Happy Me Day

Lifestyle

This year, I have decided I am rebranding the dreaded V day, from now onward, it will be called me day. So Happy Me Day!

Yes, there’s bound to be plenty of posts today preaching self-love, that you don’t need another half to be complete and I would be lying if I said this wasn’t one of them.

You can totally justify disliking Valentines because it’s commercialised, all for making money and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But we wouldn’t want to ruin this momentous holiday for all the loved up couples out there that aren’t bitter about spending it alone.

I truly believe the 14th February is actually a really beautiful day. There’s something lovely about dedicating a day to one another to show how much you care. Undoubtedly, this should be every day but it is so easy to get wrapped up in life that you forget how important showing love is.

Not only is this true when you’re in a relationship, but it’s also significant when you’re alone. A lot of us get so caught up in busy day-to-day life that we forget that sometimes, we need to treat ourselves with a bit of TLC.

Granted, almost every day is a treat myself day with my insatiable shopping habit but still…

Today, I bought myself everything a typical Valentine would buy for you. This was ideal because everything I got for me was perfect – just what I wanted!

I bought a Kate Spade watch – possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever received from myself. It’s a well-known fact that you can’t go wrong with jewellery on Valentines, so I did pretty well with this one. I managed to find it in TK Maxx for £130, a dream price for a Kate Spade statement piece. Well done me.

I also got myself some Ardell faux mink eyelashes. I was pretty impressed with myself considering I haven’t been able to find these anywhere and have really wanted to try them out. I love Ardell lashes and wanted to try something a little different to my usual demi wispies.

Perfume is another must must. Usually I would opt for Narciso Rodriquez or my classic Jimmy Choo but I decided to be a little unconventional. I got this gorgeous Ellie Saab Girl of Now perfume. It comes in the prettiest bottle and literally smells like sweets, marshmallows, daisies and rainbows. New scent new me and all that.

Lastly, I had to get flowers and chocolate. I just wouldn’t have been a legitimate Valentine if I didn’t.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

P.S. after writing this post, my lovely manager gave me a Hummingbird cupcake and a card. Boyfriends/Girlfriends, who needs them!?

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Galentines Day

Lifestyle

Valentines has well and truly crept up on me this year. It feels like only yesterday I was bringing in the new year with one too many jagerbombs. Sadly, I will yet again be spending the 14th without a significant other.

Thankfully, I had my brother’s gorgeous girlfriend Ciara come to visit me in London and we had an impromptu/unintentional Galentines day on Sunday. It consisted of chocolates, flowers and cocktails – really the only way to spend time with a loved one. Yes, I did spend Galentines with my brother’s girlfriend – sharing is caring right?

 

Columbia Road Flower Market

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First we went to Columbia Road Flower Market. This is always somewhere I have wanted to visit because of my love for all things floristry. I was hoping to write a post dedicated entirely to the wonders of a market just for flowers but unfortunately, it didn’t really live up to my expectations. It was far too busy to have a nice stroll and look at all the pretty blooms and the vendors were shouting so loud it kind of ruined the tranquil atmosphere I was going for. But all in all, Ciz bought me some beautiful flowers which is far more than I can say for anybody else this year.

 

Dark Sugars Cocoa House

We then headed towards Brick Lane because a Sunday just wouldn’t be a Sunday without a trip to Shoreditch. How on earth I could have missed Dark Sugars in all the million times I have been there I do not know. Ciara spotted this incredible chocolate shop whilst walking down Brick Lane and honestly, I think it’s what heaven looks like. There were literal slabs of chocolate in the doorway and pretty much every flavour you could possibly imagine. They even had alcoholic chocolates for the slightly more boozy (i.e. me) like gin and lime and vodka and orange. The slight downside is that 6 teeny tiny chocolates cost £12 but undoubtedly, they would be worth it.

