Playlist 007 | Spring Awakening

It's been a little while since I put together a new playlist, I sometimes like to listen to the same songs over and over again for a few weeks (or months), especially when they make me feel good. I've put together some of my favourites, I'm mostly into mellow acoustic songs lately with poignant lyrics.

Right now as I'm listening to my new playlist and sitting in my room in the afternoon with the sun beaming through the window  and onto my face, I'm so glad that it's now spring and summer is approaching. Without a doubt in the last few weeks when the lighter evenings have arrived, I have felt better, I have more motivation and a desire to do more, go to new places and discover new things to do.

My friend and I have started going to Pilates classes again, it's one of the highlights of my week, doing something good for my body and my mind while doing it with a good friend. I have started a little bit of summer holiday shopping, some new basics t-shirts, trousers and sunglasses. It makes me feel happy being able to buy clothes for the warmer months, so does picking up a bunch of flowers on my way home from work and drinking smoothies in the mornings. I do feel like I have come out of winter hibernation. I'm looking forward to what the rest of spring and then summer will bring.


My weekend morning

There is nothing better than waking up in the morning and realising that it's the weekend and the rest of the day is yours. No commute to work, no emails to answer and no work clothes to wear. Instead you can stay cosy in bed for a little longer or get up ready for the adventures you have planned for the day. There are some weekends that you have to catch up on housework or errands but there is always time for yourself to do what you want. Seeing where the day will take you and using those first few hours to set the tone for the rest of the day. Today, I'm going to tell you a little bit about my weekend mornings. The nosey girl in me loves to see other people's routines and see if there are any ideas I can try for myself. I'd love to know a little bit about your weekend mornings.

Are you a morning person?
Yes and no. If I need to I can be but I also like to take my time in the mornings. I get to work for 8 in the morning in the week, on the weekends I like to have a little bit of a lie in and if I don't need to be anywhere before 12 I will take it slow. Over time I have become more of a morning person and I hope it will continue to get easier in the next few years, it's a great time to get ahead of the day.

Sound of your alarm and time you wake up? 
On the weekends I have a mostly alarm-free policy. Waking up naturally is a good feeling so unless I absolutely have to, I won't be setting an alarm. I typically wake up between 7.30 to 9 on the weekends and on the weekdays it's 6.30. I use my iPhone as my alarm clock on the sound 'radar', it's not the most pleasant sound but it does the job.

First thing you do when you get up? 
It varies on the weekend, I like to start it positively and do something good for me and my favourite thing to do is practice yoga and to stretch out. I feel refreshed and happy with myself and often it will carry on right into the afternoon. I'll roll out my yoga mat in my tiny room and find a video by Yoga with Adriene, I've mentioned her a few times on the blog but she is honestly so amazing, I feel like I'm practising with a friend, I even find myself occasionally giggling and smiling throughout and her videos are great if you're a beginner or more advanced and if you want something intense to make you sweat or relaxed to make you calm. Then I've worked up and appetite for breakfast.

What do you have for breakfast? 
The weekends are perfect for taking a little more time and effort to make yummy food. I mix it up most weekends depending on how I'm feeling. It can be porridge, avocado on toast, eggs, yoghurt or fruit. Last weekend I made overnight chia pudding for the first time. It is honestly delicious, full of omega 3 and is so easy to make.

To make chia pudding, all you need is.. 
4 tablespoons of chia seeds
250ml of almond milk (or any milk of your choice)
3 tablespoons of yoghurt (I used coconut yoghurt)
2 tablespoons of agave nectar to sweeten
Nuts, fruit and any topping of your choice

Take a bowl or jar and pour in the chia seeds, then add the milk, yoghurt, agave nectar and mix it together with a spoon. Then keep covered and put it in the fridge either overnight or for 6 to 8 hours. Add your toppings and eat straight from the bowl.

Morning outfit?
The beauty of weekend mornings is you can stay in your pjs a little longer, I don't know about you but they are the comfiest clothes in my wardrobe, if they could make work clothes that feel like pjs I'd be a happy bunny. I'll sometimes stay in them until I have a shower or if I change into work out wear. A lot of my pjs have bunnies on them, I even have bunny slippers, so cosy and cute.

Beauty routine and products?
I try to keep it simple and make-up less for the weekends if I can to give my skin a break and to let it breathe. My skincare in the morning is also very simple. In the morning I brush my teeth, I use the Oral B 3D white brilliance toothpaste, and cleanse my face with Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, it's been my favourite for years and I don't intend on changing it any time soon. For my face I use the Origins GinZing energy-boosting moisturiser, I really do love the range, the scrub is also a favourite of mine. And always handy on my dressing table is the Nuxe rev de miel lip balm, if you ever get really dry lips this will sort it out.

Have a happy weekend morning everyone.


Up by The Lakes

It's always so good to get away for a few days. Sometimes it can be exactly what you need, a change of scenery, taking it easy and some quality time for yourself. On Easter weekend I headed to the Lake District with my favourite guy and his friends, one of them kindly let us stay in his Grandma's cottage. It was my first proper trip up there, I was really looking forward to it. Life and work was pretty busy the few weeks leading up to it and I felt like I could finally breathe in the fresh air once we arrived.

We got to the cottage in the evening on Good Friday, it was pitch black, to be expected in the countryside with lots of windy single track roads. It truly felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. Even though I live near busy cities and towns, I'm not a stranger to the countryside, my Grandparents live in the countryside in Scotland and visiting calm and quiet places is so refreshing. Right outside the cottage was such a beautiful horse, the little girl in me adored seeing a horse for the few days we were staying there.

