Clear skies ahead

I have known since July that I wanted to write a post dedicated to Happiness.

But how to say what I want to say? What are my thoughts on happiness? Am I even happy?

Recently my life has been full of new and exciting changes. If you have read my other post you would know that there is 3 things that I wanted. 3 things that I was convinced would bring me to happiness. A new home, a love life and a shiny new job. This perfect trio would bring me all the joy in the world. These three things would make this adulting thing actually okay and maybe even slightly enjoyable.

So why aren’t I jumping and screaming about this so-called new-found happiness? Why am I not over the moon? Why doesn’t my mood reflect all these amazing changes?img_6606

There are times where it has. I have taken a few moments throughout these past months to look at what I have achieved and actually be proud of myself. I think to myself ‘this is the feeling I want to write about.’ However this feeling doesn’t stay. A couple of days later I feel myself being climbing down and wondering what happened.

Maybe happiness doesn’t stay because we push it away. Not letting yourself just be happy and in the moment is way of self-sabotage. We are so used to having problems that we almost can’t handle not having any.

You can have everything in the world and still not be happy. Recently I have been pretty down in the dumps, which is unsurprising  for this time of month. I have been in a ‘stop the world, I want to get off’ kind of mood.

When good things happen just ACCEPT that a good thing has happened.

Life can be so tough sometimes, and at one point or another you will go through a rough patch. When going through a tough time I focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. A time that won’t be so hard. The storm finally being over and the clear skies that are now finally visible.

No more sitting idly by. And no more creating a storm where there is none.

Happiness is an inside job, something that won’t always click into place on its own. When it doesn’t you have to work at it. I have the power to do so I will create my own clear skies. See through that Laura-made tunnel.

There have been so many times when I have felt genuinely happy but fought that weird, unfamiliar, warm  feeling off.

I CAN’T BE HAPPY. THERE MUST BE SOME KIND OF PROBLEM I CAN FOCUS ON.

The truth there is that things aren’t perfect. There’s a lot of challenges I need to overcome and things I have to work through. However at the moment life is good. I worked long and hard, and almost gave up several times but I got what I’ve always wanted.

Independence.

Independence can be quite lonely sometimes but this shouldn’t be confused with being unhappy. wineI am on my own now because I choose to be. I am finally self-sufficient and am enjoying taking care of myself. When I have a bad day, going back to my empty room can make me feel worse. My mind plays tricks on me and convinces me that I am unhappy because I am alone.

Focusing on the important things is what I have taken away from the experience. Figuring out what is real and what is not. When I feel lonely there are people I can call and places I can go. Rather than sit and dwell on all the things I have to be sad about, I can stand and think about all the things that I have achieved. I can work on a new plan for things I am yet to achieve.

The biggest things I have taken from this confusing sad/happy period of time is that sometimes it is up to me actively change the way I feel.

Create your own clear skies.

Stay Bliss, Laura

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Photo Credit – Alisha Dandy http://instagram.com/alishadandy

I shall be doing the October challenge where I will be posting everyday for a month! I haven’t posted in a while so I am a bit rusty which makes this even more of a fun challenge 🙂 Keep your eyes peeled!

 

Down in the Dumps

Lately I’ve been pretty down and I am having trouble pin-pointing why. I’ve been putting it down to hormones but I’m not 100% sure that this is what it is.

It may be the grass is always greener philosophy. Lately it has been my belief that my life is incomplete. It has been missing a few pieces that I will work hard on gathering and putting together. The biggest missing piece when I started this blog was my career. I was unemployed – no money or motive and this is what I needed for my life to begin. Another peice was my independence and freedom, I need my own place to live in order for my life to begin. Yet another is love, I need love in my life in order for my life to begin.

There’s a common reoccurrence here. One that may be the reason for my bad mood lately.

I seem to be always waiting for something to come and change my life. I’m hoping one of these things will remove these feelings of emptiness and loneliness. So far no luck.

I tend to force myself into facing my issue by vocalising it. Most of the time we believe we can’t place the issue because we are not ready to own up to it..

I spoke about not wanting to write a post until the issue I’m facing comes to its natural conclusion. I need to have that ‘aah this how I’m going to deal with it’ moment. Until then I wait it out. I ride the choppy waves and try my best to see the good and be the good in everything. This time I thought I would try something new.

I am by no means past these feelings and maybe it is because I am not ready to be. There is a lesson that can be taken from every situation, I believe it won’t end until you do. I am just left to ponder. Ponder what is that I am trying to grasp at. I’ve given myself a lot of different options as to what this can be down to. Is it down to me feeling not as close to family or friends? Is it down my work life not being a lot harder than I could ever imagine? Is it down to misplaced feelings of love? Or is what I originally I suspected, my monthly treat taking me on whirlwind ride through all the human emotions known to man.. better yet, woman? fake

I know for certain my family and friends don’t play any part in this. I feel as close to them now as ever did. It is true though, work is getting tough and I am not used to this amount of pressure. Progression and promotion became my two most important things when I started working for the NHS. I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen people who were vocal about where the wanted to be and put the hard work behind it and have now shot up the ladder. I’ve also seen the people who were either content or just waiting for opportunities to manifest for them – they are still where they have been for years. I guess this worries me, what kind of person am I? I would like to be the first one but am I vocal enough and does my work back this up?

Misplaced love? Could be.

I don’t think I can blame my cycle for this one. Yes my feelings intensify around this time but these are feelings that have always been there.

So there you have it. A post full of questions and doubts. I often talk about the need to be positive and see every situation in a positive light. This I still very much believe. However you need time to self-analyse. Where you don’t look at things under any kind of light. You just look at it how it is. Almost like looking at all the puzzle pieces for a while before you attempt to put it together.

I think the lesson I have gathered from my feelings at the moment is that self-reflection is important. Plastering a massive smile on your face and acting as if everything is okay is not always the solution. Admit it. I’m not okay. And that’s okay!

Happiness is an inside job and that it is! I think from now on I’m going to strip myself down and see myself without all the stuff I need that will ‘make life begin.’ My life begun 24 years ago, I am in the midst of it.

No more waiting and anticipating for what it is that will finally make me happy. I need to do that myself. Without the money, the house, the family, the friends, the partner. Me and only me.

