Monday, 5 December 2011

Bed Rest

For those of you that are friends with me on facebook or follow me on twitter, you will know this weekend I've been ill.
This morning the doctors told me I have a virus which has spread to my inner ear. So, not only do I have a banging headache and glands the size of golf balls (never reassuring when the Doctor is shocked) but I'm also dizzy, light headed and generally feeling awful. I've been very lucky to be well looked after by a certain boy this weekend, but unfortunately, today i've been left to my own devices. I have watched "A Night with Beyonce" and slept, tried to do some reading for my lecture tomorrow (which I'm determined to be in)- and been told off for doing work. 
As a result, I'm moping!

However, I discovered my friend, Leah's blog- Oh, wow cute! I've known Leah since we were in year... 10? I think! and She's grown up to be an inspiration- shop owner, wife and soon to be mummy! her love of vintage and her vintage shop, Vintage Per Sempre- Boscombe is a big reason behind my love of all things vintage (and some of the vintage items in my wardrobe)

Anyway, as my trawling of the internet normally does... her blog lead me to other sites and now i'm very content drinking hot blackcurrant and trawling cute blogs and photo websites. You should check these out:
Thrilld- How cute is that photo? Thrilld is full of cute photos and is described as "the online scrapbook" too adorable.

We <3 It- Another online scrapbook style website. Again, full of cute pictures of vintage clothes, kooky looking girls, cute couples, fit boys (one direction boys ;)) I'm currently trawling to find a new background for my laptop. 

Pinterest- Do you really need any justification? Just look at that adorable picture. Pinterest is an online pinboard... full of cooking ideas, wedding planning bits, room decorating, and cute photos. Yup- sounds quite perfect to me.


and better yet, having stalked some blogs. i've tried to improve mine. What do we think?
Any other cute websites?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Y'all ready for this?

So, I haven't blogged in MONTHS!
But one of my uni lecturers, yes UNI ;) suggested that we start writing journal entries each day and it made sense to me to put it into a blog, so, hopefully i'll be blogging on a daily, or as close as basis! 


So, I'm coming to the end of another weekend, and I can't say that I have much to show for it! some shopping from primark, full cupboards, some handwashing and a lot of sleep. But sometimes you need that right? ok, so I haven't done much work or reading, but I feel pretty relaxed and it's been a nice weekend. 
I have the best housemates, whether half of them are going out on a Friday night and coming back to loudly rant about the rudeness of the S.U. bouncer, or we're spending our Saturday nights, sat around the table, laptops on with me testing Bryony on psychology, and everyone else seems to know the answers more then her! They're honestly the best bunch of girls I could ever have hoped to live with and I'm soo excited for the next few months with them.


I'm entirely full of Christmas spirit after Thursday's night switch on. i came home and made a vast amount of mulled cider and it's taking a lot of willpower not to throw tinsel around the place! Although, when I walk past the local pound shop tomorrow, I can't promise I won't go in... it is after all about 6 weeks 'til Christmas and if it's good enough for Chester town centre it can damn well be good enough for Meadowbank Mansions! Right?




well, that's kinda it, just getting myself back into the blogsphere!


Night xx

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Life Is Precious

I've been away from the blogging scene for a while,busyness and laziness. eventually I'll get blogger set up on my Blackberry, then I won't be able to use the "never turn my laptop on" excuse.


But actually, this blog post is really hard to write...
Last week, my first week since moving back to London, was pretty up and down. 
It started on Monday with the funeral for a very close family friend who sadly lost her battle to cancer. The service was incredibly fitting to Sue and the poem, "Miss me but let me Go" was read, truly summarising Sue's feelings about the attitudes of those she left behind.


Unfortunately the week was followed with some tragic news about another friend and the limited amount of time they had left on this earth. Closely followed by the news of Amy Winehouse's early death and of course, the Norway shootings.


