By The Sea Shore

Where I feel at home.

I’m happiest when I’m swimming in the ocean, that’s a fact.

I crave the fresh sea air when I’m at my flat.

When I’m away from the water for too long I’m restless. My skin feels dry and I feel stuffy.

The sea is probably the only place I feel truly myself. I don’t know what it is exactly but, the freedom I feel from swimming is so relaxing and I’m so glad that I’ve been able to share that with my partner recently.

A couple of weeks ago I felt so carefree, full of joy and delicious food.

We didn’t know that life was about to become so much more stressful.

All of our worries at that time had escaped us, as we stayed in Cornwall soaking up the sun for almost an entire week, swimming at the beach, sunbathing, eating fresh seafood and catching up with old friends.

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Life has become much more stressful now but we’re both trying to manage it as best we can. All I can do is sit back, let it all wash over me and pray that the waters will calm soon.

Honestly though, nothing compares to living by the sea. I keep dreaming of having a home on the beach one day. Vast ocean and countryside views, big windows and that clean air. A place for my creativity in the kitchen and garden to thrive.

Pure bliss.

They say that living by the coast has so many health benefits too and, in a previous post I explore why I love this lifestyle so much. I’m not sure I’m feeling the full health benefits at the moment from my flat in Plymouth but, I know that the coast is only a short drive away and that makes me happy.

Overall, I think I can say that this has definitely been the best and worst Summer I’ve had in a long time. I know I’ll be sad when it’s over but I’m looking forward to the future and Autumn so much too.

 

Mothecombe Beach & Schoolhouse

Whilst sunning it up in Devon this week and enjoying a lovely trip to Mothecombe beach we discovered a little restaurant named Schoolhouse.

I was a little skeptical of what to expect of their food after a few bad lunches recently but, upon closer inspection of their menu I was pleasantly surprised and couldn’t decide what exactly I fancied for lunch.

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Local seafront restaurants in my opinion usually produce the best food, as long as their chef is driven and given creative freedom, which it looks like he is! So, I was really excited to see all of the seafood they had to offer.

I went for the crispy squid option with garlic aioli and salad and had to order some dirty fries on the side! The first time I tried dirty fries was an Hubbox and ever since I’ve been hooked and interested to see others interpretations.

In addition to my attempt at a light lunch, my boyfriend ordered the not so light house burger with beef and bacon, which according to the waiter was a really great choice.

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I think we both made fantastic choices for lunch though. My squid was really fresh and crispy and, although it cost £9.50 I was given an enormous portion that kept me satisfied with every mouth full. My dirty fries were also pretty good, covered in cheddar cheese, bacon and both red and spring onions. What’s not to like basically!

My boyfriend said that the house burger was one of the best he had ever tasted and honestly, I believe him. I’m kinda gutted I didn’t get to try any because it looked so so good and was stacked!

Definitely worth the money after a beautiful swim in the ocean that’s for sure.

My only regret is that I didn’t order, take a photograph or even acknowledge any of the delicious cakes they apparently had on offer.

In terms of the decor, everything is super rustic and laid back. Outside where me and my boyfriend had lunch were lots of old sofas and benches, covered in sand but were really comfortable and relaxing. Indoors is much the same, with lots of chalk boards, giant lampshades and antiques.

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If you’re ever in South Devon and want to check out some local food I’d highly recommend Schoolhouse. They might not be the most cost effective option but their food is certainly delicious and worth experiencing.

Also, Mothecombe beach where we spent our morning soaking up the sunshine is only a short walking distance away and there is a separate dog beach too.

Everything about Mothecombe is simply so beautiful, unspoilt and picturesque.

Yet, I should warn you of the £4.50 parking charge for the privilege of leaving your car at some local guys field.

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All in all, I hope you’ve all been enjoying the sunshine as much as I have recently.

Remember to stay safe when out and about during Summer. I love the beach but I always make sure to keep topping up my suncream. No matter what I never tan but I’d rather be pale in summer than burnt.

