No More

When I was a little girl I was told, as I know a lot of girls are, that I was pretty, had beautiful unique eyes, had hair grown women dreamed about, and that I could do anything I wanted with my life. I accepted it because I was told it by the people who loved me.
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Dad & I 

So what happened between then and now. I have the same eyes and the same thick hair, and I am doing everything that I want in life. and yet I struggle.

I struggle with the fact that despite being told throughout my childhood the things I mentioned above, and many more, the only one that I held on to and has shaped me is the one about my ability to do anything I want with my life. I am doing exactly as I wish with my life. Everything I have done in my life has come from me, and yet when I look in the mirror it isn’t my accomplishments I see, it’s the things I think I have failed at.

How come I managed to turn all that positive reinforcement and support about my abilities and capabilities to achieve anything into a real life existence, yet as I sit and write this I am plagued with feelings of inadequacies about my looks that I have led me down a path to being overweight and horribly unfit.

I think that a lot of it stems from the fact that as girls we are taught by the people outside our home life that it’s the things we achieve in school that define us as we age. We are taught in school so that we can continue upwardly through life, to achieve success. In all that though I think certain messages are lost. I don’t think that girls are recognised for their naturally abilities, only those that are taught by others.

Yet as soon as we are grown those wonderful lessons we were taught, the incredible volumes of knowledge we have had imparted onto us over the years fall by the wayside and we are left with an overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction that no amount of pay rises, promotions and big offices can over quell.

I judge myself based on the viewpoint of others. I only believe I am a good friend, if those around me tell me so. I only believe I am attractive if the people I find attractive find me so. I am only ‘right’ when someone tells me I am.

I don’t know if any of you reading feel this way, if you don’t then apologies, but I have decided in the last 40 minutes, although its been coming for some time, that as long as I am happy with the person I am, what I see in the mirror and my actions towards others then the opinions of others become null and void.

At the beginning of 2013 as the clock stuck midnight I made a promise to myself;

no more

No more trying to be someone else, no more trying to be the best at things that don’t matter and instead focus on the things that do, no more spending time angry that certain people in my life don’t behave the way I think they should, no more despising the reflection I see in the mirror. No More.

Instead here are my 2013 vows (not resolutions)

- I will not stop watching airbrushed american television shows that make me feel bad about how I look. Instead I vow to read more of the authors who inspire me, follow the lives of women who work for the bodies they deserve and find time to work on myself.
- I will not dye my hair over and over again longing for it to be something it never will be. Instead I vow to be kind to it and treat it well and most of all not try to have the looks of someone else, but create looks of my own.
- I will not pay to have plastic stuck to me nails because I think that the best way to have long nails. Instead I vow to grow my nails with patience and treat them well.
- I will not use fake tan or sun beds. Instead I will embrace my beautiful pale skin which I have recently realised actually suits my green eyes and dark hair.
- I will not read more into the tweets, Facebook statuses or other social networking site posts of my friends. Instead I vow to spend time with them; honest time so that when they post arsey snarky posts (which they still will) I will know that its nothing to do with me.
- I will not eat junk food. Instead I will allow myself a treat whenever I wish as long as it’s a small amount and I can justify eating it.
- I will not continue to allow my body to deteriorate. Instead I will exercise for 30 minutes every single day. Be it a brisk dog walk, a dance class, a swim or whatever else I wish.
- I will not see the success of others as a failure in me. Instead I will celebrate success with them and strive harder to focus on my aims and goals and not take my eye off them.

love what you do

Finally I will not deny myself any experience, opportunity or emotion. Instead I will go through life open-minded, honestly and with every intention of becoming the greatest version of myself possible.

Would love to know what you feel about this?

E x

PS don’t forget you can still enter my Instant Print business card giveaway 

Is it just me?

I love quotes; motivational, thought-provoking, compassionate or funny. I am a fan of them all.

Want to know what I’m not a fan of? Over use and under action. I’m one of those people who actually take heed of the quotes and find something within them to take with me either on a day-to-day basis or when I’m in need of a little support.

However, recently the likes of Facebook, twitter and Instagram have been littered with quotes, flippantly used, put out into the world, copied and pasted and I’m not sure of the reason people post them?!

Think one of the ones that really pushed me over the edge recently and prompted this rant, appeared on the blog header of a beauty blogger.

