Shani Coles

Sunday, 23 September 2018

A Long Weekend in Norfolk

A couple of weeks ago, I headed to our little cottage in Norfolk for a long weekend of relaxation and beach adventures. After my old car failed on me before the previous trip (meaning I couldn't go) I was so excited to spend a few days by the sea, it really is the best medicine. We always try to make the most of our time in Norfolk, while still enjoying the calm quiet setting of our own little cottage. Here's what we got up to!

FRIDAY
We arrived in Norfolk just after midday and headed straight through the town to Tesco to pick up some nibbles (its a five minute walk away). We also picked up food for a fry up for Saturday morning.

We spent a bit of time unpacking our bags and settling in and then put the dogs in the car and headed to Holkham beach. Max especially loved running through the water and ended up filthy. We had to wash the dogs off when we got home and then got a chinese takeaway for tea.
SATURDAY

After a little bit of a lay in we prepared our mini fry up breakfast and tucked in to fuel us for what ended up being a super fun morning and afternoon. First things first, we took the dogs out for a walk along the river.
North Norfolk Food Festival at Holkham Hall. The grounds were amazing and the sun was shining all day. (So much so, that my sister ended up with slightly sunburnt shoulders..) There were so many stalls, but it was pretty busy. We opted for the stone baked pizza stall for our lunch, and a gooey chocolate brownie for afters!
We arrived home and, of course, had a few minutes to catch our breath. Then we all jumped in the car and went off to Brancaster beach for an evening dog walk. We really can't go a day in Norfolk without visiting at least one beach!
SUNDAY

On Sunday we decided to head to Wells-next-the-sea. One of the most popular beaches in Norfolk! It's quite a walk away from most car parking so we decided to walk the dogs through Fakenham town and then leave them at home for our morning at Wells. The weather was GLORIOUS for the start of September, and I'm sure the people competing/taking part in the triathlon were also grateful for the fantastic weather. We spent half an hour spectating the swimming section of the triathlon and then walked up to the beach huts. Before we stepped onto the sand we picked up a couple of tubs of mint choc-chip ice cream.
As you can see, people really took advantage of the last weekend of the summer holidays, there were hundreds of people on the beach. My sister and I tried to pick up as much micro plastic and general rubbish as possible as part of the #takethreeforthesea movement, please remember to always take your rubbish with you to keep our beautiful beaches clean!

We decided against walking back to the car that was in the centre of town, so got on the little train that runs alongside the walkway. I think it was £1.50 each, definitely worth it when the sun's beaming down and your legs are a little tired! Before heading back to the cottage we grabbed *another* icecream, this time a chocolate cone.

MONDAY

Monday was going home day :(. We took the dogs for a walk around the river first thing and then went to Thornham Deli for some brunch. I chose the maple syrup pancake which was a thick large pancake, I didn't manage to finish the whole thing! We drove back to the cottage, but not before exploring another beach first (this time from the car). Arriving back to the cottage, we packed up the car with our bags and the dogs and began the 2 hour journey home. I'm already looking forward to the next time we can get to the cottage!

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Sunday, 9 September 2018

FEELING 22 IN LONDON

On the 18th of August I turned 22! I was supposed to head to Norfolk for the weekend, but my car decided to breakdown so I had to pass on the long weekend by the sea :(. However, Alex Monroe announced a special event at their INSERT STORE NAME store, and it turned out to be on the 18th! So my sisters and I hopped on the train to London to pop to the store and also have a day of exploring in London.

