Archive of ‘Me’ category

5 happy things – 7th February 2016

Hello! Hope you’re having a good weekend. I thought I’d drop by with 5 things that have been making me happy this past week. The idea with this post is to focus on the positives; even if sometimes things may seem bad, there’s always a lot of good things around.


Crafting work in progress list - February 2016 - This Little Space of Mine


5 happy things
  1. Starting to write in my new Kikki K gratitude journal.
  2. Going on a date night with Stuart last Wednesday. We’ve also been watching The Man in the High Castle together.
  3. Organising my embroidery threads into my new organiser. So good to keep it all neat and tidy.
  4. Listening to Elise Gets Crafty podcast on my to and from work; it’s keeping me positive and inspired.
  5. Hearing good news from a friend.

What’s been making you happy this week?

Thanks for reading and have a good Sunday!

Leanne x

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A look back at January 2016

Hello! How has your January been?My month review posts tend to look at what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been making and what I’m looking forward to, all with a little help from photos from my Instagram feed. But this month has been all kinds of different. January is always tricky but seeing my Dad in hospital, and discussing his ongoing care, has made this an odd month and one I wouldn’t wish to repeat anytime soon.


A look back at January 2016 - This Little Space of Mine


The month started really well; Stu took me to Bath to celebrate my 30th birthday and we had a wonderful weekend. He spoiled me rotten (as did my family) and I felt very special. But then January 4th arrived and everything changed very suddenly. As the month has gone on things have improved and my amazing Dad is recovering well but that, alongside further family illnesses, hasn’t made it that fun a month. Plus losing David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Sir Terry Wogan has been all kinds of sad. What is up with the universe at the moment?! Here are a couple of pics from my birthday…

With all that going on it’s been a battle to keep positive, some days have been good, some not so much. We’ve had lots of support as a family and received some really thoughtful and sweet messages.

There have been some day trips too; my Dad and his girlfriend got us all tickets to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane for my birthday – so thankful we could still go to that. Have you seen it? It was so good, the set was incredible. In a weird coincidence, my best friends organised for us to have a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed afternoon tea yesterday. So much fun and so nice to be with friends – I’ve felt quite disconnected from everyone this month.

I’ve also picked up a new craft project which has kept me well and truly distracted – the Frosted Pumpkin 2016 stitch along. I’d forgotten how addictive cross stitch can be and thoroughly enjoyed working on the first month pattern and seeing everyone’s progress. The next pattern arrives today (or 1am tomorrow if you’re in the UK like me).

I’ve also got stuck in with my year in books challenge – reading 12 books in a year is a big goal of mine and this month I’ve managed two – #GIRLBOSS and The Twits. You can read my reviews and my book choice for this month over here.

It all sounds a bit doom and gloom, but actually I’m feeling positive about February and the year ahead – despite the bad bits. I’m determined to dig deep and be strong (as my Dad would always tell me to be).

I’ve also got to say a big thank you for popping by over the last month; blogging has taken a little bit of a back seat (though I managed a few posts) yet traffic wise I had a really great month – one of my best. I can’t tell you how much that makes me smile and I hope I can continue it on to February. I’ve got a lot planned and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the posts I didn’t quite get finished this month.

How was your January?

Thanks for reading, hope you have a good start to the month! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for all the latest.

Leanne x

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5 happy things – 15th January 2016

Hurrah for Friday! Do you have much planned for the weekend? I’m going to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal tomorrow; Dad is well enough to go so we’re all heading up there and having dinner in Covent Garden afterwards.

So I know this is a bit of an age-old post, that a lot of people do, but with recent events I don’t want to put 2016 on a downer and instead want to find all the positives and things that have been making me happy. I’m going to try and post 5 happy things as often as I can, as a way of challenging myself to see the good, even if it’s been a tricky week.


5 happy things - 15th January 2016 - This Little Space of Mine


5 happy things
  1. The White Company’s Verveine shower gel. It smells so fresh and wakes me up in the morning.
  2. Watching old David Bowie videos with my Dad. Sad news this week, but good to hear all his great songs again.
  3. Listening to Taylor Swift’s album on my drive to work. I picked it up for £4.99 in HMV last weekend and it’s pop music at its best.
  4. Wrapping up warm in this cold spell we’re having. Lovely crisp blue skies and my coat, gloves and scarf. Love it.
  5. Seeing my beautiful Bloom & Wild flowers come into bloom. Nothing better than fresh flowers in the house.

What’s been making you happy this week?

