Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Desk Essentials & My New Venture


I was recently lucky enough to win a New Business Bursary from Chwarae Teg. It means 'fair play' in Welsh and is an organisation that aims to deliver a vision for “a Wales where women achieve and prosper”. As part of the bursary I have been given office space within their Cardiff office for six months and access to HR, social media and finance support to get my business off to a flying start! I am sharing an office with a lady called Sarah, who is setting up a career development business for women and it turns out that we went to the same high school and lived a village apart growing up. Such a small world!
(For anyone who would like to take a look my new business is called Cherished Heritage and you can follow us on Facebook here , Twitter here and Instagram here. We provide heritage education workshops and projects to community and school groups to help them engage in history in a funand hands on way and re-engage them in education. Our first project kicked off last week and focuses on the First World War as experienced in a South Wales mining village. I would love it if you would follow our progress! Also a big thank you to Ella of She & Life for designing our logo!)
Some days I have the office space to myself and if I am putting work packs together the space is covered in historic newspapers, primary sources etc, but as it isn't my permanent desk and I share the office, I am keeping the space uncluttered. I try to keep just my laptop and notebooks on the desk, but two essentials are always present wherever I go. Firstly, my cat mug for endless supplies of tea - in the morning Twining's Breakfast Tea and then fruit tea to keep me hydrated.  I struggle drinking plain water and find fruit or green tea much easier to drink, plus it still tastes good cold as I never seem to get around to it when it's hot! It is so important to drink enough water and I definitely notice if I haven't as I lose concentration, get terrible headaches and feel so so tired.
Secondly, hand cream. At the moment I am loving this Laura Mercier Vanilla Body Souffle which I received in one of the packages a couple of months back from Birchbox. My skin becomes very dry, especially my hands and I am paranoid about them looking old so I keep this on my desk to them feeling soft and not irritated. The smell is also gorgeous and it is so easy to keep applying it for that alone, if only it wasn't so expensive!
Have you set up your own business or thinking about doing so? What are your daily essentials? Do you have any hand cream recommendations?

Monday, 29 September 2014

Birthday Treats....


Wow - what a weekend! It was my birthday Saturday and it was both lovely and hectic at the same time. I've been so busy that I've not had chance to take some photos or edit others but I promise a catch up is on the cards!
For now, here's some of my birthday treats from the weekend.....
A trip to Starbucks - I had to leave the house while Megan finished off organising my surprise party! My first Pumpkin Spice of autumn (although in a soya hot chocolate form instead of latte) and a gluten free chocolate brownie.
The Chocolate Alchemist chocolate heart - so cute and very tasty!
Some of the fairy cakes Megan made me, showcased on my wax splodged table - we took too long to get to the table for everyone to sing Happy Birthday (much to Megan's dismay) and the candles burnt down to the point of disappearing!
I may have consumed another block of Lindt chocolate and a box of Milk Tray before I could even iPhone them but there is no evidence to prove it!
So now after a busy Monday and feeling extremely piggy for eating so much chocolate I may get around to editing some more posts!
How was your weekend? What treats have you enjoyed?
Linking up with IBOT, and MMG


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Statement Home

I haven't posted one of these for a little while, but as my head has been all over the place lately I've spent a fair bit of time on Pinterest again getting lost in home inspiration. As the seasons change, I like to shake up my home a little, during autumn and winter I like to add some rich textures and colours but still keep a room light and airy as the darker days definetly impact negatively on my mood. The large windows and doors pictured here are definitely a feature I'd love. Here's hoping one day....

All sources and credits can be found here.


Getting through....

It's been a rough week, but I could never have imagined the bombshell that was about to hit, some things just completely floor you. It seems as though as soon as life thinks things are going too well someone comes along and throws a curve ball.

I'm not going to judge the people involved, we all make mistakes at some time or another I know I'm guilty of my fair share. Until I'm able to work my through my feelings rationally though it's time to pick myself up off the floor, wipe away the tears, put some lippy and a brave face on and face the world.


Linking up with Shanna

Monday, 8 September 2014

September goals and wishes...

I'm a bit late with my September goals, but last week was lost in a daze between working and trying to manage a fibro flare up and some old demons that have resurfaced lately, so here's what's significant about September for me (albeit almost half way (eek) into the month).

