cleaning the house and having the group chat with Peta and the girls in the Loving Kindness Support Group, I was free to do anything I wanted! On Saturday I ended up cooking a yummy pasta sauce to portion out and put in the freezer and then climbed into bed for a rest. I felt so exhausted all weekend long and just laying in bed watching the huge trees outside the window, with a film on in the background (film of choice: Martian on Netflix, because, well, space is life!) was honestly heaven to me. Sunday was more relaxed still; I sat out in the chilly wind and lovely sun, trying to shelter a bit behind the door that I had pinned open, with my book and Gizmo (and tea of course).  I am excited for more weekends like that and am now confident to be able to make them happen thanks to my more organised week!



:: There have been such beautiful skies recently; I think I may mention that every single week, but it's true and I get so much joy from looking at them, so it has to be mentioned! Just look how pink!

:: Whilst I was online ordering potting soil the other day, I saw a dwarf banana tree, suitable for indoors, in the sale and just couldn't resist getting it. Barry the Banana Tree arrived on Friday and I am in love with him! I don't have a picture for you today, but in the vlog I am about to edit he will make an appearance for sure! I am really on a plant building mission right now as they make me calm and content, which is a top priority at the moment (shouldn't it always be?). I also took cuttings from our Dragon tree on Saturday and I am hopeful they will root and grow into gorgeous little trees in time! The whole process of gardening and caring for houseplants is something I love so much, but haven't really taken the time to learn to much about, so I am now making that a thing I do to up my happiness levels! I am officially a 'plant lady in training'.

:: As well as attempting to graduate as a Plant Lady, I am already a fully fledged 'Mad Cat Lady' (and proud) so decided to celebrate that even more when my phone case decided to give up on life. It gave me the purr-fect opportunity to get this one from Amazon. It was super cheap and won't get here until July... but I had to get it, I mean, just look...!


:: I have been working really hard on my new commission piece over the last week; painting many blush-pink peonies and pretty foliage. It is coming along nicely and I really wish I could show you it properly. I put a few glimpses of it on my Instagram Stories, but that it all I can do right now (I think I will pop a few clips in my new Studio Vlog too... editing that today!). I am so grateful to be able to do something creative every single day.

:: I went out for a little walk last week, not too far as I stumbled across a bit of a road block in the way of some older ladies walking dogs very slowly on a skinny road, and I figured I had better turn back because a) I didn't want to give them a heart attack by making them jump and b) well, you know, we have social distancing in place still! (I still can't wrap my brain around the term 'social distancing' actually being in every day conversation right now). Anyway, on my slow walk back home, it was lovely to stand and watch the birds and the farmer in his field, busily doing something in a cute red tractor! It looked like a scene from a kids programme, seeing him trundling along in the far distance over the green fields, like old school Postman Pat from when I was a kid!

I think that is about all I have to share with you right now; I am sure there must be many more things, but it is Monday morning and my brain is trying to catch up with itself. I already started the day by missing a call I was meant to be having early this morning. Doh! Anyway, there we are! It is the way things are at the moment; waking up thinking it is a totally different day to the one we are actually on... that is my normal right now!

Have a great week guys, be sure to check back on Thursday for a new post! See you over on Instagram!

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14 May 2020

LET'S TALK ABOUT METAPHORICAL DOOR BUILDING!



If you want new opportunities, seek new doors to open. If you can’t yet see the doors, build them.

This came to me in a meditation this week and made me sit up and pay attention to where I’m at in my little world right now. Over the past few years I’ve been working really hard at peeling back metaphorical layers of myself in order to understand, heal and develop my life. I've really dug deep into experiences I have had, why I have had them and what it is I have gained (or perhaps lost) from going through whatever the thing was. 

I am super aware, and very mindful, of how some people view the world of 'self-development' and how it can come over as self-righteousness or somehow like it is the 'only way to be', and I hate that, but sometimes it is hard to articulate things surrounding that subject using the right words, and I never want to come across as preachy or anything negative at all, so I stress that I am only talking about my own experiences here.

