My Mindfulness Journey. This is only the beginning…

A few weeks ago I started feeling really anxious and stressed again. I didn’t have a clue why. One day, I could feel all morning that I wanted to cry and when I got in the car at lunchtime, that’s exactly what I did. To this day, I still don’t know why that happened.

When the snow came for the hundredth time last week I started to panic. I got in the shower to get ready for work and ended up having a small panic attack. I didn’t want to drive to work in the snow and my body basically screamed at me not to do it. I spoke to one of my managers and she told me I could work from home. I barely did a thing all day. (My manager does know this!!) I replied to a few emails and that was it. I felt so ill, I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I curled up on the sofa and that’s where I spent my day. Monday morning came and I felt even worse. I rang my manager and as soon as I started talking, she knew I wasn’t right. I’d been put on some new tablets and I had nearly every side effect going. I’d barely eaten. I dropped approx. 5lbs in 10 days and I had no energy at all. I phoned the doctors, got an appointment and as soon as he saw me, he took me off the tablets and prescribed me some new ones. Within a day, I started to feel a little better. By Wednesday, I was almost back to my normal self. Thursday came and other than feeling tired, I was nearly there.

Today is Sunday. Exactly a week since my panic attack…

The sun is shining and work was extremely quiet. The Easter holidays have started and people must have decided to go away for the weekend. They certainly didn’t want to buy a house anyway! Overall, I feel probably about 90% back to myself. I’m excited to go away on holiday soon and I’m so happy that, at least for today, the sun is shining. I’ve taken myself for a little walk to the nearby shop and it felt so good to be outside and not freezing!

When I realised I was starting to feel how I did a year ago, I knew I had to try and do something about it. I downloaded the Headspace App and decided to really set my mind to meditating at least once a day. Within the last week or so, I have managed to meditate twice a day most of the time. I’ve found myself really enjoying it. It’s genuinely relaxing; it’s good to just calm you down. The breathing that you do during meditation manages quite quickly to find it’s way into your daily life. If I’ve started to feel a bit stressed or upset, I have just stopped and taken a few deep breaths. It sounds so simple, but it really helps. Since doing the ‘basic pack’ which was free, I have since subscribed to the full app. I decided to pay monthly which does work out to be a bit more money (£9.99 a month). I might change it one day. I think the lifetime subscription is about £400 so I certainly won’t be doing that any time soon. I’ve got to say though, to me, the £9.99 a month is totally worth it. I’m enjoying using the app and keep trying to recommend it to other people. (I swear this isn’t an Ad, I’m not being paid to say this – it’s just my opinion!)

Another thing I’ve started doing is Yoga. I don’t just mean doing the exercise either. I’ve started reading about it as well. I’ve read ‘Mind Body Bowl’ by Annie Clarke and absolutely LOVED it. It is genuinely one of the best ‘self-help’ type books I’ve ever read. I actually want to read it again sometime but for now I have so many others that I want to read. My current book is ‘Do Your Om Thing’ by Rebecca Pacheco. Again, a brilliant book. I’m only on Chapter 2 but already I feel like I’m learning so much. (Chapter two is a very long chapter though just to point that out!)

Just reading those books is relaxing me. I’ve barely watched any TV at all. Even when I’ve been going up to bed, I normally stick the TV on and put it on ‘sleep’ so that it will turn itself off after an hour. Instead, I’ve read my book and then put Headspace on and fallen asleep to the ‘sleeping’ meditation.

I’m still waking up feeling extremely tired and I’m struggling to get out of bed on a morning but considering last week I couldn’t get out of bed AT ALL, I don’t think I’m doing too badly. I’ve also started taking Magnesium tablets to help with tiredness and fatigue and I’m patiently waiting for those to get into my system and start working.

Like I said earlier – I don’t know what has caused this bout of anxiety but I’m glad that I seem to be on the other side of it again now. I’m actually wondering if part of it was caused psychologically as it’s just been a year since I became ill the first time. I may never know!

I would also like to point out that having a great and understanding Manager really bloody helps! I couldn’t have asked for better support from her or my colleagues, so if you’re reading this – thank you 🙂

It is all over the internet these days to really think about what people may be going through. They could be fighting a battle that you know nothing about and you should be kind to one another. There are so many people suffering with different forms of mental illness and we should be helping each other not fighting each other.

To all of my friends – if you ever need to talk, you know where I am. I’ve been there and I know how it feels to feel completely alone in a room full of people. Pick up the phone or come round for a cuppa. I’ll put the kettle on… 🙂 xxx

BUYING A HOUSE – Tips & Tricks

I’m in my second (bought) home and I worked in Estate Agency for seven years. I now sell New Builds for a living and I really love my job but there are so many questions people need to ask and so many things that you should know before buying a house. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first home or your fourth, things change constantly and people will always need advice.

First Things First – Mortgages

Please speak with a mortgage advisor before you start browsing Right Move.

It’s not like ordering a takeaway. You can’t just look at the list of houses and say ‘I want that one’. You have to know exactly what you can and can’t afford. There are so many people you can speak to. Go direct to your bank or building society, find an independent mortgage advisor or go and speak to an Estate Agents / New Build Company. Chances are, they have mortgage advisors working with them.

Shop around as well. Don’t go to one mortgage advisor and think that must be the best deal. Go to a couple of different people and get as far as you can with them without a credit check being done. You can see what your affordability is, the best deals that are out there and best of all, if they don’t credit check, it won’t affect you. If you don’t already know, the more credit checks you have done, the worse your credit score will be. Try and have just one or two done.

