Sunday, 29 December 2013

Weekly Wondering // Week 13

I found this set of questions, '365 thought provoking questions to ask yourself this year', last year and bookmarked the webpage. After having rediscovered it I am answering 7 of the questions each week  until I complete the year. 

85. What do you have that you cannot live without?
Baker, Bunny, My Parents and Jake. As I've mentioned in previous WW posts I'm not so materialistic anymore and possessions don't matter on that kind of scale.  

86. When you close your eyes what do you see?
Darkness.

87. What sustains you on a daily basis?
The fact that going to work means money and money means being able to run a household and the thought that my life isn't always going to be what it is. 


88. What are your top five personal values?
Honesty, Clean Living (as in being reasonably 'lady-like' in thoughts, speech, dress etc) , Responsibility, Being Compassionate to both others and the earth and being faithful to those you love. 

89. Why must you love someone enough to let them go?
I don't personally know because the people I have let go I definitely didn't love. It's supposed to show how much you care for that person though eh? And that you love them so much you are putting their happiness before your own. 

90. Do you ever celebrate the green lights?
If you mean ''The act of putting a hit out on a particular mark or on all members of a rival or seceding gang.'' (Urban Dictionary) Then no. And if you mean the northern lights, also, no. Other than that I don't understand what this is referring to so obviously - no. 

91. What personal prisons have you built out of fears?
I can't go to a butterfly garden because I'm scared of butterflies if that counts haha. I'm also very afraid of confrontation and conflict, particularly that between drunk people , hence having to avoid many places, situations and crowds (except at Disneyland - that I bare with).

Friday, 27 December 2013

YouTube Videos You Need To See #3

The title says it all really. Here's my monthly list of videos I have enjoyed and wanted to share. I'll let them do the talking.

An extremely thoughtful gift from a company to it's customers.

Even wild animals stand up for their friends!


Superhero treatment for a true child hero.


Pharrell in dog form!



Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Seasonal Decor 2013.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! 
All the best to you all. I hope today is a day spend with people you love and comfortable clothing to allow for the food intake. Make sure to express your thankfulness and take a second to acknowledge the less fortunate. <3

Last year I posted a photo heavy post of all our Christmas decorations. Now, a year later, were in a new house (with a mantel piece!!!) and it's time to show you it all again. Enjoy!












Noel Sign - Poundland // Glitter Light Up Candle - The Book People //  Bird House Tree Decoration - Next // 
Red Star Dec - Old Charity Unknown & Metal Robin - Homebase // Merry Xmas Mini Wreath & Stockings - Poundland // 
Mickey and Minnie Dec - Disney Store // Wooden Advent Calender - Next // Card Hanger - Next // Doggy Stocking and Elf Mail Sack - Poundland.





Sunday, 22 December 2013

Weekly Wondering // Week 12

I found this set of questions, '365 thought provoking questions to ask yourself this year', last year and bookmarked the webpage. After having rediscovered it I am answering 7 of the questions each week  until I complete the year. 


78. Is it more important to do what you love or to love what you are doing?
I think they're both pretty similar because if you love what you do, surely you are doing what you love. However I love photography and I'm no longer doing it as a career but I do love what I am doing also.

79. What do you imagine yourself doing ten years from now?
I really have no clue anymore. I always thought I'd be a self employed photographer but what with the current change in circumstances and increase in popularity of it as a career I don't think that's plausable anymore. I know I'll still being doing my bit for charity's and taking care of Bunny and Baker - everything else is unwritten.

80. What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?
It's bad to say, but I really can't think of an act of kindness towards myself apart from the obvious people lending you a couple quid or the like. I'll let you know if anything comes to mind. 

81. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?
Now after having lost my Granda, looking back I have to say most Christmas dinners. Sitting around the table with my Mam, Dad, Nana and Granda (who always used too much pepper!) or even boxing day spent at theirs when I'd be in the dining room playing with the dogs and listening to all of Nana's old scottish CDs haha.


82. Do you own your things or do your things own you?
I own my things. I've become a little less materialistic aside from sentimental items like memory boxes and so I have full control over all of my 'things'.  I don't need any of it. 

83. Would you rather lose all of your old memories or never be able to make new ones?
I've had this post saved as a draft for ages and this question has been left blank all that time. It's such a hard, in a way horrible question but I think I'd rather lose all my old memories. I hardly have any anyways because I have such a bad memory and photos are always there to look back on so yes, I think I'll stick with that haha. 

