Our trip to The Lakes - day one.

27.2.16

The week before last we packed up the car and headed off on a little adventure in the Lake District. As I haven't been feeling well, and Paul and I don't see too much of each other due to our clashing shifts, we thought a few days away would be just the ticket. Paul's mum has a beautiful and spacious holiday home in a little village called Cark-in-Cartmel and the Pugs were welcome to come along with us too, so we headed off for a 4 night stay.

We drove up on a Tuesday afternoon and didn't do much in the evening apart from crash on the sofa with some crisps and dip, wine, and trashy telly. We wanted to be well rested for our first full day so we had a lovely relaxing evening in front of the telly and the crackling log fire.


For our first full day after filling up on cups of tea and bacon sandwiches we took the Pugs for a walk in the village to tire out their little legs and show them the sights. Lily has a poorly foot so she has to be carried quite a bit nowadays (they're no spring chickens!) but Lola had a good old stretch of the legs and a sniff of *everything*. The Pugs were free to enjoy the warmth of the cottage while we bundled up warm and headed to Kendal for a look round the shops and a spot of lunch. We went to Pumpkins Bistro for lunch hoping they had "soup and a sandwich" (they didn't disappoint) and looked round some lovely shops before stocking up on supplies to take back to the cottage for our tea (also bought Kendal Mint Cake coz it's the t*ts!)


On our way back to the cottage we stopped at Scout Scar for a short walk and to admire the views from high up. The scenery was stunning, and this place holds special memories for Paul from his childhood with his grandparents so it was really lovely for him to take me there. After making friends with a dog, taking a few photos and admiring the views we were thoroughly exhausted and our hands and faces were rather chilly, so we headed home.

Another evening in front of the fire was in order. Absolute bliss!

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My 1000th post! (a quick thank you)

19.2.16

I have reached 1000 blog posts so I thought I would mark the occasion by making my 1000th post all about writing 1000 posts! Actually, technically I have written more than 1000 because I deleted a few old posts recently, and a few of my early posts went a long time ago due to their cringe factor, but hey, you get the idea. Also 1000 posts in almost 7 years is a bit pathetic isn't it?! Note to self: must blog more!

I want to say a big thank you to everybody who stops by here. It may not be as slick and professional as some blogs are but it's an honest and real insight into a normal 30-something's life, and I hope that's why you come back to read it. There's nothing I love more than when I get comments from people who have read my blog from the beginning, since 2009. That makes me very happy indeed! The blogging world might be totally different to what it was when I first started but I intend to keep on writing and sharing my life with you; the good and the bad!

If you're new around here, welcome! Happy reading! I hope to make it to 2000 posts and beyond!

Love from me, Paul, Lily and Lola xo 
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Health and happiness update (and 10 things I've learnt since having glandular fever).

15.2.16

Before I became ill last August with Glandular Fever I had no idea how bad this virus was. I had never come across anyone who had suffered with it and assumed it was a bit like the flu. How wrong I was!

Glandular Fever has literally ruined what should have been some of the best months of my life. Since August I have experienced all of the following; painful glands in my neck, memory problems, difficult concentrating, dizziness, sensitivity to bright lights and loud noises, hot sweats but a freezing cold body, nausea and no appetite, and a whole new level of fatigue which no amount of rest or sleep alleviates. I haven't exercised since last Summer, I have had to pretty much cancel my social life, and at times I couldn't even walk unaided.

I feel like I am finally coming out of the other side by making a lot of changes to my lifestyle, getting plenty of rest, staying positive, and exploring avenues such as acupuncture (more about that another time).

As bad as things have been and however much I wish I hadn't been unwell with this god-awful virus, I have learnt plenty of valuable lessons which will stay with me for the future and hopefully keep my body and mind happy and healthy for the long run.

1) Your health is absolutely THE most important thing and if you don't look after yourself, who will?! Before I was struck down with GF I was going through the most stressful period in my life, but instead of taking it steady I was staying up late, working out at the gym every day, hardly eating, drinking shed loads of caffeine, and generally burning the candle at both ends. How I wish I could go back and be kind to myself during that difficult time.

 
2) You have to treat your body with respect and give it the right fuel to do its job. This is the thing I struggle with the most because my appetite still hasn't returned and eating fruit/veg (which I used to LOVE) is a real struggle. Months of living on pate on toast will do that to ya! 

3) Drinking plenty of water makes a huge difference. Yep, that old chestnut! One of the things I found with GF was a constant feeling of nausea and a lack of appetite for any food and drink, so there were times I definitely wasn't drinking anywhere near enough. Whenever I make a conscious effort to drink at least 2 litres a day I always feel 10 times better for it and it really clears my fuzzy head.


4) Meditation is pretty cool. With the help of YouTube and a couple of apps I have been getting into meditation and I find it really helpful for clearing my mind of negative thoughts and things that are worrying me. I am definitely going to continue with this so if you know of any good videos or apps please send them my way! 

