Because sometimes, it’s easy for us to get wrapped up in our everyday lives, that we forget to stop and reflect on the little things that keep us ticking over.

The leaves starting to grow back again as we reach Spring

When the cats jump on the bed in the morning for cuddles

Looking forward to warmer, brighter days

Receiving pictures of my best friend enjoying her travels

The sun shining in through the shutters at golden hour

When I get a message from a reader saying they enjoy my blog

My parents texting me to tell me they love me

Laughing with the girls at work over nothing in particular

Reminiscing on some of the beautiful places I’ve been over the years

The days starting to get longer

Getting excited for all the wedding planning this year

My other half surprising me with my favourite chocolate

Wrapping up in layers and getting outside

Waking up before the sunrise and seeing the changing colours of the sky

Getting all my blankets down and snuggling on the sofa

Cooking lots of home-cooked meals

Finding motivation to keep coming back to this blog

The group message I have with all my closest friends

Spending more time with my family and watching the kids grow up

Driving in my car, listening to newly downloaded podcasts

Getting excited about all the blogging events coming up this year

Receiving emails that make me smile

Brunching with my lovely girls

Walking down the river near our house

Making plans over the next few weeks to look forward to

Starting to think about my wedding dress

xx

I’ve decided to dedicate one post a month to our wedding, plans, things I’ve enjoyed, things that have stressed me out and everything else in between. I feel as though I’m getting to that age now where a lot of my readers might be engaged, already married or just interested in the whole process, which is why I wanted to share my experiences on here with you.

In today’s post, I wanted to share with you the story of how we got engaged. If you’re looking for a romantic, dreamy, fairytale, then, unfortunately, I cannot give you that: I can, however, give you the true story, that emulates the fact that life very rarely goes to plan. As the nosey person I am naturally, I really enjoy reading people’s stories, and I hope you enjoy mine.

Back before Christmas, Jordan planned a trip to France for us to have a pre-anniversary celebration. We arrived in Lille early afternoon on the Tuesday and spent the day wandering around and getting our bearings. We stopped at a few bars, sampling the local wine and beers before heading for cheese and mussels – how French! We spent some time exploring the Christmas markets and looking around the old town before heading back to our hotel.

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll remember that we did a trip to Belgium back in March, visiting Brussels and Bruges, but one of the places we didn’t manage to fit into the holiday was Ghent. After speaking to a couple at dinner about how easy it was to get there, we decided to spend our next afternoon there. They also recommended a restaurant for us back in Lille for dinner the next night, so we swung by on the way home to book a table and have something to look forward to.

I’ve been to Europe loads of times on holiday, and every time, I’ve been on some form of public transport with no problem at all, until this trip. We got to Ghent absolutely fine and spent a lovely afternoon discovering the shops, walking down the canals and eating our way around the markets.

We decided to get the 6.30pm train home, meaning that we would be back in France and at the restaurant to make our 8pm reservation. I wasn’t anxious at all about getting the train home, as the journey there was so seamless, but after the platform of the train changed and it was brought forward by a few minutes, I started to feel a little on edge.

The first half an hour of the journey went by incredibly quickly and I even nodded off for a bit, but I woke up just as we got into a station where we waited for 20 minutes. We weren’t too concerned at first seen as the train to Belgium had done something similar but after the longest wait at the station, we started to go backwards.

We both knew that something wasn’t right at this point, and went to find the conductor to see where we had gone wrong. He was incredibly helpful and told us that the train we were on had split into two separate trains (which apparently is quite common in Europe) and half had gone to Lille and the other half had gone further into Belgium – and we were on that half.

By this point, Jordan’s phone was dead and mine was on very low battery and I went into a full panic mode. The conductor told us we had to go back to the original station where the train split and wait for the next train back to Lille which was arriving on a different platform, 6 minutes later. It all sounded very doable, but I was really worried that we would miss it and couldn’t calm myself down.

It was another hour until we got to the station, and once we got there we asked everyone we could to make sure we were on the right platform. After a few minutes, our train turned up, and although it said Lille on the front, we asked the new conductor and a few other passengers to make sure we were on the right one – which we were.

After we got back to France, we had missed our reservation and we were exhausted so decided to get a takeaway pizza and a bottle of wine and head back to the hotel to watch TV and sleep. Little did I know what was about to happen next.

Once we got back to the hotel, Jordan was being slightly jittery and spilt wine all over the table whilst he was pouring it. I didn’t think anything of it and headed to the bathroom to take my makeup off. I realised I’d left my cotton wool pads in the room and asked him to pass me them, and the next thing I knew, he was on one knee, holding a ring.