Make sure you keep eating and stay hydrated too!!

Making Life Good Again

Sometimes all you need is a good catch up with your mum to make things good again.

After a stressful couple of months dealing with moving house and the finances involved, this weekend has felt like the first in a while where I could just chill and take it all in.

Me and my boyfriend ended up moving house a little early due to lack of communication from our estate agents, and everything sort of became a mess. I ended up spending more money than expected and moving became a huge rush. We’ve been in since June 1st but are finding problems left right and center.

Lets just say it’s not been easy. We’ve contemplated our regrets a lot and are only just beginning to feel settled.

I’m eternally grateful for my mums support and my boyfriends dads too though. My mum has been amazing and my boyfriends dad has been there to try and help with every issue we’ve found with the flat.

I know so many people who have such complicated relationships with their parents and I’m so glad I’m not one of them. My mum literally makes everything better. She is full of kindness and I turn to her for support in everything I do. If I didn’t have it during this move I don’t think I could live here. Is that weird?

Anyway, I’m so open about how thankful I am for everything she’s ever done and continues to do for me and I just want her to have the best life possible.

Times have been rough on us all recently and it’s so hard to put on a brave face when you’re feeling your worst. But, I encourage myself and my loved ones to take a step back and get some fresh air as often as possible. That means different things to everyone but to me and mum, it means getting outside. Being with nature, having a good lunch and a catch up. Laughing lots and talking through our problems.

Recently we did just that whilst visiting a local farm shop. We ordered lunch, watched chickens running around and laughed at Alpacas. We shopped for fresh veggie produce and eyed up the deli section. We sat on a bench with a big cup of coffee, discussed our worries and how we wanted to resolve them.

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I always feel that everything is better after eating a good meal, drinking a hearty coffee and spilling out all of the thought that have been consuming you all week. It’s easy to keep things bottled up but, it’s not healthy to live like that and I don’t want to watch someone struggling either.

We’re trying to make life easier, better and healthier in all aspects. I’ve been trying to hold it together and struggling throughout the move but things are getting easier and, I think the sunshine truly helps with that.

I also try to live by the simple words my mum would always say and reiterate them to her when she’s feeling down…

Everything works out. It just does. This is just a moment in time.

What you’re feeling now is only temporary. It’s natural to feel anxious and worried but don’t let it eat away at who you really are.

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I just think it’s easy to focus on the things that aren’t right in your life but, there’s plenty of good things happening too.

My new home is coming together slowly.

I’m going on holiday to Cornwall and will be dog sitting later in July whilst mum is sunning it up in Spain.

Life is good and so are we.

Starting With A Poached Egg

Some time ago I remember visiting Bills and raving about their delicious veggie breakfast. I wanted to recreate my own version at home but life has been busy, so I’ve been avoiding breakfast or eating porridge as a quick fix for as long as I can remember.

This bank holiday weekend things are different though.

After a manic week of feeling worried about my personal life and doing overtime at work, I swore to myself that today I would relax. My boyfriend is out all day too so I’m taking things easy. There’s a little tidying up to do but if I don’t get it done I won’t beat myself up about it.

Taking things slow for me means that I sleept in, had a bubble bath and will watch and eat whatever I want.

I accidentally had all of the ingredients to recreate a version of Bill’s breakfast today so, after eating leftover pizza for breakfast I thought I’d attempt to make a poached egg for lunch. I’d tried a few times before but failed. Apparently the trick is vinegar not salt. Is this something everyone else knew apart from me?

Regardless it worked!

Maybe it was actually me anxiously waiting and watching the pot boil that made it work actually? Practice makes perfect I suppose and it was my last egg.

I paired my poached egg with some delicious bread for the Aldi deli section, chopped an avocado, mixed with garlic and paprika and spread over two thick slices of bread. To finish off I added a splash of sweet chilli sauce as well.

