Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts

Real talk

Inspiration comes from the strangest of places. I totally get it now, how musicians can write and produce hit records after experiencing extreme heartache, and how in that episode of 'You', Beck found the motivation to write her novel after a bit of encouragement from Joe (okay, he locked her in a glass room, but whatever) It has taken me until 10pm on the 24th day of January 2019 to even open up blogger and start writing something. Before now, I'll be honest, even looking at or thinking about my blog made me feel totally, well, meh

The Fantastic Five - June Edition

HEY YOU GUUUUYS. It's been too long since my last blog post, as usual. Despite Reuben being in more of a routine and sleeping through the night, it means he's sleeping less during the day and we've been out and about so much I've literally had zero chance (or head space) to sit down and write a post. I've got lots of fun content to post over the next couple of months but you'll need to bare with me - even one blog post a week is proving tricky at the moment. So today I'm just popping in with a wee life update/favourites post to give you a round up of what I've been loving lately. I'm gonna try to do this once a month for sure. The things I'm Watching, Listening, Eating, Reading, and Loving. So, here goes!

#SmearForSmear with Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust


It was a usual frosty Monday morning in Glasgow when I was power walking along to the doctors surgery, amongst the 9am rush hour of kids piling in the gates of the local primary school and shop keepers on the high street lifting the shutters and setting their stands out for the day ahead. I was a little apprehensive as I approached the doctors, then sat nervously in the waiting room tapping my toes and refreshing facebook obsessively while I waited for my name to be called. Sweaty hands, dry mouth, and butterflies in my stomach as the nurse greeted me warmly and invited me to have a seat on the bed before what normally feels like the longest 5 minutes of your life, a cervical screening test. I've not shared this story on here before, but as the 22nd-28th of January marks Cervical Cancer Prevention week, it feels right for me to have a sit down, cuppa, and a wee chat about something which could ultimately save your life (and did, in fact, save mine)

Come what may

Christmas Market

Well hello 2017, it sure is nice to see ya! It's taken me a few days longer than planned to get this blog post up, as I've been hit with that cold and flu bug which loads of folk seem to be suffering from at the moment. But to be honest it's set me up in a good mindset for entering the new year - taking life slow and steady. I have a few personal goals which I'd like to achieve this year, but all in all I want my pace of life to be a lot less frantic and a whole lot more purposeful. Sure, I always live my life with purpose but when you cram so much into so little time... the time you do spend in that moment is always gone in a flash. This year I really want to focus on 'the now' as much as possible. I'll make plans and have goals (girl boss for life, that's never gonna change!) but I won't worry if things don't go to plan or I venture off the path I've set. Being a control freak and a worrier when it comes to anything and everything really doesn't generate the best quality of life. No matter what each day brings, I want to listen to my body (physically, emotionally and mentally) as much as possible. Say yes more, say no more, break the routine, and not let anxiety and habits determine how this year, and years to come, will pan out.

Mama, I love you


When it comes to personal posts like this, I legit feel like my heart is going to burst before I even begin writing the first sentence. I have so much I want to say, but I don't even know where to start. How much detail do I go into before it snowballs into a full blown word vomit of emotion and tears and all of the feels. Basically, I bloody love my Mum. I love her, I know her, and I feel like I understand her. As a woman, and a friend, as well as a mother.

February Favourites

February Faves

February already, say whaaaaat?! I can't get over how quickly the weeks are flying in, especially since I've just started a new telly job and each day feels like it's over in the blink of an eye. Which is good, because it's super busy! But it means that the weekends also pass by a little too quickly. At the weekend just there we celebrated mine and Pete's anniversary with cocktails and dinner at a local tapas restaurant which was DELICIOUS. We caught up on lots of sleep, I spent saturday afternoon at Cafe Strange Brew with Lori, Lynsay and her lovely pals for a Galentine's gathering, worked on my new blog layout (what d'ya think?) had pizza for dinner on sunday, and watched a few movies (Oh, and started on the new X-Files, holy smokes it's good!)  This has been a pretty great month so far, even though we're only half way through. So I thought I'd share a selection of my February favourites!

