Turin.

Following my previous post on my trip to Lyon, here are the photographs from my trip to Turin. Turin is a beautiful city in the North of Italy surrounded by the Alps. I tried to keep the photographs to a minimum but its so beautiful, I took so many photographs it’s difficult to narrow them down.

I went on to Turin with my sister, dad and brother. Me and Tiegan stayed with our aunt who lives out there. It ended up being a very inexpensive trip and visiting our aunt who we barely see was good for the soul. Hopefully we will be returning soon when its warmer and for longer than just a few days. Its amazing how much you can do in such a small space of time when visiting another city.

 

I also still have the photos to share from mine and Tiegan’s trip to Budapest which will be up next week! If you like the look of any of these photographs, some of them are available on my Redbubble page, available to buy as prints! Please have a look:

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Lyon.

Back in November, which feels like a lifetime ago now, me and my baby sister/best friend went on our first trip together to Lyon in France. Neither me nor Tiegan had been anywhere by ourselves before, all holidays and trips we went on were with our family. You can imagine that this was pretty exciting for the both of us.

We chose Lyon for no other reason than I had heard it somewhere and asked her if she’d like to go there. Both of us are pretty spontaneous and pretty rubbish at planning so when she said she’d like to go, I booked it the next day. Thinking about this now, I sound reckless to even myself considering neither of us had done anything like this before. I should add that we gave ourselves a bit of time to plan and we did think about everything we needed to such as transport, money, insurance and all that very important boring stuff.

I won’t give you a play by play of the whole trip but it was 4 days of lots of giggles, interesting museums and one very salty anchovy and caper pizza. Never again. I wanted to share some of the photographs of the weekend, France has the most beautiful cities and Lyon is no exception, its easy to get around and full of life and colour, if you like wandering around finding little library cafes and walking along beautiful rivers then add Lyon to your list of Places to Visit!

Being Happy With Depression.

We all know that there are plenty of misconceptions surrounding mental illness. As time goes on, more and more people are talking about their mental health and how we can correct those misconceptions we all too often hear.

Disclosing my mental health was never at the forefront of my plans when it came to my blog posts. Not because I don’t want to talk about it. I do and I think it’s important to.

But this is not a pity party. I’m perfectly comfortable and happy with my mental health. It’s not perfect. But that’s OK. Today, I wanted to talk about how, with the help of time and patience, I have become happier in myself and how my depression is now easier to live with.

I’m not going to get too personal, this isn’t about me. This is about other people who may be struggling and want to know that happiness isn’t impossible to achieve.

We all know now that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance. We know it’s not a trait, or a choice. It is simply just a chemical reaction. It’s the way my DNA is structured. If you want to read more about clinical depression click here.

So how can I be depressed and happy? For a long time I would only feel down. Happiness came few and far between and any happiness I did feel felt fake. Now, I feel both happy and down and whilst not at the same time, I am living happy, with depression.

“Am I really happy?” Is a question I often ask myself. On a good day this is easy. There is a lot of good in my life and I choose to be happy about it.

On a not so good day, this becomes a little trickier. In the midst of feeling depressed, it’s easy to forget about all of your other emotions. It takes time and patience to understand your depression.

There have been a lot of steps over the last two years which have led me to a point of acceptance. My entire outlook on life has changed. About a year ago my dad introduced me to meditation. I find that there is a fine line between my happiness and my depression. Things can change very quickly and for no reason at all. With meditation I can find a sense of calm and begin to accept how I’m feeling. Rather than trying to fight it all the time.

It took a long time for me to be able to laugh at something honestly. To smile at something fully. To be able to accept all of my emotions and feel them as they are. Depression can often make you feel guilty if you feel happy in any way. This is something that takes a lot of time and convincing to undo. But it is possible.

Making and taking time for yourself will feel uncomfortable at first. Sitting and telling yourself that you have a lot to offer and that you deserve happiness just as much as the next person will seem ridiculous. And as awful as this is; the depression probably isn’t going to go away. At least for me, I’m still facing it every single day. But this doesn’t mean you have to hate it. It helps make us who we are. I’m only who I am right now because of all the things my depression has taught me. But it doesn’t define me.

