A Long Overdue Life Update

Hey gang! Wow. I can’t believe how long it’s been since I was last sat updating my blog. A year ago, I was posting consistently, every week: then Lockdown happened.

For me (and I think with a lot of bloggers), writing in lockdown was either going to kill, or cure. For me, it was kill. Both Ed and I went from doing wonderful, fun, stagey jobs, to being unemployed, with no clue how long for, and I just wasn’t in the right headspace to write. Never mind the fact I was doing nothing to write about!

Whilst it’s been a hell of a difficult year, I’m not here to vent and rant…that’s not what this blog is about. It’s a means of expressing myself, yes, but I’m all about the positivity! So, all I need say is that after a rollercoaster 12 months, we’re finally allowing ourselves to feel hopeful, particularly with the mass rollout of vaccines.

There HAVE been a couple of highlights though, that I need to update you on.

Firstly, our bezzies got married! I was Maid of Honour (and on ULTIMATE veil duties), and Ed was a Groomsman.

It was touch and go for so many months because of the ever changing rules about weddings, but they tied the knot in September and it was BEAUTIFUL. They ended up spreading it over 2 days which was a great idea: ‘Day Guests’ were invited to the ceremony, wedding breakfast and various other wedding day shenanigans at Grassfield Hall on Saturday 12th, and the ‘Evening Guests’ (plus the wedding party) were invited to Papa’s in Harrogate on Sunday 13th, for food and drink, and a screening (can I call it that?), of the ceremony from the day before (done by their videographer in record time so they could share it with everyone – how amazing is that)?! They’d planned a small-ish wedding anyway, so splitting the guests in half meant everything was Covid compliant. It was an absolutely beautiful weekend, it wasn’t second best to the original plan by any means. It was so special and I (/we!) are so honoured to have been a part of it.

Then, in January, I decided to set up MY OWN BUSINESS! I know, who do I think I am…

The Stage Prints idea was conceived last summer, when I designed some prints for our staircase. The space hadn’t been touched since we moved in, so it needed some life! We didn’t have anything stagey in the house at all (which is CRIMINAL seeing as it’s basically our entire life), so we decided to make a stagey staircase! We decided that we wanted some prints of our favourite musicals, with a motivational quote, and I couldn’t find any to buy – so I got busy designing! I slapped some paint on the wall, we ordered some backstage photographs on canvases, et voila! I then ending up making a few more prints for a friend, and when she shared them on Instagram in January I thought – ‘Could I sell these? Could I make a business out of this’? 24 hours later, Stage Prints opened on Facebook and Instagram! I’ve really enjoyed creating designs, and it’s kept me sane and motivated during lockdown 3.0. Shameless plug: if anyone wants any musical prints, hop on over to the Stage Prints socials to see more designs (I have over 100 now!) and find out more information.

And the rest of the update? There’s not really anything else to say, because life is so different to normal. It’s great that we have a road map now, and dates to aim for, but until restrictions start to lift, we’re just plodding along.

The one big beauty of this year, is I’ve had 12 months with Hubby Leigh…which is the longest time we’ve ever consistently been together! His work takes him away from home, so being together, at home, every day, has been an absolute blessing. I wouldn’t have made it through this year without him here and he’s just an absolute dream.

And that’s 12 months of me summed up ✔️

Now that things are looking a bit more rosy, I’m hoping I’ll have the motivation to get back to writing, hence this post: a bit of a re-introduction, and a starting point for a more creative 2021!

Stay safe, look after each other, and keep following the rules so we can get back to normal soon.

26 Discoveries In My 26th Year

Welcome to my birthday post! I turned 27 at the weekend, so it’s time for ’26 Discoveries in my 26th Year’ 💖

A lot of bloggers do ‘__ things I’ve learned in __ years’, but last year I wanted to keep things a bit more light hearted for my birthday, so I posted ’25 Discoveries In My 25th Year’. And I enjoyed it so much, I though I’d make it an annual thing 😊 So, this post is a cocktail of lifestyle, beauty, fashion, food, drink, general musings and life lessons. Enjoy!

1. Tying the knot is THE MOST INCREDIBLE FEELING

IT IS HONESTLY THE MOST MAGICAL DAY OF YOUR LIFE. I struggle still to express in words how incredible the feeling is, and how you’ll feel like you could just burst with love! The entire day is amazing obviously, but that feeling of saying ‘I Do’ to your soul mate doesn’t compare to anything you’ll have felt before.

Lynette & Ed

2. Gym shark leggings are the best leggings

No arguments. They just are 🦈 Yes, you can get other leggings cheaper elsewhere, but I’ve never found another brand that does such gorgeous, flattering, high waisted, seamless leggings. And naturally, you have to get the matching sports bra too – because we feel like girl bosses when we’re all matchy matchy, right? 💪

3. Plants and flowers in the home really do help brighten and lift the mood

I saw Sophie do a blog post on this ages ago when we were still in the flat, and thought ‘ermmm okay…?’, and didn’t really get it. That is, until we moved into the house (1 year ago tomorrow!) and added a couple of plants. Because since then I just haven’t stopped! It makes the place brighter, fresher, and we can never have too many!

