Spring Time In The Garden | Earth Day 2017

Happy Earth Day Everyone! I hope that you've all managed to get outside today to appreciate the beautiful natural world around us, whether you went to your local park, sat outside in the garden or even just took a scroll to the shops and noticed the trees or plants growing on the street. Today is a day to celebrate nature, and to educate others on ways they can help nurture and protect the World's flora and fauna. Today marks the 45th Earth Day. Since 1970, organisations and charities across the globe have used this day to show people how they can be more environmentally friendly by making even the smallest changes to the way they live, spreading the message about the importance of campaigns like Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. You can find out more about Earth Day here :) 

I always like to spend Earth Day surrounded by plants and trees and flowers, usually with my camera in hand as nature photography is a favourite hobby of me. Unfortunately I've not been feeling too well over the last few days so I couldn't go for a walk in the woods, but I decided instead to appreciate nature closer to home and spend an afternoon taking in the sights and smells of Spring Time whilst relaxing in my own garden. There is something really quite magical about nature and how it has an effect on our mental health. Feeling the warmth of the sun on my face and the grass in between my toes today, listening to the birds tweeting and watching insects hopping from flower to flower was so therapeutic. I decided to share some of the photographs I took with you all, like I did for Earth Day 2016. Enjoy!














I was so excited when I spotted my first butterflies of the year today! It was tough to photograph them, so I was over the moon when I finally managed to sneak up on a tiny Speckled Wood (Pararge aergeria) that looked like it hadn't long left it's pupa. It was so pretty! I'm really happy that our Apple Blossom tree has finally bloomed and is now covered in a mix of unopened blight pink buds and gorgeous white flowers. It's gorgeous and it's such a shame that the blossoms don't last very long. The little garden birds are enjoying the tree too, and I saw my first Blue Tit of the year too. I can't wait for all of other flowers in my garden to grow and bloom, and for more gloriously sunny days like today. Be prepared to get spammed with lots more flower photography this year, haha. What's everyone's favourite flower, plant or tree species? I personally adore bluebells (another flower I can't wait for the arrival of!), sweetpeas and ferns. As for trees, I love Japanese cherry blossoms, wisteria, oak and Japanese acer. I hope you all have a lovely Spring! 

Thankyou for reading!


Where was the last place you went to appreciate nature?

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Easter Flipbook

Hi guys! I hope that you all had a wonderful Easter weekend and that you treated yourself to lots of goodies :) I know I did! I have consumed a ridiculous amount of chocolate over Easter (and before Easter, oops!) and I still have more left to eat! I spent my weekend down in Derbyshire at my lovely friend's engagment party. Congratulation to the both of you! It was great fun and it was so nice to see some of my friends from university that I hadn't seen since we all graduated. I was also pretty proud of myself for going because it was a challenge to be around so many people I didn't know due to my anxiety, but I did it! 

I was supposed to get this post up by Easter Monday, however my body had other ideas and my insomnia has been really intense for the last few days making me too exhausted to do much of anything. So finally, it's time to show all my fellow crafty/stationery lovers, an Easter and Spring themed flipbook made by my very talented sister *pic heavy*. I wish I could make the things that she can! I hope you all enjoy reading :)

Easter Flipbook | Craft

I absolutely love the layout of this flipbook; the pages are shaped like Easter eggs, which is such an awesome idea! Each side of the paper is decorated with a pretty floral or Spring design using an array of different ephemera. They all look super pretty! Much like a more traditional flipbook, most of the pages containing pouches/pockets filled with crafty bits & pieces for whoever it is being sent to. If you've never heard of or seen a flipbook before, check out my Birthday Flipbook post for more details on what they are, etc. The rest of this post is going to be filled with photos of this incredible flipbook! 

Easter Flipbook | Craft

Easter Flipbook | Craft


Easter Flipbook | Craft

Easter Flipbook | Craft

Easter Flipbook | Craft

Easter Flipbook | Craft

Easter Flipbook | Craft

Easter Flipbook | Craft

Easter Flipbook | Craft

Easter Flipbook | Craft

Easter Flipbook | Craft

Easter Flipbook | Craft

Easter Flipbook | Craft

Easter Flipbook | Craft

Easter Flipbook | Craft

How gorgeous is this flipbook!? I love it soooo much! My sister's penpal is going to be over the moon with this. I love all of the pages so much: the colour schemes and overall themes, all of the different materials used and the way they are set out. They are so vibrant and eye-catching, with so many pretty little details. I adore the entire flipbook, but of course I have my favourite pages. These are the blue polka dot page with the rabbit, funky pink pattern thing and the daffodils, as well as the lilac leaf print page featuring the super cute foamy lilac bunny and 'bloom and grow'. I also really love the page with the little garden gnome on and the pink flower-shaped button. How about you? Which are your favourite pages and why? Let me know in the comments! 

This flipbook really illustrates all of my most loved things about Springtime: flowers, pastel colours appearing throughout nature such as pink pale cherry blossoms, baby animals, new growth and sunshine. Looking at the flipbook made me excited to get out with my camera and capture the essence of Spring in photograph. I hope you all enjoyed today's post :)

Thankyou for reading!