I've been journaling a lot this week about how choosing, consciously, to tread the path of self development has been one of the most wonderful and excruciatingly difficult things I’ve chosen to do. Each experience I point light at and try to delve into, has revealed a new moment to internally resolve. But the more time I spend doing the work, the better I feel, so it’s more than worth it.

That is the hard part of this journey really, the part where you uncover a really deep emotional conflict or unresolved issue you have buried away (because burying things is so much easier) and then you have to work through it. I have learnt that if I bury things every time they stick their heads out the ground, and keep ignoring them, they will come back over and over again until I face them. Facing the big things is awful. You go into a dark place and feel crap and upset and hurt and like everyone knows what is going on behind your eyes, but it is what brings true growth. I didn't realise that part until I did it.

Recently, as a result of all the soul searching, morning journaling and meditation sessions (and exercising myself into a sweaty mess when I am full of emotions), I’ve entered a season of 'forward movement' in my life; of realising that no one is going to change my environment (to bring me into alignment with my goals and desires), no one but me anyway. I am the one in charge and I am the one that has to seek, create and leap into the arms of opportunities as I find them (or create them if they seem to have got lost on their way to me!). It is up to me to build doors to open and venture into the rooms they hold behind them. Scary? Yes. A good kind of scary though.

The biggest door I have opened recently is the one to working with Holly (from A Branch of Holly) and other business owners who are all there to level up. I thought it would be scary, in a ‘I can’t do this’ kind of way. I thought I would stick out like a sore thumb and people would think I wasn’t good enough to be there. I though a lot of things. Fear is a weird old friend. Taking the leap and showing up daily to what I am being taught, challenges I am being set and throwing myself into doing things that are far from my comfort zone is what will change how my life is unfolding. It will move me forward in so many more ways than just helping my business, and that is why I faced the feelings of fear and sign up to take part. This is what we have to do to see change.

What I’ve learned, first and foremost, in the last few years is that fear can make you so stagnant; it can keep you from achieving your goals in such a major way. When it comes to trying new things, no matter how big or small, if you feel fear, just do it anyway. Fear is, more often than not, the most brave and exciting thing to face. Before entering this coaching group for Leaf Lane Studio, I felt so much resistance... fear. Now I’m in it, what do I feel? Inspiration, motivation, sparks of creativity, renewed energy, happiness, increasing mental strength and so much more.

So, when I was meditating and I heard the whole door analogy, I knew what it meant. I knew that I had to go in search of doors to open or build the ones I need to challenge me; it all just made sense to me and I know it is right.

The lesson: build the door! Open it and leap in!
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11 May 2020

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ I finished this commission and it is now in its new home with my lovely client! ^^

I'd like to start this blog post by telling you that this week is apparently 'National Donut' week... I won't be eating donuts, but I can be a bit of a donut, so I think that counts in the same way!

Anyway, now that I have proved myself a valuable public service I will go on to ask how your weekend was? Here in the U.K it was a Bank Holiday weekend, with the holiday part being on a Friday, rather than a Monday, which confused me immensely. I treated the day as a regular working day, but I did think that Saturday was Sunday and was basically in a state of confusion the entire time. Nothing new there to be honest!

Last week was a good week all in all, apart from disgusting hormonal fatigue (ladies, you know), which left me pretty much dragging myself about the place and only training four times, or maybe it was three now that I think about it. I may be counting Saturday, which I shouldn't, because although I put on training kit, I swiftly laid down on the spare bed, next to Gizmo, and went to sleep. These things happen and I am trying to roll with the days that my body is calling for rest, it is one of those harder things for my mind to do.

PS: A little friendly reminder that I am currently raising money for the Last Chance Hotel, a gorgeous animal sanctuary in Cornwall who really need support right now. I designed a sticker to sell and you can get yours (and read more about it) right here - I really appreciate all your support so far!

Right, let's jump on in to the gratitude list!

