life update

After a long period of absence, I usually start off with some sort of apology for not spending as much time around here as I usually do, but life sometimes gets in the way! This is just a quick update just to say that I am still around and plan on coming back properly in the new year. The last few months have sort of whizzed past and it's already coming to the end of 2017, which is absolutely crazy!

2016 has been a good and bad year for me. I've moved home and closer to family, gotten closer with friends and lost touch with others and my beautiful little Winry crossed the rainbow bridge, so all in all it's been a year of amazing highs and horrible lows. I know it's not the end of the year yet, but I know I'm going to be busy over the coming weeks so if I don't post anything now then I won't have time before the new year actually hits. I've also started a new job which, so far, seems pretty good. I've just finished the training period so will be going live today, so we'll see just how much of the training I can actually remember when I'm on my own.


Feeling - 
Sore. I don't know what's been wrong with me but I've had this awful pain in my stomach for a few days and I can't seem to shift it. I don't know if I've eaten something iffy or if I'm just sick. All I know is I want it to go away.

Watching - 
The Blacklist. I have powered through seasons 1-3 in the space of two weeks and I've caught up to the mid season break of season 4. I cannot wait for it to come back. I've also been watching Planet Earth II, like everyone else and loving it!

Listening - 
I reverted back to my teenage years and re-discovered a love for Enter Shikari. I hadn't listened to some of the newer stuff after having went off them for a long while, but then I listened to one of the newer albums and fell in love again. They're all I've been listening to for about a week now.

Thinking - 
If I don't get into this bath soon it's going to be cold and all the bubbles will have disappeared. I've written this post whilst my bath is next to me cooling down. That's dedication to an update!

Planning - 
I've been planning out my new years resolutions and bucket list ideas. Having a bullet journal really helps with this as seeing them all written down will help me actually stick to them. Bullet journalling has helped me so much recently so hopefully it can help me with planning my resolutions, too.

Anyway, thanks for sticking around in the mean time. I have a lot planned for 2017! ♡

thank you for reading!  
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seven day selfie challenge

This might be a weird thing to challenge myself to, however I found it helped me massively. I'll explain why.

My self confidence has taken a nose dive recently. My skin is horrendous, I've put a bit of weight on, I've been stuck in the flat day in day out, it's been terrible. Although I've gotten a lot done in my personal life, it's taken it's toll on how I see myself.

I think sometimes feeling shit about yourself just happens. I didn't have any explanation why, I just was. I mean, I'm lucky in pretty much all aspects of my life. I have my health, a roof over my head, food in my fridge, a loving family and a wonderful boyfriend. Yet, I still felt crap anyway. I knew I needed to change how I see myself.

I decided to challenge myself to take a selfie every day. When I want to take a selfie it forces me to get up and get dressed and sort myself out, even it's just a bit of mascara and lip balm. I feel so much better when I've put myself together. For a while I was pretty much living in my pyjamas and eating one meal a day, with no idea as to why I was feeling so shit. After seeing my selfies I realised that I'm not as disgusting as I feel. (I also wear a lot of black/grey)

I think sometimes we don't see ourselves the way other people see us, but it's important to realise that just because you think you're anything less doesn't mean you actually are. I felt like crap for easily around two weeks and it took a while for me to come out of it. I don't know if taking a selfie every day actually helped, but it certainly helped me pretend everything was fine. The old 'fake it till you make it' attitude kicked in.

I think taking a photo of myself probably helped in a way, even if it just distracted me for half an hour or so. I thought I'd put the seven photos I took below. They're all taken in the flat in kind of the same way, but some with a lot of make up, some without, hair up, hair down etc etc. They've been edited in VSCO with a filter I apply on all my selfies which is C6, my favourite filter ever.

Anyway, this post wasn't really anything other than my verbal explosion. It just felt nice getting my thoughts out there.

thank you for reading!  
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a guide to bullet journalling

Recently I've been mentioning a bit more that I'm enjoying bullet journalling and a few people have asked some questions. First of all, what exactly is bullet journalling? What does it do? Does it have to be all pretty? I thought rather than write out answers to these questions separately, I'd do a blog post on it, explaining the benefits of it and how it's the perfect combination of organisation and creativity. This is going to be a very detailed and photo heavy post, but hopefully it all helps and makes sense!

What is a Bullet Journal? 

"The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less." -

That was lifted directly from the Bullet Journal website, which was the first place I visited when I was interested in starting one. It goes over the basics of what to include in a Bullet Journal, how to use one and how to keep it going. From my experience, I started with the basics described on the Bullet Journal website and then developed it into my own system. For starters though, I'd probably recommend starting with the basics.

What is included in a Bullet Journal?  ▼

There are many things included in a Bullet Journal and it all comes down to how you want to use it. Everyone has different things in their journal and that's one of the main benefits, because it's not written and sectioned for you, you have the freedom to make it specific to your needs. For example, I use mine to track money, fitness, meals, blog stuff, sleep, things I'm grateful for etc. It's totally personal.

There are some things that everyone generally includes in their journal which help it have just a little bit of structure.

1. Index - A reference for all pages in your journal. As the journal is not laid out in any manner, you're literally making it up as you go along it means that finding things in it can sometimes be difficult. The index allows you to write down each section and the corresponding page number, like a table of contents. It really helps, especially if you start a new collection halfway through your journal. Every time you put something new into your journal, write the page number and a description of what it is in your index so you can find it again at a later date.

2. Key - This is usually just one page indicating the different types of bullets in your journal. Generally, this is a dot for a task (which is then crossed out when completed), a circle for an event and a small line for a note. There is also a forward facing arrow indicating the task has been migrated forward to a future date or a backwards facing arrow indicating the task has been migrated back to the Future Log.

3. Future Log - The Future Log is sort of an overview of the month or year. Here is where you would put general tasks you would like to get done but don't have any specific time or date you'd like to get the task completed. This means when you do finally decide to complete the task you can put the date and page number next to the entry in your Future Log for reference. It also means if you don't complete a task in your daily pages you can simply migrate it backwards to the Future Log for another time.

