Things I Have Loved This Week
I'm writing this on the evening of Bank Holiday Sunday. I'm sitting in the living room with my Mum and Step Dad who are insisting we watch a wildlife programme. As much of an animal lover I am I've GOT to write this blog and I want to avoid all potential 'crying at the dead animals when they starve to death' type scenario as I won't be able to see the keyboard from my weeping. I've just heard the words 'The Arctic Fox may lose it's footing and fall to its death' Great. I think that's my cue to zone out and bloody get on with it...
My First Night Out In 6 Weeks!
I'm writing this entry first because I want to justify why I'm sitting in my living room with the rents on a Bank Holiday Sunday and not out socialising! The reason is this - I went out on Friday night to the o2 arena with my friend Ebony to watch the band 'The Vamps' perform. I had an amazing night and it was my first proper outing since my terrible spider bite nearly 6 weeks ago (blog post about that coming soon!). I was on my feet for HOURS (may have wiggled about to the music too) and unfortunately it's important I don't run before I can walk - literally! So it's a few more days rest and a few more wildlife programmes to avoid before I can go out again. Zzzzz
The show was brilliant and to fill the o2 arena two days in a row is an incredible accomplishment. I had an awesome time catching up with Ebony and standing next to my friend Karl Michael who co-wrote their highest charting single 'Can We Dance' with Bruno Mars; the Vamps performed it as their encore (whilst the glitter canon erupted)and it was amazing to share the moment with Karl. Talented little bugger...
I was fortunate enough to interview The Vamps last summer. Here we are!
My 4 Week Old Puppies
One of my Mum's biggest hobbies is breeding Finnish Lapphunds, (reindeer herding dogs from Finland). My Mum puts so much care and love into the puppies and at 4 weeks old they're really starting to get bloody cute. We have a solid brown pup which is very unusual as most dogs of the breed have facial markings, there are very few solid brown dogs like him in the country. The sun was shining today so I took the little brown bear for a cuddle in it.
We have 6 furry bundles and I will no doubt be featuring the other 5 babes very soon. (Sorry brown bear for exposing your little winky in the picture below...)
This week my James Bay cover of Hold Back The River exceeded 50,000 views on Youtube. Not a large figure for some Youtube singers but it's a nice little milestone for me. I released the cover back in December when only a small handful of people even knew who James Bay was. After his recent success and Brit Award win, his profile has soared and luckily my cover has seen a traffic increase because of it, thanks JB.
I think it's very easy for people to judge someone that sings on Youtube or blogs as a 'great self promotor'. When it comes to myself the truth is that I often find it incredibly difficult and with nearly every 'self promoting' post I create, I hit the Publish button and a little cringe pain hits me in the stomach. I've been putting myself out on the internet in one form or another for years but it doesn't always get any easier.
I've realised in the past that I seemed to really focus on the negative, especially when it came to my singing videos - "That cover didn't get many views" "Why did I post that one? I'm singing flat at the beginning" ETC..
What I should be doing is celebrating the little triumphs the internet brings! I very rarely give myself a pat on the back as I'm such a perfectionist with expectations that are often too high. But the truth is I'm chuffed to get to 50,000 in 5 months. So yes, I'm using this blog to shamelessly promote my cover as it's something I'll actually admit I'm proud of*insert cringe feeling in my stomach*
Here's the link. Please go check it out. It will give me another view. Go on... (Soz. Get back in your 'I find self promoting really awkwardly hard' box Carelle).
I just looked up at the tele to see a dead Arctic Fox :( Great...
I have started reading this brilliant book about a young woman named Ella who fell ill from a very rare illness which caused her to be bed-ridden for quite some time. She decided to ditch her addiction to sugar and follow a plant based diet. She cut out all refined sugars, meat, dairy and gluten and her health increased so dramatically she started to lead a healthy and well lifestyle again. She took to writing her recipes in a blog which then led to her writing a very successful book.
I'm certainly not trying to suddenly become a strict vegan. Ella says her book is a lifestyle SHE has chosen for herself. She wants her lifestyle to bring awareness to other peoples diets and encourage them to be as healthy as possible. I've seriously cut out wheat, dairy and refined sugar and although I've only been following it for a week I can't believe how easy and enjoyable it has been so far. I feel great and her recipes are GENUINELY tasty. Promise.
I want to write a blog post in the future about my meals inspired by her book which I have adapted to suit me (Ella eats no meat but I'm adding fresh fish to a lot of her recipes). The famalam took a trip to the health food shop to stock up on essentials. (My Mum and Step Dad are on the Ella hype too. In fact my Mum is actually calling herself Ella...)FACT.
My Therapy Dog (PAT)
For those that have never heard of PAT it stands for Pets As Therapy. My Mum decided to... HANG ON. My Mum is getting A LOT of air time on this bloomin blog post. Serves me right for moving back home and getting bitten by a spider and having zilch social life at the moment. Anyway back to Mum... (love you really!)
My Mum (aka Ella) decided to put my dog forward for a course of assessments to see if he would qualify as a PAT dog. PAT dogs HAVE to be incredibly placid, friendly, calm and have a huge love for people. My dog Salo passed with flying colours and my Mum volunteers her time to take Salo to old peoples homes and chats to the elderly whilst they stroke Salo and enjoy his and my Mum's company. Pretty cute right?
Well this is even cuter...
This week Mum and Salo went to the sweetest little Primary School for a 'Read To Dogs' scheme. Some children really struggle with reading and studies have shown they are more likely to have the confidence to read out loud to a dog rather than a person. (Oh my. Adorable) Only thing is I think the dog is meant to seem like it's listening to the child reading. My dog walked in and promptly lay down on the floor and no doubt within a few seconds started snoring on the school library carpet! BUT the kids absolutely loved him. My Mum came home and felt so rewarded that our dog has helped some children and my little woofer absolutely loved it!
I felt really inspired and proud by Mum's voluntary work. It's amazing how giving up your time can really help people. It's also amazing just how much an animal can help someone. If my dog can put a smile on an elderly person's face or help a child become more confident when they read I'm one happy owner! Well done Ella and Salo.
Also... check out the rather dreamy yellow uniform. WHAT A HUNK.
A little thought - even if you don't blog try and write down or record your own weekly loves. Although it's so rewarding to see my pageviews increase with each blog post I write, I really love setting aside time each week to reflect on what has made me or others around me happy, regardless of the amount of traffic it receives. I honestly wish I started this blog sooner...
Thank you again for reading my blog and being as lovely as ever. It's time to rest my puffy little eyes and go to sleep.
If your reading this - thank you. Have a wonderful week.