The Race

 

Every now and then I have to break up the ‘fun’ posts with something a little more ‘thoughtful’, or else the name of this blog would be pointless!

Today I just wanted to talk about the idea, or feeling, that life is a ‘race’ that we’re all running and if you aren’t keeping up you’re not worth anything. Every feel like that? I blame the internet culture and the way we edit our lives to show the good parts and all our accomplishments but never show the struggles. When I started this blog I always had it in my mind that I would show the reality of life as a struggling writer but, recently, I’ve neglected that and have only been showing the days where I do good things because it feels good to celebrate a good job, the only problem with that is it’s not real and it makes other people see me [as an example] as someone who is doing better than them and it makes me feel like I need to keep up with this image so I’m constantly comparing myself to myself and to the other people showing their accomplishments… phew. Tiring.

I was walking to work this morning and I played my usual game; If I’d walked the other way, taken the other path, where would the other me be by now? I imagine a ghost-like version of myself walking in front of me or behind me and I race them. Is that insane? Maybe! It’s like a real life Mario Kart time trial where you’re racing against your best time and the little guy driving in front seems to be going faster than you can ever urge your little kart but you forge on, anyway, feeling the surge of adrenaline when you overtake him at the last second and come in first… again, just me?

It’s so silly because whenever I hear other people complain that they aren’t moving fast enough; in their career, with their hobbies, with their fitness etc. I tell them they don’t need to rush – life is happening at the right pace, you just need to remember you’re living YOUR life, and other people’s lives aren’t there for comparison so stop holding yourself up to them yada yada yada. Except I do it! I know I do it; I find it so difficult to keep writing when I’ve been doing it for years and years and I’m still paddling around in the shallows whereas there are a million people published every year and they’re all younger, or better, or blonder, or thinner or luckier… It’s exhausting and it’s dangerous. It makes me want to give up on my dreams which is annoying because I know the only reason people succeed is because they push through these feelings. No one [or very few people] have it easy on any path in life but you keep moving forward and either you get what you wanted or what you wanted changes and you find something else.

Does this strike any nerves? Sound familiar? I hope so and I hope you know that you are doing well, in whatever you’re doing. I think it’s really important we remind each other that life isn’t a race at all! Log off Twitter and Instagram for a hot second and just live life without the need to please other people with your success or the need to quantify your work with the work of others. You can do it.

Sam

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Outfit of the Day // Getting Shirty

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I have been looking for a shirt dress for AGES; it’s hard to find one that feels right, y’know?

I recently went to a local store for a closing down sale [I also got the tarot deck I’ve been longing for – post about that soon] and, miraculously, this dress was on the rack! 100% cotton, ethically sourced, and down from £100 to £35. It was meant to be!

It was only available in size large; which I generally wouldn’t get [I’m ‘plus’ sized, but still would usually only get a medium, go figure…] but I love the feel of it and the colours are my colours, for sure.

When I first put it on I thought it might be too big but I quickly came to realise it was the best. I think, if it were any smaller, I wouldn’t be able to wear it as a dress? It’s quite short, as it is, because people who make dresses don’t count on women being over 5 foot 5, or something? At 5″7 most dresses turn into mini-skirt-dresses.

I’ve teamed it with tights, because autumn is my favourite time to get my legs out – forget bare legs in summer, I want tights and lots of them. It also goes pretty great with my leather jacket and converse [not pictured], if I’m feeling casual. Which I always am. But I think I could put black pumps on and look a little smarter?

Anywho; I love this dress a lot! Hopefully, one day, I’ll take some actual good pictures for these sorts of posts? It’s hard to take them yourself!

Sam

 

Juno has her own Instagram!

That’s right, I finally did it.

I am always sharing pictures of Juno on this lil’ blog and on my own Instagram account and whilst I’m sure I’ll keep posting pictures of her I have been umming and ahhing over starting her own account for… well, 3 years.

Going by @junobonbuno [because there are a lot of Juno the Beagles – who knew?] she’s now on the internet and ready to get internet-famous… or just probably more followers than me, which is cool.

I never thought I’d be THAT person but I guess I follow a lot of other pet accounts so why not join the fun?

I’m actually pretty excited about it.

