So if you follow me on instagram you’ll already know that last weekend I was taken away to Santander on a surprise birthday getaway by my lovely boyfriend! I know what you’re thinking.. I thought that was a bank? It’s not the obvious choice I’ll give you that but our good friend lives there and it’s actually perfectly Spanish and untouched by tourism! I’ve been to Santander once before and what I love about it is that you’ll be walking down a street with the most beautiful buildings ( see above photo – the original Santander Bank!) on your left, the docks on your right, the beach up ahead and the mountains in the distance. Where else can you get all of these wonderful sights combined?! There’s two sides to the fact that Santander is untouched by tourism, the good and the bad. The good is that the beach is empty, the streets are peaceful, we didn’t see one piece of rubbish the entire time we were there, you get to experience the cultural side more than you would in the Costa del Sol. The downsides, well.. there’s just one, the food. Not necessarily the food itself but more the activity of eating. As both me and Jack are non Spanish speakers, and it would appear that not one soul in the whole of Santander spoke English, the language barrier was very apparent. The food we ate was always a surprise.. one day when we asked a taxi to take us somewhere he held up a tennis ball.. true story! Spanish people do not eat at normal times either, you can have a three course meal at 2-4 in the afternoon, or you eat at 10pm, the rest of the day all you’ll get your hands on are pinchos! Pinchos are usually small pieces of french stick with interesting combinations of unrecogniseable food, they’re delicious if you hit the jackpot and it’s worth taking the risk! Whilst we were away we went to San Sebastian for a couple of days, it was slightly more touristy there but still the language barrier! Our apartment was right on the front by the beach which is full of surfers from 7am to 10pm, so when the weather was bad we sat in bed watching the surfers, eating tapas and drinking wine, perfect!  

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Going Freelance

Going freelance wasn’t really a case of can I or should I, more a case of I must, I will. I know for a lot of people it’s something that they deliberate over for a while, but luckily for me I have no major overheads, still in the comfy nest of mum and dad, and I had to make it work, going back full time just wasn’t an option! I was working previously as a BA at a well known shopping channel, though I was really good at the job and at times felt it was something I could excel in, it just wasn’t for me! I can’t bare the thought of sitting round that same table day in day out and office bitchiness is just not what I’m about. I’m sure you get it in every office, particularly in buying, but it’s not something I was used to and quite frankly, not something I wanted to get used to! So long story short, with the constant digs and put downs I felt i was going up stream without a paddle. One thing led to another and I found myself signed off by the Dr for stress and anxiety! Not something I would ever have imagined myself saying, I was always the smiley happy one! Three months later I made the decision I couldn’t go back, the only way to move forward was to start again in something I truly enjoyed, my calling! I’d worked as a freelance stylist before whilst I was at uni so still had some contacts, I’d always seen it as something I couldn’t do full time.. nothing that fun can be considered a ‘proper’ job surely? Whilst working for yourself is a breath of fresh air there are always things to consider, these are my top tips! Network, Network, Network! All day everyday you need to network! Working as a stylist your always meeting new make up artists, models and photographers, not only can you help each other out to build up your portfolio in your spare time, but these are the people who know people you need to know! Speaking to people is how you find out about studios and get contact details! Be flexible. I don’t get booked for my following week until the Thursday before ( if I’m lucky), sometimes you get called the same morning or the day before. You have to be flexible and just go with the flow, I found this hard because I’m a planner but it also has it’s up sides, hello last minute holidays! Never burn bridges. Its a small world, no really, you never know who knows who and bad feedback can spread quickly. Always be on your top form. Be Sociable! As a stylist I think half of your job is to keep the photographer and model entertained. Honestly, you cannot do this job if your antisocial! Make sure you put money aside for tax and keep a track of your incomings and outgoings (keep…

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Mindful Colouring

Yes you read that right, recently whilst browsing the book section on amazon I came across an adult colouring book promising to bring peace and calm. This may seem laughable to some, but as someone who suffers from anxiety if a colouring book helps, a colouring book I will get! The book is full of calming patterns that when colouring in, put you into a state of meditation. Emma Farrarons says ” the act of colouring in – carefully and attentively filling a page with colour , the feel of the pencil in your hand as you meditate on the beauty of the whole illustration” helps the mind to relax, almost like art therapy! I’ve found it so relaxing, it put’s you into a kind of trance and I’m not ashamed to say as a 25 year old woman, I enjoy colouring. I actually look forward to it! I love doing it in the morning with a cup of tea and breakfast, starting the morning off beautifully!   Colouring Book: Amazon | Pens: Amazon | Cup: Yonder Living | Ring: Shop JJDR | Bracelet: Shop JJDR

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Mindfulness

I decided to do a post this week about what mindfulness actually is, I know the word might be a bit self-explanatory but I myself only found out the true meaning in the last year! In short mindfulness is about being aware and living in the moment, appreciating and experiencing every moment. The past no longer exists and the future hasn’t happened yet, mindfulness helps us to stop worrying about the future and hanging on to the past. Think about how many times you’ve driven home from work and not remembered how you got there, or had to double check you’ve turned the straighteners off or locked the door. We end up spending half of our lives on autopilot; mindfulness helps you to bring your attention back to the moment, paying attention to the small things that would normally go unnoticed.   Seen as this week I received the most beautiful mug from yonder living, I thought that this would be the perfect time to do some mindfull tea drinking! This is a page from one of my favourite books “Living in the Moment” by Anna Black (get it here), and it’s a great example of how to take time to indulge yourself and really enjoy the small moments! Personally my cup of tea is just a drink that I have whilst doing something and I never really just sit back and enjoy it! Here’s what Anna Black proposes we do : Feel the warmth of the tea in your hands Drink in the scent of the tea Notice the colour of your tea Be aware of the movement of bringing the cup to your lips, noticing any physical response in anticipation Experience the taste – notice if there is an ahh of pleasure Whenever your mind gets pulled away by thoughts (which it will) just notice where you have gone and then coming back kindly and gently to the bodily sensations   I always think the mug is the most important ingredient in making a cup of tea. I always have one sugar, but it has to be in the right mug, too big and it’s not enough, too small and it’s too sweet. I think it just tastes different in a nicer mug too, remember we also drink and eat with our eyes! For more tips on meditation and becoming more mindful check out this quick guide on the health benefits and common misconceptions about meditation.

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Highlight Reel

I love this quote, we all constantly compare ourselves with others picking out their best features and comparing them to our own worst. We beat ourselves up about the silliest things and are 1000x harsher on ourselves than we would ever dream of being on someone else! Wouldn’t it be great if we could all see ourselves through someone else’s eyes, our very own highlight reel? Try this, write down the top 5 things you hate about yourself, but write them in the third person. Then stand in front of a mirror and read out what you’ve written, would you ever even dream of saying those things to someone else?! Treat yourself with the same respect you would others! We would never say such hurtful things to someone else so why do we constantly do it to ourselves?! From now on I am going to only see my highlight reel and if I do criticize myself, I’ll balance it out with a compliment on something I love about myself! Sinead x

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