Butterflies & Afternoon Tea.

Remember a few weeks back when I wrote a blog post about having an exciting January ahead? Well, it definitely has been very exciting but also H E L L A busy!

Alongside the fact that I also copy-write for a living now, attempting to successfully adapt to my rountined lifestyle changes has meant that I haven’t had much chance to sit down and write for a while. So today – inspired by this blog post by my friend, Hayley (which I also feature in!) – I decided that I would take some time to write about our little adventure this past weekend.


Saturday 27th January.

IMG-20180128-WA0003IMG-20180128-WA0000

We’d been hoping to go to the spa but unfortunately they were fully booked so Hayley had suggested this cute little place to go for lunch. Not only was the afternoon tea delicious but they also had a resident DOG! I mean, if that’s not a winner in itself then I don’t know what is. Anyway, back to the food – what’s cool is that at this place you get to choose exactly what you want which suits me as, as much as I love food, there’s a lot of combinations of things I don’t particularly like and have often found myself having to leave the sandwiches and cakes that I don’t really enjoy. For this reason, among many others, this quaint little place was an absolute joy. Plus, they have clotted cream. I mean, if the resident dog didn’t sway you, there aren’t many people who don’t begin drooling at the mouth when someone mentions clotted cream. YUM.

img_20180127_141901.jpgimg_20180127_142142.jpgptroz

After stuffing ourselves full of clotted cream, scones and coffee cake, we decided to head to the local butterfly zoo. Fun fact: Hayley’s actually something of a butterfly expert. This meant I got my own little guided tour of the place! It probably helps that she actually works there too (which would also explain the butterfly expertise). There’s a maze at this lovely little place as well. I haven’t been to a maze since I was maybe nine years old so I was more than happy to venture (or run) around the maze. The day was actually pretty gloomy this past Saturday but the view across the maze once you got to the end was gorgeous.

ptrptr

So, there you have it. Another snapshot of a little adventure. We did go by a couple of other places but, me being me, I didn’t take any photos. Though, as you can probably guess, Hayley did so feel free to check out her blog post and see what else we got up to.


A lovely day with friends is a day well spent. x

Advertisements

December Collage | 2017

First things first, happy new year! I hope the last few weeks of your 2017 were happy and you’re ready to grasp 2018 by the metaphorical nuts and make it yours.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before in a previous blog post but I am no photographer and I don’t really enjoy photography. Like all of us however, I do take a few photos on my phone and wanted to share what I’ve been up to in the month of December (including a few photos I stole from friends).

Maybe this will become a monthly segment on my blog… we’ll see. Some months I have ten photos I want to share but others I have just two. For now, here are a few from December. Will another collage appear at the end of the month? Only time will tell!

ptr26648082_10210395235782901_1488072329_n

ptr

ptr

Screenshot_20171223-09123326166610_10213300308896477_4452454607676878669_n

December 2017: A Few Weeks On.

 

007dc1113eb960a9f29c4b32df9796fca29aef00c7bd563e72d387c2b5901ac7

Contrary to my last post, as we’ve approached the end of December this year, my spirits have improved greatly.

Perhaps it’s just the build up to Christmas that spoils it for me but Christmas day itself was a lovely day spent with both family and friends, including one of my friends from university who came down to spend Christmas with us. I still didn’t appear to be the epitome of Christmas spirit (although I reckon that’s more down to the ‘magic’ of Christmas dwindling as you get older) but I still enjoyed it all the same.

It’s difficult for me to ignore the fact that this change of tune from earlier on in December is almost definitely caused by the prospect of an exciting January 2018 ahead. Where it once felt like my life was a big old mess that was never going to sort itself out anytime soon at the beginning of the month, it’s now starting to feel like a few of the different corners of my life are slowly pulling together, finally making me feel a little less lost and demoralised for the first time in a long while. In that sense, perspective and hindsight are weird. Though I am very aware that just because the prospect of one of the biggest January’s of my life seems exciting doesn’t mean that it necessarily will be, I am glad for this feeling and even if everything doesn’t quite go as planned, I will appreciate the journey and this newfound sense of enthusiasm and drive that the events of the past month have given me.

As well as an exciting January, 2018 already has some fun plans ahead. I’ll be attending two weddings this Summer, one of which is my older cousins and I am bridesmaid for (for the first time ever!). Family is very important to me and if a family wedding isn’t an excuse to get all the family together then I don’t know what is. A lovely close friend of mine is planning on working abroad from the end of the year so my friends and I are currently making plans to hopefully go and visit her either later in the year or in early 2019. And finally, I am hoping to take some proactive actions to work on my personal health this year. For the past four and a half years or so, I have been gently struggling alone with the help of family and friends with an issue I’d thought the completion of my university studies would stop. But, guess what? It hasn’t. Most definitely things are better than they were but it seems that you cannot ignore an issue like that and hope it goes away. So, it’s about time I use my newfound sense of drive to kick this issue in the butt! I’m not one for resolutions but perhaps I’ll make that my sole one.

When I saved the quotes above to my Pintrest board, I knew at the time that they stood out to me and I’ve been back to them and read them over and over again since so I thought I’d tack them onto this. I do like the first one but I love the second.

I’ve found it. And I’m chasing it.


‘Bravery is contagious. Create a chain reaction.’

