North East Wales Coffee Stops.

Today, I am going to be telling you all about my favourite local, coffee stops. So if you are ever in the North East Wales area and are in need of a coffee, here is your guide. I feel there is something very special about finding somewhere local, somewhere that gives you the feeling of being ‘your place’, almost a little secret or comfort in someway.

Besides being local, I adore popping somewhere for coffee, to have a few moments to myself, to be mindful and to watch the world pass by, if only for a few moments. As well as a comforting, warm drink, it gives me a few moments to hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the busy days.

North East Wales Coffee stops

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March Journal Days.

If you have been following me for a while, you will know just how much I love March, but with the stormy, cold weather it has been difficult to feel all things March. Whilst trying to remain present and enjoy what I can enjoy, I seem to have taken to journalling (again). It seems a while since I last wrote like this, just a day to day kind of post.

The day the snow cleared, brought me such a good feeling, finally free from at least one layer of clothing and able to drive without overwhelming anxiety, yes! I went to the beauticians in the morning, my eyebrows needed taming, before popping to the post office. I find there is something so therapeutic about wrapping up a little parcel and seeing it being stamped, typed and posted, is this just me?

That evening, I went to Pizza Express with a friend. It was lovely to catch up, I usually have the gluten-free, vegan pizza but I decided to try their ‘superfood salad’ and it was lovely, it made a nice change.

MD Chester

A few days later, I came down with a stomach bug or possible ‘flare up’, which knocked me about for a couple of days but I did not let it stop me from going to London for the last ever Time to Change young champions training (cries). See full post for more on that.

Mother’s Day fell on a strange day for me this year, again see a different, and most lengthy, post for more on that too. Non the less it was a day I felt truly grateful for my mum, not that a day goes by where I do not. I love my mum so very much and I know a lot of people do not agree with Mother’s Day but if it means I can spoil her and make her feel even more loved I will. My mother and I had a chilled day, which was perfect after a busy day in London. Also, how adorable, Archie and Syd wrote a card to match mine.

This week is seeing all things ‘go go go’ with a few different projects, I will share more very soon but I am currently decorating my office, yes, thanks to my parents I have my own office.

I love all things decor and stationary so decorating an office is most enjoyable. Again, I will share more soon but one thing I want to share today, is this canvas print with my favourite quote, ‘be the change I wish to see in the world’ – Gandhi. Which I am completely in love with, it is going to look perfect in my office, I just need to find a frame. Anyway, if you would like a print of your own visit Photowall and until the end of April you can get 20% off using the code: NicolesJourneyCampaign2018

The last day I will journal here, was a lovely one, it was spent visiting my great-grandmother, and like I always say when I mention her, she never fails to brighten my day. It has been her birthday, International Woman’s Day and Mothers Day, since I last saw her and each day I feel beyond inspired by her. She is the definition of strength, inspiration and I guess, woman.


My mother, aunty, grandmother and I all piled into the car and made our way to see her. We caught up and went out for lunch, how lucky am I to spend a day with four generations of wonderful ladies?! Anyway, the day was tiring, probably more so for me than her! I came home exhausted, got into bed and caught up on Jane the Virgin, which I am still a huge fan of.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this little journal style post, tell me, what is your favourite quote?


Ps, this is not a paid promotion, or review. 

Mini almond butter Easter eggs.

I was going to call this a recipe but I do not feel two ingredients and a few very simple steps counts as a recipe.

Anyway, as you can probably tell by my very ahead thinking, I am most excited for Easter. Easter is undoubtedly my favourite time of the year and so, here I am, as always, in the Spring like, bunting filled and oh so colourful spirit already, even if there is snow on the ground. See below for how I created these.


Continue reading “Mini almond butter Easter eggs.”

Mindfulness, social media & a ukulele.

Time to talk day spoke to me, in many ways but one way in particular. In seeing and hearing each and every person who is open about their mental health, and not just mental health but physical too.

I receive messages of administration, inspired by my ‘bravery’ for talking but I do not.

I do not talk about my struggles with health, not until I find some sort of answer or conclusion, a lesson, something I wish to help another.

I do not want to portray an image that only looks positive, sure I go through something, I learn by it and I share that but whilst doing so I continue to try and paint a picture of my life without pain.