:: On our coaching academy call with Holly last Wednesday evening, we talked about creating our perfect day in terms of calendar blocking and how we can be more productive through setting our week out. I used to calendar block and it was something that worked well for me, but I let it drop away and have now brought it back. It is definitely a work in progress, but here is what it looks like... pretty huh?! I will update you on how that is going for me soon!



:: The lovely Peta, who I know I mention every blog post because I do her weekly group call and it's amazing, plus she's my friend and we are always sharing business, lifestyle and, let's face it, CAT related things with each other on very frequent basis, did the most wonderful thing for me this week and I just have no words for how grateful I am. A couple of weeks ago she mentioned to me a workshop that the gorgeous Sarah Powell is running, all about self-celebration. I had a look at it and thought 'wow, I really need this right now', but just sat on it a bit. Anyway, several different factors came along, one of which had me feeling very down about how I look and like I was just destined to fade into the pit of doom that my head was building for me, and just as I hit a real emotional point I had an email to say that Peta had booked me a place on the workshop. I am beside myself with appreciation for that human being. She just makes life better by being in it. Anyone who feels like they need support around food or body image needs to work with Peta, she is a fully fledged coach and is the best to work with on bringing more self-belief and self-worth to your metaphorical table. Thank you for being you lovely lady.

:: This week I managed to post my commission (pictured above) and it made it to its new home! I always feel nervous when I post a commission because if something happens to it then I would have no way of replacing it; whereas with products it is different. I am starting a new one this week, which will be super exciting for me to paint and uses some new colours for me too. I won't be able to show you much of it unfortunately, but will do a few little close ups for the Studio Vlogs as and when I can.

:: I have been having lots of lovely voice note conversations with Emily, from Emily and the Whippet on Instagram; and we got onto talking about plants this week and how I want more of them desperately. Well, we certainly released a can of plant-shaped worms there! It turns out that Emily's 'specialist subject' is plants and I couldn't be happier about it! She sent me videos of all her plant babies and has been telling me all about them - heaven! I am obsessed with plants, but i just don't have many at all. Fingers crossed that will change soon.



:: I managed to get out and trim all the crazy hedgerows in the garden this weekend and mow the lawn. The hedge here is rammed with gorgeous wild flowers and ferns and is such a beautiful place to look for colours and textures if that floats your artistic boat (it does mine!). I love cutting the grass and then watching the black birds hopping about and pulling out worms and digging in the newly disturbed surface! Hours of fun to see!

:: I finally reached the 1k mark on my Leaf Lane Studio Instagram account this week. I am not motivated by the numbers in a major way, but it was just a nice thing to happen! I love the fact that my followers grow slowly and usually because they are the right people for me to be engaging with, over buying followers, which I never understand. Why do people do that?! I like organic growth and interaction with people who follow me, and each and every time I get a message or a comment from someone it means so much. No one is faceless to me and I really like that. Thank you for all your support with my business so far guys, it means the world.

:: There have been some really beautiful evening this last seven days, with that lovely warm, summer night feeling going on. Stepping outside at 9pm, when there is still a bit of light and warmth in the air and taking a few deep breaths and listening to the day slowing down outside is one of my favourite things to do. I really enjoy that time of the evening, just as the sun is coming down. It feels magical.

:: I really enjoyed reading Sophie Cliff's blog post called 'The Lessons I've Been Learning During Lockdown', her blog is generally a total joy to read... well, she is a 'Joyful Coach' so I would expect nothing less, but it's a lovely one to check in with when you have time. I also have been loving Emma's (Beau Tie on Insta) Instagram stories; this girl is a) the ultimate boss - she has an wonderful Etsy shop, selling luxury bow ties and ties, has recently launched a scrunchy range too and is basically killing it online and b) her sense of humour is right up my street and her stories just make me giggle so much... oh, and her cat is cute!

That is all I have for you today, but I will be back again with a different kind of post on Wednesday, so check back for that! I will also be popping a studio vlog up soon - did you catch last weeks?