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4. Adding fried onion to scrambled egg is magic

YUMMMMM. Fry your onions first, and only when they’re done to perfection do you add your eggs. You’re welcome in advance 😇

5. Planning a wedding is SO STRESSFUL

I’ve written about it plenty of times before during The Wedding Series (click to get to the blog post which includes links to every post in the series) – so I’m not going to go into detail again. But OMG. It’s crazy. It makes me stressed to even think back to some of the problems we had to deal with!

Lynette & Ed

6. Moving house is SO STRESSFUL

Planning a wedding and moving house within 6 months was never going to be plain sailing, and bloomin heck did we have our fair share of stressful house problems too! It was worth it in the end, just as everyone promised, and we’ll be forever grateful to the fam, (our parents in particular), for your support and help during this time 😘 But WOW is it a stressful experience, I honestly don’t think I knew what stress was until we had to deal with the ins and outs of buying a house!

7. Vlogging is fun!

A week or so after Ed left for London, I had a sudden lightbulb moment, and decided to try my hand at vlogging. I already enjoy blogging and I’m familiar with editing on Premier Pro – so I thought, why not give it a go? It’d give me a project to focus on when I’m not working, and hopefully serve as a distraction when I feel lonely. And so far, it’s proved to do both those things, and I’ve loved it! If you’re interested, go check and the Life With Lynette Vlog out.

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8. Those people who you cut out last year? You don’t miss them one bit.

It was one of my 25 Discoveries in 25 Years. And I’m so glad I did it, coz a year on, I feel fresher and lighter from removing toxic people from my life. It’s such a good (and quite empowering) feeling.

9. Madeiran wine is hella tasty

Who knew?! Well, we do now after Madeira! It’s almost a sherry, a really sweet sherry, and it was so special to find a specific taste which we’ll forever associate with our honeymoon. I want to go back…

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10. TCM scar gel

I discovered this at the start of the year when I started panicking about wanting to have perfect skin for the wedding. I’ve always had problems with my skin, one of which being the red scar marks that stay with you forever after a breakout. Bio oil can be good for this, but it takes a long time to work, so when I saw TCM advertised on Facebook, I figured, why not give it a go? And OMG. It WORKS! It really works! Within a couple of weeks I saw massive improvements, and now, I wouldn’t be without it. I recommend it to anyone.

11. I’m much better at managing my anxiety

It’s not something that’s disappeared completely, but I’m so much better at managing my anxiety these days. Compared to a year ago, yes, but even MORE so compared to 4 years ago. There’s been a few occasions over the last year where I’ve said yes to doing things (both work related and social), that I know I couldn’t have done before. It makes me sad that it took hold of my life as much as it did when I was in London, and potentially spoiled a few friendships…but that can’t be helped, and the fact that things have improved so much is amazing.

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12. Schwartz carbonara mix

I mean, I’m sure there’s thousands of yummy carbonara recipes out there, but when I get home late 5 or 6 times a week because of work and/or rehearsals, I just can’t be bothered to cook properly. So when I already have lardons in the fridge (part of Adult Life Hacks Part III!), all I need to do is add the mix to semi skimmed milk, and chuck it in a pan with the cooked lardons and mushrooms. BOOM.

13. The love for your friends grows so much more when dealing with adult problems (as opposed to small high school dramas)

I don’t think there’s anything to explain, it just does. And I want to thank my closest friends for being so amazing, supportive and understanding (as always), but particularly since Ed’s been away. You all know who you are, and I can never thank you enough. 

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14. My cardio’s rubbish

I mean, as dancers (and especially as a teacher), it’s rare to spend more than a couple of minutes prancing around without stopping. But with all the Musical Theatre that’s been in my life recently, I’ve had to get used to full out routines whilst singing again…which has been interesting, because I haven’t done it for a few years – I’m a bit out of practice! 😂  I’ve been having such a stagey time recently and it’s wonderful, but it’s just highlighted how unfit I am, and how reliant I am on my anaerobic life!

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15. Spotify’s Chillstep playlist is perfect for any mood

Credit to Ed for discovering this. If I want some chilled background music playing whilst I’m cleaning the house, doing my makeup, or just need to chill out (and I’m not feeling my Ludovico Einaudi playlist), Chillstep is the way to go. And it’s now a playlist I associate with my Bish, our house, and our wonderful honeymoon ❤️

16. Unicorn Shimmer

They have so many colours, you can put them in ANY drink, and it’s just a bit of fun if you want pretty drinks for a party, special occasion…or because it’s Tuesday and you fancy it 😂

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17. Lipcote

After all my years in theatre, I can’t believe I didn’t know about this before this year! And my main reason for falling in love with it, is that I struggled for (literally) months trying to find my wedding day lipstick – I just couldn’t find the perfect shade that was long lasting. If you aren’t familiar with Lipcote, you sweep it onto your lips once you’ve lipstick’d and blotted and it’ll hold your lipstick in place, regardless of whether you’re eating, drinking (or kissing)! The only drawback is that after a few hours it can become a bit flaky, but you can just wipe your lips off, start again, and you’re all set.

