DEAR 2015


Dear 2015,
Well, you have certainly been different. That's for sure.
But am I ready to turn my back on you yet?
Honestly.. I don't know if I am. I mean you've been an absolute up and down year for sure - and the biggest change of all, but I suppose in a way, I'm clinging on to you. I feel like I don't want to let you go for fear of not being as 'strong' in 2016. I know that may sound a little silly, a little wimpy even but I feel quite content with you. I kind of like that I almost feel in a bubble in a way. A shit bubble at that sometimes, but a new bubble I've created, and grown attached to.
And I guess, I don't feel quite ready to see what's for 2016. It's all going to be new.
Scary yet exciting.
Challenging yet adventurous.
Hurdles yet learning curves.
And the unknown.
But instead of dwelling on you as a year, because I've learnt that living in the past means you can't see the future, I just wanted to write my thoughts to a few select people. The people who've really helped me in 2015.
And quite honestly? Without them, I don't know how I'd have coped.
Well, I know I'd have probably bought fifty more cats, but I'm still working on that Papa!

To Mama Mcfred, Papa G & Craig,
Your support and love can never ever be thanked enough, and although you are family and always will be important to me, I cannot quite express just how much you have done for me this year. Those reoccurring conversations of reassurance from you all and your patience has been incredible and the fact that you always just knew mama, when I needed you the most without asking, is something I shall always admire and hope to be like, in the future.
I know you slightly doubted me at the start of the year, but it only made me more motivated to show you that I could do it - and maybe that's why you doubted me, because you knew that I just needed to find that strength inside me. And I did. I did it with determination. Because of you three.
I owe you all endless dinners and cat sitting duties. And a huge amount of wine too.

To the sassy peas,
Sassy girls, I knew you were always good eggs, but this year has only highlighted even more why I'm friends with you, and although I always knew you would be there, I never realised just how much you were like you have even more so. Those extremely long emails helping to navigate me through life, those pick me up whatsapp messages daily and the replies from you in the middle of the night when my brain went into overdrive, have gotten me through some dark and unsure days. Your experiences and words of advice have always been appreciated, and the fact you picked me up right after my operation is one of the many reasons I l want to be around you all the time!
You girls, really are special friends. And I feel lucky as punch to have you in my life.
Our cheese evenings, sleepovers and whatsapp group, always warms my heart.

To the best girls,
For all those times spent laughing and crying with bottles of wine, for all those evenings spent dancing away our troubles and for all those phone conversations feeling like life gets on top of us, you girls will always be top. And even though I sometimes worry that I'm being a burden when I feel sad, or pester you to put a date in your diary to see me, I wouldn't want to have spent this year without you all as much as I did. Because you girls are what any friend should have and need - a shoulder to cry on, a drunk friend to dance with, an ear to listen, a pal for single evenings and a sidekick for causing mayhem and adventures.
I hope you know I'd do exactly the same for you all.

To my family,
During the time of moving, your help, support and love was hugely appreciated - and not a day goes by where I don't thank you for helping me set up home. Those Sunday mornings when you pop round for a coffee to check in on me, and those evenings when we catch up over a glass (or two) of wine always gave me a boost.
I know you can't pick your family, but even if you could, I'd still pick you all.

To Mr Runklebum,
You may be a cat, but you aren't any normal cat. You may not have a clue what I say and you may not quite understand the concept of a bath, but the fact you'll sit there and listen to me for hours whilst I talk about everything and anything, and how you just know when I need a big furry squidge the most, that's what makes you a pretty special chap.
You are awesome. And a pretty blissful housemate.
Apart from when you pooped in the bath. We'll have less of that next time.

To me,
You did it. And you know what, you should be proud. You SHOULD.
You may not have gone through hell like others, but you've had only your fair share of shit compared to what you've ever known, and you're allowed to feel all the emotions. It's OK to cry, and it's OK to feel great.
You've managed to pay your bills (even if it means cheese intake is limited at times!), you've made your house into a home, you're settled into a job and you've even sorted your Christmas presents on time. You're doing just fine.
So hey, treat yourself to something nice. Oh wait. You already did.
Just don't be so hard on yourself in 2016.

"The book is called Opportunity, and its first chapter is New Years Day"