As Ru Paul says – ‘If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you guna love somebody else?!’ Can I get an amen?down

Stay Bliss, Laura

The Honeymoon is Over

The last couple weeks have particularly trying. I find myself lagging and falling behind. I once spoke about how much something from one aspect of your life can affect another. Good things have happened to me recently. A very confusing and hurtful chapter of my life is drawing to an end after finally receiving some closure. You don’t always realise how much damage is done when things you would classify as minor completely breakdown.

Your phone for example. You don’t think about how much you depend on it to be on your person and functional at all times until it isn’t. You then notice a void, a big gap where something you didn’t pay much thought to used to go. This a how I felt recently about my friendships. Closure is the best gift from any unresolved situation. Now I know all the facts. I know where I stand and how I move forward now is totally up to me.

Que the next turmoil. That’s how life goes isn’t it? You sort out one thing, spend time and energy working out all the kinks. Then BANG. Hit with another one.

After 4 months of working in the NHS I am now understanding how hard they work, and they do work so hard. The pressure is getting to me and I can feel my work starting to slide. Acknowledging it is difficult because you feel so deflated. Why can’t I do this?! From the moment I walked into this I knew exactly what I wanted to get out of it and what I wanted to achieve. My absolute nightmare scenario is the past repeating itself. I was dismissed from my last workplace after 7 weeks. What if this time its at 4 months? And then the next time it’s after 6 months? What if it takes me a lifetime to actually be able to hold down a full-time job? There are so many fears rushing around my mind right now. So much negativity that I just can’t shake.

So as always the question is what am I prepared to do about it? How do I fix this?

So the closing your eyes and count to 10 thing just doesn’t work for me. So what am I going to do is spend this weekend cheering myself up. I’m having a dinner and drinks with some of my best friends this evening. Tomorrow I am going to catch up with some more special people. I am going to laugh, be in the moment and really soak up their positive energy. I can speak to my oh so wise mother who definitely will have a nugget or two of pure gold. I am going to remind myself of all the things I conveniently forget when I am in emotional crisis mode. This apprenticeship ends in November, I can hang and do my best till then. Time flies and I can’t believe I am already on 4th month. By this logic it means in no time at all I will be receiving my qualification and hearty well done handshake. I CAN DO THIS.

One of my favourite sayings is ‘be patient, things are always difficult before they are easy.’ What I have always wanted is to be valued within a workforce and to create more opportunities for myself. Obviously this was never going to be an easy challenge. It will be hard, and some days much like today I am going to want to give up. But I know that this is what I want and I am prepared to put the work into.

For me this what life means. You think you’ve done it, cracked the code of happiness. Then something happens that shakes you to your core. Makes you re-evaluate everything you think you know to be true. It is a test of your strength and resolve. Happiness is an inside job and it take a lot of work to get to a place of peace and tranquility. I am convinced that it can be achieved. Whilst you work hard and wait for physical rewards, reward yourself with you do have. I am rich. I am wealthy. Wealthy in family, friends, love, opportunities and freedom. I have what an immense amount of people long to have and I am grateful for that everyday.

So there it is. I have talked myself down of that ledge. I reaffirmed in my soul everything that I know. I am happy because I make myself happy because I chose to work on my happiness everyday. As for work? It is a clear as day that the honeymoon is over. It is time for me to kick it up a gear. As for the past? It is the past for reason. To be used as lesson and then left behind.

Stay Bliss, Laura

P.S This post was written on Friday 7th May, hence so many references to the weekend that has just passed!

Day 30 – The Penultimate Post

Day 30 of the 31 day challenge

SMILE – You deserve it!

So here I am on the second to last day of this 31 day blogging challenge.

This has been extremely difficult, different and a test of my ability. When I started I wanted to know if I could write everyday. And not only that, can I relate what I write to staying positive and bliss. Some days, especially lately I have wavered. I have thought there was absolutely no way I would be able to finish this. It has been time-consuming, physically and emotionally draining.

My biggest worry about creating and maintaining a blog was staying consistent. I was firm believer in not writing until I had something worthwhile to say. Sometimes I would have a solid month full of inspiration and topics I wished to discuss. Other times I just flat out refused to write. I didn’t want to write about a situation I was facing that was yet to come to its natural conclusion. I was in the midst of storm because and at that point everything I thought and said would be negative. So I held on until I had that moment of clarity. That ‘ahh ok, that’s how I will look at it’ moment.

This mindset I had been stuck has changed over this 31 day period. I realised this fully on ‘Day 22 & 23 – Dear Teenage me.” 

I reached into my psyche and really got honest with myself. I had no idea where that post was going when I started. I consciously had no idea that I even felt that way. It sounds so cliché but it literally came out on the post. My fingers typed what my mind wasn’t prepared to think about. It was from this moment I realised inspiration can come from anywhere. The world and your life doesn’t just hand you the next topic. Sometimes you have to inspire yourself.

I have been lucky enough to have so many inspirational people in my life. People who have fought their own unique battles. People with life experiences, relationship experiences, spiritual insight, the artistically minded and people who share my struggle. I was able to sit up with open ears and open mind to the tips, tricks and insights they have discovered on their journey and find ways to apply it to myself.

The biggest thing I have learnt though, is sometimes I have the answers. Sometimes I am the key, I can be the hero I have always looked and longed for. Day 24 taught me this – for the first time in a long time I wasn’t being completely self-critical. I addressed my flaws, my lessons and my triumphs. I let myself be proud because I have come a very long way from being that odd little girl I used to be.

So if there are any readers out there, I implore you to give yourself a break. You can flourish in so many different ways, not just by giving yourself a hard time. Let your mind take you somewhere you decided is off-limits. You are stronger than you let yourself believe and I promise you can handle it. In all those mistakes you made, the hiccups you have run into, there is a lesson to be learned. If you want to blog then blog! It as an amazing way to sort through your issues and you can visually see your journey from one train of thought to the next. The best way to start is to start!

Trust the journey you are on, keep your head up, keep working hard . Remember things are always difficult before they are easy. When it does become easy smile, you deserve it.

Until day 31, the final day

Stay Bliss, Laura

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Yay 1 more day to go!

Day 7 – Earliest Memories

Day 7 of 31 day blogging challenge

What is your earliest memory?

Eeek! Every since my first read through of these challenges I’ve been trying to recollect my first solid memory. Maybe this is too hard?