Obviously, only two of these events directly affect me, in that I know and grieve for those people. But i'm not entirely sure it matters. Naturally, if you have any sense of compassion, cancer killing a mother/wife/aunt/godmother/friend, the death of a 27 year old troubled and talented individual and the death of nearly 100 young people at the hands of one person, is tragic. 


But it got me thinking, anyone who knows me, will know that I am generally, a positive person. I haven't always been dealt the best hand, who is? and I do really battle with depression. But, generally, I can be optimistic  Except recently, I've been in a bit of a funk... for various reasons: a change of routine, a change of living, loneliness, other factors! But basically, I've been moping. Trust me on that one, or read my twitter!


Until, Saturday. When suddenly, it seemed illogical. I always laughed at the expression "life is short", it's obviously the longest thing we will do on this earth. So, it's not short to us personally, but... life is precious and life is fragile. That's an unfortunate fact.


So, why am I moping in a funk, crying over stuff that doesn't matter, wasting opportunities and getting angry at all the wrong people. When in reality, I don't know how many days I've got left.


I know this is said a thousand times, and I never really took it seriously:


But... It's time to dance like noones watching, sing like noones listening, love like I've never been hurt, forgive, laugh loudly, flirt outrageously, make mistakes but not regrets, hug tightly and kiss often.


I'm not being naive, I fully expect tears, disappointments, whatever else. But it's time to start letting go.
Making the most of stuff, walking on the beach on my own. because I can, and therefore I'll make the most of it.


I'm sorry this isn't the most poetic, inspirational blog, worthy of Martin Luther King or Churchill. But I hope you'll get my drift.


It's time to start afresh. and make the most of each and every breathe.


Who's with me?

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Oh Please...

"Go for it. Just ask him" "No, I could never do that... he should do the chasing"
This was a conversation between a friend and I yesterday. Two guesses as to which person was me.
Seriously though..
women are strong in politics, media, business and music. To name just a few of our strengths.
Yet, we're still too shy, to ask someone out. Really?


I truly wear my heart on my sleeve, sometimes to my detriment. But if I like someone, or I'm interested. They will know. And as I recently found out, other people quickly figure it out too. But at least there's no game playing from my end. If I like you, I like you and I'll probably want to act on that feeling, again, sometimes to my detriment! 


So maybe that's why I struggle so much with this idea, that we can't ask someone out...not even for an innocent coffee or drink. As a good friend and namesake once said, "going for coffee isn't illegal" and what do we honestly gain from not asking? The agonising over whether they might ever get the balls to ask us. Remember ladies, we can be pretty damn intimidating.


and what do we lose from asking? the risk of rejection,but if it's just a casual meet up, who really cares? It's not as if you're in love with the guy. and if you are, honey, you should have made that move a while ago! 


At risk of sounding like some kind of wacko, self helf, hypnosis tape. We really are amazing women, we have our flaws, our nuances and our downright weird bits. But isn't that what the perfect guy is going to love about us? and that guy really could just be one question away.


Now, I'm not saying we should always do the chasing. Hell, I crave the chase and I damn well deserve to be treated like a princess. But, I honestly think you can ask someone out without compromising our worth or value.


In fact, isn't an informal date the perfect opportunity to find out if this guy will treat us the way we deserve. Is he polite? Does he open doors for people? Does he order a very girly drink? (trust me, I think it's ok to be picky about these things.) and does he make you laugh?
How can we find out these things, and more if we don't ask!




So go on Ladies. I dare you.


and I want to hear your stories or opinions




Love Laura 

Monday, 30 May 2011

The Single Issue.