18. Gardening is really satisfying

I think it’s for a combination of reasons, starting with the fact that it’s a good distraction (I spent my entire day in the garden the day Ed left). Getting rid of weeds, moss and grass growing between the paving slabs feels so satisfying, particularly when the root comes out really easily. And when you stand back at the end of the session, whether you’ve been weeding, planting flowers, rearranging, or adding fresh stones to your border – you feel good. You can admire your beautiful garden, knowing that you were the one who made it look like this, which makes the feeling even sweeter.

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19. Pink clay mask

Again, I got this at the beginning of the year when I had a freak out about my wedding skin. The pores on my nose just love to say hello to the world and I hate how friendly they are. There’s a well known brand that does these pink clay masks, but I couldn’t justify spending that amount of money when a more affordable brand might do the job just as well. And this does! My pores shrunk and redness was massively reduced. It’s effectiveness has been highlighted even more since forgetting to use it…because those pores have started being friendly again recently 🙄

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20. How to turn off the gas…

We’re not going to go into detail, but Handy Andy was round, we were trying to mount a TV bracket on the wall, and there was an argument between a gas pipe and a drill. I’ve never run so quick in my life, but I know how to turn off the gas the new house 🙈 Safe to say, we gave up on the TV bracket idea and went for a unit instead…

21. Wide leg trousers are a wardrobe staple

It was back before the wedding when I was trying to work out what to wear on our flight to Madeira – I wanted something that was suitable for a cool Yorkshire morning, comfortable for a flight, and not too warm for a hot country. A pair of wide leg trousers in the sale from Boohoo were the answer, and I loved them! So much so, they turned into a go-to outfit during summer, and I invested in a couple of other pairs, one of which I wore round the pool…

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22. Candy Crush

I know it’s been around for years, but I didn’t download it until a couple of months back. And now I’m wondering why I never had it in my life before!

23. Gin. All the gin.

Yep, I wasn’t a gin drinker until 2018. I tried a G&T yearsssss back and didn’t like the taste, but last year realised it’s actually the taste of tonic that I don’t like. So, I use lemonade as my mixer instead! Which is quite dangerous, because now I can drink ALLLLLL the gin 😉 Current favourites are Parma Violet, and Rhubarb & Ginger. I love the nice, sweet, flavoursome gins, so if anyone has any more to recommend, drop me a comment!

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24. Shazaming TV shows backing music is genius for routines

I wouldn’t be without the Shazam app, and this is the main reason why. I can’t believe that my big ‘Montagues and Capulets’ piece came from Love Island, but (for those who know it) it was worth it, right?! #LetTheGamesBegin. And this year I did ‘Deeds Not Words’ with my Saturday Academy kids, part of which I heard on the ‘Suffragette’ film 💪

25. Britney is my fave daytime perfume

I can’t believe that out of all the perfumes I tried in Boots and Superdrug, our favourite new smell for me is Britney Spears. Although, it’s worked out quite nicely – it’s much more afforable which is good for an every day smell that gets spritzed every few hours. If I were doing that with my two Versace perfumes I’d be burning a massive hole in my pocket 😂

 

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26. I need to believe in myself more

I’m not sure whether I will, but I know that I should.

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Bring on 27 💪

Lynette x (3)

Adult Life Hacks (Part III)

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since my last ‘Adult Life Hacks’ post, but after some requests, IT’S BACK! There were 5 points in Part I, 5 points in Part II, so here are my next 5!

11. Command Strips 🖼️

After a dramatic experience when trying to mount a TV bracket on the wall last year involving gas, a hole in the wall and living off takeaways for a few days (I’ll let you fill in the gaps!), we just couldn’t be bothered dealing with the STRESS of banging 17 picture hooks into THE SAME WALL when we put up some wedding photos 😬 SO, Command Strips it was! Genius things, easy to use, and nothing’s fallen down yet (touch wood)!

12. Save Money on Flowers: Buy an Orchid 🌸

I love having plants and flowers in the home, it really brightens the place up. I love having a vase of flowers on the coffee table, but it really does add up if you’re having to replace them every week. Maybe one day I won’t notice the flower shaped dent in my bank account, but for now, a one off purchase of an orchid was a great idea! Just got to remember to water it (I’m not so good at that, but I’m getting better)! 