Happy Galentine's Day

Galentines day

I really don't get why people hate on Valentine's Day so much. Every week there seems to be something new on the internet for people to get mad at. Facebook crazes, memes, outrageous celebrity gossip, controversial tweets. I just wanna stand back and say, Y U SO ANGRY people?! Save your passionate energy and that fire in your belly for stuff which actually matters. I understand that some folk see Valentine's as a money making machine for the greeting card industry, but isn't every holiday/celebration? I just love Love, and wanna celebrate the shit out of that all year round. But hell, if there's a special day dedicated to the patron saint of lovers, then I'm all for it. Ahead of this weekend, I wanted to share a massive chunk of love and appreciation for all of the fantastic women in my life. This February 13th isn't just the day before Valentine's day, it's also Galentine's Day!

A Bathmas Gift Guide


I can't believe that tomorrow is the first of December. Where has this year disappeared to?! I have just started doing my Christmas shopping in dribs and drabs, and I've really had to rethink my game plan this year. I have a lot of family and friends to buy for, and I absolutely love buying people presents. I just don't know where to stop, and when you end up spending £30+ for over 20 people... It all starts to add up. We've got a house, a puppy and a holiday to save for next year, so I've tried to be a lot more savvy with my present buying this Christmas. I'm trying to gift everyone with just one really special pressie, rather than 3 or 4 (often daft) things each. Does anyone feel like just one present feels really lonely? For example if I bought a friend a new diary from Paperchase, I'd need to get the matching pen, desk planner and other little bits for them... This is how it gets silly and out of hand!

 I actually feel a bit awful writing the above when there are so many people on this planet who don't even have a roof over their heads or a warm place to sleep at night. So I'd like to even up the materialistic side of this post and say if you're in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen doing your Christmas shopping, please pop into Social Bite for a sandwich or coffee. 100% of their profits are given to good causes, and 1 in 4 of their team are formerly homeless people. They also feel the local homeless community through their 'Suspended Coffee and Food' initiative. This means that customers can pay in advance for a coffee or any item of food from the menu, and a local homeless person can come into the shop to claim it. Social Bite are based in Scotland, but I can imagine there are other similar ran Social Businesses across the UK. Please take 5 minutes to look one up, and give a little kindness to those who really need it most at this time of year.

How I cope with anxiety


Anxiety is a funny old thing. The term is often thrown about very loosely, along with depression and OCD, from people who don't actually suffer from it - but use it as a verb to generalise how they are feeling. Getting worried, experiencing lows, or being someone who likes things done a certain way is completely normal. But once you truly suffer from these illnesses and perhaps need to go for counselling or be medicated - you understand the difference between what is normal, and something that stops you from functioning in your daily life. The above are just examples of the many, many mental illnesses out there, but today I'd like to talk openly about one which I suffer from myself. Anxiety.

The Good Sleep Guide


I love sleep. I love my bed. I love cosying up under the covers at night to watch a film, and waking up in the morning with daylight sneaking in through the curtains and the cats curled up at my feet. I'm one of these people that could fall asleep anywhere, and I struggle to stay awake when in any sort of warm, dark room (which is a nightmare at the cinema, driving down the motorway at night, or in any sort of meeting containing a power point presentation) I'm that friend at a sleepover who would happily make a bed on the floor with a tea towel folded up as a pillow, and has drifted off in the nightclub toilet many a time. Sleep is my friend, and it seriously effects my mood and the whole of my day if I haven't had enough zzz's the night before. However as I get older and I've noticed that certain life events trigger bad sleeping patterns for me. Some nights I really struggle to fall asleep, or I wake up lots during the night, or feel like I have been drugged when it comes to getting out of bed in the morning. Normally this is to do with what sort of food and drink I've been consuming, my work schedule, general life worries and deadlines, and sharing my bed with a boyfriend and two cats who like to visit in the dead of night. 

On the topic of sleep, my friends over at Joe Blogs Network shared 10 top sleep tips by Dr Lauren Kita with me, so I thought I'd share plus my own suggestions with you. Everything listed below is just from my personal experience, and what works for me might not work for you! If you do have persistent trouble with not getting enough sleep (or even having too much) it can be detrimental to not only your physical health but your emotional and mental health too, so I'd definitely say have a chat with your doctor. Here's my personal guide to a good night's sleep:

The Glasgow Girl Bosses

“You combine hard work, creativity, and self-determination, and things start to happen.” — Sophia Amoruso, CEO of Nasty Gal and author of Girl Boss.

