The rescue cat who rescued me

Diary

I write this, hunched over and slightly uncomfortable as I don’t want to disturb the fluffy baby who rests on my lap. This fluffy baby I speak of is a young cat which Liam and I adopted from the RSPCA – his name is Gandalf.

Gandalf was in the Little Valley RSPCA centre because his previous family could not afford to pay for an operation that he needed. Gandalf had a UTI that went unnoticed for a while which caused a build up of crystals in his urinary tract – so bad that his kidneys were so infected that he almost died. Gandalf had surgery to remove the build up of crystals in his urethra and luckily, he is in good health and his kidney function has returned to normal. Due to the severity of his condition, he will have to remain on a prescription diet for the rest of his life and have regular check ups at the vet – which is why I imagine he was in the centre for such a long time with the cost and risks involved with his care.

With all this in mind, we still fell for him, hook, line and sinker the moment he strutted into the ‘meeting room’. We picked him up a week later, expecting him to take a very long time to get used to us and his new home (he was a very nervous cat) – but after a couple of hours of sniffing around and finding his hidey holes he was meowing for attention and snuggled up next to use on the sofa.

For a while I had been feeling like I was missing something in my life – I have amazing friends, my perfect man, wonderful home and career – but I still had a hole that needed to be filled. I felt as though I was floating through my life with out any purpose other than to shop and decorate myself and my home.

Then there was Gandalf. The silly cat who wakes me up in the morning by lying on top of me and nibbling my cheek or bopping me on the head with his paw. The playful cat who gets so excited when you come home from work and who throws himself onto his back so you can tickle his tummy. The mental cat who chases his own tail and prefers to play with nail files and pens than catnip ridden toys. The cat who prefers to do his business if you’re in the same room with him. The cat who jumps up on you when you’re sad to give you an eskimo kiss.

I hadn’t realised how much I needed him until he woke me in the middle of the night by ‘washing’ my hair and then cuddling into my chest, falling asleep with me. I don’t care if I sound like a crazy cat lady (which by the way, I can’t qualify for anyway as I have a man!), this cat has filled that empty hole and has made me feel complete. It is safe to say that I love him and I know that he loves Liam and I.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us”

-Gandalf

(obviously that is a quote from the film… my cat can’t talk)

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Welcoming in 2017

Diary

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This is going to be the first year I have ever made resolutions, so just to get my second goal on the way, here I am, increasing my chances of success by  publish them for all the world to see!

My resolutions for 2017 are…

One| Lose 2 stone in weight. I have found the last three months overwhelmingly stressful – so I have been using food for comfort. I am ashamed of the amount of weight I have put on since September 2016 and am now determined to get to the body shape that I was two years ago. I want to loose 28 pounds in 12 months… so that’s only about 2.5 pounds a month… Which I believe to be very achievable!

Two | Establish a goal for myself to achieve every week. Whether this goal is to finish a unit of my diploma, not eat any refined sugar or run 10 miles (fat chance),  research  by Dominican University of California shows that by writing your goal down you increase your chances of success by 33%.

Three | Identify three things that I am grateful for everyday to continue the journey of training my brain to look for the good things in life. According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people.

Four | Become more aware of my feelings. My anxiety makes me avoid risks and settle for less. I want to dedicate a few minutes a day thinking about how I am feeling. I need to understand that my feelings from one area in my life may overflow into other areas in my life. By being more aware of my feelings, I want to be able to balance my emotions so I am able to make the best decisions.

Five | Strive to eat a lot healthier.  I don’t drink coffee so sugar is my caffeine and I am addicted… to the point that I sometimes have headaches when my body craves a sugar fix. I have tried many times to go cold turkey (PB: 15 days) but this year I will find a way that fits my routine and diet best. I will try to eat more fruit for a natural sugar boost rather than my usual milkshake or chocolate bar. I will meal prep for my weekly lunches and stop buying sandwiches at work.