The lights are twinkling through the branches of the green tree, the pile of presents building up around them, the cards draped and hanging off every corner of the room and the warmth of the fire heating up a cold dark evening. The festive songs are playing regularly, and the movies give you that festive contentness. The advent calendars are getting lighter than before, the fridge is filling up with cheese and wine and the excitement is really starting to come together as plans appear closer, panic and rush slowly settles down.
That's when you know Christmas is round the corner.
Giving presents is one of my favourite things about this time of year (I mean, LOOK at those chocolate magnets!). Once that instant feeling of worry and panic about what to buy loved ones has gone, the excitement of ordering more than you should have for people to show how much you care, is definitely a plus of Christmas. Daniel Wellington kindly sent me a watch to gift someone, so I've decided to wrap this up neatly for my brother (he won't read this) along with the other presents. I think he'll like this! If you fancy treating a loved one to a classic watch, use LITTLEWINTER15 to get 15% off your order - and then what you've saved, treat yourself. That's my motto!
Wrapping presents in my head is always much more enjoyable than when reality sets in. The sellotape ends up with strands of hair stuck in between that and the wrapping paper, the string tied bows look a little lifeless after a while, and the neat folds in the corners become more crumpled as time goes by. But I'll always persist, and when the assortment of presents come together for people, I feel chuffed as punch with them.
So much so that I pride myself with a huge mug of hot chocolate, I open a box of chocolates and I stick on my favourite Christmas film - The Holiday.
Because it just never gets old. Especially with Mr Bean. Actually all of it.
"Eight is a lot of legs, David"

"Christmas waves a magic wand over the world and behold,
everything is softer and more beautiful."

Once upon a time, I wore dresses all day everyday. And then like everything, things just fizzle out and I found true love with jeans. Because jeans just go with everything, and are much easier to throw on in the morning when you want an extra five minutes in bed, and seem to create a completely different look each time. They go with everything. And I suppose if you've some junk in your trunk then y'know, we flaunt it. Kinda.
But since I felt like I was changing this year, as the months have gone by, I've found dresses creeping back into my daily life. Still belted, and complete with my leather jacket and boots of course.
Because we can't change EVERYTHING!
I like my dress sleeves long, my necks high and nipped in at the waist on occasion. I'm also partial to a pocket or two making any dress with a pocket, a beautiful winner in my eyes.
I mean, it's not like I put anything in said pockets, but there's nothing more satisfying than standing in a cute little dress (attempting and most likely failing, to look cute), and slipping your hands gently into your pockets - because, well, it solves all problems for awkward hands.
I also like my dresses to consist of blacks and greys and navy's and snippets of white, but this month green is drawing out to me. It's a step up from my current wardrobe, whereas three years ago this JOY dress would have fitted in perfectly to my bright and bold print clothes, but alas, colour and print is here. And i'm overJOYed.
Get it? Yeah, I thought that pun was great and couldn't help myself.
But seriously, I'm so chuffed with this little number that I think I've worn it more than acceptable in the past month.
It's those pockets, I tell you.
They've gotten me weak at the knees.
Maybe it's time I find something else to get excited about - pocket obsessions may be borderline peculiar.
And the reason i'm still single...
Dress: JOY* | Belt: Warehouse | Boots: New Look

Because, sometimes it's easy to forget our good qualities in the jumble of insecurities and worries. And even if it takes us a little longer to think of our strengths compared to our weaknesses, we all have them. They're in there somewhere - we just need to find them and display them with pride.

My nickname is Katy Mitten. That's pretty awesome - and it's a great conversation starter.

I can make people laugh. Whether they're laughing at me, or with me, it puts a smile on people's faces. A genuine smile I think too.

I have cracking ankles. Like seriously good ones I think. You know when people say relationship goals? Yeah, I'm ankle goals.

I'd drive around the world for a friend whenever they needed me (well, money's tight but I'd try my hardest), whatever time of day. I have so so much time for them.

I care for people. For everyone. A lot. Maybe more than I should, but I do.

My personality is like a chameleon's. I'm good in most situations and can adapt myself to blend in well. Unless you started being sick, then we'd have an issue, and I'm not such a good chameleon then.

I'm pretty humble. I think most people know that.

I'm a cheap date. "Oh what do I want to drink? Yeah, I'll just have a bottle of cider and that's me done. Don't worry, I'll still dance on the tables for you.."

My ears are good at listening (if you talk loud enough that is), and my shoulder is perfect for crying on. I may cry with you, but I can provide you with ice cream and marshmallows and make a sad situation better.

I do really good facial expressions when I'm talking about things. Expressions that fascinate people when I'm telling an interesting story. And a not so interesting story at that.

"Self confidence is the most attractive quality a person can have. 
How can anyone see how great you are if you can't see it yourself?"

The last time I wrote Five Happy Things, I felt low. And I felt lost - and I suppose in a sense, I have done right up until this week yet writing down a few things that really do make me feel better, they help. In that moment. And they make you remember that actually, sometimes we can be a little lost and that's OK but those simple pleasures will always be there.
And they are. And actually over the last few days, I feel like I've so many things I could write down, but I'm going with my top five. The random five at that too.

Pre Birthday Celebrations. Because everyone enjoys their birthday, and even more so when you get to spend it with your favourite people. And what's even better is when you drag it out over five days. Yep, we're talking various different meals, a girly sleepover, cheese and fizz with family times and a day of shopping for yourself. Now THAT does make me happy.

Reindeer Ornaments. I can't help it. I don't know why I'm so into them. But reindeer ornaments at Christmas have me contemplating buying the whole shop. I want them everywhere in my house and I want to take them all home. They make me smile, and they look cute. Especially the one that's wearing a cable knit.

