Thursday, 30 April 2015

14,000 things to be happy about

14000 things to be happy about Barbara Ann Kipfer
14000 things to be happy about book

14,000 Things to be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer

I bought this book a couple of weeks ago off Amazon after seeing it reviewed on another blog and thinking the idea of it was really lovely. It is written by Barbara Ann Kipfer and represents 50 years of recording all of the little things that make her happy, of which some were compiled into a list and made into this book. I really like this idea because it really is the little things that make the biggest difference, and with this book you can just flick open a page and find something that reminds you why life is worth living.

It is definitely American as I don't understand all of the things in there (what are Dairy Queen Dilly Bars?!) but each page has something that makes me smile. Some that I have found only today are:
- sunshine coming through a window
- the "snuggle right in" feeling
- when you arrive at your destination just as a great song ends on the radio 
- a sofa ideal for vegging out and for chats with your legs curled up under you
- playing favourite records and dancing wildly in the living room

Reading all of these really makes me smile and actually lifts my mood! I will definitely be flicking through this book in the future when I need a bit of a pick-me-up.


This book has actually inspired me to start my own list of things to be happy about as I think it's a really nice way to end the day and appreciate life more, whilst keeping yourself in the present. So I dug out one of my favourite handmade Paperchase notebooks that I've never used and started making a list (with my Stabilo pen from the NW Bloggers Meet Up goody bag, which I love). I've set myself a target of writing at least 3 new things on the list every day - and I've actually decided to use these to replace my Project Smile quote at the end of every blog post. I've used so many quotes now and it's sometimes rather difficult to find a new one, so instead you will have a few things to be happy about at the end instead. Let me know what you think about this idea!

I didn't have a great start to the day today - I found it incredibly difficult to get out of bed and ended up waking up properly about half 2 this afternoon. I think I just needed a good amount of time in bed, as I did end up doing a fair amount of work this afternoon and have been fairly productive. I just know my limitations now and know with my depression when I should stop pushing myself and let my exhausted body recuperate! I am also now only £40 off my £400 target for my skydive fundraising for Mind as my amazing parents and Grandparents both donated £50 towards it each - I'm not gonna lie, I cried when I found out! Thank you so much, I love you all lots and lots!!
- The smell of bread baking
- Wearing your favourite outfit and feeling amazing
- Trying on jeans and them fitting straight away




PS Please donate towards my sponsored skydive for Mind here, or text MIHV99 £1 to 70070 - thank you for your support!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Why is this blog just full of photos of food


One thing that this blog has made me realise is that my life literally revolves around food - it must be the most photographed thing on here. Tonight a couple of friends came over so my housemate and I cooked some tea for them. We had cheesy nachos to start (so easy - put some nacho crisps on a baking tray, cover them in cheese and salsa, and cook in the oven for 5 minutes) and homemade pizza afterwards, which was amazing if I do say so myself. We bought the pizza bases from Asda and just added the toppings, which made it a really quick and easy meal to do. Not gonna lie, I think eating is literally one of my favourite things to do - it definitely makes me happy!

The rest of my day was spent on placement on obstetrics. I saw a couple of ultrasound scans being done on some pregnant ladies, and it actually made me really emotional seeing how happy it made the families! I'm really enjoying this placement so far and am looking forward to what the rest of it brings.
The only way to get better is to surround yourself with people who believe in you.




PS Please donate towards my sponsored skydive for Mind here, or text MIHV99 £1 to 70070 - thank you for your support!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Year of Happy: April (Sort of)


The prompt for April's Year of Happy was:

"Make something that you find beautiful - it could be anything! A decoration, a dress, a cake, hey, even a baby! Share what you made and why it is beautiful to you."

I was quite stuck on what to do for this month. I'm not particularly crafty or good at DIY and a baby is definitely off the cards at the moment! So I went for the easy option (soz) and decided to bake a couple of cakes. I needed to bake some anyway because tonight we had another Teddy Bear Hospital social like this one from before Christmas, which included cakes baked by the committee and a quiz. We managed to raise £80 for Claire House Children's Hospice - thank you everyone for coming along!

I decided to bake a coffee and walnut cake and a chocolate cake and both of them turned out really well, if I do say so myself! I used this recipe for the coffee cake and this one for the chocolate cake, although I changed the icing to chocolate buttercream instead. I found that the coffee cake didn't rise that well, so would recommend adding a bit of baking powder in. I was going to take some photos of the process of making them, but I'm really not an elegant baker and I didn't think you'd all want to see pictures of me with cocoa powder and flour all down me. Not the most photogenic image ever - I don't know how bloggers manage to make baking process photos look so good! Baking is actually really therapeutic and helps take my mind off things - I definitely think I'll try it in the future if I'm feeling down (watch me get really fat now).

