Monday 28 September 2015

Photo Update - Another Day, Another Market

Another of the many things I have enjoyed out here, as you will know if you've read through my previous posts, is going to the Markets. The Farmers Markets for the lovely fresh fruit and vegetables, the gorgeous array of flowers and the warming family atmosphere.

Then to the Flea Markets, with the unique, individual and quirky stalls filled with second hand trinkets and antiques galore. Lovely patterned rugs, leather bags, rustic furniture and vintage suitcases. As well as an abundance of Art work from ceramics to paintings to sculptures and so much more. 

If you haven't yet seen my first post about the Markets here in LA click on the following link  to have a read and look through those photos too!

I'd previously been to the Flea Market on Melrose Avenue in LA with my Mum a couple of months ago and knew I'd want to go again. Last Sunday was a great opportunity to do so; so I took the bus and made my way, I wanted to take some photographs, so of course I took my camera with me! 

I will now share with you my photos from the Flea Market :)

Thursday 24 September 2015

Photo Update - Bike Ride Along Palisades Park

If you've read through my previous posts, you'll know that at the moment I'm really enjoying going out and about on my bike. So, I thought I'd plan myself another little trip; this being to cycle to the other end of Palisades Park. I planned my route and where I wanted to go which was very simple...I just needed to bike along the Park by Ocean Avenue towards Malibu right to the end of the Park, which is just before the road joins to the Freeway.

Palisades Park is a long strip of grassy area that runs alongside Ocean Avenue, here in Santa Monica. Now I know this doesn't sound like anything, but the park has been landscaped beautifully and the views all the way along are breathtaking. 

Where I am staying, I am very well situated, being right by the pier, and also right by the start of Palisades Park. As the park goes along right to the other end it makes a jolly good bike ride! A very picturesque one too - so of course, I took my camera and captured some photos to share with you. 

Below is a map showing the route (just to help give you a sense of scale)

Now are the photos I took,  I hope they help to give you a little insight of the Park :)

Some wonderful views, and funky Cacti!

Gorgeous roof top views... 

Crazily tall palm trees...

A very classic straight LA road...

Friday 18 September 2015

Photo Update - Venice Canals

With my ever growing confidence and becoming more independent I find I am able to go out and about and explore different places near by each week. When I arrived in Santa Monica my Mum and I both decided that our main way of getting around the area would be by Bus or bicycle. We bought two second hand bikes from a local bike shop, and we mainly used them to cycle up and down the Ocean bike path.

I have continued to us my bike now that my Mum has left and I am loving it; I feel back at home in England, once I had past my driving test I'd either walk or drive to places and a bike was no longer in my thought process. However, that has change now and here in Santa Monica I have really been enjoying getting to places so easily.

I still mainly use my bike to go up and down the Ocean front, either going towards Malibu, or towards Venice. I've been on a couple of bike rides to each over the last few weeks; one of these being in the late afternoon, when the sun was about to set I decided that it would be a great opportunity to go and see the Venice Canals.

I'd been to the Canals here before with my Mum when we came to LA on holiday a couples of years ago but hadn't yet been this year. From what I could remember I thought they were lovely and very picturesque, so I thought it was only right to go again and capture some shots using my camera.

I planned my route and set off on my handy little blue beach bike - I had looked up the route in advance and it was pretty simple (I just needed to go to the end of the Ocean path and then left...and thats basically it!)

Once I found the canals I locked up my bike and went for a wander. It felt so different to the last time I had been; I feel I can appreciate a lot more of the things here now than a few years ago. For example, the cute ducks swimming by the beautifully designed bridges; the spectacular architecture of the quirky, intriguing properties; the gorgeously landscaped gardens, and so on.

The most beautiful of all was the spectacular sunset; sunsets to me are just breathtaking, where ever you may be in the world, you can just step outside, or watch from a window cill as the sunsets and take that moment to breath deeply and feel the warmth from sun beaming hope and happiness.

Now I will share with you some of the photos I captured at the canals - enjoy!


Tuesday 15 September 2015

Growing With Confidence

Now having been here in Santa Monica for a few months, and with a month of that being without my Mum I am really starting to feel quite at home. Over the last couple of weeks I've planned little day trips out and about Los Angeles and so far they've all been a success! I've been to Malibu, Zuma Beach, The Grove in LA, Venice, and Beverly Hills; some I got the bus to and others I've used my bike.

Being able to make plans like this for myself with others has been extremely difficult over the past years, for many reasons...I'd feel anxious, scared, worried and panic that what we planned wouldn't quite work out or I'd regret having gone out and wished I'd never made any plans to go out in the first place. 