5) Doing nothing is okay. I used to be the kind of person who liked to be busy doing something at all times otherwise I felt like it was a waste of a day. I had no choice but to do nothing for an awfully long time and however frustrating it was, I can now enjoy doing nothing and know it's doing me good. Sometimes I will pop some headphones in and listen to tinkly piano music, or I will do a spot of colouring in, or I'll have a cuddle with the Pugs on the sofa. They are a magic cure within themselves them two! 

6) Fresh air is always a good idea. Having dogs helps with this one as it's a reason to push yourself to go outside every day.

7) Having a positive mental attitude is vital! It sounds so corny but whenever I let myself get bogged down with thoughts of "why me?!" or "I'm never going to get better waaahhhh" I always feel poorly again. 

8) Worrying is not going to do you any good. So let it go. I worry an awful lot. Like, about everything. It is exhausting and all consuming and I am working on ways to stop worrying on shit that really doesn't matter. Generally I find writing things down helps or having a good chat about whatever's on my mind.
 
all images from Pinterest - sources unknown

9) A good nights sleep can fix a lot of things. Gone are the days when I would stay up late gossiping with my housemate or chatting to Paul until silly-o-clock, or be squirrelled away in my room putting off going to sleep as it would mean time to get up for work. Sleep is so precious to me now, especially since a touch of insomnia started to creep in recently after years of being a heavy sleeper. If I have a headache I go to bed. If I feel achy or my neck glands start to flare up or I'm anxious I go to bed. I use my magic pillow sprays and sleep potions to get as much solid sleep as I can and I usually wake feeling so much better. The earlier the bedtime the better! #grandma

10) Taking one day at a time is a good plan. At the minute my health has good days and bad days and I am trying not to dwell on when the bad days will be. If I wake up and feel okay that's a good day! And I make the most of it (without doing too much, obvs). If I have a bad day I tell myself it's only temporary and I do some of the steps above to get myself back on track.

If you made it this far, congratulations! And thank you for reading. If you found this useful do let me know in the comments bit. If you've got GF you can't go far wrong with following some of these steps and resting. Rest, rest, rest!

Crikey, is that the time?! Time for bed! ;)
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A "perfect" day.

14.2.16

After a fairly disastrous day yesterday (involving one very poorly Puggy throwing up in the middle of a packed cafe where everyone was tucking into their lunch) today has been much better. Being hopeless romantics all year round, Valentine's Day is just another excuse to tell each other how much we love each other. We're either psychic or have exceptional taste because we bought each other the same card. Brilliant!

After a lie-in and a spot of brunch we've been relaxing at home with the dogs. Paul is currently having his pre-night-shift nap so I'm binge watching Tattoo Fixers, hugging a hot water bottle, drinking tea, blogging and eating Thornton's truffles. Perfection itself. When Paul wakes up we're going to make a lovely big dinner before he heads off to work. We are fully stocked up on Waitrose goodies! 

Last year I spent Valentine's Day with my housemate and a big ole hangover so a more chilled out, loved-up, hangover-free vibe this year has been wonderful. 

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Life lately (turning 31, throwing shapes and a trip to the theatre).

12.2.16

I've been busy over the last couple of weeks, mainly getting older and celebrating that fact with my friends and family. It's truly been my best birthday yet. I have been thinking back to my 30th birthday and how different my life was then. A lot can change in 12 months, that's for sure. I might not have had glandular fever this time last year but I wouldn't change how things are now for anything! 

I've been spoilt with so many lovely gifts, and I feel very lucky indeed, not to mention having a song written and performed for me by my hugely talented and massively dishy boyfriend. I may have cried a little. Okay, a LOT. It was epic!

We had an amazing 3 course meal at Silversmiths on the evening of my birthday, just the two of us. Much more low-key than my 30th birthday was (i.e. no tequila) but absolutely perfect. We chatted the night away; making plans for the future and talking about how much good stuff we've got to look forward to. I've been to Silversmiths 3 or 4 times before and it never disappoints. The food is insanely good and our waitress was lovely.
 

Last weekend I combined supporting my boyfriend's band at the o2 Academy with an opportunity to get dressed up and have a night out with a couple of good friends of mine. It's one of the best nights out I've had in ages! I danced until my feet protested and until Subway called our names. The band were on top form, as always. If you like good music you should definitely give them a listen - link!
 
photo credit - Mal Whichelow

Last night saw the last of my birthday celebrations at the Lyceum theatre. I mentioned aaages ago that I wanted to see Hairspray as it's one of my favourite films, so Paul picked up tickets as a surprise. The show was amazing; I don't think I stopped smiling the whole time. I also haven't stopped singing since, much to the annoyance of everyone around me. I definitely don't go to the theatre enough especially to see musicals. Such good fun!

Best.birthday.ever.! You know, apart from the being 31 bit. Cheers! x
 
 
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