4. Monthly Pages - This is as simple as it sounds, a monthly spread that shows you the days of the month. Most people like to put the numbers of the month down the left side of the page and then next to it the letter of the day that falls on. This means they can quickly see the dates in the month and the days too. I've also seen others that actually draw out the calendar as it would normally look with all the boxes and stuff. This is where you would generally things that already have specific dates, birthdays, appointments etc. I also like to include my bills in this spread as it makes it easier to know when money is coming out of my bank.

5. Lists/Collections - These pages are where you can go nuts with creativity. You can literally make up your own things to track from here. The most common things to have in Lists or Collections is a habit tracker, money tracker, fitness pages, meal tracker, goals, gratitude journal, etc. The possibility is endless. I've even seen some people have Doodle a Day pages, which is so fun and interesting to see. All you have to do is write out a list or make a page of whatever you want and make sure to reference it back to your index, that way you can find it quickly if you need to.

6. Daily Pages - This is where you actually schedule out your days and to do's. The beauty of the Bullet Journal is you don't have a set amount of space per day, as you're writing it as you go. Some people like to map out their week and draw out weekly layouts but generally you can do whatever works best for you. You write out the day and date, then underneath start writing out your daily tasks using the bullets (dot for task, circle for appointment etc) and then as the day goes on you can either cross them off if you've completed them, migrate them to a new day if you won't complete it or migrate it back to the future log if you want to give yourself a bit more time to finish it. It's that simple. When the day is over, simply start your new day underneath by writing the new date or by drawing a line to separate the days for a bit more definition.

Once you have these sections you can feel free to add your own lists, drawings, pages, whatever you want. My advice is remember the index as it will help you find things you've put in your journal and remember that mistakes are there to be made!

Does the journal have to look pretty/decorated?

Once you've gotten the basics set up it's literally just a case of using it and learning as you go. When I first started I was more concerned about making it look pretty with washi tape and doodles and less about how it would help me stay organised. I drew out everything in pencil and then went over with pen, which was taking double the time to write anything out. I quickly realised that another benefit of the Bullet journal is about learning from your mistakes. The first time I drew out a monthly spread or meal tracker it looked awful. It wasn't positioned right, some days were bigger than others and I put washi tape all over it meaning I had very little room to actually write anything.

The following month I simply drew a grid and filled it in as I went. No decoration and no washi tape and I honestly preferred it. It meant it worked for me and I realised that whilst it's fine to decorate it also needs to still perform a purpose. If your purpose is to have a journal that's more like a sketchbook/journal then go right ahead, but if like me you need it for organisation, I'd start with how it works for you and less of what it looks like. You can also go back and decorate a later date, which is what I've been doing. Filling in any gaps with drawings or stickers, but only when I realise I won't need that space for anything else. Function first, then decoration.

Where do you get a Bullet Journal? 

One of the many benefits of the Bullet Journal is you don't have to use anything specific for it, you can simply grab a notebook you have lying around and turn it into a Bullet Journal. You can however buy the official Bullet Journal which gives you the key and an index that's already laid out for you. I've found that most people tend to either use the official Bullet Journal, a Moleskine (which is what I use) or a Leuchtturm1917 as they have either squared or dotted pages and the paper quality is really good. They are quite expensive, but in comparison to a lot of other planners they fall in around the cheaper end of the spectrum. Alternatively, you can also use a normal notebook/jotter that you already have and start from there if you don't want to spend a bit more on one of the more common notebooks used.

A look into my Bullet Journal 

I thought I'd show you an overview of my Bullet Journal. Now keep in mind that I'm still learning and quite often make mistakes when drawing things out. I've taken quite a few photos of the general set up and some of the pages that I plan to use for November. The only pages I haven't taken photos of are the daily pages, simply because these have some personal information in them! I haven't filled out anything in November yet as it's still coming towards the end of October, but I'm looking forward to filling them in as I go!

The outside of my Bullet Journal. I taped down this cute little cat image, which I loved as it's like Joy Division's album Unknown Pleasures. So Cute!

This is my Index, literally the simplest way to write out a table of contents. Pages numbers on the left, descriptions on the right. I've also highlighted the months, so I can find them easier.

This is a very simple Key, just to give you an idea of what it generally looks like.

This is my Future Log. I have the pages split into two months per page. I don't have much in them yet, I'm still figuring out what I want to include in these pages.

This is start of my November pages. I just wrote out the big November and drew a floral circle around it and stuck some washi tape to the top and bottom of the pages. Quick and simple, only took me around twenty minutes or so.

This is my monthly overview. As you can see there is quite a lot in here. I have the days of the week down the left hand side along with the corresponding day of the week. I also have a section further across that page for my monthly bills, which means I can track when money is also coming out of my bank on the same spread, saving space. On the next page is a daily money tracker. Each day I can write out what I spent that day and on what, write the total in the next column and then keep a running total on the right. Underneath is a wish list, so I can write down things I want vs things I actually need. This helps because it lets me prioritise things I need over things I think I actually want.

Next is my goals page and gratitude tracker, which I've labelled as 'happy things'. I always have a goals section as I like to write things down that I want to accomplish. I find it keeps me motivated when I know I can look back at the previous month and see how much I actually accomplished for my goals. It's not even huge things, sometimes it's little things like go a full week without any fizzy juice. Even little goals feel good to cross off once I've reached them.

I also always have a gratitude section. I love looking back at the end of the month and re-reading all the things that have made me happy that month. I try to write out at least one thing per day. Even if I've had a pretty bad day I'll always try and write out at least one thing that made me smile. Usually this revolves around something Craig said or did, cute animal things I've seen or read or just the fact that someone texted me first. You know, little things!

This is my blogging section. It's pretty straightforward and simple. On the left I have the days of the month so I can write out when my blog posts are going live and see them in advance. I've been trying to schedule more posts now so I can keep on top of my content. Next to that is my Bloglovin tracker. My following has been going up and down recently in spikes and I can't figure out why, so I'm using this to track it daily to see if I can notice any pattern.

At the top of the next page is a social media tracker, so I can write my stats in weekly and see if they're increasing or decreasing. Under that is a section for any blog to do's I might have and if I get any ideas for posts or social media content.

I've also started tracking my meals properly so this is a very simple meal tracker. I'm just going to write what I had to eat that day and monitor it throughout the month. I've also given myself little rules for the month, such as cut down on fizzy juice, no snacking on crisps/chocolate etc. (We'll see how long that one lasts, I love crisps!)