Today's post is a tribute to all the truly inspiring business women I've had the pleasure of meeting in the past 5 years or so. These ladies have taken their passion, talent, and instinctive entrepreneurial skills to the next level. Resulting in very successful businesses doing what they love, for a living. The icing on the cake for me is the fact that all of these gals are Scottish, and their businesses situated right on my doorstep in Glasgow. The locality of this success and getting to see these all star females do so well in their chosen field is ridiculously inspiring, and a constant push and reminder to me that your goals are never too far from reach. You've just gotta go out there and grab them. They encourage me on a daily basis to work hard, dream big, and don't let anything stop you from moving forward towards your goals. They are the epitome of Girl Boss.

Ashley Baxter
 // Girl With A Camera, Insurance By Jack //

This must be it, welcome to the new year.

I really did have the best intentions of writing one more post before 2014 was out. But quickly came the succession of Christmas, Boxing Day, moving house, and Hogmanay... followed by the week long food coma and epic sleeping sessions. I feel like I only properly woke up when it got to the 5th of January and thought shit, time to get my life back into action!

I don't have any new year resolutions as such, because I constantly feel like I am giving myself a hard time in terms of self improvement. I always strive to be the best version of myself, which can't be all bad, but actually IS bad when it gets to the point of worrying myself to death over how good a daughter/friend/collegue I am. Writing ridiculous, unachievable lists and punishing myself when I don't get everything on them done to a perfectionists standard. Worrying when I have nothing to worry about because when things are going smoothly I am paranoid that I must have missed something?! What's the deal with that eh? I think my sensitive but determined personality, mixed with a history of Generalised Anxiety Disorder can often be a recipe for disaster. But in the past while I have learned that it's about accepting and embracing this, rather than fighting and trying to control it. The most favourite piece of advice someone gave me in 2014 was 'be kind to yourself'. Such simple words, but extremely important ones that should never be over complicated. Which our generation seems to be very good at doing.

 I had a really interesting chat with my friend Ashley recently (who took the picture above) about how we are the first proper digital generation, with our lives often revolving around facebook, instagram, twitter etc. And hey, even blogs! But I don't mind that so much. I enjoy documenting my life in a diary form and being able to look back on where I've been and the journey I have came on. I guess I like instagram etc for all the same reasons, but I also really dislike the negatives that come hand in hand with social media. People tend to share only the good stuff online, so it's easy to look at others and get yourself down about how perfect their life seems. I rarely share anything negative on my social media, with my reason being drawing attention to something which has made me angry, makes the anxiety and anger linger on for even longer! That's just my coping mechanism to help days I am feeling down pass quickly. It doesn't mean I have the perfect life and I need to remember the same goes for others. Staying genuinely positive is really important to me. Today I had a little black cloud following me about because Binx smashed my ipad screen, my old landlord was annoyed at me for something, my new flat isn't still quite ready yet so I am living out of a suitcase at my grandparents house for a week, and trying to get my taxes done with no internet and no printer for all the documents I need. The more I pay attention to the silly things that annoy me, the bigger an issue they become in my head. So now I tend to acknowledge these annoyances, and if I can do something to change them - Great! If I can't... forget that shit and tomorrow is a brand new day.

I understand that a New Year is symbolic to a lot of people for a fresh start, and a chance for new beginnings. I feel like my internal clock restarts every night, so if I've had a bad day and feel a bit teary I can often sleep it off and wake up with a clean slate the next morning. I always set myself daily goals, but seeing as it's January I have been setting my sights on some more long term goals too.

Establish a better work/play balance - This could be quite challenging due to the nature of my job, but my social life seems to go from one extreme to the other (ie when I'm working, I don't bloody have one!) I'd like to try and strike a better balance, rather than disappearing off the face of the earth and feeling like I've sold my soul to the TV industry.

Sit my bike test - After riding Motocross for most of my teenage years I think it's time I bit the bullet and got myself a road bike. Seeing my Dad and his new Triumph has reinforced that the bug has never went away for me. Fingers crossed this is the year where I'll be financially stable enough to go for it!

Take more photographs - It is so easy to rely on the quick convenience of an iphone to take photos. This year I want to fall in love with my SLR all over again and start taking proper photographs, especially for on my blog.

See more of the outdoors - Scotland is downright beautiful, and has so much to offer right on our doorstep. I would really love to go on more adventures like the trip I look to Loch Tay in December. Get out into the fresh air more regularly and help blow away any cobwebs that start to build up. I'll always want to see more of the world, so some travels abroad this year wouldn't go a miss too if money permits.