I love September, for me the start of the academic year always brings the sense of a fresh start, much more than the official New Year in January. I love nothing more than a sunny but crisp September morning or the Indian Summer that often comes with it. I'm never in a hurry for summer to end, I seriously dislike the grey skies of winter and September usually brings the opportunity for cosy knits, without the need of coats and the sun still shining in the sky.

September also brings my birthday at the end of the month and this year I'm really wishing I could put it off. Not because of turning another year older (33 doesn't sound too great) but because I have so much work to get through before then. 

The 25th September sees the official start of my first School World War One project and I'm currently in a panic about how much preparation I've got left to do. It has seen a few set backs and I still have finding to finalise and lesson plans to prepare. Fingers are well and truly crossed that I get it done in time!

I am moving into a new office for six months tomorrow and this I am seriously excited for. At the end of July I was awarded a New Business Bursary which included the use of office space at the Chwarae Teg offices in Cardiff. Chwarae Teg means 'fair play' in Welsh and works towards equality for women in the workplace and promoting and supporting women starting their own businesses and  advancing their careers. I'm really looking forward to working surrounded by like minded women and in a supportive environment. I have so many ideas going forward and hoping that this opportunity will halp me channel them constructively. September for me always means a new bag and stationery that comes along with the new academic term, a new office calls for the same I think! I've yet to purchase a bag but I stopped off at Tesco last night and couldn't resist this pretty leverarch folder and some coordinating notebooks for my desk.

Let's be honest about this, I love Paris at any time of the year, but I love Paris in Autumn. The orange and falling leaves give the city a whole new lease of life and the autumn sun sets the skyline alight. I can't believe that it's been eleven months since I visited last and I really hope that (for my mental well being as much as anything) I can fit in a short visit. 

And here we are back at my health goals. It's quite apt considering this week is Fibromyalgia Awareness Week, that I have been struggling to manage my pain recently, which has led to a whole other load of problems (weight loss, depression, memory problems etc). I'm unable to take most prescription pain relief as they make me sick, dizzy and my concentration levels so bad that I struggle to function so I try to deal with the pain in other ways. I've altered my medication that I have to take but  have been looking into nutritional deficiencies that are common with fibromyalgia sufferers. So, Ive taken a trip to Holland & Barrett and armed myself with a hoard of supplements that I'm hoping and praying will help! I'm going to do a post dedicate to the specifics once my head is a bit clearer and I've given them a chance to start working, but this is my main goal this month, to persevere and put back on some of the weight I've lost.

Something to brighten my day though, Downton Abbey starts again in only nine days!! So excited for its return and it's just been announced that George Clooney will be starring in the Christmas episode - day instantly made brighter!

Do you have any specific goals this month? What are your favourite things about the start of Autumn? 


Linking up with Katie 

September Sunshine

I love that the sun has reappeared this week, it's been a perfect weekend with just the right balance of being busy and relaxing. My grandfather celebrated his 85th birthday Saturday and received the perfect present, being offered a sheltered accommodation flat which is going to give him a whole new lease of life. 

Sunday was spent relaxing, cooking dinner and spending the afternoon at Cardiff Bay. For those who don't know, Newport hosted the NATO World Summit this last week with some events in Cardiff. We have spent a surreal week or so with the capital being guarded by armed police, military, tanks and warships from all over the world docked at the Bay. There's been an unprecedented 'no-fly zone' over the city apart from British and American military aircrafts circling the skies. After hosting the American President and other world leaders at the castle Thursday night, the focus shifted to a family fun day at the bay on Sunday. We didn't make it on to the newest British Destroyer, HMS Duncan or the French Naval Ship, La Motte Picquard, as just after arriving the queues were closed. I think the event was more popular than anticipated, in part due to the weather, and we were told that some people had queued for three hours to look around the ships.

We still enjoyed a lovely couple of hours looking around, being soaked by police search boats and Megan climbed over British army tanks and enjoyed being lifted up by a soldier. It would seem even at 12, Megan likes a man in uniform! The City Beach is still at Roath Basin, so we wandered around, enjoyed a Starbucks in the sun and soaked up the atmosphere. I hope that this weather is here to stay a bit longer, for me, there's nothing like a sunny afternoon down the bay and I'm not ready for it to end.

I hope you had a great weekend, did you make the most of the sun?


Linking up with Join the Gossip, Essentially Jess