On the next page is a monthly cleaning schedule, which shows me things I should be doing on a daily basis, a weekly basis and a monthly basis. I sometimes find that I go through crazy cleaning periods where I literally gut the flat over a day and then I go a few days where I don't do anything. I want to use this to keep myself in check and to keep the flat tidy all the time.

The sleep tracker is a new thing. I've sort of fallen out of a sleeping pattern which is so annoying as some nights I can go to bed at 10pm and others I don't feel tired until 3am, which is really messing with me and giving me some pretty serious headaches. I've got a few columns, one for what time I went to bed, if I was on my phone in bed and for how long, how many hours I slept and what I dreamt that night. Sometimes I find that if I have pretty horrible dreams I wake up with such a horrible pain behind my eyes, so I'm monitoring my dreams too.

Next is a thirty day fitness challenge. Pretty self explanatory, each day has different exercises that increase in increments as the month goes on. I've never really stuck to a fitness tracker before but I'm hoping that now it's in my journal that I'll actually do it.

Then I have a to watch/read/listen section. This is where I write down everything I want to watch, to read or to listen to through November. Sometimes I'll think of a film or tv show and want to watch it again but then never remember to and then it'll bug me for ages because I'll have forgotten what it was I wanted to watch. It's the same with books or albums/podcasts. This way when I think of something I just write it down and come back to it later.

Lastly is my habit tracker. This is probably the most common thing found in a bullet journal. I use this to track good and bad habits as well as online habits I'm trying to embed in myself. It's just a little table with the habits down the left hand side, the dates along the top and then if I do a certain habit on that day I'll colour the box it. It's a great visual of things you want to track and highlights where and when you might be falling down on doing certain things.

What pens/stuff do you use in your Bullet Journal?  ▼

I use a few different types of pens in my journal. The pen I use to draw out my grids and actual layouts etc is a black Staedtler Triplus Fineliner in 0.3 which I got in a set of thirty with loads of other colours that I use to decorate. These pens are fantastic as they dry really quickly, I find they don't smudge and they don't bleed through the back of my pages. The pen I use to actually write with is a Pilot G-Tec-C4 0.4 in black. Again, this pen is really good because I find it doesn't smudge and it writes really well and doesn't bleed through the back of the pages.

I also use a few different types of highlighters. The main ones I use are the Pilot Frixion Highlighters and the Zebra Mildliners, both which I use to highlight certain things or important tasks I need to get done. I don't really have a colour code system, I sort of just highlight as I go. 

I also use washi tape as well as stickers and generally anything else I want to add to it to make it look little bit more personal.

So there you have it. A pretty extensive overview of Bullet Journalling and a look into what I include in mine. I hope this blog post helps and if you have any questions or anything related, please don't hesitate to ask. I'd also love to know if anyone uses a Bullet Journal and how they use it. Let me know if you do, I love having a nosey at other people's Bullet Journals!

thank you for reading!  
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what I miss about blogging

It's absolutely no secret that blogging over the last few years has dramatically changed for the better. Blogging for some people is now a career and it's amazing to see a blog that you've been following for years, literally from when they started, blossom into this amazing online space. A lot of bloggers are adapting a more professional look for their blogs, it follows a more magazine aesthetic that I could only compare to Vogue. Lots of white backgrounds and large full page photographs. It's very clean and very minimal.

I do feel that gone are the days of this space being used for a sort of Dear Diary aspect. I very rarely write about how my day went on here anymore and I think that's because I've been trying to go with the general flow of the rest of the blogging community. I started this blog with the intention of documenting my day and I simply don't do it anymore. The lifestyle aspect of it is still there, but the personal side of it is kind of buried under trying to compete with other, more well-known bloggers.

I miss going onto blogs and reading about someone's day and finding a little more about them. I miss all the different blog styles and designs and seeing how everyone decorated their blog slightly differently. I miss how everything was super personal and they wrote things simply because they wanted the share with people that they'd had a nice lunch, or maybe a particularly hard day at college or work.

I feel like blogging has lost a little bit of it's personality. It seems like a lot of blogs are blogging about what will get them followers or comments etc and not about what they want. Maybe that's just me, I don't know. I just miss how personal blogging was, it seems like it's lost that warmth to it.

thank you for reading!

This is a tester post.

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This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. 

This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. This is a tester post designed to see what all these templates look like. 

Paperchase mini haul

Is it just me or is anyone else struggling to get decent light for photos now? Just me, okay.

The last few days have been spent going in and out of Glasgow for various reasons and each time I wander through the giant Paperchase staring at everything. I actually had a few things to take back there that I decided I wasn't going to use so instead of getting of getting my money back (the sensible thing) I decided to exchange them for store credit. It wasn't much, only £20 or so, but it helped fund my new obsession. - Bullet Journalling. I've recently fallen in love with keeping a bullet journal and decided that if I was going to do it properly then I need a decent notebook and materials. Simply an excuse to buy more stationery really!

I had read online about Moleskine and, even though I've had their regular ruled notebooks, I decided to get their squared notebook instead, since this makes bullet journalling a little easier. The paper quality is lovely and the spine lies flat when you open it up, something that I was definitely looking for.

I also found these beautiful little rose gold accessories, paperclips and page markers. They're both so lovely, especially the page markers, they're solid metal too so they won't bend if you carry your journal around with you. I imagine they're rose gold plated though, so we'll see how the coating holds up over time.

I can't wait to sit down and start a new journal. My old one is almost full, so once that's finished I'll be moving onto my new one! Is it weird to be genuinely excited over a new notebook and rose gold stationery? I hope not. I wouldn't care if it was anyway, pretty stationery makes me so happy!

thank you for reading!

updated desk space - photo board

A few late nights ago I was incredibly bored and fidgety so decided to make something that popped into my head earlier that day. It was already midnight so I thought this would be something easy to do before bed and I wouldn't make too much noise in the process. I decided to make a photo board. I knew I had everything I would need, given that I'd been to Ikea the weekend before and my kitchen still had all the cardboard boxes sitting there waiting to be recycled, so I put a few bits to good use. It didn't actually take much effort to make, just patience,

I'll be making a DIY on this shortly for anyone that's interested. It costs next to nothing and it looks super cute! It's also really handy for me because we're not allowed to tack or pin anything to the walls so putting up frames or art is a no go, so this is the next best thing. Will definitely be making another for the bedroom!

