Having recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary I have been thinking about posting a ‘love’ themed post for a while. But love is something which is extremely personal and difficult to put into words, so until now I couldn’t put my finger on what I wanted to write about. A few weeks ago we had a magical and romantic ‘couple shoot’ in Hyde Park, shot by the amazingly talented Rebecca Carpenter, and the stunning photography that came out of it inspired me to create this post. The images she captured seem to encapsulate how happy we are and how, a year on, we are feeling stronger and more in love than ever. Being in love is the most wonderful thing, here is some of my best advice for maintaining a strong and healthy relationship.

Say I love you everyday. I know it sounds cliché, but even after four years we still make sure we say those three little words every single day. It becomes habit after a while, but a little text after you’ve left in the morning just to tell your partner how much you love them will really make them smile. Of course, it’s easy to say ‘I love you’. But the fact that you make a point of saying it every day means that you really feel it too, and they’ll know that.

Decide that you don’t argue, and then don’t. Let’s face it, most of us hate arguments right?! Especially with the one we love the most. It’s so upsetting and hurtful things can be said that are not easily forgotten. Paul and I don’t argue, and some of our friends can’t fathom this. When they ask me, ‘How can you possibly live together, be married and not have fights?’ I always answer the same. Because we have made a commitment not to. The very action of declaring that we don’t argue prevents us from doing so. Sure, there are occasions when we could easily have a flaming row; one of us is snappy or tired, disagreements over chores, all the usual, but whenever we find ourselves on the brink of an argument one of us says, ‘Hang on a minute, we don’t argue – let’s sort this out.’ The situation is diffused and the prospect of argument has disappeared. If you agree to commit to a no argument policy then you will sort issues quickly and have much more time in each others company for happiness and laughter!

Make real time for each other. Sometimes, with our busy lives and trying to squeeze social lives around work I think we can forget to pencil some time into the diary for our other halves. Occasionally I feel like I haven’t seen Paul for ages, sure – I see him every day, but I don’t really feel like a work night evening spent in front on Eastenders is really quality time together. By making sure we make time for proper date nights and time for each other in our weekends/days off we can keep our relationships strong and happy.

Be grateful. We can all get on each others nerves sometimes but, at the end of the day, if you’re lucky enough to have found your soulmate then you should be super grateful for every moment! It’s the little things that matter, and I cherish every day. Life always gets in the way sometimes, but just taking a step back and thinking ‘wow, I am so GRATEFUL to have this special person in my life’ can really help put things into perspective, and ultimately will increase happiness levels and sense of contentment.

 

Compromise. I know, this one is so annoying because sometimes we just don’t wanna compromise godammit! We want our own way! But learning to compromise is so key to a happy relationship. It’s easier to do when you imagine that your compromise is genuinely going to make the love in your life happy. If ordering a Chinese instead of the curry you want is going to fill them with joy then it’s worth it – right?!!

So there you go. I’m not by any means saying that my marriage is perfect, but it’s perfect for me.

Wishing you love and happiness in your current and future relationships.

 

I feel like we all need a bit of cheering up at this time of year. Right? Christmas is over, back at school/work, it’s cold and the next holiday seems very far away indeed! Music can be such a game changer for me when it comes to lifting my mood. When I’m feeling a bit down I just turn my headphones up and play some feel-good music and I feel better almost instantly! The right music can be a very powerful thing.

Today I’m going to share with you my top twenty ‘songs that make me smile’ – and I hope they will you too!

  1. Pencil full of lead – Paulo Nutini (always reminds me how lucky I am)
  2. Better when I’m dancing – Meghan Trainor
  3. Azonto – Fuse ODG
  4. Can’t stop the feeling – Justin Timberlake
  5. Hold my hand – Jess Glynne (makes us smile because it’s the song we walked back down the aisle to as a married couple!)
  6. Dancing queen – ABBA (classic!)
  7. Happy – Pharrell Williams
  8. I want you back – The Jackson 5
  9. Love on top – Beyoncé
  10. Hey ya! – Outcast
  11. Uptown funk – Mark Ronson
  12. Price tag – Jessie J
  13. Marvin Gaye – Charlie Puth
  14. Dancing in the moonlight – Toploader
  15. Heatwave – Wiley (my holiday song!)
  16. Baby – Justin Beiber
  17. She’s so lovely – Scouting for Girls
  18. All summer long – Kid Rock
  19. Hey soul sister – Train
  20. Get lucky – Daft Punk

Happy listening and keep smiling!

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Happy 1st December!

Okay, I’ll admit, this post is as much for me as it is for everyone who reads it. I’ll be the first to admit that I can get a little down in winter time; I’m a summer girl through and through and the short days, dark mornings and cold weather really put me in a bad mood sometimes.