Since the day I was born my mother has always worked as PA / secretary in big swanky offices in London. This meant it was so much easier for her to send me to a nursery around her workplace so she could drop me off and pick me up on her way to and from work. I ended going to this wonderful nursery called St ‘insert name here’ in Waterloo. So I have totally forgotten what it was called but I remember my journey there with my mum and the warm feeling I had once being there.

There is so many images that come to mind when I think of being a carefree toddler in what felt like the most amazing place in the world. I remember making chocolate krispy treats with all my little friends, and singing my favourite tunes at circle time. I remember sharing a blanket with my best friend at nap time. I remember being so full of energy once waking up and ready to start all over again with my buddies.

It’s a shame that I don’t remember who they are anymore but I hope they look back on the memories as fondly as I do.

I initially started writing about my nursery times because of one key memory. All the other memories came flowing out. The memory is off the pastry shop down the road where my mum used to take me when I was good. Or when she was hungry. The smell of the freshly baked bread and cakes always invited me in. The colour of the different pastries and cake toppings completely engrossed me. There were multicoloured sprinkle topped cupcakes, the biggest most sugary fresh doughnuts, coconut and jam layered sponge-cakes and so much more. My mum used to lift me up on to one of the high tables so I could see the pastry masters at work. It was so busy, I think everybody in the city used to love that place. My absolute favourite used to be the iced finger buns. They were so sweet and buttery and were iced in lots of different colours. Whenever I am in the area I have a look for my favourite pastry shop. I believe the last time I had a look it had been shut down but I can’t be sure of that.

It is so funny how we archive memories such as these. It has been an amazing experience re-living this memory. I think about the lovely friends I made, the nursery workers who looked after me so well, the chefs who fed me the most delicious iced buns as my first delve into a blissful existence. I know there is no way I can be absolutely care-free as an adult. I have certain responsibilities now. However I can remember how it felt to live in a world full of positivity, light and freshly baked pastry.

I can aspire to feel that feeling again.

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

Day 5 & 6 – The BEST advice I have ever received

Day 5 and 6 of blogging challenge

What is the best advice you have received?

So due to the nature of day 5 and 6’s challenges I decided to mesh them into one post. Also something I discovered that I really need to work on, is making time to write on the weekend. When I have spare time at work, writing a post comes very naturally for me. However when it comes to the weekend I’d rather lay in bed nursing a hangover and catching up on Nashville then dedicate time to my much-loved blog. This week I am ready for day 11 and 12! I won’t let my blog or this challenge suffer because I’m procrastinating, I shall be super prepared 🙂

So on with the challenge..

Wow this is a very difficult question, especially as I am young woman trying to figure out how to live my life. I get advice from my elders, my friends and my colleagues on a daily basis as I recognise that I do need constant reassurance that I’m doing okay. Sometimes I know what the best decision is or I know that I’m on the right track but I need to hear someone else say it to me! With all this being said, I believe the best piece advice I’ve received is also the first advice I have a recollection of. Know your self-worth.

My life completely changed the moment I started to value myself. With all the growth and the self-improvement I have been doing lately it can all be traced back to the moment I began to value myself. Everyday I tell myself that I am important, beautiful and a good person. I tell myself that I can do whatever my mind can conceive if I work hard.

Okay this all sounds very cliché and cheesy, and our brains try to block out those cheesy sayings you hear all to often. But as I’ve grown up and come into contact with different people the first thing you notice is how much someone values themself. How much they stand strong in their opinions and beliefs, and how little they let the opinions of others – be it their peers or the media affect the image the have of themself. You also really notice if someone self-worth is tied to another person. If someone only values themself as much as they are valued by a loved one.

Do not get me wrong, I am all about the love. Seeing a loving couple so connected to each other is a beautiful thing. Of course your partner’s opinion will be very important to you. But you notice when after a bad relationship your self-worth was shattered that your ex’s opinion was the be all and end all for you.

Valuing one’s self is a lifelong journey. Things like heartbreak and rejection play a big part in a wobble in of self-confidence and value. But with all things you keep moving forward. You keep remembering everything good about yourself, and find a shoulder to cry on when you are having a wobble. You also remember how this feel and make sure you shoulder is extended to your loved one when their self-value is on shaky grounds.

Stay Bliss, Laura

DAY 4 – Favourite Blogs & Vlogs

Day 4 of 31 day blogging challenge

5 favourite blogs

So day 4 has had to be re-uploaded on day 5 due to many problems with the links in the description. No need to worry I will keep continuing and know for next time to plan these hyperlinked posts way ahead of time!

I have chosen interpret this challenge as ‘5 favourite blogs and vlogs’ as there a several YouTube channels that I am obsessed with. This list is no particular order, it is just my selection of online favourites.

1 – https://www.youtube.com/user/mmabutternut
I absolutely adore Mark and Ethan and fell in love with their vlogs since the day I came across them on YouTube. They are all about positivity, healthy living and adventures. Both Mark and Ethan are exceptional film makers and every vlogs is filled with cinematic shots – almost like mini life films. There energy is so infectious which is why when you start watching them you can’t stop. Yup I am defiantly a member of the Methan fan base!

2 –  https://seperateperspective.wordpress.com

So separate perspective is a blog created by my very close friend a while ago. I love reading his work as he is a beautiful and eloquent writer. If you don’t know him personally his posts invites you into his mind as he makes it his mission to get the readers to relate to his everyday struggles. He mixes real deep topics with he unique sense of humour to create this amazingly addictive blog!

3 – YouTube Mari Lil

So I have been subscribed to Mari Lil for a couple of years and just love her energy and humility. Mari Lil is a beauty, fashion and lifestyle YouTuber from the US. I take her tips on how to manage natural hair. I also love watching the little pieces of her life she shares with her audience.

4 – YouTube Anitta Black

Another beauty and fashion guru, I have been watching miss Anitta religiously since her first video. Also another friend of mine, I love her humour and her style of beauty. Nothing she uses is to expensive, yet she always ends up looking so glam!

5 – Foodie Blogs

This is one I need help with. I need some of your best foodie blogs because I’m looking for one to make my own! I have no-one at the moment I read consistently but I am looking! Any ideas?

Until later on today haha

Stay Bliss, Laura

DAY 3 – Why do I blog?

Day 3 of 31 day blogging challenge

Why do you blog?

