Let’s start at the beginning.

At times, life can be amazing: You have your family, your friends, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your husband, your wife, travel, memories, experiences that shape you as an individual, make you smile, make you laugh until you cry and anything and everything in between. Life is something that you have to make the most of and by doing that, you feel fulfilled and happy, which is all we ever want.

Life is crazy, unexpected and beautiful: It’s something that is gifted to us and there are so many incredible places to see and so many exciting things to do that the world really is our oyster. The more we put into our lives, the more we get out of it which is definitely a sort of mantra I try to live by.

But at the same time, life can be really fucking tough (excuse my French) and can make you crumble into a million different pieces and emotions that you never even thought were possible. The unexpectedness can shock you into a sense of the unknown, not being able to trust that you will come out of the other side. It’s happened to me, it’s happened to people I know and it’s happened to strangers close to home and around the world.

One of the worst cliches I have ever heard is that time heals all wounds, and although I do believe that tragedies do get easy the more time that passes (or maybe that we learn how to deal with our emotions better?) our wounds never fully heal, as our lives are without that person or that one experience that meant so much to us.

Human beings are resilient little things, it has to be said, and we learn to bounce back from disaster whether it takes a month or a decade, and although bouncing back is a huge step in itself, sometimes we can fall right back into the sense of the unfamiliar causing a sense of anxiety and uneasiness.

One of the best things about life is the unexpected twists and turns that can lead you on a completely different path; a path that you didn’t even know existed, but a path that could either be a make it or break it experience for you, or one that leads you to a place that you never knew existed, which could either be positive or not.

When my best friend passed away two years ago today, I thought I would never bounce back. It was completely out of the blue and unexpected; but here I am today, having accepted that even the nicest people in the world can have horrible things happen to them – and although I’m not saying I’m one of them, I do believe that I didn’t do anything to experience such heartbreak and that I needed to give myself a break.

During that time I was scared: Scared to open up about my feelings in case I offended someone who was going through something that was worse than me; scared to be vulnerable, but also scared to show that sometimes I was doing ok, and getting through to the other side in case people judged me and expected me to be sadder than I was – but in reality, we all go through these things in our own personal way, and no one knows how you are coping but yourself.

I feared the unknown because I was scared my life could be shaken up all over again but I also felt guilty to live how I wanted to live. I felt guilty if people saw me out and I looked happy: I felt guilty to laugh or enjoy myself: I felt guilty to get on with living my life, but in reality that is all she would have ever wanted.

Life can be a whole host of overwhelming emotions and taking the time to realise this and how to react to them is definitely something I have learnt more in the past couple of years than ever before. Grief may alter us as people, but in the long run, we are still the same person deep down, and we can’t lose sight of that. Life does go on, and as selfish as you might think you are being, you need to make the most of your days on this earth.

Two years have passed since the worst day of my life, and although there are times where I feel down and I go back to that night, I’m also so proud of how far I’ve come, and even reading this post from last year has cemented the fact that I am doing ok.

We can’t predict the future, and as scary as that may be as it might hold a whole array of mixed emotions, it can also be an exciting epitome that you have no idea what is around the corner. Fearing the unexpected is completely and utterly normal but it also exhausting and zaps your energy of how you really want to live your life, and how happy you could become if you lived in the moment.

No one is taught how to deal with the rollercoaster of emotions that life throws at you, that’s the beauty of having your own experiences and growing up, but at the end of the day, you are a fucking awesome human being, whether you have been through the mill and back or not, it doesn’t matter – you are incredible and don’t you ever forget it.

xx

This last week feels like it lasted quite a while, but now we are officially in the second half of the year, and I’m just counting down the days until I can start talking about Christmas before people start rolling their eyes at me.

I will admit though I’m kind of missing the summer weather we had for all of 5 minutes. I feel as though the darker, greyer days definitely have an impact on my mood, but instead of wallowing to myself, I am trying to be as positive as possible.

1. Tampopo Supper Club

On Tuesday evening, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Tampopo supper club at The Trafford Centre to try out their five-course tasting menu. I’m going to do a whole post on it, but overall it was a really lovely experience and I would highly recommend going to one if you get the chance (they are every quarter). The staff were great and so knowledgeable and even gave us a travel guide to Japan so we could learn more about the country.