 

Hoxton Square

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After a very taxing day leisurely wandering round London, we decided to top it off with a couple of cocktails and a ton of food. It was surprisingly difficult to find a cute place to eat and drink in central London on a Sunday – pretty much everywhere was closed or eerily quiet. After walking for what felt like an eternity, we ended up at a place called Zigfrid von Underbelly (?!) Me and Ciz being our obnoxiously confident selves obviously made friends with the bartenders. We ordered ridiculous amounts of sides to eat and had cocktails that tasted like flowers – rather fitting considering our day. After tormenting the staff, giggling like little girls and eating way too much food, we finally brought Galentines day to an end.

After a slightly rocky start to my weekend, I finished it in the most positive way possible, with my lovely friend and sister.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

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Real Talk: Relapsing

Lifestyle
relapse
rɪˈlaps/
verb
gerund or present participle: relapsing
  1. (of a sick or injured person) deteriorate after a period of improvement.

I could very easily pretend like this weekend didn’t happen, and that it was all flowers, fairies and family (which 30% of it was may I add). But I also need to acknowledge the fact that the rest was not.

On Friday I had one of my most significant relapses yet. Everything felt like it was going wrong; I was tired, depressed and extremely alone. I suddenly had this overwhelming feeling of helplessness wash over me. Granted, a simple wrong direction can have my world spinning upside down but this time it was far more prominent.

Whilst I’m at work, I keep myself busy. I don’t have time to over think things; I have like-minded people around me to talk to and keep me company. I really love my work and who I work with! But let’s not lie, unless you’re very lucky, there will always be some sort of boundary between work friends and actual friends.

On Friday it suddenly dawned on me just how alone I am. I have one friend in London who is usually too busy living his normal young adult life to fit me in with my work hours – which I don’t blame him for! I would too if I could. The closest family and friends I have are at least 2 hours away from me. It doesn’t matter how much I can pride myself on saying I’m independent, capable, adult etc. everyone needs someone.

Anyway, I came out of work to a completely normal Friday. I’m used to seeing everyone together having drinks in bars, eating food and laughing whilst making my way home. It doesn’t usually affect me but there was something about it that made me feel sick to my stomach. For some reason, I just cried… And cried and cried.

Then I went on to do things that the old me would have done, I walked down dark alleyways in hope that I would be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I crossed every road without bothering to look, unconcerned about the cars and buses just meters away. I went through Shoreditch hoping a sleazy man would pay me some attention. I walked for an entire hour in the freezing cold, found a canal and just sat next to the water in the dark. I went into full on self-sabotage mode.  And you know the worst thing about it all? Not one person looked my way.

I find it more difficult to contend with relapse when I have been doing so well for so long. You feel like you’ve worked so hard for what? I also find it tough knowing therapy hasn’t helped me and I’m on the highest dose of medication I can get. What now? Is this really my life forever? A couple of months of feeling ‘normal’ then a weekend of self-pity and you’re back to square 1.

It’s tough as hell having to accept that you might go through this for the rest of your life. But after really thinking about it, there is nothing I can’t handle. Relapses don’t last into infinity. If they did, I wouldn’t be alive to write this post today. You can think that there’s no hope and you’ll be like this forever. But if you’ve relapsed, that means you have got better.

As much as we would like it to be, life is not linear. Our ups and downs, as painful as they are, teach us a new way of coping every time.

This time taught me – always wear a coat if there’s a possibility mental breakdown.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

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Shoreditch, LDN

Lifestyle

 

I have previously said my favourite place in London is the Kings Road, Chelsea and I stand by that. However, my second favourite place to spend my free time is Shoreditch.

Yes, these two places are polar opposites so it’s kind of hard to understand why I would love both places so much. They’re just both so niche and unique, wherever you walk you’re sure to find something beautiful.

Last weekend I put on my most indie outfit and headed to E1. My new flat (post still to come) is located only 20 minutes down the road from Shoreditch which is a blessing; whenever I fancy playing chess for fun, I am only a bus ride away…

 

 

I always head for Brick Lane, but of course I end up browsing Petticoat Lane market for high street bargains and going to Spitalfields to see the pretty jewellery stalls. When I do finally end up where I intended on being, I go straight to Brick Lane’s vintage market.

