Looking back at the last month of the year, I can remember all the lovely things I have done with friends and family. Earlier this month I shared what I got up to in winter so far, and since then everything got even more festive. Spending my weekends in December making new traditions and getting ready for Christmas day. Most days were quite busy and I think that's one of the reasons why Christmas comes around so quickly. We all get caught up with all the great things about this time of year. Finding thoughtful presents for the ones we love, celebrating the year that has gone past and all the exciting things that can only be done in the festive season.

As incredible as the month has been, I only wish I could have spent more time with everyone I care about most. At this time of year, I feel so thankful for everyone I do have and the ones I have met this year. That's what it's all about. And I hope I will still have all my dear loves with me next year.

A week before Christmas I went down to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, for years I have wanted to go and unfortunately never got round to going until this year. There was so much going on, lots of food, drinks and rides. We walked around and I bought a new Christmas tree decoration, gingerbread and fudge, ate some chocolate marshmallow kisses and had some mulled cider. It was a lovely winter afternoon, I can't wait to visit Christmas markets all over again next year.

Ginger biscuits are one of my favourites, I wanted to start a new tradition and make gingerbread cookies. I'd love to make them every year from now on and have a little piece of this year go on for as long as possible.

This year Christmas was very relaxed, I think that's the best way to spend it. In the morning we started with presents, for the first time ever I was the one everyone was waiting for to come down and open them, I was more excited about sleeping in than opening presents, does that make me a proper grown up? Then I watched some Christmas films before starting to make the dinner, like last year I made it all by myself, in between it all I ate so much chocolate. It's okay because this is the time of year you can indulge and I'm already looking forward to healthy eating in the New Year.

I hope your December has been wonderful and the New Year brings you greatness, love and joy x


Days in December

30.12.15





Looking back at the last month of the year, I can remember all the lovely things I have done with friends and family. Earlier this month I shared what I got up to in winter so far, and since then everything got even more festive. Spending my weekends in December making new traditions and getting ready for Christmas day. Most days were quite busy and I think that's one of the reasons why Christmas comes around so quickly. We all get caught up with all the great things about this time of year. Finding thoughtful presents for the ones we love, celebrating the year that has gone past and all the exciting things that can only be done in the festive season.

As incredible as the month has been, I only wish I could have spent more time with everyone I care about most. At this time of year, I feel so thankful for everyone I do have and the ones I have met this year. That's what it's all about. And I hope I will still have all my dear loves with me next year.

A week before Christmas I went down to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, for years I have wanted to go and unfortunately never got round to going until this year. There was so much going on, lots of food, drinks and rides. We walked around and I bought a new Christmas tree decoration, gingerbread and fudge, ate some chocolate marshmallow kisses and had some mulled cider. It was a lovely winter afternoon, I can't wait to visit Christmas markets all over again next year.

Ginger biscuits are one of my favourites, I wanted to start a new tradition and make gingerbread cookies. I'd love to make them every year from now on and have a little piece of this year go on for as long as possible.

This year Christmas was very relaxed, I think that's the best way to spend it. In the morning we started with presents, for the first time ever I was the one everyone was waiting for to come down and open them, I was more excited about sleeping in than opening presents, does that make me a proper grown up? Then I watched some Christmas films before starting to make the dinner, like last year I made it all by myself, in between it all I ate so much chocolate. It's okay because this is the time of year you can indulge and I'm already looking forward to healthy eating in the New Year.

I hope your December has been wonderful and the New Year brings you greatness, love and joy x


Lately it has felt quite warm this winter so far, no snow or frost this Christmas. I love snow and nothing is as stunning as seeing a blanket of white covering the land, the festive feeling is still deep within me. My heart has felt so full of joy and love the past few months. For the first time in a long time I feel like I'm able to enjoy this time of year. Going out to Christmas markets, parties and quick coffee dates, I even got all of the presents wrapped up 2 weeks before the big day. Mostly, I'm looking forward to having a few days off to relax, read, eat good food and spend time with the special people in my life. The last few days I have felt the tiredness kick in and that's when I remind myself that it's important to have time for yourself. Simply getting a few hours extra sleep a night to recharge and refresh before the new year can do the world of good.

Acoustic music is my favourite genre to listen to in winter. When I get a few spare moments to sit back and hear the beautiful lyrics and bars of a song when it's dark outside with fairy lights on and a candle burning, that's when I feel content. I'm not the type of person to put on Christmas songs, except Fairytale of New York, my favourite Christmas song ever. I like to listen to acoustic songs all winter, it makes me feel happy and that is the greatest gift music can give. The strength to make you feel something, anything at all. Looking at this playlist, there is a clear theme and I like the idea of looking back in a few weeks, months or even years and being taken back to this time of my life. Have a listen of this playlist and feel the magic I feel. This is the simplest way to express the happiness and love inside me, I want to spread the feeling to everyone.

I hope you're having a peaceful day at home with all those dear to you at this festive time of year. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, full of love and warmth x

Playlist 006 | Winter Love

24.12.15

Lately it has felt quite warm this winter so far, no snow or frost this Christmas. I love snow and nothing is as stunning as seeing a blanket of white covering the land, the festive feeling is still deep within me. My heart has felt so full of joy and love the past few months. For the first time in a long time I feel like I'm able to enjoy this time of year. Going out to Christmas markets, parties and quick coffee dates, I even got all of the presents wrapped up 2 weeks before the big day. Mostly, I'm looking forward to having a few days off to relax, read, eat good food and spend time with the special people in my life. The last few days I have felt the tiredness kick in and that's when I remind myself that it's important to have time for yourself. Simply getting a few hours extra sleep a night to recharge and refresh before the new year can do the world of good.

Acoustic music is my favourite genre to listen to in winter. When I get a few spare moments to sit back and hear the beautiful lyrics and bars of a song when it's dark outside with fairy lights on and a candle burning, that's when I feel content. I'm not the type of person to put on Christmas songs, except Fairytale of New York, my favourite Christmas song ever. I like to listen to acoustic songs all winter, it makes me feel happy and that is the greatest gift music can give. The strength to make you feel something, anything at all. Looking at this playlist, there is a clear theme and I like the idea of looking back in a few weeks, months or even years and being taken back to this time of my life. Have a listen of this playlist and feel the magic I feel. This is the simplest way to express the happiness and love inside me, I want to spread the feeling to everyone.

I hope you're having a peaceful day at home with all those dear to you at this festive time of year. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, full of love and warmth x








In winter evenings when the sweet cravings kick in, all I want is something warm, sweet with a hint of spice. Ginger loafs are one of my favourites, I've made it before a few years ago and wanted to try and bake it again and improve the recipe. If you're like me and not really a chocolate lover and want something sweet, give this a try. This is great to eat just on it's own or with a cup of tea. I personally love to heat up the ginger loaf and custard, to me it is a quintessential winter pudding.

Ingredients
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/2 a teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of caster sugar
1/2 cup of agave nectar
1/2 cup of softened butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius, grease and line a loaf (9x5 inch) tin. In a mixing bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt thoroughly. Then in a larger mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, agave nectar, butter and vanilla extract well together. Add the dry flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, mixing together well with each addition until smooth. After, pour the mixture into the tin and bake for around 50 minutes and then leave to cool. And enjoy.

Warm Ginger Loaf

18.12.15








In winter evenings when the sweet cravings kick in, all I want is something warm, sweet with a hint of spice. Ginger loafs are one of my favourites, I've made it before a few years ago and wanted to try and bake it again and improve the recipe. If you're like me and not really a chocolate lover and want something sweet, give this a try. This is great to eat just on it's own or with a cup of tea. I personally love to heat up the ginger loaf and custard, to me it is a quintessential winter pudding.

Ingredients
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/2 a teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of caster sugar
1/2 cup of agave nectar
1/2 cup of softened butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius, grease and line a loaf (9x5 inch) tin. In a mixing bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt thoroughly. Then in a larger mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, agave nectar, butter and vanilla extract well together. Add the dry flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, mixing together well with each addition until smooth. After, pour the mixture into the tin and bake for around 50 minutes and then leave to cool. And enjoy.




Just like frost in the early morning, winter creeps in slowly and then all at once everything is covered in ice. Each year is different for everyone but for me ever since the middle of summer, my life went into super speed and now we're here, half way through December and winter is beginning to settle in. Although it has been quite mild lately with the odd cold day, for the first time in years I feel festive and have been embracing winter as much as possible before it disappears for another year. I think a big part of this feeling is because it is my first year not working in retail, amongst all the busy shoppers and christmas songs on a constant loop. I also feel more content in myself and my life, there have been positive changes and the festive season is a perfect time to celebrate all the wonderful moments in the past year.

