Letting go.

31 May 2013

This post was actually the one I was most looking forward to writing, but when it came down to getting all that icky stuff I need to let go of down in words I stumbled and tripped up. Over and over. Which is partly why this post is coming a day late. But also because so much of it is deeply raw still and really private, but here goes.. React to this term; Letting Go.

I have been learning to let go of my "stuff" through forgiveness.
Forgiveness creates space.
Space to receive, space to grow, space to move forward.
And let me quickly just say that by forgiving people or myself I am not saying that what they or I did was right, I am simply saying that I am done with letting the hurt live inside my heart. Nothing good can come if I am holding on to the painful parts of my past.
I am forgiving and letting go.
I am forgiving myself for some of the terrible decisions and reckless things I have done in the past. (the details of which I won't share). I'm only human and these moments in my past have taught me some valuable lessons and brought me to here. And here is exactly where I should be. I'm perfectly imperfect and very proud of the woman that I am.
I am forgiving myself and my ex-boyfriend for staying in a relationship that was utterly toxic for as long as we did. We were both completely accountable for the horrible things we did and said to each other. It may have looked peachy on the outside but on the inside it was rotten, right from the beginning. I have chosen to not blame anyone for this situation. And I am done having this relationship affect parts of my life today.

I am forgiving my body for not always working as it "should do". There is no good to come from being frustrated, ashamed and disrespectful to my body when I am not well. My body may well be "bockity" but I will accept it for what it is and listen when it is trying to tell me something.
Repeat: I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
I think I will leave the rest for my journal...

GIVEAWAY - The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown -

30 May 2013

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”
I discovered this incredible book after watching Brene's TED talk on The Power of Vunrability - you should totally watch that by the way if you haven't already - and I have been having a hard time putting it down since then (am reading it for the second time now!!).
In this book, Brene Brown, a leading expert on authenticity, shame, and courage shares what she’s learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living.
This book is like a massive hug because it is unashamedly comforting and re-assuring. You feel real and raw reading this book, but empowered at the same time. It came into my life at the perfect time and is perfect if you are looking to delve a little deeper into self-care.
Because I love it so much, I am giving a way a brand new copy of the book to one of you gorgeous readers, with a few little surprise treats too!
All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter below (all of the criteria is on there) and the competeition closes next Friday, June 7th.
Good luck guys :)


That old star wars t-shirt.

28 May 2013

Today was spent at the doctors having some tests (my doctor took FIVE vials of blood!!!!), feeding my body whole and nutritious foods, practising some very gentle yoga and napping. A lot of napping. Why did my doctor take so much blood? Because I have spent the past few days resting and getting myself better from a horrible bout of cystitis that came on last Friday. It seems that whenever I am feeling ill - be it a kidney infection, the flu or a migraine - this comfy star wars t-shirt is always the first thing that I put on. It's like my own comfort blanket and I just wouldn't be without it when I am feeling this vulnerable :(

I know I have been a little absent recently and I am truly sorry for that. I'm hoping that in the next few days I can play catch up and get back into the swing of things despite Bloglovin telling me that I have 1359 posts to catch up on!

As for the challenge, well I think I might just give myself permission to just see what happens. I have so loved the challenge so far but think I need to give everything a little break, return back to the normal rhythm of things/blogging.

I hope you are all well, lots of love..

Nic x

On being noticed...

25 May 2013

Something someone told you about yourself that you'll never forget.

My someone is Ben. And the something is obvious. 

It was the first time Ben introduced me to one of his work colleagues as his "girlfriend". 

Let me set the scene: I had gone to meet Ben after work and as I was sitting next to him in the office waiting for his work to render, one of his friends came over to ask him a question and because Ben is a complete gentleman, he introduced me formally. As his GIRLFRIEND. We had only been seeing each other for a few weeks and the way he seemed proud even to call me his "girlfriend" made me want to fist pump and dance around like an ass!!
Why did this make such an impact??  Why would I never forget what he said??Because most of the relationships I had been in up to this point were dysfunctional and unhealthy and I never felt like I belonged completely in them. When I met Ben it was different. And I had never in my life wanted to be an official girlfriend more. 

Oh and on a different note...that picture??? That's the view from Ben's mums new f**king gorgeous eh?? I will be spending this weekend recuperating and getting well after a pretty darn rough day yesterday. And while on the subject just want to send out HUGE LOVE to Sylwia, who is one of the most amazing people I know and I don't know what I would do without her. xxxx

My top 3...

