Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #10

How are we all diddly doing? Now first an apology for lateness. I'm sorry, the laptop decided to update and take all day. In other news I now have cortana. Is that fun? What do I do? This week has been a little bit of catching up with friends and feeling good. The weather doesn't quite know what to do with itself so we've swung from hold-on-to-your-hat Storm Katie to fabulous I-don't-need-a-coat sunshine. We've had some stonking sunsets, which is something I absolutely love.

So let's move on and find out what's been making my week wonderful:

1. Hot cross bun slathered with butter. Easter might be over, but I'm still loving a hot cross bun with butter of a morning.

2. The first outdoor meal of the year. What can be better than tucking in to bacon sandwiches in the sunshine? The answer is definitely nothing. Last Friday my friend had a whistle stop visit back to sunny (at that time) Suffolk from her university in York. It has been 6 months since I saw her last so it was great to sit in her garden with her dog catching up on everything and sharing memories.

3. My decision not to drink. I feel so much happier in myself now I've decided not to drink. I'm a massive control freak and the thought of not knowing what I am doing or letting down my guard scares me so much. Last weekend I went out with a group of friends to the pub. We were still there at 2am laughing and having so much fun and I didn't drink a thing. I remember everything. Plus, the amount of juice I drunk means I also got my 5 a day. Bonus.

4. Spring cleaning. I am by nature a very messy person. I am untidy and probably a nightmare to live with, but this week I've been majorly tidying. I've managed to get rid of 3 bin bags of stuff that either I didn't need or was plain rubbish. You know all those pieces of paper you keep just in case you need to know what train you went on 2 years ago. Or a birthday card from when you were 12 from a family friend that you've never met. Well it's all cleared and I'm liking having everything tidier.

5. Lounge wear. This week I have purchased a pair of cookie monster lounge pants. They are garish, huge but oh so comfortable. I love wearing loose fitting PJ's and often buy from men's sections because you get the added bonus of pockets. They are amazing and nothing you are going to say can change that!

6. Booking my summer holiday. I'm literally so excited for this one. Me and two friends went to Dublin last year and had such a great time. This year we're staying slightly closer to home and road tripping to Bath and staying for a long weekend. I have spent one day in Bath and it was beautiful so I'm really looking forward to going back. Plus we've booked in right at the end of the cricket season just when I know I'm going to need a break.

And now it's over to you. Wednesdays are made even more wonderful by reading posts by SallyMichelleJo and Helen. I enjoy hearing about what has made them happy this week. Therefore you can either join in by commenting, letting me know on twitter ( I'm @appreciate_day on there) or even writing your own post and becoming a fully signed up member of the Wonderful Wednesday crew.

Kate xx

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Sneek Peak into my Scrapbook 7

It's been so long since I've shared some of my scrapbook pages. For some reason I've been drawn to orange recently. It's not a colour I usually go for and would never wear.  Maybe it's the vibrancy as we hurtle towards spring, but also my blue watercolour is running out so I've had to plump for a new colour scheme.

Circles and wave patterns always seem to feature in my pages. I don't know if this some strange symbol or just that I find them smooth and easy to draw. If I am doodling it will always include interconnecting waves. I'm also loving creating layers and texture. For the double spread I used wax resist techniques then the brushstrokes of watercolour. I have then drawn over the top. The second small piece has watercolour and ink prints over the top of the pen doodle.

Which colours are you drawn to at this time of the year? What have you created recently?
Please share with me, I absolutely love seeing other people's arty stuff.
Kate xx

Friday, 25 March 2016

Early Morning Daffodil Walks

Do you know what? I think spring has sprung. This week has been blooming gorgeous with sunny blue skies. This week I took an early morning walk. I'd completely forgotten that really close to me is a daffodil farm. Yes, you heard right! While I don't think they actually sell daffodils anymore it seems like they can't get rid of them because the fields were absolutely full.

What I loved even more was how the daffodils had spilt into the neighbouring wood. In the early morning sunshine, it was lovely to walk through the wood with its dappled sunshine. I didn't even take a coat! Yellow feels like such a spring-like colour. I've been seeing such a lot of bright yellows and pastels in the last few weeks. The brightness makes me feel revitalised and ready for new things. Only 2 more weeks until I start my new job coaching cricket and I'm very ready for these new starts.

There are so many places in our local area that are worth exploring, but we forget to go to. Looking forward to lots more exploring.

Finally look at how cute my new best friends are...
Kate xx

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #9

This week has been a funny one. I've made a decision on which university I would like to go to which is a relief and means I can fully visualise the next steps of my life. With that comes all the logistical stuff that needs sorting plus tests that need sitting. I've booked them this week and hopefully soon I'll have passed all conditions needed. Paperwork and practicality seem to have been coming out of my ears this week as the cricket season rushes ever closer. But I remain grateful for my happiness, because a few short months ago I didn't think I'd be in this position. I have to thank Sally because these Wonderful Wednesday posts really pep me up and make me hunt for the happy moments even when life isn't so sunny.

