Monday, 30 November 2015

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year...

This time of year is by far my favourite... 

*The twinkling lights 
*The fuzzy festive feelings 
*The warmth you feel between friends and family
*The parties and gatherings where wonderful memories are made

The list goes on! 

Over the weekend I saw alot of people putting up their Christmas decorations and posting their festive displays on social media. It's safe to say this has got me feeling all rather giddy!

So I have decided to post a little round up of some of my favourite displays that i have found whilst searching the realms of the internet. 

I hope they provide you with a little inspiration for something a little different, and also give you the fuzzy Christmasy feeling. 

Have you put up your decorations yet? I would love to see your masterpieces :) 


Nordic Styling - Image Credit: Pippa James on Interiors
Image Credit: Evergreen Direct

This gorgeous natural inspired design is a perfect excuse to take your family on a nice walk to gather some logs to create this simplistic tree x 


How about this tipi inspired tree? 


Image Credit: Style Estate

A perfect idea for all your fashionistas out there :) 


Finally I love this design by the way it is so simple yet creates so
much beautiful colour... Grab your favourite baubles and go wild. 

Which is your favourite design? 
xXx

Friday, 30 October 2015

Focus On The Positives...

Those of you who are lovers of The Secret may have also read The Magic and will know that it encourages you to keep a gratitude diary. This is something I have been meaning to do for sometime now as my daily journal writing has got a bit lapse as I have naughtily let daily tasks take over so I thought it would be a great, quick and easy way to document every day.



Just recently various events have perhaps slightly clouded my usual positive outlook on the journey I am on, and I was starting to question to simply go back to the ‘normal’ life that society likes to force us upon. Not allowing that to happen I have chosen to now begin my gratitude diary as a daily reminder of all the beautiful things in my life, and to keep my focus on the sparkling journey that I have chosen to follow.

For those of you who are not familiar of the concept of a gratitude diary it's very very easy to do and I highly recommend you take part..

1. Get yourself a pretty notebook, journal, diary what ever you would like to call it (a perfect excuse to buy new stationery in my eyes – thank me later!!) I suggest now keeping this with an equally pretty pen next to your bed.

2. When you are snuggled up in bed each evening pull out your pen and notepad and simply scribble down 3 things that you have been thankful for that day; these could be spending time with a special friend, sharing a coffee with a loved one or simply having a roof over your head. These are normally things that can be easily taken for granted but something we all naturally should be grateful for! This doesn't always have to be written down, but you can stick in tickets from places you have been to or memories from that day to also create a scrapbook effect. 

3. Keep this diary every single day and every once in a while if you need a little glitter boost or a pick me up just flick back through the pages and undoubtedly you will be feeling more positive. 


Image Credit::Times New Romantic


This is also a fabulous way in years to come to identify how your hopes, dreams and fears change, and  seeing the shift in your focus and direction by re reading your gratitude lists from years gone by will be a sure memory maker.



I would love to hear from you if you already keep a gratitude diary and what you love most about doing it.


Lots of love Liv x

Friday, 24 July 2015

FINDING YOUR OWN CAREER PATH - NOT CONFORMING TO THE NORM.


If I began to think back to the time when the career conveyor belt began I would say it was about year 9. Anything before this was deemed pipeline dreams of being an astronaut or a Hollywood film actress. But from about year 9 you are thrusted into the world of big exams, coursework and the beginnings of what us adults now know as stress! Despite this sudden need to begin making decisions I am sure I am not the only one who suddenly had to begin mapping out their career path – choosing the right GSCEs which will then allow you enrol on the appropriate A level courses to subsequently land your dream degree ….. which was ummmmmmmmm no idea!

I had gone from vet to teacher to wedding planner to celebrity manager back to wedding planner then back to celebrity manager with lots more in between then decided on a nurse- logical …. NOT!!!
I guess back then I was too naïve to follow my dreams and actually study what I wanted so went with what I deemed society thought I should be doing, and the fact I enjoyed helping people nursing seemed the appropriate thing to do!! How wrong the decision turned out to be.



After completing 12 months studying mathematical and sciency based subjects at AS level to get me to my end result of a nursing degree, I failed – Literally, failed every single one of my subject choices. As someone who refuses to be defeated I retook this whole year of painful studying on subjects that quite frankly different float my boat. They didn’t allow me to be in anyway creative and being swamped with formulas and equations just wasn’t me! I am happy to say I then passed these but then this prompted me to assess my situation and my ambitious/ freedom seeking attitude was reignited… it was time to follow  my passions and dreams and no longer conform.