Roosevelt Quote

I’m sure when Roosevelt was standing up for an end to racial segmentation, or pushing for the US to join the United Nations or maybe when she sat in the first seat of United Nations Commission on Human Rights she wasn’t thinking this quote would be used to promote a beauty blog! To say the blogger has entirely missed the crux of the quote is potentially the biggest understatement possible. It infuriates me, maybe it shouldn’t, but Lordy does it!

It’s not just the misuse of the quotes, but the incessant use of them, the plastering of them everywhere, and the lack of follow through. I’m not saying that every time you write something inspiring that you must run with steely determination to accomplish something on the back of the quote, but surely by putting them into the world without action you are slowly diluting their message.

I think more what infuriates me is the lack of action, if you are so inspired by the forceful thought-provoking words of the past why are you just posting them on Facebook, why aren’t you acting on them.

So I will share my favourite quote, I hold dear to me and act on, most if not all days.

“Everything will be alright in the end, if it isn’t alright, if it isn’t alright it isn’t the end”

Everything alright in the end

Yes I know it’s not the most powerful of quotes, but as I watched my mum sink further into depression and grief at the loss of the love of her life I searched for comfort for both of us. This seemed to appear out of the blue at the perfect time, on the front of a greeting card. But it helped, it helped me know that if I carried on helping, doing what I was then mum would pull through. Because when it comes down to it, the thought of reality is far more scary than the reality itself.

It’s a great few lines to carry with you in life. To remember that however awful something feels, however difficult, it will pass; things might not be the same, but they will be OK.

So do you have a favourite quote? One you hold dear?

E x

PS don’t forget about my Instantprint giveaway – open for another 5 days!

I’m Sorry…

january

Dear January,

I am writing to confess. I’ve been a bad person.

First and foremost let me apologise. I have been so cruel to you in the past. I have bitched behind your back, I have wished you never existed and I have wanted to leave you behind.

But you stood by me, you held fast and showed me how wrong I truly was.

So, January I would like to take these few hundred words to thank you.

Thank you for providing the big wigs at television HQ with a needy and wanting audience, as such we are indulged in the wonderful drama of Ripper Street, the whimsical wonderland of Mr Selfridge and the insatiably addictive Girls.

january

Thank you for giving us a fresh start, for offering us a plain piece of paper and the chance to start anew. A literal clean sheet in the form of a new dairy or calendar – the horizon before us is now clear to be filled with wonder and amazement.

Thank you for giving us the hideously bitterly cold weather which means being allowed to have the heating on longer, allows us to unashamedly wear onsies and drink too much hot chocolate.

Thank you for the plethora of inspiration you give to magazines and newspapers, without you January there would be no “fad diet”

So here is my promise January, I promise to be kind to you, to think of you often and to speak only good things when people enquire as to how you are.

So here’s to you January!

All my love

Emma x
January lover!

P.S I will be posting every day in February. Every post will be at least 300 words. I will be taking requests if you want me to write about something, review something etc

So that’s it, that simple

My Match Weekiversary!

My match.com ‘weekiversary’ has passed and I must say after Mr Shadow Penis things are beginning to look up!

week

I must firstly inform you though of the delightful creature who appeared in my inbox late last week. Beautiful doesn’t begin to describe him, handsome movie star good looks and witty banter, I thought hello! I’m on to a winner here.

Fast forward around 3 hours and I’ve learnt that although he is a barrister day-to-day, in the evenings he is a ‘butler in the buff’ what joy I thought! However things took a kooky turn when he informed me that he doesn’t wear an apron when he does it, and usually it’s just one on one with a woman. Now I am not a prude by any means, but surely to you dear readers that seems a little…odd?

With further probing I discover that actually if he had it his way he would be naked all the time and finds that it’s the best way to get to know someone! But “rest assured” he said, you don’t need to be naked on our first date. Phew!

So the date is booked with Mr Naked Lawyer and I guess I’l just have to see what happens. Oh did I also mention he sent me a run down of what I can expect from our first five dates…I’l share a little with you!

“Date 1 – I will be naked, you may not be. I will allow kissing without tongues and light fondling

Date 2 – I will be naked you are more than welcome to be in underwear but not naked. You may pleasure yourself as may I but you may not touch me. I can ejaculate on your body”

Now I’m all up for fondling and all the rest, just not sure I need it scheduled in like a dentists check up?! As a very good friend said… it’s all a little Christian Grey.