84. How do you deal with someone in a position of power who wants you to fail?
Not very well haha. I just try to keep my head down and get on with whatever I have to do, as hard as it is. 


Friday, 20 December 2013

Life Lately // December 2013


Doing
In general, working. Although I'm always working at some point, with it being the season to be jolly I'm (gladly) working more hours. I've also been down to help set up a new store that is opening in, dare I say the word, Sunderland... though I actually quite enjoyed it.  Although I'm not even working anything like I used to, I still feel like that I'm only working and sleeping. 

Thinking
Cliche I know but I'm thinking that I can't believe it's almost 2014. I swear the year I've turned 23 has just rocketed past but at least after becoming the age of my lucky number things have gotten better for us. 

Loving
Our new home! Yes, I know, everyone was like 'What? You're moving again?!' and believe me it was the same for us. Our last move was planned to be the last move for a long, long time but with getting jobs at the other side of Newcastle, paying over £100 in travel between us a month and having a bad neighbor situation with almost every house surrounding ours, it made sense to get out of there. 
Now we have a 15 minute walk to work, no strangers banging on our door in the early hours of the morning demanding people who didn't live there and Baker can actually run about in our garden! 

Hating
All of this wind and rain and the amount of people that are willing it to snow! Noooo! It's cold enough without snow and it only 'causes inconveniences. Baker does love it but that doesn't way out the cons. 


Other stuff
- While at work one Sunday I left the webcam rolling to see what Baker does when he's home alone. To our surprise while trawling through the 5.5 hours of footage we were pleased to see that he was perfectly fine and a very good boy. I suggest everyone who leaves their dog home alone for any period of time do this as it's a big weight off my mind now knowing that he's comfortable with his own company. 
- Poundland has really helped me this Christmas by doing some actually really lovely decorations for (obviously) only £1! With a bigger living room I need more festive decorations and I've been presently shocked at how non-tacky some of their items are.
- A couple of my friends and I actually got the same day off as each other so we got to go Christmas shopping and to the cinema to see Frozen! I loved it! 


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

What's In My Shoe Box || Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child, or the Shoe Box appeal, is a very important program that has reached out to over 100 million children, from over 130 countries, since 1990 by the Samaritan’s Purse.
If you are like me you'll be familiar with the cause from your participation when you were a child yourself in school, for me Primary school (which was quite a long time ago now!) It was always so much fun to pick what out things for a little girl like me. That's why when customers I served at work mentioned items they were buying were for a shoe box gift, I knew I wanted to do one again too!

I decided that as alot of people I'd spoken to or read about were doing it for younger children and girls I was going to aim mine at an older boy. Say 12-14 years old. Me being me I also wanted it to be organised and matching so I took that into consideration while shopping...have a closer look at what I chose. 

For hygiene I grabbed the essentials - a bar of soap, some toothpaste and a pack of tooth brushes as well as including a small wash cloth and hair comb. Then I thought it a good idea to add a plastic soap container to store the bar without it getting icky and of course a nice wash bag to keep it all together. 
Onto toys and I thought any boy would always appreciate a ball to play catch or footy with and this is larger than a tennis ball but obviously smaller than a football to fit in the box. Yo-Yo's found their way in there too as a cool little extra of which the colours totally unintentionally matched the ball! Then finally a very trendy, cosy and grown up navy hat and glove set. 
The most thought probably went into this, the stationary section, as I didn't want to make everything too young with colouring books or anything and so thought a plain notebook along with pencils and colouring pencils could be used for sketching and drawing or for writing little notes and scribbles. There's a ruler, pencil sharpener, eraser and scientific calculator to play about with too, all kept together in a pencil case the exact same colours as his wash bag :) 

Oh, you can never forget a bag of sweeties as well. 


After my little shopping session I got all my bundles together, packed them away in their little bags and popped them in the Christmas decorated gift shoe box. I makes me feel so excited to be wrapping a present for some less fortunate, knowing that no matter what I picked they'll be appreciative. I only wish I could see their face upon opening it.
Have you ever done or have you done a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child this year? Sammie has! Have a peek at what she included here.
I know I will most certainly be doing another next year!
To find out more about the shoe box appeal you can visit the website by clicking HERE!




Sunday, 15 December 2013

Weekly Wondering // Week 11.

