9 October 2017

Morning baking with Jamie Olivers 5 ingredients cookbook

I adore Jamie Oliver and love the fact he's bought this book out that is so simple, I came across the book when visiting my boyfriends mum who was cooking from a recipe in the book and snapped it up that evening. I've been promising for a while now that I would bake something for Ben so after a night of Asthma attacks I wanted to have a self care morning and figured it would be the best time to get baking.

Cooking and baking always reminds me of my Mum so it's a pretty calming process for me, she was also a big old fan of Jamie Oliver. I baked two recipes from the book 5 Ingredients. 

I would really recommend this cook book to anyone that has dyslexia, I struggle following instructions and processes with my dyslexia and this book is just so simple and the food actually tastes pretty damn good. The fact that the recipes are simple means to cook a meal is pretty cheap and saving money is always a bonus. 

I decided to make the Chocolate Orange Shortbread from the sweet treats section and if I am honest this is the first recipe I have ever made that actually looks like the photos in the book. So I am really hoping Ben thinks they're tasting. I loved drizzling all the chocolate across the top and the orange that comes through really keeps the shortbread light. It was nice to be able to take my time to just bake this morning and take some time to myself. I would really recommend this book, it has such a wonderful variety of meals through out the book. 

22 September 2017

plans for the rest of 2017

I can't believe how fast this year is zooming by making me have a slight inward panic but there are a few more months of 2017 left and I wanted to share with you a few things that I am hoping to tick off my list and life leading upto 2018


2017 has been a mix bag for me work wise, last year I worked with a lot bigger names on more high profile campaigns and I have kinda felt like I lost my mojo a little bit but thats just the way creative life goes sometimes and the competitive world of image creating can get like that. I want to put in motion large pieces of work for maybe a solo exhibition. What with Christmas also upon us I have a few craft markets on the list that I will hopefully be doing live portraits at so thats something to brush up on.


I am currently wading through Stephen King's IT for the first time completely oblivious that it 1154 pages long, but I am determined to finish it because I am actually really enjoying it and I have about 15 other books to wade through into 2018. I'm finding reading before bed really helping me get more of a natural sleep


I've given myself around 7 months to hit a savings target so I will be able to comfortable move away from home, I know it's not really a proper goal of 2017 as it leads into 2018 but I'm trying to get the wheels in motion now, because renting or even securing a mortgage when you're freelancing is never really that easy so I am trying to take those difficult steps (for me anyway) to remain organised and bring in a enough so that I can fill that help to buy isa up! Saving in London is also really bloody hard to live, function, and survive that costs money so I think less coffee buying and more scrimping needs to start happening! 


I have been dreading the day when the boyfriend is deployed its been coming for about 6 months we've currently only been together 8 months so it's kind of been this shadow thats hung over me, he's completely chilled about it but I'm the worrier in this relationship! So we have decided to really make the most of the last few weeks we have together before he's sent thousands of miles away, I'm sure the four months we are apart will go ok, but he's missing Christmas, New Years, our first anniversary, Valentines, I'll be missing his Birthday. But as they say absence makes the heart grow fonder right?! Ha! 


I have taken the plunge of talking to someone briefly about losing Mum, this time of year is always a major struggle for me, when I popped into the doctors for my flu injection I made an appointment to speak to someone who then can refer me for bereavement counselling, so I am hoping that the last part of 2017 I'm living less in my head and creating more positive healing actions. 

Gosh there are probably so many plans in place for the next few months and things always change but soon it will be October in one of my favourite seasons so lets embrace new challenges 


11 September 2017

The realities of loss

September for me is hard old month, it's really a month I wish to pass through unscathed. Often I talk about my mum on here, on my Instagram and in person, it's been a pretty tough learning curve and an experience that I went through that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. You don't expect to lose a loved one in such an abrupt way. You got to bed one night then wake up the next morning having to resuscitate your dying mum. Long and the short of it thats pretty much what happened. I often receive a lot of Instagram messages and emails from young people that have had a recent loss in the family and often people say to me how hard it must be, how brave I am and how they admire my courage to talk so candidly about the death of someone so close to me. I was born into a family thats pretty hard nosed, raised by both parents that would tell you to just get up and carry on if you fell over, don't cry over spilt milk, and being one of five kids it wasn't a pampered wrap the children in cotton wool environment. So I faced my mother death with a sort of practical mind set. Don't get me wrong I often cry my eyes out until I bore myself and just crack on with whatever I have to do. In the spaces of those two years since I lost my Mum it feels like a million things have changed but at the same time like nothing has happened at all. I have hurled many things I felt I couldn't do without her by my side, exhibition, craft fair, relationship advice, learning to drive. 