Messages. A perculiar one maybe, but receiving messages off the girls when you least expect it - a simple "thinking of you" and a pick me up tweet really helped me realise that they are always there. And somehow they just know when to send a message at the right time. I love technology for being able to contact them whenever and wherever.

Overdue Catch Ups. That friend you've not seen in ages and tell yourself you'll message her soon? Do it. Because actually, you pick up exactly where you left off three years ago, and you wonder why you left it so long. And when they turn up at just the right time with flowers and a bottle of fizz, that's why you remember they're your friend.

Writing Lists. I can't stop myself. I write lists every morning at work, and re-write it by lunchtime. I write lists in my notepads of things to do, and I write lists on my phone. I really like writing lists. I may not get everything on my list done, and it may be pointless. But they make me feel organised.
Nobody needs to know I'm not.

"We cannot control the wind, but we can direct the sail"
When I was younger and I heard my mama constantly talking about the weather, supermarket deals or how quickly the year just seems to go, I vowed to myself never to do that as I grow up.
But it's inevitable - because as you get older, the weather plays a big part in your day (and is always the reason behind your current cold), supermarket deals really DO need discussing and tracking down, and well, time genuinely does seem to fly by as the years go on. How? Why?
And this year has certainly done just that.
It's December. Already. Which means, regardless of if we want to admit it or not, Christmas is looming. Fast!
I suppose I'm a scrooge when it comes to Christmas decorations. I mean I'm not the classiest girl in the world (you should see where I live...), but I can't help find the decorations a little tacky, like too tacky. And I have a rule that Christmas doesn't begin until after my birthday (it's the 7th FYI) but this year I broke that rule. I decided on a tree within seconds whilst browsing a charity shop at the weekend (it was THREE pound, I couldn't resist), half attempted to put some lights on, before observing it as a masterpiece,  sprinkled some tinsel about that I once hated and placed my love for reindeer ornaments on my fireplace. And declared it Christmas in my house.
For me, December (and January, and February.. And maybe up until April) is about hot chocolate. All kinds of hot chocolate too. Some days I like it with cream and marshmallows - a double helping of marshmallows is the best, but other evenings, there is nothing quite as satisfying as curling up in bed with the throw, the candles lit and indulging in a really rich creamy hot chocolate. And you know what's even wilder? When you dunk in a Lindt* reindeer to the hot liquid watching it melt. And I don't even have to share with anyone...!
I realise now why Christmas jumpers were invented, baggy ones at that - it's so that we can eat as much food as we want during the month and not even have to feel guilty. Wherever you walk, we are surrounded by delicious food, and it always seems so much more appealing to want to buy everything and hibernate in your house devouring every crumb. When this Harrods hamper* turned up on my doorstep (and after a very un-strong like time carrying it up the stairs) I wanted to throw a party right there and then and share the biscuits and delicious cheese twists with anyone and everyone. Because who doesn't like chutney on their cheese twists and washed down with some delightful fancy tea and finished off with one, or two triple chocolate chunk biscuits.

I think Christmas might be a good one this year...

Today was a weird day. A hard day.
It was one that I'd almost had, but knew it would still be there and would happen one day.

Today I, we, handed over the keys to what once was home.
The home that was actually mine, ours. The place that we had put so much time, care and love into.
The place that started a new life, and stored memories. Saw laughter, saw tears, saw fun and games, saw arguments, saw frustration and most of all saw two people try to love.
But like certain things in life, they come to an end.
And this was one of them.

And although I knew it was coming, I knew it would happen, I guess I put it to the back of my head and made myself believe that it wasn't such a big deal. Because was it? It's only bricks and wallpaper (and lots of white paint) at the end of the day.. But then, it always felt so much more than that. So much more than just a house.
It was the place we really got to call home. Our home. And the home where we learned so much more in life, from wallpapering a room to changing a plug fuse. Where we welcomed everybody in with laughter filling the rooms and memories being treasured. Where we brought up our cats with love and affection and saw them grow from sweet kittens to big cats. Where we grew as adults, good human beings. The home that was pleasing on the eye, with white interior throughout and accents of grey and blush tones and the home that made us feel proud. A huge sense of pride for what we'd built. And I suppose, when you think back on these things, it does become almost harder to let go.
Because as humans, people, we treasure so much.
But something about this brings difference to whenever I've left somewhere else. Difference to how I felt when I left my family home of 23 years. I was sad, I didn't want my parents to sell even though it was for the right reasons. And packing up the family home and memories into boxes wasn't easy but within weeks, it became clear how easy it was to move on. The only home I'd ever known was just a memory. A fond memory, but a place that had easily been forgotten. I didn't feel sadness when I drove past it anymore, and I didn't feel the urge to move back in. I drove past it with a sense of warmth. There were good times there.
Yet, this place. Our place. It feels different to that.
I drive past it with sadness in my eyes. I think back to how I could have changed it, and whether it could have made us happier even though I knew in my heart, that not just a home could make us happy. I packed up those boxes with my stomach feeling tight wondering if I'd ever see this place again. And I left it with an empty feeling.
An empty feeling that I've never felt before.
It feels very different.

