Saturday, 26 March 2016

My Baptism

Well, what can I say, my Baptism was a little odder than all of the scenarios I'd been worried about.

All was going really well until Father John brought me up to the front to show me off to the other Church goers before I delivered my speech. Pete was supposed to come up with me as well but for some reason he stayed sat down.
I started to give the talk about myself, my faith and my own take on Catholicism but Father John was whispering something in my ear, he was asking me where my family was and if I could see them. I couldn't for the life of me remember this speech with all this going on and I was getting more and more tongue tied. Then I noticed my sister, sister in-law and two of my nieces at the back of the Church and pointed them out.
Then Pete was reminded he had to come up too, he stood up, tripped over a bit then jumped up in the air and shouted Wayne Rooney. It was at this point I noticed we weren't even in our normal Church, it was Westminster Abbey and I got quite engrossed in the wood carvings adorning the walls.
Next we were at the font in the Church I knew and loved, I almost died of embarrassment as one of my nieces was washing my Brothers tie in the holy water, not to worry, Father John carried on like a pro and the Baptism was completed, then he went off up a fire escape that had somehow been built since yesterday.
I went and sat down with my Mum who had now appeared and the rest of the group of ladies and I was extremely angry that I had been Baptised with dirty tie water. Then we all fell out and now we're not talking to each other any more!

Well, that's what my dreaming mind played out for me while I was having a little snooze earlier. It's now about two hours to go so fingers crossed it won't be anything like this!

Cats need jobs too

Our two babies are housecats. This was a considered decision for me as throughout my life, the family cats we had owned and loved (except one) had all met their end at the hands of a car.
I didn't want to see this in the animals that chose me when I had the opportunity to get my own place and couldn't face the uncertainty having an outdoor cat brings, will they be poisoned/stolen/mistreated etc. while they're out adventuring.
So yeah, whatever your opinion on indoor v's outdoor cats. I believe that our two little monkey faces, Geoff & Una have the best life possible. Yes, they're quite clingy and extremely chatty but that's one of the bonuses of having an indoor cat.
Each cat has found their own routine and they have allocated themselves tasks and jobs to help keep the house running smoothly. If you've been with us a while you'll know that one of Geoff's jobs is to ensure we get up on time for work. He does this by washing my hair, tapping my face and if that doesn't work, he'll use either myself or Pete as a springboard, making sure to get a good grasp of the area with his pin like claws.
Una is Boss of recycling and after a recent purchase of a mug machine I have a lot of cardboard boxes hanging around the living room. She decided to help out by ripping them up into small pieces, I guess her rational was that it's easier for us to take to the recycle bins this way.
One of Una's other self appointed roles is towel boss, she doesn't like mess and likes to keep the bathroom neat and tidy so she reminds us that we should always hang the towels back on the radiator once we have used them, by the simple act of urination. If a towel is left on the floor, accidentally or otherwise, she will wee on it as a lesson to never leave it like that again.

As you can see from the photos, Una does not enjoy posing, she gets very nervous when I bring out the camera and freezes to the point of looking like some form of taxidermy. That's Geoff's job, he's the cat that you will see in my product shots and most social media posts.

I'd love to know what jobs your cats have given themselves, house or outdoor.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Fears, anxieties and phobias, oh my!

I have the weirdest phobias, I'm not even sure they're phobias, more of an anxiety that most people would find absolutely insane.

But that's the nature of the beast I guess. People get scared/anxious/nervous about a multitude of things and a plethora of situations.
Here's a few I found just this morning whilst researching this post;

  • Fear of frozen food 
  • Fear of loud noises
  • Fear of children
  • Fear of being poisoned 
  • Fear of looking in the mirror

Then we have situational phobias, an intense fear or dread coming from a set situation, for example being in a lift, meeting new people, a meeting at work, the feeling of being trapped etc.

I have three main phobias which at times cause an extraordinary amount of anxiety, resulting in actual physical symptoms that when I look back on them seem highly out of sync with the rest of my life.
I'm a relatively happy young (middle aged) thing. I have a steady day job, a growing internet business, an amazing fiance, people who love me and on the whole a pretty comfortable life. I know what I want, I know my own mind and I have no reason in the world to doubt any of that. So how do I crumble and behave so irrationally when, more often than I'd like to admit, I let my fears govern the decisions I make in my day to day life.
I'm dancing around the issue now as I'm a little dubious to put it into print but yeah, I worry that I will throw up, be desperate for a wee and or pass out. This isn't a set process, I could be working myself up over any one or all of these at once so one won't necessarily need the others. What makes me most anxious is needing to use the bathroom when either there isn't one around, or I'm stuck somewhere and I can't get to it. The bathroom serves all three fears, I would actually rather faint in a toilet cubicle than have people witness me and fussing around me. I have never in my life passed out.
What if I'm in a meeting or any other situation where the participants are expected to sit through the whole process. Suddenly I decide I need a wee, most people would just think yeah, I need a wee, I'll go after this. For me, that's the only thing I can think about from then on and it takes all my will power to zone it out and prevent a full on panic attack. I have never in my life wet myself.
Being sick, ok, I once threw up (big style) in a shop when I was about 7. We were on holiday and the food mustn't have agreed with me or something but I don't remember being specifically worried about that ever happening again around the time.