Before I blather any more we must move swiftly on to the things that have made this week pretty darn marvellous.

1. Listening to the cricket commentary. I am a little bit excited that it's world cup time and I can spend my days listening to commentary. I have been curled up in bed waking up to the opening overs. I've stuck it on whilst I've cooked my tea. I've been on tenterhooks whilst Anya Shrubsole just got us over the line. Everyone else gets (football) world cup fever, but mine is definitely of the cricket variety. I actually had to turn it off in order to write this because I was getting too wrapped up and couldn't get any words down.

2. Friends that support. Isn't it the most wonderful thing to have a group of friends where they ask you how you are and actually mean it? Where you don't have to make small talk and say 'I'm fine' or 'good thanks'. If you are happy they are there to celebrate you and join you in that and you feel brave enough to tell them exactly what is going on when life isn't so rosy.

3. Wanting to dance. Now I love a dance round the kitchen as much as the next person. Turning up the music really loud, flailing my body around and singing at the top of my voice. However I used to be a little more cultured than this. I used to dance contemporary dance every week and I was in shows. Last night I watched a show that my old dance teacher choreographed and I fell back in love with it. I want to experiment with the shapes my body can make. I'd like to be creative with linking movements and describing stories and feelings through my movements. Watch this space, I will dance again.

4. I am creating. It's been a long time since I've worked in my sketchbook, but this week the paints, pens, pencils and everything have been out. I have been looking at different colours, watercolouring different tones and doodling tattoo ideas.

5. Pockets of sunshine. Well now I have that very catchy Natalie Bedingfield song in my head! You WILL know it, if you've ever watched Easy A. Anyway, I am loving the blue skies and sunshine we've had recently. I always have a more positive attitude when the sun's out. We had the first day of spring on Saturday and I'm now starting to believe it.

6. Listing. Making a list always seems to make me feel more in control with whatever I''m doing. This week I've started a list of all the things I'd like to do before I leave home for university. I have this summer at home and I'm looking forward to living it and enjoying the area I am in. I think we are guilty of ignoring how great where we live is, so lots of exploring is going to happen. Also I definitely want to get my tattoo this summer. I've been doodling lots of ideas, all around the idea of a little geometric crown. I also wan t to go swimming. I haven't been swimming for over 9 years which is ridiculous. I haven't felt comfortable in a swimming cossie, but this is the summer. Plus when I go to uni I will need to be able to learn to teach swimming so I need to feel comfortable.

And now it's over to you. Wednesdays are made even more wonderful by reading posts by SallyMichelleJo and Helen. I enjoy hearing about what has made them happy this week. Therefore you can either join in by commenting, letting me know on twitter ( I'm @appreciate_day on there) or even writing your own post and becoming a fully signed up member of the Wonderful Wednesday crew.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #8

Happy Wonderful Wednesday to you all. This week I'm getting a little restless. I'm moving towards the end of my not-working-that-many-days-a-week period and I have say I'm super glad. I can't wait to be busy again. I've really enjoyed needed this time off, but characteristically also I need to be busy. Therefore with the cricket season approaching I'm looking forward to coaching lots. This week has been about focusing myself so that I'm right ready to crash into full time work, evenings and weekends after Easter. I'm probably crazy!

Also I can just feel spring in the air. We've had such a lot of sunny days. Those crisp ones where everything is bright and cheery, but you still have to wind a scarf round your ears. Flowers are exploding with colour and I actually smelled freshly cut grass this week!

Without further ado, let's talk about all the things that have made me smile this week:

1. Theatre trips. In past couple of weeks I've been to the theatre twice. Before that it must have been November since I went last. So this week I'm feeling all cultural. The first play I went to see was called Toast. Honestly it was weird and I'm not sure I'd recommend it at all. Maybe it's just because I'm not sophisticated, but I'm not sure I want to watch a guy eat a piece of cheese in silence for ten minutes! Anyway last weeks performance was heaps better. I went to see Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty. I'd heard great things about Matthew Bourne's choreography for a while and when a show came to Norwich it was a great time to catch it. The dancing was magical, costumes fantastic and a brilliant evening. I love the magic of going to the theatre and when tickets are just a fiver I should really go more.

2. New bags. My friends know that I don't do what I call 'tatt'. Items that have no purpose. Maybe things to put on a shelf, or the hang in a room looking pretty. It doesn't appeal to me. That doesn't mean to say I don't like pretty things, they just also need to be practical and useful. So when my friend bought me a beautiful backpack in a light denim with pink polka dots for my birthday I loved it! I use a backpack all the time as my coaching bag and my one has been slowly falling apart with use so it was just perfect. I've already transferred everything over.

