Back on the Horse

Slowly but surely I'm squeezing in more and more papercutting back into my daily routine, and you can be pretty sure that it's never far from my thoughts, even when I've not got one on the cutting mat! The long Easter weekend will most definitely include the beginnings of a Lady Godiva piece, inspired by my Guinevere and Lancelot cutting which I sold a couple of years ago. 

I'm expecting it to takes ages and for it to be a bit of a challenge to plunge myself back in, shaking off all the cobwebs that have gathered, but...if I'm honest with myself, I just want to do another pretty horse. 

Sunday Rituals

This is without a doubt one of my favourite ways to start a Sunday, paired with a huge mug of black coffee and followed by a good sprawl on the sofa with whatever I'm sporadically reading at the time. I made sweet potato rosti for the first time today and i'm a little bit in love. There's nothing quite like brunch / brinner and ours tend to look like these! ^ v

How do you celebrate Sundays?

Home is Where the Heart is.

Today is one of those days where the sky is impenetrably grey, work is going to be stressful and Friday seems a very long way off. What to do when things feel a little glum and you can't huddle up and hide away at home? I've got a few things in mind:

  • Buy some fresh flowers
  • Pack a healthy, satisfying lunch...
  • ...and a chocolatey treat
  • Plan something creative - I've got a Lady Godiva papercutting in mind which will distract me from any Wednesday woes
  • Wear something bright and colourful - I've gone for periwinkle blue nail varnish

And if none of that floats your boat, then just remember how lucky you are to have a home you never want to leave. 


This week I found out that my case studies, which were the cause of many months of stress, have been passed - hallelujah - but what I noticed more profoundly was that, although it's been a month since I sent the essays off to be marked, I am only now feeling free.

Last weekend I sat down and painted without feeling a pang of guilt. After work on Thursday I came home and put scalpel to paper - I started a piece and finished it last night. No guilt. No anxiety. No "oh crap I should be essaying," just in-the-moment gleeful creativity. It's taken a good while for this feeling to sink in and my motivation to return, but returning it is, along with the sunshine and I can feel a buzz of energy working it's way in to my ideas.

Spring sunshine makes such a difference, doesn't it?! But at the same time it makes me think, "what next?" On the horizon there is the prospect of doing a masters degree, something which I have coveted for a few years and the reason for my doing a counselling diploma, but now I've reached that time when I need to start applying and I'm prevaricating, letting fear get the better of me. I've given myself an ultimatum: Easter - decide which course, decide whether or not to defer, but ultimately GET APPLYING. 

Until then, I'm going to enjoy the feeling of guilt-free creativeness once again. 

Spring is in the air and the flat is full to brim with flowers after D surprised me with the most beautiful bouquet delivered to work on Tuesday for my birthday. I was called into the head's office and I couldn't help but feel anxious (authority issues, clearly), only to be greeted by my gorgeous blooms, a balloon with my name and age on and the head and business manager grinning inanely at me. D always knows how to make me smile. 

Due to my final deadline for essays and case studies being tomorrow, I only got round to celebrating my birthday yesterday, but what a day. Celebrations came hand-in-hand with the exhilarating feeling of freedom that came with posting everything off for marking. I'm finally free of that heavy "shit-I-really-should-work-on-my-essays" feeling that's been lurking at the back of my head for so long. All my own fault, of course, I'm a serial procrastinator and would, it seems, prefer to put myself through extreme stress than work at a sensible pace. The irony of my last essay about self-defeating behaviours was not lost on me.

So I'm free and I'm on half-term! D has taken a week off and we've had the most deliciously languorous day and it's been completely guilt-free! No longer will I only be able to half enjoy my free time because I'm worrying about not spending it on essays. My time is my own, entirely, for the first time in two years. The plan is to fill it with reems of black paper, pages of fiction, silky embroideries and not a bit of guilt. 

January Doings

We're well and truly stuck into the new year, a new term and I don't know about you, but a fresh mindset too. Gruesomely cliched as that might be, I've been eagerly anticipating the January roll-over, partly so that I can reap the benefits of others around me also focusing their energies on positive change. Several lovely bloggers have been taking stock of their January and I've borrowed the words floating around to make my own list:

Making small steps towards big goals.

Drinking more consciously: less fizzy drinks and what feels like buckets of water.

Reading so very many crime thrillers.

Wanting far too many things; it's been a year and a half but I can't seem to stop nesting.

Looking forward.

Playing with Play Doh more or less every day at work.

Wasting time and learning to enjoy it without feeling guilty.

Fixing door handles and sodding silicone grouting, because it'll take months if I wait for the landlord to do it.

Deciding to be more healthy and positive.

Wishing we lived by the sea.

Enjoying evenings filled with candlelight.

Liking my growing streak of at least 5k a day on my exercise bike.

Wondering what it will feel like to turn 26 and whether I'll suddenly, finally stop feeling like a teenager.

Knowing that I am capable of doing what I set my mind to.

Loving mine and D's dynamic. And my new George Foreman grill/griddle. Lots.

Pondering my career path.

Considering doing some 'how-to' paper-cutting posts.

Watching Room and experiencing the roller-coaster of emotions that comes with it.

Hoping to get to where I want to be.

Marvelling at how much difference that extra fifteen minutes sleep really makes.

Smelling Prada D'Iris thanks to my lovely mum.

Wearing one of D's half marathon finishing t-shirts to bed and feeling super cosy.

Planning our holiday to Athens.

Following lots of beautiful and inspiring blogs.

Realising that my time is precious and if I want to achieve my goals I shouldn't let others take advantage of it.

Losing my sense of self this year but feeling it creeping back, slowly but surely.

Thinking about a million paper-cut plans.

Feeling grateful for all the little joys.

Buying butt-loads of fruit and veg.

Laughing uncontrollably with D about nothing in particular.

I'd be interested to hear how others have responded to these!

New Year, New Goal

2015, though full of love, was full of change, adjustments and hard work. It was a pretty exhausting year and I let it get the better of my health and overall happiness. Work became my main focus and I was staying past my paid hours and working a position I don't get paid for, sapping so much of my energy that my own time was compromised. I'm pretty sure I napped through most of 2015. 

This year I resolve to use my time wisely and to my own benefit, rather than allowing myself to succumb to tiredness, which only leads to other bad habits which have taken root this year. I've already begun to break them and put better ones in place, but mostly this year I want to enjoy where I've worked hard to get myself, not compare myself to others, continue to grow and pursue my dreams - disgustingly cheesy and I've got much more work ahead of me, but I resolve to enjoy the journey and not let it be one that wears me down. 
So I will be better, but I will also remember that I am enough.
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