Right now I'm waiting for a ginger loaf to bake before I get back to wrapping the final few presents for my loved ones. I've had a few extra days off work to get everything sorted for Christmas and now I can enjoy the free time I have, drinking more eggnog lattes from Starbucks, and eating all things cinnamon and sweet. Most of all I think I'm looking forward to spending time with the special people in my life and getting cosy reading a good book. Unwinding from the busy year and getting ready to take on the new year.

So far in December I've been to my Christmas parties for the year, went to the Laura Ashley hotel for one of them and the decorations were magical, I wanted to bring all of it home with me and the vegetarian option was delicious. I've consumed a lot of sweet festive drinks and treats. Last week I went to see Mumford and Sons at the O2 for the third time, they're still so incredible live. Hearing their new album and the good old ones, jumping and swaying around while catching up with one of my best friends from uni. Last weekend my sister and I put up our Christmas tree. Fairy lights and Christmas trees are my favourite things at this time of year. It brightens up the dark nights and make inside feel cosy. If only there was a dusting of snow on the ground and it would be perfect.

I hope you are all feeling as festive and joyful as I am, remember to take it easy and treat yourself at this time of year.

Wandering in Winter

14.12.15




Just like frost in the early morning, winter creeps in slowly and then all at once everything is covered in ice. Each year is different for everyone but for me ever since the middle of summer, my life went into super speed and now we're here, half way through December and winter is beginning to settle in. Although it has been quite mild lately with the odd cold day, for the first time in years I feel festive and have been embracing winter as much as possible before it disappears for another year. I think a big part of this feeling is because it is my first year not working in retail, amongst all the busy shoppers and christmas songs on a constant loop. I also feel more content in myself and my life, there have been positive changes and the festive season is a perfect time to celebrate all the wonderful moments in the past year.

Right now I'm waiting for a ginger loaf to bake before I get back to wrapping the final few presents for my loved ones. I've had a few extra days off work to get everything sorted for Christmas and now I can enjoy the free time I have, drinking more eggnog lattes from Starbucks, and eating all things cinnamon and sweet. Most of all I think I'm looking forward to spending time with the special people in my life and getting cosy reading a good book. Unwinding from the busy year and getting ready to take on the new year.

So far in December I've been to my Christmas parties for the year, went to the Laura Ashley hotel for one of them and the decorations were magical, I wanted to bring all of it home with me and the vegetarian option was delicious. I've consumed a lot of sweet festive drinks and treats. Last week I went to see Mumford and Sons at the O2 for the third time, they're still so incredible live. Hearing their new album and the good old ones, jumping and swaying around while catching up with one of my best friends from uni. Last weekend my sister and I put up our Christmas tree. Fairy lights and Christmas trees are my favourite things at this time of year. It brightens up the dark nights and make inside feel cosy. If only there was a dusting of snow on the ground and it would be perfect.

I hope you are all feeling as festive and joyful as I am, remember to take it easy and treat yourself at this time of year.

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Throughout most of my life, the idea of exercising and fitness rarely crossed my mind. I hated P.E at school and I think a lot of girls can relate to that, the classes were just not enjoyable at all and focused on how to play them rather than why it is important to exercise and keep fit. I neglected my body for so long and about 2 years ago I was beginning to make a change that has now transformed my lifestyle. I still find it a little strange discussing this part of my life but long story short I dropped a couple of dress sizes, eat a lot better than before (most of the time) and regularly exercise. Without a doubt it has changed my life and has made me a better person because of it. I know that everyone wants to be a better person, do good for themselves and their body, and I wanted to share a few things that I have learnt along the way.

My Workout Routine

I don't have a strict workout routine exactly, in 2015 I have done some form of workout at least twice a week, even if it was a short yoga/pilates/stretch. That is when I noticed it became part of my lifestyle and started to feel like I needed it. I genuinely enjoy it, I use that time for myself to let go and get the endorphins flowing.

Signing up for a gym membership was a decision I'm so glad I made. When I started out, I focused on the cardio machines, slowly building up speed and stamina. Then gradually introduced strength exercises such as squats, plank, sit ups and body dips. Today, I still focus on cardio when I'm at the gym and over time I introduced using the weight machines as my confidence and strength grew. I did it all at my own pace, I didn't want a quick fix, I wanted to change my life. I try to vary what I do every time I'm there. For example on the treadmill I will jog at a steady pace for as long as I can, the next time I will put it on a high incline and a fast paced walk and the next I'll try do quick bursts of interval running. I also have access to a variety of classes at my gym, this year I have tried pilates, body balance and body pump. I want to keep trying new ones and find a regular class to go to every week that's right for me. I like how useful it is to have an instructor right there in front of you. They push you a little harder and help you to improve your technique.

When I'm not in the mood to go to the gym I like to find a workout on YouTube. My go-to videos are Yoga with Adriene. There are a variety of different yoga videos and it is great if you are a beginner or an expert. Depending on my mood I will do a longer video that focuses on strength and weight loss, and sometimes I will do a more gentle one. I have tried some other workout videos but I always go back to Yoga with Adriene. I'm happy to try new workout routines to mix it up and hopefully I will find something new to try soon.

Tips For Beginners 

1, Go at your own pace

Everyone is different and will have varying abilities, it's good to try and push yourself a little but it's okay if you don't. You're already doing a great job by making the effort to try and that's what is important, remember that.

2, Make it a habit 

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going". There will be days when you won't want to go for a workout, it happens to everyone every now and then. Making the time and  going regularly every week will over time become your regular routine. My aim is to workout 2 to 3 times a week. Make a conscious thought to do it whether it's starting at once a week and then the next month twice a week and then the next 3 times or going straight in at 5 times a week. Whatever your goal is, stick to it.

3, Find a workout you enjoy

There are so many different ways to get moving. From the simple running on the road, to gentle stretches, to dancing. You can do it in a gym, with an instructor or at home. There's something for everyone. If you don't know what it is you like, try them all out. You never know what will make the fitness brain click. Find what is right for you.

4, Be patient and keep going

Results take time, one workout won't undo the past. And if you take on any advice at all, it is to be patient. Everything good and worth it, takes time and effort. I know everyone is capable. Believe in yourself. You have already made the decision to make a change and that's the hard part, invest in yourself and your life. You deserve it.

It feels good to share my thoughts about my fitness journey with the world. It has been a post I have been wanting to write about for a while now but have struggled to get started. When friends have asked me about how I got into it and made the change, this is what I tell them. I hope this has been useful to someone out there and I would love to hear any advice you would give someone starting out on their fitness journey. You can do it.

Finding Your Fitness Feet

9.12.15

Image Source

Throughout most of my life, the idea of exercising and fitness rarely crossed my mind. I hated P.E at school and I think a lot of girls can relate to that, the classes were just not enjoyable at all and focused on how to play them rather than why it is important to exercise and keep fit. I neglected my body for so long and about 2 years ago I was beginning to make a change that has now transformed my lifestyle. I still find it a little strange discussing this part of my life but long story short I dropped a couple of dress sizes, eat a lot better than before (most of the time) and regularly exercise. Without a doubt it has changed my life and has made me a better person because of it. I know that everyone wants to be a better person, do good for themselves and their body, and I wanted to share a few things that I have learnt along the way.

My Workout Routine

I don't have a strict workout routine exactly, in 2015 I have done some form of workout at least twice a week, even if it was a short yoga/pilates/stretch. That is when I noticed it became part of my lifestyle and started to feel like I needed it. I genuinely enjoy it, I use that time for myself to let go and get the endorphins flowing.

Signing up for a gym membership was a decision I'm so glad I made. When I started out, I focused on the cardio machines, slowly building up speed and stamina. Then gradually introduced strength exercises such as squats, plank, sit ups and body dips. Today, I still focus on cardio when I'm at the gym and over time I introduced using the weight machines as my confidence and strength grew. I did it all at my own pace, I didn't want a quick fix, I wanted to change my life. I try to vary what I do every time I'm there. For example on the treadmill I will jog at a steady pace for as long as I can, the next time I will put it on a high incline and a fast paced walk and the next I'll try do quick bursts of interval running. I also have access to a variety of classes at my gym, this year I have tried pilates, body balance and body pump. I want to keep trying new ones and find a regular class to go to every week that's right for me. I like how useful it is to have an instructor right there in front of you. They push you a little harder and help you to improve your technique.

