On my mind

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Scrolling back through all my blog posts at all the recent photographs, showcasing a huge smile in every single post, I suddenly realised how I am a part of making everybody believe that life is great and all is good. I try to be as open and honest as possible and I do share a very large proportion of my life here online but sometimes I don't share the down times. This week has been one of the worst weeks for me mentally, in such a long time. I couldn't get out of bed in the morning, I didn't gym once, I was eating shit, I was unhappy, I didn't want to talk anyone when I came home from work and I was so down that I broke down in tears on Thursday night and I didn't even know why. I've tried to clear my head this weekend by writing thing's down, tidying the flat and trying to get organised with paper work etc. and I do feel a lot better today after getting back to the gym and just spending less time on my phone. Josh is out walking with his friend today and right now I kind of wished I had gone along too because the weather is incredible but instead I'm going to spend my afternoon on Pinterest and watch The Holiday. I've also made a long list of all the thing's I'd like to achieve in 2019 so perhaps I'll share that with you soon. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, L.

 

Image from Pinterest.

Staff party

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What I'm wearing: Dress from SilkFred here, shoes from Public Desire similar here

Ah, I love this dress so much! The ruffled sleeves and the wrap over style is my go-to, even though it's taken me forever to find it. I initially spotted in for a family wedding we have in February but decided it would be perfect for a winter party instead, what with the long sleeves but a bit of leg too. It's a lovely heavy expensive feeling fabric and silky too so I thought it would be great for an evening abroad, like our month long holiday to Thailand in April, eek! Although for Thailand it would probably too warm, as April is the hottest time of year.

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The Roof Box company Christmas do took place last night and it's fair to say it got a little messy. We had so much fun and I ate too much I was almost sick. I also had work today but I don't feel too bad, so fingers crossed it doesn't kick in later today... We have another 'proper' works do on Friday at the local golf course and I'm hoping that one will be a little more tame than this one but knowing this lot probably not! At the moment I'm lying on the bed watching the rain drizzle down my windows so I'm sensing a pretty lazy day is on the cards, although I might venture out for a Christmas tree, then again I also might not. The Netflix film Mowgli has just been released too so I'm itching to watch that this weekend - it looks incredible! Anyway, thought I'd come say hi and update you with a few pictures. Speak soon, L.

Christmas dinner with the girls

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Outfit: Blazer and shorts from Stradivarius, bodysuit from ASOS, heels from Zara and necklace from Tiffany's.

I had actually planned on writing a little post here yesterday but I must admit that after a walk in the rain with Amy, to try and wake me up and shake off my hangover, I ended up back in bed with the worst headache EVER! Do not mix your drinks folks! So, here we are with a slightly different Sunday post to my usual hiking ones. It was so nice to meet up with the girls I went to school with, it feels like too long ago that we did something like this. We had dinner at the Mason's Yard, followed by the obvious White Hart and Bootleggers. It involved lots of shots, laughs and me making a fool out of myself, dancing hideously once again! Today we have food shopping to get and we are going to visit Dan and Meg's new house! I'm so excited for them. What do you get as a house warming though? Speak soon, L.

Reflecting on 2018

At the beginning of the year I purchased my first diary since high school. It was pink and sparkly, everything that is the total opposite of what I would normally go for. It was a notebook, with no days or dates and so I wrote them in by hand, on every single page. I've spent the past year scribbling reminders, important dates, birthdays, bills and all sorts in this little book. It comes to work with me every single day and I've loved having it around (as cheesy as it sounds). I never thought I would have been so attached to something but here we are, almost 12 months later and it still remains with me. (This is really unusual for me, as I usually get fed up with notebooks, especially if I change my handwriting style or write something I have to scribble out). On the very first page I wrote down a couple of bullet points and reminders to myself of what I wanted to achieve throughout 2018 and so, those words and goals are what I'm going to share with you in this post. Oh and I may as well share a couple of my favourite moments I captured too! 

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My first bullet point was 'don't give up'. In my family I'm the one who's well known for starting something and giving up at the first hurdle. I hate that I'm like that and I tried so hard this year not to be. I gave up a little with learning my Thai but I'm back learning. I guess booking flights to Thailand has given me the kick up the bum that I needed. Then again, it shouldn't take a holiday to make me want to learn but after a little misunderstanding and me believing that my Thai granny may be unwell, it was then that I decided to start again. After all, I would be truly disappointed with myself if I never tried to have a conversation with her, out of pure laziness.