2. Catching Up With Friends

On Tuesday and Wednesday lunchtime, a couple of different friends popped round for a cup of tea and a catch-up. I’m one of those people who tries to do fun things in the week so you don’t put too much pressure on the weekend, so it was lovely to break my day up with a visit from the both. Plus it gave me an excuse to eat biscuits with lunch, which is always going to make the day much better!

3. Salon Success

On Wednesday afternoon I came home to a parcel from Salon Success who look after the hair care brand Paul Mitchell. They are always so generous when it comes to gifting my products, and this time around sent me the new summer collection which consisted of a paddle brush, sculpting brush and a volume enhancing shampoo and conditioner which I can’t wait to try.

4. Blogosphere Magazine

I know this issue of Blogosphere came out a while ago, but I haven’t had a second to sit down with it and have a read (plus it was delivered to my parents which is why I was slightly delayed getting my hands on it…) I love reading this magazine because it makes me feel so inspired about the industry and hearing everyone else’s story about their little corner of the internet.

5. Blogger’s Brunch

On Saturday morning, I joined some fellow bloggers for the launch of the new collection from Simply Argan at Victors in Hale. I’ve been to Victors a few times and the food has always been amazing, so I was really looking forward to having brunch there. I had smashed avocado and poached eggs on sourdough with a side of smoked salmon, and if that wasn’t enough, I also finished my friend Jacinta‘s pancakes (which were equally as amazing!) The products are such high quality and I can’t wait to try them all.

6. Lambrini

A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by Lambrini to try some of their new flavours. I won’t lie, when I think of the brand, memories of getting our older friends to buy us the £1.99 bottles of it spring to mind before anything else. But when I heard they have launched a whole host of new flavours, I was definitely keen to try them. I went for the original and the truly peach and had my first taste of them both on Saturday. Because it was such nice weather, me and Jordan had a couple of glasses whilst we relaxed in the garden, and I can honestly say, I didn’t get any flashbacks of my ‘drinking in a park’ days because they tasted so different. Out of the two, I would say my preference was the peach one, as it tasted just like a peach bellini and I’m excited to try more of the new flavours.

7. Bon Voyage BBQ

One of my good friends Sarah is going travelling with her boyfriend for 7 months later this month, and on Saturday, her and her family held a Bon Voyage BBQ at her sister’s house. The food and company were both amazing, even if I am going to miss her more than she realises! Saying that I’m always up for people following their dreams around the world.

8. Mexican Feast

Yes, it seems as though all I did on Saturday was eat… but what can I say? After the BBQ, we went round to my friend Emily’s house for a birthday celebration and some food. I hadn’t seen her or her husband (eeek) since her wedding so I was really excited to hear all about the honeymoon. They put on a great spread of Mexican food, with mojitos and every other alcohol you could think of, and it was a really lovely chilled evening catching up with some old friends.

9. Makers Market

On Sunday, Jordan and I drove into Knutsford to go to the Maker’s Market they hold there on the first Sunday of the month. The weather was amazing, and everyone seemed to be in a really good mood. We got a woodfire pizza and some macaroons to share, but I could have eaten everything in sight because it looked so good. Definitely check them out if you live in the North West.

10. Fresh Flowers

Yesterday afternoon I picked up some fresh flowers from Aldi for £2. I went for some fuchsia roses, and they really brighten up the front room. I really want to get into the habit of having flowers around the house (most probably fake) because they really put a smile on my face!

xx

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I can’t quite believe that we are nearing the end of June, and I have been doing these posts for the past six months. It’s crazy!

This week had lots of ups and downs, but even in the darkest times, we still need to remember to find the light (slightly paraphrasing Albus Dumbledore there…)

1. Starting The Week In Paris

If you read last week’s Weekly Love post, you would know that I spent that weekend in Paris, just after my birthday. We came back on Monday afternoon, so we had a bit of time there in the morning and just after lunch. We went up to the Sacre-Couer and had lunch in the sunshine, and even paid a quick trip to the Moulin Rouge before getting back to the hotel and picking up our bags. The Monday was definitely the hottest day we were there and Paris just looked so beautiful in the sunshine!

2. Everything Everything

On Tuesday night I went with my friend Phil to see Everything Everything at the Albert Hall in Manchester. It was the third time I’d seen them, and they didn’t disappoint. They did a mixture of their older tracks and tried out some new ones with the crowd, which went down really well. I always love going to the Albert Hall as it is a really cool gig venue, although it can get quite stuffy so stand more towards the back where they have fans if you find yourself there in summer!