When I'm not in the mood to go to the gym I like to find a workout on YouTube. My go-to videos are Yoga with Adriene. There are a variety of different yoga videos and it is great if you are a beginner or an expert. Depending on my mood I will do a longer video that focuses on strength and weight loss, and sometimes I will do a more gentle one. I have tried some other workout videos but I always go back to Yoga with Adriene. I'm happy to try new workout routines to mix it up and hopefully I will find something new to try soon.

Tips For Beginners 

1, Go at your own pace

Everyone is different and will have varying abilities, it's good to try and push yourself a little but it's okay if you don't. You're already doing a great job by making the effort to try and that's what is important, remember that.

2, Make it a habit 

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going". There will be days when you won't want to go for a workout, it happens to everyone every now and then. Making the time and  going regularly every week will over time become your regular routine. My aim is to workout 2 to 3 times a week. Make a conscious thought to do it whether it's starting at once a week and then the next month twice a week and then the next 3 times or going straight in at 5 times a week. Whatever your goal is, stick to it.

3, Find a workout you enjoy

There are so many different ways to get moving. From the simple running on the road, to gentle stretches, to dancing. You can do it in a gym, with an instructor or at home. There's something for everyone. If you don't know what it is you like, try them all out. You never know what will make the fitness brain click. Find what is right for you.

4, Be patient and keep going

Results take time, one workout won't undo the past. And if you take on any advice at all, it is to be patient. Everything good and worth it, takes time and effort. I know everyone is capable. Believe in yourself. You have already made the decision to make a change and that's the hard part, invest in yourself and your life. You deserve it.

It feels good to share my thoughts about my fitness journey with the world. It has been a post I have been wanting to write about for a while now but have struggled to get started. When friends have asked me about how I got into it and made the change, this is what I tell them. I hope this has been useful to someone out there and I would love to hear any advice you would give someone starting out on their fitness journey. You can do it.
It almost feels foreign to me, writing a blog post for the first time in nearly a month. Having said that, it feels so natural and I'm proud of myself for fitting in a little time this Sunday afternoon to write. I'm fitting this in before I get ready for my second Christmas party of December. We're in the final month of the year now and it always makes me feel more reflective about the year that has just passed. I have been thinking about it for the last month to be honest and I can say with absolute certainty that I'm in a good place compared to the very beginning of year. And it has made me feel inspired for the year ahead. I want to make sure I get all the goodness from 2015 written down so that I can look back on how the year has changed me and has made me excited for what the future may hold. I hope to share that with you soon. 

The Night is Wild is a very small space on the internet that is just mine and being able to share everything and anything I want with the world is one of the many reasons why I adore blogging. I do know now as I'm thinking about my goals and dreams for 2016, I want to make an effort to enjoy blogging, let the words flow but also don't put too much pressure on myself. I think most bloggers, with a big or small following can feel this pressure but we all have to remember that we started this as a hobby and a bit of fun. Life is a blessing, we should spend as much of it as possible doing what we love and spending time with our special ones. I'm excited to write more and put the fun back into blogging again. 

Moving forward is important to me, sometimes you do have to take a step back before you can launch yourself forward into the world, having faith in your path can be difficult but believing can keep you going. We also have to put the effort in, anything worth having will take hard work and it does pay off. We are all capable of many things, more than we think. Throw yourself into life and be brave. Take baby steps or the big leap. Do what is right for you. 

I wanted to check in with the blogging world. December will be a month where I hope to kick start back into it all again, I have ideas going round in my head. If you made it to the end of this ramble I hope you're having a festive time and doing well. I love every single one of you who read my words. I'll talk to you all again soon. 

Moving Forward

6.12.15

It almost feels foreign to me, writing a blog post for the first time in nearly a month. Having said that, it feels so natural and I'm proud of myself for fitting in a little time this Sunday afternoon to write. I'm fitting this in before I get ready for my second Christmas party of December. We're in the final month of the year now and it always makes me feel more reflective about the year that has just passed. I have been thinking about it for the last month to be honest and I can say with absolute certainty that I'm in a good place compared to the very beginning of year. And it has made me feel inspired for the year ahead. I want to make sure I get all the goodness from 2015 written down so that I can look back on how the year has changed me and has made me excited for what the future may hold. I hope to share that with you soon. 

The Night is Wild is a very small space on the internet that is just mine and being able to share everything and anything I want with the world is one of the many reasons why I adore blogging. I do know now as I'm thinking about my goals and dreams for 2016, I want to make an effort to enjoy blogging, let the words flow but also don't put too much pressure on myself. I think most bloggers, with a big or small following can feel this pressure but we all have to remember that we started this as a hobby and a bit of fun. Life is a blessing, we should spend as much of it as possible doing what we love and spending time with our special ones. I'm excited to write more and put the fun back into blogging again. 

Moving forward is important to me, sometimes you do have to take a step back before you can launch yourself forward into the world, having faith in your path can be difficult but believing can keep you going. We also have to put the effort in, anything worth having will take hard work and it does pay off. We are all capable of many things, more than we think. Throw yourself into life and be brave. Take baby steps or the big leap. Do what is right for you. 

I wanted to check in with the blogging world. December will be a month where I hope to kick start back into it all again, I have ideas going round in my head. If you made it to the end of this ramble I hope you're having a festive time and doing well. I love every single one of you who read my words. I'll talk to you all again soon. 


Winter evenings, there are days when I embrace them and find the darkness comforting yet there are days where I feel defeated, struggling with the darkness. One thing I have learnt in the last few years is that you can let any emotion especially the more negative feelings manifest inside you and slip into it like an old habit. We all deserve better than that. Many people, myself included suffer from SAD and it's part of nature for winter to be darker than the other seasons. Finding ways to help make the days feel brighter and feel better in yourself can make such a difference.

Ever since it has become dark when I leave work I have been trying to make more of an effort to do things for me that will make me feel good inside and out. There will always be days when I want to go straight home, put on some comfy clothes and do nothing significant. And honestly, that's okay. It's important to just rest and let yourself be. Here are a few things you can do to brighten your evenings. You deserve it.

Go to a gym class
For some people this is the last thing they want to do after a long day at work. At least twice a week I go to the gym or a class or even do something at home. YouTube is amazing for finding a sequence/workout, I love Yoga With Adriene, I find I can connect with her and there is something for all abilities. Find what is right for you or Find What Feels Good. Getting out of the house and being around other people can feel motivational and good inside, mix it up.

Treat yourself
Every now and then I like to spend a bit of time, usually on a Sunday evening, to treat my skin, hair, nails and body. Running a hot bath, putting on a face mask, get your nails painted and anything else that makes you feel more refreshed for the rest of the week. My favourite mask at the moment is the Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque, after a bath I like to put it on and my skin feels so smooth afterwards.


Indulge in hot drinks
Coffee is my vice and in autumn and winter it is so easy for me to drink cup after cup. In the evenings I try to switch to something with little to no caffeine. Hot chocolate is a classic favourite and satisfies the sweet cravings. Meeting my friends at a coffee shop in the evenings always enriches my day, I tried the Apple Mulled Fruit drink from Starbucks, and it was honestly delicious, try it if you like chai, cinnamon and apple.

Get cosy with a book or tv show
When I'm feeling a little more tired than usual I'll put on a tv show, I don't watch a lot of tv except my favourites at the moment like Made in Chelsea, Grey's Anatomy and The Vampire Diaries. I'm currently reading After You by JoJo Moyes, the sequel to Me Before You, I'm really enjoying it and want to make more of a conscious effort to read before my eyes get too tired and I end up falling asleep after reading a few pages. If you have a cosy fleece blanket to wrap yourself up in that's even better.

Do something you've always wanted 
One thing I have discovered since working a nine to five is that it's important to use your time wisely. If you have had ideas of things to do, DO IT! I need to take my own advice with this but there is always another day. Anything you want, try a new creative hobby, go somewhere new for dinner. It can be as simple or as adventourous as you desire. It's your evening, your life, do what makes you feel happy.

How To Brighten Dark Evenings

11.11.15


Winter evenings, there are days when I embrace them and find the darkness comforting yet there are days where I feel defeated, struggling with the darkness. One thing I have learnt in the last few years is that you can let any emotion especially the more negative feelings manifest inside you and slip into it like an old habit. We all deserve better than that. Many people, myself included suffer from SAD and it's part of nature for winter to be darker than the other seasons. Finding ways to help make the days feel brighter and feel better in yourself can make such a difference.

