A Love Story

8 March 2015

I wanted to tell you about a story that happened to me at work on Friday. It was one of those moments that stays with you and keeps you thinking, and I think I will remember it for a very long while. Now to give you a slight background, I work as an Event Manager at a racecourse, so it was a big race meeting called the Grand Military Gold Cup, where the Royal Marines and regiments from the Cavalry all come for a well deserved day out, and all the jockeys are either serving or retired military. Princess Anne attends and it's a fantastic event that makes you proud to be British.

Ok, so picture this. It is a glorious day. The sun is beaming down on the parade ring as the horses are trotting round. People are sitting on the terrace picking which horses to bet on. The Royal Marines Band are playing songs from the musicals. It's an all round lovely day.

I was going about my way, managing the event as you do, and I walk past an old man on the terrace, clad in traditional racing tweed. He must have been between 80 and 90 years old, probably older than my Grandpa. He stopped me and said 'Do you dance lovely girl?'

I replied and said, 'Well yes I do. I went to a dancing school from the age of 2 and was fortunate enough to dance with the European Ballet in my youth.'

He went on to say 'It's a shame how young'uns dance in clubs these days. They just bop up and down and don't actually dance.' I was nodding in agreement (and slight guilt that I have been known to drop my classically trained ways and throw some shapes in a club occasionally).

He then continued, 'My wife passed away 8 weeks ago' to which I offered my sympathies. He said it was fine and even though he misses her desperately, it's just the way life goes.

'If my wife was here with me right now, we'd be standing next to the Royal Marines Band and be dancing without a care in the world. Proper dancing.' It really moved me that he was remembering her fondly for the things that they obviously once loved to do.

He then asked me, 'Will you dance with me?'

I actually started to well up a bit when he asked me that. How could I have said no to this lovely man who was obviously still grieving for his wife and just wanted to remember her in a beautiful way. I could honestly feel how much that he loved her. If I'm ever lucky enough to marry someone and be with them until death do us part, I honestly couldn't ask for more. How could I say no?

So I said yes. And I danced with him then and there, on the terrace, in the sunshine, to the music of the Royal Marines Band like he said he would have been.

Hopefully, I helped to make him very happy that day. It's all about random acts of kindness. You should try it, because one day, someone might offer you something similar. It could change your life.

twitter | youtube | instagram | pinterest | bloglovin

March Musings

3 March 2015

March for me is one of those months when you literally punch the air in celebration when it comes around. I have spent a lot of time wishing away 2015 so far waiting for March, and it's finally here. It's finally within my grasp and it feels amazing.

This year so far has been full of trials and tribulations. 2015 has actually started pretty damn well for me, so why so many problems at the same time? It's weird how that can be the case. Kind of like ying and yang. With every bad thing, there is a good thing. Every time you close one door, another one opens. However, March is the end of Winter and the start of Spring, and the changing of the seasons always bring around new things. Even on the worst of days, there is always hope.

I'm ready for the March winds. I'm ready for the daffodils to spring. I'm ready to walk Max along a beach with the salty air stinging my face and my hair blowing into a sea-worthy knotty mess. I'm ready to move onto pastures new and experience new places and people. I'm ready to feel a little scared and get that rush of adrenaline when you know something is right, even if it's not what you're used to.

I turn 25 this month and I've been reflecting a lot on where I thought I'd be at my quarter of a century. Have I done all I thought I'd do? Have I lived enough? Do I spend too many days saying 'it can wait' or 'I want to do that one day.' Why can't that day be today? I keep saying I want to do things like Tough Mudder, and a half marathon, or impulsive weekend trips to places around the UK that I didn't know existed. I need to get my ass into gear and start living. My birthday is always a hyped thing as I've always made a huge fuss. I'm the only girl and only daughter so my parents have always gone to town. I think this year I want to thank them more than anything, for giving me 25 years of wonderful life.

It's also 1 week until I go skiing with a wonderful person. The same person that sent me the beautiful roses that were sent to me on Valentine's Day not so long ago. To say I am excited is an understatement. Skiing is something that has always come very natural to me. I started skiing at a young age and raced until I was 21, so to be away for a week what feels like my second home of Avoriaz is something that I have been waiting for now for a long time. I'm massively over-keen and my bags are already packed, my skis have been waxed and I just need to get to Heathrow T5 now and get on that plane. I'm ready for a week away.