Reach my final goal weight - I worked pretty hard towards the tail end of the year to loose some excess weight I had been carrying, and I actually felt so much better for it (physically and mentally!) Keeping healthy is a long term goal for me rather than giving in to fad diets. I'm a bit nervous about stepping on the scales after Christmas, but I just plan on taking it a day at a time and hopefully wean myself off 'I'll just have one more handful of chocolates' autopilot!

Learn to say yes and no confidently - I absolutely love this article written by Mark Manson called 'Fuck Yes Or No'. It's all about dating but I think it makes total sense to apply it to the rest of your life too. I am going to say yes more and make time for the things I do want to do, and not give myself a hard time for saying no where I would normally give in for the sake of pleasing others. If you're looking for a bit of wisdom and motivation to kick start the new year I would recommend having a look through Mark's website, there's some fantastic pieces on there which definitely strike a chord or two, and you probably don't realise how much you agree with the advice and observations which he verbalises so well, until you've read an article and think THAT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE!

These are just some thoughts I've been sitting on for a while, and in 2015 I would really like to manifest them into a reality. I'd love to hear what your hopes and dreams are for the coming year. I'm always around on twitter or instagram for a blether (@hellorogue) 

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Can you believe that Christmas is almost upon us? I seem to go into complete denial until I'm having festive tunes and soppy tv adverts forced in my face. I'm no Scrooge, I just can't grasp how quickly this year has flown in! I've been getting organised and using Clipix to gather all my favourite finds from various corners of the internet. Mostly ideas of things I would like to buy myself once this job is over, presents I would like to buy for other people, and websites that are generally just awesome and contain lots of hidden gems that you wouldn't always find in the shops. I've picked my top 13 as a sort of Christmas wishlist, and I hope you like them or they direct you to some sites or brands you've maybe not stumbled across before.

Christmas Wishlist

From left to right...
1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 - £90 @ Urban Outfitters
2. Ginger Pleasures Gift Set - £45 @ Origins
3. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle - £68 @ Chanel
4. Girl Boss Book - £15.31 @ Nasty Gal
5. Magical Unicorn Slippers - £24.99 @ Firebox
6. Kitty Coin Bank - £14.99 @ Firebox
7. Clementine Print - £15 @ LaLaLand
8. Toast Heated Pillow - £29.99 @ Firebox
9. Personalised Stack Rings - From £35 @ Bloody Mary Metal
10. Cinderella Play Dress - $95 AUD @ Black Milk
11. Peanut Butter Maker - £49.99 @ Firebox
12. Blue Unicorn Kigu - £39.99 @ Kigu
13. Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade - £15 @ Beauty Bay

Of course my furry friends wanted in on the action too - so I let Dexter and Binx do their own wishlist for Santa from Pets At Home. They have both been very good boys this year - Dexter is being a great big brother to Binx, and Binx is settling into his new home with us really well. My little wild cat has been an unexpected addition to the family, which has incurred me a few extra costs but I wouldn't change it for the world! So this list is a mixture of practical things they could really be doing with, and some other goodies thrown in for fun.

Pets At Home

1. Rattan Cat Carrier - £39.99
2. Christmas Tree Hat - £5
3. Baby Bea Kitten Treats - 79p
4. Litter Kwitter - £39.99
5. Red Necktie - £4
6. Microwave Heatpad - £22
7. Floral Scratch House - £10
8. Turkey Dreamies - £1
9. Willows Activity Centre - £100

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? And do you prefer to do it online or in person? This weekend myself and Heather are heading to the Country Living Christmas Fair at the SECC to get properly into the Christmas spirit! Also to find some much needed festive inspiration to get started. 

I have 2 free tickets to give away to the fair this weekend in Glasgow, running from Friday to Sunday. So if you would like to enter, leave your name and contact details in the comments and I will choose a winner on Thursday 20th. Depending on what day you would like to go I can meet you in person beforehand to give you the tickets. I'll be going this Saturday :)

Yuu Beauty!

The cold, dark winter nights are definitely closing in. I drive to work at 6.30am and don't get home until 8.30pm, so leaving and returning home when it's still dark outside can make for a serious case of the winter blues. I did question my sanity one evening upon leaving the office at 7pm and rather than embarking on my Penicuik to Glasgow commute home, I popped over to the other side of Edinburgh for some late night pampering at Yuu Beauty.

