A Mother’s Love

a-mother's-love[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

Unfortunately, the author of this poem is unknown but I wanted to dedicate this to all the mothers out there today, particularly mine, for their unconditional love like no other. I am indeed blessed and fortunate to have and to be raised by such an incredibly loving, caring, doting, forgiving, supportive, and exceptionally inspiring mother, who always who puts her kids before herself. And as I count my blessings, my heart goes out to all those who’ve haven’t been as lucky to have had a mother or experience that love…. for those who have lost their mothers and would do anything to see them again……for those who are separated by a million miles and miss ever moment of their embrace…….and for those who desperately long to be a mother.

[Molu Musings]: Stay Weird

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I’m pretty sure you’ve all seen or heard these profound words by Graham Moore at the Oscars this year, circulating about on the internet. Well, I couldn’t agree with him more and I felt I needed to voice the same views on the importance of being different in a world that can be completely obsessed on how you are constantly perceived. And particularly more so in a creative world.

I’ve always been a believer of being different, independent and to not blindly ‘follow like sheep’ in life but I have to admit, that many a times I’ve strayed from those beliefs to conform to what’s seen as the ‘right’ or ‘done’ thing. And many a times this tends to be the ongoing hurdle you endure during your teens and in your 20s – we’ve all been there – until you get to a point later in life where you realise it’s not worth it at all. While it’s absolutely fine to follow the norm, go with the flow, play safe, be average, and ‘fit in’….being different is a whole lot better. Trust me.

To be a unique, independent and strong individual with the ability to stand out from the rest is a great thing. Otherwise, how freaking boring would this place be?? And in all honesty, it’s the one’s who are different, think outside the box, break traditions, and swim against the flow (and I don’t mean in a troublemaking kind a way!!) that are much more content and even successful in life. It may take a little longer to be appreciated for who YOU are but when that time comes, you will be glad for sticking to being you and not the person the world wants to see you as.

So whether you’re in school, college, university, or in any workplace….please do remember to be YOU and to BELIEVE in yourself always. Forget the haters and the judgmental lot. Don’t let the world dictate who you are and who you should be, nor ruin your life and think any less of yourself because a bunch of people don’t get you or see the uniqueness in you. To base your happiness on the acceptance of others or what they think about you, will only lead to misery. You are not here to please every one or fit in with everyone. So please be YOU. When you have accomplished the courage to do so in life, you’ll go far and that’s something I’ve learnt more about in the last few years from the many people I’ve gotten to know and admire, who had the strength and confidence to be themselves…and be different. Surround yourself with people who bring the best out of you too, and if you haven’t yet found those people, you will find them soon enough.

Stay weird. Stay different. And go rock the world because there are a lot more amazing people out there like you….more than you ever know! :)

Thank you Graham Moore for reminding us all of this.

[Molu Mantra] Quote of the Week

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Happy Monday folks! I hope you’ve all started the new week nicely.

Well, this week’s quote is from the film The Switch which I randomly came across on Netflix recently and I must say, I found it pretty entertaining. I do like Jason Bateman and Jennifer Anniston so that obviously helped! Anyway, it’ the opening line…actually, the ending line too…. that caught my attention and felt it was quote-worthy. It’s definitely a nice reminder of how those random unexpected moments in our somewhat busy, routine-obsessed, or perhaps even mundane lives, can be the most incredible things that happens to us. I for one, can vouch for that on numerous occasions.

So, keep that in mind as you start another busy week! You just never know what’s waiting for you around the corner!  :) xx
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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

