It happens every year. 
365 days pass.
You become a year older.
I was 34 in August.
This is the first year that I wasn't looking forward to adding another candle to my cake, this surprised me and sort of scared me. But instead of stressing about something I can't change I decided to step back and reflect on everything I've learnt in the past 34 years.
1. You are so much more than your job.

2. I am enough

3. Eating can well is the best way to show yourself LOVE and RESPECT

4. Thoughts are things

5. You don't always have to be doing something, sometimes it's enough to just "be"

6. When it comes to friends, I'll take quality over quantity every time

7. Family's worth the effort

8.No matter how sad I feel Candi Statons "You've Got the Love" always make me feel better.

9. Don't think before you speak

10. Time is an illusion

11. Scottish road trips are good for my soul

12. ....but so are holidays sunning myself by a pool

13. Drawing relaxes me

14. Bright pink lipstick is an instant pick me up

15. Exercise makes me happy

16. The world needs more kindness

17. Life is easier when you have money, but good friends, love and laughs are just as important

18. Sometimes you have to force yourself to do the thing that scares you the most, but when the alternative is staying where you are where's the fun in that

19. "Be Yourself. 
In the past I haven't been honest with myself or others about my dreams or interests in case they think I'm weird. How boring would the world be if we were all the same? 
So be weird because the people that mind don't matter and the people that matter won't mind."

20. If you applying winged eyeliner factor in at least an extra 10 minutes.

21. Listen

22. Mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow.

23. Meditation helps me organise my busy mind

24. After years of going to the gym I discovered how much I enjoy fitness classes

25. It's ok to be different

26. Cheesecake tastes like heaven

27. I'm a thinker and a reader

28. I prefer one to one conversations to big groups of people talking

29. I'm an introvert and I'm ok with that

30. I'd like to live by the sea

31. Always have a bottle of prosecco in the fridge, just in case

32. I need to balance my mind, body and spirit to feel 100%

33. I look forward to growing old with my sisters, who are the added bonus of being friends as well as family.

34. I think I was a magpie in another life because I'm always drawn to shiny, glittery things.



Last month we saw Scotlands very first Referendum come and go and even though the vote was to remain part of the UK I feel the whole process has definitely brought an end to the apathy most people felt to politics and their current situation, me included.

I read a quote that stated "The quality of a society is measured by the level of care that they extend to their young and old". I believe in random acts of kindness and paying it forward and definitely feel that the Referendum has increased this feeling of wanting to do more.

I was totally inspired by the pop up food bank "Glasgows Needy" that was set up in Glasgow's George Square and donated some food to it. This is a non profit charity that was set up to simply end poverty. A perfect example of someone seeing something that needs to change and making an effort to do so. How can we hold MP's accountable if we don't hold ourselves accountable to our actions towards our community.

As well as being socially conscious as an individual I have also decided to include my core values into the re-branded DeesignGeek where we will endevour to be socially conscious and community spirited through internal projects and collaborative projects. 

What could you do today to help someone's day be better?



This time last year I used to get up 30 minutes before I had to leave for work because that's how long it took me to get ready and I was ALWAYS literally running to catch my train every morning and usually missing it. 

I believe that you should take care of your mind, body and spirit as a unit to ensure you are working with the best version of yourself, I always exercised and looked after the "body" part but to look after the mind I started to meditate for 10 minutes. This meant I had to get up 40 minutes before I had to leave for work and to be honest when I first started it I didn't know how I was going to fit it in but there's a great saying that ~

"you should meditate for 15 minutes a day unless you don't have time, then meditate for 30 minutes". 

I am NOT a morning person but little by little I managed to increase my daily meditation time to 20 minutes and found that because I was calmer and making time for my morning routine (as well as getting ready for work) I actually had more time to do other things such as have breakfast and a short work out.
I really want to enjoy my morning's even if it is cold and pitch dark in the middle of winter and recently found out about the Ayurvedic philosophy
It believes the choices that you make regarding your daily routine either build up resistance to disease or tear it down. Ayurveda invites us to get a jump-start on the day by focusing on morning rituals that work to align the body with nature’s rhythms, balance the doshas and foster self-esteem alongside self-discipline. 

One of the things it suggests and I have decided to include is drinking warm water and lemonI think we all know this is meant to be good for us but I did wonder what it exactly helps with, check out the top ten benefits ~

1. Aids Digestion 
2. Cleanses Your System / is a Diuretic. 
3. Boosts Your Immune System 
4. Balances pH Levels 
5. Clears Skin
6. Energizes You and Enhances Your Mood.
7. Promotes Healing. 
8. Freshens Breath. 
9. Hydrates Your Lymph System. 
10. Aids in Weight Loss.

I read a quote recently by Michelle Obama who said she wouldn't think twice about getting up early to help with work or her kids but when it came to herself she just didn't make the time. How can you look after your loved ones if you don't look after yourself?

I've found that taking time out, especially in the morning to set the right intention for the rest of the day is the best way to show yourself love and respect, it's something you do solely for YOU!
When was the last time you did that?
What could you make time for that shows you care about yourself?

