Saturday, 30 April 2016

50 Things That Make Me Happy

When you're living in blinding pain twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year, confined to bed while everybody's lives are moving forward, it's easy to get lost under a dark cloud and to live in its shadow. It's easy to adopt a negative attitude towards life, and look for a million reasons to be unhappy- and I don't think anybody would blame you.

Personally, concentrating on the negatives have never made my life easier, so I've fought hard to avoid them these last four and a half years. I obviously have the odd day or two when I can't escape those feelings of negativity, but I do my best to concentrate on the good things in life; the things that make me happy. Life may be difficult, but I still find happiness in so many things in life, from blogging to spending time with the family. There are always so many reasons to be happy!

The other day, I sat down and wrote a list of the things that bring happiness to my life, and I thought I'd share some of them with you today. Fifty of them, to be exact. Let's get started...

1. My Tibetan terrier puppy, Rosie.
2. Going to see my favourite bands play live. I'd go to gigs every night if I could.
3. Discovering awesome new novelty bags to add to my ever-growing collection of oddities.
4. Pretty patterned dresses. Wearing them, buying them, collecting them, admiring them... I just love patterned dresses.
5. Colour. Colour makes me so happy! I try to inject as much of it in to my life as possible.
6. Being around nature.
7. Spending time at the beach paddling, swimming and body-boarding in the sea, especially at Perranporth Beach in Cornwall.
8. Going for walks in the country.
9. Playing my favourite happy songs up loud. Or any of my favourite songs, tbh.
10. Wearing and buying colourful eye make up.
11. Curling up with a good book while the rain drums against the window. Bliss.
12. Taking photos. I'm permanently attached to my camera and take photos of everything!
13. Looking through photos I've taken and finding some awesome shots in the mix.
14. Cross stitching. It's so relaxing I can sit for hours on end contently sewing with a movie or some music playing in the background.
15. Concert adventures with my favourite people.
16. Those days that are made of sunshine and cloudless blue skies.
17. Exploring new places.
18. Day trips to London. Visits to Camden, Covent Garden, Oxford St; taking tour buses around the city; catching a musical or a concert; visiting an attraction; shopping; or finding a cool place to eat. Being in London makes me happy.
19. Being around animals. I'm a huge animal lover, and if I'm honest, I love animals more than most people.
20. Yellow flowers- especially sunflowers, tulips, daffodils, and roses. Okay, just flowers in general.
21. My best friend, Angela. She's a mate in a million, and never fails to make me laugh.
22. Creative writing. Even if brain-fog has turned my once articulate brain and writing skills to mush.
23. Blossom blooming everywhere you turn in the Spring.
24. Trips to the zoo. I'm just a big kid at heart.
25. Hazelnut milk chocolate; I can't get enough of it. It's definitely one of my biggest vices in life.
26. Citrus scents- particularly the satsuma range from The Body Shop.
27. Getting parcels in the mail- even if it's just something I've ordered for myself.
28. Buying new notebooks and other pretty stationery. I'm a notebook addict.
29. Freshly washed bedding straight from the dryer. Is there anything better?
30. Writing lists. I don't know why, but I love writing them!
31. Watching my favourite movies in my PJs (and no bra, obviously), under a warm cosy blanket.
32. Spending time outdoors in the sunshine. Although I burn super fast, and over heat way too easily, which I hate.
33. Christmas time. I love everything about it, and love soaking up as much festive cheer as possible each time Christmas rolls around.
34. Blogging! It makes me so damn happy!
35. Spending time with my family... well, on those rare days when they don't drive me nuts.
36. Watching The Big Bang Theory. I watch it almost every day.
37. Making things. I love having a go at all sorts of creative projects- even if I'm not particularly talented at anything.
38. Reading lovely blog comments, messages, and emails from my lovely readers / you! I may be shit at replying, but they do mean the world to me.
39. Going to see musicals at the theatre. And just watching them at home. What's not to love about suddenly bursting in to song mid-conversation?
40. Spending time in Cornwall... even if it has been almost six years since my last visit because of my health. It has and will always be like my second home.
41. Eating chocolate hazelnut and Nutella gelatos. Nom.
42. Discovering a new dress with the most amazing novelty print in my size. Hell yes!
43. Those rare days when I manage to leave the house for an hour or two. When I've been stuck in bed for weeks on end, just getting out for a random drive or a quick trip to the supermarket will cheer me up. Although I'm much happier when I get to go somewhere fun!
44. Giving gifts to the people I care about, and seeing them smile when they genuinely like what I gave them.
45. Painting my nails bright colours, especially bright red.
46. The return of light summer evenings, after months of short, dark Winter days. Goodbye, SAD.
47. Retail therapy. At least, until the post-shopping guilt kicks in. Haha!
48. Buying myself fresh flowers.
49. Long leisurely naps. Who doesn't love a good nap? I appreciate them so much more now I don't get much sleep at night, thanks to chronic pain. I've not had a full eight hours in almost five years! 
50. Having some time to myself to recharge and get stuck in to the personal hobbies I enjoy like reading, writing, cross-stitching, and blogging.