As well as these resolutions, I would also like to accomplish a few goals. Last year I wanted to: buy a house; learn to play an instrument; stop forgetting birthdays and stop spending so much money. I bought a house, almost stopped forgetting birthdays and stopped spending money on things I didn’t need. However, I didn’t even touch an instrument. This year I would like to:

One | Read more books

Two | Decorate our new house from top to bottom

Three | Complete my diploma

Four | Landscape our garden

Five | Welcome a fluffy kitty to our little family

Wishing you all a very happy new year! I hope you achieve any goals that you have set yourselves! Love always, L ♥

 

 

 

Christmas in a flash

Diary

Hey everyone… We have a lot to catch up on! So much has happened over the past week, so here I am to dish up the details.

Liam and I became home owners last Thursday 22nd December after a long and stressful 5 months – the same day that Liam got confirmation that he got his promotion (yay!). We were never given an exchange or completion date by our Solicitor so it came as a bit of a shock when I had the phone call to say we could pick up our keys. Owning my own home has always been at the top of my bucket list and was also my Mum and Dad’s dream, as well as my own. It breaks my heart that my Dad is no longer with us to see me tick off this box, but I’m sure he would be proud. Needless to say, I spent most of the day crying with joy.

Christmas  has come and gone if a bit of a flash. As I was franticlly saving for the house and all the bills that come with buying a house, I made most of my Christmas presents this year – so lots of scented cancels, bars of soap, Christmas tree decorations, fridge magnets , etc and a painting of my family’s Jack-Russell cross terrier, Tilly! I made a Cranberry and Key Lime Pie and Nutella Christmas Tree pastry to take to my family’s house for Christmas and spent the whole weekend ramming food into my face (standared).

Everything inbetween has been house, house, house! 

We are having a lazy day today where I will be reflecting over 2016 deciding what my resolutions will be for 2017 (better late than never, right?). 

Happy New Year to all you lovely lot.

Love always, L x 

December, bulleted

Diary

So far, December has been a bit of a ‘brain dump’ in terms of bullet journaling. There has been lots of swearing and angry ‘pictures’ that have somehow come from my pen (anyone who knows me would be able to tell you that I’m usually quite well reserved *cough*). December so far has been, in my opinion, a beautiful disaster.

  1. Number of nights out: 2
  2. Number of times I thought I may die from a hangover: 3 (there was an emotional moment between leaving the club and getting in a taxi home)
  3. Administration consultation: New proposal of delivery to administrative roles. I am of the understanding that my job is safe – this will be confirmed by the end of the week.
  4. Number of times I have tried to give up sugar and failed: 3 (I did last 5 days before failing on the first round)
  5. Unicorn horn’s made: 2 (the first one was a bit too floppy)
  6. Number of diet cokes drunk: unknown

All that up there seems a bit sad and/or depressing for my usual favourite month of the year… so it is time to activate the ‘Focus Funnel’ *insert corny 80’s game show theme tune*

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I feel as though my Christmas has been stolen from me this year as I’ve been unable to decorate as I normally would… due to the fact that I am basically homeless! We expected to be moved in before Christmas, now it’s looking more like January… so I’ve been unable to transform my home into Santa’s grotto 😫

Due to my limited funds because of the potential move, I have had to be extra careful and organised about things I wouldn’t normally have to be; and being someone who loves to spend money – espically at Christmas it has been super, super difficult – so the ‘Focus Funnel’ has been my saviour (even if the name is slightly annoying).

What the heck, it’s Christmas! Now, excuse me while I go procrastinate on purpose and eat 3 mince pies and half a yule log.

Christmas Countdown:

♥ 12 sleeps till Christmas Day

♥ 51/62 Christmas presents finished and wrapped

From Swiping Right, to Mr Right

Diary

It all started one hungover Sunday, aimlessly swiping through an endless array of not so great ‘men’ and the odd ‘dick pic’ (#Tinder). I was Tinderella, searching for my Prince Charming.