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great weekend!

Leanne x

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2016 – a bumpy start and looking forward

Hello and happy new year! I hope you’re well and had a good Christmas and New Year break. Christmas feels like a million years ago already. I’d planned to be back a lot sooner, but last week my Dad was rushed to hospital and we spent last week feeling uncertain about the future. I thought about sharing the story of what happened but found it too difficult, so for now I’ll just say that thankfully he’s home and slowly recovering and I am incredibly grateful for all the support received from our family and friends. Nothing like an unexpected phone call and scary news to put things into perspective!

Things are slowly going back to some form of normality, if a little different, so I thought I’d try and kick start with a post about my hopes and goals for 2016.


Goals for the year ahead - This Little Space of Mine


While I do have goals, which I’ll come on to, this year I’m focusing on a theme of how I’d like to live my life, look after myself and see the world. The theme/idea is to not take things too seriously. Oh the irony; I really wasn’t sure what to do with this theme, but I still applies. Last week I noticed that when a loved one is sick everything stops. Literally everything. All those life admin tasks, work, washing, eating, watching TV, craft and even sleep. It all stopped. And not because there wasn’t time; time was limited, but more just a complete lack of energy or motivation. But when life goes back to normal it makes you think about all those things I thought were important, but really weren’t. Things like sending back an ASOS order a week later than I had planned made no difference whatsoever to my life, nor did not cashing a cheque I received from an aunt for my birthday or not doing the washing on the day I had planned. I guess it’s been a lesson in how much control we really have over our lives and taking it all with a pinch of salt.

So I’m going to stick with my theme of not taking life too seriously. I’d begun applying it back in October after it came to me in one of those light bulb moments and I’ve felt far more stronger for applying it to situations, instead of getting stressed that something hasn’t worked out as I wanted to. Ultimately, I guess we have to ask ourselves is it really important? I sometimes think of Freddie and how life is so straightforward for him – his concerns revolve around food, water, cuddles, going for a mooch outside and playing with his toys. Simple, simple, simple. While our lives are obviously more complex than a cat, perhaps we can take something from it.

If you’d like to read more about applying a theme to your year, I really liked Anne Ditmeyer’s post about the subject and how she plans to make it work for her in 2016.

Onto my goals, I’ve broken them down into home, crafts and me.

Home

After the initial move and settling in, house tasks largely slowed down at the end of the year; there were other things going on, plus it gave us time to enjoy the house and think about what we wanted to do next. Our plans at the moment are…

  • We’re already underway with this, but getting our dining room in order would be good. It has been a dumping ground since we moved but we’ve now picked out the furniture we’d like and begun work on some super storage for our under stairs cupboard, so watch this space.
  • Learn more about gardening and get our garden looking good. When we bought our house we knew that our garden would take a back seat for a while, but 2016 is the year it’ll get some attention. There is a heck of a lot of weeding to do, the decking to tidy up, garden furniture to buy and I’d like to also plant some new flowers and have my own herb garden.
  • Frame all the lovely pictures and prints we have.

Crafts

I’d like to keep my crafting plans fairly loose; historically I’ve always been guided with projects that catch my eye and I enjoy having that freedom. That being said, there are a couple of specific crafts I have in mind.

  • Learn how to knit socks. Mum bought me everything I need to get started so it’s just a case of getting on with it now.
  • Challenge myself to make a cardigan or jumper just for me. I’ve got my eye on a few patterns and it’s just a case of when. I’d imagine I might go for this towards the end of the year.
  • Enjoy The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery ‘Let’s go on an adventure’ stitch-along cross stitch project. My first year-long project since my sky blanket and I’m looking forward to seeing the first pattern this Friday!

Me

Obviously I can’t forget about me and looking after myself – something I’m not the best at. The theme of not taking things too seriously will absolutely help me but I also want to spend time on the following:

  • Enjoying the relationships I have with my friends and family; now, more than ever, is this so important to me. I have a wonderful group of people in my life and I don’t want to take them for granted.
  • Think about my health – my diet, how much I exercise etc. There’s definitely more I can be doing and I’d like to improve this area of my life (and see what kind of impact it has) this year.
  • Read at least one book a month, as part of Circle of Pine’s a year in books.

I’m still working on my blog and career goals for 2016, but I’m excited and determined to be brave this year with what I’d like to achieve. What I do know is that without even realising it, I doubled my traffic and social media follower count in the last year. I’m so proud of that and pleased with the direction This Little Space of Mine is going in. I took a bit of time out over the summer when we moved house and, while I was concerned about what the break would do, I came back fully focused and that focus is paying off with what feels like consistent content. Thank you so much for reading, commenting and encouraging me!



