Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Life Lately | Embracing February

February has been quite the busy month so far, and I have the rest of my diary pretty much full for the remainder of the month.  February has seen my job gradually getting busier, my travel plans for March fast approaching, and my faith being tested daily.  I also had a bit of a cold last week that is slowly passing after I spent a day in bed feeling sorry for myself and watching Call The Midwife.  February is going in quickly which is something I wasn't anticipating but I'm hoping to embrace the rest of this month with a more optimistic mind set.


Although things have been quite busy for me these past few weeks, something that has reground my mind and my heart is going on late night walks with two of my closest friends.  I have the reputation for being a bit of an old lady, I like to be snuggled up in my bed with my tea and my journal by 10 o'clock in the evenings.  So when one of my friends invited me on a walk a little after 10, I shocked myself when I started putting on my welly boots and jacket.  But these walks have been so wonderful, I'm so thankful for these guys and the God centred conversations we've had together. 

If you follow me on instagram then you'll see that I'm posting a photo every day and sharing a little bit of my heart.  The past week or so has seen my struggling in my faith slightly, but I've been feeling a bit more refreshed the past day or two which is so comforting.  I'm feeling a little closer to God and hoping to build on this now. 

It's officially less than two weeks till I go to Australia and it still seems surreal to me that I'm actually going!  Obviously, I'm excited, but I'm also feeling surprisingly laidback which worries me slightly.  I'm just hoping I don't leave anything to the last minute or forget to pack something really important. 


A couple of weekends ago I went back to my parents for a few nights, it was so lovely to see my family.  I finally got a much needed haircut then we spent an afternoon at The Restoration Yard and it was so lovely.  I love the vintage, authentic feel to the whole place, from the beautiful café to the incredible, bespoke store.  This place is worth a visit and walking around the country park is great, even if it's freezing and you cuddle up to your Grandma the whole time like I did!

I have had numerous coffee shop visits recently and I don't think I've appreciated a hot chocolate more than I have this month.  The chance to get out for a bit and spend time with my friends somewhere that isn't our workplace has been good.  Also, when your barista gives you extra whipped cream and caramel sauce it's pretty awesome. 

The end of this month is scheduled to be just as busy as the beginning but I'm looking forward to whatever comes my way.  How's February shaping up for you?  Let me know in the comments how your month is going so far, I'd love to hear from you.


Carolyn 
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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Gold In The Darkest Moments #9


The past few weeks have been very busy, between having a huge event at my work, my parents coming to visit and trying to get organised for going away at the end of the month, I feel like I haven't taken much time to appreciate things.  The last week has been quite up and down for me and internally I've struggled.  Also, it's February, when did that happen?   My brain is in quite the jumble, but I'm going to take some time to tell you about some of the things that have made me smile over the last week or so. 


1.  Stirling
I'm not usually one for spontaneity.  I like to be organised and plan out my time off.  So when myself and a friend randomly decided to leave within the next half hour to meet our friend in Stirling, I was very excited.  It was foggy and cold but I had such a wonderful afternoon. 
Stirling is a beautiful city and it was so nice to spend some quality time with two of my closest friends, and hot chocolate and cake at Ciscos Café made it even better. 


2.  Eating less sugar.
Besides the amazing Victoria Sponge pictured above, I've been making an effort to eat less sugar.  It's making my skin better and I'm feeling happier when I'm feeding my body food that is actually good for it.  Although there have been a quite a few grumpy moments where all I've wanted is a bar of chocolate, in the long run I know that cutting down on sugar is going to be a very good thing for me.


3.  Australia.
I can now officially say that I'm going to Australia this month!  This still doesn't feel real but there are little moments when I let myself get really excited and flick through my Sydney guidebook for a half hour. 


4.  Baking cupcakes.
Although baking is part of my job, it's still one of my biggest hobbies.  I shared a recipe in this post for my Nutella and Kinder Chocolate cupcakes.  They were so much fun to make and although I didn't try them myself, I was told they tasted pretty good. 


5.  Hot chocolate, hot chocolate, and some more hot chocolate.
Besides a herbal tea I drink for helping me to sleep, I don't drink tea or coffee.  So whenever someone suggests going for coffee I know that a caramel hot chocolate with cream is on the cards for me.  Also, hot chocolate is my exception to my "consume less sugar rule" so I will happily take marshmallows and creams with that as well please.


6.  Decorating my room.
I've finally gotten around to putting up my new postcards and fairy lights in my room, it's made it feel so cosy and homey. 


7.  Struggling in my faith.
I'll admit this is a strange thing to be sharing but I've been feeling so empty in my faith this week.  So why am I sharing it in my happiness post?  Because I feel that in this time of silence and frustration God is trying to teach something.  What He's trying to teach me is still a mystery to me, but I'm trying to listen to Him and make more time for Him.  I've found a lot of verses to help me this week even though I'm feeling spiritually empty, and I know that it won't last forever.  


Even though there have been some internally difficult times this past weeks, looking for the happier moments always makes me feel better and is challenging me to do it throughout my day, not just at the end of a week.  Let me know in the comments about some of the things that have made you smile this week, I'd love to hear from you. 



Carolyn 
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