The reasons I started blogging are different to the reasons I blog now. So let’s start with why I started to begin with.

On February 25th last year I was in a completely different place, mentally and physically. I was lacking a sense if purpose which at the time was tied into not having a job. My life was at a standstill. I wasn’t moving backwards or forwards. At the same time my friends were trudging forward with their life. I was also battling with a really bad ankle injury which made life that little bit more difficult.

However despite going through this difficult time something weird happened. I found all this motivation and positive energy from somewhere. It was immediately after I went on an employment boot camp which completely changed my outlook on the way I was choosing to live my life. I decided at the moment that I had to do something. Looking for jobs was draining but eventually I would find one and that worry would be over. In the meantime I could change the feeling of purposeless by creating a new purpose. That is when I created stay bliss.

I started to blog to help dig my way out of the hole I called home for way to long. I starting blogging to confirm to myself that I was ready to start trying again. I was ready to implement positivity into my everyday life. Things were getting better from the moment I started believing that it would.

So now I have different reason, different motivations and my purpose has shifted. I blog now because I fell in love with it. I blog now because I have seen what a difference it can make speaking good things into fruition. The feedback has been amazing and I love the idea that my words can help other people to. It is a surreal feeling being able to look back at your past posts and see how far you have come.

I haven’t reached all of my goals yet. There is still so much I want to accomplish and there is still so much life I need to live. If I am asked this question again in a year I’m sure my reasoning will have changed again. For now the there is a simple answer for this question.

I blog because it changed my life. I blog because it makes me happy. I blog because I love it.

Stay Bliss, Laura

DAY 2 – Stay Bliss – A definition

DAY 2 of 31 day blog challenge

Meaning of your blog name?

So what’s the meaning of stay bliss and where did it come from?
Like many bloggers before me I struggled with naming this blog. Once you have decided on a concept it is very important to find a name that matches it. I wanted to stay away from a blog with ‘positive’ in the title as I thought this might imply that I have been trained in human behaviour or motivational speaking.

Stay bliss for me is a concept. It is a way of living your life and dictates how you choose to deal with life on a day-to-day basis. Staying bliss is living a life for you. A life where your happiness is the most important of things. Happiness and wellbeing are like plants, they need love, care and a good environment to enable it grow and reach its full potential. So essentially we are plants!

Life can be incredibly tough especially when it feels like you are experiencing more battles than triumphs. The answer to how you stay motivated, balanced and above it all is still unknown to me. One day I think I have all the answers and do the victory dance because I  have figured out how to smash this life stuff. Alas the next day this all goes out of the window. I am forced to re-evaluate and relearn how to stay bliss. However these fundamental life nuggets to come back to really help with the journey.

There is something therapeutic about writing all your thoughts down. Stay bliss for me means giving myself the talk that I was avoiding. Hearing all those cliché sayings that are cliché for a reason. It’s visually seeing the juxtaposition between what you want to think and what you know you should think. Most of the time we know we shouldn’t give up. We know that the right career, house, love is all obtainable as long as we work hard. We may feel alone but we know our friends and family are there to support us. We just choose not to harness this support.Sometimes you need a read a sentence you have written to yourself – ‘SNAP OUT OF IT!’
It’s hard to argue with me..

One of my goals in life is to always stay bliss. And to keep encouraging others to stay bliss to. It is crazy how much your energy and outlook shape your whole life. As soon as you try to keep up your positivity and apply it to every situation things really DO start to become better. As I say time and time again, happiness is an inside job. THIS is the meaning of stay bliss.

Until day 3…
Stay Bliss, Laura

 

 

 

Perspectives on a birthday

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Stay Bliss turn 1 🙂

As I approach the 1 year birthday of my baby which has been stay bliss, I’ve reflected on my past posts which sum up the lessons I have learnt throughout the year. To say I am a different person now would be a slight exaggeration, however I do feel that I’ve grown and matured throughout this time.
One thing I noticed I tend to forget sometimes is my personal life. The focus for me since this time last year was finding a career. As happy as I am about my current position, I realise that you can’t limit your focus. I cannot stress enough how happy I am with the place I am in terms of my career. For the first time in a long time I have a purpose. I have a fixed goal that I am working towards and am totally enjoying the journey. However as I reflect, I have urged myself to dig deeper. After all, having a career isn’t everything! I can’t put everything into building a life as a professional woman whilst neglecting other things that should matter just as much.

The biggest thing I have neglected is my family life. I plague my own life with issues that at the time feel like the end of the world. Sometimes I’m so concerned with it all that I forget to just be. 2017 for me is about rectifying this. It’s about spending quality time with my family who have been nothing but patient and supportive whilst I attempt to sort my life out. The great thing about family is there essentially stuck with you! You only get a couple of parents, sisters & brothers and a few cool cousins, uncles & aunts to call your own. I know it doesn’t matter how long I stray, as long as I find my way home. Staying bliss this year means to return home. If that is not an option for you, it may mean building a new one. Identifying the issue is step 1, resolving it is the much-needed step 2.

After a conversation with my girls about themes and suggestions for this post, I got the chance to listen as they reflected on their year and the lessons they took from it. One word came up time and time again – Perspective.

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Perspective – a paticular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view

As young teenage girls and boys we become so self-critical of ourselves. Critiquing is not always a bad thing. The criticism (both positive and negative) we give ourselves and we receive from our peers helps learn and develop. However sometimes we take this to far. A sentiment my friends definitely share. What starts as self-motivation turns into, ‘I am fat’ ‘I am ugly’ ‘I am boring’ ‘I’m never going to make it in life’ ‘I will always be where  am’.

In order to move forward and be happy with your life there needs to be a shift in viewpoint. As we grow up we begin to understand how hard life can actually be.stay-bliss-1-yr With this knowledge you can look at your life, your age and your achievements objectively and allowing yourself to be happy about what you have. Maybe even throw some positive criticism your way.

The point my girls were trying to get across to me about the lessons they have learnt this year is ‘everything takes time.’ We are similar ages and interested in similar things. We have the same major goals such as job stability, living independently, learning to drive, travelling the world etc. We could certainly be envious of each other, as everyone has reached one or more of these goals in some capacity. It is easy to be hateful and jealous of people who are achieving. We choose instead to support each other, celebrate with each other and use one another as inspirations. Deep down we all know that with hard work, motivation and a good support network, we will be checking these goals of our lists in no time. For the mean time we will stay calm, and not fill our mind with trivial comments. Everything takes time.