After such a draining evening, my emotions sky-rocketed and I jumped into his arms as he asked me to marry him and burst into tears. It wasn’t the proposal he was hoping for (apparently it would have been in a cute little park on the walk back from dinner) but the fact that he couldn’t wait any longer to ask me, made it even more special – and who can say they spent their engagement night eating pizza and drinking wine in bed?

I was really close to ringing my mum that night, but it was late and I wanted to tell her face to face the next day when we were home, and it felt nice having our little secret for a while. The next day I couldn’t stop smiling and had to keep checking down at my hand to make sure I hadn’t dreamt it. We had a lovely last day wandering around the old town and even got some champagne to have on the Eurostar home to celebrate.

And the rest is history.

Reading the story back now it all seems incredibly dramatic, and although the evening put me on the verge of a panic attack, the outcome made me the happiest girl in the world.

I hope you enjoyed reading our engagement story and are looking forward to the rest of the wedding content that you’ll be getting over the next few months.

xx

Someone asked me last week for advice on how to deal with anxiety for one of her clients, and seen as it’s been a while since I’d done a post relating to my personal story, and with the new start to the year, I thought this would be a great time to share some of my advice if you are suffering with your mental health.

January can be one of the best, yet one of the most overwhelming times of the year, which can ultimately lead to quite an anxious period for some, myself included. Hopefully, these tips and advice will help you if you’re feeling a bit lost at the moment and give you some reassurance that you are not alone.

1. Don’t Be Afraid To Talk

When I was younger, I never spoke about my anxiety, and instead tried to deal with it on my own. I used to mix up the feelings I was having with hormones and assumed that everything I was going through was normal. It was only when I started to open up to people that I realised that I was suffering from generalised anxiety disorder, which prompted me to speak to a professional – one of the best thing I ever did. There are also a lot of charities aimed at helping people with mental health issues, such as Mind, Rethink Mental Illness and Think Twice, who all offer free advice.

2. You Are Not Selfish

Sometimes an anxiety attack can come out of nowhere and the only thing you want to do is be alone – that is completely fine. I’ve cancelled plans, some of them quite big ones as well, because my anxiety got the better of me and I felt as though I needed alone time. Up until recently, I used to be wracked with guilt when I did this, but now I have come to the realisation that I am not a bad person for needing some alone time, or feeling as though I am not up to something.

3. Medication Is Not A Weakness

When I went through a very tough time about 18 months ago, my mental health was the worst it’s ever been and I was prescribed medication to help with my anxiety and depression. I had been on a prescription before, but this time it was a higher dosage that I was advised to take daily. For months I didn’t tell anyone I took medication because I always felt there was a stigma around it, but since then, I’ve learnt you should never feel weak for trying to make things in your life better. If you don’t want to talk to your GP about it, you can always visit sites such as The Independent Pharmacy, who will diagnose your symptoms and give you advice.

4. Know Your Limits

From day to day, this one might change, but it’s important to know what your body and mind can be put through. There is something called the spoon theory, which is a metaphor relating to people with an illness or disability, and states that as a sufferer, you only have a certain number of spoons a day. Every activity we do takes away a portion of our spoons, and once we have no more, we have no choice but to rest and replenish them for the next day.

5. Mental Health IS Important

Just because you can’t see what is happening when someone is suffering with a mental health illness doesn’t mean that it is not as important as a physical ailment. There is a lot more talk now about mental health, and I think that’s great, but also, there is so much more that can be done and said around the topic.

I hope you found this blog helpful and if you would like me to do more on the subject, just drop me a line.

xx

(The main one being, don’t take outfit photos with a bobble on your wrist…)

After jumping on the Instagram bandwagon of doing my year in review, it got me thinking of all the important life lessons I learnt last year, and I thought this post would be a great opportunity to write them all down. I did a similar post at the start of last year, and it’s always nice to have something like this to look back on.

2017 was such a monumental year for me, so much more so than I ever would have imagined: I travelled more than I ever have before, I bought a house with my best friend, we added another little fur baby to our family, I quit my job with nothing else in the pipeline, I found a job I love, I made new friends, I cherished opportunities that were given to me, I started to plan a wedding and I tried to make the most of every day.

I’ve made a list of all of the things that I learnt along the way too, for you all.

1. It’s ok to put yourself first. It’s not selfish or indulgent but helps you be the best version of yourself in the other areas of your life, which inevitably, helps you to give back to others.