Ever since it has become dark when I leave work I have been trying to make more of an effort to do things for me that will make me feel good inside and out. There will always be days when I want to go straight home, put on some comfy clothes and do nothing significant. And honestly, that's okay. It's important to just rest and let yourself be. Here are a few things you can do to brighten your evenings. You deserve it.

Go to a gym class
For some people this is the last thing they want to do after a long day at work. At least twice a week I go to the gym or a class or even do something at home. YouTube is amazing for finding a sequence/workout, I love Yoga With Adriene, I find I can connect with her and there is something for all abilities. Find what is right for you or Find What Feels Good. Getting out of the house and being around other people can feel motivational and good inside, mix it up.

Treat yourself
Every now and then I like to spend a bit of time, usually on a Sunday evening, to treat my skin, hair, nails and body. Running a hot bath, putting on a face mask, get your nails painted and anything else that makes you feel more refreshed for the rest of the week. My favourite mask at the moment is the Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque, after a bath I like to put it on and my skin feels so smooth afterwards.


Indulge in hot drinks
Coffee is my vice and in autumn and winter it is so easy for me to drink cup after cup. In the evenings I try to switch to something with little to no caffeine. Hot chocolate is a classic favourite and satisfies the sweet cravings. Meeting my friends at a coffee shop in the evenings always enriches my day, I tried the Apple Mulled Fruit drink from Starbucks, and it was honestly delicious, try it if you like chai, cinnamon and apple.

Get cosy with a book or tv show
When I'm feeling a little more tired than usual I'll put on a tv show, I don't watch a lot of tv except my favourites at the moment like Made in Chelsea, Grey's Anatomy and The Vampire Diaries. I'm currently reading After You by JoJo Moyes, the sequel to Me Before You, I'm really enjoying it and want to make more of a conscious effort to read before my eyes get too tired and I end up falling asleep after reading a few pages. If you have a cosy fleece blanket to wrap yourself up in that's even better.

Do something you've always wanted 
One thing I have discovered since working a nine to five is that it's important to use your time wisely. If you have had ideas of things to do, DO IT! I need to take my own advice with this but there is always another day. Anything you want, try a new creative hobby, go somewhere new for dinner. It can be as simple or as adventourous as you desire. It's your evening, your life, do what makes you feel happy.








Looking at these photos that I took last weekend, I feel the stillness in those moments where you're just taking in your surroundings. Trent Park is one of my favourite places to go when I want to be outside, maybe go for a walk, sit somewhere and breathe in everything around me. It will always be a special place to me, it's connected to where my university campus was in my first year until they closed it a few years ago. In spring the daffodils pop up, guiding you by the pathway, in summer everything is green and warm, in autumn it's gold, yellow and brown, in winter it will be all dark and bare. The changes are so subtle when you're in the middle of it, until you look back and realise that you have transitioned from one time to another, without even realising it.

The last couple of months, in particularly October, there has been some changes in my life. They have been some truly extraordinary changes and I did not see some of them coming. That's the beauty of the living, life happens when you least expect it. When the year begun, I felt quite lost in myself and although I slowly started finding my feet, that lost feeling still lingered. Until recently, last week to be exact.

Ever since autumn arrived, pieces started coming together in my head and heart. There have been positive changes at work, all very exciting. It's four months since I've started my first grown up job and we're going through a marketing re-brand and I'm learning so much, being hands on and feeling a sense of achievement. It has taken up a bit more of my energy and I've not been writing, reading and working out as much as I would like but I'm feeling more inspired to make the effort to find the balance. It takes time to conquer the world, one step at a time.

On the flip side I have also practised the act of letting go. There have been some parts of my life that have been around for a while and I had the realisation that they weren't good for me anymore. Then actually taking it into your hands and let that part of you go is literally like a weight is lifted off your shoulders, and you wonder why you didn't do it sooner. It shows there are some things you can't control.

Right now, I feel whole and good in myself. Without getting into the details, there are moments in your life when you know your life has changed and it's for the better. My head is seeing the world more clearly and the enchanted time we are in. All the pieces are coming together and I am looking forward to everything my future will bring. If I could bottle this feeling up in a jar to share with the world, I would. Everyone deserves to feel like their true self and have everything that is true.


Change happens, it's good. It takes a little time but it's part of life. Embrace all that there is around you and the changes that will come.

A Season of Changes

6.11.15









Looking at these photos that I took last weekend, I feel the stillness in those moments where you're just taking in your surroundings. Trent Park is one of my favourite places to go when I want to be outside, maybe go for a walk, sit somewhere and breathe in everything around me. It will always be a special place to me, it's connected to where my university campus was in my first year until they closed it a few years ago. In spring the daffodils pop up, guiding you by the pathway, in summer everything is green and warm, in autumn it's gold, yellow and brown, in winter it will be all dark and bare. The changes are so subtle when you're in the middle of it, until you look back and realise that you have transitioned from one time to another, without even realising it.

The last couple of months, in particularly October, there has been some changes in my life. They have been some truly extraordinary changes and I did not see some of them coming. That's the beauty of the living, life happens when you least expect it. When the year begun, I felt quite lost in myself and although I slowly started finding my feet, that lost feeling still lingered. Until recently, last week to be exact.

Ever since autumn arrived, pieces started coming together in my head and heart. There have been positive changes at work, all very exciting. It's four months since I've started my first grown up job and we're going through a marketing re-brand and I'm learning so much, being hands on and feeling a sense of achievement. It has taken up a bit more of my energy and I've not been writing, reading and working out as much as I would like but I'm feeling more inspired to make the effort to find the balance. It takes time to conquer the world, one step at a time.

On the flip side I have also practised the act of letting go. There have been some parts of my life that have been around for a while and I had the realisation that they weren't good for me anymore. Then actually taking it into your hands and let that part of you go is literally like a weight is lifted off your shoulders, and you wonder why you didn't do it sooner. It shows there are some things you can't control.

Right now, I feel whole and good in myself. Without getting into the details, there are moments in your life when you know your life has changed and it's for the better. My head is seeing the world more clearly and the enchanted time we are in. All the pieces are coming together and I am looking forward to everything my future will bring. If I could bottle this feeling up in a jar to share with the world, I would. Everyone deserves to feel like their true self and have everything that is true.


Change happens, it's good. It takes a little time but it's part of life. Embrace all that there is around you and the changes that will come.


Lately I have loved making playlists, collecting all the songs I can't stop listening to, adding new ones as I discover them. Ever since autumn arrived I have been playing more serene songs that make you feel something, in summer I'm almost the opposite and gravitate towards slightly more upbeat and cheerful songs, you can listen to them again here. I've just listened to a few songs on the playlist and it truly took me back. The power that songs can have over me is what I love, a few months in the future I can listen to this new one I've made in autumn and take myself back to all the good memories and feelings that I'm living right now.

Looking at these song titles I've noticed that there seems to be a theme of love, I'm a romantic at heart and it shows in these beautifully written songs. All the words that were carefully chosen with someone in mind as they were letting their heart pour out with all the feelings they have inside them. Acoustic and cover versions of songs have also made an appearance a few times in this playlist. Sometimes the way a song is performed can make it even better, there is of course nothing like the original but it's always good to mix it up a little. Ryan Adams' cover album of Taylor Swift's 1989 has been on repeat since it was released. Style and This Love are my favourite, so raw and powerful. All so perfect for when you want some time for yourself, to listen and feel everything inside your heart, especially on this lovely autumn Sunday.

What songs have you been in love this autumn so far?

Playlist 005 / Autumnal Feelings

18.10.15



Lately I have loved making playlists, collecting all the songs I can't stop listening to, adding new ones as I discover them. Ever since autumn arrived I have been playing more serene songs that make you feel something, in summer I'm almost the opposite and gravitate towards slightly more upbeat and cheerful songs, you can listen to them again here. I've just listened to a few songs on the playlist and it truly took me back. The power that songs can have over me is what I love, a few months in the future I can listen to this new one I've made in autumn and take myself back to all the good memories and feelings that I'm living right now.

Looking at these song titles I've noticed that there seems to be a theme of love, I'm a romantic at heart and it shows in these beautifully written songs. All the words that were carefully chosen with someone in mind as they were letting their heart pour out with all the feelings they have inside them. Acoustic and cover versions of songs have also made an appearance a few times in this playlist. Sometimes the way a song is performed can make it even better, there is of course nothing like the original but it's always good to mix it up a little. Ryan Adams' cover album of Taylor Swift's 1989 has been on repeat since it was released. Style and This Love are my favourite, so raw and powerful. All so perfect for when you want some time for yourself, to listen and feel everything inside your heart, especially on this lovely autumn Sunday.