24 May 2013

I asked Ben to think of my 3 worst traits:
1. "You can be incredibly impatient sometimes."
2. "You love change, and not the good type of change. The type that means I can never find where things are in the flat."
3. "You can be really insecure about your looks and your career."

And then I thought about what I feel are my 3 worst traits are:
1. I can be horribly spiteful sometimes when I don't get my own way. (I am getting better at this the older I get!!)
2. I hog the bed to such an extent that I usually wake up completely on Ben's side.
3. I sometimes expect Ben to join in with a discussion I am having in my head. I will pipe up with a few words every now and then and expect him to completely know what I am talking about. He usually never does (surprisingly!) and this annoys me.

No-one's perfect though right?


All that wisdom not learnt at school.

23 May 2013

Day 23: Things you've learned that school won't teach you.

Confession: I loved school. Like, a lot.
I loved learning, I loved revising, I loved my friends at school, I loved most of my teachers, I loved taking notes, I loved writing essays...basically I was a massive geek. And I loved being a geek too.  

But what school is not so brilliant at is teaching you those "big life lessons". You know, the ones that actually matter out in the real world. Like how to be good with money, how to eat a healthy balanced diet, how to deal with difficult people, how to find a job that you both like a pays well, how to not get sucked into the "rat race", how to pursue your dreams, how to cultivate joy, how to not be a total jackass. 

And then there are the "not so big life lessons, but equally important things" that school will never teach you either, like... 
+ There is nothing more painful that shaving your legs when you have goosebumps.
+ Life will never be as easy as it was in school, fun yes, but not as easy.
+ If you have a few too many drinks on a night out, having an alkaseltzer before bed works a treat to minimise the hangover in the morning. 
+ That having a cat is one of the coolest things you could ever have. 
+ Your friendship circle will completely change by the time you are 23. 
+ Chocolate, a night out with the girls and cuddles with said cat are a sure fire way to restoring happiness. 
+ Having a cat and a laser pen can provide hours of entertainment. 
+ Blogging is pretty much one of the coolest things to do in THE WORLD.
+ Making friends with amazing ladies all over the world through blogging is just as cool.

The rant that isn't so much a rant, but an inspiring speech.

22 May 2013

A little background for you...Eight years ago, David Foster Wallace delivered his “This is Water” speech to Kenyon College graduates. The speech was recently revived by a video production company (The Glossary) when they turned it into a 9-minute short film that you will (hopefully) now watch. Transcripts of it have circulated around the Web ever since, gaining popularity after the author committed suicide in 2008. 

If I had an actual soapbox I would deliver his incredible speech. 

Please, pretty please, take a few minutes to watch this video. It rendered me speechless. 


"You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't. That is real freedom. That is being educated and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the "rat race" — the constant, gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing." 

"The capital- T Truth is about life before death. It is about making it to 30, or maybe 50, without wanting to shoot yourself in the head. It is about simple awareness — awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: This is water, this is water."

A super easy raw chocolate recipe!

21 May 2013 promised here is the raw chocolate recipe that I have been shouting from the rooftops about!

Raw chocolate is incredibly EASY to make, delicious and a much much healthier alternative to the over processed and over sweetened chocolate found in the shops. All that you need is Organic Raw Coconut Oil, Raw Organic Cacao Powder and a syrup of your choice. I use Brown Rice Syrup. 
Basic Raw Chocolate recipe:
  • 200g Coconut oil
  • 40g Raw Cacao Powder 
  • 1-2 tablespoons Brown Rice Syrup
  • A pinch of Sea Salt
Blend all the ingredients together until smooth/combined. 
It really is that simple. 
You will be left with a mixture that can be rolled into balls or melted down and poured into a mould. If you are melting the chocolate be sure to do it slowly in a glass bowl over some hot water. It melts really quickly so be sure not to over do it!
I like having nice pretty shapes to snack on so I whack mine in a mould and then refrigerate for a few hours. When they are cold I pop them in a Tupperware box and keep them for those "I NEED A CHOCOLATE FIX NOW" moments. 
The best thing about making your own raw chocolate is that you can customise it however you like...add ginger, desiccated coconut, goji berries, chili....go wild!!

And before I favourite posts are this one, this one, this one and this one

My struggles...all 9562 of them.