At the moment, I have a lot on at work, both internet and 'real life' and I'm in the final throws of being welcomed into the Catholic Church. My Mum has been in hospital and a few other not for public domain bits & bobs are going on too.
I'm at my level now, in fact I've passed it. I'm on fumes, so all this seems super heightened for me. Which is why I am writing this post, it's also why I confided in my boss last week when she asked me how I was feeling about my upcoming Baptism tomorrow.
My boss, in addition to a Pharmacist is a kick ass Herbalist too so she had recommended a mix of stuff to help calm me down. I only started taking them properly yesterday but last night's Church outing went pretty smoothly. 
Most times I'm in Church I will spend a good portion of the service zoning out these thoughts but last night it didn't even cross my mind. Admittedly we were sat at the back near the 'facilities' but this afternoon's service I am determined to up my tolerance and sit in a more 'dangerous' area of the Church. 
Tomorrow, well, tomorrow I have no choice where I sit as it will be at the front. Aghhh.

Well, I'd better start getting ready, but here's some of my most used techniques to talk myself down off that ledge.

I always have a lipbalm, rooting for that in my pocket gives me something else to think about. Same goes for that packet of Polo's.
Safe zones
Pick something visual around you and tell yourself that if things get really bad, one look at this item will make you feel better (this will only work a few times).
If you're with someone, focus on them, ask them a question or if you're somewhere you can't speak, just smile.
You may not know it, but your mind loves a good count! This can be anything, the leaves on a plant, patterns in a carpet, the number of chairs.
Reminding yourself that last time you felt like this (and all the other times before that) you got through it and tell yourself this is going to be one of the last times.

Hope this helps guys & gals. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Doing all the things

This week having finished up my 'Forty Days Of Patience' series I decided I would embark on another little experiment. I really enjoyed the forty days as I have been learning quite a bit about myself and have been able to change and tweak a few things that in my opinion, have made me better all round.
If you've read the series then you'll know my initial aim was to become more patient, I won't go into it too deeply but what I found was that yes, whilst I'm a superb forward planner, maybe I'm considering far too many variables and that is why I tend to get SO mad when something doesn't go quite the way I expected.

So I decided to dumb myself down.

There's a few ways in which people dumb down yeah, I'm not by any means going for the traditional blonde bimbo type & I'm not even planning on deploying the most useful yet deceitful bit of management training I never did use (let your staff think you're stupid). 
I'm just not making decisions that are not mine to make. I am no longer putting pressure on myself to know how to do 'all the things', I'm not worrying about stuff that only has like a 2% chance of happening and I'm not stressing about tasks I haven't done yet. This has given me much more time to enjoy the little things and relax more.

Today when I got into work the main computer that powers the network wouldn't switch on. Oh, the computer's broke I thought & I just went and made a brew. Pretty simple, but a few weeks ago I would have been stressing out to the point of headache about this. But you know what, as harsh as it sounds, it wasn't my problem to solve! So I let my manager deal with it when she arrived.
Now, it's a pretty precarious way of thinking for me as yes of course I factored in the computers going down when I was organising my work last week. That's one of the reasons why I batch everything and I work a week in advance. (I won't go into the intricacies of dispensing electronic weekly prescriptions, don't worry)

So now it's just a question of balancing the need for organisation in my own workflow and just letting go of the stuff that's someone else's problem. It's been a pretty calming week so far not having to carry all these scenarios and solutions on my shoulders.
Don't get me wrong, when I say dumbing down, I'm pretty sure that offends a certain type of person. But the way I'm using it, the way I mean it is to give myself the freedom to not have to know about everything, all of the time. Not have to solve and pre-empt everything, all of the time. Or at the very least get myself out of the illusion of that.

So yeah, I'm dumbing down for a little while, why not give it a try yourself? Bimbo look, optional.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Day 40 That's all I have to say about that. Forty Days Of Patience (and other good stuff)

Well here we are, the final day. Palm Sunday in fact. Of course we were late for Church on one of the few times that it's impossible to slip in unnoticed. But we did manage to get good seats and also I got three palm leaves!
That's besides the point anyway.
The last day, it occurred to me this morning that I should probably make this a big singing and dancing 'what have I learned' post and I've been writing in my head all day but nothing stuck so I'm just gonna have to wing it I guess.

It's been hard at times, doing this, and I've also been hard on myself at times too. Changing the habits of a lifetime and trying to alter the way you react to situations takes the will and concentration of every cell in your body. It's funny though, because once you start, your tolerance alters almost immediately.

Well, I've been sat here for an hour now and I'm struggling for a way to tie this all up. Thing is, I'm not sure I should......

Took a break there as it was after midnight!