What songs have you been in love this autumn so far?




I honestly can't believe October has come to say hello again for another year, this time of year is one of my most loved times of year. It is almost bittersweet, the way everything looks and feels brings peace and I am more like myself during this time. And then the dark lingers and the cold days are just around the corner. As I say, nothing lasts forever. So I'm savouring every day before the seasons change once again. There are endless reasons why this is one of the most beautiful times of year, although a lot of the living is dying, it does it in such a beautiful way.

One evening last week, I went for a walk around these fields, it's so close to rows and rows of homes and the motorway is right next door. It feels so quiet, you can still hear the distant cars but it's almost soothing so you don't mind hearing it in the background. Last week I had nerve pain in my lower back and leg, it's mostly just an uncomfortable constant radiating numbness but it was enough to make me slow down a little and got me to look after myself more than I have been. I think it may have been provoked from running and possibly not stretching as well as I should have, it forced me to take some time off from exercising and just doing stretches to help with the pain. That's how I found myself going for a walk.

I've been wanting to go on walks and take some photos for a while and finally did. To feel still, being there in the moment, looking out at the path in front of you. Going for a walk cleared my head, I was able to breathe and be gentle to my body. I felt inspired and really wanting to feel better physically and mentally. The days can pass by quickly and I find myself in a routine, not really thinking about the reasons and intentions of what I'm doing every day.

While walking along the grass with dandelions, I thought about how I should take more moments like this to reconnect with myself, break the mundane and have a moment for myself. Look at the sky and the trees more often because it's something you truly love doing. Don't restrict yourself to all these plans for each day, look at the big picture, think about your dreams, where you want to be heading. Remind yourself why I am doing what I'm doing every day. If you can't find the reason then take a moment or a thousand to figure out what it is you're working towards. Don't let it all build up, taking regular yet spontaneous moments for ourselves can help make everything a little better.

I intend to use this time of year to take more moments for myself, no matter what it may be, to connect back to what is important at heart. Keep myself grounded and strive for what is important to me. Letting all the magic and inspiring feelings take over, let it all flow. I would like to invite you to do the same. You deserve it, look after yourself and take a moment.

Let's take a moment for ourselves..

7.10.15




I honestly can't believe October has come to say hello again for another year, this time of year is one of my most loved times of year. It is almost bittersweet, the way everything looks and feels brings peace and I am more like myself during this time. And then the dark lingers and the cold days are just around the corner. As I say, nothing lasts forever. So I'm savouring every day before the seasons change once again. There are endless reasons why this is one of the most beautiful times of year, although a lot of the living is dying, it does it in such a beautiful way.

One evening last week, I went for a walk around these fields, it's so close to rows and rows of homes and the motorway is right next door. It feels so quiet, you can still hear the distant cars but it's almost soothing so you don't mind hearing it in the background. Last week I had nerve pain in my lower back and leg, it's mostly just an uncomfortable constant radiating numbness but it was enough to make me slow down a little and got me to look after myself more than I have been. I think it may have been provoked from running and possibly not stretching as well as I should have, it forced me to take some time off from exercising and just doing stretches to help with the pain. That's how I found myself going for a walk.

I've been wanting to go on walks and take some photos for a while and finally did. To feel still, being there in the moment, looking out at the path in front of you. Going for a walk cleared my head, I was able to breathe and be gentle to my body. I felt inspired and really wanting to feel better physically and mentally. The days can pass by quickly and I find myself in a routine, not really thinking about the reasons and intentions of what I'm doing every day.

While walking along the grass with dandelions, I thought about how I should take more moments like this to reconnect with myself, break the mundane and have a moment for myself. Look at the sky and the trees more often because it's something you truly love doing. Don't restrict yourself to all these plans for each day, look at the big picture, think about your dreams, where you want to be heading. Remind yourself why I am doing what I'm doing every day. If you can't find the reason then take a moment or a thousand to figure out what it is you're working towards. Don't let it all build up, taking regular yet spontaneous moments for ourselves can help make everything a little better.

I intend to use this time of year to take more moments for myself, no matter what it may be, to connect back to what is important at heart. Keep myself grounded and strive for what is important to me. Letting all the magic and inspiring feelings take over, let it all flow. I would like to invite you to do the same. You deserve it, look after yourself and take a moment.

At this time of year the tree in my back garden is full of apples, the branches this year are hanging lower than ever before. Now that it is a little colder as we have entered the autumn months, it is the perfect time to use the many apples on that glorious tree to bake something warm and comforting for the evenings. An apple crumble felt right at the weekend and is simple for anyone to bake. If you have any suggestions for other sweet treats that I MUST bake, let me know. 

Ingredients

For the crumble.. 
75 grams oats
75 grams wholemeal flour
50 grams brown sugar
75 grams butter
A handful of flaked almonds
A handful of chopped pecans

For the filling.. 
800 grams cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped into smaller chunks
75 grams sugar
A tablespoon of water
A teaspoon of ground cinnamon or cinnamon stick

Firstly, preheat the oven to 190C then peel and core the apples and cut in to chunks. Put the apples into a pan with the sugar, water and cinnamon. Cook over a low heat for 5 to 10 minutes until softened and then place into an ovenproof dish. Next put the oats, flour, almonds and pecans in a bowl and mix well, cut the butter into small pieces and add to the mixture. Using your fingers rub all the ingredients together until you get an even crumb texture, then add the sugar and honey to the crumb mix. Cover the apples with the crumble and bake in the over for around 20 minutes until the crumble is golden on top and the apples are hot.

Apple crumble for autumn

30.9.15


At this time of year the tree in my back garden is full of apples, the branches this year are hanging lower than ever before. Now that it is a little colder as we have entered the autumn months, it is the perfect time to use the many apples on that glorious tree to bake something warm and comforting for the evenings. An apple crumble felt right at the weekend and is simple for anyone to bake. If you have any suggestions for other sweet treats that I MUST bake, let me know. 

Ingredients

For the crumble.. 
75 grams oats
75 grams wholemeal flour
50 grams brown sugar
75 grams butter
A handful of flaked almonds
A handful of chopped pecans

For the filling.. 
800 grams cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped into smaller chunks
75 grams sugar
A tablespoon of water
A teaspoon of ground cinnamon or cinnamon stick

Firstly, preheat the oven to 190C then peel and core the apples and cut in to chunks. Put the apples into a pan with the sugar, water and cinnamon. Cook over a low heat for 5 to 10 minutes until softened and then place into an ovenproof dish. Next put the oats, flour, almonds and pecans in a bowl and mix well, cut the butter into small pieces and add to the mixture. Using your fingers rub all the ingredients together until you get an even crumb texture, then add the sugar and honey to the crumb mix. Cover the apples with the crumble and bake in the over for around 20 minutes until the crumble is golden on top and the apples are hot.


Lately I haven't read much, I've been awful at finding the time to just sit or lay down and open up a book. When I went away to Sardinia it was a good chance to get back to reading for the pure love of the story. I chose a book from my 'to read' pile to bring with me, and as soon as I sat down to read it on the first day I was immediately consumed by the story. It was the only book I brought with me so I had to try and stagger it out across the week. I managed to finish it just as we were about to start descending back home in London, I had a few tears down my cheek while I was looking out of the window at night with the glow of street lights and buildings.

Louisa Clark is a young woman in her twenties who has led a very ordinary life, worked in the same cafe for years, had a long term boyfriend and lived in a small box room with her whole family. Will Traynor was an accomplished corporate worker , travelled all around the world and a ladies man living in the city. He has done a lot of adventurous things in life from bungee jumping to climbing Kilimanjaro, always wanting a challenge that will get his heart racing. Until one day while walking to work he was involved in a motorbike accident and left him paralysed from the chest down. Leaving him unable to walk and very limited use of one of his arms, meaning he required assistance for the rest of his life as there is not a cure for his condition.

When Louisa is left looking for a job she realises that she has no idea what she wants from life or who she is. Out of desperation for money to help support her family she takes a carer job, where she meets Will. Two very different individuals from different worlds being brought together. At first they both find it difficult to be around each other, over the first few weeks they become more at ease with one another and it turns into a friendship. Louisa becomes one of the only things that actually makes his painful days bearable and Will opened up Louisa's mind to better things that she could do with her days and actually live. They bring out the best in each other and then Louisa discovers a secret Will is keeping from her that changes the time they spend together and both of their lives.

