Monday 25 January 2016

Ideas, Plans and Moving Forward

Over the last week or so I've be thinking of what to write for my next post; today I woke up with a decision in mind, this being to write a little update on my thoughts and feelings over the last few weeks and for time ahead.

As you'll know if you've seen my "New Year, New Resolutions?" post, since the beginning of the new year my focus has been to on continue with the things I love and enjoy most. Which is helping me settle into my new surroundings and to help with my health and happiness, and at the moment this is the best thing for me to do. Over time doing so will inevitably help me with growing stronger, more confident and ready for my next big step (perhaps work, work experience, college or similar).

I am pleasantly surprised that I have managed to continue a similar routine to the one I adopted when in America. My love for Yoga has definitely expanded, as well as making sure not to worry so much, to live in the moment and to keep calm and positive. Of course I have my moments of feeling slightly down or aggravated, don't we all? But in such times I like to tell myself "this will pass, breath and let it go". Which in fact helps me more than I'd ever have thought, especially in times of anxiety or panic.

Now onto something kind of new (or rediscovered)...A couple of weeks ago I started painting again! My sister asked me to create her a painting of Rome to display in her new house, of course I was delighted and extremely excited by her request. Although I was also a little nervous with not having painted for about a year, now that I've made a good start I can say that I am thoroughly enjoying it.

I am also trying to pursue my love for reading which I got into in America; however, this is something I've found a little harder to continue. I've struggled with reading my whole life, and I know its not going to suddenly be easy for me. But I'm up for the challenge, so even if its just a chapter from a book a day; now on I am going to make sure I do it :) (I'll let you know how I get on with this!!).

Of course, I still completely adore taking photos whenever possible as well as seaside walks. When putting the two together this is such an inspiring and pleasant time for me; as I get to know Brighton a bit more I will definitely take lots of photos in different places, which I will be sure to share on here!

I am extremely excited for the days to lengthen and for Spring to arrive. Spring is a wonderful time of year - a time to really get a glimpse of the New Year ahead. The whole world seems to come alive after the cold, dark and dull Winter. New life and growth is all around; blossoming colourful flowers and greenery, baby animals out and about, late evening walks watching the warm sunset and more. 

This year for me is more of a fresh start than ever before; its a new beginning, and I look forward to collecting new ideas, knowledge and plans for my time ahead. I am growing stronger in mind and body each day (which is incredibly exciting).

As long as I mainly keep positive and calm I will continue to move forwards on my path. I understand I won't instantly find myself at the top of the mountain, but thats alright - I've been told and accept that time is the best healer; with time comes patients, knowledge, understanding, strength and so many other wonderful tools for life.

I hope I haven't bored you too much with blabbing on a bit and that me writing this helps you understand a bit more about my thoughts, ideas, plans and so on. Perhaps this may even help you get excited and eager for the Spring to come around; or to think about what you're currently enjoying/what you may want continue with and so on.
Thank you so much for reading :)
Sending you a big hug! 

Sunday 17 January 2016

A Stroll Along Brighton Seafront

I love the Sea...a lot. If you know me well, or you've been reading my blog from the beginning you'll definitely know this about me. 

With being back from my travels for just over a month and feeling a bit more settled in my new home town Brighton I've found one thing I enjoy tremendously at the moment (when the weather's nice), is going for a stroll along the Seafront with my camera. 

I adore the therapeutic Sea air, the excitement I feel from the waves crashing against the shore and the stunning panoramic view. 

There's often a few other people out on the sidewalk, out on dog walks, or couples enjoying the surroundings together, parents out with their children and so on, which adds to the sublime atmosphere. 

So, as I like to take photos whilst I'm out and about along the Sea front, of course I'd take the opportunity to share some of my favourites with you here on my blog! 

I hope you like them :)
This was such a stunning morning...with a blue sky all around...
I love the rustic, old, rusty railings in contrast with the blue sky...
Here, the sunlight helps to form shadows from the railings creating an array of patterns on the path...
The glistening sunlight on the Sea instantly fills me with warmth and happiness...
I love the different patterns, textures formed by the waves and sunlight here...
Then, of course the splashing and crashing creating an instant feeling of energy and excitement...
Every time I see a Dog, I want to take a photo...I try to stop myself as I'll end up with filling my camera memory with them. The odd one doesn't matter...besides...look how cute and fluffy he is! 
I couldn't believe how gorgeous the weather was on this day; although with being winter it was a little chilly, the warmth from the sun and the blue sky were heavenly.
The next few photos are a little later on in the day. The weather started to make a change for the worse, the wind picked up, the clouds started to shadow over and I could see that it was about to pour down with rain...Nonetheless, I thought I'd take a few last photos to capture the dramatic change!
Thank you for looking :) 
Lots of love!