There have in fact been situations when my Mum and I plan a lovely trip out, not anything too substantial, just some sweet and simple. But I'd freak out and panic and we'd then have to either cancel the plan and not go; or if we had already left, turn round and go back. This has been the case more times than I can count on my fingers.

The worst thing about having to cancel plans or feeling anxious about making plans is I worry that I'm upsetting the other person who I'm making plans with. For example, when my Mum and I have made plans previously and unfortunately had to cancel, I felt so bad, and guilty and that I've ruined things. This then caused me to stop making any plans what so ever.

It hasn't just been with my Mum that I've panicked and had to cancel; over the last four years or even longer there have been multiple times I've had to cancel on my friends, on going to parties, or just a day out; even just meeting up for a casual day in town...all because I was worried about being in a situation where I'd feel anxious, panicky, and freak out.

I now know after speaking to many professionals about this, that I am not alone, at all and that in fact there are many people who suffer with anxiety and panic attacks. Now with being more aware of my anxiety, over my time here in America I have really wanted to stand up for myself and concur things that I would have been to terrified to do in the past.

I started to work on this right at the beginning when I was in New York with my Sister, Anna, and continued to do so here with my Mum in Santa Monica. I can delightfully say that I am now an a lot more confident in myself to make plans and to enjoy them.

This makes me so amazingly happy and excites me!

To end this post, I just want to say - make the most of every moment, but don't put pressure on yourself, enjoy yourself for you deserve it!

Lots of love x

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Photo Update - By The Beautiful Ocean

If you've read my previous posts, you'll know that one of my favourite things to do here, in Santa Monica, is go to the beach...whether this is early morning, the afternoon, evening or even for the whole day.

I could honestly stay by the ocean, reading, chilling, having the occasional swim and watching the world go by; gorgeous families playing in the waves; cute couples walking along hand in hand. These moments are so wonderful and to be able to have time in my day to simply, just sit and see moments like this is something very special.

Not only are these moments so special, but my time relaxing by the ocean is also wonderfully therapeutic, I just love it. And what comes with staying by the blissful ocean for hours on get to watch the lovely sunset. 

As I also enjoy taking photos, and capturing such gorgeous moments like this, last night I took this opportunity and took a few photos to share on this blog; I hope you're able to get a feeling of the beauty here - and as always...enjoy!


Sunday 6 September 2015

Being More Independent

If you read my previous posts, you'll know my first step of my 'American adventure' was a lovely week in New York with my sister, I then had 2 wonderful months here in California with my Mum. Hopefully these next months will be a very big step towards what this trip is all about...getting my independence, getting to know myself, relaxing, having some "me" time, time to recuperate and so on.

Now, I'm not going to lie and say that waving my Mum goodbye was easy...I mean the homesickness kicked in as soon as she was gone. But after being here, without her for 3 weeks now, I can most definitely say that the feeling of homesickness is definitely wearing off and I'm having more ups than downs. 

I sort feel like I've missed out on a chunk of my childhood, from the age of 15 to 18 my life was dominated by my illness. In some ways I feel as if time stopped and I missed out on a very crucial part of growing up. 

I missed out on being with my friends, going to parties; I missed a lot of important time at school (being ill for the time of my GCSE's as well as for my A Levels). So I really feel, or felt very out of sync with my life - this being a reason why I felt very lost, not knowing where to go or what to do...But thats all now behind me. I've delightfully, finally got my A Level results which I am over the moon about and was a massive weight off my shoulders. 

So as that is all now in the past, I can excitingly look to the future; however, right now I actually find that keeping in the present moment is how I like things to be. I find this the best way to keep me motivated, happy and relaxed; therefore being a huge help in getting me ready and thinking of what I want for my future. 

Here, in Santa Monica, California, just me. I can really appreciate the simple things. 

I feel I'm finding new interests - for example my love of reading (which before, I'd never ever thought I'd hear myself saying).

I'm meeting new people, getting to know my neighbours, planning trips out for myself - like getting a bus to Downtown LA, or planning a blissful bike ride along the ocean front.

I'm also pursuing my loves, like my love of Yoga - going to yoga classes weekly (which I love). Spending lots of time at the beach, and using my Camera here and there.

As well as these wonderful things, I'm also thoroughly enjoying making my little apartment my bliss, adding my own individual touches. 

Finally I find myself actually starting to think and plan more for the future which before my time here, I was too scared to plan for the future, let alone even think about it!

Basically all I'm saying here is life is very precious and taking a step back or taking a break is sometimes the best thing. It allows you to have an overview on how you're living your day to day. You can then make changes to the things holding you back, and see what things you really love and enjoy. 

I'm so happy, so lucky and grateful to be able to have this opportunity. I'm mostly grateful to those who have made this possible for me. My family, my friends - I love you. Mum, I love you; thank you all. 

I've found my bliss, my inner peace, my calm.