WHAT I WORE
I went for a super comfy outfit and trainers as I knew we'd be on our feet all day.
Sunglasses - RayBan
Cropped Mustard Tee - Primark
Paperbag Waist Culottes - H&M
Polka Dot Trainers - Adidas

WHERE WE WENT
So of course, the Alex Monroe store was the first on my list. It's a tiny little boutique, designed perfectly with a workshop above! It's so beautiful inside, with so many gorgeous pieces on show!
One thing I ADORE about London is how you can stumble upon so many gems. This abstract piece appeared after we'd crossed London Bridge on our way to Oxford Street. How amazing is this! I'm gutted that I've not been able to find the artist.
Speaking of artists; we had to take a trip to the fabulous 'We Built This City' on Carnaby Street. It's full of prints, souvenirs and so much more, all by artists from London and the UK. It's hard to leave without feeling so inspired to make cool shit and dream of showcasing your own work in such an exciting store.
Some of these artists get the opportunity to promote their work by painting the entire shop front, which changes every several weeks.

WHAT WE ATE/DRANK
 On our way to We Built This City we hopped into Joe & the Juice for a much needed drink and a sit down. The sports juice was so refreshing, just what we needed to revitalise us for the next few hours.
And for food, we opted to find some dinner at St Pancras Intl. Prime Burger did not disappoint! Such a cute little restaurant with incredible fries and juicy burgers (I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.)
I'll end this post with this super cool neon quote sign that we saw at the train station before we made our way home. It's funny that we didn't see it in the morning, I guess we just didn't appreciate it's beauty on the way into the city!
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Saturday, 1 September 2018

Sunday Summary 9

Blogposts have been few and far between over the last couple of months, even my weekly 'Sunday Summary' fell by the wayside. So in an attempt to keep an account of what I've been up to over the last couple of months, here's a Sunday Summary or July and August.


1. Some very tasty freak shakes for a photoshoot at work at the beginning of July.

2. A little bit of hand embroidery for a work related project too!

3. Doing the odd bit of Shani Coles Designs work.

4. I started to do a little bit of hand embroidery on T-shirts as a potential product for Shani Coles Designs.

5. More tasty bakes at work! I need to start working out ha.

6. Some more hand embroidery, it's so relaxing!

7. A 'Sunday Summary' wouldn't be complete without at least one cute dog photo, we played dog buckaroo with max and some teddies.

8. It was my early work birthday, we had pizza, scotch eggs and sausage rolls.

9. Finally, a card for one of my colleagues birthdays!

I'm really enjoying creating little bits and bobs when I feel like it, rather than putting so much pressure on making new products to try and sell all the time. So there's a general summary of the last couple of months. As I start feeling a little more myself I'm hoping I can start doing these posts weekly again!
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Thursday, 16 August 2018

MAKING CHANGES

I've noticed a change in me recently, and it's not one that I'm happy with. I sat with my Mum and sister a couple of nights ago (after my car broke for the second time AND ruined my plans for a birthday weekend in Norfolk:(). I opened up about everything that's been on my mind and just how I've been feeling as of late. It's sparked my want and need to make some changes to turn me back into my usual happy, chirpy self.

1. Stop putting so much pressure on myself
A huge goal of mine is to have my own creative business full-time. I;m nowhere near there yet, but I'm always trying to do a little bit each week to get there. But it's grating on me because I feel tired all the time, and my ideas don't work out how I want them to a lot of the time either.
I have to remember that I don't need to put so much pressure on it. I do believe that it will happen at the right time for me. I'm currently in a position where I'm earning enough money to pay my bills (and buy nice things once in a while), so I don't NEED this extra money, even though it would be nice.

2. Create because I love it
My blog has suffered due to my lack of energy and desire to do just about anything. So I;m hoping to direct my creativity back into this. I've been writing on a blog for 6 years, which shows to me that it's something I love doing. Instead of putting so much pressure and energy on my shop, I need to take a step back from that and just spend some time writing and taking photos for my blog instead. The love of designing things for my shop will come back when it's the right time for me.

3. Eat less and move more.
Since getting into my current mindset, I've been eating EVERYTHING. I never feel full, so I just eat and eat and eat. Working at the biscuit bakery means that there are sweet treats pretty much on tap. So it's been even worse at work compare to at home. I'm noticing weight gain, mainly by the way some of my clothes are fitting me. I'm really not happy about it, so i'm hoping to join a gym when I'm feeling a bit better in myself. It'll be good for the endorphins, but also for how I feel about my body.

