Lifestyle

12 Months Of Instagram Photos

‘Tis almost the end of the year so as I am sat here watching 40 Greatest Christmas Songs Ever on 4 Music, as I can’t find the remote, I thought it was the perfect time to round off the year with some of my favourite Insta photos. Expect photos of my little shih tzu, nature and a couple of selfies.

JANUARY

Jan

I went to see Slipknot in Nottingham with friends for my birthday. One of the best gigs I have been to. It was awesome.

Jan2

Jasper! My cute cute boy one cold January morning wanting me to go outside with him. Hashtags are #comewithme #butitscold.

February

Feb

Apparently I wasn’t in the mood to post on Instagram in February so there’s only two on there. Here’s a smoothie I made.

Feb2

And here’s a photo I believe may have been from the previous year that I re-grammed.

March

Mar

The weather warmed up and I started to go out more! I did go to Centre Parcs but didn’t upload that many photos so I’m sticking to these two. This one was taken by a place I think is known as Moulton Nature Reserve. I take Jasper here quite a bit. It’s quiet and beautiful.

Mar2

This one was taken from our driveway. It’s comforting to me as it is home.

April

Apr

Another one from near my home. It was taken whilst walking Jasper. We like to walk up to here because the field on the left has horses in it.

Apr2

Tone It Up’s blueberry protein muffins. These are so yummy and have cinnamon in them. I froze a batch and warmed them up in the microwave. They are so healthy but you wouldn’t think so by how good they taste. I really want to make some more.

May

May

Another one at Moulton Marsh. This is my all time favourite photo. I love this place. I took Jasper for a walk one morning before work. I even have this photo on the cover of my personal planner. I’m hoping to do a review of my planner at some point.

May3

A 45 minutes walk away from the car park of Moulton Marsh is this place. I walked with my friend from work. I was most surprised that I had burned over 400 calories on an hour and 15 minute walk. I love the boats and I had to take a photo to prove how far we had walked.

June

June

It would appear that these two from June are also from Moulton Marsh Nature Reserve. I told you I love that place. Instagram filters show on a photo what I see with my own eyes.

June2

On that same day I took a picnic (basically food from the co-op) and a lunch box with water in for Jasper as it was a very warm day.

July

July

 

My Mum had a birthday get together with family. I saw some family that I had not seen for years which was lovely. I also spent some time with this sarcastic one (my sis).

July2

I also took this one of Carl and I ❤

August

Aug

Couldn’t resist putting this one in, even though it makes this section longer. Cuteness overload.

Aug3

I visited London twice this year. It’s a magical place. The first time I went to a meetup group and the second time I went with a friend to sight see. This was my favourite photo.

Aug2

Atreyu were my favourite band when I was a teenager. I still like them 11 years later. I finally got to see them play at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham. They sounded so good. It was very hot and sticky in there and I actually drank two cups of water. I don’t even like drinking water but it was very hot and free and we were right by the bar. Live music doesn’t get better than these small venues.

September

Sep

This horse was in the field I was talking about earlier. What a beautiful horse! There are often different horses in there and right now there are two muddy ponies.

Sep2

Did I mention that Moulton Marsh Nature Reserve has a small wood? 🙂

October

Oct2

A sudden pull on the lead as Jasper had found this little fella in the Autumn leaves.

Oct

The tree that the hedgehog was below onlooking the field.Oct3

Last one – I love these back roads.

November

Nov

He got very muddy on this walk and decided to shake in the car! I decided to go to another marshy area. I’m not sure if this bit came under Holbeach Marsh or Lutton Marsh. Isolated with nice views, Jasper and I loved it.

Nov3

I changed to 12 hour shifts at work. There’s something really peaceful about leaving the house before 7 am, when it’s dark and everyone else in the area seems to be still in bed. That morning I had to take a photo as the sky looked beautiful and I could see the stars. Then I got caught out – I looked down at my car and had to quickly de-ice it!

December

Dec

At the marsh again but with Carl too. It chucked down with rain as we were nearly back at the car but managed to get a few cute photos first.

Dec2

Most of the Christmas presents I wrapped up. It seemed to take ages a the ones without bows were the last few as I was getting a little fed up.

Opinion

How I Feel Right Now About Having Children

 

(L-R) Dad, my brother and I on holiday and my Nan and I in her garden

Ask me how I felt about having kids ten years ago and I’d have said a big stern NO. Ask me a few months ago and it would be the same answer. Ask me now…

I made a pact when I was in secondary school with my two best friends. I remember it so clearly. We were having a debate about abortion in the cloak room. I loved debating with them. One of my friends generally had a different opinion and that made it interesting, whilst the other had a similar one to me so I had the best of both. It was then we all agreed to never have kids. I miss the days with those two. I don’t miss the insecurities I had at that age but I really miss those two. I see them a couple of times a year now. We all live in different counties and all have our own careers. OK Sarah back away from the soppy stuff! We’ve grown up. That’s the point here. I know for sure that one of them wants a family of her own. I think we can safely say that the pact will be no more. We are all sensible. We are not the type of people who have kids when they can’t afford it. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not always planned and I know that some people will never have enough money to afford to give their children everything that I would want to give them – that shouldn’t mean they shouldn’t have their right to have children taken away from them. You know what I’m saying?