Also, try and find a mortgage advisor that won’t charge you. A lot of them do charge for their services but some don’t. Buying a house is expensive enough without extra fees that you don’t need to pay.

Speaking of fees – Solicitors

Please be careful who you pick. You get what you pay for (with Estate Agents too) and sometimes, going for the cheaper option, is not the best option. I am speaking from experience with both buying and dealing with them at work.

A lot of the solicitors I actually got on really well with so please don’t think I’m about to slate them all. When I bought my house, my solicitor was amazing. She was so patient with me as well. She was also the solicitor for my parents and my cousin when they moved. However, the solicitor I had when I bought my apartment five years ago was not so great. I won’t go into detail, but I paid very little and there was a reason for it.

I remember looking after one sale at work and the particular solicitor the buyers were using refused point blank to talk to estate agents or clients until after 2pm on any given day. This was utterly ridiculous. I couldn’t do my job and my buyers couldn’t get hold of her as they worked full time and lunchtime was way before 2pm.

Also, call centre/internet solicitors. You’re a number to them. They do the job (& they do it right to be honest) but sometimes it takes a bit longer because you literally are a number, not a person. Cheap and cheerful is not always the best option. Sometimes it works! If it didn’t, they wouldn’t be in business. All I’m saying is; be careful who you pick.

And on a similar note – Estate Agents

Again, you get what you pay for. Some are more expensive than others but generally if they charge more, you get more. Internet agents aren’t always the best option.

As a buyer, you don’t really have a choice which agent you go through. If the house is on the market with any particular agent, you have to use them whether you like it or not. You cannot go behind their backs and ask the vendors to sell privately because trust me; the agent WILL find out and are well within their rights to ask for payment.

As a Vendor (seller) you are able to choose whichever Estate Agent you like best. Again, please don’t pick them based on how much they want to charge you. Think about what they have said to you. Does it make sense? Did you feel comfortable with the valuer? Did you like the Sales Negotiator that booked the appointment? Will they care about you as a person or are you just a number? Try to negotiate as well. Don’t take the quote as their ‘final answer’. If they want/need your business, they’ll reduce the fee if asked.

Please be sensible when it comes to the price of your house as well. Generally, an agent should have got together a few comparables from the area and should be able to come to a sensible starting price. If they ask you to reduce after a month or so and you haven’t had any viewings, listen to them. They honestly do know what they’re talking about. They’re not there to try and make you lose money. Their charges are probably based on a percentage of whatever your house sells for so the lower you price your house, the less money they’ll receive. They’re asking you to reduce to help you sell, not just to be an annoyance in your day.

Boring stuff – Paperwork

Once you’ve found a buyer or your perfect house (or both) you will be sent lots of paperwork from the solicitors. It’s awful when it first arrives and you immediately start to drown.

Don’t panic! It’s not that bad.

Grab yourself a glass of wine or a cuppa and just sit down one evening and go through it all. Some people choose to do it alone while others prefer to have someone there helping them. Some will go in and see the estate agent and ask for guidance. Once you get started, it’s fine. A lot of it is duplicated so that you can sign a copy and send back to the solicitors but keep a copy for yourself. Trust me; you can get it all done in one evening. It’s just really boring!

When you do go through the paperwork, keep an eye out for anything that could be a ‘hidden fee’. If there is anything at all that you’re unsure of, call the solicitors and double check. You don’t want to get caught out before completion and not have enough money to be able to pay them.

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Money money money

SAVE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE BEFORE YOU BUY. Again, ladies and gents, I am speaking from experience. It’s not just buying a house, sorting a mortgage and paying for solicitors. Once you have the house, it WILL need work. Maybe not right away, but all houses will need work. It might need decorating, it might need structural work, or your fridge might pack in so you suddenly need a new one. Be careful.

Set some money aside for general decorating and essentials like a sofa, fridge/freezer or bed. When I bought my first home I didn’t have a holiday for four years. I couldn’t afford one. I was living by myself, paying all the bills etc and I just couldn’t afford to go. If you save a bit for a ‘rainy day’ BEFORE you have a mortgage to pay for, it will make things so much easier.

Try to have your full deposit there, ready and waiting, before you buy a house. If you don’t have the full amount and something ‘crops up’ so you can’t save enough before exchange and completion, you’ll be in trouble.

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Exchange and Completion

If you know what you’re talking about then this is easy, but to first time buyers who’ve never done this before, the difference between exchange and completion can seem a bit complicated.

Exchange is quite simply; exchange of contracts. It means the whole process is legally binding and you’re a hop, skip and a jump away from being a homeowner. You can’t pull out after exchange without incurring A LOT of charges. You can be taken to court in extreme circumstances. Your solicitor should always 100% confirm you’re happy to go ahead before they do the exchange.

Completion is the best bit. It’s when you officially become homeowners. You get the keys and suddenly have a mortgage to pay. It’s the best thing ever handing over keys to smiling clients. I love that day!

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Buying A New Build Vs An Older House

There are Pros and Cons to both and I can speak honestly because I live in a really old house, but I sell new builds.

