Too much on my plate

I’ve been married for almost 3 years and have moved three times – one of them was overseas. When you have so much on your plate in so little time it’s extremely easy to forget about yourself.

I’ve always loved to read and write, it’s something I have a passion for. I would long to come home after work just to continue the story that I had to stop the night before. I have journals – three of them – that have hundreds of scribbled pages. I used to sit down and do it, I loved to learn and to start new courses – challenging myself.

I think the fact that everything that has happened challenged me so much in every single way possible, I now tend to try to ‘escape’ it by ignoring what I’m feeling. I would think that it would be nice to start a new book but had none at home. I would want to get my favorite pen to write but next minute I would just give up. My workplace actually offered to pay me some courses to make me grow on my career but I haven’t chosen what I want to do.

I’ve noticed this was happening around a year ago but haven’t tried to change it until I could see that it was affecting my marriage. I would be extremely moody, anxious, extremely tired and not looking forward the weekends. I can’t say I had depression but I was really close.

The first thing I did was to take a deep breath, then I put things to action. Organised my house, started writing, made a blog and I am now choosing which course I want to do and planning on learn how to knit, paint and calligraphy. I feel energised and proud of what I’m doing/ who I am. I missed this feeling.

I can still get myself feeling a bit down once in a while but everybody does. I can see how much healthier my way of thinking is and how it has impacted positively on my husband. We’re in a much better place now together. I just love it.

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After a really rainy week, we’ve had sunshine today. I like to think it was just because I got the day off from work to finish some Christmas shopping and take some time to myself. My day was amazing and I forgot how much I enjoy spending some time alone – it’s like I’ve met myself all over again.

On the ups and downs of life I have thousands reasons to be thankful today and that’s all that I am.

Please notice that even though I was able to snap out of it, depression is real and can come and go. If you are struggling with your feelings – please reach for a family member, friends and/or your doctor. There’s no shame on getting a bit of help and maybe all you need is someone to turn on the lights.

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Nadine

A walk at the park + daily ramblings

I write this on a cold Saturday, the sun as a gentleman that he is has let the clouds go first and make the day extremely grey. 

Last weekend we went to see The Crimes of Grindewald with a friend at VUE in Oxford. Even though I now live in Wiltshire I’m just a drive away from Oxfordshire and truth be told I’ve missed living there for the past 2 months since I’ve moved so we get any chance we have to visit her. I can’t complain, VUE is a quite good cinema and I enjoy it every time I go there minus the bathrooms – they remind me of McDonald’s ones – So I get myself sipping my drink slowly so I don’t have to go until I get back home. 

I’ve also been looking forward Christmas a lot. The past two years we’ve spent in England we had lovely friends that invited us to spend the Holidays with them but it’s never the same as family. This year we’ll spend it with Kevin’s family in Sweden for the first time. Not only that but we will go on a (veeeeeeery long) road trip from Wiltshire to Skellefteå so needless to say we’ll be driving through France/Germany/Denmark and some other countries in between. I’m still a bit nervous about the length of the trip and how we’re going to do that as I’m normally the one to just get a plane because it’s quicker and easier but Kevin tends to differ. He loves the idea of ‘adventure’ even though it means he will have to drive for 30 hours one way.  

I still get the shivers when I think about the amount of time it will take but I’m trying to enjoy the idea of something I wouldn’t do if I wasn’t married to him – something that I know I probably won’t regret in the end.  

I am trying not to be negative and look on the bright side: I’ll be able to share the experience. Not only on the blog but to my children and grandchildren. It’s a nice thing to do when we haven’t gotten children or pets yet, just the two of us. I plan on sharing everything – from snacks we’re bringing with us to the whole Christmas experience in Sweden on several posts and maybe even a video of the trip. So stay tuned for that – I’m bringing the camera everywhere! 

We’ll spend two weeks there and then we’re coming back with Kevin’s “little” brother (he’s taller than Kevin so not THAT little) with us so he can spend a week going around England as this will be the first time he’s left Sweden. 

For now we’re trying to have laid back weekends until we go (just a bit more than 20 days left) so we don’t pack ourselves up with things to do and dread leaving on the 21st of December after work. So when going to Church last Sunday we’ve discovered that they have a big lake surrounded by forest (as big of a forest as you can have here in the UK, but well) and we’ve decided to go for a nice walk today. 

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England is truly a beautiful land. There are not many woods around here but the great planes are great indeed – Every season compliments the landscape in a way. I can’t decide my favourite but it looks amazing when Autumn while it’s still okay to be out for more than one hour and not freeze.

We weren’t that lucky as we went a bit late for red and orange trees and now it’s more like a brownish colour on the ground with naked trees all around. We still spotted some wildlife as they tend to hide when it gets colder.

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 It was a really pleasant walk – I’ve sat in a closed office all week, I just needed some time outside spotting cute little things along the way. I’ve also spotted thousands of dogs, and I was crazy to target them with my camera lens but thought the owners might find it a bit weird – or not – if you are a dog lover you probably are able to understand another dog lover. Maybe next time I’ll ask for some shots.

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Have you watched The Crimes of Grindewald movie? What did you think about it?

Do you have any road trip tips? Have you ever had one? I’d love to hear good stories about a trip you’ve done so I can feel calmer about driving across so many countries at once!