Off to college I went ( Yes that meant I was about to embark on another 2 years of A levels). I studied business and photography based subjects and absolutely loved them – it was during this time that I began exploring a lot more about the industries I wanted to work in and that was where I fell in love with the world of PR!
After then gaining a first class honours degree in PR and Events Management I went on to working in
  •      Wedding planning,
  •          Celebrity management
  •         PR
  •          Social Media
  •      Working in Disney World Florida


I loved every part of my journey so far as it also led to not only countless experiences and memories but also the development of Metallic Magpie xx

This journey has continued to where I am now – working in social media and also working part time in network marketing which is where I now feel my career has settled and will be focused on for the next part of my life journey!


So for anyone that is at the point in their lives when you are having to pick subjects or are thinking of embarking on a new career path then go do it, do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life again.

If you are unsure of what career you want to go into my advice would be to pick subjects for your pleasure and enjoyment as you will come out with fab grades and in the process allow you to explore what you want to do.  I have also believed there is more the life then a 9-5 grind and that life is truly for living and not existing to continue to explore all your options and absorb every ounce of knowledge and opportunities that are passed your way!



If you can relate to this post I would love to here from you and you may also enjoy reading a previous post of my all about choosing yourforever career!!!

Love Liv xXx






Mobile phones – The Killer of Conversation!!


The thought of a Friday off work at the end of July has you filled with warming thoughts of picnics in the local park, dipping your toes in the lapping, refreshing salty seas and licking your favourite ice cream. Well at least that’s how I planned to spend my day off! Upon awakening this morning these plans were rapidly changed when the pitter patter of raindrops on my window informed me it was more of a wet November day then the height of Summer.

However crisis was quickly adverted as my sensible head was popped on and instead of a lazy day in the sunshine I decided to my pack laptop and all into my bag and toddle on off to my local coffee shop for a productive morning of ticking off my to do list.

Image Credit:The Standard


Said location was what has led me to write this post and will hopefully remind myself not to be a convo killer when I am next accompanied in a coffee shop.

I set myself up on a little table and got straight to work on my task, enjoying the hub of chatter and activity that was going on around me. 
Shortly after I arrived two girls occupied the table next to me;
straight away as their coffees were placed on the table they quickly grabbed out their mobiles. A good 45 minutes to an hour went by and I can honestly say I did not see one ounce of conversation pass between the two girls as their heads remained engrossed in their phones. Now I am in no way pleading innocence here as I know I have been guilty of checking and replying to messages on my phone when i’m out, but seeing it first hand completely destroy a conversation was great confirmation to me to make more of an effort next time to ensure my phone doesn’t do the same. 
 
Image Credit:Here



Mobile phones have almost become some what of an necessity in our generations existence, where we could barely imagine being without them. But really on further thought what a wonderful and easier life it would be  if we went back to the days of having to knock on friends to see if they wanted to come out, or using the dreaded home phone to see if they were free!

So although this reliance is pretty much avoidable now in our hectic lives seeing these girls showed the really importance of not being a conversation killer. Instead, indulge in a little good old fashion natter with friends and family face to face this simple action creates such a warm and lovely feeling that can never be expressed through digital forms. Some of my best moments lately have been when I have put myself on a technology ban and delved into a good book or just spend quality time with those I love.

Image Credit: Vida At The Coffee Shop
Think of the hit US series Friends.... hours were spent in that coffee shop and think of all the memories that were created and the laughter spent x

Image Credit: Here

So taking this experience of mine of board i challenge you to try it and watch the magic happen...Life really isn’t going to dramatically change in a status update or an email refresh so take this opportunity to enjoy all of the fabulous things going on around you and not just on the screen of a hand held device.


Love Liv x 

Image Credit: Here

Monday, 6 July 2015

A BARBOUR'S PICNIC - MY SUMMER PLANS

Having grown up in the countryside I have always had a bit of a soft spot for Barbour and love all that they stand for!

On a little Twitter stroll  this week I came across a competition they were hosting across social media and it ignited a little bit of excitement in me! Firstly because the prize is just a bit fabulous.. stylish yet practical can it get any better? But more so for the challenge they are setting their follower!


 
Image Credit:Barbour

Using the #BarbourPicnicRug they are encouraging followers to share how they are making the most of their Summer. .. this is the part that made me squeal like a little girl, as for the first time in a while I am going to be filling my Summer full of the things that make me happy! Some may see this selfish but after a long old time of ensuring others are happy now is my chance for some me time.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram you will know by now that back in May our family grew by 4 paws! One of the things i’m really excited about this Summer is to enjoy sitting out enjoying scrummy picnics in the garden with the pup, sipping Pimms and getting lost into a good book… Utter Bliss!