I also spoke to people who have spent the last couple of years adjusting to London life. The question of what they have learnt and decisions they have come to, came from different perspectives as well. img_1369Despite the different outcomes and the realisation that London is an unforgiving place, I see what a difference it makes looking at the world through blissfully tinted glasses. I met someone who has made her very best friends in London because  in her words some people are destined to be friends due to being ‘bonded by circumstance.’ To me this is a perfect example of taking the bad and making good. Not by dismissing it, or trying to change something negative that happened into a good thing. Instead by using it as fuel and not letting it stop you achieving. Everyone struggles but that is what bonds us. This is what makes you feel less alone and able to strive towards a goal hand in hand with your people.

My good friend who was the subject of my ‘saying goodbye’ post, had a completely different experience of london. He spoke about the city leaving him feeling invisible but also feeling pressured to be confident. The two years he spent in London forced him to change his outlook on life.
“There comes a moment, a short second, where everything you once saw or believed is shaken. Your attention is pulled into focus and you’re forced to stare life directly in the face with a whole new perspective. img_1351You will find clarity in the strangest places. As easily as the confusion cascaded upon you, it will subside and everything will be quiet. Your friends, family and work mates would have all given you their opinion which is likely to be the classic ‘do whatever’s best for you.’ It’s all true and you know it. Sooner or later though you realise that no viewpoint matters more than your own. Give yourself a break, hold your own as life as treasure regardless of where you find yourself. Take that moment and run with it. It’s always a matter of perspective.”

This has been the most fun and challenging post I’ve had the pleasure to write. Getting the opportunity to get everyone’s take on perspective has been eye-opening. The key thing I have taken away from this topic is that our happiness is paramount. If you find that you are unhappy or unfulfilled with your life for any reason, your viewpoint of the situation is the first place to seek anwsers. Are you looking at the issue objectively? Is it as bad as it seems? Is there a change you can make that will directly impact and begin to resolve these issues? Life is not black and white, believe me I know. But what has helped me overcome trying times is taking a big step back and looking at everything honestly. The anwser is mostly – this can be fixed. With patience, support, white wine and a LOT of hard-work there is a way out of this situation.

We all go through completely different things, and are struggling in some shape or form. The things that differentiate us and keep us moving forward is our perspective. Looking at your life objectively and patting yourself on the back when life calls for it.

I have definitely had a very blissful year! Hopefully this time next year my outlook on life will be very different, exciting! Thank you if you have subscribed, commented, liked or read a post from time to time. Here’s to another great year 🙂

Stay Bliss, Laura

P. S a big thanks to my girls, Morgan, Cameron and Kat for all the help with this post!

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Tryna step my photoshoot game up lmao 😉

Week 8 baby

Hooray for week 8!!!!


If you have read my week 7 and beyond post you will know exactly why this week is such a big deal! Having a new job and staying in employment for 8 whole weeks is such a big deal for me, and the way I finally prove to myself that I am not the failure my mind keeps trying to convince me that I am. 

 

I should be jumping around like a lunatic, celebrating this achievement as I’ve been trying so hard to get here. The problem with reaching the important milestones in your life, is sometimes personal issues means they can get overlooked. 

 

As human beings it is important to remember that not everything will always go to plan. We can be fighting a battle that we are totally ready for and all of a sudden another battle jumps out of nowhere.

 

This is what has happened to me. My festive period hasn’t been so festive as relationships I once valued have come to an end. I notice now more than ever how much one aspect of your life effects the rest. I think this is the biggest battle we all face and the hardest question we ask ourselves. How do we keep our lives balanced? 

 

I genuinely do not know the answer to this as my clarity on the subject changes daily. The biggest thing I’m dealing with right now is figuring out how not to let the negative overshadow the positive. As much as I know the sensible thing to do is ditch all my worries or ‘keep calm and carry on’ as the saying goes – this is easier said than done. 

 

I have decided the way I am going to pull myself through these uncertain times is to make myself a series of promises. Ironically one of the promises is to stick to my promises. 

Another is to make sure no matter what happens in my life – I will make the time to celebrate my achievements. No matter what turmoil I find a has plagued particular aspect of my life, I will not neglect to celebrate my wins in the other.

 

For everything I’ve lost there are always constants that I still have. I still have some amazing friends and family. I also find myself making new friendships which have  brought even more depth to my life. I promise to value these and I promise to make sure the people I love know that I love them. 

 

Most of all I promise to always value myself. I know who I am and am proud of who am I. I have made the biggest effort to make sure I am and remain a genuine and real person and I will let nothing or no one make me doubt that. Happiness is an inside job (as I always say!) which starts with knowing and accepting yourself as you are. 

 

If you don’t even like yourself, who will?  If you don’t give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, who will? 

 

So I say a big congratulations to me 🙂 I’ve worked extremely hard to get to this point, and promise that this is only the beginning. Onwards and upwards. 

 

Stay Bliss, Laura

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Look to the horizon

So this is just a quick post to say that there’s a lot of new things to come. (Yay!)

I have been absolutely loving this blog, it has fast become my baby and I have been looking for new and exciting ways to develop it. The biggest thing I am in the process of planning is a couple photoshoots with some photographer friends of mine. On every post I try to use a featured image that captures the gist of the message of the post. I thought going forward, it would be a good idea if these images were mine. So be prepared for a lot photos of me looking off into a dreamy landscape or indulging in cup of coffee or even typing away on my laptop.

You don’t need to wait for the new year to have a new start. From the moment I started my new job I decided to reinvent myself. I am going to do all the things I’ve always wanted to do but let fear and procrastination stop me. I want to make some new friends (you can never have to many close friends right?) and also enrol in a couple of college courses. For to long I let the fact that university didn’t go to well for me dictate where I could go in life. I thought ‘I don’t have a degree so I will always be a the bottom.’ FALSE. I can do whatever my mind can concieve as long as I put the work in. So can you.

Photoshoot, creative writing course, photography course etc. I can do and will do it all – not for anyone else, for me.

So here’s to the start of a weird and wonderful ‘stay bliss’ adventure. Maybe one day I’ll meet a partner and add to the happiness I have already established for myself. For today I say I am happy. It took a lot of work, many ups and down but I am.

