Tourist in your own town!

I am very fortunate to live in a beautiful market town. Barnard Castle in the North East of England. 

While the world has some truly awesome sights to share with us, I can get my tourist fix on my own doorstep. 

It’s true to say there would always be someone that would love to live where you do. For me I love USA. I would love to live a while in Manhattan and while this seems like a pipe dream, I can easily escape through the photos and blogs of the people out there sharing their every day lives with us through blogs and social media. 

The Internet has made the world a lot smaller. I get to see what a beautiful bagel artist (can’t believe there is such a thing but there you go) sharing multi coloured bagels and fillings, see the customers and the neighbourhood they have their shop. It makes me feel like one day I could be eating one of those whole enjoying the sights and sounds of New York. 

I like to think that somewhere, my clumsy words and photographs that I love to share so much would reach someone dreaming of traveling in Europe and England. That they may stand I front of the Castle here and think of my blog and Instagram. That would be awesome. 

I love nature.Β 

When I am our taking photographs with out a doubt it’s the landscapes and natural beauty that I love the most. 

History and architecture would be a close second. A couple of years ago I was fortunate to stand above the clouds as the fog rolled in. My husband, who had been driving back from a job, ran in to get me bundled me into his van and we chased the photo.  

It was beautiful. It was before I had bought my big camera so we used our phones as so many people do and then promptly forgot I even had the image. 

This week I have been home sick and trying to distract myself from the pain I have been sorting through my photos on my phone …. All 7000 of them πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. I came across these images again. I am so fortunate to live in such natural beauty. 

This is what I love about blogs, particularly lifestyle ones that show how it is to live in different parts of the world. My shopping shoes and culture meter may need a top up from the city every now and again, I mean who doesn’t love a trip to NYC or Rome or London … Or even Derby. This is still true but nothing for me beats living out here in the countryside. 

Here are a couple of images from around here including the fog. πŸ™‚ 


Black and White

I love black and white photographs. I don’t know why but even the artwork I am drawn to moody blacks and greys. 

I feel like the images are more dramatic. I have been looking back over some of the older photos I have taken and I have a lot in black and white.

I have had a bit of a rough week. I haven’t been well so pretty much on bed rest, nothing much to do but spend some time on my photographs and creating some art. 

My heads been so full of the stress of work recently. When something happens that puts it perspective you feel pretty stupid for allowing that stress to take over. You health is so much more important. 

So I thought I would share a few photos with you. I am a little loopy on pain meds so apologies if they at net great πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚….. 


Lemon Face Challenge and PCOS.Β 

When I was around 24 I found out I had PCOS. 

I didn’t really understand what it would mean to me and my life goals. I always had an idea that I might have problems getting pregnant but I told myself I was being silly. 

If I had known what the next 12 years would bring from that day in the doctors office. I might just have reacted differently. I may have screamed and cried until I had nothing left. 

As it was, and still is to a certain degree, I believe when life gives you lemons – you make lemonade. PCOS wasn’t going to kill my dreams, I was young and had a can do attitude. 

That lasted until my first confirmed miscarriage after the diagnosis. The quiet in the room where the sonographer silently took images of my baby. I don’t think I took a breath the whole time. The click …. Click …. Click …. Continued and I just knew. No more baby, no more dream. 

Sub Fertility is only one of the side effects of this condition, and it’s not always this way for all. Some women conceive and go on to have a happy pregnancy and beautiful babies. This hasn’t been the case for me. 

Another fun side effect is difficulty loosing weight. In order to get any more help from the NHS to get pregnant you need to be a healthy BMI. I would like to say I was a perfectly healthy with a love for all things gym and broccoli. I am not. 

I love all things naughty and a chicken parmo …. With chips ….. And salad ………. Oh and garlic sauce 😁😁😁. 

I have made some great strides to loosing weight this year and hope to be at target by the end of this year early next, but the anger I feel for having to do it this way just doesn’t leave me. I am a happy chunky monkey!!!! 

I’m angry that my babies have been taken from me. I’m angry that no matter how hard I try some weeks I am still going to put that weight on. Its upsetting that I am judged for my size, though those people will never know my struggle and only see a fat lazy person. It’s frustrating that the pain I go through every single month, that cripples me to the point I am sick and pass out is for nothing. Most of all I am angry that I can’t control this and I have no choice. 