I gave myself the day to ponder and no, I can't sum up. Any feelings I have are my own after these forty days and I'd like to think that you may take something different from this series so I don't want to sway you!
I have managed to be more patient though! Also forgiving, helpful and marginally more engaged (in all senses of the word). So it's been fantastic.
I've also realised that trying to distinguish between God's plan & the seeds he plants for it, and your own thoughts is pretty hard (impossible). Is it me that has created this passion and desire for something or did God put it there? Am I just sick of the same routine? Am I not handling it right or has God placed me here to show me what I should be doing instead?
At what point do you act? Life is not a train on a railway that goes from point A to point B automatically. We have to stoke our own fires, let off our own steam and bloody well start that train! BUT, if God is love, and love is all those things I talked about on day one then surely aiming for that can make the J WORD much more meaningful, you will enjoy the scenery much more and probably even find different routes.
I'm going a bit metaphorical now so I'll leave it there.

If you've managed the forty days with me, thanks! I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments ☺

Rating ~ Thoroughly enlightened 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Day 39 Eggs & Beds. Forty Days Of Patience (and other good stuff)

Ey up, this is the penultimate day! And I only just noticed now as I was doing the day banner :(

I guess I'd better let you know what I've been up to today and how I'm feeling and the like. Well, I'm feeling pretty ruddy good. I got a lot done today and got a lot lined up also which is pretty cool.

Here's a picture of some eggs which I'll be using next week, fingers crossed, in an Easter post.
When I say I'll be using these eggs, I mean the photos. I'm not planning on celebrating my Baptism with week old hard boiled eggs, although I just Googled it now and some people say they keep them for up to two weeks in the fridge! Erghh
I was woken up by Geoff again today. I'm not quite sure if this is a random coincidence or this is now going to be a regular thing. But this morning's excitement left quite a visible mark on my face, right on my nose. It's pretty small, but it's deep, so it's swelled up and it's the kind of cut that has like a white bit round it where the blubber has been pulled to the surface. Hmm

I made the bed today. The bed is one of my markers, if it's made every day consistently then I know I've got my shit together. It's been a bit hit and miss this week but the last two days, yep, good times.
I won't mention the washing up, I think there's been maybe 6 days in a row that I can remember, ever.

Una doesn't have a problem with the bed being messy, she prefers it that way so she can get all snuggly and cosy!

All in all a beautiful day, quality time with my boy, quality time spent beavering away and planning my little plans and I'm very much thankful for the whole darn thing.
This time next week I will be in Church, I'll have been 'done' as I refer to it from time to time. Crazy eh?
In this very moment, I am excited, so let's hope that feeling continues.

Rating ~ Good times

Saturday is my boyfriend

I used to adore Mondays when I was working from home. These days I've had to adjust and now things are all settled in the new flat and I'm back to working a full time day job, I've had to rethink my online working week.

My 'Monday' now starts on a Saturday, I don't get a weekend or a day off as such but Sunday acts as an optional day for me to do whatever I like and not feel guilty about it. For instance, when I get a request or message in the shop I don't always reply as quickly as I do during the week. I've found that the majority of people are still accepting of that and even in this day and age the 'Sunday is the day of rest' mentality still lives and breathes.

So yeah, Saturday is my new boyfriend (I have a fiance now so the position was open) and over the last month or so I've refined and honed a nice little routine for myself. I don't set my alarm so I allow my mind and body to get exactly the amount of sleep it craves (although I gotta say this morning, yet again I was awoken with a cat running across my face). Pete will generally wake up earlier than me so *I'll shout my coffee order to him in the living room or text him if the tv's too loud for him to hear.

*Please note ~ After spending a decade with each other, we have developed a very unique way of communicating in different ways so if you're at the beginning of your relationship I wouldn't recommend that!
website stats, analytics, webshop, small business

I kind of feel bad saying this but I actually got him to bring in my laptop along with that brew this morning! I'll make it up to him, don't worry. Once I've got my brew (and maybe had a quick tinkle) I've become pretty obsessed with my numbers these days so I'll go through all my stats, analytics and other juicy stuff from across the board and yeah, that makes me pretty happy. Even if they're not as good as I'd hoped I can always get some great pointers.

barry m, coffee, unicorns, cute coffee mug, blue nail polish

Random fact but I've also found that Saturday morning is the optimum time for doing my nails now. It's a great excuse to stay in bed watching your favourite vids on the internet. You can't move right? You've just done your nails!

cute, notebook, ridiculously good ideas, marker, ideas, small business

I got this notebook recently and it is proving invaluable, it's pretty chunky but I carry it round with me to most places. I'll just write in random ideas that ping in my brain throughout the week and then on a Saturday I'll go through and highlight the ones I want to work on and develop.
Another great place to store your ideas is on your phone's 'notes' app which I do also, and I'll add those to the big book at the end of the week as nothing feels better than having all those ideas in one place.