And even after walking out of that door nearly nine months ago, it doesn't get any easier.

I walked out of that door with my belongings in the van, and said goodbye as though it would be the last time. But deep down in my heart I knew it wasn't the last time, and maybe that was a coping mechanism. I had that small thing to hold onto, for comfort. There was still that last little connection holding us together even though we knew it wasn't right anymore.
It kept us going whilst dealing with heartbreak.
It brought us down whenever the house fell through.
It gave us sadness when we thought back on those times.
It made us feel warm knowing what once was.
And now? It brings reality.

The door to our house that once was, is time for new memories.
The door to our house that once was, is now someone else place to create love.
The door to our house that once was, is no more.

That finally, with the hardest and saddest feeling in our hearts and the courage in our minds, to close the chapter on this part of our lives together.
And move forward separately.

With no going back.

This is really it. This is to new beginnings.

I think it's fair to say that we've well and truly got Winter settling in.. I mean it's made it's arrival with it's wind and sudden change of temperature and I don't quite think it's going anywhere anytime soon either. So with the heating on, the curtains closed tightly and the kettle boiling, me and Runkle are preparing to hibernate under the covers most nights this week.
That's one good thing about the cold, Runkle likes to curl up underneath the duvet.
Although, I'm not quite so happy about being big spoon...
Boots are worn whatever the weather in my eyes, and there was always this tradition of buying a new pair each month. Most likely in the form of them being either black, brown or stone. This year however, I've made it my attempt to go back through my boots I currently own - and I'm giving them all some extra love. It's like having brand new shoes all over again! These ones are this months favourite.
Time seems to be going incredibly fast lately, and with leaving the house when it's dark and coming home to darkness is one of the not so great things about Winter. And with the confusion of it always being dark, I never leave the house without a watch. I've always been an Olivia Burton girl but Daniel Wellington may have just pulled it out of the bag with this beautiful tan strap watch,  and has certainly attracted some fair comments from family members asking to borrow it. I told them to shove off and get their own - and kindly offered them a 15% discount code (littlewinter15!) so I don't have to share with anyone.
Everywhere you turn in my house there are candles. Candles lit on the fireplace, tealights filling up the cupboards and various scents lurking in places you never knew existed is how it works in my house through Winter. And I'm fairly adamant that they DO give off heat and can warm up a room. With the help of a radiator. And the door closed. Oh and you've got to light about twenty in one room...
Thick and snuggly jumpers are the go to during those cold mornings. Nothing beats popping on your best winter knit (minus the cat hair...) and heading to work for a day of warmth and being extra comfortable. I like my knits to be big and slouchy but fitted on the sleeves to not let any heat out. Oh and preferably black - but this old green thing? I can't quite get rid of it just yet. It nearly, very nearly makes up for not being able to wear my duvet.

And throw in a scarf for good measure. Blanket scarves in particular.
The best creation ever.
There is no right or wrong way to be doing life ever at all. What you're doing right now? Yeah, that's your life. And you're doing just fine. Honestly.

You will never be a burden to your friends. Ever.

Those mean comments people make about you? That is THEIR problem. Not yours.

Learning to love yourself. Remembering that YOU are awesome. Fret less about it and find out what you like about yourself. Then embrace it.

People around you, your parents, your family and your friends - yeah, they've had a similar experience. They know what you're going through. They get it.

A problem shared, really is a problem halved.

Things will bite you on the bum, people will bite you on the bum (maybe literally too..), and life will sometimes test you, but picking yourself up is one of the strongest things that you'll ever do.

Be proud of yourself. Because you're not doing as bad as you may think.

Wine. It really is the best medicine.

There will be days when you just want to eat all the ice cream in your freezer. And then think that telling people will make you look super independent and like no one can tell you otherwise. Yeah. Maybe don't do that so much.

You'll cry a lot. Yes, even over simple things.

It's OK to still ask for advice and listen to what people think. It's OK to question choices and thoughts, but never ever let someones' opinion overshadow yours. If you make that choice, Stick to it. Own it.

Confidence is sexy.

That sometimes, life doesn't always work out for you as your other girl friends. You may be going down different paths but none of those paths are wrong. And they'll still be there.

Spend less time trying to be nice to those who don't matter, and focus more on those who do matter.

Take time out for yourself. Do what makes you happy.

What you're doing or have done, may not always be right or wrong. It may not be the wisest idea you've had, but you've gone with your instinct - and in that moment there was a reason as to why you did it. Learn from your instincts. Learn from your decisions.

Girlfriends. They're the absolute best.

Invite your grandparents over for coffee. They'll really appreciate it. And listen to your parents. Because they really are always right (most of the time anyway...)

Don't text that guy when you're drunk. Whatever you do.

Eat the pizza. And eat the cake. Unless you have an intolerance... 
Then don't eat the pizza. Or the cake.