Well, those are some of the things that make me ridiculously happy. What makes you happy in life?


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Wednesday Wish List

I'm sorry that this week's wish list is a little later in the day than usual; I've had a teething puppy gnawing on my hands all day, stopping me from getting any work done. Now I've finally found a spare second to blog, I have the worst writer's block ever, and can't get the words out, so I'm just going to let the pictures do the talking today. 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 
16 // 17 // 18 // 19 // 20 // 21 // 22 // 23 // 24 // 25 // 26 // 27 // 28 // 29

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17 // 18 // 19 // 20

If you'd like to see more of the pieces which have caught my eye lately, check out my style wish list boards on Pinterest.

What's on your wish list this week?

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Stila Clearance Make Up Haul

Stila, one of my favourite high-end beauty brands, has some fantastic make up products on sale on their UK website at the moment. 

With most sale items reduced to half price, I've been unable to resist temptation, and have snapped up quite a few bargains to put away for birthday and Christmas presents for my sisters and best friend. (By the way, if any of you three are reading this post, bugger off now or you'll spoil the surprise!) I've not bought anything for myself, but I thought I'd give you a quick peek at the different sets I picked up so you can see how beautiful the make up is and how great the bargains are.

I've squirrelled away eight sets over the last couple of months, and over the weekend I ordered a couple more lip gloss sets in different shades.

I bought two of the Sweet Kisses lip glaze trios, which include three very feminine, pink lip glazes in shades Glitter, Pink Sugar, and Ballet Kisses. They look perfect for summer time, and for anybody who isn't afraid of rocking a bit of colour. They're a bargain at just £6.50, reduced from £13.

Over the weekend I also purchased two different lip glaze sets- Kiss & Pout, and Read My Lips, which are a little cheaper at £6 each, but look equally lovely. 

Earlier in the year, I bought two convertible colour trio sets in Beauty In Bloom (top), and Blooming Bright (bottom). These are dual lip and cheek creams, and the packaging reminds me of Polly Pockets. They're currently out of stock, but they do keep reappearing, so it's worth checking back just in case. They were originally £13 (with a value of £22), and were on sale for £6.50.

Last week I picked up the In The Garden eyeshadow palette, with one of my sister's in mind. It features ten garden-inspired eyeshadows, and an exclusive black smudge stick with gold and green pearl. The shades look absolutely gorgeous, and I love that there's a mixture of natural earthy shadows, and a little bit of colour. The mirror looks quite handy, too. It was originally £25, but reduced to just £12.50.

I bought a couple of the In The Light eyeshadow palettes, which I think will go down really well with my best friend and my older sister whose birthdays are coming up in June. Like the In The Garden palette, it includes a full sized smudge stick and ten eyeshadows, which are ten of the prettiest neutral shades I've ever seen. It's the perfect every-day palette that could take you from day to night, and it looks like a good alternative to Urban Decay's Naked palette or Naked Basics. At just £12.50, down from £25, this one is definitely a bargain worth getting! I might need one for myself.

And last but not least, I snapped up the In The Love gift set which I will be giving to my bestie this Christmas. This stunning little set features twelve colour-rich matte, pearl and shimmer eyeshadows, a deluxe lip glaze in 'Apricot', and a deluxe-size Huge Extreme-Lash Mascara. The make up shades all look so gorgeous. The best part is, the palette has been designed to look like a love letter! When closed, the palette takes on the form of an envelope 'sealed' with gold-coloured sealing wax with a key design embossed in the centre, and it's easily one of the prettiest make up palettes I've ever seen. This little beauty will only set you back £15, which is a total steal since it retailed at £30 full price!