3. Music as memories. Isn't it funny how hearing a song can transport you back to a time and place? It can spark these emotions that you'd forgotten all about. This week I've been taking a trip back through my music collection. Revisiting memories along the way. I've been sharing them with friends and in turn they've shared theirs. The song my friend said was playing when they brought their son home from hospital. The song that reminds me of my first crush. The song that was my friend's dad's favourite before he died last year. The song that was playing at prom...

4. Fresh Meat. I know, I'm late to the party on this one. As the new series started I wondered what all the fuss was about so I started watching the back series to catch up. It's funny and alternately makes me mega excited to going to uni and scared as to what it'll actually be like when I get there! Also I LOVE Vod's style. Especially the suit wearing.

5. Wearing my shorts. Yes, you heard right. It's March and I decided t get my legs out. It's been lovely and sunny and I feel so much more comfortable in shorts anyway. And now I've shaved my legs I've got to make the most of it come rain or shine!

6. Loading up on veg. This week I've consciously being trying to add more vegetables into my meals. I've really slipped up on my healthy eating recently (see last week's mountain of cake). Therefore this week has been all about adding peppers, tomatoes, onions and so much more to fajitas, pizzas and pasta sauces. I'm looking forward to making even more recipes and I've just remembered I have a pineapple to eat too.

Does anyone get that thing where they forget that Wednesday comes after Tuesday? So yes I completely intend to have this post up bright and breezy on Wednesday morning, but I always forget until I wake up on Wednesday and then get typing. However I love writing this post. It makes me look back through the week and appreciate the good bits.

Much as I love writing this post, I think reading posts from SallyMichelle and Helen may just pip it to the post with loveliness. All these ladies are fab and I'm so grateful to be part of their merry crew. The brighten my Wednesday every week. If you'd like to get involved comment, share on twitter with #wonderfulwednesday (I'm @appreciate_day on there) or even right your own post. I'd love to hear what's making your week lovely.

Kate xx

Friday, 11 March 2016

21st Birthday Week

On Monday it was my 21st birthday and I thought I'd share what I got up to. I spent most of my birthday on my own which was quite a weird experience. I woke up to an empty house. I choose to go exploring and took myself into Norwich. With it being my closet city, there are still so many parts of it that I'm yet to explore. The Cathedral is one of those places that you always mean to visit, but never have the time. I love looking at different architecture and the area around the cathedral is full. There are small flint cottages right up to the impressive cathedral. It was a miserable day weather wise so I quickly skipped through the herb gardens and surrounding areas so that I just made it before the hail came.

I also took a long wander through the Norwich Lanes. I love this area of Norwich. It's away from the main shopping centre and has so many wonderful independent shops. I didn't realise quite how big the area was though! I rambled for a good hour, stopping to peek into windows as I went.

After all of that a good sit down and a cake was in order as well as a browse of a good book shop (anyone hollar if you've read Bounce, I'm part way through and absolutely loving it). A warm up and a raspberry and chocolate muffin hit the spot and then I waved adios to Norwich.

My mum had secretly booked for us to eat and The Wentworth. This is an impressive hotel and restaurant right on the sea front at Aldeburgh. I love the coast so much so it was a lovely surprise. We ate such beautiful food including my amazing dessert below (Mango parfait with raspberry sorbet if you're interested). I can't gush about this enough. The taste explosion in all of my food was amazing. I think I may have used amazing too much, but honestly it was! Plus I think ever meal should include a sun shaped tuile biscuit

We then settled after dinner in one of the comfy lounges to chat. It's great to have time with mum with no distractions to just chat.

Then on Tuesday my friends cooked for me. They brought balloons, a birthday sash, a big badge: I felt 13 again! They had cooked me a cake and I stood there awkwardly whilst they sung Happy birthday and then blew the candles out. We talked about the future, we talked about now, we talked into the night. I love those girls so much!

excuse the slightly weird , blurry action shot, but I don't care it's ma birthday!
I even managed to extend my birthday into Wednesday when my Grandma and Aunt took me out for even more cake!

I have had such a lovely birthday filled with cake, friends, family and fun. Here's to making it through another year!

Kate xx

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #7

Hello to all you lovely people, and how is your week shaping up to be? Mine has been a bit of a flash. This horrible, grey weather has threatened to dampen my spirits, but I've been getting out and about everyday. This week has seen me turn to ripe old age of 21, which is apparently adult territory!