If you are not there’s no need to worry. Believing in yourself and making yourself happy is the hardest job in the world. However it is the most rewarding and a job that will carry on forever. Allow yourself to wallow for a while, keep holding on and celebrate all your wins. When you reach a moment of happiness, embrace it! Hold on to it and celebrate yourself for letting sunshine into your life. Look to your loved ones for support and look into yourself for the motivation to keep going. Be honest with yourself and hopefully at the very end you can congratulate yourself on a job well done.

I’ve changed domains – staybliss.blog (it’s got a ring to it) 🙂

Stay Bliss, Laura

Week 7 and beyond

Welcome to my 10th blogpost! My how time flies, especially when you are having fun 🙂 When I first started my blog, I decided it was a place for me to share my journey into blissfulness. I hope so far I have been able to encourage anyone that might be reading this. The whole idea is to show that we all have our battles. We all have insecurites and stuggle with feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. We also sometimes make the mistake of thinking our thoughts and troubles do not matter and are not worth sharing. Throughout my posts I have learnt myself that this is untrue. My feelings and yours do matter and are worth sharing. Through these posts I have been able to work out the best way to deal with my issues and continue to stay positive. I hope more than anything your are able to identify with my struggles, and find your own way of dealing with them. Lots of people have said that they can relate to what I’m saying and that made me feel fantastic. I felt less alone and its lovely knowing that I am helping people as much as myself. As I always say happiness is an inside job. Be proud of who you are and strive to maintain your smile.

And on that note..

So this week I started my job and I couldn’t be more thrilled. On a different post I wrote about celebrating your wins and for me this is a big one. There’s a lot going on in my life right now – a lot to moan about if I wanted to. I’m choosing to focus my energy on the successes. My dad slowly starting to recover from a horrible illness he has been battling for a couple months now. And me. Me and my new job. I have been doing a lot of reflecting recently.  I found my mind kept drifting to my past failures and how to not repeat them.

‘Week 7’ just popped in to my head as it was at this point  I was kindly shown the door at my last work place. To say I was devastated about it would be an understatement. I could not figure out if I was more upset that I was let go, or upset at the fact that I genuinely thought I was doing a good job. I cannot explain how low I was feeling at then as I am well past it now but it was horrible!

Obviously I spent a glorious night with friends who tried there best to cheer me up with words of encouragement (& lots tequila shots). The next morning I resolved that my new goal was WEEK 7. It is okay do be down and out but at some point you need to get up, dust yourself off and keep going. Wherever life would take  me next, I’ll try to get to week 7.  No,  I WILL get to week 7.

It is important to set goals and aims for yourself because you can use them to show how far you’ve come. I can look back at all the time I spent doing jobs I hated; at the depressed and lonely days I had;  at constantly feeling like failure and see the amazing turn around I was able to make. I can look back at all this and use achieving a personal goal as a boost.

My week 7 objectives are entirely personal. This isn’t something I’ll boost about on my CV. If you asked me to tell you something about myself l probably won’t mention this. I don’t feel the need to discuss it with my friends or family. This is just for me (well and you also). This is so I can firmly shut the door on all the negative criticism I have given myself recently. I can once again believe in the power of positive thinking and myself.

Of course week 7 isn’t the final goal. Ideally I’d like to finish my apprenticeship and be offered permanent position. I’ll adjust and reevaluate my goals once achieving them. For now I’m going to keep confidently making steps towards week 7 – my Everest!

This is just my way of using something that gets you down, to build you up.  Why let that annoying thing you’ve never been quite able to do get you down? Turn your worst trait, the thing your scared of the most, the hurdles that make you second guess yourself into the best thing about you. Show yourself how capable you are. Change the existing gloomy image you have of yourself to one you are proud of. Being happy with you is the whole idea. The only person you have an obligation to look after and please in this world is you.

Week 7… I’m coming for ya! 😉

Stay Bliss, Laura

Let’s take it back 

After a rough couple of weeks I realise more than ever the importance of positivity. I have had this sinking feeling for the last few weeks that I’m failing. That I could see everything I’ve been wanting and worked so hard for slipping away from me. That even when I’m trying the hardest I ever have it genuinely is just not good enough. I have been putting a smile on face whilst holding back tears and slowing sinking into a pit full to the brim with a bunch of sad things and thoughts.
But this is human. To be down sometimes is to be human. This is a rough patch that I’ve got to get myself through. It is at these times more than any other you have to stop your mind in its tracks. YOU ARE GOING TO BE OKAY. Better than okay even, GREAT.

After a long conversation with a friend it ended with ‘hey don’t worry, tomorrow is guna be good day!’
And that’s the truth. The truth is even allowing yourself to wallow does not allow you time to learn. It’s been days and weeks of ‘I suck’ or ‘I’m shit at this’ and pointless thoughts like these. How is this helping me? How is the making me improve upon the things that I am not doing so well?

Let’s take it back. Back to the point where I started to mess up. Back to the point where there were things I thought I knew, and even got cocky about. I am going to start again, learn everything again and learn it better. Learning a lesson in humility also. We all move at different paces and learn in different ways. I can’t compare myself to others, I am not them and they are not me.
Starting again is not a bad thing and is a very real reality once you start to progress through life. This applies to all things whether it be schooling or working or even in your relationships. Take a breath, close you eyes and start again. Chose to not let this situation overcome you. Overcome it.

At the end of my apprenticeship I predict that I am going to be amazing at my job! 🙂 This is because I am never going to stop trying, I’m not to let criticism keep me down, and I am going to keep starting again until I get it right.
I genuinely don’t know how many people read this. I feel like I check myself with these blogs, especially when I catch myself feeling particularly down or negative. There’s a therapeutic feeling that comes with expressing to myself what I know to be true but sometimes choose to ignore. I can be my own worst critic when I should be my own biggest supporter.
Who knows what the future holds for me? I will never know if I just give up or give in to the sad thoughts. I do know it is not going to be easy, I also predict many more rough days to come. That’s okay though. As long as the end of it you can reflect. Reflect on the highs and lows and see where you need to work even hard.
As long as the end of it you say ‘tomorrow is guna be a good day.’
Here’s the next 10 months of my apprenticeship. I’m ready for ya 😉

Stay Bliss, Laura

1 badly hurt ankle = a batch of red velvet brownies

I’m sat at the pub thinking about how I manage to turn bad situations into positive ones. When life gets on top of you, it’s then when you choose to focus on is the shitty things. For instance, I have a really bad ankle at the moment which is making it hard for me to walk around. Sometimes the pain gets so bad I want to quit my job and stay in bed crying about it all day.