It was dark outside when I arrived and didn't make for the best photograph, even though the salon was lit so nicely and very atmospheric. So these two photos belong to Yuu Beauty! Exhausted after work I was welcomed with a cup of tea and introduction to the facial I would be getting, which was the Super Skin Smoothie (£50 for 60 minutes) Before we began, the therapist completed a skin scan under UV light to highlight my problem areas she should work on, and identify any imperfections such as sun damage, pigmentation and where my skin was uneven. I have combination skin, with dry patches but a rather oily t-zone!

The treatment room was absolutely lovely, and at this point I would be keen to tell you what happened during the treatment... but I actually fell asleep for almost the WHOLE hour! Apart from waking myself up snoring a few times haha. Absolutely mortifying but I was just so relaxed :) The head neck and shoulder massage as part of the facial definitely helped too. I was awake for a little bit at the very start when my therapist carried out the diamond peel microdermabrasion, which was like an exfoliating roller attached to a little hoover to suck up any of the dead skin (how yummy) It was totally safe and painless, and this exfoliation procedure promotes collagen and elastin production in the skin. The results are immediate and the title skin smoothie is no lie - as soon as I touched my face I was shocked because it was actually the smoothest and softest I'd felt it in a very long time.

It's always the same with me after a treatment like this and I say to myself "I NEED to do this more often!" Not only has my skin benefited from the trip, but it was actually nice to take a little bit of time to myself as midweek my pattern is normally work, sleep, cats, repeat. A salon which is open until 9pm and 10pm during the week is right up my street at the moment because it means that I could go for a bit of pampering after work one night, or go and get a spray tan and my nails done for the weekend without having to worry about doing it myself at home. They have a salon in Glasgow as well as Edinburgh so I'll definitely be back. It's nice to find such a great wee place like this near to work, as I don't really know my way around Edinburgh at all.

Since the facial I have been trying not to overload my face with makeup at the weekend, and I wear literally no makeup during the week in an attempt to let my skin breathe a bit. I did go for a makeover at Bare Minerals Boutique at Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow at the weekend just there to try out their new pure brightening serum foundation, which felt weightless on the skin and still had great coverage as you can see above (no filter!) So I'll be interested to get my hands on a bottle of my own soon and see if I can perfect their brush technique at home. Picture above is of me and my Uncle Greig (who is actually 6 months younger than me - confusing family trees for the win!)

I am getting much better at the work/play balance despite my long hours during the week. I have two months left on this TV show so if I've had a tough day I just try to think of the money boost and time off I'll be able to take once I'm finished. Rosie's recent post really struck a chord with me, 'trying to find some peace', as I have felt very overwhelmed with life recently and was never living in the present moment. But I have turned a corner and I'm getting better at prioritising, and making time for myself. Sounds simple, but it really does work wonders. Here's a list of things I have been doing which help relax and let me recalibrate my thoughts:

1. Pampering - Whether it's at a salon like I've done above, or at home, I like to spend a bit of time at the end of the week for my nails, deep condition treatment on my hair, skin routine, eyebrows and maybe some tanning! It's good to feel nice in time for the weekend.

2. Cleaning the flat - I know some people find tidying a chore but for me a clutter free house makes for a clutter free mind :)

3. Watching a favourite tv programme - I tend to not watch many films on my own, but I try to make time for a half hour here or there to completely switch off and watch something on tv or my laptop. This week it's been Cat Watch: The new horizon experiment, Tattoos After Dark, and Suits (cannot wait for the walking dead to start back)

4. Retail therapy - I actually really enjoy going shopping on my own (sad or what, eh?) and have not bought much for myself recently but it's nice to have a wander with a coffee in hand and see what's in the shops. Managed to get a few ideas for christmas presents already.

5. Music to boost your mood - I constantly have music playing when I'm at home (spotify has brilliant playlists tailored to any mood or activity - tidying, cooking and generally chilling out etc) I recently dug out a pile of old cd's to play in the car on the way to work, which has uncovered some absolute gems which I'll have a shameless sing along to! Definitely makes my journey go in much quicker.

Remember, we are only human and can physically only get so much done in the one day. So when life starts to get overwhelming, take an hour to sit with a cuppa and write a list for the week, splitting it into achievable daily goals. It's good to be productive but an over ambitious list that never gets completed will just stress you out even more. Also, don't ever be afraid to ask for help. I used to be absolutely rubbish at this but I am getting a lot better recently. Your friends and family might not know if you are struggling until you tell them, and I'm sure they would be happy to lighten your load even in the slightest - just as you would for them ♥

That blogging thing

Ahhh, blogging. It's quite a funny old thing really. I went to have a chat recently with other bloggers and YoMeGo, who are a social media agency based in Glasgow. They wanted to hear our views on blogging and how we think it has changed over the years. Plus all the nitty gritty bits in between, like sponsored posts, blog analytics and relationships with PR companies. I guess I didn't realise until I sat down with a pizza and some beers to have a good blether with everyone else, how MUCH it has actually changed since I started out about 5 years ago now.

