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On August 18th I turned 23. I'm still in shock to be honest, I feel like the last couple of years have absolutely flown by. As always I love to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new one. So Here's that post.

I'm definitely not where I thought I would be at 23, but if life has taught me anything up to now, it's that everything happens for a reason. I have everything I need right now, and I should be happy enough with that. With a pretty sudden change in job (and mental health) last year I took a big step back from my small business and focused on myself for a while. I soon realised that the part time job I had moved to just wasn't enough anymore so opted to take up a full time position there instead. This has been great as I've not had to be so strict with my spending, and I don't feel guilty eating out with friends, or spending money on petrol to visit Norfolk for the day.

Speaking of my job, I've always been someone that is very open and honest about how I feel, and I'm very open with my bosses if I feel unhappy or unsettled within my current working routine. Something that I know I want to work on is getting myself into more of a structured routine, and by speaking openly to my managers we've been able to come to an arrangement that will work well for the both of us. So I'm excited to know that I'll have time outside of my job to focus on primarily my small business (especially coming up to the busy Christmas period) but also some time to write on my blog and maybe make some little tutorial/DIY videos too.

In terms of my goals for the next year, there's just a few things that I'd like to do;

- Get into a good working routine to grow my business and my blog. I'd love to be able to go part time in my current job to focus even more time on growing my side hustles.
- Start going to the gym AT LEAST 3 times a week, I know it helps my mental health massively
- Keep on top of my finances, and don't feel guilty about buying nice things sometimes
- Be happy with where I am right now, stop putting so much pressure on making everything happen right this second. I have time, I need to enjoy my life while I'm working towards my big career goals.

Turning 23, and what I hope it will bring.

On August 18th I turned 23. I'm still in shock to be honest, I feel like the last couple of years have absolutely flown by. As always I love to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new one. So Here's that post.

I'm definitely not where I thought I would be at 23, but if life has taught me anything up to now, it's that everything happens for a reason. I have everything I need right now, and I should be happy enough with that. With a pretty sudden change in job (and mental health) last year I took a big step back from my small business and focused on myself for a while. I soon realised that the part time job I had moved to just wasn't enough anymore so opted to take up a full time position there instead. This has been great as I've not had to be so strict with my spending, and I don't feel guilty eating out with friends, or spending money on petrol to visit Norfolk for the day.

Speaking of my job, I've always been someone that is very open and honest about how I feel, and I'm very open with my bosses if I feel unhappy or unsettled within my current working routine. Something that I know I want to work on is getting myself into more of a structured routine, and by speaking openly to my managers we've been able to come to an arrangement that will work well for the both of us. So I'm excited to know that I'll have time outside of my job to focus on primarily my small business (especially coming up to the busy Christmas period) but also some time to write on my blog and maybe make some little tutorial/DIY videos too.

In terms of my goals for the next year, there's just a few things that I'd like to do;

- Get into a good working routine to grow my business and my blog. I'd love to be able to go part time in my current job to focus even more time on growing my side hustles.
- Start going to the gym AT LEAST 3 times a week, I know it helps my mental health massively
- Keep on top of my finances, and don't feel guilty about buying nice things sometimes
- Be happy with where I am right now, stop putting so much pressure on making everything happen right this second. I have time, I need to enjoy my life while I'm working towards my big career goals.
I feel so grateful that I’m able to visit Norfolk frequently. It has quickly become my favourite place. After a 2 hour drive in the car we arrive at my parents little cottage and put our feet up awaiting our guests (my family from Ireland). We knew we wanted a relaxed few days so set off with no real plan for the week. Of course it would involve a couple of trips to the beach and food in some local pubs and restaurants.
The weather held up for us after a rainy first day at Wells. Although I couldn’t complain as the beach was empty, as were the cute boutique shops around the town. Another beach that we visited was Holkham. There’s a lovely walk round from Wells to Holkham and vice versa, but it’s also super relaxing to drive to both beaches without wearing yourself out! We sat with strawberries and brownies in the sunshine, and although the shore was far out it was still lovely to sit and soak it all in for a couple of hours.
The only other notable places that we visited during the week were shops that we always visit when we’re in Norfolk. Waslingham Farm Shop is an absolute must, my parents usually pick up a bag of their granola and some freshly squeezed apple juice to pop in the hamper for The Cottage’s guests. This is also where we picked up the strawberries before we went to the beach.
And last but by no means least, the wonderful shop in Stiffkey, Stiffkey Stores. Full of wonderful little treasures, serving drinks and cakes too. There are lots of unique homeware pieces, and plenty of books, travel mugs and greetings cards to choose from. I finally picked up a gorgeous jug that I’d had my eye on for months, as they’d just put it at half price! I can’t wait to buy a bunch of flowers to pop in there.
So, nothing hugely exciting to report for the week, but it was just what I needed. A few days in my favourite little cottage by the sea. And I’ll be there again in no time I’m hoping.