I have been "single" since 2nd August 2010. That's what? 9 Months and 28 days. (I'd like to add I only just counted, it's not a countdown (or up?!?) I regularly call to mind! 
But in reality, single is just a label, our heart, mind and feelings define our status exactly. So how long have I been fully single, heart and mind not occupied, not flirting with or considering someone? Probably closer on weeks, then months.
See, I have a confession... I like boys, I like being in a relationship. I like good morning texts, cuddles, having someone to call when it all gets a bit much, I like compliments and kisses. and I like having someone around to look after me. 
But, after my head and well... my ego took a few too many bruisings. I made a decision.
Single. Wholeheartedly. 
Physically, emotionally, mentally single.
No kissing, flirting, dating (yeah... coz I'm always going on dates... NOT!) and also, no sizing up every eligible guy as a potential boyfriend, (yes, that's an awful habit I've gotten in to)


why?
Because it gives me time to heal, to grow in my relationship with God, to understand myself better, to deal with some emotional baggage which I really don't want to bring into my next relationship and because actually, it's totally ok to be single and in some respect, be selfish.


As a young Christian, I see couples getting married all around me. It's almost expected that if you're not married by 25 there must be something wrong. Why is that? In the secular world, 25 is just out of university, maybe moving in with your partner, working on your career. Why can't the same be true for Christian couples or dare I say... singles? 
At the end of the day, I'm 19. I've faced a lot in 19 years. I'm currently on a very demanding gap year, I've barely got time to breathe some days, so I'm in total awe of anyone able to give their relationship the tie it needs. 


I want to be able to give everything to my next relationship. Of course I'd like to get married, it's my biggest dream. But right now, I don't want to be starting a relationship when old scars are still healing, when I'm still able to cry over the ex boyfriends or, worse, the guys that "nearly were". I want to be able to give my all, my heart- fully fit for him, my time and my future.


Until I can do that, I'm going to take some time out. Grow in who I am, get to know God a bit better and maybe... just maybe .... understand a bit more about the man I'm meant to be with.


Besides, my onesie isn't ready to share me yet.




Love Laura 


p.s. another confession, I pretty much suck at being wholly single. but I'm learning. 

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Another Wedding Blog.

Today I am tired.
Yesterday was a lovely day of full blown weddingness!
Yes, finally Jess Brett-Allman married my only cousin Mr Mark Downton, to become another Mrs J Downton.
and boy did they do it in style!

First off, I had to get there. London to Bury St Edmunds (that's Suffolk, by the way) Easy, no?
But it appears, every time I want to leave London, something goes, a little wrong!
It took a total of... one London Overground, Two London Underground, One Train, One Coach and a Tax
4 and a half hours, to get toe the Hotel. But worth every second.
and falling into bed at the Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds. Felt ah-maz-ing!

The day started with breakfast and a girly trip the hairdressers. Curls, Fascinator. Check.
Then a (slight detoured) drive to Hengrave Hall.
Chloe and I were sharing a room, and it was a room fit for princess's.
I think I might move into the Rose Chamber, Hengrave Hall. For the four poster bed with thick pillows and the wet room!
Getting ready was so much fun. Make up with thanks to a youtube tutorial and my lovely lemon yellow dress with the world's most amazing gold glittery shoes. (check facebook for photos)

and then down to the most idyllic chapel in the ground, to witness the ceremony.
A beautiful church ceremony, credit to my big sister, Sam for her reading and for not falling on her ass!
Mark made a dashing groom and Jess looked stunning, with an amazing dress and beautiful hair!

The rest of the day was awash with celebrations, champagne, food (amazing), speeches, cake cutting
and then dancing.
The Downton Family is not renowned for being wall flowers at parties.
The tone was set with Mark and Jess' first dance, a fast paced dance which reflected the fun of such a brilliant couple.and of course, Chloe and I were next up on the dance floor and pretty much stayed there till the DJ closed down for the night.
To those who comment on my slightly erratic dancing, it became apparent that I was just born at the wrong time! I can shake a tail feather like nobody's business. Watch out, Beyonce!

Honestly, I can not imagine a couple who deserved a day/weekend of such joy, celebration, family, friends, laughter, (a few tears) and happiness. Mark and Jess have faced some difficult times recently and have come through it so bravely and strong. I'm so, so proud to now be able to call them both family!

Have a fab honeymoon and here's to years and years of happiness, joy and celebrations
Love Laura


p.s see facebook for photos

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Believe.