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3 May 2020

LAST CHANCE HOTEL CHARITY STICKER


^^ Buy your charity sticker from Leaf Lane Studio ^^

I am going to keep this blog post super short because most of you will already know about this if you follow me on either of my Instagram accounts!

Several weeks ago I designed this cute sticker, with one of my favourite quotes on it, Your only job is to show up as the human you want to be in this world, and when I was lucky enough to get it printed for free, by the wonderful guys over at Awesome Merchandise, as part of their Free Sticker Friday, I wanted to put my good fortune to good use by selling it for charity.

We are all having a tough time of things right now, and I know there are so many people and so many charities that need our help, but I always feel like you are pulled towards the right charity for you, and that is exactly what happened when I looked into my chosen charity, 'Last Chance Hotel'.

Last Chance Hotel (registered charity no: 1157684) based here in Cornwall, are such a beautiful animal charity, with the most amazing people, doing the most wonderful things for all kinds of animals. It would take me a long time to type about all the good work they are doing, so please just head to their website to check it out, because I could never do them justice really.

Not only do they rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals, but they also give sanctuary to animals that have been so damaged, both physically and mentally, that rehoming just isn't an option. These animals live out their lives in peace and with so much love, looked after by the amazing people behind Last Chance Hotel.

The also help support social services, the police units and also place some of their donations towards helping vulnerable people, at the loneliest points of their lives, to make sure they can keep their beloved pet by their side.

Honestly, everything they do blows me away and makes me so emotional.

During the current climate they need all the help they can to be able to continue this work and feed their resident animals too. It is hard for everyone right now, but I really want to help these guys out. There is so much more to their story, but I want you to read it for yourself over on their website. Please also give them a little follow on Instagram and like their Facebook Page too if you would like to.

So, onto how I am helping!

I decided that it would be lovely to give something to everyone who donates, so selling this sticker, with such a wonderful quote on, seemed like the right thing. Each sticker is £5.00 to buy, with £4.33 going to the charity. I am keeping back a small amount to cover my postage and packing, that is all. The whole way through this process I will keep you guys informed and will let you know exactly how much is donated when the fundraiser closes. I have 100 stickers and am hoping to sell all of them, which would mean we can raise over £400 for Last Chance Hotel.

Please head to Leaf Lane Studio to purchase yours and tell your friends and family about it too. I am so grateful for all the help I can get with this fundraiser and I promise that your donation will do the world of good for these beautiful animals.
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27 April 2020

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


^^ Painting in progress! ^^

Happy Monday! Somehow we are back at Monday again... is anyone else thinking that time flies faster in lock down or is it just me? I am hoping to have a new vlog up in a day or two; I have somewhat fallen off the vlogging wagon, in that I have been vlogging, but not editing as I am worried my content is not up to much, but today I will be attempting to compile all of my recent footage into something remotely watchable!

Last week I had so much more structure to my days, thanks to the accountability posts, provided by Holly for our little academy group. There is something about checking in with others that really gives me a kick up the backside! I am never a lazy human, far from it in-fact, but sometimes it is easy to get distracted and end up spending time on things that could wait. I got really stuck in to winding up a project that has been sat stagnant for a while and that will be coming to Leaf Lane Studio really soon.

Okay, let's dive into this weeks gratitude list...

:: After way too long, I got to video call my wonderful Lobby (Helena) and see her little one, James, who is somehow five months old now. I haven't seen her, face to face, since November 2018, when we went to her husbands birthday party. How mental, I can't believe it has been so long. Thanks to the Coronavirus it doesn't look like I will be seeing them until next year now. Meh! Still, I am grateful for video calls and being able to see her lovely face and the gorgeous view of Lynmouth from their house!