New covers
I've been singing like crazy recently. Maybe it's all the emotion and change in my life at the moment, I'm not sure. But creative wise, it's doing me some good. I uploaded a couple of new songs to my YouTube recently so please do check them out.

I hope you're all having a glorious March so far, and remember that even on the worst of days, there is always hope. Always.

Life Lately

16 February 2015

There's been a real mixture of emotions in my life at the moment. It can be quite scary when you've always been known as 'the strong one' and 'the friend who can help you' and 'Miss Positivity'. And then when something happens that shakes you up, you're not quite that person. And I don't like that. Especially when people notice that you're not yourself. However, I've been surrounding myself with the people I know will pick me up when I'm down and it's the best solution to any problem.

Just a reminder - if you have a bad day, week, month or year even..remember that there is always someone who is willing to give you their time. And time is the most precious gift anyone can give.

There's been a couple of fun days and nights out recently. I shared a romantic meal with Gemma over prosecco and oysters, and then we ate our weight in mussels and dunked bread in the garlic and white wine sauce. Delicious. I also had a rather fun night out in a local bar with Serena which, of course, involved a lot of prosecco, me losing my keys, me finding them with the taxi man, dancing our hearts out and singing lots of Taylor Swift when we got back to mine. The night was just what the doctor ordered.

I've also been doing a lot of reading - I think it's important to take some time out to read and relax your thoughts, so I've been getting myself into a routine of scheduling bed time earlier, reading for 30 minutes and then drifting off to sleep. I've been waking up refreshed and a little more positive about the day ahead. Books I've read have been 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn (I'm going to watch the film soon and can't wait to see the adaption!) and 'The Wedding Proposal' by Sue Moorcroft who is one of my favourite UK authors.

I also had a bit of a fright when a policeman knocked on my door tonight and asked if I'd heard screaming as a serious incident had happened next door. I've never had a policeman knock on my door and my legs went a little jellified if I'm honest as I suddenly started blaming myself for the crime, even though I had been sitting in bed eating Haagan Daaz out of the tub in my Disney pyjamas. Not exactly a prime suspect! I'm just hoping all involved are ok.

Brogan came over for a visit last weekend and we had a super fun Valentines Day together, eating ice cream sundaes out of pink glasses, watching trashy tv, looking at dream houses and drinking lots of wine. We also filmed a few videos, one of which is now live on my YouTube channel. It's The Whisper Challenge and it's definitely harder than it looks. Go watch!

Valentines Day 2015 also goes down as a first for me, as it was the first time I've ever received flowers from a guy. At about 11:15 on Saturday, I had a box delivered of the most beautiful long stemmed roses I've ever seen. 12 of them. All individually wrapped to keep them perfect. Inside was the following quote:

"Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire."

I'm not saying who the roses are from just yet, but my gosh did the guy in question succeed in making me a very happy girl that day. There are good things to come.

twitter | youtube | instagram | pinterest | bloglovin

It's OK

4 February 2015

A list of thoughts for this Wednesday hump day, with the added help of some Disney gif's because..well..who doesn't love Disney gif's.

It's OK to not know what you're meant to be doing with your life in your mid-twenties, even when tons of your friends are settling down, getting married and having kids. Your time will come.

It's OK to put all your fitness gear on planning to go to the gym, and then accidentally stay at home and snuggle on the sofa, watch re-runs of Don't Tell The Bride and eat a yummy dinner of something carb-fuelled..all whilst still wearing your fitness gear. Sometimes it's what is needed.

It's OK to sing in the car at the top your lungs knowing full well that everyone is watching you (and possibly laughing) when you're stationary at a set of red traffic lights. You may as well start dancing and get them to join in. Singing is good for the soul, no-matter whether you can sing or not.

It's OK to buy loads of cute underwear, even if no-one is necessarily going to see it. If it makes you feel good, then you buy it.

It's OK to talk to your animals like they understand you better than humans. Truth is, nothing can beat unconditional love and that's what they give. Brb whilst I go and tell Max about my day...