I just saw this on a Facebook picture. 
And I have to say, it's exactly what I needed to read.
Today has not been the best day ever, as a consequence of being very, very sick last night so feeling horribly tired and shakey I missed out on an action packed day, and stayed in bed. Which was exactly at the point where my mind decided to start thinking about just about everything... cue tears!


I'm happy to say that after a good cry, a chat with Papa (God) and some supportive words from some of the most important girls in my life, I'm feeling happier and more content. 


But reading the words of the beautiful, amazing Audrey Hepburn. (Who, I once dressed up as... Ala, Breakfast at Tiffany's) gave me even more hope. 


Facebook is probably the worst for self esteem, it's easy to get caught up in a cheeky facebook stalk, and instantly compare all your flaws to the girls who don't seem to have a sing;e bad picture tagged of them, or look at everyone's relationship statuses as justification that you are the only single person in the whole world (an irrational crisis I had earlier this week) but actually, all these things aren't helping us to beautiful, self- (not arrogance) and happiness is sexy. Let's be honest, who really wants to be with someone who can say.. Yeah, she's pretty but... she's miserable all the time and boring as sin. Not me, thank you!


So isn't it time we actually stopped worrying so much? I'm not saying don't make an effort, I'm all for not being able to leave the house with mascara and have recently become attached to my pale pink lipstick. But make an effort for yourself, for your happiness and confidence. If you feel most confident in the baggiest trackies, zero make up and hair scraped back. Then go girl! I'm impressed! 
But just be happy, be strong, be confident. 
Be a woman! and go get them!




and finally, in the words of Audrey, sung by Fleetwood Mac and more recently by Glee:
Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don't stop, it'll soon be here,
It'll be, better than before,
Yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone.



Love
xx

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A Beautiful Mind or A Beautiful Heart

"It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reason can be found. I am only here tonight because of you " - John Nash, A Beautiful Mind (2001) 


So, last night I watched A Beautiful Mind for the first time and I think it might now be one of my most favourite films. Afterwards, we discussed just how incredible the main character, John Nash's, (played by Russell Crowe) wife is. 
A Beautiful mind is based on the true story of genius, John Nash who is later diagnosed with crippling schizophrenia (note, he is NOT a "Schizophrenic. as with an illness it's a diagnosis not a label". 


His wife, Alicia stick by him, regardless of his anger, delusions, depression, lack of sexual function, nearly drowning their baby, hurting her and ultimately acting completely unlike the man she fell in love with and married. 


This got me thinking, isn't that the sort of partner we could only hope to be?
I remember once being told that the "litmus" test for a relationship would be if you could stay with someone after crippling illness or accident, if they were paralysed and potentially, there would be no recovery. Life would be changed completely.
My mum once nearly had to make this decision, when my step dad was in a horrific motorbike accident, we thank Jesus that he lived and nearly four years on, you wouldn't ever know he'd had an accident. But it's got to be a haunting moment right?


I give enough Kudos to the boyfriends who have dealt with my depression, one of whom stuck around from 6 months after diagnosis, for a further two years. Even now, he's one of the only people who can understand what I'm trying to say when I'm crying too much to talk properly. When I think about how I can be at my lowest, I do have the most intense respect for anyone who can stand by and deal with that, particularly if it's something they have never experienced before or had the opportunity to understand before. 


But schizophrenia is just so much bigger then most cases of depression, mine included. It genuinely made me wonder if, when I finally meet the one, I could stick around and support. If I could go against medical judgement and allow my mental unwell husband to stay in my house, around our children. Encouraging him to keep trying and pushing himself each day. Never knowing if the symptoms could arise their ugly head again, to put us all at risk. 


But ultimately, isn't that what a love between a wife and husband should be. Husbands are instructed to love their wife's as Jesus Christ loved the church, i.e. Unconditionally and it only seems right that wife's love their husbands to that extent to. 