20 May 2013

What have I learnt on this Blog Every Day challenge???

That I don't really like blogging at the weekend.

Why? Because I will ALWAYS prioritise time with my family and friends over sitting behind a computer (which I do every blooming day..) and this weekend was one of those times. I relaxed, I ate, I   shopped, I laughed, drank lots of herbal tea, I saw Ben's family, I saw Star Trek, I ironed (not so fun), I napped, I had more herbal tea with one incredible lady and I let myself be. 

So ignoring the missed two posts and focusing on today, I am going to "get real" and share something that I am "struggling with"....

And 'get real" is exactly what I am going to do. The last six months have been probably some of the most incredible of my life. I have grown, explored and been deeply moved more than I ever have been before. I have tried to be completely present in my own life, good times and the bad. I have held myself completely accountable for my happiness and my feelings. I have lent in. I have been scared and  vulnerable and open. 
This work takes practise. It doesn't just happen, it's cultivated. I have never believed this more than I do right now. 
And whilst I do this work I struggle. I struggle most days actually.  

Maybe one of the biggest things that I am struggling with at the moment is letting go of hundreds of stories in my past that do not serve me. The times I have been awful to people I love, the times that I have been down right awful to myself, the times I have felt unbearable shame, not living in a way that is aligned with my soul, being horrible to my body, my money story, not believing in my ability to make things happen ... the list goes on. I am trying to forgive myself. It's dirty and it's painful, but I will do it.

Knowing that I am enough and that I have greatness in me is not something that I easily own. In the past few months I have occasionally flirted with the concept but have yet to grab it with both hands and make it mine.

Sas said to me in our first session that one of the greatest things I can do for myself is to "trust that this all works out perfectly". Easier said than done. Which is precisely why I have written those words down again and again and again and again in my journal. I tell myself every morning and every night while I am thinking of all the things that I am blessed with and grateful for  that it really will work out. Every time I wonder "what the fuck is going on" and every time I am close to tears I tell myself. And you know what, even though sometimes I just do not believe it, other times I can tell that some part of me, deep down within really does believe it and knows it to be truth. And that is good enough for me. 

I struggle with what my definition of success is. My true definition is so far from what it used to be. My job title and how much money I make does not define me. My "calling" will not be one that is found in a 9-5 office job. My "purpose" is in fact my family, my wellbeing, my friends, what I do with my spare time, what I give to the world, being kind. Success cannot be found anywhere other than within myself and I am working damn hard to not compare my start to someone else's middle at the same time. 

I struggle and I am proud of my struggles. I surrender to them. 

Come from a place of love, not fear.

Just incase you didn't know what I looked like already...

17 May 2013

As if you haven't seen enough photo's of me is my favourite...
Taken on date night a few months ago, every time I look at it I smile. That night we had champagne, gorgeous food and then cocktails at The Savoy. It was such a gorgeous night and was one that makes me realise just how lucky I am. 

Day 16: A slight deviation from the plan...

16 May 2013

Today's topic: Something difficult about your "lot in life" and how you're working to overcome it. I have been thinking about this a lot today and the words were just not coming. It felt stilted and incomplete. So I have decided that I will hold off on that post and work on it. Instead I am going to talk a little bit about a few products that I have been loving lately:

1. Aveda Stress-fix Body Lotion (here)
I slather this on after my evening bath or shower and immediately I feel comforted, relaxed and calm. The aroma includes "essences of lavender, lavandin and clary sage from organic farms and is formulated using the science of aromaology and the power of pure essential oils". A total treat and one that really does work.

2. Clarins Gentle Foaming Face Wash - Combination/Oily skin (here)
Since I have been over hauling my diet and lifestyle my skin has had a bit of a "moment". Breakouts all over the place. This face wash has really gotten my skin back under control, cleared up my spots and kept it nice and fresh throughout the day. And it is not drying whatsoever!

3. Aveda Smoothing Body Scrub (here)
One of my favourites to take away with me when I am not able to make my own. An absolute luxury to use. If you are ever in the Sloane Square area make sure you take a gander to the Aveda counter in Peter Jones to speak to the lovely ladies there and have a try of these products!

4. The Body Shop Deep Sleep Dreamy Pillow & Body Mist (here)
Another product that helps me sleep like a baby! I spritz this all over my pillow and into the air when I get into bed and it really does help me drift away from the day and slip into dreamland. 