13. Always Have Lardons in the Fridge 🥓

I mentioned it in my first vlog a couple of weeks back, but they’re honestly such handy things to have around. They only take 3 minutes to cook, so when you’re not sure what to make for lunch or tea, it’s easy to throw them in a salad, some eggs, a pasta dish…the possibilities are endless! Unless you’re a vegetarian I guess… 🙈

14. Use a Potato Masher to Close the Windows 🥔

#ShortPeopleProbs, I can’t close the kitchen windows when they’re open in summer because I’m too short to reach over the counter 🙃 Instead of walking outside to push them in (which I’ve done a couple of times), grab your potato masher to yank them in again! Credit to Mama P for that idea!

15. Damp Paper Towel for Bird Poop 🕊️

Crediting my Dad for this one…we had a lovely deposit left on the back of the house, but apparently this hack works on cars too. Dampen a paper towel, pat it onto the ‘stain’ and leave it for a few minutes. You still might need to give it a firm wipe or little scrub (depending on whether you’re dealing with glass, metal or brick), but it’ll be MUCH easier to get rid of then.

And there we have it, 5 fresh new adult hacks for you! If you want to see the first 10, click here for Part I and here for Part II, and there’ll be another coming your way in a few months!

Lynette x (3)

9 Reasons I Feel Like An Adult This Month

‘Adulting’ is a term I use frequently with my friends – sometimes sarcastically, sometimes seriously – but always with the slight disbelief that we’re ACTUALLY ADULTS, and not just moseying through life as our teenage selves did. I’m married, I have a house, a car, amazing jobs…yet I still struggle to get my head around the fact that I’m almost in my late twenties, and that the kids I teach will see me as a ‘grown up’! I decided I’d just take note of some of the things that have highlighted my ‘adult’ status this month:

1. I made an ‘unwanted presents’ box in the loft

It’s no secret that on some occasions during our lives, we all receive presents we don’t like, don’t need, or just aren’t ‘us’. We can’t bear to throw them away because we feel guilty (even though the person who gifted them will probably never know), and it’s not that we’re ungrateful…but when you don’t like whatever it is, or it has no place in your life, what do you do? Well, I made a box. A box for unwanted gifts that can sit in the loft, out of sight, but always there. And if you’re sat there reading this thinking ‘that’s awful!’, then you’re lying, and you know full well that you have your own system (even if it’s not the same as mine) of dealing with weird gifts.

2. We have a flowerbed

AND WE’RE VERY PROUD OF IT! We got a bit of advice from Granny Nette (thankyou!) about how to start, but other than that, we did it all ourselves! It’s really pretty, and we’re really proud of ourselves that we did something adult-y that went right.

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3. I bought a spirit level

I used to borrow dad’s, but I decided that I’d got to a stage in my life where I needed my own. So I got one.

4. Warm weather = more washing!

Once upon a time, the heat excited you because it meant you could go and do fun things, or spend longer with your friends. Now, if I wake up and the weather’s forecast to be warm with no rain, I get excited for all the washing I know I can get done (and dried!) that day.

5. I drove to get a Maccies and ended up coming back with M&S food

The intention after summer school was to drive to the retail park and treat myself to a takeaway…but as soon as I got there, I didn’t fancy it. So into M&S I went, and picked up some flowers for myself when I got there too.

6. Garden Centre trips are REALLY FUN

So, the homewear shopping trips started to become fun when I was a student, but since we moved into the house and we have a garden now, Homebase/garden centre trips have become just as fun!

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7. I had to shout at kids for playing in our drive

Yep, I turned myself into ‘that scary lady who lives at number ___’. But when the kids were playing around our cars, that’s a big NOPE. I got very cross. And anyone who knows me, knows that when I get really riled up, it’s not pretty. It worked though, I haven’t seen them anywhere near our house or drive since! Mwahaha…

8. I’m googling weeding tips

I don’t think there’s anything to comment on, there’s just no denying it’s ridiculously adult-y, and I wouldn’t have been doing it a few years back!

9. “Sorry, my husband deals with that”

It’s happen a couple of times, but the main one was to a Virgin cold caller knocking on the door with a ‘I noticed you’re not with us’ spiel…it meant I could get rid of him within 2 seconds of opening the door ✋

I also still feel giddy when I refer to Ed as my ‘husband’ or someone calls me by my new surname 😍

Who else has similar, scary moments of realisation?! 🙈

Lynette x (3)

25 Discoveries in my 25th Year

YAYYYYY BIRTHDAY! I’m a couple of days late, but I just didn’t have time to post this on the actual day! 🎈🎉🎂

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers do a ‘___ things I’ve learned in ___ years’ for their birthdays, but I’ve decided to note down 25 discoveries (food, beauty, lifestyle, well-being…) from the last 12 months. Enjoy!

1. ‘It’s Just a Story…’

This is a big one for me, and linked to my post about how Derren Brown’s ‘Miracle’ helped my anxiety. I go into more detail in the post and explain what the phrase means, but just for a quick insight; I struggle with anxiety on occasion, mainly when dealing with new places/experiences, and applying this phrase to stressful situations has allowed me to cope with my anxiety in a different way. The show is on Netflix and I didn’t imagine when I sat down to watch it that it would make me look at life differently, but this simple phrase when worrying about something… it honestly really helps. 

