The sunflower fields at Steve Harris Farm

sunflower fields

It is not often I write a post the same day something happens. However, I had been delightedly surprised by my wonderful Emma this morning. As we took a trip to the Sunflower fields, at Steve Harris farms, in Titchfield.

I have been saying for a while now that I wanted to visit Sunflower fields, and I was really excited when Em said she would like to go to one I had seen mentioned on Facebook. It was completely gutting when I searched Google on Tuesday to find that they had Closed their sunflower fields that weekend. So I didn’t think it was a trip we were going to be making this year!

I have not actually been to pick sunflowers before, or a sunflower field but it’s one of those things that I had on my bucket list. I’ve always seen stunning photos from other people that had visited these places. So I was so excited when we got there.

sunflower fields

What we enjoyed about the Sunflower fields at Steve Harris farms.

The fields at Steve Harris Farms are beautiful and massive. I was shocked by how big the Sunflower fields were. They seemed to be fairly busy but still adhering to social distancing rules, and supplying cutting tools that had been disinfected after each person had used them.

Because it is nearing the end of the sunflower season some of the sunflowers were starting to wither away. However, you could even find the beauty in the withering sunflowers.

It is definitely a beautiful experience to walk through sunflower fields, especially with so many thousands of them planted… I honestly could not imagine how many have actually been planted to make such a beautiful field.

The Sunflower fields that we visited, had a tractor and face boards for families to enjoy and take photos by. However tempting this was to get a photo by the tractor there was a lot of people doing the same thing, so me and Emma enjoyed just the fields themselves.

Steve Harris Farms, charge £5 per adult. Allowing 6 stems to be picked each. Meaning we brought home 12 beautiful stems, to put in vases around the house. Honestly brilliant!

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July 2020 – Wrapping up the month (back with it)

I have not done a post wrapping up the month in ages now! So I am back with a July 2020 wrapping up of the month. The whole Lockdown really threw me and I wasn’t really sure how to wrap up the months that had all been the same. So although I’ve had the new house to talk about, alongside our lockdown mayhem.

Things are slowly returning to normal life, well the ‘new normal’ life we have had to come to terms with. This year really has not been what we expected it to be. I mean with postponing our wedding until next year, we have been refocusing our minds on different things whilst we sort out our new wedding plans for next year.

July 2020

July 2020 for us, has been a month of business for us. Between seeing so much more of our friends and family, small celebrations and looking after my little cousin. Dealing with 3-year-old tantrums was definitely an eye-opener this month.

We did a lot of walking!

July has honestly been the month for walking. This month a group of us did a 7.5 mile walk in the New forest, Brockenhurst. The day before we also did a 2.5 mile walk around Manor farm. Oh, it has been challenging. Neither myself or Emma ever complain to be fit, and we find some long walks a challenge. I am so proud of us for the amount of walking we achieved, and it was so nice to be out in the wildlife. We have such beautiful places around us, so it is so nice to explore them whilst getting steps in!

Speaking of beautiful places. this month was my parents 30th anniversary and my Dads birthday, so we did a joint celebration with family BBQ (Social distancing of course). We have the BBQ at Emma’s dad’s new farm around his beautiful lake… It was lovely and we found a maize field on the farm. Which we enjoyed posing in for pictures. As well as running around making each other jump. It was a busy day for us as we headed from one farm to another for parties.

July has got me setting even more goals. Ultimately I would like to take my blog full time, So I am going to start using a bit of space in my monthly round ups to update with you what I have been up too towards my blog. This month has involved a lot of using Canva to make Pinterest pins… A lot of them, but my traffic to the blog has definitely grown since I started this!

Also! I am starting a news letter! so if you would like to have regular updates from me to your inbox! Use my side bar and subscribe! Can’t wait for you to join me there.

Posts from july 2020.

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19 Ways motivating you to be productive in starting your own business.

Stepping foot into the world of starting your own business is so exciting, very scary and alot of hard work. When I first started my business I was really really in over my head. I spent alot of time learning how to do things in different ways so it would suit me. A massive combination of trial and errors. Starting your own business can be amazing and successful. So keeping yourself organised, motivated and productive is key.

So what can you do to keep yourself on the right path for a successful starting of your own business?

starting your own business

1. Create a vision board. And Work our what it is you want to achieve.

A vision board is a perfect way to keep your self motivated. You visually keep your goals as images to remind you what your working towards, things you want in your future and even things that inspire and motivate you to keep doing what it is you do.

My favourite things about vision boards are that they are so personal to you that they can feature absoloutely anything you like.

2. Think about your ‘why’. And remember why you started!

Why was it you started your business venture? Have you been working towards it for a while now, but your only starting to really get going and take it seriously.

Scary, right?

I think that this it is so not important to know your reasons behind on why you are doing what it is you want.

Do you want to earn a bit of cash on the side? Build your confidence to stand on your own two feet? Or even your own personal reasons. Just be honest with yourself. And it allows you to focus yourself back to motivation to work hard.

Work hard play hard.

Not the post for you? fancy something a little bit more creative? check out the Cricut Explore Air 2, here.

3. Surround yourself with inspiration.

Do you know why Sophia Christina Amoruso is? Her story is so inspiring.