Mr Naked seemed to spark some flash of change on the site, suddenly I decided that I should just be bold and email guys I liked the look of, my male friends are always saying women should be more forward. I’m pleased to tell you they’re right!

So as it stands I have a date with a reconstructive surgeon from here on known as Dr Slick, a guitar teacher from Leeds now known as Mr Stratocaster and am chatting with a guy who we’ll call Mr Potential.

Don’t worry il be keeping you up to date on the courting as and when they happen.

Until then! Happy Thursday

E x

Is it the end of the world as we know it?

On Sunday night after a lovely weekend, I sat with two of my favourite people, full of gorgeous food and settled down to watch a movie ‘Seeking a friend for the end of the world’ a wonderful Steve Carrel and Kiera Knightly indie movie about the last 3 weeks on earth.

For those of you who don’t know about the Mayans, they see December 21, 2012 as the completion of the Great Mayan Cycle, and the beginning of a New World Age. They believed it was an “invitation to all of humanity to open themselves up to imagining, envisioning and actualizing the possibilities of gradual, positive transformation of our human culture in harmony with the Earth”. As we internally align with this grand shifting of cycles we can contribute our personal inspiration and commitment to being part of this collective transformation. Some people believe they meant an apocalypse, others that’s it’s simply the end of a life cycle. It isn’t something I really thought about until I was sitting with Amy and she told me how much it freaks her out thinking about it.

It got me to thinking, if we do only have 31 days left, what would I want to do with them, what would I want to say to the people I love, where would I want to be when the world ends. Once home last night, whilst painting my nails and listening to my ‘ultimate playlist’ I thought back over the 27 years I’ve been on this earth and to be honest, if the world was to end I could say I have had a hell of a life.

So here are my top 5 things in my life, along with pictures.

1 – March 2010 -Langar Airfield, Nottinghamshire

I jumped out of a plane, as someone who dislikes planes and heights it was both physically and mentally demanding, but knowing that I was raising money for Orchid Cancer Care.

2 – owned my own business, The Bespoke Cupcake Company – started in my kitchen at home making cupcakes for my dad whilst he was going through Chemo; it turned into a huge business that I was very proud of.

3 – My dad, every single picture of dad and I is more precious now that they are all I have left of him.

4 – Getting NAKED for charity. That’s right if you didn’t know then let me tell you. On a sunny but chilly day in August 2010 I stood ont he banks of a fishing lake at Plumpton Rocks near Harrogate and this photo was taken to be part of the Domestic Bliss Calendar to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust
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5 – Getting amazing results in my GCSE’s – not expected at all, and they set me up for the rest of my life

Now I’m not saying the world will end, I’ve bought presents so to be honest it had best not! But it has given me a little time to reflect on the life I have had, and how grateful I am for the people I have, places I’ve been and things I’ve seen. So maybe in the next 31 days take a little time out to be grateful for the life you have had, and have now. Try to just be positive, see how the moments of your life have led you to exactly where you are; stood, sat, laid, wherever you are.

Think about it

E x

Is this the end of a beautiful friendship?

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

That sums up how I feel about friendship, be in it with your whole heart or not at all.

You see the thing is I, like most girls, spent my teenage years with lots of friends, my closest school friends, Becky, Camilla, Michelle. Then there were my sports friends, Lydia, Hollie and Abi who I spent hours together on weekends in the driving rain playing netball and racing round athletics tracks in the sun, then there were my older friends at college or Uni, Debbie, Jo, Gemma. Looking back on them all it amazes me how few I stay in touch with.

Don’t get me wrong of all those people I’ve been to a couple of weddings, a christening and a smattering of birthdays but in all honesty the majority of the time the friendships simple grew apart, we went to different schools, moved away or went off to Uni.

Thanks to Facebook we stay in touch and chat from time to time, the obligatory Happy Birthday post comes each year. I’m happy with that, close enough to congratulate them on their wedding, birth of first child etc but not people I see every day.

Then there are the friends I’ve made post school, Claire, Liz, Steph, Robyn Amy, Craig, Kris, Matt and Andy the people who have been in my life through the ends of relationships, my travelling and dad dying. They are the people who listened to me whine about being in a crap relationship and then moan about being single, they are the ones who came to say goodbye when I went travelling, they spoil me on my birthday with love as well as gifts, they were there when my dad died. They held my hand and wiped away my tears. I like to think I’ve done the same for them. Parents being ill, miscarriages, divorce, depression, babies being born, losing jobs, losing friends, and through all of it I have loved being their friend, I love being kind to people, I want people to know they can come to me any time. As Ms Austen said I don’t love people by halves, it’s all in for me.