  • Older homes can be more affordable. How many new builds can you find for less than £100,000 these days? However, first-time buyers can use the help to buy on a new build and that can’t be used on an older property.
  • Buying a new build generally means that you will be living on a building site for potentially a year or more. But, if something goes wrong with the house or the estate, the builders on site will be able to help out at no extra charge to you.
  • Please always bear in mind that no house is perfect. Even with a new build, there will always be snagging to be done. The difference is, with a new build, the builders do the work for you even after you’ve moved in (within an allotted time). In an older property, any work that is needed has to be done at your own expense and if it is structural or damp etc it can cost an absolute fortune.
  • All new build estates now come with an annual fee for keeping the state looking nice, neat and tidy. The council won’t adopt them anymore and somebody has to do it.
  • With a new build, you are generally buying ‘off plan’ which means you have no idea what you’re buying/what size the rooms are/what your garden will be like. To me, that’s part of the process. It’s exciting, its nerve-wracking. It’s scary, but it’s so much fun.
  • It’s more personable to buy a new build. You deal with one person throughout rather than speaking to 4 or 5 different people in an office. I find it’s the best part of my job, seeing how excited people are getting and watching their new homes being built.

If I was buying now, what type of house would I pick?

My honest answer… as long as it’s got a bay window in the living room, I don’t care! I’ve always loved bay windows and I’m yet to own a house with one. I know of a few new builds that come with bay windows.

I’m very content with my little house and I don’t plan on moving anytime soon. Moving house is stressful. Nothing will ever change that. Hopefully, you’ll have the right people around you to help you along the process and try to keep you sane.

 

If you have any questions, leave me a comment below.

Thanks for reading and if you’re in the process of buying a home, Congratulations and Good Luck. x x x

What I hope for 2018…

It’s very hard to call myself a ‘blogger’ when the last blog I wrote was approx 5 months ago. It’s also difficult to gain followers/readers if I don’t actually write anything.

Whats my excuse? I don’t really have one. I guess I’ve had a bit of writer’s block for a while. After I had a blog published in Craven & Valley Life Magazine I went through a phase of not being able to think of anything to write about. At least nothing I thought people would want to read.

So as my comeback to the writing scene, here are my hopes for 2018…

  1. I hope to continue really loving my job and the people I work with. I changed my job in May this year and I’ve been so much happier. I’ve met some fantastic people and I can honestly say “I love Mondays”. (Okay, Monday is my Friday so that’s possibly why! Haha). 
  2. I hope I can get a new laptop soon. The slowness of this one is driving me crazy. (Hmmm… also another reason I haven’t written for a while maybe??)
  3. I hope to be able to read more books and magazines. They’re piling up and they need to be read!
  4. I hope to be able to get into Gym life and finally get fit and lose some weight. Over the last 12-18 months, I’ve put on quite a bit of weight and ideally, I’d like to lose at least a stone but I want to do it sensibly and by doing lots of exercises. I’ve joined The Village Gym and I can’t get home from work without driving past it so I have no excuses now! The weight won’t just disappear on its own. 
  5. I hope to be able to write more. I’ve always loved writing. Whether it’s for my blog or trying to write a novel or to just write in a journal and put pen to paper. I enjoy doing it and I should do it more. If nobody wants to read that’s fine, but it makes me happy to write it. 
  6. I really hope I can stop spending and start saving. Really. It’s about time. Come on now woman!!
  7. I hope that I/we have an absolutely AMAZING time in New York when I go with my Mum. I can’t wait. It will be my third visit, but Mum’s first. I need to do an itinerary soon actually…
  8. I genuinely hope I can do more of what makes me happy. 
  9. I hope I can make other people around me happy. 
  10. I hope I can inspire at least one person. It doesn’t matter how big or small that inspiration is. I just hope its there.
  11. I hope we can get just a little bit of peace in the world before we destroy each other.
  12. I hope that everybody has an amazing 2018. 

I’m sure there are hundreds more I could write down, but hey, we haven’t got all day have we?! There are many things that I wish/hope for other people as well but they’re private matters and it’s not my place to put them on the internet. But if you’re reading this, know that I’m thinking of you. 🙂

June 14th 2018 is my birthday. My 30th birthday. I tell people that I’m dreading it. I joke about getting old. I can sit sometimes and just think, ‘I’m nearly 30. What have I done with my life?’  but really, honestly – I’m excited about this new chapter in my life. I might be single, I might not have children, I might live alone with just a cat for company but hey, a lot of people have things a lot worse and it’s about time I learnt to be grateful for what I’ve got. So I’m going to embrace being 30 and see it as a wonderful, amazing thing that I should celebrate.

I’m not a massive fan of New Years Eve or of New Years resolutions. Whilst some of my ‘hopes’ may seem like resolutions, they aren’t. They are just hopes that I have. Tomorrow night while most people are out partying, I’ll be sat at home with a brew waiting for 11pm. Then I’m going to drive to my parents, see in the New Year with them and then go back home again. To me, that is a good NYE. I don’t want to start 2018 with a hangover and that’s my choice. Whatever you decide to do tomorrow night, enjoy yourself, be happy, be safe and have the best 2018 you could possibly wish for.

I’ll be back soon. I promise.

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Thanks for reading and…

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x x x

 

 

 

Putting My Health First (and eating meat).

I didn’t want to do this. I really can’t believe that I am doing this.

I have been Vegetarian / Pescatarian for the last 7 months. In that time I’ve got more and more lethargic, I have no energy whatsoever. I have gained a ton of weight that I cannot lose and I have constant cravings that just can’t be satisfied.

I decided to go vegetarian for a few reasons. The main reason was because I had watched some documentaries about how badly animals are treated and after lots of crying, my decision was made. It was an easy decision. I’ve always been fussy with meat and after three bouts of food poisoning, it made sense.

Seven months later and I can take it no longer. I kept trying to convince myself it was the right thing to do. I’d have Quorn instead of chicken even though I knew it didn’t taste as good as the real thing.

I’ve always been very open and honest about what I eat and don’t eat. Well, today… this happened!

