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!

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Having A Bad Week.

Last week was bloody awful. Definitely not one of my favourites. I have no reason for having a bad week though. It started off as just feeling super tired and wanting to sleep in, but by the end of the week I didn’t want to get out of bed or talk to anyone. I wasn’t inspired by anything, which you may have read about or noticed in my Photographers Gallery  post and I just felt like nothing was going the way I wanted it to. Of course I did get up and dressed because I knew I’d only feel worse if I stayed in bed all day. I tried talking myself out of it and even talking to someone else about it. But nothing was working and by the end of the week I had had enough. It was time to pull myself out of my weird little funk.

So, I spent an entire day doing nothing. Well, not exactly doing nothing, just taking the time to rejuvenate. Pull myself together. Let myself feel crappy for one last day and get it out of my system. So if you’re in a weird funk and everything seems to be getting you down, I’m going to share with you my favourite things to do which help me feel better and I hope that it gives you some ideas for when you’re having a bad day/week.

Here’s what I did:

The first thing I did was get changed. Out of my pyjamas and into some jogging bottoms and a clean t-shirt. You can stay in your pyjamas if you like. it doesn’t matter, you’re probably not going anywhere. I cleansed my face and brushed my teeth to make myself feel some-what presentable and to feel a little fresher. Then I made my bed and tidied up a little bit. It always helps to have a tidy space to relax in because mess can be frustrating. If your space is tidy then your thoughts will be too.

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It was a rainy day so I lit a candle (Grapefruit by Yankee Candle) and made myself a cup of tea. I pulled out my Darling magazines and grabbed my favourite throw and made my bed comfortable. I like to be cosy. Darling is my favourite thing to read when I’m feeling fed up. It’s full of encouragement and inspiration for all areas of your life. It’s all positive too which makes it perfect for those not-so-great days.DSC_0086a

I’m pretty creative and I can get annoyed with myself when I’m lacking inspiration and interest in the normal things I love to do. I have a few creative books that I’ve collected over the years and they’re always my favourite things to go back to. The don’t require much thinking and just help to get the creative juices flowing.

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The Big Colour by numbers book is my favourite one to pull out. All the designs are right there for you and all you have to do is grab your pens and get started. There are a tonne of books like this going around now and they’re not expensive here are a few that I’d love to add to my collection.

The Art Therapy Colouring Book

Animal Kingdom

Mindfulness Colouring Book

You can find all of these and loads more like it here.

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Two more of my favourite creative books are these 642 Things To Draw and 712 More Things To Draw. These are great for doodling. You don’t have to be an amazing artist to have and complete these books, they’re just great if you love to draw but need a little inspiration to get started.

These kinds of books are great for unwinding. They don’t require much thinking and are great for de-stressing.

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Another thing I love to do is give myself some retail therapy. Online shopping is my favourite since it’s so quick and easy to do. I know a lot of people prefer actually going out to shop but it gives me anxiety and makes me feel rushed and under pressure to find things I like. Most of the time I am filling up my basket and not actually buying anything but since I was feeling so down I did really buy some stuff so you can expect a mini haul at some point.

At the end of the day I ran myself a bath and used my favourite products. Anything that makes you feel calm and relaxed is perfect. Aromatherapy products are awesome. If like me you have trouble sleeping then stay away from tea! Stick to decaf as an alternative or try something new like chamomile or even cherry juice.

Other things you can do which can help to make you feel better are taking walks, listening to upbeat playlists, being with friends etc. Whatever makes you feel good. It’s also important to take time away from technology, turn off your phone and your laptop. They can both be distractions from what is really important to you, once you take them away you can begin to clear your head a little better.

Often advice I see is that when you’re feeling low you should make yourself get up and out no matter how you’re feeling. In my experience though it’s not always easy and you should never force yourself to do something you don’t want to. If you need to, it’s important to take time for yourself. Don’t have a pity party but make sure you let yourself feel the things you need to feel. If you keep putting them to the side or ignoring them, they’re not going to go away. It’s OK not to be OK.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post and have liked my advice and little tips that help with making me feel better. It took me a while to get to writing this because it seemed quite personal but I thought it was important and something that I wanted to share. If it helps me then it could help someone else.

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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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Sunday Shortlist

This week wasn’t so great at the start and to be honest I wondered if I would actually have anything to write today. But there was something good in most of my days so luckily it’s not all grey.

Babysitting my youngest niece one morning before work. This was so lovely, she can make a day so much brighter for anyone and getting to spend time with her is great. I love being an auntie, its literally one of my favourite things about my life.

I treated my older nieces out for lunch. It’s nice getting to hang out with them on their own. Now they’re getting older they prefer to be with their friends so I treated them and it was fun.

I went shopping. Good for any girl, right?  I didn’t even buy much but getting to go out with my sister and have a giggle is always good. We could stay in boots all day.

A night in with films and takeaway. At the end of a not so great week it was nice to just relax, with the house to myself so there was not fighting over what to watch and peace and quiet. When you have 5 siblings and 5 nieces the house can be kind of hectic. It’s great but sometimes you just need to be alone. Generally speaking, I am someone who much prefers to stay home on a Saturday night than go out. Boring I know.

There is the round up of my week.

“Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.”

A Book To Pass The Time

Does anyone else have great memories of colouring in as a child? I remember going to my nan’s house and getting the huge roll of paper out that she used to have and just drawing pictures and colouring them in for hours on end. I am a lover of art. Have always loved drawing. I remember being in reception and drawing little stick people with spaghetti hair and my mum telling me she loved them. I even had loads of those books with doodles already drawn and you could colour them in. I reckon at least 60% of my child hood I had some pens in my hand and was drawing with them.

For Christmas (ages ago now but that’s not the point) I was given this little, or rather big, book from one of my aunties. Honestly as soon as I saw it I just couldn’t help but be reminded of being a little kid again! It’s basically a big colouring by numbers book for adults or I guess older children but technically I am still a child a heart so this is acceptable.

It so beautiful, full of tonnes of different kinds of pictures and some are really detailed and others aren’t. I just love using it to pass the time and whenever I’m feeling particularly sad or bored I whip this out and start colouring in. I have sat for hours without realising colouring in this little book. I find it so relaxing.

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I know it’s probably not for everyone, but I think that it’s just a great way to take some time out for a little while. It’s also a really great way to channel your creativity because it allows you to stop thinking for a while.

Sicily Blues.

As August comes to an end, I am reminded that summer doesn’t last forever. This summer has been a roller coaster for me. Whilst I am not completely sad that is is over, (I really am a winter person), there are moments that I will wish I could relive for the rest of my life.

One of these moments being a few weeks I ago when I had probably the greatest holiday of my life (I would say Disneyland and at the time it probably was but I can’t really remember it). Now, I’m back doing normal every day things and its actually quite miserable. I had holiday blues from the moment I stepped off the plane and into England.

As a little reminder to myself of the best time and for you to see how beautiful Sicily was. I have finally decided to post my beautiful holiday snaps.  

 I honestly can’t wait to go back and I don’t plan on waiting too long. 
 
Villa Kaukana
 In case anyone is wondering we stayed just outside Marina Di Ragusa, in Punta Secca. This place is so beautiful and it is the second time me and my family have gone here. I couldn’t recommend it enough.

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All of the photos taken are by me and were taken using my HTC One M8.