I truly believe that when life gets you down you can make such a difference to your mood by just acknowledging the amazing things in your life, the things to be grateful for, and appreciate just how bloody wonderful life can be. We all have up days and down days, but hopefully this list will remind you (and me) of the little things which can make us so, so happy.

💖 Loved ones. This may sound obvious but if you have people in your life who you love to bits and who love you back then we all need to be grateful for them everyday. But especially around Christmas which is a time for celebrating our family and friends. If I’m ever feeling miserable on a cold evening I cuddle my hubby, call my mum/nan or one of my close friends and I feel better straight away. Love makes the world go round – be grateful for it.

💖 A warm home. Not everyone has a lovely warm home to stay out of the cold winter air so it’s really something to be grateful for. I’m guilty of taking this for granted. I’m always complaining about our flat; how small it is, how it can get damp in the bathroom. But in reality we are super lucky to have a nice place to live and somewhere to be happy and relaxed.

💖Pretty Lights. Christmas lights are getting more and more beautiful every year and London especially is somewhere which really goes in for pretty lights. Everywhere you go the shops and restaurants are decked out in gorgeous classy displays and it just makes everything look lovely.

💖 Cosy nights in. At this time of year it’s easy to get a bit down in the dumps because we tend to go out less right? In the summer I’m always down the park, going for walks or (probably more often than not) in a pub garden! Being outside gives us endorphins and makes us feel happy and energised. But there is a real joy in coming in from work, kicking back with the TV on in your PJs and chilling out with the heating on full blast!

💖Good movies. Now, I’m not what you’d call a Christmassy person, but even I’ll admit that Christmas time is the best time for fantastic movies! It’s really the only time of the year when you can turn your TV on at any point and there is a wide choice of actually decent films on the normal terrestrial channels! I love it.

💖People are joyful. Now, this time of year may not fill me personally with buckets of joy (scrooge, I know!) but plenty of people absolutely cherish wintertime and find themselves overflowing with Christmas cheer. And generally, when people around me are happy – I’m happy.

💖Only six months to summer! And, if all else fails, we are over halfway to the best time of year again! Summer will be round in no time. Right?!

Wishing you a very Merry December full of joy and happiness.

Just something I’ve been pondering lately…

It’s like… I get that competition is healthy, in the right ways. For example, in sport. You can’t have sport without competition. You’ve got to have winners and losers.

But you can’t have winners at life! #winningatlife (as much as it appears on Instagram) is not a real thing. There’s no such thing. I mean, who would define it?? Who’s to say that my winning is the same as your winning? Who’s to say that I’m achieving more/doing better/ reaching my goals faster than anyone else. The beautiful thing about humans is that every single one of us is different. Not just physically but emotionally, mentally, personality wise, which means that we literally cannot compete when it comes to life. And I think it’s unhealthy to try.

For example, some peoples goals involve reaching the very top of your chosen career, others revolve around raising a healthy, happy family, some may see success as travelling the world and seeing all the wonders of the world. No one goal is better than another. By saying that something is not my goal in life it doesn’t mean I don’t think it should be yours. By saying I think one person is beautiful it doesn’t mean I think you’re not beautiful. Everyone is. There are a million ways to be beautiful.

The only person that I allow myself to compete with is myself. I am constantly trying to beat myself, do more, do better, be the best version of myself I can possibly be.

Chasing the dreams and aspirations  of others in the name of trying to ‘win’ can only end in emptiness.

Everyone is doing an amazing job. Don’t compare, celebrate. Peace and love.

(Disclaimer: This rant is my opinion and no offense is meant in any shape or form)


xox

Something a bit different today. I have recently been getting into crystals and I find their different meanings and properties really fascinating.  I started buying crystals when I came across a lovely lady who sells them in Camden market, for a reasonable price, and I just felt really drawn to her. She is so knowledgeable about the crystals and I felt such a fantastic energy from her and her stall.

Of all of the crystals I have always felt most drawn to the Rose Quartz and I have quite a few pieces now. It may be because it’s one of the ‘prettiest’ crystals and is a lovely shade of pink, but I think it’s because of its properties and energy that I feel so connected to it.

Rose Quartz is the stone of the heart, both its colour and energy represent love and caring. 

Having it in the house can bring love and protection to its inhabitants.

It is said to speak directly to the heart chakra and can heal emotional wounds, ease stress and bring feelings of peace and happiness.

I use Rose Quartz as a decoration and an active crystal. If I’m feeling stressed or anxious I hold it close to my chest to cleanse my heart chakra and feel that sense of balance. I also have a rose quartz which takes a tea light candle inside, once the candle is burnt the stone becomes warm and is really lovely to sit an mediate with.

I believe in the spiritual powers of crystals, but whether you do or not they are a lovely addition to the home and Rose quartz is certainly one of the most beautiful.

xox