Although in many ways I speak, I stand up to judgement, stigma and discrimination or the fear of, but in many ways I do not. The fear of not being accepted by something that is out of my control, whether mind or body, is still here.

I know there is more to me than this but I want to write through the pain I feel without fear of judgement. Allowing my words to be a comfort to others, in the way others talk are a comfort to me. When I relate to someone’s experience, I feel less alone, less ashamed and less fearful.

I guess, like the majority of my wonders through small steps I will get there. This week has not been a good week, I do not have an answer but that is okay, it is okay to not be okay.

Social media and blogging can mask a persons pain, this can lead to unrealistic comparison, I do not want to be apart of that. I want my blog and social media channels to be a safe place, encouraging more honesty and following in the footsteps of those who are truly inspiring.

Thanking each person who talks, you make a difference.

Whilst saying this I still believe in “Everyday may not be good but there is good in everyday.”- Alice Morse Earle, in looking or trying to look at the bright side. A note to self, every week may not be mindful but there are mindful moments in every week.

An unconcluded blog post, a somewhat mindful YouTube video and a natural, simplistic Instagram post.

Non of which truly explain or portray the wonders of my mind, my thoughts and my life. Please remind yourself that a life on social media is only a small, teeny, tiny part of a life, whether it be somebody who you follow or your own.

I spent some much needed time offline this weekend, as always, I found it refreshing, yet no matter how refreshed I feel now, I know how easy it is to slip into the constant notifications and posting. Another note to self, spend more time offline.

This week I bought a ukulele, not because I am cool or even the slightest little bit musical but because my bones hurt so much I am starting to struggle to grip things, opening jars is becoming hard and I drop things too. So, of course, I bought a ukulele incase it gets worse and before I will ever know if I can play the ukulele, or not. Probably or not, but it is worth a try, right? It gets me offline too, win win. – A somewhat more honest, less embarrassed or feared addition to the post.

Thank you for reading,


More on my journey with mindfulness, Mind, Time to Change, Rethink Mental Illness.

Four animals that better my wellbeing.

1. Dogs, firstly, shout out to Syd-dywidwid, Archie-parchie, Osca-pants, Jess-yjessjess & Ralph-palphy, the main five dogs in my life. Okay, so as you can probably tell, I am a ‘dog person’. There are many ways these little, or more like large, four legged friends have the ability to brighten my mood.

When I feel low Syd is sure to be there, rolling around, huffing and puffing, and all around being completely adorable. Bare in mind, he is only available for cuddles when needed, which amazingly he knows just when they are. When I feel alone, Archie is the first to ensure me I am not, he is a sensitive soul and needs me just as much as I need him. Archie also, makes me feel kind of safe, when physically alone as well as mentally, he gives me a sense of security.

I love these dogs just as much as each other but Osca is is truly adorable, he is nine years old and still acts and looks just like a puppy. Osca and I have probably had the most adventures and although small, there is no mountain he cannot climb. Jess is a wild spirit and shows me what it is to be care free, to run wild and be free.Ralph, is our latest family member, and he reminds me of just that, family, feeling like a proud auntie each time I see him. Ralph is the definition of a gentle giant, he will knock you down but only to kiss you.

Even dogs I do not know have had such a positive impact on my mental health. Whilst in hospital, a therapy dog visited the ward, he was a golden retriever, also called Syd. Seeing Syd, seemed to give myself and others a kind of happiness, he lifted the ward and made the place feel brighter.

As well as dogs bettering my own mental health, I have seen Archie, lift my family members too, especially my grandmother, seeing her feel happier, makes me feel happier. I see this happiness whilst out walking, in myself and in the faces of others, those with their own dogs or without. Dogs are conversation starters, the warm smile or laughter at the way they play with each other.

2. Lambs, of course number two had to be the lambs, with a very personal reason behind it. For as long as I can remember, each Spring my family and I have gone to my grandfathers farm to visit the lambs. One of the reasons behind my love for animals and vegan lifestyle. Anyway, whilst I was ill, in one of my worst relapses with Anorexia, my family had planned the trip, thinking we could take it easy and it would, like always, help me feel a little brighter. February, two thousand and fourteen, I was too ill to leave my bed, I insisted my family went and enjoyed seeing them for me. I spent that day, in bed, crying in pain, crying at how Anorexia had taken this moment from me. This is such a prominent moment in my life, one that each time I see the first lamb of the year, I remember. I remember how I felt that day, and I look at how far I have come since. I feel proud, grateful and hopeful, hopeful for the brighter days that continue to come.