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I was driving home from work and I couldn’t take it any longer. I know that I’ve put weight on because trying to find decent Vegetarian food around here is just hard flippin’ work. If you go to a restaurant these days you’d expect to see vegetarian and even vegan options. In Batley/Birstall, that isn’t the case. Last night I went for a meal and whilst I enjoyed what I ate, it was the only vegetarian thing on the menu and it was a Halloumi Pizza. Cheese on cheese. Delicious but not even a little bit healthy. I really have been struggling. Places like Zizzi’s only have about 4 vegetarian options and at least two are pizzas. Pizzas are usually either a veggie, Margherita or Mushroom. Pasta nearly always comes with chicken. Going to the shop to buy a sandwich or salad for lunch, the Veggie options are usually one (egg) sandwich and one (very boring) salad and that’s it!!! I am incredibly bored with the food I’ve been eating and the options I’ve had. I’ve looked at colleagues food and been jealous of her chicken salad sandwich. I was salivating over another colleague’s Beef Brisket the other week whilst I, yet again, had the only Veggie option on the menu.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been enjoying the food I’ve had. I can’t complain about how tasty veggie food can be. It’s just the options are so limited.

I can’t believe how much weight I’ve put on and the little energy I’ve had. I’m contemplating joining slimming world again and most of their options include meat. Bacon, Lean Mince Beef, Pepperoni and Chicken breast are things I’ve missed the most.

I need to change my diet. I need a complete overhaul.

Probably 80% of the time I will still eat Vegetarian food. If I go anywhere like a wedding, I will definitely be requesting the vegetarian option. If I can avoid meat, I will. However, I am going to start eating it again. I’m going to gradually introduce it back into my diet. I absolutely LOVE the Linda McCartney Vegetarian foods and I’ll 100% keep buying those. The sausages are 1000x better than meat sausages to me.

I wish I could have done it for longer. I wish it had worked for my body. Being vegetarian has caused me problems I didn’t know it could cause. I never expected to gain weight like I have. I’ve been eating more chocolate and crisps for something to snack on because I couldn’t just grab a piece of Chicken or something. I’ve been eating cheese by the bucket load for something to fill up my sandwiches or salads. I’m probably so tired all the time because I’m lacking in Iron and Protein.

I’m genuinely upset with myself that I couldn’t do a better job at being vegetarian but hey, I’m only human and I will always admit when I’ve made a mistake… sometimes it takes me a while, but I will always admit it eventually.

So, to sum up… I’m a meat eater again. The same old fussy meat eater that I’ve always been.

Mum… can you do me some of your amazing Cottage Pie please??? Ooooo & a Chicken Sunday Roast! (On different days of course!).

I really want to go back to Reds True BBQ and have some of that Brisket as well. Haha.

Yes Dad, you were right. I couldn’t last very long without my favourite meals.

A few weeks in my life & a little thank you

Hi Everyone

Welcome back to my blog. I feel like I’ve been so busy recently and I just haven’t had time to even think of something good to write about, let alone actually sit down and write. I’ve got an hour or so spare though so I thought I’d let you in on a little section of my life over the last few weeks.

I guess one of the more notable things I’ve done recently is getting a new Tattoo. While that may not seem like a big deal to some people, to me, it has a lot of meaning and it’s by far my favourite tattoo. (I have another 2). I have been thinking about a new tattoo for about the last 4 years. Yep, that long! On the pain scale, I’d give this 3 out of 10. It tickled more than hurt. As you can see from the picture, I had it done on my right arm pointing towards my hand.

I decided on an arrow for many different reasons. The basics are:

  1. One single arrow stands for protection from harm
  2. An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards. When life is dragging you back with difficulties it means it’s going to launch you into something great. So focus and keep aiming.

At the end of June I went to Manchester with Sarah. We were meant to go for two nights and on the 2nd night, we’d see Celine Dion at Manchester Arena. After the bombings at the arena, Celine had to change venue and instead, she sang at Leeds First Direct Arena. It was an absolutely amazing concert. One I will never forget, but it did mean we only stayed in Manchester for the one night. However, we made full use of the hotel and had a full day Spa the first day. The second day we did some shopping and just generally enjoyed ourselves.

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I’ve also just come back from London. I managed to get to 29 years old before finally being able to see our Capital City. I went with Katie. She used to live there and she very kindly offered to pretty much be my tour guide. We had a fab time. Spent 3 nights at the Premier Inn at Greenwich and did A LOT of walking. I managed to meet with one of my friends who lives there and Katie saw four of her friends. We did a lot of sightseeing and saw a show called ‘An American In Paris’. I absolutely loved that. I took so many photo’s I can’t put them all on here, but there is a little selection below.

While I was away, I really missed Lila, my gorgeous feline friend. Since I’ve got back, she hasn’t really left me alone so I think she missed me too.

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In between all of this, I also had my hair cut again. I am regretting it a bit now as I’m wanting it to grow out again. I still like it, but even though it’s short, it spends a lot of time in a bobble. I just loved having long hair and when I see old pictures, I really miss it. (I’m so fickle it’s unreal!)

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I’m still on the Veggie train. I tell you what though, it’s getting harder! I’ve just passed my 6 month mark and technically I am a Pescatarian as I will sometimes eat either Haddock or Tuna. I hope to eventually give those up too one day but at the minute, I’m struggling. I’ll see some chicken breast or Beef Brisket and just want to eat it all. I have to keep reminding myself why I’m doing this. I’ve spoken to a few people who ‘used to be’ vegetarian and they’ve said similar things. They lasted between 6-12 months as well. I wonder if I can pass the 12 month mark?? I did have to pull a HUGE chicken bone off the Dog the other day and that was disgusting. That made me very glad to be Vegetarian.

