Sunday, 16 March 2014

The ABC of Me

I used to love doing things like this back in the days of MySpace. It's been ages since I've done one so I thought I'd give this a go. I've seen a few bloggers doing this one and saw this on Another City Urbanite's blog. Why do you give it a go? Send me a link if you do so I can check yours out. 

A – Available or married? 
As good as married but officially will be as of July 2016
B- Book?
The Hunger Games trilogy
C- Cake or Pie?
Cake
D- Drink of Choice?
Irish Cream Cappuccinos
E- Essential Item?
iPhone
F- Favorite Color?
PINK!!!
G- Game to play or watch?
I'm not really into sports but I watch UFC with my man sometimes. Games, well, I'm kinda hooked on Castlez & Tribez at the moment.
H- Hometown?
Chorley... but I've moved around a lot. I consider Kings Lynn to be my 2nd home town.
I- Indulgence?
Mars Bars and cinnamon buns
J- Job?
Professional Dream Chaser
K- Kids and names?
Holly... I think the next one will be called something epic like Wolfrick or Ragnar lol
L- Life is incomplete without?
My daughter, my man... and chocolate
M- Music group or singer?
No specific ones I listen to everything. Into Bastille at the moment.
N- Number of siblings?
Biologically, 5... I'm estranged from all of them though. 
O- Oranges or apples?
Tangerines mmm
P- Phobias/Fears?
Stairs... I fall down a lot. Losing people I love.
Q- Favorite Quote?
"Be Excellent to each other" Bill & Ted
R- Reason to Smile?
Despite all the crap there are awesome people in the world. 
S- Season?
Spring time... rebirth, sunshine, flowers, lambs, Easter (chocolate)
T- Tattoos?
Two, a lizard on my back and a heart on my hip. I want to get the hip one covered with something better eventually. 
U- Unknown fact about me?
I can fit my whole fist into my mouth
V- Vegetable you love?
Cucumber
W- Worst habit?
I'm a fusser
X- X-Rays you’ve had?
Too many to remember (told you I fall down a lot)
Y- Your favorite food?
Cinnamon buns
Z- Zodiac?
Scorpio

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Be a Lighthouse!


A little something I rustled up for Day one of my (Digital) self love journal. 

Ready For Some Radical Self Love?

If you're a regular reader to any of my blogs you'll know how much of a fan-girl I am when it comes to Gala Darling. I absolutely love everything she does and stands for. If you aren't an avid reader of her amazing blog, why the heck not?
Last summer she released her Radical Self Love letters. 30 days of amazing emails sent to you to help you be your best self. I loved them, and while I was particularly feeling a bit rotten at the time, they really helped me through a mental bad patch.
Well, now she has released a 365 version of her love letters. A WHOLE YEAR of amazingness straight to your inbox everyday.
She posted a bog called "How To Sass Up Your Radical Self Love Bible" which has excerpts from another of my favourite bloggers Pixie and Pixier's post "Inside My Radical Self Love Bible"  Reading these two posts absolutely filled me with so much inspiration I went and signed up for Gala's 365 Love Letters myself.
I kept each one and put them in a folder from last year, this time I can't wait to start my own Radical Self Love Bible. I'm looking forward to working on it and filling it with lots of positive sparkles and love.
If you're interested in receiving some love letters in your inbox everyday instead of boring old spam, I'd highly suggest you go SIGN UP.
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I'd also highly recommend you go follow Gala Darling, and Pixie & Pixier on Bloglovin' because they're two awesome ladies you want to keep up with.
Steph
Image credit: galadarling.com
This post originally appeared on Serendipity & Me

Thursday, 13 March 2014

It's Been a While


Wow, it's been a while since I posted here isn't it? 

Well there has been lots going on since I last wrote. Uni is going great. I can't believe in just a few weeks I'll have finished my first year. It's gone so fast it's unreal.

My other blog, Serendipity and Me is going from strength to strength. I've taken on a couple of my friends to help out with it so they'll be posting occasionally so that I can focus on having this as my personal blog for random musings and such. I've also opened a shop, selling my designs. For now there is just a couple of t-shirts and bags but I'm hoping to expand to stationary and much much more. 