A new chapter in my life will begin to be written in a couple weeks   when I move down to Bournemouth in my first ‘proper’ place of my own. Being a stones throw away from the beach will mean lots of time spent with the sand between my toes and the odd beach BBQ or two(or possibly 3!!).



My blog will also be taking a front seat over the next couple months as despite the likelihood of being arrested by the grammar police on several occasions I absolutely love writing and sharing my thoughts and experiences.
I will also be working on my side line business The Dream Body Project which I can’t wait to grow further and to help others build their dreams (ok despite a me summer I can’t help but sneak a little bit of helping others in there to).

This summer for me is all about the staycation and enjoying the delights that Dorset has to offer which I look forward to sharing with you here at Metallic Magpie. There are so many wonderful places and attractions to visit locally that I never really get the chance to explore.
Boscombe Pier 

Bournemouth Beach 

The cute Cath Kidston huts at
 Bournemouth beach


I am also really looking forward to simply taking a step back from the hecticness of every day life, and putting a few plans into place on what I want to focus on over the next couple months.

This will also include baking, finding new healthy recipes and a little bit of journal writing(I have wanted to start my project life for a long time but simply haven’t given myself the time!).
 I can’t wait to get cracking with my summer plans and I am sure you would agree they would be made that extra bit more perfect with the addition of a Barbour rug!

What are your summer plans? Are you going away or having staycation like me?

Love Liv xXx 




Sunday, 5 July 2015

FOR THE LOVE OF READING - A SHORT STORY REVIEW X

In the past I have always skimmed past picking up short stories in the thought that they are perhaps more aimed at children (silly I know), but  the hectic lifestyle lots of us now live in they couldn’t really be more perfect for us book worms! 

When a lovely lady turned dear friend asked me to give her book a read I jumped at the chance … reading has always been a passion of mine as I love the tranquil places it can transport you to and the temporary journey you set on away from the hustle of daily musings.
Image Credit:Buzz Quotes


 Lots of things going on in my life at the moment has left me with little ‘me time’ and something I have been craving for for some time.. so what better excuse then now to set aside some time to delve into some crisp white pages!

The genre was a little dark then I am normally used to as I seem to opt for lighter reads such as 'Confessions Of  A Shopaholic!!! ( perhaps more so because I see a lot of myself in Becky Bloomwood!). 
Admittedly I was a little worried about heading to the dark side! As a sensitive soul I was assuming it would leave me with strange thoughts and sleepless nights. How wrong was I – The way in which each story was so incredibly well written and each character calved into each tale so exquisitely you couldn’t help but imagine that you knew the person! 

The beautiful colour illustration to the book 


Yes there is no shying away from that fact that several of the stories include topics of a sinister disposition but it gave me the scary realisation that related to news stories you hear, most of these stories could be nonfiction and happen in the real world!  There are several beautiful spiritual links that are entwined throughout some of the stories which I really did love. From start to finish the stories conjured up some many emotions where at times I wasn’t sure whether to laugh, smile or shed a little tear (which admittedly I did in several places). It’s hard to pick a favourite out of them all  where some of the stories themselves really captured my imagination and others whose characters felt so real it was like something from a Harry Potter film where at any given point they could jump from the page!!

One thing that really set 'The Auction House'  apart from anything I have read in a VERY long time is the extent to which every detail throughout, is so magically described that if you had a paint brush in hand  (and fortunate enough to be artistic) you could paint out the entire picture! 

Smells, sights and sounds were all conjoured up in such a charming way you couldn't help but fall in love with several of the stories. 
There is also a wonderful and well thought out link between the stories but if you are like me and one who likes surprises I will do my best to keep my lips tightly sealed from hinting at any spoilers! 



So before I give away anything else I cannot recommend this book enough – even if you have never thought to pick up a short story now is your time, they are so perfect for a busy lifestyle to enjoy whilst waiting for appointments, in your coffee break or a final switch off before bed time. 

Short stories are definitely something I’m not going to be ignoring in the future and will continue to view them as perfect little additions to enjoy at the end of the day with a cup of tea.
 I will start a little hunt for more short stories and also will sit patiently yet all rather eagerly for the next instalment/ follow up to The Auction House. 

Are you a lover of short stories? 

If you would like to check The Auction House out for yourself then you can do so here

Love Liv x