I am also back on the fitness train. For those who follow my Instagram (@missemmavic) you will have seen me posting a few bits and pieces about food and fitness. The below picture is my ‘before’. It could be a good few weeks before you see an ‘after’ picture. Really need to get those boobs and thighs shrinking and that stomach nice and toned.

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I’ve got a lot of reading to do this summer as well. I’d got into a very bad habit of going up to bed, putting the TV on, setting it to ‘Sleep’ mode for an hour and falling asleep with that playing. Not a great way to get a good night’s sleep. When I went to London, Katie told me that she’d be reading on a night before going to sleep. I took my book with me as well and had three brilliant nights fast asleep. To be fair, the walking may have helped but I’ve not put the TV on in my bedroom at all since I came home. I’ve read every night and I’m enjoying it. I’ve finished ‘Woman of the Dead’ and I have started (and can’t put down) ‘The Good Daughter’. I’m only on Chapter 5 and already I highly recommend it. As you can see, I’ve got a lot to get through and I’m not allowing myself to buy another bloody book until they’ve all gone!!!

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In a bit I’m going to meet one of my friends at Starbucks and then go right next door to Krispy Kreme to meet another friend. After that, it will be bed, book and sleep.

I’m very content at the minute. I like my life how it is. I can go over a week without seeing any of my friends and then I’ll end up seeing them all at once. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I’m incredibly lucky to have the friends I’ve got. I honestly don’t know whether Sarah and Katie will have time to read this blog but to both of you, thank you so much for making my June and July absolutely fantastic.

Bye for now xxx

Happiness & Positivity

 

 

 

 

f08b0e029a69f5f612ba125cefbefb50--stay-happy-quotes-staying-positive-quotesAs I sit at my laptop eating a Haagen-Dazs Salted Caramel ice cream (and wondering why I can’t lose any weight!) I can’t help but think about all the negativity that has been in my life recently. The internet is filled with negativity and I hate it, so why do I bring it on myself as well? I have made the decision that whilst I will always have to deal with negativity in my life, I don’t have to dwell on it and I don’t have to keep dragging up the past.

I have decided to only write about positive things from now on when discussing my life. It will inspire me to try and stay positive and it will stop me from procrastinating on things that have already happened. They’re in the past. Let them go.

We’re now heading towards the middle of July 2017. In the last two months, I’ve been happier than I was for all of the previous 12 months. Things just seem to be looking up. My Mum keeps telling me to be more positive. Whenever I have a down day she tells me to cheer up and be grateful for what I’ve got.

Yes, I’m still single, but that is mainly through choice. My problem (if you can call it that) is that I’ve become so independent over the last year, I know it’s going to take a really strong guy to handle me. Maybe I’ll soften again when I next fall in love. Who knows. I’d like to think that I can finally find the right balance between being independent and depending on someone.

Just recently I’ve had a lot of fantastic things happen. I can’t afford a proper holiday at the minute but I have had an amazing weekend in Manchester with my best friend. I’ve also FINALLY booked to go to London at the end of this month with another friend. I’ve never been. I’m 29 and I’ve never seen our Capital. I can’t wait!! We’re doing an Itinerary and everything. **Insert super giddy squeal here**

A while ago now I had my hallway decorated. It’s pink with glitter. I’m not kidding. It’s not as bad as it sounds. It was more pink than I was expecting, but you know what? I bloody love it. It’s my house. It’s a girls house. It’s a pastel pink with a very subtle shimmer. It’s great!!! I’ve also finally had my living room decorated. Every wall is white except the main wall behind the TV and fireplace. The wallpaper on that wall is just gorgeous. I can’t stop staring at it. It’s Grey with a Damask print. Again, with a subtle shimmer because I like things that sparkle.

I sometimes catch myself just looking around my house and smiling. I’m so grateful that I have this house. I love my little house. I’m loving it even more now that I’ve managed to decorate it to my own taste.

I’ve been doing a lot more reading. Not just novels, but books about healthier and happier lifestyles, books that do make you grateful for what you have. I have been watching a lot less television and learning more instead. It might sound really sad, but books make me happy. I’ll sometimes rearrange my bookcase and its like a form of meditation/mindfulness to me.

I’ve also been doing a lot of walking and going to the gym finally. I’m on track to getting healthier and fitter. Every day this week so far (it’s Thursday) I’ve managed AT LEAST 10,000 steps. I’ve pushed myself to do more. Despite the Ice cream I mentioned earlier, I’ve been eating a lot better as well. I’ve been snacking less, eating fruit instead of chocolate and making sure I have Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. I very rarely skip breakfast now and I never used to have any. I’ve not had the ‘best’ food day today, I won’t lie to you. But I’m doing better. One bad food day this week is better than 7 bad food days like I was having before.

One of the most exciting things to happen to me this year is that I appeared in a magazine. One of the blogs that I wrote made it into the Craven and Valley Life magazine. I got a double page spread. I’m beyond excited about that and yes, I’m going to get it framed and hang it on my wall. I’m proud of myself and I will flaunt it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not happy all the time. That’s impossible. I get annoyed at slow drivers in front of me or anything that makes me even more impatient, I get incredibly hormonal when it’s that time of the month, I get so annoyed when someone stands too close to me in the checkout line, I get upset watching sad videos on Facebook. I get annoyed with myself when I realise I’ve been sat for an hour playing on my phone and I actually had lots of jobs to do. I will probably always be a ‘stressy’ person and I will always need my Mum to tell me to get a grip and snap out of it. (Okay, she’s not that harsh, I’m exaggerating slightly.)

