Summer Lovin’

The Daily Post have posted a Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

So I’m offering this photo that I took today! Today was the first full free day of the 2014 summer holidays here in the UK and it was beautiful!


What says ‘Summer’ to you?




What a Great Day!

Just thought I’d post about the really lovely summer’s day I’ve had. It’s been great!

We had a late start to the day and not wanting to waste the glorious weather we’ve had over the week, we decided to go to a place called Bolton Abbey. It’s a beautiful estate with the ruins of an abbey, walking trails, a cafe, scenic views and a river running through the whole thing. It’s one of my favourite places to go with Gaz because it’s so pretty and for a few hours you can forget that concrete jungles and traffic jams exist! So our afternoon was filled with this:

IMG_20140725_165356IMG_20140725_1656072014-07-25 13.23.272014-07-25 13.20.50IMG_20140725_165458Pretty, right?! Also enhanced a little bit with my friend Instagram.. but you get the gist!

It was a scorcher today so we only walked around for a few hours before heading home. Then I was off for my McDonald’s date with my oldest friend, Catherine. Catherine and I met in high school and started spending time together outside of school in about year 8 when we were about 12. We used to go to our local McDonald’s and try the newest McFlurry’s while gossiping about school, boys and bands. We often spent hours in there – I think our longest time in there was about 4 hours!

Over the past 10 years nothing has changed and we still meet up when we can for McDonald’s and a gossip about work, boys and bands! On my 22nd birthday Catherine very sweetly put this on my Facebook wall which shows a decade of our friendship…

10409722_10152410837458673_6458016902524543765_nThe picture on the bottom was taken on our last day of school after 4 years of friendship, back when boys were still boys and we had big plans for the years ahead. The picture on the top was taken at the McBusted show at the Phones 4U Arena (It’ll always be the M.E.N to me!) on 9th May this year. Now boys are slightly older boys and our issues revolve around uni, work and trying to scrape together enough money to be able to go on all the trips we promised ourselves back in school.

During this 3 and a half hour long McDonald’s gossip we devised a plan to plan a road trip across America and then trips across Europe and the UK. America is in the pipeline for 2020 and I hope we make it! My only worry is that full-time employment, houses, cars, dogs and children are also in the pipeline too for me and Gaz!

But hey, what’s the point in being 22 if you can’t have hopes and dreams the size of America? 😉

wanderlustHope you’re all out there dreaming big too!

“If you can dream it, you can do it” – Walt Disney.

Counselling Experience…

I’ve just read this on The Guardian’s website and was touched by this student’s account of her experience with counselling. This is what makes this job so wholesome and rewarding! ❤

Have you had counselling before? What are your thoughts on it? 🙂


Let’s Talk about Counselling…

I’ve mentioned briefly about me being a student Counsellor before with the promise of doing a more detailed post about it.. so here we are!

i got into counselling purely by accident, it was totally random and surprised everybody – including myself! But it was the best random thing I’ve ever done! I used to work full time on the tills in a large local store and I hated it! I lived the same day for 5 days a week. The same types of customers, scanning the same crap that people thought they needed, the same songs on a loop that played at the same time of day every day, the same drama when someone was exactly 1 minute and 43 seconds late back from their break…. with every beep of my scanner I felt like I was losing a brain cell and the will to live!

28930_10151416333373617_1947605538_nSo I went back to college to study Health and Social Care, I thought I wanted to be a midwife. I worked a day on a maternity ward at the local hospital and watched One Born Every Minute – more focused on what the midwives were doing than the women delivering their babies! Nothing was going to stop me. Until we did a Psychology module and I was fascinated, I thrived off this stuff and wanted to know more about how people worked. My interest in Mental Health was increasing suddenly. One day a friend had a problem that she wanted to talk to our teacher about. I stayed behind with her and listened to her talk to the teacher. Without realizing I had said something to her and then the conversation carried on until the teacher stopped and looked at me. “Have you ever thought about being a counsellor?” she said. I shook my head in surprise. “You should look into it, honestly. You’d be a fantastic counsellor, you just have a really calming aura and presence and you’re just listening and intervening when you think it’s needed…”

Wow. What do I do with that? I went home and Googled what Counselling is for a start! The more I read the more it ticked all the right boxes for me and before I knew it I was looking at university courses and applying! I completed a Level 2 in Counselling while finishing my Health and Social Care Course so that I could get into uni the same year. Now I’m writing this, in the summer holidays before my second year, full of intrigue, passion and excitement about a career I never thought I’d want! I feel totally out of my depth but yet so comfortable and as though this is what I was born to do. I never thought I’d have this feeling. It’s scary, but the best kind of scary!

1554451_479587105474577_1550702814_nPeople still ask me if that means I work at the council offices or if it’s like mentoring or if I give advice to people and the answer is always a big fat no! My definition of counselling changes every day because it’s so simple, yet so complex and so beautiful but ugly too. My definition today is that counselling provides a safe space for people to talk about their issues and feelings and try to come up with their own answers and solutions with the support of a counsellor, free from judgement and unhelpful advice.

Only, it’s so much more than that. Yesterday I worked with a client who had such an emotionally charged session that I had the most surreal feeling, like our souls were touching (I very visually imagined palms touching) and I was able to be there for her completely.