I've also added in a shot of what my desk usually looks like when I'm doing something or making something. It's not always set up to look like a still from everyone's Pinterest boards, this is what a real desk looks like when it's being used. Snacks and all!

thank you for reading!

pro's and con's : having a gamer for your significant other

My boyfriend is a gamer and has been for as long as I've known him. He plays games, watches videos of other people playing games and loves talking about games. I've had five and a half solid years of experience, so I've come up with a few pro's and con's.

P R O  
They have a good attention span. All those times of being completely zoned out to a game and tuning the world out has also honed their attention skills, meaning they will be able to hold a complete conversation with you without their mind wandering off.

C O N  
They zone into the game and become dead to the world. So many times I think I've been having a conversation with my boyfriend only to discover that he has a bank of phrases to utter back to me whilst he concentrates on the game. So half an hour later he has no idea what I've said to him.

P R O  
They spend hours playing games giving you hours of free time to do whatever you like. You want a three hour long bath and pamper session, wait until they switch on Call of Duty. You want to sit and watch chick flicks all night with chocolate and wine, wait until your other half decides to play 'few' games of Rocket League online with his friends.

C O N  
You actually want to spend some cute couple time together and maybe watch that chick flick under a blanket and share the chocolate. Tough, because they're yelling down the mic at the people they're playing online with and complaining about lag. You'll be watching that movie on your own.

P R O  
If you're into games yourself then you've got a gaming buddy. No need to go online for a two player match any more, plug in another controller and you're ready to go. You can even make small bets on the outcome and winner. For me this usually revolves around house chores or, ahem, adult things.

C O N  
If you're into gaming yourself then you've got a leach in your games. Gone are the days of tackling a boss battle yourself, they'll 'help' you defeat it. And by help I mean take the controller from you and do it themselves. Sure, that was satisfying watching you beat the game I've spent hours on up until this point.

P R O  
Sometimes the games they play have amazing story lines. I watched my boyfriend play through The Last of Us and honestly thought it was one of the best games I'd ever seen, purely down to the story. I never really played it, I'm too much of a scaredy to play, so I sat beside him and watched, which was still pretty good.

C O N  
Sometimes the games they play are completely shit. I've watched him play a huge amount of games that have been absolutely dreadful or have literally no story. So even though you try to seem like you're involved and interested in the game, you actually feel like you're dying inside, little by little.

So there you go, the pro's and con's of having a partner who's obsessed with games. I'm sure there are plenty more so if you have any to add let me know. I bet I will agree with you.

thank you for reading!

life lately - jobs, cramps and fairy lights

J O B   H U N T I N G  

Things have been kind of slow for me recently. I've been working in a job that I cannot stand because it was falsely advertised and I'm doing things in work that I don't feel comfortable with. This means I now have the horrible task of finding a new job. I loathe job hunting and 'selling' myself to people and potential employers. I categorically hate talking myself up, but with job applications and interviews that's exactly what you have to do. It's the worst.

I'm being a bit more picky with jobs I apply for this time, as usually I just apply for anything and everything and then take whichever job is offered to me first. This has only worked out well for me once, with a job that I was happy in for almost two and half years. I don't want to be bouncing about from job to job so I'm being quite selective in my applications this time.

P E R I O D   C R A M P S  

Looking for a new job hasn't been helped by the fact that I have had the worse period cramps I've ever had. I never usually get a period (lucky side effect of the Mirena Coil!) but I still get the symptoms of it, just minus all the messy bits. I still get cramps, headaches and back pain, but no where near as bad as I used to. Except this month. I have literally been in so much pain, like doubled over crying pain. The type of pain I had when I got the Mirena Coil put in. It's seriously knocked me out, I've been so used to not having cramp this bad for the last few years that I'd forgotten all about bad period cramps. Man, all you ladies out there who deal with this regularly, I feel for ya.

F A I R Y   L I G H T S  

I've been stopped putting fairy lights in every room. Apparently, my wonderful other half does not like fairy lights. I know, right?! So I've been limited to my desk area and the bedroom. If I had my way, I'd have them scattered everywhere, think Stranger Things but less Christmas lights, more copper and white string lights. I'll need to find something else on Pinterest for inspiration now, fairy lights are a no go. Maybe endless blankets and cushions? Or white wooden floors? Who knows.

thank you for reading!

five reasons you should be watching the office

Reason 1 - The characters are so easy to love.
I don't think there is a single character on The Office that I don't like. Even the characters that you're not meant to like are still likeable. The story is so well written and each character's back story and plot is intertwined with someone else's. It's really incredibly how the whole thing has been written.

Reason 2 - Jim and Dwight's relationship.
Two main characters on the show who are constantly at battle with one another but under it all there is real trust and respect. Plus, Jim's pranks on Dwight are hilarious.

Reason 3 - Jim and Pam's relationship.
Probably the most prominent story there is in The Office is Jim and Pam and how they came to be a thing. I love Jim and Pam, they're relationship is real, full of ups as well as downs, it's not the picture perfect relationship you usually see on a tv show, which makes it easier to believe that it's real.

Reason 4 - There's a good balance between happy plot and realistic plot.
A lot of the story is kind of whimsical but there is also a huge chunk that could easily be happening to you right now. That's why it's so easy to watch, because a lot of it is relatable. We've all had a work rivalry, drama in the work place or even just had silly games to make the day pass by a bit quicker.

Reason 5 - Michael Scott.
Literally just Michael Scott. He is easily my favourite character. Again, his part is so well written that you want him to be your best friend and avoid him completely at the same time. His character is so complex and his one liner's and innocent mentality is the best, too.

Secret Reason 6 - Jim Halpert is dreamy.

thank you for reading!

I miss you so much

You have been gone three months today, my darling little Winry, and all I can say is that I miss you so much. Every day I think I can hear your little meow or your little pads running across the floor. I wonder if you'd have loved the new rug we bought or if you would have scratched at it. I think about all the times I used to carry you around for no other reason than to just cuddle you while I was doing something. I sometimes still arch my back when standing up because that it made it easier for you to climb up me and perch on my shoulders. I can't get myself out of the habit of looking at the floor when I open the door to make sure you're not going to run outside.