 

What's your favourite thing about Springtime?

 Check out some of my other Easter/Springtime posts:

Kawaii-eek Boutique Mini Haul

Hello lovelies! It's been a while since I shared a haul post with you all, so I thought I'd show off the super cute items that I ordered back in February from an etsy shop that I'd been lusting over for ages! Rosewine's Kawaii-eek Boutique sells the most adorable items, including mugs, pin badges, purses, etc. My favourite products are definitely all of the pokemon themed merch. The artwork created by Rosewine is just so brillant! I hope you all enjoy today's post :) 

Rosewine Etsy Kawaii Haul

I fell in love with the gorgeous kawaii designs by Rosewine as soon as I spotted their Eeveelutions mug in my recommeded section on Etsy. I browsed the store and pretty much right away ordered myself some items. It was really hard to just stick to a few items because there are so many fabulous things for sale! However, I had to bare in mind the shipping costs from the US and also the annoying customs charges. So here's what I chose... 

Rosewine Etsy Kawaii Haul

I was so impressed with this Eeveelutions case that it was the first item that I added to my basket and I did it pretty much immediately after looking at it, haha. I mean just look at it!! I absolutely love Eevee and it's evolved forms, and the chibi illustrations of all of them are just so bright and adorable and awesome! I couldn't not get a button badge with my favourite pokemon on; I wish that I could have ordered one of each of the Eeveelutions. The last item I chose was a sweet little fox pin badge. As a collection of pin badges, it was almost impossible for me to not purchase at least one of the awesome pins that Rosewine has available. 

Rosewine Etsy Kawaii Haul

 Oh my gosh, how adorable is this Vaporeon illustration!? It looks so sweet rolling over like a puppy, and winking too! I just love it so much. It was only £1.86 for a single button badge or you could get 3 for £4.96, which I was very tempted by. The badge is a fantastic quality and bigger than I thought it was going to be, which is great because it just makes the design more visible. I can't wait to show it off on one of my bags. Which Eeveelution button would you choose?

Rosewine Etsy Kawaii Haul

Rosewine Etsy Kawaii Haul

 I love this item so flippin' much!! It's incredibly cute, and I am so so happy with the quality of it and how pretty and bright the design looks. All of the pokemon have such happy faces! It was definitely worth the £12.39 that I paid for it. It's a really good size (9''width, 6'' height) so it has a variety of uses. I'm going to use it to carry my meds and hygiene items. It even has an zip compartment inside. I think it would be perfect to use for carrying a Nintendo DS, especially since you could put your accessories in the zip compartment, too. 

Rosewine Etsy Kawaii Haul

Rosewine Etsy Kawaii Haul


Everything from this store is so very cute! I love the unique theme of this range of pin badges. There's several similar kawaii animal pins available in the 'Put a butt on it!' design, such as this fox, plus some cats and dogs. I want them all! I decided on the fox though because they are one of my favourite animals, and I loved the vibrant orange colour. I'm over the moon to add this fantastic pin to my collection; it's quality is great! 

Rosewine Etsy Kawaii Haul

As you can tell, I'm really happy with these items and I would definitely recommend this Etsy store to all my fellow kawaii lovers! If you order from Rosewine's Kawaii-eek Boutique, let me know... I wanna see what you choose! I'll definitely be doing another haul when I can :)

Thankyou for reading!


What's your favourite item from my haul? 
Oh and also,what are your top five Pokemon? 

Enjoyed this post? Check out some of my other kawaii-themed posts:

 


 

Everyone, Meet Aurora ♥

Happy Thursday! Today's post is going to be all about the adorable new furry addition to my life... warning: will contain extremely high levels of cuteness! Its been such a struggle not to post photos and videos all over my social media, but I was determined to introduce her on here first haha. So without further ado guys, THERE'S A PUPPY AT MY HOUSE! In February, Aurora the super cute Shih Tzu puppy arrived, and its been so amazing to have her around. Puppies are so excitable and friendly and playful, and she just instantly puts a smile on my face. She's my sister's puppy and she will only be staying with us until my sister's girlfriend gets her own place. They were planning to look for a puppy when she'd moved into her new place but my sister came across Aurora and fell in love. It's impossible not to fall in love with her because she looks like a teddy bear! All of my friends want to steal her :) Time to show her off




Look how adorable she is!! She reminds me of an Ewok from Star Wars haha so I've nicknamed her Ewok. She's almost 16 weeks old and she's a little terror, but shes also really affectionate too. I have always preferred to sit cross-legged on the floor VS on the sofa, and she comes over and sits on my legs. It's so sweet! When she rolls over on her back to have a tickle, her ears point up and she reminds me of a little bat for some reason, haha.








