Category Archives: Personal

Why I Cry (Or, Why I Learned to Shop Worrying and Weep All I Want)

26th May 2014

I was at lunch with two of my best blogging buddies the other week (Amy from Amy Loves and Emily from Pretty Please – both of their blogs are amazing!) when we got onto the topic of how often we cry. Now, I’m a prolific crier and we spent the next half an hour shrieking with laughter when we talked about all the silly things that have made us cry… or not cry, in Iron Amy’s case (although we did break her with Hannah Maggs’ Draw My Life video, don’t worry).

I decided to write a blog post sharing all of the things that have made me cry in the last seven days because, well, it makes me chuckle to look back and see what a sap I am. I swear, pretty much the only time I’m not crying is when I’m feeling totally neutral emotionally, any other time (happy or sad), I’m usually bawling.

I sometimes see people answer ‘about me’ surveys on their blogs and say they can’t remember the last time they cried. REALLY? Man, if I haven’t cried in a 24 hour period there’s usually something seriously the matter with me. I love a good cry. It’s cleansing. But I’m still convinced that’s why I have dry skin…

So anyway, these are the things that have made me shed a tear over the last seven days:

When I couldn’t do a wide grip pull down in the gym because my wrists were too weak (frustrated tears)
When my boyfriend suggested my portion of stew was too big (frustrated tears)
When my boyfriend suggested I might be able to squat a bit deeper (‘omfg why don’t you do it then?’ tears – sorry, Simon, I know you were just trying to help!)

(In case you couldn’t tell, I wasn’t good at taking fitness criticism this week)

When their parents turned up to their photo shoots in the America’s Next Top Model final (happy tears)
When Ping won Masterchef (happy tears)
When I read an article that showed photos of dogs in the car after leaving shelters (happy tears)
When I read a Game of Thrones spoiler on Twitter (RAGE tears)

I *think* that’s it for the last seven days.

So, um, any other serial criers out there? Anyone? Bueller?

Me, all the damn time

More Doggy Photos!

20th April 2014

So I know not everybody out there is a fan of dogs but, well, I am so prepare for another instalment of dog walk photos!

We had family visiting last weekend so after a huge Sunday roast we headed off on a family dog walk with our dog (Bertie), my mum’s dog (Ernie) and my uncle’s dog (Star). We had a lovely mooch through our village, across the fields and then down the canal to get home; it was a gorgeous day and it always makes me smile to see the three dogs playing together. Love those pooches!
Anyway, I took a few photos and I love some of them so much I wanted to share them with you. What do you think?

My Day Zero Challenge!

16th April 2014

I’ve decided to do the Day Zero project. I’ve actually been planning on it for ages but it’s only now I’ve finally organised myself enough to write my list. I was inspired by my dear friend Carole, who just finished hers and managed to complete everything – how amazing is that?

In case you haven’t heard of Day Zero there’s some info below, but basically it’s a challenge where you write a list of 101 goals you want to achieve in the next 1001 days (roughly 2.75 years). But here are the official guidelines from the Day Zero website:

Day Zero started out with the catchy challenge of completing 101 things in 1001 days. This has been enormously popular with tens of thousands of people getting involved and sharing their lists. We now offer many more types of challenges, but here are the original guidelines for the challenge:

The Challenge: 
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days. 

The Criteria: 
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days? 
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple challenges such as New Year’s resolutions or a ‘Bucket List’. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

I’ve been working on my list for the last week or so and I’m ready to get going! I haven’t actually got a full list of 101 things, I’m only on 76 at the moment, but I’ve decided to add the rest as I think of them, otherwise I’ll just end up with some rubbishy things I added to try and bulk it out. That’s fair, right?

So anyway, without further waffle, here is my list of goals I’m hoping to achieve in the next 1001 days:

Every time I complete a goal I’m going to photograph it and document here on here for you all to see. I’m really, really excited about this challenge and I can’t wait to show you how I get on!

A Day in the Life: Productive vs. Unproductive

15th April 2014

I see these daily diary posts on blogs and I’m always shocked at how productive everybody seems to be. Man, in comparison I’m an absolute sloth! It got me thinking that my productivity really does depend on the day – some days I’m on fire and by the next day I can be all burned out and completely slack off.