These three months have been so difficult to not have you around and I just hope that when you crossed that rainbow bridge that you've got all the blankets to snuggle, all the catnip toys and all the scratching posts in the world.

Sleep tight, my little love.

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simple jewellery

I'm not one for being a massive fan of jewellery. I've gone through phases of it - the bright coloured stretchy bracelets in high school, the huge chunky necklaces and even gold sovereign rings. I cringe just thinking about being made to wear those awful rings. I only ever received one and "accidentally" stood on it, bending it out of shape and rendering it unwearable. These were drastic times, people.

However recently, I've come back over to the jewellery side. I've been sticking to simple silver jewellery, I'm not so much a fan of gold. Most of it comes from Pandora, mainly because it's simple and plain and for the price of it is actually really good quality. It started with Craig buying me a Pandora birth stone ring for Christmas last year. Then that moved onto my wee mum buying me a pandora bracelet with the heart charm and two smaller matching charms. Then I bought myself the bubble ring, heart ring, the cat head charm (for Winry) and the safety chain for the back of the bracelet. The smaller silver twist ring I've actually had for over ten years, my gran bought me it around my 16th birthday and I've worn it every day since.

I've been looking into getting a few more charms for the bracelet, little coloured stones to brighten it up a little. The small necklace I actually got from Paperchase in Glasgow and I almost fell over when I seen it. I've been looking for a silver necklace in that exact style for a while now and when I spotted it I asked for it straight away. Lucky!

Do you have any jewellery favourites or simple bits of sentimental value?

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favourite items from lush

Grease Lightning / Herbalism / Mint Julips / Rose Jam Bubbleroon / Butterball Bath Bomb

There are few things that I like more than spending a while browsing in Lush. Even if I wasn't buying anything I would still happily spend time browsing all their products and smelling everything. I do love the smell of a Lush store! When I do buy products, I tend to always navigate to old favourites. I stick to the same skin care items because I know they work well for me and generally buy the same bath bombs and bubble bars.

A recent trip to the Lush in Glasgow saw me do exactly that. The store was incredibly busy so I didn't have as much time as I usually like to spend browsing so I darted about locating my favourite bits and headed for the till. For skin care I like to stick to three products - Grease Lightning, Herbalism and Mint Julips. I've been using all three for around two years now (I think) and they seem to be the only things I can use that doesn't break me out in spots or helps when I do actually have a few spots/blemishes.

Grease Lightning is a spot treatment, simply squeeze out a small blob and apply to the area and leave to dry. I find this works best over night after I've cleansed and toned my face. It can sometimes leave a flaky residue in the morning but nothing a little bit of toner won't remove. Herbalism is actually my favourite product of them all, a wonderful cleanser made up of amazing ingredients for the skin. It also works as an exfoliator due to the ground almond. It looks a bit like moss and feels weird when you rub it on your face, but I find it is definitely worth it. It does have a weird smell though. Mint Julips is a simple little lip scrub that tastes like sugary mint. It works wonders on dry lips and I usually go through a jar pretty quickly in the colder months. You just scrub your lips and then lick it away. Simple!

When it comes to bath products I tend to gravitate more towards to the bubble bars or bath bombs as you get the same ingredients in them (mostly) plus added bubbles. I always buy the Rose Jam Bubbleroon because it smells amazing and turns the bath a lovely dusky pink. I find you don't need the whole thing, I break it up into halves if I'm having a big bath or quarters if I'm just wanting a quick bath. After saying I tend to favour bubble bars over bath bombs, I have been enjoying the Butterball Bath Bomb a lot, because again, it smells amazing. It leaves my skin feeling wonderful and soft as well because of the cocoa butter bits through it.

With the colder weather definitely arriving I'll be taking a lot more baths, so a lot more trips to Lush might be occurring. Not that I mind!

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Top 5 tips when moving home

I have moved home a lot. In fact, in the last seven years I have moved five times. Twice with my dad, three times with Craig. From each of those experiences I've learned something about moving home that will definitely help me the next time I inevitably get bored and pack up everything to find somewhere new.

Don't leave packing until the last minute.
This one seems obvious, however, if like me you're a complete and utter procrastinator and the most common things uttered from you is "I'll do it in a bit" or "I'll do it tomorrow", then learn from my mistakes. The very first time I properly moved was with my dad, when my mum moved down to England and I stayed here in Scotland. The day my mum was leaving and packing the entire contents of the house into a lorry I was still running around trying to organise the rest of my room into boxes. I delayed everything and my poor wee mum had to wait on me finishing. She wasn't happy. I try to organise what I'm packing and when. I've found that by packing the things I know I'm taking with me but I use least into boxes and bags first then whatever is left at the end of it can be packed away closer to the moving date. I've also found that keeping an inventory of what you've packed and what you still have to pack is motivation to get things sorted as well.

Label your boxes.
This one has helped me countless times over. Even if it's just taking a permanent marker and roughly writing what is inside each box. This helps for two reasons - When you get your boxes into your new home you can pop them into the relevant rooms that they'll be unpacked into meaning you don't need to do that later when you're exhausted and probably want nothing more than a bath and glass of wine. It also means that before you unpack completely that looking for something is made ten times easier when you don't have to look through every single box.

Organise your bills, banks, internet etc before you leave.
My last move was so organised that I genuinely surprised myself at how smoothly it went. The internet was set to be disconnected and reconnected, the council tax has been stopped and moved across, all addresses had been updated to the new address, the van hire had been booked weeks in advance, all letters had redirects organised, the gas and electricity had been given the final meter readings and set to be started for the move in date. I found this helped hugely! I've moved before where everything like that was left until after we were in the new place which made thing so much harder. This time it was so simple and easy.

Leave enough time to clean once you've moved your stuff out.
When we left our last flat we had two days left on the lease to go back and tidy up, which meant that cleaning was a doddle. I've always found it harder trying to clean as I'm packing so this time we made sure there was an overlap of getting the new keys and handing the old ones back. This meant that we got almost our full deposit back from the previous letting agent, they deducted a small bit for defrosting the freezer, that I forgot to do. You don't want to move all your stuff out and not have enough time to clean the place properly, as you run the risk of not leaving the place in a good condition and getting your deposit back.