Goals for the year ahead - This Little Space of Mine



Wishing you a happy and healthy 2016 and thank you for reading.

Do you have any similar goals or themes for the year? I’d love to hear if any of ours match!

Leanne x

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How November 2015 looked…

Hello! How has November been for you? This month has flown by and there’s lots going on that’s keeping me happy and busy – just the way I like it! I thought I’d share what else I’ve been up to this past month, with a little help from Instagram.



How November looked - This Little Space of Mine



First up, we celebrated our anniversary this month with a weekend away in Cambridge. We hung out with Claire and her boyfriend and had some time together to enjoy meals out, walks along the canal and at the colleges (even if it was a chilly weekend!). I really like Cambridge and will be sharing a few more pics next week.

My friend Gem launched her by-post baking business, Borders Bakeshop, I continued to love Flow magazine and with the colder weather my Flamingo Candles Melt Crowd subscription is coming in handy!

Craft wise, I’m in full swing of all the things I want to make. Do you ever have those times where you feel so enthusiastic about crafting that you literally can’t get enough of it? I’m definitely in that mode at the moment and my work-in-progress list needs some attention.

My current makes include a purple Heidi Bear Fatty Lumpkin pony, a Wool and the Gang hat I’ve been asked to make as a gift from a friend, my ripple blanket (pictured with Freds) and I’m working on a We Make Collective collaboration. I also made a snowflake for Love Crochet’s Snowflake appeal for Home Start – lovely to contribute and the first time I’ve been able to read a crochet pattern from start to finish without assistance, go me!

Behind the scenes we’ve also been doing a few bits and pieces around the house, which has included beginning to clear out our parents lofts and completing our living room fireplace.

So December… Christmas time and the end of 2015. Feels like I’m starting to wrap things up so I can start 2016 with a fresh slate. I’ve got a few goals and things I’d like to work on (mainly crafts!), but I’m going to finish Christmas shopping as soon as I can so I can enjoy this time of year with my nearest and dearest.

Thanks for reading, hope you have a good day! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for all the latest.

Leanne x

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How October 2015 looked…

How was your October? I know everyone says its but wow, this year has gone fast! This month I’ve loved getting back into blogging – thank you for stopping by. As well as blogging, I thought I’d share what else I’ve been up to this past month, with a little help from Instagram.


How October looked - This Little Space of Mine


First up, what glorious autumn weather we’ve had! OK yes, a bit of a rain and a few grey days, but we’ve also had warm, clear blue sky days. I love them the most. The leaves are well and truly falling now but I’m hoping autumn might stick around a little longer; it’s so pretty outside at the moment.

Weather aside, October started with a poorly Freds after he was beaten up by a neighbours cats. A trip to the vets and a cone and medicine for a week and now he’s back to his good old self (well, with a bit of a bald patch by his tail). The colder nights do mean he’s getting more demanding for cuddles, but I love them!

Last weekend I completed a big challenge, running my first ever organised run! My friend Ella and I took part in the Great South Run in Portsmouth, running 10 miles in the glorious (and slightly odd!) sunshine. I feel very proud of this achievement and proud I was able to raise over £200 for Mind, the mental health charity.

My crafty self was super busy, with the arrival of Stylecraft’s limited edition yarn park – oh how I love it and have loved playing with colour combinations (the most popular post in October too). I also finished my first Heidi Bear crochet pony; I’ve already started on the second too (no rest for the wicked!) and I’m really enjoying it.

So how was your October? I haven’t even started Christmas shopping yet so that’s definitely high on my agenda this coming month, as well as pony making.

Thanks for reading, hope you have a good day!

Leanne x

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Happy 1st birthday This Little Space of Mine!

Today marks one year since I launched This Little Space of Mine! Happy birthday to… me, I guess! What a year it’s been; with long holidays, weddings and a house move this year has been non-stop but I’ve loved developing This Little Space of Mine and, in the last couple of months, I feel more focused then ever and full of exciting plans.


Happy 1st birthday - This Little Space of Mine


I’d love to say a big thank you to you for reading and for those especially have been around since day one and visited time and time again. I’m a numbers nerd and I love seeing what’s popular and even what’s not; it’s helped me develop and continue to develop my content. Thank you!

What better a way to celebrate then by looking at my five most popular posts from the last year. Which was your favourite post?