The only thing missing from my dish compared to Bill’s was the lack of tomato hummus or mushrooms but, I’ll be more prepared next time. Halloumi would also be a delicious addition I’m sure.

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I suppose it turns out that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, regardless of when you decide to eat it. My pizza breakfast this morning was me feeling lazy but, this was just the opposite. Getting up and making myself a little something exciting to eat has filled me with joy. I’m still lacking the motivation to clean but, I’m blogging and feeling cheerful for what feels like the first time in a long long week.

My breakfast for lunch is a small attempt at me trying to be kinder to myself. I’ve been getting carried away, wrapped up in work and exhausted. I’ve not been giving myself enough time to breathe and as a result I’ve been short with just about everyone. Relationships feel like they’re crumbling and I’m trying to hold it together.

I’ll be making this breakfast again that’s for sure and I’m already looking forward to it.

I’m trying to get my shit together and I’ve started with a poached egg.

Weight Issues

With Spring now in full swing, I’ve had to dig my Spring/Summer wardrobe from an old suitcase and scramble to find dresses that still fit. I was totally unprepared for the heatwave that has welcomed us into Spring recently but it’s got me feeling all kinds of happiness and motivation.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my body image now that it’s no tights weather and honestly, this is the first time I’ve ever sat down and decided to write about my complex thoughts on the subject. I want to lose weight though. Mentally I’ve never been happier and I love the life I’ve created with my partner but, I hate my psychical appearance these days and I don’t want this feeling to last.

Everyone has their own reasons to why they might have put on weight and it’s important not to judge ourselves or others too harshly. Maybe it’s a moment in your life when something unexpected happened, a break up, a spout of depression, a new love for a certain takeaway, weight gain following the birth of your baby and the list goes on. Whatever it is, we all need to acknowledge the story, embrace it and realise the personal changes you need to make.

I’ve been a size 8 and ashamed of my body and now a size 12 but, feeling like a size 20.  I’m currently at my heaviest but I’m also the happiest I’ve ever been and yet, I think about my weight constantly. It’s reached the point where I hate all photos that people take of me. I pretty much only approve of the ones I’ve taken of myself where I can hide my bad bits.

Even at my skinniest aged 19 I wanted to be skinnier. I had a real confidence issue and anxiety about having my legs or arms out in public. Now I look back and feel like a real idiot. I see photos of myself with my tiny frame and long blonde hair and I wonder what was going through my head. I don’t know where the lack of confidence came from but it was totally unnecessary and it makes me feel sad now. Sad that I didn’t enjoy my youth enough because of a totally irrational state of mind.

I’m 25 now and the most confident I have ever felt, despite being 2 stone heavier than my 2016 self. I’m still incredibly insecure and desperately want my old body back but, I’m not nervous to leave the house anymore. I’m still disappointed when I don’t fit into my favourite dress or when I feel like I can’t sit in a bikini on a warm day at the beach  however, I’m not going let that ruin my day like I might have before.

I began putting on weight when I met my boyfriend. Apparently, everyone gains a little when they enter a new relationship because you’re going on more dates, treating each other to good food and making dinner time a romantic experience. I love eating/cooking/food shopping, there’s no denying that and after 2 years of being in a relationship my weight keeps on going up and up. I just love spoiling my loved ones, cooking new dishes and testing out classic (rich and probably unhealthy) recipes in my own kitchen. This is something I don’t want to stop but maybe a little exercise on my days off wouldn’t hurt?

My job is really demanding and psychical so, at the moment on my days off it’s hard to find motivation. I just want to chill out and relax on the sofa or in bed. I fully understand that need to find a way to incorporate exercise into my routine though. I don’t want to keep gaining weight and I’m well aware of the health implications of continuing with my current lifestyle.