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And there he was – the man who I wasn’t quite sure about because he was so unbelievably perfect. We clicked instantly, sharing the same dry, sarcastic sense of humour. He bought me Maltesers on our first date (winning), made friends with all my friends and buys me flowers on the regular. He was (and still is) the definition of my perfect man and he is the Prince that I know I deserve, especially after all the frogs that I have kissed. He was the good influence I needed and I was the bad influence he wanted.

My family became his family and his family became mine and I am thankful every day for the love that he brought into my world. I can officially say that I now know what love is (sorry, Mariah).

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Ok, this post is over now. You can remove your head from the toilet bowl. 😷

Christmas Glitz and Glamour

Diary

 

I have not been clothes shopping for so long that I think its having an effect on my mental health. I have had big, exciting things to save for so the whole fashion thing has sort of been thrown out the window for the past 4 months. But with Christmas around the corner and as I’ve just sold a painting… there’s no time like the present to get back on that horse.

Christmas parties and New Year celebrations call for glitz and glamour – so I’m buying myself a new dress and heels with my commission money, damn it – and there’s nothing you can do to stop me. (I may also have pay for my car’s MOT with it too – and the subsequent work needed for said MOT – but i’ll cross that bridge when I get to it!).

So I can hear my mother’s voice in my head saying “you could spend that £60 towards the solicitors fees” but I’m pushing the voice to the back of my mind. So what if I have to wear the same dress for the three parties that are booked into my calendar over the next month – I’ll be fabulous and just style my hair different for each night! Sorted.

Christmas Countdown:

♥ 39 sleeps till Christmas Day

♥ 24 sleeps till work’s Christmas party (i.e. 24 sleeps to buy the perfect dress and shoes)

♥ 7/62 Christmas presents finished and wrapped (yes, I have a lot of family and friends)

How starting a Bullet Journal has helped my anxiety

Diary

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As someone who suffers from anxiety, I wish I had done this sooner. Bullet Journalling is a notebook system that incorporates planning, list making and doodling in an organised way. As you use a ruled note book rather than a diary, you aren’t limited to what you can put on the pages. My Bullet Journal allows me to make monthly, weekly and daily plans and gives me a outlet for my feelings at the end of a day.

I wanted to show some pages of my Bullet Journal with you, share my designs and with any luck, give someone else who suffers with anxiety some ideas that have really and truly helped me over the past month. Every page in my Bullet Journal uses my designs, mostly done by hand so feel very personal and special to me.

I started by numbering the pages of my notebook and writing an index on the very first page. From here on I included things that I would find useful, for example:

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My word for the year and Yearly planner

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A list of 20 Things Successful People Don’t Do and a quote from Albert Einstein that I like

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A Monthly planner

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My weekly and daily log

I also have a double page spread for my personal Goals. These include things like buy a house, read more, complete my Diploma as well as more private and personal goals that I have set myself to achieve.

My daily logs are where my Bullet Journal really helps with my anxiety. At the end of the day, before going to bed, I write down one thing that went well. Sometimes I have to take a while to think of something to write and others days I have to work out which to choose as so many good things happened in the day. Taking the time to think of something that went well and writing it down has stopped me going to sleep anxious about the next day. I can’t tell you exactly why, as I don’t understand it fully myself. However, I can tell you that I know I’m not going to stop doing something that has clearly helped me. I guess you could compare this to the 100 Happy Days Challenge that took Instagram by storm a couple years ago.

As August has progressed, so have my ideas; as well as noting down what went well, I have started to write what didn’t go so well in my day and writing what I can do to fix it. Sometimes these things cannot be fixed, so I have to ask myself if worrying about it is going to help. More often than not, the answer to that question is no; so why should I waste my energy worrying about things that I cannot change.

And to think, all it took was a month of Bullet Journaling to help me work that one out.

Another year older, still none the wiser!

Beauty, Diary

image1I’m not old – but I feel it! I turned 24 on Monday and to be honest, it was a bit of a disaster. I celebrated with my friends on Saturday night, managed to snap my favorite pair of heals and subsequently had to leave early due to my broken shoe and a possible broken ankle. I’M OK – it’s not broken, just very fat!

