Thursday, 26 March 2015

"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die" [Thomas Campbell]

The beautiful funeral flowers I chose with my sister

You may be wondering why my blog has gone strangely silent over the last month or so. Where have I been? Why haven't I been writing my usual regular posts? Well...

On Sunday 1st March my amazing Daddy passed away. His death was sudden and completely unexpected and I miss him so much already.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

A picture is worth a thousand words

Yes, that's me in the middle! This was on the banks of the River Thames photographing St Paul's Cathedral.

As a special birthday treat (thank you Christopher!) I spent a wonderful Sunday last weekend on a beginners photography workshop around London's South Bank, taught by none other than our amazing wedding photographer John Alexander (if you want to see a few of my favourite pictures from our wedding take a look at this post).

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

One year wiser

Today is my birthday, I am 33!

Being 32 was so great - I really had one of my best years yet (read this if you want to know why). I'm truly thankful for every opportunity that came my way during the past year and I feel very grateful to have had so many happy days and reasons to celebrate.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Learning to play the property game

We have officially started our house search - hurrah!

As I mentioned in a recent post, I have several BIG plans for 2015 and probably the biggest of these is to finally get on the housing ladder. At long last Chris and I are ready to buy our first home. We have a hefty deposit saved, mortgage broker ready to go, solicitor waiting in the wings, and all our finances in order. And we are first time buyers - i.e. chain free. It's going to be easy, I thought naively!

Friday, 23 January 2015

"Explore, dream, discover." [Mark Twain]

Happy at the Tulum Mayan ruins - a place I've been dreaming of visiting for over 10 years!!

Over Christmas and New Year I was very lucky to spend 3 weeks travelling around Mexico with my husband Chris on a wonderful, exotic, much longed for adventure holiday. 

It's a country I've dreamed of visiting for a very long time and one of those places I just knew in my heart I would totally love. 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

A year from now you'll wish you had started today

Chris took this pic of me in Playa del Carmen, Mexico on 31 December, as the sun set on 2014.
Think back to your life a year ago... you were probably making your New Year's resolutions for 2014 and promising yourself "this will be MY year!". 

Now, one year on, have you kept those promises you made to yourself?

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Goodbye 2014... what a year!

It's that time again... a chance to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the year ahead. I feel so blessed that for me 2014 was such an awesome year - one of my best ever in fact!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Breaking free from 'stuffocation'

I've written a fair bit on the blog about my mindless spending and dependency on credit cards, and I've detailed my mission to escape from these poisonous habits. 

But what I haven't talked too much about is why I became addicted to spending money I didn't have and exactly what motivated me to get, and stay, out of debt. What have I added to my life to replace the fun shaped hole left when I removed my nasty binge shopping problem?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Confessions of a shopaholic (part 2)

- Read 'Confessions of a shopaholic (part 1)' here - 

Last Autumn I chopped up my credit cards and went cold turkey on shopping and spending of all kinds except for essentials like food, toiletries, rent and bills. It was extremely hard to lose this 'spare cash' which I depended on like a drug to perk me up, keep me entertained, and see me through to the end of each month after I inevitably burned through the salary payment I had received a few short weeks beforehand.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Confessions of a shopaholic (part 1)

'Tis the season to be jolly... and also to spend money like it's going out of fashion.

Crazy Christmas consumerism has been on my mind lately after seeing horrible video footage on the news of people stampeding into shops on 'Black Friday' and having actual physical fights with each other over television sets and laptops. People stomping on and crushing others in a desperate attempt to blag the best deal on crap they don't need and undoubtedly can't afford. 

Can anyone honestly take pleasure in watching their brand new telly knowing they punched someone in the face and acted in a completely unacceptable manner to secure it? It's disgusting behaviour! So much for goodwill to all men and loving thy neighbour etc... 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

We are family

All fifteen of my wonderful and totally awesome cousins!

"All of the people around us they say, can they be that close?
Just let me state for the record, we're giving love in a family dose."

Followers of my blog may or may not be aware that I'm half British and half American! I am very lucky to hold passports for both of these wonderful nations and I identify proudly with both cultures.

My mother is from Dayton which is a small, historic and beautiful city in Ohio. The state of Ohio is located in the confusingly named 'mid-west' part of the USA which is actually very close to the East Coast, nowhere near the wild West, so 'go figure' as they say in the US!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Escape the City: lessons learned (part 2)

I love this group photo taken on my last day at Esc

- To read 'Escape the City: lessons learned (part 1) click here -

So long, farewell...