H is doing great. I can't believe she's 9 already. My little girl isn't so little anymore. She even has a baby brother now. No, it's not mine (not for the lack of trying) but my ex husband and his partner recently gave birth to a little boy. I haven't met him yet but I'm happy for them and H is thrilled to finally have a sibling. 

G and I got engaged in November! That was a surprise. He took me to Manchester for my birthday and proposed when we got home that evening. After him talking about it not being doable at the moment I'd kinda given up so it was a bit of a shock but I'm thrilled. We haven't done much planning yet. We're thinking of waiting until I finish uni in 2016 and eloping somewhere nice. 

2014 is shaping up to be a great year so far and I'm looking forward to the summer. In may I'm off with my friend Sophie to one of Rosie Hardy's photography workshops in Manchester and then in July I'm off to London for the Blogcademy with Gala Darling from galadarling.com Kat from rocknrollbride and Shauna from nubbytwiglet

Not to mention the adventures I planned with my family... Seriously, I'm too excited for words. 

Be sure to pop over to my SHOP to buy a serendipity and me designed T-shirt (Please... how else am I gonna pay for all these adventures) ;-)

Love & kisses

Steph xxx


Monday, 23 September 2013

Win A Nikon Coolpix S3500 with Carcraft

Hey folks, 

Have you ever been out for a drive and thought  to yourself "what an amazing view?"

Well, why don't you take a snap and share your photos for a chance to win a great new camera. 

Carcraft are giving away an amazing Nikon Coolpix S3500. A great little point and shoot perfect for snapping those great views while on journeys. 



All you need to do is take a photo while on the road and send it to Carcraft for a chance to win. 

Easy as that! 

Full details can be found HERE and happy snapping! 



(This is a sponsored post from Carcraft)

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

It's Not Good To Be A Victim

Yesterday I read this awesome book called  The Universe Doesn't Give A Flying Fuck About You. If you haven't read it I definitely recommend you do. It's currently free on Kindle and took me lass than 30 minutes to get through. 

It's message is pretty much this; You're on this planet for a short time. A nanosecond in relation to the age of the universe. Don't wait around for the universe to bring things into your life because it's busy creating planets and managing black holes. Go out and do something epic with your existence and stop sitting around waiting for things to happen, because they wont. 

It got me thinking. This past year, I wouldn't necessarily say has been a complete bust. I have made some achievements but I haven't done as much as I'd have hoped. Mainly because I've spent a lot of time sat at home being a victim. Hoping good opportunities would come my way and feeling cheated when they haven't. 

I've let the words and actions of others cut me so deeply I've barely been able to function as a human being. I've been hurt and angry and would sit around thinking of ways to exact my revenge on these people. I would spend days hiding under my duvet in tears, binge eating and asking myself "WHY?" If anything, I should be angry at myself for wasting months of my precious, short life wallowing in self pity. 

This is how I see it, being angry at someone for hurting you is to be a victim. Yes it may hurt when someone close to you betrays you. But think to yourself, they're the one with the issues here. Not you. Their lives must be pretty crap if they have nothing better to do than take time out of their day to ruin yours. Many people act out of hurt, jealousy or they're just too stupid to know better. So the best way to deal with that is to forgive them! Yes, you heard me. FORGIVE THEM! Don't forget. If they're really bad then don't let them back into your life. I made that mistake with my sisters. For years I put up with their lies and trouble making, each time I'd let them back into my life and within days they'd be back to their old tricks. Now they're dead to me. I've forgiven them. They don't know better. They lead pretty miserable existences and they acted out towards me out of jealousy. But I don't have time in my life for people like that. What they did traumatized me. Apparently my father makes repeated attempts to come back into my life but his actions traumatized me as a child. So I'm forgiving him because I don't want to hurt anymore. But he'll NEVER be a part of my life.

So forgiving them doesn't mean letting these people back in. It just means letting them go and promising yourself not to let them hurt you anymore. Don't be a victim. 



That is probably some of the best and most straight forward advice I've ever read. It's true. Don't waste your life being a victim. Yes, you may have scars from your past. Everyone does to some extent. Granted, some are deeper than others but it's how recover from those scars that makes you awesome. Don't be defined by your past. You already have so many great things in your life. Focus on them. Let go of all that negativity and go and shape the life you've always dreamed of. 