I was always afraid. I hate being ill and being in pain. I fear it. Pregnancy and child birth were terrifying for me from a young age. I never wanted to be terrified and thought that if I became pregnant I’d be in a continuously anxious state. I’ve been there before and it was hell.

Now I am 24, I have overcome so many of my fears and I am maturing. I have a different outlook on life. A positive one. I have realised that you only live once and what this truly means. I don’t want to take life for granted and I don’t want to be lying on my death bed and regretting my life. Lots of people around me are having children and they are so happy.

So I began researching. I begun with my fears and how women who have been through pregnancy have coped (that’s a lot of women). I watch many Youtube videos. I learnt a lot but I will tell you the two things that stuck out to me. The first was that ‘being pregnant was the most natural thing in the world.’ This was from a woman who had once thought that it was scary to have something ‘alien’ inside of you! The second was that a woman who suffered from morning sickness. She said that she rather be the one being sick as it was better than letting her child suffer. So once you become pregnant you instinctively feel a connection with the child and you want to protect it from that young. That was pretty heart warming.

I’ve also learnt to not be put off by bad experiences. The ones they put on TV are there for the ratings. Most experiences are positive.

I’ve been through pain before. It’s over now but at the time it was very unpleasant. The point here is that pregnancy and childbirth it is temporary and it’s not as scary. It’s not like being in awful pain and being scared as you don’t know what it is. It is natural. Plus once your pregnant child birth is something you have to go through. You just have to. That’s a good mentality to have.

An epidural is apparently amazing. No pain! The things that scare me are the consequences. Being cut open down there and being stitched up sounds incredibly painful for a long time. C-sections sound terrifying. I get acid reflux a lot anyway so I know that will get worse. I have bladder problems too so a baby pushing down on my bladder is going to be painful. But I’ve been through similar pain before.

I have also thought about my own experience. I had a hard time being a teenager up until early this year when my mental state improved and I gained confidence and strength. Last year I didn’t want to bring a child up because I was so unhappy. I didn’t want to bring anyone into this world as it was a world of suffering. I don’t feel that way any more. I am happy.

I only have this one life and do I really want to miss out on this amazing experience? I never thought I’d be asking myself this question.

I’m not ready right now. I want to do it the way that feels right. Great relationship? Check. Married, home owner and financially and mentally ready? Well that may take a while. Ask me in five years and I might be ready. I’m starting to think I can handle it!

If it fails then I want to live in a house with some land. I’ll have 2 dogs, 2 guinea pigs, 4 pigmy goats, 3 shetland ponies, two tortoises, a horse and a loving husband. Hopefully some nephews and nieces as well.

How do you feel? What was your experience?

Lifestyle

How To Stay Motivated When Working From Home // Open University, Studying, Blogging

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You might think my life is hectic. Sometimes it can be but I try to manage my time as best as I can so stop feeling overwhelmed. I work full time on a weird shift pattern which means one week I spend a total of 5 x 12 hour days at work and the other 2. I changed onto the shift because I knew it would give me more days off to do things I want and to do my Open University work.

I’m in my third year of six of part time distance learning and have learnt the hard way that I must manage my time. I used to leave my assignments until the last week or two and hand them in incomplete. This may have been OK for level one where none of it counts towards your degree and you just need to get 40% to continue. This year it’s different. This post applies to not only those who study at home but those who work at home – I blog now too!

Plan your time

This may sound like a boring point but it is the most important one. In your planner/diary record when you are going to do what. I have to study a certain amount a week so I break it down into smaller sections and write them in my planner. When an assignment hand in date is coming up I write down when I am going to do each question. I sometimes can allow myself to do a question in a morning so if I finish early then I can check it and then either start something sooner or spend the rest of the time doing something else. That way it gets done and I won’t be worrying about getting it done. So no worry and no stress. Yay! Oh and don’t forget to schedule breaks – tea breaks and half an hour for lunch.

Get ready in the morning

Plan into your schedule what time you will start working. Getting it done in the morning is a great way to go. Get up as soon as your alarm clock goes off, make your bed and get ready within an hour. Don’t laze about – you can do that once the work is done. Treat the day as if you have a workplace to go to and you don’t want to be late! Make it a priority in the morning to get dressed and do your hair as if you are going to work. This will make you feel more motivated.

Put your work before anything else

Again, treat the work as if it was at a workplace with a boss who would not be happy if you slacked. Prioritise it and make it more important that doing the housework or going shopping. This year I have said no to any overtime at work because I need my free time to do my uni work.