I love Saturday SO much because it's my little luxury day. I spend the whole working week feeling guilty whilst at my dayjob that I'm not giving my business the love it deserves.
There's a phrase I hear a lot, 'you are not your business' but actually, I think that's wrong; I am my business, if I am feeling especially inspired or creative then I can knock out a load of new work. If I'm sad or upset, I'll just disappear and nothing gets done. If I'm rested and relaxed and spend quality time on the important things then I am able to plan and organise with so much ease. So my little Saturday morning sessions have now become something I look forward to all week.
I know that pretty soon, well, I'm hoping that pretty soon our lives are going to change dramatically and I may not have this opportunity again so I'm indulging myself (my business) with as much gusto as I can musto!

What day is your favourite day and why? Let me know in the comments with your little routines & tips.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Day 38 Lean On Me

My apologies for my little leave of absence over the last couple of days. I got a phone call from my Dad on Wednesday afternoon and because I was in work my phone was on silent so I didn't see it until a few hours later, another reason I miss working for myself!
Anyhow, my Dad doesn't ring at work unless something's wrong as a rule, so I was a little apprehensive when I heard his voicemail asking me to get back to him. Turns out my Mum had been pretty ill the day before and collapsed, a slight miss diagnosis at the Doctors and a little while later she was in the hospital in a bad state.

This isn't a post about the NHS as heck, they're doing their best, right! I know the government has their eye on Pharmacy next so once all that kicks off, well, that's not my worry right now. (My dayjob is in Pharmacy, if you're a new reader).

Mum's got a pretty bad urinary infection which has gone into her blood so while she's good and smacked up now, yesterday she didn't even know where she was, how she got there or what the flip was going on. She was drifting in and out of sleep and on the whole, it was a bit of a scary time.
Today she seemed much better and I actually got to spend some quality time with my parents (albeit in an unconventional environment) on my dinner hour. We were mostly talking about the upcoming wedding (insert butterfly stomach here) and the finer details. I've been trying not to talk or even think about all that as I was sort of hoping we'd just turn up at Church one day when I was feeling into it, the Priest would quickly marry us and that would be the end of it, or the beginning I guess ♥

I have my parents wedding album as I was looking for some pictures for my Dad's 80th last year and didn't get round to giving it back (oops). I wanted to show you one of my two all time favourite photographs and it just so happens to be from their wedding day. The other fave of mine is an old one of my Grandad in the war, I'll see if I can dig it out some time.
While I was flicking through just now I found this little gem too, which I'm assuming was taken on their wedding day. I'd love to see what that wallpaper looks like in full colour, I'll have to ask next time I see them.
I'm imagining a bright white with strong green leaves, which funnily enough has come back around again and is bang on trend! Incidentally, that mirror in the background has been passed on to us & now lives in our hallway.

And here it is, beautiful right? This picture makes me so happy every time I see it.

So yeah, the last couple of days have been a bit whirly but it's all straightening out now. It's made me say out loud a few things that I've never wanted to admit to anyone before but I feel better now having said them and maybe things will work out in time.
Wow, that was a bit coded wasn't it? Yeah, I've said things IRL but for the internet, well, that's a whole other post!
My advice, tell someone the fear hiding behind your worst fear and both will become smaller and a little more conquerable.
And hey, go and visit your parents this weekend!

Rating ~ Good Sailors

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Days 36 & 37

Super short post and an apology today, I'm afraid.

My mum is in hospital & I didn't get the chance to write after we got home yesterday and today I am just plain spent, so a quick shower and an early night for me.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Day 35 Cohesive, coherent copy, oh cripes. Forty Days Of Patience (and other good stuff)

Cripes, writers block. Topics mulled over today & dismissed.

  • Being married without the wedding day ~ probably sounds too weird
  • The Walking Dead and 'in the same boat' ~ wrote some cracking ideas for this but ended up not tying them together and deleted the whole post
  • People turning right at traffic lights, my pet hate ~ might sound like a crank
  • The way I plan my workday & how I ensure everything is finished midweek ~ might sound like a showoff
  • Just be nice ~ because yeah
  • The Walking Dead, when people over act, keep pouting & ruin an episode ~ might sound like a dick
  • Carol. Why she's my all time fave & a bit about God's plan ~ may sound unintentionally blasé
  • Why my boss loves it when I tell her to shut up ~ bit naughty
So yeah, I think it's only fair to say I've been knackered from the minute I woke up this morning plus I've not drank enough so I'm neither able to group a sentence, point or post together let alone have it make sense properly.

I hope you can forgive me, but fingers crossed I'll be more 'on' tomorrow.

Rating ~ Off game

Monday, 14 March 2016

Day 34 Here's to old friends. Forty Days Of Patience (and other good stuff)

Last night I had a dream about a special little man and he's been on my mind all day.
His name was Baryl and he spent 13 years 8 months and 17 days spreading love and happiness to all that knew him.
black Labrador, It's been 45 days since he left us.
I heard that animals don't get go to Heaven but there's talk of a rainbow bridge that seems quite accommodating, although he should be allowed in because man, that guy had soul!

We got Baryl as a pup, myself and an old flame. I can still remember clearly the first time I saw him, I marveled at his big brown eyes and perfectly new toe pads and I would carry him round in my arms like a baby!
It's still very hard to think about him for too long and I'm blubbering big style as I type but I'm happy that I got to see him in my dreams last night.
I just wish I'd had more time, given him more belly rubs, called him a good boy a million times more or even just one more moment to gaze into those eyes.