5. The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector (here)
A total must have for nourishing super dry hands. I slather this on before I go to bed and before I leave the flat in the morning and it goes a long way to making my hands look less like an old woman's!! 

From 7am to 11pm // a day in the life...

15 May 2013

As you may have guessed by now I am not in super duper blog planning mode when it comes to this challenge. I prefer to take the topics as they come, maybe talk it over with Ben or my family the night before, but usually I just come here, write away and hope for the best!
When it came to looking at the topic this morning I was like 'oh shit'....this is one of those posts that I probably should have planned for though....whoops...
A lack of fore planning is mainly the reason why this is being delivered at 10:30pm; I had to actually go about my day and THEN blog. But oh well, here it is, a day in the life of me:

6.00am: Alarm goes off. Ignore it. 

6.15am: Alarm goes off. Ignore it. 

6.30am: Alarm goes off. Ignore it. 

6.50am: Realise that I have to leave the house in 15 minutes so I begrudgingly drag my ass out of bed and get ready. 

7.30am: Arrive in Sloane Square. Take a few deep breaths:

8.00am - 1.00pm: Work. Work. Work. 

1.00pm - 2.00pm: Lunch. 

2.00pm - 5.00pm: Work. Work. Work. 

5.05pm: Freedom. Take another few deep breaths:

5:30pm: Arrive home to this:

5.45pm: Step on my yoga mat: 

6.45pm: Shower. (You didn't think I would include pictures of that now did you???)

7.00pm: Sit down to feast on leftover delicious pasta bake. Talk about how nice this pasta bake is!

7.30pm: Goblin takes up residence on my lap for some attention.

8.00pm: Coaching session with Sas. 
Powerful stuff. 

9.10pm: Try making raw chocolate treats for the first time:
(Definitely a recipe that I will be sharing soon with you guys as they were gorgeous AND are good for you!!)

9.30pm: Sit back down with Ben, Goblin, my raw chocolate treat and a cup of Pukka's best night time tea:

10.30pm: Pictures edited, post written, time to pack everything away and head to bed....


10 things that make me really happy..

14 May 2013

+ My gorgeous little family ^^ Hanging out with these boys makes me crazy stupid happy.

+ Spending time in the best health store in Balham getting excited about treating my body better.

+ Practising yoga.

+ Writing, blogging, journaling, exploring, learning, expanding, growing.

+ Having dates in the diary to see my family and friends.

+ Snuggling up and watching some awesome shows, such as House of Cards, Walking Dead, Arrested Development, House, Game of Thrones and Blackadder.

+ Busting out into song with Ben...always random songs, substituting pretty much any word with 'Joesbeffs'. It works, try it.

+ Having a clean and tidy house. Best. Feeling. Ever.

+ Dreaming up the life that me and Ben are creating together.

+ Watching Goblin chase a red dot around the room. For hours.

I am sorry, but not that sorry...

13 May 2013

Day 13: Issue a public apology.

I should probably start by apologising for not posting yesterday.
I'm sorry.
I spent the weekend at home with my awesome family and when I got home last night and the thought crossed my mind that I needed to blog, I just let it slip right past me. Spending time with Ben, all  snuggled up watching House of Cards (which is awesome by the way) just seemed like the better option.
I should probably then move onto apologising for nearly not blogging today either and for not reading all of your awesome blogs and leaving awesomely witty comments (this is highly debatable) on your awesome posts (not debatable at all). 
I'm sorry. 
Spending time with the girls eating a delicious lasagna and then munching on a penis shaped chocolate cake was just an offer I could not pass up.
After all, this blogging thing should NEVER come in the way of seeing family or friends, that would just be silly. 
And to conclude this neither here nor there post, here is a picture of that amazing cake:
You're welcome. 

The time I get my family to sell me...

11 May 2013

Photo circa 2008. Geeesh. 
Day 11: "Sell yourself in 10 words or less". I'm gonna interpret this as "describe yourself in ten words" as it's my blog and I can do as I please! And I have asked my Dad, Wendy, Tash and my Mum to describe me instead.  

10 words to describe me by my Dad and Wendy:
Beautiful. Deep. Blonde. Loving. Sensitive. Calm. Organised. Faithful. Crazy. Dibdob. 