Self awareness. That's one thing many of us lack.
I know I lack it.

When people praise me on the work I've done, I brush it off as though it's just my job.
When people thank me for things, I tell myself that they're just saying that because.
When people pay me a compliment, I think they feel sorry for me and ultimately are trying to appear nice.
When people tell me that I'm not doing so badly, I wonder if they're trying to lift my spirits.
When people say nice things to me, I'm adamant it's just words.
When people want me to help them because they believe in me, I tell them I'm only average.
And when people ask me about myself, I'm never kind enough.
I talk down about myself. A lot in fact.

I don't ever think of myself as someone who has done great things and I don't believe that I am the person that people appear to see me as. What if I can't be what someone wants me to be, or expects from me? Is this because I'm scared of failing people? Failing things? And so, by putting everything down as just being below average, just doing a mediocre job, wouldn't set myself up for failing? There wouldn't be the opportunity to come crashing down when the goal post isn't set so high.There can only be improvements, and resulting in pleasing people more surely?
But then am I not pushing myself enough? Am I not testing my own self worth? And by telling people confidently that I can do this, even if I doubt myself in my head, will only challenge me to prove myself wrong. And maybe learn that I can do more than I think. Push myself further.
Maybe I don't believe in myself?
Maybe I don't think I'm anything more than the other average girl in the world. And sometimes, actually most of the time, I'm happy with that. I don't feel like I need goals, and targets to be driven or successful because in reality, I'm not a driven person. And what is a successful person? Surely successful is what you make of it. I'm the one that answers the Five Year Plan question with a simple "Just to be somewhere that I'm happy with", because honestly? That's about it for me. I have no goals.
Now whether that's a bad attitude to have in this modern world, I'm unsure but maybe, just maybe, there are people in this life who are happy just being. And take each day, and each challenge and hurdle as it comes.
I thrive on others, my energy comes to the surfaces around loved ones, and I constantly feel the need to be loved (who doesn't?), but maybe I thrive on it so much because they push me without me realising. Because I feel they need to push me, otherwise, if they don't - who will?
And what am I pushing for? To be better? More successful?
To be better at what?

To be better at noticing my own self worth. I think that's a start.

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. 
If you love what you are doing, you will be successful"

When the sun was shining through my window last Sunday morning, and the blue sky was showing off, I knew how I wanted to spend my day. I popped on my coat (before taking it back off a short while later), grabbed my trainers and took a refreshing walk around Wicksteed Park fascinated that it was the start of November, yet felt more like September. I've told myself that I'm going to walk places more..
But it's getting colder, so maybe I'll start in the new year...
A few weeks ago whilst pottering around town, with a few hours to kill, I decided on a whim that I wanted to go in search of new magazines. To read (or just skim through), but honestly? Because I wanted a magazine pile of quirky prints in my living room - I wanted my guests to think I was hip, and I read (I do read, kinda) and I keep hold of fun things. And actually, I found myself really enjoying Oh Comely. So much so that I bought the next issue.
I mean, they look great together now... (I'm kidding! Kinda..)
There is always time for a Prosecco and Elderflower night (fairly sure I talk about Elderflower than I do my cat at the moment). And it's made 100 times better when there's Camembert involved, Spent with good company, Gossip Girl on TV and laughter filling the room - THAT is how I did Saturday last weekend. The good life.
Another weekend, another spontaneous trip to the seaside for chips in a cone. Because chips in a cone are much much better than chips in a box right? And if you ask me, that smell of the British seaside, with its cold wind in your hair, the salty taste of the sea  and seagull poop (I went there!) doesn't quite compare to the beaches abroad..
I mean, I know I'd rather be sunbathing in a bikini than getting wet seaweed off my feet, but you know, fudge and candy floss make up for it so I can't complain.
OH THAT FACE! I've been in and out of my house all week, and haven't spent much time with this big belly. But one thing I do know, is that the moment he steps outside he becomes the laziest animal in the entire planet. He'll take himself off up the tree, and perch himself on a branch for the next eight hours of work...
Now behind closed doors? That's a completely DIFFERENT story.
On Sunday, mama and I took a last minute trip to Brighton to see the brother. We caught the train super early, spent three hours talking life, before spending the next few days strolling along the front (I say strolling loosely because the three of them have much longer legs than me so what felt like an amble for them was certainly a marathon for me and my little legs...) with the wind in our hair and tea and cake on the horizon. That night consisted of some incredible Mexican food (La Choza - you must go!), Elderflower Cider, Motown singing and some family decision swiping on Tinder (mama loved THAT part!).
If there's one thing I like, it's spending a Monday morning by the beach. And shopping of course!
And those fun weekends aren't stopping anytime soon...

"Get yourself back out there. On that dating scene".. That's what they said.
"Try Internet dating. You won't exactly find anyone at the vets or down the cheese aisle" They said.
"You'll be single forever when they see you like cats" They said.
That word I never thought I'd ever come across. I don't date. I don't go to fancy restaurants or pretend to drink martinis. I don't take long walks in the park and I don't have a wardrobe of bodycons for the occasion.
I hang out with my cat. I eat lots of cheese. I like watching films under the fur throw.
And I like sitting about in my knickers.
So is a dating app REALLY that ready for me. I don't think my brain is quite...