Even 10 minutes every day is a start.



I would like to be a "morning person" but I have to admit it feels a lot easier to get up early when the summer sun is streaming through my window and I have definitely felt my body struggling to wake up as the mornings get darker. 
My morning routine has changed since last autumn, I now meditate for 20 minutes every day and try to fit in a little bit of exercise too. My goal is to go for a run and meditate every day before work but I've not managed that yet and I decided to look at my routine.
I came across a post on the Free People Blog which I absolutely loved ~

"If there's any season to welcome change into your life, its Autumn. 
Don't just wake up earlier, make adjustments to the rest of your day to account for this change. 
Dawn is a different kind of dark, one full of possibility at the cusp of the day,
a time to appreciate the world around you.
Do some yoga, drink tea, write a few lines about thankfulness.
Our lives are so hectic in one form or another, any time we can set aside time to just "be" is so valuable and rare.
Make time to allow yourself to simply exist, to breathe in a new day and sit quietly.
Try being a morning person and your perspective of the day ahead could change dramatically"

After reading this I realised as well as changing my routine I had to change my attitude to how I felt about the upcoming winter mornings, I began to see it as an opportunity to invest in some "me" time which definitely helped get me out of bed (and the 3 alarms didn't hurt either). For the first time in years I am actually looking forward to Winter and using the time in the morning to fit more into my day and to spend time on myself.

How do you deal with dark mornings? I'd love to hear.



In part 3 of our Scottish Road Trip while we were visiting CJ's great auntie Eileen in Mull we decided to head to Iona for the day. It was pretty overcast and drizzly when we set out which I sort of liked as the hills and lakes looked very atmospheric but by the time we arrived in Iona the sun was out. I couldn't believe how blue the sea was and felt like I was standing at a tropical lagoon, so gorgeous.

We found a lovely little place to have lunch and I took a series of shots to merge together a panoramic view to show you.


We stayed in Islay for 2 nights and I absolutely loved it, the people were so friendly and I was slightly obsessed with this gorgeous beach  which we basically had it all to ourselves that we found when we went cycling.
I tried to show how big it was in the pictures but I don't think they do it justice.


This year CJ and I decided to go on a staycation instead of going abroad so we booked a week off, filled our little Ford KA up with a full tank of petrol and headed off. He has family on the Isle of Mull so that was the pinnacle of our trip and we planned our overnight stays around this, heading over to Arran for the day, then 2 nights in Islay, 3 nights in Mull and 1 night in Inverary.

I'm always worried about holidaying in Scotland as you have a high chance of rain but if you do get nice weather it can feel like you're somewhere tropical. As we set off from Ardrossan Harbour to head to Arran the sun was sparkling on the water and it felt great to get started.

This was the first time I had been to Arran and I really want to go back for a weekend rather than one day, it's so close and great for walkers and cyclist's.

Next stop Islay...



I am a graphic designer and all of my designs are created on a computer. Actually the last time I actually sketched something was probably about 10 years ago and I decided I really wanted to start illustrating again.
When I felt a little bit apprehensive about starting and worried that I'd be no good I knew I should definitely do it.

It's great having an idea about what you want to do but the hard part is executing that idea, I really love fashion illustrations and female portraits so started searching for life drawing classes and after finding various 10 week night class courses I found a weekly class where you could pay as you go, exactly what I was looking for!

I found that it really helped to have 2 hours of time allocated per week where I spent time drawing and I found it so relaxing and absolutely loved it, it feels like true "me" time. I think the next stage is to add some colour.

What have you wanted to try but are scared in case you're no good?
You might find something other than success and hey you'll never know if you don't try.



I can't believe that's another month gone!
I think April's goals were my favourite, although I started the 100 days of happy challenge in April it will actually carry on until July. The most surprising thing I found was how the smallest thing can flip your mood. My little pieces of happy included making time for myself, the sun, flowers, spring, trying something new, catching up with friends, celebrating birthdays and more.
At a time where we are busier than ever it can make a difference when you take time out of your day to register something that made you smile. Its especially great when you're feeling a bit down as you can go back and remind yourself of the good days you've had.

You can start it any time, why not give it a go?

The second goal I too part in was a Facebook challenge set by my fitness instructor . It was an AB challenge where you did a set of core moves every day and a new set were posted each week. It was a great way to introduce a new habit and learn new exercises as you chose how many repeats you did so it would take you anything from 1 min - 10mins, which you can definitely fit into your day. The 4 weeks went so quick I think I'm going to add it into my daily routine.
You can check out the moves and the video tutorial above if you would like to try it. 
Why not make it your May goal?


#100DaysofHappinessChallenge > DAY 8, 2nd PHOTO

Day 8 > Movie Date.
So far I have posted one image per day as part of the "100 Day's of happiness Challenge" but when a few things happened that made me smile today I thought why stop at one image surely the more things you can post per day the better! 
So here is my second image of happiness for Day 8. 

I had bought tickets for Sloans "Eat Film" where they were showing the classic Pulp Fiction.
Watching one of my favourite films with a bottle of wine and lovely food in
 a gorgeous old venue just made my day.