She is the founder and owner of the company Nasty Gal. That massive high street brand so many of us love. She later released her book, #girlboss and had a Netflix series made revolving around her journey to CEO. After reading her book, I was left feeling so inspired. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. For Sophia it started with a second-hand jacket from a thrift store, now she owns her own brand.
I started selling my used clothes that I no longer wanted/needed on eBay. Before I knew it I was starting my own business. Soon, I was sourcing out more stock to sell on. Now I am building my next stage of what I want to achieve in life.

starting your own business
Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels.com

4. Work out if you are really passionate about achieving your goal and starting your own business?

If you don’t love your goals and dreams, they won’t love you? Being passionate about something is about having that want to live and breathe what they do. Your talents have been paying off and your excited about the possibilities and proud of every single achievement you have made. You love your skills and you want to share it with the world without holding back.

I’ve never heard a singer become famous and hate singing. It’s something they love and have been passionate about. So they worked hard, and made themselves known for doing what they love. Singing.

Now think about your goal? You are starting your own business. You want to be your own boss, you want to be perusing your dreams. Not your nightmares.

Passion is a major key to success. Without passion there is no motivation. Mainly because your just not interested enough to furfill your goals.

Needing to start a blog/website. WordPress is the most flexible used website software. Check out my post on how to start a blog, here.

5. Get up. Get dressed and have breakfast.

Honestly, I love having my pjs on and staying in bed for the perfect day of laziness. But it’s not what we should be doing everyday.

Yes, ok maybe part of the dream starting your own business was the comfort of lay-ins and PJ days. However not creating a healthy balanced routine could be affecting your drive to work and complete tasks.

Get up at a reasonable hour, have breakfast (and that coffee your dying for first thing in the morning), then get yourself dressed. Even if you are planning to spend the day inside, and not leave the house putting something Comfortable for working in is a smart move to make.

6. Find yourself a space to work. Away from distractions.

Firstly, a workspace is exactly that, a space dedicated to you for working. It’s the most valuable possession. Having a space of your own to spread out. Be creative and create your dreams happen.

I always feel my most productive when I’m sat in the craft room at my desk. Sometimes a bit of music to get me going.

7. Use a planner or a PA system.

When I finally decided to get over the cost of it and invest in a happy planner, I learnt something. I hadn’t been using a planner to its whole capacity.

I used to buy a standard planner, write all birthdays, anniversaries and important dates in. Then I would fill it with some appointments. But I wasn’t even consistent enough with this. Then I discovered the planner community. It already felt like all my christmases had come at once with the beautiful assessories and ideas for planning I had seen with the happy planner. But next came the actually using my planner for nearly everything. To do lists, appointments, goals, reflections, lessons, important notes. A personal assistant in paper form. Having a planner is so key whether it is digital, paper, or if you are like me, both.

8. Ensure you actually have everything you need to start your own business.

So I just spoke about a method of planning yourself. Now put that into action here. Ensure that you have the ability to achieve your goals with the correct tools. What do you need to achieve your goal? When I first started my selling shop I needed to invest in a few things. Postage materials, storage boxes, ink for labels, labels. Lots of random stuff. However, it was important. If I didn’t have these things there was no way that I would be able to even start a business. You couldn’t be an artist selling paintings without paint right? So think about it like that. Do you have everything you need to build, run and support your business?

9. Plan your week and stick to it where possible.

Let us not kid ourselves. Daily lives are hard to keep up with at the best of times, and now you are trying to balance life, money, happiness, and you’re starting your own business. There is so much to think about and so much to do. It is time to start using your lists and plans of what you need to achieve towards your business and placing them into action. There is literally no point writing lists of what you need to do if you are not going to follow through with them.

10. Set your priorities straight.

by allowing your tasks to overtake you, you can easily become overwhelmed. Overwhelming your brain leads to a fight/flight response as it starts to cloud what it is you need to do and when. Set your priorities in order to meet deadlines and keep these manageable. Don’t take on too much for what you want at a time. Being warn down and making mistakes could cause your business hurt and unmotivated you to carry on.

Check out what I have been doing to improve my writing skills, here.

11. Stop giving yourself excuses.

Is there something on your to-do list that is holding you back? or maybe you’re holding you back without even realising. You need to stop giving yourself excuses and start giving yourself reasons. Why can’t you finish something on your todo list? it is something preventing you from finishing other tasks too? it can have a roll one

12. Be open to learning.

Don’t they say knowledge is power? Well, I don’t really know who ‘they’ are but they have a pretty good point. Without the power of knowledge, we don’t learn, develop and grow. We need to be prepared to be successful in our paths that we should always be open to gaining further knowledge in our fields.

Learning new things towards your skills will improve your working life. As well as gives you an advantage in competition. Because you have learnt how to organically grow and maintain your business.

13. Organise your digital space

We know it’s important to have a clear and calm work space now. so why allow your digital space to feel cluttered?

Clearing your emails, organising your folders, and archiving no longer required files is just a few of the things you could be doing to organise your digital space. Ensuring your website is backed up, and had a health check. Ensuring your open projects are accessible, we wouldn’t want to work at a messy desk so why a messy system?

14. Spread your achievable goals out into day, week, month and year.

Ok, you know what it is you want to achieve, so now it is time to break it down into managerble portions. setting yourself daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Setting your goals too high at once causes so many people to give up. When really achievable goals is a motivational action. Encouraging you to challenge yourself as well as feeling proud of yourself.

15. Create a to-do list. Or a ten.

Creating to-do lists is one of my favourite methods of keeping organised and motivated. I spoke a lot about this when I posted about staying organised in life.