So I'll leave you with a picture, this is Baryl with a big smile as he knew he was on the way to the park, one of his favourite places.

Rating ~ Big Bear


Sunday, 13 March 2016

My acceptable addiction

I'm addicted to caffeine, big style. I hadn't realised until the few times I haven't been able to get my morning fix and some unfortunate things happened.

The first time my addiction was brought to light was a few years back whilst at my day job at the time. I was in the kitchen which was upstairs in a separate area and as I had rode to work on my bike, my fringe was all over the place so I was heating up the straightening iron to sort out that mess. We had run out of coffee at home but I knew I had a stash of 'Original' at work.

No problem there, heating irons on. Kettle on too, then I managed to somehow lock myself out of the building, straighteners still on, no coffee consumed, keys inside and the pure panic that overcame me wasn't caused by the prospect of burning down the building, but that I hadn't had my caffeine fix.
By now I could feel the sparks firing across my brain and a feeling which is similar to having your head submerged in water.
We got a locksmith out (the lock needed looking at anyway so it wasn't too bad) and I managed to get some version of caffeine from the coffee shop nearby but boy, It was laughable.
See, caffeine withdrawal is to me, quite similar to nicotine withdrawal. They both give a similar sensation in the brain. It feels like you have a big mess of hollow tubes in your brain in which ball bearings are razzing it round at a few hundred miles an hour. Also, at the same time, if you can imagine coming in from the cold and then having warm water poured over your head. Sounds nice? Well, it's not!

Whilst you're in this stage it's best not to move, speak or even think about anything or beware, this will set off the headache. That's just what happened to me this morning. At church today I had to stand at the front for what's known as a Scrutiny (Google it) so I didn't have anything to drink beforehand as I wasn't wanting to be needing a quick piddle while I was there!
It was all going fine and the Mass was quite emotional but as it finished and we left our seats to get out, I suddenly noticed how hot it was, we were pretty much herded out at a slow pace through a small windowless corridor. Then at the end the sun burst through as we got outside.  Yeah, super-headache, ball bearings, rocks & boulders, the lot!
I won't be doing that again, but I'm definitely going to be looking at my caffeine consumption over the next few weeks.
What am I going to do if there's a zombie apocalypse and I can't get a brew whenever I want? Something to think about, right?
I don't drink that much, maybe 4-5 cups a day max but it's worrying that something I love SO much can make me feel SO shite if I don't keep myself topped up.

How many brews do you have a day? Any tips for cutting down?

Day 33 Start saying goodbye. Forty Days Of Patience (and other good stuff)

I love a good Sunday, lie in, Church, a full English, tinker around on the internet, snooze, and just general lounging.
I hope your Sunday has been as good as ours here. I do have a teeny tiny gripe budding now though; what am I going to do when the 40 days are up? How am I going to reconcile my day? I'm a little sad that in around a week or so this series will have come to and end. It's worked wonders for me both personally and biz-wise. I'm certainly changing the way I handle situations and the emotions attached to that and I've somehow been taking bigger strides in my online world too, which are now slowly but surely bearing fruit.
Good times.

So yeah, a little pensive today. I've enjoyed writing this every day and I sincerely hope you've enjoyed reading it too.

I actually don't have anything much more for you today, but here's a lovely picture of a prop I bought for some product shots I have planned soon.

Rating ~ Dunno

Day 32 My internet baby. Forty Days Of Patience (and other good stuff)

I woke up this morning, actually, scratch that. I was woken up this morning with a degree of pain that only a cat owner can relate to, but I was ready and set for the day. For the most part I caught up on all my shop stuff by about 11ish and I even got to spend some quality time with my lovely fiance!

So what was it that woke me up? Young Mr Geoff Tipps as usual. I think he must have curled up asleep on my pillow and when I moved he got excited about breakfast time and ran using my face as a jumping off point. The resulting injuries were a bleeding ear and cuts to my hand that even now (22:49) are still stinging.
He's a little tyke, but I can't blame him for hurting me, it wasn't on purpose and I know he's sorry, I mean look at that face!!

So yeah, I put the finishing touches to my website (remember the hours and hours of work from last week?) and hit publish. Good times.
I opened another browser to double check the layout and wow, pretty much everything was off. Turns out I'd set my pixels funny and I had the window the web editor was working in set at zoom so when I looked in a regular window it was just all out of sync.

I pretty much had to start from the beginning on the home page and then move everything else around on most of the other pages, so that was another Saturday spent working on the website, but you know what I'm pretty happy with the end results. The new rejig was much better than the first so it's all worked out in the end!
The top half here is the original website as of first thing this morning. Whilst I loved it at the time, it's not really inline with what I'm going for these days plus the copy makes no sense. The bottom half is what last week I thought looked pretty cool, now I can't believe I was actually going to attach Prints Of Heart to that!
I'm pretty sure soon enough the new, new layout, colours and themes will make me cringe and I'll be doing all this again. That's the addictive side of running your own online business. There is so much scope.
Things are constantly evolving and being tweaked. You never know what is coming next, what big website will feature one of your products, which customer is going to leave feedback that brims you over with happiness or on what random morning will you wake up and decide you hate all the fonts on your blog.