Pack a case like you're going on holiday.
This one definitely helped me the most. Basically you want to have a case that you can survive out of for at least a week once you've moved. Stuff like clean clothes and underwear, shower/bath stuff, make up, straighteners, shoes, chargers etc. Pretty much everything you'd need to get by for a little while until you unpack and get your stuff sorted. This helped massively when we moved. The flat we're in is unfurnished, so everything stayed in boxes for at least a week or two until we managed to get some furniture together. The case I had with everything in it meant I didn't need to go hunting around in boxes for a clean pair of socks or phone charger. I just kept all my essentials together and it made everything so much easier.

Hopefully if you're moving in the near future then these will help. They're all pretty obvious ones, but I like to think everyone is a little like me and forgets to be organised for the big stuff.

thank you for reading!

we're connected again!

I have internet again! After twenty three days, I finally have access to the internet. Craig and I moved flat and were supposed to be carrying over our old provider but they decided that the flat was too high or in an awkward position or something and decided that it wasn't possible. So after an argument they agreed to let us walk away from the contract, which meant we had to start from scratch in finding a new internet provider. Twenty three days of no Netflix, no American Horror Story (I've missed all the episodes so far!), it's been so annoying. We've been watching just about every dvd I own, starting with The Office, before moving on to all the other boxsets I have.

We had a few issues when we moved in, but they all seem to have been cleared up now. I swear, estate agents deliberately make things difficult sometimes. The flat is wonderful, it's on the top floor again which means we don't have anyone stomping around above us, it has all new carpets in the bedrooms, wooden flooring in the living room and kitchen and all the walls are painted white. It's like a pinterest dream! The bathroom is my favourite though, it has beautiful grey tiles and pale flooring and a separate walk in shower, it's amazing.

After being here for a few weeks we made a trip to Ikea for some bits for the flat, it's unfurnished so we have to get our own furniture this time. We spent at least two hours looking through the showroom, much to Craig's enjoyment, and then picked out all the bits and pieces we liked and collected them downstairs in the actual shop bit. Craig got a new bookcase, lamp, strip lighting and a chair. I got a new desk, drawers for all my stationery etc, and a chair. We also picked out a rug and loads of bits and bobs for the kitchen and bathroom. We also managed to find a lovely couple who were selling two Ikea couches as well that are literally in perfect condition. Brand new they should have cost us £300 but we only paid £60 for both!

It's so nice having a little space to have all my stuff in. I've wanted a white wooden desk forever as well, so I'm absolutely loving it. Craig has turned the second bedroom into what I can only describe as a man cave. He has his PC, his consoles and his guitars all in there, I'll basically never see him now. But it's fine, cause I've got my little spot now.

We've still to buy furniture and sort the bedroom but that won't be for a few weeks to save some money again. I'm just glad everything seems to be settling down now. I can't wait to get back into blogging now that I've for my own little space again, so a lot more posts will be appearing shortly. Thanks for sticking around in the mean time!

thank you for reading!

getting my shit together

There's something about moving home that's spurred me into doing exactly what my title would suggest, getting my shit together. For the last six months to a year I've basically turned into the type of person that constantly says "I'll do it tomorrow", and then tomorrow rolls around and I'll postpone it another day. I made so many promises to myself this year that I haven't stuck to - I wanted to lose some weight and get fit, at least to the point where I can climb a few sets of stairs without being out of breath at the top. I wanted to become vegetarian, and my complete lack of will led me to eating a pepperoni pizza and then it was a meat-filled downward spiral from there. I wanted to get back into art and making things, get back into playing the piano and learn how to write in cursive. I've done none of those things.

This new flat has been a blessing in disguise. Although we ultimately decided to move after losing Winry and Craig moving office, it's been a good thing. I have more motivation to be creative now, I have more time to actually spend time on things and not rush it through. I can hear myself think now that I'm not slap bang in the middle of a bustling city, I'm really a country-bumpkin at heart.

I'm going to make myself a few promises from now until the end of the year - 

I want to cut down the amount of meat I eat and eventually become completely vegetarian. I don't eat a lot of meat anyway, but I'm going to start by trying to cut down meat portions to once or twice a week. I was vegetarian for a month and then my will broke, but I want to stick to it this time.

No more takeaways (within reason!). This has led to me putting on a lot of unwanted weight which I'm now struggling to lose again. Queue all the healthy foods from now on.

Make at least one thing per week. Whether that's a drawing, painting, something I've physically put together.

Write blog posts at least three times a week. I used to love blogging, it was such a creative outlet for me. I fell away from it for months and months and basically lost all interest in blogging and the whole blogging community, but that interest is slowly creeping back and I'm enjoying being a part of it again.

Don't put off to tomorrow what I could do today. This is the main one for me. My laziness has basically produced a whole other personality that seems to take over whenever I have something I need to do. It's really strange because in any job I've ever had, I'm the least laziest person ever, but the second I cross my front door the enthusiasm for stuff just fades away. This needs to change, because it's making getting anything important done very difficult.

I always make these promises to myself and then shy away or forget about them eventually, but I actually want to stick to them this time. I've also written them on the inside of my diary so it's literally the first thing I see when I open it now. Hurray for motivation!

thank you for reading!

living room inspiration

In the next few days I'll be moving flat with Craig and all I seem to be doing is daydreaming about all the pretty things I'm going to need to buy to furnish it. We deliberately went for an unfurnished flat this time - living in a property for three and half years with other people's stuff has put me off ever living anywhere that's not been furnished by me. We've been dealing with awful green carpets, magnolia paint on everything and old floral wallpaper, not pretty! We still have a lot to pack and prepare for the move, so naturally, I'm sat here typing this. This is sort of productive though as I'm mapping out how I want the flat to look. No? Okay.

The deal so far is that Craig gets the spare bedroom for a games room, so he can hibernate in there with his PS4 and PC. It's probably where my Nintendo stuff will be as well, so I might spend a lot of time in there, too. If he gets the spare room, then I get to decorate the flat to how I like it. Within reason. We seem to have very different styles when it comes to home decor, so I'll need to be careful on what I buy to make sure he likes it. Or, I just buy it in little dribs and drabs and build up all the nice things over time and he won't notice.