16. Set yourself appropriate times to work.

I’m going to be completely honest, this is one I struggle with. However it is still so true. 2am is not an ideal working hour! I’m always battling this one. I find a surge of ideas late at night so many times.

When it comes to my blogging I tend to write really late. And I always feel more inspired to work at night. But like me since I am taking my blog more seriously, I am treating it more and more like a job. As in 9-5 hours.

black and white blackboard business chalkboard
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Starting your own blog could be a new business opportunity for you, check out what you need to do here.

17. Take plenty of breaks.

I get it! You are on a roll. Things are going well and you want this to continue right? One key factor of keeping motivation is not to burn out. If you don’t allow your time to take breaks from what it is you are doing it is more likely to burn out, and give up.

Working non stop does not ensure your producing quality work.

18. Consider what your expenditures are and stick to a budget.

When it comes to spending money on our business it is true in many cases that you need to spend money before you start making any. Such as investing in your equipment that you need, fees for subscription services that help support your business. As well as varies other things.

It’s really important however to set yourself a budget. As your business grows you should already be thinking about the legal side of your business. Such as taxes and all the boring bits. Ensure you know exactly what your businesses outgoings are, as well as your incoming finance.

You need to know that your not constantly spending money without making any either. How can you feel motivated to success if your business is causing you debts?

19. Document everything you do, seriously.

No. I’m not joking about this one. You should document everything you do. Whether it’s building a portfolio for a personal or business reason.

I’ve always been a massive note taker. I knew I wouldn’t remember everything. I’d miss something so I had to start writing notes.

When you set your goal, you had a long time goal, right?

If your serious and your going to achieve your goals you obviously know that it’s what you want to do. So it could take you years but you can watch how you grow, see what you have achieved and have records of expenditure and income from the start.

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Switching to Skystra hosting. Why I suggest Skystra to anyone blogging!

This page contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase through the links. Regardless, I only recommend products I believe in. Thank you for your support.

macbook pro on white table
Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

I have had websites for years, I started learning some basic coding when I was around 13, the same time I got my first laptop. I was stuck bedridden at the time having had my leg surgery, and I had discovered the online world of IRC. Oh, the memories I have, me and my laptop. A true geeky tween. I first started using Go Daddy hosting, because I registered a domain, and I had free hosting through a friend. It wasn’t until last year when I really started taking my blog seriously that I found switching to Skystra hosting was the best move I’ve made so far.

Moving to another hosting provider seemed really daunting at first! I hate changing, but I really had no choice. GoDaddy does not offer free SSL and wanted a yearly payment of £80. I couldn’t really understand why something so needed for a website was being charged for at such a cost. So I hit google. Did a ton of research and found Skystra.

If your interested in starting your own blog, check out my post explaining where you need to start, here.

Why did I choose to make the move to Skystra Hosting?

The support:

So the first thing I was really impressed with was the online support being offered by the Skystra team. Before I had even registered an account I decided to speak to one of their advisors about the prospect of moving my blog away from Go Daddy hosting and switching to Skystra hosting instead. The advisor was so helpful and pleasant to talk to and explained that they would do everything for me and secure that I wouldn’t lose any of my website data. Which of course was comforting.

Free website move:

Skystra dealt with my whole website move, with barely any faff. When I had spoken to the previous web hosting support teams I had never had as much help. So it was a really welcoming feature. Their team are prepared to move your website to there servers, without any issues within a few hours.

Reasonable pricing:

Although based in the USA, and priced in dollars, I still find that the pricing plan is very affordable for the service you are getting. I signed up for the starter plan. Which covers exactly what I want right now, and is a brilliant package for any start-up bloggers.

The SSL:

If you don’t know what SSL is don’t panic. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and this is a global standard security technology that enables encrypted and secure communication between a web browser and a web server. So basically it’s a fancy layer of security.

Their affiliate program:

When you register for your Skystra account, you are automatically entered into their affiliate program, where they give you a link to earn on your referrals. I have already earned through this program, and found it really rewarding to refer friends too.

How about checking my post on 7 brilliant apps to make your blogging life easier! here

Included in my plan, The ‘Go’ plan.

  • 3 WordPress Websites
  • 10GB Cloud Storage
  • 100GB Global Traffic
  • 10 Email Addresses
  • WooCommerce
  • Free Website Move
  • Free SSL
Switching to Skystra hosting

Starting a blog is such a positive journey you can empower on, take a look at my reasons to blog here.

If you are considering to any other hosting, I highly recommend switching to Skysta hosting if you are already on a hosting plan that you are not completely happy with.

I have not been asked to write this post, however, it does include affiliate links which earns me a small commission if you choose to buy a plan through my links. (which I appreciate very much).

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Experiencing corrective leg surgery

Hey and a very good morning to you all. Today I want to tell you about an experience that has had a massive impact on my life. Sometimes In life, you end up doing things that you know deep down are just not what you wanna do. There are things that we do in life that we feel like we have no choice but to do them. Even when these are all opportunities for self-improvement. Although I wish we did sometimes life really has no handbook on whether we are making the right choices or not. For myself, one of the biggest decisions I have had to make is whether or not to have corrective leg surgery. Life-changing surgery.