[Styling the Seasons] January

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_JAN-main I can’t believe I’ve left this to the very last-minute with literally a day and a half left of this month but not much I could do with a busy start to the year… so I guess it’s better late than never! :) Well, January, is kind of like September for me;  you get another chance to start fresh with new goals, perspectives and projects, not to mention a newfound desire to get super organised, spruce up and de-clutter everything around you….I’m sure many of you will relate to this too!  However, this year is particularly new and huge one for me with all the recent changes that’s taken place in the last few months. If you remember this post of mine from back in November, you’ll know I wasn’t exactly in a good place with all the distress that came with ‘change’, ‘uncertainty’ and the inability to see clearly. The much-needed recuperation over Christmas holidays was just the thing I needed to pull myself together and….excuse my french…actually make s**t happen. MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_JAN-12One of the main things we decided to do (I say we, because, while this was predominantly for my benefit, this decision was for both myself and my husband, with his support of course!) was invest in a studio/work space. We had talked about this a few times before but with most studio spaces in East London being outrageously expensive I continued working from home. So little did we expect to find something actually affordable, just a few blocks from the flat! Granted, it’s not as fancy as the ones you find in Shoreditch or Hackney, nor do we have the entire place exclusively to ourselves but it does the job perfectly and the best bit is that I don’t have to worry about travel fares being so close to home! I honestly can’t tell you how much a difference it’s already made just having that designated place to go to and work. While it may not be as warm and cosy as our flat, or is a far cry from the all-white, industrial, Scandi-style studio I’ve dreamt of (more Wes Anderson-esque!), I’m just SO incredibly grateful to find somewhere I can call my own. It’s my little space I go to every morning where there isn’t a bed, couch or any housework in sight to distract me! It keeps work separate from home which has already proven to be beneficial to us both, and there’s other people to talk to as oppose to speaking to myself or the wall at home. ;) I’ve had a great productive start to the year in my new space, working flat-out on a couple of projects…..so all in all, it’s been the best move and I cannot thank my husband enough for that. Just need to get the work (and the money) rolling in now! :D
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So anyway, for this month’s Styling the Seasons it felt right to share my new workspace seeing as it symbolises a brand new start for me this year. I’ve still a bit to do, injecting my style and personality to the space but that’s something that will happen over time. Aside from our table tops (that were made by friends) the rest of the furniture were all Gumtree and eBay hauls to keep costs down. I then accessorised the space with bits and pieces I’ve bought, made and collected over the last year or two. The quote “she’s a dreamer, a doer, a thinker. She sees possibilities everywhere” was something I knew from the start, I wanted to add to the space as it could not be a better description of me and my outlook in life. As you can see from the main image, I hand-painted the text onto some scrap MDF board I found at a local DIY store and whitewashed….and yep, it did take a lot of patience doing that but I loved every minute of it!! With my growing love for typography and hand-lettering, this is something I plan to do more of as part of my creative services and obviously wanted this piece to represent that.

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I love that the table is big enough to accommodate both digital and traditional work without having to pack up one or the other to make room….unless of course it a big piece which I’ll no doubt have to take over hubby’s desk or perhaps even use a bit of floor space. But the main things is all the work is happening in the one place and not in various corners of the room like I used to! And I don’t have to worry about making a mess, spilling ink or paint, etc which is soooooo liberating and helps get the creative juices flowing! I’m hoping over time, the wall space becomes a big mood board of various pieces of inspiration…..partly because I’m desperately trying to cover up the horrid green walls! Maybe if I’m there long enough I could suggest painting the walls white or a neutral colour of some sort…..it would make taking photographs a lot easier!! hmm, lets see! ;) MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_JAN-11 MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_JAN-15 So there you have it! I’m finally excited for the future and I there’s no denying how much this space has helped me feel like I can move forward. Let the adventures begin! ;) If you’d like to partake on the styling fun, all you have to do is style a surface area in your home or studio and post a photo or two on any social media or blogging platform you’re on. Simply add the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons (preferably even tag Katy and Charlotte) with your entries so that it’s easily found. You honestly don’t have to be a pro at styling or photography (as you can clearly see here) to join in. It’s just a great way to get you motivated, inspired and embrace each month. In fact, there’s some great tips from Charlotte here if you need a bit of a nudge. Happy styling folks and I hope you all have a fab weekend ahead! xxx

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_JAN-16 The two prints above pretty much sum up me and my new beginnings. The modern calligraphy card is by the lovely Imogen Owen who I took calligraphy classes with last year courtesy of Quill London and the ‘craft is in my blood‘ illustration is by my good friend and creative genius Viktorija of And Smile Studio.

[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

2015: Be kind to yourself

MOLU_BE-KIND-2015-01Happy New Year folks!

