Thursday, 13 August 2015

Birthday Treats | 22

If anything I just want to show you how gorgeous these photos are! I'm so proud of them :). It's the first 'set up' photography I have done with my new camera. So often we take gorgeous blog and instagram photos for granted but there is seriously so much work put into them when you break down the props, the backdrops and layouts people use (I'm sure there's even so much more to consider that I haven't even thought about). 

For these I draped my new pastel blue coat over the coffee table, used some of the flowers from the insane bouquet my husband bought me and messed around with it all near a window, then picked the best ones! It was so much fun. 

So here are some of the beautiful, thoughtful gifts I received for my 22 birthday. 

All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher 
An advice book aimed at teenagers with helpful tips and personal stories. Certainly something I would want my littlest sister to read. Unlike a novel I can power through, I've taken my time reading this book. Every so often I pause as it brings to light memories and experiences I have had. Definitely something very reflective. I watch Carrie's videos on youtube and love her for her book reviews and originality. 

Penguin Classic. Fairytales by Brothers Grimm
You may have seen in your local Waterstones that Penguin are celebrating 80years by releasing 80 classics in black sleek covers based on the iconic 1930s design, each for only 80p! While fawning over the aesthetics of the brand and concept of the campaign multiple times, I never actually purchased any. Turns out I didn't need to!

Honey I Washed the Kids 
I throughly enjoy Lush for the overall store experience that it's very uncommon for me to be attached to any individual product. However after being taken to the store again and again I was often pulled in by this one. Nothing too luxurious, a soap. But one with fricking honey on it! I want to eat it. 

Oh Comely Magazine 
Elegant, vintage and soft. This whole magazine is stunning. More of a well made book than traditional glossy you find in your local doctors waiting room, I was blown away by the design and gentle appeal. Hipster, but the right kind. Nothing arrogant or brashly ironic going on here. A simple lifestyle magazine that explores treasures and creativity, making me want to live better and love more. "Sacred Curiosity." (says it all really)

I Wish I Was A Unicorn. Tote Bag
Standard idelogy of course. Anything unicorn related and I'm yours. 

I Wish You Were A Unicorn. Note Book
Ohh Dear, a stationary company stumbled upon through instagram and Urban Outfitters offer such beautiful and whimsical designs. I'd been considering buying a few of their notebooks for upcoming adventures and simply to record my thoughts. Since the whole mission thing I've been keeping a journal, at times scriptural or spiritual and others the musings of my mind. Right now I use a brown notebook from Tiger which I hope to decorate with hand lettered typography, but this baby is for sure my next journal. The colours, themes and everything about it is so quintessentially me. 

All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman 
I love watching vlogs and such on youtube and this book is a highly recommended read by Carrie Hope Fletcher. I haven't started it yet but I was surprised by how thin it is! I wouldn't usually go for such a small book but I'm interested to see what I make of it. 

Thorntons Chocolate Covered Fudge
I could eat this for dayyyysssss. Seriously, I have had so many bags of this stuff recently and It. Is. Glorious. They're only sold in big bags so I can justify buying them that size right? Right? 

I was so touched by how thoughtful all my gifts were. I didn't want anything expensive or 'big' for my birthday and I am so so happy to have such an incredible support network of friends and family who know me so well and support me in all my decisions. Here's to being 22 and all the adventures to come!!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Life Lately | Turning 22 & Working with Teenagers

So many of my posts are serious reflections, reviews or even events that sometimes it feels approtiate to throw in a 'life lately' style post. Not one where I simply share my instagram photos and caption them but one where I genuinely talk about things that have been happening in the day to day aspects of my life. After all those are my favourite kind of posts to read and I could watch vlogs forever.

Today marks one month since my husband has started working away and in that time I have literally only seen him THRICE! It's a vicious cycle of feeling ripped inside, wrong for dayyysss, getting numb and simply dealing with it then I get to see him again. I remember the rawness of how wrong it is for us to be apart, it doesn't even seem real to see his beautiful face. My heart could burst with love for him! We usually get two glorious days and then he's gone again. It absolutely destroys me but it makes me feel so grateful for our decision to get married when we did. 

I've been working on a personal goal to attend the temple regularly, not just once a month but every week if I can. We're so blessed to live extremely close, there's a bus stop 15mins walk from my house where I can catch a bus straight outside the temple grounds and it only takes 45(ish)mins! Every time I go my love for the temple blossoms and my perspectives changes. I wish I could live there.  

Most Sundays I travel to different congregations across the 'region' with a friend of mine as apart of my role working with the Young Women (12-18yrs), about two months ago I was asked to be the Stake Young Womens Sectary and it is amazing. Currently we only have a Stake President and are hoping to get some Counsellors! We visit each area in order to get to know and help the girls and their local leaders. At times we are asked to teach lessons on church doctrine and organise activities. It reminds me of being an EFY Counsellor which was one of the best experiences of my life so far. I have found that it is only when I am actively working and seeking to help others that I am truly happy.  

We were recently able to take a group of both Young Women and Young Men on a temple baptism trip, it was a huge success and so beautiful to see so many experience it for the first time. So many families came to offer support, that it caused me to ponder on when Bernard and I will bring our children to the temple for the first time (in the future). There was such a sweet and peaceful spirit in the temple. It truly is a house of love! 

"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;" 
Doctrine and Covenants section 109 verse 8 - Prayer offered at the dedication of the temple at Kirkland, Ohio

The temple is the closest thing to heaven that we have and I feel so grateful that the Lord has put them on the earth for us to learn and draw nearer too him! I cannot even express how special and perfect it is. Every time I go it strengthens my relationship with the Father and the Son and helps me to find confidence and meaning in my own personal life and challenges. 

At the beginning of the month I celebrated my 22nd birthday! Being a summer baby most of my peers have already reached whatever the next age is before me that I then realise that maybe, just maybe I'm a little bit older than I think! And so there comes a time when I feel ready to age and embrace the next adventures that each year brings. Yet I still believe in figuring it out and aiming for greater happiness, whether its found in a unicorn notebook, a new camera or faith in God. In my case it's definitely a mixture of the three! (and Thorntons chocolate covered fudge for sure!!)

The week of birthday celebrations included red velvet cake, a visit from my husband, a trip to the temple with him and my parents, a cheeky Nandos, meeting up with my university friends and going for a meal at Ask Italian in Manchester, visiting my family in the Peak District, a belated meal at Turtle Bay, gorgeous mocktails and many unicorn themed gifts. #standard

Following which my husband graduated university with a 1st class honours degree. I cannot believe that my own graduation was already a year ago and while the year definitely was not what I expected I have definitely learnt a lot. At the end of September we'll have been married for half a year(!), our wedding seriously does not feel that long ago and I'm incredibly happy simply being us. I wouldn't swap it for the world!

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