As you know, I am a self-confessed shopping addict but I definitely don’t feel as guilty when I’m not on the high street. I love the vintage market because you never know what you’re going to find. Even if you’re not looking to buy anything, it’s all so pretty to look at. Obviously, I couldn’t leave empty-handed and therefore ended up walking away with 3 new pairs of sunglasses and the cutest headband. If you’re looking for that Instagram chic, this is definitely the place to be. As well as proper vintage clothing (old-fashioned flowers, frills and everything) they have all the cool stuff you see on girls on pinterest at half the price of all the online boutiques.

After plenty of time pottering round looking at vintage Burberry and various types of artwork, it’s always a good idea to head to the nearest doughnut shop. My very favourite is Crosstown – nothing fancy, just really good. I always go for a simple glazed doughnut and a hot chocolate because I am basic as heck. But if you’re looking for something a little more fancy, Doughnut Time next to Old Street station sells all sorts of sugary monstrosities.

 

 

You can’t miss all the artwork in Shoreditch; there isn’t an clear wall in sight. Unlike the majority of London, it isn’t graffiti, it is actual ART. There are some crazily talented people out there.

Ordinarily, I don’t tend to stray much further from Brick Lane and the close surrounding areas. But in an attempt to find my way back home, I stumbled upon some more cute individual shops. I first came across Boxpark, a pop up mall with lots of small and random traders including The Ordinary – an affordable skincare range supposedly recommended by Kim Kardashian herself. I then found an even cuter store called AIDA. It’s actually both a coffee shop, clothes shop and gift shop which I love – it is literally a day out in itself. The clothes they sell are on the pricier side as they’re all quirky brands, from distinct vintage to contemporary and modern. Me being me, still managed to bag a Selected Femme wool jumper in the sale for £23 (money-saving expert eat your heart out).

Review: The Sinner

Film & TV

Since starting at Kudos I have been told by about 5 different people to watch the series The Sinner. Now I don’t know about anyone else or if this is just me and my stubborn ways, but when someone tells me to watch something I am actually less likely to do it? Weird huh. But last weekend I finally bit the bullet and tried it out.

Unsurprisingly because of the persuasion I had to watch it, it was amazing; I watched all 8 episodes in no more than 24 hours.

What I love most about this series is that it is so niche. The basic story-line gravitates around a seemingly ordinary woman and her family, a mysterious act of violence and the past behind it all. Rather than being the classic ‘who-dunnit’ it is the journey of finding out why she did what she did.

From the first episode it is undoubtedly gripping. In the first 5 minutes you believe that Cora Tanetti is a loving mother, wife and more importantly – sane. Until a family beach trip turns sour and she murders a man. From this point onward, you know the show is going to be a roller coaster. I mean, it literally went from 0 to 100 in approximately 5 minutes.

The protagonists are Cora Tanetti and the detective looking into her case, Harry Ambrose. She instantly pleads guilty to avoid a trial which seems fitting considering we literally witnessed her kill a man in cold hard blood, but the detective won’t give up without finding an explanation for her actions. Meanwhile, Cora would rather spend the rest of her life in prison than examine what has happened to her to make her so troubled. Because she has no idea why she did it, she lies about her motivation until Harry forces her to relay her past to find the truth.

This is where another aspect of the show comes in. We see Cora’s young self whilst looking into her flashbacks as she tries to understand what she has done. We meet her perplexing parents and ill younger sister, and see her challenging childhood, battle with drug problems and a lot of sex.

Unlike a lot of other shows, the flashbacks don’t feel like void fillers. Each and every one plays a vital part in the reason for Cora’s burst of beach-side rage, adding a piece to the puzzle. And when you do finally see the whole picture, let me tell you it does not disappoint. The reveal is not only unpredictable, but genuinely jaw dropping.

The Sinner makes you feel sympathetic, disoriented and uncomfortable all at the same time. The only way it could get better is with a second season.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

Statement Season

Style

January-February has just got to be the worst time of the year. If it’s not feeling bad about how much you ate in December, it’s feeling sad about the fact that you don’t have a beau to spend Valentines with.

Fortunately, I have come up with the perfect solution.