So now I am in a sad situation, a friend, I’ve known for the best part of 10 years has drifted away. There are no replies to texts, no birthday call or text, no nothing. I was there when her baby was born, when her boyfriend left, when she was heartbroken, we’ve run down a beach naked together, got into some questionable yet hilarious scrapes together. Someone I loved without question. And now, nothing.

I’m confused to say the least, don’t get me wrong there are people who are no longer in my life, one specific one that broke my heart, but we ended with a great big bang, a huge over the top fall out, never to really speak again. But somehow this is worse, this slow trickle towards no contact, a noted gap in my life. The thing that makes all of this sting that little more, is she doesn’t seem to have noticed, we have mutual friends and nothing has been mentioned, no one has come to me and told me there is something up, so I must conclude that she is happy for our friendship to fizzle out.

It’s made me think about the whole friendship, like I guess I would with any other relationship, was it ever really a ‘good’ friendship, we’re we ever that close.

This infuriates me, because to me we were, I was there in the middle of the night when her baby wouldn’t settle, I cooked for her when she was ill, I was there for all the moments that matter as well as the daft ones caught on camera.

So I am left in limbo, do I ask her out right? “why don’t you talk to me anymore?”

I didn’t think as a ‘real grown up’ I had to deal with things like this, I thought adult friendships lasted a life time, I thought she would be someone on the plane as we jet off to Vegas for my 30th, she would be there on my wedding day, being totally inappropriate but totally her – but I guess not.

So there you go, the end of another relationship, and once more I am left perplexed and pensive about the whole thing.

And I’ve decided to me it is worse than ending things with a boyfriend, because the saying goes “Boyfriends come and go, friends last a life time” I guess not in this case.

E x

Chaophraya – a slice of Thai paradise

When the invite landed in my inbox I was more than a little thrilled to see it was an invite to the relaunch of Chaophraya my favourite Thai restaurant. Which I am thrilled to tell you now occupies the ground floor with the Palm Sugar Lounge Bar as well as the first floor restaurant.

I must admit I haven’t been for one of their incredible feasts for at least 2 years! Thats what being out of the dating game does for you, I must rectify that, perfect excuse to eat my way round Leeds!

A little history of the brand

Founded in Leeds in 2005, Chaophraya now has five sites in major cities, including Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. The latest Chaophraya recently opened in Glasgow in one of the city’s most prestigious buildings making it the biggest Thai restaurant in Europe.

The brand Chaophraya (pronounced Chao-pi-ya) takes its name from the main waterway in Thailand. In ancient times this river breathed life into the families who lived along its banks. Today the river is still regarded as part of the essence of Thailand, which is where they take their inspiration from.

“Palm Sugar Lounge, Chaophraya’s new downstairs bar, is a sophisticated setting for the city’s social scene.  Its already one of the busiest bars in Liverpool and Glasgow, and is now set to raise the bar for the Leeds social scene with artistic cocktail makers on hand and an interior which fuses traditional Thailand with modern glamour.”

So back to Thursday and to say it was somewhat of a rush is an understatement, a crazy day at work followed by a dash around the new Topshop in the city centre left me extremely hungry and gagging for a drink. As I raced to meet Amy all I could think about was the Pad Thai they create at Chaophraya and I can tell you when I arrived I was not disappointed.

I have always wanted to walk a red carpet, and not one at a wedding, but a snazzy one with security and a policy of “if your name is not down you ain’t coming in” thrilled I was, you can imagine when I was confronted by the sea of beautiful lights and a red carpet leading into the stunning new restaurant entrance – helped immensely by the fact that we were on the list!

Welcoming the guests were the most exquisitely dressed women, in traditional Thai outfits beckoning us through the doors with a plethora of jewel coloured drinks. Once through the welcoming parade it took me a moment to really take in the size of the place, I’ve always been used to arriving up a flight of stairs, but this is far more grand, the fantastically stocked marble bar was staffed by knowledgeable and hugely efficient staff dressed in crisp white shirts.