I started my blog when I was at uni, where they encouraged us to keep an online journal of the work we were producing. It wasn't long before I discovered the online community that existed here, and that all types of subjects were being written about - from fashion to photography, and beauty to babies! I liked what I saw, and I decided to keep on writing about my day to day life. Before I knew it, people were subscribing and chatting away to me on twitter etc, and to this day I have met so many people through blogging who I would now consider as very close friends. My blog has always been a very slow burner, growing gradually but still presenting me with a lot of amazing opportunities to work with brands and visit different places. Overall it has been an absolutely amazing experience, and despite life being hectic at times I still try to post whenever I can. It is only a hobby, after all, and not a full time job which some people can commit every day of their lives to. I am adament that I would still write my blog even if 2 or 2000 people were reading it. But I still admit, it has been hard not to get caught up in the negativity and nitty gritty bits which I mentioned in the first paragraph.

Gem hit the nail on the head for me with her recent post Blogging: Room 101. Give it a wee read if you can, I think Gem has verbalised a lot of peoples feelings about blogging recently better that I ever could. I have been seeing a lot of similar posts with the same theme popping up recently, which is sort of comforting. Despite wanting to stay true to myself and why I write this blog it has been very hard not to get caught up in the rat race. I don't want to worry about numbers. I don't want to judge the quality of my writing on the amount of post comments I get. I don't want to feel pressurised into attending every event I get invited to in case I 'miss out' on something. I don't want to turn down the opportunities presented to me from PR companies by taking more than a day to reply to their emails. But at the same time, I don't want to sell out. I will only feature products on brands on here that I am genuinely interested in or excited about. Whether it is bought by myself with my hard earned cash, or sent to me for free. If I do receive a product to write about, I don't want to feel the pressure from PR people to post about it and say what they want me to say, link what they want linked to and adhere to ridiculous deadlines.

This is not why I started my blog. I started my blog for me, and although I am so grateful for the opportunities it has presented me with I also don't want to verge away from being anything but my absolute self. It is so easy to get caught up in this saturated wave of bloggers trying to outdo each other, trying to gain celebrity status in their chosen field. I know a lot of people who think blogging is, quite frankly, about 'getting free shit'. And if that's your vibe, then that's fine with me! That's just not the sort of blogs I am reading anymore, and not the sort of blog I plan on being myself. Gem put it very well when she said about it being a content war and a technology game. You don't need a fancy layout or a professional camera to be a 'good' blogger. Everyone has their own reasons for writing a blog, and for me it is a personal diary documenting my life, which I love being able to look back on.

When in doubt, take a break and try to strip everything back to basics. One thing that I have been letting myself down with recently has been my photo taking. Life has been so busy and taking a quick iphone picture then slapping a filter on it seems a lot easier than using my actual camera, uploading the pictures, editing them and then saving onto a folder on my laptop. So that's one thing that I want to try a lot harder at, because I enjoy reading posts that are visually pleasing too.

Pictures by the lovely Lynsay (Miss West End Girl) at the Toast of The Town Photography Workshop. Ripcurl surf t-shirt from Spartoo, Kunzite Crystal Necklace from an Astrology shop in London, and denim Levi shorts are a cut up pair of my uncles old jeans (SORRY UNCLE CHRIS!)

I don't mean for this post to come across negative at all. It's quite the opposite, I'm excited about staying passionate when it comes to blogging, and the YoMeGo event and the Toast Of The Town workshop really cut through the crap for me and made me realise the reality and nature of blogging these days, and where my 'place' is amongst that. Joe Blogs Network held the photography event at the Millenium Hotel in Glasgow, with Stuart and Hamish from Dreghorn Photography leading the class. We covered all the basics and explored the different settings on our cameras, along with some quick hints and tips specifically useful for blog photography. It was such an informative day in a beautiful setting (with a yummy lunch thrown in too) and has really helped to reignite the excitement of properly exploring my camera, different lenses, and taking my time when it comes to photographs. So from now on, I will try to put the iphone down and improve the quality of my photos on here.