3. Reading

On Thursday morning, Jordan and I drove down to Reading to have a few days down south. I chose Reading over staying in London because a) I didn’t fancy driving to the capital and b) Accor Hotels very kindly put us up in the Ibis, which had just been done up. We arrived mid afternoon and went out for a wander and found a beach bar with real sand, swings and amazing cocktails so we spent the next couple of hours there. I was really impressed with Reading overall, and would definitely recommend it if you’re going down South, but would rather not pay London prices. Plus it is only 25 minutes on the train to London Paddington.

4. The Real Greek

Whilst in Reading, we made our first visit to The Real Greek where they had a training night on, and gave us 25% off, bonus! I absolutely love Greek food, and have always wanted to try this place when I’m in London but have always gone elsewhere. At the moment, they do not have any restaurants up north which is a real shame because the food was lovely. We shared about 7 different dishes, washed down with some house red, and it was absolutely delicious.

5. Ascot

One of the reasons that we went down south in the first place was because we were going to Ascot on the Friday. If you know Jordan at all, you will know that he is obsessed with horse racing, and I love any occasion where it is acceptable to day drink and dress up! We got the train from Reading about 12:15 pm and it was already heaving with rowdy (but lovely) southerners. We were in the new Village enclosure which has just opened for this year and is done out with a festival vibe – think bunting, a grandstand and loads of food vendors.

6. Bills Brunch

On the Saturday morning, feeling slightly worse for wear, we headed over to Bills for brunch. This was only my second time to Bills, but it is one of those restaurants that people always seem to go back to, and seen as though it was packed out, I knew we had made a good choice. I got smoked salmon, avocado and scrambled eggs (which easily could have fed 2) and Jordan got their famous buttermilk pancakes with bacon and maple syrup which were divine!

7. Getting Back to Simba

I know this point is completely cringe, but if you are a pet owner, you will know how nice it is to get back to them after a few days away. Simba had been staying with my parents whilst we were in Reading, and I missed him so much! It was so nice to have him back home with us and having a chilled Saturday evening.

8. Family Sunday

On Sunday, we headed over to my auntie and uncle’s house in Tarporley to have lunch with them. It had been a while since I had seen them or my cousins and it was really lovely to catch up. My auntie always knows how to put on a spread, and the food was lovely – and of course, I had two desserts! How can I say no?!

xx

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I can’t believe we’re almost halfway through the year; where did the time actually go? That’s one of the reasons I’ve been loving writing these posts because I can look back on them and remember all the fun things I did in 2017.

This last week has been jam-packed as it was my birthday on the Tuesday, which meant seeing lots of different people and celebrating!

1. Takeaway

Well, it wouldn’t be a weekly love post without me talking about food, would it? Me and Jordan had spoken about going out on Monday evening as a pre-birthday celebration, but when it came round to it, I was still so tired from the weekend, that we decided to have a chilled night in. There is a sushi takeaway not far from where we live, which we’ve been to a few times, so we decided to treat ourselves to some food from here, which was a very welcome change to ‘whatever-we-have-in-the-freezer’ Mondays.

2. Band & Bean

On Tuesday night (a.k.a my birthday) I was invited to an acoustic event at Grindsmith in Media City. My friend Emily puts on these events to pair her two loves of coffee and music in a chilled environment. She and a group of others are very passionate about the Manchester music scene and discovering new artists, which is what this event was to promote. There were 2 bands and 1 singer, who were all amazing, talented individuals. We watched Tuscan Sun, Stillia and Hannah Ashcroft, and if you would like any more information, check out their Youtube channel and Facebook page.

3. Tattu

I want to do a full review of Tattu on here in the next couple of weeks, but I wanted to give it a mention because I had such a lovely time. On Wednesday it was my friend Sophie’s birthday so a group of us went to the Spinningfields restaurant which specialises in Cantonese food in such a beautiful atmosphere. We had a really chilled evening and I got to catch up with a couple of the girls who I hadn’t seen in a while, which was lovely.