No one asks for their illnesses. I doubt most of us want the sympathy either. What I would like is for in the years to come a woman in my position would get help, to not feel alone. To find something constructive to help with the side effects, a cure would be amazing. I don’t want anyone’s heart to shatter like mine listening so hard to hear a beautiful heartbeat of my babies that will never come. 

So it’s true, life some times does throw you lemons. How you make that lemonade is up to you. For me I’m blending it up with love and laughter, making it a little easier to swallow. No I can’t  control having PCOS but I can control how I much of me I let it take. PCOS has made some of my life choices for me, but it’s not who I am, I am still me in here somewhere. 

Please share those #lemonfacechallenges out there. It might just mean the world to someone in your life. 

Xoxo 

Sunday’s Fundays

Sorting through the thousands of images I have on my many memory cards, I am so longing for another holiday. 

There is so much beauty out there and I want to see as much of it as I can.

I wonder how many of you are out there this Sunday evening wishing for a different Monday Morning.  

I had a great weekend spending time with my hubby before he left me to work away this week. The weekends are so precious to us, so Monday mornings and to be honest Sunday evenings are rough. 

Now as I edit a couple more images and make plans to share them with the social media. I wonder if one day that Sunday feeling with ebb away, on the Monday morning I wake up doing what I love all the time. Sharing beauty through images and art.

ROME, ITALY. 


Washington DC and Philadelphia. 

Where else can I go, what will be our next adventure. Only we are truly in control of our happiness. Make it happen. 

Xoxo

Beauty and travelΒ 

The summer time always makes me want to travel. Sunshine and blue skies always seems like a waste when you are rushing around working and doing normal life stuff. 

We don’t just stop to appreciate it. 

I am doing a bit of a push on editing some of my images in my spare time at the moment. We are very blessed to have travelled as much as we have and we still have so much more to do. I don’t know if I am ever going to be any good at photography but I love doing it so much it almost doesn’t matter. 

Dreaming of doing something isn’t enough. Dreams are a wonderful thing but I want to do it. Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. It’s time for change in my life again. Losing my cousin this year should make us realise life is too short. It’s not always about the big things, it can just be taking that extra time to relax. We are here for such a brief moment of time. Will you look back and think, I am so pleased I stressed out about my job or will you remember the laughing and adventures. 

Yes indeed talk is cheap it’s time for action!! 

Excuse or exercise??Β 

This weekend we had friends from the city here for a visit. I love to see the area as a tourist again as it reminds me how very lucky we are to live here. 

It was a weekend of letting our hair down and I will admit we had a couple of treats but we also exercised to! We took a lovely long walk around the area and it got me thinking …. Perhaps now is the time to add exercise to my weight loss journey! 

I am not a natural athlete, I was the one lagging behind tripping over my two left feet in PE at school. There isn’t a sport I enjoy or activity I want to do a lot of (other than dance) so how do I get this started without giving up after the first week?!? 

Well my motivation has always been Gavin, to do something positive in his memory so I am using that same drive to help me stay motivated here! 

I did a work out tonight and for the first time EVER I was able to plank and do some burpees!! I realise to those of you that work out a lot that might sound nuts but being so big it always hurt my hands and I couldn’t jump up well!! I keep saying it’s not always about the big goals and it isn’t. This week my weight stayed the same and after a few food related treats I deserve that! But being able to work out more comfortably, I will take that as a win! These little goals add up! 

I am moving into week 9 with a new incentive! What will I be able to do another month down the line ?!? 

I love the meme that says,

No matter how slow you are running, you are running circles around those sitting on the couch! 

The one that is more relivent to me is the one that says 

If I am running you better run too, I am likely running away from the zombie!! 

If today you are reading this thinking about trying to start healthy eating! Do it now, if I can anyone can! I truly mean this.  I have a fairly bad food addiction. I’m still not perfect, I make mistakes but the most important thing it to keep trying. Never give up, I learned that from the most amazing person I ever knew, my hero, my warrior – my cousin Gavin, cancer took him from us but he fought with everything he had! We all can learn from that! We all should learn from that! 

Until next time! 

Here are some shots from my walk this weekend πŸ™‚ 

Body shamers…. Mind your own damn business!!!!

I know writing in anger is probably not a good idea but I am so annoyed!!!

I follow a lot of body positive messages on social media and over time I have learned to not read the comments as they often really annoy me!! Since I have been trying my hand at healthy living  more and more of these comments pop out to taunt me. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!

What ever your body shape it is no one else’s business!! We are all made beautifully different and I am yet to meet someone who is 100% guilt free healthy living  or 100% happy with their body. 