The good? My amazing batch of red velvet brownies that I baked from scratch! They weren’t as red as I would have hoped, and they did not have a cream cheese topping. But man, were they good! So delicious that my dad who is a picky eater, managed to eat 8 🙂
This has nothing to do with my bad ankle but everything to do with perspective. Which one of these things shall I focus on? Which one of these two shall I bang on to my friends about? The ankle or the brownies?

The brownies of course! Not just because I love any and all food, but because this is how I choose to approach life. When you put on a brave face and appreciate and celebrate the things you do have, everything else will fall into place. The ankle or the brownie is how I choose to see my prospects. Unemployment or my amazing friends? My illness or the deep understanding I have of what my health requires? Single and alone or independent and loving it? The good or the bad? This positivity helped me to be where I am today which is an official working gal! If you read my blogs you would know how much I longed for the day to be able to refer to myself a working woman.

THE DAY CAME ON MONDAY AND I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER! I am aware exactly how much I wanted this so I told myself I’d appreciate all of it. The highs and the lows and everything in-between!

So this is a short one today. This is just a question of the bad ankle or the brownies? My personal equivalent to the glass half empty question.

Brownies every time.
Stay Bliss, Laura

Celebrate your wins

This blog is about how to keep only positive vibes around you. How can you do that when you feel negative? How can you stay in your bubble of happiness when there is nothing to feel happy about? How do you see through you storm into brighter days when it’s just way to stormy? This is something I’ve been struggling with recently and it hindered my ability to write a new positive blog post.

However I’ve noticed things are changing because I am changing. My perseverance has paid off for me in a small way. So I am celebrating my small win! That’s how I choose to stay in my positive bubble. That’s how when things get rough for me I celebrate what IS going well 😊

So what has been going well for me I can psychically feel you wondering? My friends who we’ve dubbed ‘the sisterhood’ are they for me always. They sit with me when I want to have a cry and bitch fit (which is more often then I’d care to say.) They also celebrate with me when things are going well, like me landing myself a small part time job! I’m there for them to, it’s massively encouraging how when someone is in need we are able to drop everything and come running.

I also have two amazing mentors who have quickly become people I look up to. We share positive words and they use their industry experience to help me when it comes to looking for work. They always there to give me feedback and advice and have helped me unlock the confidence they knew I had. My search for an apprenticeship benefitted me in ways that I was not expecting and is part of me changing for the better as a person.

My mum and dad who throughout everything, have kept me grounded and every day tell me how amazing and capable I am. The support that they give me that I don’t always say ‘thank you’ for has made me the person I am. The love I have for them is to immense to describe. You are product of your upbringing and this evident in my caring nature that my mum is known for and strength and fighting spirit which is who my dad is.

So that’s how I stay in my bubble and how I’ve been able to write throughout the struggle. I’ve been really low recently but I have picked myself out of my funk by thinking about everything I have going for me. Yes there is so much more I want to achieve but I CAN. Time is my friend and the sky is the limit. My mantra for this site is happiness is an inside job and it really is.

Somebody asked me a few days ago what my one peice of advice to someone about staying bliss would be. I said don’t give up. Things get rough sometimes and it can be hard to see through. But keep going and focus on what you already have. He replied raaaah that’s deep. It’s not really. Celebrate your wins, life can get too tough for them to be overlooked.

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

Holding On

It’s been a while as I have been racking my brain about what to post about next. Why do I always procrastinate when I already know what it is I want to post about?! It’s been hard to find inspiration when all I want to do is give up. That is why I am writing this today.
Holding on and not giving up are choices we make everyday. It can be very daunting when life gets on top of you and the easiest thing to do is to let go. This is why everyday when we wake up and throughout the day we need to constantly make the decision to not give up. Not only does this mean we stay motivated in pursuing our goals but we also stay bliss!

As my first post states I have been looking for a job for a while now. This has been a emotionally draining process as I feel my adult life can’t fully begin until I get a good job. I need the prospect of promotion as well as a steady pay check so I can start to think about moving out. It has been so difficult wanting all of this and trying hard to get it just to have nothing pan out. And some days have been harder than others but I keep telling myself to not give up.

All you need is one break, one chance, one person that believes in you enough to take a chance on you. If you give up and stop believing in yourself there is no way anyone else will. Every single interview I go to, I do slightly better. My feedback is good and keeps improving. Even though I might not be what that particular company are looking for, doesn’t mean I have nothing to offer.

Holding on means knowing your worth, your value. Holding on for me means giving everything my all and having faith in the notion that the perfect opportunity is around the corner. I didn’t get some of the jobs I have applied for because I was not supposed to. I know when I am great fit for a company and they are great fit for me, a job offer will come.

My personal focus is finding work however the idea of holding on applies to everything. Wherever it be not giving up on love, friendships, family etc. Know how important you are and resolve to continually make yourself happy. You will understand what you need and deserve and then make an effort to not give up on it. This is not to say that everyone/thing is worth fighting for. This is why knowing your self-worth is so important. This helps you decipher what is good for you and what isn’t. What you should go for and cling on to and what you should let go.

At the beginning of the post I told you that I was finding it hard to find inspiration. This is because talking about giving up is difficult when things aren’t what I would like them to be. This is why I have to talk about it, because I can reassure myself that I AM trying and to keep going because eventually things will start to go my way.

All in all, keep holding on and never give up because you truly never know what opportunities are around the corner.

Stay Bliss, Laura

Single & Serene

 

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So ever since last week’s blog post I have been thinking about what I wanted to write about next. I don’t know why I was thinking so hard as I’m pretty sure I wanted discuss what it is like to be a young single woman. The reason why I struggled starting this post is because this can be a topic that is hard to honestly discuss. You can a run a real risk of sounding bitter and lonely (eek!). Despite this I will talk about this topic as freely as I can and hopefully someone out there can relate.