I know that I shouldn’t need a relationship to make me feel complete, but I’ve now got to a stage where I feel like that’s all that’s missing. I have amazing friends, a wonderful family, a gorgeous cat called Lila and my Mum & Dads wappy but amazing dog, Toby. I have a roof over my head, a car to get me from A-B, a brilliant new job and food in my kitchen.

I am happy. I am incredibly grateful. Sometimes I slip back to sadness but once I give my head a shake, I’m right back to where I need to be. We always want what somebody else has got… but I’m finally learning to accept what I have got, love my life and love myself.

My happiness has only just begun and I fully believe that the best is yet to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Book Addiction & a Digital Detox

Hey Guys

It’s confession time. It’s time to admit that I have a problem. I have an addiction. Two addictions actually. Both as bad as the other.

ADDICTION 1. 

I buy books. I love books. I don’t have time to read them all, but I keep buying them. It doesn’t matter if they’re novels, fact, fiction, cookbooks, information books, health & fitness. ANYTHING!!! It’s a serious problem. I mean, take a look at the pictures below…

Bookshelf 1

This bookcase was made for me by Gramps who sadly, is no longer with us. I will never get rid of it. It’s too big for this house but I don’t care. It’s currently in the spare bedroom against the wall. There are four shelves. The bottom two has my DVD’s on it so that they’re out of the way but as you can see, the top two is cram-packed full of books. There are a few cookbooks. You can see Mary Berry, Chrissy Tiegan and lots of Slimming World books.

bookshelf 2

Next, we have my Living Room bookshelf. FULL. Completely and utterly full. The top shelf is my favourite ‘Lifestyle’ books, the bottom shelf is cookbooks, the shelves above and below those are normal novels and then the fourth shelf down is exercise/food/lifestyle books. My favourites on here include Zanna Van Dijk, Estee Lalonde, Fleur De Force, Cupcakes and Cashmere, The Feel Good Plan. Basically, most of them to be honest. They’re in the living room, they’re on show, they’re good!

Also in the Living Room…

Two on the sofa because they’re pink and they match. (Also, on a side note – that top Pink book is called ‘Note to self’. I haven’t read it yet but it really is a beautiful book to look at). The larger pile is next to the TV and they’re mostly to do with food. The Food Medic is a brand new one and it looks amazing but again, haven’t read it yet. I have had a quick flick through and there is a lot of nutritional information. Fearne’s ‘Happy’ is fab so far. I’ve been dipping in and out of that one a lot.

Another little note – I’m not Vegan. I try to be mainly plant based but I don’t follow that strictly. I am a Vegetarian. I find Vegan cookbooks very interesting and of course they give me amazing food ideas.

Oven

Niomi Smart – Eat Smart. I’ve spoken about this book before. Definitely a favourite. It lives in the kitchen right next to my oven.

Lastly, there are a couple of piles in my bedroom…

All of these are lifestyle type books but they’re all ones that I need to read properly from start to finish. Two Hygge books in there. A beautiful New York book with Rose gold pages and another new one – Annie Clark Mind Body Bowl. Can’t wait to read that and take it all in.

See I told you – I have a serious problem.

 

ADDICTION 2.

My phone, Ipad, computer/laptop, Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp… etc.

Instagram & Twitter : @Missemmavic

Facebook: Everyday Emma

Snapchat: @emsky1329

Anything relating to social media. I know most people are addicted to their phones but to me at the minute, the addiction is beyond a joke. I find myself reading a book or watching TV for all of 5 minutes before I pick my phone up. If I’m watching something and I pick my phone up, I’ll eventually realise that the program has finished and I’ve barely listened to or watched any of it.

Today I decided to have a bit of a Digital Detox. I set the alarm on my phone for 2 hours and I put it in my bedroom. I then tried to keep myself busy. I hoovered the house, I did some laundry, I read some of a magazine, made a ‘to do’ list, did some roasted Chickpeas, called my Grandad (on the landline so it’s fine!) and a few other bits. It got difficult after about an hour when I questioned something and my automatic reaction was to google the answer. I realised I couldn’t use my phone. I then went into the bedroom to put my clean clothes away and I heard a Facebook email come through. A bit later on, I heard Snapchat go off. I didn’t touch it. I was very good. I didn’t even look at it. I then decided to paint my nails and I finally lost track of time. My alarm started going off to indicate the 2 hours was up. I went and turned it off, but I didn’t pick my phone up properly. I had a quick look at the home screen and then went back to painting my nails.

I felt good and I felt proud of myself… until I sat on the bed to let my nails dry and picked the phone up. I think I ended up laying on my bed for an hour. I replied to people that had messaged me, I scrolled through both Facebook and Instagram and I checked my emails. Shocking!!

Now that I’ve done it once, I know I can do it and I will do it again. Yes I clock watched a bit but at the end of the two hours, nothing was urgent, nobody had called me for anything. I can live without my phone and it doesn’t need to be glued to my hand.

Having a digital detox is a very good thing. A lot of people at the minute are recommending you try it and I’ve got to say, I agree. I got soooo much done within those two hours. I kept busy to try and make time go faster. I’ve heard that the best time to do a detox is at least an hour before bed. Set your alarm for morning and then put your phone wherever you keep it. It will help you to settle down a lot better on a night and have a better sleep. (Apparently!! I can sleep through most things to be fair!!) Haha. If you do decide to give it a try, let me know how you get on. It needs to be at least an hour or it doesn’t count. 🙂

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I’m off to go check Facebook again.