Me Before You was honestly a thought provoking book that reminds you how precious every life is and every day we have on this earth. From the things we choose to spend our time doing, to the people we wish to have in our lives and doing what makes you feel alive. I have come away wanting to better myself in every way because I deserve and owe it to myself. Taking opportunities, allowing yourself to feel things and remembering that sometimes we can't control everything, but making the most of what we have is how we can thank ourselves. It does get emotional at times but I would wholeheartedly recommend reading this book. I also picked up the sequel After You the other day and I can't wait to continue the story.

Book Review: Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

27.9.15


Lately I haven't read much, I've been awful at finding the time to just sit or lay down and open up a book. When I went away to Sardinia it was a good chance to get back to reading for the pure love of the story. I chose a book from my 'to read' pile to bring with me, and as soon as I sat down to read it on the first day I was immediately consumed by the story. It was the only book I brought with me so I had to try and stagger it out across the week. I managed to finish it just as we were about to start descending back home in London, I had a few tears down my cheek while I was looking out of the window at night with the glow of street lights and buildings.

Louisa Clark is a young woman in her twenties who has led a very ordinary life, worked in the same cafe for years, had a long term boyfriend and lived in a small box room with her whole family. Will Traynor was an accomplished corporate worker , travelled all around the world and a ladies man living in the city. He has done a lot of adventurous things in life from bungee jumping to climbing Kilimanjaro, always wanting a challenge that will get his heart racing. Until one day while walking to work he was involved in a motorbike accident and left him paralysed from the chest down. Leaving him unable to walk and very limited use of one of his arms, meaning he required assistance for the rest of his life as there is not a cure for his condition.

When Louisa is left looking for a job she realises that she has no idea what she wants from life or who she is. Out of desperation for money to help support her family she takes a carer job, where she meets Will. Two very different individuals from different worlds being brought together. At first they both find it difficult to be around each other, over the first few weeks they become more at ease with one another and it turns into a friendship. Louisa becomes one of the only things that actually makes his painful days bearable and Will opened up Louisa's mind to better things that she could do with her days and actually live. They bring out the best in each other and then Louisa discovers a secret Will is keeping from her that changes the time they spend together and both of their lives.

Me Before You was honestly a thought provoking book that reminds you how precious every life is and every day we have on this earth. From the things we choose to spend our time doing, to the people we wish to have in our lives and doing what makes you feel alive. I have come away wanting to better myself in every way because I deserve and owe it to myself. Taking opportunities, allowing yourself to feel things and remembering that sometimes we can't control everything, but making the most of what we have is how we can thank ourselves. It does get emotional at times but I would wholeheartedly recommend reading this book. I also picked up the sequel After You the other day and I can't wait to continue the story.
After being back at work for almost two weeks and looking back at these photos I would love to be walking along these beaches again, dipping my feet into the sea with the warmth of the sun on me. That is the beauty of pictures, they freeze a place or moment and you are connected back to it instantly to when it was taken, remembering how you felt. These in particular all make me feel peaceful. They are mostly shots of the sea and beach, it's where we spent most of our time when we weren't eating so much Italian food. Spending seven days refreshing my mind and body was exactly what I needed. I didn't realise it until I was there, how much I was due a break.

We stayed in a town north of the island, right by the beach and the sea. Lots of pizzeria's, although I'm not that much of a pizza lover I did have one of the best pizza's I've had out there. It was a simple cheese and mushroom pizza but it was so good, the dough was perfect. It wasn't the best thing I tasted out there, I had mussels, clams and all of the seafood, so delicious. The absolute highlight for me when it came to food was definitely the pistachio gelato. Heavenly scoops of sweetness, worth travelling all the way back to Italy for. I feel like I came back so full, it was worth indulging for the week.

One day we went dolphin watching, I haven't seen a dolphin in years and as a child they were my favourite. Seeing them swim alongside the boat and come up for a second to show off their fins. On another boat trip we made a few stops to visit smaller islands like the little town, La Maddalena. It felt like what I always imagined an Italian town to feel like, the best way I can describe it is if you picture that you're near the water with lots of coffee shops, gelatarias and small shops full of pretty things. Then we headed to the most beautiful beach I have ever been to. The sea so clear and blue with white sand, I could have stayed there all day. The only way to get there was by boat which makes it even more special.

When I come back home from being away somewhere it always makes me want to explore more. I have a few places in mind for future trips already. It's good to take yourself out of the everyday and reconnect with yourself, visit new places, experience something different. It's what your soul needs, we have to give ourselves that chance to do so. For now I'll close my eyes and think back to when I was at that peaceful place again, until next time. 

Sardinia Snapshots

24.9.15

After being back at work for almost two weeks and looking back at these photos I would love to be walking along these beaches again, dipping my feet into the sea with the warmth of the sun on me. That is the beauty of pictures, they freeze a place or moment and you are connected back to it instantly to when it was taken, remembering how you felt. These in particular all make me feel peaceful. They are mostly shots of the sea and beach, it's where we spent most of our time when we weren't eating so much Italian food. Spending seven days refreshing my mind and body was exactly what I needed. I didn't realise it until I was there, how much I was due a break.

We stayed in a town north of the island, right by the beach and the sea. Lots of pizzeria's, although I'm not that much of a pizza lover I did have one of the best pizza's I've had out there. It was a simple cheese and mushroom pizza but it was so good, the dough was perfect. It wasn't the best thing I tasted out there, I had mussels, clams and all of the seafood, so delicious. The absolute highlight for me when it came to food was definitely the pistachio gelato. Heavenly scoops of sweetness, worth travelling all the way back to Italy for. I feel like I came back so full, it was worth indulging for the week.

One day we went dolphin watching, I haven't seen a dolphin in years and as a child they were my favourite. Seeing them swim alongside the boat and come up for a second to show off their fins. On another boat trip we made a few stops to visit smaller islands like the little town, La Maddalena. It felt like what I always imagined an Italian town to feel like, the best way I can describe it is if you picture that you're near the water with lots of coffee shops, gelatarias and small shops full of pretty things. Then we headed to the most beautiful beach I have ever been to. The sea so clear and blue with white sand, I could have stayed there all day. The only way to get there was by boat which makes it even more special.

When I come back home from being away somewhere it always makes me want to explore more. I have a few places in mind for future trips already. It's good to take yourself out of the everyday and reconnect with yourself, visit new places, experience something different. It's what your soul needs, we have to give ourselves that chance to do so. For now I'll close my eyes and think back to when I was at that peaceful place again, until next time. 
I'm a believer in the way your morning goes can set the tone for the rest of the day. Waking up with a clear mind and thinking about how you intend to live out your day is one of the first things I think about. After the initial sleepy mind wears off, of course. Gradually, I have become more of a morning person. Not quite the jump out of bed at 5am and have more things done by 9am than most would in a whole day. I see the stillness in the morning that I never used to and I value the ones I can have that peace all to myself. Taking time to fill your head with good thoughts. In the week before work, I play music while I'm getting ready for the day ahead of me.

In the mornings I like to ease myself into it all with serene yet positive songs. Making me feel good. How we should always feel when we wake up. Music is a powerful mood enhancer. There is a song for every mood and every feeling. I've put together a playlist of songs that do exactly that for me. A smile sometimes grows, calm washes over me and I feel ready to take on whatever may come. It includes some of my favourite songs at the moment, I hope you like them. Have a listen one morning, over a cup of coffee, a morning walk or on your way to work. And most importantly, have a very good morning.

Playlist 004 / Music For Your Morning

10.9.15

I'm a believer in the way your morning goes can set the tone for the rest of the day. Waking up with a clear mind and thinking about how you intend to live out your day is one of the first things I think about. After the initial sleepy mind wears off, of course. Gradually, I have become more of a morning person. Not quite the jump out of bed at 5am and have more things done by 9am than most would in a whole day. I see the stillness in the morning that I never used to and I value the ones I can have that peace all to myself. Taking time to fill your head with good thoughts. In the week before work, I play music while I'm getting ready for the day ahead of me.

In the mornings I like to ease myself into it all with serene yet positive songs. Making me feel good. How we should always feel when we wake up. Music is a powerful mood enhancer. There is a song for every mood and every feeling. I've put together a playlist of songs that do exactly that for me. A smile sometimes grows, calm washes over me and I feel ready to take on whatever may come. It includes some of my favourite songs at the moment, I hope you like them. Have a listen one morning, over a cup of coffee, a morning walk or on your way to work. And most importantly, have a very good morning.