In my head I had an idea of what it will be like in the daylight, and then waking up the next morning I was still a little surprised about where we were. Surrounded by fields, hills and trees. Despite the rain, it looked so idyllic. I was happy being there, feeling cosy and with good company. We went to Ambleside, a little town with lots of little cafes and shops. Even in the rain and dark clouds, I could tell that it would look so lovely on a Spring day with the sun out. We had lunch in one of the little cafes, I had a vanilla matcha latte for the first time, it was different to a regular latte but good. After we walked around some more and popped into a few shops, a lot of them are so unique with handmade artwork, jewellery and unique gadgets and then went to the pub for a drink. One of my favourite things about the Lakes is how dog friendly everywhere is, you'd see a cute little dog snoozing next to their human and behave so well. Later that evening when we went out for dinner there was a gorgeous King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, one of my dream list of dogs to have in the future. It's the little things like that, that make an animal lover go crazy inside. The food was delicious and felt comforting with a musician covering songs live in the corner.

On Easter Sunday the rain had stopped and we decided to go on a walk, as soon as we stepped out of the cottage it started to rain. Luckily, I came prepared with my wellies and raincoat, I looked bit dishevelled in the rain but never mind, it's all part of being in the Lake District when it's raining. It did stop not long later and the sun started to break the clouds. There was a little farm house that sold firewood, handmade cloths, jam, mint humbugs and few more quintessential countryside essentials. You don't get places like that down in the south. We kept walking down the road, saw some sheep and went up a hill with incredible views of the clouds fading in with the hills. Exploring a new place and not knowing what is around the corner is what I love about going for walks, you never know what you're going to see or where you'll end up.

Seeing an actual lake was one of my highlights, being there with my love, taking it all in was the greatest. Another amazing trip to remember, maybe I'll go back someday and wander some more.


Tales of a girl working in marketing

While I'm at my day job, there isn't a day that goes by without a new challenge to conquer. Some days it is something small and trivial, there are still those pesky administrative jobs that have to get done. And then there are others that you don't see coming and you do what you can to fix it, those often all come at once. Despite those days, I do enjoy my job. It's my first 'proper adult' job and I have learnt so much from it in the 8 months I have been there, I can't believe that I have already been a Marketing Assistant for that long. I remember so clearly the days I was struggling to even get a response from employers after applying for countless jobs yet it also feels like I've been part of my team for so much longer.

You can learn a lot in less than a year working somewhere. I think about Andy in The Devil Wears Prada, and all the hoops she had to jump through and how she changed and turned her life upside down for her job and how it can ultimately change for the best. Luckily, I don't have to jump through crazy hoops and have a Dragon Lady for a boss. I've been very fortunate and get on well with mine and it has opened my eyes into the marketing world and all the tricks you have to pull to get it all done. We are in the middle of our rebrand still, and there is still lots to get on with and I'm so glad I've been able to experience it firsthand in my first marketing job role. And I hope I get to experience so much more.

If for some reason working in marketing fails I can definitely write a screenplay like Parks and Recreation inspired by all the antics that our office gets up to. Parking gate, kitchen magic tricks, the daily 'sick' email and so much more.

A few things I've learnt from working in marketing..

It's not necessarily a glamorous job
Depending what type of marketing you're in or the company it's not a very glamorous job. I think there's a misconception that industries under the arts umbrella are all colourful and sparkly. After all, marketing is nicknamed 'the colouring-in department'. Some parts of my job do sound like it is like when I say we have had a photo shoot in our offices and on location or I've been on a day trip for a meeting in Edinburgh. They are interesting and I like my job but my idea of what it would be like to work in marketing compared to the reality is a little different. You have still got to keep up with the boring admin tasks.

There will always be something or someone that gets in the way
You can plan, organise and perfect a schedule for something but more often than not there will be a little bump in the road. Our key rebrand launch date was the day our new website went live. A date was set months in advance to make sure we had all the content ready, my boss and I worked together to get it all finalised and ready to go on the launch date set. However, the website didn't go live until 11 days later. It can be frustrating when logistics get in the way, especially after working on something for months. That is something you have to consider in marketing, you can be ready to go but look out for that bump in the road that comes out of nowhere.

Ask for samples and colour swatches 
We had a little trouble with the new colour that our logo/colour scheme was going to be. The colour that we were presented with was red but as we started to see physical items it did not match to the original concept. We later found out that the colour we thought we were rebranding to and the colour we were given were different. If I ever have to go through a similar process again I will ask for confirmation with swatches. The pantone colour is more important than you will ever believe. The difference a colour can make is incredible, it really does set the tone and feel of the brand.

You get excited by the smallest things
One Monday after we started working on SEO for the website we went from the second page on a search term we were targeting to 5th position on the first page. I never thought I would get that excited about that but it feels good to see proof that something you have worked on has had a positive outcome. When our new parking signs arrived it was another exciting moment. To see the first physical sign with the new logo even brought a smile to our CEO's face. In marketing that's as exciting as it gets sometimes.

Tight deadlines are inevitable 
Going back to planning and organising, you can do what you can but a lot of the time you do end up with a tight deadline. All you can do is prepare yourself if something comes up that brings a deadline forward or an obstacle you have to overcome suddenly. A last minute decision was made to exhibit at an event and we had to get all our stands and other marketing material designed, printed and delivered in just a few weeks. In the end you can only do what you can, you must be realistic and decide if the deadline is possible, even if it means staying late and constantly updating your printing company.

I do really like my job most of the time, some days are crazy and some are mundane. I know that everything I have taken from this role will help me with my career in the future. I'm looking forward to seeing where I go and telling people about the bizarre things I encountered in my first marketing role and I'm sure there will be many more to come.