Start NOW! 

Friday, 6 September 2013

Looking Ahead And Feeling Good

Over the last month or so I've been taking some time out to do a little self reflection and figure out who I am and what I really want out of life. It's difficult to do with all the noise that social media throws at you so it's been good to have to odd day without looking at Facebook or Twitter. 

The summer holidays have come to an end and while I haven't done some of the things I planned it's ok because I know I've managed to spend some quality time with the two people who mean the most to me. Holly's gone to Florida for two weeks with her dad and while I'm a little upset and miss her like crazy I know she's going to have a blast. It's something I never got to do at eight years old so it makes me happy that she has that opportunity. The times we've spent together in the holidays has been fun and I've enjoyed spoiling her rotten during our little shopping trips and playing in the park.



One of the reasons I haven't been writing as much is because I've been on one of my usual downers. While I've had a bit of work on over the summer, I've struggled because I haven't been feeling very confident. I don't like to write when I'm depressed because I just sound whiny and pathetic. That isn't the "Me" that I want to project to the world. So I've been working on making myself a better person.

The Queen of Blogdom Gala Darling has released a series of Radical Self Love Letters which I've been getting in my inbox everyday and I must say, they've been the pick me up I needed. I would totally recommend you sign up for them. Just reading them everyday has lifted my mood and helped me see life a little better. She quoted my tweet on her page and it was amazing. After cutting so many negative people out of my life lately (some on which were immediate family) I've been feeling so down and invisible. I was having those feelings of "if I disappeared would anyone even notice?" So to have someone whom I look up to and respect, acknowledge me like that was the best feeling I've had in months. I know that sounds silly and probably makes me sound a little desperate but it did feel good.

The Radical Self Love Letters have helped me so much. When I find myself in a situation where I don't feel so great about myself I ask "What Would Gala Do?" and focus on the advice she put in them. She's a fun, fearless and amazing woman. She's been through hell like the rest of us but she's built herself up to be one of the biggest, most successful bloggers out there. And through it all she's such a nice person.



Another blog I've been following lately is Fishee Designs. She's a Blogcademy alumni and from reading her blog I can see that she's going to be huge. She runs a photobooth and graphic design business, pretty much like I'm trying to start and I just love her quirky, vibrant personality. She's a huge inspiration and her personal posts are great. She's the person I want to be but I'm too scared to.

So, while my little Bonbon is living it up at Disney World I'm going to get some work done. I have tons of photos to edit including some portraits of two of the cutest little boys I've ever seen and an Asian engagement ceremony.

Uni starts in a week and I'm soooo excited. I am aware that at 32 I'll probably be the oldest one there but I want to start living again and I think that being at Uni will be a great opportunity to not only finish the education I missed out on when I was younger, but to be able to express myself, be more creative and meet some like minded people. After the big negativity cull I'm feeling like a bit of a billy-no-mates. While I've always been a "less is more" and "Quality over Quantity" kind of gal it'll still be nice to make some new friends.

I really have no reason to feel unhappy. When I do I'm just telling myself it's nothing but a chemical imbalance and that it's probably my body's way of telling me slow down and take better care of myself. I'm focusing on being more positive. While that little voice inside me keeps saying that I'm not good enough I'm choosing to ignore that Negative Nelly and get on with life.

If something sucks in your life, YOU AND ONLY YOU have the power to change it. Sitting around feeling sorry for yourself really does get you nowhere. (Trust me on that). Take time out everyday to make a list of as many amazing things in your life that you can think of.

Have a great weekend folks

Hugs

Steff xxx






Friday, 16 August 2013

It's been a stressful week...

I've been a little quiet on the blog front this week. Mainly because if I had blogged everyday they probably would have come out as cathartic rants. When I feel like that I'm better off just staying away from all types of social media altogether. 

I'm all for getting myself motivated and being the best I can possibly be, and since I want to keep this short, I'll share a couple of things I've enjoyed this week

Here is a link from RockNRoll Bride. I love following her "Green Room" Posts. She doesn't just post about Weddings you know? If you work in the Wedding industry or just want to get better at Blogging she has a must follow blog! Here is a post on Making Your Dreams a Reality

Gala Darling has been sending me daily emails for her Radical Self Love letters. They've really been the pick me up I need. You should check out her Radical Self Love Bootcamp while you still can.