Right now, I can't answer if I could stay and sit it out, as Alicia Nash did and still does. I can only hope that I never have to answer that question, that it will remain a rhetorical question at the back of my mind. 
For now though, Alicia Nash will become one of many female inspirations. I hope my heart, can be as beautiful as hers. 


"Perhaps it is good to have a beautiful mind, but an even greater gift is to discover a beautiful heart"- John Nash (deleted scene) 



Saturday, 30 April 2011

Royal Wedding

So... As per usual, I've got to make apologies for how awful i am at this blogging malarcky. 
However, yesterday was a very, very special day.
Even if you weren't one of the 2 billion people watching, you'd have to have been asleep for months or living on a small, remote island.. (and if you are... how are you reading my blog?) not to know what i'm talking about

Yesterday was of course...
ROYAL WEDDING DAY!!! 

The eventual wedding of Prince William (who, despite the fact he's balding and beginning to look like his dad... was looking fiiiiiinnnneeee yesterday) to, Catherine Middleton, together they are now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.


First of all, that's the best wedding present ever. I really love that the Queen can just decide where people have titles for, but upon reflection late last night, i'm not sure if Duchess Laura of Lewisham quite fits... so I might be waiting a while for my title ;) 


Anyway, back on topic..
I love the royal family, especially the Queen. I love Britain and i'm probably overly patriotic sometimes and most of all, I love a good wedding. Soo... Friday 29th April 2011 was always going to be a good day for me :) Especially as I'm currently living in London and it meant for a 4 day weekend.


Now my best friend in London, is American and she's over just for the gap year.. now, for those what don't know. The Americans flippin love the royal family- so it was always going to make sense to celebrate with her.


Our preparations started on Thursday. I spent a couple of hours trawling the craft shops, 99p stores and cheap clothing stores of Lewisham trying to find anything to do with the royal wedding, union jacks and parties. 
My eventual hoard included, bubbles in mini champagne bottles, union jack plates, plastic wine glasses, a flag,  two "It should have been me T-shirts" anddddddd 8 tiaras (4 mini, 4 big). and of course, i'd made cupcakes earlier in the week..which were conveniently packed for the day, chocolate and hazelnut cupcake anyone? 


Then, Thursday evening was the pre-wedding party. Kate came over to watch the interview (I had never heard Kate Middleton speak before), customise t shirts and start on the wine. A bit later, tiaras at the go, we headed to the off license to ensure we had plenty to drink in toast to the happy couple the next day.


I was really struck by the interview as to how mature Kate and Wills (nicknames only, they're practically family don't you know!) relationship is. Yes, she might have been "waitey Katey" for some time, but with good reason. It would be easy to repeat the mistakes of Charles and Diana and throw a "commoner" (still not sure about that choice of word) into a press frenzied, high profile wedding, but instead, the couple chose to wait 7 years till they knew it would last and they were both able to deal with the demands of a royal couple, who will almost without doubt, become out future King and Queen.
Also, kudos to them for choosing such an amazing date for their wedding, four days after Easter weekend and ensuring that we get another four day weekend.... honestly, best monarchy ever! 


So, the day itself started early. Although, due to a sleep/alarm related incident. It perhaps wasn't as early as intended. Decked out in our tiaras, we headed for Hyde Park, arriving in the freezing cold at 6.30. Honestly, so worth it for an amazing seat in front of the big screens and such an amazing atmosphere later on in the day.


Coverage started at 8am and it was so exciting to see the whole nation gearing up, from London to Kate's home town, to St Andrews University. and also hearing tweets and messages from across the globe.. Belarus, Australia, America. So amazing to see how caught up the whole world had become in what it basically, the ultimate fairytale wedding. 


And Hyde Park was incredible, chosen for the big screens and the advertised, "wedding themed activities" there was supposedly 120,000 people in the Park for the ceremony. So many flags were waved, it honestly made me quite emotional to see how united and patriotic our nation had become. Let's keep it up Britain!