The story of the knitted sky blanket – March 2015. This had to feature, didn’t it? The biggest craft project I’ve taken on; over the course of 14 months making a knitted sky blanket had its highs and lows but I love it and it now sits proudly on our sofa.

The story of the sky blanket - This Little Space of Mine



A beautiful summer wedding in Gloucestershire – the day my best friend got married – July 2015. Equally pleased to see this; one of my favourite days of the year gone by, it was truly a special time to stand by my best friend as her bridesmaid. And didn’t she look beautiful?

The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine



Fudge Kitchen experience in Edinburgh – December 2015. Stu and I love the Fudge Kitchen and treated ourselves to their fudge making experience course when in Edinburgh for our anniversary last year. Great fun, plus we got to take loads of it home!

Fudge Kitchen experience - This Little Space of Mine



Learn to knit with Simple Stylish Knitting magazine – March 2015. I remember this post well; I started it by talking about knitting vs. crochet and it certainly generated a bit of discussion! I’ve since learnt how to crochet (hurray!) but knitting will always be my favourite and I love receiving Simple Stylish Knitting through the post once a month.

Learn to knit with Simple Stylish Knitting - This Little Space of Mine



Getting started with Anna Jones’ ‘A Modern Way to Eat’ – May 2015. My favourite cook book these days, I even have Anna Jones’ second book now. I looked at the contents of the book as well as setting myself the challenge of 5 makes from it, back in May. Oops, I really need to make the final one and talk more about it!

A modern way to eat - This Little Space of Mine



Quite interesting to see a variety of posts pop up – craft, home and lifestyle. What kind of posts are your favourite reads?

Thank you so much for reading – here’s to the next 12 months!

Leanne x

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A summer break!

Happy summer holidays! For kids and parents it means no school, maybe a holiday and 6 weeks to entertain the kids. For me it means an easier commute and more kids in town when I pop out to get my lunch. The lessened commute is a big plus!

The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine



With school holidays comes a chance for a break before that final stint of the year and I’ve been thinking about just that for This Little Space of Mine. This year has been insanely busy and instead of just keeping up, I thought I’d take a good month or so off blogging to carry on with home improvements, enjoy some summer sunshine (wishful thinking!) and put into plan some of the ideas I have for my blog.

So I’ll be back in September, ready and rearing to go! In the meantime you can still catch me on all the usual channels…

Enjoy the summer break and I hope you’ll be back when I return!

Leanne x

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Photo credit: Dan Fisher Photography

A beautiful summer wedding in Gloucestershire – the day my best friend got married

Seeing my best friend get married last month was one of those proud days I’ll never forget. Standing by her side as a bridesmaid, alongside her sister and my other best friend, felt incredibly special and spending the weekend with their families and friends left me wanting to go back to Cirencester to relive it all.

So today I thought I’d share a few pictures from the wedding. A big big thank you to Dan Fisher for allowing me to share his photographs – do go and have a look at his website, I love how well he captured the day. One of the things the bride wanted was an un-intrusive photographer; one who didn’t come and bother her or guests, make people uncomfortable, someone quietly in the background capturing the day. Dan did exactly that; so much so that we didn’t even notice he was there most of the day!

A summer wedding in South Cerney, Gloucestershire

The morning of the wedding and the bridesmaids and I had thought Victoria would be really nervous, but she ended up the calm one keeping us all at bay! It was all relaxed, with some goodies from the local bakery, drinks and kitten cuddles. Once the dress went on the emotions got to us (you can just see family friend Jean in the background getting emotional!). I think we all shed a few tears when Victoria’s Dad came in to see her all ready to go to the church.


The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful summer wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine


Arrival at the church.



The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful summer wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine



Here I am with the other bridesmaids, Hollie and Sarah. The first time I’ve been a bridesmaid (as an adult) and I loved all the build up and excitement; sharing it with these two was a lot of fun.



The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful summer wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine



The couple got married at South Cerney Church, Gloucestershire. Here they are outside of the church; probably my favourite photo of them – I love how Victoria is looking over at Ollie.



The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful summer wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine



From the church we walked to Berry Farm, where the wedding reception was held. Thankfully the sun came out for the walk and I love Dan’s photographs of us all walking over together in convoy.



The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful summer wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine



Arrival at Berry Farm to drinks from the lovely waiting staff.