'Work your arse off' comes second. Not really sure why I wrote this because I've always worked hard (or at least so I like to believe) but I wanted to work towards my own goals. I wanted to photograph more, write more, read more, learn and be physically fit. I don't think I accomplished as much as I'd have liked to this year but I'm definitely on track to achieving great things - or so I hope!

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When I started writing these bullet points it was a time when I was very unsettled and unsure about what I wanted for the near future. I wanted a house but then I wanted to see the world at the same time and so I decided that seeing the world was more important. I wrote 'save those pennies for travelling' and guess what? I never did save those pennies for travelling, nor for a house or anything else for the matter! So, with this I failed but I'm totally beginning to save for real in the new year and who knows, we may even have our very own home by this time next year... *fingers crossed*. 

 

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'Grab every opportunity by the nuts!'. Not sure I've had many opportunities or at least I can't think of any right this moment but I'd say my total mindset has completely changed. I've tried to be a lot more positive, to make every situation something I could learn from and I guess that's grabbing every opportunity by the nuts, turning something maybe not so great into something great! Ah god, I don't make sense but you get what I mean, right?

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A biggie for me and something I've had engraved into my brain since the beginning of the year is 'be more confident'. I don't know where this vulnerable and insecure feeling comes from sometimes and I often care too much about what other people think. I've told myself that 'if it won't matter this time tomorrow or this time next week, then don't let it ruin your day today' and believe me it works! It takes a lot of drilling in to make you realise but once you've done it a couple of times, it gets easier.

'Do more' and 'drink less', I think these coincide together pretty well as I spent a lot of weekends hungover doing nothing but lying in bed and wasting my day, as well as a lot of money. I'd say I've done pretty well this year! My weekends have been spent wandering the mountains and we got to visit some amazing places this year, from Romania to Greece and places a little closer to home.

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'Get a new job', I did it, I got a new job. After months of searching, 100's of interviews to help me gain confidence and endless knock backs, I finally found a job that works for me. Ok, so it's not my dream job (how do I become a photographer and travel the world?) but I get to work with some fabulous people, I'm 5 minutes from home and I also get my weekends free. What's not to love? I told myself I would do it this year and I did it, with 3 months to spare!

'Don't buy unnecessary shit!!!!' I think I failed, in fact I know I failed. However, I am so much better than I used to be. I plan my outfits now to ensure that the stuff I do buy is money worth spending. Sometimes I buy the odd thing and wonder what an earth was I thinking but it's something I'm definitely learning about. Next year, I'm doing it for real. If it's not money well spent, it's not being spent at all.

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And last but certainly not least, I wanted to 'be inspired by everything'. Nature, lifestyle, travel, work. I'm sure there's something I come across every single day that inspires me in some way. I'll be sure to take this little memo into 2019 with me, or even throughout the rest of life. I want to grow, every single day and learn from my mistakes, help others and help protect the world we live in.

Did you stick to your new year resolutions? Let me know if you did or didn't!

Landscapes from Bowfell

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I've neglected my camera lately and even though I try to take it wherever I go, I always end up using my phone because it's handier and I don't have to take the lens cap off, *excuses, excuses, excuses*. I did manage to snap a few on my Sony a5000 though from the weekend, not many but a handful and I do love the quality of the pictures so much more than my phone. I really need to get out of the habit but it's so much easier when you're uploading videos to Instagram - something I also need to snap out of because I wanna start vlogging so I can't upload onto Instagram as well as vlog because what would be the point in filming it twice? I'm thinking of doing 'my top 5 walks in the Lake District' as a round up for this year, what do you think? I think it's a good idea so that anyone who's stuck for somewhere to go can chose one and not be disappointed. Although, come to think of it I don't think I've been disappointed by any of the walks I've ever been on. Some are a little long and some don't have the best views but they all offer something a little different from one another and plus on a nice day it's the best and cheapest way to experience the Lake District, away from the crowds. Right now we are both tucked up in bed, I have the hot water bottle resting against my back, Josh is playing Call of Duty (he has until half past) and then it's time to watch Tales by Light on Netflix. It's a documentary on different photographers which I highly recommend if you love photography and travel. We both find it really inspiring and after completing our open water diving in April (providing I actually manage to go through the training), we both want to go diving with sharks after watching this. I can't believe how tame and friendly they are, it's incredible to see. Anyway, speak soon L.

Bowfell, Esk Pike, Pike of Stickle and Stickle Tarn / 12.5 Miles in 7 hours

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Scafell and Scafell Pike in the distance.