I was born with twisted hips. I don’t actually know that we know what it was that caused my hips to be twisted but I know my parents knew was my hips were twisted from birth. It became apparent when I was a toddler I was walking with my feet faced inwards, and to me that was my natrual way of walking. Some people know this as pigeon toe. It was known from a toddler onwards that I may need corrective leg surgery in my life.

When I reached school age I started to have check ups with the hospital, and was referred for multiple rounds of physiotherapy to see If I could train my legs to walk straight without having to resort to the surgery.

This year I have been focusing on building my confidence a lot, check out my recent post about my confidence journey, here.

When I was a child I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life. Before the age of 13 as well. Since it was my life and my body my parents left the desision primarily down to me. It was the decision whether or not to have corrective surgery on my hips. Corrective legs surgery would be having both of my legs broken at the hips by surgeons and set straight using pins.

corrective leg surgery

bullying was such a big part of my decision on having corrective leg surgery.

One of the things that persuaded me with my decision was the bullies. I went to an all-girl school, and I was just an easy target. The girls taunted me for not being able to walk straight. I will never forget the day that I was chased home from school by a group of girls in my year, laughing at the way I was walking, trying to catch me.

One of the girls managed to push me into a bush. The road home was a long straight road, and it felt neverending. I remember getting near to the end of the road and seeing this woman in her garden, I managed to grab her attention. She came to my aid as she got in the way of the girls, giving me a few extra seconds to get across the main road, and into the house where I locked the door straight away behind me. (my parents weren’t impressed, the school said it was a grey area of being something they could deal with/or the police. I didn’t want the police involved).

Another part of the decision to have surgery was the fact I was constantly falling over, I would have scabs on my knees from falling into the gravel (not that it’s has changed much, I still fall over nothing.)

I remember when I made the choice to have my legs surgically corrected I was 100% sure at the time. Even though I knew it was going to be a massive thing.

Having this surgery is a massive part of my past. One I often reflect on.

The first surgery took around 8 hours. 8 hours under the knife, where they reset both of my legs at the same time. Where the operation had taken so long I was then given a blood transfusion due to losing so much blood.
It makes me sad now. Because of that, I can’t give blood myself now.

The recovery from the surgery wasnt the most pleasent. I spent months in a wheelchair and bed. And then again on crutches. My legs had forgotten how to work, where I lost all my muscles from not using them, so I had to learn to walk again. I still remember the day I stoof up from the wheelchair for the first time since the operation. In my head I knew how to walk so I didnt even realise it was going to take so much to be able to return to normality. I think I thought I would be able to just stand up out of the wheelchair I’d been stuck in and just walk… as I said, it really didn’t work like that. 2 surgeries, months of being between crutches and a wheelchair I was finally back on my feet. Literally.

I’ve had problems with my health for a long time, Check out my post where I talk about the effects on my mental health, here.

It may have taken a long time. But I did get there. I still have a few problems with my hips now. Recently, I have been disagnosed with the beginning of atheritus in my hips. Which is a result of the surgeries I had when I was younger. I dont get the pain I’d gone through before, but the odd tingle. And of course not to mention the 2 double scars on each of my hips.

corrective leg surgery

Do I regret having the surgery?

This is a question that is so hard to answer. I wish I had of waited, yes. Having the surgery so young was something that has effected me in many ways. I should be taller than I am but then my body was spending more time healing then growing. I know that my dad does regret letting me go through with the surgery now. However, I don’t think it is something I can actually regret, as it had some positive aspects. I will admit that now though, I do agree that it has had more negative impacts on me than positive. If I could change anything, I would have had the corrective leg surgery a bit later in life.

I started thinking about the operation because it had been a major thing that I had got to experience. When I think about what I have achieved in my life so far, I feel that overcoming this was such a massive achievement, because I did it! I got through it.

Want to learn more about me? read my post 21 random things that you probably don’t know about me, here.

To me, it proves something major. Ok, I’m gonna be really cliche here. But if I can get through this. As well as half the other shit I’ve been through I can get through anything.

The past is who makes you who you are today, all the struggles and challenges happen for a reason, to build who you are today. This is just one thing like you will have one, and more things that will build you as a person! these experiences in life we should take the time to value and learn from.

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7 things lockdown has taught us.

things being in lockdown has taught us
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Seriously guys, how crazy has this year been for us? Not one of us had a clue that 2020 was gonna lead to us being stuck in our houses for months on end. Unable to see our friends or families. Having to queue for hours on end to get inside a shop, only to see that they are pretty much out of stock on everything. Being in lockdown really has been a shock to us all. The thing is being in lockdown has taught us a lot. We’ve all experienced things that we will never forget.

Although the coronavirus has not disappeared on us completely yet, we are returning to normality. Well no. Not the normal we knew. The new normal. It seems to be happening quickly. Although we are still being cautious. Staying in where ever possible. Reducing contact and wearing a face cover when required. Even our pubs are open again! And 2 meters became 1. Insane right?

things being in lockdown has taught us
Just one of my finished projects from lockdown!

So what are the things being in lockdown has taught us?

We really do know how to support each other.

Being in lockdown has taught us to naturally support each other. We didn’t need telling. Checking in on our neighbours and shopping for the vulnerable and shielding. We connected with the people around us to support them, through a crazy and unsettling time. The best thing was learning that our support network was huge. It didn’t matter who you are. Someone was checking in to see that we were okay.

If anything we learnt how we can support others in a multitude of ways. And the best thing was the sharing! we showed we cared by sharing what we had when someone was in need.