2. Chocolate Wine

YES it’s a thing, but you can only get it in Sainsbury’s! It’s so delicious and yummy, and it’s VERYYYYYYY easy to drink it as you would a glass of juice (definitely try to pace yourself with this one)! Seriously though, give it a go! (FYI it’s in the port section as it’s classed as a fortified product – Ed and I spent AGES trying to find it in the red wine section to start off with)!

3. It’s okay to say no to work

I hate to let anyone down, as I’m sure we all do. But sometimes, when that comes at the detriment of your physical or mental health, you have to say no. I had a situation at the beginning of the year where I’d taken on too much and it was really taking it’s toll. As much as I hated to do it, I said no to a job. But I’m glad I did, because I really don’t know how I’d have coped for the rest of the school year with such intense commitments. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, do what YOU need to do.

4. How To Drive

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I never had the time to learn when I was at school, so I started learning a year after I moved back to Yorkshire, shortly before my 25th birthday. I was extremely nervous ahead of time because I felt old to be learning…everyone my age already seemed to know how to drive, and all other learners were doing so in their school uniforms! But I had the most amazing teacher, who’s calming voice I still hear in my head, and getting my car in December has opened up so many doors for me! As a freelance dance tutor, it really is one of the best things I’ve done.

5. Twitter’s Amazing Blogging Community

I had no idea until the beginning of summer that there even WAS a blogging community on Twitter! But I’ve met some wonderfully supportive and friendly people, and I love to check out their content and see how they’re getting on. Shout out to my lovely blogger gals 😊

6. Dermalogica Skincare

I included this in a post about clearing up my skin, and I have to repeat it because the Clear Start Toner has made a MASSIVE difference. My skin’s finally cleared up (took long enough mind you) and now I wouldn’t be without it!

7. Mushroom Sauce

This was a discovery from a Google search when I wanted to jazz up a chicken breast. It’s easy and yummy and has made it to my recipe book! This is the recipe I used.

8. The ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Soundtrack

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Yes, I know it came out last year, yes I know I’m late to the party, but I don’t care – this soundtrack is gorgeous. The story sends a really important message, and the actual music itself is incredibly special. If you haven’t listened to it, DO. I listen to this at least once a week.

9. Want activewear? Head to Forever21!

Forever 21 was a favourite in our year group at Bird for fancy sports bras, and I’ve shopped their activewear range on occasion for the last 18 months or so (as well as JD Sports, Sports Direct and other branded stores). Now, I tend to head straight for Forever 21, especially for sports bras and leggings. The high waisted leggings DON’T SLIP DOWN, are very flattering and comfy, and I adore the designs too. Most of the time they have a matching sports bra (and who doesn’t feel like they can take on the world when they’re matchy matchy?!), so I’m absolutely in love with this store for my work clothes 💖

10. Multiple planners are a god send

Of course, I’m referring to my wedding! One planner ain’t enough, there’s just not enough room for all the various notes you scribble, questions for meetings, contact information of suppliers, guest list, playlist ideas, not to mention the more fun bits like colour scheme ideas/inspo, guest predictions and memorable dates… I have two but I’m not gonna lie, I’m tempted to get a third!

11. Being on stage with a significant other is THE MOST FUN!

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Ed and I have done our fair share of shows together over the years, but October 2017 was our first with the upgrade from bezzies to a couple. And it was SO much fun! Shoutout to HSAP, we miss you!

12. How FAB Etsy is

I really had no idea until I started using it last Christmas! I’ve bought so much from there now, it’s my go to for gift ideas and I love browsing all the wedding related stuff to get inspiration too! I’m going to be dedicating a couple of blog posts to my Etsy experience, so keep an eye out!

13. ‘Unforgotten’ (ITV)

The most gripping TV series I’ve watched since Broadchurch series 3. If you haven’t already, get yourself on the ITV Hub and catch up on the last 3 series, because this is such a JUICY drama. And I love murder mysteries so this is right up my street! Ed and I totally binge watched this and cannot WAIT for the next series, because the story lines and performances and just outstanding.

14. How you fuel your body has a massive impact on the way it runs

Potentially an obvious one? We all know that if we spend our lives eating takeaways, we’re going to feel more sluggish and crappy than if we’re eating a more ‘clean’ diet (I put that in inverted commas because I’m not suggesting I eat like a rabbit AT ALL, but now, I’m making everything from scratch so I know exactly what’s in my food). We haven’t necessarily been on a ‘diet’, but recently we’ve re-educated ourselves about what we’re putting into our bodies. Before now, it was very carb heavy – to my mind, active jobs like ours required carbs to fuel us through. Whilst this isn’t necessarily wrong, having spent a lot of my life eating bread and pasta and NOW concentrating on fueling my body with higher portions of protein/veggies/natural snacks – my body feels SO MUCH better for it! I have more energy, I feel less sluggish – and I didn’t realise I was feeling sluggish in the first place! It was a life changing discovery.