2. Prioritising time with your family should always be your number 1.

3. Your friends have always got you back. Sometimes it may feel as though you all have so much going on in your own personal life, or they may even live on the other side of the world, but when it comes down to it, they would give you the world.

4. The older you get, the more you don’t care what other people think of you. Focusing on yourself is key to finding happiness in your life.

5. Travel broadens the mind. Maybe a cliche, but 100% true.

6. Carrying a notebook around with you will make you feel like a super swish stationery goddess.

7. Finding a balance between work and home life is harder than you think, but incredibly important to keep you sane.

8. No one ever really knows what they want to do with their life. The majority of people are on a different path than they once envisaged, but it makes life more exciting along the way.

9. A home-cooked meal, evening in and spending time with your favourite people will always make your heart warm.

10. Trying to keep flowers alive is easier said than done.

11. You don’t have to fill your evenings and weekends with plans. Although its lovely to have something to look forward to, a night away from the world can sometimes do you the world of good.

12. The more expensive something is, doesn’t mean its better.

13. You should never feel guilty for wanting some time alone or saying no to people. If that’s what your body wants, then you should listen.

14. You’re never too old to start something new.

15. You are an incredible, interesting, unique, human being with a number of layers to unearth to people.

16. Going for a walk, talking to someone or getting out of the house are not quick fixes for your mental health. Listen to your mind and make your own decisions.

17. Making your bed in the morning will really make you feel as though you have your s*** together.

18. There’s nothing like curling up with a good book and getting lost in your thoughts.

19. Saving money is much easier when you re-evaluate what are the most important things in your life.

20. Animals make the world a better, more lovely place.

21. There is kindness in even the darkest of places.

22. Nothing makes you happier than seeing your friends get married to their one true love.

23. Growing up in the digital age can be incredibly daunting at times.

24. When all is said and done, listen to your gut.

What were the lessons you learnt last year? 

xx

I always think that winter, and in particular, January, is the best time to get some home inspiration, invest in some cosy pieces and try to incorporate as much hygge into my routine when the colder months hit.

Until owning my own home, I was never really into interiors, mainly because I’d only ever lived in rented flats or with my parents, but there is something really satisfying about doing up your own house and discovering your unique style.

One of my favourite rooms in our house is definitely our bedroom, mostly because I feel it’s the cosiest and the one I spend the most time in. I’ve been picking up bits over the years including a chest of drawers, photo frames and scatter cushions, which I feel give the room an overall peaceful vibe and make me feel instantly relaxed.

Although we’ve lived in our house now for over nine months, there are still bits and bobs to do in a few of the different rooms, including getting new curtains. Although I don’t mind our sky-blue pair at the moment, as it’s one of my favourite colours, in the future I would love to get one of our walls wallpapered and change them for something a bit homier and ones we have chosen ourselves.

Curtains are one of those things that you don’t really think about when you buy a house, but they really add to the decoration of a room and make for a better night’s sleep. We’re lucky in our bedroom as we have shutters as well, but without them, in the summer months, we would be woken up as soon as the sun rises, which although sounds pretty zen, I think I’d rather have the extra sleep.

One of the other things that I would like to invest in, is some curtain hold-backs, because they make a pair of curtains look a lot grander, are a lovely finishing touch, and would really make me feel as though I’m nailing this whole adulting thing – also, with two cats roaming about as they please, having anything that ties them back and has them less on the floor will mean a lot less climbing to the top (one can hope anyway…) There is a whole range of curtain holdbacks in the Yorkshire Linen store which has something for every room style and personal preference.

Another thing that I feel is something I would like to buy more of is bedding, especially a set for the new year. I’ve been having a look online in the hope to treat myself to some as a late Christmas present, and this set from Next is one that I’ve definitely got my eye on because it looks so warm and snuggly: This textured set from Zara Home is beautiful too – I like grey, can you tell?

Buying bedding may seem like a mundane task to some, but in my opinion, there is nothing better than getting in a cosy new set and getting the best night’s sleep possible. Fresh bedding is one of life’s little

The more I do these interior-style posts, the more I realise that making a house a home is something that is really important to me. It’s all of the little bits that bring a room together that make you feel so thankful for everything you have when you walk into it, and I never want that feeling to end.

For more festive inspiration and style tips, visit the Yorkshire Linen store online today or follow them on Instagram.

Have you updated your bedroom recently? What have you purchased? 

xx

This post is written in collaboration with Yorkshire Linen. All views are my own.