What happens if they don't get my facial expressions?
They might find me weird?
Maybe I'm not as advertised with my pictures?
Will they find me boring?
I wonder how they'll react when I tell them I like cats. Like really like cats.
Will I make them laugh? With me? And not at me.
I wonder if anyone here knows me? Or even them?
Am I too nice?
What happens if they're disappointed when they meet me?
Will they end up seeing me naked in the future?
OH GOLLY. But what happens if I'm single forever?

What happens if I don't like them, but I'm too scared to leave the date?
I'm too nice to get up and take an emergency call.
Real life isn't like the movies.

I'll just stick it out. I get to finish my pizza at least...

My weekends are always planned around visiting friends. And full of food, drinks and catching up in our pyjamas. And a few weekends ago was no different when I packed up my car and turned up in Essex a couple of hours later with a bottle of fizz, some flowers that looked like cabbages (they were cute honestly!) and was greeted by Polly.
After a quick snoop around her house (I can't help it. I'm one of those people who looks in everyones fridges..), and a big squidge with her cute little cat Dave, we whizzed over to Southend for some pretty pale looking chips, a wander around the town and a cold ice cream on a very cold beach front. Because, English seaside!
We spent that night catching up, and laughing over embarrassing and awkward stories on all our parts. We ate some pretty tasty Thai food and had endless glasses of Prosecco and cider. Nights like these with company, whether it new or old is literally one of my most favourite things to do. Especially when there's cats in the house too!
On Sunday morning we scrubbed up my ultimate breakfast (soon enough I'm going to have to STOP eating this breakfast every weekend, just not yet!) because when there's cheese in the house, cheese must be eaten on a Sunday morning! And drank lots of tea whilst watching trashy TV and laughing over the night before's stories.
And of course no weekend could be complete without a picture of a truly awesome cat, Dave! His fluffly little face and those cute paws had me itching to take him home all weekend.
I mean, surely Runkle needs a friend like Dave right?
But if I snuck Dave out of the house, I'd have to take Polly too.

I'd be OK with that. She's awesome!
Just like everybody else, sometimes we have down days, or even weeks. And last week was just that.
The house finally sold, with the exchanging taking place last week and with it now being a new chapter, its fair to say that it's felt strange. Those months of having to talk negotiations, make decisions, all whilst trying to begin again sometimes takes its toll, because we're only human.
We have feelings.
I felt a sense of weirdness. Calmness. And I felt reality. But also that life really has started again. And I'm finally ready for that. I want adventures, and new exciting things. I want different feelings and exciting opportunities.
And it seems like the perfect time to start again.
So I'm dusting myself off from my bed sheets that I've hidden away under a little bit this week, and I'm reminding myself of things that have made me happy in the past seven days..

Fresh Flowers. When mama surprised me with some flowers the other evening, because she just knew. That's what makes me happy. I like flowers in my house. And I also like my mama. A lot.

Spontaneous Trips. On Saturday I didn't want to sit in, I wanted to do something - and after a quick message to my cousin we were heading to the seaside within half hour. With our coats and scarves in tow we walked along the beach and found a spot to talk, laugh, reminisce and cry, with a cone of chips in one hand and a tasty ice cream in the other, whilst looking out at the calm and peaceful horizon. I could spend hours there.

Bed Sheets. Sometimes I think we forget just how much we love our own bed. I know I love mine, especially with fresh bedding, lots of cushions, a big warm throw and a mug of hot chocolate resting carefully on top of the sheets on a dark evening and getting lost in a book (that we're still working through). Bliss.

Pimms Cider. Tried and tested. And approved. A lot! Pass me a box of this next time please!

Girlfriends. Because girlfriends really and truly are the best medicine. Whether they're standing at my door (or letting me into my own home..), meeting me for coffee or even at the other end of Whatsapp, they're just there. Their patience, wisdom, advice and jokes are never missed and I genuinely have all the time in the world for them.
I'm still working on a way to get them to live in my house for good. But there's a few obstacles to get thought first.
Starting with their equally nice partners. And the miles between us.

Ladies, you know who you are.
You're the best fruits I could ever have picked.


Whether you like cats or not, there is no denying that this picture is cute.
This handsome chap is so handsome.
And you know what? He's all mine.

I like his face.
I like the way he looks at me in the morning, happy that I'm finally awake to fuss him.
I like the way that he greets me at the door at the end of the day, ready to curl up with me.
I like the way he sits on my chest and looks at me hoping I'm OK.
I like the way he perches on the bath, trying to keep me company.
I like the way he meows. It's not normal. But its his.
I like the way that he just knows things.
I like the way that he's like me. He's a little special.