I'm really loving the idea of having a grey couch, with colourful pillows and blankets. I'm leaning more towards pops of pink and mint with maybe copper and gold thrown in as well. I also want to get a huge rug for the living room. As far as I can remember it should be wooden flooring so a big rug will work perfectly. I've added in a few bits of copper and bronze as I love the look of that frame copper/rose gold candle holder! Add in a few houseplants and flowers, a few prints on the walls and some white furniture and bam, dream living room complete.

I'm just hoping Craig won't think it's too girly, he might not notice. Or, he can decorate the spare room any way he wants and we can compromise.

I should probably get back to packing now. I recently discovered that I own an unfathomable amount of stuff that I seem to have gathered over the years so I'm doing a serious clean out. That, coupled with all the cleaning and organising means I'm very time restricted. Hopefully it won't take too long, those Pinterest boards aren't going to make themselves and I've got more daydreaming to do!

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Things I'm looking forward to in Autumn

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It's the beginning of September and already the days are starting to get shorter and slightly colder. I've started daydreaming of things I'm looking forward to coming back this Autumn! I've also been thinking about things that I'm looking forward to wearing again now that the weather is starting to cool down again.

Tartan scarves
I have quite the collection of tartan scarves as well as just normal scarves. I went through a phase of buying a lot of them and then always stupidly resorting back to the same one I've always used. I'm really looking forward to scarf weather coming back.

Winter coats
I'm not much of a coat person anyway, but during the autumn and winter months I love having a huge cosy jacket on. There's something nice about knowing how cold it is around you and not feeling it because you're essentially a walking hot water bottle.

I like to wear a lot of boots anyway, but I've always wanted a pair of Doc Martens for winter and I will probably invest in a pair this year. I made the mistake of buying cheaper pairs of boots last year that would only last a month and then fall apart. I'd rather invest in a better quality pair that will last longer and I've not had a paid of Doc Martens for years!

Fluffy socks
Wearing socks to bed is a complete no-no for me usually, unless it's colder Autumn/Winter weather and then I break out the fluffy socks. The cuter and fluffier the better!

Thicker pyjamas
I love wearing matching pyjamas and I have too many sets already, but without fail, when the Autumn weather starts to creep in, I will definitely be visiting Primark for a few more sets. There's something so nice about a new pair of pyjamas.

Dark lip colours
Given that I don't wear a lot of make up anyway, this year I want to try wearing more lip products and starting in Autumn is perfect as that's when all the berry and purpley colours start to come out.

I'm also looking forward to yet another year of never having tried any pumpkin spiced hot drinks. Soz, all that blogger hype hasn't worked on me yet. I'll still complain for another year of how cold and rainy it is outside, yet I say all year round that Autumn is my favourite season. I think I just like moaning about the weather, to be honest. What is everyone else looking forward to this Autumn?

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a quiet weekend

Craig and I decided to have a weekend in Lanark, just an overnight stay somewhere quiet before he goes back to work and we get ready for moving flat. It was nice to get away somewhere where the constant noise outside isn't traffic, noisy shops, sirens and people shouting. We went out on the Saturday night to the pub with friends then spent the Sunday morning out in the park with his lovely wee mum and Amber, the most timid dog ever! We spent the morning and afternoon out in the sunshine and playing with all the cats, which was super cute because they're all so fluffy! I spent a little while next to where Winry was buried and had a wee cry, which was nice and upsetting at the same time. After that, we went for a wander into the woods and visited all the carvings of animals and fairies before coming back to the house and heading home.

Craig took a photo of me on the wooden throne out in the woods, which was too bright for me to open my eyes for and resulted in a cheesy smile & goofy eyes!

We move flat in just under a week now and I am genuinely so excited. Edinburgh has been good for the past three years but it's time to move onto something new, we also really miss spending time in Glasgow. We'll be moving to a flat that's only fifteen minutes on the train from Glasgow city centre as well, which is brilliant. It's also only ten minutes in the car to my mum's and so much easier for Craig to get to his parents as well. All in all, it's a great change of pace for us and neither of us can wait. Plus, we get to decorate and buy all our own stuff, queue all those Pinterest boards coming in handy!

I haven't been posting around here much lately, but moving into a new flat has given a lot more enthusiasm for stuff, so I'll be around here a lot more. Thanks for sticking around in the mean time!

thank you for reading!

I lost my best friend

On the 12th of July at 3pm, my beautiful little Winry was put to sleep. To say the past few days have been difficult would be a tremendous understatement, I have been in bits. I haven't been sleeping right, eating has been weird - I either eat everything or nothing. I can't look at any of her toys without breaking down, and she had a lot of toys. Her food bowl and litter tray are both still lying out because I can't bring myself to put them away. Her treats are still lying on the table, half torn open because she quickly figured out that she could get into them herself by clawing at the plastic and poking her mouth through the gaps.

A few days before we lost her, she was breathing funny. Sort of strained and heavy. Usually you can't tell when a cat is breathing as the movement in them is very subtle, they don't take great big breaths. Just sort of little calm ones. She was acting different, too. Not as playful, only walking a few steps before lying down again, a complete lack of energy. We decided to make her an appointment with the vets to be examined, just to be sure. We thought that maybe she had eaten something funny or maybe had a funny stomach. Her appointment was on Sunday the 10th at 11am.

We had to take her to the emergency vets on the Saturday night before it. We were there for hours.

It turned out that it wasn't something simple. It turned out that they didn't know what it was. She had fluid in her chest. Pleural effusion, it's called. Basically, the lining around the outside of her lungs were filling up with fluid and puss and squashing her little lungs and making it very difficult to breathe. Think of it like wearing something really tight around your ribs, and every time you try to take a deep breath you can't, because there's no room, so you have to take short sharp breaths. Even trying to do that now, taking short sharp breaths, is uncomfortable after a few seconds. I couldn't imagine she was going through that for a few hours.

They quickly sedated her and drained the fluid from her using needles through her ribs. They managed to drain 170ml of fluid from her. That's half the contents of a can of coke from a very small cat. When they told us what this meant, I broke down in tears. I knew there and then she was dying. Craig was more optimistic that she would pull through however, the pessimist that I am, I knew better. As much as I wanted to believe that she would get better, I knew she would never recover.