I’m thinking yoga or weights might be the way forward. I have small weights and a yoga mat in my wardrobe but they are totally untouched. I purchased them with the best intentions but the motivation was short lived. I think the problem I have is trying to be disciplined with myself. Not strict but, finding a routine that’ll make me get out of bed in the morning. Finding something that’ll lift my spirits for the rest of the day. It’s harder than it seems apparently but I want to try again.

So, I have some advice for me and for anyone else going through the same battle. It’s not going to be easy but it’ll get easier as time goes on (I hope). If you want to lose weight you need to do it because you’re ready and prepared to make scarifies to improve your life (e.g. not ordering pizza every Friday night). It’s okay to have a treat day occasionally but in order to lose weight you might have to change your relationship with food.

It’s important to remember just because your friends are working out and dieting doesn’t mean that you should let them pressure you either. Whatever weight loss routine works for them might not work for you, so don’t beat yourself and compare progress.

Your goal is to lose weight but it’s important to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle. Don’t live at the gym and constantly worry about what you’re eating. Too much control isn’t a good thing either. You can be confident and healthy no matter what you weigh and it’s about quality of life. Your health comes first and you can be a healthy size 8 or size 18. It’s all about changing your perception of beauty and finding confidence again.

Remember to set realistic targets. Find a meal plan and work out routine that works for you. You don’t have to join a gym or a weight loss group to do so either. Research tips from the comfort of your own home and don’t panic.

FYI, I’m still trying to find what works for me. I’ve tried the gym several times but could never motivate myself to commit. I always find that after a couple weeks the routine slips and I can’t pick it up again. I’m thinking of trying Slimming World recipes at home because many of my friends have had great success with them but, I’m a little set in my ways I suppose. I love the recipes I already have for many meals and it’s difficult to make changes and follow a new recipe.

All we can do is keep trying for a happier healthier life. It’s so important to nurture our bodies inside and out. Mental health plays a huge part on how we perceive ourselves and just because we might feel negatively about our image doesn’t mean that the rest of the world sees that. It’s a battle that we can all break through and if you’re suffering from a mental health condition and want to seek help contact your GP who can refer you. Taking the decision to reach out is a huge step in the right direction and shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing, so please don’t sit in silence if you think your weight gain is more complex than just having a big apetite.

Stay strong. Stay positive. Stay motivated.

Cheat every now and again but always keep your goal in mind.

The words I hope to live by for the rest of 2018.

A New Home

A few months ago me and my boyfriend began thinking about moving somewhere new together. Our needs have changed a little which means that our current home no longer works despite how much we love it. Our flat is bright, airy and surrounded by green space but, we need a second bedroom and a much bigger kitchen.

I remember when we moved into our first flat together we had more money saved because we’d previously lived with our parents and, as a new couple the whole process of moving out felt exciting. It’s still exciting now but with money playing a larger factor , having to think about the furniture we already own and the lifestyle that we want to continue leading in a new property has created lots of anxiety between us both I think.

The area we currently live in is also where I grew up and my mum lives just around the corner however, we can’t afford to buy a bigger property in this location which means that we’ve had to look a tiny bit further. Still walking distance from mum and green space but without the view because we’ve now found a flat just off of our local high street.

Finding the perfect new home hasn’t been easy for me I must say. I’d been looking online and keeping my eyes out for a new place to call home for some time and ideally I wanted a house or at least a maisonette. Unfortunately, it had become apparent that within our budget this wasn’t realistic unless we wanted to compromise on another aspect.

We viewed one flat on Thursday last week and I remember walking in hating it. I didn’t get the feels I felt when we walked into our first home together during 2016. I immediately knew it was a no but my boyfriend liked it so I tried to be nice. After a long discussion we decided that the property wasn’t for us. There was limited natural light, the kitchen felt smaller than our current one and the hallway was too dark.