10 words to describe me by Tash:
Blonde. Soul-mate. Everest (a nose the size of a mountain).  Hilarious. Jelly bum. Sneaky (her bags have to be checked every time she leaves my house for cosmetics, nail varnishes or clothes). Brown-nose. Cafufflemountain. Ditzy. Perfect. 

10 words to describe me by Mum:
Loving. Truthful. Stylish. Leggy. Blonde. Conscientious. Funny. Kind. Thoughtful. Beautiful. 

Don't I just have the most amazing family??

Spolier: This post contains silly/not so flattering pictures of myself

10 May 2013

My sister is my go-to inspiration person for this challenge.

This morning on my commute I was having a little think about today's topic, "My most embarrassing moment", and for the life of me I couldn't come up with one solid moment.
Not one.
So I  rang Tash to demand that she tell me a story where I was awfully embarrassed. Why? I've spent more time with this girl than anyone else on the planet so if I have any embarrassing moments lurking around she will be sure to find them. She is a bit like an elephant in this respect: she never forgets a bloody thing.

After ten or so minutes of discuss embarrassing halarious moments from our childhood, we had only come up with embarassing moments TASHA has had. We still had nothing for me.
(It was good to have such a giggle that early in the morning though!) 

Tash finished with...."You're actually quite a calm and collected person aren't you??"

Apparently I am. Bummer.
I rarely get embarrassed and I never get second hand embarrassment.
I have done MANY stupid things in my life. But embarrassing?? Not so much.

So let me tell you 6 stupid things I've done:

#1 When I was 10, I thought it would be a good idea to try and clean the OUTSIDE of my car window with one of those yellow spongey things you get for cars (I don't drive/own a car so i don't know what they are called) while we were travelling 80mph down a motorway on holiday.
As you can imagine, this didn't go to plan. No sooner had I opened the window and reached my arm out, the yellow spongey thing had been flung out of my hand and was making its way down the motor way.
#2 I then tried to hide the fact that stupid thing #1 had happened. Much to my dismay Tasha had seen the whole thing and was laughing so hard she had turned purple. As soon as she could utter what had happened to my parents, the laughter had spread like wild fire. Our car had to be pulled over. I still have no idea what I was thinking.
#3 Told Ben that I was a little interested in the crystals and their healing power. Queue lecture about "not getting myself caught up into woozy cults". Okay babe, okay...
#4 Got myself in places that I couldn't get down from whilst horribly drunk at uni:
#5 Not wearing appropriate clothes for a whale watching trip in Iceland. I have never been one of those "outdoorsy girls".
 I have never been so cold in my entire life. Happy as a bug though!
#5 Deciding that a fringe would be a good idea.
I went to the hair dressers in the Student Union in Leeds to get it done. I was a little drunk at the time. and it was a terrible mistake as you might be able to tell from this picture:
#6 Deciding a year later that I should get a fringe cup back in.
Although this fringe was created at a "proper" hair salon, I really should have remembered that with this nose, a fringe is never a good idea.
So there you are, 6 stupid things I have done.

And I'm still not embarassed about any of them. Maybe I should be??

A moment in my day...

9 May 2013

My lunch times are usually spent either walking around and exploring Chelsea, visiting the Saatchi Gallery, playing the little things game or if it's raining like today...reading. Today I settled myself in with a cup of tea and spent the hour soaking up this amazing book. I am half way through and it has only been a few days, it really is life changing stuff guys. Life changing!
Counting down the hours till my Restorative Yoga class tonight, oh such bliss!

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99, If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it...

8 May 2013

Baz Luhrmann had some brilliant advice to give in Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen. It is one of my favourite songs from my childhood and I nearly just whacked that video in here and left it at that. Job done. But then I realised he doesn't mention this...

Drink more water.

The amount of people I know who don't drink enough water (or any at all) is astounding. It's super super important. Here's why...

1. Drinking water can help you lose weight by flushing down the by-products of fat breakdown. Oh and it also works as a brilliant appetite suppressant.

2. It can also help reduce water retention as your your body won't try to retain water if it's getting enough.

3. It can be a natural remedy for headaches. A lot of headaches are caused by dehydration and so instead of reaching for the pain killers, try a pint of water instead.

4. Your skin will be ah-mazing if you are flushing it from inside. I promise. You will really notice a difference after just a week of upping your water intake. Your skin will be clearer, more moisturised/hydrated and full of glow!