When you're faced with such a shit situation you have no choice but to face things head on. I'm a mix of realist and a dreamer and thats an odd thing to be. As I faced my life at 27 without the comfort of my mother I decided from that day that I would do my best to make the most of things. Now I'm not big on the old travel front, I love seeing the world if I get the chance but for me, I want to enjoy all the things that life throws at me and when she died I had the mindset of throwing all the caution to the winding and living everyday as if it was my last, but I found that inevitably I became a tad self absorbed and lonely. None of my friends had faced such an earth shatteringly shit thing like the death of a parent, nothing that close had happen to them and selfishly the more I dwelled on this fact the more I pushed my friends away and in turn the less my friends could relate to me. I found it a very hard balance to strike. I became pretty hard on myself and my agoraphobia kicked in pretty hard. Now I wouldn't want to hang out with a bitter, depressed agoraphobic friend, I just sadly probably wouldn't so I decided that as much as I wanted to seize the day it just wasn't in my nature. So thats when I realised if I made small conscious everyday decisions eventually my life and mind set would at least in the tiniest part be better then it was the previous day.  These choices to other people would probably appear insignificant but to anyone in the depths of depression mourning their loved one felt like triumphant leaps. I would make a mini to do list for the day, that may just involve texting a friend back, (which I am currently failing at) eating three meals a day (I lost an extra two stone after mum died) painting one commission a day. When you feel that your life has come a tad isolated having structure is the way forward I found, like I talked about previously tiny conscious efforts have helped me massively. 

Now this isn't something I have portrayed via my social media, death and loss isn't really something other people truly care about, harsh reality is that they really don't, people feel bad for me but it's not their life and thats ok, we often turn to blogs for inspiration and a place to escape realities. Not to be faced we such sad realities but I have learnt through writing about losing Mum it has given other people the comfort to know that there is life after death, cliche I know but I was blessed with an incredible mother who don't get me wrong had faults but without her I wouldn't be who I am and some people never have that sort of unconditional love in their life, so really I was blessed. 

As I lost that love and 2016 was a rough time, Fast forward to January of this year on a whim I went on a date with a bloke who I kinda fancied, but I wasn't really overly keen on getting into a relationship (god who would want to date an agoraphobic stressed mess who's main joy in life was watching history documentaries and drawing?) and anyone who knows me knows I have some pretty hilarious dating stories so I wasn't expecting much,  But one date lead to another and then it just fell into place. Don't get me wrong and if you ask him its not easy dating someone who occasionally bursts into tears for absolutely no reason, but because of him I feel a lot more like "me" these last eight months then I have felt since Mum's passing. I am pretty lucky to have found someone who is  rather good at absorbing my hard times and making me laugh. He's bought some security back into my life and when at times life feels a little stormy it's nice to have him at the other end of the phone. So yeah life does go on, it's a pretty harsh reality to get your head around and at times I still go to phone or text mum and then realise that she won't ever reply. But It's comforting to know she would be proud of what I've achieved since she's been away.

I don't think life is meant to be easy and I don't think easy is really for me, I like to feel like I've worked for all I have in this life and it's pretty much kept me going in the hard times, so if you are face with anything hard or you feel unsurpassable just know that things do get better, maybe not straight away but I believe that the human spirit is pretty unbreakable and nothing lasts forever, it's ok to struggle and bear your soul because from what I have learn't is you never know who's reading and may need to hear those words. 

I'm not 100% on the path I wish to be on, but I am edging closer to it day by day, I still have the lofty heights of saving enough to buy my own house, buying my first car and creating more important work but I have a fire in my belly this September that I am hoping will propel me to better things and that at the end of the day is all we can hope for in life. 

10 September 2017

creating a cozy space for Autumn

One of the favourite parts of my job is probably the fact I get to work from home, I get to fill my space with all the things that inspire me, I am pretty lucky that I get that opportunity. I recently ventured to Ikea to get a few things to fill my space with, I am still lusting over an armchair but I think I'll just wait until I move before I invest in a big old arm chair, anyway I picked up some new shelves and excitedly picked up a square pin board which has completely changed my wall space. 

When the season changes it's tough to often be motivated to work, the space is dark and slightly depressing so I decided to invest a little money in framing art work clearly, organising the desk space but mainly creating a warm and comfortable space. 

Whilst in T K Maxx I came across some pretty fab smelling candles, I only ever really use my Candles in the winters as the nights draw in it's nice to light certain fragrances to perk up my space. I often go for sweet smelling candles, my favourite shops to get my favourite scented candles from are Tk Maxx, slightly pricer candles that do smell Devine from Anthropologie  and I'ma little bit in love with Lily flame for beautiful scents. Don't get me wrong everyone rates Diptyque but I just can't light my two often because they're so pricey. 

Once I have set down to work in my space I actually treated myself to studio slippers from primark, I spent a crazy £2.50 on a pair and it's important to keep the old circulation when you're sat at your work desk for a few hours and last year my feet where constantly freezing so a little comfort goes a long way. I think investing in your space is really important when you work for yourself as you'll be spending so much time in it getting it perfect is really important. 
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