I feel unbelievably lucky and thankful to be able to do this every day. I have been blessed with an inquisitive, resourceful and creative mind and also thankfully, the guts to use it (in the UK we generally get this drilled out of us at school).
I've had the opportunity to grow something that one day I plan to support my family with. A crazy idea a mere two years eight months and one day ago when I sold my first card, but I know for sure it's certainly doable with a tad more time and elbow grease.
Wow, this is all getting a bit mushy now isn't it, I'd better stop. Who knew that you could gush over and fall in love with something you made on the internet?

If anything, I hope today's post has helped you if you're thinking of directing your talents into something a little more rewarding than the day job can provide. Get yourself a side gig and make it grow until it's your main gig!

Rating ~ Done

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Day 31 Simple pleasures. Forty Days Of Patience (and other good stuff)

Aghh, yesterday was great and I spent the evening after work on a bit of a food and Netflix binge. My 'fiance' (still sounds weird) was out with his friends so I had the front room all to myself!!

It's a typically British thing to say isn't it? 'Front room' as really, in the layout of our flat, it's the end room.
Anyway, that's besides the point and actually irrelevant to this post but I thought I'd slip it in, in the hope that you won't notice I don't have any thoughtful content for day 31.

So yeah, I pigged out whilst watching a Louis Theroux marathon and then fell into a food coma. I didn't even switch on my laptop. No shop stuff, no Photoshop and no social media. First time I can remember in a very long time that I've been totally offline. Now, I could tell you how freeing that felt but that would be bullcrap! It was just a simple evening, food and entertainment, I'm very thankful for a bit of a recharge and today I have woken raring to go (small sugar hangover though).

One day this coming week, give yourself a few hours for some good old fashioned food and entertainment in the front room, you'll love it!

Here's a little pic of me enjoying my break at work the other day ☺

sunny day, work break , get outside

Rating ~ Five taken

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Day 30 Thankful for Thursday. Forty Days Of Patience (and other good stuff)

Hmm, I have nothing to report, write about or reminisce over . Nothing has happened other than the everyday goings on today.

But I'm still thinking. I'm still doing my bit. I'm still on this Lenten journey (ergh sorry, said journey again, that's twice in thirty days!) I guess I do have something to write about. It's important to maintain your relationship with God not only in the overtly testing or joyful times, but also those in between times too.
There's always something to pray about and be thankful for right? Just the fact that I've had a run of the mill and nondescript day is absolutely amazing! I'll even go as far as to say that yes, today was my favourite kind of day.

Rating ~ And that's all I have to say about that

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Day 29 And for all things give thanks to God. Forty Days Of Patience (and other good stuff)

Ok well, today went far better than yesterday thank flip. Quite a good day all in all.
I woke up still feeling really bad about my generally shitty mood and attitude yesterday and promised myself that it would never happen again (yeah, right). No I didn't promise that as that would be a lie, both to you reading this and to my future self.
What I can promise is that I will give my best shot at keeping my head. Nothing is ever that important right? How can being an absolute shit to someone and really hurting their feelings be of any benefit to any person or any situation? You know, as I type this now, I am still feeling a bit emotional about the whole thing.
On the way into work I got the recipient of yesterday's rage some 'I'm sorry' appeasements in the form of drinks & fancy little cakes, plus a card. I can never change yesterday but I can certainly apologise for it. So apologise I did, and luckily it was really well received, the strength of that woman knocks me for six sometimes. She is 100% all of the things we talked about on day one, all of the time. I have never seen her slip once and know this, there has been plenty of reasons (and not all from me!) I am pretty sure that yesterday was going to happen no matter what, in fact she even told me that herself as we were getting into our cars to drive home.
I can see now that it had to happen, and everything leading up to yesterday had to happen the way it did in order for me to hit that low, because there's only one way you can go when you've hit rock bottom, right?

Here's another little Corrie ten Boom gem for you;

Every experience God gives us, every person he puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only he can see.

Now, this leads me to another thought, and I probably owe another apology.
For me to have this 'revelation' certain circumstances were necessary, one of which was my other amazing work pal being out of the picture.
Unfortunately, she's a bit of a work horse so it would have indisputably taken an act of God for her to disappear at the right time . So what happened? In short, pleurisy, pneumonia and subsequently, wait for it, a broken rib. Did I do that? Well, I think I'm part of it, but not the centre. I'm a splinter of an outcome and if you're reading this and it has affected you in any way, then you're part of it too (so you'd better forward a get well card!)
I got a phonecall from my colleague today and thankfully she's on the mend now which is fantastic news, we were on the phone for a good while and were laughing and joking which is a superb improvement as last week she was struggling for breath and pretty close to death's door!