For now, that's my goals when it comes to the blog. I want to write nice long rambly posts (like this one, soz) with funny life anecdotes and pictures that are pleasing.

Anyway, onto you - how do you feel about blogging? Wether you've been doing it for 5 years or 5 weeks I would love to hear your views. After all, we really are in this together!

When do you think it will all become clear?

In the words of Lily Allen, I'm being taken over by the fear. Fear of getting back into work after a couple of weeks off, fear of returning to the gym properly for the first time in months, fear of meeting new people, and fear of blogging after my haitus. Some days the fear really grips me more than others, and then other days I think what the HELL am I worried about? These days are becoming more present than the negative ones, so I thought the best approach is just to throw myself back into everything. I think we should all be a lot kinder to ourselves, and accept that we are on our own personal journeys which won't be smooth sailing 100% of the time. Hey, it's all character building right? I'm starting to practice mindfulness and be more aware of the simple pleasures that I enjoy in day to day life. My morning coffee, cuddles with Dexter and that smell of 'summer' in the air. 

Despite the sombre start to this post, life is actually pretty good. Another simple pleasure which I want to share my appreciation for is Adventure Time! For those of you who haven't watched it before, AT is a cartoon following the adventures of Finn the human and Jake the dog. I have been indulging in a lot of it recently and I must say, some of the quotes the characters come out with are the most uplifting, simple and straight up forms of wisdom I've heard in a long time :)

As far as cartoons go, Adventure Time is definitely my favourite. I turned 25 a couple of weeks ago and got some lovely AT related goodies for my birthday.

I got my nails decorated full of Adventure Time characters by the amazing Nancy, who takes nail art to an insane new level. Her hand painted creations are absolutely flawless, and so bloody cute! Was so chuffed to catch her for an appointment while she was up visiting from London. I felt like taking a deep breath every time Nancy took her miniscule brush to my fingers. My favourite nail has to be BMO on the very left hand side. LOOK AT HOW TINY HIS BUTTONS ARE! ♥

I made this Jake the dog phone case on Mr Nutcase, and apart from a little bit of damage (white dot on the red rainbow stripe) I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Birthday money well spent I think, since my last phone cover was just a sticker and giving my iphone no protection whatsoever. This one is a hard case that wraps around the sides too. If you're looking for a new personalised phone case you can get 10% off with my code "Thanku10"

A very special person got me this Adventure Time comic for my birthday too. It is issue no.1, with a limited edition cover drawn by the creator of Adventure Time - Pendleton Ward. I've been told it is 1 of 500 made and was only available at San Diego Comic Con 2012... so no pressure! Haha I've had a delicate flick through but definitely think I'd be safer getting this little piece of magic framed.

How do you allow your mind and body to have a complete reboot when you've been feeling a bit lost or unmotivated? If you're having a tough day I genuinely recommend giving Adventure Time a watch.

10 good things

10 of the best things which have been making me smile a lot lately...

My favourite tea house in Glasgow, situated in a leafy part of the West End just off Kelvingrove Park. On a sunny day it is perfect for sitting outside, with a cosy and concealed decking area -  and their selection of teas and vegan food/cakes is the best I've ever tasted. We also dabbled in a cherry flavoured shisha pipe last week which was yummy too. Above is a Mary Poppins tea with chocolate fudge brownie.

 2. Katy Perry - Prismatic Tour

I'm not over exaggerating when I say this was genuinely one of the best nights of my life. Myself and a few pals had tickets for Katy's latest tour at the Hydro, inside the 'Reflection Section' - which was basically a pit inside the stage.We had a front row view and Ms Perry was close enough to touch! I got to meet Katy at a Meet & Greet a couple of years ago but it was still really overwhelming watching her performance from so close. You can see a video I took from the gig over on instagram (@hellorogue) and I did actually cry at a couple of slower songs :( Ive been in quite a vulnerable place lately and they really tugged at my heart strings.

3. Catching up with Mum

I really miss not living at home with my Mum, and truly cherish when we get to have a proper catch up amongst both our busy schedules. I went to meet her on friday for a haircut (got quite a bit chopped off as you can see!) and then we went to a lovely new restaurant called Ox and Finch. My Mum is a massive foodie so you know when she recommends somewhere to eat, it's gonna be good. Scallops, Steak, Poached Eggs and Asparagus are amongst a few of the things we ate. Absolute heaven!