Monday 11 January 2016

My Mum's Birthday Surprise

For my Mum's Birthday this year I decided to surprise her by filling our home with party decorations.

I started planning at the beginning of December to give myself plenty of time to prepare and get everything together, and as I absolutely adore decorating, planning and collecting ideas together I found this a lot of fun!

Looking back at the set up and how I decorated the space I am so delighted with the overall look; my Mum was definitely very surprised and said she loved it (which of course was the most important thing!) 

I'm very excited to share my ideas with you with you - I hope you like the finished look!

Yes, I've left the wreath up after Christmas...I just really like the one we got this year!! I hung this "Party this way!" sign from it to start the surprise off right from the door way!

I kept everything to a gold/grey/white/silver colour scheme, with the added pop of colour from the inside of the paper chains.

My Mum's favourite cake is coffee and walnut cake, which is the cake I baked for her Birthday and of course she was very happy about it!

The napkins and napkin holders were bought in the sales after Christmas as well as the "s" trinket on top of the gold box of chocolates.

I already had the fairy lights (which are in fact the same lights I used around the Christmas tree). For the Birthday celebration I placed them around the door frame - I love the warm cosy effect.

Again these copper ball lights I already had, which were bought from a little independent shop in Brighton.

I hung a few of these gold decorations around the room to add a touch of sparkle.

My favourite additions to the decorations are the large paper pom poms in god (above), cream (below) and silver (two below). I found these in a lovely little shop in Hove - they are so easy to put together and I think they really help give a party vibe.

Before getting these paper chains I was actually looking for some "Happy Birthday" bunting, but no shops seemed to have any apart from the odd few tacky looking ones which didn't go with the theme. At first, when I saw these paper chains I wasn't sure about the bright colours on the inside. However, I went for them anyway and in fact love the pop of colour.

Of course I had to get some balloons! I got 6 of these silver ones from Card Factory where they fill them up with helium for 35p each which I thought was incredibly reasonable.

I hung some of the paper chains from the ceiling and tied on a gold delicate ornament onto the end for some added sparkle.

Finally, I bought my Mum's some beautiful roses (bottom right corner). I always love how flowers bring so much warmth and beauty to a room.

Thank you for reading and taking a look :) 

Lots of love x

Thursday 7 January 2016

New Year, New Resolutions?

So, it's the beginning of 2016 and now is the time most people tend to make New Years resolutions; things they want to start, to change, to improve, to focus on and so on.

With Christmas and New Year celebrations now having come to an end, and with most people being back at work, school, university or college January can already be a very tough and draining time of year. In fact for me, if I were to pin point a particular month as being my toughest, that month would be January; and I know several others that feel the same. With that said, I often think - why make the beginning of the year even tougher by creating more pressure to feel the need to do or be better in some way? 

Don't get me wrong, I do love the idea of making New Years resolutions in retrospect, but sometimes it can seem quite pressurising, don't you think? Making a demanding list of things to improve on or to get better at for the year ahead can seem quite a daunting thing when looking from the start. What happens if some things on the list are perhaps unachievable or just too much? Does that mean failure and possibly cause feelings of frustration, disappointment, defeat, upset and more?

For those like me, who find making New Years resolutions quite a demanding and scary task, there is in fact another way to look at the idea which I have recently learnt coming into 2016 from my lovely Yoga teacher.

This being, instead putting yourself under a lot of pressure and feeling you must succeed in the goals you have set yourself for the new year, you can use the term 'planting seeds' instead.

Now let me explain...with this idea in mind, for example you might choose to plant a seed for the year to find a better work/life balance for yourself. For seeds to grow all they need is a little nurturing, or 'TLC', and with this will inevitable start to develop over time. In this way, the 'seeds' (intentions) you plant don't need your full attention 24/7. You can come back and fourth to them every now and then, and as long as you don't completely neglect them they will, in time, grow. 

I think the key elements to this idea that I really like are firstly the feeling of time as well as the fact that the seeds (intentions) you set don't need your full attention all of the time. Remember, with taking small, manageable steps, taking the pressure off and giving yourself the time you need you will get to whatever you set your heart out to achieve give yourself the time you need.

Obviously, this is only my opinion. There are many people that can set themselves New Years resolutions without feeling under pressure, and there are others that don't feel the need to get involved at all. I'd like to reiterate that it's not that I don't like the idea of setting new goals, achievements and so on...because I do. I just find it quite overwhelming thinking about it all at once, at the start of the year.

I am incredibly delighted to have learnt a new way of looking at setting myself intentions, or 'planting seeds' for the year ahead, and to me this way feels less pressuring and more flexible.

I thought it'd be great for me to share the idea on my blog, and if you reading this are like me, maybe this could help you in starting 2016 with a smile and plenty of positive vibes!

Sending all my love and wishing you a wonderful start to the year! x