ANOTHER NORFOLK TRIP - JUNE 2019

I feel so grateful that I’m able to visit Norfolk frequently. It has quickly become my favourite place. After a 2 hour drive in the car we arrive at my parents little cottage and put our feet up awaiting our guests (my family from Ireland). We knew we wanted a relaxed few days so set off with no real plan for the week. Of course it would involve a couple of trips to the beach and food in some local pubs and restaurants.
The weather held up for us after a rainy first day at Wells. Although I couldn’t complain as the beach was empty, as were the cute boutique shops around the town. Another beach that we visited was Holkham. There’s a lovely walk round from Wells to Holkham and vice versa, but it’s also super relaxing to drive to both beaches without wearing yourself out! We sat with strawberries and brownies in the sunshine, and although the shore was far out it was still lovely to sit and soak it all in for a couple of hours.
The only other notable places that we visited during the week were shops that we always visit when we’re in Norfolk. Waslingham Farm Shop is an absolute must, my parents usually pick up a bag of their granola and some freshly squeezed apple juice to pop in the hamper for The Cottage’s guests. This is also where we picked up the strawberries before we went to the beach.
And last but by no means least, the wonderful shop in Stiffkey, Stiffkey Stores. Full of wonderful little treasures, serving drinks and cakes too. There are lots of unique homeware pieces, and plenty of books, travel mugs and greetings cards to choose from. I finally picked up a gorgeous jug that I’d had my eye on for months, as they’d just put it at half price! I can’t wait to buy a bunch of flowers to pop in there.
So, nothing hugely exciting to report for the week, but it was just what I needed. A few days in my favourite little cottage by the sea. And I’ll be there again in no time I’m hoping.
I’m sure you’re not surprised by seeing yet another post from a couple of days in Norfolk. Having our own little house to go back to after long walks on the beach is such a blessing. We popped to Norfolk for a night this weekend, and it’s just what I needed.
We put our bags in the cottage, sat down for a breather after the long drive and then jumped back in the car and headed to spend some time on one of our favourite beaches, Wells-next-the-sea. We parked up by the pine woods, walked through to the beach and walked all the way round to Holkham beach and back. Of course we had to walk to the sea to let the dogs have a paddle too. We finished the day off with dinner at the pub, and a game of Yahtzee at the cottage.
On Monday morning we took the dogs out for a walk, I took Max around the river and then we jumped in the car and drove 1 hour and 15 minutes to Horsey Gap to see the seals on the beach. (Please note that I was a good distance away from the seal, we didn’t want to disturb/distress them!)
The drive was long, but definitely worth it to see 100’s of seals lining the sand and playing together in the sea. We ate some picnic snacks in the car before driving back to the cottage again. And just like that we had packed up the cottage and were back on the road home. A short but sweet trip to one of my favourite places. ‘Til next time Norfolk!

NORFOLK: FEBRUARY 2019

I’m sure you’re not surprised by seeing yet another post from a couple of days in Norfolk. Having our own little house to go back to after long walks on the beach is such a blessing. We popped to Norfolk for a night this weekend, and it’s just what I needed.
We put our bags in the cottage, sat down for a breather after the long drive and then jumped back in the car and headed to spend some time on one of our favourite beaches, Wells-next-the-sea. We parked up by the pine woods, walked through to the beach and walked all the way round to Holkham beach and back. Of course we had to walk to the sea to let the dogs have a paddle too. We finished the day off with dinner at the pub, and a game of Yahtzee at the cottage.
On Monday morning we took the dogs out for a walk, I took Max around the river and then we jumped in the car and drove 1 hour and 15 minutes to Horsey Gap to see the seals on the beach. (Please note that I was a good distance away from the seal, we didn’t want to disturb/distress them!)
The drive was long, but definitely worth it to see 100’s of seals lining the sand and playing together in the sea. We ate some picnic snacks in the car before driving back to the cottage again. And just like that we had packed up the cottage and were back on the road home. A short but sweet trip to one of my favourite places. ‘Til next time Norfolk!