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15. Rebuilding burnt bridges lifts a weight you didn’t even know was there

So I recently re-kindled with my old high school bezzie. There’s no need to get into the ‘break up’ or any of that miserable business, because the main thing is, it’s all in the past. It was the one thing that really made me sad when I’d look back at it, or imagined what life might be like were she still one of my gals…but I didn’t realise there was a weight there…not until it was lifted! Lots of love has been happening this year and this just finished it off nicely 😊

16. Continuing to learn at work

Vague, but I genuinely learn more every time I’m in the Studio (whichever Studio that may be)! It really is one of those things where you learn on the job – I know I’m probably a VERY different teacher now to how I was 2 years ago when I’d only just started. I’m very lucky to be able to teach a wide range of students/styles/abilities/locations, and am loving being able to learn from some incredible creatives/collegues.

17. I didn’t know what stress was until we bought a house

I have no idea why I ever thought I was stressed before now. Having experienced the stress and rubbish that goes with buying a house, I will never complain about being stressed again! It’s such an important thing hanging over you for so long, something that you have NO control over… I don’t think we can comprehend until we actually go through it, how intense the entire process is. It’s been a rubbish experience regardless of the stress (I’m not going into it though), and can’t wait till we’re actually moved in! We got the keys a week ago and finally, we had a reason to SMILE about the house – it had been fairly miserable up to that point 😂

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18. I’m actually quite good at cooking!

I started my cooking life 7 years ago when I moved down to London, and it’s safe to say that it’s been a longggggg learning experience – Jacket Potatoes and Chicken Kievs were my go to for the first year or so 😂 As with anything, it just takes practice, but it’s only in the last couple of months that I’ve realised that I can cook up some mean dishes!

19. I’m shocking at baking

Total opposite of the above. I’ll give it a go, especially when I’m making Ed’s birthday cake or my rent’s anniversary cake – but I’m absolutely awful. I cheat and use the Betty Crocker mixes, but I’m still rubbish 😂

20. Flowers in the home make me happy

I don’t know if it’s the freshness or the colour or what – but it lifts my mood 😊

21. Cherry J Rum

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Ed made the discovery in So Bar a few months back, and it’s BEAUTIFUL. You know cherry haribo? Imagine that flavour mixed with coke and ice 😍 You can buy it on Amazon, and if you’re in the mood for that kind of drink, BUY IT!

22. ‘The one’ wedding dress is a thing

I HAVE MY WEDDING DRESS AND I’M UTTERLY IN LOVE WITH IT and I genuinely thought this was just a saying. Until I got mine on in the store. And OMG. It’s a wonderful feeling. I DON’T WANT TO WAIT ANOTHER 8 MONTHS TO WEAR IT THOUGH 😂👰🏻

23. It’s okay to rely on people

I’ve always been very happy with my independence, and by extension, relying on just myself. In the last 12 months I’ve realised it’s okay to share your burden with someone else – it actually helps! Even if it’s literally just talking through a problem, it’s amazing how much better you feel. I’m pretty sure that allowing myself to let down that barrier and be weak on occasion has actually helped my mental health. And I am forever grateful to my wonderful fiance for being absolutely incredible, and knowing me better than I know myself.

24. Want a cheap bouquet? Head to M&S!

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It was a couple of days ago when Ed and I had moved out of the flat that we popped down to M&S to get a nice little tea and some bubbles. At the checkout, one of the ladies who worked there (who was sorting out flowers at the end of the conveyor belt at the time) piped up; ‘Do you want some flowers?’ They were £1.60 for the bouquet down from, can you guess? £16. £16! Which is JUST ridiculous. There were a couple of other bouquets that were starting to brown, so I guess it’ll just be luck of the drawer…but now I know! Go at the end of the day right before closing! You’re welcome 😉

25. Don’t be afraid to cut people out of your life

It’s difficult to cut toxic people out of your life, particularly when you have history with them. You keep them as friends on Facebook or follow each other on Instagram: whether that’s because you haven’t got round to doing a social media cleanse, or whether they meant something to you and you’re not sure if you’re ready to end all communication with them. But life’s too short. I’ve got to an age now where if someone doesn’t add or bring anything to my life, or worse, take away from it, why keep them in it? It feels a bit harsh, but d’you know where I’m coming from? It’s only this year that I’ve found the courage to cut those people from my life. I’ve got a new chapter starting, so this is the perfect time to have a clear out.

And there we go, well done if you made it to the end, I wasn’t expecting it to be as long as that – I guess I got carried away with descriptions 🙈 I hope you enjoyed learning about my discoveries, and maybe learned a thing or two along the way! 