:: Another call which made me smile last week was the Nourishing Soulfully group call on Saturday morning! For the first time we all had our mics on and were able to talk to each other properly, instead of just in the chat box in Zoom. I left that call feeling really happy as there was so much laughter; it was wonderful to catch up with some other humans! Peta set the topic as 'overcoming hurdles', which we discussed this for a while, and then inevitably ended up talking about animals, which is never a bad thing!

:: I mentioned last week how I had been watching Ozark on Netflix... wow! I finished it this week and definitely need to watch it again soon. I have box sets on as I paint, which means I am listening but not watching, so I really need to return to it again. It was incredible. I watched the final episode whilst I was on my spin bike yesterday and literally stopped pedaling when the last scene played out! Now I need to move onto something else... any recommendations for something equally as gripping would be wonderful!

:: There are some really pretty wild flowers appearing everywhere in the hedgerows right now, including these pink ones in the garden, which I think are called 'Red Campion' (slightly confusing as they are definitely pink!). I love opening the back door in the morning and hearing the birds chirping away; I take a deep breath and can smell flowers and grass and sometimes the sea (if the wind is blowing in the right direction!).

^^ I love these bright little flowers so much! ^^

:: I will be telling you more about this once I have it all finalised, but I am going to be selling one of my stickers for charity and have decided on the charity this weekend. I am going to reach out to them first and speak to them before I announce it, but I will be doing so over on Instagram this week I hope. I wanted to try and help somehow, as life is insane for so many right now. I will be raising money for an animal charity, as they have been suffering so much too. Many shelters are having animals dumped there, purely through ignorance about the virus. People are thinking their family pets are endangering their lives and can pass the virus onto them, so are choosing to leave cats and dogs on the doorsteps of rescue centres. On top of this, these amazing places are struggling in general, as much of their fundraising has come to such an abrupt halt and/or staff and volunteers cannot get to work. I know I can't raise enough for lots of places (what a dream that would be), but if I can help and do my bit somehow, then I will! So, this sticker (below) will go up for sale soon, with all proceeds (except for the cost of a stamp and envelope to post to you) will be going to charity. I will break down exactly what amount will be going to charity on the product description when it goes up (I will just remove literally the cost of a stamp and a few pence for an envelope). I will be filling you guys in asap on Instagram, on both my accounts, so just make sure you are following me there. I will so appreciate your support. I will also try and put a 'donate' button up too, for people who don't want a sticker but may want to donate something, even if it is £1. I really want to help and I hope that, together, we can make a difference.



:: I have been really enjoying my 'garage workouts' lately, and am trying out some new core exercises that I have never done before too (I famously hate training core, but have been kind of enjoying the challenge of it). I listen to Heart Dance on my phone and blast it through the blue-tooth speaker, trying to find a good volume above the washing machine and tumble dryer! I have been trying so hard to find a kettle bell for an affordable price online, which is seemingly impossible! I just want a 12kg or 15kg kettle bell, just one! They are sold out everywhere, but I shall persist as I need something else to work with now.

:: Talking of my garage 'gym'; I met 'The Boss' of the garage yesterday. There I was, laying down on my mat, minding my own business, when something black and with way too many legs caught my eye. The garage is full of spider-life, but this dude took the biscuit (in-fact, I think he has taken many biscuits to get that big). Where is the gratitude in this you may ask; well, it is in the fact that he was peeping out from behind the boiler, on his web, so chances are he won't be casually wandering about the garage when I am out there. I am going to name him Sausage; because that sounds cutesy and he is the furthest thing from that... I figure that there must be some psychology involved that will make it all okay if I name him that. If I go quiet, I have probably been dragged off my yoga mat into Sausages webby den... send help.

:: Artwork is definitely helping me maintain some kind of mental health balance at the moment. As you know, I am currently working on a commission, but after that I will dive into the collage project I mentioned in my last vlog. Doing all my computer based work in the morning and then having something chilled to do in the afternoons makes so much different to how I feel. I want to start designing some more Paper Products for my shop soon, so if you have any suggestions of products you would like to see (physical or digital) let me know in the comments!