Oops!!!!! 🙂

 

Just Kidding – I’m going to do tomorrow’s lunch xxx

 

Why I’m Single… & Happy!

Hey Guys

So I just wanted to get a little something off my chest. A few people recently have asked me almost the same question.

How come you’re single?

Have you met anyone yet?

Have you been on any dates recently?

You get the gist…

One response I got the other day when I said I was still single was “Oh dear”. I just had to laugh and respond with; “No, not oh dear. I’m choosing to be single and I’m enjoying it.” (It didn’t insult me by the way, I just found it really funny that, that was the automatic response).

Now don’t get me wrong, if Mr. Right walked into my life tomorrow I wouldn’t turn him away. But after a string of bad relationships, I felt I needed to take some time out and focus on myself. I’ve had a lot going on in my life both personally and professionally and I really don’t think that dragging someone else into my drama is the best thing for me to do at the minute.

I’ve had a few dates. I’m on both POF and match.com but I barely go onto the apps. They’re on my phone and if I get bored, I’ll have a quick look, but just recently, there hasn’t been anyone I’ve even wanted to reply to and I think it’s because I know I’m quite happy as I am at the minute. It’s very hard to trust people who you meet online. Do they genuinely want a relationship or do they just want to get in your pants and then never speak to you again? I’d rather not take that risk thank you very much.

I’ve had some horrendous emails on both sites. Cheesy chat up lines, random crazy questions etc. I’ve got a friend who is also trying out online dating and she got really mad the other day when someone emailed her asking if they could come over so she could ‘sit on their face’. Who says that?? Who in the right mind honestly thinks that a girl with ANY respect for herself would reply with ‘yeah ok, come over. Here’s my address…’

One guy sent me about 6 emails, one roughly 5 or 10 minutes after the other. I didn’t reply to a single one of them but he just kept saying that he didn’t want to pester me, but he was going to Tesco and did I want to meet him. He’d be the one in the ‘flowery shirt’. Considering I didn’t reply the first 5 times you asked me, I’m gonna go with ‘NO!’ It was really creepy. I deleted my account for a while after those emails.

One guy that I did like recently and was actually looking forward to meeting never actually arranged a date with me. He added me on Facebook. Snapchat and Whatsapp were always going off with messages from him. He even Facetimed me a couple of times. But, every single time we mentioned actually meeting up, he backed off. In the end, I just told him where to go. I can’t be bothered with someone so flaky.

And this, my lovely readers, is why I’m single. Dating in this day and age is awful! The smallest of things can put you off someone. It’s hard work and it’s not worth the hassle most of the time. I’ll be 29 in a couple of months and yes, given the choice I would love to be settled down, with baby or two. Real life doesn’t work that way. You don’t really get much of a choice with these things. I could very easily have settled for the wrong guy but I knew I’d never be happy. I chose to end my last relationship because I knew it would never last. I’m not one for settling. I may never find my perfect guy and that thought is pretty scary, but right now I’m more than happy to be looking after myself, focusing on my new job and sorting my life out.

Don’t feel sorry for me because I’m single – Be happy for me because I know what I want and I’m not afraid to wait for it. I won’t settle for anything less than I deserve.

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

What I’m doing to try and de-stress

Hey Guys. A lot of you won’t know this, but unfortunately, I’ve been off work sick for a while. It’s the reason I haven’t done a blog post for a while as well. I’ve been diagnosed with stress/anxiety. Chest pains, breathing problems, a rash and migraines have all been a part of it. It hasn’t been nice at all. Last night, I took myself off to bed really early because despite just sitting on the sofa, I was so out of breath, I felt like I’d been for a long run (and I don’t really run – my asthma prevents it!)

I’m working very hard to get myself right and get back to work.

Side note – I can’t stop eating. Usually, when I feel unwell or anxious/stressed, the last thing I want to do is eat. But, all I’ve done recently is eat. I’m always hungry. Is this normal??

I’m writing this for two reasons… 1. I want to try and help other people who have had similar problems and 2. If you have any advice for me, please do send it across. You can tweet/Instagram me @missemmavic or Facebook, Everyday Emma.

I’ve had to try and keep myself busy. If not, I’d go crazy. I’ve been doing a lot of walking with my Mum and her Cavachon, Toby. I’ve also made sure to wear my Fitbit Alta all the time to track what I’ve done. Some days, I’ve gone for a walk by myself just to clear my head. It works for a couple of hours but the headaches do tend to come back.

As well as walking a lot, I’ve also been doing a lot of reading. Getting lost in someone else’s imagination instead of being in my own head is a great out for an hour or so. I’ve always loved reading. I find it very relaxing. I prefer reading to watching the TV a lot of the time. At the minute I’m reading two books. I’ve nearly finished ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ – In fact, It’ll probably be done by the end of today. I definitely recommend it. I’ve only read the first chapter of ‘The Universe Has Your Back’ but so far, it’s great. I’ve already started following Gabrielle Bernstein on Instagram and YouTube.

I haven’t started reading ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ yet, but that’s next on my list. It’s all about HAPPINESS so I figure I can’t go too far wrong reading that.

Obviously, no reading/relaxing session would be fully complete without a quick scout through my magazines. I subscribe to a few as it’s far cheaper than buying them in the shops.These are just a few of my favourites –

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My Mum has been trying to get me to be a lot more positive. I’ve always thought I was a very positive person, but just recently I’ve been a lot less so. Enter, Google Images!!