Counselling is met with a lot of scepticism and doubt because of the unfortunate stigma around mental health but I would encourage anyone who feels they would like it, to seek it. It’s not for everyone and you need to make sure you’re ready for it but in my experience, those 50 minute sessions have been more rewarding than anything I have ever done.


So Much to Watch, So Little Time…

So I’ve been in something like hibernation this week – TV induced hibernation!

I’ve been catching up on some shows that I’ve wanted to watch for a while now that I’m sat here stuck at home because I’m a poor student and all my friends are at work…

big_bang_theory_season2_screen03So I’ve been binge watching everything! I watched Game of Thrones Season 4 and I’m sooo gutted that it’s only on for 10 weeks. I love it and have nearly finished the books. This still hurts though… so much! 

10380900_729675540427800_8413615299564825664_nThey shouldn’t have left that cave! They could have made ginger Wilding Crows that knew nothing!

Ah well, Season 4 ended a few weeks ago so I started to watch Once Upon a Time. I wasn’t taken with this at first because it was a bit too cheesy for me and the over the top/panto acting really grated on me but something kept me watching. This show annoyed me and made my eyes roll so many times but I still wanted to find out what was going to happen and was really rooting for the goodies to kick Regina’s ass. It was a love/hate relationship with that show for a while. Until this happened…

gancho-evilIt’s even better when he moves!

tumblr_mcaymroILb1riaeblo3_500This man is so hot it makes me want to cry! I resisted shipping Captain Swan for a little while because I wanted him all to myself it was so obvious that it would happen but who was I kidding they’re so great together! Also, Regina going kinda good?! Hmm, still got my eye on that one! The acting also seemed to get better as the seasons went on. Now I can’t wait for the next one!

So what else have I been watching… oh yeah! I started Orange is the New Black and in the space of a few days I’m nearly all caught up with it. I was a little freaked out when I watched the first two episodes before bed and ended up having a dream that I was a lesbian while sleeping next to my boyfriend, but other than that it’s a fab show! 

This has to be my favourite bit of the show –

tumblr_mqbjxzZRZu1qdqrpco3_1280I really love this show. But it scares the heck outta me too! If I ended up in prison I think I would be exactly like Piper was at the beginning but without the changes that she then goes through. I don’t even wanna think about it!

I’ve watched all of the New Girl seasons twice before but we’ve started to watch them again and are finding it hilarious! I think you appreciate the characters more when you watch them again and look out for all the little lines that make the show what it is. The other night we watched the Jess and Julia episode and I wholeheartedly agree that it is weird that Julia is not a dessert person. 

image001352810553297mkcee2I live for dessert! One of the things I am most looking forward to about going to Florida in 2016 is getting my hands on one of these beauties!

383968_324431687578597_148418461846588_1098374_1522841144_nAs well as watching New Girl again, I really really want to watch The Walking Dead again all the way through. I watched it while I was still at uni and I was literally walking through the streets keeping an eye out for zombies or sitting in class looking around for the nearest exits or potential weapons in case zombies came. I loved it! I’m holding off because I’m already working my way through some shows and want to get round to reading the books on my list too and also because I’m hoping I can persuade Gaz to watch it with me too. The funny thing about The Walking Dead is that the first thing people say to me when I ask if they watch it is ‘Oh no, I don’t like zombie stuff…’ but neither did/do I! It’s so much more than just a zombie show and I wish people would give it a chance like I did!



So that’s what I’ve been up to for a couple of weeks in between working at the weekends, trying to keep up with workouts and seeing my client at placement. Does anyone else watch these shows? Are you all struggling with Game of Thrones finishing and waiting for The Walking Dead? Are you a dessert person?! I hope so!




The Road To Hell is Paved With… Chocolate?!

It’s Monday today which means this is the Monday that my life changes! I’m going to get up early and start my weight loss mission/healthy lifestyle change. I’m going to eat clean, work out, drink lots of water and I’ll be dropping the inches in no time! Of course, I said all this last Monday too.. and the Monday before that.. and the one before that.. heck, I’m even gonna say it next Monday too!

The thing is, every Monday I start off all motivated and feel like this:


And I start whatever regime I have planned. Today I got up, had my Herbalife shake, had a bowl full of blueberries, strawberries and non-fat Greek yoghurt, I started the 30 Day Shred workout programme for the millionth time and had a protein shake with a couple of eggs afterwards. Later on I’m making fajitas and will finish the evening with a frugal couple of squares of dark chocolate. Easy! Right? No.

By Wednesday I feel like this:


And by Friday I’m raiding Sainsbury’s like this:

vYAyaThinking ‘Hey, I worked hard on Monday and Tuesday, I deserve it!’

Then Sunday morning comes around and I get my measuring tape out and the results aren’t exactly what I’d hoped for and I stand there for a few moments like:

1352_599044943473600_571555499_nAnd then spend the rest of the day walking around sulking:

rachelThen before I know it, it’s Monday again and this time it’s going to work and I’m going to be super healthy and look good and feel even better… until Wednesday!

Does anyone else go through this weekly cycle?! I’m hoping by this time on Sunday I can say ‘Oh look, I’ve lost a couple of inches!’ instead of ‘Oooo it’s Monday tomorrow, I’m gonna start being healthy!’

Good luck to you if this is your Monday too! 🙂