This week I said goodbye to a wonderful group of people and closed the door on an experience that has been truly life changing for me. My internship at Escape the City is over. 

It's been an exhilarating, eye opening, challenging and fun few months. A true career adventure, and a much needed breath of fresh air in my life. 

My summer at Escape the City taught me lots of valuable things every day, and several big life lessons too. 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Sunday inspiration

The English poet William Ernest Henley is a bit of a one hit wonder. His literary reputation rests almost entirely on the single, magnificent poem 'Invictus', written in 1875

I adore this beautiful piece of writing. The poem is so powerful, stirring, and hopeful. 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sunday inspiration

Recently I watched a really interesting interview with one of my favourite actors, Morgan Freeman. 

He was being interviewed by the incredible Oprah Winfrey and told his fascinating life story, focusing mainly on his career and how he finally achieved success in the acting world aged 50. I think there is a lesson in there for all of us that it's never too late!

Anyway - at the end of the interview Morgan read out part of a poem that has inspired and guided him throughout his life. I was struck by the beauty of the words he spoke, especially in his lovely Southern accent. I think he could read the shipping news and I would be completely enchanted by every word!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Too good to be true

Today I went for a walk in the park near my home despite the fact that the sky was grey and it was threatening to rain. 

Usually this would not inspire me to want to leave the house, but today I really felt the need to get outside and just feel the cold and rain on my skin. It was late afternoon and I had been sat inside all day at my laptop, trying to figure out what on earth my next move will be after I leave Escape the City soon. This was making me feel a little crazy so I just grabbed my keys, put on my trainers, and dashed out the door to walk and clear my head.

While I was out wandering around the park, the weather suddenly turned. Huge gusts of wind started sweeping through the trees and it felt like a sign that the winds of change are about to blow through my life once again.

Friday, 10 October 2014

What should I do with my life?

Last week I was so happy to see this essay of mine published on The Escape School blog, and also sent out to 170,000 members of Escape the City community around the world. It's extremely rare that I feel pride in my work but on this occasion I really felt good about my accomplishment. I'm keen to share the essay on my blog for my own readers. It's much longer than my usual blog posts so well done if you make it to the end! 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Who am I?

Who am I?!

This is a bold and baffling question.  The kind of thing that keeps people lying awake at night staring at the ceiling wondering if they'll ever know the answer (well I hope so anyway, it had better not just be me!).  

It starts to creep up on us in childhood, although at that time we're barely conscious of it.  After the charming innocence of our early years and the blissful lack of self awareness of that time in our lives, we all start on the long journey of trying to find our place in the world.  Trying to figure out what makes us unique, special and interesting. 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Escape the City internship: lessons learned (part 1)

The Startup MBA course @ The Escape School (which also happens to be my workplace!)

"I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page 
and I could do anything I wanted." [Jack Kerouac]

I adore this beautiful quote from one of my favourite authors Jack Kerouac.  His awesome book On The Road was one of the first adventure stories I read as a teenager, around the same time my own passion for travel and adventure was ignited.  After spending the weekend on a fantastic intensive entrepreneurship course the quote perfectly expresses how I'm feeling; inspired and hopeful, and bursting with ideas and personal insights. 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

How it feels to marry your best friend

"I do!"

Exactly a year ago today, on Friday 13 September 2013 I married my best friend and love of my life, Christopher.

We met in our first year of university in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, way back in 2002 when we were just 18 and 19 years old.  Rory, a mutual friend of ours, introduced us on a night out at the student's union.  Our first meeting was fairly unremarkable; there are no tales to tell of our eyes meeting across a crowded dance floor or fireworks going off as we spoke our first words to each other.  Sorry to disappoint!

Friday, 22 August 2014

A new perspective on London and life

My favourite moment of the trip!  WOW!

This blog is all about living with a spirit of adventure and daring to try new things.  It's about finding ways to feel happier in day-to-day life and achieving my personal goals - one of which is to have more fun!  And so it was with this in mind that I recently tried two awesome new things. The first of these was going 'house hunting'.

Last weekend Chris and I spent hours and hours driving all around South East and South West London to get a feel for new areas of the city we aren’t familiar with.  Areas where we might, fingers-crossed, be able to afford to buy our first home together.  It was a completely eye opening experience.