Treat yourself

When I’m having a bad day at work I like to think about going home or having a day off and thinking about what I am going to do with this time. I might think about getting home and getting in a hot relaxing bath or going to yoga class or watching a TV show on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I’m sure you’ve all done it. I find that when you are working at home you don’t feel this way as much because you are already in the comfort of your own home. However, seeing as you’ve planned your day you know that you can quit working as soon as you’ve got done what you wanted or as soon as the time is up so think about that end goal and reward yourself afterwards.

Tidy your house/work space

As a person who has hates tidying up, I now see the point in it. When your space is tidy your mind is clearer and you work better. Before you start working make sure that your space is tidy and uncluttered. You will be amazed at the difference in how you feel and will be more motivated to work.

Enjoy the benefits

I find completing the uni work I need to and completing an assignment is an accomplishment in it’s own right. When a day at work is over I rarely feel accomplished – it’s more relief to get home. I love learning and I am looking forward to gaining my qualification. I’m doing something that I’ve always wanted to do – whilst being able to earn a living. If you earn your living from home you are very lucky that you get to spend time in your space and have the freedom that comes with this so enjoy it.

Lifestyle

10 Things That Are Making Me Happy Right Now

I usually feel a bit stressed this time of year. I’ve started a new shift so I’m out of routine and the weather and dark evenings mean that I go out less. All I want to do is sit in front of a heater, in comfortable clothes, pig out and watch stuff aimlessly on my laptop. I do not want to exercise, I do not want to eat healthy and I do not want to go outside and I do not want to catch a cold.

There are some, rare, bright days that cheer me right up but seeing as the weather is uncontrollable, I decided to compile a list of things that do make me happy. Positive thinking and gratitude do make you happy.

1. Horse riding – Since changing shifts at work, I work longer hours but get more days off. So, as to not waste this time doing what I said above, I decided to persuade a friend to join me. I have wanted to go for years but always put it off but I thought if I don’t do it now then when will I?

2. Christmas shopping – Buying Christmas presents is guilt free shopping! It’s even better when they have 3 for 2 offers as you get to keep something for yourself for free! I will do a blog post on a few things I picked up later on. The Body Shop are offering 30% off when you sign up to their loyalty card in store and a free gift if you spend over £30. Their Frosted Plum range is my favourite.

3. Baths – It’s too cold for showers so I like to put some candles on, grab a book or the tablet and unwind. It’s a great opportunity to use some of my favourite products too – right now anything Lush.

4. Yoga – I love doing this but since the weather has been cold and it’s dark outside I just haven’t been feeling like putting on my gear and getting my mat out. So, again, I forced myself to go to a class. It’s only a 6 week course so I’ll have to find something else afterwards but because I paid for 36 weeks, which kind of forced me to go. I was pretty nervous going the first time but it was so relaxing. It is every Thursday and every other week I go after work and now I look forward to it as it is the best way to unwind, de stress and reduce anxiety.

5. Christmas presents – OK I know Christmas isn’t about the receiving – it’s the giving and spending time with the family, but getting presents from your friends and family does make you feel special and appreciated. I feel so lucky and I am grateful for the people around me.

6. Walks on nice days – this is one of my favourite things to do but it is completely dependant on the weather. I wasn’t going to include it but it is the one thing that makes me feel truly happy to be alive. My dog loves them too. I do like to go alone because I appreciate the peace and the beauty of nature the most when I do and I get sad when others don’t get to experience it the way I do. There are a few places I like to go in my area but really I just like to get in the car and see where I end up. Exploring new places is the best.

7. Electric blanket – our central heating isn’t working at the moment and we have no oil anyway so I rely on the electric blanket to keep me warm as I drift off. I look forward to going to bed which stops me staying up so late when I’ve got to be up at 5.30 am for work. There’s not a lot worse when you get changed into cold pjs and then have to climb into a cold bed shivering hoping your little amount of body heat will warm up the bed. It’s my winter necessity.

8. Leggings – I used to scowl at people who wore leggings. Only chavs wear them as trousers and I only wear them for working out. Well, I was wrong. I bought some nice grey ones (not the usually black ones) for yoga and I put them on a few hours earlier as I wan’t going anywhere and wow they are super comfy and allow so much movement. I don’t have the legs to wear them out but my life has changed for the better.

9. Getting up early – I have been doing this for a while now and when I don’t I feel lazy and tired. So it has been great for me. I am more productive. There is something wonderful about the silence of the morning, when everyone else in the street appears to be asleep and it feels like you are the only person up. I love that.

10. Completing Open Uni assignments – I am a part time distance learning student. I enjoy the work I do and really enjoy completing assignments as it gives me a sense of accomplishment which is very important as I need to accomplish things to be happy. Before, it has been fitness goals and weight loss goals but they just aren’t happening right now so for a while I have this.

That was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be but I am glad that I did it. Another accomplishment ticked off.

 

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