All I did was type in ‘inspirational quotes’ and these are just a handful of the ones I loved. I’ve printed a lot of them off and hung them in my bedroom. I’m surrounding myself with positive and happy things. You get back what you put out – and I want happiness in my life, not anxiety.

I’ve also been listening to music. I’m a massive fan of country music and luckily, there are plenty of songs for me to get my hands on. My 3 recent favourites are Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Lauren Alaina.

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As well as all of this, I’ve also been doing some tidying up and clearing out at home. I’ve got lots of things ready to take to the charity shops. I’ve been cooking a bit more and trying to be healthier. Because I’ve had more time to be in my kitchen, I’ve made a bit more of an effort. I’m still only just getting into cooking. I prefer cooking to baking. I’m good at concoctions. Rather than following a recipe I like to just see what’s in my cupboards and hope for the best. so far, so good. Everything has tasted good and I’m still a vegetarian. (Although don’t think I haven’t been tempted by meat. It’s hard work, my friends. Very hard work).

One last thing I’ve decided to try was actually a recommendation from YouTuber Ingrid Nilsen. It’s an anti-stress drink with magnesium. You start with half a teaspoon a day and I have gone for the orange flavour. I prefer to have it just with some hot water but it can be put into other drinks or on its own with cold water. ptg-00007-1

Speaking of YouTube – Another thing I like to do is sit down with a cuppa and watch the girls I subscribe to. My absolute favourites are Zanna Van Dijk, Fleur De Force, Niomi Smart and Estee Lalonde. I also like to watch Ingrid Nilsen, Hazel Wallace, Zoella and Tanya Burr (plus a few others). Following them on YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram has become part of my daily routine. They have brilliant advice, great recipes, makeup tutorials and many more interesting things. They are all incredibly inspiring women and I admire each and every one of them.

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Let me know if you have any other suggestions to help with anxiety and stress. I hope it gives you some idea of what to do next time you need a ‘time out’ as well. Annoyingly, because my anxiety levels are so high at the minute, these aren’t working 100% but they are helping. Normally, after doing just one of these things, I’d feel so much better. I’ll get there. I will be happy and back to normal again and I will be forever grateful to the friends and family that I’ve had around me this last couple of weeks.

Byee xxx

Going Vegetarian

Hi Guys

Today I wanted to talk to you about something that’s happened very recently. As you can see from the title, I’ve decided to go Vegetarian.

It’s not been too difficult for me as I’ve never been a massive meat eater anyway, Before, all I would eat is Chicken Breast, LEAN Mince Beef, (certain) Sausages, Bacon (fat completely removed), Haddock and Tuna. If I ever got some form of fat or gristle in my mouth, that would be it. I would be able to finish my meal.

The only thing that has ever really put me off going completely vegetarian is actually my Mums Homemade Cottage Pie. (I’m still mourning it – don’t judge me).

GOING VEGETARIAN

I officially became Vegetarian less than 2 weeks ago. It was actually the 27th January. I’d been thinking about it for a while. On Christmas Day, Mum actually made me a stuffed mushroom with Haddock as I didn’t want the Turkey or Ham. In the end, it was a few Documentaries on Netflix that changed my mind completely.

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This programme was awful to watch. I spent most of the time in tears. It is a fantastic, well-done documentary but the things people do to the animals that we then consume is absolutely horrendous. This was just one of them. I’ve watched 4 or 5 in the last week and each one has made me cry, made me look at things very differently and made me really think about how I’m living my life.

As a person that was verging on vegetarian anyway, it has been very easy for me to stop eating meat. I’ve found that everyone I have told so far has called me an awkward bugger (as a joke) but been really supportive. When arranging to go out for meals, I’ve been asked which restaurant I prefer and they’ve been checking out the vegetarian options for me.

PLANT-BASED DIET

I’ve always said that I’d never be able to go Vegan because I love cheese too much (specifically, melted!) I still do stand by that. It’s so difficult to go vegetarian and checking out food options everywhere you go. Most restaurants still make it almost impossible to be Vegan. However – I am eating a more plant-based diet. I’ll have almond milk instead of normal milk for example. You can eat a plant-based diet, but not be classed as Vegan. Honey is used a lot to sweeten food, but if you’re vegan, you can’t have it. If you’re on a plant-based diet, you can.

A lot of people chose to change their diets because they want a healthier lifestyle. I’ve decided to go vegetarian and I’m taking it one day at a time. At the minute, I’m not eating Haddock or Tuna, but I may go back to them in the future. I just can’t bring myself to eat it right now.

OTHER PEOPLES OPINIONS

If you’re thinking of going vegetarian/vegan/plant-based, whether it’s for health reasons, because you’re an animal lover or a mixture of both; surround yourself with people who will help you and support you, not judge you. Changing your diet is a choice that only you can make. I would never pressure anyone else into becoming vegetarian and I’m not going to pressure myself to never eat meat again (we aren’t perfect!). So don’t let a meat eater pressure you into trying it again if you don’t want to. Their opinion on the subject of your diet doesn’t matter.

RECIPES

No, before you ask, I’m not giving you any today!

I have found so many places to get some decent recipes though. Just type ‘Vegetarian’ into Instagram and you get a list of people worth following that do amazing food.

  1. Instagram
  2. Facebook
  3. YouTube
  4. Amazon – again, just type in ‘vegetarian’ and you’ll get a plethora of books to chose from. Some that I recommend are; Niomi Smart, Deliciously Ella & The Happy Pear.

Use social media. It’s there to be helpful, not just to be nosy on other people’s newsfeeds. Haha. Below are just some examples that come up on social media and further down are a few of the recipe books that I recommend.

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