Lynette x (3)

Blogger Recognition Award

So this is exciting! In the middle of all the moving madness and stress last week, I found a spare minute to check my Twitter notifications and realised Mel LaBella had nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award! Which is lovely! I’ve been much less active with my blog and the various social media platforms associated with it because of the chatoic-ness of life/the move. Which is fine, it’s my hobby, but to get this nomination when I’d been a bit quiet was amazing, so thankyou so much chick!

The rules: 

  • Thank the blogger that nominated you
  • Write a post to show your award
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created

How Life with Lynette started:

When I came back from London two years ago, a lot of people had asked if I was going to start a blog about life as a dance teacher. The thought hadn’t occurred to me, but after some thinking, I decided to give it a go. It was only tiny in comparison to what I do now – I was posting once every 2/3 weeks, and only shared it on my work Instagram account and Facebook friends. My posts gradually decreased until the beginning of this year, where I went 6 months with only one post – I just didn’t have time or inspiration to write.

July came around and I decided it was either time to knock it on the head officially, or commit properly. I popped a poll on Instagram, and the outcome was that people would be interested in reading it, to stick with it, and write about whatever I wanted – not just dance. So that’s exactly what I did! And it was actually really nice to find out people would be interested in reading what I have to say!

Here I am, 2 months later, having done quite a bit of research about blogging techniques/engagement tips, written quite a few fresh posts, am actively making an effort to engage on Twitter and Instagram – and am loving it! As I said, the last couple of weeks have been a struggle, and it’ll be another couple of weeks till I’m back into the swing of things: and I’m missing it a bit! Especially the lovely blogger friends I’ve made!

Advice for New Bloggers No. 1:
~ Just Go With the Flow ~

I’ve seen a few bloggers recently panicking about not having a niche, or specific topics to talk about – worrying that they need to have one. You don’t! If you want to have one for yourself, GREAT, but equally, don’t feel like you have to just because a lot of bloggers do. If you want to just write whatever comes to your mind, DO THAT. It’s much more organic, more genuine, and you (as a writer) come across much better to your audience – forced posts lack passion and aren’t as enjoyable to read. And speaking from personal experience, since switching the way my blog works, I enjoy it SO MUCH more. PLUS, I have much more inspiration, because I’m not pressuring or limiting myself to talk about one thing. It’s your blog, niche or not, do what YOU want.

Advice for New Bloggers No. 2
~ Utilise Twitter ~

I’ve said it before, but I had no idea how vast the blogging community was on Twitter. For sharing your posts, reading others, engaging with people, advertising your other blog related social media accounts… It’s SUCH a useful tool. I only started with Twitter as a blogger in mid July and it was such a good decision! My blog traffic has increased massively, and I’ve met some amazing people! There are so many friendly and supportive bloggers out there – as opposed to being competitive as I originally thought! Shout out to the friends I’ve made through blogging 💖

My Nominees:

  1. Sophie’s Choice
  2. Elisha Blogs
  3. Just Sophie
  4. Tasha’s Lifestyle
  5. Ellie Blakeney
  6. My Big Fat Greek Lifestyle/Coffee and Corfu
  7. Bailey Leah
  8. Grand Fash Life
  9. World of Rachel
  10. Rebecca Faye
  11. Scrubs and Swimsuits
  12. Anchored Teapot
  13. Blog About a Latte
  14. Kate’s Beauty Home
  15. Books Nest

I look forward to reading your responses, and I’m hoping to be back into the swing of things soon! Lots of love 💖

Lynette x (3)

Hitting the Reset Button

It’s amazing how calming a walk in nature can be. Ed and I have had very little time to ourselves recently, and even less time together (apart from the general living together things). Any free time I’ve had has been spent thinking about or planning for whatever’s coming up next…classes, workshops, Showcase in October, and trying to be more proactive with blogging…

…which is fine, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million more times, I love my job and I’m incredibly lucky with everything that’s going on right now…but that doesn’t mean that sometimes it can get on top of me and I feel I need to take a step back. As we all do. I think that switching off is so important (and healthy!), and we should all try and make a conscious effort, if we can, to allow ourselves time to breathe (even if that just means a short walk, cinema trip or bubble bath).

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The other day, Ed and I took ourselves on a walk. The main reason being, we have our engagement shoot coming up and we needed to scout out some locations – which is exciting! But it turned into a two birds one stone situation – it was such a calm and peaceful afternoon, and I hadn’t realised until we were down by the river, how much I needed it. And actually, how much we both needed it, the man is amazing, but has been so busy and hasn’t had a day to himself for too long for so many reasons – and obviously, I want to make sure that he has some proper time off and doesn’t burn out, so I think we (accidentally) planned it just at the right time.

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For anyone needing to switch off, I can’t recommend a walk enough. It was a warm, sunny day, we (miraculously, I’m not sure how though on a Sunday afternoon on Knaresborough’s waterside) avoided the crowds! Crowds would’ve probably made us even more stressed 😂

Obviously we took some pictures, but ignoring our phones, switching off and just being in our own little world for a couple of hours, was so refreshing.