1. Super proud of my players. This week I have umpired an indoor tournament where 2 of my teams went head to head. Neither had played a single game of cricket previously and I was so proud of the progress they made. They put so much effort in and improved considerably, but most of all they had fun! I also coached my county U15 squad for the first time for months. I had planned an absolutely full on session. Lots of fitness, fast paced activities. They worked so incredibly hard and put maximum effort in. We work with a quote a week and this week's is - Hustle beats talent, when talent doesn't hustle. Those girls sure showed what it was to hustle!

2. Cake. This week has been the week of cake. I have sampled: brownies, raspberry and chocolate muffins, chocolate sponge cake, chocolate and orange marble cake, chocolate orange cookies and chocolate torte. Plus it's all allowed because it was my birthday. There also seems to be a chocolate theme... no idea why that could be!

3. Hot water bottles. When you have the worst stomach cramps ever, the only thing that can save you is a hot water bottle permenantly strapped to you. On Saturday I actually drove to work strapping the hot water bottle to me using the seat belt. I have the softest cover and it just feels like a warm hug. Shame the cramps don't go as quickly!

4. Birthdays. I will tell you more in a separate post, but my birthday was just wonderful and I'll truly grateful to have fab friends and family.

5. Wearing my motivation. I've got into wearing motivational Tshirts and I just can't stop! Starting your day and slipping on a soft pale grey tshirt with the words 'Be Brave, Be Authentic, Be You' never fails to make me feel empowered. Plus in the minute you're having a little wobble you only have to look down to give yourself a pep talk. It's a constant reminder that you've got this!

6. Mother's Day. I worked most of Mother's Day so I sneaked in a quick breakfast celebration. Cooking chocolatey (this chocolate theme has got out of hand!) pancakes together was a lovely way to start the day. We filled them with nutella and peaches and it gave me a chance to sit down and chat with mum before I had a long, long day of work.

So tell me, my dears, what has been putting a smile on your faces? My wonderful partners in Wednesday crime are sharing theirs too. Go and take a gander at SallyMichelle, and Helen's blogs. Please get involved too by commenting or tweeting with #WonderfulWednesday.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #6

I get a massive slap on the wrist this week. I only managed 5 Wonderful Wednesday's before I broke and we missed a week. And I did miss it. I missed recalling all the little (and big) moments that had made my week special. However that does mean that you get a bumper bonus edition of Wonderful Wednesday. A 2 week mash up with all that has been making me smile. Without further ado let's jump in:

1. Meeting new people. One mega bonus of going to these interviews is I have met so many interesting people. There have been chances to chat with artists and scientists. I have met judo champions and those that have their own businesses. I have discussed travels to Thailand and work in nurseries. And we all have the shared ambition to become primary school teachers. I has been incredible fun to hear all of these passions. I love meeting new people and having the chance to find out about them. I look forward to uni for this reason.

2. Comfortably stuffed. You know that feeling when you feel like you need a little nap because you're so full, but the food was so good that you'll sit chatting until you've got room for dessert.

3. Sweet Potato fries. How have I not got on this bandwagon before? The sweet and salty mix of these are just perfect. With the crispy chipness it's a match made in heaven

4. Crocuses. Well I'm talking the arrival of Spring here. Yesterday was officially the meteorological first day of Spring and we're certainly seeing the blooms to show it. Daffodils, primroses, irises and crocuses are blooming in my Grandma's front garden and it just makes me smile every time.

5. Not having an alarm. Being able to, in that drowsy state, decide that actually my eyes could shut again. Having 5 more minutes that turns into a couple more hours and there being no consequence of that. That delicious warm, snuggled state that you can hold on to for a little bit longer.

6. Having productive days. You know the ones where you make a list before breakfast and before lunch it's done so you make another one. The satisfaction of ticking off items and powering through things that you've been putting off.

7. Chocolate and Banana muffins. I actually baked. It's been so long since I last baked that I was a kitchen nightmare. I made a bit of a mess but nothing was burnt or broken and the end result was tasty. I snaffled one just out of the oven, warm and with a glass of milk and

8. Some more exploring. Last week I was in Plymouth and had the chance for some more exploring. It was wet and miserable, but I loved it. There were so many different areas to the city. The marina, the quintessential seaside town, the busy shopping areas and the more historic areas (a lot that were bombed during WWII).

9. So last time I told you the news that I'm going to uni in September to study primary teaching. Well this week I found out that I have been offered places at all 5 of my choices. I enjoyed the interviews so much and it's made me even more excited! I have to say it's also a massive confidence boost. You know - well someone wants me! Anyway I now have some decisions to be made, but for now I'm just happy dancing and eating lots of cake.

So tell me my dears, what has been putting a smile on your faces? My wonderful partners in Wednesday crime are sharing theirs too. Go and take a gander at SallyMichelleNadine and Helen's blogs. Please get involved too my commenting or tweeting with #WonderfulWednesday.

Kate xx