Why December Sucks. But that’s okay.

Take this as a daily reminder that:

Yes,

December is fun, exciting and full of Christmas cheer.

But it is also:

  • Extremely busy
  • Extremely stressful
  • And sometimes overwhelming

Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of things I enjoy about December and the Christmas period (chocolate coins, cosy nights and Christmas lights to name a few) and I’m not trying to be a Scruge by writing this blog post. It’s just that for a lot of people Christmas, for all range of reasons, sucks. And what’s worse is that it is involuntarily injected into our bloodstreams as soon as midnight on November 1st hits. The build up is too soon, the process too long and setting expectations too high. And not only do you become obsessed with finding the right Christmas presents but your job is demanding more of you throughout December in preparation for the Christmas break. It’s a stressful time of year and quite frankly, I don’t think the premature Christmas countdown beginning well into the early days of November helps.

So I’m writing this post as a reminder that it’s okay to not to always enjoy the December ride. It’s a fun time of year but also a stressful one and sometimes even a depressing one.

Make sure to take the time to look after yourselves this December. ❤

What I’ve Been Reading Recently | No.1

ptr

Last July, I made a deal with myself:

No more books until you’ve finished the ones you’ve already got.

I’d recently got into a bad habit of picking up one book, reading a few chapters and then swapping it for another, only the first thirty or so pages creased at the corners where I hadn’t had a bookmark. In all walks of life, leaving ends incomplete like that isn’t my forte so I decided enough was enough – the number of books I’d partly-thumbed or hadn’t read, rapidly outweighing those that I had.

I’m in no way a fast reader, nor do I much enjoy critiquing them but I wanted to write about the books I’d read on my blog somehow so I decided that rather than writing a lengthy review of each book, I’d instead read a few and just write a small rundown of each telling you what I thought about them.

So, here goes… (arranged in order of which I read them in *no spoilers*)


  1. The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

    I picked up this book on a whim around a year and a half ago. I’ll admit that it’s not the genre that I would usually go for but I found myself glued to following the lives of the different versions of Eva and Jim. It’s a lovely read and the way it’s written is very creative, Barnett portraying three versions of Jim and Eva in which they meet at different points in their lives and how the different versions of their lives consequently differ.

    My favourite line on pg. 252: ‘At four o’clock, Eva unspools the finished Harvard reference from her typewriter, folds it neatly, and places it inside a good cream envelope.’

Rating: Four of Jim’s paintings out of Six.


2. The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury

The third book in Salisbury’s Sin Eater series had been out for months before I got round to reading it, waiting eagerly until I’d completed my final year of university before I got my hands on it. And it was definitely worth the wait. I absolutely LOVE this series. There’s literally nothing more for me to say other than – just read it!

My favourite line on pg. 289: ‘And that, my girl, is the secret. Quake all you must on the inside. But on the outside you must be stone.’

Rating: Nine Opus Mortems out of ten.


3. The Heart Collector by Melinda Salisbury 

A few hours after completing The Scarecrow Queen and many unconvincing self-affirmations of ‘I’m fine. Yes, really I’m fine. Totally, totally fine’, I quickly discovered that Salisbury had written a few spin-off type stories based in the Sin Eater world *yay*. This was the first book I’ve ever read digitally (as the book is only available as an ebook) and it was the perfect accompaniment following my completion of the series and stopped me from exhibiting major series-completion withdrawal symptoms.

Rating: Six and a half sausages and tomatoes out of eight. 

 

An Autumnal Shoot with HRB Photography.

A few weeks ago, my lovely best friend Hayley asked if I would like to take part in an autumnal photo shoot. Hayley is an amateur photographer specialising in outdoor portrait photography and owner of her own photography business and website, HRB Photography

EP logo attempt-1

EP logo-2

EP logo-3

EP logo-5

EP logo-9

EP logo-11

Here are just a few of my favourites from the shoot. There are a few more so feel free to check out Hayley’s website, Facebook and Instagram if you’d like to see those (see links below).

Thank you to Hayley for these amazing photos! Friends and family agree that they’ve turned out great and I had loads of fun on this autumnal shoot. Hayley is a friendly, relaxed photographer and we both had quite the laugh – this is the first shoot I’ve worked with Hayley on and I would highly recommend.

We also both learnt that it is surprisingly difficult to throw leaves in a way that makes them look like they are falling gracefully around you.


Hayley is welcoming a range of models to work with her for future photography projects so check out her socials and drop her a message if you’d like to model for her. She’d love to meet you!:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/hrbphotography 
Instagram: www.instagram.com/hrb.photography
Website: hrbphotographyblog.wordpress.com 

World Mental Health Day 2017.

66f611f5aa5469e66578a34be3a373f62

It’s 8pm on Tuesday 10th October 2017 and I have been blessed with a few hours to myself to think and reflect. I hadn’t planned on writing a blog post when I woke up this morning but then I realised that today is World Mental Health Day and it was important that I did. Because not only is everyone around the world united in talking about mental health in these these select twenty-four hours but every one of us is making a small contribution to ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Here’s a reminder for anyone out there struggling: you are trying your best. Don’t beat yourself up for not feeling good enough. Battling your mental health doesn’t make you weak; battling your mental health makes you strong.


‘Someday you will stand above your demons, you’re not beneath this.’  – Neck Deep