I have been reading a lot of other bloggers and I have particularly been enjoying weekly summary type posts so I thought it was about time I gave this ago – this may not be a regular feature in my blog, I just wanted to try it out and see what happens.
I have been struggling with anxiety in certain situations (especially social situations) for the majority of my life, however more recently this anxiety has encroached into other areas.
A few weeks ago this life-changing book Calm by Michael Acton Smith landed anonymously on my door step gifted from a wonderfully thoughtful caring friend. I have been dipping in and out of this book and using the free Calm App to meditate and practice focusing my mind. This practice is underpinned by the theory of mindfulness – so it may not be for everyone – but this is something which I have been doing everyday and I have found it really helpful to re-focus my thoughts and to not get wound too tightly into my anxious thinking patterns. This definitely takes practice and it is not a ‘quick fix’ – but definitely helpful. I am planning on doing a full blog post about this at some point.
Tuesday I had two hospital appointments (I have since had the tests results and I am getting better!) so my mum paid me a visit and supported me at the hospital and then as a treat we when into town. We both had a bit of a shopping spree in the Body Shop! Loving the above beauties: Camomile Cleansing Oil, Vitamin E Face Spritz, Virgin Mojito Body Butter. I actually wrote a blog post about this so if you are interested check it out here.
Was an evening visit to my boyfriend Dave’s parents as they were off on holiday the following day and his mum was getting into a bit of a muddle with the new sat nav we had bought them – Dave to the rescue! On the way home we needed a petrol pit-stop and I picked up one of these yummy chocolate bars! I am a fan of the KitKat Chunky Peanut Butter but the KitKat Double Caramel was a new one on me. The bar was split into two – one end smothered in beautiful gooey caramel topped with the classic KitKat chocolate; the other end a creamy smooth caramel (similar to the gorgeousness that is layered between the wafers in a regular 2 or 4 finger KitKat) covered in KitKat chocolate. This was a big winner for me. I love all things caramel!
I completed the above beautiful colouring-in picture from my Secret Garden colouring book. I used inktense pencils to colour this in. They are brilliant ink pencils which you use to shade like a regular coloured pencil. However if you wash over the shading with an aquabrush (or you can use a regular fine paint brush dipped in water) you can create different textures and intensities with the colours. Once dry you can build up the layers of colour with more shading washed out with the aquabrush. Love it. I am finding colouring-in so relaxing, I am able to create some beautiful pictures whilst clearing my mind of the day’s worries and stresses. I would definitely recommend.
Friday – yay nearly the weekend! I arrived home to find my Birchbox waiting for me. A great start to the weekend, I love unwrapping my beauty box monthly subscriptions and being surprised and intrigued by what’s inside picked just for me. For a full ‘unveiling’ check out my blog post here.
Friday also meant the drag of food shopping. I hate food shopping and I hate supermarkets; the bright lights, the crowds, the smells, and the choices I find is sensory overload for me and I often feel overwhelmed when I’m shopping. My boyfriend is very understanding and supportive when I (sometimes) have a panic attack. They are definitely getting easier – I can not recommend the book Calm highly enough. As a reward to myself for enduring a late night shopping trip I just had to pick up the Minions Haribo! So cute and I adore jelly sweets 😊.
The rest of the photos above are of a forest walk we took which is literally only a 10 minute drive from our house. This is why I love rural life and living in the countryside. We had a wonderful walk in the early summer sun and did not meet a single other person. So quiet, peaceful, calming and grounding. The countryside is so beautiful and there is something about a walk in the forest which really centres me.
On our drive back home we stumbled across a lovely quaint tea room and country shop which we couldn’t resist. I opted for a Twinings Spicy Chai which is a new tea for me. It was indeed spicy but was very refreshing. As we were about to leave I spotted this beautiful violet coloured candle – the Lavender + Fresh Cotton fragrance hooked me in as I am a lover of fresh scented candles. This is also a new brand to me and I lit this candle as soon as I got home. It has a lovely fresh scent of cotton which is softened and mellowed by the lavender. I am not a massive fan of lavender scents but this candle is a definite winner.
We found ourselves in another supermarket picking up a few bits for my boyfriends ageing grandmother. This was a bigger supermarket to the usual place we shop and to my surprise it had a Rimmel stand. I was nicely surprised by the quality and finish of my first ever Rimmel nail polish purchase – if your interested you can read my blog post here. I just had to purchase the above two nail polishes from Rimmel – Daisy Days (yellow) & Bestival Blue (blue). I initially wanted to paint 4 nails on each hand with the blue and then try a watercolour nail art effect using a few bright pastel colours on the other 2 nails as I have been watching a lot of YouTube tutorials about how to achieve this effect. I tried… but I failed… ended up in a sticky nail polish mess… I think I need to use nail polishes which have a more watery consistency to get the best effect. Therefore I decide to paint the bare nail on each hand with the Rimmel Daisy Days yellow and then attempted to create a spotty effect by dotting some different coloured polishes over top…. I was hoping for a more precise polished look but without possessing the right nail art tools I am struggling to achieve the look I wanted… Good first attempt though.
I have made and eaten some delicious food today which I thought I would share. The top photo is of the tasty mashed avocado and poached eye on a slice of rye bread – delicious! I was inspired by Pinterest and Instagram photos I have seen of this lovely little meal – I love poached eggs, I love advocado and rye bread so thought I would give it a go. Was so yummy. A definite favourite for a quick healthy breakfast or lunch. Delicious.
I then decided to do some baking and adapted a couple of flapjack and granola bar recipes I had seen. I don’t know about you but I am a bit of a rebel when it comes to following a recipe and I like to go off-piste and add my creative flare by adapting the recipe to what I think feels right – interpretative cooking and baking if you will; this annoys my boyfriend beyond belief. He weighs and measures everything whereas I use a recipe as a rough base to underpin my baking and cooking. The above oaty bars are a combination of rolled oats, smashed pecan nuts, mixed seeds, margarine, brown sugar and of course golden syrup. They are very tasty but very chewy – this is a recipe which is ‘work in progress’ – next time I will add more oats to soak up the syrupy loveliness to make the bar less chewy.
The final photo is of my dinner creation – my attempt to re-create my beloved Salmon Niçoise Salad which I always order in Prezzo. I used mixed baby salad leaves, I halved boiled eggs, plum tomatoes, green olives, boiled potatoes and scattered chunks of honey smoked salmon fillet and ripe advocado over the salad and finished off with a light drizzle of an Italian dressing. This was a delicious and a good homely version of this Prezzo classic.
I hope you have enjoyed my weekly round-up. Let me know if you have tried anything I have posted about – I love reading and responding to comments. Thank you 😊. I return to work next week so I will not be able to post every day so I will be testing out a regular blogging schedule over the coming weeks to see what feels right. Thank you for reading.
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