Above are some photographs of Aurora's first time going out into the garden, and it was lovely to see her go from nervous to so excited and curious about every scent and sound :) As you can see from my photos, she's a messy little pup and always seems to have a wet face from sticking her muzzle into her water bowl! She's such a quick learner and can now sit, lay down, give paws and roll over on command. After she's had a drink, she sometimes pulls a face that makes her look like she's smiling. It's the cutest! She wants to eat everything including PJs and socks. If you lay on the floor, she climbs on your back and sits there. I could talk about her all day! 


Here are a few of the ridiculous amount of photos I've collected on my phone of Aurora so far! Anyone who follows me on instagram or snapchat, be prepared from this day on to be spammed with photos and videos of this gorgeous girlie! 

 Thankyou for reading! 

 ♥

Do you have a dog? Tell me all about them in the comments.

If not, what's your favourite breed of dog?
 Mine are Groenendael Belgian Shepherds & German Shepherds 



 

Where Have I Been? | Life Update

Hey everyone! Wow, it has been absolutely ages since I sat down to write out a blog post, and for that I am really sorry guys! Since the last time I blogged, life has thrown so much at me; it has been such a stressful start to 2017. My mental health has been at the worst it has for quite some time and it hit me so hard. I tried everything to pull myself out of depression's clutches, to try and dig deep to find the motivation to blog but no matter how much I tried, I didn't possess the energy, concentration or 'zest' to do much of anything, let alone blog. Just when I seemed to be heading down the right path towards recovery for my anixety, shit started happening all at once. My loved ones were going through tough times which were really hard to watch, my fibromyalgia decided to give me hell and cause some of the most intense pelvis pain that I've had, and my depression apparently wanted in on the action so upped its game to make me feel even worst. I hope that I'm not sounding like I'm being too dramatic, but honestly it's been such a crappy last two months for me.

Where Have I Been? Life Update

As if all of that wasn't hard enough to deal with, my finances then suffered too. Many of you will know that I've not been able to work since I graduated from university, because of the state of my mental health (read more about it here), and that I receive the Employment and Support Allowance benefit to help me out whilst I can't work. At the moment, the government has been cutting so many people's benefits; I'm sure you've all heard some of the shocking stories in the News surrounding cases of people in need having their benefits stopped because they have been deemed 'fit for work' when clearly going to work would have a massive impact on their physical and emotional well-being. It's ridiculous! 

So, back in January, I went to my first ever ESA re-assessment appointment after being granted the benefit a year or so previously, with my mental health being still in the same way as it had been then (if not worse in areas).  The only difference was that I had started therapy with a new mental health service and am now taking anti-depressants, however the health care professional who intereviewed me decided that I am 'fit for work' in her opinion and so all of my benefit was stopped. I had to go through a process of requesting her decision be reconsidered, even providing a letter from my GP saying that I'm not mentally 'well enough' to work, and a month later they've wrote back to me stating that they are not willing to change the decision. I now have to go through a potentially lengthly appeal process :( 

Where Have I Been? Life Update

It is so emotionally-draining having to prove to peoplle that you are unable to work, especially with the way mental illness is still overlooked and undermined by the government. When this situation with ESA started, I was working with my therapist to make my first steps towards my anxiety recovery to help me try and gain some of my independence back, something I have been working so hard towards for the last year to be suddently faced with the stress of this just when things were looking up. 

My depression has really suffered as a consequence of their decision to decide that I'm okay to work when I can't even leave my house alone, talk on the phone (even to my family and close friends) and so many other things that would be required of me if I was to go to work. One thing that has been so hard to endure is the constant reminder of what I cannot do. It's honestly made me feel so sad because I've been thinking more about the fact that I'm not able to do so many things I wish I could, and it's easy to feel trapped at home when you don't go out as much as you'd like to. On top of all this, my laptop (which has been playing up since I finished uni) has broken even more so that makes blogging even harder to get done. Ugh.  

Last week, I had my last therapy appointment and I now have to find a way to power through all of the stress as best I can to work on my recovery. The first step is getting my life back on track and picking up on all of my hobbies that I enjoyed so much, so... here I am :) My blog means so much to me and I feel terrible that I've neglected it these last two months. Thankyou so much to all of my fellow blogger friends for still being there; I really appreciate you all still tagging me on twitter Friday Follow posts and interacting with me on my other social media. I'm back now and I have lots of post ideas for April. I have so many of your blog posts to catch up on reading so expect some comment spams from me soon, haha.

Where Have I Been? Life Update
I just wanted to include a reminder to everyone but also to myself... It's okay to take a break. It's okay to put yourself and your needs first, and to take time to rest and recover from wahtever is going on in your lives. Don't beat yourelf up for having to focus on your self care. You deserve a break, you deserve time to recuperate. You are trying your best, and your health and well-being should take priority. People will understand

So here's why I haven't been around for so long but I promise that Raiin Monkey will be back to normal from now on. I hope you're all doing well; I can't wait to read your blogs and find out what you've all been up to. Sorry again for disappearing for so long!

Thankyou for reading!

 

I was also curious, what does everyone personally get out of blogging?
 What do you enjoy most about it? Let me know in the comments :) 

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