February Favourites!

It’s come around again it’s time for my monthly favourites!

Books: 

This month I’ve read a fair amount (although maybe not as much as I’d like) and three books have stood out to me. The first was sent to me by Diamond Press, it’s called March and is a graphic novel written by John Lewis, a key figure in the Civil Rights movement, this is the first in a three-part series and I can’t wait to read the rest. Secondly is Here We Are, I reviewed this (catch it here) and raved about it because it is an incredible book, full of inclusion, intelligence as well as being fun! And finally, although I haven’t finished reading it, I am in love with Giovanna Fletchers newest book about being a mother. It’s not something I personally know anything about, being a mother, but I love the way Gi writes (I found her on her Youtube channel)  and it makes me feel better about the prospect of being a mother in the future.

Music: 

This month was very Busted orientated, earlier this month Abbie and I went to see Busted live (again) on their Midnight Driver tour. I’ve listened to the album a lot this month it’s got an 80s vibe to it and a lot of great and upbeat tracks. Ed Sheeran also dropped a few songs this month which I’ve been obsessively listening to (while getting ready to go see him on tour later in the year). Last but not least two bands I’ve been listening to are Lower Than Atlantis and their new album Safe in Sound, I’ve also been listening to a band called Broadside thanks to my lovely boyfriend Ali.

Shop: 

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After the move it’s been a quite quiet month in terms of any spending. Instead, I’ve been doing a lot of window shopping, particularly in Oasis’s where I’ve fallen in love with their latest pieces!

Watching:

Yep, my viewing has been a little dark and very Netflix orientated this month. I wanted to start a new series and had heard great things about How To Get Away With Murder, so I started to watch. I also noticed that The People vs O J Simpson had been added, which I loved when it aired last year. Hopefully next months viewing will be little lighter!

General: 

I’ve really embraced Lush baths to ease the pain of my back which has produced some beautiful colours! I also received some lovely gifts after coming home including a swear word colouring book and flowers! On the subject of food I’ve been loving Tetley Boost teas and getting into my own baking! I’m also loving the new Powerpuff Girls range that Primark are embracing at the moment, I LOVED the Powerpuff Girls growing up so my Mum treated me to these. And finally my first gym session post injection, I was so proud of myself- read about it here.

What have your favourite things been this month? Any recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday Seven: Pancake Toppings

I cannot control my excitement that it’s finally pancake day this week! I absolutely LOVE pancakes, they’re easy to make, delicious and there’s a whole day to celebrate them. Here’s some ideas for toppings this week!

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Have a sweet side? Ice Cream, Double Cream and syrup might hit the spot.

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Feeling the American way? Maple Syrup on pancakes is on every breakfast menu in the US, you might want to embrace the syrupy goodness.

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If you’re a fan of the savoury over the sweet then throw in some bacon, because who doesn’t love bacon?

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Now I’m not against a plain pancake, they’re actually one of my favourites. Throw ’em my way.

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Nutella and Bananna has become HUGE. Personally, I’d rather just have the Nutella but if you want some healthy and unhealthy in one mix then this would be one for you.

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Sugar, simple and sweet.

lemon-1024641_1280Lemon, another classic but this time to give your tastebuds a kick.

What will you be having on your pancakes this week? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday Seven: My Seven Favourite Things About Up North

I’m writing this post tucked up in Ali’s grandparent’s living room in Durham. We try and make the trip as often as we can, hopefully yearly and I absolutely LOVE it up here. Despite the fact I’m always cold there’s so much about being in the North that I love, here are just 7 things. IMG_2337

The Angel of the North

Isn’t she beautiful? An iconic part of the North and strong as hell, just like the people who surround her.

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The People

Miller’s are good people. I love spending time with Ali’s family and everyone up here is lovely. It also makes me happy as I have family that came from Newcastle so a little bit of me is from here too.

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The Buildings

I love taking walks around Durham and Newcastle because the buildings are absolutely beautiful, look at this street. There’s also castles and loads of different bridges around too so you can really admire the changing times.

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Ali’s Gran’s cooking

Ali’s gran makes excellent cakes, this weekend we’ve been treated to chocolate cake with jam and cream. I’ve been taking notice so hopefully I’ll be a cak baking expert soon.

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Newcastle 

There’s something about this city that is magical. We took a long walk yesterday (despite my back protesting most of the way) and there’s so much to see and so many cute shops, the castle, museums and restaurants.

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History

There is so much history up here, this is a super old picture (back when I was still at school!) of Ali and I at Hadrian’s Wall, a big set of Roman ruins. There’s also Beamish museum which is a live action museum, train museums. Basically if you like history there’s a lot to do up here.

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Being called Pet 

This is, and always will be, one of my favourite parts of coming up north. I love being called pet by Ali’s gran, it makes me feel all cute and adorable.

Have you been up North or do you live up here? What are your favourite parts?

Workouts and Willpower

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Work it!! 

For the last 6 weeks I’ve been trying really hard to get fitter and healthier. As soon as I was told that I was allowed to attempt a little more exercise I wanted to work on it. I went to physio religiously and only missed one week because I had the sickness bug and wasn’t allowed to. I’ve never really had the kick up the butt I needed before, but after the accident I had a huge appreciation for, you know, a working body.

Now I’m at home it would be easy for me to say ‘oh well! I’ll just start again in January!’ and then eat everything, ignore my routine and then cry in January. I refuse to forget my progress. So, a few weeks ago I called the biggest gym enthusiast I knew and asked if he could be my gym buddy once I was home. This morning I was picked up by my Gramps and we headed to the gym for my induction and his work out.