I know I’m a few weeks late posting this but it’s been a surprisingly busy start to 2015, where I’ve somehow nose-dived straight into work. Probably for the best seeing as it’s always so difficult switching back to work mode after a long and restful break. So it’s just the right kind of incentive to get you going.

Well, I hope you’ve all had a good start to the year. I’m pretty sure you’ve all got your resolutions and exciting plans for the 2015, many of you turning a new leaf on different aspects of your life. For me, it’s career and well-being; finally setting out to do what I love and makes me happy. It hasn’t been a great journey to get to this place, particularly over the last 18 months where I’ve questioned, doubted, and have been ridden with guilt and fear over where I saw myself going. That ‘not-knowing’ feeling has, quiet frankly, been the worst thing for someone who thought she knew she had everything more or less worked out. There’s been a lot of tears shed and crazy meltdowns because of it, but hey, plans don’t always work…..I know my fair share of that. However, this time round, what I’ve learnt the most out of all this is to cut myself some slack and just find a way to be kind to myself – something I quite often neglect when I’m constantly out there striving to be perfect or trying to achieve all those goals I set for myself.

So anyway, that’s really my motto….or word for this year. Kindness. Not just to others, but to myself. And with that in mind, I’m off to forge my new creative journey, which will no doubt bring its own woes and hurdles but, at least I know what I’ll be telling myself should things get bumpy along the way! :) Here’s to new beginnings and positive outlooks!

Well, what about you? What’s your outlook for 2015? I’d love to hear if you have key word or motto that you plan to follow this year!

xx

 

PS. Oh and before I forget, I’m busy trying to finish my new portfolio website for the end of the month so I’ll definitely keep you posted on that. You may have already noticed a few changes on here so yea…..it’s slowly getting there! Rebranding yourself is hard!! :) And can you believe it’s been 3 years since I started all this blogging malarkey!!? It’s definitely one of the best things I’ve done and I have my husband to thank for that! x

It’s beginning to look a lot like christmas!

MbM_Christmas-decorations_01Gosh, I cannot believe we’ve only ONE more sleep left till Christmas Day! I’ll be honest with you, it hasn’t hit me yet probably because the days, weeks and months leading up to this festive Yuletide has all been a bit of a blur at the speed at which it’s flown by. I don’t suppose the mild weather hasn’t really contributed to that winter feeling either. Nevertheless, I have no doubt it’ll sink in tomorrow morning!!! I’ve got the all the traditional Christmas songs and carols playing in the background as I write is this…. so it’s working ;)

So, we’ve decided to stay put in London and spend Christmas on our own…yep, just the two of us for a change. It wasn’t an easy decision as it’s normally spent with our families but after a crazy few months since summer with hardly any time to ourselves, to wind down or enjoy life, we soon realised we really needed this time off for some much-needed downtime together, to relax and recuperate before the new year begins. It’s been a ridiculously long time since we’ve had any of that so I’m must say, we’re excited at the thought of it….as much as we’ll miss having family around us this yule time. MbM_Christmas-decorations_02Staying behind, meant we needed to make the extra effort to make it Christmassy without it going OTT (whole point being stress free and relaxing) and I’ve got to say, the best thing we decided to do was buy our very FIRST real Christmas tree last weekend! Neither of us have ever had one growing up so adding this to our first christmas together was definitely the right thing to do to get us into the spirit! The smell is simply divine that I can’t believe I’ve missed out on that all these years….mind you, I don’t quite miss the mess it makes nor the sharp pricks every time I go to hang an ornament! I can see why they’re called blimmin’ needles…!!! Worth it though! ;)

I kept the decorations simple this year, and obviously handmade too by making all he ornaments out of white cardstock. Since making geometric diamonds for the white-on-white styled shoot, I knew I wanted to include those along with three-dimensional stars in assorted sizes (templates, I got from here) and crackers (templates courtesy of Minieco) since I received one from the lovely Marie a few weeks back! I added a bit of hand-lettering too just to personalise it a bit more….