In celebration here is a list of a few of my fave pet accounts:

fessermakesfaces

This little fella belongs to Kaylah [from The Dainty Squid] and all of his pictures make me laugh. He always has litter on his nose and his faces are hilarious!

 

 

osirisandfriends

Osiris is the friendliest dog I’ve ever seen! So much so, his best friends are rats. CUTE pictures, guys!

 

 

 

Belkathebeagle

Belka is a cute Beagle. I follow a lot of Beagle accounts but he’s beautiful and I can’t not have him in this list!

 

 

 

andrewknapp

 

Andrew takes beautiful photos but he also posts an ongoing series [and I’m pretty sure there’s a hard back book to boot] called Find Momo.

Momo is his Collie and he will literally sit anywhere, it seems. It’s kind of like a Where’s Wally [or Waldo for you Americans!] but with a cute dog!

tunameltsmyheart

Tuna is a Chiweeny with an overbite so, y’know, every picture is hilarious!

 

 

 

bilbolovesburriots

Bilbo… I’m not at all biased. I don’t know this dog. Never met him… OK, Bilbo is my boss’s dog and he’s VERY photogenic. He’s very cute and playful [See a previous post here] so I’d highly recommend following the account!

 

shiro_the_samoyed_fluff_king

Shiro belongs to a Youtuber I’ve followed forever. When she got him I knew he’d feature in fabulous photos because Shawna has a great eye for photography. The pictures don’t disappoint! He’s a big ball of white fluff and he should host his own interior design show.

 

shadow.beagle

Wow, what a good looking dog… again, I don’t know this one… OK, that still sounds like a lie. It is. Shadow is Juno’s older brother. He’s hilariously energetic, loves jumping and playing with tennis balls and he has the biggest tongue in the family and, possibly, the world. [he also likes to sniff food out of people’s bags… He and Juno are very alike in that respect!]

 

Yes, I know they are mostly all dogs; I do actually follow cat, fox and hedgehog accounts but I’m a dog lady so…

If you follow cute animal accounts please leave links to them in the comments!

Sam

 

Bank Holiday Hike // Photo stream

Yes, another photo blog but I promise there are others in the pipeline! Until then, enjoy the pictures of when me and the dawg went for a walk. It was hot. We enjoyed it greatly! This was before Autumn fully hit us!

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I know most people would discard the pictures of their dog which are blurry but I honestly love them. Juno hardly ever sits still, and when I get a picture of her in focus it’s because I’ve somehow tricked her into stopping but, more often than not, she’s on the move and it makes me happy. I’m also thrilled she’s getting her paws in the water! She’s not a water dog, in the slightest, but she was being brave and it’s a-paw-able!

Sam

Walking in the woods // photo stream

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There’s nothing more I love than taking the little pocket pup, Juno, up to what we locally call The Edge; it’s a huge wood where you can explore and run amok should the desire take you and it recently did.

I wanted to get a trip up there in before the leaves started to turn because summer in the woods is lovely; everyone is out walking, it’s dry, and the views from the outlooks are stunning with blue sky. I live outside of Manchester but from The Edge you can see the city, which is pretty cool.

Recently, whilst walking that damned dog, I realised that Juno doesn’t often go exploring off the beaten track; she always sticks to paths and never ventures into bushes etc, which I find strange but secretly I’m happy about it because it means she’s almost probably never going to run away! [if you have a Beagle, or I’m sure any dog, this is a constant fear!]

Whilst I’m glad I got the summer trip into the woods in I’m so excited to get back up there once autumn hits us fully because it’s like another world and I’m ready for it!

Sam

ps. does anyone else feel so relaxed amongst trees? I know they have forest bathing in Japan [look it up!] but all I need is a little cluster of trees and I feel so much more chilled!

Outfit of the day // BatSam

More pictures of me wearing stuff. Not sorry because I finally bought some stuff from my friend’s shop and I’m so excited about it!

Heroesque is an online store which sells clothes described as ‘urban and geeky’. Check all the boxes. I always browse the site because I love everything but I struggle to pick clothes  at the best of times and when there’s too many options… well, it’s taken me years to actually order (sorry, Ania!)

I bit the bullet and bought the bat jumper because I’ve been eying it up for a while now…

 

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I know, my modelling skills are second to none. I’m great at setting shots up and making them tidy… I mean. Who has the time?