I found this set of questions, '365 thought provoking questions to ask yourself this year', last year and bookmarked the webpage. After having rediscovered it I am answering 7 of the questions each week  until I complete the year.


71.What’s the one thing you’d like others to remember about you at the end of your life?
That I cared.

72. Is there such a thing as perfect?

No. Nor is there such thing as 'Normal'. But I suppose there are things that people will class as such in their own eyes therefore maybe perfect is in the eye of the beholder. 

73. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

To the same degree that everyone has. Things happen and you can't help that but then you choose which road to take from that situation.  I believe in fate in a way, where we are presented a couple of options and our choices shape the person we are. 

74. What does it mean to be human?

This.

75. If you looked into the heart of your enemy, what do you think you would find that is different from what is in your own heart?

Badness and uncaring natures. Lack of respect and disregard of thoughts about others feelings.

76. What do you love most about yourself?

I love that I love animals and the lengths I would go to to support them.


77. Where would you most like to go and why?
I would really love to see all the wonders of the world as well as monuments and important landmarks like the Lincoln memorial purely for the historical experience. 


I'd also like to take the opportunity to wish my Mam a Happy Birthday today. My biggest blog fan and support. Love you! <3 



Friday, 13 December 2013

Project 365 // 10/12


Ooopss! I apparently seemed to of forgotten to post a monthly summary of one of the funnest months this year so far...

After announcing my return to the blogosphere after the shortest of tiny hiatus' I was thrilled at all the lovely comments and well wishes I received from readers and friends alike.
I soon got back into the swing of things but with a little change of a new outlook and some cool new series! Feedback about those has been a little sparse but (with no offence meant) I now couldn't care less about pessimism and bad comments - I like my posts and that's all that matters. Though I am very grateful and encourage the type of people who appreciate and relate to the positive and inspiration vibes I'm trying to create.
Check out my Sunday series, Weekly Wondering HERE. News That Makes Me Happy HERE and Youtube Videos You NEED To See HERE!

October also happened to be my Birthday month and this year was the monumental year that I turned 23. My favorite/lucky number and best birthday so far. I've never been popular, hardly had friends and so this year I was overwhelmed to be called to the office during my shift at work and given some beautiful flowers, chocolates and a card. If that wasn't enough two girls I'd made friends with on a course both bought me additions to my Disney Store Soft Toy collection which was very thoughtful indeed.

This was the month where we found our new flat and began the cleaning, packing and moving process too. I took photos of our view and the living room etc as memories of the good things that we had while living there.

After all of that we ended on a high when we had to dress up for Halloween at work. I think everyone went to such amazing effort and when customers were giving compliments you knew it was a good idea!


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

6 Original Gift Ideas...With A Twist!

What to get the person who has everything? Something for someone else.
This holiday gift guide is a little different to the majority that are floating around just now. These are gifts that give.

Not only are there many, many, items out there you can buy that donate a percentage of the sale to a charitable source, but there are gifts you can buy that go directly to a worthy recipient in the name of the person you are buying the gift for. 
Below is a small collection of possible presents that I hope you consider as a unique and caring option this Christmas.



1) Pets for Vets is an organization which helps Veterans find shelter pets to be long term companions. The animals can help with post traumatic stress as well as the obvious benefit of curing loneliness.
This gift has different options, you can either donate towards the adoption cost of the pet itself, feed it for a month or provide treats and toys. You're money goes towards making TWO beings very happy and I think that is totally awesome.

2) A unique, pretty, fabulous piece of jewelry made from guns or bullets with a donation going to help those who have been effected by gun crime. An original concept, although for bigger budgets.

3) This one is simple and has been around for years. Adopting an animal in someone elses name - my personal favorite option. This one is through the Born Free foundation and is a monthly payment from only £2.50. You get an awesome adoption pack too!

4) A lovely, sentimental gift benefiting disabled individuals who actually make the product. These quilts are made of your very own T-Shirts preserving memories in way that is practical and trendy. This flow chart showing the economic and environmental benefits should convince you to gift this to a loved one these holidays.

5) Similarly to #3, the WWF also offers animal adoptions, however they also accept donations for things such as training sniffer dogs to track illegal animal parts being smuggled, buying seeds to help replant forests and only £25 could pay a Rhino Protection Unit ranger's salary for 10 days!!

6) Last but not least is a gift that can help a family earn a sustainable income or help to feed themselves. Gifting animals is reasonably priced and help multiple children and their families.