Despite this, we later found out that the end ground floor flat next door was also available, so we gave the letting agency a call and viewed the property. My boyfriend viewed the place first when I was at work and took me back the following day to get my opinion on things. Again, the hallway felt a little small and dark but, I walked in and felt much happier. The space felt more welcoming and the layout worked better. The sitting room and kitchen are in one open planned space which lets in a lot of natural light and did I mention the beautiful kitchen?! It’s fantastic. We do have to sell our current fridge as we will have one built in but, that’s okay.

I know I wanted a house and deep down probably still do but, this flat ticks every box within our budget. Overall, I think we’ve found the right place to call home for a while and I can’t wait to move in mid June. I still have my worries about the property but, my boyfriend has a usable space (the second bedroom) for his gaming and we can have a little sofa bed in there too for guests. He also gets off road parking for his much loved vintage car and I get a great kitchen/living space.

I can’t wait to get moving and share my new home with you all. It’s going to be a lot of fun once all of the heavy lifting is done.

Good things are happening! Now it’s time to relax and get planning.

 

 

 

 

Coastal Living

When the sun is shining and I can escape to the sea I’m so grateful that my mum chose to raise me in Plymouth.

What a great decision!!

This week whilst the sun has been shining away me and mum have been able to spend lots of time together, going for beach walks with the dogs and coffee by the shore. It’s been so lovely and I’m so thankful for weeks like this, where I can enjoy my days away from work and feel like I’m on a little holiday.

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I bumped into a couple old work colleagues on their lunch breaks buying fish n chips and thought to myself, thank God I chose to quit. Thank God I have entire days to enjoy this weather, not just short lunch breaks dreading going back to that office.

I couldn’t imagine not living by the sea and Devon is where I want to spend the rest of my days, living with my boyfriend and eventually raising a family. Plymouth is a beautiful city surrounded by vast landscapes, with Cornwall and Dartmoor only a stones throw away, so why wouldn’t anyone want to live here I don’t know but, it’s something I hear all the time from people who currently reside in the city.

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I don’t think people really realise what they have until it’s gone, which is why so many people move away from coastal cities and return later in life to raise a family or retire. There are so many benefits to living near the coast compared to living in a larger and much more densely populated city like London for example.

Waking up to fresh sea air is a huge benefit and something that appeals to many but there are some other serious health benefits too. The sea helps you feel calm, enables you to sleep better and helps to decrease your levels of stress. Living by the ocean and green spaces also apparently encourages people to exercise more and to take up more outdoor sports such as coastal walking, jogging, surfing and sailing.

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Personally, knowing that I have plenty of beaches in both Devon and Cornwall to choose visiting whenever the sun is shining makes me feel spoilt. I know that if I need to get some fresh air that I’m in walking distance of beautiful parks and the sea, which already makes me feel a lot less stressed.

In terms of food, it’s also great knowing that there are plenty of fresh seafood restaurants to enjoy and that all the ingredients are locally sourced, which is important to me as a foodie. You can’t beat a good bit of cod in batter and I know that whatever the time of year I can access this delicious meal and it’ll be fresh.

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Coastal living also provides a great quality of life to your pets. Allowing your dogs to attend some beautiful walks with you, giving them the opportunity to enjoy nature and paddle in the sea is just as important to them as it is to us. Enjoying days out with your dogs in this way is a beautiful thing and something I encourage doing so as often as possible.

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Even if you don’t live by the ocean and can’t access green space as often as you’d like, it’s important to get away from city life from time to time. Visit your local park or swimming pool, take some time out and book a mini break to Cornwall, take a long drive to the coast or go on a long walk.

There are days when it’s sunny but we want to stay in doors having some alone time but, I urge you you to enjoy the great outdoors whilst you can. When the sun is shining it’s a glorious thing and getting a little vitamin D will help brighten your spirits.

British weather sucks for the most part so it’s important to enjoy the sunny days whilst we can. I mean, who knows when we’ll get a week like this again. So, get out of the house, get your friends or family together and head out of the city and towards the coast!

I promise you won’t regret.