It's OK to constantly dream up the perfect wedding proposal in your head. It doesn't matter if it doesn't happen, but it's nice to dream, and dreams are free.

It's OK to have a Spotify playlist called 'Soppy Crap' because sometimes you just need to listen to Westlife singing 'Unbreakable' and get a teeny bit emotional.

Speaking of emotional, it's absolutely OK to cry. Never feel guilty for crying. Let. It. Out.

It's OK to prefer staying in on a weekend rather than going out. It's not everyone's cup of tea, and there's something rather lovely about being snuggled in bed by 10pm on a Saturday night after watching a film and eating a takeaway.

It's OK to have a Pinterest board dedicated to wedding dresses..even though you don't have a boyfriend. It's good to plan for the future and Mr Right could be just around the corner.

It's OK to trust your instincts and do things you never thought you would do, even if people tell you otherwise. Chances are, you're probably right for doing it, and if you're not, you will learn from it.

And finally, it's OK to imagine your life is a bit of a fairytale. Things may not run smoothly or as planned, and there may be a few 'plot changes' but you write the chapters to your own life, and if you want it to be a fairytale, then a fairytale it will be.

twitter | youtube | instagram | pinterest | bloglovin

Exercise for cheats

22 January 2015

Picture this. You've done a full day at work, you need to stop at Waitrose on the way home to pick up some food for the week, the dog needs walking, you've got laundry and other chores to do. Where is the time to get to the gym? I know, I've been guilty of saying that to myself too. Personally, I don't think there are enough hours in the day - not nearly enough. Just as I'm getting started, the day is nearly over and all the extra things I like to do are pushed to the side.

However, you can still add in exercise without making it to the gym. Exercise for cheats.

Me? I love to exercise. I've always loved sport since I was tiny and I love the feeling of going to the gym. However, sometimes I run out of time in the day - hell, I've been doing a week of 12 hour days..it's not really that practical sometimes to be dragging my heels to the gym after a long, long day at work. But, on these days, I know I have a number of ways to keep myself motivated and add in those 'cheat exercises' that really do count.

Deskercises: If you work in an office or sit at a desk, there are loads of ways to add in some exercise. One of my favourites are simple leg raises - pretty much no-one can see them and they work your legs really well. Whilst seated, just raise one (or both) of your legs, hold for 10 seconds and lower. Hold your abs tight, do this for a couple of reps and you'll be feeling the burn in no time. There are loads of great examples of deskercise on Pinterest and there will always be an exercise to suit everyone.

Stairs: We're all guilty of heading straight to the lift or escalator. Sounds silly, but taking the stairs is one of the most simple things we can do to raise the heart rate and work our legs. Even when you're heading home from work and you're on the underground, don't just stand on the escalator - walk it!

Pedometers: One of my favourite tools is the pedometer I have on my phone. I use an app called Pacer and it tracks every step you take, even when the app isn't open. Not only this, but it shows when you've walked during the day by time, calories burnt, the amount of time that you were active and how many kilometres you actually walked. It's amazing how quickly you can walk the suggested 10,000 steps. The photo below is a screenshot I took of an average day at work for me. Pretty good eh!

Advert squats: The average TV programme is an hour. Most channels show adverts every 15 minutes of so, and these adverts last 3 minutes. Instead of sitting on the sofa and moaning about watching the annoying Go Compare adverts over and over, stand up and start doing some squats or some push ups. If you do this in every advert break, you will have done between 10-15 minutes of toning. Easy peasy. And in one month, you could be seeing a massive difference in your booty.

Breakfast plank: I try to do this every morning. Even the most busiest of people have time to do a simple plank in the morning before their shower don't they? A lot of people have been doing the 'plank-a-day' challenge recently and it's a great way of challenging yourself. Set a timer on your phone, hit the floor and see how long you can hold your plank every day for a whole month. I bet you right now that you'll surprise yourself with how long you can hold your plank by the final day.

Simple - none of it involves a gym. Just changes in little things we do daily. I dare you to be an 'exercise cheat'...it's the small things we do every day that will make a huge difference in the long run!

twitter | youtube | instagram | pinterest | bloglovin