My cocktail was a blend of fruits and spices an topped off nicely with champagne, and a flourish of mint and strawberries. Amy and I sat people watching for a good 20 minutes taking in the glamorous girls and dashing chaps flooding into the palatial bar area.

Then onward upstairs we decided, the staircase is the most sensational mix of glass and dark cherry wood and leads you up to the stunning restaurant area, laid out almost identically to the last time I had visited, although clearly had been spruced up and now offers a more glamorous place to eat. Glass bi-fold doors open onto a patio that even in the last days of September air was a joy I sit on and enjoy another cheeky cocktail.

Then came the food. The chefs preparing Pad Thai fresh in front of you is a sight to see, such skill in making simple ingredients taste so unbelievable. I won’t lie to you I went back for seconds, and thirds…..you get the picture.

The evening was rounded off by an indulgent hand massage and a blessing from a guru. The whole night was planned to perfection and having been to a fair few of these events I have never seen so many content faces. But that’s clearly what comes from fantastic service, stunning food and a couple of cocktails.

In summary I will be booking a table ASAP to indulge in the whole menu and may even treat myself to one of their Thai Cookery Courses.

They are offering some great offers to celebrate the arrival of Palm Sugar in Leeds, they’ve  introduced Fizz Fridays – (two glasses for £11, Friday evenings between 5pm and 8pm.) The restaurant also has a brand new à la carte menu and a range of set menus designed by Chaophraya’s founder, Kim Kaewkraikhot. You can book online for dinner so there really is no excuse.

Let me know if you have visited since it has reopened and what you thought?

If I knew then what I know now….

So on Friday night I raced home from work and literally threw myself into the shower, forgetting to take my socks of, thus almost sliding to a shocking yet comedic death. The reason for my hysterical rushing I hear you ask, well I will tell you what, a party and not just any party but an 18th Birthday party for a rather wonderful girl who it saddens me to say I have known since she was about 5!

As I stepped into my floor length dress and amazing jewelry I was reminded of how excited I was before my 18th birthday party. The thrill of the new outfit, the call of the bar and all of my wonderful friends, because lets face it I was at my most popular during 2004.

Once home following one of the most unexpectedly fun nights I’d had in forever I sat on the sofa with a slightly wobbly head and got to thinking about all the things I know now compared to then and what I would have said to my 18-year-old self, if I knew then what I know now, if i had the chance this is what I would have said….

For the love of god Emma be kinder to people, in years to come you will need your friends more than you have any realisation of at the moment and if you continue the way you are then you will wake up one day and realise they are no longer a part of your life. Although you go on to have the most incredible friends,  who are hilarious, supportive and make your life inexplicably better, you will miss the friends you had as an 18-year-old.

Appreciate your body, stop moaning about your thighs, you have no idea how much you will put yourself through 8 years from now to try to get those thighs back. And all that long dark curly hair, leave it alone, stop dyeing it please or when you are 26 you will curse yourself the years of dying and straightening. You know those boobs of yours that get you all kinds of attention from boys, try to be a little more discreet about just how much you love the attention as it will get you a nasty reputation that 5 years later will really ruin a friendship. Oh and finally stop biting your nails, its grim, you look gross doing it and you will save a fortune on acrylic ones!

Boys, now this is a big one, cherish them, all of them. The dates, the sex, the heartache the butterflies, all of it. Love never feels the same as it does when you are in your teens, it never has that all consuming can’t breathe feeling. Oh and the heartbreak, god Emma the heart-break, I know you think its awful now. Those awful break ups, the hours spent crying about love, listening to Westlife and hating your life. Appreciate the heartache as a teenager because once kids, homes and money all get included in the mix it all gets so much harder to deal with.

Forgive yourself, that thing you did, that you think now looking back on may have ruined your life, it hasn’t I promise, it does alter your whole outlook on life and marriage and kids but you did the right thing, you made the right choice. You were way too young. And please forgive him too, he was young too, he didn’t know any better than to go out and get drunk with his friends and ignore your texts. He didn’t mean to break your heart.

Appreciate your parents, you have no idea what a small amount of time you have with your dad, those arguments about whose right or wrong don’t matter, pick your bloody shit up off the floor when he asks you too, its his house and his rules, be respectful of him, he’s earned it. Do ever belittle the love that he has for you, there will come a point when you will feel your heart-break into a million pieces as you realise that you can’t talk to him anymore, ask his advice or have a proper Geordie hug.