So okay, not all of these presents let you hand something over physically on Christmas morning which may be a little off putting when thinking about exchanging with someone else. They are great for the charitable people in your life though, animal lovers and do-gooders. The feel good factor as well as the last minute convenience make gifts that give an option to highly consider in replacement of the boring socks and smellies combo! 


Other similarly sweet websites to check out are as follows:
Oxfam Unwrapped
Gifts in Action
World Vision
Greater Good








Monday, 9 December 2013

Project 365 // 11/12


All around a pretty awesome month! If you keep up with my daily photos, I'm sure you'll agree this was a very busy month for me compared to the rest of the year haha.

From the move becoming official, the month sped up as packing, cleaning and paperwork became priorities.
However I made time for the important things, people and even a little socializing unlike my usual routine.

I went shopping with my Mam for a very special little boy somewhere out there who I don't even know and filled a shoebox full of treats for him this Christmas. I also gathered together a little hamper of treats for our local PDSA branch as a special thank you for their treatment of Baker when he got his big boy operation and finally received my sponsor pack from the Dogs Trust!

A definite highlight was seeing this years Fenwick's Christmas Window and taking lots of photos of it! Oh and I can't go without mentioning a brilliant day spent with a good old friend who I hadn't seen since high school.

The month was rounded off nicely by settling into our new home. There will be more to come on that eventually :)


Sunday, 8 December 2013

Weekly Wondering // Week 10

I found this set of questions, '365 thought provoking questions to ask yourself this year', last year and bookmarked the webpage. After having rediscovered it I am answering 7 of the questions each week  until I complete the year. 


64. If a doctor gave you five years to live, what would you try to accomplish?
I'd like to get married. Jake and I have an agreement that he'll finally marry me if one of us are diagnosed with a terminal illness, however I think I'd obviously rather having to never be married than one of us pass away prematurely. 


65. What is the difference between falling in love and being in love?
Falling in love is, as I see it, fast and perhaps through rose tinted glasses if you catch my drift. Where as if you are in love you have passed the initial stage of being blinded from flaws and have grown to accept and care for that person no matter what.

66. Who do you think stands between you and happiness?
The person who invented money. It is the route of all evil. 

67. What is the difference between innocence and ignorance?
Simply that being ignorant to something is that you are aware but fail to recognize and that being innocent to it, you were never aware in the first place. 

68. What is the simplest truth you can express in words?
Do unto others as you would have done onto you.
If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything.
What goes around, comes around.

69. What gives your life meaning?
I get up out of bed and work/ do housework because of my other half and pets. I want us to have a nice life and be able to have nice experiences. So, obviously, it's my family that is the meaning of my life. 

70. Can there be happiness without sadness?  Pleasure without pain?  Peace without war?
Oh that's a little too deep, even for me! I guess the good can only be appreciated as good when there is something bad to compare it too. 


Friday, 6 December 2013

Who Do They Think You Are? #2

Up for judgement for the second installment of this experiment is none other than...well, someone you might recognize!


On first looks, what do you think of this man? See if you can guess correctly to the points below.

A 20 year old Female thought this - 
Name: Oliver.
Age: 23
Occupation: I think he works in a hippie shop making fruit juice.
Location: Edinburgh
Hobbies include: Shopping, smoking weed, beard trimming.
Musical taste: Rock and Reggae
Other: He seems very new age hippie and looks like a fun person to be around.


And here are the true answers from the horses mouth and if you know me, you'll know this is my other half!
Name: Jake
Age: 25
Occupation: Warehouse Man
Location Newcastle, by way of Bristol, UK.
Hobbies include: Skateboarding, Playing Xbox, Photography.
Musical taste: Hip Hop and Rap.
Other: I am a very laid back and easy going person. I don't drink or go out socializing apart from the odd skating session and I like to chill at home watching movies.



Did you guess anything correctly? Let me know in the comments and if you would like to participate in this series you can contact me via my Facebook page or email thesweetnesstalks@gmail.com.

To read the background behind this series and see what strangers thought of me, click HERE!



Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Lush Lust List!

Trying to stick to only using cruelty free products is always hard so I like to just stay true to a few key brands - Lush being a main one. 
I've tried many different products from lush, alot of bath bombs, bath melts and have my favorites (Snow Fairy! Hello!) but I'd really love to try some different things and of course re-purchase some old tried and tested favs... Here's what I bookmarked from the Lush website.