4. Do more at the weekends
I've turned down a couple of fun get togethers with friends over the last few weeks, just through feeling like I don't have enough energy to be around loads of people. I've always found that kind of environment quite exhausting.
But it's meaning I'm sitting in the house every evening and weekend, this in turn means I'm not going out, which means I'm not wearing outfits that I love and also not shooting anything to put up on mere too. I need to start planning weekend activities so that I'm not only leaving the house for work (and food shopping).

So yeah, there's a huge brain vomit for you... There's a lot on my mind, it's meaning I'm sleeping for 8+ hours and night, sometimes sleeping through my alarms and being late for work which isn't the best.

To summarise;
I'm stepping back from my little shop for now. Apart from potentially ordering and playing with a new little gadget. I just need to ride the wave, create when I feel inspired and hopefully I can pick it up again nearer Christmas time.

Do more fun things outside of work. I get twi WHOLE days off but end up doing nothing with it. So I'm planning to put on a nice outfit, go somewhere photo worthy, get fresh air and snap some photos for my blog.

Moving more and eating less in pretty self explanatory. I need to find a gym or start running (something I have wanted to do for years).

It's hard to figure out which of these things are the signs and which are the symptoms of how I'm feeling. They might all be factors of my current state of mind. I think each are contributing to my current mood, and although none of them are huge problems in the grand scheme of things, the fact it's all come at once makes it feel like I've hit a brick wall.

I'm glad to get all of this off my chest, it'll be a constant reminder of how I plan to get through this little bump in the road. Back to regular proceedings soon :)
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Sunday, 1 July 2018

JUST MY THOUGHTS

As usual, it's been a while! But it's been longer than it usually is when I say that! So, I just thought I'd sit down and write down how I'm feeling at the moment. Maybe it will motivate me to do more, maybe it'll just clear a bit of space in my brain! Let's see.

Something that has affected me a huge amount in the last month is the unfortunate passing of my next door neighbour, who was only a couple of years older than me. My family grew up next door to him and his lovely family, but tragically he suffered with mental illness and it took his life in May. At first it didn't seem real and on my drive to work the next day it pretty much hit me like a tonne of bricks. Thinking about his wonderful family and how they will have to move forward, his daughter and her future. I got to work and cried my eyes out, suicide is something that I'm so aware of but until it happens to someone you know it doesn't seem real.

This event has triggered something in me. I didn't post blogposts because I had no passion for the ideas I was coming up with and it all felt so ridiculous in the grand scheme of things. I had no motivation or oomf to just crack on and make what I want to make. I guess I just needed some time to reevaluate everything. I want to be proud of what I put out into the world, even if only one person stumbles across it.

We had his funeral last week, I knew instantly that I wanted to go to say my final goodbye to him, and to be there to support his family at their time of need. It warmed my heart see so many people who's lives he had touch, come and show their love and support. I really hope he could see it too!

On another note, I've been thinking about the future a lot. Wondering where I see my life heading. I've got such a lovely job with a great team of people around me, but I know I want to carry on with my own online shop too and do this in the evenings and at the weekends. It's been difficult to feel inspired, and I rarely feel like my ideas will materialise into something as great as I'd hoped they could be. It's just difficult when you work 40 hours a week because I'm pooped when I get home and the weekends fly in the blink of an eye :(

Aside from this, I've also been thinking about where I'd like to be in a few years time and I think I vaguely know where that place is. Maybe I'll have a house of my own, a dog, and hopefully I'll be working full time for myself at that point too. There are so many things that I want to achieve, and ideas I want to bring to life.

I just hope that I keep pushing myself to work harder for a little longer, it'll all pay off in the end.
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Saturday, 26 May 2018

SIGNS OF SUMMER

My favourite seasons to dress for are without a doubt Spring and Autumn. So, I take full advantage of the weather that allows some jeans and a lightweight top. Here's a perfect example of a typical outfit you'll catch me in at the moment.
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