The morning after she was like a different cat. She was happy and chirpy, running around and playing, wanting all the cuddles in the world and generally being like her old self. My mind started to wonder if she was going to get better, for a brief moment I did think she would survive. I should have known better. A few hours after we had taken her to the vets for her appointment. They had to drain the fluid again. Another 170ml.

She was taken for x-rays and bloods and examined thoroughly. They couldn't find anything. No signs of stress, no injury, no lumps or masses, no cancer, no swollen bits, nothing. Literally nothing. No explanation as to why this was happening to her. That's what was so frustrating, we couldn't save her because we didn't know what was causing it. If it was something that they could have pinpointed like cancer, then this would have been easier to deal with, because we'd have something to blame. But we don't. There was no reason this was happening, it was just happening.

The vets at this point suggested two things. We could either have a permanent chest drain placed in her for the next month, which would require almost constant sedation and hourly drainings which is a very stressful and long process for her and at the end of it might not save her life. Or we could have her put to sleep.

We talked about it for hours, going through the pros and cons of both sides, and ultimately decided that given everything she'd been through in the last few days, that putting her through another month of treatment for something that might not save her wasn't fair. We spent the night with her, cuddling her and watching her sleep. We let her eat whatever she wanted, which was mainly treats and gravy from little cat food pouches, you know, the little fancy ones. She never liked the meat in them, only the gravy. She was a little weirdo. She fell asleep curled up in my legs for a while, using me as a pillow with my arms holding her up, she had very little strength in the end. She mostly slept the whole night, which was hard to watch, given that we could see how strained her breathing was.

The vet and nurse arrived the following day, with her box and blankets that smelled like chemicals and impending sadness. Winry was a lot more at ease with them given that she wasn't in the vets room this time, she was at home. They laid out the blankets and the towels and injected her with a muscle relaxant. It was at this point that we said our final goodbyes, I held her for a few minutes, just breathing her in and holding her close to me. She put her little face on my chest and buried her head away, I knew she was scared.

Craig held her afterwards, and held her while they put her to sleep. I spoke softly to her while she was going and cradled her head in my hands. It took only seconds.

She was gone.

She was placed on the blanket and looked like she was simply sleeping. Peacefully.
No more strained breathing, no more shortness of breath, no more pain.

Making that decision was one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through. I know it was the right decision, but it doesn't make living with it any easier. We wrapped her up in the blanket and held her for a while before putting her down in her bed. Craig's mum arrived shortly afterwards and we drove through to her house with Winry between us in the car. We decided to bury her in the garden. We kept her wrapped her in the blanket and put her favourite toy in beside her as well, a tiny little furry hedgehog that she loved.

She was buried soon after we arrived and a small tree was planted on top. We also used some little white stones to spell out the letter W next to the tree. I'm still having a hard time knowing that she's been buried and my beautiful little cat is under all that soil, but I'm trying to think of it as a good thing, knowing we can visit her and talk to her still.

This week has been one of the worst weeks I've ever been through and I don't wish this on anyone. People have their pets put to sleep every day, and I pity them too, it truly is one of the worst things I've ever faced.

I'll never forget you, Winry. You truly were my best friend.
I love and miss you so much.
25/01/2011 - 12/07/2016

my favourite place on earth

Last week was complete internet silence for me, it was glorious and peaceful and I will definitely be doing it again soon. I went on a small holiday with Craig and some of my closest friends to Loch Lomond, my absolute favourite place on Earth. I've been going to Loch Lomond since I was very little and it holds a special place in my heart because of my lovely wee granny, who's ashes were scattered there along with her tree planted near the shore. We used to take trips through to the Loch for days out, spending time swimming in the water and then barbecues on the beach. I remember we drove through three days in a row just because we had been having so much fun that we drove back the next day and next day. My gran would sit and watch my brother and me swim about in the water and sunbathe whilst my mum and and dad would prepare the food or be relaxing together. One of the best moments I can remember is when my bathing suit had came loose and my gran almost had a heart attack and started wading in the water to warn me because I clearly hadn't noticed. The ever observant child that I was!

We left on the Thursday and came back on the Tuesday, it was five nights of relaxing chaos. The houses we were in were advertised as lodges, but were more like mini mansions. The sheer size of one of them was so huge I felt as if Batman should have been living there. They were beautiful and positioned nicely away from any roads and general public which meant a night in didn't surround us in the usual hustle and bustle of people walking by or cars driving around. It also meant that it was pitch black at night due to the lack of street lights around outside, which suited me perfectly as I hate unwanted light when I'm trying to fall asleep, but scary for walking outside.

The size of the houses also allowed us to have an amazing game of hide and seek, all of which I won btw, I'm clearly an amazing hider. I'm sure it's perfectly normal for a group of mid-twenties adults to play hide and seek and be super excited at winning. I spent the first night staying up until 6:30am drinking and singing Tenacious D with a few friends, much to our sleeping friends discomfort. Dick move, I know, but I was very drunk. The next few days were a mixture of more drinking, spending days out walking about the town and spending time with friends. The weather wasn't totally on our sides, we did have a few glimpses of sunshine, but most of the time it was raining.

We managed to play a round of mini golf, take a boat tour of the loch and the islands, go out on the pedalos, tackle an aerial assault course in the trees, do some shopping and drink a lot of alcohol. On the last night we also swam in the loch, with a bit of persuasion from me. The water was freezing, but totally worth it. I also jumped off a jetty with a friend into the deeper water which was good and scary, I'm not as keen on swimming in deep water so when I jumped in and didn't immediately resurface I instantly forgot that I had to swim up. It took me about four second to surface again, which when you're submerged in freezing water feels like a long ass time. The photo underneath is the jetty we jumped from, it doesn't look that deep, but trust me, it absolutely was.

I'm already looking into holidays for next year, given the success of this one. There were twelve people on this holiday and some people only met others for the first time in the houses when we arrived, so the fact that everyone clicked was a bonus. I definitely cannot wait to get back to Loch Lomond and if you're looking for a relaxing and chilled place to visit, definitely have a look at visiting, even just for the scenery, which is always my favourite part.

Until next time, Loch Lomond, it's been a pleasure once again.

written by Kirsty - thank you for reading!
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