We learnt to be creative with what we have.

All of a sudden we were confined to our houses, with most of the shops having to close, leaving us with the supermarkets, and a few odd shops that managed to stay open because they ‘sold food’ (like The Range?)

But mostly we became creative with the things we had lying around the house. We turned old fabric into facemasks! and uplifted our houses for most of the period with amazing skills! and a lot of flicking through Pinterest. We baked, we cooked, we crafted our time away.

How to appreciate the things we have in life.

God, where would have been without technology. Honestly? Because it kept in in communication a lot over the past few months. Even if it was a Facebook update letting us know that it’s day 67 of lockdown and your sick of everything right now. We did, however, learn new ways of keeping in touch with each other. We video called most days. Recording ourselves doing silly crap on Tik Tok. Most of all. And we had a lot of fun with it.

We learnt how much we took for granted.

We didn’t realise how good our lives were until we had our freedom taken from us for months as we were thrown into lockdown. No longer able to come and go as we please like normal. Or just being able to see our friends. A trip to the cinema or a shopping day. I don’t even think I realised how often we went out to eat until lockdown and it wasn’t an option! Honestly.

We really learnt to care more.

Everything felt really scary for a while, in fact, it still does now. So when we asked if someone was OK? We really meant it. We learnt the importance of caring for others.

My favourite moment of lockdown was video calling my nan for the first time! It was funny as well as being amazing cause I missed her so much! Just checking in with her for 5 minutes really made a difference too.

Self care is really important, and we know this even more now.

We should all know what self-care is. If you don’t check out this post here. It will explain everything.

We all seemed to start focusing on self-care so much more the past few months. Lockdown has been so hard on many of our mental healths. So we took extra time to look after the most important person! You! With little pamper sessions, and chances to read here or there. Its been kinda nice at times. Until it got boring anyway? But we still valued our self-care.

Anything can happen. anything can change.

The final thing I want to mention that being in lockdown has taught us is the change. One of the harshest realities that we have learnt since the start of coronavirus and the lockdown period, is how anything can change for any one of us.

We started 2020 full of plans and hopes for the year, to which the coronavirus has left crushed. Like our wedding. So many people have been left looking for employment as many businesses shut and could not cope under the economic downfall. It sucks! but we support each other through it!

And as we return to normal, we are also learning the ‘new normal’. As things won’t quite ever be the same again it appears.

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16 signs you are in a toxic relationship.

Trigger warning: Talking about abuse.
toxic relationship
img src: pexels

This topic is something very close to my heart. Going through emotional abuse in a relationship is something I have experienced. It’s a horrible thing to have to go through and the worst thing is actually realising that your relationship had been abusive. So today I wanted to share the signs that I was missing in a toxic relationship, in the hope that it will inspire strength in someone else.

Realising you are in a toxic relationship can be overwhelming and scary. You may feel trapped.

The harsh truth is this, if your even considering for one minute, you might be in a toxic relationship. The chances are your instinct is right. But you don’t feel sure. You do however feel trapped. I did, when I read a similar kind of post. It was like reading myself except someone else was telling it.

When you are in a relationship, you really don’t expect that the person who says they love you to treat you badly. Sadly, there are relationships where the person does not need to be physically assaulting you to be an abuser. For me, I didn’t know any better. Starting a relationship like this where I was young. I wanted to know better and be right about everything. Ofcourse.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Before we talk about some of the signs of a toxic, emotionally abusive relationship…

At first, the relationship starts out as perfect. They wrap you around their fingers. Create a false sense of happiness in a perfect relationship until they let their halo slip slowly. So a relationship that should be full of happiness, Memories and love is a relationship of depression. Arguments and fear.

Maybe you have had friends or family try to tell you that you are not being treated right. Are you listening to them? I doubt it. I wasn’t. It took me years to actually realise for myself. This wasn’t easy. It was an incredibly difficult time.

Myself, as a shy and I confident young adult, was listening to the lies and allowing myself to be given hope that the future would always be better. But nothing would ever change. Instead, it just got worse …

Need to move on from this post? Try why I blog, here.

Are you in a toxic relationship of emotional abuse?

pink and white flowers on white wall
Photo by Evie Shaffer on Pexels.com

They paint a perfect picture.

When you first get into the relationship they have already painted a perfect picture of their personality. They make out to be all these things you already know they aren’t but there still doing it. Creating an image that things will change and your gonna do this and that together. they’re planning holidays and future times. They make you feel loved and the happy times are so good that they weigh out the bad times.

They start arguments constantly.

How long was it before you had your first argument with your partner? Did you fall out and then wake up to an apology. Was it about something silly? But then a few weeks later again? It’s normal right? Couples argue. However, it keeps happening. And you find yourself constantly in heated moments of arguing. Again they find a way of making it all your fault. So you feel guilty. You hear it from their point of view. They tell you they argue because of how they feel. They shout and scream because they love you and you are hurting them. You don’t know what it is you have done but every time you argue they win.

They have already built up such a connection with you that you want it to last and your trust them, because why wouldn’t you?

You can’t trust what they say to you.

You trust them and then they finally slip up. They’ve been lying to you constantly. After a while you don’t know what to believe.

We all have suspicions at the best of times. But then again they are good at covering there tracks. Or at least they think they are. They have a backup excuse for everything they do.