I don't know what else to say really... 
I loved the dress- and was so proud for guessing correctly that she'd wear McQueen. She honestly looked so beautiful, and I saw a similar design in Vera Wang when we walked passed on the way to the tube station. (not that i've everrrr considered my future nuptials ;)) 


I  loved the ceremony, loved the best man 
Yup, regardless of what everyone thinks about Pippa Middleton and Prince Harry... I will be marrying him, have no fear! 


and of course, I loved the Queen. Rocking it in Canary yellow and looking every inch the glamorous grandma and wayyyy younger then 80. God save the Queen.


Basically. 29th April 2011 was a part of history. and I had SUCH a good day!


God Bless Britain
let's keep it up!


x


P.s. totally dreamt about my own wedding last night, unfortunately, the groom remained faceless... 

Monday, 11 April 2011

An Introduction.

I am not perfect. Far from it.

I’d happily spend my entire day in my onesie watching One Tree Hill or Glee. It’s not sexy and it’s not productive. But it’s pretty much my happy place.

I reveal too much about myself. Heck, that’s why I’ve got this blog. So don’t expect this to be light reading.
I wear my heart on my sleeve and get confused when others don’t. If I like you, you will know. Pretty quickly. This sometime’s means I come on a bit strong and yeah, I’m not afraid to admit I’m clingy and obsessive.  That’s a definite flaw and I’m working on it. But hey, at least i’m clear on how I feel and I rarely give mixed messages. Ask me a question, I’ll answer honestly. But i’m not about to about to spill everything straight away, well, not to just anyone.

I firmly believe in true love. And I am an advocate for marriage. If you know about my family background, you might be surprised. Naturally, my wedding has been planned in my head for years. But honestly, I’d never marry someone I didn’t honestly believe in falling more in love with each day. I’ll probably marry the man that my daddy approves of. Yeah, I said man... not boy. Note it!

I also said daddy! I’m a daddy’s girl. But I adore my mum. My entire family are my inspiration. I will talk about them to anyone who will listen. I genuinely believe that my twin sister is the best thing that ever happened to me, after Jesus. But I’m not naive enough to tell you we don’t fight. A big part of our siblinghood is to tell the other when they’re wrong.

I only wish I was half as intelligent, beautiful, sophisticated and amazing as my older sister, Sam. She inspires me to work hard to be whatever the hell I want to be, and also to wear vintage. And only ever have my legs or boobs out. Yeah, she’s important to have around.

Recently I’ve met two of the most inspiring women ever. They’ve opened my eyes to just how much God is using women in his ministry. Seriously, don’t even start the “women in the church” debate with me. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the odd theological discussion, and it’s not that my arguments are so biblically based that I’ll beat you straight out. I just won’t even have that discussion. I am a woman in leadership and God is using me. End of.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I suffer with depression. I think people are either too scared to discuss mental health issues, or see it as such a buzz word which everyone who feels “a bit down” uses. That’s not depression. But if we don’t start talking about it, then it’s still a taboo. And that’s never going to ease the situation.  Perhaps I’ll write a blog about it one day. Whilst i’m feeling open.

I wrote most of this blog in my head, I was trying to think of all the things I’d want my next boyfriend to know about me. Though, I’d probably want them to hear it from me, rather then read it in blog form. But hey there, if you’re reading!

I genuinely believe, that no matter how hard it seems sometimes. I will fall in love again. One day I’m going to be married, with kids and probably foster kids and goodness knows who else living in my house. That was just always how I imagined my life being. 

I love babies. That’s something people learn about me quickly. They amaze me, to actual speechlessness, and it takes a lot to do that! I can’t wait to have my own. That’s probably my biggest goal in life. Everything else comes second to having a family.

Well, i’ve written a page long document as my introduction to “Ramblings and Ranting: Being LMG”. There is more I could say. But I don’t want to share too much (some of you are probably thinking it’s too late)

Please comment and let me know what you think, and what you want to know.

Bye For Now. x

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