Accepting your emotions as they come and go is the easiest way to balance them. Accepting that you feel happy and allowing yourself to feel it is important. Do not be in denial about your happiness. It is there and it should be felt. Accepting your depression, your down days and all the awful things that come with it are important too. If you’re in denial about your sadness, you will always be ignoring it. Pushing it back and it will always fight its way forward and it gets uglier every time it appears. Once you accept that those feelings are there and that they need to be felt, it becomes so much easier to understand them. Then it becomes easier to overcome them. You begin to know what to expect and how to deal with it.

It can be difficult to accept. I’m not trying to make it sound easy. Sadness is not a nice way to feel. It’s painful. I’ve spent more of my time crying in the last two years that I have my entire life. Finding happiness with depression and having them run alongside each other is hard and sometimes terrifying.

A lot of people now assume that my depression is gone because I’m a lot better at dealing with how I feel. I can sit and enjoy spending time with those I love and not let my depression interfere. But it is still there. I still have bad days, weeks and sometimes months. I do have a brighter outlook on life now and I do handle my depression much better than I once did. But I can’t change my DNA. I can’t change the way my brain and body works. This is just how it is.

I’ll always be changing and growing. I’ll always be finding new ways to live a little easier. The point is, everyone deserve happiness and I just want to tell you that you can be happy too.

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Thank you for reading if you have made it this far. If you have any questions then please leave them down below. Of course, this entire blog post is relative to me. Take what you want from it and make it relative to you.

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”wpid-img_20150809_193713a

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The Isle Of Wight.

Last weekend it was a bank holiday so me and my family decided to take a trip away to the Isle of Wight. Every year there is a bike ride around the island called Randonee (I think!). This year both my dad and brother were participating so the whole family used it as an excuse to have a mini holiday.

Here are some of my favourite photographs from the weekend:

Saturday

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Appley Tower. I remember walking along the beach many times when I was little. It’s about 15 minutes away from my grandparents house, so a quick walk to the beach was a regular occurrence. I love walking along here, the sea is so calming and I always feel little again.DSC_0042A

My brother-in-law being a fabulous model outside of Appley Tower.

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Mark decided to walk along the sea by himself. We all turned around wondering where he had gone and then we saw him waving at us like this.DSC_0060A

My brother in-law, my niece and my dad. They were walking up the hill with her like this and I had to capture it. DSC_0023A

Before leaving my grandparents home I wanted to get a photo of all of us together. It was important to me because it is likely to be the last time that we ever see this house, since my grandparents are moving and selling it. It makes me so sad since I have so many memories in this house but I’m glad we have all left we some extra happy ones with lots of laughs and love.DSC_0011 (2)A

A quick photograph of all of us in our tiny caravan before going out to eat. This photo makes me laugh and my brother in-law looks like he is having the worst time!
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One of the best photographs from the weekend! We took this because my Grandad told us that he always remembers us as a TEAM, because of our names; Tiegan, Ella, Amber and Mark. One of the sweetest things I have ever heard and we had never thought about it like that before! We don’t have many pictures of all of us together like this either.

Sunday

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Dad, Toni and Mark

Sunday was ride day and it was a few hours in and me and mum had to drive 40 minutes across the island because my brother thought he was going to have to change one of his wheels. After an hour of waiting, they appeared and told us that the wheel was alright and they didn’t need the spare! But it was OK because it was lunchtime and they had made it halfway so we decided to sit and have lunch with them.

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A few words of encouragement and they were off again!

I don’t have a photograph of them at the finish line! But they all did really well. I’m so proud of them because it was a 100km ride and my brother’s PB was only about 60km! If you would like to read more about my brother’s experience then I am sure he will have a blog post talking all about it at some point – His Blog.

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After getting back to the camp-site, me and Lisa decided to go for a run on the beach. We were so tired and feeling so lazy that we walked most of it!

Monday

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Monday was our last day and we had to be out of our caravan by 10am. Our ferry wasn’t until half 5 so we had to make the most of the day. Plus the sunshine came out for us so it was extra lovely! We went for breakfast at Driftwood at Sandown Beach.

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Probably one of my favourite photographs from the weekend. Sandown beach is so pretty in the sunshine!
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Some cute pictures of Mark and my niece to end with. I got lots of pictures of my family but I didn’t want to put them all up because you’d be sitting here for hours! I loved this mini holiday, it’s always nice to have time with loved ones and just really appreciate them. I had lots of laughs with my sisters and it was really nice for all of us to be under the same roof. The Isle of Wight is one of my favourite places for a little get away, even when its raining it’s still a lot of fun because its cosy! Where is your favourite place to go for a weekend away?