Humiliates you, either alone or in front of other people.

One minute they tell you that you are everything to them, that your special, that you’re the only real one. The next they go out of their way to make you feel as small as a mouse.

They twist everything around to be everyone else’s fault(including yours), but never their own.

They turned vicious. Shouted. Screamed. Said all kinds of horrible things. Then they blame everything possible for what they did. Or maybe they did something and now that’s your fault too.

You hadn’t done anything. However, that does not matter. You have now been guilted into taking the blame, apologising for their behaviour. You don’t even notice them twist things round sometimes. It happens so much.

Belittles you and trivialises your hopes, dream and accomplishments

When your happy. Building your life. Going for that dream job or just being you. Your successful and they hate it. They try to bring you back down. Trying to break your confidence even more so then it already is.

Tries to control you and your behaviour

Being in a relationship does not mean they control you. But in a relationship filled with emotional abuse comes the aspect of being controlled. It’s not as simple as just being told what you can and can’t do either. They make you feel like you can’t breathe. You no longer feel like you are able to go out and have fun.

toxic relationship
Photo by Ylanite Koppens pexels

Isolates you from friends and family

They tell you they need you, that your selfish and you don’t spend enough time with them. Really you spend too much time with them, but they will do everything that they can to make you distance from your loved ones. It’s hard. You don’t want to be in yet another argument but you want to see your loved ones. Your friends are starting to fade away because your now known as the girl who doesn’t go out. Always having to make an excuse to leave.

They guilt you into staying with them. Or making it so hard to see these people because they are telling you that they should be good enough.

Keeping hold of friends during an abusive relationship is difficult. You are forced into making the wrong decision every time. They slate every single one of your friends. Making you feel like you have no choice but to make excuses on why you cant socialise. You really want to be out and having fun, but it is no longer worth the pain of being shouted at.

Blames you for their problems

Taking the blame for something is never easy, but sometimes we just need to own up. “Hey, Sorry that’s my fault”. Except they can never seem to take the blame, even for the little things. It is never their fault, so they blame you. For everything.

In fact they literally blame everyone else but themselves for everything that is wrong in their life. They do nothing for their own self improvement. They just crush your happiness because they are not happy with themselves.

Is unfaithful to you and becomes emotionally distant or withholds sex to control you.

You may not have read my post, the truth about being in a love triangle.

It was my reality. Being in a relationship with someone who dated someone else at the same time. In one way I will never regret the past because without it I would not be in love with my beautiful Emma. We were both controlled by the same person. Lied too. Kept secret. Being told every excuse under the sun to stop the truth from coming out.

They cheat and then blame you.

Being in a love triangle is a hard, and humiliating position. I wrote a post explaining my experience, here.

toxic relationship
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They pressure you into being tied to them.

They go all out. Treat you. Make amends for their behaviour. Buy you something expensive and suddenly your in debt to them.

They tie you into being in a financial situation, it starts with something small then it goes up. They do it both way rounds. And suddenly you find yourself in a position where you feel trapped. You can’t walk away because you can’t afford to pay the fiance which they made you get.

They use you for money.

Carrying on from that, They have won again. Another guilt trip. You really tried to put your foot down this time but it didn’t work. Guilted into a situation. Guilted into taking out finance because they had already fucked their credit and it would be the only way. Leaving you with tons of debts and money owed left to right and centre. It doesn’t matter to them they are getting everything they want. Even if you have nothing.

So many relationships have been left leaving them with debts and financial issues. You feel used. You know you are being used. But you are stuck. I promise money is not a reason to stay in this relationship. Money is superficial.

Your not as important.

A relationship should be equal. Both people should be able to feel loved. And important.

When they are doing things it’s the most important thing in the world. They make you feel shit, because the things you are into are apparently pointless and have no meaning.

Lacks respect and point out your mistakes or shortcomings

You can’t make a mistake because it will be pointed out and used against you. Even if it’s something like falling asleep at 3am because you get kept awake every night as they constantly harass your phone, even though they are work.

Mental health and self-care are so important for your wellbeing, read my post on why self-care is so important, here.

If you relate to any of these in your relationship…

You may not want to hear it. Because they have so many excuses about why they are the way they are. They have gone through a bad time themselves. Endured abuse and bullying themselves. However, nothing actually justifies there actions. It is not ok to be treated this way, ever.

You are an amazing and wonderful human being and you deserve so much more than what you are receiving.

Love is not this. Breaking away from them would be the best action in your life.

It won’t be easy. They will try and tell you anything to get you back. But you are strong. You can do this.

Block them. And cut all contact. And if you think they may reach out to your loved ones to get to you. Ask them to block them also. Keep records of any interactions made in case. You never know what will happen.

They accuse you of being unfaithful constantly

Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? Are they constantly checking up on you? Asking you to send pictures just to prove where you are?

Accusing you of cheating because you didn’t answer your phone when they rung? Or you have not been able to answer a text message in their timely manner. It should never be like this.

They are normally accusing you because there doing the same thing. They think it will help them justify what they are doing to you.

You try to walk away but they won’t leave you alone until they have you back under there control.

You’ve finally broken. You don’t love them anymore. You’ve realised that it was never real love but they still have control over you because it’s all you’ve got. You don’t know any different. To walk away, had become a fear. You’ve got yourself in to deep and there are excuses you make yourself. I know.