4. You will notice that your energy levels improve with the more water you drink. Water flushes out the toxins and waste products that can build up throughout the body and cause fatigue.

5. Drinking water can increase your cognitive function.Your brain needs a lot of oxygen in order to function at optimum levels and drinking plenty of water ensures that your brain gets all the oxygen it needs. I am all about expanding brain power!

5. Staying hydrated is one of the best preventatives of UTI's and kidney infections. Drinking water increases the flow of urine, which helps flush the bacteria out the system responsible for the infection. If you are prone to UTI's like I am, you will notice that if you are sufficiently hydrated you will have a better chance of avoiding them.

If you are one of those people who don't like the taste of water (Tash, here's looking at you) or find it hard to drink enough throughout the day then these tips might help:

  •  Flavour the water you drink
Add cucumber (my favourite at the moment), oranges, lemon, lime, strawberries, mint, rosemary...the list is endless!
Chuck something in and you will be surprised at how much more refreshing water can taste. There are tonnes of resources on the web about it but here is a good one (50 Awesome Flavoured Waters) if you get stuck.

  • Carry a bottle of water around with you everywhere
That way if you do get thirsty you will have a way to replenish immediately!

  • Set reminders
If you are particularly forgetful try setting a reminder on your phone to take a break every few hours to have a glass of water. That way you don't have to be thinking about it all the time, easy peasy!

  • Have a glass first thing and last thing 
This will help you regain the moisture lost throughout the night and set you up for the day. If you like having a hot beverage at night before bed, try adding a slice of lemon to some warm water.

  • Eat hydrating fruit & veg
Adding some of the water-filled foods to your diet helps keep those hydration levels topped up.
Lettuce, Cucumber, Celery, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Spinach, Watermelon, Strawberries,  Broccoli, Grapefruit, Peach, Carrots, Pineapple, Raspberries and apples all have a water content higher than 85% !

So, that was my advice...drink more water - even Goblin wants to get involved with the cucmber water -  and then go listen to Baz.

The post I didn't nearly write...

7 May 2013

Day 7: The thing(s) you're most afraid of.

Guys, it was a bit touch and go there whether I would even write this post, but I am committed to this thing now and it didn't feel right to skip it completely.

Every time I thought about what to write today, I had only one thought and that was "I AM MOST AFRAID OF LOSING SOMEONE ELSE I LOVE. TERRIFIED. SCARED SHITLESS".
I wasn't sure how to go about talking about it, how I would convey how I feel when the thought crosses my mind, what I would even say. 

So, I won't try, I really can't bear to think about it in that much detail. That's a conversation for my therapist!!

Here are a few pictures I took yesterday chilling in the park instead...
That feels much better now doesn't it??

Oh, and one more picture for Alissa:

These things that I do...

6 May 2013

Day 6: If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question, 'what do you do'?
I dream up the life that I would like to live. And then I go out and make it happen. 

I spend time with the people that I love and cherish the most in the world. 

I look after the home that I share with Ben and Goblin. 

I commit to practising yoga 5 days a week. 

I drink warm water with lemon, aloe vera and apple cider vinegar every morning. 

I smile, I laugh, I create. 

I try to be the best sister, daughter and best friend that I can.  

I explore London. 

I lose myself completely in books. Usually a few at a time. 

I take baths, I paint my nails and I dress up. 

I blog. I comment. I take too many pictures. 

I sleep...talking of which, it is WAY past my bedtime!! 

p.s check out the amazing sunset we experienced the other night, out of this world huh??

I love this person...

5 May 2013

Day 5: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? 

So. Many. Amazing. Blog. Friends.

It seems I am having the same problem that I did on Day 2, not sure where to begin, not sure who to pick, not sure about how to phrase it all, not sure, not sure, not sure. 
So I am going to chicken out and say a few words about this lady:
She's amazing. I could not ask for a better sister. 
She's always been there for me when I needed her, always supported me and my weird ways and always loved me and seen me for who I am. 

And all you gorgeous blog friends that I have out there too??? 

You know who you are and you know that you are loved by me too.

A few favourite words..

4 May 2013

The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto. By Dr Brené Brown.

Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and loveable.

You will learn this from my words and actions—the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.

I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness.

You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.

We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both.

We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honor hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.

You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.

I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude.

I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.

When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life.

Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.

We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.

As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.

I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.