If you have time then please check out my sister, my brother and my dad’s blogs if you want to read about their lives and hear their opinions on lots of different topics, and follow me on the social media below to keep up with me, my blog posts and my photography.

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Wing Girl.

In one of the earlier issues of Darling Magazine, there is an article about enlisting in a Wing Girl when trying to accomplish new goals or trying to break bad habits.

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If you don’t know what Darling Magazine is then you can read about it here.

I am very lucky to have a huge, very close family which is mostly made up of girls.

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To show you but a few. Because I have grown up, surrounded by all these incredible girls I understand how important it is to be supportive of others.

In a previous post, I spoke about how much free time I have since leaving my job a few months ago and with all this free time, I haven’t just been sitting around being a slob not doing anything. One thing which I have been doing quite a lot is being health conscious and getting fitter. You can read about that here. But I am not doing it alone. I’ve been working out consistently (at least an hour every day 5/6 days a week) for over a month now with my brother’s girlfriend, Lisa. It started out as a bit of fun and I honestly didn’t think I would keep it up for as long as I have. I completely put it down to us doing it together. We work out even when we don’t feel up for it simply because we are counting on each other. Even on the days where neither of us want to we still spur each other on and encourage it. We have got this far, we can’t give up now.

That’s just one example of how being encouraging and supportive can be beneficial. When enlisting in your wing girl, here are some things to remember:

What kind of support do you need? Do you need to simply just tell someone about your goals to keep up with them or do you need someone to achieve your goals with you?

Will this person keep you on track? Or are you both likely to give up for the same reasons?

Share your goals with each other. Have short term and long term goals which you both feel you can achieve.

“Enlisting in a wing girl can empower us to live our best lives and become our better selves. She can act as our guide, our greatest confidant, strictest teacher or fearless cheerleader.”

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“CHANGE BEGINS WITH JUST ONE SMALL STEP.”

Leave your thoughts and opinions on the benefits of having someone who will support and encourage your goals and even achieve them with you, below.

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Darling.

If you are into Youtube then you may know or heard of youtuber Ingrid Nilsen.

Whilst her channel is made up of beauty and style related videos, her side channel – TheGridMonster reveals a different side to Ingrid. She’s funny, intelligent and most importantly; Real.

In one of her videos she began talking about her love for a magazine specifically aimed at women. One that was empowering, authentic and positively influential. Darling.

After hearing her talk so highly of this magazine I decided to check it out for myself. After looking all over their website and reading the articles which they had online, I knew that I needed to have this magazine. It encompasses everything I love. Photographs, beauty, lifestyle, style, intellect, illustrations etc.

 With its articles which are all about teaching women to be happy and healthy, inside and out.

Darlings mission is:

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This is so important. Darling doesn’t retouch any models, they’re is no adverts, no gossip, no celebrity exploitation.

Instead Darling enlightens readers on spirituality, healthy bodies, character, growing knowledge and even helping women through hushed topics such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders.

The importance of this magazine in today’s ever changing society with endless social media and being instantly in touch with everything and everyone, it needs to be recognised. Not only is it beautifully aesthetically. it’s beautiful on the inside too.  Under the pressures of every day life, it’s easy to forget how to be an individual without constantly comparing yourself and validating yourself by other peoples opinions. This magazine allows me to remember that it’s OK to be myself, to stop worrying what others think and to do what I love and what makes me happy.

If it was up to me, every women would own this magazine.

A quartery subscription is $20 every 3 months (after postage and packing its about £30) and you get 4 throughout the year.

Or you can buy them individually for the same price.

Darling’s Website

Darling’s Shop

Ingrid’s Article

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Wisdom Wednesday

This week has been a bit of a glum week for me. Every now and then we get into these negative mindsets and they can be really tricky to get out of! I won’t lie and say it’s rare I’m ever feeling down. Sometimes life can be overwhelming and it affects me more than I’d like to admit. I always get stuck feeling like ‘Why me?’ ‘What did I do wrong?’. Whenever I am feeling like this I love to look at positive quotes. I look for ones I can relate to and sooner or later I start to realise that people are right.

My quote this week is this:
“It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses, we must plant more roses.”
― George Eliot

I think it means that good things don’t just happen. We have to make them happen and if we want more happiness then we have to make more happiness for ourselves. Because unlike rain, which we have no control of, we have control of how happy we are. That is my interpretation anyway.

It’s not all bad. Besides; roses wouldn’t grow without a little bit of rain.