lifestyle
Another month has come and gone. How we are in November already I don't know, but as its the start (ish) of a new month it's time for me to write down my three keys to happiness again. So what have I got to look forward to in November? 


Something to look forward to...

The first thing is my Dad's 60th which is actually tomorrow. We are going out for Chinese food which I am super excited for. On the weekend we're also going to the Bear Grylls Adventure over by the Airport which looks amazing! We will be doing obstacle courses, escape rooms, and even indoor skydiving. It's going to be wild.

Right at the end of the month is the Vuelio Blog Awards. I went a few years back and had a crazy night (see here & here) and I can't wait to do it all again! I've been given a plus 1 this time around so I'm taking my sister and were having a bit of a girly weekend in London which will be really really nice.

Something to be proud of...
So what am I proud of? Well apart from just generally keeping my shit together and staying on top of most things, I finally booked my first solo trip! So I know I haven't got to the scary part yet, but to me just having something booked and knowing there is no going back is a big step. I'm going to Belfast in January for 3 days and I don't have much planned yet so feel free to send me all of your recommendations!

Something to do...
What have I been up to and what am I going to do? Well when I'm not working or studying I've still been blogging (sometimes) and jogging (occasionally). I've been so lucky to have been offered lots of fun bloggy things lately and I still get excited over every single opportunity, even if it does sometimes take me a little while to reply!

I've also mostly been keeping up with jogging although I did manage to tear a muscle which has put me out for a couple weeks. What am I like? But I have been getting better and I've even been enjoying it amazingly!

Here's to a fab November!

Thanks for reading!

If you liked this post don't forget to click here to follow me on Bloglovin!

MY KEYS TO HAPPINESS - NOVEMBER


I did it. I joined the instagram club and took myself off to do a photoshoot with some pumpkins. I'm not even sorry, I actually enjoyed it. Okay so it wasn't the cute little pumpkin patch I imagined it to be but I had a lot of fun and took some fab photos of my friends little girl. Its her first Halloween so we had to do something special!


Since the start of October when photos of perfect girls holding perfectly round pumpkins started to appear on my timeline, I knew I had to get in on the action. It wasn't all that easy to find a pumpkin patch in the Midlands though, there doesn't seem to be that many at all. After what seemed like hours we did eventually track down Pumpkins R Us just down the road in Kenilworth.

It's not the prettiest place for a photoshoot I'll admit, but do you think that stopped us from taking 4000 snaps? Spoiler - it didn't. And we weren't the only ones. There were dozens of parents carefully placing their children and even new born babies on top of various sized pumpkins just to get that special shot. I would usually judge parents for doing weird shit like that but it's exactly what we went there to do. I also made my friends take a million photos of me too, I mean if you don't put it on instagram did it even happen? 


In between our mini photoshoots we did actually pick up a few pumpkins. As tempting as it was to go for a giant one we were all very boring a chose a nice selection of teeny weenie pumpkins that will probably take us about 5 minutes to carve. I also picked up the cutest striped pumpkin and sophie grabbed a handful of miniature ones for the baby. I think she was pretty chuffed with her little pumpkin haul even though I'm sure she had absolutely no clue what was going on.


If you just can't resist doing a little autumn photoshoot of your own, Pumpkins R Us are open from 10am until 7pm everyday, but be warned it gets really busy. We arrived around midday on sunday and by that time it was already rammed! I do think it's well worth a taking trip this halloween though. Whether you've got kids or not it's a bit more fun than rummaging through a supermarket crate trying to find the least bruised pumpkin in the pile!

Thanks for reading!

If you liked this post don't forget to click here to follow me on Bloglovin!


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Want to read more? Here are a few popular posts!




PUMPKIN PICKING

I'm sorry but what happened to September please? That month came and went quicker than my last paycheck! But in all seriousness I cannot believe how fast this year is going, time flies when you're having fun, right? So what fun things am I doing this month to keep me happy? Last month I wrote down my three keys to happiness and now here are my October keys...


Something to look forward to

I had so much to look forward to this month, but I do feel like most of it has already happened now. I've done so SO much fun bloggy stuff in the last few weeks and I don't want it to end! From fancy cocktails at my fave Dirty Martini, to picking out goodies at the new Beauty Outlet, and having a little get together at the Prezzybox Jingle Mingle, I've done it all. 

I've also just booked quite a bit of holiday off work so I am excited to start filling that! I do also have a very exciting trip half planned at the moment that I'm hoping to book in the next week or so! I will reveal all soon!