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What do you think? I’m definitely hooked and if only I had more time I’d love to have made more unique pieces…you know, put those old architectural model-making skills in good use! Ah well, I’ll save that for another year! :) MbM_Christmas LONDON-2014_07 MbM_Christmas-LONDON-2014_02 MbM_Christmas-LONDON-2014_01

Well, it’s definitely starting to look and feel a lot like Christmas now so I CANNOT wait to get up tomorrow morning and enjoy the next few festive days in London town with the hubby! And on that note, I wish you all the jolliest of Christmasses filled with lots of love, fun, food, carolling, and laughter! Have a good one folks! xxxx

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MbM_Christmas-LONDON-2014_03 MbM_Christmas-LONDON-2014_10[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

MBTI with Kit & Caboodle Coaching

K&C_MBTI-02Have you ever wondered why you are the person you are? Or ever speculate why you go through things in life the way you do….like reacting to certain events or people, or perhaps even they way you make decisions and process information? And whether if you are actually utilising your qualities, interests, values, etc in the best possible way….? Well, I can definitely admit to pondering over all of the above a good few times in my life time but never really investigated it any further, and  that’s where the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) tool comes in hand.

When Marie of Kit & Caboodle Coaching (aka @scribbleyoga in the virtual world) approached me back in September, about trying a few sessions she was offering as part of her new business launch, the timing could not have been any more perfect. Being at a major crossroads in my life, I knew this was an opportunity not to be missed and so I quickly agreed to try the MBTI personality test followed by some feedback and coaching.

I’ve never really taken any personality tests before – mind you, we had something quite basic back in high school that told you which career path to take……which clearly went well! ;) So, if like me, you’ve never heard of the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator, it’s basically a psychometric tool that gives you a deeper insight and understanding of your personality traits so that you’re able to find ways to make the most out of them. There are eight personality preferences which are organised into four ‘dichotomies’ – a pair of opposite preferences that consists of Extrovert (E) vs Introvert (I), Sensing (S) vs Intuition (N), Thinking (T) vs Feeling (F) and, Judging (J) vs Perceiving (P) which results in sixteen overall personality ‘types’, one of which you fall into after completing a questionnaire-based assessment. The way in which you answer this questionnaire obviously determines which four-lettered combination (aka ‘type) you are for example ENFJ or INTP. If this sounds all a bit garbled to you, then here’s a short illustrated video that sums it all up nicely.

After an initial telephone chat with Marie to get an idea of what reports to focus on (in my case, generally revolved around career and decision-making), we decided on a date, and I took the test prior to meeting Marie at her house. To access your results and these specific reports, you need an accredited coach like Marie who will then go through with you, the feedback in detail, on the day. While I’ve always had a somewhat decent perception of what my personality traits are like, I was still fascinated with the results in the report….it’s as though, seeing it on paper made it all the more reassuring knowing that you didn’t have to second guess your traits and overall persona, or more importantly, why you react, process and perform in a certain way. Its actually a great way for others to know you better too; your strengths and weaknesses, including how you behave in various different scenarios!

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[the 16 different personality types, The Washington Post]

So, what category did I fall into then? I turned out to be an ENFJ which basically means I’m the type of person who would prefer “drawing energy from the outside world of people, activities and things…..taking in information through a sixth sense and noticing what might be….organising and structuring information to decide in a personal, value-based way” and overall have a “preference for living a planned and organised life“. And it couldn’t get any more accurate than that because I have always known to enjoy being a team player and a problem-solver, who’s very much enthusiastic and goal-oriented but with other peoples’ interests, feelings and values at heart. I do of course have pitfalls too, where I do have the tendency to be highly sensitive to criticism and by putting others’s feelings before my own, decision-making can be challenging particularly when I want to avoid confrontation.

The MBTI is not only a great way to get a closer look at your personality but a tool that helps you find ways to unlock your full potential, by simply identifying all those traits – good and bad. For me, with all the distress and anxiety that came with being at a career crossroad, what I gained most from all this was a much better understanding of my ‘type’ when under stress and/or coping with change; where when gripped with such experiences it can bring out an uncharacteristic display of traits and behaviour in you. I soon realised I had a lot of built up anxiety, so finding ways go about managing those triggers and returning to equilibrium, was my next step in order to get myself moving forward.  Well, I honestly could not have asked for a more insightful afternoon.  Marie has been amazing throughout the whole process; explaining in layman’s terms how everything worked (and putting up with my 101 questions!), taking the time to understand what I was looking to get out of this session, listening intently to everything I had to say (or ramble on with), compiling and providing a great wealth of information for me to reflect on….which is what I did in the coming weeks! There’s a calming presence about her (which I’ve always envied since meeting her last year on Michelle’s Eat & Snap workshop) that puts anyone one, including an anxious me, at ease! And what I love about her too (which I think does help a lot) is the shared interest of all things creative and handmade! :)