That is everything I have for today! Keep your eyes peeled on Instagram for my charity sticker announcement and on YouTube for a new vlog...coming soon!

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23 April 2020

THOUGHTS ON CHOOSING FEAR


^^ Image by Hello I'm Nic on Unsplash ^^

Whilst reading The Artists Way this week, I stumbled across a quote that I found really resonated with me and thought I would share it with you and some thoughts around what it brought up for me. The quote is '...in choosing, that which we often resist is what we most need'. How lovely is that, and how very true it is too.

It spoke to me because, where I am in life is about big changes and big commitments; it's a time for leveling up and realising potential in things that I can do and opportunities I can leap in to. It would be easier to think 'oh well, we are in lock down, so I may as well stand still (metaphorically of course) and not bother until all this is over', but I feel the opposite way. I feel like this is a time to thrive. It goes without saying that I only talk about my own wants and needs here and in no way push my thoughts onto you (you do you of course!). There are far too many 'survive the lock down' tips online already, so go with what feels good to you. For many what feels good right now is a rest, and I totally get that!

I digress...

For years and years I have taken the easier path. The one that involved heaps and heaps of research, lots of dreaming and wishing too, but never a proper leap of faith into the path I longed to take. Why? Well, the doing of the thing is bloody difficult. It challenges you in ways that you never thought possible. You spend most of your time wanting to cry or give up (both actually!).

My first attempt of 'leaping into fear' as I call it, was actually launching Leaf Lane Studio back in September 2017. That was a mini leap now that I look back, although it seemed like everything at the time. I remember Gemma (my amazing coach at that time) telling me that launching was the very tip of the experience and that the rest was where the work was, but I don't think I looked much further ahead because it felt like so much to me to just launch the thing!

On reflection, a couple of years on, things in my mindset have made another shift. 

As I venture into more coaching, this time with a group of amazing individuals who are all business owners, led by Holly from 'A Branch of Holly', I feel completely different. My confidence to take on this next step is huge, my motivation is totally sparked and I am ready for the hard times to come, because there will be hard times. 

Here's what has shifted though:
Years ago, any feelings of fear would have sent me running in the opposite direction, back to a point of safety and familiarity (hence I was only dreaming of working for myself over actually doing it). I did all the planning and note taking but didn't do the doing of it! Fear was scary and why would I want to put myself through it.

With experience, and no doubt age, I now push towards fear. As the quote says, that which we often resist is what we most need, and I truly believe that. We feel fear because something is new, because we don't know ourselves in that specific environment, because we can't control what we don't know. Those things are usually enough to send us packing. But if you allow yourself to lean into fear, to question it and think about it more, you will probably realise that you really want what is on the other side of it.

That is where I am now. I know I can achieve so much more in my life and in my business, but I have been comfortable, I have returned to familiarity for many reasons, but I am now ready to make that shift again. With that shift comes fear, but this time I am excited by it and experienced enough to know that it will bring times where I want to give in. I know this because I have felt this before. The trick is the pushing past the hurdles, which is why this new group I am part of is so good for me.

All of the people who are successful in whatever the field is you are interested in will tell you that they have had to go wading into their fear to get to where they are. Most things are not as scary as you imagine once you start them. That much I do know!

What are you wanting to do right now that is bringing up fear for you? Is it stopping you achieving something? If you feel like it, chat with me in the comments about it - let's help each other!
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20 April 2020

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Happy Monday everyone! You may have noticed that I have started doing these posts on a Monday morning now, rather than a Sunday; this is simply because I feel like, now that the weeks are mostly all the same (!), I need the extra time to gather these posts together!

How was your weekend? The weather turned out much better than I thought it would do, although it was lovely to have a bit of rain. Did anyone else notice how all the plants and trees seemed to pop with greenery this weekend? It was like a drop of rain made everything wake up properly and suddenly everything was 'hi there, I'm awake and here are my leaves!'. It is wonderful to feel like the weather is on the up again, it makes so much difference, especially right now.