Today has been really good - I have been feeling very positive, which I think is because I've been so busy. I was on placement this morning and then had to go into uni this afternoon, and with this social this evening and a chat with my friend afterwards I feel like I haven't had much time to stop and breathe! I'm so much better when I'm busy, I really need to remember that when I feel like having a day in bed.
Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we'll ever do.




PS Please donate towards my sponsored skydive for Mind here, or text MIHV99 £1 to 70070 - thank you for your support!

Monday, 27 April 2015

PetShop.co.uk

Petshop.co.uk online pet food
Petshop.co.uk online pet food service review


My dog has been so spoilt the past few weeks; he had put on weight in a week and a half of not seeing him! Because my other Labrador Dylan passed away a few weeks ago, Buster has been very down in the dumps (as we all have). I got in contact with PetShop.co.uk, who volunteered to send him some treats to cheer him up a little.

PetShop.co.uk are an online pet food company that have a nationwide home delivery subscription service for pet food called Bottomless Bowl. I think this is such a good idea as it's so easy to run out of pet food and have to run to the shops - whereas this keeps you stocked up however often you need the food. The idea came from the founder, Adam, whose mother suffers from arthritis and struggled to carry heavy bags of dog food - this service delivers pet food straight to your door and is free delivery on orders over £19.99. PetShop.co.uk's prices are also very reasonable, as they noticed that supermarket prices were really expensive and wanted to change that.

Buster and I received a huge parcel in the post containing three different types of food, of which Buster was very excited to get stuck into. He firstly tried the Huntland Grain Free Dog Food in Scottish Loch Salmon with river trout and sweet potato flavour, which is currently on sale for £4.99 for 2kg. Huntland is 100% natural and grain free containing 50% meat or fish and 50% vegetables, fruits and herbs. Buster certainly enjoyed it - it made a change to his normal beef flavoured food! We also got some James Wellbeloved Dog Food in turkey and rice flavour, which is wet dog food and on sale for £7.99 for 10 packs. Buster hasn't tried this yet but I know he'll enjoy it as it will make a change to his normal dry dog food - plus it's all natural and hypoallergenic. Lastly we received a pack of Dentastix, which is probably Buster's favourite treat - he always gets some for Christmas. Dentastix have been proven to reduce tartar build-up by up to 80% in dogs and come in three different sizes.

Thank you PetShop.co.uk, Buster really enjoyed your food and I think it has helped to cheer him up slightly! We also bought him a huge bed over the weekend (it is basically like an arm chair) that you can see in the photos - or see Buster in front of the fire in it here.

Today I have been on placement all day and then had to come home and bake a couple of cakes for a social I have on tomorrow. I feel exhausted and am so ready for bed!

PS You can also save 5% on pet food from PetShop.co.uk with the code FRIENDS7. Go on, treat that little critter in your life.
The best therapist has fur and four legs.




PS Please donate towards my sponsored skydive for Mind here, or text MIHV99 £1 to 70070 - thank you for your support!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Bell


Dress - New Look
Sandals - Primark


The Bell Inn, Wombourne Road, Wolverhampton, WV5 7JB

Today has been such a lovely day. I went for Sunday dinner at The Bell Inn with my family and my lovely Grandparents - it was three courses for around £12-13 so naturally I made good use of it. I had cheesy garlic bread to start, then vegetarian cottage pie (with a yorkshire pudding of course), and mango pavlova to finish (good choice - it wasn't too heavy after all of that food, and was nice with the warm weather). It was lovely to have a long chat with my grandparents, they are so incredibly supportive of me and Grandad never fails to make me laugh - myself, Mum and him are very alike, I mean just look at the photo for proof!

This evening I travelled back up to Liverpool to start another week at uni. I'm starting Obstetrics and Gynaecology tomorrow which I've never experienced before, so am quite excited for that! I love how varied medicine is and how many different things you can see - you could be with an elderly man one minute and then with a tiny baby the next. I will let you all know how it goes!

PS It's less than 3 weeks now until my skydive... Arghhhh! If you have just £1 to spare then donate, donate, DONATE! I'm about £150 off my target at the moment and really want to reach it!
Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't.
                  - Ashley Greene




PS Please donate towards my sponsored skydive for Mind here, or text MIHV99 £1 to 70070 - thank you for your support!