The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful summer wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine



There were lots of homemade touches throughout the wedding, these signs were painted the day before by the boys. They look so great and hats off to Anthony, Sarah’s boyfriend, for making these. It’s the homemade and personal touches that I find make a wedding and I loved how in-keeping it all was to them and the pretty Gloucestershire surroundings.



The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful summer wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine



The marquee itself was decorated with wild flowers we arranged the day before, wooden blocks the bride’s cousin had made, bunting the bride and Hollie had made and lots more. It’s amazing how it all comes together and the day felt like ‘them’; it wasn’t too formal and, in fact, once the ceremony and speeches were done a lot of people got changed into shorts and t-shirts – the heals came off and the flip flops came on!



The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful summer wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine



Remember those homemade touches I mentioned? The bride managed to get away with having Sylvanian families bride and groom at the top of the wedding cake! These were from her childhood and dressed up in the appropriate outfits – love it!



The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful summer wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine



The flowers on the day were put together by Victoria’s very talented Mum; she did an amazing job of arranging wild flowers for the church and the reception.



The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful summer wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine



And finally, a shot of the happy couple with the marquee and barn in the background.



The one where my best friend got married. A beautiful summer wedding in a small Gloucestershire village - This Little Space of Mine



For food there was a BBQ in the barn (catered by the team at Berry Farm) and the bride and groom organised for an ice cream van to arrive for the evening. There was also tea and cake a bit later on.

A fantastic day, one I’ll never forget. Congratulations to Dr. and Mr. Reeve, love you guys xxx

Leanne x
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Photo credit: Dan Fisher Photography

A look back at June 2015

I’m back! I’ve missed blogging heaps and it’s no nice to finally be able to sit down, in my new craft room, and write a post. I haven’t organised myself to a full schedule yet but I’m hoping I can get back on track soon. Ahead of moving house I really thought I’d be offline a week and then return to normal – how wrong I was! 23 days without the internet isn’t easy, that much I have learnt.

So June. June had it’s ups and downs. Buying a house, I thought, would be an incredibly happy time yet it was the most stressful month I’ve experienced in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, buying and moving into our first home together makes me incredibly proud and I thank my lucky stars every day that I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to buy a home. But the reality is that it’s a huge upheaval. As the month has passed we’ve had furniture arrive, unpacked a whole heap of boxes and, with the arrival of our sofas last Friday, it is finally starting to feel like home. And I love it! We’ve made a plan for next steps in July and I’m hoping we can both take time out, together, to enjoy the house. We’ve even booked in a date night next week which I can’t wait for.

June was also the month of Blogtacular and what an amazing experience that was! I want to write more about Blogtacular soon, but essentially it was a day out of ‘the norm’ for me where I got to be inspired by other creatives and meet people I now consider to be friends. A big thank you to Katie and Claire, especially, for being my buddies on the day – as well as all the other lovely people I got to spend time with.

Baz Lurhman’s ‘Sunscreen‘ references the lyrics ‘The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday’ and how true that is. A couple of days into June I came across a man who had unfortunately passed away in our work car park. I won’t go into too much detail about the experience but watching six paramedics work tirelessly to save his life was truly heartbreaking. I have so much respect for their profession; they were incredible and so collected about what was unfolding in front of them. The days after it were difficult and a big thank you to my friends and family for all their support. Since then I’ve often thought about him and how I found him. I so wish I could’ve done something to save him. I’m not sure the memories of finding him will ever go away, but they’re finding a place.

Onto something more positive… my best friend got married! A beautiful day and I felt so truly honoured to stand by her side as one of her bridesmaids. Yep, there were tears. The build up to the day and being involved in the prep made for a truly happy time and I loved spending the weekend down in Cirencester. I got to see the photos this week and they so perfectly sum up the day and the theme the bride and groom wanted. I’ll hopefully be able to share some pictures with you soon.

And to top it all off I went to Germany last week on a work trip. We went to Cologne, to Phantasialand – a huge theme park that didn’t disappoint. It was nice to take some time out and spend more time with colleagues, outside of the day to day working environment. Plus the Vengaboys performed at our last night work do – amazing! I’ve had their songs in my head ever since!

What a month!

July for me is going to be all about enjoying my new surroundings, continuing to build our home, enjoying our relationship a bit more, spending time with friends and, let’s not forget, Wimbledon! Wouldn’t it be good if this heatwave continued too?

Blog wise, as I wrote earlier I’m really hoping I can get back into a proper schedule soon. I have lots and lots of ideas and I still have my California trip to share with you.

So – how are you? How was your month?

Thanks so much for reading!

Leanne x
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