Something to be proud of

Whilst I was planning this post earlier today I did have to think long and hard about this one. What am I proud of this month? I haven't really done anything major but the more I think about it, the more I am just proud of me right now. I'm getting on with things, I'm smiling more, and I'm crying less. Of course I have down days but they are just so few and far between now. I have moments of just pure overwhelming happiness and its amazing. I'm doing okay.

I've also started exercising more. I know I know, pick your jaw up off the floor, but its true. I've even started jogging(!!!) I'm not going to become a gym bunny anytime soon but I am starting to look after myself a lot more and having the motivation and willpower to do that is something I never really thought I'd have.

Something to do

Well where do I even start with this one? I am just so bloody busy right now. Sometimes it's good busy and sometimes it's just flat out boring, but I have no time for anything either way.

College is eating up a lot of hours with studying, and I'm spending as much free time as I can meeting up with friends, so relaxing isn't exactly something I'm specialising in right now but thats okay.

For the first time in a long time I feel like my life is full and that I am getting somewhere. I've had a bit of a shake up lately but I'm feeling good. I know I am going to live an amazing, beautiful life and I cannot wait to see how it all turns out.

Thanks for reading!

If you liked this post don't forget to click here to follow me on Bloglovin!

MY KEYS TO HAPPINESS - OCTOBER

I recently read that there are three keys to happiness; something to look forward to, something to be proud of, and something to do. Now happiness has not been my strong point lately but I am really really trying. I'm trying to work on myself, my career, and just generally create the Grace I want to be. 

Since hearing about these three keys I've become obsessed, they just make so much sense. So in my quest to be the best, I thought I could round up my own three keys every month and remind myself that I do actually have a lot to be happy about.


So here they are...

Something to look forward to 

I've actually got a lot to look forward to in September. From meeting up with old friends to making new ones, I've been very very social. I used to be a social butterfly in my late teens but I got comfortable with having a few close friends and stopped seeing people regularly. I've made more of an effort these last few months to see my girls and make time for my family, I also have lots of little catchups planned over the coming weeks.

I also have a solo day trip planned which was pretty spontaneous. Anyone who reads my blog will know that travelling is my first love and soulmate, and I won't give up on it now that I'm single. I did plan on going on a short city break by myself this month but I fannied out last minute. I did however book a solo day trip to Leeds which I am very excited/ nervous about.

Something to be proud of 

I started a new job last month and although it was very scary I can honestly say that I'm enjoying it and I'm starting to be pretty good at it too. I was stuck in a rut at my old place as I had no confidence and my anxiety took over my life once again. I wasn't in a great place and I needed to get out.

I started my new adult job a few weeks ago now and I am proud. I am proud of myself for going to an interview, proud for actually getting the job, and proud for taking myself every day on the bus. If you told me this time last year that I would be working a 9-5 office job, getting myself there, and actually enjoying it too, I wouldn't have believed you. 

Something to do

Now between spending most of my time at work/ with my friends and family I don't really have a lot of space to do things. Blogging has taken a massive backseat lately and I've really missed it to be honest. I won't be able to get back into my usual routine anytime soon but I do want to start setting aside more time for my favourite hobby.

I also was to travel more. I want to travel more and on my own. It's a scary thought but what choice do I have? There's places I want to see so I just have to go for it. I'm hoping to go on my first solo city break before Christmas if possible!

My last thing to do is actually probably the most important. I've applied for a marketing course which is due to start on Monday(!!!). I've wanted to get into marketing for a while now and I finally plucked up the courage to apply for a course last month. I am ready to be successful and for me that will start here.


Now that I've actually written it all down I can see just how far I have come in the last few months. It sounds strange but I've always been kind of scared to progress. I was always terrified of failure which meant I didn't actually try anything new. Well now I have nothing to lose anymore. I've been at the bottom and I am slowly but surely getting to the top.

What are your three keys for September? Let me know in the comments!


Thanks for reading!


If you liked this post don't forget to click here to follow me on Bloglovin!

MY KEYS TO HAPPINESS - SEPTEMBER

Moms. We don’t give them half the credit they deserve do we? I know I don’t but I’d really like to change that. My mom is such a gem, she has helped me get through so much over the years and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to thank her really. Of course we have our fall outs but as I’m getting older I’m realising just how important she is to me and my sister.


I’ve not had the best time lately. The last couple of months have been quite hard but my mom has always been there to help me pick up the pieces and stay up with me whilst I cry myself to sleep. There have been a lot of nights like that recently but she doesn’t get bored or tell me to just get on with things, she sticks around and tells me what I need to hear.

