Little Winter used to be a place of appreciating the smallest things in life, and bringing out the beauty of everyday things, for others to see. After my last post felt a little sad (it was honest, real life. But also THANKYOU!), I wanted to write this post, for two reasons:
To cheer Little Winter back up
And to make me remember those small things in life that we sometimes forget.
Inspired by the beautiful Victoria (she really is awesome!) and with the last week being a whirlwind full of romantic weddings, laughter, tears, dancing, drinking, and a day sat in my pants, I'm giving love and appreciation to five things that made me smile.

Runkle. I always have a lot of love for cats, but Runkybum in the last few weeks has been such a little prince. He always seems to be there at the right time (actually he always seems to be there at everytime...!) And I really don't mind when he flops on my face at 2am, making me move to one side of the bed so he can snuggle on in with me.

Fresh Flowers. It's no secret that I bought flowers once a week, and with moving into a new place, I've had a flurry of flowers and plants. This week was the first week I hadn't freshened up the house, but when I got home from a weekend away, my mama had put some fresh daffodils in a bottle on my windowsill. Mama is a sweet one.

Reading. I have a handful of books and it was always enough. I get easily distracted by everything else, so find reading a book only possible when I'm on holiday somewhere. This week I've made it my mission to open the pages of 'The Wrong Knickers' and find the warmest and cosiest spot on my snuggle to get lost into the words.

Lighter Evenings. There are times when I enjoy nothing more than coming home and closing the curtains and turning the heating on. But right now, I love arriving home and seeing the sun shining into my living room until 8pm with my evenings feeling longer. And the perfect excuse for drinking a fruity cider!

A Busy Diary. I like being busy. When I'm busy I think I want to slow down, but actually, I just like being busy. My diary has been full for the past two months, and I'm trying to fill up my weekends with friends and family all over the country. I like having things to look forward too, and faces to catch up with is the best kind of medicine!

Tell me. What things made you happy this week?


It seems I've managed to go a few weeks, where I've let Little Winter slip by. And honestly? I haven't even felt guilty about it..
It's not that I don't want to write on here, it's just that I don't know what to write.
I feel empty, yet as though I'm a completely different person to who I was this time last year. I'm learning so much about myself, and the world and I'm even figuring out how to build furniture. To some that may be nothing.
To me, that's an achievement. One that I should probably write on my CV.
Even if it means leaving out the part that I messed up.

I'm not going to sit here and say things are great, but I'm also not going to sit here and say things have been awful. They've just been, in a sense... Strange. Very very strange. My friends have been absolutely incredible, and it's times like these that you sit back and remember why they're your friends.
The fact that they'll sit up texting me till silly o'clock when I'm feeling lonely.
That they're always trying to find a way to make me laugh.
How they don't mind when I cry, sit in my pants and question everything. And they sit beside me, and listen.
How they'll never judge. Instead share their experiences in a warming way.
That they make me make plans with them.
And that, they're just there. Like all the time. And I'm really grateful for that. They're good eggs, actually the best eggs that you'd get in an egg box.
Maybe I could marry them instead?
My family have also been supportive, offering to help me move furniture, teach me how to put up shelves, and checking in for coffee. It's sweet. It's weird. It's hard. And I didn't realise you could feel all the emotions at the same time. All at once.
But you can. And I was told that it's OK to feel all of them.
At the same time.
It's normal.

There are days when I feel independent, when I feel like I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. I tell myself that maybe I could book that holiday somewhere on my own, because that would be an awesome thing to do. I tell myself that I'm not such a bad person, and that I've got this. I force myself to do things I wouldn't normally. I remind myself that my new place is nice, it's fresh and cosy, and it's me. And I tell myself that I'll be alright.
I will.
But there are also days when I feel like the world is coming down on me. I feel like the simple things of someone playing with your hair in bed are the most important ones in life. I remind myself of what life was like two years ago, and what I had, could have had. I think about if I'll ever feel truly happy again. I worry about somebody else seeing my naked body. And I question why the hell I'm still sitting in my pants at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon and wonder how my future is going to pan out.
Those are the days I don't like.
Those are the days that I want to curl up in bed with my little prince, and wake up to something better. To not feel these mixed emotions. All rolled into one.
And to only feel excited for the future.
To feel challenged and ready for whats ahead of me.
To want to be stepping into the unknown.
Because that's what I want to feel.
Not this.
This, heartbreak.
But I guess this is what comes with heartbreak. And yes, I am hurting too. People forget that I am hurting just as much as the other person. But I am.
I hurt too when I'm deleted off Facebook which I hope is to help the other person. I hurt when I'm asking myself if I'm such a bitch and a horrible person for all of this.
I hurt too when I want to find out if the other person is OK, but know I shouldn't.
I hurt too. And I'm allowed to hurt. I am. I must be.
And it sucks. It's hard.