Right now, I'm making sure I have all the last bits and pieces I need before I head off to the airport in a couple of hours. Tonight I'll be arriving in Sardinia, where I'll be soaking up the sun by the Mediterranean sea. I haven't made a trip out of the country in nearly a year and I'm yearning to be immersed in somewhere new.

On this trip I'm trying to be frugal and only take what I absolutely need. Every time I go somewhere new I'm convinced the prices to check-in luggage doubles in price, so I'm sharing a suitcase with my sister and taking a smaller one on board with me. Packing it with mostly clothes and then the important stuff I need easy access to.

I like to bring a tote bag with me to put everything I will need on the plane so I don't have to keep getting up every time and disturb other travellers, it's also handy when you're on your adventures elsewhere. In that I will have a notebook and pen, not necessarily needed on the journey but you never know and I'd like to write when I'm out there. Passport, can't get very far without that and I can't wait until I can change my picture in 5 years! And of course my boarding pass. Ipod, headphones and charger, I would feel lost without listening to music on the plane. I'm not a nervous flyer or anything but sometimes it's uncomfortable and it will keep my sane, I have an audio book on there as well to mix it up. If I don't feel like listening to music I'll read a book, I decided to bring Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, I've heard good things and it's a decent size that will be perfect for a week away. Lipbalm and hand cream, for when the plane air becomes very dry, I'm keeping it simple with Neutrogena Norweigan lip balm and a travel size L'Occitane Shea Butter hand cream. Sunglasses for the beaming sunshine and hopefully I'll get to see a sunset while in the sky. A Purse with euros, sterling and EU Health Insurance card. Then finally my phone, I want to 'switch off' from technology a bit when I'm away but I'll still check in and take some photos.

Everything I need for a week away. I'm looking forward to sharing my trip with you all soon.

Travelling Essentials

5.9.15


Right now, I'm making sure I have all the last bits and pieces I need before I head off to the airport in a couple of hours. Tonight I'll be arriving in Sardinia, where I'll be soaking up the sun by the Mediterranean sea. I haven't made a trip out of the country in nearly a year and I'm yearning to be immersed in somewhere new.

On this trip I'm trying to be frugal and only take what I absolutely need. Every time I go somewhere new I'm convinced the prices to check-in luggage doubles in price, so I'm sharing a suitcase with my sister and taking a smaller one on board with me. Packing it with mostly clothes and then the important stuff I need easy access to.

I like to bring a tote bag with me to put everything I will need on the plane so I don't have to keep getting up every time and disturb other travellers, it's also handy when you're on your adventures elsewhere. In that I will have a notebook and pen, not necessarily needed on the journey but you never know and I'd like to write when I'm out there. Passport, can't get very far without that and I can't wait until I can change my picture in 5 years! And of course my boarding pass. Ipod, headphones and charger, I would feel lost without listening to music on the plane. I'm not a nervous flyer or anything but sometimes it's uncomfortable and it will keep my sane, I have an audio book on there as well to mix it up. If I don't feel like listening to music I'll read a book, I decided to bring Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, I've heard good things and it's a decent size that will be perfect for a week away. Lipbalm and hand cream, for when the plane air becomes very dry, I'm keeping it simple with Neutrogena Norweigan lip balm and a travel size L'Occitane Shea Butter hand cream. Sunglasses for the beaming sunshine and hopefully I'll get to see a sunset while in the sky. A Purse with euros, sterling and EU Health Insurance card. Then finally my phone, I want to 'switch off' from technology a bit when I'm away but I'll still check in and take some photos.

Everything I need for a week away. I'm looking forward to sharing my trip with you all soon.
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 Every now and then my thoughts go back to the younger, slightly different me. I'm still the same person I've almost always been but gradually developing into the me that feels right and is more like my true self at heart. A big part of that has been adopting a healthier lifestyle. I won't get into my whole story, I think I'll save that for another day. For now I want to share what I've learnt from my always evolving lifestyle change.

The best way I can describe it is, one day something clicked in my mind. There wasn't a big shooting star moment, it started small, little things here and there. Before I knew it, more things in my lifestyle had changed and I took it from there. By a healthier lifestyle, I wouldn't say I lead the healthiest life, it's a constant journey I'm living and every day I'm slowly making progress. However, it is far better than it was for a very long time. In every aspect of living, from the food I eat, how active I am, the amount of time I rest and everything in between. Health, body, mind and soul. It's a package deal.

What I've changed.. 

My diet is one of the key changes that I've made, I'm more mindful about what I put into my body. Not everything is clean and nutritious, however it's better than ever. More of the good stuff that comes from nature and less of the not so good stuff, and drinking plenty of water. Exercise is now very much a part of my routine, I get moving at least twice a week and it has been that way since the beginning of the year. I've tried out different workouts and I can honestly say I'm fitter than I've ever been (for now). I go to sleep and wake up at more reasonable hours, that in combination with exercising has helped me become less fatigued. Writing down my thoughts and feelings, keeping it in is emotionally and mentally draining. My mind is clearer and moods are not all over the place. Thinking more positive and remembering to be thankful. Just some of many little changes that have helped me become healthier, personally.
 
What I've learnt.. 

It takes time
When I realised this, I think that was around the time it all became clearer. There isn't a quick fix, that's why they call it a 'lifestyle'. It's the way you live, if you want it to last it takes a little while for it to stick. At times it feels like you'll never get to where you want to be but you will.

It's not always easy
Think of it like you have always walked backwards and you have to learn to walk forwards. You find your balance, you can hold yourself up and put one foot in front of the other. It feels strange, you know it's better for you but you haven't quite got the knack of it yet and still stumble to the ground. That's what it's like to change the way you've lived for most of your life. Some days will be difficult and some will be manageable. Once you've got the hang of it, it gets easier.

It's all in the mind
Although there is active changes when you're adjusting your lifestyle, a lot of it is a mental change at first and then the physical acts follow. Being wired in your head to continue to do good things for yourself is what keeps you going back to it and it will become a healthy habit.

It shows in unexpected ways
Firstly, I felt better in myself both emotionally and physically. I saw it in my mood, body, skin and just about everything. Of course I knew it would be beneficial in a lot of ways but you don't quite realise how much. I found that other people could see it in me too, my confidence was one thing people commented on, how I looked and that I seemed happier.

I won't regret it
No matter what, I will never regret the more wholesome attitude I've achieved by taking care of myself. One little thing I do regret is not doing it sooner, but maybe I had to get to this point in my own time when I was ready to take a stand and do something so amazing that is now my life.

By no means am I an expert, I did what felt right for me. It's going to be different for every one because no human is the same. If there is ever anyone who needs some encouragement to strive for what they want when it concerns their life, I want to say that taking the first step is the most important part. Believe in yourself. Be kind. You can do anything and most of all, you deserve it. 



What I've learnt from leading a healthier lifestyle

1.9.15

Image Source
 Every now and then my thoughts go back to the younger, slightly different me. I'm still the same person I've almost always been but gradually developing into the me that feels right and is more like my true self at heart. A big part of that has been adopting a healthier lifestyle. I won't get into my whole story, I think I'll save that for another day. For now I want to share what I've learnt from my always evolving lifestyle change.

The best way I can describe it is, one day something clicked in my mind. There wasn't a big shooting star moment, it started small, little things here and there. Before I knew it, more things in my lifestyle had changed and I took it from there. By a healthier lifestyle, I wouldn't say I lead the healthiest life, it's a constant journey I'm living and every day I'm slowly making progress. However, it is far better than it was for a very long time. In every aspect of living, from the food I eat, how active I am, the amount of time I rest and everything in between. Health, body, mind and soul. It's a package deal.

What I've changed.. 

My diet is one of the key changes that I've made, I'm more mindful about what I put into my body. Not everything is clean and nutritious, however it's better than ever. More of the good stuff that comes from nature and less of the not so good stuff, and drinking plenty of water. Exercise is now very much a part of my routine, I get moving at least twice a week and it has been that way since the beginning of the year. I've tried out different workouts and I can honestly say I'm fitter than I've ever been (for now). I go to sleep and wake up at more reasonable hours, that in combination with exercising has helped me become less fatigued. Writing down my thoughts and feelings, keeping it in is emotionally and mentally draining. My mind is clearer and moods are not all over the place. Thinking more positive and remembering to be thankful. Just some of many little changes that have helped me become healthier, personally.
 
What I've learnt.. 