Yesterday, I happened to get up earlier than usual which meant I had a little more time to make an effort with myself. Instead of sticking on whatever clothes were closest me, I methodically chose an outfit and applied enough makeup to make me look vaguely alive. As soon as I stepped out the door, I felt like I could take on the day. Without hesitation, I walked to the train station rather than waiting for the bus and even had enough time to grab some fresh orange juice; I felt like I truly had my life together. 

The reason I am explaining this is because I realised, just by consciously putting an outfit together that didn’t consist of jeans and a jumper, I felt so much more confident.

So the key to feeling kick ass? Looking it.

I have now made it my mission to find the most outrageous statement pieces I can find to add to my wardrobe and help me feel fierce in these trying times.

 

 

  • As soon as I saw this Topshop leather jacket I fell in love. There’s no way you couldn’t stand out in this. You could be wearing a bin bag and still manage to look sassy as hell with this over the top. Unfortunately it’s £195. But next payday, it will be mine. I plan on pairing it with a simple jumper dress and studded boots for an edgy but minimal look.

 

  • I’ve been seeing so many of these multi-coloured striped jumpers around lately and I am totally here for them. The one pictured above is from Topshop for £49 but a cheaper alternative can be found on ASOS. I can’t quite put a pin on why I like it so much but I can just imagine it making me feel much better on a typical Monday morning. I think I would wear it with a black vinyl skirt so I wouldn’t actually look 5 years old. Failing that, I would definitely pair it with a pair of my cutest denim dungarees.

 

  • These Lamoda thigh high boots are by far my favourite thing I have bought all month. For a little while I have been looking for the perfect pair of oversized over the knee boots. The majority are all either too slouchy or just not enough. I know I am going to have to be really careful of what I put with these as it’s highly likely I will get mistaken for a hooker if I make the wrong move. But with simple muted colours, a turtle neck jumper and a structured coat it could also look effortlessly elegant. For only £49.99 they were an absolute bargain and far preferable to the £235 pair from & Other Stories.

 

  • Lastly, I have another thing that will probably have to wait until payday. I am determined to make this unbelievable £1,790 Gucci bag my next high-end purchase. There are a lot of expensive bags that I wonder why on earth people spend so much on when you can get something similar in Zara. But this Sylvie mini bag has my heart. It is in the classic Gucci style, with the colouring and the adorable bow detail. I can imagine wearing this with anything and feeling like an absolute queen. Cross-body bags are also my favourite throw on accessory to look chic without having to make an effort.

 

I’m going to think of these as a Valentines present from me to me – you’ve got to love yourself right?

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie  x

 

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Lace and Leather

Style

In true Abbie style, I woke up on Sunday morning with the worst hangover. I went home at the weekend to see my friend for a ‘drink’ which of course ended in us staying out until 3am – I expected nothing less.

Despite feeling slightly under the weather, I had planned to go for brunch with my nearest and dearest Emily, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to do my favourite thing with my favourite person.

I figured that there is nothing that can make you feel better than lace and leather – possibly the most fierce duo there is.

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Surprisingly, I managed to style my matted hair and eye bags into an actual look. 

I wore some (faux) leather culottes from Stradivarius because as I have mentioned before, they are my go to when I don’t feel so great. The fact that these are leather make them look a little more fashion and a little less lazy mess which is ideal for me. This is actually the first time I have worn these out as I was a little dubious as to how I could make them work without being accused of wearing a bin bag.

I paired these with a nude lace top from Topshop to add a girly twist to the look. I love lace and leather together because they contrast each other so well. The trousers are very  bold, I wanted to add a touch of sophistication to them so I didn’t look like a complete goth.

To add another texture, I wore this (faux) fur coat from Topshop; I got this in the sale for £50! A! Dream! It’s so warm and ridiculous and over the top I love it.

Because I am so small, I have to wear a heel with this coat or I just look ridiculous. I was still slightly unstable from the night before, so I thought it was best to opt for these kitten heeled boots from New Look premium. A year ago I wouldn’t have even contemplated a kitten heel but these are one of my current staples; they are so classic and elegant.