But it's also life. And I'm only human. But I know I'll get there. Even if my proudest moment some days are just stepping outside my front door.
I know I can do this. I have to do this.
Because there's a whole world out there waiting to be seen.

Just, maybe not today.

There are times when holidays are needed, weekend away are counted down towards and when getaways come at just the right time, and for me, a trip away to Sherwood Forest with Mud House Wines couldn't have come at a better time. Admittedly I am the first to raise my hand at being unfit (as I figured out last weekend) and not so much a fan of the real outdoors (yeah, I like the nice easy, non muddy walks!), but something about what was in store last weekend was too intriguing not too pull out my as-practical-as-could-be boots and warm coat, and pack a bag for a weekend of adventure. And relaxation in a secluded forest, with my cousin.
#TasteForAdventure is all about being outdoors and enjoying the adventure wherever you are. It's a chance to do something different and embrace fresh ideas and with Mud House Wines, their passion is recognised around the world, making consistently beautiful wines for people who seek new experiences. With the founders settling in New Zealand, their passion for adventure shows in the award winning brand. And with a bottle in my backpack, I was ready for a new adventure. Just like John  & Jennifer Joslin did.
We arrived at the resort Friday lunchtime, armed with bags of food and nibbles for the weekend ahead. Once we had checked in at the retreat (it certainly felt like a retreat!), we dumped our belongings into the cabin which was incredibly welcoming and warm (we like warm!), sipped on some fresh berry smoothies before pulling on our comfortable boots ready to hit the outdoors. The British rainy outdoors..
We walked around the enclosed area, taking in sights that both myself and my cousin hadn't experienced in some time. And although the weather would normally make it difficult for us to have even left our own homes, somehow it felt almost peaceful to be out in the open, with a wind blowing on us, and the trees dripping their raindrops onto our coats. It was as if what normally looked like any other forest, became this magical place, with trees that could tell hundreds of stories if they could talk. It was truly wonderful.
After our walk and with us feeling refreshed being outdoors, we headed back to our cabin for a night of movies one after another, plenty of picky foods and a huge amount of chocolate (so huge we couldn't even finish it!). The night was spent cosied up in the robes that were supplied with laughter and tears, and the peaceful and pitch black view of the window looking outside the cabin. With nobody to disturb us, it was so very calming.
 With a good sleep had, our stomachs full to the brim with pancakes and fresh fruit, and a few texts checking whether suede trainers could be cleaned, or if a leather jacket would be OK in the wash, we headed to pick up some bikes for a day of cycling. We'd seen the majority of cyclists covered in mud the day before, however we hadn't quite anticipated just how muddy we would get.
 The first time we got to a muddy puddle with the only option to go through it at speed, we did fail a little and walk around the trail, BUT saying that we carried on. And even embraced the mud. And for someone who hadn't been on a bike in five years, I don't think a six mile ride was too bad, with only one five minute stop to catch my breath. Not sure our bums agreed with us though.. But we did it! Even with muddy covered suede trainers.
After slowly ambling back to the cabin with sore bums, we soon sorted ourselves out with mini eggs and warm showers, before getting dressed to explore the local villages. I love quaint places with character, and we'd seen a pub a village only 10 minutes away, so decided to eat out for the night. We treated ourselves to two courses, before deciding that tiredness had beaten pudding and headed back to the cabin to curl up for our last night.
 By Sunday morning, as we packed up our leftovers and muddy clothes, I realised that maybe I could do more of these types of weekends. With normally being a hot holiday kind of girl, or a lazy weekend wandering quaint lanes with cake and tea in sight, adventure weekends never seemed my thing. But this #TasteForAdventure, only seems like the beginning. A true taste for it. A taste that I now want to don my non-suede trainers, waterproof coat and layers (I tried here, I really did), and head out more into the open, the unknown and do the things that I've never thought about doing before. So thank you Mud House Wines - your taste for adventure not only comes from your bottles, but also your passion.. Here's to embracing fresh ideas and new challenges.

Post in collaboration with Mud House Wines - If you fancy winning a trip New Zealand, then visit Mud House on Facebook.

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