COFFEE CATCH-UP

Good evening beautiful souls,

I was sitting at my kitchen counter this morning with my coffee in hand and calming Celtic music playing softly in the background as I tried to think of what to write for my next blog post. I hadn’t slept well, my back was killing and I was feeling annoyed at myself because it had been over a week since I’d last uploaded a blog post. Although I have all these ideas floating around in my head I just never seem to manage to create enough time to write them up. Anyway, the Celtic music was soothing and my mind began to wander showing me all the mundane little moments that had brought me joy in the last week and I suddenly realised I had found a topic to blog about and on top of that noticed that my mood had lifted. Hurrays all around!

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life we so often get caught up in the stress and overlook or quickly forget the moments of joy we have experienced. This morning it dawned on me just how guilty I was of this. I’d been filled with so much negativity, but my clever brain had realised I was in need of more positive vibes and gave me a little wake up call so to speak by reminding me of all the things I had to be grateful for.

I also decided I would reinstate my coffee catch-up posts into my blog as I thought it would be the perfect way to share what’s been making me happy recently, and also peoples ‘if we were having coffee’ posts are some of my favourite to read so without further ado, I hope you enjoy this format to.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that Jessica and I recently did a spot of spontaneous shopping and finally bought some household items that weren’t super necessary but I’d been wanting for a long time. I’d tell you we got a new house plant (a little Aloe baby that now sits on the bathroom windowsill), a toilet roll stand (instead of the dust gathering box we had before) a smaller lidded bathroom bin and new bathroom mats. You’d probably laugh at how silly a cheesy grin I’d be wearing as I told you how satisfying it felt when I’d proceeded to deep cleaned the bathrooms before adding all the new items and how happy the, although not much altered, new look made me feel.

If we were having coffee we would probably have at least one food related conversation and I’d tell you that on Saturday Jessica and I had enjoyed a delicious meal out for practically free, thanks to our Tesco clubcard points. I’d explain that as we do most of our grocery shopping together we’d decided to use our clubcard points together to treat ourselves to meals out. I’d get my phone out so we could drool over some photos of the food I’d had, but I would end up showing you my outfit and makeup first because I’d been rather pleased with the somewhat bold purple look I’d gone for. Eventually, after probably going off on a makeup tangent and chatting about products we’re currently loving, we’d get back to food and I’d tell you that the vegan menu at ASK had quite a few nice options of which I’d shared the olives & dough balls for starters with Jessica as well as the sorbet for dessert but that we’d had our own mains which for me was a yummy veggie pizza.

Another thing I would definitely tell you is that I was feeling rather nervous but excited at the same time for the Vegan Camp Out Festival that I’d be attending tomorrow because it’s my first time going and I’d be going by myself! You’d reassure me everything would be fine and I’d calm down a little and get all hyped telling you about the bits and bobs I’d been buying to get festival ready and how excited I was to meet so many like minded people, hopefully make some new friends and who knows maybe even find some romance!

Of course we also always natter about new fashion pieces we’ve recently found and so if we were having coffee I’d tell you about the amazing charity shop bargains I’d picked up in town with Jessica. I’d probably have taken photos of them and would once again swipe out my Huawei to show you 1 pair of beautiful green boots, 1 pair of black platform sandals, 1 plain black jumper and 1 amazing jeans skirt! We’d rave about how amazing charity shops can be and that we definitely need to make more of an effort to shop in them especially as we’re recycling clothes rather than supporting fast fashion!

And last but not least I’d be gushing over how well my first little Courgette is growing and how ridiculously excited and happy I am to be growing my own veg!!!

So if we were having coffee this week you’d be able to see just how many mundane things have made me happy and how I’m trying to appreciate the little things in life more!

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DAY TRIPPING – DESTINATION ALNMOUTH

Good evening beautiful souls,

Last week I was luck enough to have 3 days off, which for me is very rare and thus meant that I actually had time to do something nice for myself once all the housework and various other tasks were completed. The weather was so nice and I was craving a beach trip, but not being able to drive made this wish a bit problematic. Sadly there aren’t many easily accessible by public transport beaches around, well not unless you want to sit on a bus for over an hour which for me is a big no no as I get serious travel anxiety when it comes to bus journeys that are longer then 20mins! After some research however I discovered that Alnmouth station was pretty easy to get to only being a 30min walk away from the beach and so I had my day trip destination.

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The walk to the beach is quite a pleasant and easy to follow as it’s just along the main road. From the station you firstly walk through a small housing estate and then it’s out in nature with wild fields on your left and glimpses of the sea on your right. After about 20 minutes you reach central Almnouth and walk through it’s floral hanging basket lined street until you reach the golf course and the beach.

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On my way down to the beach I came across these beautiful roses and I had to stop and give them a sniff – does anyone else do this whenever they see roses?! They smelt divine and I’m not going to lie, I was very tempted to snap one off and take it with me!