Lastly, I threw on this Zara bag to finish the outfit. The chain and stud detail adds to the ‘biker chic’ look perfectly without make it too extra.

Speaking of extra, I really ought to stop going out like this in Kenilworth. It’s all well and good looking like a snobby rich b*tch in London but people aren’t as open-minded at home and I get a few odd looks from the local old people!

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

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Outfit of the Day → Night

Style

I have been so uninspired lately in terms of fashion. I find this time of year particularly difficult to dress for because everything and everyone is so miserable. I have been styling some serious January blues looks to work lately, wearing mainly culottes to hide the extra £££ and jumpers to cuddle when I feel sorry for myself.

We don’t really have to dress up at Kudos which is a blessing when I’m tired and grumpy, but it’s also proven to be quite difficult to find an appropriate outfit for work when I have something to attend afterwards.

Tonight I am going straight out for cocktails in Shoreditch so I needed to plan an outfit that wasn’t too extra for work but also looks super cute for me to get my drank on later.

DAY

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Topshop skirt / Topshop jumper / Topshop shoes / Topshop coat / L’oreal lipstick / Marc Jacobs watch

Undoubtedly, you can’t go wrong with leopard print for any occasion. This super cute leopard print mini skirt is probably one of my best buys of the month for only £20 in the Topshop sale. The print makes it sassy with a lil hint of sexy but the ruffle detail tames it to look elegant and sophisticated. I paired it with a ruffled high neck jumper which compensated for the skirt being a little on the shorter side. I would definitely wear some black tights with this alongside some chic and suitable slip on loafers. I opted for a fitted coat to bring the outfit together and make it look effortlessly chic. Because of the details, accessories weren’t really necessary so I just stuck to the staples. And will I ever wear leopard print without a red lipstick? Most definitely not.

NIGHT

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Topshop bodysuit / Topshop skirt / Public Desire boots

Me being me just couldn’t comprehend going out for drinks wearing a jumper and without wearing heels so I had to transform this outfit without bringing my whole wardrobe to work. Typically, I think a lot of people think it looks trashy, but there’s just something about leopard print and the colour red that I love. I simply added this red (very) plunging bodysuit to the skirt. This is pretty basic but it dresses it up nicely. It was also really easy to throw into my bag without worrying about it being bulky or creasing for later on. If I’m feeling brave enough to embrace the cold, I probably wouldn’t wear tights with this. I love the way sock boots look against bare legs so I chose these patent heeled boots. With the leopard, red and PVC this outfit looks the epitome of hooker but honestly, it works! To finish the look, I would wear the same coat I wore earlier thrown over my shoulders in attempt to look like Gigi Hadid. Nice try Abs.

 

I’m now going to consume lots of daiquiri’s!

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

 

 

How to Live Your Best Life This Year

Lifestyle

Last year I achieved lots of external goals; I moved out, travelled and got a proper job but despite this, I still haven’t – yes it sounds cliché  – found myself. In terms of understanding and loving myself, I’m not quite there, so I have decided 2018 is going to be my year for internal goals.

I feel as though the majority of us go through the year expecting big changes and big achievements, but self-development doesn’t have to mean losing 2 stone or moving across the world, it can be as simple as getting up in the morning without hesitation (ironically this would be a huge achievement for me).

I’ve written a list of things that I am going to try to do this year in order to better myself, they’re not resolutions, just healthy habits that can help to positively affect us all!

 