I love brownies, I mean, who doesn’t? I’ve seen a lot of beetroot brownies floating around the internet in the past, I always aim to make some but never actually do. So last week I actually did! Here’s the recipe that I used, but I did change up a couple of the steps to make it dairy free (chocolate may contain traces of milk), and also prevent having to boil the beetroot myself.


I weighed out all of the ingredients, and used sunflower spread as the dairy free alternative to butter. I also brought cooked beetroot (in natural juices) instead of the uncooked. I heated this up by placing in a bowl, covering with cling film and microwaving for a couple of minutes. I continued to follow the standard recipe, here’s a couple of ‘during’ images.


I’d say maybe bake them for a little longer than the recipe states, because they were very moist, especially in the middle. It was a pretty easy recipe to follow, and I served them with strawberries. I’d say they’re not quite as nice as ‘normal’ brownies, and if you think about the fact they’re made with beetroot you can start to taste it a little. But they are a slightly healthier alternative, and you might even like them more!

BEETROOT BROWNIES (DAIRY FREE)



I love brownies, I mean, who doesn’t? I’ve seen a lot of beetroot brownies floating around the internet in the past, I always aim to make some but never actually do. So last week I actually did! Here’s the recipe that I used, but I did change up a couple of the steps to make it dairy free (chocolate may contain traces of milk), and also prevent having to boil the beetroot myself.


I weighed out all of the ingredients, and used sunflower spread as the dairy free alternative to butter. I also brought cooked beetroot (in natural juices) instead of the uncooked. I heated this up by placing in a bowl, covering with cling film and microwaving for a couple of minutes. I continued to follow the standard recipe, here’s a couple of ‘during’ images.


I’d say maybe bake them for a little longer than the recipe states, because they were very moist, especially in the middle. It was a pretty easy recipe to follow, and I served them with strawberries. I’d say they’re not quite as nice as ‘normal’ brownies, and if you think about the fact they’re made with beetroot you can start to taste it a little. But they are a slightly healthier alternative, and you might even like them more!

Happy February! I can’t quite believe that January is over already. I’m hoping to bring back my little ‘Sunday Summary’ blogposts soon, but for now I thought I’d do a summary of the month just gone. It will include some of my favourite things from the months, and some best moments too.
01. Reading. I loved reading when I was younger, but as with watching TV, I only really like spending my time learning about things. Therefor a fictional book doesn’t meet those requirements. I read #Girlboss and would highly recommend it. Along with the Netflix series, based on the same storyline, that I watched late last year. As someone who wants to run their own business (I’m not aiming for the size of NastyGal) it’s such a motivational watch/read.
02. Sunset. I’m trying to make more of an effort to appreciate the little things in life. Like the colour of the sun setting, or the stars in the sky. Give it a go, it’ll give you a better perspective on your life.
03. Exercise. One of my goals for this month was to run/exercise 15 times. I just about achieved it, most was walking but that’s good enough for me. It really helps my mind, and I’m loving seeing my fitness level improving each time I run. More of the running in February hopefully!
04. Bullet journalling. This was a spur of the moment decision whilst in our Norfolk cottage before Christmas. I saw a few videos about it and decided to purchase one. And I have to admit, I’m loving it. I love being able to plan my own spreads, and the beauty of this kind of ‘diary’ is that you’re able to write in only the days you need. No more filling in one thing on a single day of the week and being left with a near empty book at the end. I’m using it as my calendar, diary and notebook. I’ll probably expand on this more in a blog post when I’ve had the journal for a couple more months.
05. Working on my blog and shop. I’m a creative person, so having these two outlets is such a blessing. Even more so when people are supporting my shop and buying my lovingly designed products. The more I make, the more my niche is discovered, and the closer I’m getting to where I want to be. I have so many exciting plans for the future of both my online shop and blog and can’t wait to keep pushing myself to do more.
06. Bedroom clearout. I’m a little bit of a hoarder ‘what if I want to wear this top I haven’t worn in three years?’ OR ‘I need to keep all these certificates from when I was 10’. I spent some time going through everything in my room, donating clothes and putting things like memory boxes in the loft to clear some space in my room. My Mum and I also sorted out the conservatory so that it can finally be used as a productive work space and I already feel more inspired to just create things for the fun of it. Having all my creative equipment in one space (that isn’t my bedroom!) also means that my bedroom can be purely for sleeping and relaxing.
So, February. I’m looking forward to the days getting longer, spending some more time working on this blog, and more time chipping away at my little business. Let’s do this.