I discovered this manifesto a few weeks ago after watching Dr Brene Brown on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday show.
As Brene was reading out her manifesto, I found myself utterly blown away.
This isn't just for parents. It's for anyone, any age and from any walk of life.
I quite simply love it.

Five things make me DEEPLY uncomfortable...

3 May 2013

Day 3: "Things that make you uncomfortable."
As soon as I saw this was the topic about 762 things came to mind instantly.
On the way to work this morning I asked Ben if anything came to mind for him and the list grew even more. As we were nattering away something slowly dawned on me... most of these weird things I inherited from my Dad.
I can pretty much link every one of these things that makes me uncomfortable to a single moment in my childhood.
So I suppose that this post could also be called "Thank you Dad for making me even more weirder/OCD/strange/obsessive. I still love you though."
Number 1
I simply cannot have my feet out of the covers at any point in the night.
Why?? Because my Dad told me when I was FIVE YEARS OLD that there were witches under my bed and that they would grab my feet if they were hanging over and unprotected.
Number 2
I really hate it when people don't highlight things or colour things in within the lines.
This has gotten pretty bad recently, so much so that Sylwia apologises to me if she has accidentally gone over the lines of the sheet we use to track our meetings.
As you can see, today has been okay.
My Dad once made a joke about someone (I am sure it was Tash) not being able to colour in the lines, from that point on I was determined to beat them. It is a neatness thing.
(I  have been known to rip whole pages out of my school books/diaries/notepads because there is a mistake half way down the page and I hate crossing things out - what a freak)
Number 3
I have spoken on here before about how deeply uncomfortable I feel when people drip dry. This morning my sister sent me this.
First I laughed. Then I felt uncomfortable.
When I was a kid I can remember my Dad drying me so vigorously I thought my skin might fall off.
Number 4
I hate the bathroom floor being wet.
When Ben washes his face in the morning and soaks most of the floor in the process I could just scream. It's like he's in a fancy TV advert that only he knows about - you know the ones where they splash water everywhere (not just their face) and every normal person things to herself "I certainly do not look like that when I wash my face"  - yup, that's my every day.
When I was about six, my Dad told my sister off for soaking the bathroom floor with all her drip drying antics. This stuck with me and maybe also explains my hate of drip drying??
Number 5
And lastly, I hate mess. Walking into a really cluttered, messy flat makes me feel all icky instantly and I have to go about tidying it up. It doesn't matter if it's a family members house, a friend's flat, a friend of a friend of a friend's flat, I have to tidy the immediate area around me.
Sometimes this involves clearing rubbish and crap away, sometimes it's as simple as straightening all the mess out so at least it's parallel mess.
My Dad was a neat freak. Go figure.
Me and my Dad used to still do fantasise about when Tasha would be old enough to have her own flat just so we could just walk in there with a baseball bat and mess that shit up. Why? Simply so she knows what it was like living with the world's messiest sister/daughter. Aren't we a treat??
I think I might just leave it there for now as this could easily turn into the longest blog post ever and I have better things to do thinking about what shampoo I am going to use tonight and what I am going to wear to dinner; dress, jeans, heels, flats etc... The important things you know??

The second of thirty one posts coming your way.

2 May 2013

"Day 2: Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at."
This should be interesting.

I like to think that I am an intelligent woman who knows a lot of things but when I sat down last night and asked Ben "what do you think I know most about that I could educate people on?", the first thing that came to his mind was "Well you know a lot about eating chocolate?".

Not exactly what I was looking for.

When I asked my sister she said "What about being blonde, cats and zombies?".

Slightly better, but if you have read my blog for any length of time at all you will know that I talk about cats, zombies and being blond quite a lot anyway. Those three topics right there make up about 50% of my content. The other 50% consists of me taking pictures of my feet, talking about drinking wine, pictures of me and my friends acting ridiculous and me discussing self-care & yoga.

What on earth should I "educate" you on??

As I have just stared at that question for about 20 minutes and come up with fuck all I am going to impart completely unrelated snippets of wisdom information that I have accumulated over the last few years. Not so much educating, but sharing.
(Side note: I talk about cats, yoga and self-care below. Some habits are hard to break)

Here we go...starting with Body scrubs.

Ladies, don't bother spending £20 on a high end body scrub when you can make one for free in your own kitchen that does just a good as job.