I bought a dress, too, which will be featured in a future blog post as I have yet to decide how to wear it but it’s delightful!

Don’t forget to *check out the store!

Sam

*not affiliated, just love it!

Vegan donuts!

TheVeganKind Monthly Subscription Box

I’ve recently found The Vegan Kind; a subscription box service that sends ONLY vegan items and I’m already a big fan!

I’d been seeing people I follow on Instagram talking about it and I wanted to give it a go. What I found was you don’t actually have to subscribe to the boxes [of which they do both food/treats and beauty products] to enjoy the goodies they have! You can shop every item in their store and pick the things you want. Which is what I did because I wanted my first dip into TVK to be all about DONUTS. The vegan kind

I ordered the 4 they had that week [they change each week!] as well as a can of Jack Fruit [but more on that in another blog post!] and they were shipped and with me within a day, pretty much. Kuh-wick!

I’d actually forgotten the flavours I’d ordered so when they arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find Double Chocolate, Mocha, Sprinkles and Biscoff in my possession.

They all come individually boxed, which is great and helps keep them fresh… ish.

But to deflate the bubble a little bit I have to say they did go stale quickly. I would imagine the intention is to eat all four donuts in one day but… well, I just never would [as much as I love cakes!]. I had one a day and they melted a little on the outside and were stale a little on the inside but that’s to be expected from any cake product and it, in no way, ruins the taste and they were DELICIOUS! I haven’t had donuts in well over a year and they really hit the spot! Particularly the Biscoff one! I’ve never had Biscoff before [I don’t like biscuits, really] and I know you can buy it in a jar to spread on stuff but it’s never appealed to me. I think I may be newly converted because holy hell it was incredible.

I found out, after I’d ordered it/eaten it/ fell in love with it that I could sign up to be affiliated and so, naturally, I did [trying to get a good panel of affiliates together for you guys so I can get you good deals on good stuff] and I’m excited to try more stuff, maybe get a subscription box and hibernate over winter.

If you have ever wondered whether you should try The Vegan Kind I’d say do it! You won’t be disappointed!

Sam

The Black Lake // photostream

We’ve had a bank holiday weekend this weekend and, for some reason, I decided each day would include an adventure.

This is the first of three photo stream posts… I can only apologise! (but  not really)

The Black Lake

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The Black Lake

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This place is called The Black Lake and it’s literally around the corner from me but I had never even heard of it until last year, let alone been. This weekend I decided to fix that and I’m glad I did.

It’s actually the place they found Lindow Man, which I knew about but didn’t know there was a park you could wander around. It’s immediately become a favourite local place and I’m going to walk there a few times a month. Juno gets to go off lead and there are so many paths for her to scamp down, plus, it’s a nice place for me, too! All the Heather and animals – apparently there are also lizards and voles and all sorts of creatures to find.

Hope you enjoy, and explore your own local areas!

Sam

Things I’ve been enjoying recently!

Just a little photostream of the good things recently.

IMG_20170821_142419_967blackberriescactusflowersmushrooms

It’s that time of the year where everything is reaching the peak of it’s growth from summer and we’re slipping towards Autumn. I always notice the flowers around where I live because there’s so much effort put into making sure the whole town is blooming [legit competitions on town prettiness] and I love stopping to snap pictures; even on the side of the road, looking like a crazy person!

graveyardtreesautumnal

Trees for life! All the time! So many of them are green AF but there’s a road I walk down which is perpetually autumnal and I enjoy it, even if I don’t understand it.

sushiJuno the beagleflowers

I’ve been eating some GOOD food, recently. Sushi, in particular! There’s a cool little place just down the road from my flat which does amazing sushi and I’ve spent a lot of money there recently… I’ve also been chilling in my local coffee shop with Juno a lot, recently, doing work and writing and it feels good. What also feels good? Being gifted a bunch of flowers by a neighbour.

Juno the beaglecoconut waterMonkee Genes

I’m still unsure on what colour to paint my living room. It’s a tough decision… if only I was as confident with wall paint as I was with colouring my hair! I’ve gone lavender, and love it, and am currently loving the coconut water treatment. My little collab with Monkee Genes has also made me happy, of late. It’s my first ‘real’ work with a company [I didn’t get paid, FYI] and I’m glad I asked for the opportunity.

Hope you’re enjoying things at the moment, too!

Sam