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The beach was relatively busy, the sun was out and there was a light breeze rippling through my hair as picked a little empty spot to put down my picnic blanket. Once settled I sat back with my feet in the sand just enjoying being in the present moment and watching the world around me; the grandparents sitting in their folding chair reading their papers, children hopping from stone to stone and family’s running around playing Frisbee and flying kites. It was a beautiful afternoon.

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It wasn’t long until I unpacked my picnic full of healthy vegan goodies and read a bit of my book whilst savouring my lunch. I had grapes, blueberries, pretzels, veg, hummus and crackers as well as a little can of G&T. It was the perfect picnic! Afterwards I lay down with my headphones on listening to my audiobook (The Count of Monte Cristo) and relishing the feeling of the sun warming my skin.

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Sadly the clouds came in not long after and they didn’t seem to want to budge meaning I got chilly quite quickly and ended up deciding to pack up and head on home again, but not before I took a stroll along the beach and dipped my toes in the chilly sea of course. Although I was only there for about 2 hours, it really was worth it and I enjoyed every minute of my mini excursion!

I hope you’ve all found the time recently to go out and do something nice for yourselves too! I know I need to make time for myself like this more often. I don’t do it enough and it did me the world of good!

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BUCKET LIST FOR 2018

Hey there beautiful souls,

At the beginning of the year I wrote my new years resolutions post filled with mainly personal aims. However I also have a list of more activity style aims for this year which I felt fit better under the title of Bucket List. So here goes a list of things I want to do this year, from travelling abroad to seeing more art and enjoying more music.

(Also I’m pretty sure this list will keep growing, so I might do posts on my updated Bucket List)

  • Go to the Harry Potter Studios
  • Visit at least 2 different countries
  • Lindisfarne Festival (tickets already booked – yay)
  • Vegan Camp Out Festival
  • Visit friends – London, Bristol, York, Manchester, Edinburgh
  • Get my lip re-pierced
  • Get a new tattoo
  • Go to at least 4 Royal Northern Sinfonia concerts at the Sage
  • See at least 6 art exhibitions
  • Read at least 40 books (including audiobooks)
  • Have a mini getaway in the Peak District again

Do you have anything specific on your Bucket List for 2018?? I’d love to know!

Love Carina xo

FEELING LIKE A GIRLBOSS

Good evening beautiful souls,

This week something happened that finally gave me a kick in the backside to begin working towards a future.

I received a text from my dad a couple of days ago telling me about a job I might be interested in. The vacancy was for a print technician in the art department at Newcastle University. You might think I’d have been excited by this opportunity but instead my heart just dropped. Yes, this job was right up my street and a little spark of excitement did briefly flicker, however I knew there was no point in kidding myself – I just didn’t have sufficient enough skills to apply for the position!

It was in my last weeks at university when I first realised I’d missed an opportunity. I was in the print room almost daily finishing off my work for my degree show when it suddenly dawned on me that being a print technician was a job I would actually really enjoy. Why, when thinking about what to do after university, had I never thought about this before?! I’d never given teaching a thought because that really just wasn’t my thing, but this was different; being a print technician was technical teaching and not academic which is what I wanted to avoid.

Dang the realisation that I had been wasting my time at uni suddenly hit me hard. I should have been using the facilities and knowledge from tutors and technicians to really learn all there was to know about printmaking and excel in different methods; but nope, I had decided to not broaden my horizons but stick to the drypoint engraving technique I knew because I was comfortable with it and it yielded good results.

Thus, knowing I didn’t have enough printmaking knowledge for this job vacancy and being reminded of my missed opportunity to have gained it at university, I was really gutted and very annoyed at myself. However it also sparked an excitement for printmaking in me again and made me realise that although I didn’t have the knowledge to apply now, it didn’t mean I couldn’t acquire the knowledge needed and apply for a job like this in the future. It was time to stop moping around and start taking my future into my own hands by working towards something!

So off inspired and excited me went to look up books on printmaking on Amazon. I ended up investing in two; one on various printmaking techniques and another on how to learn to earn from printmaking. The first one I picked up as a general knowledge kinda book, to teach me more about techniques I have already used as well as to learn about ones Iย  have never tried before and the second because one of my goals this year is to run an art workshop at my dads cafe, and there’s a section on how to run workshops in it.

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Now the other thing I have been hung up about since leaving uni is that I can’t print anymore because I don’t own a printing press. However I never even stopped to consider going out of my comfort zone and looking into other types of printmaking which perhaps don’t actually involve a printing press. So can you guess what else I invested in?! Yup I got myself a little Lino set to finally get some printing done again! I never used to like lino much at school and uni, but I ma excited to just let loose and do some experimenting now!

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I’m excited that my love for printing and art has finally been rekindled and that I have found a something that gives me the motivation to strive for something I want!

So here’s to getting my fingers dirty again and finding my art feet again!

I hope you have all had a wonderful week lovelies!

P.S. Would any of you be interested in more arty style posts? DIY’s and craft ideas…?!

Love Carina xo