One night a few weeks back I was having a terrible time. Everything was getting in top of me and I just didn’t know if I could be bothered anymore. she stayed up with me well into the early hours to help me look for a new job and apply for some new courses. I needed something to live for again and she knew this. We were honestly looking for hours but she didn’t get annoyed with me at all. I hope I will always remember that night, especially whenever I feel my patience wearing thin with her. 


As a teenager I did go to my mom for some things but for the most part I didn’t think I needed parents. I guess most teens are like that, we think we know better, we tell them we hate them and can’t wait to move out. But for most of us our parents, moms especially, will always be waiting with open arms to make things right again. 

My mom has been an angel my whole life but I’m finding more and more that adult Grace needs her a whole lot more than baby Grace ever did. She has always got my best interests at heart and even when we argue I know that no one could ever come close to replacing her. 

Thank you mom, for everything.



Thanks for reading!



If you liked this post don't forget to click here to follow me on Bloglovin!

MY MOM, MY THERAPIST, MY FRIEND

Am I a food critic yet? Some days it feels like it, but nope, I just know what I like and I can talk about it for days. Maybe that's why Miller & Carter invited me down to dine in one of their newer restaurants last week. I can't be sure, all I know is that I went, ordered whatever I fancied, and I enjoyed every last bite.
The recently opened Marlbrook restaurant is located just outside of Birmingham in neighbouring Bromsgrove. It's situated in a very easy to get to spot and has a large carpark at the front which makes a nice change from over crowed, multi-story parking in the city. 

We arrived pretty much bang on time for our reservation last Thursday night and were promptly greeted and seated. We were offered the choice to sit and have drinks before being shown to our table but our stomachs were empty and we were ready to eat. 

The interiors of the Marlbrook branch were similar to other Miller & Carter restaurants. It had a very familiar feel but with a warm homely touch. This welcoming feeling was one that would not leave us all night, but was especially prominent whilst we were being served by our waitress Kat.

Once we were given our menus there was no rush to order. We were given plenty of time to pick and choose what we wanted and I noticed the same patience was shown to other guests, even the less friendly ones.
After a good few minutes of debating what to order I opted for a bowl of Mediterranean olives as a starter, and a bacon and smoked cheddar burger with more olives as my main (don't judge me). I also decided to push the boat out and ordered myself a little Mojito. 

I took my partner in crime to help me sample the delicious menu, such a tough job I know, but I have to repay him for the hours he spends taking photographs of myself for the gram, am I right? Sean is a huge steak fan so I doubt he even looked at the burgers or any other section of the menu whilst ordering. In fact he opted to order from the Steaks & Dates menu (obviously) in which you can order a 3 course meal for £25.95 per person on Thursday nights after 5pm. 
Sean's not one to stick to budgets when eating out and so he ordered the cluck and duck wings for a starter, the 8oz 30 day aged fillet, which incurred a £5 supplement, and a glass of red wine. I have since been told the supplement was 100% worth it. Our drinks soon arrived and the photoshoot began (sorry Sean).

After a very short wait our starters were brought over to the table. Sean's looked absolutely incredible and I was told the hoisin glazed chicken and duck wings tasted as good as they looked. As I was saving my main tummy space for my burger, I didn't want a large starter and so my mixed olives were the perfect thing to nibble on while I sipped on my Mojito feeling all fancy.
My tasty little cocktail was soon gone and it was time to order another. This time I opted for something a little bit more boozy, a long island ice tea. I had one back in December when we visited another branch of Miller & Carter and it was the perfect drink to accompany my main meal. The designated driver had a coke, poor Sean. 

After another short wait our mains were placed in front of us - cue another unbearably long photoshoot for Sean. He knows the drill by now, I'm sure all 'Instagram boyfriends' do and to be honest it wasn't all that hard to take cracking photos when the food is as well presented as ours was.
We were soon tucking into our meaty meals which were every bit as delicious as we anticipated they were going to be. My bacon and smoked cheddar burger really was something else, it was juicy and full of flavour without being greasy like burgers sometimes can be.

My favourite touch was the cheddar topped bacon which is more like a slab of gammon in my opinion and really does take the burger to the next level. I also think it's priced very reasonably for a steak house, costing just £11.95 including a large side of chips and tasty coleslaw. I know Sean also enjoyed his meal by just how quickly it had found itself into his belly. 
After munching down on our mains we were pretty stuffed. I couldn't even finish my second helping of olives, can you imagine? We asked to take a short break before ordering our desserts and weren't felt rushed at all. 