As I spent the rest of the night and the following two days wallowing in self pity, I need to talk about how spoilt I was (It’s still my birthday week, so I’m allowed to show off!). Liam gave me Chanel Mademoiselle eau de parfum (That brings my count to 3 bottles – safe to save I like this stuff a lot!), a beautiful eternity necklace, a couple JoJo Moyes books to add to my TBR list, a Groot bobble head (THISSSSSS) and not to mention the Nutella Krispy Kremes, cocktails and the most amazing meal at Coal, Exeter. My best friend of 9 years is taking me for a Spa day at the end of the month and my mother gave me some Euro’s in preparation for my holiday in three weeks.

I fully plan to keep milking my birthday for as long as possible (as I do every year).

Hello!

Diary

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So after spending what feels like a million hours transferring my small collection of posts over to my new blog (yay!), I realised that I have never actually ‘introduced myself’. You’re all sat there reading my thoughts from your computer or smart phone screens, probably wondering – who the hell am I?

Let’s start with the basics. My name is Lydia (that’s me up there ⇑) and I live in a small village just outside of Exeter in the South West of England. I have an amazing boyfriend (thank you, Tinder) who has given my my very own fairy-tale romance.

By day I’m a medical Secretary for Older People’s Mental Health; by night I’m a wanna-be dancer, writer and chef. My guilty pleasures include Pole Fitness, Sims 4, pulled pork nachos and classic Disney movies. Anything with four legs and covered in fur is bound to get my immediate love and affection, anything more than four legs and I will run faster than Usain Bolt.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading my blog. You are fabulous.

Love always, L ♥

[The Real] 12 Reasons To Know If You Have Your Life Together

Diary

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You see this kind of title everywhere, but let’s be honest, these are the real 12 reasons to tell if you have your life together:

  1. You show up to work on time; but it’s only because you washed your hair before going to bed, applied your mascara at a redlight and gave up eating breakfast years ago.
  1. Your room is either at 0 or 100 in terms of tidiness; you’ve got dirty laundry on the floor, a suitcase that still hasn’t been unpacked from 3 weeks ago and an array of items dangling from every potential hanger in your room, but you still manage to look a perfect 10 before leaving the house. Either that, or it’s spick and span because you cleaned it last night, but give it 24-hours to bounce back.
  1. You never eat dinner on a night you’re going out drinking. Half the calories and way less stuff to absorb all the alcohol; or, you eat everything in sight because, let’s be honest,  there’s no point in trying to be healthy if you’re drinking all night.
  1. Your hair looks clean, but that’s just because you’ve mastered the art of using dry shampoo or baby powder.
  1. You’re super proud of yourself for packing the night before leaving on a trip instead of the morning of. But you always forget to pack your charger, pants or toothbrush.
  1. You know how to be responsible and stay in for the night when you have to be up super early the next day. But when you stay up until 3 or 4am, you might as well have gone out.
  1. You create an incredible workout schedule and diet plan for the whole next month, but then you realize that cookies are carbs and it’s wrong to cut those out of the food pyramid.
  1. You make it to your work event on time and you look fabulous. But no one knows that you’re buzzing from pre-drinks, you have a bleeding blister that you’ve bandaged up with toilet paper and your phone is at 3%.
  1. In fact, your phone is on 3% almost every single day.
  1. But it’s ok because you have a phone charger in your bag. Well, you have the cord to your charger in your bag. The location of the plug of the charger is to be determined.
  1. When you show up somewhere on time and someone asks why you’re out of breath, sweating profusely, or looking like a complete train wreck. You just give a composed smile and say the aircon is broken in your car. They don’t need to know that you ran the whole way because you forgot to allow time for traffic and parking.
  1. You’ve been called a hot mess on more than one occasion that you only hear the “hot” bit now, so really, it’s a compliment.