But most of all 18-year-old me, I beg of you do not regret anything that you chose to do, at the time it was exactly what you wanted to happen. You wanted those tattoos, you wanted to go home with the guy from the band, you wanted to dance on the piano in just a shirt and heels and all those nights you don’t remember all that well, definitely don’t regret them.

On the flip side there are some things that you at 18 could really teach 26-year-old you

1 – Believe that love will happen again, believe it with almost entire abandonment

2 – Have faith in yourself that you are as great as people say that you are

3 – Throw yourself into things without worrying what anyone else thinks about it

4 – Tell your friends how much you love them as often as possible.

So that’s it, that’s all.

18-year-old me really thought she knew it all……

If you could tell your 18-year-old self what would you tell yourself

E x

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I have had a funny old weekend, starting with some really rather horrid tests to try to work out whats up with my heart – my doctor found it very amusing when I told him maybe I was the tin woman and I just did’t have one!

I’ve found whenever I am ill it makes me think back to being a child and how things seemed so much easier when I was poorly and 7 than poorly and almost 27.

Got me to thinking about the others things that change. Whilst feeling sorry for myself on Saturday I watched Eat Pray Love, a movie I have seen more times than I care to mention. Yes, yes I know its not as good as the book and there are parts that are just too outlandish to really believe, there are also parts that really resonate with me, that make me analyse the life that I live.

When Liz ( Julia Roberts) is in Italy she talks with her friends about what ‘word’ she is – if you had just one word to describe yourself what would it be? Would it be the same as the word you would have used as a child to describe what you wanted to be when you were grown? When did it change, more importantly why?

When we are little we learn all about “explaining words” ways to describe things, people, places. We are wildly imaginative as children, using words far above and beyond what we could ever have experienced. But with that lack of experience came a sense of wonder and hope that one day we would travel through space and time to a land where the clouds were made of candy floss and sand on the beaches made of sherbet. We were asked as children ” What do you want to be when you grow up” how many of you wanted to be a Fireman, a Nurse, an Astronaut…a footballer or a CEO? What are you now?

So what happens when we are grown ups, is that it? No more dreaming wildly of ‘when we grow up’ because here we are, we are grown up, are we where we wanted to be 20 years ago?

Me aged 7

I am intrigued by how many people have dreams as adults, they have aspirations to do something life changing, sadly I have found that mostly when they admit these dreams out loud people are less than supportive. Think back to when you were a kid and you told your mum that you wanted to be a Princess or the Prime Minister, how did she react, did she laugh in your face and tell you not to be so ridiculous, did she list the numerous down sides and reasons that it simply would not work out, doubtful. Instead she listened with care, consideration and support your dreams. Now if like me, you are a lucky bean and have a mum who supports you regardless of your wild grown up dreams, I am thrilled for you. However if you don’t then here I am offering my support and care for whatever you want to do.

This all came to a head for me the other week when I was chatting to one of my closest friends. She had decided to do a night climb up Ben Nevis for charity, what an awesome thing to do I thought, however her hopes were dashed when her mum told her she didn’t think it was a good idea, in turn that made my friend feel like her mum didn’t support her dream and therefore didn’t support her.

Sadly although my mum is a never ending beacon of hope and support for me, the same cannot be said of the rest of my family, when I told them I was starting my own cake company the majority of comments were along the lines of “but you have no training”, “there’s a recession you know” & “you’ve never run your own business”.

Not once did any of them say, “that’s amazing, good luck”. As a kid I have a lemonade stand with a friend when I was on holiday in San Francisco  everyone cooed about how industrious we were, fast forward 20 years and I am being irresponsible and it wont work.

I have many people in my life, from a little girl who just turned 3 to my grandmother who is 85. I plan on being as supportive of them every day of their lives as possible, no matter age, time of life, ideas or dreams. So Gracie if you want to be a Princess in 20 years then I will be there with a big ass hat sitting proudly in the Church, Amy if you want to make your books into movies then I will be more than happy to audition the leading man :-) and Gran if you want to run a marathon I will buy trainers and run with you.