JANUARY SUMMARY

Happy February! I can’t quite believe that January is over already. I’m hoping to bring back my little ‘Sunday Summary’ blogposts soon, but for now I thought I’d do a summary of the month just gone. It will include some of my favourite things from the months, and some best moments too.
01. Reading. I loved reading when I was younger, but as with watching TV, I only really like spending my time learning about things. Therefor a fictional book doesn’t meet those requirements. I read #Girlboss and would highly recommend it. Along with the Netflix series, based on the same storyline, that I watched late last year. As someone who wants to run their own business (I’m not aiming for the size of NastyGal) it’s such a motivational watch/read.
02. Sunset. I’m trying to make more of an effort to appreciate the little things in life. Like the colour of the sun setting, or the stars in the sky. Give it a go, it’ll give you a better perspective on your life.
03. Exercise. One of my goals for this month was to run/exercise 15 times. I just about achieved it, most was walking but that’s good enough for me. It really helps my mind, and I’m loving seeing my fitness level improving each time I run. More of the running in February hopefully!
04. Bullet journalling. This was a spur of the moment decision whilst in our Norfolk cottage before Christmas. I saw a few videos about it and decided to purchase one. And I have to admit, I’m loving it. I love being able to plan my own spreads, and the beauty of this kind of ‘diary’ is that you’re able to write in only the days you need. No more filling in one thing on a single day of the week and being left with a near empty book at the end. I’m using it as my calendar, diary and notebook. I’ll probably expand on this more in a blog post when I’ve had the journal for a couple more months.
05. Working on my blog and shop. I’m a creative person, so having these two outlets is such a blessing. Even more so when people are supporting my shop and buying my lovingly designed products. The more I make, the more my niche is discovered, and the closer I’m getting to where I want to be. I have so many exciting plans for the future of both my online shop and blog and can’t wait to keep pushing myself to do more.
06. Bedroom clearout. I’m a little bit of a hoarder ‘what if I want to wear this top I haven’t worn in three years?’ OR ‘I need to keep all these certificates from when I was 10’. I spent some time going through everything in my room, donating clothes and putting things like memory boxes in the loft to clear some space in my room. My Mum and I also sorted out the conservatory so that it can finally be used as a productive work space and I already feel more inspired to just create things for the fun of it. Having all my creative equipment in one space (that isn’t my bedroom!) also means that my bedroom can be purely for sleeping and relaxing.
So, February. I’m looking forward to the days getting longer, spending some more time working on this blog, and more time chipping away at my little business. Let’s do this.
‘New Year, New Me.’
As I’ve stated previously, I love the new year, new prospects, a fresh beginning. But, with that being said, I think it also comes with a lot of pressure. You curate a list of all the things you want to achieve, you see lists of what others want to achieve, and a lot of the time you’ll also see a list of what other people managed to achieve in the previous year.
You start questioning if you did enough last year, if you’ve set good enough goals for the year ahead, and it can leave you feeling unfulfilled about the year just gone, and anxious about the year incoming.
We need to remember that it’s only January! So what if you’ve only been for 2 runs so far this year? (guilty!) Or that you didn’t quite manage to complete Veganuary? You’re trying, and that’s enough. You’ve got the entire year to run more, or eat a more plant based diet. Don’t be so hard on yourself that you couldn’t wake up in 2019 a brand new person.
Stop putting so much pressure on ticking off this list of goals that you’ve created. Have them as guides to lead you in the coming months, but remember that YOU are the person who created them, and YOU are not a failure if you haven’t managed to tick them all off just yet. Take things slow, you’ve got another 11 months to do it!

The Pressure of a New Year

‘New Year, New Me.’
As I’ve stated previously, I love the new year, new prospects, a fresh beginning. But, with that being said, I think it also comes with a lot of pressure. You curate a list of all the things you want to achieve, you see lists of what others want to achieve, and a lot of the time you’ll also see a list of what other people managed to achieve in the previous year.
You start questioning if you did enough last year, if you’ve set good enough goals for the year ahead, and it can leave you feeling unfulfilled about the year just gone, and anxious about the year incoming.
We need to remember that it’s only January! So what if you’ve only been for 2 runs so far this year? (guilty!) Or that you didn’t quite manage to complete Veganuary? You’re trying, and that’s enough. You’ve got the entire year to run more, or eat a more plant based diet. Don’t be so hard on yourself that you couldn’t wake up in 2019 a brand new person.
Stop putting so much pressure on ticking off this list of goals that you’ve created. Have them as guides to lead you in the coming months, but remember that YOU are the person who created them, and YOU are not a failure if you haven’t managed to tick them all off just yet. Take things slow, you’ve got another 11 months to do it!

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Shani Coles // 22 // Northamptonshire

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