Darren Rowse, from ProBlogger,  has this video which is also about working towards making your dreams a reality. It's great. Watch it.



I'm up early to shoot a wedding tomorrow. One of my last since I'll no longer be taking bookings. I'll be taking the photo booth though which is exciting. Once I've edited the pictures ill get them up on the blog for you to see. 

Take care

Steph xxx 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Don't Give Up!


Photo by Lola Artland (Source Deviantart)

This week has been a little stressful. It's times like this that most people want to just pack everything in and call it a day. There have been times this week when becoming a hermit on a remote island have been extremely appealing.

One thing you have to be aware of, is that no matter what you're doing, whether it's in your career, in relationships, friendships... whatever, there are going to times when you want to pull your hair out and scream. People will piss you off, things will go wrong. It's all part of life, I suppose. What separates you from everyone else is how you deal with it all.

You could throw in the towel and quit whatever you're doing. Or you could learn from it and carry on.

Whenever you have a goal in life that you want to acheive, you have to know that the road is bumpy but you've got to keep going.

Look at some of the most successful people in the world, Donald Trump, JK Rowling, Richard Branson... before they "made it" they had to deal with failure just like the rest of us. They suffered hardships and may have even had moments when they thought to themselves "What is the point?" but what made them different is that they didn't give up. They learned from their failures and used them to make themselves better.

There may be times when people will laugh at you, not take you seriously, tell you to "stop living in a dreamworld and be realistic". I get this a lot. I feel like I don't have the respect I deserve and that people think I'm silly but, I try not to let it bother me anymore. I look forward to the day when I can make them eat their words.

You'll also get jealous people who will try to sabotage you. Don't get revenge on them though, it only brings you to their level and if you're trying to start a business, bad mouthing them and ranting will only make you look unprofessional... which is kinda what they want.

What I'm saying is, when you have a dream in life. There will times in life when chasing that dream doesn't seem all that easy. Don't give up. You WILL get there if you persevere.

Have a nice day

Steph xx


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Food For Thought; You ARE Enough


Yesterday, someone made a passing comment that I took major offence to. I won't say exactly what it was or who it was because looking back now, I don't think their intentions were malicious.

It just got me thinking. This person wasn't being mean. They (hopefully) weren't being condescending. So why did their words hit a nerve with me? The answer, I think lies within my own insecurities.

For so long I've never thought myself as good enough. No matter what for. I could be ten times better at something than the next person but while they've had the confidence to go for what they want, I've stood back because I've felt inadequate.

I really think it's something that's held me back with not just photography but a lot in life.

Take photography for instance... I'm very very guilty of comparing myself to others. I know I shouldn't. I have my own style which I'm quite happy with. It isn't the norm. Some may think it's stupid or over edited but it's my vision and while photography may have "rules" I'd like to think that I've learned enough to break some of those rules. Art has none. But back to the point, despite that, I STILL find myself comparing. To the photographer who has a similar style but has had years more practice or to the person who has been at it for as long as I but is getting more attention for their work. I know it's silly.

So, just a little piece of advice for anyone who feels similar to me at times. Remember that everyone is on their own personal journey and it's probably very very different to yours. It's a waste of your time and energy sitting around feeling sorry for yourself because someone is doing better than you (This doesn't have to be about photography here) Don't get jealous, get even. I don't mean this in a nasty way but if you feel bad that others getting more credit for their work, then ask yourself if you are putting enough effort into your own. They might make it look easy but I'm sure they're putting in the extra hours to make things happen.

Sometimes you just need to get over your insecurities and get on with things. Putting yourself out there is scary and leaves you vulnerable and open to ridicule. That's not nice for anyone but in the end, I find that negativity only comes from ignorance and jealousy. So take a deep breath and feel sorry for the nay-sayers. Because maybe they're feeling exactly how you are... scared, inadequate, insecure etc. Choose to be positive about the situation and don't give up fighting for your dreams. Focus on YOUR journey in life and ignore what others are doing.

... And remember you ARE good enough!!!




Have a great day,

Steff x