And I like the way most of all, that he's not a normal cat.
He's my cat.
There's not many places in the world that I'm itching to get my little (big) bum too. I mean, of course if you're wishing to take me to the Maldives or America, then you know, my bags are packed ready. But I've never really wanted to go somewhere in particular. Until a few years ago, when one place stuck caught my eye. A country of sharp contrasts. A place where fire and ice co-exist.
Something about Iceland just really appeals to me, whether it's catching the Northern Lights in all it's absolute beauty, spending an afternoon soaking in the Blue Lagoon with a view or hiding out in a log cabin with a warm fire and some hot cider. Watching the clear sky from afar.
But like life, Iceland must wait.
George at Asda however, cannot wait. And they've came up with this incredible new collection which brings countries from all over the world, to our homes.
And if you ask me, that's a winner.
I picked some pieces from the Luna range, with the thought of recreating Iceland indoors. Just without the beautiful scenery to look at. And instead getting Runkle and his not so beautiful bum to look at.
Yeah. He likes sitting on my chest at night, padding on the Damask duvet set. Facing away from me..
For months I've wanted a new light, but I think I've learnt that I'm fussy with lighting.
I mean, it's not that I don't like many lights and lamps, it's just that there's never been any that seem RIGHT.
And then I spied this cute one, with it's mason jar style base. Admittedly, I took off the tassel because, fussy! And after two weeks of thinking no light bulbs actually work in this (thanks mama for just putting the right one in...), it's the perfect addition to my bedside table.
No room in my house, or anyone's house for that matter, should be without some form of ornament. A pointless ornament if you wish. And this was no exception.
My mind has been debating a real grown up bike for over a year now (that means if I'm still wanting it, I'm totally OK to get one now yes?), and so I couldn't resist this metal bike standing proud on my fireplace. And it may be pointless. And people may not like it. But I like pointless things people don't like.
And no bed is a bed without cushions. Lots of cushions.
I chose the grey cushion to keep with the grey bedding, and the faux fur, because, it's fluffy! And you can bet your bottom dollar that I then added three more cushions to my bedroom that night, and snuggled right on in with them.
Because if you can't have ten hundred cushions on your bed when you're single? Then when can you!
Now, if you don't mind, I've got some marshmallows to toast over a log fire, some star gazing to be done in my pyjamas and a cold and Wintery husky sleigh ride to be planned.
Oh wait. I don't have a fire, it's a little cloudy to see the stars tonight and I guess Runkles not really tough enough to pull me on a sledge I don't own (even if he's a little tubby).
I suppose, my imagination will have to do for now...
And my incredibly cosy bedroom.

I like sleep. And I like my bed. A lot.
I also like the mornings, because weirdly it's another day. Another day for opportunities, adventure, new things and a chance to see people (I like people a lot too, but that's a whole other story) and make memories.
BUT there's one thing I don't quite like.
And it's waking up when the dark mornings are still about.
You see, I don't really sleep as much as I probably should. Probably because my mind seems to always be in over drive with thoughts..
"Did I lock my front door? What if someone tried to kill me, I'd be dead for days?"
"Do I need to get some more cheese in, I've only got two blocks and a halloumi pack left..."
"I hope I didn't upset someone today for speaking"
"Did my bum REALLY look big in that dress today?"
Either that, or my head is in the fridge enjoying a chunk of cheese at midnight (it totally happens). But last week, after finding it even more difficult to get up than usual, and with my excuse that "since living alone, it's been harder getting up without anyone waking me" running a little thin, I took matters into my own hands. I made myself sleep better.
And with the help of Victoria, here are my tips on how I got a better nights sleep.

A soak in the bath - I'm a little routine in the fact that I have a bath every night. Most nights before bed (sometimes I rebel and bath straight after work), I love nothing more than lighting some candles, turning on my Cloud playlist and soaking in the bubbles of all bubbles. It definitely leaves me feeling calm, and clean. And ultimately cosy for bed.

Blackout Time - This is always a big tip, and one I am useless at because, WHATSAPP groups! I mean, I don't want to miss out on juicy information, or pointless emoji chat. But last week, I waved goodbye at a reasonable time, and instead opted for a book under the covers which in fairness, made me sleepier. Let's just say, I've tried reading every night but I don't seem to be getting that far in...

Fresh bedding and clean pyjamas - There is nothing quite like getting in a fresh bed with clean and nice smelling pyjamas right? Most nights I'll sleep in a vest and my knickers because I end up tangled in the duvet, but on those really cold evenings, Esprit have the best and softest jersey bottoms to keep your legs toasty under the covers. And are always a win for those mornings when you have to get out of bed.

Lavender Scents - Lavender is my favourite smell, and you can be sure that there will be a candle lit by my bedside most evenings and last year Rosie made me the nicest lavender scent spray which is nearly coming to an end. A few spritz of that on my pillow at night really does help soothe and calm you as you close your eyes counting to sheep. Or doughnuts if you're me.