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Blue


Top - Primark
Denim Skirt - Asos
Trainers - H&M
Moonstone Ring - eBay
Birthstone and Heart Rings - Pandora
Swirl Ring - New Look
Necklace - Tanzanian Market

I haven't really done much today, apart from walk my dog and do a bit of work. Buster was bought a huge new bed (you can see it on my Instagram here) and I'm very tempted to snuggle up with him and go to sleep. I didn't feel great when I woke up and had loads of negative thoughts going through my mind, but gradually throughout the day as I've done more I've begun to feel a bit better. I feel okay this evening and am just enjoying being at home with my family - it shows that depression is a lot worse when you're just lying there not doing anything.

Blue is a colour I don't wear much of, but I was drawn to this off-the-shoulder top from Primark as I think it will be lovely for the summer. And on that note, where has the lovely weather gone?!
Don't let someone who doesn't know your value tell you how much you're worth.




PS Please donate towards my sponsored skydive for Mind here, or text MIHV99 £1 to 70070 - thank you for your support!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Zizzi


Zizzi Ristorante, Southwater Leisure Hub, Telford, TF3 4JG

This evening I went to the Italian restaurant Zizzi with Roxy in Telford for dinner and a natter. I'm actually really impressed with the new Southwater complex (although three of the six new restaurants are Italian... good job I love Italian food!) and really liked the inside of Zizzi too. We had the Italian bread bucket to start, which had bread served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and then I had the Caprina pizza. It was supposed to have goats cheese and vegetables on it, but they had somehow run out of goats cheese so I had to have it with mozzarella instead, which was a little disappointing, although the pizza itself was very nice. I then had the chocolate and banana calzone with toffee sauce for pudding which was a lot smaller than I thought it would be but tasted amazing. It contained cooked bananas and Nutella-type chocolate and was gorgeous. There were a couple of things that let the meal down, and the price was a little steep at around £17, but I did still enjoy it and the food was really good quality.


Afterwards we decided to wander round the 24 hour Asda and Tesco (as you do at 10pm) to look at the homeware and clothes. And naturally Roxy gravitated towards this Olaf cushion and decided she wanted to pretend to be him (it's from Tesco in case you're wondering). I bought some sandals which will be featured on here soon enough and was sooo tempted by some of the candles. I can't wait to have my own house to decorate!

I have come home for the weekend so am looking forward to spending a couple of days with my family and not thinking about medicine. I had a lovely journey on the train back here - isn't it so therapeutic to watch the world go by and people watch? Hope you all have lovely weekends!
You doubt your value. Don't run from who you are.
                  - Aslan




PS Please donate towards my sponsored skydive for Mind here, or text MIHV99 £1 to 70070 - thank you for your support!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

5 things I've loved this week: 23rd April


1) The weather
Okay, so who hasn't been enjoying this weather?! It's funny how the sunshine can make you feel so good - my mood has been a lot better since I got a few UV rays on my pasty legs. It makes me hopeful for summer days and BBQs soon.


2) My summer perfumes

Since the weather has been so good, I've cracked out my summery perfumes that were gathering dust at the back of my wardrobe. Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden has been my go-to - it's so reasonably priced for a huge bottle and is like nothing I've smelt before. It really does remind me of sunflowers but is supposed to have flavourings of peach, melon and jasmine. It also reminds me of my Nan as she first gave it to me (she won it as a raffle prize and I was convinced it was a perfume for older people for ages) - this is my second bottle and I can imagine myself re-purchasing it for the rest of my life.

I've also been reaching for Bronze Goddess by Estee Lauder, which I think is my favourite ever perfume. It's literally summer in a bottle, with coconut, mandarin, bergamot and amber. It really reminds me of summer holidays and makes me happy whenever I wear it.


3) Ice pops
Literally the best thing to come back to after a long day at uni. We bought these from Home Bargains the other day and they have been very much appreciated - I hadn't had one for ages but think I'm addicted now.


4) Springy summery clothing
Oh, how I love how bright the clothes are this time of year. I wore this outfit today (minus the basket) and felt so summery - you can see my original post on it with all the details here, or a snap on my Instagram here, together with my green springy nails. I think this is probably one of my favourite outfits I've ever put together.



5) Discovering old songs
The past few days I've really got back into my iPod and have been listening to loads of old songs. I particularly can't get enough of Coldplay as I think their songs are so powerful and uplifting, but I have also been singing songs by Five with my housemate all day. Oh, I'm so cool. But seriously, music really does have the power to change your mood, and I've found it so relaxing sitting on my bed by the window and listening to old songs (much like yesterday's post).

I really enjoy writing posts like this and reflecting back on my week - it makes me realise how lucky I am and how the little things make things so much better. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I do! Today has been another good one for me - I've been in uni but have enjoyed the sunshine at the same time. I'm going home tomorrow which I'm really looking forward to!!
If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.
                     - Gautama Buddha




PS Please donate towards my sponsored skydive for Mind here, or text MIHV99 £1 to 70070 - thank you for your support!