When we were eventually ready for our sweet treats Sean knew exactly what he wanted and ordered the rich chocolate brownie. It sounded amazing, and was even available on the regular dessert menu however I fancied something much smaller. Although the desserts on offer looked delicious I knew I wouldn't be able to finish an adult sized portion, but I didn't have to fear as Kat was here and ready to recommend a child's ice cream which came with two scoops and a cookie on the side, perfect.
Some restaurants wont let adults order from the child's menu as it's company policy. In my eyes this translates to 'we just want you to spend more money' but this wasn't a problem here at all and my dessert was the perfect size to finish off my delicious meal. 

Sean and I both had such a nice date night, in a lovely setting, served by the friendliest waitress. Miller & Carter is a treat for me as some of the dishes can be on the pricier side but I can honestly say it has left me pining for more. The quality of the food really is worth every penny and I can't wait for my next visit. 

Want a fancy date night of your own? Enter my competition HERE to win a £50 Miller & Carter voucher!

Thanks for reading!


If you liked this post don't forget to click here to follow me on Bloglovin!


* Our meal was complimentary however all thoughts and opinions are my own. I would never promote anything I didn't believe in.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Want to read more foodie blog posts? Here are some popular ones:



POSH BURGERS AND COCKTAILS - A TASTE OF MILLER & CARTER


As a kid I always loved sport. I could power through a football match, beat many of my peers at the 100 meters race, and I even have medals for both trampolining and horse riding. So why is my body so big? Well the teen years hit, my confidence dropped, and I quickly left anything sporty in the past. 

P.E. at school was mortifying for me. Once puberty hit I started to gain weight, mix that in with my love of quavers and you've got an obese child in the making. Now I don't personally think I've ever been obese, and I think that word in general has such nasty connotations around it, but I was told by a doctor at the impressionable age of 14 that I was just that. According to my BMI I was obese. How do you even begin to get your kit off and go play around on the sports field when you feel like a disgusting fat blob, and the doctor has just confirmed it for you? Looking back I was a very normal weight, slightly over maybe, but I had muscle and I was healthy. 

Fast forward to almost 10 years later and here I am. I'm definitely bigger but still healthy, and actually happy for once. It has taken me years of reversing all the damage done by self hate and vile comments from others for me to be where I am today and I'm quite proud. That being said I could be a lot healthier and I know that.



So now is the time to fix the damage that all those bags of quavers have done over the years. But now I have another challenge to face, I am actually quite large. Sports wear is very difficult to buy, not just because the sizing usually caters to slimmer people but because actually going to buy gym clothes is embarrassing. I know the fitting room assistant is thinking I'm too fat for leggings and I know the cashier is wondering if I've ever been to the gym in my life. I just know it, except I don't. I have no way of knowing what they are actually thinking about. More than likely they are too busy counting down the hours until they can clock off to even look at my body. I have to remember that next time I try to pick up some snazzy sports wear. 

For me, the thought of doing exercise now is still as mortifying as it was back when I was at school. 'Will my legs jiggle?', 'Will I be able to do it without getting sweaty and gross?', 'Will everyone judge me because I'm fat?' Those are just some of the hundreds of unhelpful, unwanted, intrusive thoughts that push themselves into my mind whenever I think about trying something new.

The hard truth is that yeah, maybe people will think nasty thoughts about me, and chances are my legs are going to jiggle, my tummy will too, but that's just life. I can't keep letting other people's thoughts effect me especially when 1. I'm trying to better myself and 2. I will never truly know what they are thinking.



Over the last few months I've been making more of an effort to get back into fitness. I've bought a bike which I occasionally ride to work, gone swimming with my friends, tried my hand at rock climbing, and even managed to get myself to the top of the Malvern Hills. It's not been easy, getting into a swimming costume was especially hard, but I did it.

For me half the challenge with fitness is getting into the right mindset to do it, and once I've overcome that, chances are I'll be able to to the activity I've chosen. I'm not as much of a blob as I sometimes think and I always feel so much better after a good workout. You can get back into fitness no matter your size, but it's always better to start sooner than later. 


Thanks for reading!


If you liked this post don't forget to click here to follow me on Bloglovin!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Want to read more? Here are some popular posts:

- My blogging equipment list

- Hand luggage beauty essentials

- Some blogging goals

GETTING BACK INTO FITNESS WHEN YOU'RE FAT

Latest Instagrams

© GraceBee. Design by Fearne.