A tired cat - Many people tell me I should shut Runkle out of my bedroom. Maybe I should. But I don't want to. But wearing up all his energy in the day definitely helps for a more peaceful night. I mean, I love cuddles at 5am with him, but sometimes, just sometimes it's such a better sleep when he's sprawled out at the end of the bed ALL night.

And you know what?
I may still have struggled to get out of bed (I blame the arrival of those dark mornings - I mean seriously, who wants to wake up when it's still dark and dreary outside?)
BUT struggling aside, I did feel fresher.
I felt more alert (not sure my brain was any cleverer!) and more ready.
So maybe it's time to put that phone to rest at a reasonable time more.

Although, sneezing and toilet mishap stories on Whatsapp, simply cannot be ignored.
There's not a day that goes by when I don't search into Google "why does my cat..." 
I mean, I want to know why he looks at me in that particular way, I wonder why he's being so needy all of a sudden and I just felt the need to find out today why he keeps nipping my legs late at night (don't worry, it doesn't mean he fancies me), because, I guess my cat sometimes does perculiar things.
And I want to know that he's normal.
Nope, he's certainly a little special. I guess it's true that pets are like their owners..
But there isn't half a load of rubbish on the internet too. One website suggested that in order to stop your cat being your shadow, you should merely try a squirt gun.
Because that's the right answer...
I don't want to squirt my cat with water in the hope he'll back off. Give me all the attention you need CAT.
I like cats too much.
And I'm breaking those rumours on the internet. I'm doing it - and i'm putting the world straight.
The world need to know, what it's really like living with a cat.
Actually, what its like living with Runkle.
The cat who has basically become like a needy boyfriend, who won't leave you alone, in recent months.

Cats like cuddles.
Yes. Cats do like cuddles. But cats like cuddles when you're trying to change the bed, or when you're in the bath trying to wash your hair. Oh and when you're cooking dinner on the hob? Yeah, cats really like trying to cuddle you then.
I like cat cuddles. I like cat cuddles in the evening, when I'm relaxed and watching TV.
I think Runkle likes cat cuddles at 5am though.

Cats are small so they don't take up much room.
Really? I mean, have you seen the size of Runkle? He may not be big in comparison to another creature, but I'm fairly sure that when the light switches off in my bedroom at night, he somehow grows in size. Only for the evening though. Because he sure takes up three quarters of the bed.
It's cool though, I like being curled up by my pillow anyway...

Cats are independent. They don't need much attention.
I think I missed this memo... Because last time I checked, Runkle wants all of my attention, pretty much all the time. He doesn't want to go out today, so I leave him in. I come home and he's basically been sat itching to go outside. I kindly open the door and send him on his way (if his paws worked better, I'd give him a lunchbox of sarnies) and I continue my daily activites. Ten minutes later, I hear a noise. A WHINE. A SHRIEK. 
Oh, that's him wanting to come back inside now. Right.
That peace lasted a while.

Cats care about the people around them.
It's a cold evening outside, and I'm just getting into the bath for a relaxing soak and within minutes I am greeted by the face of fear. The ears are pinned back, and before you know it, he's jumped on the side of the bath wanting you to leave the scary tub of water.
And he'll meow. He'll meow and tap until you do so. But that's only because he cares...

Cats understand your need for sleep.
Because cats sleep so much in the day, they get it. They understand and they agree that your bed is the comfiest place on the planet. That we all need sleep.
They get it so much, that they then like it when you're in bed with them. When you've squeezed yourself in at the end. They like it so much, that actually, they want to play. And they want to move up and down the bed every hour on the hour. Oh and when you have to get up for work? It's OK, they've got it, they are the security guard on duty for the day. And request you to get dressed as quietly as possible please.

Cats will pad you when they like you.
That's so sweet. It's nice to know that my cat thinks I need a massage on my chest, oh and maybe a slight head rub too. And finished up with a little face pad - because my cheeks are just full of pores.
I would just prefer my massages when it isn't 3am and dark outside...

Cats love adventures and the outdoors.
Some cats like adventures. Some cats like chasing birds and hiding in the bushes. Runkle likes pretending to be a bird and sitting on the birds nest high in the tree.
And Runkle likes doing this until he can't get down anymore and realises that his stomach isn't quite as sturdy to hold him - but he's so calm. He just wants you to panic.
And anyway, he knows you love him, so you've probably got pet insurance for him. So he'll hang back for a little longer.

Cats like a safe place.
Great. I'll buy him a new bed, so that he knows it's his, and I'll make sure his litter tray is in a nice place in the bathroom - so he feels just like a human.
Oh coming home from work, and seeing his face is just lovely. Wait, what's that? Oh a nice present in his new bed. But at least the litter tray is clean which is nice.
Nope, a present in the bath too.

Cats are dull.
WRONG. Cats are not dull.
My cat definitely isn't dull.
In fact, come over to my house and I'm sure Runkle will make you change your mind...
He's a pretty special little thing indeed.
And I wouldn't have him and his peculiar behaviour and pot belly, any other way.

Post in collaboration with Argos Pet Insurance.
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