1 - Stepping Stone Foot Scrub - Since starting work I've obviously been on my feet way longer than usual and they hurt! This is apparently refreshing and I could do with a good scrub at the end of the week!
2 - Ceridwen Cauldron Luxury Bath Melt - I like the sound of this bath melt being in a 'bag' that you can use to wash over your skin...exciting.
3 - Each Peach Massage Bar - This product is an old favorite in our house and has now been 're-invented' to be, judging by the reviews even better than the original formula. Once I get my hands on one, I'll let you know what Jake thinks after a back massage!
4- Figs and Leaves Soap - To be honest the fact that this has leaves in is the selling point to me as I'm not too sure how figs even smell. I like the 'exfoliating seeds' aswell.
5 - Tiny Hands Solid Hand Cream - Cocoa Butter + Shea Butter. Yes please!
6 - Tea Tree Toner Tab - A regular Lush purchase of mine but never fails to sort my skin out when it gets icky. I'd like to start using it regularly to keep my skin in good shape.

7 - Flying Fox Shower Gel - I clicked on this on the website because of it's name, then I read it has honey in it! I love that smell. It's apparently meant to be good to use for calming PMT, which I totally don't get.
8 - Jungle Solid Conditioner - Another thing I've used previously but I'd like to try again.
9 - Aqua Mirabilis Body Butter - My go to body butter is the Soap and Glory one and before that was the Body Shop cocoa butter one (before they were bought by an animal testing company!), it'd be cool to try something that has little granules to scrub while moisturizing.
10 - Aromaco Solid Deodorant - I'm all about the solid forms of everything at Lush and no one wants to smell so yeah. (Since drafting this post many moons ago I did infact use my birthday money to buy this to try out in combination with the Vanilla Puff powder. It's actually pretty good!)
11 - Soak and Float Shampoo Bar - 'New' was too cinnamon-y. 'Godiva' too drying. So this bar's natural antiseptic ingredients sound interesting for my next tester.
12 - Fresh Farmacy Cleanser - Spot on for spot prone skin! Like mine.



Have you tried and loved any of the above? Or would you recommend I stay clear of any of them? 
What about your favorite products from Lush? 



Sunday, 1 December 2013

Weekly Wondering // Week 9.

I found this set of questions, '365 thought provoking questions to ask yourself this year', last year and bookmarked the webpage. After having rediscovered it I am answering 7 of the questions each week  until I complete the year. 


57. Have you ever regretted something you did not say or do?
I can't say that I have. I really do strive to refrain from regretting anything at all in life as I feel you definitely learn from the situation, as well as the fact that I believe everything happens for a reason. 

58. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
Not yet. I fear a few things but I think most of all is being alone for all my life. Luckily Jake has stuck by my side so far and though tough times. Hopefully now we're in a better position and life is on the up we'll be able to enjoy each others company more. 

59. Why do we think of others the most when they’re gone?
I think that people get caught up in everyday life but when someone passes away things stop and make you think.  Then when reliving daily activities you realize the hole they've left behind. I know that, as bad as it sounds, I didn't think I'd miss my Granda as much as I do now that he's gone but I do and think of him everyday especially knowing how much he'd love Baker with him being a Shepard and dog lover after all. 

60. What is your most beloved childhood memory?
Well with having a memory as bad as mine, there isn't much I can remember from being a child. However from photos and such I think that I just appreciate the little things like playing in my Wendy House in the back garden or family BBQ's with UB40 playing and my 'little sister' shouting 'Dandell' over the fence. 

61. Is it more important to love or be loved?
To love. It'd be horrible to not have anyone love you in return but I think having the ability to love another is one of the most important things you need to be able to do to have a full life. 

62. If it all came back around to you, would it help you or hurt you?
Help! All I ever try to do is to help people, with the best intentions and I think I achieve being a good friend or nice person the vast percentage of the time. I hope though that Karma does exist and things that have happened in the past, be it a long time ago or recently, are counter balanced to teach the culprits that you get what you give out. 

63. If you had the chance to go back in time and change one thing would you do it?
Not at all. As I've said before everything happens for a reason and to have good things in life you need to experience bad times which make you more thankful for what you do have. Also if I were to change things perhaps I would never meet Jake, in turn not of gotten Baker or even this job!




Click HERE to read week 8!