I think that Ed summed it up beautifully as we were walking home – it was the perfect reset button. A chance to take time just with each other, to chat, laugh take stock of what we’ve got and just chill out.

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I’ve always loved walks, even as a kid (the Rents got me and my brother walking boots for the amount of walks we went on, THAT’S how into it we were!), and I really don’t do them enough these days – especially knowing how therapeutic they can be. 

We had a gorgeous afternoon, and if you live in Knaresborough, don’t forget about the amazing things we have on our doorstep… We’re all guilty of doing it (us included!), but we get so caught up with life and adulting that we forget that the river’s a 5 minute walk away, or we could go and stroll around the Castle with a Brymor’s Icecream.

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Can I make an August resolution? 😂 MORE WALKS PLEASE! Because I just can’t get over how much good it did me.

Anyone else got any ‘ultimate chill and reset’ ideas?! Feel free to share!

Lynette x (3)

 

 

Derren Brown’s ‘Miracle’ Helped My Anxiety

In the last few months/years, you can’t deny that there’s been much more media coverage for mental health. Which is amazing. I would never claim to be an expert, nor would I claim to be a big sufferer (it’s never been bad enough to warrant a trip to the GP), but I do get anxiety, from time to time. I didn’t realise until a year or so ago, that virtually everyone I know has been, or is, affected by anxiety in some way. Which, whilst I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, it’s quite a nice, sobering thought – to know that other people UNDERSTAND how you feel.

I don’t want to go on about it at all, because, full disclosure, I really don’t know an awful lot about it. I just know, that certain situations (or the prospect of certain situations) can really get to me. And this post isn’t going to be an earth shattering, internet breaking look at the way we live our lives, or facts and assumptions about mental health. It’s just something I’ve realised. That I’m going to leave right here.

The other night, Ed and I had just finished watching something on Netflix, and a trailer automatically started playing once the credits had started rolling: it was for Derren Brown’s ‘Miracle’. It looked pretty kick ass, so we went straight ahead and popped it on.

Now we all know what Derren Brown does, so I don’t need to give too much away. But he opens the show with quite a poignant suggestion about the way we live our lives – and when I say poignant, I mean (arguably) life altering. Who’d have thought that within a minute of the show starting, Ed and I would have pressed pause, looked at each in awe and had a two minute discussion about what’d just been said. THAT’S the kind of show it is.

Anyway, many wonderful and magical things happen during the show which I won’t spoil, but what I WILL tell you is that half of it has left me with the utmost respect for his brilliance, and the other half believing in magic. It’s at the end of the show when he starts to wrap things up and takes a moment to reflect, that something really hit me – it was quite a light bulb moment.

If you don’t want spoilers, look away now.

He’d said earlier in the show (and came back to it at the end) and I quote:

 

“We tend to dwell on our past and we think that somehow defines who we are. But our pasts are just stories we tell ourselves in the present…

 

…if this were the start of a film and it said ‘Based on a true story’, you would know that the events that were going to happen in that film weren’t real events exactly as they happened…you’d be naturally skeptical…

 

…we forget to apply the same natural skepticism to the most important stories we have, the ones we tell ourselves every day about who we are. We can choose to change those stories.”

 

And THAT has really resonated for me. The wealth of my anxiety comes from
– Having had a bad experience (of something) in the past
– Dwelling on it (and probably making the event worse in my head)
– Allowing that to influence my views on it in the present.
This ultimately leads me to panicking about having to repeat the same activity in the future.

I’ll give you an example.

A few years ago I was on a bus, and felt really ill. I can’t tell you whether the two were mutually exclusive or not, but now, I don’t want to get on a bus. For fear of feeling ill. Because my learned response to that situation (having told myself a certain story for all these years, as Mr Brown said), is that I WILL feel ill again. Daft right? And I know it is. 

I’m much better these days at dealing with little moments of anxiety, therefore feel a bit more confident to attempt to combat them. For example, last summer before I had my car, I got the bus down to Mum and Dad’s. It’s only a 5 minute drive, but that was a big deal for me. And a stepping stone to getting better at it. But a couple of years ago anxiety really did pull on the reigns of living a ‘normal’ life. 

And (going back to ‘Miracle’) something about the way he explained this – the idea of telling ourselves a story – really hit home. It may sound silly, but within that minute or so of explanation, I though ‘Holy s**t, this is so me. Hang on, this is actually going to help’. And now, I feel like I have ‘IT’S JUST A STORY’ ingrained on my cranium. 

I didn’t expect that sitting down to watch a Derren Brown show would make me re-evaluate my life and the way I deal with certain situations – but it did. And don’t I wish I’d watched it a few years ago!

The show is brilliant regardless of the message, and I’m not going to say ‘OMG YOU MUST GO AND WATCH THIS NOW!’…but it really is something special

And I leave you with a gorgeous quote from the start of the show that we loved;

“LIFE SHOULD BE MORE LIKE A PIECE OF MUSIC,
AND YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE DANCING.”

Lynette x (3)