Let's catch up about the happy moments from the week gone by...

:: Even though I have been chatting about this non-stop of late, I have to mention the relaunch of the Leaf Lane Studio website because I am really proud of how it is looking. There are a few 'coming soon' things on there, but they will be launching when things start to return to normal again. You will notice that the website is looking a lot 'cleaner' and hopefully easier to navigate! Please let me know what you think! I am really excited about it!



:: If you follow on Instagram, then you may have seen my stories last week all about Gizmo and her nose! She had a very swollen face about three weeks ago now, with no traumas that were visible to me or the vet. The gave her antibiotics and we waited to see what happened. The swelling came right down and then, over the course of several days, a strange lump appeared. What puzzled the vet was that it didn't appear to be full of fluid or anything at all, it was dry and hard, but growing. Short story is that I took her back last week so the vet could take a sample from it. Whilst waiting outside the vets for them to come to the window and tell me what was happening (no one is allowed inside the building now... so strange to get used to) I was thinking 'oh God, she is going to die isn't she, it's bad, I know it's bad...' Just then the vet appeared holding the whole 'lump' from Gizmos nose. Turned out that it was a slow release abscess and had been leaking underneath the scab, causing it to 'grow', but it was totally fine and came right off in the vets hands. Gizmo is looking more herself every day now, thank the Lord! I am glad that saga is over because I was thinking all sorts of horrible things. We will just keep an eye on her to make sure nothing else happens, but it should be all good now! Phew! That is a huge thing to be grateful for isn't it!

:: There was a lot of laughter this week because of a funny delivery I received. I won't tell the story again here, because I wrote a quick blog post about it earlier in the week, so check that out for a giggle. It was hilarious and reminded me how laughter really is a soul cleanser! 

:: I made an awesome commitment to my business last week, which involves being a member of Holly Bray's new 'Busy to Boss Academy'. It is all about learning better processes to aid marketing and focus in on being more effective and productive with your time as a business owner. The Facebook group is full of amazing people all at different stages in their business and is motivating and inspiring me already! I am excited to see what i can do through this new adventure. 

:: On the subject of committing to different things and about Facebook groups... I am loving the Loving Kindness Support Group, run by Peta so much. There is something inspiring and motivating, during the times we are in right now, about showing up at a regular time to chat to like minded souls online. I seriously have more of a social life now then I did before. It is the same with Hollys training, because being on your own, in your own head with things leads (or can lead) to you feeling stagnant, so being able to chat to people and share thoughts and ideas is something that is helping my sanity right now. I highly recommend finding something similar, especially if you are alone in all this right now.



:: Two things have captured me this week, one of them is Ozark on Netflix. Yes, I am late to the party, but that is how I roll and is one of my unique personality traits (as is looking for the positive!). I am loving the series so far, and it is helping me pass time on my longer cardio sessions on the bike! I am nearing the end of the first series now and it has been amazing! Right up my street! I highly recommend it!

:: The other thing that has taken over my life, although just in the last 24 hours, is TikTok. Gah! I am almost 40 years old for crying out loud and spent way too much time watching cat and dog videos and clips of people dancing. I wanna play!

:: I also watched the brand new Star Wars this week (well, the latest one at least... it probably isn't called 'brand new' anymore!). It was brilliant, I absolutely loved it! I think, when you watch 'final' films in what has been a huge series of films like the Star Wars films and Harry Potter, you never walk away feeling like all your boxes have been ticked by it, but over all I think they did a bloody great job at rounding it all up! I can't wait to watch it again soon.

:: I mentioned in last weeks gratitude post that I had received some lovely, and quite frankly, hilarious emails from a customer of mine in the US. She really is so lovely and sent me an email to tell me her parcel had arrived at the weekend. I love getting customer feedback and am always so appreciative that people take time out of their days to write some kind words like this. Thank you so much Amanda!



