Little catch up in all this madness

Planning

I am still here, still sharing my Japan experiences with you, I have a few more blogs so I hope you are enjoying me taking you away from what is going on in the world.

Covid 19

It’s still a scary place, people are still dying every day. My family are safe and healthy which I am so grateful for.

I am still working which makes me lucky at the moment but I am dreading the time that the English government tells me I have to go back to work when this is still going on. I say the English government because Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all seem to be more cautious and caring than ours.

How am I coping?

Am I? Yes I am coping working six days a week helps takes my mind of things and I have started drawing with my sister so I am keeping busy.

It makes me furious that our government want to say we may not be the worst in Europe because other countries don’t count there deaths properly. The truth is to date we have reported 34466 deaths in this country. It doesn’t matter if we don’t belong at the top of the scale all those people have died all those families are grieving and they don’t care what ranking we are at.

Cooking 3 meals a day is a bit crazy and although me and Gavin are used to it now it means that the kitchen is constantly in use and constantly a mess.

We have been cooking so much that we have invested in a few more pieces of Le Crueset we bought a cast iron such oven in black and some new pans that you can move from the stove to the hob which makes me really happy. The cleaning doesn’t.

Gavin has banned me from using art materials in the sitting room and I have agreed although I am sitting here with a sketchbook as we speak. but now our sitting room is tidy all the time which is great when the dog wakes me up at 5am and I snooze with him on the couch.

Frank

Walking the dog everyday is great. Even when it’s cold and rainy he gets us out of the house and we never regret it. It’s like going to the gym you may not want to go, but when you do you never regret it.

I hope everyone has something loving and warm to cuddle up to at the moment. I am really missing my cat but she has been gone a year now so she really isn’t coming home.

Plans

I am the dysfunctional planner and this stand well every day. Full of good intentions but peepers to plan rather than actually do.

Gardening

So we have been spending a bit more time in the garden. Gavin has repainted the BBQ with special heat paint so we could use it, then the next day he cooked a beer can chicken and brisket we ate for days.

A little boy down the street is selling home sewn plants. Obviously my bathroom is now covered in planting pots and cuttings. I invested in some rooting powder and cut some lilac leaves. I am just waiting for the soil to arrive and then I can sort out the garden a bit more.

I can’t wait.

House stuff

I need to sort out my house with the exception of the sitting room and bathroom it’s not good. My kitchen is my big tackle for today and I want to sort out the rest of the house in the next month. I just need to get on with it, maybe at the next bank holiday it will get done!

I also need to dye my hair with is looking bad but it with look healthier

Over it

The truth is like most people I just want to go to the pub and have a drink with my friends. But I understand the importance of staying home and staying safe. The NHS is our life line at the moment and if I have to give up going out to saves lives then I will do it.

It’s fine

We just won’t take it for granted again.

The biggest truth is I would rather be bored than dead! Harsh but true. We will get over this.

Art Materials What I am taking to Japan

Honeymoon, Planning, Travel

I am so excited to be visiting Japan in March. When me and Gav thought about our honeymoon, we knew that we didn’t want a beach holiday because as a far as I am concerned Seychelles has the best beaches in the world. So I would rather just go and see my family and friends then visit the Maldives or Jamaica. You are a bit spoiled when every few years you get to visit paradise and call it your home. So we didn’t want beach and we didn’t want just snow. Luckily with Japan we get to have everything we want. Beaches, lakes, snow, sushi, cherry blossoms.

Note pads that I need to turn into one journal

Japan offers everything

It really does, great food, antient cultures, a land that is devoid of religion but filled with spiritualism. A history rich in tradition and folklore. It has beaches and snow-capped mountains. So even though we are only going for 3 weeks we plan to fit in a lot of sightseeing. I also want to take this opportunity to draw.

So not only will I be visiting some amazing art shops in Japan but I will also take advantage of the great views and characters. My art supplies will be coming with me. They will be scaled down to an art journal which I will try to prepared and filled with notes and maps to help us navigate Japan.

What I am taking

I can’t take too much especially as I can buy some bit there but so far I will be taking a small watercolour block as well as my travel journal with my itinerary already in it.

So far it looking like my this

• Art journal

• Watercolour block

• 2 HB pencils

• Maped sharpener which I have about 5 of

• My Winsor and newton watercolour half pans ( rearranged into what colours I think I will use)

• Gouache white

• Tombows

• Fine-liners

• Water-brush

• 2 brushes

• Atomiser

I think that’s it. I can always buy more Tombows and Fine-liners in Japan as this is where they are made but I am excited to see what other watercolour pens they have available that I can’t buy over here. I work in an art shop so I don’t need masses. I also want to pick up some beautiful washi tapes which again, I know are expensive but this is my honey moon and art supplies make me happy.

This is all going in a small case so I can easily access everything and put my new purchases in here as well. So looking at the pictures I may have to edit them again! Just over a month to go and I am so excited. Hopefully I will be able to share some of my pictures and illustrations on here, but only if I think they are good enough.

I can’t wait to visit all the art shops as well. If you have any recommendations please let me know!