All you have to do is mix some olive oil and sugar together in a little bowl until you reach your desired scrub like consistency (not too rough, not too runny) and then add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to scent.
Done. Easy peasy.

Slather it over slightly damp skin and you will have freshly scrubbed and moisturised skin. Most of the time I don't even have to moisturise after my scrub because the olive oil does that for me!

Moving onto investing in yourself

I have spoken a little on here about my developing my home yoga practice through the course that I took part in last month run by the amazing Marianne and the life coaching I am having with Sas, but I just want to share a little more about the why I think it is so worth it to invest in what makes you happy.
I know that I am not alone when I say that I really struggle sometimes. Trying to find my place in this world, dealing with a negative body image, living authentically and with purpose, looking after my health, finding a job I love, dealing with money & stress... it can all get a bit much. Growing up is not easy. Being happy and joyful is not something that just happens. You must cultivate it, work on being grateful, work on accepting yourself, work on being mindful and kind and lastly you must work on all these things damn consistently.
For me, developing my home yoga practice and working with Sas have helped me cultivate more happiness in my life dramatically. I took a massive leap of faith and invested big bucks into these two things. There was no guarantee that they would change my life but having that extra support behind my will power was a game changer.

If you find something that you love, invest in it completely.

I had dabbled in and out of yoga for a year and loved it, but until I invested completely in what I wanted to do; practice yoga every day in my own space where I feel safe, I didn’t have the knowledge or the support to do so.

At the beginning of the course I knew that I really wanted to stick with my commitment throughout the 30 days, however there was a small part of me that thought I might give up. That the fear of not being good enough would snatch my commitment from me and I would “fail” like I had done before.

Over the 30 days something shifted deep within me. I connected with my body for the first time ever and I accepted it for what it is. My body wasn’t perfect but it was the only one I had and I would look after it, strengthen it and connect with it through kindness and compassion. It wasn’t a sudden shift, it happened gradually and I owe this to the course and my investment entirely. I learnt things about myself that I would have not learnt by simply showing up at a class once a week or practicing at home once a month.

It’s the same with my sessions with Sas, I had dabbled in different therapies and read lots of inspirational books, articles, websites etc but I knew that if I didn’t have personalised support and guidance from someone that knew me and knew my story then I wouldn’t make any real progress with myself. With Sas I have a place to explore without bring judged, I feel supported and I feel understood.

I suppose what I am trying to say is if there is something that you love but you just can’t seem to grab it by the horns and place it in your life completely then go for it it. Get help and guidance. Invest
Anyway, moving onto surrounding yourself with super cute things.
Like cats.
Cats who love to get involved.
If having a cat (aka super cute thing) works for me, my sister, my mum and oh, about a million other people in the world, then I am sure it will work for you.
Last but not least, eating well.
Eating well is important. Supporting your body is important.
Recently myself and Ben have been trying to improve our diets and it has actually been quite fun, not to mention I am really feeling the benefits of eating healthier!
On Tuesday we made this dish:
Chili, garlic, mushrooms and kale with gluten free pasta.
Total hit guys.
Now, isn't this challenge fun???

Story of my life in 264 words...

1 May 2013

Born 20.08.89 / Basildon / Brief stint in Colorado / Back to Essex / Growing up with Tash as a sister was amazing, fun times, laughter, craziness / Long summer holidays spent exploring the world / Then our parents split, heartbroken, disillusioned / Moved again / High school: full of laughs, good friends and some terrible fashion decisions made / College was amazing: even better friends, drunken times and some terrible boyfriend choices / University in Leeds: Art History = awful / 10 weeks in I decided to leave, bravest thing I have ever done / Moved home / Made some even worse boyfriend choices / Trained to be a Make-up artist / Loved it / Freelanced / Then started with Clarins / Moved to Balham, London / Lived with two AMAZING girls / Drunken times, being single, being skint / Met Ben / Fell in love / 6 months in we moved in together / Fell in love a little more / Goblin arrived / Job hunted for about a year / Found a job! / Happy but sad, big changes going on / Monday to Friday: better routine, found my groove, things settled / Migraines and health problems became my every day and anxiety and depression hit / Blog started, loved it! / Therapy, medication and Ben’s support helped me get better over time / 2013 = control finally, happiness found within myself / Yoga, coaching and self care take centre stage / Big goals for the future / My heart is full and I am proud of my life so far.
Linking up with Jenni's "Blog Every Day in May"