You start to tell yourself you can get through this and it will be ok. Something always stops you walking. They start treating you better. Giving you what you need until they have the upper hand.

I promise you now. The 5 moments of happiness does not change what has been done. Neither does it change, how you have been treated.

toxic relationship
Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

Does any of this feel familiar to you?

I should have left this relationship months in. But I let it get worse. I wanted to be in a relationship and it was fear of being alone along with other deceptions that kept me going back. The situation just grew worse and my life became habit. I was miserable and I would never be able to explain why I thought I was doing the right thing in staying in a place so vile. Or how I was convinced to do so many things I did not want too.

If you are in a toxic relationship. I know it’s hard. You are scared to admit the truth. really, You don’t even want it to be the truth. You keep making excuses for their behaviour because you are scared. It’s now your normal. How will you cope afterwards? I promise you you can be happy.

My story may be different to yours but it’s all the same. Abuse is abuse. Life is so short. You deserve to live it happy. You deserve to find someone who will treat you right and be equal with. Just like I did.

I fell in love with my abusers girlfriend. We kept each other strong and finally walked away from a place neither of us wanted to be. I was lucky to have someone support me and make me strong..l

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If You are in a position you would like support with. I am not a councillor but I am always here to be a friend to someone who needs it. It’s never ok to feel alone.

What to remember if you are in a toxic relationship…

Only you can make the decision to walk away, and I know from experience. Walking away is hard. But you are stronger than you think, and you deserve happiness.

It may seem scary but do what’s best for you! You have people who love you and will support you during this difficult time.

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What I have been doing to improve my writing skills

Even the most competent writer will be someone continuously looking to improve their writing skills. All those aspiring writers out there, whether they are creating stories, bloggers, journalists or anything else. They all started somewhere. Anyone can be a writer as long as they have a passion for writing, but I think it’s quite fair to say that not everybody has the ability to be confident in their own writing straight away.

My downfall has always been my spelling and grammar. Through school, I was terrible at including grammar, punctuations and spelling. I hated it at one point. My passion had always been being creative. I had all the ideas of what words I would want to use, but It was just the formalities I couldn’t get on with.

writing skills
img src: canva

Whilst there are so many different styles of writing and skills to be gained. You don’t need to have glowing qualifications to be able to get your content noticed.

there are so many things that you can be doing on a day to day basis that will naturally improve your writing abilities without having to attend a course. (a writing class is always an option but not always convenient)

Looking for something to do? read my creative things to do when in lockdown post, here.

An excuse to read more…

If you are a book lover already then this really shouldn’t take much persuading anyway. I absolutely love to sit and chill out with a hot drink (or a cheeky glass of Wine) in the evening with a book in my hand.

The more you read the more you will gain in your own writing. You will discover so many different new styles and the inspiration that you gain is amazing.

It doesn’t matter if it isn’t a book or story either. blogs, newspaper articles, magazines, poems. Whatever it is, as long as your enjoying it, your reading experiences will be valuable.

Get playing Scrabble and other word games…

I am not kidding! Whether you are addicted to board games. Or enjoy playing on your phone word games get you thinking, can subconsciously improve your spelling and increase your own mental dictionary. My spelling has improved massively since I started playing scrabble with friends. It worth a go.

Practice your writing skills with Journaling…

Journaling may seem like an obvious writing style. However, with a journal you have a personal and private place where you can continue to practice your writing skills, whilst also having a creative outlet to enjoy.

Thinking of starting your own blog? check out my post on how to start your own blog, here.

Join others in writing groups…

Facebook and Twitter have some amazing groups circulating where others are sharing ideas, asking for help, and connecting with others that have the passion for writing, whatever your writing style is there is a group online somewhere where you will be able to connect with others and grow your experiences.

I’ve also noticed that some of these groups create challenges and competitions for writers to join in with. Which is another great way of increasing your writing skills and experience.

Focusing on writing skills and Spend time content planning…

So many ideas. So little time, right?

Keep a notebook by your side and jot down your random writing ideas. This was you won’t forget the brilliant idea you had and can use this later.

I’ve found that sometimes I will have an idea for a new blog post or a few phrases of the book I am working on, and just by writing it down for later, or jotting it down on my notes in my phone has made such a difference to my writing skills.

Having trouble staying organised? check out my post on staying organised, here.

Ask for as much feedback as possible…

One of my biggest pieces of advice to anyone would be to stop seeing feedback as threatening. All feedback is so useful for growing and improving your writing. Constructive criticism is the most valuable tool you can be given on a plate. Use the criticism to acknowledge any possible flaws in your writing. We’re all human and even the greatest writers and bloggers, make mistakes, have writer’s block and has a bad day.

Finally Download Grammarly,

Grammarly has been a massive help for me when proofreading my writing and editing my blogging work, and everything else. It is a plugin that I highly recommend, as not only does Grammarly check your grammar, but it also highlights any clarity enhancements that suggests removing unnessisary words and phrases from your writing.

I would love to hear your ideas on improving your confidence within your writing and your writing skills? let me know in the comments below.

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The Happy Planner. What you need to know.

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy from these links it will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The Happy Planner

Good morning everyone! Happy Friday! I hope you have all had a fantastic week! Today I am telling you all about one of the things I love, Planner. Not just any planner though, I discovered the happy planner around 3 years ago now and I have been completely obsessed with this planner ever since. 