Taking a skincare break getting my life back on track

skincare

My skincare shelves are full.

Jam packed with skincare and they are all open and being used.

It’s not a waste but I just have to organise myself and get real.

There is no more room for more products and although I really really really want the Cult beauty box advent calendar in all its glory luckily if sold out in two hours so I have my hope on the Marks and Spencer one!

I don’t need it ( yes I do just put it on the credit card). But it’s a nice treat for Christmas so screw it!

So messy even when it’s tidy!

Will I try a no buy year?

Probably not! I am not that strong!

I have decided to only replace things when I need to! This will be hard. It’s Christmas time and all the offered are amazing and I want it all.

But I have so much skincare that I can’t use it all.

So I am going to reorganise.

  • Day care
  • Night care

All into separate boxes

I need to set aside an evening and actually do this!

I am going to use my gorgeous new bullet journal to list absolutely all of my products to see what needs replacing and what doesn’t.

I will try harder not to splurge on crazy products especially since I still want that Elizabeth Arden serum!

And haven’t bought it yet… my birthday is coming up so I should treat myself.

I really should.

Plus I need to focus on Christmas as we are going away more to be explained!

So I am trying to cut back on my skincare. Maybe now the wedding is over I can calm down the crazy!! It feels like my life is back on track. The wedding has been such a focus for the last two years which is crazy.

But weddings are crazy.

Today I ate my feelings

Advice, Personal Experience

I know there is no point getting stressed getting worried about the never ending list won’t solve anything and nor will eating my feelings

I thought I would be better at this.

Dealing with the stress.

Being organised.

It turns out when it comes to wedding planning, I am definitely a dysfunctional planner. I feel like I have left everything to the last moment and now its all getting on top of me.

I am lucky that I don’t suffer with anxiety. I have dark moments and blue days but nothing like the crippling anxiety I know that so many people struggle with day to day.

Except at the moment it here.

A lead weight in my chest. A dark hole in my brain that wants to shut down rather than get active.

I may just be tired, physically.

I know there is no point in getting stressed. I am actually on top of things and I still have a few weeks to go. 3 infact. And I can accomplish a lot in those weeks. Especially as the last one I am not at work at all.

But today I was quiet all day and I got so many side glances at work I knew they thought something wasn’t quite right.

Compulsive eater: saga of eating my feelings

Today I ate my feelings in the shape of Krispy Kremes. The first was a treat. The second was pure indulgence and the third was me dissolving into myself. Filling that void with pure sugar and eating it so quickly no one, not even myself could stop me. I crammed that thing into my mouth and it didn’t change a thing. I don’t enjoy it and I didn’t regret it.

Whenever I am angry or sad I crave bad food, today was not different except I am not sad but numb.

Numb and stuck.

I went to the gym for an hour this morning and then I destroyed my calorie intake in 9 bites.

I have support.

Every time I even hint I am stressed I am inundated with friends and family offering support and physical help.

I know what I need to do.

But I am stuck inside my own head and it’s a very quiet grey haunted place. To quote Bono

Stuck in the middle and you can’t get out of it

I will go home tonight, cook dinner and achieve a few wedding bits.

I will get a lovely puppy greeting and cuddle. A kiss from my fiancé a discussion about food and drink. Watch a few episodes of My Kitchen Rules Australia and Great British Bake off. I will read a bit of my new book as I tuck myself away for an early night at 10pm.

Pull my socks up and get on with it but it’s there.

tomorrow I will probably be fine before the next bout of anxiety nibbles away at me.

I am only writing this out loud because if anyone else is in the same situation then they should know that even though people don’t speak about it much it happens a lot.

Like I said before I don’t normally suffer from it all. I am truly blessed in that my mental health is pretty, well healthy.

Confession time

Organising, Planning

Day29, a confession, 30 day blog challenge.

I have Destiny child Confession song going through my head.

Confessions

I have a few.

I never thought I would complete this challenge after all this is a goal I set for myself. I wanted to do it and I know that after the wedding I will do it again because I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will just need to find a different set of challenges to complete.

I know I said at the beginning that I never complete things but I mean like never!

This is actually an achievement for me.

Writing

I didn’t write all my blogs on the day. A few I wrote on one day and then went through them and corrected a few mistakes. I think that my grammar in general on this challenge is poor and I need to work on that.

Do I feel like I cheated?

Nope.

I still got them out every single day, I worked on them every day.

The trickiest part was the photographs. Sometimes it was easy picking them. Sometimes it was difficult and I had to travel through my photos and find them.

When I couldn’t do that I set up a mini studio in my dining room table. Bought some props and took the photos.

It was work but I enjoyed it! I had to plan it, if I had winged it then you wouldn’t have had a blog every day!

Organisation is key

I think this is going to be another short blog and I don’t really like them when they are too short. But we all have a few confessions to make.

Brief confessions

  • Gav I ate all the french chocolate
  • Manny I took you for granted
  • Trainers I don’t use you enough
  • I like to buy fitness clothes and sit on the couch
  • Gav I ate all the sour cherries
  • I wish I had more time before the wedding
  • I am glad of where I am

My worst habit, procrastinating

Personal Experience, Planning

Day 22 what’s your worst habit, 30 day blog challenge.