If you're thinking of ordering anything, you might be pleased to hear that Stila offer free standard delivery in the UK on their UK website, and orders usually make it through the letterbox in just 2-3 working days!

Will you be picking up anything from Stila's clearance sale?


Sunday, 24 April 2016

Sunday Favourites #183

It's that time of the week again...

These cat-shaped doughnuts are adorable.

I love this idea of creating your own pretty gift wrap with coloured paper and stickers.

Tattooist Sasha Unisex has turned some of her beautiful fox designs in to the cutest umbrella ever! You can buy it here, but move fast- it's a limited edition.

I want to bake a confetti pie crust!

These DIY word hair grips are really cute.

I love how beautifully Primark's new season homeware has been displayed in these photos. (Actually can't believe this is even Primark!) Can this be my bedroom, please?

I've just discovered Alyssa Marie Artistry on Instagram, and I'm now head over heels in love with her eye make up creations. They're all absolutely stunning; every single one is a work of art.

I love how Kaylah turns beach trash in to colourful works of art.

Louise's Lovely Links

♥ I've always wanted to visit Austria because of my love for The Sound of Music, so I loved reading about Becky's visits to Salzburg (part one and part two), ViennaPetersfriedhof and the Catacombs, and her review of the Sound of Music tour.

♥ Chastity looks amazing in this matching red ensemble.

♥ Vicki's home office is too cute for words.

♥ Jes shared 6 of her plus size travel inspirations- because fat girls can travel the world, too!

♥ Callie shared her guide to NYC and made me miss my favourite city even more!


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Wednesday Wish List

This week I've mostly been lusting after every piece of jewellery from Deer Arrow, and since I couldn't narrow down my favourites to a non-obsessive quantity, this week's Wednesday Wish List is dedicated solely to the brand. 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

Deer Arrow make the most beautiful and affordable hand crafted wooden and acrylic jewellery, and their designs include everything from cupcakes to record players, and vintage cars to unicorns. There are even a few Alice in Wonderland pieces and a toucan wearing a fruit topped hat, which are some of my personal favourites.

The brand is based in Australia, but they do ship internationally, and the shipping costs to the UK are very reasonable. I think I'll be making a few purchases really soon; I need the Alice 'Drink Me' brooch in my life!

Are you a Deer Arrow fan? Which pieces are your favourites?


Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Puppy Spam | Rosie 12-16 Weeks Old

It's been more than a month since I last wrote a post about Rosie, our new Tibetan terrier puppy, so I thought it was about time I did an update and spammed you with some new puppy photos! Be warned- there are a lot!!

I've become one of those annoying puppy Mums who can't stop taking pictures of her puppy, like she's a newborn baby instead of a four-legged friend. Seriously, I've taken over two thousand photos of her since we bought her home seven weeks ago- and the sad part is, I'm not even kidding! I just can't help myself. She always looks so adorable, even when she's being a complete terror and getting up to mischief, so I'm constantly reaching for my camera to document it all. I'm a blogger / crazy puppy Mum; it's what we do.

Rosie is seventeen weeks old now, and tomorrow we will have had her for seven whole weeks, which is insane. I've no idea where the time has gone, but the weeks have flown by! I guess that's what happens when you have a hyperactive puppy to keep you on your toes!

In the last seven weeks, she's come along leaps and bounds, and has grown so much already, both physically and mentally. She's still a fairly small pup, but she's getting bigger and fluffier by the day, and is currently entering the super-cute gangly-legs and crazy-ears phase of puppy hood, which somehow makes her look even cuter.

She's progressing really well; she's almost fully house-trained, she's coming along well with obedience training, she's doing better on the lead, and she no longer cries when she's left alone for a few hours. She's even beginning to nip a little less, although the puppy-biting is still a daily struggle and she's just going to need more time and training until she keeps her teeth to herself, She's just a puppy, after all.

Like most puppies, all she wants to do is play and explore and run and jump and cause havoc and garden and bark at plates and do all the other fun stuff puppies love to do, because apparently life in suburbia is the most exciting thing ever!

These are some of my observations of Rosie aged 12 to 16 weeks old...

