Saturday stroll: Meersbrook Park.

21.3.15

On a Saturday afternoon I always get a bit of a slump where I feel sluggish and tired (probably something to do with being woken up by the dogs so damn early and the effects of my morning coffees wearing off) and this usually results in a nap. Today after having a little snooze on the sofa I decided to put my trainers on, grab my camera and pop some headphones in and make the most of the light and dry weather.
 
As I live smack-bang next to Meersbrook Park this seemed like the obvious choice so that's exactly where I went. I had a nosy at Bishop's House, which I will go inside at some point, which has been standing since the Fifteenth (!) century. I had a wander round the park and through the trees, looked up at the sky, took some deep breaths and climbed some particularly steep hills to make my way back home.
 
 
I only walked for just under 2 miles but I felt so good afterwards and managed to get a few good photos out of it. Sometimes a bit of fresh air can do us the world of good can't it? Lately there have been days where I feel sad or lonely but a good friend told me going for a walk and looking up at the sky can solve a multitude of problems, and she was right!

Sadly Lily and Lola's little legs can't keep up on long walks like this so for now it's just me and my Spotify playlists.


Where do you go when you need some headspace?

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Life lately.

14.3.15

Moving house.
A month ago I moved from Rotherham to Sheffield into my friends spare room. Lily and Lola went to stay with my parents for a couple of weeks while I got settled but they have joined me now. I already feel really settled in my new place and I'm enjoying exploring a new area.


Turning 30.
On the 3rd of February I celebrated(?) my 30th birthday which I was kind of dreading but it turned out to be one of the best days ever. More on that in another blog post though!

A night (or two ten) on the tiles.
I have been out and about a fair bit which feels great. When I was in a relationship I never felt like I couldn't go out and do things but my priorities were different and staying in/working around someone elses schedule made me happy enough. Now I have to make my own fun and I've been enjoying going out round Sheffield although there have been a few sore heads along the way (tequila on a Tuesday night is not the one).

A particular highlight was my employers "annual dinner" which my friends in Marketing and I organised which was a great success, and rather messy!


Working hard.
I am enjoying my job more than ever, especially as it provides some much needed stability when the rest of my life has been falling apart! I am coming up to my 2 year work anniversary and recently started my 'Diploma in HR Practice', receiving some really positive praise on my first assignment.

New hair!
I was fed up of having permanent roots (#naturalbrunetteproblems) so I decided to darken up my roots to go for the ombre look, only about two years late to the party on that one! I'm definitely going to get a darker root next time and bring it down a bit further but for now I'm really happy with the colour and finally have the shade of blonde that I like (it's quite hard to capture it accurately in a photo though). Totally recommend Megan at The Hairband on Eccy Road (Sheffield) if you're on the lookout for someone really good!


Poppy and Dotty.
Moving into a new home comes with two new ladies in my life; Poppy and Dotty the cats! They are still wary of Lily and Lola (who can blame them!) but most of the time they're happy plodding around doing their own thing and come into my room for cuddles occasionally which is rather nice.


Acquiring an injury.
Moving house came with its negatives, one being a rather nasty injury to my left hand/wrist. I thought it was a sprain so I iced it and rested it but after a few weeks of showing no sign of getting better I made my way to the minor injuries centre where I was diagnosed with tendonitis. I wouldn't wish it on anybody. I was in a world of pain! But a couple of weeks of wearing a splint and taking anti-inflammatory tablets and it is (touch wood) pretty much back to normal. Hello normal functioning hand! How I have missed you.

Food.
Lots of it. Mainly burgers..


Gym time.
After being a "working out at home" kind of girl for quite some time I joined a gym near my work and, on a good week, go quite often. I enjoy the time away from everything else and working up a good sweat.

Doggy problems.
Lola had to have an operation last week to remove some stones from her bladder. She was initially treated for a bladder infection but after the antibiotics didn't work a bladder scan highlighted the real problem. I didn't half worry when she was under anaesthetic and when I got her home it was so sad to see her in pain and so unlike her normal hyperactive self, but she is on the mend now and I am rejoicing in the fact I have pet insurance!

I think that just about sums it all up. I think I must be due some good luck soon, don't you think??!


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Skydiving for Rain Rescue!

7.3.15

One of my March goals is to do one scary thing a week. If you're going to do something then you may as well do it properly and my first week of March has involved doing a few new scary things, one of which was booking my skydive!
 
I have wanted to do a skydive for quite a while now and I always knew I wanted to do it for Rain Rescue, so when I nominated them for my employers "charity of the year 2015" and they won the vote I knew I had to bite the bullet and do it this year!
 
On the 18 April I will be making the hours drive to the skydive centre to freefall for up to 1 minute from 15,000ft (excuse me while I go and throw up).
 
I am asking my blog readers to consider sponsoring me for this huge challenge. All of the money raised will go to Rain Rescue who are a South Yorkshire animal charity who rescue cats and dogs from shelters where they're usually about to be put to sleep, and rehome them. They also take on abuse cases, nurse them back to health and place them in lovely new homes.
 
Read more about Rain Rescue here!
Visit my Just Giving page to sponsor me here!
 
Thank you so much in advance for anybody who either sponsors me or visits Rain Rescue's website and helps to spread the word about their amazing work in any way.

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5 good things.

3.3.15

I love writing these "5 good things" posts as they're a good way to keep a bit of positivity in your day. I have started writing a list in my phone 'notes' each night of "joyful things" - they can be silly little things really but they all add up and make things seem alright. Does anyone else do anything similar? Tonight I am particularly happy that I didn't eat any chocolate after my dinner and that I had a really good workout after work.