I thinks it’s everyone’s worst habit isn’t it?

Putting off things to do later or an a later day. This weekend has been wonderful. We had an amazing day walking in East London where I used to live!

It’s spring so it’s all about the bluebells. We then had an impromptu picnic in the park and had a mini pub crawl!

It was bloody wonderful.

Then the next day I did some wedding catch up with my bestie. It was great drinking, shopping laughing.

Sunday was a proper rest day. I had a big list of things to do but I left them all till today.

Procrastinating is definitely my worst habit

I always put things off it’s why I have to be a slave to my lists and bullet journal.

My list this weekend was small!

  • Plant my dahlias
  • Buy running shoes (yup)
  • Find wedding glasses ( think we found them)
  • Try making the favours ( failed but will try again
  • Clean up the garden
  • Wash and dry clothes for the week ahead
  • Answer work emails (done)
  • Gut the kitchen
  • Organise my art supplies
  • Dye napkins

Not a massive list for 4 days but today I need to these things in one.

Because I have procrastinated so much I have left the majority till the last minute. Too late.

I still plan to do it all, getting up at 9am has helped!

At work I have to stick to my list. I try an deal with problems straight away because when I put something off it builds up into a larger issue when it never needs to be.

So procrastinating is definitely my worst habit.

I need to just do it!

What’s your worst habit?

Healthy habits, does chocolate count?

body confidence, food, health, Personal Experience

Day 14, 3 healthy habits, 30 day blog challenge.

I am slightly over weight, a sugar addict and lazy! So writing about 3 healthy habits seems a bit hypocritical however. I am trying to tone up and loose weight so I have change 3 things which is definitely a healthy habit.

Farewell Diet Coke

Like most people when they start dieting you give up the heavenly full fat drinks and swap them with diet drinks.

I became addicted we are talking 8 cans a day of Diet Coke. If I was hungry I would have one, every meal including breakfast I would have one. I felt like the fact that it had no calories meant that I could have it all the time.

Wrong

I started cutting back after Christmas when I ordered 3 crates of coke and Gav said it wasn’t healthy. When you rely on something too much then it’s a bad habit. It need to be kicked so I stopped.

I cut it down to two cans a day. Which was still a lot but at least it was something. This year I decided to cut out plastic water bottles. So cans of coke are harder to find.

Cutting back

When I went on holiday to Bulgaria I failed with my plastic bottles and diet coke wasn’t as everywhere so I treated myself to full fat coke!

But when I returned from holiday I didn’t buy any coke. At work I swapped my coke for squash because for some reason I wasn’t drinking enough water. I know squash isn’t that great. But I am drinking 4 litres of water everyday.

Swapping coke for water and squash is definitely a step in the right direction.

As you saw from my fridge yesterday there is no coke for either me or Gav. We both have a can but I still haven’t drunk it yet! If will be my Sunday treat!

Aurevoir chocolate

I had a lot of twix o’clock at work. Basically I now understand that I am an emotional eater. If I am upset then or annoyed then I want chocolate. Twix O’clock became a 2pm habit. I like to reward myself for everything!!!

It had to end. I am not going to deny myself chocolate but I definitely do not need it everyday. But a few times a week is fine. My skin doesn’t appreciate too much sugar so it better to cut right down. Plus I love celery so I cut it up and pop it in Tupperware. When I want to eat I something I can tuck into my cut up veg.

How good does that twix look!

Getting my arse into gear

So my last healthy habit is walking home. I get the bus to and from work. Living and working in London means that public transport is super cheap.

We now have lighter evening so roads and pathways don’t look so scary. So far I have walked home 3-4 times every week for the past 2 weeks . The weather hasn’t been great but it hasn’t stopped me.

My body is grateful for the exercise and fresh air. Plus it’s spring, so all the blossoms are out and my Instagram and a few of my blogs have had spring themes and lots of blossoms on them.

When I get home Gav meets me at the door with Frank and we go and walk him in the park. I have a wee bit more energy and my skin looks better.

Even though I should not reward myself I don’t feel so bad for eating a piece ( a whole bar, I am a compulsive eater) of chocolate.

But walking isn’t just about physical health. My 45 minute walk home clears my head. I listen to music and zone out. Walking has left me in a meditative state. I come home happy. The weather hasn’t bothered me.

I have given myself a task of 70000 steps a week and so far I have smashed it. I just need to keep going!

In summary

When I was photographing this I wanted to hurry up so I could drink the Diet Coke, it’s 10am so I will make myself wait! I also ate the celery, yum and will eat the chocolate later.

I am trying to be healthy, getting fit for the wedding. I have saved money walking home. I am saving roughly £24 a month so… I am going back to the gym. It’s only £36 a month and I miss it. I can go before work, my work mates go every day.

It about changing your mindset and creating a habit that you stick too. I am drinking more water (squash) walking home and cutting out my chocolate snacks for fruit and veg!

Things are getting better and I am feeling better!

Watch this space!