I wish you all a very lovely week ahead.

-Nadine

Christmas love.

It wasn’t until I came to England that I’ve started writing Christmas cards. It’s not something we do where I come from but this was the easiest tradition to adhere to.

The past two years I’ve looked for the funniest cards I could find, and believe me, I’ve found the best ones here in the UK! But this year I wanted to go for something more…natural, simple and sweet – I believe I’ve found what I’ve been looking for.

This is the set of 10 Christmas cards from Ink&White and they read “Noël, Noël”, “Mistletoe & Wine”, “Silent Night” and of course, “Jingle bells”.

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The cards are really sweet and simple. I believe I’ve chosen them because this is one of my new years resolution – to take life lightly, to be calm, take my time and make my own Christmas cards next year! My plan is to start with watercolour and then calligraphy – let’s see how it goes.

You can visit the online store clicking here . It’s free shipping for the UK and 10% off with the code dontgo10.

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Do you have a Christmas card tradition between you and your family/friends? I’d love to see the cards you’ve got!

This post is not sponsored, I just really loved these and decided to share in case someone is still out there looking for the perfect ones.

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Nadine

Favourite products this winter!

I know that winter is around the corner when I start having less pictures out in the open as we tend to have cozier weekends at home. My husband is used to go out on the most adverse weather and he strongly believes that “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” – easy for him to say when he’s spent his whole life on the North Pole while I was swimming on lakes in the middle of the Brazilian winter.

He is right though, I am doing my best to buy clothes by their warmth and not their beauty as I plan on spending more time outside this winter – specially when we go on our road trip from the UK to the north of Sweden this Christmas. 

For now, I do want to share some of the best products I’ve used this Autumn as the season’s dry weather tends to make my skin and hair completely dry – this being after a long time of me trying new products that didn’t really work and finally finding something that I love. Every product with an * will have a link by the end of this post.

The truth is: I have a mixed skin and hair, meaning that it’s not oily nor dry, I’m right in the middle where products for either won’t work for me. If I use something for oily skin, my skin gets extremely oily– the same happens when I use dry skin products (I tend to look like Spongebob Squarepants when he visits Sandy). I also have a long, dark, thick hair that is straight on the roots (that tend to get oily) and curly on the tips (that tend to get dry).  

The first product that I tried is called Maui*, it’s an extremely good conditioner that I’ve started using around a month ago. They have a lot of smells but all of them are nourishing and treat damaged hair. So far I’ve tried these two combinations: Agave and Coconut milk – I just can’t decide which one I liked better. Both of them made my hair silky, shiny and smell good all day long. I do have to say that I always tend to go for the coconut one, I just love how sweet yet fresh coconut based products smell.

The second point that made me love the product is that the bottle is easy to open so you can use all the product that is inside – nothing is lost. I have just ordered their hair mask which I will review as soon as I’ve used it for a couple of weeks. 

Jumping to skin care, I have combined three products for the last month: Let the Good Times Roll, Imperials from Lush and Olay’s night routine moisturizer. 

Let the Good Times Roll* is a popcorn face scrub that I use around 2 times a week. The base for this product is quite oily so I try not to use it too often. This is the first facial product that helped me to get rid of those tiny loose dry skin that appear when we switch the heaters on at home while it rains outside in Autumn.

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Imperials* is the best moisturizer I’ve ever used. It is extremely nourishing but it doesn’t make my skin oily so I use it every single morning. This is not the cheapest product from Lush as I’ve paid £16.95 for the smallest pot, but having said that it lasts for ages and unless you’re sharing it with someone, you probably wouldn’t be able to finish it by the best before date.

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Lush products have a short life as they are natural and vegan – I’d take it any day if it meant no harsh products on my face. They are also cruelty free. All their pots are recycled and you get a free mask if you give them 5 empty ones back. I’m about to get mine! 

I used to work for P&G before moving to the UK and I’ve always loved Olay products. This is my night time routine moisturizer and like the Lush one, it doesn’t make my skin oily but it still feels soft and moisturized after a hot shower. It is also anti-age but I’ll only be able to review that part 30 years from now.

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Shifting from skin care to house items, I am completely in love with my throw basket’s colour and pattern and I believe it goes well with a lot of styles as it looks really natural – that is the kind of look that I intend to achieve when decorating my house (there’s a lot to do still, but this is a good start!). I’ve decided to share this item as it can be used to store so many things! – Perfect to have in any corner. Unfortunately TKMAXX is out of stock but you can find several different woven baskets on their site.

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Last but not least, my warm water bag. I wanted something to keep me warm at the office during the day, but I didn’t want it to be too big. This Jordan and Judy silicone water bag is the perfect size to carry with you wherever you go. They have it in different colours and two sizes. I have been using mine for the past month and got plenty of comments about how cute it looks.

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 Do you have any products your family can’t live without on colder seasons?

 Nadine

*Maui Moisture Conditioner – https://amzn.to/2QwllQB
*Let the Good Times Roll – https://bit.ly/2zRmXO3
*Imperials – https://bit.ly/2xjOyoP
*Olay Regenerist Night – https://amzn.to/2qEqA5J
*Jordan and Judy warm water bag – https://amzn.to/2DbaM1H