4. Dinner With Parents

On Thursday evening, me and Jordan went to have dinner at my parent’s house. My mum has recently gone veggie so we had a Quorn spag bol, halloumi, garlic bread, a watermelon and feta salad (which was delicious!) and apple crumble for dessert. She definitely overfed us, but all the food was amazing, and it was nice to spend time with my parents at home, rather than go out for a meal.

5. Paris

On Saturday morning, Hannah and I flew out to Paris for a weekend break. We had such an amazing time. filled with lots of food, rooftop drinks, sunshine, boat tours, wine, croissants, wandering and everything else you are supposed to do on a city break. I even managed to film a few video clips so I might make them into a vlog! You can check out my Instagram (and Hannah‘s) to have a look at everything we got up to!

xx

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After everything that has happened over the last few weeks, it was getting harder and harder to find things to be happy about – but life is all about being resilient and overcoming negativity with a positive mindset and I will strive my hardest to continue to do that.

1. Vegan Dinner

On Monday night, my friend Emily came round for dinner. She is vegan, so I was panicking about what to make, but we decided to have a big salad, tortillas, hummus, crusty bread, roasted nuts and bits of fruit. It was nice to have something different for dinner as I’m trying to cut my meat intake down anyway and lovely to catch up with her.

2. Spontaneous Visit

On Tuesday afternoon my friend Siobhan messaged me to say she was in the area. She moved to Chester back in April and I haven’t had the chance to go and see the new house and vice versa. She came round for food and wine (and cake that I happened to have baked spur of the moment) and we got to talk for a few hours about the move, jobs, and her upcoming wedding, which was nice.

3. Nails

Now I’ve firmly got the ‘having your nails done every 3 weeks’ bug (catchy…) I had booked my next appointment in back in May. I went for a pale peach colour, as I had already had pink and I hoped this would go with everything. We’re going to Ascot in a couple of weeks, and I’m hoping to wear a red dress so I didn’t want something that would clash or look too garish.

4. Voting

I know I probably lost followers on Instagram, Twitter, and friends on Facebook, but this election really took over my life this week. I can tell I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but I felt so strongly that I wanted Labour to win and I wanted to have my say. Although the result wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for, I’m impressed by the campaign that they constructed, and the fact that 70% of under 25’s turned up to vote.

5. Homemade Brunch

As it’s my birthday on Tuesday, Jordan treated me to a homemade brunch over the weekend. As we’re still in the midst of paying bills, sorting out the rooms we still haven’t touched, and trying to make our house into a home, I sometimes lean more towards meals in than meals out. We had scrambled eggs on olive bread, with avocado and smoked salmon and it was delicious.

6. Junkyard Golf

I’d been meaning to go here since it opened months ago, but never found the right time. For our joint birthdays, me and my friend Sophie decided to have a night here and have some drinks afterwards on Saturday night. The course was really fun, the cocktails were amazing, and I even managed to come joint first, which I was pretty happy with!

7. Birthday celebrations

After we played mini golf, we continued the night at Refuge, which is another place I’ve been meaning to go to go for a while. It was very fancy in there, but still reasonably priced and we even ran into some old school friends and had a mini catch up with them. I’m never a fan of doing something huge for my birthday, which is why it’s nice to share it with a close friend.

8. Makers Market

On Sunday, Jordan and I ventured into Manchester to go to the Makers Market that was on in the Northern Quarter. It’d been a while since we could make it to one of them, and I’d missed being able to sample loads of different food. We also got some pre-birthday cake, which didn’t last long when we got home.

9. The Alchemist On New York Street

After we had raided the market of food, we decided to go for a little celebratory drink at The Alchemist on New York street, which isn’t far from the Northern Quarter. It had been a couple of years since I had been here, but it is one of my favourite bars in Manchester. If you don’t know much about it, think of OTT cocktails which come in measuring jugs, with quirky garnishes. I went for a strawberry colada, which was basically an alcoholic slush puppy.

10. Come Dine With Me

As it had been a while since our last ‘alphabet come dine with me’ I was really excited to see the girls and hear what they had been up to recently. It was my friend Sarah’s turn to host and she had the letter P and did a medley of South American countries – Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Peru and Panama. We had a chicken, avocado and sweet potato dish to start, followed by a plantain course, then a main of rice with melted feta, with steak and pork with a fried egg on top, and a dessert of pastries and a sweet potato cake. They were all really sweet as well and sang happy birthday and gave me some chocolates and presents. A very lovely way to end the weekend.

xx

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