Here are my 5 good things:

1. Buying new perfume. I am running low on 'best' perfume and I am partial to spritzing myself with YSL Black Opium whenever I pop to Boots, so on Sunday I took the plunge and treated myself to a teeny bottle. I had a £5 off voucher and it was triple points so that seemed like a good sign to me! This smells so good. Notes of black coffee, white florals and vanilla apparently! Have a spray next time you're passing the perfume counter. I bet you'll love it!


2. After 3 weeks of pain and swelling with tendonitis in my left wrist it finally feels like it is getting better. It feels strange to have a fully functioning hand again!

3. Feeling settled in my new home with my new routine. It has been a steep learning curve learning how to look after myself. Yes I'm 30 years old and have always had someone looking after me, so having to do my own washing, food shopping, cleaning and finances is scary and stressful but very liberating! I have also managed to move past having beans on toast every day to trying more advanced dishes (ahem, pasta sauce in a jar ;))


4. Reconnecting with an old friend. Sometimes you lose touch with people who you were once super close to, and through a not-so-nice turn of events you get back in touch with each other and catch up as though no time has passed at all. 2015 seems to be the year for hearing from old friends for sure, and it feels pretty great!

5. Discovering that Ben & Jerry's do a peanut butter flavour icecream with whole peanut butter cups in it. I mean, Jesus Christ, how is a girl supposed to stay a size 10 with that around?!
 
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March goals.

28.2.15

With the majority of February being a bit of a disaster I thought I would set some goals for March to keep me motivated. There are so many things I want to do this year and I think it's a sensible idea to write them down, month by month.

What have you all got planned for the month of March?

- Go to the gym at least 4 times per week for the whole month. I really like being at the gym and the way it makes me feel while I'm there (and afterwards), but it's all too easy to find excuses not to go. I also really want to try a TRX Suspension class. Hopefully now that I've moved house and got into a routine with the dogs (and have a willing dogsitter/housemate) I can make more time for it. I have tendonitis in my left wrist which is frustratingly stopping me from doing a lot of arm and ab moves but I am determined to work around that as best as I can.

- Come up with a design for my tattoo. I really like arrows (signifying being pulled back and launched into a new direction) and lotus flowers (blossoming in muddy waters) and I quite like placements on the side of the ribs.

- Do something once a week that scares me such as arranging drinks with an old friend, attending a social event (blogging, work or otherwise) or trying out a new hobby. Last weekend I did something super scary (with a small push from my housemate) and I felt so good afterwards.

- Learn how to cook three new healthy meals with the help of my current cookbook collection and a new addition from foodie blogger/vlogger Ella which popped through my letterbox last week. I also want to try some of Ella's healthy dessert recipes to keep stashed in the cupboard/fridge as an alternative to chocolate and biscuits.

- Go "phone free" when I get into bed a couple of nights a week and reach for a good book instead.

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Happiness is...

25.2.15

- coming home from work and having two little dogs waiting for me, who don't judge if I've had a bad day and I want to have pizza and chips and wine in vast quantities.

- Nutella on toast for breakfast any meal of the day.

- finding out that you're going to be an Auntie (and a rather fabulous Auntie I must add!)

- watching back to back episodes of the American Office with a friend who loves Dwight Shrute as much as you do.

- receiving kind emails, Tweets and Instagram messages from you all.

- writing a to-do list for the day and achieving every single thing.

- leaving the hairdressers and being happy with the colour (hello ombre / goodbye thin strip of dark roots 2 minutes after getting blonde highlights!)

- chocolate from the American sweet shop.

- sitting down with a cup of coffee and catching up on blog reading.

- buying candles.

Borrowed from Gemma

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Life lately.

19.2.15

This post has taken me two months to write. Two months of difficult decisions, heartache, tears, new chapters, new friends, a house move, and lots of pizza/chocolate/alcohol. Some of you noticed that my blog went offline (thanks for the tweets, emails, etc ladies!) and some people have figured out something is wrong from my less-than-happy posts on Twitter and Instagram. It really means a lot to know I have so many lovely friends out there.
 
I have found it too painful to write this up until now. It's extremely difficult to sit here writing it even now, but I miss my blog terribly and need to somehow find a way to bring it back into my life. I like my blog to be a happy place but I can't carry on as 'normal' without a small explanation, and I guess sometimes life isn't always sunshine and rainbows. Life right now is extremely hard, and the only thing I can do is take each day at a time, but I hope one day things will seem positive again and the pages of Lily loves Lola will be positive too.

Jonathan and I broke up a couple of months ago. As you know we were engaged and had set our wedding date, for 4 months from now. I don't really want to go into too many details as I'm sure you can imagine how tough it has been. Jonathan was my best friend and I miss him dearly, and always will.
 
I have moved to Sheffield to live with a friend (and her two cats!) who I couldn't have got through the last two months without. She has been amazing! Lily and Lola are here too now, after a short stay with my parents just while I got myself settled into my new routine.
 
I was going to share a few photos of what I have been up to lately but it almost feels wrong to share that just now, so I will let the words do the talking just this once.
 
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Harrods Christmas shop.

12.12.14

Buying a real tree this year has made me obsessed with finding pretty new baubles and this foursome from Harrods are no exception.

As far as Christmas decorations go they are pretty special. Hand decorated and covered in Swarovski stones they are the perfect piece of bling for any tree! The white colour are out of stock but they also come in green (link!) which I love too.

Our tree is a mish mash of all different styles, shapes and sizes. Presents from friends, keepsakes, things we have picked up from all over the world, with a few twinkly lights to finish it off. I am so pleased with how it looks this year.

Swarovski Christmas decorations c/o Harrods

I will definitely be paying Harrods a visit next year as they have so many lovely things in their Christmas shop. I have been coveting this embroidered reindeer, embellished ice cream decoration, vintage bottle decoration, and 2014 Christmas door ornament.

Is there anything that takes your fancy?


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