As a freelance writer my days vary wildly and it’s quite an unstructured lifestyle. Luckily I love working from home and I work well as my own boss but while I’m getting things up and running I don’t have work to do every day, which is where the particularly unproductive days come in!
I did a comparison of two daily diaries: one ‘productive’ day and one ‘unproductive’ day. I haven’t edited my activities at all – this is an honest look at exactly how I spent a couple of weekdays, eek.
                Productive                                                            Unproductive
07:10 – Got out of bed and had breakfast                       08:30 – Got out of bed
07:45 – Took my boyfriend to the station                        09:00 – Took the dog out
08:00 – Walked the dog                                                  09:30 – Sat on Facebook and Twitter 
08:45 – Did stretches, two sets of squats and a cycle      11:00 – Watched a Catfish marathon and spent
09:30 – Sat down to work                                                          most of it smdh
10:00 – Cleared out my email inbox                                13:30 – Went on Pinterest and felt depressed
10:30 – Wrote 1500 words                                                          about my lack of crafting skills
12:30 – Had a break for lunch                                         14:00 – Made a chicken and camembert
13.15 – Wrote 2000 words                                                           sandwich for lunch. Contemplated
16:00 – Scheduled blog posts for the following day                     making another one. Didn’t
17:00 – Picked my boyfriend up from the station             14:20 – Felt guilty about not doing any work
17:20 – Prepared dinner                                                             on my novel. Distracted myself by
18:00 – Sat down for dinner                                                       watching South Park
19:00 – Chilled/watched TV/read a book                        16:00 – Decided to become a yoga guru. Hurt
22:00 – Took the dog out for the last time                                   my hamstrings doing downward
22:30 – Bed time!                                                                       facing dog. Raged
                                                                                      17:00 – Picked my boyfriend up
                                                                                      17:20 – Debated the pros and cons of getting a 
                                                                                                  Chinese for dinner. Eventually went
                                                                                                  to Sainsburys and bought burrito
                                                                                       19:30 – Sat down to eat burritos/watch TV
                                                                                       21:00 – Raged when my favourites didn’t go                                                                                                                                               through on Masterchef
                                                                                       22:30 – Got into bed and watched Family Guy
                                                                                       23:10 – Went to sleep
So there you have it! Some days I’m a writing machine, other days it’s just a big of pile of fail. But hey, at least next time you have an off day you know I’ll be there in spirit, eating camembert sandwiches and Pinning crafts I’ll probably never make.

My Own Body Inspiration

11th April 2014

When it comes to healthy eating and getting fit I think we all get a bit carried away when we picture our ‘ideal bodies’. I know once I get on Pinterest and start checking out Victoria’s Secret Angels I’m left a bit deflated because, in all honesty, I’m never going to have Candice Swanepoel’s legs. Feeling disappointed about my body before I’ve even started a fitness regime is definitely not a healthy mindset to have, so instead of looking at celebrity bodies that I’d love to have, I’ve started focusing on what I know my body can look like.

I’ve always been quite curvy, whether I was a size 12 at seventeen or the size 18 I am now, so aiming for a boyish, lithe figure is unrealistic and only sets myself up for disappointment. However, aiming for a toned, hourglass body is definitely something I can achieve, as it’s the body type I had a few years ago when I was fit and healthy. My legs have always been my least favourite feature – they’re short and have always been big, even when I was at my fittest and worked out five times a week they were big. But they were toned and strong and that’s something I’ve grown to love – though now there’s some fat to work off before any muscle tone makes an appearance!

What I’m trying to say is that we should be realistic when we’re imagining our ideal bodies. If you have an hourglass figure you’re probably never going to look like Cameron Diaz, likewise if you have a banana body type (straight up and down) it’s unlikely you’ll end up with Kardashian curves – it doesn’t make you any less beautiful but I think embracing your natural body shape is important, and it keeps your goals realistic and stops you setting yourself up to feel like a failure. 

I do have a folder on my computer of ‘body inspiration’ pictures but I’m also trying to look at my own body as inspiration. I’ve dug out some photos of myself from a time when I was very fit and healthy and I was surprised by how much I love the figure I had back then – all I remember about my body from that age was worrying that I was ‘fat’, which makes me so sad now, because looking back I think my body looked great and, man, I’d love to have the stomach I had in the bikini picture at the end of this post!

My body looked like that a few years ago, so I know obtaining that body shape is a realistic measure of what I can look like again; I just need to put a whole lot of elbow grease in and work hard, which I’m excited to do.

Plus, we need to keep in mind that photos of our own bodies haven’t been airbrushed to death!

Do any of you look at old pictures of yourself for inspiration? What do you think of using yourself as inspiration, rather than celebrities?

My new body inspiration? Myself, at age 20!