What’s even more upsetting is that people feel it’s ok to comment on feeds bashing someone for their size be that big or small!! You have no idea what that person is going through, why do you need to comment hate and anger at all?!?

I have always been brought up to believe if you have nothing nice to say do not say it at all. 

It matters what the character of the person is, if they are happy and healthy, which FYI you can not tell by looking at someone, then that’s their business!

It works for every body shape I have people call my friends “skinny bitch” feeling this was a complement. Not knowing that the person involved felt so skinny that she would do anything to put a little weight on. Others that work damn hard for their “perfect” body and they shouldn’t be shamed for that either. I don’t think I will ever be a five night a week gym person but I applaud those that have that sort of drive and commitment! 

I am a size 20 at the moment. I am working hard EVERYDAY to loose weight. Not because I want to look good in societies eyes but because the government say I can only have IVF below a certain weight. The fact that I am overweight doesn’t mean I am not beautiful, maybe not to everyone but then who is? I am beautiful to the only person I care about and that is my husband. 

The next time you feel the need to pull someone down for their size in life or on social media, think how you would feel if this was your family? Is your life so “healthy” it gives you the right to bully someone else?? 

Instead of posting a negative comment, which lets be honest shows the world more about you than it does the person you are commenting on, think again. Try a positive one, you never know you might like it!!

Social media has give us too much anonymity. We would not go up to a random person in the street and shout these things at them. Why do it here?

I started sharing on social media for support and to keep up to date with my friends and I use it a lot because I have friends all over the place. It’s been a great comfort to get the thoughts out of my head after loosing my cousin, sharing my grief at times has been something that’s stopped me from loosing my shit all together! What’s sad to see is that so many people use it for a place to speak their hatred because they are too cowardly to do that in the “real world”.

You don’t know their story, you don’t know what brought them this point in their life. If we showed more love and compassion and less hate – wouldn’t that be a better way to live? 

To anyone out there who has experiences body hate no matter your size. The only person that matters, the only one you should care about is you loving yourself. Its ok to want to make changes to your body shape, to strive for what you want but I don’t believe any dress size will truly make you happy if you do not love yourself! 

❀️✌🏻️✌🏻✌🏻❀️

What I couldn’t live without to ensure a good weight loss next week!Β 

Sunday nights seem to roll around too quickly. So as I have waved my husband off for another week working away, my thoughts turn to how I can make sure the next week is a success for weight loss. 

We had a fantastic weekend looking for new activities that didn’t include eating in restaurants. While we had an amazing time it’s time to get focused again for the week ahead! 


To make sure that I get another loss next week here’s what I can’t do without! 

Writing a meal plan for the week ahead. I make plans down to the smallest snack. If I am perfect this is all I need. Some weeks the call of the bad foods can get a little too much so I might add in a couple of treats, but the great thing with slimming world is that I can do that without too much guilt!

Bulk buying takeaway tubs has been a great idea, preparing and storing my lunches in them. 

Shopping lists which basically include mostly super speedy loss foods. 

Water …. Plenty of it! My blender bottle has become my best friend. Lemon slices in water has become the best choice for me and considering that before I started this journey I would be drinking full fat coke or Dr Pepper. I can’t believe I would much rather have water and lemon than anything else! 

My fitness pal app and my Slimming World app. Tracking what I am eating really helps me to stay focused! 

Fat free natural yogurt. I loved sauces and mayo pre health kick, so trying to find something that works for me has been challenging. I tried fat free Greek yogurt and I love it!! I do still use extra low fat Mayo every now and then but mainly I use yogurt.

Green Tea – I haven’t ever been a big hit drink person. I do love green tea and it does seem to help with the weight loss! 

Snack ideas for mid afternoon! This is my danger time around 4pm is when I would be thinking about dinner and wondering what I can have. I am most at risk of ordering takeaway food if I am really hungry!! So having snacks on hand at this time is so important.  

These are just a few useful things I am finding help me to stay on track. What helps you? I am going into week 9 now! I lost 1lb this week but after a 5lb loss last week I was concerned that I might put on so …. Phew!! 

Mental attitude is so important. I have spent so long telling myself I was useless and that I couldn’t do it because I was too far gone! It’s been a struggle to keep that voice quiet, I won’t lie she’s still in there. But I realise now that if I say I will do something, if I believe I can do it – then I can!! If I can anyone can! Here’s to a fantastic next week! 

🌟🌟❀️🌟❀️