:: Finally, I have to mention the beauty of the recent sunsets we have been getting, because I love them too much not to talk about them! Last night was no exception; the sky went a beautiful hazy-pink and purple and looked stunning. I love standing outside and absorbing everything at that time of night; the smells, sounds and colours all come together to make me feel calm, still and ever so grateful. It is a wonderful time of the day.

As an after thought, which I remembered as I typed about the sunsets; the Lyrids meteor shower peaks between April 21st and 22nd, so get out to see that if the sky is clear! Thank you to my lovely Insta-pal Helen for reminding me about that on her recent post!).

Have a wonderful week ahead and make sure you pop back for my mid-week post! Don't forget to check out the new Leaf Lane Studio website too! All printables are currently just £2.00 too, so a great time to download one of my weekly planners or to-do lists! Check them out here.

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17 April 2020

YOU HAVE TO LAUGH


^^ This image by Diane Alkier on Unsplash was 'the dream' but let's see what actually happened ^^

Isn't being able to laugh at yourself so very important? I truly hope the answer is 'yes', because I think I spend more time laughing at myself then doing anything else at all! Not only do I find the most cheesy jokes ever bloody hilarious (such as two fish in a tank, one says to the other 'do you know how to drive this thing'... brilliant!) but sometimes I just do and say the most stupid things.

I often whisper to myself 'I carried a watermelon' as a nod to Baby from Dirty Dancing (one of my top films of course) because, quite honestly, I surprise myself at how much of joke I can be sometimes.

Take this cracker from this week as an example...

A couple of weeks back I won a little giveaway on-line for a sour-dough starter. This translated in my brain as a sour-dough starter 'kit', and I imagined a cute little box turning up, with a small packet of flour, some yeast and whatever the hecky-flump goes into producing a sour-dough loaf. 

I wait patiently (and hungrily) at home for said bread magic to arrive and, this week I hear a sturdy 'thud' hit the floor and think 'hooray, bread will be eaten this week!'. On approaching the door to see what our lovely posty had brought with him I see a very tiny envelope that is a strange shape.

Now, most of you will probably be way ahead here and know exactly what I received through the post... let's see shall we...

I open the envelope and what do I see?

Well....this... with no instructions, nothing but this.



On first inspection I wonder why someone chose to send me a packet of what looks like old Parmesan cheese or flakes of cement, and then, after inspecting the envelope further I see the senders address and suddenly the penny drops. This is it. This bag of wizardry is my bread 'kit'.

What does a girl do next you cry?

Google... yes, that was the first stop.

I learned a lot there; mostly that 'starter' not only means garlic bread or a yummy soup, but is also a proper 'thing' to make sour-dough (and not a 'kit' either). 

As I stood in the kitchen, contemplating my next move, like breaking quarantine to pop to the shops for a fresh white loaf and forget the entire thing, I heard my friend, the brain monkey banging his cymbals together... that's it, he said... Peta (Nourishing Soulfully) will know what to do, she had been talking about sour-dough starter on Instagram stories but I literally thought she was just making it for the first time and had found a 'starter' recipe, you know, that a newbie would use. Then I think 'of course not, this is Peta, she is always cooking, she has done this before and will know what to do!'.

I immediately left Peta a voice message on WhatsApp and waited for the genius to respond.

What response did I receive? Laughter.

Uncontrollable, hysterical laughter, snorts and all! (sorry Peta!)

I don't blame her. What an absolute MUPPET I am!

Once she had composed herself, which took a while, she then proceeded to tell me that, once I have rehydrated the crusty dust in my envelope, I will have to get lots of flour to 'feed' it (ffs, really? Feed it? I just want fresh bread!).

It all sounded very technical and even more high maintenance then the cat is, but I wanted to give it a go, after all I waited so long for my bread 'kit' to arrive, plus I don't like to quit!

So my next move was to get flour, but do you think I could find any? No, because every bread obsessed, sour-dough making magician has bought it all already - sodding quarantine.

There you have it.

I am officially a wally! But did I laugh? Lots! So it was worth it!

Story time over.
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