I could sum up for you but I sincerely hope you've got the gist as much as I have today. Please put my little work horse into your prayers along with everyone else who is suffering for the moment as part of God's plan.

Rating ~ Got the base down


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Day 28, I messed up again! Forty Days Of Patience (and other good stuff)

I've been horrible to my boss at work today. I apologised towards the end of the day and we made friends again but cripes, I was bang out of order. I wish I'd held my tongue, but I totally lost my patience after a massive misunderstanding of the words 'don't worry about that, I'll sort it' and then the flood gates opened.

It was bad, mean in fact. Girls are terrors, I've always said that I only ever want boys (although at this stage I can't afford to be picky!) and people seem genuinely horrified when I say this, but the female of the species is a loathsome and ferocious creature by nature. *easily offended stop reading now. We are ruled by our hormones, can hold a grudge for years on end and will cut right to a person's soul with a barrage of hatred that has been festering, usually over something so petty and insignificant in the grand scheme of things too!

So yeah, I've been bad again and I'll be honest I don't know how to fix it. Well, I know the theory, but it's the putting it into practice that's the hard part.
I don't have any quotes or fancy wordplay today, just the fact that I've been a dick and I know it!

Rating ~ Rock bottom

Monday, 7 March 2016

Day 27, There is a season for everything. Forty Days Of Patience (and other good stuff)

Aghh, I messed up big styleee today guys. Before I'd even got to bed last night I'd already poisoned the day. Just after I published my post yesterday my computer was pretty much hijacked and brutally upgraded to windows 10! I got to bed two hours later than planned filled with hate and rage (crazy, right?).

Then the dayjob. I actually woke up pretty fresh and raring to go, a slight flutter in my stomach but on the whole I was pretty excited to get back to it.
About half an hour in I realised that the next few weeks are going to be either one of two things, a ruddy nightmare or a chance for me to further hone my mad dispensary skillz and possibly keep in mind a few things from our original post.

Now, my boss was worried that I was gonna get too stressed and I said something so unlike me that I had to rerun it in my head a few times afterwards. I said it was all my fault, I knew exactly what I was walking back into after my week off and that yeah, I could have come in last week and saved all the hassle.
This is so mad but I think that is quite possibly the single most selfless thing I've ever said to anybody, ever! lol. I meant it as the words came out, I really did, but if I'd have gone to work last week, I wouldn't be engaged now and there's a whole other mess of things I set in motion that wouldn't have happened either. I am not my dayjob, after-all.
A few hours later I ruined that, I'm my own worst enemy. Whinging on & moaning about stuff that had been missed. Anyway, the thought was there for a moment, and hopefully it will carry on being there and shut the rest down.

So yeah, there is a season for everything and it appears I'm in the 'you got this' season again. But as usual, I have a quote for that!

If God sends us on strong paths, we are provided strong shoes - Corrie ten Boom

All we have to do is remember to put them on I guess!

Rating ~ Loose lips sink ships

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Day 26, Aren't brains funny? Forty Days Of Patience (and other good stuff).

I had a crazy dream last night, there had been some sort of worldwide disaster and we were all scrambling to stay alive. I was in a safehouse however and I was happy, well fed and looked after. Two of my group and I were running some sort of barter shop when one of them came over to me and said 'I can't believe they swapped this baby for that fridge freezer'. She handed me the baby and it was a sort of hybrid of human and animal (yeah, it gets more odd), and we were both disgusted that anyone could swap a child for a freezer.
Next thing I know I'm in this crisp white bathroom, there was a full bath and I could see something floating, so I went to pick it out and it was the baby, except now it was a cat.

Now, this dream was the most vivid I've had in a long while. It contained two people I had never met before, locations I'd never been in before and both a baby and a cat I had never known.
I can explain the apocalypse-like disaster, I'm still livid about BT dropping Fox and subsequently my Walking Dead fix. The fridge freezer, my sister rang last night to see if I wanted hers as she'd just bought a new one. The cat-baby well, that's obvious, it's Mother's day again today, sure comes round quick. So that's sat on my shoulders but I don't quite know about the bathroom 'scene'.

What the blithering flip are you going on about Lisa! Yeah, there's a reason I am committing the inner workings of my resting mind to the realms of the internet. Our brains are our greatest asset, forget that fat ass, shiny hair, big boobs, whatever it is that's hot right now. You could even forget arms and legs! There are people in this world who have been born without or have lost limbs and they are living full and happy lives, why is that? Because they got their head in the right place. Yeah, I appreciate that's a highly simplified statement, but I want us all to give our brains a big high five.

Last night my brain put together a little show for me while I was asleep, most of it by itself but using some 'notes' I'd left lying about the place. This morning when I woke up my brain reminded me about that show and sparked a surge of emotion relating to it.
For the most part, my waking brain show-reels are forecasts of future events at which I just generally make a fool of myself or get pissed off about something but I'm slowly learning to zone that out. What if I could use the same technique my 'dream brain' uses and plant little seeds of greatness in scenarios yet to occur. Now, I'm not expecting to be working in a post apocalyptic swap shop any time soon, but if I do, I'll know there's a pretty good chance that someone would be so, so desperate that they would swap their own child for a freezer (I'm guessing the electricity is still on).
What if the line of events and tasks I have stacked up on my 'aghhh, I can't do that' pile were just moved over to the 'yeah, that'll be reet' section. I know I can do it, because I did it a wee while back, it's a lot of concentration, but I'm pretty sure I can master it.