It is very weird that my Gramps is so much healthier than me and while I was being shown around, he was on all the machines! Eventually I got started and we were doing some of our exercises side by side. It’s nice because we’ve always been super close, to the point where I wouldn’t sleep as a toddler until he’d come home from work, so having this to do just the two of us was nice. Hopefully I’ll get at least 2 more sessions in before I go back to London.

I left feeling energised and really proud of myself. No one forced me to go and work out today I wanted too and felt so good after. My new gym buddy was pretty pleased too. If 16 year old me had been told I’d love the gym she would have fainted (I’ve never been sporty at all, riding was the only thing and, well, you know how that went).

Now, the other thing I need to work on over the holidays is not over indulging on sweets, chocolates, my Mum’s amazing cooking and my sisters delicious baking. Over the past few days I’ve been very good. I’m using my app and still eating my recommended amount of calories but it is hard. I don’t want to just not eat but at the same time I don’t want to seem rude. It’s a tough balance and on days like today sometimes I don’t want to eat because I know I’ve done so well, then I quickly remind myself that I’m not getting into that cycle again. I’m doing this the healthy way or not at all, hence why I won’t have any scales in my flat.

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Mine and Summer’s Gingerbread House…looks so yummy!

My willpower is being pushed to the limit but so far, so good. I feel healthy, happy and actually really accomplished that I’m sticking to something I’ve found so difficult in the past. Unlike a lot of the ‘new year, new me’ types that will head into the gym January I’m not doing this to lose that big of extra weight or because I ‘should’, I’m doing it because I’m really proud of my body. After all the healing and growing new bone after so much damage (some of which may be permanent) I’m going to treat it as well as I damn well can.

 

Cupcake Creations

Today was cupcake day, something I’ve been both nervous and excited about for the past few weeks. My Mum and sister had been to one of these classes before, at Christmas, and so Mum asked if I wanted to come along to the next one. Now as you all know I’m not the girliest girl most of the time but I do love to bake on my own. When I’m at home I do like to just make some cakes for the sake of it and snack on them for the next few days, baking is more my thing than cooking.

Mum couldn’t come in the end she’s been really sick, some bug or something that Dad has too. So I took my sister and sat in the class, at the start I thought oh God everyone is so quick while I’m stumbling along. There were a lot of people who obviously had spent a lot of time working on cupcakes but others were as slow as me. As we tried to make bows I got more and more frustrated it just wasn’t working. I was folding and twisting and it just wouldn’t go the way I wanted it.

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Experimenting with different flowers and techniques such as the ribbon rose, traditional rose, peals and an open flower.

You all know that I’m a perfectionist, I love getting things write and get easily frustrated when I get things wrong. I get irritated like this quite a lot, especially when it takes me longer to understand things but I’m gradually accepting that it’s a part of who I am, sometimes I take a bit longer. Other times I’ll get things, just like today’s rose making, I can definitely make roses for cupcakes as well as small flowers. I’m so excited that I now have this skill! I can’t wait to make and experiment with my cakes in the new flat, maybe that will fatten Ali up a bit, everyone always say’s he’s too skinny! The best part about today though was spending time and helping my sister while she also helped me. I love being around all my family and Ali at the moment, it makes sometimes feeling down a lot easier.

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My favourite decorations I did today, they came out beautifully 

Everything needs to slow down!

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Everthing is going so fast. There are so many things that I need to do or say or think about at the moment and overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel right now. I’ve been tried since Sunday and I’m trying really hard to be positive but little things are knocking me at the moment. Today hasn’t been out of the ordinary waking up, shower, lecture, mental health mentoring appointment again after feeling naff. The problem is there are so many things that are stressing me out at the moment it’s not the simple case of sitting down and working through a problem logically.

You all know I’m a fan of lists so here is one of all the things that are going on now first year is ending

-Assignments

-Presentations

-Awards Show

-Starting a new job

-Lack of sleep

-Finding somewhere to live

-Missing my family

-Getting the band ready for a big announcement

-Scholarship worries

-Driving worrys (still haven’t passed)

– Rude People and people expecting too much

No one said uni was easy, I don’t think I’d like it as much if it was but with everything that could possibly be going on happening at the moment I think I’m allowed to be a little stressed at the moment. I feel like a giant clock is sitting above my head and every tick makes me a little more stressed. Should I be stressed? No probably not work wise, I’ve done 90% of it, it’s just one module that I care a lot about which has me stressed and worried even though I’m told I shouldn’t be.

So what did I do to calm down enough to sit down and write this you ask? I spoke to my mental health mentor, made a few calls to get on top of things and I took some me time and not in a way I noramlly would. I went into my kitchen, leaving my phone in my room, and I started to cook. I wasn’t cooking to eat any of it, I just prepared meals for the next week to be frozen and it actually made me eat. It ended up being a kind of therapy I was so focused on cooking I cheered up, I felt on top of things again. Then I just curled up and watched a film while putting some finishing touches to my essay.

Like everyone else, sometimes I need things to slow down, I need to slow down. It’s harder because with my anxiety my mind is racing constantly, it doesn’t stop and then when the depression takes hold of this I start thinking of the worst thing that could happen. I’m getting better at recognising what I need and apparently cooking is something that can help…news to me! Either way I’m working on it, I hate sounding negative but sometimes I just can’t help it. Recording tomorrow..let’s see if that works!