  1. Begin learning something new – learning is exciting and can help you to find enjoyment in things you might not have thought you would.
  2. Always have a fresh manicure – trivial and perhaps a little extra, but keeping fresh and clean always makes you feel flawless!
  3. Buy coffee for a stranger – although I do believe in selfish acts of kindness, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. By buying something for someone in need, you’re helping them whilst also allowing yourself to feel like you are here for a reason.
  4. Keep track of your finances – there is nothing worse than worrying about money, but also it can be pretty rough to put yourself on a strict budget. Just keep an eye on your spending habits so you know you can afford to do delightful things.
  5. Wear what you want! – live life like the party that it is, every day is an excuse to dress up. Wear things that make you feel happy, confident and ready to take on the world.
  6. Avoid procrastinating – I’m the worst at this one, but the less time you spend dwelling on doing something, the more time you’ll have to feel fulfilled once you have done it.
  7. Have a good chat with a family member at least once a week – life can get a bit hectic but always make time for the important people in your life.
  8. Nurture your relationships – I am particularly bad at creating and maintaining relationships with people which seems selfish and arrogant. But understand that some people struggle more than other and good things take time!
  9. Take your vitamins – a simple vitamin D tablet can do the world of good.
  10. Buy fresh flowers – it’s pretty much impossible to avoid technology but still make time to appreciate nature!
  11. Have a signature scent – find a perfume that as soon as you put on, you feel ready to take on anyone and anything.
  12. Manage your time wisely – by being in a rush, you are far more susceptible to anxiety. Always make sure you are organised and on time, no matter what the occasion.
  13. Wear floaty clothes and fabrics – the only way to look like a Princess is to feel like one. Treat yourself to cashmere and silk every now and again.
  14. Value a good nights sleep – make sure you get enough sleep but don’t follow the ‘nap queen’ trend! It may seem like a good idea but there is a wonderful world out there! Enjoy it!

 

In the words of Ron Swanson – don’t try too hard. Sometimes we focus ourselves so much on one thing that we forget the bigger picture. Let things come naturally and you’ll do great.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

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Food for One

Lifestyle

Something I have really struggled with since moving to London is food; I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to go to the supermarket, buy groceries and think of meals everyday. I definitely took home-made meals for granted – for the past 4 months I have eaten Sainsbury’s meal deals, soup and occasionally treated myself to pasta every now and again.

For quite a while I have had an issue with food, in the past I have really struggled with starving myself, then binge eating which is a major reason as to why I get down. I love the way healthy food makes me feel and I know that by having a more positive lifestyle I would feel far better in myself but chocolate has and probably always will be my vice when I’m in need of comfort.

Last night I finally realised that my bad habits needed to stop. As good as the oreo, nutella and banana waffle I ordered from Deliveroo was, it definitely wasn’t the epitome of a nutritious dinner.

One of my biggest problems when it comes to making meals is that after being at work and spending 12 hours out of the house, I just can’t be bothered. It’s far easier to order a Dominos, chill for 20 minutes, then have it on my doorstep. But honestly, I think my flatmates are getting fed up of hearing the intercom buzzer going off at the same time every evening, so something needs to change.

Tips:

  • Plan meals week by week so you know what you have to do as soon as you get home. Personally, I don’t really like the idea of ‘meal prepping’ as such. I can barely make one meal at a time let alone a weeks worth. Instead, I like the idea of just knowing what I am going to eat when I get home from work, so I can have the ingredients ready and plan my evening around cooking it. By doing this, I can psych myself up for the process so it’s slightly less painful.

 

  • Don’t go food shopping on the way home. By the end of the day, I am usually moody, hungry and exhausted. As you can imagine, that isn’t the best state to go food shopping in because I pretty much want to buy the whole supermarket. Whenever I go shopping after work, I always end up getting the quickest/most unhealthy option (hence the reason I have been eating so many Sainsbury’s meal deals).

 

  • Limit yourself to a certain amount of meals out a week. It’s understandably difficult to eat well when your entire life revolves around going to different interesting places to eat, especially in a big city. There are so many food choices in London, I want to try them all. But for the sake of my bank account and my health, I have decided to limit myself to 2 ‘meals out’ a week; it’s going to be tough considering brunch and afternoon tea are my favourite pastimes.

 

  • Don’t make things too complex. Unbelievably, despite all the fitness blogs and Instagram’s out there that portray otherwise, healthy food doesn’t have to be fancy, photogenic and pretty, and you don’t have to take out a mortgage every time you go to the whole foods supermarket. Simple, quick and easy meals can be good for you too – pizza isn’t the only answer!

 

Anyway, that’s about all the motivation I can give myself today. Please let me know if you have any more tips.

Now I’m off to have a hot chocolate.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

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