4. Quality time with the animals

During that last job I had been like passing ships in the night with all the animals of my household. Feeding, watering and cleaning out their tray/cages were about the only interaction we were having. So it's been nice having a bit of time off to rectify that! Dexter and Tinkerbell received a lovely parcel from last week. Dexter only eats dry food, and has ever since he was a baby. So he had a sniff at the Lily's Kitchen food but left Tink to get stuck into it. They both had a good old munch at the Symply Salmon biscuits, and are currently very kindly sharing their favourites - the Dreamies! I don't know why but they go absolutely crazy for them. Dexter also has a major soft spot for catnip, and wasn't up for sharing his Kong Wubba toy (which is catnip infused) as you can see above. Boys will be boys ;)

5. Friday night munchies

Emma and I had a lazy friday night in as we knew we'd be out at Radio One's big weekend on Saturday and Sunday. So on Friday night we watched the live feed from George Square, and had a light snack rather than our usual weekly takeaway. I got us both a light sponge/mousse cake from Patisserie Valerie (which were demolished before I got a chance to take any pictures) Then I made us up a batch of Peach Pear and Honey Ice Tea from Fruitbroo's new ice tea range, which was nice and refreshing on these warm summer nights. I've been a bit obsessed with cheese and ham croissants lately (I do tend to go through phases of eating a certain food until I get sick of it) and since Emma is a veggie I made us an alternative with Quorn bacon rashers, which I have been wanting to try for a while now. It didn't taste much like real bacon at all unfortunately, and missed that salty and smoked taste. Definitely just more like a normal ham! So I teamed it up with a nice applewood smoked cheddar which kicked the flavour a bit. I have no idea how long this croissant obsession is going to last for, but hopefully not too long as my hips won't thank me for it.

6. Spotify playlists

I have had Spotify for a while now, but haven't properly explored it until very recently. I was used to just searching for songs and making my own playlists, but I have discovered a whole load of pre made lists on there, to suit a million different genres and moods - and I am addicted! Most evenings for me now will consist of sitting on the couch or in my bed a bit before bedtime and winding down with music and a book. I pop my ipad mini in this little lapdesk contraption which has a hard surface but sort of bean bag underneath. My evening playlists of choice at the moment are Evening Acoustic, Songs For Sunset, and Sleep Tight (all which you should be able to find under the browse section on Spotify's home page) I'm also a bit of a rubbish reader so have been trying to break myself in easily, and I'm currently reading "Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek" by Maya Van Wagenen, where she decided to follow advice from Betty Cornell's 1952 Teenage Popularity Guide and document the results, what would Betty do?!

7. The Bathory

I am pretty rubbish at being self indulgent when it comes to relaxing and winding down. Reading and listening to music has definitely helped though, along with lighting candles, burning incense (nag champa is my favourite) and enjoying these personalised bath salts from The Bathory. I customised mine with Bergamont, Lavendar and Ylang Ylang essential oils, but only have a shower in my flat so before I'm able to have a full on soak I made myself a mini foot bath which was lovely! :)

8. Dog walks and Beer Gardens

The sunny weather in Glasgow has allowed for nice long walks around the park with Heather and her pups. On the way back from a walk last week we got ice cream from Queens Park Cafe, then stopped by our local Church On The Hill for a cider in the sunshine. This cute little lady above is Cherry, who I believe is a mix between Boston Terrier and Chihuahua. Dat face!

9. Wedding photos

I finally got a copy of some of Luisa's wedding photos (by Vanishing Moments Photography) and they teared me up something awful. Such wonderful memories of a beautiful day. Luisa was only a few months pregnant at the wedding, and now her baby boy Robin is a few months old. Getting to babysit him for a couple of hours on thursday while Luisa goes to the Doctors, so I'm looking forward to lots of cuddles.

10. Radio One's Big Weekend

Theme of the weekend seems to be "I'm getting too old for this sh*t!". What a brilliant weekend though with a fantastic line up, and all on our doorstep. Highlights were definitely Pharrell, Lily Allen, Ed Sheeran and Lorde on the saturday, then Katy Perry, Rita Ora, Sam Smith and Paolo Nutini on the Sunday. I feel like a burst couch after drinking and dancing around Glasgow Green the whole time.

This week I am mostly recovering and getting ready for my trip to London on Friday. If any of you blogging lovelies are around and fancy meeting up for a coffee or a wander then let me know :)