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Oh god, I sense that this post is going to go a little something like last weeks... Good morning! I am so so tired. Really though, I thought I was tired last week but it was a hell of a struggle getting out of bed this morning. I debated lying in until 15 minutes before work but then I thought better of it and decided to come here and share my Sunday post with you. I like Sunday posts, it seems like the only day we ever do anything besides from work or the gym! Yesterday we walked so far or shall I say too far. My little legs could just not take it anymore. We hiked up to our first peak of Bowfell, onto Esk Pike back down and up to Pike of Stickle and back down and around Stickle Tarn (where we cooked bacon sandwiches earlier in the year and the water was so still and quiet). Anyway, we had planned on going for a strong drink at the Brittania in Elterwater, FYI probably the smallest pub in all the land but has the cosiest lil bar area which is super snug after a long walk. Although, not good when you have to be home for a certain time for a roast dinner because I never want to move. Ah, I also had the most horrible dream last night.. It was time for our trip to Thailand and I couldn't find our passports, our car wouldn't work, Josh was still working and we missed our flight, it really was a nightmare! No wonder I woke up tired. Anyway, time for some chocolate porridge, with banana and chia seeds. Have a good week, speak soon. L x

Sunday’s in the mountains

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Good morning! Ah, I am so so tired this morning. Kinda feels like a good tired though, like I've actually done something to be tired rather than just being tired cause I'm lazy. Anyway, here are the rest of the pictures from yesterday. So golden and beautiful, literally the most perfect walking weather. I was recommended this hike again by a work colleague and did it disappoint? Nope! This one is called 'High Street' and is located next to Haweswater Reservoir which can be accessed via Shap. So, it's not exactly the Lake District and in all honesty I was surprised to find that this walk was even there because Shap is so bleak! We completed it in around 4 hours and we walked a total of 8 miles (ish), I didn't Strava it but Josh did - he also managed to stream some of the England game up there. Today, I'm back at work and back to healthy eating! I decided to have this morning off the gym as I went every day last week (excluding Monday), it was nice to lie in a little a relax this morning. Enjoy your week, L.

Our Annual Visit to Manchester Christmas Markets

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Hello, hello, hello! Good evening! Hope you've had a lovely weekend. The weather has been absolutely beautiful this weekend in the North of England and I'm so so grateful I now get my weekends free so I can do all the things I enjoy, like walking, eating, and shopping! I'm actually quite surprised that the only thing's I came home with from the markets were a pair of earrings from &OtherStories, a block of cheese and a bag of sausages. We buy them every time we go but this time we bought cheesy chorizo! I think you can cook them in a George Forman grill and the cheese goes all gooey and stringy in side, it's absolutely delicious and great for your figure.. I would be munching on one now but my Gran is on with roast ham, roast potatoes and veg which is most definitely needed after our 8 mile hike today - I'll post the photos from our hike tomorrow sometime because right now I just want to enjoy my brew and cuddle my cat. Anyway, I'll stop rambling! If you want to know where I got my fleece and bum bag then you can find it on my 21 buttons by clicking here, I've never used the platform before so let me know if you would just prefer me to link it here. Speak tomorrow, L.

Reminising

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The next time we visit Thailand it will be 2 whole years since we last set foot in the land of smiles. A whole month of sunshine, good food and easy living, how can I not be excited? I was browsing through my photographs and I don't think I shared these, so here they are! If you want to see the rest of them then you can view them by clicking here.

Obviously me being me, I have already planned everything so I can make the most of the time we have there, as next year we actually plan on starting to save for a house. Oh god, I was saying that two years ago and I still haven't saved a single penny! To be honest I'm really not that bothered that we haven't bought a house yet anyway, we will have the flat paid off next Summer and have plenty of time to save then. I'm just trying not to let anything worry me anymore because seriously what is the point? I've not been this happy in such a long time and it's all down to not worrying about money and life. Gah, I've totally gone off topic but it's true! Do not worry, it's a killer.

Anyway, I've told myself that I'm going to create as much content as possible when I'm away, so let me know if there's anything you'd like to see because I'd love to share it with you! Thailand is my favourite country in the world and I just want to share the beauty and simplicity it has to offer. I would tell you what I already have planned but I think I'll wait and show you when we're there. There is another 5 months to go but I'm hoping someone gives me some more places of interest. So if you're reading this post and you've spent a significant amount of time in Thailand, tell me what you loved about it!