I'm not quite sure I can wrap this post up easily, but I read an amazing quote in the Church newsletter this morning so we'll go with that ok?

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.

Rating ~ Clouding over, somewhat later on

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Day 25, I've started so I'll finish. Forty Days Of Patience (and other good stuff)

I'm not gonna lie. I've been seriously considering not writing today's post until tomorrow morning. I am exhausted, the good kind of exhaustion, a 13 hour slog exhaustion of pure concentrated focus.

Now, unless you're in the kind of world I'm in, if I were to say I've been working on my website and blog's behind the scenes bits for 13 hours straight then you're not going to appreciate just how drained I am feeling right now.

The good news is, I've been meaning to do this for 8 months so although I'm probably only about 1/3 of the way through, I feel like I've made a pretty good start on it.
I'm looking forward to getting back to the day job on Monday, purely for the fact I get to stand up all day! I had to get my boyf.. fiance to come out for a walk around the block with me before as my gammy hip was playing up plus my knees were locking! Lol, of course trying to walk it off made me compensate so I now have a bit of a back issue too. The joys of getting old I guess, nothing a good night's sleep won't sort I hope!

I better get off as I can no longer string a sentence together but here's a picture of a cat I used on my contact page.

Rating ~ A successful day

Friday, 4 March 2016

Day 24, Today I am thankful for. Forty Days Of Patience (and other good stuff).

Erm, when did we get to past half way? Well, obviously a few days ago but flip, that has gone really quick don't you think?
This blog series hasn't gone quite the way I thought it would, after the first day or so I thought it was going to be a constant barrage of annoying things. Turns out I'd already reached my goal of being more patient, as whilst I've not always written about them, there's been a few bits and bobs that would have ordinarily got me effing and Geoffing, I seem to have sailed through pretty well.

At the half way(ish) stage I'm certainly feeling more prepa..... hang on, lost my engagement ring....... yes, more prepared for what's going on. More relaxed, settled, apart from yesterday's thoughts about a possible major life decision, it's all gravy at the moment.

So what have I been faced with today? Other than a really frustrating wifi connection, a lorry blocking the entrance to the petrol station and a teeny bit of stress about the fact BT have now cancelled the channel The Walking Dead is on, not much.

So what am I thankful for from today? Loads of stuff really. Started off with getting my orders together and ordering in more stock, got to and from the PO alive, managed to create a 25 image quad in Canva without it crashing my whole computer (I'll put in a pic to illustrate), got a lot of love on Instagram, took a crackin' shot of the cats again while they were waiting for their tea, received news that I'm going to be featured in another magazine with a bit about my bingo win last year, had a nice chat with the neighbour opposite, pretty much mastered the art of mug pressing, made four new cat mugs, worked on search terms for my noths store, tweaked a load of listings, nipped into work to pick up my new shoes and coat, tidied the flat, ordered a pizza and pigged out.
Every single thing I have done/was able to do today I am thankful for. Some or all of it might seem a tad boring and mundane but I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

When was the last time you thoroughly enjoyed your day? Why not make it today, Geoff & Una did (Una mostly).

Rating ~ Good times

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Day 23, Cog or wheel? Wheel or cog? Forty Days Of Patience

Aghh, my week off is slowly drawing to a close and I'm getting that old familiar feeling. I'm pretty sure that come Monday evening all this will have been drilled out of me again and I'll go back to being the cog but I just want to vent this out so you're gonna hear it today I'm afraid!
Now, I actually have a pretty amazing day job, I love all my colleagues, it's really easy and it's close to home (4 minute commute!) but having this week off has reminded me that once upon a time I worked from home on my own projects, I was my own boss and I was the wheel and all the cogs.

Once you've had your eyes opened it's hard to get back to a 'normal' job and just be spinning someone else's wheels all day. Well why did I give all that up? I panicked, I lost faith in myself and I was spending far too much time thinking everyone I knew was expecting me to fail. So, that's just what I did.
gold foil notepad, stationery, home office, printsofheartThis week off has been amazing, it's not technically a week 'off' as I've been working solid on Prints Of Heart, actually, I say solid, I have indulged a bit snoozewise. The amount of new ideas I've had has warranted a new notepad and I've even been involved in a few creative collaborations!
I don't know what the answer is here (or even the question for that matter), but I have an impulse nagging away at me and it would be great if I could settle it.
The difference now however, is I have faith in myself and also faith that God has a plan and things will unfold in the right order soon enough. So, as usual I will wait for a sign and then smash it like a bull in a china shop.

While we're waiting, here's a few words from Paul, Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Rating ~ Don't feed the animals