3. Robins, similar to Archie in feeling less alone, each time I see a robin, I get a sense of presence. Whether I am feeling alone or not, on a frosty, winters morning, nothing beats seeing a robin sitting on my garden fence. If only for a few moments, their peaceful presence, is enough to make a difference. Being too quick to fly away, I have given up in trying to take a photograph, making my time watching the robin all the more present.

4. Cats, as a child I had a fear of cats, this has kind of lingered throughout my life, even now I am still quite fearful. It is a work in progress, but seeing the cute, ginger kitten across the road, growing into a cat, has allowed me to change the way I see these, to me, unusual animals. I love watching this cat from my window, seeing the way he plays with the wind and the leaves, he walks around the street so confident and fearless, even with Archie leering by the gate. From seeing his growth and personality, I have even attempted to stroke him, he ran away but still. I guess, this small cat has subconsciously question and challenge the fear I have.

This list could go on, I have not even mentioned cows, pigs, horses and hedgehogs, or my favourite orangutang, oh no wait, pandas (choosing a favourite animal is impossible) and of course, I am talking photographs and videos as well.

This post has been inspired by two of my greatest passions bettering our mental health and my love for animals, combining the two only seems right, right?

As always, I welcome your thoughts and stories too, has an animal bettered your mental health, if so how?

Thank you for reading,


More posts on mental health, Mind, Rethink Mental Illness, Pets as Therapy.

Mindfulness, self-care and gratitude.

I have written about mindfulness, self-care and gratitude in previous posts but after an anxiety provoking time, it appears I have started to lose my way with my practice. This is okay, and also one of the reasons I write, to share the message that looking after our mind is important, even if it is to remind myself more than anybody else.

We are brought up to know the importance of physical exercise and eating balanced, but we still lack the lessons in looking after our minds, taking part in mind exercises such as these.

Mindfulness, I start with mindfulness because like I say in the post I wrote for Welzen, for me, each act of self-care starts with a breath.

Focusing on my breath allows me to feel in the present moment and connected to both my mind and my body.

There are many different ways we can practice mindfulness but I find meditation works best for me, I love guided meditations and apps such as Welzen can help. Spending as little as five minutes a day focusing on our breath can leave us feeling more connected.

Self-care, through mindfulness I become aware of the act of self-care I need to do to better my wellbeing. This can be anything, so I shall share yesterday’s act in going to my grandfathers farm and seeing the first of the lambs. I know, this is not your usual assumption of self-care but for me, it was just what I needed. Here are some photographs incase you need to see an adorable little lamb as well, how cute?

Again, self-care is something that takes consistency, we should all have five minutes to practice this each day, to show yourself some kindness. Thank you to Kay Ska for using the Instagram hashtag #selfcareeveryday and reminding me of this.

Gratitude, this too can be practiced in many different ways and until seeing Dr Pooky Knightsmith  using the Twitter hashtag #3goodthings these ways had slipped my mind. Having grown to practice gratitude through meditations and being blessed with a grateful feeling every now and again, I had stopped practicing in this way, until now. Seeing people post three things that they are grateful for made me question my own three things, instantly bringing me that a sense of stepping back and truly engaging with something, someone or a moment from my day to feel gratitude.

Whether it be sharing your daily three good things through social media, having a conversation with someone or writing them in a journal, looking at the little things that enrich our lives can better our wellbeing.

Mindfulness, self-care and gratitude seem like mystical wonders, but broken down they can be simple mind exercises that can truly make a difference. Speaking from personal experience, each of these things take consistent practicing but become easier and more natural with time.

Read up, practice and share, let’s start looking after our minds the in same way we look after our bodies. As always, I love to hear from you so comment or message any thoughts or suggestions.

Thank you for reading,


More posts on mental health, Mind, Rethink Mental Illness

Please know that although I have briefly studied these topics, I am by no means an expert and I speak from my own personal experience.