It certainly took me a lot of research and debating before I actually made my first purchase to own a happy planner but I have never regretted the decision to start my planning journey with them.

As a lover of planners anyway, and a massive writer of to-do lists, Choosing the right planner is honestly a massive deal, especially when you are wanting to stay organised and on top of life.

Want some tips on staying organised? check out my methods of organisation, here.

So, What actually is a happy planner? 

Designed by the company, me & my big ideas, The happy planner is an expandable, disc-bound planner system. So pretty much, your ultimate life organiser. That combines the need for organisation, with being creative. Pretty awesome right? 

WHAT MAKES A HAPPY PLANNER SO SPECIAL?

There are so many styles and customisations that you can make to your planner. You can style your planner however you want to. With a massive range of different sizes, inserts, discs, and accessories. There is literally so much to choose it’s overwhelming at the start. 

With a few box kits available as well, these give you a kick start in being able to customise them.

Staying creative and crafting is so good for your mental health, Check out my reasons why crafting is so good for your mental health post, here.

BUYING A HAPPY PLANNER IN THE UK.

There are 3 options available to us in the UK wanting to obtain a happy planner and it’s accessories. 

Through The Happy Planner website directly.

The Happy Planner website (TheHappyPlanner.com), although based in America, does ship internationally. You definitely need to check out the website either way, as there are so many useful tips and so much inspiration to be gained from following their website. Including their free Happy downloads.

I admit that I have never purchased directly through there website, but this was because I was not sure of how many fees would be occurred by doing so this way.

Through Amazon & Amazon global. 

The first time I purchased The Happy Planner, I brought a classic, vertical, un-dated similar to this one here, through Amazon Global. The reason I chose to purchase my planner this way is because I had never brought anything internationally before. 

Although I did take some time to google the International shipping regulations I found these a bit daunting as I really wasn’t sure about the charges. My cousin once told me that she had to pay over the cost of an item before so I really couldn’t afford that to happen at the time. 

My planner took around 3 weeks to arrive and I thought that was brilliant and there was no further charges on international shipping as this had already been included in the at a fixed rate. 

Through a UK craft supplier website. 

Some UK craft stores are doing the hard work for you (the importing from America) and supply Happy Planners and a variety of accessories as part of their online stores. My favourite being Craftelier. I would try a google search of ‘Happy Planner UK Supplier’.

WHAT TYPES OF PLANNER CAN I GET?

My favourite planner type is the classic size with a vertical layout however this year I am using a Journal style layout. Which with how 2020 has been, was probably a lucky choice! The journal has a lot of freedom to be used as an organiser as well as reflecting on a day to day basis.

Basically, you have 3 decisions you need to make when buying a Happy Planner. Firstly what size do you want? You can get a happy planner in a mini, classic or big size, as well as skinny classic or a skinny mini.
Next, what kind of layout do you want to use? The vertical, Horizontal, Dashboard, Monthly and Hourly.
Your last decision you have to make is whether you want your planner already dated or not. I prefer the Undated, It gives you freedom of how you want to plan your year, and organise your planner.

The Happy Planner

WHAT ASSESSORIES CAN I GET TO GO WITH MY PLANNER

Ok, so I am addicted to official happy planner accessories and supplies. I have a cart shelf full of my sticker books and planner supplies.

Types of accessories:
  • covers
  • sticker books
  • Dashboards
  • Page markers
  • Happy Punch
  • Filler Paper
  • Discs
  • Envelopes
  • Tabs
  • Dividers
  • Pocket Folders
  • Decorative AccessoriesCovers
  • Stencils
  • Stamps
  • Adhesive Pockets

The happy Planner inserts are also a love of mine. 

Inserts and extensions such as: 
  • Plain lined pages 
  • Bullet journal sqaures 
  • Budget planners
  • Wellness planner
  • Christmas Planner
  • Wedding Planner
  • Fitness Planner
  • 6 Month extensions

BUT CAN’T THIS BE COSTLY? 

Not necessarily. There are no limits to what you do with your planner. So you could opt for buying the planner itself and customising it in other ways to buying official happy planner accessories. 

The Happy Planner discs

Also using crafting and stationery supplies, such as sticky notes, and washi tape and non-happy planner formatted stickers is a massive option to still keep your planner creative and full of life.

There are so many amazing Etsy sellers that sell stickers they have designed especially for the planning community. I have brought numerous planner layouts from Etsy, as well as using my happy planner sticker books.

HOW CAN I BE CREATIVE WITH MY HAPPY PLANNER

There are so many amazing Instagram accounts that dedicate their profiles to their planner customisations alone. You should check these out. they are so inspiring. especially under the #happyplanner #plannercommunity hashtags.

I love to fill my planner pages with a variety of stickers, to do list blocks, as well as inspiring quotes.

Addicted to stationery like me? check out my signs of stationery addiction post, here.

WHAT ARE THE MAJOR PROS THAT KEEPS ME GOING BACK TO THIS PLANNER?

Firstly the removable pages are a massive love of mine and the fact that you can add extra pages and inserts into your planner. Making the planner fully customisable for user requirement. Which is not something that is optionable with a lot of planners, so it is my favourite feature.

I didn’t really know much about the customising planner’s world until I found this planner, and now I find myself wanting to invest in some of the other planners around as I would love to trial Erin Condren’s life planner.

What are your guy’s experiences with this planner? Is it something that you are considering buying? have I missed anything?

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