If like me, you’re keen on finding some answers or direction in life; be it through this MBTI test or coaching sessions with Marie, then do get in touch with her. Having trained and coached for years at larger organisations, Marie has now gone solo to provide folk with one-to-one sessions. She does offer Skype meetings too but based on my personal experience, I would highly recommend seeing her in person, if you can! For more details of all the services she provides, hop on over to her website, which also includes a ‘Bloggers Bundle‘ package to avail of! Now that I’ve managed to take control of all the stress in the recent weeks and regained a clearer head, Im definitely considering going back for some career-related coaching….so I’ll keep you posted on that!

Have a lovely week folks! xx

Being m.i.a. lately

SELF-REFLECTION

I don’t usually get too personal on here but I felt the need to explain why my blogging has undergone a major hiatus lately; in fact, I’ve kind of dropped off so many other radars to a point a few friends and family have checked in to see if I was still alive and kicking…

Well, I am (or just about!)…it’s just that there’s been a gazillion different things going since the summer and I’ve somehow managed to get completely caught up in what seems like a snowballing state of mayhem, that finding the time or energy to have any bit of down time was simply beyond attainable! I also hated how I was losing my balance and focus at the whole juggling act, but worst of all, I soon realised I was becoming increasingly disorganised and frequently getting myself into a state of panic over every little ‘obstacle’ that came my way (I’m talking meltdowns) For those of you that know me well enough, you’ll know how uncharacteristic that is for me as I’ve always been a take-the-bull-by-the-horns kinda gal who’s always taken on a proactive and positive outlook……but I must admit that this is the first time I felt like I’ve been stuck in what seems like a sinkhole and that my frantic efforts to get out of it, where in fact making me sink further. So what’s caused all this distress then…?

  • Change: As many of you may know (I’ve briefly touched up on it here in previous posts), I’m in the middle of a career shift; moving form the realms of architecture to that of graphic design, illustrations and art direction. Having invested over a decade in something you thought was you, this switch was understandably quite the jolt to the system, perhaps more so on my conscience, however, I eventually learnt to come to terms with it this summer and gave myself the remaining four months of this year to tackle this big unsolved puzzle of mine in what I thought was a realistic timeframe. Great. So, I had a plan of action, a goal, some structure…and I set off with my problem-solving hat on, looking for answers. Unfortunately, this ‘figuring-out’ process in the last few months hasn’t been quite the ‘exciting adventure’ I kept telling myself it would be, probably because I’ve been soooooo darn focused with solving it that I’ve not really stood back to process or reassess any thoughts along the way. Of course, there are other things and events (aka life) that’s come along the way (both good and bad) which constrained my much-needed headspace even further……my mind has been on constant overdrive, (a mess to be precise) that I just couldn’t see the wood from the trees. This brings me onto the next point…
  • Chaos: I’m not sure if there’s many of you out there that relate to this, but I for one, cannot do anything productive, be inspired or feel motivated when I everything around me is chaotic or in a state of disarray. This includes both my state of mind and physical surroundings. I work from home, and while that is a luxury in many ways it can be really disruptive too and the one thing that came to light recently (despite learning to tolerate it all this time) was the lack of a clear designated workspace. I’ve moved around between our lounge, bedroom and my brother’s room trying to find the right space for the task at hand (eventually ending up in our bedroom) but my stuff was still in all corners of the flat. I really don’t want you to think I’m a spoilt brat whining about the lack of space, quite the contrary! It’s the lack of a clear, defined work area where everything has its proper place, that has been bothering me (And one that’s conjoined to either your sleeping or living area!) Granted, that my house proud, OCD traits and my constant yearning for clean and organised spaces hasn’t help matters but then when you’re designer, crafter and maker, you do need things to be orderly, (particularly if space is at a premium!) or it can be incredibly stifling and disruptive having to constantly pack up or move your things away come end of the day (or in recent cases forgetting where things have been put away!) If all I needed was a surface to sit at and write, then I could continue to be flexible and adapting but this nomadic routine wasn’t doing me or my mind any favours, particularly with my head already up in the clouds ‘figuring’ a whole lot of other stuff. We’ve even reorganised things about in the flat but the results have been slow or not what you’re after so I end up ‘settling’ with mess again.
  • resistance and setbacks:  As mentioned earlier, I’m normally the type of person who would set off to climb/conquer any mountain than came my way, however big, or find some way or another way to take any problems in stride….but I guess this time, I’ve struggled with that badly. Its that resistance of not being able to overcome or move to that calmer and clearer place, in a given timeframe (which obviously added more pressure) that has sadly weighed me down and clouded up my peripheral vision. Unfortunately, all my best efforts to explore and dabble in many creative realms in the hope that would help inspire, identify and pave my new creative path over these months, have been greatly overshadowed by all the anxiety brought on from all of the above. The blog, my portfolio (the rebranding of both) and many other creative ideas, ended up on the back burner which then caused all the distructive overthinking, and then the fear of not moving forward throws me back into that creative slump I was (and still am) so desperately trying to get out of! Little did I envisage that overthinking and procrastinating would be my biggest hurdle! (so unlike me!) And trying to solve things on your own can get so awfully exhausting, you’re left with hardly any energy to think, let alone juggle various other things. Everything just takes 10 times longer to get done! It’s like a vicious circle where you find yourself feeling frustrated and determined over the idea of getting defeated but the concoction of the two only creates further turmoil. Go figure, eh?