It takes time
When I realised this, I think that was around the time it all became clearer. There isn't a quick fix, that's why they call it a 'lifestyle'. It's the way you live, if you want it to last it takes a little while for it to stick. At times it feels like you'll never get to where you want to be but you will.

It's not always easy
Think of it like you have always walked backwards and you have to learn to walk forwards. You find your balance, you can hold yourself up and put one foot in front of the other. It feels strange, you know it's better for you but you haven't quite got the knack of it yet and still stumble to the ground. That's what it's like to change the way you've lived for most of your life. Some days will be difficult and some will be manageable. Once you've got the hang of it, it gets easier.

It's all in the mind
Although there is active changes when you're adjusting your lifestyle, a lot of it is a mental change at first and then the physical acts follow. Being wired in your head to continue to do good things for yourself is what keeps you going back to it and it will become a healthy habit.

It shows in unexpected ways
Firstly, I felt better in myself both emotionally and physically. I saw it in my mood, body, skin and just about everything. Of course I knew it would be beneficial in a lot of ways but you don't quite realise how much. I found that other people could see it in me too, my confidence was one thing people commented on, how I looked and that I seemed happier.

I won't regret it
No matter what, I will never regret the more wholesome attitude I've achieved by taking care of myself. One little thing I do regret is not doing it sooner, but maybe I had to get to this point in my own time when I was ready to take a stand and do something so amazing that is now my life.

By no means am I an expert, I did what felt right for me. It's going to be different for every one because no human is the same. If there is ever anyone who needs some encouragement to strive for what they want when it concerns their life, I want to say that taking the first step is the most important part. Believe in yourself. Be kind. You can do anything and most of all, you deserve it. 




Now that we're over half way through August, it's only a matter of weeks until the autumn days are here and baking becomes a regular thing in my house. The Great British Bake Off is also back and it inspires those sweet cravings in us all. They baked a walnut cake the other week and as I'm a coffee lover I felt like baking a coffee and walnut cake. I was pleased with how it tasted, not as elegantly decorated as I would have liked but if your Dad says it tastes like a cake from the shop then that's a good sign. I wanted to keep it simple, I'm no expert, I just enjoy baking every now and then. I just found a standard recipe and tweaked it a little. So if you're like me and not very experienced here's how you can get bake your own.

Ingredients 

For the cake 
100 grams butter
50 grams caster sugar
50 grams soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
100 grams self-raising flour
50mls strong espresso coffee
50 grams chopped walnuts

For the icing
75 grams butter
100 grams icing sugar
A teaspoon of espresso coffee (if you wish)
Walnut halves to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180C degrees, line and grease a cake tin and leave to the side.
Beat the butter and sugar together into a bowl until light and pale.
Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring the egg is completely mixed in before adding the next egg.
Pour in the coffee and vanilla extract into the bowl and stir well.
Mix in the flour to the wet mixture, then add the walnuts until completely combined.
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and put in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until cooked, take out of the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
While the cake is cooling you can make the icing, cream the butter and sugar together and then add the coffee and mix well until it's a creamy consistency.
When the cake is cool, spread the icing on top and add the walnut to decorate.

.

Simple Coffee & Walnut Cake

19.8.15


Now that we're over half way through August, it's only a matter of weeks until the autumn days are here and baking becomes a regular thing in my house. The Great British Bake Off is also back and it inspires those sweet cravings in us all. They baked a walnut cake the other week and as I'm a coffee lover I felt like baking a coffee and walnut cake. I was pleased with how it tasted, not as elegantly decorated as I would have liked but if your Dad says it tastes like a cake from the shop then that's a good sign. I wanted to keep it simple, I'm no expert, I just enjoy baking every now and then. I just found a standard recipe and tweaked it a little. So if you're like me and not very experienced here's how you can get bake your own.

Ingredients 

For the cake 
100 grams butter
50 grams caster sugar
50 grams soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
100 grams self-raising flour
50mls strong espresso coffee
50 grams chopped walnuts

For the icing
75 grams butter
100 grams icing sugar
A teaspoon of espresso coffee (if you wish)
Walnut halves to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180C degrees, line and grease a cake tin and leave to the side.
Beat the butter and sugar together into a bowl until light and pale.
Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring the egg is completely mixed in before adding the next egg.
Pour in the coffee and vanilla extract into the bowl and stir well.
Mix in the flour to the wet mixture, then add the walnuts until completely combined.
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and put in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until cooked, take out of the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
While the cake is cooling you can make the icing, cream the butter and sugar together and then add the coffee and mix well until it's a creamy consistency.
When the cake is cool, spread the icing on top and add the walnut to decorate.

.


Sitting on my bed, on a Tuesday evening, half typing and half looking out at the slow moving grey and blue clouds with Spotify Discover Weekly playlist playing, a great new feature by the way. And I have finally found the time to write a little blog post. It makes me feel disheartened when I think about how we can't do what we love all the time, well some lucky souls can but for the most part there are moments when we all would rather be doing something else. For me, it's writing and blogging. How I would love to just sit down at a lovely desk or out in a cafe just thinking and typing away, go out exploring taking photographs everyday. It's so simple but it brings me solace.

Making the time to do what I love is what I want to focus on for a while. As life has become busier with work and summertime antics with friends and family, I have craved quiet time for myself. I'm very much introverted in that way. Finding peace to collect my thoughts, breathe and rest.

I have managed to make the time to workout whether it's cardio or yoga/pilates, albeit not as much as I would like to but enough to be satisfied and create those good endorphins. That has helped curve my yearning as well as helping keep on top of my fitness. The way I have managed that is to set the time, I'll think about my week ahead, see where I can fit it in and just go. No excuses.

Whereas when it's something like writing that's not deemed as 'essential' to my life or 'needs' to be done like pesky errands, it can be so easy to push it to the side. But why should that be the case? It's silly, really. An hour a day that is time for yourself is just as important as the other 23 hours in a day. Not only am I going to make the effort to make time for myself to do what I love I want to encourage all of you to do the same. It will be different for everyone but as long as we make that time like we make time to eat lunch we can do it. No matter what you do with it, as long as YOU are happy with what you're doing or not doing, that is what it's all about.

Little things I want to make time for..

Take a morning walk around some fields and overlook the green landscapes
Colour in my colouring book
Bake an apple crumble
Have a long stretch with yoga in the evening
Read a book
Go outside, see the world and take some snaps
Collect my favourite photos, get them printed and stick them in my photo album
Sketch some jewellery designs
Lay down, get comfy and listen to my favourite songs
Write a little every now and then

What do you want to start making more time for?

Make the time to do what you love

11.8.15


Sitting on my bed, on a Tuesday evening, half typing and half looking out at the slow moving grey and blue clouds with Spotify Discover Weekly playlist playing, a great new feature by the way. And I have finally found the time to write a little blog post. It makes me feel disheartened when I think about how we can't do what we love all the time, well some lucky souls can but for the most part there are moments when we all would rather be doing something else. For me, it's writing and blogging. How I would love to just sit down at a lovely desk or out in a cafe just thinking and typing away, go out exploring taking photographs everyday. It's so simple but it brings me solace.

Making the time to do what I love is what I want to focus on for a while. As life has become busier with work and summertime antics with friends and family, I have craved quiet time for myself. I'm very much introverted in that way. Finding peace to collect my thoughts, breathe and rest.

I have managed to make the time to workout whether it's cardio or yoga/pilates, albeit not as much as I would like to but enough to be satisfied and create those good endorphins. That has helped curve my yearning as well as helping keep on top of my fitness. The way I have managed that is to set the time, I'll think about my week ahead, see where I can fit it in and just go. No excuses.

Whereas when it's something like writing that's not deemed as 'essential' to my life or 'needs' to be done like pesky errands, it can be so easy to push it to the side. But why should that be the case? It's silly, really. An hour a day that is time for yourself is just as important as the other 23 hours in a day. Not only am I going to make the effort to make time for myself to do what I love I want to encourage all of you to do the same. It will be different for everyone but as long as we make that time like we make time to eat lunch we can do it. No matter what you do with it, as long as YOU are happy with what you're doing or not doing, that is what it's all about.

Little things I want to make time for..

Take a morning walk around some fields and overlook the green landscapes
Colour in my colouring book
Bake an apple crumble
Have a long stretch with yoga in the evening
Read a book
Go outside, see the world and take some snaps
Collect my favourite photos, get them printed and stick them in my photo album
Sketch some jewellery designs
Lay down, get comfy and listen to my favourite songs
Write a little every now and then

What do you want to start making more time for?

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