Being single can be both the most fun and the most lonely. I guess in a good relationship you are constantly being reassured of how awesome and beautiful you are. Whereas for us singles we are forever battling feelings of inadequacy. This is perfectly okay, it just means that I have to remember to compliment myself!

The fun part of being single is the freedom of it. I can literally go anywhere and hang out with anyone at anytime! It such a laugh to be able to go out with some friends and have no idea where the night will take you. Being young, single and living in London means never knowing what’s in store for you next. I have to admit I do like to party (shocking right) and always without a doubt end up having a deep conversation with a total stranger. It’s a wonderful feeling to live a life completely for myself.

There is on the other hand a lonely side to being single. The most obvious is the physical loneliness – it sounds nice having unlimited access to cuddles, kisses and kind words. And even though a major pro of being single is not having to answer to anyone, it can feel a little unnerving thinking no one out there has any particular interest in where you are or what you are doing. I guess when you make the decision to commit to someone you want that feeling of attachment.
Shallow people make being single a nightmare some times. It is so annoying to be judged and passed over due to your looks before someone even takes the chance to get to even speak to you. Hey, I’m a lovely person,  maybe take 5 minutes to actually get to know me eh?!

Ever since the end of my last relationship (which ended quite amicably) and my move to university I have decided that I was ready. Ready for a brand new relationship with a brand new person.

I had already learnt to be confident within myself, battled with my self-esteem but learnt to love all the things about myself that I previously wanted to change. Flaws and all. Happiness is an inside job and it had taken me some time but I was finally happy with who I am. Working on myself was about making sure my happiness and peace of mind was not attached to what someone else thought of me. I figured if I could come to a place of total self-acceptance, a place of knowing who I am and not worrying about what other people thought, maybe then I could let someone in.

So that was a good few years ago but here I am, STILL SINGLE! It sucks when you get yourself to the game and there’s no play. This is because if you spend so much time fixing yourself and lengthening your shortcomings – you can’t then go and settle. Don’t get me wrong I am not overly picky, neither am I particularly unhappy about being single. I just know what I need to get from a commitment because I know what I intend to bring to it. So there is absolutely no need to rush into something I am not happy with just to save me from being alone. Don’t lower your standards.

Sometimes it can be difficult when you have this plan for yourself that isn’t quite panning out. By the tender age of 23 (which is now!) I was supposed to have finished university with at least a 2:1, have a job, moved out and be one half of a successfully loving relationship. Life right now couldn’t be more opposite to what I intended. I am not down though. It wasn’t exactly the most SMART plan.

SMART goals
SMART Goals

Now I have decided to make a new plan, and give it much more thought. ‘I want to be successful’ is not the most specific plan. I am not rushing into anything. It is more important for me to have a long think and consider what it is I actually want before I go jumping into anything. I have the same mantra for relationships. Relationships can be the most beautiful thing in the world and it is amazing to have a best-friend and lover fused into one. Some people are lucky enough to have already found this. The rest of us just have to wait it. Be open to people and open to making new friends and eventually something great will come along. Be happy with who you are without needing this amazing love to swoop in and complete you.

It has become more and more evident to me as time has passed how much I love my friends. When you have people you can tell everything to you realise you already have everything you need. They give me all the emotional support I need. This is why I have decided it best to let a relationship happen naturally. However constantly having to reassure myself that this is not giving up! As for now I am totally good 🙂 Guy/girls come and go from your life as you have many relationships that slowly help mould you. Despite all this however you will always have your friends. Why run around looking for something else when I have friends like mine.

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

Stay Bliss

So I have considered starting a blog for a long time now but due to not having anything major going on in my life I decided against it. After what has to be a very eventful weekend where I spent most of it consoling a friend over many bottles of red wine I realised it’s okay to be sad and talk about it. And Stay Bliss was born!

Do not get me wrong, I am not saying that is okay to spend ALL of your time miserable and wallowing but it is okay to find yourself in a sucky situation and just exclaim ‘this sucks!’ Take me for example, I pretty much flunked out of university because I spent most nights downing jägerbombs and more wine (surprised?!) rather than studying. Then did a stint of work at WH Smiths which let’s just say wasn’t for me. I found myself so stuck and desperately wanting to commit to a job to change my life.

After many job interviews, signing up for the doll and two-week employability course that encouraged a change of mind-set (negative to positive) I was ready. Ready to change my attitude, ready for a career, ready to seriously think about future. I was more positive than ever, my CV looked great, I was confident and ready to land my dream job.

Life doesn’t happen when you are ready I figured out the hard way. Yes I am ready for a career but no one seems to be ready to hire me. Interview after interview, application after application eventually turned into rejection after rejection. My positivity dwindled as I tried so hard to put a brave face on – ‘yeah I didn’t get that job. Sucks but hopefully I’ll get one soon eh?!” Even though I was being continuously hit with rejection and would not allow myself to feel sad by throwing myself into another interview or job application.

And after the eventful weekend where a close friend had a particularly bad one, I found myself dolling out advice. “It’s okay to be sad and angry.” “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” “This situation really sucks but I know, and you’ll be okay – better than okay.” I was saying anything I could to encourage my friend, to make sure she knew she had my support and she was stronger and bigger than her situation. Of course it didn’t fix it, but it helped her and it helped me knowing I helped in some way. Then I found out the latest apprenticeship I had applied for had decided that they actually had no need for an apprentice. That was it. Last Straw. Breakdown.

“Remember what you said to me, it’s okay to be sad and angry, just don’t let it stop you from trying.” Even though that was probably one of the saddest days I have had in a long time, letting myself feel all of this sadness I had been harbouring was such a liberating feeling. It wasn’t fair. I have been trying so hard to get a job and it isn’t fair that I keep getting rejected. And that’s okay! I told myself how awful that day was and let myself feel angry and upset for every single second it.

That how it goes sometimes. Life sucks and sometimes it will beat you down. But you just have to say okay, I am going to stay down and wallow down here today. However first thing in the morning I’m going to get up and hit right back! I will motivate myself all over again. I am going to remember that I am talented and capable and eventually things will work out. The way the always have and will 🙂

So this is what Stay Bliss will be about. My little nuggets of finding and maintaining happiness and peace of mind. Happiness for me also does equal food so you can expect some foodie posts as well!

I dedicate this, my first post to Annie – it’s always darkest before the dawn.

Stay Bliss, Laura

P.S Bring on my next job interview on Monday!