Now, time for bed. I sacked the gym off this morning because this weekend absolutely ruined me but I'm back to it in the morning and will be training 4/5 times a week before our trip to get into decent shape - or one that doesn't resemble that of a potato. Just need to figure out a good diet because it's the amount of food I eat that lets me down! L.

Outfit

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Jumpsuit from PLT here, old Blazer from Stradivarius - others here, Bag Sophie Hulme.

Hey! Welcome back.. So, on Friday I turned 24 - wahoo! I worked all day and all evening so I didn't do too much celebrating but to be quite honest I didn't even feel like it. I've taken a few days off work next week to do something, although I doubt I'll do anything but sit in the house and watch movies. I might make a trip to the Trafford Centre and have a browse, seeing as though pay day is just around the corner. I need some inspiration to help get me into the Christmas spirit because I just don't feel excited this year at all. However, we've decided to spend Christmas day at Mum and Dad's, with a roaring fire and instead of a traditional roast we are going to have finger food and pick all day. Sausage rolls, pigs in blankets, cheese and biscuits, canapés, prawns, bread, you name it!

I've been trying to find an outfit for a wedding in February so I bought this black jumpsuit from PLT. I think it's perhaps more 'night out' than wedding so I wore it to a welcome home wedding night do for a couple who got married in Greece last month. I had to stick some tape to my boobs as it's a little loose but besides from that it's really flattering and made me look super tall! I wasn't going to wear a blazer but I think it made it so much more sophisticated.

Buttermere Edge

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I'm home, I'm finally warm again and my belly is full to the brim with roast lamb and roast potatoes. It's been the best day and I think this has to be my favourite walk, so far. Buttermere is beautiful and I love how tucked away it is from all the tourists and crowds, although we did arrive late morning and struggled to park because it was so busy. I guess everyone else had the same idea as us! A friend from work recommended Buttermere Edge and after completing Hay Stacks last winter, I knew I wanted to return and conquer another mountain. Buttermere is breathtaking and the views are pretty spectacular so with the weather supposedly meant to be fabulous this weekend we planned a hike! The weather wasn't the best (although I am warming to moodier days because they always come out better on camera than bright blue skies) but it was perfect hiking weather with a wind chill of -3, which felt so much colder! The ascent at the beginning is a bit of a struggle but once we reached High Stile it was a true breeze (literally). There are amazing views of Pillar, Pillar rock, Haystacks, Ennerdale water, Crummock water and Buttermere, the whole walk is just a perfect picture, which is why I took so many! Once we reached the descent from Red Pike my legs felt as though they were going to snap in half, going down hill is the worst! I hope you've enjoyed your weekend, whatever it is you've been doing. I now plan on eating as much lemon layer pudding drenched in single cream before I jump into bed. I swapped my summer duvet for my winter one yesterday too, so bed is even more desirable right now! L.

Autumn

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Autumn, you inspire me so much. The sunsets you have been creating lately have been breathtaking, as if the sky was set on fire. Slowly, the nights are beginning to get darker and by Sunday the clocks will fall back and the nights will seem so much longer. At the moment, I'm welcoming Winter with open arms. It's a breath of fresh air after a long hot summer and although I'm not excited for Christmas, I'm so ready for all the delicious food and the cosiness that Winter brings.

I started this week cycling to and from work because 1. I want to use my car less (less money spent on fuel and no fuel emissions!) and 2. because it actually made me feel so much better. I felt more focused and so much more energised. I love the feeling of the fresh air on my cheeks, listening to the silence of a cold frosty morning and the crunch of the leaves. It's actually so uplifting I can't describe it. Even if it does kill my legs!

I got in touch with Angela, my teacher about starting my Thai lessons again after a few months off. My cousin posted a photograph of my Thai Granny on Facebook which made me feel sad and incredibly guilty that I haven't yet been able to have a conversation with her, so seeing that was a lil kick up the arse to start learning again. No more excuses, no more laziness! Now that we have our flights booked, we are hoping that my Thai Granny will join us in Chiang Mai. It's somewhere she's always talked about going so I'm hoping she will be fit and well to experience it with us.

Anyway, I thought I'd come here and say hello. I feel so good lately so I'm hoping I can spread a little positivity or productiveness because that's how I feel, productive! Early night for me ready for an early morning. Josh will be home late from the Utd game so I'll keep my fingers crossed for a win, although I think I'm being a little hopeful... Enjoy the rest of your week, L.