If I had listened to the negative comments, I would never have owned my own cake shop, I would never have made cakes for everyone from Radio 1 to First Direct, I wouldn’t have been a part of so many amazing weddings, I would never have sold up and had the money to travel America & Canada, I would never have started writing a blog whilst travelling, I would never have had the nerve to go for my dream job and I doubt I would have got it. So if you think that I dream too big then go right on ahead but know this, I might be 20 years older and wiser than I was when I had my first dream of being a CEO but I still have the dreams, I still aspire to greatness and that wont ever change.

So today do me, and yourself a little favour and be supportive of someone, even if they are not doing things exactly how you think they should, give them praise for dreaming big, for wanting more than the mundane.

Think to yourself, how would you have described yourself 20 years ago, and how do you describe yourself now?

E x

Is it better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody?

My name is Emma-Louise Trotter and I think I am a fraud.

If I was to be completely honest, as I always try to be with you, I think it in almost every area of my life, even as I write this blog I am plagued with feelings of inadequacy. What if people find out that I am actually just pretending to be a good writer and that I make no sense at all. I have written, deleted, rehashed and rewritten this first paragraph, as I do with every post I write, I delete, reword and shuffle. This I am told, by a friend of mine who is an author, is completely normal and simply makes for a good writer, but I have to admit that although her words usually soothe my insanity, this time though not so much. Instead I sit here once more, filled with almost dread that infact someone is going to appear and inform me that in fact I am crap, I cannot write and I would be wise to do the whole blog reading world a service and find a cave somewhere to hide in until the public have finished laughing at my feeble attempt at writing. So I over compensate, I am wild when it comes to self promotion, the first to tweet and post on my facebook about my new post, I believe that the saying goes ‘fake it til you make it’ but now I am concerned that I will end up being a fake somebody and a real nobody.

Most people who know me, I imagine, would describe me as an outgoing confident person, someone who throws herself into life with rather a wonderful aplomb. However, in all honesty almost everything concerns me, I worry about most things that the usual folks concern themselves with and then on top of that I worry about the most peculiar of things.

Il give you a little example, if my phone rings and its a number I don’t know then my immediate reaction is not ‘oohhh i wonder who that is’ its more along the lines of ‘shit whose that? Whats happened? Oh God!’ Bare in mind that when I had my own business my phone rang numerous times every day, and as such I spent large chunks of time feeling really rather unwell with worry….

…and now with this wonderful new job comes equally interesting new worries, every time I get an email from the head of my team, I am convinced that the company has realised that I am in fact useless and not worth having in the team. Truly ridiculous , considering that both of my bosses have, in the last week, told me what a good job I am doing, and yet my inner dialogue is in no way silenced. It simply moves on to another theme, another aspect of my life.

The time that upsets me most is when my mind is allowed to wander to my friendships. I have a real variety of friends, from a physiotherapist, to author, to PA, to an accountant. I have, of course, a slightly different relationship with each of them, they bring something into my life and I can only hope that I do the same for them. But as with my job and my writing abilities I am constantly at odds with myself. What if they really don’t like me, what if actually they chat about it when I am not there, what if they would rather not be friends with me. I am incredibly loyal and go out of my way to support my friends, however they live their lives and I think a lot of my self-doubt comes when friends question that support and care, when they question my loyalty or my actions. Sadly it happens more than I care for.

However, I have worked out a way to deal with that, and its to spend time with people who make me feel valued, people who make me laugh until I almost choke to death on my dinner, people who are there, regardless, with honest and heartfelt care. They have no agenda, they could be else where, but chose to be with me.

This weekend I did just that and it was wonderful, it made me feel wonderful, it eased my chatterbox. I had some of my favourite people round for dinner, including the physio and the author, we howled with laughter, not a moment passed with awkward silence or in fact with anything other than really good fun. Then the following day a few of us sat and people watched in Starbucks and I then giggled the night away with them and went to bed with no voice telling me that I should worry. It was lovely, it was reassuring, mostly because they are straight forward good people, they make me feel important and that does silence the inner critic.

What i have learnt from all of this ,is that there are people in this world who bring something to the table, they offer more than you expect and all they want in return is someone who they can call a friend, the same goes for work, I will continue to go in and give my all, work hard and be the best I can be, for myself as well as for them. As for my writing, well I think honestly that if I wasn’t a little concerned of being thought of as a fraud, I wouldn’t try half as hard to be honest and truthful and write about real, honest, truthful life.

So maybe I wont ever be a perfect somebody, but i’m well on the way to really liking the real somebody that I am.

E x