So yea, that’s basically the very crux of why I’ve been m.i.a. lately. It’s not been all doom and gloom as there’s been a lot of great things going on too; from interning with an awesome design agency up in Hackney and attending workshops/events to spending some time with family. Unfortunately, these few months got way more ‘full on’ than I had anticipated, and the setbacks it created in other areas caused unforeseeable distress which I let get the better of me. Things are getting calmer my end and I do feel like I’m gaining some clarity and structure again, so I do hope to be back on track….slowly but surely! :) I guess I’ve had a bit of hiatus in all aspects! Mind you, I’ve definitely learnt a few things from all this: the need to let go of some things (I can’t do or solve everything!) AND to take some time out to step back when things get a bit hectic! It’s only natural to be tempted into throwing yourself head first at work or whatever it is that niggling away at you. However, being on constant overdrive only leads to burn out and wallowing over things only stops you from enjoying the good things in life….two valuable things I’ve definitely been reminded of now and I hope to take forth with me.

Gosh, I’m am sorry for pouring all this out on here as I do try to keep it cheerful being a handmade/crafty blog but I guess I felt I needed give you all a proper explanation as to why I’ve dropped off the planet, especially when my blog has been my main creative outlet.  Well, I’m taking control of things again and learning to SLOW DOWN so let’s hope it’s onwards and upwards from here……….and all those crazy meltdowns just stay far FAR away!!! :)

Thanks so much for stopping by and listening xxxxxx

[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu. The illustrated portrait of me is by the lovely and talented Viktorija of AndSmile Studio. I felt this photo of it on the wall with ‘stuff’ accumulating all around it perfectly depicted the chaos that has surrounded me recently – smart, eh? lol]

Hello Autumn

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“EVEN IF SOMETHING IS LEFT UNDONE, EVERYONE MUST TAKE TIME TO SIT STILL AND WATCH THE LEAVES TURN.”

~ ELIZABETH LAWRENCE

 

And it’s for this very reason why I love the autumnal days so much; watching your surroundings turn into a sea of rich golds and reds. Sadly, as much as I hate admitting it, this moment (captured last week) was the first time I stopped in my tracks to fully appreciate the change in seasons. I’ve been so preoccupied with work and life lately (or the art of juggling one to many balls), letting it run away with me to a point I’ve not stood back to take in all vivid radiance that surrounds me. So with that, I’ve made a promise to myself that I’d take more time out from the mayhem ‘”to sit still and watch the leaves turn”….I do hope you will too! xx