♥ She's learnt how to 'sit', 'stay', 'lie down', give her 'paw', 'high-five', and 'come here'. She now tries to give you her paw all the time, which is super cute. We're currently working on 'stop!', 'no', and 'let go'.
♥ Her current favourite toys are the garden brush, and a tatty old tennis ball she found in the garden- even though she has about 20 dog toys and plays with all of them, too.
♥ Loves biting off branches and twigs from bushes in the garden, and running around with them so we can't catch her.
♥ She's crazy about fish! Whenever my parents open a can of tuna, pilchards (ew!) or salmon, she gets super excited, sits at their feet, gets vocal, and begs for some until they give in.
♥ She rarely finishes a bowl of food in one go; add a little tuna to her kibble and she'll demolish it all in a minute! I think we may have to switch to a half dry, half wet food diet at some point.
♥ Caught her barking at the ornamental plates on the bottom of the fire place...
♥ Somehow got herself stuck behind the fish tank and tangled up in the wires and tubes... even though it's up against a wall, and we'd barricaded the gaps either side.
♥ She only takes a few seconds to sprint a hundred feet, and runs like a greyhound.
♥ She's scared of rain storms and gale force wind, and will cry if you leave her alone in a room during a storm...
♥ ...but she isn't phased about being out in the rain one little bit.

I need to find a fox toy like this so I can rename her 'Ambrosius!'

♥ Talks to next door's terrier in grunts and snorts through the tiny gaps at the bottom of the fence, and regularly listens out for him.
♥ Caught her stealing a carrot from the compost heap.
♥ Follows her nose around the garden like a bloodhound.
♥ Loves to pick up stones, pebbles, and sea shells in her mouth. Doesn't like giving them up.
♥ She's already had three baths, and puts up with them surprisingly well.
♥ She barks at the hair drier when you try to dry her; tries to bite you when you attempt to towel dry her.
♥ Loves to burrow underneath her dog bed in her crate, and in between the bed and the cushion, as if she's throwing a tantrum.
♥ Rarely eats a lot from her bowl in one go, but put some of it in to a Kong and she'll quickly eat every last piece, and beg for it to be refilled... yet isn't interested in eating from the bowl when it's offered at the same time!
♥ She loves drinking out of the bird bath.
♥ Often stops to smell the flowers.

♥ She loves to eat dandelions.
♥ Tries to jump up to grab stuff from the washing line.
♥ Gets super excited when she meets someone new, or if she hasn't seen you in a day or two.
♥ Licks me to death for ten or fifteen minutes whenever I let her out of her crate.
♥ Had her first puppy class last Tuesday, and was scared of a vocal little dachshund.
♥ Has just started barking when somebody knocks on the door and whenever she sees a cat in the garden.
♥ Her fur is already getting so long and shaggy. I'd say she's 85% fluff, 15% teeth.
♥ She thinks everything is a toy- shoes, mail, keys, fridge magnets, jewellery, plates, sticks, stones, sea shells, flowers, soil, potatoes, hair, clothes, remote controls... basically anything she can get her paws on.
♥ She's almost outgrown her first puppy collar already.
♥ Loves digging in the mud until her face and feet are covered in mud, and always looks so proud of herself afterwards.
♥ She's still a little puppy, but she has a very long body, and when she stretches out she takes up the length of almost two seat cushions on the sofa.

Even though we've only had Rosie for seven weeks, it feels like she's always been here with us, and I'm already beginning to forget what life was like without her. Was there really a time when I wasn't covered in bruises and bite marks, and was able to finish a task in one go?? If there was, I can't remember it. She's reshaped our lives, and life just wouldn't be the same without her now.

She's even encouraging me to push myself through the pain a lot more, as I have to spend a couple of hours out of bed most days to look after her when we're home alone. I have a fur baby to think of now and not just myself any more. I'm still really struggling with the extra pain being out of bed and running around after a hyper puppy causes me, but the main thing is I'm doing it anyway, and I'm actually getting outside in the garden and soaking up plenty of vitamin D! Plus I have an awesome little fur-baby now, and someone to hang out with at home, so she's improving my life in so many ways. I couldn't ask for more than that!

If you'd like to see more photos of Rosie, I will soon be creating an Instagram page for her, and in the meantime you can keep up to date with her via my own Instagram account.

Do you have any pets, and do you consider them your fur/feather/scale-babies? If you haven't got any pets, do you want any?

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